Bobcats Land Reinforcements for Second Semester Push

Mark Sears
Mark Sears and the Bobcats take on visiting Bowling Green on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 in the Convocation Center. Photo by Jason Arkley

The Bobcats were the best team in the MAC for the first semester of the 2021-22 season. Now they’ve added a couple of pieces in order to stay on track to be the best team in the second.

Ohio (12-2, 3-0 MAC) begins the third week of conference play on Tuesday night by hosting Bowling Green (8-6, 1-2) in a 7 p.m. tipoff inside the Convocation Center. The Bobcats, which officially began the spring semester on Monday, will have two new additions on the roster in place.

The first, Josh McDaniel, was in uniform on Friday night when the ‘Cats held off Kent State in the Convo. A 6-4 senior from Westerville (Central), McDaniel had been serving as a manager with Ohio but will finish the year in an ‘elevated’ role as a walk-on contributor. 

The second new name, Luke Frazier, is intriguing. Frazier, listed as a 6-5 sophomore guard, was added to the roster on Monday and will be eligible to play immediately.

Frazier was the Division II Ohio High School Player of the Year as a senior at Mentor Lake Catholic, where he averaged 22.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.2 blocks, and 2.1 steals in his final prep season. A four-year starter, Frazier then signed as a scholarship recruit with the University of Dayton.

Frazier’s freshman season at UD (‘20-’21) was marred by injury and illness. After appearing in just two games with the Flyers, he announced his entry into the transfer portal following the season.

Frazier was linked to Ohio last spring but didn’t join the roster until Monday. The Bobcats currently have all 13 scholarships spoken for; Frazier will be a walk-on with the Bobcats.

Ohio has won seven in a row, currently sits atop the MAC standings, and is 8-0 at home this season. But, the Bobcats need some bodies in the backcourt. Junior guard Lunden McDay (personal reasons) remains away from the team, and sophomore guard Miles Brown – who had started every game this season before Friday – is expected to miss his second straight game on Tuesday night.

Brown entered COVID protocols just prior to the Kent State game; Ohio has only two scholarship guards available with playing experience – standout PG Mark Sears and his backup Tommy Schmock.

What about BG?

Ohio coach Jeff Boals is still looking for his first win against Bowling Green with the Bobcats. The Falcons have won three in a row against OU – in January, February and then December of 2020 – including an 83-75 win in the Convo on Dec. 30, 2020. The teams met just once last season due to a COVID-19 cancellation.

The Falcons enter after an overtime win over Miami on Saturday, and love to push the pace. BG has averaged 85.0 points per game in conference play, and rank inside the nation’s top 25 in both adjusted tempo (73.1 possessions per game, 18th) and in time spent per offensive possession (15.5 seconds, 17th). 

The front court tandem of Daeqwon Plowden (16.1 ppg) and 6-9 Joe Reece (12.4 ppg), a transfer from Old Dominion, have been driving the action for the Falcons. Ohio will be looking for Mark Sears to remain red hot. The sophomore point guard was named the MAC Player of the Week again on Monday; Sears leads the MAC in scoring (19.7 ppg) and has notched more than 20 points in five straight games. Sears also leads the league in free throw shooting (91.1%), is fourth in steals (1.8 per game), and third in minutes per game (34.9).

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