Stats & Info: D.J. Cooper

Double-digit seeds look to upset Midwest

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
6:26
PM ET
Our Sweet 16 preview continues with a look at the matchups in the Midwest Regional on Friday:

(13) Ohio vs. (1) North Carolina, 7:47 ET
According to North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, the Tar Heels are preparing to play Friday’s game without starting point guard Kendall Marshall.

Without Marshall as the primary ball handler, the Tar Heels could have difficulty getting past the Ohio Bobcats tomorrow. Ohio forces 17.2 turnovers per game, the fifth-highest mark in the nation and most among the remaining Sweet 16 teams.

Marshall has also shined as the team’s offensive catalyst during the tournament, creating 80 points in his two games from either his own scoring or assists. Against Creighton, Marshall was responsible for 45 of the team's 87 points (55 percent).

If Marshall is not able to play, North Carolina’s ability to finish in the paint and in transition will likely be hurt. Nearly 30 percent of his 201 assists since the start of ACC play have come in transition.

Also, two-thirds of Marshall's assists in that time frame have resulted in paint shots. Tyler Zeller has been the biggest benefactor during this stretch, with 43 percent of his field goals coming off passes from Marshall.

Ohio’s most indispensable player is guard D.J. Cooper, who will be on the court Friday, and the Bobcats are certainly happy about that. Cooper has scored or assisted on 71 of Ohio’s 127 points (56 percent), the highest percentage for any player remaining in the field.

(11) North Carolina State vs (2) Kansas, 10:17 ET
One key battle to watch in this Sweet 16 matchup will be the ability of North Carolina State’s big men to dominate Kansas' forward-center tandem of Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey around the basket.

The Jayhawks have allowed just 22 points in the paint per game this season, which leads the Big 12 and is second among major conference schools. The Wolfpack are averaging 33 paint points per game this season, which ranks second in the ACC and 11th among the Power 6 teams.

However, NC State struggled to find its inside game against Georgetown in the third round. The Wolfpack shot less than 35 percent and scored just 20 points on attempts in the paint, including only six in the second half.

If Kansas is going to advance to the Elite Eight, the Jayhawks might want to improve their mid-range game. Kansas is shooting 27 percent outside the paint in the tournament, the worst among the remaining teams in the field.
Marshall dishes out 16 for UNC
Kendall Marshall matched a career-high with 16 assists in North Carolina’s 84-78 win over Long Beach State on Saturday, equaling the team assist total for the 49ers. It’s the most assists in a game this season, and it's the most since Marshall himself had 16 last February against Florida State. Only three Tar Heels have ever registered more assists in a game: Raymond Felton (18), Jeff Lebo (17) and Ed Cota (17). North Carolina is 13-0 in Marshall’s career when he has nine or more assists.

Cooper finally gets his triple-double
On three different occasions, Ohio’s D.J. Cooper has fallen two rebounds shy of a triple-double. With a minute left on Saturday, he was one rebound short, before hauling in a Kevin Bailey miss with 40 seconds remaining. Cooper finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the Bobcats’ 72-54 win over Portland. He’s the first player listed under 6’0” to register a triple-double since Alabama A&M’s Trant Simpson in 2009. Ohio is 7-1 for the first time since 1969-70.

Kentucky loses despite efficient shooting
The top-ranked team in the country shot 55.6 percent from the floor and still lost?! That’s just one bizarre fact coming out of Indiana’s 73-71 win over Kentucky. It was the Wildcats’ highest FG pct in a loss since 2007. Kentucky’s Terrence Jones only attempted three shots, the fewest of his career. The Hoosiers won despite scoring only seven points in the final 7:45, all by Christian Watford. It was Indiana’s first win over an AP No. 1 team since beating Duke in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

Young’s career night
IUPUI's Alex Young has more career points than any active Division I player. On Saturday, he scored a career-high 43 points in the Jaguars' 84-76 win over Western Kentucky. Young set a school record for a Division I game, eclipsing Odell Bradley’s total of 42, which he reached twice in 2004. It’s the most in any IUPUI game since Carlos Knox tallied 45 points against Drury in 1998. Young’s total is the most Western Kentucky has allowed since La Salle’s Ken Durrett scored 45 in January 1971.

Enquist, Cougars can’t miss
Washington State had its best shooting night in over 15 years in Sunday’s 93-55 win over Santa Clara. The Cougars connected on 67.4 percent of field goals, its best since 67.6 percent against Boise State in 1996. Brock Motum scored a career-high 27 points to lead the way, and Charlie Enquist connected on all seven of his field goal attempts. Enquist is now 28-for-34 on the season, an 82.4 field goal percentage. That’s the highest among all Division I players attempting at least three shots per game.

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