The Ohio University sports scene should be a good one for fans next year.

Ohio fans saw many achievements from their sports teams during the 2015-16 season.

They saw the football team play Appalachian State in the 2015 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in December. They saw the men’s basketball team play in the 2016 College Basketball Invitational and watched Ohio compete against Morehead State in the semifinals. Bobcat fans saw the wrestling team win eight straight matches, place third in the Mid-American Conference Championships and send a program-record seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.

Yes, Ohio fans saw its sports teams succeed this year—but next year, Ohio fans have even more to look forward to.

Football: The defense will continue to be solid.

Ohio’s defense was solid last season, allowing 25.3 points per game. The Bobcat’s defense was led by its unrelenting secondary—the team had a collective 12 interceptions. Though former Ohio cornerback Langston Provitt withdrew from the team last week because of health concerns, the first team defensive backs still have a solid core led by redshirt sophomore Jalen Fox. Along with the secondary, the Bobcats’ defensive line will be able to get after opposing quarterbacks; the team had 23 sacks last season. With defensive lineman Tarell Basham—who led the team with 5.5 sacks—returning, expect the defensive front to be just as aggressive as the secondary. Though its defense was solid 

throughout the regular season, it couldn’t hold against Appalachian State in the bowl game, losing 31-29. The defense will need to improve its consistency, but with a marginal offense right now, the Bobcats’ main strength is keeping teams from scoring.

Men’s Basketball: They have a young, talented core.

Ohio lost to Buffalo 88-74 in the MAC Tournament semifinals this March. The Bobcats didn’t advance to the NCAA Tournament, but with the majority of their team returning next fall, they have the potential to be at the top of the MAC. Ohio’s core players consist of redshirt sophomore guard Jaaron Simmons, redshirt junior Kenny Kaminski, sophomore Mike Laster and freshmen Gavin Block and Jordan Dartis. Though junior Antonio Campbell declared for the 2016 NBA Draft, he can return to the team for his senior season because he did not hire an agent. Even if Campbell doesn’t return, the Bobcats still have a solid group that can distribute the ball and get high percentage shots. The Bobcats averaged 78.5 points per game, leading the MAC in points scored per game. With the nucleus the Bobcats have, expect them to continue to shoot threes and get easy buckets in transition.

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Wrestling: Shakur Laney, Cameron Kelly and Austin Reese are the future for the Bobcats’ success.

Though the wrestling team lost four vital seniors in Phil Wellington, Andrew Romanchik, Spartak Chino and Cody Walters, it has youth in freshmen Shakur Laney and Cameron Kelly along with redshirt freshman Austin Reese. The trio were solid last season and were a significant factor in helping the Bobcats win eight straight matches. The three also wrestled in their first NCAA Tournament, but all of them had early exits. With the trio getting experience at the national level, expect the Bobcats to continue to be one of the premier teams in the MAC.

@CameronFields_

cf710614@ohio.edu