Talkin Smooth: Tipping off a season long diary with Northland’s Sullinger

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Jared Sullinger, the reigning Mr. Basketball, consoles Harding’s Desmar Jackson after the D-I semifinals last season. (GH)

This is our first installment of a season-long weekly Q&A with
Ohio’s reigning Mr. Basketball, Jared “Big Smooth” Sullinger of
Columbus Northland. Throughout the course of the season we will be filling you in on everything Northland and Sullinger.


This is our first installment of a season-long weekly Q&A with Ohio’s reigning Mr. Basketball, Jared “Big Smooth” Sullinger of Columbus Northland.

Throughout the course of the season we will be filling you in on everything Northland and Sullinger.

The nation’s No. 1 big man, Sullinger, will get his season started this Tuesday when the Vikings open up at home against Columbus City League rival Columbus Brookhaven. Northland is ranked No. 4 by the USA Today.

However, this week’s main attraction will be a meeting of two heavyweights on Thursday at Otterbein College when Northland locks up with the nation’s No. 1 team in Findlay Prep (NV). The game will air on ESPN at 7 pm.

The Vikings will round out their opening week with a home game versus Columbus Centennial on Friday.

Without further ado, here is our first one-on-one with Mr. Smooth himself.

Q: Columbus Northland wins the schools first-ever state basketball championship last year, what can we expect from the Northland Vikings in 2009-2010? Will the Vikings repeat?

A: What you can look for from Northland High School is five players playing hard, unselfish, and together as a team. We just want to go out and play as hard as we can. We know everybody is coming at us and giving us their best game. We just got to be ready to answer the bell.

Q: Jared Sullinger won the 2009 Mr. Basketball Award what can fans expect from the “Big Smooth” this season?

A: You can expect me to play hard and smart.  Everybody will try to get me in foul trouble and try to do little cheap shots to get me to react. I’m just looking for wins, and as long as we can win I don’t care what my stats look like.
 
Q: You and teammate JD Weatherspoon have already signed with Ohio State, what does it mean for you to have one of your best friends and high school teammate coming to OSU with you next year? Did you ever waver on going to Ohio State and when did you know 100% that is where you wanted to go?

A: It’s great to have somebody that is so very close to you attend the same college. I knew I was 100% sure when my brother (J.J. Sullinger) attended OSU at the beginning of the Thad Matta Era.
 
Q: Your team has quite a few highly-regarded players, but who is one player on your team that fans should expect a breakout season from?

A: I think Ke’chaun Lewis. He was under the radar last year, but this is his going to be his year.

Lewis is a 6-foot-3 sophomore wing for the Vikings.
 
Q: You have had some scrimmages, a preview, and a foundation so far, how would you asses your team’s play?

A: So far we had three scrimmages and a foundation game. As a team we are playing so unselfish. We are taking our egos and throwing them out the window.

Northland played in a two-quarter preview against Cincinnati Aiken back on November 27th and participated in a foundation game on December 5th against an ultra-talented Huntington Prep (WV) team. The Vikings came away with a 68-66 victory with Sullinger scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Weatherspoon added 12 markers.

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