Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Major, Huge Announcement

It's finally official gang. After much hype and cryptic messages, Bearcats Blog is moving. I have become part of the Bloguin family. The new site is simply BearcatsBlog.com. This site will probably be redirected there from now on. I recommend that you start visiting that because that's where the new posts are going. Thanks for your patience and support.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Questions and Answers

Let's get right into it.

Bearcats Blog, you keep talking about some big announcement, and then you say that it's nothing important and lame. Why can't you say what it is, or say what it's about?

I probably went a little too far in the comments of a post a few days ago. The things that are coming to the blog are pretty big and exciting, but they have not much to do with any of the speculation on any of the boards like Bearcat News and Bearcat Talk. I honestly had no idea that Vidal Hazelton said anything on twitter along the same ominous lines as I did. If I knew that, I probably would have said that my announcement had nothing to do with that. Like I mentioned before, what's going to happen is being delayed by outside forces that I have no control over. I could tell you what's going to happen, but I'm not.

I would however, like to thank everyone who visited the site from the aforementioned forums. As someone who reads those, it's unbelievably crazy to see my site linked to on there. I'll never forget the first time my site blew up. By blew up, I mean got more than 4 hits. It came from a Xavier message board that I can't remember at this time. It was pretty insane. And they didn't write "That guy's a dick." "What a terrible writer, why did he start a blog?" "He's so handsome, I would like to make him dinner." They fo sho thought the first two, and the last one is flattering, but weird. Xavier fans need to get a hold of themselves and not invite bloggers for dinner.

Bearcats Blog, is that the only question you are going to ask yourself, and then answer?

Yes it is. I just really wanted to clarify things, and make it clear that I'm not one of those know it all jackoffs. I have never claimed to have inside info about anything, and I never will. Unless I actually obtain inside info, then I will claim it. But you probably wouldn't believe me because I said right here that I never will. But that's neither here nor there. I'm very sorry for stringing you along with the announcement that I have planned. I've been strung along longer on my end, and I know how dickish it is. If I knew that things would take this long, and be so complicated, I wouldn't have said anything until it was all locked down. It shouldn't be much longer, however. I just ask you to be patient. I really do appreciate everyone who reads the blog, and I'm sorry for being vague and then nothing happens and I stop posting new things. Thanks everybody, things will get back to normal soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lance Stephenson Drafted by Indiana


With the 40th pick in the draft, the Pacers selected the Cincinnati star. Lance went after Andy Rautins and Landry Fields, picks that weren't exactly loved in New York. Congrats to Lance for getting drafted and having his dreams come true. Hopefully the Pacers play an exhibition near Cincinnati or something.

Cincinnati Big East Schedule Announced

The big news of the day is that the Big East released the list of conference games for this upcoming season. The full list is here.

Home: DePaul, Georgetown, St John's, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida, West Virginia

Road: DePaul, Georgetown, St John's, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, Syracuse, Villanova

The schedule looks brutal as always. Going on the road to 3 of the conference favorites is a bitch.

I have a little more free time, so here are the mirror opponents for each school.

UConn: Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame

DePaul: Cincinnati, South Florida, West Virginia

Georgetown: Cincinnati, St John's, Syracuse

Louisville: UConn, Providence, West Virginia

Marquette: UConn, Notre Dame, Seton Hall

Notre Dame: UConn, Marquette, St John's

Pittsburgh: South Florida, Syracuse, Villanova

Providence: Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida

Rutgers: Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova

St John's: Cincinnati, Georgetown, Notre Dame

Seton Hall: Marquette, Rutgers, Syracuse

South Florida: DePaul, Pitt, Providence

Syracuse: St John's, Seton Hall, Villanova

Villanova: Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse

West Virginia: DePaul, Louisville, Pitt

Monday, June 21, 2010

Announcement

Big things are going down friends. I don't want to spoil it, but things are happening. By about Wednesday or so, you'll find out what's up with the what's up. It would be sooner, but moving is sucking my soul and will take another 49 days. By the time I post again, things will never, ever be the same again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Craig Ferguson Friday

