Ohio 2010 NCAA Tournament Preview

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Ohio Bobcats - Mid-American Conference (21-14, 7-9)

Seed: #14 - Midwest Region

Big Wins: 12/16 Illinois State (75-57), 2/20 Wright State (64-59), 3/11 vs Kent State (81-64)

Bad Losses: 1/20 at Bowling Green (57-65), 1/31 Ball State (66-67), 2/6 at Eastern Michigan (61-70)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2005, First Round loss to Florida

Coach: John Groce (First NCAA appearance)

Probable Ohio Starters:

  • D.J. Cooper, Freshman, Guard, 13.2 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.5 rpg

  • Armon Bassett, Junior, Guard, 16.3 ppg, 3.6 apg

  • Tommy Freeman, Junior, Forward, 10.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg

  • Reggie Keely, Freshman, Forward, 5.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg

  • Kenneth van Kempen, Senior, Center, 6.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg


Key Ohio Roleplayers:

  • Ivo Baltic, Freshman, Forward, 3.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg

  • Asown Sayles, Junior, Forward, 2.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg

  • DeVaughn Washington, Junior, Forward, 11.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg


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Why The Bobcats Can Surprise:
Ohio’s offense runs through a couple talented perimeter players. Armon Bassett leads the team with 16.3 points per game and is a fine passer as well. His ability to score from everywhere on the floor makes him very dangerous and nobody in the Mid-American Conference had an easy time stopping the 6-2 junior. Yet, it is freshman D.J. Cooper that has surprised many and really turned the group on the perimeter into something special. Cooper is a 5-11 point guard who not only dishes out a team high 5.9 assists per game, but also scores 13.2 points and grabs an incredible 5.5 rebounds. And to add to his impressive resume, Cooper leads the team with 2.5 steals.

Bassett and Cooper are fine outside shooters, but small forward Tommy Freeman is the pure shooter on the team. Despite his 6-5 frame, Freeman is really a shooting guard in a small forwards body. Most of his shots come from beyond the arc, but that works out just fine since he connects on 46.7 percent of his attempts from long range.


Why The Bobcats Can Disappoint:
However, Freeman is not a good rebounder because he spends so much time out on the perimeter and lacks the strength to battle on the boards. That leaves fellow starters Reggie Keely and Kenneth van Kempen to handle a majority of the work on the glass. Keely is a big bodied freshman at 6-8 and 263 pounds and does do a decent job on the glass when he is in the game. The problem is his offense has yet to develop and Coach John Groce only plays him about 17 minutes per game. That leaves van Kempen as the main rebounder on this team. And the 6-10, 249 pound senior does a pretty good job. The problem is he does not get much help from the rest of the team. And considering that the rest of the team pretty much consists of forwards, that is not a good sign.

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Who To Watch for OU:
The Bobcats have Ivo Baltic, Asown Sayles and DeVaughn Washington all available to come in off the bench and help supplement the frontcourt. Baltic is very raw, but he is at least good enough to come in for ten minutes or so a game and eat up some fouls and grab a couple boards. Since the group on the perimeter has no depth at all, Sayles spends most of his time spelling Bassett at the shooting guard spot. Washington is the most dynamic of the forwards. The part-time starter is the team’s best interior scorer and can provide a healthy spark to the Ohio team off the bench.


Ohio By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 74.4 (63rd in nation, 1st in conference)

Scoring Defense: 69.4 (199, 10)

Field-Goal Percentage: 42.5 (217, 7)

Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (99, 3)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (56, 2)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (93, 2)

Free-Throw Percentage: 71.7 (79, 3)

Rebound Margin: -0.3 (203, 10)

Assists Per Game: 14.3 (79, 2)

Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (98, 3)


Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Georgetown

By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer


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