Blog Entry

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

Posted on: March 23, 2009 5:52 pm

 B.J. Mullens is NOT ready for the NBA.

Thad Matta and Big Men
I see nothing that concerns me.  Matta's offense didn't have a hard time getting Dials the ball.  All three of these guys were true frosh.  Oden was raw offensively to being with.  Didn't help he was playing with one hand.  KK was not a true post player.  But he was still allowed to improve his game outside the post.  For what KK was, he carried us through the NIT last year.  As far as Mullens and Matta's offense not being good for BJ? Matta's offense is catered to it's big man.  You can't have a really great perimeter game without an inside presence.  And all those spread sets limit how much an opposing team can really double the post. 

Now, What's wrong with BJ's game
1. He is a freshman
- He like many freshman, lacks maturity
- He lacks physical maturity.  Lebron, Howard, Kemp, etc. were men physically.

2. Hands.  It really baffled me that the commentators later in the season commented on his "great" hands.  BJ seems totally capable in going up and catching the alley-oop.  But that is a poor example of gauging someones hands. 
-BJ is poor with the horizontal grap.
-BJ is poor with grabing balls at his waist and under.  Sure at 7'0 these can be difficult.  But when talkin about being elite, Mullens does have a fluid "bend" at this point. 
-Most importantly, BJ is thinking/going into his offensive move, before he catches the ball. 

3. Rebounding.  Defensively he lapses in thinking he doesn't have to find a body.  Quite too often when he has a body, he doesn't have the "bend" to seal off and is pushed to far under the basket.  Offensively, he lacks awareness.  Sure, Thad has really promoted getting back on defense quick to set up the zone, but too many times I see Mullens just watching.  He shows not moves to get off his block out and many times lets himself get blocked out by guys 6' tall. 

4. Confidence.  All the moves, everyone is talking about, are there.  They are fluid but at the same time are slow.  A defender may fooled orginally, but often recovers enough to make it a tough shot.  As Mullens missed so many of the moves earlier in the year, he became reluctant to even try later in the year. 

5. Leg Strength.
This affects almost everything he does.  From his jumb shot to him dunking over people.  But most of all it affects him being able to post.  He lacks the ability to create deep position and at times when he does, he is unable to hold it or seal properly.  All I can say is weight room, weight room, weight room.

6. Footwork. 
Desire vs lack of court awarness.
He "appears" lazy and uninterested at times.
While that is easy to label, I really think the case is that BJ is thinking rather than reacting too much on the floor. 
Part of this has to do with confidence and frustration.  Part is due to leg strength in general.  Part is because he just isn't that quick.  Part of this is CONDITIONING.

Team Play
7. Lack of a true elite point guard.
8. Perimeter passes aren't crisp or quick enough to open the lanes for entry into the post.  Ball movement consistanly needs to be quicker, stronger, and faster.
9. We have no elite passers who can thread the post to compensate for the poor positioning of Mullens. 
10. Too Many passes, especially of the penitration of Turner, are below his waist.  Part of this is Mullens spacing and awareness on the dribble drive.  Again, Mullens doesn't generally do a good job of sealing off his defender properly making the pass much more difficult. 
11. Zone Defense.
Mullens spends too much time defending the perimeter corner. 
(A) It limits is presence on the boards
(B) It wears him down even further.   He is force to cover more ground than a traditional big man. 

While I seem overly harsh, many of these things can be fixed.  The most important thing that BJ needs to do during the off-season is to get himself into shape.  His total dedication to his body will make or break his basketball career.


Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 6:15 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

 He should of waited another year or so, he is big but not ready for the NBA, he wasn't dominate in the Big 10.  I'm saying this as a Buckeye fan, he would of done more for his NBA stack by sticking around a year or more and improving his game and being an impact player in the big 10, now all that he has going for him is his heighth.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2009 3:06 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

Can you say Chris Mihm?  I think if he stays in college for another yr or even 2 it wouldn't hurt him.  He probably would be a good college player.  The thing is he could stay in college for the next 6yrs and his draft stock will probably be similar.  Oh he might go from the 10th pick this yr to the 6th pick in 2 yrs.  As much as i would like to see him stick around for another yr to help the Bucks, i believe that if he's going to be a lottery pick he's gone.  Too much money to pass up.  They would be drafting him on potential.  If he sticks around and doesn't improve they may realize he doesn't have much potential.  Then he might be a late 1st or second rounder if he even got drafted at all. 

This being said, i hope im completely wrong.  I hope he stays and that he dominates while he is here and then goes pro and kicks ass. 

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: March 25, 2009 2:33 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

 This guy isn't ready, may never be, he will be a long time back-up in the NBA.

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2009 10:31 am

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

I don't understand what NBA scouts are looking at when I hear that he will be a lottery pick, or that he will even be picked at all.  I show up an hour and a half early to home games so that I can get a good seat.  About an hour before the game, the big guys (Mullens, Lauderdale, and Madsen) all shot hook shots and show off their low post moves.  It is pretty sad when you see Kyle Madsen making the most shots in the post almost every single time.  I have seen maybe one low post move out of B.J. Mullens this year.  Against Siena he did a little spin for a layup.  If Mullens gets the ball and he isn't right under the hoop, he just doesn't know what to do.  The two things I have seen him do are passing the ball out and shooting a long jump shot, which he has never made this season.  Mullens does not hustle, he does not care, I think he just sees Ohio State as a stepping stone into the NBA and doesn't really care about his time here.  He has no hands, he doesn't rebound, he isn't a very big presence on defense, and he doesn't have too high of a "basketball IQ".  If I was an NBA scout, there is no reason I would take Mullens over just about any other 7 footer in college basketball.  He can run the court well, but that is about it.