Last one. Back to normal on Monday. Here is a cussing bunny. Have a nice weekend everybody.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Craig Ferguson Thursday

This into by Craig was awesome, and spread across the internet like a wildfire last summer. I love it and posted it on twitter and facebook and actual faces. It's fantastic. If you hate this week, I hate you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Craig Ferguson Wednesday

It's hump day, so here is a Craig Ferguson doing Britney Spears song about humping.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Craig Ferguson Tuesday

You know what? After posting a clip from my favorite late night show, Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show, I decided this week will be a Craig Ferguson celebration. This is the monologue that made me love his show.



Monday, June 14, 2010

Announcement

Announcement time peeps. Things this week are going to be slow. Slower than usual you say? Yes. I am moving this week, and that's the top priority. "But Bearcats Blog, we wanted to know about the 2002 game between Cincinnati and Louisville." Well, that's too bad imaginary person. It can wait a week. In the meantime, be safe and happy. Here's a video to tide you over until next Monday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Random Stuff

Today's Friday Random Thing is a great bit by the greater Louis CK. He's my favorite comic, and he should be yours too. If you have seen this, great. If not, watch it. Have a nice weekend everybody.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Conference Armageddon 2010

I hope no one has copywrited that so it can be an acceptable title. I know the millions (one) out there who read this blog must be wondering, "Bearcats Blog, what do YOU think of conference realignment?" Thanks for asking. I am quite intrigued by all of this. Normally when stuff starts churning up the rumor mill, it gets old and stale to me within a week. But this, this is something completely different. This is shaping the very face of college athletics forever. And it's incredibly interesting. The dominos have already started to fall, as the Big 12 has completely gone to hell. Colorado has joined the Pac 10, and Nebraska has joined the Big 10. It's all but assumed that the Pac 10 is going to offer Texas sometime soon, and when Texas decides on what it's going to do, there goes Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State is being rumored to have joined the Pac 10 as I type. There were rumors floating about that the SEC is trying to get at Oklahoma, but it's being said Oklahoma wants to be with Texas. That's quite romantic of Oklahoma. Their rivalry with Texas isn't as deep as their rivalry with Nebraska, but it's sure as hell much more profitable. Oklahoma and Texas sellout the Cotton Bowl every season, money that Oklahoma just can't afford to pass up. Plus, with the way that the Big 12 was formatted, Oklahoma and Nebraska weren't really rivals anymore. The last big game between the two of them I remember was the Eric Crouch game back in 2001. Oklahoma and Texas' rivalry even translated to basketball, where Texas has been elite and Oklahoma was on an up swing. Nebraska hoops are poopy.

It's weird sitting here on the brink of destruction. It's one thing reading rumors and hearing talks about this and that happening, but it's a completely different thing when it's reality. If you are anything like me, you probably did a yeah right and a wanking motion when you heard the first rumors of the Big 10 ruling the world. And you would have been correct to do so. Because it was the Big 12 that has been the center piece the whole time. The Big 10 rumors could all come true, but unlike Missouri and Nebraska leaving the Big 12 to join the Big 10, it looks like Missouri could be joining the Big 10 because there is no Big 12. I hope that Texas decides to bolt to the Pac 10. I really do. Then, maybe, just maybe, the Pac 10, Big 10, and SEC could get together and get a playoff together. This is the only thing that is going to blow up the BCS. It would have to be super conferences waking up and embracing the money making machine that would be a college football playoff. Everyone else would join those 3 conferences if they wanted to do a playoff. Maybe not the Mountain West. They really want that BCS birth, and they would take it even if they were the only conference in it. The Mountain West should grow some balls and invite Boise State (as it's rumored Boise would join in a heartbeat), Kansas, and Kansas State. That would put the conference at 12 teams. Maybe even Iowa State if they think 13 teams would be groovy. That's assuming that the Big 12 combusts and doesn't offer TCU, which I don't think that they will because it's TCU. Here is another team, New Mexico State. Just fuck up the WAC, Mountain West. Fuck their couch. Hell, take Utah State and Nevada and have a 16 team league. They already have New Mexico, Utah, BYU, and UNLV, what more could those schools ask for?

