Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cincinnati 71 Connecticut 69

The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II
The Cincinnati Bearcats got their first win over a game Connecticut Huskies squad in controversial fashion Wednesday night. Lance Stephenson drew a foul call on Gavin Edwards with .7 seconds left in a tie game and went to the stripe and won it for the Bearcats. There was some dispute that the official made the call after the buzzer, or that Edwards didn't foul Stephenson, but John Cahill said he did, and that's all that matters. The Bearcats get their first win in conference play, and their 9th of the season. It drops UConn to 9-3. 

The big story of the night for the Bearcats was Lance Stephenson. #33 scored 21 points, 1 off his career high, pulled down 4 rebounds and had 3 assists. Stephenson was the offense down the stretch and made things happen to get the win. Lance had a number of moves that left one wondering how he could be stopped. He pulled off a crossover fadeaway jumper off glass, another crossover pull up, and a drive where he went right at one of the UConn big men, missed, but got his own rebound and put it back. He pulled down a rebound and went coast to coast, drawing a foul. Lance has matured since the UAB game. Deonta Vaughn broke out of his slump with 17 points, 5 boards and 5 assists. Vaughn did most of his damage in the first half leading the Cats to a double digit lead. Deonta also made some history. He passed Field Williams and moved into second behind Lazelle Durden for second all time in 3 pointers made. Congratulations Deonta. Yancy Gates didn't do much with only 6 points and 3 boards. He did have 2 blocks. Ibrahima Thomas pulled 9 rebounds, 3 offensive, had 2 blocks and chipped in 6 points. None bigger than his dunk to give Cincinnati a 3 point lead with 17 seconds left. Larry Davis was big down the stretch when the offense sputtered, and had 9, but scored 7 straight at one point. 

For Connecticut, Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson poured in the points with 24 and 20 respectively. Dyson was everywhere when the Huskies needed him most, and Robinson made big shot after big shot. Gavin Edwards had a solid 8-7, doing most of his work at the free throw line. Kemba Walker struggled on 3-13 shooting and finished with 9. Alex Oriakhi was a monster on the boards with 9, 4 offensive. Jerome Dyson really stood out though. He had 7 rebounds, 3 offensive, 5 assists and 2 steals. 

As for the game itself, it was a game filled with lots of ebb and flow. The Bearcats would at once be dynamite offensively, and then go minutes without scoring. The Huskies would fall behind double digits, and rally. The game was as physical as one would expect Big East basketball to be. In the first half, both teams came out tight and scoring was sparse. 7 minutes in, UConn was 4-15 and UC 3-11. That would quickly change. Deonta Vaughn hit 2 3s in 29 seconds to break the UC lead to 8. Stephenson would go coast to coast for a lay up and get fouled to put the lead at 11. The Cats scored 16 points in 3 minutes. They would only score 6 more the final 8 minutes of the half. Jerome Dyson seemed to get right down the middle of the lane on every play and UConn cut into the 12 point lead. Stanley Robinson had a 3 point play on a lay up right down the middle and UConn only trailed by 1 at the half, 36-35. Dyson had 14, Robinson had 9 for UConn. For the Cats, Stephenson had 12 and Vaughn had 10. 

The second half started with Cincinnati busting right back out to a double digit lead. Steve Toyloy of all people nailed a jumper and a free throw to get things started. Deonta Vaughn hit a 3 and after 5 minutes, the Cats lead by 10. UConn cut it back to 5 after Stanley Robinson made the first of only 4 UConn 3s. Rashad Bishop only had 6, but he made a 3 to put UC back up 8, only to foul Robinson as he made a 3. The game stayed close until Larry Davis got involved. Larry hit a 3, got a lay up, and scored on a runner to put the Cats up 10. Lance Stephenson got his first bucket of the half to put UC up 12 with 9 minutes to go. UConn would make a run with Robinson's 3rd 3 pointer, and buckets by Dyson and Walker to get the lead to 5. With 4:27 left, Vaughn picked up his 4th foul on a push off. Vaughn would stay on the bench as the Cats had a couple of turnovers, capped Dyson stripping Bishop and slamming home a dunk to cut the lead to 4 with 2:27 left. Vaughn would only last a minute longer before fouling Gavin Edwards and UConn cut the lead to 3. Dion Dixon would run the point, as he did when Vaughn left the game. UC would struggle to get a good look, and the ball was deflected into the back court. The officials generously give UC 1 second to shoot, and Yancy Gates missed an open look when the Huskies doubled Stephenson. UConn would miss their shot, but Ibrahima Thomas couldn't pull down the rebound, nor could Dion Dixon, who had it taken away by Dyson. Dyson fed Robinson and the Huskies were down 1. UConn wouldn't be able to foul and the Cats broke the press leading to a Thomas dunk and the Cats were up 3 with 17 seconds left. Larry Davis started off on Kemba Walker as the point guard raced up the floor, but Davis went with Dyson and no one was around a wide open Walker who tied the score with 9.4 left. The Cats didn't call a timeout. Stephenson worked around Dyson and drew the foul mentioned up top. Despite being told to miss the second, Lance would make it and a Dyson half court shot would be off and the Bearcats would win. I take detailed game notes. 

The positives in this victory were Deonta Vaughn shaking his slump, Lance Stephenson finally getting a game winner to go after misses against Gonzaga and Xavier, Ibrahima Thomas on the glass, and the defense once again. UConn shot 37.5% and 30.8% from 3. The Cats also didn't get a shot blocked by the nation's leading shot blocking team. The first time UConn didn't block a shot since January 30, 2001. Damn. The Cats shot well with 41% and 46.7% from 3. They even made free throws 14-19 73.7%, highlighted by Lance going 7-7. 

The negatives weren't many. 16 turnovers are too many. The Cats also got in foul trouble. Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates got in it in the middle of the second half, and Vaughn at the end. The Cats also gave up 15 offensive rebounds on 40 UConn misses. 37% is too high, even against a great rebounding team. All in all, it was a great win for the Bearcats. What's your reaction Larry Davis?

The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lance Stephenson is the man

The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II

Lance Stephenson hit 2 free throws with .7 left to beat UConn for the first time in Cincinnati history. It wasn't pretty, but it sure was exciting. More tomorrow

Know Your Opponent: Connecticut Huskies edition

The Bearcats and Huskies kick off their Big East seasons with a match up at 7 in 5/3 Arena. The Huskies beat the Bearcats last year 81-72. The Bearcats played tough last year, but couldn't quite get over the hump thanks to AJ Price. No more Thabeet, Adrien, or Price, but the Huskies still trot out Kemba Walker, Stanley Robinson and co. The Huskies are the best team the Bearcats have lined up against this year, and this should be an interesting test to see where UC stands. We also get to see where UC stands in February, because the Cats and Huskies square off twice this season. Let's hit the numbers and prediction after the jump, shall we?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top UC basketball players of the decade 3-1

We are quickly winding down this year and also quickly winding down the countdown of the top UC ballers of the decade. With the Bearcats kicking off Big East action Wednesday against UConn, look for a preview Wednesday. There will be a write up probably Thursday morning or Wednesday night. It depends because I may attend this game. There will be a Sugar Bowl preview going up Friday, and there is a 80% chance of a live blog Friday night. That does not say much about my New Years Day plans, but it works out for you, the reader. In case you have missed any of the countdown so far, here is a run down. 12-10, 9-7, 6-4.

