Men's Basketball

Ohio State Men’s Basketball Postgame: Jake Diebler, Player Press Conferences After 79-77 Loss to Georgia in NIT Quarterfinals

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s season ends following a 79-77 loss to No. 4 seed Georgia in the quarterfinal game of the NIT on Tuesday night. Head coach Jake Diebler meet with the media following the loss along with Jamison Battle and Dale Bonner.

Here is a summary 0f what was said. You can also watch the full press conferences below.

Jake Diebler 

+ He has a ton of respect for Coach White. He is proud of the way they responded to multiple lead changes and the energy in the building carried them, but it felt like they ran out of gas. Georgia hit some shots that were tough and Ohio State missed a couple that he would love to give them another chance at and they’d hit. They fought all the way to the end.

+ “This is a team I will never forget. What we were able to accomplish, I thought the character of our guys individually and as a team was revealed in such a big way from mid-February on. What we were able to do as a program, with a great deal of adversity and emotions, I think our guys…. I hope they are remembered for that.” He hopes the team remembers what it took to be successful during this time because that will extend far beyond their basketball years.

+ He is consistently thinking about roster management and NIL and supporting the community. Buckeye Nation’s support has meant a lot. It is always ongoing, not a timing thing.

+ They want to be about connectedness and togetherness moving forward. They saw how having that sense of urgency and connectedness served them well.

+ On retaining the team, Diebler said retention is critical. Roster management is a different landscape right now but for them retention is going to be important.

+ Dave Dickerson has achieved the things they want to achieve as a team, he has been in a Final Four, won a championship. He is valuable to this staff and he is a person that Diebler trusts to tell him the truth. He also has seen how much he impacts and connects as a man with his players.

+ He wishes he could get a waiver for Dale Bonner and Jamison Battle to play more basketball.

+ He is honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue serving this program as head coach and he takes the responsibility that goes with that very seriously. “We have big goals.”

+ Pride was a feeling after the game but there were a lot of emotions coming off of the court. They were disappointed in the outcome but they did represent what it means to play Ohio State basketball and they did a good job extending the finality of this team as long as possible.

+ Jamison Battle responded with a smile at the end, comforting other players because he knew he gave it everything he had. “That’s how you respond when you know you’ve given it your all and it was a job well done.”

Jamison Battle

+ On the last possession, Battle said the play was to set a screen and come off of a curl action. He felt like the shot was good going out but everything hit in that moment. He is so proud to play five years of college basketball and this team was special. “I wish we had more time.”

+ On the smile on his face after the game, “How can I be mad, in that moment?” There’s always going to be an end.   He is grateful for all of it and wasn’t going to be mad at one moment.

+ This team will use this momentum moving forward. “There’s nothing but success.” He hopes everyone remembers what they felt this season and carry it with them and never take it for granted.

+ He feels so grateful for his college career. This group is the most fun he has had, he never took it for granted, and is sad that it’s over but glad that it happened.

+ He is not surprised by what they’ve done because of the sense of urgency by head coach Jake Diebler and because of the talent that they have. It sucks that they didn’t have more time and figured it out too late. Nobody else will know what happened in that room in February but they came together and finished it the right way.

+ They lacked attention to detail coming out of the second half and weren’t communicating as well. They figured it out at the end but just ran out of time.

+ On a back and forth game and series of runs, Battle said basketball is a game of runs and it was a fun game for them. They didn’t like that they weren’t getting stops but they were just playing hoops. They felt the crowd into it as they went on those runs.

+ On Diebler as a coach, “whatever a coach has to have, he has it.”

Dale Bonner

+ Bonner is very proud of this team. “We showed what this team can be. We came up short but we showed a lot of growth. And in the end it was fun.” He was happy to be playing post-season basketball.

+ On what he is leaving Ohio State with, Bonner said the opportunity to come home and play in front of his family every game. To be able to put Ohio State’s jersey on, it was a dream come true.

+ On coming back down the stretch in the final two minutes, the message was to stay connected, stay together, battle, and don’t flinch.

+ On the locker room in the final time, Bonner said he and Battle thanked everybody. Diebler said he was proud of everybody and they all thanked each other.

Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics. 

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