Talkin Smooth: Jared Sullinger reflects on beating the nation’s No. 1 team


Jared Sullinger and Northland High teammate James “JD” Weatherspoon sign with Ohio State. (Photo by Kurt Stubbs)

What does Jared Sullinger want for Christmas? What did last week’s win over Findlay Prep mean for not only Northland but for the state of Ohio? Those questions and more answered in our second installment of Talkin Smooth, a weekly diary with reigning Mr. Basketball Jared Sullinger

It was quite a week for Jared Sullinger and his Columbus Northland
teammates. The Vikings swept through a three-game schedule with wins
over city league teams Brookhaven and Centennial along with the
monumental victory over No. 1 Findlay Prep (NV) on ESPN.

dispatched of Brookhaven 69-43 behind Penn State commit Trey Burke and
his 21 points and seven assists. Sullinger added 17 points and 18

On Thursday, the stakes were high, as Northland
met the top-ranked Pilots of Findlay Prep. Sullinger was up for the
test scoring 32 points and yanking down 17 boards including nailing two
free-throws with four ticks remaining to lift the Vikings to a 53-52
triumph. The “Big Smooth” was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity

Trey Burke was terrific at point guard
contributing 10 points, but more importantly controlling the game
against one of the best senior guards in the country (Cory Joseph).

State signee J.D. Weatherspoon was unable to play after injuring his
ankle in the Brookhaven game, which is even more amazing that Northland
was able to beat Prep.

With the absence of
Weatherspoon, it just goes to show how good Sullinger is to totally
dominate a game from the low post. Great guards can take over games a
lot of times because they dominate the ball, but to dictate from the
interior is something special.

Less than 24 hours after
the emotional win, the Vikings were back on the court against
Centennial. However, there was no letdown, as Northland made short work
of its fellow city league team en route to a 95-49 conquest.

poured in 31 points and snared seven rebounds in just over two quarters
of play. Burke added 20 counters including four triples in limited
action as well.

All told, it was an incredible opening
week for Sullinger and the Vikings going (3-0). The Ohio State signee
amassed 80 points on the week and added 42 boards. Burke proved he is a
special guard in the week that was accounting for 51 points.

Vikings are off until January 5 when they face off with Columbus East
on the home boards. In the next 13 days, Northland will not be
marveling at what they have done as Sullinger explains to us in our
weekly Q&A.

Q: First and foremost, how do you assess your play in the opening week?

I played pretty well. My brothers always tell me there is room for
improvement. Also, there are more rebounds I left out on the floor and
a couple of blocks. My brothers always keep me happy.

Q: What did Thursday week’s win over Findlay Prep mean for not only Northland but for the state of Ohio?

A: It means that we are a great basketball state. We are not only a football state but basketball is in also.

Q: The team is off until January 5, what areas would you like to see the team improve on over next 13 days?

We are going to get in better shape and work on our timing. There were
times when we were out of sink and looked lost, so we are trying to
make everything sharper.

Q: Everyone knows Jared Sullinger is a good basketball player, but what does he like to do when he is not in the gym?

A: I really enjoy having fun with my friends. If I’m not on the court with JD or Trey, I’m off the court with them.

Q: What does Jared Sullinger want for Christmas?

A: I just want everybody to stay safe and see the year 2010.

The next installment of “Talkin’ Smooth” will be on January 4.

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