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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale: OSU's quiet heroes

As the Ohio State men's basketball team prepares to defend its 24-0 record this afternoon at Wisconsin, all eyes will be focused on the three freshman sensations, forwards Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas, and point guard Aaron Craft.  Yet it might be the play of two of its seniors, shooting guard Jon Diebler and center Dallas Lauderdale, that end up being the difference maker in this game.  Both Diebler and Lauderdale have been going about their business as the unsung heroes of the OSU basketball program this season, and they are more than likely fine with that.  Jon Diebler has quietly become the sort of team player this season that everyone expected of him when he graduated from Upper Sandusky.  That he had been tabbed the next Larry Bird even before stepping foot on campus in Columbus didn't help matters.  But even if he isn't the next Larry legend, his play this season has been instrumental in setting up Sullingers game underneath, and he has become a good, if not necessarily great defender as well.  In the case of Lauderdale, many see the lack of an offensive game as his one big drawback.  Yet it has been Lauderdale's recent offensive explosion(if you could call it that), along with his tenacious play on defense(including the defensive board) that has allowed OSU to remain undefeated, especially with many tight games on the road(at Northwestern was a perfect example.)  So should OSU actually finish the regular season undefeated,  Buckeye fans can thank the quiet herores: Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale.  

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