Sullinger earns Big Ten Player of the Week honors for the fourth time and Freshman of the Week honors for the ninth time this season. (The award has unofficially been his since early November, and he’s the early front-runner for the Big Ten’s Silver Basketball award too) The 6-9 center averaged a double-double last week in wins against Iowa and No. 23/22 Illinois. He scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in Ohio State’s win over the Illini, finishing with averages of 20.0 points and 12.5 rebounds. The Columbus, Ohio, native also had three blocks against Illinois and played all 40 minutes in the game.
Sullinger made 13 free throws against the Illini, marking the second-highest single-game total by an Ohio State freshman. His double-double in the game marked his ninth this season, which is the second-highest total in the Big Ten this year.
The trip to Assembly Hall was the first real challenge for the Buckeyes during Sullinger’s time here. His first truly formidable Big Ten road opponent, and the eight point deficit with 12 minutes remaining was the largest margin that undefeated OSU has trailed at any point this year.
So what did Sullinger learn from overcoming the deficit to remain undefeated?
“Heart, pride and composure, we really showed those things. To be down 42-50 and then be able to turn that around on the road, and pride to play defense,” Sullinger said.
Sullinger was named to the Wooden award (Evan Turner won it last year) midseason top 30, after scoring* 40 versus IUPUI and 32, with 19 rebounds against USC. His monstrous presence opens things up for everyone else in scarlet and grey.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He doesn’t have a real nickname, but he is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
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