Player of the Week
18-22 from the field and 17-20 from three is a pretty good way to close the regular season portion of his senior season for the most successful and most efficient shooter in Ohio State history. Jon Diebler had a tremendous shooting week to cap off a dominant conference season for the Buckeyes. The only losses came to Wisconsin and Purdue on the road, and for that there should be no shame. Unfortunately for the Badgers, Ohio State did take shame in their loss, because they took every chance possible to run it up on Sunday. The blowout started early, and the Buckeyes did not call off the dogs until they were up 27 with a minute to go. The dominant shooting performance was not just limited to Diebler who put in 27 points on 8-10 shooting. As a team, they shot 68 percent from the floor and a whopping 14-15 from behind the arc. William Buford had 18 points on 6-8 from the field. Jared Sullinger had 22 points and 8 rebounds. David Lighty had 13 points in his final game in Columbus.
Hardaway’s continued stellar play
While Tim Hardaway Jr. has been mentioned in passing over the past few weeks, his performance has generally flown under the radar. In a year where there have not been an abundance of high performing freshmen, Hardaway has been one of the best. Having been in the shadow of Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and even to a lesser degree Aaron Craft, it has not been pointed out the extent to which Hardaway’s growth has factored into the Wolverines closing out the Big Ten season with an 8-3 run. In the first 20 games of the season, Hardaway was averaging 11.5 points per game and was shooting 36 percent from the field and 30 percent from three. Over the past 11 games, he has been one of the best freshmen in the country. He has averaged 18 points per game on 52 percent shooting and 50 percent from three.
Indiana limping to the finish
It is difficult to call a 72-48 loss in Champaign deceptively close, but the Hoosiers were lucky Illinois did not take the approach Ohio State had in avenging a loss from earlier in the year. The Illini jumped out a big first half lead that got as large as 26, and both teams seemed content to simply let the second half look like a walkthrough. Indiana looked like a team that was ready for the season to end. They have now lost their last eight games, and the last four have come by double digits. The two losses this week coupled with Iowa’s upset win over Purdue ensured Indiana would finish as the sole holder of last place in the Big Ten for the second time in three years.
Extended Top 5:
Top Five Freshmen Players
Top Five Defensive Players
According to the Racine Journal Times Jon Leuer accepted an invitation to participate in this year’s Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. The article indicates that David Lighty and Jon Diebler of Ohio State, Durrell Summers of Michigan State and Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale of Illinois have indicated they'll play in the PIT as well.
Former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious made it official this week that he will transfer to Iowa State.