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Ben Roderick, forward, of Ohio University, is defendedby Central Michigan guard Cameron Healy on Feb. 22, 2022, at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio.

Men's Basketball: Four takeaways from Ohio's exhibition win over Capital

Ohio got its 2022-23 season underway with an exhibition game against Capital in The Convo Thursday night.

Here are a few key takeaways from Ohio’s 79-62 win:

Dwight Wilson III is Back

Dwight Wilson III made his first appearance for Ohio since the end of the 2020-21 season after sitting out last season with injury. He didn’t look like he had missed an entire season Thursday, putting up nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists in his return.

Ohio will need Wilson this year, as it was one of the worst rebounding teams in the Mid-American Conference last season, and its inability to finish defensive possessions was a key reason for its loss in the MAC Tournament.

Wilson ranked fifth in the MAC in rebounding in the 2020-21 season with 7.5 rebounds per game.

Struggles from 3

It may have been because it was the first game of the season and the Bobcats were just getting back into rhythm, but they struggled tremendously from beyond the arc.

Ohio made the most threes in the MAC last season, and its 943 attempts were the most in the conference by a wide margin. With the departure of Mark Sears and Ben Vander Plas, it was always likely that Ohio’s 3-point shooting would decline this year, but going 2-23 Thursday means it is something to keep an eye on this season.

Ohio Turns up the Defense

Ohio allowed the third-fewest points per game in the MAC last season and forced a conference-best 14.2 turnovers per game. Thursday’s numbers were in line with that, as Ohio held Capital to just 62 points and forced 23 turnovers.

Those turnovers were vital, as the Bobcats outscored the Comets 17-3 in transition and had 23 points off turnovers. Given the Bobcats’ 3-point struggles, transition opportunities are certainly a place where they could pick up that slack.

Roderick’s Changing Role

When he first came to Ohio, Ben Roderick was primarily a catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter, shooting 36.7% from three his freshman year and 39.7% his sophomore year. Last year, however, Roderick struggled from beyond the arc at just 22.2% for the season.

He responded by getting more aggressive with the ball and taking it to the basket more often. That trend continued Thursday, as only two of Roderick’s eight field goal attempts came from beyond the 3-point line. He went 5-6 inside the arc, and scored several important buckets down the stretch as Ohio pulled away.

@willocunningham

wc425318@ohio.edu

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