Lantern reporter Jeff Tyndall caught up with former Ohio State guard Jon Diebler on Friday, less than 24 hours after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 51st overall pick in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Diebler, who will join former Buckeye Greg Oden in Portland, gave his thoughts on playing at OSU, his feelings on getting drafted and what fans can expect from OSU men’s basketball this coming season.
The Lantern: How did it feel to hear your name called on Thursday night?
Jon Diebler: “It’s extremely exciting. It’s just a blessing. A blessing from God to be able go through everything I’ve gone through with the opportunities I’ve been blessed with. Traveling and working out, and a college career that I had. To have a healthy four years playing for OSU, man, it’s just unbelievable.”
The Lantern: Where were you watching the draft?
Jon Diebler: “My wife and I have a little place up at the lake near Port Clinton. We were up there during the day and had a fish fry. I actually missed the first 6 or 7 picks — I was on the Jet Ski. We were tubing, then I came back and we just played some games and watched the draft. It wasn’t really a draft party but we just had a little get together.”
The Lantern: How did you find out that Portland was going to take you?
Jon Diebler: “To be honest, my agent called me as the guy was at the podium. As I answered hello, I heard my name in the background and everyone started screaming and my agent was like ‘congratulations,’ so it all kind of happened at once and it was pretty crazy.”
The Lantern: What happens now?
Jon Diebler: “I’m going out to Portland to a press conference, I think Sunday. Either tomorrow or Sunday — we’re stilling working on that, trying to figure that out. So, my wife and I are heading out there for a day then coming back here. It’s all up in the air right now. I’m trying to find out what’s going on too.”
The Lantern: Are you familiar with the Trail Blazers organization?
Jon Diebler: “Yeah, absolutely. I got to meet all of the guys and the coaches; coach (Nate) McMillan and all of the guys in the front office. Obviously, I know Greg (Oden). I know Luke Babbitt. (Babbitt) had actually committed to (Ohio State) but ended up going to Nevada, so I know him just from when he was supposed to come here. And I met Armon Johnson who plays there — I met him in Chicago at the pre-draft. So, I know a couple people but I’m excited to get to meet everybody else.”
The Lantern: What do you think you can bring to the team?
Jon Diebler: “My ability to stage the floor, kind of what I did in college. That’s what my role is going to be. And I think with the trade with Rudy Fernandez, Rudy is a very, very good player he was their shooter off the bench and I’m going to try to fill that void.”
The Lantern: Are you going to try to keep the nickname “Threebler” in Portland?
Jon Diebler: “I don’t know, it’ll be interesting to see if that sticks.”
The Lantern: What are your predictions for Buckeye’s basketball in the 2011-12 season?
Jon Diebler: “I think they are going to be a very, very good basketball team. I’m definitely voting for them to win the Big Ten; they’ve got my pick. They are going to be extremely talented. They’ll be young, they’ve got a lot of freshman and sophomores, but they have a great core of guys coming back. And I know they are going to work hard—they have been working hard, they had a great spring. And I’m just really looking forward to the year they’re going to have; I wish them all the best. I hope they win it all. Buckeye fans, I think you have a lot to look forward to.”