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Illinois’ Meyers Leonard declared for the NBA draft Monday (story), and on Wednesday, it was Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger’s turn (story). With Leonard and Sullinger, both sophomores, leaving early and the deadlines to declare for the draft approaching (April 10, NCAA; April 29, NBA), BTN.com’s Brent Yarina considers some of the previous Big Ten sophomores – plus freshmen – who have left early since the new millennium. How did the decisions work out? Find out in this post.
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No one was shocked when Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger announced Wednesday that he will turn pro after two seasons in Columbus. He’s ready. In fact, some felt Sullinger was ready after his freshman season, when he averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds for a team that won the Big Ten and entered the NCAA tourney as the No. 1 overall seed. Alas, the Buckeyes lost in the Sweet 16 to Kentucky.
The future looked so bright for Michigan State center Derrick Nix. Now, it’s murky. Nix was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with operating a vehicle with the presence of drugs and marijuana possession.
Find out more about: Derrick Nix
As is the case immediately following every Final Four nowadays, analysts and talking heads have shifted focus to next season by releasing their super-early 2012-13 top 25 polls. Several of the polls, by the way, feature a Big Ten team in the No. 1 spot. The team: Indiana. Yes, the Hoosiers, the same program that is fresh off its first NCAA tourney berth since 2008 and the same one that hasn’t been to the Final Four since 2002.
Illinois center Meyers Leonard has opted to turn pro. And it isn’t a shock. “This was a very difficult decision because I love the University of Illinois,” Leonard said in a statement released by the school. “But I feel the timing is right for me to follow my dream of playing in the NBA and having the opportunity to provide for my mom and family.”
Find out more about: Meyers Leonard, NBA Draft
Former Iowa basketball star Don Nelson is part of a 12-member class that will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7, it was announced Monday in New Orleans, the site of the Final Four.
The Ohio State men’s basketball team had a terrific 2011-12 season, winning a share of its third consecutive Big Ten crown and advancing to the Final Four in New Orleans. While the Buckeyes fell to Kansas in the national semifinals Saturday (AP recap), the Ohio State faithful still greeted the team with a championship welcome home Sunday night at Value City Arena. Watch the team bus pull into the arena and hear the players thank the crowd in this post.