3. Jason Maxiell. The man known as Mad Max comes in third on the list. I remember at Midnight Madness his freshman year, Jason Maxiell dominated the slam dunk contest and won the fans over that night. As the 6 man on the 01-02 Bearcats, Maxiell made an impact. He averaged 8 points and 6.8 rebounds and along with Donald Little and Jamaal Davis, they were a formidable front line. Maxiell entered the starting line up the next season and was a fixture the rest of his UC career. Max averaged 12, 7 and 1.9 blocks his UC career, capped off by a senior year in which he put up 15, 7.7 and 2.7 blocks a game. Maxiell was known for his shot blocking skill, and for his monsterous dunks. Jason seemed to want to break the rim with every jam. Max was the leader of the last UC team to make the NCAA tournament. He is also the leader of the last Bearcat team to win in the NCAA tournament. Who can forget him making his first 2 3s of his career against Iowa? I can. In another NCAA 05 story, Jason Maxiell had 50-14-6 to lead the video Cats past UConn in the Final Four. It's nice to see Jason doing well in the NBA as well. Also, check out that picture. Maxiell slamming it down on some random Marquette player has to make you smile.

2. Steve Logan. Steve Logan may have a case for being the top Bearcat of the decade. But, part of the thing that hurts Steve is the fact that he disappeared off the face of the earth after the 02 season. And the other part is that number 1 is one of the best Bearcats of all time. That takes nothing away from 22. Steve Logan was one of my favorites from about the minute he stepped on campus. Logan showed flashes of his talent his freshman and sophomore years, while taking mostly a back seat. But, his last 2 seasons in Cincinnati, Logan showed he was a superstar averaging 17.6 and 22 points a game. He was mostly a scorer his junior year, and in his senior year, he evolved his all around game while playing point guard. Logan averaged 5.3 assists and 3 rebounds a game. There were quite a few memorable performances from Logan in his All-American season. He had 15 points and 16 assists against Coppin State. He had 1 game in single digits. If you take out the 2 Charlotte games, he had no fewer than 14 points in a game. Steve started the season with 31 against Oklahoma State, showing he could carry the load. In the Steve Logan pantheon game, he scored a career high 41 points while Southern Miss only had 37. He outscored a team! That UC team overachieved all season going 31-4 and earning a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. They would lose a classic against UCLA in the second round. I was at nearly every home game this season, and this is one UC season, and player, I'll always remember.

1. Jihad Muhammad. Jihad Muhammad was the greatest Bearcat of the decade. Oh wait, no he wasn't.

1. Kenyon Martin. Kenyon Martin is one of the greatest Bearcats of all time. Jack Twyman, Oscar Robertson and Kenyon are the only male basketball players with their numbers in the rafters. Kenyon won every major award a man could win in his senior season, and carried the Bearcats to the top of the polls. They were the odds on favorite to win the title that year, and we all know what happened against St Louis. I was at school when the game was happening, and as I was leaving, people were talking about how Kenyon got hurt. I was consumed by this and when I got home, I turned on the tv and watched the reports until it made me sick. It didn't take too long. Broken leg and dreams aside, Kenyon Martin was the man. He single handily beat DePaul in Chicago with a 33 point effort where he willed the Bearcats to win. He put up a triple double against Memphis going for 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks. K Mart had 14 double doubles that season. Not just run of the mill variety. Kenyon had 19-17, 26-17-5, 31-16-7 against UAB, 33-14, 23-13, 27-13-5, 24-12 and a couple of 19-10s. There was no better player to symbolize what Cincinnati was all about than Kenyon Martin. In fact, he gets 2 pictures. Look at that block. I love you Kenyon Martin

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top UC basketball players of the decade 6-4

In case you missed the first 2 entries to the countdown of the top UC hoopsters of the decade, here are 12-10, and here are 9-7.

As we stroll down memory lane, it's hard to not get excited about this years team. This is the first UC team in at least 5 years that has a chance at making the NCAA tournament, and the first UC team in 6 years that could win a game in the tournament. It's hard to believe that the Iowa game was so long ago. But given the past few years, it seems like a whole lot longer. Without further ado, let's hit the list of the top Bearcats of the decade.

6. Eric Hicks. Eric Hicks was a major fan favorite, and the heart and soul of the 2005-06 team that Andy Kennedy coached. Hicks matured before our eyes, getting better every season and becoming a team leader. Hicks averaged 10 points and 7 boards a game his UC career. The last 2 seasons tell the real story. When he got into the starting line up, Eric put in 13.7 and 15 and 9 and 9.7 rebounds a game. He improved his shooting, making 13 of 27 3s his senior year, and making 65% of his free throws after shooting 47%, 53% and 58%. Eric Hicks had a non stop engine, and his hard work and high level of play make him the 6th best Bearcat on this list. Also, Eric Hicks was a monster in NCAA Hoops 05. He put up at least 4 triple doubles his junior year, and averaged a double double. Video game Eric Hicks and Jason Maxiell couldn't be stopped.

5. Kenny Satterfield. Kenny Satterfield and DerMarr Johnson were the 2 big hot shot recruits Bob Huggins brought in for the 99-00 season. They both went pro after their freshman years, but Kenny Satterfield hung around for his sophomore year. Kenny split time starting with I believe Steve Logan his freshman year, but ran  the show his second. Kenny averaged 11.9 points, 5.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists his career. As a starter his sophomore year, he put up 14.4, 5.1, 4.7 and 1.7 a game. Kenny wasn't a great shooter, and I always got the impression that he thought he was a better shooter than he actually was. Satterfield is remembered by some as being brash and arrogant, and for missing a potential game tying or winning shot against Xavier, but the man was a player. He was the engine for the machine that went to the Sweet 16 in the 01 tournament, the farthest a UC team has gone since 1996. His alley oop to Immanuel McElroy is still burned into my brain, as high school Scott stayed up late to watch UC go down to Stanford.

4. Deonta Vaughn. This is the man who is mainly responsible for where UC basketball is right now. Not only has Deonta Vaughn been the best Bearcat since the plunge into the abyss of suck, but he has put on his boot straps and help pull Cincinnati out of it. He is averaging 15 points a game for his Cincinnati career. While that may not put # 5 in the rafters, he has done so much more. He has been the point guard, leading the team in assists every year, putting up 4.6 last year. He has been the best defender, averaging over a steal a game. He has been the superman of the Cincinnati Bearcats the past 4 years. It's going to be an emotional day when he walks off 5/3 Court for the final time. Mick Cronin had a big part in turning the Cats around, but if it wasn't for Deonta Vaughn, I doubt Lance Stephenson would be here for one. Vaughn showed that it's ok for top recruits to come back to Cincinnati, and that you can win here again. I hope this team finishes this season and Deonta Vaughn can play in the NCAA tournament. He deserves this. He earned his spot as the 4th best Bearcat of the decade

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Top UC basketball players of the decade 9-7

In the previous post, I started a countdown of the top UC basketball players of the decade. It continues today with players 9-7. It bums me out a whole lot looking back through stats and pictures of the way things were in the mid-00s and the 90s. This program didn't have to fall like it did. But, the sweet wouldn't be as sweet without the sour as they say in Vanilla Sky, so taking our lumps now will only set us up for the reward of being back to national relevance and in the NCAA tournament. I think Mick Cronin is the man who will lead us to the mountain top, or at least to the mountain. With all the bummer stuff out of the way, let's relive some of the good days shall we? In case you missed the last post, the countdown begins here.

