The Bobcats' nonconference schedule is full of quality wins: New Mexico State, at Maryland, at St. John's, at Bucknell and Miami.
Ohio has close quality losses, too. The Bobcats fell by a combined four points at Temple and Holy Cross.
Still, I am not impressed. Neither is Kyle Whelliston from ESPN.com, who calls Ohio a "pretender." Tim O'Shea's teams -- or maybe the players who comprise it -- are inconsistent. They don't play a whole lot of defense, either.
Still, you have to respect Leon Williams -- whom Keith Dambrot calls one of the best rebounders in Division I. He reminds me of Romeo Travis in many ways. Jerome Tillman and Bubba Walther can score, but from their play is where much of the inconsistency derives. On a more positive note, point guard Michael Allen has a 1.97 assist-to-turnover ratio in his first year since transferring from junior college.
Walther is the main outside threat, although he's shooting only 32 percent from 3-point land. Tillman gets the most shots, although Williams has a much better field goal percentage.
Overall, the Bobcats' main advantages are rebounding and post play.
The Zips have shown they can defend star guards and small forwards. Williams and Tillman present a problem not seen this season. As a result, I think you will see more Mike Bardo and less Quade Milum, whose blocking ability is better against guard-heavy offense. Bardo, on the other hand, has muscle for rebounding and keeping Williams and Tillman out of the deep paint.
O'Shea told the PD's Elton Alexander that he thinks the Zips are better this year than last. The story credits Nick Dials at point guard for that progress.
Ever considered betting on the Zips to win the national championship? The odds are 250-1.
For a refresher on why you should hate Ohio, here is my column from last year.
- 2013 (110)
- 2012 (199)
- 2011 (225)
- 2010 (266)
- 2009 (380)
- 2008 (327)
- 2007 (561)
- 2006 (605)
- 2005 (89)