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Two-Minute Drill: Jake Diebler, Evan Mahaffey and Aaron Bradshaw Talk Summer Workouts, Progress of Team

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Summer workouts are in full swing for Ohio State. Men’s basketball head coach Jake Diebler met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the progress and health of the team, the one remaining roster spot, and the goals for his team as a first-year head coach. Evan Mahaffey and Kentucky transfer Aaron Bradshaw also answered questions from reporters.

Here are the highlights. You can also watch the full press conferences below for a preview of Bradshaw’s vibrant and fun personality.

Jake Diebler 

+ On what they have accomplished as a team, Diebler said it’s been great but they haven’t been as healthy as he would have liked. They have been able to do some offensive and defensive concepts and lay the foundation. “There has been chemistry formed, which is good to see.”

+ On the growth and development of the team, Diebler said the injuries haven’t hindered that but he would say that he has been impressed with how they have collectively found ways to use their voice, even when they are out of a drill.

+ On Aaron Bradshaw, Diebler said his ability to do things for his size has been great. He has been pushing him to do more and he has the ability, it’s just about getting reps and experience. He can shoot, pass, and to be able to do it at his size is impressive. Diebler is encouraging him to shoot more 3s to create space for driving lanes and make it harder for teams to guard him.

+ On what it takes to develop a players’ 3-point shooting, Diebler said it’s hard work and giving pointers to increase consistency. “It’s good old fashioned hard work and time, and then getting experience in live reps.” He wants players trying things and failing a bit in the summer and then seeing success and building confidence.

+ They are doing a combination of team and individual development over the summer. “Small victories are good for all of us and we’ve seen that with everybody.”

+ The freshmen came in ready to work. They have freshmen moments and days, but their physicality and IQs have been impressive. They have to adjust to the tempo and physicality, but he has been impressed with both of them so far.

+ On wanting rebounding improvements this season, Diebler said they recruited to that. Aaron Bradshaw will help and Evan Mahaffey will be a big part of that to moving forward with his ability to play multiple positions. “We addressed it in recruiting but some of it is a mentality. We gotta work on it and keep getting better at it but it has the potential to be a real strength for us.”

+ On one roster spot remaining, Diebler said he thinks they will be able to speak more on that in the near future but it is fluid more than it has ever been in college basketball right now. As they look to finalize things, they have looked to build around the pieces, and complement the players the they have.

+ On what he wants a Jake Diebler team to look like, Diebler said he wants people to see an aggressive, confident, and tough team that has fun and plays with joy. He wants them to operate with a sense of joy and pride in what they do and he thinks the fans will see that. There will be pace involved too. “We’re building at it a bit at a time.”

+ The schedule is being finalized. They are pretty well-set.

Evan Mahaffey 

+ On playing with Aaron Bradshaw, Mahaffey said he is always giving energy to others and it’s refreshing.

+ On working on the perimeter more, Mahaffey said he loves to do it and was on the perimeter and mixing it a bit more in high school. He likes being challenged in that way.

+ The family aspect and being from Ohio, the legacy and being able to be a part of that was why he came back to Ohio State. Bouncing around really isn’t him and he wanted to find a home and he did.

+ On what he learned from last season, Mahaffey said he learned to stay with his game through the ups and downs of the season, staying in a positive mindset, and being able to contribute and help out wherever he can.

Aaron Bradshaw

+ On why he chose Ohio State, Bradshaw said it was a family environment. Diebler has built a family here at Ohio State. “Where else would I want to go?”

+ On his personality, Bradshaw said he loves to smile, show people that it’s ok to be funny, goofy,  laugh, smile, and have fun. It also gives him a lot of energy on the court.

+ On what he learned in Kentucky, Bradshaw said it shaped him into the person that he is today. He learned a lot of patience. He wants to build better habits and keep working.

+ On his off-court interests, Bradshaw said he likes having fun and likes fishing.


Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics. 

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