College of the Ozarks Bobcat basketball will open their season this Saturday, November 2, as part of the College’s Homecoming Weekend events. The Bobcats will tip off against a tough foe on Saturday, NAIA DII No. 13 ranked Southwestern College (Kan.), at 3:15 p.m.
The Bobcats posted a rousing finish to their 2018-19 season by collecting a Runner-Up finish in the A.I.I. Conference Championship, which qualified them to advance to the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.
C of O All-American Ethan Davidson and teammate Heath Carmichael provided great leadership for last year’s squad, but their four years have come to an end. Leading the Bobcats this season will be senior Brandt Cochran, who tallied 21 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season. Cochran’s highlights also include 126 three-pointers, 153 assists, and 51 steals. Senior Storm Price will be out of the lineup due to injury, but returners Treydon Rackley, Trey Gibson, and Klay Barton will provide the Bobcats with strong defense and the ability to score inside and out. Steve Shepherd, in his 18th season as the Bobcats’ head coach, has recruited a bevy of quality freshmen to deepen his bench and provide some height and presence under the basket.
“We have great teamwork, and our team members are very unselfish,” stated Shepherd. “I am excited about our new freshmen – they are capable of stepping on the court and making a significant impact. I am eager to see what this hard-working group can accomplish.”
Saturday’s game will take place in the Keeter Gymnasium on the College’s campus. Admission is free for Homecoming Weekend.