Now do you see why I named Jared Sullinger a First Team Preseason All-American?
And the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year?
And the nation's top big man?
The Ohio State freshman made 13 of 17 shots to finish with 26 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's 93-75 victory at Florida, and he more than lived up to the "monster" label Billy Donovan bestowed upon him last weekend. It was the type of early performance against a quality opponent that'll have the nation now clamoring for more Sullinger, and it's precisely why I never hesitate to hype the elite freshmen before they ever officially play a college game.
I didn't need to see Sullinger wear an OSU jersey to know he was going to be awesome. I saw him in an All-Ohio Red jersey two summers ago, knew it then and wrote these words: "[Sullinger] is a big-bodied, true post presence who should dominate the college game from the moment he enrolls at Ohio State." So far, Sullinger has done exactly that. He's averaging 22.5 points and 12 rebounds through two games for the fourth-ranked Buckeyes, and I'm not revisiting all this to highlight how right I was (OK, fine, that's partly why I'm revisiting all this) as much as I'm revisiting all this to remind readers for the fifth consecutive year that the best freshmen will forever be among the nation's top players as long as the NBA age-limit is in place.
Get used to it.
Stop fighting it.
And cease talking about barely existent adjustment periods.
Yes, there is an adjustment period for most freshmen, perhaps even 99 percent of them. But the truly unique talents -- Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, etc., -- don't have to adjust much at all. They just have to enroll and start dominating.
Sullinger is the latest example of such a talent.
But rest assured, he won't be the last.