- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
Here's a first look at Michigan's first NCAA tournament opponent, the Ohio Bobcats:
Conference: Mid American
Coach: John Groce
Path to the tournament: Mid-American Conference champions, beating Akron, 64-63
Common opponents this season: Oakland (Ohio won, 84-82. Michigan won, 90-80).
Leading scorer: D.J. Cooper -- 14.6 ppg.
Leading rebounder: Reggie Keely -- 5.1 rpg.
Leading passer: Cooper -- 5.7 apg.
What Ohio does well:
The Bobcats offensive rebound very well. They grab 35.3 percent of their offensive rebound chances according to statsheet.com and have grabbed 433 offensive rebounds this season, an average of 12.7 a game. Watch out for Saint Louis transfer Jon Smith, a 6-foot-7 forward, especially. He crashes the glass well.
Ball security will be critical. Ohio has 319 steals this season, ranked fifth nationally, and comes away with steals on 13.9 percent of its possessions. Cooper, the junior point guard, does this the best for Ohio with 81 steals, an average of 2.38 a game. At 5-foot-11 he is a smaller guard like Michigan’s Trey Burke, but could cause him problems in his first NCAA tournament game.