OU is 12-2 against Division 1, 4-0 against the MAC. I haven’t watched everyone in the MAC yet, but they are the best I’ve seen thus far. OU’s won at Akron and at the Convo vs. Kent and BG. Their 2 losses were at Kentucky and LSU, both of which were close until the final 10 minutes. Jeff Boals is in his 3rd year at Athens and this year’s team isn’t too far off from last year. They’ve dropped off offensively, not because of the losses of Jason Preston and Dwight Wilson. They’re not shooting the ball as well. But they’ve picked it up defensively, improving every year thus far. OU isn’t spectacular. However, they don’t beat themselves and are playing solid basketball at both ends.
Offensively, their 2 best players are MAC player of the year candidates: Mark Sears and Jason Carter. Sears has more than filled in for Preston. He isn’t the playmaker that Preston was, but he’s just as good of a shooter (way better free throw shooter) and is a sneaky good rebounder. He’s only 6’1", but he’s strong in the lane and will finish through contact. Carter is back at OU, returning from Xavier. OU likes to isolate Carter in the post or at the top of the key and let him go. When Carter gets the ball, he’s looking to score by driving or backing you down. He’s capable of making 3s, but he’s only making 23% so I would play off and take my chances when he’s at the top of the key. When he drives or goes into the post, doubling or helping puts you at risk of leaving shooters open and OU has plenty. Ben Vander Plas can’t be left open from deep, even though his shooting numbers are down. Vander Plas is another versatile forward, though when he drives, he’s looking to pass more often. Ben Roderick’s shooting numbers are way down. He might be the guy to help off of if Carter is isolated. Tommy Schmock transferred from Division 2 Findlay and has shot the ball well. So has 6’8" freshman AJ Clayton who can catch and shoot from deep and has shown potential to be strong underneath. Miles Brown provides a little more depth at guard and may come back from a COVID close contact.
Defensively, they try to keep everything in front, angling off driving lanes to make you convert tough finishes in the lane. They’re strong on the defensive boards. They’re good at defending the 3. Versatility gives them some problems, especially at the 4 and 5. That’s how Kentucky pulled away from them. Plowden for BG played well. I’m optimistic that Brown and Ayah will be able to produce. If OU doubles the post, which they did against BG, they can be slow to rotate back. They also sometimes switch every pick and roll. Carter is vulnerable defensively against pick and rolls, but we’ll have to be willing to attack and not settle for 3s when this opportunity presents itself.
We’ve lost 4 in a row to OU. Tuesday is another opportunity to beat one of the league’s best, and in this case, the defending champs and preseason favorite. Can we be sharp for 40 minutes?
Sears was a great find. According to 247, he only had offers from UAB and South Alabama coming out of prep school. Went to Hargrove Military Academy, which I believe is where Braxton Beverley went.
Excellent preview, mz. Thank you.
Ohio is only favored by 1. This seems… wrong.
It’s too bad we’re playing this game at home on a Tuesday night during JTerm. The atmosphere in Millett might be a lot like a COVID 2021 game.
Yep, it’s a shame. Especially since the home OU games over the past decade have probably made up the majority of times where we cracked 2K attendance and had a decent atmosphere (e.g. the MAC tourney home game in Owens’ first season). It’s hard to generate excitement for the likes of CMU unless we really get on a roll over the next month.
J-term is a horrendous thing for basketball and hockey. I’m really glad it wasn’t a thing when I was a student.
Agree completely, Phil04. . It basically eats the first third of the in-conference season in both sports!
So much for the Administration even thinking about ICA…clue, they don’t and didn’t.
171 yesterday at the women’s game…
I guess since we’re likely to have less than a 1,000 in the house tonight, does the funereal atmosphere favor Miami? It’s strangely possible.
I’ll say this, the J-term is great as a student. You can study abroad, take another couple of courses, or get an extended break. I was able to take a lighter load for a few semesters and took two courses each J-term. It helped me graduate “on-time” while getting to take classes like Ice Skating (x3) and Viticulture & Enology. And which is more important to focus on for the university: academics or athletics. As much as I think the admin doesn’t support athletics well enough, j-term isn’t the hill I’ll die on for that argument.
I was also a student recently enough to experience J-term and I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t study abroad any year (partially on me for not seeking out a trip, but it would have been tricky to work a trip in that fulfilled any requirements for me). Also as an out of state student, the cost per credit hour for winter/summer classes was 2.5x the instate rate which discouraged taking classes outside of fall/spring semester. Ended up getting bored some time in mid-January and ready to go back.
That said, I agree that increasing athletic attendance isn’t a sufficient reason to get rid of J-term.
Vegas shows OU as a one (1) point favorite tonight against Miami in Oxford…I do not know what the Vegas crowd thinks…and I’m a die-hart Miami fan…but in a close game, I just cannot see Miami prevailing against the Bobcats…Miami tends to have “issues” down the stretch…and the J-term lack of support could be a factor…So, painful as it is, I’ll say OU 74—Miami—68.
I do not bet so this is not influenced by any perceived gambling inclination…Go 'Hawks…
It seems Vegas overvalues home court. I’ll say 76-67 OU.
ICL comes in = 7-0 Ohio run
Jack’s got ‘em ready to play!