Ohio Bobcats men's basketball
The Ohio Bobcats men's basketball team is an intercollegiate varsity sports program of Ohio University. The team is a member of the Mid-American Conference East Division competing in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Bobcats have played their home games in the Convocation Center since 1968.
|Head coach||Jeff Boals (3rd season)|
|Arena||Convocation Center |
|Colors||Hunter green and white|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1960, 1964, 2012|
|NCAA Tournament Round of 32|
|1960, 1964, 1983, 2010, 2012, 2021|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2021|
|Conference tournament champions|
|1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2021|
|Conference regular season champions|
|1921, 1931, 1933, 1937, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1985, 1994, 2013|
The first Ohio basketball game occurred in 1907 when the Bobcats defeated the Parkersburg YMCA 46–9. Through the 2005–06 season, Ohio has posted a .569 winning percentage over its 100-year history and a .566 winning percentage in its 61 years in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats have won seven Mid-American Conference tournament titles (1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010, 2012, and 2021), as well as 10 MAC regular-season titles (1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1985, 1994 and 2013). Prior to joining the MAC, the Bobcats won an Ohio Athletic Conference title in 1921 and three Buckeye Athletic Association championships (1931, 1933, and 1937). In addition, Ohio has played in the NCAA Tournament 14 times (second most in the MAC), appearing in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010, 2012, and 2021. The Bobcats have been selected for the National Invitation Tournament five times: in 1941 (runner-up), 1969, 1986, 1995, and 2013. Ohio also appeared in the College Basketball Invitational in 2008 and 2016 and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in 2011 and 2014. The program was ranked 86th in Street & Smith's 100 Greatest Basketball Programs of All Time, published in 2005.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2015)
The first intercollegiate men's basketball game involving an Ohio University team was played in Athens in 1907 against the Parkersburg YMCA. Under the direction of coach James Jones, the Bobcats won the game by a score of 46–9 and continued their victories with a 5-game winning streak to start the season. The 'Cats would go on to lose 4 games that season and earn a 7–4 record.
Coach Jones would only be at Ohio for two more seasons, leading the team to records of 1–1 in the 1908–09 campaign and 2–5 during the 1909–10 season. Over the next three seasons, the basketball program was in a state of flux, with a new coach taking over the reins every year. Ohio joined the Ohio Athletic Conference in 1911, and started out poorly under coach Arthur Hinaman with a 2–9 record.
A bit of stability arrived to Athens with the hiring of coach Mark Banks in 1913. Banks would lead the program to a 3–10 season in his first year, but the 'Cats surged to 11–4 in Bank's second year at the helm. That 1914–1915 squad beat the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Miami Redskins twice, while also impressively defeating Wooster by a score of 51–20. Banks teams would fall off over the next several seasons, with the low point being a 2–14 mark in the 1916–1917 campaign. Banks would coach only one more year, with the Bobcats posting a 4–8 record in the 1918–1919 season.
Bank's successor was Frank Gullum, who in his two years at the helm was 5–4 and 5–6, respectively. Gullum was succeeded by Russell Finsterwald, who led the team to an outstanding 15–2 season in his first year at the helm. That 1920–1921 team defeated the Miami Redskins and Cincinnati Bearcats each twice, and also earned Ohio's first Ohio Athletic Association title. Finsterwald's 1921–1922 squad was equally impressive, posting a 19–4 mark with two wins against the Bowling Green Falcons. Though Finsterwald would only last these two seasons, his work cannot be underestimated in steering the 'Cats towards a legacy of success.
1922–1949: The Grover-Trautwein eraEdit
Butch Grover took the reins of the Ohio program in 1922, and led the team to a newfound level of success. His inaugural 1922–1923 season was marked by an 11–8 record, and wins over teams such as the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Marietta Pioneers. In 1923, the Bobcats marked their move into the brand new Men's Gymnasium with a 16–5 record and a near miss of an Ohio Athletic Conference title. Several winning seasons later, the Bobcats moved into the Buckeye Athletic Association in 1926 and started off with an 8–13 mark in the 1926–1927 season. Ohio won its first Buckeye Athletic Association title with a 12–4 mark. Just two seasons later in 1933–1934, the Bobcats won another Buckeye Athletic Association championship with a 16–4 record and two wins over the archrival Miami Redskins. The 1936–1937 season marked Grover's third and final Buckeye Athletic Association championship. The Bobcats were 18–3 that year, and earned wins over programs such as Xavier and Dayton. William J. "Dutch" Trautwein took over the Bobcat basketball program in 1938. He led the team to 12–8 and 19–6 records in his first two seasons. In the 1940–41 season, the team earned a record of 18–4, and was selected for the National Invitation Tournament after a season which included wins over Xavier, Akron, Toledo, Cincinnati, and archrival Miami. With the play of Frank Baumholtz, the Bobcats finished as runners-up in the tournament to perennial power Long Island University. Baumholtz, known as the "Midvale Marvel", earned tournament MVP honors and All-American status for his NIT performance. Following his Ohio career, he became one of a few to play two professional sports – basketball with the Cleveland Rebels in 1946–47 and baseball with the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Philadelphia Phillies over a 10-year career.
