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MBB Opponent Preview: Ohio University

Sept. 16, 2016

THE FLATS – Ohio University, Georgia Tech’s opponent in its first-ever NCAA Tournament game in 1960, plays the Yellow Jackets for the first time since then, Tech’s third game of the season on Nov. 18 at McCamish Pavilion. This is the third in a series of previews of the Yellow Jackets’ non-conference opponents.

Date: November 18, 2016
Location: Athens, Ohio
Home arena: Convocation Center (13,080)
2015-16 Record: 23-12 overall, 11-7 in MAC (2nd), 86th in NCAA RPI
Post-Season: lost in the semifinals of the CBI to Morehead State, 77-72.
All-time series record: Georgia Tech leads 1-0 (only meeting on 3/11/1960 in NCAA Tournament)
Head coach: Saul Phillips (entering 3rd season, 33-32)
Starters returning/lost: 4/1
Top scorer returning: Antonio Campbell (17.1)
Top rebounder returning: Antonio Campbell (10.2)

Quick preview for 2016-17

Entering the 2016-17 season, the Bobcats return four of five starters, including Antonio Campbell, who ranked fourth in the MAC in scoring (17.1), second in rebounding (10.2) and first in blocked shots (1.8) last season. Coach Saul Phillips also returns Jaaron Simmons who led the MAC with 7.9 assists per game (the next closest was at 5.9) and Jordan Dartis whose 47.9 three-point percentage led the league. Their matchup against Georgia Tech will be their first road game of the season and their only game against a team from a Power-5 conference.

Quick recap of 2015-16

After a dreadful 10-20 campaign in Coach Phillips inaugural season, Ohio returned to the 20-win plateau for fourth time in its last five seasons with a 23-12 record in 2015-16. The Bobcats won 10 of their final 14 games, including two postseason victories in the CBI before a semifinal loss ended their season. Ohio led the MAC in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point shooting percentage despite the league’s second-worst turnover margin. Four of five starters averaged double figures, led by Antonio Campbell, who averaged a double-double (17.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg).

Greatest program accomplishment

1964 Elite Eight — The Ohio Bobcats have made the NCAA Tournament 13 times, but only once have they reached a regional final. In 1964 the `Cats turned in the greatest postseason run in school history at the expense of the Bluegrass State. After a thrilling overtime win against Toledo clinched the MAC title and automatic berth, Ohio faced Louisville. The Green and White pulled out another one in overtime by a 71-69 margin for the program’s second NCAA tournament victory. Only days later, Ohio shocked the country with an 85-69 drubbing of Adolph Rupp’s fourth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. After the game Rupp famously declared, “There is no defense designed that I am aware of to beat a fired-up team like Ohio. They did everything too well.” Although Ohio fell one game shy of the Final Four after losing to Michigan, 69-57, the run remains a cherished chapter in Bobcat lore.

Greatest player in program history

D.J. Cooper — The Michigan Wolverines got the best of Ohio back in March of 1964, but almost 50 years later the Bobcats exacted long overdue revenge with the help of Bobcat legend D.J. Cooper. Cooper led the 13th-seeded Bobcats to the Sweet 16 in 2012, sending Michigan and South Florida home early. Individually, Cooper holds school records for career assists (934), steals (327), games started (139) and is fourth all-time in scoring (2,075 points). Cooper is the only player in the history of NCAA Men’s Division-1 Basketball to score over 2,000 points, record at least 900 assists, pull down more than 600 rebounds and surpass 300 steals in a career. A three-time first team All-MAC selection, Cooper was involved in more victories (94) than any other player in school history.

Place to visit on campus or in the city

Stuart’s Opera House — Stuart’s Opera House resides less than 20 miles north of the Bobcat’s home court and boasts more than 100 years of Southeastern Ohio history. Located on the corner of Public Square and East Washington Street, the Opera House was constructed by George Stuart in 1879 after his showboat sank in the canal system of Ohio. Over the past century Stuart’s Opera House has survived both the introduction of film and a destructive fire to become the premier performing arts center in the region.


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