Cleaning The Glass: Purdue Road Edition

There were plenty of factors to analyze after Ohio State dropped its fourth of five contests on the road against No. 16 Purdue, and BuckeyeSports.com men's basketball beat writer Adam Jardy has his thoughts on the game. Read on for this latest edition of 'Cleaning The Glass.'

I think … that Jon Diebler is officially the ‘X' factor for this Ohio State men's basketball team.

I love the overall effort he brings to the court and the way he can make plays away from the basket that go unnoticed but are crucial for earning wins, but he is the textbook definition of a streaky shooter. When he is on – like he was against Northwestern – he is easily one of the best in the country.

But when he is off, like he was this time against Purdue, that puts a serious damper on a Buckeye offense where the only player guaranteed to score more than 10 on any given night is Evan Turner.

For OSU to be successful when Diebler is off, players such as William Buford and B.J. Mullens need to step up and put some points on the board. Against the Boilermakers, neither one did so and the final result was a decisive loss in a game that was over less than halfway through the second half.

I think … that Buford is actually regressing as the season goes on. Maybe he's hitting the freshman wall at full force. Maybe he's gassed. Personally, I think his legs are gone. Maybe he feels the added pressure that comes with Turner drawing so many double teams.

Whatever the reason is, his play in the past two games has been inexcusable. In particular, his turnover with OSU down five in the second half when he tossed the ball out of bounds assuming someone was there to catch it helped give the Boilermakers life after the Buckeyes had cut the score to two points a few possessions earlier.

I'd say the solution is a healthy dose of the bench, but who do you play in his stead? Apparently the coaches do not think enough about Walter Offutt to trust him in any sort of meaningful situation, so there is no understudy waiting in the wings.

Lately, Buford looks to be jumping to shoot before even recognizing where he is on the court. This is not conducive to making shots.

He needs to get things turned around in a hurry, or the Buckeyes are in serious trouble.

On a related note, I'm not sure Buford is the only one who might be losing his legs. Purdue's Robbie Hummel beat the entire OSU defense down the court for a lay-up under the basket that, to me, reeked of a lack of stamina by the Buckeyes.

How often do you see Turner trailing a guy down the court?

I think … I'm starting to believe in what P.J. Hill brings to the court. Earlier this season I regarded him as the luckiest player in the history of the Thad Matta regime, but his play as of late has me changing that opinion.

Against the Boilermakers, Hill finished with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting. One of his baskets was a tough pull-up jumper in transition that particularly caught my eye. How does a guy who was averaging barely a shot a game through the first 20 games knock down a shot like that?

Well done, P.J.

I think … that no matter what happens in the coming weeks, this is an Ohio State team that is not going to make it past the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Looking at it from a purely objective standpoint, I'm not sure how you could argue otherwise.

I think … I am confused by the game Mullens had against the Boilermakers. For a few isolated moments, he looked dominant and was asserting his will on the game. For the rest of the contest, he was a complete non-factor.

Foul trouble had something to do with it, I know, but I would've liked to see him have a bigger overall impact on the game.

I think … I have to give a massive thumbs-up to the Purdue student section, which is composed of students who apparently keep tabs on Mark Titus' "Club Trillion" blog.

With the game out of hand in the final moments, they began chanting "We want Titus." To prove that was no fluke a few moments later was a chant for "Mark the Shark."

Well done, Boilermakers.


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