After several more winning seasons under Trautwein, the Bobcats undertook a new challenge in 1946 when they joined the new Mid-American Conference. The 'Cats were 13–10 in their first year in the MAC, and followed that up with a 10–10 mark in the 1947–1948 season. The 1948–1949 season was Trautwein's last, with the team compiling a 6–16 record.
1949–1974: Jim SnyderEdit
Ohio alumnus Jim Snyder took over for Trautwein in 1949. Ohio's winningest coach, dubbed "Gentleman Jim", guided the Bobcats for a quarter century. With star players like Jim Betts, Bunk Adams, Jerry Jackson, Don Hilt, Gerald McKee and Sports Illustrated cover boy Walter Luckett, Snyder won a total of seven MAC titles. His teams made seven NCAA appearances and finished with a winning record 21 times in 25 years.
Snyder's first season was rather lackluster, with the 'Cats posting a 6–14 record. He followed that up with a slight improvement in the 1950–1951 season and a 13–11 mark. The 1954–1955 season was a breakout year for Ohio, and the team earned a 16–5 record and key wins over Morehead State and Miami University. In 1960, Ohio won its first championship under Snyder, with the team taking the MAC by way of a 10–2 league record (17–8 overall). That squad defeated the likes of the Toledo Rockets, Bowling Green Falcons, and Miami Redskins en route to a 74–66 win over Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The 1959–1960 championship team was quickly followed up by another title in the very next year. The 1960–1961 team celebrated its move into the brand new Grover Center with a stunning 10–2 league record (17–7 overall), including a first-place finish at the Canton Intercollegiate Tournament. A few years later, the 1963–1964 team made its mark as perhaps the best in Ohio history. That team won the MAC title with a 10–2 league mark, and followed it up with NCAA tournament wins over the Louisville Cardinals and the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats. Snyder's 'Cats ultimately lost to the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines in the "elite eight".
Though the 1963–1964 team produced a record that was hard to top, the 1964–1965 edition did its best to compete with the previous year's squad. They posted an 11–1 MAC record and a 19–7 overall mark, though fell to Dayton in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Snyder's teams would go through a slight drought until the 1968–1969 season, when they open up the Convocation Center with a win over the Indiana Hoosiers and subsequent postseason NIT appearance and a 17–9 record. The very next season, Ohio scored wins over No. 16 Ohio State and No. 13 Purdue while marching their way to another MAC championship.
The Bobcats won another MAC title under Snyder in the 1971–1972 season. Though the 'Cats were just 15–11 that year, they were 7–3 in the MAC with wins over the No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers and the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes. Snyder's Bobcats won a final MAC title in the 1973–1974 season, with a 16–11 record and wins over the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Jim Snyder was immediately succeeded by Dale Bandy, who struggled to a 69–89 record over his six-year tenure at Ohio. Bandy was replaced by Danny Nee in 1980, with the Bobcats beginning a road back to prominence. His teams – led by the likes of John Deveraux, Robert Tatum, Paul Baron, John Rhodes, Eddie Hicks and Vic Alexander –tallied four consecutive 20-win seasons, a MAC Tournament title in 1983, an NIT matchup in the Convo versus the Ohio State Buckeyes and two trips to the NCAA tournament.
Nee left in 1986 to coach the Nebraska Cornhuskers, with Billy Hahn taking over the reins. His teams were led by future NBA players Paul "Snoopy" Graham and Dave Jamerson, two of Ohio's three 2,000-point scorers. Jamerson's 31.2 points per-game average in 1989–90 included a Convo-record 60-point win over the University of Charleston.
