Diebler's stats are the most impressive: 20 points, 4 of 7 from three-point range, three assists, one turnover and 40 minutes of action. His shooting kept the Buckeyes ahead as the first half came to a close and his presence in the backcourt was a calming one for freshman Aaron Craft in his first collegiate start.
Meanwhile, Lighty did a bit of everything. His stat line shows 11 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals with three turnovers and that does not tell the whole story. The fifth-year senior did all the little things necessary to keep his team's head above water during the first half.
It gets said all the time, but the Buckeyes will never realize what they have in Lighty until he is gone. The guy simply shows up in every facet of the game. He's a true all-around impact player.
Diebler dies not get enough credit for his overall game either. We're seeing more head fakes this season, and he is taking on a greater complete role in the offense. He is still going to be a gunner first and everything else second, but the guy is a gamer.
The senior limped into postgame interviews thanks to a nasty collision that left him and a Morehead player shaken up. He was also sporting a significant wrap and ice pack on his right forearm, saying he had taken an elbow to the area and would be receiving a bump in short order.
After the game, the two seniors blamed themselves for not having the team properly focused mentally for the challenge. I asked head coach Thad Matta about that and his response was that he told the freshmen during the summer that this team has great leaders but that will not matter if they are not willing to be led.
I interpreted this to mean that the freshmen might have been thinking they had "arrived" regardless of what the upperclassmen were telling them. The Buckeyes received a wake-up call courtesy of the Eagles that could go a long way as the season progresses.
It is basically a double bonus, then, that the two players most responsible for the win are two of the primary leaders on the roster.
I think … that this was a big test for senior Dallas Lauderdale, and he did not exactly rise to the challenge. Playing against a projected first-round NBA draft pick in Kenneth Faried, Lauderdale was essentially a non-factor. His 16 minutes of action were the second-fewest on the squad and his three fouls had a lot to do with that.
During his time in the game, Lauderdale had two rebounds, two points and one block. Meanwhile, Faried basically had his way with the OSU big man. Lauderdale has shown potential throughout his career, but he is running out of time to put it all together.
Freshman Jared Sullinger, it should be noted, was "limited" to eight points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes. He also picked up three fouls mostly while battling Faried, which could be a cause for concern when Big Ten season rolls around.
I feel more confident that Sullinger will find ways to adjust than I am for Lauderdale, however.
Also, Faried is a beast.
I think … that one player who got an unfair rap against the Eagles was freshman guard Jordan Sibert. The stat line is far from impressive – 0 for 5 from the field, no rebounds, one turnover and one foul in 15 minutes – but I thought he did a good job of filling his role in the OSU offense.
His shots did not fall, but he got to the basket and simply had a few rim out. Those will fall. We are starting to see some of the athleticism we know Sibert has. If he can continue to grow in his limited experiences, it will pay off when March rolls around.
I think … that we also got a glimpse of what the OSU attack is without William Buford. He might "only" be averaging 13.0 points per game so far, but it is clear that the Buckeyes are a very different offensive team without him.
The junior has a jump shot that needs to be respected and can get to the rim. If he would have been in action Tuesday night, OSU would have won by at least 10 more points.