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Jeff Boals, the new Head Coach of the Ohio Bobcats men's basketball team, calls out during the first game of the season agaisnt Capital University in the Convocation Center on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

Men's Basketball: Top freshman recruit Ben Roderick sidelined with broken finger

Top freshman recruit Ben Roderick suffered a broken finger in Ohio’s win Saturday over Detroit Mercy at The Convo.

Coach Jeff Boals said the forward underwent surgery Thursday and is out indefinitely. Roderick had played in four games so far after spending the first month of the season returning from an injury sustained in the preseason.

Roderick averaged six points and 1.5 rebounds per game in his limited playing time. 

“He was playing well,“ Boals said. “It’s just an unlucky deal.”

Roderick, a 6-foot-5 forward from Olentangy Liberty, was expected to make an immediate impact in the Bobcats’ starting lineup after winning Gatorade Player of the Year in his senior high school season.

Now, Ohio will have to wait even longer to see how Roderick’s potential will translate to the college level.

“The good thing is we know what (the injury) is, and it’s going to get fixed today,“ Boals said. “He’ll be back soon.”

What’s next

Ohio will play the second game of a six-game home stretch Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Rio Grande in The Convo. A scouting report is below.

The game

How to watch: ESPN+

How to listen: Ohio IMG Sports Network

The opposition

The RedStorm, members of the NAIA conference, have begun their season 6-4 after finishing 12-19 last season.

Rio Grande is led by senior sophomore Gunner Short, who has averaged 18.2 points per game. The guard has taken the majority of the RedStorm’s shots this year — he leads Rio Grande with 13.9 shooting attempts per game. Junior guard Kyle Lamotte is second with 7.5 shooting attempts per game.

Things to watch from Ohio

With Roderick sidelined indefinitely, the Bobcats will continue to rely on guard Jason Preston to pace the offense.

The sophomore leads Ohio with 17.3 points per game and scored 20 points Saturday against Detroit Mercy. Preston’s 8.1 assists per game also ranks fourth in the nation.

Jordan Dartis, however, has been Ohio’s hottest player after winning Mid-American Conference East Division Co-Player of the Week honors last week. The redshirt senior dropped 32 points against Middle Tennessee in the final game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational before scoring 26 points against Detroit Mercy.

The absence of Roderick might open up more playing time for freshman forward Marvin Price. The fifth-best recruit in program history missed the first two games of the season recovering from a preseason injury and has sparingly played since he returned on Nov. 9 as Boals continues to ease him back into action.

Price has logged three points — all came on a 3-pointer from Nov. 9 — in three games and seven minutes thus far. 


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