After laying out that great plan for the Mountain West, what about the rest of the country? I'm very worried about the SEC and Big 10 raping the Big East. I think that West Virginia would go to the SEC, I think there is a chance that Louisville would go the SEC. Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse could all go to the Big 10. I have no idea where that leaves the 2 time Big East Champions. I think that the Big East should offer Kansas and Kansas State right now. Why wait for the conference to get pillaged? Go on the offensive Big East. Do I not want to go back to the days of the Great Midwest and Conference USA? Yes. I would like to avoid those days. I have a feeling that we are going to end up going back to that. I think that the conference could shake things up and mess with the A-14 and other leagues. That's all a slippery slope that's much harder to determine than what the MWC should get done. That's because no one starts rumors about Louisville, or Cincinnati or South Florida. We need someone to become the rumor starter. It's not going to be me, because obviously I have no good ideas besides Kansas and Kansas State joining the Big East. What's going to happen is that the Big East is going to explode, that's for sure. Let's say the Big 10 takes Rutgers and Pitt, who with Missouri and ND make 16. Then my plan of Kansas and K State joining works nearly perfectly. Finding a 16th basketball school wouldn't be necessary, or it would be I dunno, St Louis. Maybe even Memphis. The MWC rolls with 9 teams, as could Big East football. If the SEC were to raid, I think they would go after the ACC. I think they would take Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech and I dunno, let's say West Virginia. The ACC would probably go after the Big East to make up for the loss of teams, so let's say Louisville, Syracuse, South Florida and UConn. Where does that leave Cincinnati? We'd be the new Boise State. A gigantic fish in a bird fountain. Let's enjoy the times we have now Bearcat fans, we don't know when they will be here again.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memorable Bearcat Games: Cincinnati 26 West Virginia 23

This Memorable Bearcat Game took place during the magical 2008 season. It was a battle of 6-2 teams, Cincinnati and West Virginia. The Bearcats came into the game 1-1 in the Big East, but were coming off a huge win at South Florida the week before. West Virginia had been rolling since starting the season 1-2. At this point in the season, we didn't know for sure if the Bearcats were going to be contenders in the Big East. This was their big chance to show their stuff. Every year it seems that the conference champion has to go through West Virginia to the crown, and it certainly was the case in 2008. Pat White even had a championship belt.
 The stage was set. Morgantown, West Virginia. 60,00 crazy fans. A night to remember.

The Bearcats took advantage of the opening kickoff. By took advantage, I mean Mardy Gilyard returned the kick 100 yards for a touchdown. Here's a picture of Mardy running.

Suffice to say, that stunned the crowd. Also stunning the crowd was when WVU went 3 and out. Cincinnati couldn't do much on their possession and punted back. The Bearcats defense stifled WVU yet again, forcing a punt. This time Pat McAfee shanked it, setting UC up at the Mountaineer 33. John Goebel popped a 5 yard run on first down, but the drive stalled there. Jake Rogers calmly nailed a 46 yarder to make the score 10-0.

