In the following weeks, The Post will analyze the Ohio men’s basketball roster and their potential impact in 2016-17.
This week, The Post will look at forward Antonio Campbell.
Campbell is the most dominant player in the Mid-American Conference.
Last year’s first team All-MAC honors proved it. His 19 double-doubles proved it. His 123.4 offensive rating (second-best in the MAC) proved it too.
A part of his domination was thanks to guard Jaaron Simmons’ passing ability. Simmons garnered 275 assists last season, many going to Campbell peeling away from, or to, the basket after a pick-and-roll.
“None of these awards would be possible without my teammates alongside me,” Campbell said last year after earning AP Honorable Mention All-American. “We have laid a foundation for even bigger things next year."
Now, Campbell just needs to remain the most dominant.
“To put the ball in the hoop in as many ways as he does is a gift,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said last year after Campbell scored 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Eastern Michigan.
Campbell is prepared to face constant double teams and handle the brunt of Ohio’s low-post offense during his last season in Athens.
Simply put: MAC teams know who wears number 33 for the Bobcats after Campbell shredded defenses with his relaxed 3-point jumper and smooth post hooks last winter.
Phillips said Campbell trimmed down a few pounds this offseason to help stamina — a component of Campbell’s game that worried some NBA scouts.
Campbell struggled to stay on the court occasionally last year and led the Bobcats in personal fouls (111) and foul outs (6).
Phillips said Campbell wanted to get his body composition retaken over the offseason. He took NBA scout’s critique of his body to heart.
“He has to get in better shape, but he doesn’t have to get in better shape to necessarily thrive at this level,” Phillips said last week. “He’s already thrived at this level. But he’s got bigger goals than that.”
Campbell’s long term goals are bigger than Athens — that’s evident. But this year, he’ll be the heart of Ohio.