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: March 24, 2009 9:58 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

 OSU seems to underachieve to me as a whole with all the talent and size they have on that team right now.


All the talent?  2 McDonald's freshman and one "elite" sophmore that is overused doesn't not equal a lot of talent.   Ohio State basically lost 4 guys throughout the season

  1. Kosta Koufos declaring for the draft after one year
  2. Freshman PG Noopy Crater mid-season transfer
  3. Starter David Lighty early season injury
  4. Incoming JUCO recruit injury that was supposed to add depth in the post

The rest

  1. Project big man soph, in his first year of major action in Lauderdale
  2. Role player shoter in Diebler, soph
  3. 1st year JUCO combo guard
  4. Junior, second year JUCO pg that was a desperation recruiting attempt when Conley declared for the pros

As far as size.  After Mullins at 7ft, the next tallest player is 6'8.  IMO, that is not size.

Maybe Matta's a great recruiter and average coach that doesn't develop players well.


The talent that Matta has is young.  And from what I have seen, beside Mullens, all have gotten better in their limited amount of their career at Ohio St.   All I am saying is that the jury is still out in regards to Matta developing players.   There simply isn't much to go off.  You have to remember that this years team had 3 first year players and 4 second year players (2 with very limited minutes the year before).  Not to mention that the 8/9 guys, who play like 10/11 guys, are both in their first year under Matta. 

Rivals had him as the number 1 overall recruit, and I can't help but wonder why. 


Based on the fact that he his 7ft with great athleticism for his height.  You see a lot of these recruiting rankings are based on potential  just like the NBA draft.  

IMO, in regards to the Matta/Mullens relationship, from what you see during game time, I would call it "tough love".  Matta is trying to coach all the deficiencies of Mullens, but BJ at times doesn't see to repond in the most positive light.   Can't blame Matta for trying.






Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: March 24, 2009 1:55 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

 I understand he wants to take care of his family and everything but the money will always be there in the NBA.. And some people worry about being injured and not having an opportunity.. How many people have been injured so badly after staying in college that they have been unable to play in the NBA?  Maybe I just haven't heard about many but come on.. He could stay at OSU for another year or 2, develop into an absolute stud who can dominate the best college basketball has to offer and THEN leave for the NBA, get drafted much higher and make more money than he would have in the 2 years leaving early.. I just feel like if he goes now, yeah he'll get a lot more money than he's ever had before, he can help out his family, but I'm afraid he might just disappear.. Every year you're going to have new big men coming out of college.. Big men who have developed into better players by playing in more competitive basketball games against some of the best teams out there.. When was the last time you turned on ESPN and saw Kosta Kufos in a highlight?  Shoot, when was the last time you turned on ESPN and saw Kosta Kufos just on the COURT during a highlight featuring someone else?! 1-and-done may work for players like Oden, or Durant who can completely dominate almost everyone they face in college, but come on, Mullens? He can't even start for a team who gets booted in the 1st round..  Stay. Develop. Dominate. Then make the jump.

Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: March 24, 2009 1:29 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

I agree, he's nowhere close to NBA ready.  I knew he was highly regarded coming out of highschool, but I had no idea how much.  Rivals had him as the number 1 overall recruit, and I can't help but wonder why.  He played decently in OSU's non-conference games, but seemed non-existent in almost every Big Ten game I watched him in.  OSU seems to underachieve to me as a whole with all the talent and size they have on that team right now.  Maybe Matta's a great recruiter and average coach that doesn't develop players well. There seems to be a lot of those in NCAA BB and FB.  Absolute disaster if Mullens leaves for the NBA.


Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: March 24, 2009 11:28 am

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

Man I didn't even  try to read all that stuff you listed about BJ but just skimming over it brings this question to mind, if all the things you listed are true and for what I've seen with BJ you are right, what was Coach Matta and his coaches doing with this guy when he showed to OSU. Just my opinion, It looks like Coach Matta is loading up on 5 star recruits and trying to roll the balls out there at practice then have these guys just show up for the game. Their point guards are not that good, thats why they can't get the ball to the big men on the team, Evan Turner got a bug in his ear about leaving for the NBA and he forgot to pass the ball once the tournaments started. GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!! 

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 11:12 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

I agree with the point about Oden.

Does Mullens have any notable injury history like Oden did?  If he does, I think that could influence NBA people.

Thanks for the well-informed response, Pravda.



Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:54 pm

B.J. Mullens, a Personal Evaluation

I'd have to agree with your evaluation. I think all big men should do at least two years in college. Gives them a chance to for their bodies to fill out and for them to gain the strength needed to go 80 plus games in a NBA season. Hopefully, BJ will not make the same mistake Oden made and he will come back for at least one more year at Ohio State. 

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