That score seemed to wake the Mountaineers up. Starting at their 23, Pat White took over. He busted a 15 yard run, and an 8 yard run around a 4 yard run by Noel Devine to get WVU to midfield. The Bearcats forced a third and long, but White hit Jock Sanders for 30 yards to the UC 19. White hit Alric Arnett on the next play for a touchdown and it was quickly a ball game at 10-7. The Bearcats drive went nowhere, ending in a sack. The defense would end up making a big play. Facing a 3rd and 1, WVU gave the ball to Devine, who tried to go up the middle, but was stripped. Brandon Underwood recovered for UC at the WVU 34. Tony Pike hit Dominick Goodman for 12 yards, John Goebel for 6, and ran for 11 getting the ball to the WVU 5. This was the first full game Pike played in after his broken left forearm. He left the previous UConn and South Florida games. The Bearcats ate a false start, and couldn't get closer, settling for a 31 yard field goal to make the score 13-7 to end the first quarter.

WVU started quarter 2 with a little drive, going from their 23 to their 47, before a holding penalty, and a false start forced them into long yardage plays. They punted UC back to the 21, setting the stage for maybe the biggest drive of the game.

Pike started things off by hitting Goodman once again for 25 yards, followed by a 6 yard run by Jacob Ramsey and another 7 yard pass to Goodman. That put the ball at the Mountaineer 39. But things went back on the Bearcats, getting hit with an illegal use of hands and a holding penalty to make it 1st and 30 at the UC 41. A pass to Ben Guidugli  for 7, and a 6 yard Ramsey run set up a 3rd and 17. Pike found Goodman yet again for 18 yards and a Bearcat first down. Pike hit Kazeem Alli for 6, another Ramsey run for 5 yards netted a first down, and another pass to Goodman for 9 put UC at the 8 yard line. Pike hit Marcus Waugh for a first down to the 5. After a 1 yard Ramsey run, Pike scrambled the last 4 yards on a looking left, looking left, run right play for the Cincinnati touchdown, capping a 12 play, 73 yard drive that took 9 minutes plus. It also made the score 20-7.

WVU went 3 and out on their next possession, punting to the UC 25. The Bearcats popped a 66 yard pass to John Goebel to get the ball to the 13. The Bearcats could only move the ball 2 yards, setting Jake Rogers up for a 29 yard FG. Unfortunately for UC, Rogers jaked it off the upright for his first miss of the season. That was lame, but the lameness makes you like it. Neither team did anything special to end the half. We went to the locker room with UC up 20-7.

The third quarter pretty much played out like this. Incomplete pass, short run, sack, penalty, punt. The first 4 drives the teams went 3 and out with their punters Pat McAfee and Kevin Huber drilling 50 yard punts. McAfee ruined it by hitting a 49 yarder, and Huber followed with a 33 yard punt. McAfee boomed his next one 56 yards however. Huber's leg must have been tired, because his next punt was shanked, going 28 yards to the WVU 47.

The Mountaineers got the first 1st down of the quarter, when following a 7 yard White run, White passed to Sanders, who did a lateral to Devine for 10 yards. Following a sack by Curtis Young that ended quarter 3, White hit Devine for 7 to set up 3rd and 8. White rushed for no gain, but drew a personal foul penalty on the Bearcats to keep the drive alive. Runs by Sanders, and Devine set up 1st and 10 from the 11. White threw the ball three times, 2 incompletions around a 5 yard pass to Devine, setting up a big 4th and 5. WVU decided to go for it. White tried to run to daylight on a bootleg left, but was pushed out of bounds shy of the first down, resulting in a turnover on downs.

Cincinnati took over at the 3. Brian Kelly decided to ride Jacob Ramsey. Ramsey picked up 4, 4, 2 (resulting in the first UC first down of the half), 5 and 2. The last 2 yards resulted from holding, making it 2nd and 13. Goebel couldn't run for those yards, setting up a 54 yard Huber punt that was returned 7 yards by Sanders to the WVU 40. The UC drive took 4:32, leaving WVU with 6:49.

