Posts Tagged ‘ohio’

No OU Band in Cleveland Today

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

The Ohio band was noticeably absent from Thursday's MAC Tournament Quarterfinal game against BG.

The Ohio band was noticeably absent from Thursday's MAC Tournament Quarterfinal game against BG.

Alright, time for me to take off my MAC hat, and put on my OU Alum hat for 5 minutes…

The Ohio University Band is always one of the bright spots of the week in Cleveland. They always sound superb and are very entertaining. They (along with the OU dance team who are also great at what they do) are often the talk of press row and the staff here at the Q who is here for about 10 hours of 4 games, and 8 sets of cheerleaders, dance teams and bands.

Ohio University’s band won’t be here today, or for any of the tournament. Apparently this decision was made due to a midseason budget cut and OU President Roderick McDavis’s refusal to cover the expenses of the band. I realize that the economy is in bad shape and that businesses, universities, and organizations across the country are tightening the belt wherever possible. Still, this really isn’t acceptable for a couple of reasons.

The OU band does a fantastic job representing the university. As I already mentioned, they get a lot of good buzz from the everyone at the Q for these games. The old saying is, “You can’t put a price on good publicity.” Really that’s not true. I work in marketing and I can tell you that you can put a price on good pub, because it’s my (real) job to measure that type of stuff. If OU’s band being here sways 1 or 2 young instrument players who might be in the crowd today to attend Ohio University does that outweigh the cost of getting the band up here for the university? I say it does.

It’s really unfair to the students in the band who work their butts off supporting the team, representing the university, and entertaining crowds to have this trip pulled on them with 24 hours notice. Not only do they deserve to travel to Cleveland to root for the team that they’ve been supporting all season, but if this decision was made at the beginning of the year, maybe students could have raised the money to make the trip, much like the OU Dance Team did.

It takes away from the game atmosphere to not have the band here. On Tuesday no bands made the trip to Cleveland and according to my counterparts the atmosphere in the Q really lacked. During the first game when the Ball State band was rocking out (they were very good) it was noticable, and enjoyable. A smattering of early quotes that I’ve heard from others on press row who are OU alums and those in the MAC office include, “It’s pathetic,” “Unacceptable,” and “Furious.”

Really, it is pathetic that President McDavis wouldn’t cough up the funds to get the band to Cleveland, and if I run into him at any Bobcat pregame festivities in Cleveland you can be sure that I’ll tell him exactly that. He can add this notch to his belt when he’s counting the reasons why he has been a less than successful President during his almost 5 year tenure at OU.

Dan Whitmyer is the head basketball writer at VanDelay Sports (and a proud Ohio University grad). He can be reached at dwhit@vandelay-sports.com

MAC Basketball Tournament - #4 Ohio vs #5 Miami

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

VanDelay Sports is sitting on press row for the MAC Basketball Tournament this week, so since it’s Thursday and most people are stuck in work we’ll be running live diaries during the games. We’ll be updating this at most of the media time outs. Hopefully this will be somewhat entertaining and informative for those who care.

Pregame - OU won handily early in the season in Athens. Miami smoked the Bobcats 10 days ago in Oxford. What’s gonna happen tonight? I have no idea. Ohio cannot settle for jumpers and has to work the ball inside to Leon Williams early and often. On the other hand I think Miami would be smart to run their offense through Tim Pollitz as much as possible to start. If he can make some shots/pick up some fouls on Leon that would be great for the RedHawks, and if not he’s a great passer and the offense usually flows pretty well through his hands.

Wow. OU’s band is good. OU’s band is loud. I like it.

18:35 - Tillman with 5 quick points (FT pending) and the Bobcats are up 7-1. Though Leon Williams already has a foul…

15:43 - Ohio up 10-6 early. Bramos is keeping this one close by himself with 5 early points. A hungry Jerome Tillman is a good Jerome Tillman for OU, and Tillman looks hungry.

10:19 - Tied at 16. After going down 10-1 early Miami settles down and scores 13 in a row as OU misses some open jumpers and Williams has trouble finishing on a couple of open looks inside. If I’m Tim O’Shea, I’m already considering giving Devon Washington Kenneth Van Kempen’s minutes spelling Williams. KVK looks completely overmatched in every facet of the game right now.

