Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/19/14

The Ohio State men’s basketball team has certainly been struggling as of late, and perhaps the biggest reason has been the wildly inconsistent and unproductive play of star big man Jared Sullinger. Going into this season, Sullinger was on virtually everyone’s short list of national player of the year candidates. Now the talk is about how much damage Sullinger has done to his draft prospects this season.

It’s been a mind scratching season for Sullinger, the coaches, and fans and observers alike. Some have wondered if there’s an internal chemistry problem that is eating away at this team. But according to Sullinger, he’s just allowed himself to be too distracted as of late. Per Ari Wasserman of Scout.com:

It’s not one thing that’s been bothering Jared Sullinger, who admitted Tuesday that he hasn’t been playing his normal brand of basketball. It is the sum multiple small things that has had the sophomore All-American distracted.
And that could turn into one big problem for the No. 10 Ohio State basketball. Sullinger acknowledged that while offering an explanation for why he’s been playing noticeably different.

“It is just the little stuff,” Sullinger said. “It is just me letting the refs get to me, or letting everything on the outside get to me and it letting it creep in. I was focusing on other stuff besides the basketball team and what this team needs me to do to win basketball games.”

That may not be the only factor that has caused the Buckeyes (23-6, 11-5 Big Ten) to lose three of their last five games while slipping out of the race for the Big Ten Championship, but head coach Thad Matta most certainly knows the impact of not having Sullinger completely focused.

“I don’t know,” Matta replied when asked about his big man’s focus following the team’s 63-60 loss to Wisconsin on Sunday. “He was battling a cold, but he’s played with a lot worse than that. I know this: When Jared’s playing his best basketball, he’s engaged and into it.”

Sullinger and the Buckeyes return to the court tonight against Northwestern. It will be interesting to see whether the focus is back for the Buckeye big man.

[Related: Wisconsin Wears Out Buckeyes, Sends OSU Into Complete Meltdown]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bucs believed to be going for Marcus Mariota with No. 1 pick

Report: Wrigley Field renovation causing massive rat problem

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'

Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

Thomas upset he was tested for PEDs over health statement

Marshawn’s press conference to end all press conferences

WATCH: Katy Perry cracks Deflategate, Marshawn jokes

Devon and Leah Still write a book for kids fighting cancer

Five potential heroes of Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

Super Bowl XLIX should smash TV viewership record yet again

NFL, officials, Carroll disagree on ineligible player rules

Seattle business rolling 12,000 joints for Super Bowl

How Yardbarker got Marshawn Lynch to open up back in 2008

Super Bowl records that won't fall anytime soon

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five potential Super Bowl XLIX heroes

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.