#33 Ohio Bobcats: College Basketball 111 in 111


d.j. cooper ohio

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Ohio Bobcats were one of the teams to put on Cinderella’s slipper in last year’s NCAA Tournament, advancing as a 13 seed to the Sweet 16 where they nearly knocked off North Carolina before falling in overtime.  Head coach John Groce left for Illinois but Jim Christian comes from TCU to lead an OU team that returns all nine rotation players from last season.

OHIO BOBCATS
Last Season: 4th, 12-6 in MAC, 28-12 overall
Predicted MAC Finish: 1st

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Reggie Keely (Sr)/Kenny Belton (Sr)
F: Ivo Baltsic (Sr)/Jon Smith (Jr)/T.J. Hall (Jr)/Kadeem Green (So)
SG: Walter Offutt (Sr)/Ricardo Johnson (Jr)
SG: Nick Kellogg (Jr)/Travis Wilkins (Jr)
PG: D.J. Cooper (Sr)/Stevie Taylor (So)

Gone: F-TyQuane Goard (transfer-Delaware), F/C-Ethan Jacobs (transfer-Colgate)

2012-2013 Outlook:
Leading the charge for the Bobcats will be point guard D.J. Cooper who really made a name for himself in the tourney.  The All-MAC First Team Selection is a four year starter bringing a ton of experience and leadership to the floor.  He will once again be joined by starting wings Walter Offutt and Nick Kellogg.  Offutt is a physical guard making an immediate impact last season after transferring in from Ohio State while Kellogg can really light it up from deep.

Reggie Keely and Ivo Baltic are a solid one-two punch in the frontcourt.  Keely is more of a back to the basket player while Baltic has a solid face up game since he can knock down mid-range jumpers.

With so much talent returning, the bench will once again be solid.  Stevie Taylor, T.J. Hall, Jon Smith, and Ricardo Johnson were all effective in their roles last season and that should continue this year though they will be pushed by a couple of new players.

The frontcourt depth gets a shot in the arm with Missouri transfer Kadeem Green who will become eligible after the first semester.  6-8, 300-plus pounder Kenny Belton has battled injury after injury the past several seasons never full maximizing his potential and if healthy, provides Christian with a true bruiser down low.  JUCO transfer Travis Wilkins could also steal minutes due to his three-point shooting.

OU also picked up a pair of transfer in Texas Tech point guard Javarez Willis and athletic forward Treg Setty from Southern Illinois.  Both guys must sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules but will be valuable additions for the 2013-14 campaign since the Bobcats will lose five seniors to graduation.

Due to all the returning talent on their roster, Ohio is the clear favorite to win the MAC.  as they did a year ago, don’t be surprised if they are a thorn in the side of major conference teams come NCAA Tournament time.

Player to Watch: D.J. Cooper
The Chicago native has already made his mark as one of the best players in Ohio history.  He enters his senior year as the program’s all-time leader in assists and needs just one steal to take over that top spot.  Barring injury, he should also move into the top four on the Bobcats’ all-time scoring list and could get to number one in three-pointers.  There’s also a good chance he’ll become the first Bobcat to earn MAC Player of the Year since Gary Trent earned that honor three consecutive years from 1993-95.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/24 vs. Richmond
11/28 at St. Bonaventure
12/5 at Memphis
12/19 at UMass
12/29 at Oklahoma
1-5 vs. Marshall
2/23 vs. TBD (ESPN Bracketbusters)

OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#35 Miami Hurricanes
#36 Purdue Boilermakers
#37 Alabama Crimson Tide
#38 St. Joseph’s Hawks
#39 Murray State Racers
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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