By TOM LEA
Jared Sullinger weighs in around 265 pounds.
He’s 6-foot-8 and serves as the focal point for an Ohio State team contending for yet another Big Ten championship.
Knowing his resume, knowing his repertoire and knowing his caliber of play — many believe he’s one of the nation’s elite — it’s obvious that teams are going to at least attempt to slow him down.
That means teams are going to be physical with him.
Michigan State did it and won, in Columbus of all places, just a couple of weeks ago. Michigan did it and won, in Ann Arbor, last weekend.
So when his father, Satch Sullinger, told the Columbus Dispatch that teams were getting too physical with his son earlier this month, while seemingly taking a shot at Wisconsin, it raises some eyebrows.
Isn’t physicality, especially in the post, part of the game?
“Some of these bush-league coaches are beating on him just to make him lose his cool,” Sullinger told the Dispatch. “I have no problem as long as it’s within the spirit of the game…but during a recent game, everyone elbowed him in the back on purpose when they came through. The first time you see it you can say it’s an accident.
“The second time it’s a pattern; third time, it’s a program.”
Wisconsin junior center Jared Berggren will likely spend most of Sunday afternoon defending Sullinger. The first time around it didn’t go so well as Sullinger scored 24 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor, eventually forcing Bo Ryan to assign Ryan Evans the task of slowing Sullinger.
When asked whether he was aware of Satch Sullinger’s comments, most likely directed at Wisconsin, Berggren was caught a little off guard.
“I don’t know how that can be the case with us to be honest,” Berggren said. “I don’t think we did that great of a job. For myself I know I didn’t do a real good job of getting physical with him. I kind of let him have his way with me.
“If he (Sullinger) was talking about us it is what it is.”
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