Updated Wed, Nov 7, 2012 3:10 pm
The Ohio men’s basketball team was recently ranked fifth in the preseason CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll. The Bobcats received 569 votes and were the highest ranked team in the Mid-American Conference.
Ohio enters the 2012-13 as the favorites to win the conference. New Head Coach Jim Christian returns all five starters and 12 letterwinners from last year’s 29-win Sweet Sixteen team along with other key additions.
Among the experienced starters is D.J. Cooper, a two-time All-MAC First Team selection. Cooper averaged 14.7 points, 5.7 assists and 2.3 steals last season, while leading the Bobcats far into the NCAA Tournament.
Ohio’s biggest competition in the MAC this season is expected to be Akron. The Zips were ranked 15th in the poll and return four of their five starters. Akron was the MAC Regular Season Champions last year and returns Second Team All-MAC and MAC Defensive Player of the Year Zeke Marshall.
Ohio begins its season against Portland on Saturday at the Convocation Center. The Sweet Sixteen team will be recognized before the tipoff at 2 p.m.