West Virginia would drive again. White hit Bradley Starks for 24 to the UC 37. After an incompletion and 8 yard pass to Starks, Devine converted a 3rd and 2 with a 4 yard run. White hit Devine with 2 passes of 4 and 5 yards around an incompletion, setting up a 4th and 1 at the UC 15. Once again White ran, but this time, he got the first down. His next pass attempt drew a pass interference, giving WVU a 1st and goal at the 2. White threw an incompletion, ran for a yard, and ran for a loss of a yard, setting up another huge 4th down. This time, WVU went for a pass. White stared down Jock Sanders, threw, and was intercepted by DeAngelo Smith. Smith played White and the ball perfectly. It looked like WVU had just blown their best opportunity to come back.

UC had 3:22 on the clock, the ball at the 3, and 0 timeouts for West Virginia. The Bearcats gave the ball to Goebel twice, but he only got 4 yards. On 3rd and 6, Ramsey picked up 4. UC took a delay of game. Not wanting to risk a blocked kick, and playing for field position, Kelly did the smart thing and had Huber take a safety. That made the score 20-9 with only 1:11 remaining.

The free kick by Rogers was returned to the WVU 39 by Sanders. After an incompletion, White hit Sanders for 14 to the UC 47. The biggest play came on the next play. White hit Dorrell Jalloh for 23 yards, but UC was hit with a backbreaking personal foul putting the ball at the 9. White's first pass was incomplete. On second down, WVU had a false start, making it 2nd and goal at the 14. White hit Sanders for 11 to set up 3rd and goal at the 3. White's pass was incomplete. All UC needed was one more stop to finish the game. Instead, White converted with a pass to Jalloh. White ran in the 2 point conversion to make the score 20-17.

WVU got another break when Mortty Ivy recovered the onside kick. WVU's special teams made a big blunder to start the game, and a big play to save it. With 18 seconds left, White hit Jalloh yet again for 21 yard to the UC 35. An incomplete pass set up a field goal attempt for McAfee, which would tie his career high. The strong footed kicker made the pressure kick, sending the crowd into a frenzy, and sending the game into overtime.

Dustin Grutza was the starting QB for UC in 2008. He suffered a broken leg against Oklahoma, and watched Tony Pike turn into, well, Tony Pike. Grutza was the captain for UC on this day. His fateful call of I'm guessing tails, because tails never fails, allowed UC the option for overtime. UC took defense. At first, it didn't look good. Devine rushed for 9, 2, 3 and 4. That brought 3rd and 3 at the 7. Terrill Byrd made the biggest play for the defense, as he corralled White for a 3 yard sack. McAfee was true from 27, giving WVU a 23-20 lead.

UC took possession, and finally remembered that they were allowed to play offense. Pike hit Goodman for 10 yards and a first down, followed by a WVU personal foul that was half the distance to the goal. Jacob Ramsey busted for 5 yards. On 2nd and 2, Pike went play action. Every Mountaineer went left, Pike rolled right. Kazeem Alli was wide open. Earlier in the game, Pike overthrew a wide open Alli on a sure touchdown. This time, Pike was right on the money.

Pike for the game was 16-30 for 178 and the 1 TD. Goodman had 6 catches for 81 yards. Ramsey led UC in rushing, 18 carries for 83 yards. Aaron Webster had 13 tackles, and was big everywhere on defense for Cincinnati. On the WVU side, White was 20-38 for 219, 2 TDs and 1 INT. White had 41 yards rushing, and the conversion. Noel Devine led WVU with 58 yards on 19 carries, but fumbled. Jalloh was the leading WVU receiver, with 54 yards on 4 catches and a TD. Sanders had 52 yards on 5 catches. UC 260 yards, WVU 317. But WVU had 98 rushing yards, which was the first time they had under 100 yards rushing since 2001.

