Monday, March 17, 2008

Ohio to Play in Inaugural CBI

The Bobcats' men's basketball team had their hopes of going to the Big Dance squashed after a loss to Miami in the MAC Tournament. However, that doesn't mean the Bobcats won't still be going dancing, albeit at the less cool soiree with the not so popular kids.

It was announced today that Ohio has been selected as one of 16 teams to play in the first ever College Basketball Invitational (CBI). It will host Brown at the Convocation Center Tuesday night in first round play.

The CBI gives teams who otherwise would not have had a shot at postseason play a chance to continue their seasons. The field, consisting mostly of mid-majors who did not make the cut for the NIT, is broken into four regions. Washington, Virginia, UTEP and Bradley are the top seeds in their respective sections.

Ohio is not the only MAC team in the CBI, as Miami also joins the tournament. This opens up the possibility of a fourth matchup between the two teams this season alone. One would have to guess the Bobcats would love the chance to avenge their season-ending loss to the Redhawks. However, the two teams could not meet until the semifinals and the CBI reseeds at the final four, so circumstances will have to fall in place for the two to face off again.

If able to defeat Brown, the Bobcats will face the winner of Bradley/Cincinnati in the Quarterfinals on March 24th.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breaking News: Florida Assistant to Take Over Ohio Volleyball Program

Several sources are reporting that Ryan Theis, previously an assistant coach for the Florida Gators, is the new Ohio Bobcats volleyball coach. Theis has earned the reputation as one of the best recruiters in the nation, and will undoubtedly keep the Bobcats in the national spotlight. More on this story as information becomes available...

Friday, March 7, 2008

NFL Pro Day in Athens

Yesterday Ohio held its Pro Day, where NFL scouts come to view a school's juniors and seniors who will be entering the draft.

Ohio's main prospect, RB Kalvin McRae, was feeling under the weather and didn't participate in all drills. The week prior, at the Combine in Indianapolis, McRae struggled to gain much traction, running a 4.69 in the 40-yard dash. Despite that, McRae said he enjoyed every minute of it and even joked around about running the 40 between two of the top backs in this year's draft class, Darren McFadden and Rashard Mendenhall. He described himself as a team player who would not get an organization into trouble. He also called himself a complete back but knows he stilll has things to work on and is willing to put in the time to get better.

7 scouts in different colored NFL garb were present at Peden Stadium. I spoke to some of the scouts and they had interesting insight on the scouting process. A Detroit Lions scout liked Kalvin's run strength and said a RB with speed is nothing without vision. As the 40 not being the sole measure of a player's worth, he alluded to Jerry Rice, one of the greatest receivers of all-time, who only ran a 4.7. Another scout I spoke to, from the Cleveland Browns, also emphasized the importance of play during the season.

"We don't want to get into a situation where you change the grade. Everything that counts happens between the lines," he said.

Although the scouts do use the Combine and Pro Day Workouts to verify what they see on tape, it is not the most prominent factor, which is probably a good thing for McRae, who ran for 1434 yards and 19 TDs in his senior season.

Teams with representatives at the event were the Bills, Broncos, Browns, 49ers, Jets, Lions and Texans.

I predict that Kalvin will get drafted but his 40 time will cause him to fall to the 7th round. Since Kalvin will be drafted most likely as a RB to provide depth, he would fit in well with most of the teams that were represented. The starting RBs for the Bills, Broncos, 49ers, and Texans all missed time last season, allowing backups to start in games. Just look at the New York Giants last season to see that you don't have to be drafted in the early rounds to be successful. Their starter Brandon Jacobs got hurt and two former 7th round draft picks Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw were solid starters. If McRae is drafted to a team with a good offensive line and gets a couple of breaks, he could become the next late round RB to reap success on Sundays.