Sources: Ohio State expected to promote Diebler

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Ohio State is expected to promote interim head coach Jake Diebler to the full-time role, sources told ESPN on Saturday night.

Diebler took over for Chris Holtmann in mid-February after the seventh-year head coach was fired following a 4-10 start to Big Ten play. In his first game as interim head coach, Diebler led Ohio State to a 73-69 win over then-No. 2 Purdue.

The Buckeyes went 6-2 after Diebler took over, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament before narrowly losing on Friday night to Illinois, 77-74. They played themselves onto the NCAA tournament bubble with regular-season wins over the Boilermakers, Michigan State and Nebraska and then a conference tournament victory over Iowa.

Diebler joined Holtmann’s staff in 2019 after spending three years under Bryce Drew at Vanderbilt. The older brother of former Ohio State guard Jon Diebler, who left the Buckeyes as the Big Ten’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (he has since been passed by Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon), his first stint in Columbus came as the video coordinator on Thad Matta’s staff from 2014 to 2016.

Diebler also spent time as an assistant coach under Drew at Valparaiso, where he played his college ball. He averaged 5.1 points in 116 games as a player at Valpo.

Barring a surprise on Selection Sunday, Ohio State will miss the NCAA tournament for the second straight season. The Buckeyes haven’t been out of the first weekend of the tournament since 2013, when Matta led them to the Elite Eight. Diebler’s first task will be aiming for some level of roster continuity, with the NCAA transfer portal opening on Monday.

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