Obviously in the coming days Brian and Ace will provide us a ton of info on this Ohio Bobcats team, much more in depth and better than I could possibly do as they will watch game tape and what not, while I haven't. But if you're like me and realize that we now have 5 long days to wait for Michigan v. Ohio, you might want something to chew on until then, so I decided to write up a brief scouting report, because why not? I am by no means an expert on Ohio, the only time I've seen them play was parts of their game last night, but I'll give you what I know about them.
Ohio went 27-7 this year, and 11-5 in the MAC, good for 3rd. Their only win over win over a toruney bound team is Lamar, Pat Kinght's team, 85-78 in OT at home. Their most impressive game is probably a 59-54 loss at Louisville. Both of these games took place in November.
Ohio was 11-6 away from home this year, including 3-0 at a neutral site, all three wins coming in the MAC tournament.
They start 3 guards and two forwards, and they are lead by Junior 5'11 guard D.J. Cooper, who leads the team in scoring, assists, and steals, and was first team All-MAC, and finished 4th in MAC player of the year voting.
The rest of their starting 5 are two 6'3 guards to go along with two 6'8 forwards, so they won't beat anyone with their size. Of those 4, 6'3 guard Walter Offutt and 6'8 forward Ivo Baltic were honorable mentions for All-MAC consideration.
All of the three mentioned are juniors, and their other 6'8 forward Reggie Keely is as well. The only starter who isn't is 6'3 Sophomore guard Nick Kellogg, who is the son of former Buckeye and current CBS announcer Clark Kellogg.
The Bobcats are a fairly deep team, they have 9 goes who average 10+ minutes a game, compared to just 7 for Michigan. None of the guys on the bench average more than 4.7 a game.
As a team, the Bobcats make their money on the defensive end. They are second in the country at creating turnovers, 26.9% of opponents possessions, and are 11th in the country at defending the three, allowing just 29.1% of opponents 3's to go in. And despite their lack of size, they are rebound the ball well offensively, rebounding 34.8% of misses.
Ohio's biggest weakness is shooting the three. They rank 242 in made three's, and Kellogg is the only player on the team to shot better than 36%, shooting at 42%.
All together, the rough outline for beating seems to be:
1-Protect the ball. Burke has been good at that all year long, but against Ohio, we need to be extra carefull.
2-Don't settle for three's. We don't want a NW type game over here. We are much more effective the more 2's we shoot, and against a good 3 point defensive team like this, we have to put an emphasis on that.
3-Force Ohio into 3's. They don't hit them often, so try to get them to jack up as many as possible.