Scouting Ohio

News, notes and quotes on No. 6 KU's matchup with Ohio today at 7 p.m. (CT) at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas at the iBN Las Vegas Invitational while hoping sophomore guard Elijah Johnson has a great game playing back home where he made his name at Cheyenne High School.

SCOUTING OHIO

Ohio returns eight letterwinners and four starters from last season's team, which went 22-15 and 7-9 in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats (3-1), who have played all home games thus far, are coming off a 78-75 victory over Valparaiso Tuesday. They have also beaten Delaware and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, while losing to Oakland (78-66) on Nov. 15.

Ohio, the preseason pick to win the Mid-American Conference, is led by sophomore guard D.J. Cooper. He averages a team-high 15.5 points, 9.3 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Senior forward DeVaughn Washington is next in scoring (13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg), followed by senior guard/forward Tommy Freeman (11.8 ppg, team-high 12 three-pointers), sophomore forward Reggie Keely (10.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, team-best six blocks), and sophomore forward Ivo Baltic (9.8 ppg, team-high 7.3 rpg).

Head coach John Groce's Bobcats average 78.8 points per game and allow 73. They shoot 44.4 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point range, and 63.8 percent at the free-throw line. Ohio is holding foes to 44.5 percent shooting and 28 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding opponents 41.0 to 35.5 boards per game.

Groce is in his fourth season as head coach at Ohio and posted a 40-33 record.

KU coach Bill Self commented on Ohio after his team's victory Tuesday night against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders. Ohio beat the Islanders, 83-70, last Sunday.

"They played a lot of zone," Self said. "We're going to have to make shots. They do some similar things that we do offensively, so hopefully it won't be new to our guys."

THE SERIES

KU is 2-0 against Ohio, including a 1-0 record under Self. Kansas beat the Bobcats, 49-38, on March 14, 1985 in South Bend, Ind., in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Calvin Thompson led KU with 12 points while Greg Dreiling and Ron Kellogg added 10.

The Jayhawks most recently defeated Ohio, 88-51, in the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout on Dec. 15, 2007 at the Sprint Center. Darrel Arthur and Darnell Jackson scored 14 points each, while Arthur also had 10 rebounds for a double-double.

KU IN VEGAS

Kansas is appearing in its second iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational and is 6-0 all time in the event. The Jayhawks won the 2006 Las Vegas invite going 4-0 with home victories against Towson and Tennessee State before beating Ball State, 64-46, at the Orleans Arena and then defeated then-No. 1 and eventual national champion Florida, 82-80 (OT), before a sold-out crowd.

READY TO BE TESTED

The Ohio contest will be KU's first game away from home this season. Kansas (4-0) has cruised to wins in its first four home games.

"I feel like we're going to be tested, which we need," junior guard Tyshawn Taylor said. "Honestly, I don't think we've been tested yet. We've played some good teams, but we played at home so we're kind of spoiled (with) our crowd. It's going to be fun to play in a neutral court and see who the better team is."

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