9. James White. How could I not pick a picture of the man nicknamed "Flight" dunking? It's too easy. I remember being really pumped up when it was announced that James was transferring from Florida to Cincinnati. My excitement would not turn to disappointment. James averaged 16 points his senior year, 10 his junior year and 8 his sophomore year. He turned himself from a pure slasher, into a good shooter. His last 2 seasons he put up 44% and 48% shooting. He also turned it around from 3. After 23% his sophomore year and 29% his year at Florida, he shot 38% and 37% his last 2 years. He was much better known for his dunks. He finished second in whatever the dunk contest was Final Four weekend his senior year I believe, and he put on a show in the NBDL dunk contest last year. I think he's playing in Russia now. Nonetheless, James White was one of my favorites. In NCAA 05, I always switched him and Nick Williams so White would run the point. You couldn't stop him on the pick and roll

8. Pete Mickeal. I loved me some Pete Mickeal. Kenyon Martin's wingman was not too shabby himself. He was another 2 year player, and was very solid. He averaged 13.5 6.3 1.8 and 1.4 steals this decade. His junior year was better stat wise, but Pete was a hard worker. He was an honorable mention All American his senior year. Pete was also left handed, so when I would ball it up in high school, any lefty was called Pete Mickeal. Especially if he played hard defense. I don't have any Pete Mickeal video game stories, so let's move on to the next man.

7. Leonard Stokes. Lenny Stokes was one of the more frustrating Bearcats that I remember. I always thought he had so much potential, and he would flash it, and then put it away. Lenny averaged 10 his career, but taking out a freshman year he didn't play much, he put up 10, 12 and 15. I think the biggest thing I didn't like about Stokes was that he was a terrible 3 point shooter, who thought he could shoot the 3. Just 29% for his career. Leonard was the typical Huggins player though. He stayed all 4 years and learned, and grew and by the time he was a senior, he was a team leader. The 2002-2003 team wasn't the best, but Lenny tried his best to make them something. The absolute best Stokes game was in 2001 against UCLA in the second round. Stokes put up 39 points and 10 rebounds in 46 minutes. He was the best Cat on the court, and that team had Steve Logan. That was one of the worst losses I can remember, but I was incredibly proud of how the team played, and a big part of that was 13.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Urban Meyer stepping down at Florida

NOTE: Urban Meyer is not leaving Florida. He's taking a leave of absence. But, still coaching the Sugar Bowl. And may still coach next season. It's an odd situation to say the least. (12.27)


In news that rocked the college football landscape, Urban Meyer will coach his last game at Florida January 1 against the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl. The reasons for Meyer leaving are said to be health related. It's not known at this time if it had anything to do with his hospitalization after the SEC championship game. Meyer had a piece in SI where he said he had a cyst on his brain, but it wasn't life threatening. I have seen this mentioned a few times on a few sites, but no one really knows what's happening.

To repeat, Meyer will coach against Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. This adds a huge layer to the game Friday. The Sugar Bowl is racked with coaching turmoil, from Cincinnati having Brian Kelly leave, to Butch Jones being coach and not coaching, to Jeff Quinn accepting the Buffalo job, and now Urban Meyer is stepping down from Florida. Here is what Meyer had to say about everything in a released statement by Florida.

“I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program,” said Meyer. “I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family.”
“After consulting with my family, Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and my doctors, I believe it is in my best interest to step aside and focus on my health and family.
 “I’m proud to be a part of the Gainesville community and the Gator Nation and I plan to remain in Gainesville and involved with the University of Florida.
“I’m very appreciative for the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of a tremendous institution – from Dr. Machen to Jeremy Foley and the entire administrative staff at UF. I’m also very thankful for the chance to work with some of the best assistants in college football and coach some of the best college football players and watch them grow both on and off the field as people. I will cherish the relationships with them the most.”

 And here's AD Jeremy Foley, by the Palm Beach Post (HT: Alligator Army)
“Coach Meyer and I have talked this through and I realize how hard this was for him to reach this decision,” Foley said. “But, the bottom line is that Coach Meyer needed to make a choice that is in the best interest of his well being and his family. I certainly appreciate what he has meant to the University of Florida, our football program and the Gator Nation. I have never seen anyone more committed to his players, his family and his program. Above all, I appreciate our friendship.”

Top UC basketball players of the decade 12-10

I decided to break this list into groups of 3. Why? I don't know, 3 just seemed like a good number. The point is to honor all of the best Bearcats of the decade. And when that is in doubt, I'll go with my favorites. I was going with my favorites anyway, but saying I'm narrowing things down from the best makes this list seem a little legitimate. All stats are taken from All pictures are from google search, and I'll give credit if I catch a source.

First, let's tackle the players who didn't quite make the list.

Jermaine Tate

DerMarr Johnson

Donald Litle
Jamaal Davis
Chadd Moore
Cedric McGowan

John Meeker, always a hit with the ladies
John Williamson

Dion Dixon. What can I say? I like him

12. Field Williams (enquirer)
Field Williams wasn't the best guard of the 00s. Not close. But the man had a wet jumpshot. Only once did he shoot less than 43% from 3. Field also had his name of the back of his jersey his senior season. Williams averaged 8 points a game his UC career, but put up 11.6 and 11.9 his junior and senior years. More importantly than all this, one year I worked Midnight Madness as an usher or something. I was positioned at the end of the table, right next to Field Williams. I talked to him and Taron Barker for about half an hour and they signed my hat. Unprofessional I know, but it's why Field makes this list.

11. Immanuel McElroy 
Immanuel McElroy was a junior college transfer who only played 2 seasons for the Cats. He put up meager numbers, 8 points 4 boards 2 assists, but he did much more than that. He was the tenacious defender that signified all that was good about Cincinnati defense. He routinely guarded the best player, and was known as a lock down defender. I was nervous every time he shot though. I remember being surprised every time he made a 3 and pissed every time he shot one. McElroy is also cooler because he wore 23

10. Tony Bobbitt 
Tony Bobbitt was one of the most excitable Bearcats of all time. He was only a 2 year play, like McElroy. He was known as the Microwave, or something just as goofy. The long lasting image of Tony for UC fans was this shot, after he hit the huge 3 pointer to beat East Tennessee State in the NCAA tournament. Haters of Bobbitt remember that time when the dude on DePaul punched him in the balls. I choose to remember the good moment. Tony averaged 10.9 points his career. As a senior 6th man, he put up 13.4 a game with 1.5 steals and 3.4 rebounds.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

UC Game of the Decade

(Credit: The great, great Warming Glow)

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone who reads this blog. Thanks for reading. This post is going to combine some news, and a preview of what's to come on the site for the rest of the year. This one has flown by hasn't it? Let's hit this with bullet points, because everyone likes them right?

