That’s the number of games left in the regular season for Ohio and its senior class. A senior class that made it to Cleveland for the Mid-American Conference Tournament in its freshman and sophomore years may not make it past the first round for the second-straight year.
Coach Saul Phillips will soon graduate his first full recruiting class without much to show for. Sure, Doug Taylor had a strong 12-point game and Gavin Block knocked down a few 3s, but neither did enough .
Ohio will say goodbye to this senior class by month’s end. What’s to show for its lasting impact?
In Tuesday night’s loss at Kent State, the Bobcats couldn’t build off their overtime upset of Bowling Green. Jason Carter did all he could do in the post, and Jason Preston played the best game of his career.
Still, what pushed the Golden Flashes past the Bobcats was their experienced backcourt. While Ohio had the veteran frontcourt, there wasn’t much to show for. In the final five minutes of the game, Taylor didn’t attempt a shot or pull down a rebound, and Block didn’t touch the court.
Ohio’s a young team and without scorers James Gollon and Jordan Dartis for the season. But when the Bobcats needed seniority to lean on, it was absent for them.
“The seniors came up and made some big plays,” Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said of his team.
With Kent State logos behind him, Saul Phillips sat in his press conference answering questions that seem dull at this point. The Bobcats have won just three of their last 10 games and haven’t won a road game since Jan. 12.
Ohio’s won two all season.
Tuesday night was a disappointment after Ohio’s season-defining overtime win Friday against Bowling Green. Maybe it was far-fetched to think the Bobcats would win back-to-back games for the first time since early January.
Phillips was annoyed when asked about time running out on this season and opportunity for his senior class.
“Little dramatic, aren’t we?” he said. “It’s frustrating losing, period. That’s it. Let’s not get Shakespearean on anybody here. We’ll be fine. They certainly keep showing up.”
The Bobcats’ seniors will continue to show up — they’ve come too far to not show up.
There’s no questions that Block and Taylor still have the goal of making a run into late march, but there’s the question of that actually materializing. The Bobcats sit in the basement of the Mid-American Conference with a No. 11 seed. A first-round road game seems a sure lock.