Illinois Notebook: Diebler's Record And More

What was the significance of Jon Diebler's three-pointer in overtime? What did Thad Matta think of Kyle Madsen's performance against Illinois? What prediction made by Evan Turner came true? The answers to these questions and more are in this Big Ten tournament notebook.

INDIANAPOLIS – At the time, the primary concern was the fact that Jon Diebler's three-pointer gave Ohio State a lead in the second overtime of its contest against Illinois. But when the shot from the junior Buckeye guard swished through the net 13 seconds into the stanza, it vaulted Diebler into the OSU record books as the school's most prolific deep threat.

The state's all-time leading prep scorer, Diebler's four three-pointers against the Illini gave him 243 for his career and pushed him past former teammate Jamar Butler for the OSU record.

Not that he or any of his teammates were aware of the fact until after the game had ended, however.

"That's pretty cool, I guess," Diebler said. "Jamar was a great shooter. To pass him, it feels good. I give a lot of credit to him because he helped me out a lot my freshman year. I didn't shoot too well my freshman year and he was really there for me and he told me not to worry about it. I guess it's ironic to pass a guy who helped me a lot when I was struggling."

As a freshman, Diebler lost his starting spot and shot 28.9 percent (48 for 166) from behind the arc. That same season, Butler hit on 104 of 217 (47.9 percent).

"You know he's a real shooter, especially thinking about his freshman year knowing that he overcame a lot," junior guard Evan Turner said. "His freshman year, he couldn't really hit his shot and now to break a record like that during his junior year – if he could've hit shots like this during his freshman year he could've had it already."

As a sophomore, Diebler started all 33 games and improved his mark to 41.6 percent (96 for 231). He entered the Big Ten tournament having hit 93 of 222 (41.9 percent) and has subsequently gone 6 for 14 (42.9 percent) in his last two games.

Head coach Thad Matta seconded Turner's comments.

"If he had made a couple as a freshman, he would've passed it a year ago," Matta said with a laugh. "I'm happy for Jon. Jon flies under the radar screen in his career here but I know how important he is, I know how good he is and I love the kid to death."

He also received a nice assist from junior forward David Lighty on one of his treys against the Fighting Illini, although Lighty was not credited for such on the stat sheet.

With Illinois leading 50-46, sophomore guard William Buford missed a shot attempt and the ball was loose in the paint. Lighty came up with the ball, but only after he was flat on his stomach in the middle of the key.

With feet all around him, Lighty corralled the ball and managed to roll it to Diebler, who was waiting to bury the jumper at the top of the circle.

"First, I thought I was going to get the put-back because the ball was coming right to me," Lighty said. "I thought I was going to go right back up but I couldn't hold onto the ball for some reason today. My hands get so slippery because I sweat so much and I couldn't hold onto the ball. It was a loose ball and I saw him and I just pushed it out to him and he knocked it down. He was feeling good.

"It was crazy. The ball was there and it was just like the Red Sea opened up and he was right there."

More Madsen – For the second straight game, the Buckeyes got significant contributions from senior center Kyle Madsen in relief of junior starter Dallas Lauderdale.

In a career-high 32 minutes of action, Madsen pulled down a career-high seven rebounds and added four points. He was also the big man on the court when the Buckeyes went on their 20-0 run.

"Kyle was tremendous and I couldn't be happier," Matta said. "He really picked up what we were doing defensively. I thought he went to the boards harder than he'd ever gone. I was very excited to see him play that way."

Seated in the locker room after the game, Madsen said fatigue had not yet set in.

"I felt really good," he said. "I think once you get into the flow of the game and into the moment you just forget about it. I was sitting here thinking, ‘I don't even feel that bad right now.' "

Lauderdale had two points and two rebounds in 18 minutes of action. He was sent to the bench after catching an inadvertent elbow from an Illinois player at the 17:18 mark of the first half but said the injury did not affect him the rest of the way.

"When he was in, they were scoring," Lauderdale said of Madsen. "Kyle played great today. He played an excellent game. They went on a 20-0 run with him in the game and when that happens, he has to stay in the game because the team is doing well."

In the two tournament games, Madsen is 5 for 7 from the field for 12 points with nine rebounds while Lauderdale is 2 for 3 for four points and seven boards.

What A Run – Lighty's help on the Diebler trey came during a game-changing 20-0 run by the Buckeyes that helped them overcome an 11-point second-half deficit. During that stretch, Illinois missed all eight of its shot attempts and committed five turnovers

"I think we just had more intensity on defense," Diebler said. "I think we were more active with our hands and we turned up the pressure. In the first half we weren't as intense as we needed to be and they were getting any shot they wanted and were making them. I think being more aggressive without fouling was a big key."

The game would not end in regulation, but it showed how effective the OSU offense can be when it is clicking. At one points, the Buckeyes hit on seven of eight shots from the field.

"When everyone is on point and making shots, it's hard to guard us," said Lighty, who missed four three-pointers including one as soon as the run was complete. "If my shots would've fallen today maybe things would've been a little bit different. That happens sometimes. You have to find other ways to help the team win. When everyone is making plays and getting good looks, it's hard to play us."

Evan The Predictor – As he headed to the bench with one minute remaining in the second overtime, Turner added prognosticator to his list of talents.

"He predicted what was going to happen," Lighty said. "He said, ‘(Illinois' Tyler Griffey) going to miss one of these free throws and we're going to make a bucket and finish it off.'

"That's exactly what happened. He prophesized that one."

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