Ohio Men's Basketball 2012 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Ohio Bobcats
Mid-American Conference (27-7, 11-5)

Ohio has played very well at home this season. They even have some quality road wins, but have been extremely inconsistent away from Athens. They have beaten quality opponents like Marshall, Northern Iowa and Buffalo on the road, but then go and lose to Toledo and Eastern Michigan. But this is March and everything changes.

Big Wins: 11/30 at Marshall (70-68), 12/20 at Northern Iowa (76-59), 2/22 at Buffalo (88-77)
Bad Losses: 1/2 Robert Morris (67-70), 2/8 at Toledo (73-77), 2/11 at Eastern Michigan (55-68)
Coach: John Groce (4 seasons at Ohio)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Bobcats have a couple superstars on the perimeter in point guard D.J. Cooper and wing Walter Offutt. Cooper is a great passer and defender and also leads the team in scoring. Cooper is very effective around the basket, but he tends to take a few too many three-pointers. There are certainly better shooters on this team, like fellow starting guard Nick Kellogg, who hits on over 40 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. It is very nice for this offense to have a point guard who is a threat to shoot, but Cooper does need to stay aggressive and attack the basket. Offutt is the other big-time scorer for the Bobcats. Offutt is not as good at attacking the basket as Cooper, nor is he as consistent from long range as Kellogg, but he can do both relatively well. Offutt can explode for 20 or more points on any given night and it helps when Cooper is being effective driving and dishing and Kellogg knocks down some three-pointers.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The frontcourt is not bad, but they do lack a great shot blocker and rebounder who can nab everything that comes his way. Ivo Baltic is an experienced junior who can score in the paint and face up and knock down the mid-range jumper. Reggie Keely is the more traditional big man and has developed into a fine scorer in the paint. Unfortunately, Keely is not the strongest rebounder around and he is not much of a shot blocker. That, along with his knack for picking up fouls, usually leaves Keely coming in off of the bench. Sophomore Jon Smith will get the starting nod. The transfer from Saint Louis is not a bruiser under the basket like Keely, but Smith is a great athlete who can get up and block some shots and grab some rebounds and that is what the Bobcats need in the paint. Smith is a great asset defensively and Baltic and Keely can get the job done on the other end of the floor, but the Bobcats will consistently get outrebounded and they will not be able to afford to give up second chance points in March.

Probable Starters:
D.J. Cooper, Junior, Guard, 14.6 ppg, 5.7 apg, 2.4 spg
Nick Kellogg, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 ppg, 1.1 apg
Walter Offutt, Junior, Guard, 11.7 ppg, 1.7 apg
Jon Smith, Sophomore, Forward, 3.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Ivo Baltic, Junior, Forward, 9.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
T.J. Hall, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Reggie Keely, Junior, Forward, 9.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Ricardo Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Stevie Taylor, Freshman, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 1.1 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.9 (104th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.2 (58, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (200, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.9 (70, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (81, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.2 (210, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.9 (181, 7)
Rebound Margin: 0.3 (180, 7)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (142, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (182, 5)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Ohio    2011    CIT           First Round win over Marshall
Ohio    2011    CIT           Second Round loss to East Tennessee State
Ohio    2010    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Georgetown
Ohio    2010    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Tennessee
Ohio    2008    CBI           First Round win over Brown
Ohio    2008    CBI           Second Round loss to Bradley
Ohio    2005    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Florida
Ohio    1995    NIT           First round win over George Washington
Ohio    1995    NIT           Second round loss to Iowa

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules