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Game 26: at Ohio (13-13, 6-6)

Since Jerome Tillman's 35 point outburst in Oxford, the Bobcats have struggled, losing 7 of their last 11, including 3 of their last 4.  However, only one of those losses has been at the Convo where OU will look to put up their last stand during their last homestand of the year.  OU ranks in the top 4 in every major offensive category, including 1st in 3 point shooting, foul shooting, and assists.  But the defense has slacked off a little with the Bobcats in the bottom 4 in the league in points per game allowed, field goal percentage defense, and rebounding.  Both teams are desperate for a win that will give them some momentum for the rest of the year.  This game should be even more hotly contested than the usual Miami/OU affair.

Probable Starters (Conference Statistics)

Michael Allen, 6' 180 Sr.  8 pts, 5 ass.  41% FG, 41% 3PFG, 74% FT.  1st meeting:  8 pts, 5 ass, 3 turnovers, 3/6 FG, 2/3 from 3.

Steven Coleman, 6'4" 200 Fr.  8 pts, 2 ass.  49% FG, 42% 3PFG, 59% FT.  1st meeting:  7 pts, 4 ass, 2 turnovers, 2/5 FG, 1/2 from 3.

Tommy Freeman, 6'5" 180 So.  9 pts, 3 reb.  46% FG, 44% 3PFG, 90% FT.  1st meeting:  7 pts, 3 ass.  2/5 FG, 1/3 from 3.

Jerome Tillman, 6'6" 235 Sr.  18 pts, 7 reb.  49% FG, 31% 3PFG, 72% FT.  1st meeting:  35 pts, 7 reb.  13/18 FG, 4/7 from 3, 5/7 FT.

DeVaughn Washington, 6'7" 215 So.  7 pts, 5 reb.  42% FG, 74% FT.  1st meeting:  2 pts, 1 reb.  1/4 FG

Off the Bench

Justin Orr, 6'6" 205 Sr.  9 pts, 4 reb.  36% FG, 36% 3PFG, 75% FT.  1st meeting:  3 pts, 5 reb, 3 turnovers, 1/7 FG, 1/4 from 3.

Kenneth van Kempen, 6'10" 265 Jr.  4 pts, 3 reb.  55% FG, 75% FT.  1st meeting:  4 pts, 3 reb, 2 ass.  2/5 FG.

Frankie Dobbs, 6'3" 185 Fr.  2 pts, 1 ass.  25% FG, 33% 3PFG, 79% FT.  1st meeting:  Played 4 min. 

I think the gameplan is pretty simple, so it will be outlined in a key point template:

  1. Play with reckless energy and intensity for 40 minutes.  The conference championship and a 1st round bye is on the line, there's no reason why we should come out flat or not ready to play.
  2. Don't give Tillman any easy ones.  We did an ok job on him in the 1st half in Oxford, but what led to the big 2nd half was the 2 or 3 easy ones he was able to convert early in the 2nd half.  If he's going to score 35 again, we have to make him take 30-35 shots.  He will get his points, we can't allow them to be in the form of 2 and 4-footers.
  3. Guard play.  Offensively, we played pretty well in the 1st meeting.  EPo and Soderberg played great offensively.  We need some of that to show up Thursday night.  But what we need more of is defensive intensity.  The way to stop OU is to make this an ugly affair, don't let them get into any kind of offensive rhythm, and that starts by keeping Allen out of the lane as much as possible.  He'll get his assists because Tillman will get his points, but if we can make him be more of a pounder and not a creator, we've got a chance because no dribble penetration means no kick out 3s for Freeman, Orr, and Coleman.
  4. In the 1st meeting, Dierkers may have played the worst game of his career.  We need a 10 point, 10 rebound, 5 assist night out of #2.
  5. Score more points than they do.  No matter how ugly, score more points than they do.

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