Ohio Men's Basketball 2013 NIT Tournament Capsule

Ohio Bobcats
Mid-American (24-9, 14-2)


With five starters returning to a Sweet Sixteen squad, Ohio had plenty of high expectations heading into the 2012-2013 campaign. And, for the most part, the Bobcats lived up to those expectations. Akron got in the way of a MAC title, but this is a team that can be just as dangerous this March as they were last March.

Big Wins: 11/24 Richmond (73-48), 1/12 at Western Michigan (61-59), 1/26 at Kent State (69-68),
Bad Losses: 12/01 at Robert Morris (76-84), 12/15 Winthrop (49-50), 2/27 Akron (81-88)
Coach: Jim Christian (1 season at Ohio)

Why They Can Surprise:
In a backcourt heavy conference, Coach Jim Christian has the best backcourt in the league. It all starts with D.J. Cooper. The senior point guard is among the nation’s leaders in assists with 7.2 assists per contest. Cooper is also the team’s best scorer. He is a consistent outside shooter and a great defender, but his ability to set up his teammates is what makes Cooper so special. Walter Offutt and Nick Kellogg are often the beneficiaries of Cooper’s playmaking skills. Offutt is a dynamic scorer who can knock down the long ball or use his 6-4, 202 pound frame to get to the basket. Kellogg is mostly a pure shooter, but he can put up points in a hurry when his shot is falling. Ricardo Johnson and Travis Wilkins supply most of the depth on the perimeter and, like the starting three, they are experienced upperclassmen.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The frontcourt has a couple proven scorers with Reggie Keely and Ivo Baltic. Keely is the more traditional interior scorer, while Baltic can step outside and knock down the long ball. With both standing at 6-9, Ohio does have some size on the roster. However, neither are particularly strong rebounders and the Bobcats consistently lose the battle on the glass. They can make up for it by creating turnovers, but this is a team that cannot afford to lose possessions during the tournament. T.J. Hall and Jon Smith have earned a handful of starts throughout the season, but they are not big post players. Hall is developing into a decent slasher and Smith is a great athlete who plays much, much bigger than his 6-6 frame. Yet, neither is capable of defending a true post player. With Smith’s ability to block shots from the weakside and come in and grab a few rebounds, he could be a wildcard for the Bobcats this year.

Probable Starters:
D.J. Cooper, Senior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 7.2 apg, 2.1 spg
Nick Kellogg, Junior, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 1.4 apg
Walter Offutt, Senior, Guard, 10.9 ppg, 2.1 apg, 4.2 rpg
Ivo Baltic, Senior, Forward, 7.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Reggie Keely, Senior, Forward, 12.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
T.J. Hall, Junior, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Ricardo Johnson, Junior, Guard, 3.5 ppg, 1.1 apg
Jon Smith, Junior, Forward, 4.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Travis Wilkins, Junior, Guard, 3.3 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.8 (38th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.6 (125, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.1 (25, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (143, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (24, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.1 (104, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.5 (167, 5)
Rebound Margin: -4.5 (314, 11)
Assists Per Game: 17.9 (1, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (122, 2)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Michigan
2012    NCAA    Third Round win over South Florida
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2011    CIT        First Round win over Marshall
2011    CIT        Second Round loss to East Tennessee State
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Georgetown
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Tennessee
2008    CBI        Second Round loss to Bradley
2005    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Florida

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules