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Ohio Opens 2012-13 Season with Portland

Walter Offutt and the Bobcats are ready to get the season going

Nov. 9, 2012

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The Last Meeting
December 10, 2011
Portland, Ore.
Cooper's Triple-Double Leads Ohio Past Portland, 72-54
D.J. Cooper had 14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists for his first career triple-double as Ohio eased to a 72-54 victory over Portland on Saturday evening. The junior also added five steals as the Bobcats improved to 7-1 for the first time since the 1969-70 season.

ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Men's Basketball opens the 2012-13 regular season against Portland on Saturday at 2 p.m. It is the first of six-straight home games for the 'Cats as they try and replicate the success of last year's Sweet 16 run. 

You can hear all the action as Voice of the Bobcats Russ Eisenstein will have the play-by-play call on the People's Bank IMG Ohio Sports Network with Rob Cornelius providing the color commentary.

Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 1:45 p.m., 15 minutes prior to tip, for the unveiling ceremony of Ohio's Sweet 16 banner. Bobcat supporters should arrive early to also be among the first 3,000 people to get a complimentary Sweet 16 commemorative glass.

Another highlight for Dads Weekend is the halftime show as the Marching 110 will perform its first floor show in The Convo in over a decade.

The Green and White return virtually the entire team from last season's run to the Sweet 16 and are picked to capture the MAC once more this year. D.J. Cooper and Walter Offutt were Preseason All-MAC selections and Ivo Baltic earned honorable mention All-MAC honors last season for the 'Cats.

Cooper earned All-MAC First Team honors for a second time last season and was also a Cousy Award Finalist, Lute Olson All-America Team selection, and a NABC Division I All-District 14 Second Team choice. Just this week, he was also named as one of 50 players named to the John R. Wooden Award Watch List.

The Chicago native was named the 2012 MAC Tournament MVP after averaging 19.7 points and 6.7 assists for the Bobcats. He broke the Ohio career mark for assists and needs one more steal to hold the Bobcat career mark in that category.

Offutt earned a spot on the NCAA Midwest Region All-Tournament Team after a 26-point outburst against No. 1 North Carolina in the Sweet 16. He averaged 19.3 points while shooting 61.8 percent from the field and 58.8 (10-of-17) percent from beyond the arc in three NCAA Tournament games.

Baltic finished among the top 15 in the league in field goal percentage and the top 20 in rebounding, leading the Bobcats. He will be joined once more in the front court by Reggie Keely and Jon Smith.

Keely closed last year ranked among the top 10 in the league in field goal percentage at .510. He also finished fifth in the MAC with 82 offensive rebounds. Smith started all but one game for the 'Cats, leading the team in blocks, fourth in the MAC.

In the backcourt, Nick Kellogg returns for Ohio after finishing second in the league in three-pointers made with 85. He also placed fourth in the MAC in three-point field goal percentage (.427). Stevie Taylor played in every game for Ohio last season and will be Cooper's understudy at the point. Upperclassmen David McKinley and Nick Goff bring leadership and depth to the position.

On the wing, T.J. Hall and Ricardo Johnson are back as juniors for the Green and White. Hall came up big for Ohio down the stretch last season, including a 13-point performance in the MAC semifinal win over Buffalo. Johnson remains one of Ohio's best defenders and will once again, be a valuable contributor for the Bobcats.

Ohio has added Kadeem Green, a transfer from Missouri, and Travis Wilkins, a transfer from Snow College for this season. Green will provide depth in the post for the Bobcats while Wilkins will provide them with another long-range threat.