Despite offensive stars, Hahn's teams struggled on the court. Hahn was replaced in 1989 by Larry Hunter, an Ohio alum who would lead the Bobcats throughout the 1990s. Forward Gary Trent joined Graham and Jamerson atop the 2,000-point plateau, and was the MAC's only three-time Player of the Year. Trent teamed with three-point marksman Geno Ford to guide Larry Hunter's Bobcats to a MAC Championship in the 1993–1994 season. Ohio captured the conference tournament that season with an 89–66 victory over archrival Miami in the finals on ESPN.
Hunter, who played for Snyder, saw Ohio defeat Ohio State in the Preseason NIT to open the following season. Wins over 14th-ranked Virginia, George Washington and New Mexico State earned the Bobcats a Preseason NIT title and an accompanying national ranking. That team would go on to post a 24–10 (13–5 MAC) record, en route to an appearance in the post-season NIT and a win over George Washington University in the first round.
The Bobcats would struggle in the next few years under Hunter, with the low point being a 5–21 season in the 1997–1998 campaign. Though Hunter's teams would rebound to post 18, 20, and 19 wins over the next three seasons, he was relieved of his duties in 2001 due to a lack of success in the postseason. His successor would be Tim O'Shea.
2001–2008: Tim O'SheaEdit
A new era in Ohio basketball began in 2001 when Boston College assistant Tim O'Shea became the Bobcats' 15th head coach. His teams featured Patrick Flomo, Brandon Hunter and Steve Esterkamp and saw the creation The Convo's new student section, the O Zone. Hunter was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2003 draft. Esterkamp continues to play professionally overseas as well.
In the 2004–2005 season Ohio went 13–1 in The Convo and won 13 of their final 17 games. The team defeated Marshall, Kent State, and Miami in the preliminary rounds of the MAC Tournament before scoring an 80–79 overtime victory over Buffalo in the championship to earn an NCAA Tournament berth. Despite a second-half comeback against the Southeastern Conference champion Florida Gators, the Bobcats' season ended in the first round.
The 2005–2006 'Cats proved successful as well, posting a 19–11 record with wins over teams such as Rhode Island and Samford, and a close loss to Kentucky. The 2006–2007 team also posted 19 wins, with a final record of 19–13. A 20 win campaign was had in the 2007–2008 season, including notable non-conference wins over Maryland, St. John's, George Mason, and Bucknell. The team was extended an invite to the College Basketball Invitational, where the Bobcats advanced to the second round.
On June 23, 2008, O'Shea announced he was leaving the Bobcats team to become head coach at Bryant University.
2008–2012: John GroceEdit
On June 27, 2008, former Ohio State associate head coach John Groce was named the 16th head coach in Bobcats history. Groce brought 14 years of assistant coaching experience to Athens, along with a pair of outright Big Ten Conference regular-season titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances, a berth in the 2007 NCAA National Championship game and the 2008 NIT title.
The Bobcats finished the 2009–2010 regular season with a 17–14 overall record and a 7–9 record in MAC play, earning them the ninth seed in their conference tournament. They won four straight games in the conference tournament to claim the MAC's automatic bid. Placed into the Midwest region as a 14 seed, Ohio upset 3rd-seeded and 12th ranked Georgetown 97–83. The Bobcats took a 12-point lead into halftime and the Hoyas never got closer than a 7-point deficit the rest of the way.
After a mildly disappointing 2010–11 season, resulting in a 19–16 record and a 2011 CIT Quarterfinal berth, the Bobcats came back in 2011–12, with a 2012 MAC Tournament championship. The Bobcats received a No. 13 seed in the Midwest Region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Like 2010, Ohio pulled off a first round upset, defeating 4th seeded and 13th ranked Michigan 65–60, and followed by a 62–56 victory over 12th seeded South Florida to advance to their first Sweet Sixteen since 1964. The Bobcats run ended in the Sweet Sixteen, as they fell in overtime to fourth ranked and top seeded North Carolina by a score of 73–65.
2012–2014: Jim ChristianEdit
On April 3, 2012, Ohio hired former TCU and Kent State coach Jim Christian to replace John Groce. Christian had considerable success in the MAC at the helm of Kent State, eclipsing the 20 win plateau in each of his six seasons.
