Five on five, Vol. 8

Each week, we ask five of our sportswriters five questions about Ohio athletics. Their answers may surprise you. This week, we talked to sports editor Alex Hider, contributor Danny Medlock, assistant sports editor Katie Hendershot, football writer Zak Kolesar and hockey writer Josh Yost.

Jon Smith and the Ohio basketball team return to the court this weekend. (Mark Clavin)

Jon Smith and the Ohio basketball team return to the court this weekend. (Mark Clavin)

Basketball plays it’s first game in the Convo on Saturday, an exhibition against Ashland. What are your expectations for the Bobcats this season?

Alex Hider: I don’t think Jim Christian gets enough credit for the work that he’s done in the short time he’s been at Ohio. Having no ties to the program, he came in and convinced a veteran team to play for him. With another year under his belt, the Bobcats’ team chemistry will only improve. However, it will be difficult for Stevie Taylor and Bean Willis to fill the scoring gap left by D.J. Cooper. Ohio will most likely end up with a three or four seed in the MAC Tournament. Don’t worry: we’ve seen Ohio get it done from the three seed before.

Danny Medlock: Rule number one of MAC basketball: Nothing matters till MAC tournament time. Only one team is getting in to the dance and the top two seeds have an immense advantage with triple byes.  I think Akron and Toledo are the two best teams, but that Ohio can compete with both. With almost an entire new core, we’re all unsure of what to expect. I’ll say they finish behind Akron, Kent St. and Buffalo in the MAC East.

Katie Henderhot: The basketball team was picked to finish third in the MAC East in a Mid-American Conference preseason poll. With some key players graduated, we might not see exactly what we have in the past few years, but I still think the Bobcats have potential to do a lot in the MAC.

Zak Kolesar: I’m actually pretty optimistic about this upcoming season because a.) Jon Smith is returning and b.) Ivo Baltic isn’t returning, which means Smith’s offensive game will open up. I’m also really excited about the newly acquired height this offseason, which is why I’m going to the game on Saturday.

Josh Yost: Losing the leaders of this team, I don’t know at all what to expect from this team. They seem bigger than last year, and I think they’re able to be a top team in the MAC, but I’m not sure we’re going to be more than NIT again.

Volleyball swept the Northern Illinois/Western Michigan road trip for the first time since 2007. What were you up to in 2007?

Hider: Six years ago this week, Derek Anderson had led the Browns to a 5-3 record and the Cavaliers were beginning their defense of an Eastern Conference Championship. I thought I’d see one, maybe two championships in a few short months. I was so naive back then.

Medlock: I was finishing up the Harry Potter Series and sending prayers out to Anna Nicole Smith. (R.I.P)

Hendershot: In 2007 I had just started high school and was finishing up my freshman year playing soccer. It doesn’t seem like 2007 was that long ago, but freshman year of high school sure does.

Kolesar: Being a freshman in high school. So pretty much I didn’t exist to 3/4 of the school.

Yost:  That was so long ago, I don’t think I can even remember what I was doing then. It might have been eighth grade, so I might have been playing pokemon and announcing for my middle school football team.

Soccer begins the MAC Tournament next week. How do you expect them to finish?

Hider: A few weeks ago, Ohio didn’t just drop a crucial game to Eastern Michigan: They were embarrassed on their home field. Now, they have to travel to Ypsilanti to keep their season alive. I think it’s one and done for the Bobcats.

Medlock: Well. (Editor’s note: You’re fired.)

Hendershot:  I’ m happy with what the soccer team has accomplished this season. I expect to see them finish somewhere in the middle of the pack in the tournaments. They’ve proved that they can play pretty well when it comes down to it.

Kolesar: The end to the women’s soccer season wasn’t a great momentum builder heading into postseason play, and it all started with a 3-0 loss to Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are the Bobcats’ first opponent in the MAC tournament, so I’m predicting an early exit.

Yost:  I expect them to do well. Since I’m all about irrational confidence, I think they could go out and win the tournament. Why not us, right?

Football played it’s last Saturday game of the year last week. Are you ready for Tuesday night #MACtion?

Hider: I love the national spotlight for MAC programs. The conference has done well for itself to exploit the niche of mid-week match ups. Is it good football? Hell no. But that’s part of the charm, right?

Medlock: There is nothing I like more than watching Ohio play football on ESPN less than a mile away from Peden. #TeamCouch

Hendershot: I will always prefer Saturday games over weekday games because of studying, but end-of-the-season weeknight games always seem to have a special, exciting atmosphere to them.

Kolesar: What a horrible day for football, but at least all eyes will be on us (if you’re a fan of ESPN2). The first of these games — Ohio at Buffalo — happens to be a potential for “Best MAC Game of the Year.”

Yost: I am definitely ready for anything that gets the MAC more publicity. It’s going to be strange to play football mid-week when it’s so structured: Friday is high school, Saturday is college, Sunday is professional. But it’s still exciting.

What is your favorite candy bar to get on Halloween?

Hider: It all depends on my mood. From year to year, it’ll rotate between Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, and Reese’s Cup. Just don’t be handing out candy corn. What the hell is that shit, anyway?

Medlock: Any candy that’s not from Dad, Diego and Adult Ruth.

Hendershot: My favorite candy bar to get on Halloween is definitely Kit-Kats.

Kolesar: Definitely Reese’s. I don’t eat candy very much anymore though because I’m a poor kid without swipes (writer’s with swipes take note).

Yost:  My favorite candy is Snickers, so I have to go with that. Anyone handing out full bars gets bonus points no matter the candy though.


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