Cleaning The Glass: Michigan Home Edition

Ohio State snapped a two-game losing streak with a key Big Ten win against rival Michigan, and BuckeyeSports.com men's basketball beat writer Adam Jardy offers his thoughts on the win and the team going forward in the latest edition of "Cleaning The Glass."

I think … I continue to be impressed with how Evan Turner handles himself with regard to the rest of his Ohio State team. With 1:27 left against Michigan and the game already well decided, the Wolverines' Zack Novak threw an elbow and connected with the left side of OSU guard P.J. Hill's face.

Replays confirmed what I initially thought, which was that it was a cheap shot that merited being ejected from the game. What I liked was how Turner immediately went to back up his teammate. He didn't retaliate and draw a matching penalty, and he didn't get in his face and start yelling.

Instead, Turner coolly approached Novak and pushed the smaller Hill out of the way as if to say, "Pick on someone your own size." A skirmish would ensue, but no punches were thrown and no further punishment doled out.

Turner was in control of the whole situation, but be damned if he was going to let someone get in a cheap shot on his teammate like that. That was exactly the type of response I like to see from my sophomore who is playing beyond his years.

I think … it distresses me even more that Duke found a way to lose to a Michigan team that looked this bad against the Buckeyes (that's right, I'm a Duke fan). In this game against the Buckeyes, the Wolverines looked like they couldn't have beaten a good high school team. It was as if they had never seen full-court pressure of any sort to that point, and when they did it was absolutely terrifying.

Michigan's 21 turnovers were a season high. The Wolverines entered the game seventh in the country in turnovers per game with 11. Then they went out and turned it over 12 times in the first 20 minutes.

Sometimes, college basketball is a funny game.

I think … I try to never get too excited or down about any one game, but there is something important that can be taken out of this win against the Wolverines. With the Buckeyes ahead by double digits in the first half, head coach Thad Matta addressed his players and reminded them that they had been here before.

Three days earlier in a loss to Michigan State, the Buckeyes blew a 13-point first-half lead and let an opportunity to bring home a crucial Big Ten victory pass them by. This time, however, they kept their focus and did not let the Wolverines get back into the game.

This is big because that is one thing this team has seemingly lacked all season: a killer instinct and the ability to finish teams off. The Wolverines did hit a flurry of second-half threes and made a run to pull within eight points, but the Buckeyes were never in serious jeopardy in this one.

I'd say lesson learned.

I think … I just can't get over how awful Michigan looked in this game. I really can't.

I think … I might officially be a little worried about Jon Diebler. He has scored in double digits now in just one of the last six OSU games, and that came against Indiana so I'm not sure I'm personally counting that one. During the stretch, he is 12 for 35 (34.2 percent) from beyond the arc.

Throw out the Indiana game, and he is 7 for 27 (25.9 percent). From my viewpoint, his shot looks exceedingly flat.

He entered the game against Michigan sixth in minutes played per game at an average of 33.7, and added to that with 39 minutes of action against the Wolverines. He's a tough kid, but I have to worry about his legs leaving him as time goes on here.

I think … Jeremie Simmons is starting to figure it out a little more each game, and this was another step forward for him. Simmons attacked the basket with aggression more than once or twice against the Wolverines and looked under control while doing so.

He's not a go-to point guard yet, but I do think he is moving in the right direction. However, I want my point guard to shoot better than 33.3 percent (2 for 6) from the charity stripe like Simmons did against Michigan.

I think … that Hill gets the Anthony Crater Award, now given to the OSU player best able to take a punch.


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