Ohio has the best on-court duo in the Mid-American Conference, and it’s getting its props early. CeCe Hooks and Erica Johnson were both selected to the preseason MAC First Team on Thursday. Both Hooks and Johnson started and finished on the MAC First Team last year. 

With the graduation of sharp shooters like Amani Burke and Katie Barker, Hooks and Johnson could perhaps have an even bigger role for the Bobcats this season. 

Hooks, the two-time MAC defensive player of the year, enters her senior season having averaged 18.2 points per game and was fifth in the nation in steals (106). Her ability to dominate on both sides of the court is why Hooks is considered one of the MAC ‘s best point guards. 

While Hooks may be Ohio’s best two-way player, there’s no question that Johnson is the team’s most offensive weapon. Johnson averaged 18.9 ppg for the Bobcats and was one of Ohio’s best rebounders. Johnson’s scoring totals are very similar to Hooks, but the method is quite different. 

Hooks gets her points by way of finishing under the rim, converting steals into layups or by sinking her free throws. Johnson has evolved into one of Ohio’s best 3-point shooters and still has a diverse mid-range game. 

The Bobcats finished 19-11 and secured the fourth seed in the MAC Tournament. Prior to the tournament’s cancelation, Ohio was on its way to a semifinal matchup that it was favored in. This season, the Bobcats are projected to finish second in the MAC behind conference power Central Michigan. 

If Bob Boldon wants to lead the Bobcats to a title, he’ll have to find someone to step up. Burke and Barker were important pieces that helped open up Ohio’s offense. Returning players Gabby Burris, Edecia Beck and Caitlyn Kroll should be able to provide a boost for a talented Bobcat squad. 

@JL_Kirven 

jk810916@ohio.edu