COLUMBUS, Ohio -- B.J. Mullens is the latest "one and done" at Ohio State.
The 7-foot freshman announced Thursday he would declare himself available for the NBA draft, the fifth Buckeyes player in the last three seasons to leave after playing one year.
The Columbus-area native averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds, and shot 64 percent from the field to set a school freshman record. He started two of the 33 games this past season for the Buckeyes, who lost to Siena in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
After Ohio State went 35-4 and lost in the national championship game to Florida two years ago, freshmen Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook all were taken in the first round of the NBA draft. Last season, 7-foot freshman Kosta Koufos jumped was drafted by Utah.
Coach Thad Matta, who has had to basically rebuild the program each of the last three seasons, said he was disappointed that Mullens was leaving early.
"I am saddened to lose B.J.," Matta said. "On one hand, I feel another year in school would have allowed him to develop into the player I know he can be and an additional season would have been beneficial to him both personally and monetarily in the long run. On the other hand, I am empathetic to the reasons why he has chosen to leave at such an early point in his career."
Better enjoy riding the bench for at least 2 years.
edit: After reading the article, this is obviously purely financial. Kid spent time in a homeless shelter. And I suppose that's fine. In an ideal world 18 year old kids don't have to worry about providing for their family, but it is what it is. Obviously the kid isn't ready, but gotta do what you gotta do. Good luck Mullens.
Last edited by InspiredLebowski : 03-27-2009 at 05:09 AM.
If Mullens had stayed I think he would have been a top 10 pick, but as it stands now, I think some scouts will see the upside he has. He was really inconsistant this year. He is a scorer, not a rebounder or defensive player so that will hurt him, but he has the size and athletic ability to be a good NBA player. I would draft him in the top 20 and I think would be a great value down the road, but I think he is more likely to go late 1st/early 2nd. To me he will end up being just as good, if not better than Koufus.
Listen guys, Mullens went purely for financial reasons. It has to be that way, because based on pure basketball abilities he's a long way off. He only played 13 minutes per game in the Big Ten tournament...The last poster mentioned that he should be at least as good as Koufos, well Koufos didn't even last a full year in the NBA as he has been dropped to the developmental league. Mullens was not yet at Koufos level when he left. The kid has big time shot problems...he led the Big Ten in shooting percentage b/c they were all dunks. Anything outside of 4 feet was an adventure. Again I feel for the kid. He'll make some money because someone will be crazy enough to invest in him for the future, but he'll be gone long before he makes an impact.
Sometimes I wonder who these kids listen to when they make these kind of decisions...
These guys just need a chance to develop. Not many 20 year olds can make an impact in the NBA. Especially these 7-footers that need extra time to develop their games. They should leave this early, but if they do, NBA teams will still develop them (in the NBDL like Koufus, where he is at least getting paid). Mullens will probably spend at least 2 years in the D-League, but he will at least be able to provide for his family.
I also think he made a lot of strides this season. His game was starting to come around in spurts. I think with the Summer League and some weight lifting, he will be ready to make big strides in the D-League, kind of like how Thabeet has improved over the last couple years.
This draft is extremely weak for centers, and has very few surefire stars. Mullens has great size and athleticism, he will not fall as far as people think. Teams will be willing to take a chance on a kid with this much potential. Patrick Patterson and Jonny Flynn not declaring can only help his draft position.
Will he have a great NBA career? Probably not, because he seems kind of stupid, but he might be like a white Tyson Chandler or Samuel Dalembert at some point, and if he ever develops some bball IQ and skills, he could be better than those two. Then again he could end up being more like Darko or Olowakandi, except at least Mullens won't be picked that high.
Could definitely have used another year in college, but hey.