In Christian's first season with the Bobcats, they finished with a 24–10 overall record and 14–2 in the MAC. Tied for first in the MAC East, the Bobcats were the 2nd seed in the MAC Tournament falling to Akron in the championship 65–46. Akron was the only MAC opponent the Bobcats had failed to defeat all season. The Bobcats earned a spot in the 2013 National Invitation Tournament but came up short with a 61–57 loss to Denver in the first round.
During the 2013–14 Bobcats, Christian led the Bobcats to a 25–12 record making the senior class the winningest class in school history with 97 total wins. Ohio failed to reach the NCAA Tournament, losing to Akron once again in the MAC Tournament. The team received an invitation to participate in the 2014 CIT and reached the quarterfinals losing to VMI 90–92.
2014–2019: Saul PhillipsEdit
Ohio hired Saul Phillips to replace Christian as the head coach for the Bobcats on April 6, 2014. Phillips had tremendous success coaching for NDSU the previous 7 years, including a second round NCAA tournament win in 2014 and two Summit League championships in 2009 and 2014. His first season at Ohio was a disappointment as the 2014–15 Bobcats finished with a 10–20 overall record and only 5 wins in the MAC to put them last place in their division.
The 2015–16 Bobcats improved to a 23–12 overall record and 11–7 MAC Conference record giving them the #2 seed in the 2016 MAC tournament. Junior Antonio Campbell was named the 2016 MAC Player of the Year after averaging a double-double throughout the 2015–16 season, making him the ninth Ohio Bobcat to receive the award. The Bobcats lost to Buffalo in the semifinal game of the MAC Tournament 74–88. The 2015–16 team received and accepted an invitation to the 2016 College Basketball Invitational and reached the semifinals but lost to Morehead State.
Phillips was told he would not return next season on March 13, 2019.
2019–present: Jeff BoalsEdit
Ohio hired Jeff Boals to replace Phillips as the head coach for the Bobcats on March 17, 2019. Boals (pronounced BOWLS) spent the past three seasons as the head coach at Stony Brook going 55–41 overall and 31–17 in America East play.
NCAA Tournament resultsEdit
The Bobcats have appeared in 15 NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 8–15.
|1960||n/a||First Round||Notre Dame||W 77–66|
|n/a||Sweet Sixteen||Georgia Tech||L 57–54|
|n/a||Regional Third Place Game||Western Kentucky||L 97–87|
|1961||n/a||First Round||Louisville||L 76–70|
|1964||n/a||First Round||Louisville||W 71–69 OT|
|n/a||Sweet Sixteen||Kentucky||W 85–69|
|n/a||Elite Eight||Michigan||L 69–57|
|1965||n/a||First Round||Dayton||L 66–65|
|1970||n/a||First Round||Notre Dame||L 112–82|
|1972||n/a||First Round||Marquette||L 73–49|
|1974||n/a||First Round||Marquette||L 85–59|
|1983||#11||First Round||Illinois State||W 51–49|
|#11||Second Round||Kentucky||L 57–40|
|1985||#14||First Round||Kansas||L 49–38|
|1994||#12||First Round||Indiana||L 84–72|
|2005||#13||First Round||Florida||L 67–62|
|2010||#14||First Round||Georgetown||W 97–83|
|#14||Second Round||Tennessee||L 83–68|
|2012||#13||First Round||Michigan||W 65–60|
|#13||Second Round||South Florida||W 62–56|
|#13||Sweet Sixteen||North Carolina||L 73–65 OT|
|2021||#13||First Round||Virginia||W 62–58|
|#13||Second Round||Creighton||L 58–72|
National Invitation Tournament resultsEdit
Ohio has been selected to participate in five National Invitation Tournaments. Their combined record is 4–5.
|1941||First Round||Virginia||W 55–40|
|Finals||Long Island||L 56–42|
|1969||First Round||West Texas State||W 82–80|
|Second Round||Tennessee||L 75–64|
|1986||First Round||Ohio State||L 65–62|
|1995||First Round||George Washington||W 83–71|
|Second Round||Iowa||L 66–62|
|2013||First Round||Denver||L 61–57|
College Basketball Invitational resultsEdit
The Bobcats appeared in the first College Basketball Invitational in 2008. They made a second appearance in 2016. Their combined record is 3–2.
|2008||First Round||Brown||W 80–74|
|2016||First Round||Albany||W 94–90OT|
|Quarterfinals||UNC Greensboro||W 72–67|
|Semifinals||Morehead State||L 72–77|
CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament ResultsEdit
The Bobcats made their first appearance in the third annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament in 2011. Their combined record is 3–2.
