Jared Sullinger heads Big Ten's prospects

Updated: November 3, 2011, 1:09 PM ET
By Chad Ford

The Big Ten is far from an NBA draft powerhouse. In each of the past two years, the conference produced just one first-round pick -- Purdue's JaJuan Johnson this year, and Ohio State's Evan Turner in 2010.

The Big Ten's poor showing in the draft has been a bit of a trend of late. In 2009, the conference also had just one player, B.J. Mullens, go in the first round. In 2008, just three players -- Eric Gordon, Kosta Koufos and D.J. White -- made the cut. You have to go back to 2007, when Greg Oden and Mike Conley both went in the top five, to find a great draft for the Big Ten.

Things don't figure to change this season. Ohio State's Jared Sullinger is a legit lottery prospect. But after that the pickings are pretty slim. However, there are some younger players in the Big Ten who could, if they develop, be NBA draft sleepers.

I spoke with a number of NBA scouts to get a take on five players they'll be scouting closely in the Big Ten this season. Here's the breakdown:

1. Jared Sullinger, F/C, So., Ohio State
Top 100 ranking: 7