As you know, UC won this game and never looked back. This was the win that gave UC legitimacy. It was Brian Kelly's 5th win against a ranked team, UC had 4 it's entire history before him. It was the second win for UC ever over West Virginia. It was the win that gave confidence to the players, and especially fans, that UC was onto something special. That's why UC 26 West Virginia 23 is a Memorable Bearcat Game.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bearcats Breakdown: Jaquon Parker

This edition of Bearcats Breakdown is about freshman Jaquon Parker. I don't know if his name is supposed to be spelled Jaquon or JaQuon. I also noticed I spelled his name wrong in the labels because I'm stupid. Anyway, on twitter, he lists his name as JaQuon, so we are rolling with that. Parker didn't come into the season with a ton of hype, but by the end of the year, he earned some for this upcoming season. His hype for the upcoming season is much better than a certain former Bearcats' who we won't mention by name, but feel we should tell you about since it's news. Hopefully things turn out well for him, as we hope they will turn out well for JaQuon Parker.

Quickly, we want to take a moment to mention John Wooden. I'm not going to write eloquently about his life, or passing, mainly because I don't write eloquently if you read the comments about me being mean. John Wooden was a great coach, and a better person. He might have cheated at UCLA according to bitter fans, but he was a winner. He was also a quote machine. His website, CoachJohnWooden.com, is amazing.

Someone who will use that pyramid of success, is JaQuon Parker. Let's look back at his freshman year.

Scoring

JaQuon Parker played 13 minutes a game in the 26 games he played. He started 8, most at the end of the year when Rashad Bishop was suspended. He averaged 4.2 points a game on 45% field goal shooting. Parker shot a respectable 36% from deep, one of the better percentages on the club. Parker had an offensive rating of 112.5. His effective field goal % was 55.4, and his true shooting percentage was 56. Those are pretty good numbers. What wasn't as good were Parker's free throw numbers. He got to the line at a high rate, but was only 20-33, 60%. That's a number that is going to have to get better with more opportunities, and more practice at the line.

Parker's best game scoring wise came out of nowhere really. With Lance Stephenson injured against South Florida, Parker got the start and exploded for 15 points on 6-8 shooting. JaQuon had been getting sporadic playing time before that, and for him to go off was completely unexpected. Parker went on a 6-0 run himself when USF cut the lead to 5 to push the lead back to 11. Parker had a 13 point game in the Big East Tournament win over Rutgers. Parker got that on 4-8 shooting, 3-6 from three. Parker had himself a 5-0 run in that game that pushed the UC lead to 8 with 3:30 left, which was huge because Rutgers made a run to close out the game. Parker also threw a horrible inbound pass in that game to hurt the UC cause, but that's neither here nor there. Parker's third double digit scoring game came against, yup, Texas Southern. He got 10 mostly from the line, going 6-9 from the stripe. Parker scored 9 against CSB, but his other notable game was against Louisville in the Big East Tournament. After the Cardinals got to Parker in the first meeting at Freedom Hall, JaQuon answered big in the BET. Parker had 8 points on 3-9 shooting, but had 9 rebounds. His buckets seemed to all be put backs. He gave UC a 2 point lead with a put back off a missed free throw, and gave UC a 7 point lead when he pretty much stole an offensive rebound away from Kyle Kuric, scored and was fouled.

At the other end of the spectrum, Parker had a pretty awful game, as did everyone else, in the Georgetown disaster. He didn't score at WVU, missing a pair of shots. He also struggled as mentioned at Louisville. Not playing a lot helps you not have terrible games that I can mention.

Rebounding

JaQuon Parker averaged 2.8 rebounds a game. I know, that's a lot. Parker got 0.8 offensive rebounds, and 2 defensive boards, 17% of the UC defensive boards while he was on the floor, a game. The reason Parker averaged so many boards, was because he was a rebounding machine. He pulled in 9 in the BET game against Louisville, 7 against Texas Southern, 5 at Louisville, 5 against Toledo, 5 against Weber State in the NIT, 5 against CSB, and 5 against Rutgers in the BET. He also had 4 out in Maui against Maryland, and 4 against South Florida. Rebounding is about determination, and few guards on the UC roster were determined to gather rebounds as JaQuon Parker.

