Thad Matta asked Jon Diebler to bring it Tuesday night. Diebler did that and more.
The Ohio State senior hit 10 3-pointers for a career-high 30 points as the No. 1 Buckeyes crushed Penn State, 82-61. As an added bonus, Diebler set school Big Ten records for 3s in a game.
“I had told him today at shootaround, ‘Look, we need a big one from you tonight. Get your feet set and you’re going to make some shots. Give me 20-plus,’ “ Matta said.
“That’s the type of kid Jon is. He listens well.”
Is it too much for Matta to ask Diebler to do the same Sunday against Wisconsin? Or is that just being greedy? He might not even have to ask. In the last four games, Diebler’s hit 17 of his 26 3-point attempts. Tuesday, he was 10 for 12. That’s just sick.
“It was just one of those nights, I guess,” he told the Columbus Dispatch. “The basket felt huge.”
Then again, it might not be needed. A win Sunday would give Ohio State (28-2, 15-2) the outright Big Ten regular-season title, but that’ll only be needed if Purdue beats Iowa on Saturday. Otherwise, OSU will have to “settle” for sharing it.
Either way, it’s the fourth conference crown in six seasons under Matta, one of the more impressive recent runs in any league.
Ohio State also got 21 points from junior William Buford, who continue to showcase weapons other than freshman center Jared Sullinger, the guy who’s received most of the attention thus far. But with senior David Lighty and freshman Deshaun Thomas doing their part, the Buckeyes are on a roll entering March.
Ohio State’s the stereotypical pick-your-poison team. It’s also why they’re going to be the popular pick to win it all. With that many scoring options, why not?
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