Mail time! Defensive line, PGs and navel gazing…

Welcome to the first-ever ‘Mailbag’ post here at SUACBobcats.com. I hope to make this a regular feature, and will be depending on you to throw me questions, provocative thoughts, or conversational comments to spur the material contained within.

The rules for this submitting to this Mailbag (and seeing it published) are simple: 1) Don’t be rude or crass. 2) Questions pertaining to the Bobcats are preferred. 3) But OU questions are not required.

I’ll give honest answers to whatever comes up in a given week. Let’s get started…

The exterior of the west side of Peden Stadium on Nov. 10, 2020. Photo by Jason Arkley

Pretty sure I’m not the first one to ask you but, do you have any update to the status of (Denzel) Daxon? Obviously still on the roster and I’ve seen him in some practice videos posted to twitter but did not appear in the CMU game. Also, what happened to (Amos) Ogun-Semore? From someone who started at one point to not even being listed on the two-deep is a pretty big drop off. Thanks for all the reporting you do on the Bobcats. I always check out your twitter for great updates on both the Football and Basketball teams. – Brian W.

Brian is correct, this topic came up a few times since Ohio played at CMU in the season opener. For those unfamiliar, Denzel Daxon was the top-rated player in OU’s 2019 recruiting class as a difference-making defensive tackle, but entered college classified as a junior (with a forced sit-out season) thanks to some snafus in his accrediting process from his prep/high school days. Amos Ogun-Semore, like Daxon now, is a redshirt junior who started 2019 as the starter at DE and ended the year as the third player in that positional rotation.

Several have asked why we haven’t seen either through two games, especially with some of the depth issues on the defensive line.

I’ve been told that both are still with the Bobcats, but neither may see the field anytime soon. Ogun-Semore, at some point in the off-season, had surgery and is not projected to be available in 2020. Daxon, on the other hand, has been granted a leave while he deals with a personal issue.

It should also be noted that given the way things are run in 2020, getting consistent and timely injury or personnel updates will be more difficult that ever. Every Ohio practice this season has been closed, and will remain closed, to the media. And given Ohio’s sensitivity in addressing anything that might be construed as being COVID-related I wouldn’t expect regular injury updates with any kind of detail.

It’s played out that way so far at least.

I enjoy watching Jason Preston play. I know he is only a Junior. That said, is Jason a legitimate NBA talent? – Stephen F.

It certainly isn’t too early to be thinking about Bobcat Basketball, and Jason Preston is a great place to start.

Here’s a quick Preston primer. He logged an astounding 38.1 minutes per game in 2019-20, and blossomed into one of the best in the MAC by averaging 16.8 points, 7.4 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game. He shot over 51 percent overall, 40.7 percent from 3-point range, logged 10 games with 20-plus points, and finished second in the nation in total assists (238). Preston also had the second triple-double in program history on Feb. 8, 2020 against Miami.

Preston will be a 21-year old junior this season for Ohio. But the question remains, is he a legitimate NBA talent?

I’m not going to be another one to sell Preston short. Remember, just four years ago Preston averaged two points a game as a high school senior. He’s a survivor, a self-starter, driven and talented. He’s made a meteoric leap so far, and he doesn’t appear to have yet hit his speak.

But being an NBA player is such a huge feat. There are dozens of guys every year that I swear will get a look in the Association, and never do.

So I guess I’m undecided at this point. He’ll have the option to play professionally. At what level? I think that remains to be seen.

Let me put it another way: Was D.J. Cooper a ‘legitimate’ NBA talent? If you think he was, or at least a fringe-level talent for the highest level of basketball in the world, then I think Preston is certainly in that class.

Preston has the same play-making knack, the same kind of court-awareness and vision that Cooper had. And what’s more, Preston IS a legitimate 6-foot-4, with a great reach and above-average athleticism. Also, he’s a far better long-range shooter than Cooper was in his best season. JP has a chance, yes.

Hey Jason, glad to see that you’re still covering the ‘Cats! In your first blog post, you alluded to subscriptions coming in the future. To that end, i wanted to see if you had an idea when that might be happening and to ask if you’ve considered (or already have) something like Patreon? – Matt F.

Thanks for the interest Matt. Yes, there are plans in the future to incorporate some sort of paid subscription plan whether that includes a dedicated newsletter service, paid access to the website, or a combination of both.

We just celebrated our first week at SUACBobcats.com, can a guy catch his breath?

I’m joking, mostly. Ideally, I’d like to do this full-time. But we’re not close to making that happen and like most in these trying times I’m stretched pretty thin. So, yes, I’m working on it and – believe me – monetizing this venture in some form or fashion remains a strong focal point in the weeks and months ahead.

In the interim, I hope to be offering interested readers a portal or avenue for making donations to help ensure that I’m able to continue to provide coverage, writing and hopefully build some sort of online community for all things relating to Athens, Athens County and Bobcat sports.

Until that happens, please read and click and recommend and interact as much as you’re inclined. You’re likely to see ads appear on the site at some point, and hopefully everyone will understand the necessity.

Just wanted to let you know that you are appreciated and I will be following your future content. Thank you for your coverage for OUr Bobcats! – Ahmona M.

Ahmona’s time in the Green & Date actually predates me by a year or two, and his thoughtful note was too nice not to share.

But also, this is another reason I wanted to get this project off the ground. Part of it is I liked what I was doing for the last decade and a half, and didn’t want it to end. But there’s also an appeal in building something, in offering a place or a way for those who have left the area to still feel connected or involved. I hope to be the eyes and ears in this area for a lot of people, and that includes former Bobcats.

Kudos, old friend, on the new site and the continued coverage and work. I’m still your biggest fan but will leave the hammer and wood out of the equation, with apologies to K Bates and S King. – Lou H.

There were a lot of messages with similar sentiments, for which I’m thankful and grateful. It was nice to hear from so many, and with so little snark mixed in!

But this message was the only one that conjured up images of broken limbs and desperation. I haven’t felt this uncomfortable since the time Keith Dambrot rubbed the back of my neck after a postgame presser.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “Mail time! Defensive line, PGs and navel gazing…

  1. Gald to see your writing again. You have always been a go to for me for information, I apperciate everything you have done for athletics, and the kids of SE Ohio

    Like

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