  • New Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones has hired his offensive and defensive coordinators. Offensively it's Mike Bajakian, who last held the job at Central Michigan. There are co-defensive coordinators, Tim Banks and John Jancek. Banks was also at Central Michigan a season a go. Jancek was at the University of Georgia, where he was also a co-ordinator. Nice to see Coach Jones getting some quality people in here. 
  • Current Cincinnati interim coach Jeff Quinn has taken the head coach job at Buffalo. He will still coach the Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl is being a big clusterfuck coach wise. With Brian Kelly leaving, and Jones not having much of anything to do with the game, and now Quinn is out getting other jobs. It's a very weird situation. And it's one that I don't think is going to have the best of benefits for the Bearcats. Although, an article was written here about how the team is staying focused with all the turmoil. 
  • There will be a Sugar Bowl preview on New Year's Day. Depending on my fluctuating plans, there may be some live blog action. 
  • The basketball team is done for the next week, but there will be a preview on Wednesday and a write up of the UConn game either Wednesday night or Thursday. Best idea, just click refresh a whole lot. 
  • Speaking of hoops, the school announced a reward system for students who attend games. Depending on the attendance on some of the conference games, there is going to be an attendance article. 6,000 fans is pathetic. Get out there students, you can win season tickets for football next year. 
I'm going to do a little something special the next week. I'm going to roll out a list of the best players of the decade for basketball. Why not one for football? Because the list would be everyone from the last 2 seasons. I remember going to Nippert and running around the area around the stadium and not caring about the game. My friends and I would always move close to to the bench of the visiting team, because our tickets were always on the visiting side. But all that changed. The past 3 seasons, the Nip has been full. It was remarkable watching UC-UConn get top billing on ABC on a Saturday night over Oklahoma-Nebraska. UC played a prominent game the day after Thanksgiving. And a road game at Pitt that the whole nation watched. It was truly the best time to be a UC fan ever. Here are the winners for coach, player, and team of the decade.

Football coach of the Decade: Brian Kelly

Football player of the Decade: Mardy Gilyard

Football team of the Decade: 2009.

Finally, the game of the decade. Not just for football, but for all Cincinnati sports. The 45-44 win over Pittsburgh to win the Big East title.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cincinnati 74 Winthrop 57

(AP/Tom Uhlman)

The Cincinnati Bearcats improved to 8-3 by besting the Winthrop Eagles by the score posted in the title. It was a tale of 2 halves for the Cats, as they dominated the first, and struggled in the second. Scoring is going to be a problem with this team all season. A second half drought, coupled by turnovers and the fact they thought they had the game put away, let the Eagles chip their way back into this one late. Deonta Vaughn, who didn't shoot in the first half, hit back to back 3s to put this one out of reach and the lead at 16. Vaughn finished with 11. The first half scoring was taken care of, in large part, by Yancy Gates. Yancy had 14 in the first half, and was invisible in the second, finishing with a team high 16. The third Cat in double digits was Ibrahima Thomas, who had 11. Thomas got his second start of the season and played hard. For Winthrop, Charles Corbin lead the way with 12 6 3 and 3 steals off the bench. He had 5 offensive rebounds. Matt Morgan and Mantoris Robinson both chipped in with 10. Mantoris is such an incredibly cool name. I wouldn't mind if he transfered to UC, or we would play them again.

The front line was the story early on. The Bearcats used a 12-0 run to turn the score from 12-11 to 24-11 and Winthrop didn't have an answer the first half. The Cats shot 50% and had 23 rebounds, many of them offensive. There was a spot where after Cashmere Wright missed a 3, got his own rebound, the second of the possession, and got the ball to I think Steve Toyloy for a lay up. Cashmere looked much better this game. He played with a lot of confidence and filled up the stat sheet by going for 5, 3, 3. And more importantly, zero turnovers. Cashmere made the only UC 3 of the first half as well. The team penetrated a whole bunch in this half. Lance Stephenson didn't do much by way of scoring, but fed Yancy Gates for easy lay ups a few times. The Cats had 12 first half assists. The halftime lead was 16.

The second half was a different story. This is was an example of what can not happen a week from now when Connecticut comes into town. The ball died with whoever had it. The rebounding ferociousness of the first half went away. The team looked complacent. This team is not good enough to be complacent. After Ibrahima Thomas had a quick scoring furry to get the lead to 19, the Cats took the foot off the breaks. At the 16 minute mark, the Cats lead 50-34. It would take 2:30 to score again, a Jaquon Parker 3 to put the lead, which was cut to 11, back to 14. Lance Stephenson, who had 8, made his first shot since the opening 2 for UC to make the lead 13 at the 10 minute mark. The Bearcats fell asleep again on offense. Turnovers haunted UC. The Cats turned it over 11 times in the half, many of them here. The Bearcats didn't score for 3:30 as Winthrop had the  lead to 9. The aforementioned Vaughn 3s came here to put this one on ice.

If the Bearcats had played a better offensive team, this one could have been a barn burner. But, the Bearcats played fantastic defense yet again, and held the Eagles to 37.5% shooting and 2/11 from 3. The Bearcats shot   51% for the game. The problems were from 3 they shot 6-19 for 31.6% and another horrible free throw shooting game going 16-27  59%. Lance Stephenson was off going 0-4 at the line. Steve Toyloy, who had 6 boards and played well, bricked both his attempts.

The rebounding was great. The Bearcats missed 25 shots, but got 14 offensive rebounds. Winthrop missed 35 shots, and got 11 of them back. It seemed everyone had a hand in on rebounding last night.  Rashad Bishop lead the team with 8, Yancy had 7, Toyloy 6, Vaughn and Stevenson 4, and Thomas, Parker and Wright all had 3. Offensively, Gates had 4, Bishop 3, and Thomas and Toyloy had 2. Nice job overall rebounding.

UConn is up next a week from today. I'll get some fresh, new content up here the next few days, so keep checking back. There probably won't be a post on Christmas, but still check anyway because it would be a nice present to me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Boom, that's how it's done. Bearcats beat Eagles

Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II

Yancy Gates had 16 points, including this dunk, to lead the Bearcats past the Winthrop Eagles tonight 74-57. More tomorrow

Know Your Opponent: Winthrop Eagles edition (plus Lipscomb thoughts)

Before we get into the the game tonight, let's look back to Saturday real fast. After an slow start the first 6 minutes, the Bearcats got into an offensive rhythm and put it on the Bisons 80-52. The maligned UC offense shot 54%, and made 10 3s. They shot 36, which is still too many. This isn't a good enough shooting team to put up that many shots. Especially when UC is an above average 2 point shooting team. Lance Stephenson lead the way with 19 points and 5 assists. Dion Dixon put up 15 in his second straight double digit outing. Rashad Bishop was 5-5 for 13 points, and Larry Davis and Ibrahima Thomas, in his 1st start, both put in 10. Another bad shooting game for Deonta Vaughn. 2-9, 1-8 from 3, for 5 points. Vaughn had 7 assists, but man, he needs to shake his slump. He is only shooting 34% on the year, and 26% from deep. The Bearcats defense had 8 blocks. 3 from Biggie McClain. Nice to see him getting involved. Thomas and Toyloy had 2 each.

