Cleaning The Glass: Michigan Road Edition

Which one Ohio State men's basketball player took a step forward in the loss to Michigan, and who had a rough game? Is head coach Thad Matta's bench getting shorter? BuckeyeSports.com men's basketball beat writer Adam Jardy offers his take on these topics and weighs in on a few others in this installment of "Cleaning The Glass."

I think … that although the overall team effort was improved from the Wisconsin game, the only Ohio State player who looked to take a step forward in his own game was Jon Diebler.

It's been obvious that the junior sharpshooter has been unable to create for himself since Evan Turner went down with his back injury Dec. 5, so to see him come up with 14 points in the first half and finish with five made three-pointers is a positive sign.

Diebler had not made more than three treys in the five games since Turner's injury, and he had just one in three of those five games.

He still looks like a liability when he tries to drive the ball, but the Michigan game marked a return of the confidence I saw in Diebler's shot during the early going this season.

Now, if he could only get open more than once or twice a game.

I think … that head coach Thad Matta's bench might be getting shorter as Jeremie Simmons continues to play himself out of the rotation.

In 17 minutes of action, Simmons finished with three points and was 1 of 5 from three. That statistic is more troubling because at least two of those treys were of the uncontested variety in the waning moments of the game as the Buckeyes were struggling to keep it close.

Those are shots that someone needs to hit, and they are shots that I feel Simmons would have hit in the first several games this season.

I did like how the offense flowed in the first half when Simmons relieved Hill, however. Maybe that stretch of play is something the senior can build off of.

I think … that Dallas Lauderdale needs to stop trying to be Greg Oden or Terence Dials in the paint and go back to being a player who knows his limits.

I like the fact that the junior is apparently growing in confidence enough to show off some post moves, but there is little point if he can not convert on said moved. On one drive to the basket where he tried an up-and-under move, I thought he was going to miss the backboard entirely.

Baby steps, big fella. You're getting there.

I think … that this was a rough game for David Lighty. Here is a guy who is perfectly capable of being a supporting cast member when someone else is handling the bulk of the scoring duties now tasked with increasing his scoring while also guarding one of the other team's best players.

Against the Wolverines, he struggled with both. Lighty brings a lot to the floor, but Superman he is not.

I think … that I like the effort from Kyle Madsen in this game, as he showed an ability to play some defense on DeShawn Sims while giving Lauderdale a breather. However, we saw the downside to Madsen's presence on two occasions.

The grad student was tied up twice for jump balls that wound up giving possession to the Wolverines instead of giving the Buckeyes a chance for points in the paint. I felt that both of those possessions turned some momentum in favor of the home team and took away from the overall moderately positive body of work put forth by Madsen.

I think … that it has been almost exactly a year since Nikola Kecman suffered a torn ACL. Actually, I know that. Anyway, I have been withholding judgment on the guy because I know the recovery process for an injury like that can take as long as a year.

The calendar has flipped, and he is incapable of seeing minutes in a game that is remotely in doubt. He still has a lot of time left in his career as a Buckeye, but for now I have to scratch my head at what the OSU coaches saw in him to merit granting him a scholarship.


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