Is a trimmer, slimmer Sullinger good for Ohio State?

0 Comments

How will a trimmer, more sleek Jared Sullinger fare in 2011-12? We’ll find out.

Ohio State’s star center was one of the nation’s top players as a freshman, displaying impressive post moves, passing skills and rebounding ability last season when the Buckeyes were atop the polls for most of the season. He also displayed an impressive rump, which undoubtedly helped him rebound and bull through opponents.

But, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, Sullinger’s dropped a few pounds this summer. The 6-10 Ohio native says he’s down to 275 pounds, slightly less than his listed weight of 281 pounds as a freshman. He says he’s lost 10 to 15 pounds since season’s end, which means that 281 was being kind.

More importantly? He reportedly looks much slimmer.

“Even with the weight I have lost so far, I still wear the same size jeans, they fit around the waist with no belt, but they look baggier now.”

Sullinger may be trimming suet, but he is gaining muscle by lifting weights regularly, running the stairs at Jesse Owens Field House, and boxing.

“I did the boxing spring quarter against the [heavy] bag. I did boxing, kicks, punches. I would do jabs with each arm, a minute straight; hooks each arm a minute straight, and body blows, left-right-left, a minute straight,” he said. “With all the running we do, the strength and conditioning we do, all the open gyms we have, it’s only a matter of time before the weight starts to fall off.”

So. About that playing style. Many players (like Charles Barkley) played better with a sizable rump, provided it didn’t impede their stamina. Given how productive Sullinger was last season (120.4 ORtg, 26.2 DR%) in a sizable chunk of minutes (78.9 %Min), a change might not be warranted.

Unless he’s gunning for more than just productivity. He’s adding a face-up game and working on his ball-handling, which means he’s shooting for a lofty pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

That’s worth shedding a few pounds.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.