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2017-18 MAC Basketball Preview: Ohio Bobcats vs. Clemson Tigers

The Bobcats take on the Tigers in the Gildan Charleston Classic

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Duke vs Clemson Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio Bobcats travel to Charleston, South Carolina to take on the Clemson Tigers in the first round of the Gildan Charleston Classic in a nationally televised game.


Game Details

  • When: Thursday, November 16, 5 p.m.
  • Where: TD Arena, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Watch: ESPN2
  • Stream: ESPN3 via the watch ESPN app, subscription required
  • Listen: Ohio IMG Sports Network
  • Line: Clemson -10

Scouting the Bobcats

The Bobcats opened their season with a 63-51 win over Alabama A&M. Jason Carter missed the game with an injury, and it’s uncertain when he will return. Freshman Teyvion Kirk was impressive in his debut, scoring 16. A familiar face from last season, Gavin Block added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Jordan Dartis, who many expect to shoulder a large part of the scoring this season, was off on his shot. Kevin Mickle, a transfer from Florida Gulf Coast, added 10 points and a couple of blocks.

With the loss of Jaaron Simmons and Carter sitting on the bench, all things considered, the Bobcats were impressive in their opening win. The defense was there and with Dartis having an off night, I am not too concerned with the offense.


Scouting the Tigers

The Tigers opened their season by smashing a couple of over-matched opponents. They lost 3 starters from an NIT team a year ago, but they do return a bit of talent. They have two guards that averaged over 10 points per game, and a pair of athletic forwards that are 6’8 and 6’9 respectively.

One of the forwards, Donte Grantham is shooting 80% from the floor. The other, Elijah Thomas, is 10-13. That’s a combined 22-28 for those scoring at home. The Clemson offense begins with an active and pressure oriented defense.


Players to Watch

  • Jordan Dartis, Ohio: Dartis was off on his shot in their opener, but averaged 12.63 last season and shot 44.6% from three.
  • Kevin Mickle, Ohio: The 6’7 forward transfer is going to have his hands full with the active forwards from Clemson. He’ll need to step up in a big way if Carter still can’t go.
  • Shelton Mitchell, Clemson: Mitchell is averaging 6 assists a game but only shooting 21.4% from the floor. He shot 45.3% from three last season on the way to averaging 10.8 points per game. I wouldn’t expect his slump to last very long.
  • Donte Grantham, Clemson: In only 23 minutes per game, he is averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.

Prediction

This is a tough match-up for the Bobcats, made tougher with the uncertainty with Carter. Ohio has a couple of senior guards to go with the freshman Kirk, so all might not be lost. I am still going with the Tigers, 75-65.