That class led the Mid-American Conference, and Roderick was a big reason why. As the No.6 recruit in Ohio, there were big expectations for Roderick to help turn around a team that lost many of its biggest contributors with the departure of head coach Saul Phillips.
In 2019-20, Roderick played in 23 of Ohio's 32 games, started five and averaged six points on 36.7% from 3-point range. He made 36 3-pointers that season, trailing only Jason Preston, Ben Vander Plas and the player he would replace in the starting lineup for the next season, Jordan Dartis.
Dartis is Ohio's all-time leader in 3-pointers, second in 3-point attempts and third in 3-point percentage. When he graduated after the 2019-20 season, Ohio needed an elite 3-point shooter to replace him in the starting lineup, and Roderick was the best choice.
Ryan Grzybowski | For The Post
Ohio University's Ben Roderick (No. 3) drives the ball against Central Michigan University. The Bobcats won the game 77-69 in the Convo on Tuesday, Feb, 18th, 2020. (FILE)
He rewarded Boals for putting him into the starting lineup with a stellar season. Roderick averaged 12.2 points per game and shot a blistering 41.9% from beyond the arc in the regular season, good for fifth in the MAC. He was a key part of Ohio's magical postseason, scoring 20 points in the MAC Championship against Buffalo and 15 in Ohio's first-round upset of Virginia in the NCAA Tournament.
After the success of 2020-21, the 2021-22 season was a tough one for Roderick, as he struggled to find his shot, making just 22.2% of his 3-pointers.
"He lost a lot of his confidence last year," Boals said. "But he had a lot of good looks, and we encouraged him to keep shooting."
Roderick rewarded his teammates and coaches confidence in him with a rebound in his 3-point percentage, which is back up to 40% this year, albeit on fewer attempts than the past two seasons.
"I'm never going to stop shooting the ball," Roderick said. "I still think I'm a great shooter, but I'm just trying to make the right play and do whatever I can to help the team win."
But Roderick's shooting hasn't been the only thing that has changed over the last couple of seasons. After starting 54 of the 55 games he played over the course of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, Roderick was moved to the bench for the start of this season, but his approach never changed.
"I think it's just me doing the same job I always do," Roderick said. "Just being that glue guy on the court and being very vocal, both offensively and defensively and helping guys do whatever needs to happen in order to win games."
Roderick has been back in the starting lineup for 11 of Ohio's past 12 games. Both he and Ohio have looked better over that stretch than they have all season.
He is one of the Bobcats' most important defenders and has a knack for jumping into passing lanes and getting his hands on the ball. On the offensive end, Roderick is putting the ball on the floor more and turning it over less.
"I think it's just being in the right spots," Roderick said. "I feel like I've gotten smarter on the defensive end. I might not be the quickest but I feel like being smart can help put me in the right spots."
Ryan Grzybowski | For The Post
Ohio’s Ben Roderick (No. 3) lands on the scoring tables as he saves a ball from out of bounds. The Bobcats beat the Zips 90-81 in the Convo in Athens, Ohio, on Feb. 10, 2023.
Over his career, Roderick has adapted his game however the Bobcats needed him to. He is an asset to a team playing its best basketball of the season. Roderick's leadership has been invaluable, as he is one of only three players on the roster that has been with the Bobcats for at least three years.
"He's playing like a senior right now," Boals said. "He's a great leader in the locker room, he's a great leader on the floor, a great leader in huddles, and he's doing a lot of stuff that isn't really seen in the box score."
While Roderick's role has changed a good deal over his four years in Athens, he has not, and he continues to play a pivotal role in Ohio's success.