Ohio Basketball, Jordan Dartis, Lunden McDay
Lunden McDay (left) and Jordan Dartis (right) played major roles in Ohio’s 73-49 win over Capital. Photo: Ben Wielgopolski WOUB Visuals

Ohio Bobcats film room: Ohio impresses in victory over Capital

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The Ohio Bobcats men’s basketball team defeated the Capital Crusaders 73–49 in the Convocation Center.

A few players stood out for the Bobcats in the victory, with four players currently injured, those that were healthy got plenty of playing time.

Freshman Lunden McDay stole the spotlight after receiving the starting nod from new head coach Jeff Boals. McDay plays like a savy veteran, with smart positioning and cutting to find easy layups.

On the first play he catches his defender napping before making a cut for an easy layup. On the second play he sees the open space in the paint and makes himself available to receive a pass from Jordan Dartis. Then, McDay fills into the lane to crash the offensive glass and score. Finally, he leaks out in transition after a steal and gets the easy finish.

Note: All Game footage was acquired via Ohio Athletics/Ohio men’s basketball

McDay was hesistant to shoot the ball from the outside in this game. The guard shot 43.1 percent from 3-point range in his senior year of high school at STVM in Akron. I would like to see him be more confident with letting it fly when he’s left open. McDay did take two 3-point attempts, but his second try was after passing up an open attempt earlier in the possession. Against more athletic defensive teams he won’t have that much time. He also took two contested mid-range shots, those aren’t typically high value shots with time left on the shot-clock.

On the defensive side of the basketball McDay was a pest all game, giving Capital offensive players fits. It’s his defense that will get McDay playing time early in his Bobcats career and he showed exactly why on Saturday. Bobcat fans should pay attention to McDay on the defensive side of the basketball, because he gives tremendous effort and has great defensive instincts on and off ball.

Senior Jordan Dartis also returned to live action for the first time since March of 2018. He shot only 2–12 from 3-point range against Capital. Bobcat fans shouldn’t be too worried about these struggles continuing as Dartis is one of the top 3-point shooters in MAC history and seemed to be adjusting to the pace of the game. Here are all of his attempts and the one 3-point shot that he was fouled on. I’m expecting Dartis to quickly find his shooting stroke in the game during his senior season as soon as he gains his conditioning back.

Dartis is invaluable to this young Bobcats roster as the fifth year senior has already logged 86 starts in his collegiate career. He has a high basketball IQ and showed off his experience throughout the game on the defensive side of the ball. Dartis might be small but he doesn’t allow that to prevent him from making an impact on defense. I also included one offensive play in this video, just showing the court awareness Dartis possesses.

Ohio also returns two members from the All-Freshman team in the MAC last season. Jason Preston and Ben Vander Plas will both be looking to take a major step forward this season, trying to build off successful freshman campaigns.

Preston is looking to develop a jump-shot that was lacking for most of last season. According to synergy Preston ranked in the fifth percentile of all players in the country last season in Catch and Shoot situations in the Half-Court. He also ranked in the seventh percentile in off the dribble jumpers last season for the Bobcats. In the game against Capital he missed badly on both off the dribble 3-pointers, but made his only spot-up try of the game. Also, on the play with a moving screen Preston has no inclination to shoot the basketball. If Preston makes improvements in either area it will open up his driving game even more, as currently defenses have little respect for his outside shot.

Speaking of Preston’s driving game, last season he ranked in the 83rd percentile with runners and was in the 70th percentile around the basket. Looking at his drives going left, it’s clear he’s more confident with the floater/runner shot compared to trying to get all the way to the hoop and finishing with his left hand.

Vander Plas ranked in the 80th percentile around the basket last season and looks even more prolific with his left hand this season. These first two tough finishes show clear growth as a player. Despite the third clip not counting it was still good to see him finish in transition.

Vander Plas also had a very active game on the defensive end of the court. Getting his hands on the basketball often when Capital was in control of the ball. Seeing that sort of effort from the reigning MAC Freshman of the year in an exhibition match was very encouraging to see.

Ohio opens up the 2019–20 regular season on Tuesday November 5th when the Bobcats travel to Saint Bonaventure.