June 26, 2009
The Big Ten Conference saw two players selected in the 2009 edition of the NBA draft Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ohio State’s B.J. Mullens was selected 24th overall by the Dallas Mavericks and Michigan State’s Goran Suton was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round (50th pick overall).
Mullens becomes the fifth Ohio State freshman to be selected in the opening round of the last three drafts. The 7-foot center averaged 8.8 points while connecting on 64 percent (120-188) shooting from the field during his inaugural campaign with the Buckeyes. The Columbus, Ohio, native averaged 4.7 rebounds in just over 20 minutes of action per game and blocked 37 shots to finish the 2008-09 season among the Big Ten leaders in rejections. Mullens, originally selected by the Mavericks, had his rights traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder shortly after being selected.
Suton becomes the 12th Spartan drafted under the tutelage of head coach Tom Izzo and the 11th player selected since 2000. The 6-10 center concluded his collegiate career by leading the Spartans to the NCAA game, averaging 13.0 points and 10.7 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament. For his efforts, he was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional and also earned Final Four All-Tournament distinction. The Lansing, Mich., native capped off a stellar career averaging 10.4 points and 8.4 rebounds as a senior, leading MSU with eight double-doubles. For his career, Suton started 91 of the 134 games in which he appeared, averaging 8.1 points and 6.6 rebounds while compiling 887 rebounds overall to rank sixth in MSU history.
The Big Ten extended its streak of having at least one first-round draft pick in 34 consecutive NBA drafts.