#73 Ohio Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Ohio Bobcats
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #73
Conference Rank: #2 Mid-American
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At one point Ohio was 7-6 and 3-4 in MAC play. There were lots of starts and stops to the Bobcats season after that, but they kept winning. They fell to Buffalo in what ended up being their regular season finale, but managed to beat Kent State, Toledo and Buffalo to win the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. That was not the end of their winning ways though. The Bobcats pulled off a nice upset in the first round, beating #4 seed Virginia before falling to Creighton in the Round of 32.
2020-21 Record: 17-8, 9-5
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jeff Boals
Coach Record: 34-22 at Ohio, 89-64 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jason Preston, Guard, 15.7 ppg
Rifen Miquel, Forward, 2.9 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Dwight Wilson, Senior, Forward, 14.5 ppg
Ben Vander Plas, Senior, Forward, 12.8 ppg
Ben Roderick, Junior, Forward, 12.4 ppg
Lunden McDay, Junior, Guard, 10.2 ppg
Mark Sears, Sophomore, Guard, 8.5 ppg
Miles Brown, Junior, Guard, 4.6 ppg
Sam Towns, Sophomore, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Colin Granger, Sophomore, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Jason Carter, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Xavier
AJ Clayton, Freshman, Forward
IJ Ezuma, Freshman, Forward
Tommy Schmock, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Finlay
Losing Jason Preston to the Los Angeles Clippers hurts, but Coach Jeff Boals returns four other double-digit scorers. The frontcourt trio of Dwight Wilson, Ben Vander Plas and Ben Roderick will start to take over the headlines. Wilson tallied 14.5 points and a team high 7.5 rebounds. Vander Plas is the big man who can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability. The 6-8 senior also averaged 3.8 assists per game. Roderick is a 6-5 small forward who is dangerous when it comes to shooting the ball and attacking the basket. Lunden McDay added 10.2 points from his shooting guard position. While those four double-digit scorers are very important, it is the play of sophomore Mark Sears that could make the biggest difference for Ohio this year. He tallied 8.5 points and 3.3 assists in less than 20 minutes per game last season and now will be asked to take over the point guard duties from Preston. Obviously, he does not need to be the next Preston, but Sears will need to take care of the ball and set up his teammates. The Bobcats also welcome back Jason Carter, who spent three seasons with the Bobcats before spending the last two with Xavier. During his last year with Ohio in 2018-2019, Carter averaged 16.5 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.2 (29th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.6 (237, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.9 (23, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (202, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.4 (73, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.2 (105, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.3 (192, 8)
Rebound Margin: 1.7 (133, 4)
Assists Per Game: 17.4 (9, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (91, 5)