Coming off of a thrilling victory against Valparaiso on Sunday, Ohio (2-1) looks to continue their solid start to the 2013-2014 season this Wednesday when they travel to Baltimore to take on Morgan State.
One of the keys to the solid start this season has been the play of junior guard Stevie Taylor, who leads the Bobcats in assists and steals, while averaging 11.7 points per game. Although he has had the tough task of replacing last year’s MAC Player of the Year in D.J. Cooper, he has taken on the challenge and learned a few things from Cooper, as well as Coach Christian.
“I learned (from Cooper) how to play with pace, slowing down in my mind and actually reading plays on the offensive side,” Taylor said. ” I got a lot of learning from Coach Christian as well; he told me what he wanted and that’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since he told me.”
Taylor showed he could play well against some of the top guys in the country when he scored 21 points on Ohio State’s All-American point guard Aaron Kraft.
“It does a lot for my confidence, and it does a lot for coach’s confidence that I can play with the best of them,” said Taylor.
One of the guys that Taylor will be matched up against is senior guard Justin Black. So far this season, he is averaging 21 points per game so far this season through three games for the Bears.
“He’s a scorer,” said coach Jim Christian. “The one thing our guys have done, with the exception of the second half (against Valparaiso), we’ve done of pretty good job defensively on (our opponent’s) best player.”
Black has been the lone bright spot of the season for Morgan State, who is 0-3 with losses to Towson, San Diego and Ohio State, who beat Ohio a week ago. Despite their record, they do possess some possible problems inside.
“They’re big and athletic, and what goes hand in hand with that is offensive rebounding, which they do a really good job at,” said senior guard Nick Kellogg. “We have to try and keep them off the glass and limit them to one shot per possession.”
The Bobcats look to counter Morgan State’s length with length of their own, including guys like Jon Smith and newly crowned MAC East Player of the Week, junior forward Maurice Ndour.
“I think we’ll definitely some advantages with our big guys and how quick they are,” said Kellogg.
Tip off for the game is scheduled for this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.