Now let's take a look towards tonight. The Winthrop Eagles come into town looking for a big win. The Eagles were routed by Clemson, and went down to Charlotte by 10 their last time out. The Eagles don't score much, and don't have a player averaging double digits. But, they have 10 players averaging 10 minutes a game. So they rotate a lot it appears. Numbers wise, Andy Buechert is the star going for 7 and 7 a game. This one should get ugly. I am looking for another 20+ point win and a strong defensive performance. Without further adieu, let's hit the numbers.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Big(gie) win for UC

(ap/Tony Tribble)
Big win for the Bearcats, as they dispatched the Lipscomb Bisons 80-52. Biggie McClain offers visual proof that the Cats rejected Lipscomb's bid for a win.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Know Your Opponent: Lipscomb Bisons edition

After a bad, bad taste was left in everyone's mouth after the pathetic effort against UAB, the Bearcats look to bounce back tomorrow against Lipscomb. I would be shocked if the Bearcats won this one by less than 20. In fact, Ohio State and Vanderbilt beat Lipscomb by 20 and 22 respectively. We shouldn't sleep on the Bisons, because if the Bearcats put up an offensive effort like they did on Wednesday, they can lose to anyone. But we shouldn't. Let's go inside the numbers after the jump.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

UAB 64 Cincinnati 47

(ap Butch Dill)

The Cincinnati Bearcats were dominated by the UAB Blazers all night Wednesday. From the minute the teams stepped on the floor, one team was interested, the other was not. Unfortunately, it was Mick Cronin's team that was uninterested. The team seemed to be deflated right off the bat when Lance Stephenson injured his ankle 2 minutes into the game. He would end up returning at about the 10 minute mark of the first half.

The bugaboos that hurt the team against Xavier showed up bright and early Wednesday. Right off the bat, the very impressive Elijah Millsap was hitting the offensive glass and outhustling Yancy Gates, Rashad Bishop and Steve Toyloy. Millsap crushed it on the glass with 15 rebounds, 6 offensive. The Blazers dominated the offensive glass by gathering 13. They had at least 8 in the first half according to the CBS College stats.

The second bugaboo that killed was the albatross around the neck of this version of the Cincinnati Bearcats: shooting. The Cats shot a woeful 31.7% on 19-60 shooting. 22 of those were 3s, and only 3 were made. This team loves shooting 3s, which is not a bad thing, but they can't make them. When they aren't getting offensive rebounds, they only had 10, it's a killer. It hurt against Xavier, and it really made this one ugly. They force so many shots from the outside. Bishop, Lance, Cashmere Wright, Deonta Vaughn, Dion Dixon, and Ibrahima Thomas were all guilty of this last night. Ibrahima Thomas has offered nothing his first 2 games as a Bearcat. It takes some getting used to, but his most memorable moment was getting in Xavier's players faces in the big pull apart. He should get a lot of opportunities against Lipscomb. The shooting woes are really evident when it comes to lay ups. In my notes, I counted at least 5. That's too many for any team that wants to be anything. The woes were so bad in the pathetic second half, I tracked the possessions. This is after the Cats cut the deficit, at one point 15 in the 1st half, to 8. This is from about the 11 minute mark to the end of the game. Cringe away. The possessions we score on, are in red.

  1. Dixon throws it away. UAB went up 10 here. 
  2. Larry Davis forced 17 footer
  3. Dixon had a blow by dunk here. 2 points. The Cats were 13-31 shooting at this point.
  4. Davis missed lay up
  5. Vaughn bricks a 3 after forcing a UAB turnover
  6. Toyloy travel. Millsap would follow with a wide open 3 pointer
  7. Darnell Wilks sets a moving screen. That was the 12th UC turnover
  8. Wilks throws away a pass Vaughn can't handle and then fouls
  9. Bishop turnover leads to lay up. The lead hit 15 here with 7:30 left. UC had just 35 points
  10. Lance Stephenson charges. Another UC turnover. Lance was clearly bothered by the officials at this point. This was his 3rd foul. A few minutes later, he would get whistled for charging again, and get a technical foul and be disqualified with 4:30 left. Not a good night for Lance at all. It's really reached the point, as Lance Stephenson goes, the Cincinnati Bearcats go. 
  11. Yancy Gates throws up an airball. The Cats were still down 15 at this point
  12. The only highlights came at this point. The last gasp for hope of a victory. Lance Stephenson hit Rashad Bishop for a lay up. 4 points
  13. Followed by Lance stealing the inbound for a lay up to cut the lead to 11. 6 points. 
  14. This was all on one possession. Vaughn blocked. After the inbound Bishop misses, followed by Gates missing a put back.
  15. Jarmarr Sanders, who had only 7, makes his only 3 in 6 attempts to make this a 19 point game.
  16. The aforementioned Lance Stephenson charge comes here. Another turnover. 
  17. Dixon, who was the only Bearcat in double digits with 13, bricks a 3
  18. Davis bricks a 3, Dixon misses a 17 footer
  19. Dixon blows a lay up. Dixon also took a team high 11 shots. He made 2 of the 3 Cincinnati 3s (Vaughn made the other). When he is second on the team in 3 point attempts, something is going wrong. And I love Dion Dixon
  20. UAB gets a backdoor cut for a wide open dunk to make the score 62-39. 
  21. Vaughn misses a 3. He was 1-7 from deep with only 7 points. 5 turnovers. He needs to step it up if this team is going to win. 
  22. Cashmere Wright, who only played 15 minutes and didn't get in the second half until the 12 minute mark, and then at the end of the game, missed a 3
  23. Points come here with the game well in hand. Steve Toyloy hits a lay up. 8 points
  24. Wright missed lay up, Dixon missed a tip in, and Deonta Vaughn got the rebound and was fouled while shooting. He made them both. 10 points
  25. Wright missed a 3, Toyloy got the offensive rebound and dunked it home. 12 points
  26. After UAB threw away the inbound in the waning seconds, Steve Toyloy got a lay up to end the scoring. 14 points
That is awful. The Bearcats scored 28 in the second half, and 8 came in the closing 2 minutes. Pathetic.

All credit in this one goes to the victors. The UAB Blazers once again roll Cincinnati in Birmingham. I would suggest never playing them there ever again. Mike Davis' club has not lost a home non conference game since he has been coach. His team was well prepared tonight. I came away very, very, very impressed with Elijah Millsap. He was all over the court. The Millsap boys know how to rebound. Let us take this one and erase it from our memory banks, thanks, and move on to non conference teams we can destroy. The next game is Saturday against Lipscomb.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Give me a break

(AP: Butch Dill)
That was fucking pathetic.

Know Your Opponent: UAB Blazers edition

The Cincinnati Bearcats look to get back on track after losing a tough one Sunday night against Xavier in the Crosstown Shootout. On top of that, this is the first true road game outside of Cincinnati. UAB is a old Conference USA foe, and I relish the opportunity to kick their ass once again. All of my UAB memories are mixed.. Since 1991-1992, the Bearcats are 15-8 against UAB. The last loss in 07-08 at UAB. The last win was last year. That was the Deonta Vaughn off the bench game. He scored 16. Let's get to the breakdown and prediction. The fun is after the jump.

Butch Jones thoughts

That's video of Butch Jones' pregame speech before the MAC title game, and video highlights of the victory. I'm pretty excited about the Butch Jones era. There is a little concern from some parties because he interviewed for the West Virginia job after his first season at CMU. That makes one wonder if the Michigan job came open that he would leave then as well. But who cares? There is also concern that he won with BK's players at Central Michigan. Those concerns I share as well, but luckily, he's following BK yet again. He did wonders with Dan Lefevour, and I think he can help Zach Collaros have a big, big year. Jones runs the spread, and the offense basically the same way Kelly did at Central, and like Kelly did here. I'm pretty excited about this hire. Central Michigan was very balanced, scoring 27 rushing and passing TDs this season. They went undefeated in the MAC and were ranked for the first time in school history. It will be very interesting to see how Jones deals with expectations. For the first time in school history, there is pressure to win. Losing more than the Oklahoma game non-conference is going to be a let down. Not winning the Big East is going to be a let down. Not to me, but to the fanbase. Especially if UC had a drastic fall back into irrelevance nationally. That said, I think that Butch Jones is going to help the program advance in the right direction. I think that he is going to win here. He is going to be hard pressed to match the Brian Kelly level of success the past 2 seasons, but 10, hell even 9 or 8, wins a year at Cincinnati is rather impressive. I don't think he's a Kragthrope hire, and I think the University of Cincinnati picked the right man to keep the train on the tracks of success.
(Edit. There is a 5 pm press conference this afternoon to make the formal announcement. Watch it live here)

Sources: Butch Jones is the new Cincinnati coach.

