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Ohio State basketball upsets Purdue: What we learned

Ohio State upsets No. 2 Purdue in Jake Diebler's debut as head coach. The win provides hope for the future.

The Jake Diebler era of Ohio State basketball got off to an electrifying start as the Buckeyes pulled off a stunning upset against No. 2 Purdue with a 73-69 victory at home on Sunday. Many had written off Ohio State's chances against the top seed in the NCAA Tournament, but the Buckeyes defied expectations and closed out the game with clutch free throws to secure a monumental win.

While the upset may not significantly impact Ohio State's tournament prospects, it did improve their overall record to 15-11, with a conference record of 5-10. The victory provided valuable insights into the team's capabilities and potential moving forward.

Under the leadership of Chris Holtmann, the Buckeyes displayed a newfound sense of energy and confidence, signaling a departure from the cloud that had previously loomed over the team. The players exhibited a renewed sense of hustle and determination, marking a stark contrast from their recent performances. Despite the circumstances surrounding Holtmann's departure, Ohio State's resilience and tenacity were on full display in the face of adversity.

One of the most notable takeaways from the game was Ohio State's impressive defensive performance against Purdue. Despite facing a significant size disadvantage, the Buckeyes effectively contained Purdue's high-scoring offense and limited the impact of Zach Edey, showcasing a cohesive and disciplined team effort on the defensive end.

Additionally, Ohio State demonstrated a newfound ability to maintain composure and execute under pressure, as they overcame a seven-point deficit at the end of the first half to close out the period with a lead. This marked a significant improvement from their previous struggles with closing out halves and games, highlighting the team's growth and adaptability under Diebler's leadership.

The game also shed light on Ohio State's ability to navigate challenges, as they managed to mitigate Purdue's advantage in free throw shooting despite the odds being stacked against them. With Diebler at the helm, the Buckeyes showcased resilience and resourcefulness in overcoming obstacles and finding ways to compete at a high level.

Looking ahead, Diebler's impressive debut as head coach has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on new athletic director Ross Bjork, prompting considerations for the future of the coaching staff. While Diebler's lack of experience may raise questions, his impact on the team and the potential for continuity with current players and recruits should not be overlooked. As Ohio State navigates the coaching search, Diebler's candidacy should be given serious consideration, given the promise and potential he has demonstrated in his inaugural game at the helm.

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