Ohio Men’s Basketball: Florida Gulf Coast Preview

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The first road game of the season for Ohio men’s basketball is set for Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla., as the Bobcats take on Florida Gulf Coast.

The Bobcats (1-0, 0-0) are coming off of a 73-47 win in their season opener against Appalachian State. The Eagles (2-0, 0-0) will be playing their third straight game at home after defeating Nova Southeastern and UC Santa Barbara.

After an exhibition game and its home opener, Ohio played their first game away from home this season.

“Everything’s a little bit different,” head coach Saul Phillips said. “This will be as hostile of an environment as you could ask for.”

Javarez “Bean” Willis will return to the court for the Bobcats after facing a one-game suspension for competing in an unsanctioned sporting event. Ohio will be without energizing forward Treg Setty, who is now facing a one-game suspension of his own for the same incident as Willis.

Without Willis in the game with Appalachian State, Ohio freshman Ryan Taylor stepped up in a big way. Taylor led all scorers with 21 points while converting 9 of 13 field goal attempts. Taylor was extremely efficient on the offensive side of the ball, and will be a big contributor if that continues to hold true.

“There isn’t a selfish bone in his body,” Phillips said. “That makes it really possible that this won’t affect him in the slightest.”

Coming into the game, starting guards Willis and Stevie Taylor are going to have their hands full on the defensive side of the ball. Brett Comer of the Eagles is the Division-I active career assist leader, and has a great feel for distributing the ball.

“Comer is really, really good at passing the basketball,” Phillips said. “He can make [our plan] disappear with one pass across the court that nobody else saw coming.”

Ohio will be looking to continue their perfect start and get a win before coming back to Athens for four-game home stand.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Alico Arena, and can be viewed online on ESPN3.