7:01 - Tied at 22, this is a fast paced game for Miami, usually they like to have the score in the 20’s at the half. OU beginning to establish Williams in the post. He’ll be at the line when we come back.

3:03 - 31-30 Miami’s lead. Bubba with a realllllly long 3, Bramos is hitting just about everything that he tosses up. This is a really good game.

0:38 - Miami player touches the ball on the cylinder… refs miss it. RedHawks up 39-35. Can Miami really score 40 in a half? Bramos is coming back in, so if he gets the ball on this possession I’m thinking so…

Halftime - 39-35 Miami leads at the half. Can Miami score 70+ to win this? I said last night that I thought Coach Henderson plays at a slightly quicker pace than Coach Coles, and I think that’s coming true. Bramos was hot early with 12, Winbush surprisingly came up really big for the RedHawks adding 10 points as well. It’s the big guys doing it for OU, Tillman with 11 and Leon with 9. After coming up really short on the boards against Buffalo last night, Miami is leading 20-10 in that category. This game’s going to come down to the wire.

15:37 - OU hits a couple of 3’s before Bramos hits another running 18-footer. Leon splits a pair of FTs and Miami’s up 1, 43-42.

11:26 - Bramos and Williams are carrying their respective teams with Miami up 50-48. Bramos is working really hard on offense and making really difficult shots. Williams has been all over the glass especially on the offensive end where he’s getting the Bobcats some second and third chance points. It’s really early in the tournament, but both these guys are looking good for the All Tourney Team.

7:10 - Miami up 57-53, but what’s crazy is that the RedHawks have committed 7 fouls this half compared to OU’s 1. Two ways to look at this… OU will be in the bonus which could mean free points, or when this foul differential closes up (if it does) it could spell huge trouble for Ohio.

6:06 - Ohio has been working a lot harder on the offensive boards this half and thanks to another 2nd attempt they’ve closed the deficit to two, 57-55, though Kenny Hayes will be going to the line for 3 when we get back.

3:39 - 61-56 Miami, RedHawk ball. I can feel this one slipping away for Ohio. They’re pressing like crazy on offense. They’ve gotta go to Leon here.

2:49 - Miami blows about 5 bunnies in a row but keeps working on the o-glass and eventually gets it to fall. 63-56 lead. Leon Williams hits a beautiful falling layup while being fouled… nope, they’re calling it on the floor, that could have been a momentum swing.

1:07 - Dead man walking. Ohio with an intentional foul, EP hits 1 0f 2 and OU sends Miami back to the line. Miami’s up 8 with a FT coming.

Final - Miami moves on, for the second year in a row getting the better of the Bobcats in the quarterfinals. Gotta hand it to Bramos who went off for the second game in a row. Also, really nice contribution from Tyler Dierkers who was all over the boards for the RedHawks. Should be some interesting games tomorrow night. More to come tomorrow…

Bobcats Blow It In BG

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

This has the makings of another frustrating season for Ohio Bobcat fans. OU had put together a very solid OOC performance this season. Unfortunately they followed it up with a loss in the MAC season opener to a below-average Bowling Green team. A team of Ohio’s caliber should not be dropping games to a team ranked 270 in the RPI. I’m aware that Anderson Arena is a tough venue to play in, but the problems that this Ohio team has displayed executing on the road during the Tim O’Shea tenure have become epidemic.

The Bobcats turned the ball over 20 times. They shot 5-22 (22.7%) from 3-pt range (why they’re launching 3 after 3 when they’re that cold from long distance, I don’t know). They only got to the FT line 9 times as opposed to BG’s 22 free throws. Look at the bottom line, the Bobcats only scored 49 points against Bowling Green, a team that has lost to DI bottom feeders Furman and Northern Colorado already this season. Not good.

What’s more is Tim O’Shea’s continuing inability to get his young players on-court experience. As seasons go on O’Shea usually tightens up his rotation to only go 8-deep. The Bobcats have depth this season. Tommy Freeman and DeVaughn Washington are both good young players, but if they can’t get any on-court time, this is going to be a wasted year in their development.  Freeman and Washington are averaging less than 3 and 1 minutes respectively over the past 7 games, and the only reason that Freeman’s is that high is because he logged 13 minutes in the blowout against Kansas.

