When he re-entered the game, the Buckeyes held a 34-20 lead and had firm control of the final outcome. In that situation, a number of players with as much riding on his performance could be forgiven for trying to force a few shots in an effort to make up for the time missed in the first half.
Instead, I saw a team leader who stayed within the flow of the game and did what was necessary to keep his team on pace to pull into a first-place tie in the conference. One play in particular sticks out to me.
After driving the basket from the left side of the court, Turner could have taken a mid-range jumper of medium difficulty. Instead, he spied an extra defender coming toward him and found reserve Kyle Madsen on the baseline with a bounce pass. The senior converted for a basket and the Buckeyes led 48-34.
On that play, Turner did exactly what head coach Thad Matta preaches to his players: he gave up a good shot for a great shot.
I think … that I am going to hold off on issuing a lot of judgment on a number of performances in this game because I really am not counting it as a Big Ten game. I like how hard Indiana plays and understand the fact that the Hoosiers have played well at home this season, but they are simply not a fully fledged Big Ten team in my mind.
The biggest positive to take out of this game for Matta has to be the fact that the Buckeyes did not take their foot off the gas until the final moments when it honestly did not matter much.
I think … that with that being said, it is nice to see such production from OSU's big men. I almost got the impression that Dallas Lauderdale could record a triple-double as the game went on and he kept blocking shot after shot. I have also been impressed with Lauderdale's rebounding effort as of late, something that I felt was lacking throughout the early season.
In his stead, the game ball might have to go to Kyle Madsen. A career-high 11 points that came as the result of nice movement without the ball and a couple of deep jumpers that helped keep the Buckeyes out in front in the first half are a pretty good night for the senior.
I think … that it is troubling that Jon Diebler largely disappeared in this game. Getting three points on 1 of 4 shooting from a guy who plays 38 minutes against the lowly Hoosiers is not a good sign.
Unlike in other games, however, he did put in some noticeable effort on defense by grabbing three rebounds and taking two charges. I think he has become OSU's ‘X' factor in that you aren't sure what you might get from him on a given night.
For this team to go deep in March, it will need more than three points a night from Diebler.
I think … that although his hustle was as we all remember it, P.J. Hill looked rusty against the Hoosiers. In his first action since the Minnesota game – a stretch of two games – Hill threw an alley-oop pass to no one and also badly missed a three-point attempt during the first half.
The latter concerns me more than the former, because throughout the year I have felt the senior looked more confident than ever in his shooting. That shot made me wonder if Hill is starting to doubt his own abilities as a result of barely seeing playing time since Turner's return to the lineup.
Perhaps his one nice drive to the basket was a sign that he will have his game feet underneath him once again.