Cleaning The Glass: Eastern Michigan Edition

There was more drama than usual in what amounted to a 51-point victory for Ohio State against Eastern Michigan. Men's basketball beat writer Adam Jardy cleans out his notebook after the game and offers his insight in this edition of "Cleaning The Glass."

I think … that it can not be understated how important Evan Turner is to this Ohio State men's basketball team.

I know the stats from the victory against Eastern Michigan. I know five players scored in double figures. I know senior guard P.J. Hill had a career-high 18 points while filling in for Turner, I know that Jeremie Simmons had another big game off the bench with 17 points on 5 of 7 shooting and I know that sophomore guard William Buford had 10 assists against zero turnovers.

But I also know that one performance does not a season make.

If Hill was capable of scoring 18 points a night on a consistent basis, he would play more. Period. If Buford was capable of kicking in 10 assists a game, his previous career high would be more than five.

Injuries will rally a team together and produce some great short-term results. That the Buckeyes still scored 111 points despite getting only four from Turner bodes well for the team's confidence going forward, but a performance like this has to be viewed as the exception to the norm.

After the victory, the OSU players talked about how a game like this gives each player confidence going forward because they were able to be so dominating minus their star player. I buy that. But I also think that, if you talked to any player on this team candidly off the record, he would tell you that this team will not go very far without Turner. In my mind, this team would have to fight to make it to the NIT in a deep Big Ten if it had to play without the junior guard. He means that much to this team.

Remember, Matta said he did not feel Hill was able to compete against the size of Florida State. How would he do going through the grind of a full Big Ten season at the point?

I love Hill's' hustle and effort, but I think we all know the answer to that question.

I think … that with all that being said, I continue to like the growth shown by Simmons. Last season, he never scored in double figures in more than 10 consecutive games. He has now done it in four straight games after putting up an average of 15.0 per game during the streak.

I reserve the right to withhold final judgment until the schedule gets tougher, however. Those 60 points have come against what I would have no problems qualifying as lesser competition, Florida State aside. What is encouraging, however, is that he was not putting up these kinds of numbers against these kinds of opponents a season ago, so that must bode well going forward.

I think … that there was a minor injury suffered down the stretch that went under the radar but could have major ramifications should a more serious one present itself.

Senior center Kyle Madsen rolled his left ankle against the Eagles. The injury is expected to be minor, and head coach Thad Matta downplayed it after the game. For all of Madsen's limitations, however, he is a guy who knows the system and can play on a big stage.

Imagine being on the road at Michigan State and Lauderdale picks up his third foul in the first half of a tight game against the Spartans. Now imagine that Madsen is not available, and Matta has to turn to Zisis Sarikopoulos, the youngest player on the roster.

Admit it: that possibility is a more harrowing one than the prospect of having Madsen healthy and ready to go. He's becoming a key reserve on this team.

I think … that it bears noting that Jon Diebler has improved on the one thing that plagued an otherwise breakout season last year: his consistency. In six of his team's eight games, Diebler has shot better than 42.9 percent from three-point range.

That's big. Now if he learns to pump fake and drive effectively, he could become an even bigger contributor on this team. It's not easy for me to predict him shooting this well if Turner was not on the court drawing attention away from him, however.


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