(wvns tv)

The winds of change are blowing through the University of Cincinnati, and it appears they have brought another coach from Central Michigan. Sources everywhere from ESPN to the USA Today are saying that he is the man for the job. Can't say that I'm too surprised by this one.  I gave him a 63% chance at taking the job, and after Chris Peterson, who was never going to come here, he was the man I wanted. The man that wasn't Turner Gill. But, more tomorrow if this is true.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh Say Did UC?

The day of the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati de facto Big East championship game, some Big East bloggers came up with names for fake UC blogs. One of them, was Oh Say Can UC. In this post where I link stories from around the world about UC, I'm going to take that name and tweak it. Will I come up with a better name soon? Maybe. 

Today was a slow news day, so every sports site came out with their All American teams. Mardy Gilyard landed on a bunch of these lists. The AP had him second team. The Sporting News had Mardy on the 2nd team and linebacker Andre Revels on the 3rd team. Rivals had Mardy 2nd team WR and kick returner. Jeff Linkenbach was 3rd team at offensive line. SI had Mardy 1st team as All Purpose.

Jeff Quinn had a Sugar Bowl press conference today. Some highlights (from Lance McAlister's twitter) Picture courtesy of the AP.

  • All scholarships offered will be honored...nobody has reneged that i'm aware of
  • message doesn't change...just comes from different voice
  •  I stand before you as the next man in.....this is the senior's football team..we need them to step up and lead, be mature...i trust them
  • nd came looking for bk...he wasn't searching out other places
  • we gave brian the menu and he had a feel for what he wanted to do...that sheet is the work of me and the off coaches
In that same vain, Brian Bennett at ESPN conducted an interview with Quinn. Here is part 1. And part 2.
Cory Giger wrote an article about the Big 10 expanding. His suggestion: Cincinnati. Nippert Stadium is really small by Big 10 standards. They would probably have to build a new stadium, or play at PBS or something. I'm not really sure how that would work. 
Rounding around to basketball, the Bearcats ranked 25 in the AP poll and fell out of the ESPN/USA Today top 25, but were the top team receiving votes. 
The great, great, great Rush the Court blog was at the Crosstown Shootout Sunday. Along with their excellent game coverage, there was this fantastic article by John Stevens about his experience. I recommend this highly.
Also, the very, very good Pat Forde wrote about the game on, calling it one of America's great rivalries. 
There was a very handsome man who wrote about the Shootout as well. 
That's all for today. Look for the UAB breakdown tomorrow, and then a write up on Wednesday night/Thursday. Thanks for reading. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Xavier 83 Cincinnati 79

In what was one of the most intense, hardly contested Crosstown Shootouts ever, the Xavier Musketeers had what it took down the stretch to beat the Cincinnati Bearcats in double overtime. This was definitely one of the best Shootouts since the Huggins era. Unfortunately, the Cats couldn't come up victorious and lost to Xavier for the 3rd year in a row. As always, there were some plusses, and there were some minuses. Do I smell a list? Yes, yes I do.
+ Lance Stephenson. #33 took this game over when the Bearcats trailed by 10 in the second half, and put in a career high 22. He was by the best player on the court tonight, with all due respect to Terrell Holloway. Lance scored 7 straight to give UC the lead after being down 6. The crossover lay up to tie the score was amazing. Lance then hit a jumper after another killer crossover to make it 65-61 in OT. And in his last display of awesome, he hit a reverse lay up, driving from the left baseline to under the basket. I wasn't a fan of the shot in OT, but he shook Holloway and it was a decent shot.
- Lance Stephenson. Barking at Chris Mack is stupid. Lance says he didn't remember that, but I tend to believe the coach. Also, and more importantly, Lance should not have given up the ball to Dion Dixon in OT 2. The ball had to be in his or Deonta Vaughn's hands, and he gave up it to Dixon. Dixon didn't take a horrible shot, but he sucks at shooting 3s.
+ Defense. Xavier made only 5-18 from 3 point land, and that was quite a statement. Xavier only shot 41% for the game. Jordan Crawford was 5-16 and clearly frustrated. Jason Love made the big lay up, but was only 3-9. 3 point ace Brad Redford didn't get off a shot. The 8 and a half minute lockdown on X was brilliant. The Cats forced Xavier deep into the shot clock while making up the difference in the second half.
- Offense. The shooting was putrid. 32-85 fgs, 5-23 from 3, 10-22 fts. That's horrible no matter how you slice it.
+ Mick Cronin. Mick made adjustments to the offense and it paid off in the second half. The team drove more to the basket. Larry Davis drove to the rim 3 times in the first half twice leading to points. He was the only one to get the message then, but the rest of the team came along the second half. It was a nice adjustment, and one that almost lead to victory.
- Mick Cronin. What in the bloody hell was Jaquon Parker doing in the game at the end of overtime? Ice cold off the bench, and you stick him on Holloway? It was a stupid foul, but not one that I put on Parker fully. He should never have been in that position. Earlier in the game, Holloway blew past Parker. I don't understand that substitution at all. Dion Dixon and I both had the same look after the foul. Mick took the blame for this loss, and he deserved it.
+ The pull aparts. Sportsmanship, schasmortzmanship. Nothing got the blood pumping like seeing all the Bearcats coming to support Lance Stephenson after Jason Love put him down with the intentional foul. It was nice to see the team sticking up for each other. Ibrahima Thomas was pushed by Terrell Holloway while walking back to the bench, that's why he was so pissed. Overall, it was good to see the players fired up.
-UC after the pull apart. The Bearcats became more concerned with talking shit than playing basketball. Xavier out bullied UC and worked it to their advantage.
The rest of these are negatives, since I can't think of any positives. Do I smell bullet points?

  • Deonta Vaughn, where have you gone? 6-19 from the field, and blowing the lay up down 3. Vaughn missed at least 2 more lay ups. Not the strongest game from 5. 9 boards is nice, but we need you to score
  • Yancy Gates stop taking jump shots. Start rebounding more. Jason Love pushed you around
  • I would single out someone for not guarding Terrell Holloway, but since no one did, I can't
  • Yancy Gates 2-6, Cashmere Wright 2-4, Lance Stephenson 2-4, Steve Toyloy 0-2. Practice free throws all week men.
  • Xavier got 11 offensive rebounds off 35 misses. 
  • 5 point lead with 55 seconds left. Got to finish. Mark Lyons and Holloway both penetrated to tie the score. Can't blow these. 
  • Seriously, why the fuck was Parker on Holloway? That is up there with Charles Williams losing the ball off his shoe in the pantheon of UC blowing it to X moments. 
I would be remiss if I didn't give credit to where credit is due. Xavier knew how important this game was, and they played like it. Terrell Holloway went for 26, and was 11-11 at the stripe. Every one of those turned out to be important. He played strong defense on Lance in overtime and the second ot. Jason Love hit the glass hard with 19 rebounds. Chris Mack has a good team. Congratulations Xavier.
The Enquirer/Ernest Coleman

Sunday, December 13, 2009

That sucked

I hate losing to Xavier. More tomorrow.

