SKULL SESSION: RYAN DAY AND LEBRON JAMES ENDORSE JAKE DIEBLER, D’ANGELO RUSSELL ENTERS THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS’ RECORD BOOK AND COLUMBUS IS GREAT AT HOSTING SPORTS

Jake Diebler

Welcome to the Skull Session.

On to the next one.


Have a good Wednesday.

 BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Five years ago, Ryan Day received a promotion from offensive coordinator to head coach at State. In a press conference on Tuesday, Day shared some advice for Jake Diebler, who made a similar leap from program assistant to program leader over the weekend.

“Congratulations to (Jake) and his family,” Day said. “I was able to go over to the press conference, and I thought he did a great job stepping into a tough spot this year. I’m excited to see what that looks like going forward.”

Quick note: If you watch the press conference, Day called Diebler “Josh,” not Jake. Ope!


“You have to trust who you are. You have to learn from your experiences,” Day said. “You aren’t starting from scratch. I think that’s the thing as I look back on that experience for me. There were guys on my staff that were already here. But then there were other things you had to change. There were already players there in place, so you had to continue what was working, but you (also) had to identify things you had to improve.”

Day said it would do Diebler well to enhance what Ohio State has done well and correct what Ohio State hasn’t done well in recent seasons. Such a task takes discernment, a trait Day said comes with increased experience in the role.

Ultimately, Day believes Diebler’s relationships – even more than the adjustments and the Xs and Os – will determine his success.

“It comes down to relationships,” Day said. “It’s building relationships with your staff, giving them great direction as a leader.  You’re not an assistant coach anymore. You’re the head coach. Your role has changed. It’s important to make sure you’re communicating at a high level, giving direction to everybody and then making sure everybody’s accountable to do their job at a high level.”


That’s all solid advice from Day.

Diebler would be smart to accept it.

 A KING’S ENDORSEMENT. On Sunday, new Ohio State men’s basketball coach Jake Diebler received a shoutout from one of the Buckeyes’ most prominent fans, LeBron James. The Ohio State Hoops account on X shared a graphic of James’ congratulatory Instagram post this week.


James has been one of Ohio State’s largest donors and supporters since he entered the NBA in 2003 out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron. Had James attended college, the 6-foot-9 forward said he would been a Buckeye (for one season, but still!).

Over the past 20 years, James has attended several Ohio State football and basketball games and donated gear – including cleats, shoes, headphones and more – to both squads.

The Buckeyes were among three finalists to land James’ first son, Bronny, in the 2023 class; however, the four-star combo guard chose USC over Ohio State and Oregon.

James’ second son, Bryce, a three-star shooting guard in the 2025 class, holds an offer from the Buckeyes. Bryce made an unofficial visit to Columbus last fall and, in addition to touring the Schottenstein Center and campus, watched Ohio State football beat Maryland, 37-17, in the Shoe.

Diebler has been involved in both recruitments.

 #LOADING… Former Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell made history in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 136-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. With a deep 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, Russell tied Nick Van Exel’s franchise record for 3s in a season with 183.

After the game, Lakers coach Darvin Ham offered Russell a roaring endorsement to shoot whenever he wants, wherever he wants, for the rest of the season.

“He has a green room,” Ham said. “Not a green light. A green room.”

Against the Hawks, Russell went 6-for-10 from deep and finished with 27 points and 10 assists.

“I appreciate (Coach Ham) trusting me to that extent,” Russell said. “I want to feel like like I’ve earned something like that and it wasn’t given. To know that that’s something I put the work in to do and put the work in to continue to do, it seems normal for me, humbly.”

This season, Russell has averaged 18.1 points and 6.4 assists per contest, shooting 46.9% from the field and 42.4% from behind the 3-point line — a mark that ranks 11th in the league. (For added context, Russell ranks ahead of superstars Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Jamal Murray and Kyrie Irving in the category).

“His prowess from the 3-point line, it’s really, really elite,” Ham said. “We need every bit of it.”

According to ESPN Stats and Info, Van Exel needed 80 games to set the Laker’s 3-point record in 1994-95. That milestone stood for 30 years before Russell matched it in his 64th game on Monday.

“It’s really cool to get credit for it. It’s just really cool,” Russell said. “I don’t what to underdo it or understate it. I don’t want to overdo it. I just feel like it’s really cool to be a part of something like that. I think I did something like that in Brooklyn, as well.”

Indeed, Russell is correct. He set the Nets’ franchise record for 3s in a season with 234 in 2018-19.

Russell’s a shooter, plain and simple. As we all know, shooters shoot. There’s no doubt that he’ll keep shooting down the stretch. His All-NBA teammate, Anthony Davis, looks forward to seeing Russell’s shots continue to fall.

“He’s able to fill up the stat sheet with his scoring, and it’s a big thing for him and a big thing for this team,” Davis said. “There’s been a lot going on around D-Lo, and to be able to do that and have us embrace him, he sees that. He feels the love. That’s good for him.”


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