Ohio will play its first Mid-American Conference game under first-year coach Jeff Boals on Saturday when it travels to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to play Western Michigan.
The Bobcats finished their nonconference schedule 8-5, with four of their losses coming against high major opponents. Ohio found success in the first two months of the season despite injuries to a handful of players — most notably Jordan Dartis, Ben Roderick and Nolan Foster — but should begin the MAC schedule with a bit healthier.
Here’s everything you need to know about Ohio’s MAC opener:
Opponent: Western Michigan Broncos
Game time: 4 p.m.
Venue: Read Fieldhouse
Listen: Ohio IMG Sports Network
Meet the opponent
12 Michael Flowers (6-1, 190)
35 Brandon Johnson (6-8, 220)
03 B. Artis White (5-9, 150)
30 Jason Whitens (6-4, 185)
22 Titus White (6-8, 250)
Individual Statistical Leaders:
Points: Flowers (17.1 points per games)
Rebonds: Johnson (8.7 rebounds per games)
Assists: Flowers (3.5 assists per game)
Field goal percentage: Wright (54.3 percent)
3-point percentage: Flowers (40.5 percent)
Free throw percentage: Flowers (87 percent)
Team Statistical Profile:
Points Per Game: 73
Rebounds Per Game: 36
Assists Per Game: 11.6
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5
Field goal Percentage: 41.6 percent
3-point Percentage: 30.6 percent
Free throw Percentage: 70.6 percent
Ohio leads the all-time series versus the Broncos, 68-65. The Bobcats won their meeting last season 81-76 but have not won a MAC opener since Jan. 3, 2017 when Ohio defeated Western Michigan 89-58 in Athens.
Key player to watch
Michael Flowers — The junior guard can do it all for the Broncos. In last season’s game against Ohio, Flowers paced Western Michigan with 24 points and went 6-for-8 from beyond the arc. Flowers should be a good litmus test for Ohio’s young players and how they’ll fare defensively against top players in the MAC.