Know Your Opponent: Xavier Musketeers edition

It's Crosstown Shootout time. No words needed. But, here are some anyway. This is going to be a battle. Xavier really needs this game to avoid tanking to every good team they've played. The Bearcats need this one because it's fucking Xavier. You can throw the records out the window when the ball goes up tonight. My prediction and the stats, after the jump.

Crosstown Shootout Countdown. #1

In case you missed it, here are 5-2. Tyrone HillDavid WestGary LumpkinKevin Frey/Justin Doellman

Forever and ever and ever this will be my most hated Xavier player. I remember being driven home from basketball practice* and listening to the last few minutes of this game on the radio before racing into my house with about a minute left to see the end of this game.
*Fuck you Chris Post for having basketball practice the same night as the Shootout. Nothing was more important to 8th grade Scott. Besides trying to get Jessie Stark to like me, nothing dominated my life like UC basketball.
As you settle in tonight to watch the game on ESPNU, they will probably show the highlight. Along with Nick Van Exel throwing in a half court shot in 92 as Thom Brennaman yelled "it's good if it goes!!!", this memory will live forever in my mind. This is the reason to hate Xavier. Xavier fans have never let this go. But, there's nothing we can do about it. Charles Williams will always dribble the ball off his foot. Lenny fucking Brown will always score over Rod Monroe. The score will forever be 71-69. Thanks for ruining my childhood. Dick. Beat Xavier

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This Xavier fan blue himself

From the Enquier's Crosstown Shootout blog comes this wonderous picture of a Xavier fan doing his best Tobias Funke impersonation. This is why you suck X. Wear it. Just like Tobias

Crosstown Shootout Countdown. #2

The thought occurred to me that the countdown should end the day before the game. But, it should be noted that the last entry will get the blood boiling and you will be so filled with Xavier hatred, that you will probably punch your monitor. As long as you don't break it, things should be good. In case you missed it, so far our scorn has been directed at Tyrone Hill, David West and Gary Lumpkin. This edition of Xavier hate is a little unfair. I was all ready to write about one person, but there was another man I forgot who I wanted to be on this list.
Person # 1 is Justin Doellman. Just look at the stupid way he spells his name. Doellman deserves your hate because there was no player who seemed like a bigger douche than him. He is the type of person who pops the collars on his polo shirts. His pink polo shirts. Hell, he probably wears two and pops both collars. JD even has annoying initials, exactly like the main character of Scrubs. Zach Braff and Justin Doellman would probably be best friends if they ever met each other.
Person # 2 is Kevin Frey. Unlike Justin(I'm not typing that last name again, not even for a label), he sported a buzz cut. The buzz cut made him look like the asshole we all know he was. There is plenty of reason to hate Frey. What popped in your head when you read his name? Was it him running around the Gardens in his retarded gray Xavier jersey after they beat Kenyon Martin and the top ranked Bearcats? If not, you must not have remembered his name. That's the lasting image of Frey for me, and other Cat fans alike. The best Frey moment was when Xavier played Duquesne and someone hit him in the face and he had to leave the game and get stitches. Thankfully, there is a picture of it. I hope he gets hit by a bus.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crosstown Shootout Countdown. #3

We are but 2 days away from this years edition of the Crosstown Shootout. With no more pesky games left with other local rivals, all we have to concentrate on now is Xavier. Xavier lost of one of Bob Huggins' old squads on Tuesday, and I think it's agreed we would all like to see that happen again Sunday night. But that won't be easy. The next man up on the Xavier hate list, following Tyrone Hill and David West, is one of the backcourt players that ruined my childhood. It seemed this man played at Xavier forever, and his only job was to make me hate him, and his stupid sounding name. The next man up is Gary Lumpkin.

Cincinnati 63 Miami 59

(AP/Tony Tribble)

Lance Stephenson put up a career high 17 as the Bearcats won an ugly game against Miami. After a putrid 24 points in the first half, UC put up 39 in the second half to be better than Miami. That was really the difference in this one. The Bearcats had better players. Most of them were sleepwalking through this one, but they were still better. The sparse crowd coupled with typical Miami slow ball made this one, at times, boring to watch. That and the brick fest of the first half. Lance Stephenson carried the Cats with 10 in the first half, and at times seemed to be the only player wanting to score. He couldn't be stopped driving to the basket, but like nearly everyone else, the jump shot was off. The second half was the Cashmere Wright show, as he put in 11. He had 1 point the first half. Miami was lead by Kenny Hayes and his 19.
Let's focus on the offense. This is a bad jumpshooting team. The problem is that they fall in love with the jump shot. The best shooter, Deonta Vaughn, took 2 shots in this game. Miami took #5 out of the game completely. Vaughn didn't score. Stephenson and Wright were the only Cats in double digits. The team was 2-12 from 3, which is awful. Wright took 4, and made 1. Larry Davis made the other. The absolute biggest bugaboo this team has is free throw shooting. 62% on the year, and 65% against Miami. Missing from the stripe kept Miami in the game. Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates were both 4-6, and Steve Toyloy was 2-6. The sloppiness needs to be cleaned up. Miami is not a team that will turn you over much, and they turned over the Cats 13 times. Toyloy didn't play well and had 3 turnovers. Wilks had 2 in 15 minutes of action. Let's shape up boys.
Rebounding and defense were the highlights of this victory. 11 offensive rebounds for UC, with 3 a piece for Dixon and Stephenson. On defense, Gates blocked 4 shots. The Redhawks managed to hit 9 3s, but it took them 27 attempts to do so. Hayes and Nick Winbush combined to go 6-15 from deep, which is solid since they take most of Miami's shots. 8 of Miami's 28 rebounds were offensive, and I would like to see that number go down as we enter Big East play.
All in all, it wasn't very fun, but a win is a win. Can't complain too much about 6-1. We all know another fight is coming up on Sunday night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Goodbye Brian Kelly, Hello....

(photo courtesy of the AP/Keith Srakocic)
Everyone knows the news that the best coach in Cincinnati history took a lateral move today and went to Notre Dame. Brian Kelly has nothing but the fullest of my respect for what he's done here. He has shaped the coarse of Cincinnati football for years to come. He took a basketball school and made it a football school. Some of that has to do with UC basketball fans being front running jagoffs, but Kelly helped turn the tide. As good a coach as Mark Dantonio is, he would have never lead fucking Cincinnati to the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. (Quick side note. Cincinnati has sold out all of their allotted Sugar Bowl tickets. Kudos UC fans. Start supporting basketball front runners.) Words can not express what Brian Kelly and his offensive machine have done for the university and for the fans. Thank you Brian Kelly, I hope you go down in flames. Seriously, fuck Notre Dame. Like we needed anymore reasons. 
That brings us to the second part of the post. Who should the new Cincinnati coach be? Lance McAlister reported, and then redacted, a post saying Kerry Combs would coach the bowl game. I'm 1,000,000% certain Kelly won't coach the Sugar Bowl. I believe I said it already. But, that doesn't answer who the coach should be. Lance and Bill Koch offered up their replacements. Both had Skip Holtz, Butch Jones, Jeff Quinn and Chris Peterson. Lance also threw in Kevin Sumlin, Al Golden, Pat Hill, Turner Gill, Brady Hoke, Kerry Combs, Tommy Tuberville, Phil Fulmer and Jeff Jagoffazinski. Let's assume these are the 10 candidates. I will rank them in the order that I want to see them here coaching.

