Posted: 9:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013
By Brandon Hickey
Make no mistake about it: Ohio lost a lot of talent last year. You'll hear that on any season preview you read and it'll be the constant theme to this season. Who will replace all those guys? You don't lose 63% of your scoring and 57% of your minutes played and be at the same level you were last season.
Every MAC basketball fan knows the names the Bobcats lost from last year's team: DJ Cooper, Walter Offutt, Reggie Keely, and Ivo Baltic. Nick Kellogg really flew under the radar last season. He wasn't the team's best player but he certainly wasn't just a role player.
Kellogg started off last year on fire scoring in double figures in seven of the first eleven games. The next two were zereos, but he followed those up with his best game of the season scoring 22 points against Marshall. That sequence really summed up his season, which was mired with inconsistency. Of course when he wasn't scoring, someone else would always pick up the slack. With this year's team though, he'll be counted on to supply more points and meaningful minutes.
Last year Kellogg often fell in love with the three point shot. He wasn't bad, hitting 34%. But, the stat that really stuck out is this one: 73%, as in the percentage of Kellogg's total field goals that were from behind the arc last year (160/220). That's a lot, and when the conversion rate is hovering around 34%, it's somewhat a cause for concern. He's probably a little high on this list, as playing with such great players make you seem a little better than you are.
He'll have this year to prove last season wasn't a fluke, as now both him and Jon Smith are the leaders of the team. Kellogg will be working with a brand new point guard and it will likely take some time for them to get in rhythm. Kellogg saw a lot of shots last year due the defense's respect of Cooper's game. Opponents will likely be able to guard him more closely now and he won't get as many open looks.
The 'Cats really need Kellogg to take the next step. He'll be the leader of this mostly inexperienced team and Jim Christian will be counting on him to make sure everything is running smoothly on the floor. For Ohio to continue to compete in the MAC this year, Kellogg will need to be the one to carry them to the top.