Other

JaQuon Parker averaged 1 assist per game. His best was 5 in his USF breakout game. He put up 3 against Texas Southern and Louisville, proving without a shadow of a doubt when JaQuon Parker is racking up assists, UC wins. Parker had a career high of 2 steals in the Louisville BET game. His only block came in the win over USF. He got a lot accomplished in a short period of time.

Summary

JaQuon Parker had a pretty good freshman season once he got some run. The problem was, he didn't get that much run. Like mentioned up top, he only played in 26 games. I think there is room for him to be a player on this year's squad however. With only Sean Kilpatrick coming into the backcourt and Deonta Vaughn and Lance Stephenson and maybe Rashad Bishop out, he's going to have the chance at minutes. I think he has earned a spot. There are minutes to go around for Dion Dixon and Larry Davis, but I think, and the numbers think, they should go to JaQuon Parker.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Memorable Bearcats: Immanuel McElroy

This week's Memorable Bearcat is the only one that I saw when I was walking around campus one day at UC. I was standing near some steps after I think writing class, and here comes Immanuel McElroy and a couple of his friends. We made eye contact and I said "Hey." He nodded. It was a magical moment for everyone involved. Immanuel McElroy was one of my favorite Bearcats. He wore 23, he threw down alley oops, he played tough defense, and he played on one of my favorite UC teams ever. Is it a coincidence UC hasn't done much in the NCAA tournament since he left? Probably, but he was on the sweet 16 club of 2000-01. Let's look in more detail at the career of Immanuel McElroy.

Immanuel McElroy was a junior college transfer. His first season at UC, he proved invaluable. He played in every game, and started 23, while playing 22 minutes per. He averaged 7 points on 55% shooting. Nearly all of them were from inside the arch, as he made 3 of 10 treys and 55% of his free throws. McElroy pulled down 3 boards and averaged 1.7 assists. He didn't score a ton his first month as a Bearcat, but then in a game against Clemson, he scored 12 points in 14 minutes on 6-7 shooting. It took him another month to have good statistical games. He had 8 and 8 against Louisville, and a big 14-8-6 assists in a close win over UAB. Here is a picture of him dunking against them.

McElroy came into his own in February. He had 14-7-4 in an overtime loss to Marquette, 14 in a win over St Louis, 12 in a win over Houston, 13-5 in a win over USF, and back to back 13 point games against UAB and Memphis victories in the Conference USA Tournament. He tailed off the rest of the season, scoring just 18 points. I think they were all dunks though. Kenny Satterfield loved throwing alley oops, and Immanuel McElroy loved slamming them home. Like this against Kent State, his only bucket of that win to send UC to the Sweet 16.

The biggest dunk of the season for McElroy would come in the next game against Stanford. Mac got a steal, and finished a 2 on 1 fast break with Satterfield with an alley oop on some dude's face. That gave UC the lead and caused me to wake up my parents with my yells. Remember, that game was late on a Thursday. It was a great moment.

McElroy was one of the leaders for the 2001-2002 season. He started every game, playing 31 minutes. He averaged 9.5 points, 5 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He shot 47% from the field. That number would have been higher if he didn't try and shoot threes. McElroy was 5 of 28 from deep that season. He would have fit in great on this year's squad. He got dramatically better at the free throw stripe, raising his percentage made to 71. He also averaged nearly a steal a game, and always guarded the best player on the other team. He was a ball hawk, who did things like this.

