Cleaning The Glass: OSU Vs. Walsh

There were plenty of things to take from Ohio State's lone exhibition game of the season, and BSB staff writer Adam Jardy offers his thoughts.

I think that Evan Turner is poised for a big season. The biggest thing I wanted to see out of him against Walsh was a more mature performance than the overall body of work he put forth last season, and I definitely saw that. Turner showed a more capable handle on the basketball, hit an open jumper and gave the offense an exciting spark.

He's far from a finished product, however. His lone turnover came when he was called for palming the ball, and he still showed an ability to miss near the basket. On one first-half possession, Turner blew past his defender and went up for the lay-up and somehow missed everything but a piece of the backboard almost as if he was amazed to suddenly be where he was.

Still, I've said that for Ohio State to get back to the NCAA Tournament, it would need Turner to take a big step forward from last season. My initial impressions are that he has done so and should challenge for the Big Ten scoring title provided he can become more consistent.

Along those lines, David Lighty was all over the court during the game. He looks to be growing into a more complete player every time he takes the court, and I could see him impacting the game in a number of different ways each night.

I think … that the overall versatility of this team will hinge almost squarely on the shoulders of Dallas Lauderdale. With him on the sidelines, the Buckeyes will not have many options other than to play with four guards and one big man in the middle. His injury is not expected to be serious and OSU is preparing to have him available for Thursday's season tip-off against Delaware State, so there is no reason to expect him not to be ready.

I'm curious to see what he can bring to the table. Nothing more than a bit player last season, he will be counted on to play a much bigger role this season. Preseason buzz is that he will be more than ready to impact the game, but I'm holding my breath just a little bit until I see it with my own eyes.

I think … that if the Buckeyes are able to get out and run more than in seasons past, it will have a positive effect on Jon Diebler's shooting percentage. As he went through his well-publicized struggles shooting the three last season, Diebler said he was adapting to the having to shoot differently in college.

As a prep star, Diebler would frequently shoot the ball after dribbling. In college, he has been working on catching and shooting. Although the two situations sound almost identical, Diebler has struggled with the transition.

Against Walsh, he was 1 for 4 from beyond the arc. His lone make came when he caught the ball in transition, dribbled up to the line and buried the shot. Diebler's three misses came when he caught the ball without dribbling.

I thought his defense was under-publicized last season, however, and I think he improves the overall team effort when he is in the game due to his overall knowledge of the game. His five assists against zero turnovers against the Cavaliers speaks to that.

That being said, I'm not sure who on this team will hit the open jumper when needed.

I think … fans might have to be a little patient with freshman all-everything center B.J. Mullens. A prep star who is already projected as the top pick in this year's NBA Draft, Mullens has been saddled with being the third straight 7-footer to play for Thad Matta. As such, he is constantly being compared to Greg Oden and Kosta Koufos.

However, Mullens is no Oden, nor is he Koufos. He is his own player, and I'm curious to see what that will mean down the road. He showed an ability to run the floor against Walsh, although Matta said he still needs to improve his conditioning.

Four rebounds in one game will be unacceptable down the road, and he showed some lapses on both sides of the court. However, I think he threw the ball out of the post more during his 22 minutes of action against Walsh than Koufos did all season last year.

I think … the Buckeyes are going to continue to struggle to rebound out of their zone defense, and that might have Matta pulling his hair out before the year is over. Walsh had seven offensive rebounds in the first half when the game was still moderately close, and the Buckeyes had the same problems they did last year with covering the middle of the floor near the basket. That problem will continue to hurt them like it did last year if not fixed soon.

I think … Anthony Crater will be a more effective point guard than Jeremie Simmons. I like what Simmons brings to the table and the fact that he looks to score, but Crater seems to have more of an eye for creating with the ball in his hands.

On one fast break, Crater threw a cross-court bounce pass to a streaking Turner, who immediately flipped it to freshman William Buford, who was trailing. Buford slammed it home, drawing loud applause from the crowd.

He also has shown signs of having developed some chemistry with Mullens, flawlessly executing a pick-and-roll for easy points in the first half. Simmons got the start and played well, but I was more impressed with Crater. I think that transfer to Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy for his senior season is already paying dividends.

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