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Q&A Session With Fellow SBNation Blogger About Thunder Rookie B.J. Mullens


As you can tell from the poor graphics work above, I clearly don't have the photoshopping skills of Mr. P, but I tried my best. Anyway, I managed to track down Sam over at We Will Always Have Tempe, the SBNation Ohio State Buckeye blog. It's a well written blog and Sam agreed to answer a few questions about B.J. Mullens to give Thunder fans a bit more insight as to what kind of player the Thunder may have drafted. In any event, check out We Will Always Have Tempe at your leisure, and below is the question and answer session about Mullens:

WTLC: Mullens is the third in a line of three straight one-and-dones at Ohio State. Are Buckeye fans growing less fond of the NBA's one-and-done rule?

I've actually heard most of the complaining about Matta's recruiting of said one-and-dones, and I have to admit, even I'm a little frustrated with starting over with basically a new major player each year who may end up dictating how the season progresses. But I'm also a little angry at the NCAA for dinging Ohio State for recruiting so many one-and-dones. Personally, I think the NBA should raise the requirement to two years out of high school, but I'm not sure how feasible that may be.

More of the Q&A session after the jump!

WTLC: Do you know if he typically goes by BJ, Byron, or both?

BJ. I didn't even know his first name was Byron.

WTLC: Mullens wasn't a starter. Was that because of Thad Matta's system, or because Mullens wasn't performing?

Ohio State had two wholly ineffective big men last season in Dallas Lauderdale and BJ. Matta's system isn't always the best for 7-footers, but it simply can't explain away their struggles in both scoring and rebounding, BJ especially because of the massive hype accompanying him.

WTLC: How does Mullens work with teammates, on and off the court?

Mullens isn't really the type to call anyone out, but he does occassionally have some minor outburts. He'll throw a minor hissy fit if someone isn't doing their job; rolling his eyes, staring them down, but that's it. He doesn't strike me as a particularly poor team player.

WTLC: Are Buckeye fans surprised, or unsuprised, that Mullens slipped out of the lottery and all the way down to #25 for the Thunder to grab?

Unsurprised, definitely. We watched the kid struggle for an entire year against any big men willing to challenge him in the paint; some of us were a little shocked he went so high.

WTLC: What do most people expect Mullens' NBA career will be like?

Honestly, I think he'll develop into a serviceable spot starter; a 12-points and 8-rebounds type of guy, but he'll never be a dominant all-star player until he gets his mind right.

WTLC: Do you think Mullens could have probably benefitted from another year or two in college ball?

Probably. He didn't really show much of anything consistent in his time at OSU, but there were occasional flashes that may end up becoming consistent play with the right coaching. Matta's an excellent coach, and with another two years, he'd probably flourish eventually.

WTLC: What was Mullens' most exciting moment in Columbus?

Probably a downright nasty dunk against Michigan in early January.

Sorry Sam, I couldn't find a YouTube video of that, so instead I'll just post this pretty sweet alley-oop that he had against Purdue last season:

WTLC. What was Mullens' least exciting moment in Columbus?

When he said he was going pro. It felt inevitable to most, I assume.

WTLC: Any more interesting stories about Mullens during his time at Ohio State?

Since I couldn't find any half-way interesting fluff pieces, I'm going to quote an anecdote from Club Trillion, a blog run by Ohio State walk-on Mark Titus, about Mullens challenging a waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings to eat their hottest wings:

"B.J. proposed that if he first ate a Blazin’ wing, she would have to do the same. She agreed and went to the back to get two Blazin’ wings, this after she had already brought out our original orders. When she returned, she had two wings and a small carton of milk, which apparently made it much easier for the wing to go down. B.J. made the waitress feel bad for not bringing him a carton of milk and thus she went back to the kitchen and grabbed another. It was at this point B.J. swapped his Blazin’ wing for one of his Honey BBQ wings from his original order.

When she returned, B.J. downed his wing and just sat there like he was the coolest dude on the planet and nothing could possibly faze him. She then ate a fraction of a bite of her wing , chugged the carton of milk, and started crying and sweating. Apparently she was telling the truth about her reaction the first time she ate a hot wing. After waving her hands at her face like her mouth was burning or something, our waitress disappeared to the kitchen and didn’t come back out for a solid ten minutes. B.J. never told her that he switched them, but he did ask for a doggy bag and put all his uneaten wings, including the Blazin’ one that he neglected, into the bag. I can’t say with absolute certainty that he did, but in my mind B.J. inadvertently ate the wing some two hours later while watching re-runs of "Catdog" and wondering exactly how they relieve themselves. Yeah, that sounds about right."

So hey, the kid's got a sense of humor, at least. That's more than can be said for many NBA players.

Again, a big thanks to Sam at We Will Always Have Tempe for helping us out with this! I know I learned something about one of the Thunder's newest players. I'll hopefully have up another one of these soon about James Harden with the SBNation Arizona State blog. I was also wondering if we might perhaps expand this into a semi-regular piece where we could have a mailbag segment. If you have any thoughts on that, feel free to offer them in the comments section.