Strengths: Highly refined, old school post player in a draft saturated with “potential”. His game is marked by both power and skill. Legitimate low block scorer often working his way into a high quality look (17.5 PPG on 52% FG). Master of positioning at 280 pounds and establishes early. Uses his wide body and derriere to keep defenders locked onto his hip. Tremendous lower body strength pinning his opponents into submission. Aggressively throws his weight around and unafraid to punish those in his path. Thrives on contact. Wide array of post moves on the low block, finishing over either shoulder with either hand. Footwork and understanding of angles are advanced. Soft hands and a feathery touch. Nimble elusivity for his size. He has taken strides in the face-up game, working from the elbow area in space without threat of a double. He’s a dual threat from there, either comfortably popping a mid-range jumper or attacking off the bounce with skilled handle. Quickness is not his ally, but he’s a bull in a china shop. Technically sound jump shot with smooth release. Range has extended to three-point territory, shooting 40% on over 1 attempt per game last season. 77% shooter at the free throw stripe, to which he is a frequent visitor. Strong basketball IQ- reads double teams, finds the open man and rarely get careless with the ball (1.2 AST: 1.9 TO). Excellent anticipation on the glass, clears room with his big frame (9 RPG, 3 Offensive). Intuitive defender with good hands (1.2 steals). Averaged a shade over a block per game last year, a healthy upgrade from 0.5 as a freshman. Added muscle weight and improved conditioning that resulted in more effective minutes at full strength, as well as more explosive movements.
Weaknesses: Lacks the overall physical gifts of other top prospects in the draft class. Appears stuck in glue at times, particularly against long, athletic competition. His space-creating advantage and wide base are nullified. No elevation off the floor and severely limited explosion. Plays beneath the rim. Run the courts laboriously. Lateral quickness is poor- badly exposed in space and on pick and roll switches. Undersized for the center position, a shortcoming he does not make up for in length. Major concerns defensively against new breed, mobile NBA 4’s. Not an intimidating presence on the back line of a defense. Less than a blocked shot per game in conference play, and does not alter attempts either. Averaged more steals than blocks. Position defender. He’s overwhelmed by size, length and athleticism on both sides of the ball. The majority of his dominant efforts came against lesser competition and teams devoid of frontline size. His 5/19 performance in his final collegiate game against Kansas did not aid his draft standing. His body style will always be susceptible to weight issues. Can’t afford to rest on his laurels and be satisfied with current level of conditioning and agility if he wants to remain in the lottery.
Notes: NBA doctors redflagged his back at the NBA combine. It has severely damaged his draft stock and he's no longer considered a lock for the first round. (added 6/24)
Adam Ganeles 5/7/12
Strengths: Sullinger has decent size for a post player measuring 6’9” (in shoes) with a 6’11.5” wingspan … He is a bruising throwback post player that uses his 286 pound body to create angles for his shot and to clear space on the boards … Very physical player that uses his body to wear down opposing big men...The Ohio State commit is also very skilled with a repertoire of advanced post moves for a high school player…Comfortable finishing around the rim with either hand … Has excellent hands and footwork and shows very good touch around the basket … Solid rebounder, he attacks the glass at both ends of the floor and creates offensive opportunities off of putbacks…Shows decent form and touch on the 12-18 footer … Passes well out of the post … He’s a winner, leading his Columbus Northland squad to an Ohio Divison 1 state championship and his All-Ohio Red AAU squad to three consecutive National Championships …
Weaknesses: Does not possess elite athleticism…Is prone to having his shot blocked and has some difficulty with longer athletic defenders…Does not run the floor extremely well…Shows ability, but needs to improve consistency of mid-range jumper...Lateral quickness is lacking, creating defensive mismatches versus perimeter oriented PFs…Is not a particularly dominant defensive player due to lack of explosiveness and quickness…Weight could be a long-term issue, not a particularly solid 262 pounds…Potential one-and-done lottery guy, but must improve conditioning and mid-range game and show that he can dominate at the college level …
Notes: Measured 6'10 with a 7'1 wingspan at the 2011 Amare Skills Academy.
Josh Cochran 8/4/09