Ohio forward Antonio Campbell doesn't care about the “Ohio vs. Marshall” narrative.
The bout is a big deal for both fanbases: Bobcat fans galvanize over “The Battle of the Bell” matchup — which pits the two schools' football teams during some fall seasons. Campbell said Marshall’s fanbase hates Ohio more than Ohio hates its longtime rival, Miami.
For Campbell, however, Wednesday night is just another game on the Bobcats’ non-conference docket.
Nope, nothing too special for the veteran who’s leading Ohio in points (16.3) and rebounds (9.5) per game.
“It’s another game to me, man," Campbell said. "That’s how I look at it. It’s just another game."
Campbell and company will travel to Huntington, West Virginia, on Wednesday night to take on Marshall in the Cam Henderson Center with a 7 p.m. tipoff.
It’s the second time in two seasons the teams have played, as Ohio (4-0) bested Marshall last year 85-70 inside The Convo.
“It’s an NBA-type system that they run,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said of Marshall’s fast-paced offense.
Marshall (4-1) averages 81 points per game on 45 percent shooting this season.
“You can think you’re good at your seals and rotations, but those guys will challenge those big time,” Phillips added.
Both teams go in to Wednesday's game promising explosive offenses and high volume shooting. Like anything in college basketball, though, who knows how things will actually turn out.
Kenny Kaminski participated in Monday’s practice despite sitting out of Ohio’s win over Tennessee Tech last week because of a shoulder injury. Phillips said Kaminski made real progress during Monday’s practice and is a game-time decision.
Jordan Dartis — Ohio’s third-leading scorer — missed Monday’s practice because of the stomach flu. Campbell said he's confident Dartis will play Wednesday against Marshall.
“I’m almost sure we’ll have JD back for Marshall," Campbell said. "If we don’t, next man up.”
Marshall’s roster hasn’t been fully intact either.
Starting guard Ryan Taylor missed Friday’s 111-70 dismantling at the hand of Ohio State because of a suspension. Thundering Herd coach Dan D’Antoni suspended Taylor after the guard from Indianapolis was ejected and argued with an official Monday against Jackson State, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Taylor is expected to suit up Wednesday night. His return should help bolster a Thundering Herd’s 83rd ranked adjusted offense, according to Ken Pomeroy’s statistics.
“They’re going to put numbers on you,” Phillips said. “They were in the 70s against Ohio State, of course Ohio State scored 110. It’s going to be a revved up possession game. It will be high scoring. We like to push it a little bit, too.”
For context, the Bobcats rank ninth in the Mid-American Conference in points per game (77) after sporting the best offense in the MAC last season. The Bobcats have efficiently shot 3-pointers this year (43-of-95), but a post play component has been missing.
Part of that falls back on Campbell.
Campbell only had six points and 10 rebounds last game against Tennessee Tech, an anomaly for last year’s MAC Player of the Year. He said Monday he wasn’t being aggressive enough in the paint.
“Numbers can be skewed a little bit this time of the year,” Phillips said. “I would certainly think we’re not the 334th worst two-point scoring team in America, but two ways that we score in the paint, primarily, are off screen-and-roll and off a post up. And so, we talked about that (Monday) a little … Anytime you're too one-dimensional in anyway that leads you to problems. So, diversifying how we score is important.”
However, the Bobcats rank first in the conference in scoring defense after holding their previous two opponents to 40 and 33 percent shooting, respectively.
Ohio may need that type of defense again Wednesday against Marshall — even if it isn’t the biggest game on its schedule.