|2011||First round||Marshall||W 65–64|
|Quarterfinals||East Tennessee State||L 82–73|
|2014||First round||Cleveland State||W 64–62|
|Second Round||Wright State||W 56–54|
|Jeff Boals||Head Coach||2019||Ohio University 1995|
|Lamar Thornton||Assistant Coach||2019||Ohio Dominican University 2015|
|Kyle Barlow||Assistant Coach||2019||Concordia University Ann Arbor University of Michigan 2010,2014|
|Lee Martin||Assistant Coach||2020||Catawba College 2013|
|Jake Ness||Director of Basketball Operations||2019||Boise State University Washington State University 2015,2017|
Bobcat basketball traditionsEdit
Ohio is a tradition-rich school, and many of those traditions are associated with athletics events, especially basketball. Some Ohio traditions include:
- Rufus the Bobcat – The school mascot, a fierce yet friendly looking Bobcat that always sports an Ohio jersey with a number "1" on the back.
- Ohio Varsity Band – The pep band which performs at every basketball game.
- "Stand Up and Cheer" – Ohio's fight song
- "Alma Mater, Ohio" – Ohio's alma mater song
- The "O Zone" – The student cheering section at every Ohio men's basketball game.
- "D-Lo's Crew" – A subgroup of The "O Zone" named after the first member of the O Zone Daniel Lowe who passed-away at the Convo in a pick up game in 2005.
Ohio's most heated rival is with Miami University. "The Battle of the Bricks" is an annual all-sports rivalry competition between the Ohio Bobcats and the Miami RedHawks athletic programs. The name "Battle of the Bricks" evolved from each school's reputation of having a campus of red brick buildings. Each varsity athletic competition in which the Bobcats and RedHawks meet including tournament play is counted as part of the years series record. At the conclusion of each academic year, the school with the most varsity wins takes the trophy back to their campus for the following year.
All-time coaching recordsEdit
|Head Coach||Period||W-L Record||Win %||W-L Record in the MAC||Win %||Ohio Athletic Association Championships||Buckeye Athletic Association Championships||MAC Championships|
|James C. Jones||1907–1910||10–10||.500||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Arthur W. Hinaman||1911–1912||2–9||.181||n/a||n/a||0||n/a||n/a|
|Mark B. Banks||1913–1918||28–43||.394||n/a||n/a||0||n/a||n/a|
|Russel W. Finsterwald||1920–1922||34–6||.850||n/a||n/a||1||n/a||n/a|
Source: Ohio Basketball Media Guide
As of 3/21/2021
All-time MAC recordsEdit
The Bobcats have won 6 Mid-American Conference tournament titles in 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010 and 2012 as well as 10 MAC regular season titles in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974,1985, 1994 and 2013. At the end of the 2019–2020 MAC season, Ohio owns an all-time MAC record of 662–528 (.556) in 74 seasons of league competition. The following are the current members of the MAC:
|Opponent||W-L record||Win %||Year Joined the MAC|
As of 3/13/2021
|Opponent||W-L record||Win %||Year Joined the MAC|
updated through 2004–05 season
Ohio's all-time NBA draft selectionsEdit
- "Colors – Ohio University". Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- "Celebrating 100 Years of Ohio Basketball". Ohio University. 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- "Groce Named Illinois Basketball Coach". Fightingillini.Com. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Christian Named Ohio Men's Basketball Head Coach". Ohiobobcats.Com. April 3, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "VMI Keydets vs. Ohio Bobcats – Box Score – March 26, 2014 – ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Jim Christian agrees to coach Boston College Eagles". ESPN.com.
- "Saul Phillips Named Ohio Men's Basketball Head Coach". ohiobobcats.com.
- "Antonio Campbell Profile". espn.com.
- "Junior Forward Becomes Ninth Bobcat to Earn League's Highest Honor". ohiobobcats.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016.
- "Buffalo beats Ohio 88-74 to return to MAC title game". espn.com.
- "CBI Semifinals Summary". espn.com.
- http://ohiobobcats.com/sports/mbkb/2018-19/files/ohio_mbb_1819_records.pdf Ohio Bobcat Record Book
- http://ohiobobcats.com/sports/mbkb/2018-19/files/ohio_mbb_1819_records.pdf Ohio Bobcat Record Book