Cleaning The Glass: Walsh Edition

The Ohio State men's basketball team is back in action, and with another year means a return of "Cleaning The Glass." Find out what beat writer Adam Jardy felt about the team's demolition of visiting Walsh in the lone exhibition contest of the season.

I think … that it is hard to draw too many conclusions from a game like this one, but I will do my best.

I think … that we're going to see Ohio State guard Evan Turner put up at least one triple-double before the calendar flips over to 2010.

In his first stateside appearance as the team's primary point guard, Turner still found plenty of ways to get the ball in the basket. Plus, he showed perhaps the most drive to try and pull down rebounds, something I worried about coming into the year. The Buckeyes need him cleaning the glass whenever possible to be effective as a team.

But what I did not realize is how easy it is going to be for Turner to rack up assists. With William Buford, Jon Diebler and David Lighty all looking plenty dangerous on offense, there are a lot of weapons on the court for head coach Thad Matta.

Turner was asked after the game about whether he is capable of putting up such numbers, and before he could answer junior guard Jon Diebler nodded vigorously. His teammates see this as a possibility.

I think Turner is really going to put up some serious numbers this winter. Talk about going out on a limb, right?

I think … that Matta's belief in having a deep bench will come to fruition this year. Regardless of the level of opponent, you have to like seeing Jeremie Simmons step up and calmly convert a three-point play. You have to like seeing P.J. Hill step up and drain a three-pointer while making it look effortless in a way we haven't seen from him before.

Closer to the basket, you have to like how Kyle Madsen has improved his mid-range shooting attack and should force opposing big men to venture away from the basket at times.

I do think, however, that maybe I was thinking too much about Walter Offutt based on what I saw from him down the stretch last season. He figures to play a bigger role, but it's not going to be at the expense of Simmons or Hill – at least not early on.

I think … that Buford is the most exciting person to watch on the team bench when a game is out of hand at the end. Pay attention and see what I mean.

I think … It was nice to see Ohio State come out and stick to man-to-man defense. I've argued for it at plenty of points during the past few years, and you know you have too. On the whole, I felt the Buckeyes did a decent job at it.

No matter how they spin it, though, Buford is going to be a liability for the time being. I've heard lots of talk about how he's improved his abilities, and that might be the case, but I saw him struggle on a few occasions against Walsh. On one possession, his defender simply blew past him along the wing because his feet were not quick enough to keep up with him. On another, he simply grabbed his guy in the paint and was subsequently whistled for the foul.

I do think Buford is talented enough to improve, however, and he will.

There still seems to be some indecisiveness on hedging ball screens at the top of the paint, but I wonder how Dallas Lauderdale is in that regard. Zisis Sarikopoulos gives OSU a big body who will take up space in the paint and Kyle Madsen has a little shooting touch, but Lauderdale's ability to hedge and not pick up cheap fouls above the three-point arc will go a long way toward determining how good this team can be.

I think … that the final stat sheet from the game is inaccurate. I personally saw Sarikopoulos swat at least two shots.

Speaking of ‘Z,' I like his presence around the basket. I saw him tip in own late bucket against the Cavaliers that was simply an athletic play – he was under the basket but reached up and corralled a loose ball, knocking it in for the points.

In addition, he showed a nifty post move that finished with a left-handed jump hook for his first points. He needs to be more aggressive – one would-be dunk was instead rejected from behind when he tried to lay it off the glass – but overall it was a positive sign of things to come.

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