Ohio Men’s Basketball Finalizes Roster

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The pieces are officially in place for new head coach Jim Christian and the 2012-2013 Ohio men’s basketball team.

Four new Bobcats join the squad, which is coming off the heels of one of the finest seasons in program history. The ‘Cats defeated Akron to capture the Mid-American Conference title and knocked off Michigan and South Florida in the NCAA tournament to advance to the Sweet 16.

Redshirt sophomore forward Kadeem Green (via Missouri), sophomore forward Treg Setty (via Southern Illinois), junior guard Travis Wilkins (via Snow College) and junior guard Javarez “Bean” Willis (via Texas Tech) comprise Ohio’s new additions.

Wilkins is the only transfer currently eligible to play in the upcoming season. The 23-year-old sharpshooter last played ball at Snow College in Utah, where he averaged 17.2 points per game, shot 48 percent from the field and racked up NJCAA D-I 3rd team All-America honors this past season. Wilkins initially planned on transferring to Southern Illinois to play for the Salukis, but de-committed and maintained his eligibility upon learning of the firing of SIU’s head coach, Chris Lowery.

Green represents the final player brought to Athens during the John Groce era.  The 6’8”, 210-pound power forward joined the ‘Cats in the spring after leaving the University of Missouri. The Toronto native averaged 3.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 10.5 minutes played in 11 appearances for the Tigers last season. He also shot an impressive 71 percent from the floor. Green and the ‘Cats are still waiting on an NCAA ruling determining if and when he can play for the Green and White this season.

Willis and Setty were announced as Ohio basketball’s newest members on Monday. Willis brings with him impressive numbers from Texas Tech of the Big 12, where he finished second on the team in assists and fourth in scoring. He displayed a proven ability to put points on the board, leading the Red Raiders in scoring against the likes of Baylor, Wake Forest, Oklahoma and NCAA national runner-up Kansas last season.  The Homer, Louisiana native scored a career-high 21 points in a 65-47 win over the Sooners in Lubbock. He is the nephew of NBA Hall of Fame-member Karl Malone. Setty, meanwhile, played in all 31 games for Southern Illinois in 2011-2012, starting 10 of those games. The 6’9”, 200-pound forward netted a career-high 20 points against Illinois State. Because Willis and Setty were members of their respective teams for all of last season, both players must sit out for the entirety of this season.

The addition of four players equals the subtraction of a pair of Bobcat big men. Forward TyQuane Goard and center Ethan Jacobs confirmed on their Twitter accounts that they have parted ways with Ohio. “I will be taking my talents to the east coast #ColgateU,” tweeted Jacobs, referring to the Colgate Raiders of the Patriot League. Goard, meanwhile, shot down rumors that he will also be transferring to a D-I school by tweeting that he will suit up for Kilgore College, a juco program in Texas.

That leaves 12 returnees for the Bobcats, since Ohio did not lose any players to graduation. The ‘Cats will be singing a different tune a year from now, however, as four of their top five leading scorers heading into the season are seniors.

Plenty of fresh faces will join first-year head coach Jim Christian on the coaching staff. The former Kent State and TCU head coach named Bill Wuczynski, Anthony Stewart and Aaron Fuss as his assistant coaches and Chip Cunningham as the director of basketball operations. Fuss, a member of the Ohio coaching staff since 2009, was promoted to assistant coach in the spring. Former Xavier guard Dante Jackson will maintain his position as a graduate assistant.