First of all, please take a close look at the background reactions in that picture. Every single person has a funnier reaction than the last one. Okay, back to the business at hand.
I am going to be super honest for a minute. Bold predictions are my favorite part of the season because it truly is a win-win scenario. Either you are wrong and you just shrug it off as a wild prediction anyway that you didn’t expect to be right on, or you are right and you look like a genius. Win-Win.
And I am not even sure that my bold prediction is even that bold, but considering he hasn’t played basketball in almost a year, I am going with it:
I believe Justice Sueing will be a First Team All-Big Ten Selection.
Again, I don’t think it’s a crazy example. I think he will be the best player on a team that will finish top five in the conference. Him making First Team would make sense. A lot of his acknowledgement when it comes to postseason awards will be about how the team plays as a whole, but I will stay positive for now.
Sueing has always been able to get his buckets and has never been the main option offensively on his team. As the main option and a veteran on a fairly young and unpolished unit, he will need to average 17-19 points per game to keep the Buckeyes competitive. Add his career rebound and assist average to that, and those are likely First Team numbers.
In 96 career games, Sueing has averaged 12.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He is also a 74 percent free throw shooter for his career and he gets to the line very often, so that is another way he can get his points and stats. For his career, he has shot 45 percent from the field and a modest 32 percent from behind the three-point line.
His freshman year at California, he averaged 13.8 points per game and played in all games for the Bears, starting in 31 of them.
As long as he is healthy, Sueing is going to be the No. 1 option on this team. On a team of unknowns and guys who need to fit into the system, Sueing is a guy that you know you can put out there to run the offense, get to his spots, get to the free line, create off the dribble and finish in traffic. All traits you want in a No. 1.
Another factor is the state of the conference. The only way to word what happened this offseason with the Big Ten its big-time talent is mass exodus. Of the 17 players that made an All-Big Ten team (first, second or third), only three of them are returning to college hoops (Zach Edey, Hunter Dickinson and Trayce Jackson-Davis). For those of you doing the math, that is 17.6 percent of those team. Even from the honorable mention team there are only three guys returning to school, and of the five guys that made the All-Freshman Team, only one is returning to their school (Chucky Hepburn).
So suffice to say, there is a lot of room for guys to step into those roles. Especially with E.J. Liddell and Malaki Braham gone, who made up half of the Buckeye scoring and were the only two players that averaged double figures, someone has to fill the role. The only real logical option is Sueing.
But he has to get healthy first, so let’s focus on that and go from there. And free throws. Lots of free throws.