Men’s basketball: Bobcats, Cooper get national notice

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Before a giant mid-major match-up on Tuesday, the Bobcats (and their point guard) were given some national attention.

Ohio (9-1) got three votes in the Associated Press top-25 top be the 40th-ranked team in America.

The Bobcats are off to their best start since the 1969-70 season and the 9-1 start is the fourth-best start in school history, led by point guard D.J. Cooper (14.8 ppg) and a totally reinvented Reggie Keely (10.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg off the bench).

Ohio is also up to 17th in national Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), according to and was 18th in last week's "Mid-Major Top-25" ranking.

Northern Iowa, the Bobcats' next opponent, is third in national RPI and was 11th in the Mid-Major poll last week. The Panthers are also 9-1 out of the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Bobcats and Panthers play in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Cooper named to Cousy Award Watch List

For the second straight year Ohio point guard D.J. Cooper has been named a Bob Cousy Award finalist.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame released its list of 65 finalists on Monday. The award is given to the best point guard in the nation.

Cooper has been a master distributor through 10 games this season. He has 66 assists on the year, which is tied for 11th most in the country, and has also taken care of the basketball with just 28 turnovers on the season. His assist-to-turnover ratio, which is one of the most important statistics for a point guard, is 2.36 per game, good for 46th-best in the nation.

Cooper's season is highlighted by his triple-double performance in Portland on December 10. He recorded 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds against the Pilots for the first triple-double in his Ohio career. The 'Cats point guard is just one of six players to post a triple-double so far this season (all six are guards).  

Number-five also has gotten it done on defense in 2011. He leads the team with 25 steals, which is 19th-most nationally.

This list of 65 candidates will be cut down to 20 by Jan. 1. Those 20 names will be halved to a final 10 by the Feb. 1, and the final five will be selected by March 1.