Diebler Looking For NBA Chance

Ohio State fans enjoyed watching Jon Diebler set records for three-point shooting in Columbus, but with four years concluded, the sharpshooter is looking to make an impact in the professional ranks. After a recent workout, Diebler talked to FoxSportsOhio.com and talked about his NBA dreams.

Jon Diebler is a specialist and that might be good enough. At least, it might be when it comes to realizing his NBA dreams.

"With my ability to shoot the basketball, I could help," Diebler said following a workout with the Indiana Pacers. "There's always room for a shooter on a team."

Diebler is 6-6 guard who possesses a sweet perimeter stroke, excellent form and an underrated ability to free himself for shots. He was never considered much of an NBA prospect until his senior season at Ohio State -- when he hit just better than 50 percent on 3-pointers.

It's true that Diebler only averaged 12.6 points per game -- but remember, the Buckeyes had two clear-cut pro prospects in big man Jared Sullinger and guard David Lighty. Sullinger would have been a lottery pick had he not opted to stay in school.

So it's not like Diebler was ever counted on to carry the load. He was there to bury jumpers, and he did. A few times, it saved his team.

"Being at Ohio State definitely helped me, because that's my job," he said of being the so-called designated shooter. "That's my role and that's what I can bring to a team. I'm not going to try to do anything that I'm not used to doing. I'm going to try to play to my abilities."

Today, Diebler is making the rounds in the predraft workout circuit, hoping it will help his name get called on June 23. He'll next visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, with more workouts to certainly follow.

It should be noted that Diebler is considered a late second-round pick at best -- simply because he's viewed as somewhat of a one-trick pony. Interestingly, he's OK with that. And it might even help his cause. After all, NBA teams love the idea of guys who can come off the bench to provide one skill. Whether it's defense, rebounding or perimeter shooting doesn't always matter.

"I was talking with one of the (Pacers) coaches during the workout, and he told me, 'Do what you do best,' " Diebler said. "I know what my strengths are. Yes, I need to prove that I can do things off the dribble. But when it comes down to it, I'm a shooter and I'm going to shoot the basketball when I'm open."

One thing that could potentially hurt fringe players such as Diebler is the potential lockout. That would cancel summer league -- and the opportunity for second-rounders and undrafted types to make another case in front of NBA scouts.

Then again, Diebler can't really afford to look too far ahead.

"It's not something that I think about, because this is my first time in this process. So I'm just enjoying the workouts, the different cities and different arenas," he said. "I'm sure when the time comes, it will be a little odd."

As for the actual draft, some would call Diebler a long shot. But hey, he's pretty good at that.

Kellogg Connection
Diebler ran into fellow ex-Buckeye Clark Kellogg during his Indiana workout. Kellogg is the Pacers' VP of player relations, an analyst for Pacers broadcasts, and of course, the popular expert voice of the NCAA tournament.

Kellogg was also a standout for the Pacers back in the 1980s before his knees gave out, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds as a rookie.

Kellogg (Cleveland) and Diebler (Upper Sandusky) have more in common than the fact both are from Ohio.

"I've known him for a while, played AAU with his son Alex," said Diebler, who referred to Kellogg as "Mr. Kellogg."

"He's just an awesome human being. I know the organization loves to have him. He's a great guy to know and it's been fun getting to talk to him again."

This story originally ran on FoxSportsOhio.com. For the original link, please click here. FoxSportsOhio.com provides original coverage and perspective of all sporting entities in Ohio, including the Indians, Reds, Cavaliers and more.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories