Jared Sullinger injured, DeShaun Thomas steps up

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Jared Sullinger injured his left foot early the first half in Ohio State’s game at South Carolina on Saturday afternoon.

After scoring three points and grabbing two boards in the first two minutes, Ohio State’s big man limped off the floor and immediately headed to the locker room. He was seen leaving the arena on crutches and was taken off-site — during the game — to get x-rays on the foot.

Ohio State has announced that there is no fracture in Sullinger’s left foot, but beyond that, his status for the future is unknown. (UPDATE: Sullinger’s injury has been officially diagnosed as a bone bruise in his left foot. He’s listed as day-to-day.)

The South Carolina game was just Sullinger’s second back since he missed two games with back spasms. Its been a painful start to the season for Sully, but with the big fella out of the lineup, DeShaun Thomas thrived. The talented sophomore finished with a career-high 30 points on 13-16 shooting. He added five of the Buckeye’s 15 offensive rebounds .

That kind of performance from Thomas will be extremely important for Ohio State with Sullinger laid up. If we learned anything while Sullinger was out with his back injury its that Thad Matta’s team has some issues when it comes to creating offensively.

I love Aaron Craft as much as anyone, but he’s not a Tu Holloway or a Scott Machado. He’s not as much a dynamic creator as he is an intelligent facilitator. He succeeds in getting OSU into their offense, not breaking down his defender 1-on-1. William Buford is a terrific scorer, but he’s a complementary player; a really, really good one, but a complement nonetheless.

We’ve been over the issues Ohio State has without Sullinger already. Some of those issues can be addressed with play like this from Thomas.