In the last three seasons, the Ohio Bobcats (6-1) have become no stranger to the national spotlight.
In the past few seasons, Ohio has beating teams like Georgetown, Michigan and South Florida as well as almost knocked off national powerhouses Louisville and North Carolina. Tonight, the Bobcats will be ready to encounter their biggest challenge of the season so far taking on the Memphis Tigers.
Ohio looks to bounce back after dropping their first game of the season to Robert Morris on Saturday night.
Defense has been Ohio’s primary strength this season, but Robert Morris was able to exploit Ohio’s stingy defense. The Bobcats came into that contest with the Colonials averaging 76.0 points per game while holding opponents to 54.7 points per game. Even though Ohio was able to score 76 points in their first road test, Karvel Anderson and Velton Jones were able to combine for 40 points to send the ‘Cats back to the drawing board looking for answers after an 84-76 loss.
Ohio will need to play the type of defense that led them to their first 6-0 start in 43 years to have any chance at upsetting the Tigers. They will need to make sure Memphis does not get the
open looks that Robert Morris saw last Saturday night.
The Bobcats will also need to avoid another slow start. Early in the first half against the Colonials, the Bobcats were down by as much as 19 points. Ohio, a notoriously strong second half team, needs to keep the game close in the first half to avoid a two-game losing streak.
Lastly, the ‘Cats will need to get scoring from everybody. Stevie Taylor scored 11 points off the bench against Robert Morris, but other role players, namely; Reggie Keely, T.J. Hall and Travis Wilkins will all need to contribute points alongside D.J. Cooper, Walter Offutt and Ivo Baltic to keep Memphis on its heels.
Memphis comes into the game with a 4-2 record and finished a dismal seventh place in the eight-team Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Memphis dropped games to VCU and Minnesota but the Tigers are feeling pretty good about themselves after thrashing Tennessee-Martin, 93-65.
Sophomore forward Adonis Thomas leads Memphis with 12.5 points per game and also averages 4.5 rebounds per game. Forward Tarik Black, guard Joe Jackson and guard Chris Crawford all average a shade over 10 points per game for the Tigers. Forward Shaq Goodwin leads the team with 5.3 rebounds per game, and is the player pictured with Nerlens Noel on the front page.