The game didn’t count, but Jared Sullinger didn’t care.
The starting center for Ohio State, and one of the most-touted freshmen in the country, Sullinger made his Buckeye debut in the team’s 102-56 exhibition win over Walsh on Sunday.
He didn’t disappoint.
Despite a slow start, making just three of his seven first-half shots, Sullinger finished the game with a team-high 22 points and 8-14 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds.
“It meant a lot because putting on scarlet and gray always means everything to me,” Sullinger said. “I played well because my teammates got me the ball and they got me in the right spot.”
Fellow freshman Aaron Craft, who many suggested might replace Evan Turner as point guard, had an impressive debut as well. He isn’t expected to match the haughty numbers Turner put up a year ago, but Craft seemed more than capable of handling the position in his first game.
Junior William Buford started at the point and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, but it was Craft who seemed to fit better into the typical point guard role. Craft scored 12 points with a team-high eight assists in his 26 minutes off the bench and said he is prepared to handle whatever role his team needs.
“I think it’s open for anyone really because we have five or six guys who can really handle the ball well and run that position,” Craft said.
OSU’s season officially begins Friday with a home game against North Carolina A&T.