You’re telling me that Bubba Walther needs to play 31 minutes against BG while shooting 5-14 and turning the ball over 4 times? Three of those minutes couldn’t have gone to Freeman? Take an additional 2 from Allen Hester, and there’s 5 minutes for Freeman. Is Leon Williams really at his most effective when playing 35 minutes like he did against Bowling Green? I’m not saying that Freeman or Washington need to be key cogs in the rotation, but it really shouldn’t be that difficult to get them 5-8 minutes apiece.

My complaints about the rotation are beside the point for today though. Today all but puts the nail in the coffin of Ohio’s NCAA Tournament at-large hopes. Ohio’s execution needs to get much better, especially on the road, or they’re going to end up with a 9-7 MAC record and a 5-seed in the Tournament. Tim O’Shea definitely has some problems to solve with this team. He now has the rest of the MAC regular season to see if he can do it.

Dan Whitmyer is the head basketball writer at VanDelay Sports. He can be reached at dwhit@vandelay-sports.com

MAC Conference Play Preview - Ohio

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

This is a continuing feature where VanDelay Sports will post capsules on each team focusing on what we’ve seen so far, and what to expect through the rest of the season.

Ohio Bobcats

What We’ve Seen So Far
The Bobcats had some solid wins in the OOC season over Cornell, Maryland, and St. Johns. Unfortunately they also showed a frustrating tendency to play down to their competition, keeping almost every team they played in games late. This killed Ohio twice on the road against Holy Cross and Temple, two games that could have been marquee wins that the Bobcats instead lost on buzzer beaters.

Ohio likely has the most talented front-court in the league with Jerome Tillman and certain league POV-candidate Leon Williams. Can Williams and Tillman carry the Bobcats in a historically guard dominated league? That’s going to be the question.

What to Watch
Backcourt and Depth

We covered the Bobcats powerful frontcourt, but their backcourt is a concern. Michael Allen and Bert Whittington IV are the newcomers at the PG position. Both have been able to get the ball inside to Williams and Tillman, and both have shown flashes, but neither have shown a consistent improvement yet. The Bobcats can survive with Allen and Whittington just playing competently, but they’ll need more production out of Justin Orr and Bubba Walther. Both Orr and Walther are talented, and either one could go off for 25 points in a game, but neither wing player has been consistent this season.

The other concern on this Bobcats team is depth. It seems like the Bobcats do have some depth on this team, but Tim O’Shea has a tendency to only go about 8-deep as each season wears on. Lately that means that freshmen Tommy Freeman and DeVaughn Washington are getting very little playing time. Both Freeman and Washington can play, but they need to get off the bench and into games to develop. If O’Shea can’t find 5-10 minutes a game for each of those guys he could see his team’s chances fizzle out again in the MAC Tournament as the minutes add up and his team’s legs wear down.

Outlook
Leon Williams and Jerome Tillman give this team a puncher’s chance to win the conference. But the Bobcats will need a solid effort at the PG position and they’ll need Walther to be more consistent with his shooting, and for Orr to find his mojo creating and scoring. Defense and depth are additional major concerns. Right now Ohio looks like a solid team, but solid in the MAC East this year may not be enough with Akron, Kent State, Miami, Ohio, and the eventual West Division winner all fighting for byes in the first round of the MAC Tournament.

Dan Whitmyer is the head basketball writer at VanDelay Sports. He can be reached at dwhit@vandelay-sports.com

Bobcats beat Maryland

Friday, December 14th, 2007

On the strength of a 20-point performance by Jerome Tillman and a 15-point, 15-rebound performance by Leon Williams, the Ohio Bobcats knocked off the Maryland Terps 61-55.

The Bobcats led 48-31 with just over 11 minutes to play, and withstood a strong Maryland comeback that pulled the deficit to just three with only 51 seconds remaining.

This was an impressive road win for the Bobcats. Maryland had not lost a home non-conference game in 5 years. Since he took over the program, Gary Williams was 131-3 in home non-conference games. Coming into the game, Maryland had been 10-0 vs the MAC.

The MAC East is shaping up to be a very tough division this year as Miami, Kent, and Ohio have all looked very impressive against some tough out-of-conference competition. As we get closer to the start of conference play, VanDelay will be taking a closer look at how each team has performed so far this season, and what we expect going forward.