  1. Chris Peterson, Boise State coach. Chances: 1%. I have no idea why he would leave when he can go undefeated forever and be the greatest coach in Boise history. He can probably go to Michigan if they fire Rich Rod next year.
  2. Turner Gill, Buffalo coach. Chances: 58%. Buffalo had a down year, so this one could be a reach. However, I fell in love with Turner Gill last season and thought he was the man for Auburn. I think he is the hire if the Cats can't get Peterson.
  3. Butch Jones, Central Michigan coach. Chances: 63%. He had one of the best statistical QBs in NCAA history in Dan Lefevour. He runs a similar system to the one that we had this year, and I think he could make Zach Collaros a superstar. If I didn't have irrational TG love, Jones would be #2.
  4. Kevin Sumlin, Houston coach. Chances: 32% I don't see him making the move. He has a high powered Houston offense, but they are a system team, and I'm not sure that he would be the right fit here. I don't see that system working. 
  5. Jeff Quinn, Cincinnati assistant. Chances: 20% For continuation, it would be nice if he came along, but I can't see it happening. I think he's going to join Kelly in losing at Notre Dame
  6. Skip Holtz, East Carolina coach. Chances: 74%. I think Holtz is going to be the choice. I'm not really sold on him, but he is winning at ECU, and if you can win there, you can win anywhere. I liked what I saw in the Conference USA championship game. They play Arkansas in a bowl game that I don't remember the name of, and if they win, I think he should get the job. If you can beat an SEC team with ECU, you deserve a BCS job. 
  7. Tommy Tuberville, No Job. Chances: 40% yeah a round number. I think TT would hold off for a job in the south rather than come to Cincinnati. He is the most interesting coach for the situation. He can recruit, or hire people to recruit, and he should have won a national title. I think this should be the first offer, and when he secretly turns it down or shows no interest, move on to Holtz or Gill. 
  8. Kerry Combs, assistant UC. Chances: 16% He would jump on the job like a dude on prom night. He was the coach at Colerain a few years ago, and although they won, he's not exactly a young fresh coach. If he beats Florida though, he moves up to #7. In all seriousness, if he coaches and beats Florida, I hope the university doesn't Bill Stewart him into the full time job. That would be stone to drag UC right back to wherever they were before Kelly brought them to the top.
  9. Phil Fulmer, No Job. Chances: 50% I think fatty Fulmer would jump at the job like it's a cheeseburger. I don't want him to be the coach. I think he's a terrible coach in the modern age. During the 90s, he was a great coach. In the 00s, he sucks. He lost to fucking Wyoming with Tennessee. Wyoming's QB played at Indiana State this year and was the shittiest QB I saw play. And I watched Will Stein. 
  10. Jeff Jagoffzinski, No Job. Chances: 0%. He's a jerk off. 

Know Your Opponent: Miami Redhawks edition

I'm going to start a feature here where I do a little write up of that days opposition for the mighty Bearcats. The foe tonight are none other than the other local 'rival', the Miami Redhawks. All rankings and stats come from and respective team sites.

Crosstown Shootout Countdown. #4

Continuing the countdown to the Crosstown Shootout, we reach the Xavier player that I hated the 4th most. Yes, hated. The hate for Xavier has mainly gone away as I have gotten older. Sad I know, but these 5 have a special hate box in my heart that still hasn't gone away. Yesterdays hated Xavier player was Tyrone Hill. This is the last generation of the Xavier players that I hate. This man was known for his bald head, and ridiculous X tattoo. He was also the National Player of the Year. I would type my David West memories, but those 4 Shootouts were blocked out of my mind, minus the 20 point blowout at the Cintas Center. That memory is fresh. The #4 most hated Xavier player is David West

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brian Kelly: Should he stay or should he go?

Everyone and their brother knows that Brian Kelly looks to be on his way to South Bend. I can't imagine the Randy Edsall talk being anything more than a smoke screen or a negotiating ploy. As much as I love what BK has done for the university and want him to stay, I think that if he's going to take the Notre Dame job, he should leave immediately.

There are a majority of people out there who think that he should stay and coach the Sugar Bowl, but I'm not one of them. They say that Kelly leaving immediately would be a sign of disrespect and a slap in the face to his players. Some people out there have already started calling Kelly a jerk, even though as of this post, he is the coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats. I can see their reasons why. Brian Kelly coached the team all season. Brian Kelly got them to an undefeated season, a Big East championship, and the Sugar Bowl. To leave them now, that would be betrayal. It would be stabbing the players who worked so hard for him all season in the back. If Kelly left, he would be showing no gratitude to the University for giving him the chance to coach in the Sugar Bowl, and the opportunity to be the coach at Notre Dame. To that, I say hog wash.
Brian Kelly should not waste another minute being the Cincinnati head coach if he accepts the offer from Notre Dame. As exciting as the prospect of playing in the Sugar Bowl is, it's a meaningless game. They aren't playing for the National Championship. If they destroy Florida, they won't be voted #1 by the AP and be a split champion if Texas beats Alabama. The AP didn't even vote them above TCU. They would only have a chance to move ahead of TCU if they dominated the Gators, and there isn't that great a chance of that happening. When Kelly left Central Michigan, he cut and ran before their bowl game to coach the Cats in their bowl win over Western Michigan. His assistants stayed at Central and coached the team in the bowl before coming to Cincinnati. That is a likely scenario if Kelly is to leave now. I can't see the university hiring a new coach before the end of the year, so one would assume that the assistants would take over. Jeff Quinn has been around long enough to handle things. Plus, it would give us all a great look to see if he would have what it took to become the new Cincinnati coach. Without getting into a coaching search post, I think that Quinn has to be one of the top candidates if Kelly were to leave. The school has never made a big splash hire, and Quinn would bring continuation to the situation. That is, unless he sucked and we could find this out first hand if he were in charge and the team played well in the Sugar Bowl. I hold this philosophy for all coaching changes. Just today, Louisville hired Charlie Strong, the defensive coordinator from Florida. Strong will split duties between Florida and Louisville until after the Sugar Bowl. I've written out Sugar Bowl so much that I'm starting to hate the game. It's going to be SB from now on. It probably should have been that way 5 minutes ago. Back to Strong. As a Louisville fan, I think he should dedicate this time to being the HEAD coach at Louisville instead of an ASSISTANT coach at UF. It takes time to put together a staff and start to rebuild the crumbling program. And his first month is going to be splitting duties. In one sense it doesn't matter because as long as comes off like he knows what he's doing like he did at the press conference today, Louisville fans are happy that Krag is gone. I think Strong should cut bait at UF and go to UofL even more than I think Kelly should potentially go to ND. To use this analogy, think of Kelly and UC as being boyfriend and girlfriend. If you were breaking up, would you rather her leave as soon as she came to the decision that she was going? Or would you rather her wait a month because it was your anniversary and you wanted one big, final celebration? When it comes to heart break, I want it quick. Thanks for the great work you did making UC football relevant for 3 years, now don't let the door hit you on the way out.