Men's Basketball Preview: Kent State vs. Ohio

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

Records: Ohio (10-3, 0-0); Kent State (9-4, 0-0)

When/Where: Tonight, 7 p.m./M.A.C. Center

TV/Radio: TWC Sports Channel/WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: Jim Christian, Ohio (34-13, 2nd year at Ohio; 137-59 in 6 years at Kent State; 228-144 overall); Rob Senderoff, Kent State (51-30, 3rd season). Senderoff was an assistant under Christian at KSU from 2002-06, and was the best man at his wedding.

2012-13 Records: Ohio 24-10, 14-2; Kent State 21-14, 9-7.

Series: Ohio leads 91-44 and has won four of the last five meetings. Last year the Bobcats swept the season series (69-68 in Kent, 78-75 in OT in Athens), with both games coming down to the final possession.

Scouting Ohio

As expected, the Bobcats are formidable once again this season despite losing four starters from last year's MAC regular season championship squad. Junior college transfer Maurice Ndour, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, is arguably the MAC's top newcomer at 14.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and a pair of blocks per game. The lone returning starter, 6-3 senior guard Nick Kellogg, has picked his game up several notches this season. He's averaging 14.7 points and shooting 46 percent from 3-point range. … Ohio has won three in a row and is coming off a come-from-behind 79-70 win at UNC Asheville. Senior forward Ricardo Johnson, the Bobcats' third-leading scorer (8.4 ppg), suffered a double leg fracture in that game and is likely out for the year.

Senderoff on Ohio

"We have to rebound and we have to play great transition defense, and we've gotta make it difficult on Ndour and Kellogg. We have to a good job on the defensive glass, cause Jon Smith (6-7 Sr., 6.3 rpg) has helped them win games with offensive rebounding along with Ndour. And they're probably the best transition offensive team that we've faced. They really push the ball and score a lot of points in transition, so we've gotta get back on defense."

Countdown to Akron: 24 days.

ALLEN MOFF

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