Men's Basketball

Ohio State Postgame: Jake Diebler, Dale Bonner, Zed Key Talk 84-61 Win vs Michigan on Senior Day

via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State secured its third win in a row with a 84-61 win at home against Michigan on Sunday for senior day. The Buckeyes never trailed and led by as many as 29, on a 20-2 run late through the second half.

Ohio State was led by point guard Bruce Thornton with 17 points on 3-of-8 from the paint, 1-of-4 from 3, and 10-of-10 from the line. Roddy Gayle Jr. contributed 15 points on 6-of-10 from the field. Michigan’s Dug McDaniel led all scorers with 19 points. As a team, Ohio State had 27 points off of the Wolverines’ 18 turnovers and shot 71.4% from the field in the second half.

Before the game, the Buckeyes honored four seniors Zed Key, Jamison Battle, Dale Bonner, and Owen Spencer.

Interim head coach Jake Diebler and seniors Dale Bonner and Zed Key met with the media immediately following the Buckeyes’ win. You can watch the full press conference and read the highlights below.

Jake Diebler

+ On Zed Key’s early dunk setting the tone, Diebler said he played hard and it was contagious. He did set the tone for the rest of the game. Key has shown a lot of growth since he got to Ohio State — maybe even more off the court. They built a relationship early through recruiting and he loves Key.

+ Diebler said he has a lot of respect for Juwan Howard and their program. This game means a ton and they expect a real battle every time — that’s what makes the rivalry so good.

+ On what is different about this team now that they are seeing results, Diebler said they are playing better defensively and with more aggressiveness and urgency. They were also very connected and together, especially coming out of halftime. The biggest difference he feels personally is that he is more tired.

+ The team is feeling momentum and they have earned that. But they can’t start to look ahead or think about other things, they have to keep working.

+ On the team playing a bit more loose even though they are more aggressive, Diebler said they are playing to win. Their mentality is to stay aggressive and they weren’t perfect, but what they are not doing is looking over or around. There’s a confidence players have right now.

+ “We, our program most importantly right now is 4-1. But we have to keep going.”

+ Every time they break is “family.” They are a very connected group right now.

+ The bench and their depth has been a real strength for them. They have a lot of starting quality players on this team and players are stepping up in their time. They have a lot of different ways they can score the ball.

+ On how they handle the next week with no game, Diebler said he will make some calls to people who are a bit more experienced than him in this. He will lean on some his mentors and the staff will decide. They have to balance keeping the work going but also getting some rest. “We have some flexibility this week for us to get ready.”

+ The energy in The Schott for this game was unbelievable. It has been hard but the players are having fun and they are motivated. “There’s nothing more important now than the next one.”

Dale Bonner

+ Senior day here at home was a dream come true for him.

+ On the fast break points, Bonner said they were reading the defense and taking what it gave them.

+ When everything is flowing defensively, it makes their offense a lot easier and they don’t have to work as hard.

+ On not playing now for a week, Bonner said they need to stay locked in, focus on the next game and continue to do what they have been doing.

Zed Key

+ This was a rematch. Losing to Michigan at their place, they knew they wanted to come out with aggression and fire. They took that to heart, had great practices this week, and players were bought in.

+ They played well on both ends of the floor in this game.

+ There were a lot of emotions for him on senior day. Time has flown by and he is grateful that he chose Ohio State and was here for four years. He loves the program. It was great seeing the crowd raise the roof all game— it brought good energy.

+ At halftime they knew they needed to play better and come together as a team. They got stops, made shots on offense, and handled Michigan’s runs well on the defensive end.

+ On his dunk setting the tone for the game, Key said he really just took what the defense gave him and it was a great play. It did set the tone like, “look we are here, we’re not going away, we’re a tough team.”

+ Players got re-locked in and bought in after the coaching change. Players were tired of losing, the conversations in the media, so they really came together.


Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics. 

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