The Odyssey Of BJ Mullens

Jesse MeadeContributor IJune 25, 2009

There was a time when all of Ohio and the basketball recruiting world were abuzz about BJ Mullens.

Now things are for the most part silent as Mullens will board the next flight to Oklahoma.

The 7"1' Center from Canal Winchester was to be the "Next Big Thing," in the basketball landscape. A lock top five pick. It was his destiny.

Mullens certainly played the part four of the last five years.

The accolades came in droves throughout high school.  Mullens averaged a double-double 26 points and 15 rebounds his senior year.  The scouts had nothing but glowing reviews.

His size was the perfect frame. His speed and footwork would pay off at the next level.  With a verbal commitment to Ohio State while he was in the eighth grade, Mullens was headed for the big time.

Finishing second for Mr. Ohio Basketball seemed only a minor setback.  The national stage was coming fast, and Mullens was ready.

On the national stage however, is where the wheels came off. The “displays of athleticism” in High School became “inconsistent effort” against NCAA competition.  The “quick feet” became “unsure and confused.” His double-double average became nine points and five rebounds a game. The perennial star slid into obscurity. 

To the surprise of few, Mullens declared himself after only one season at Ohio State. No longer a top prospect, fans hoped he would go as high as 15th to the Detroit Pistons.  It was over a half an hour later when Commissioner David Stern announced that Mullens was drafted by the Mavericks.  It would only be minutes after that when his final destination was announced via trade: Oklahoma City.

For Mullens, the clock of opportunity is ticking fast.  His counterpart at Ohio State and 23rd overall pick of 2008 Kosta Koufos has been sent to the Developmental league.  The learning curve will be even more steep now but his options are few.  The “Next Big Thing” has arrived, with much less style and bang than anticipated. It was his destiny.