You really think dude on Boston has a chance of making that shot? He actually did and was fouled by McElroy, but let's pretend he didn't. I made that up. McElroy started the season off with a then career high 10 rebound performance against Oklahoma State. He scored 10 in the home opener against Wright St, but really got it going in December. Against Coppin St, he put up 10-6-6-3 steals. Toledo, 14-7. In the Crosstown Shootout, he scored 14 with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. He had another 3 game string of double digit scoring games, getting 12 against Mississippi State, 10-9 against Purdue and 15-6-4 in a win over Akron. McElroy didn't score a ton for a while, but had a 9 rebound game against Charlotte and a 6 assist game against Houston. He stayed consistent, but blew up for a career high 19, on 7-10 shooting,  in the 103-94 shootout at Wake Forest. After that, he got back to back 10 point games against Southern Miss in the Steve Logan game, and DePaul. He followed with a 9 rebound game against Marquette. He had 11 in the loss at Louisville, but followed with 16 and 8 in the regular season finale against Memphis. McElroy had a solid C-USA tournament, going for 8 against USF, 8-6-7 assists, a career high-2 steals against Charlotte, capped with 12 in the win over Marquette. McElroy made the Tournament team, but probably for his defense. He guarded USF 10 year player Altron Jackson, Charlotte's miserable Jobey Thomas, and some dude on Marquette named Dwyane Wade. McElroy had his best game in a Bearcat uniform in the opening round game in the NCAA tournament against Boston. Immanuel went off for 14 points on 7-11 shooting, a career high 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. In his final UC game, he had 13 points and 8 rebounds. That game still bums me out all these years later.

Immanuel McElroy currently plays in Europe. He's doing quite well over there, and is probably slamming down alley oops all over dude's heads. McElroy was in many ways a quintessential Huggins era Bearcat. He played tough defense. He rebounded like hell. Most importantly, he couldn't shoot, a Bob Huggins guard staple. Immanuel McElroy was the man overshadowed by Steve Logan while at UC, but to us, he's a Memorable Bearcat.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorable Bearcat Games: Cincinnati 67 St Louis 65



This week's Memorable Bearcat Game involves a history lesson. For those of you who forgot, or didn't know, Cincinnati used to play in a conference called the Great Midwest. The conference started after the old Metro dissolved. The Metro consisted of Cincinnati, Louisville, Georgia Tech from 75-78, Memphis, St Louis, Tulane, Florida State (starting in 76), Virginia Tech (starting in 79), and Southern Miss (starting in 82). Cincinnati and Memphis joined the Great Midwest, while Florida State and South Carolina went to the Big East and SEC respectively. Cincinnati was joined in the GM by Memphis, UAB, DePaul, Marquette, St Louis, and in 1993, Dayton. Yeah a 6 team basketball conference was weird, and then they made it weirder with 7. It was so weird that the conference didn't have an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. That would never happen now. Now we are in the era of superconferences, with soon to be 20 team leagues. Just look at the Metro, Florida State and South Carolina didn't join their conferences until 1991 full time. Florida State football was independent. South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992. Conferences weren't a big deal 20 years ago like they are now. Virginia Tech was in the Metro and then joined the A-10 for basketball until 2000. How weird is that now? That's just 10 years ago when V. Tech was no one in basketball, and now we get to see Seth Greenberg bitch about not making the tournament every season. It's one of the rites of March. You know the NCAA tournament is coming when Virginia Tech starts getting talked about as a bubble team. Especially when they beat North Carolina or Duke or NC State and people say "This is the signature victory." I put NC State in as a historical nod.

The Great Midwest Conference, now referred to as the GM, lasted from 1991-1995. It would reunite with the Metro, minus the Virginia teams (V. Tech, VCU yeah VCU) to form Conference USA. TCU joined after the SWC broke up. If you ever wondered how South Florida ended up as a big program, it's because they were in the Metro and were in the right place at the right time twice. Same with Southern Miss and Charlotte. But enough about how C USA was formed. The GM was owned by Cincinnati when it came to tournament play. The Bearcats shared the first season championship with DePaul before winning the tournament title. The second year, Cincinnati swept both. In year three, Marquette won the regular season before Cincinnati bounced them out of the GMT, and won the tournament.

The final season of the GM was won by Memphis. Cincinnati had a down year, finishing 4th, and entering the tournament with a 17-10 record. That was the year UC lost to Canisius. Cincinnati came into the tournament having lost 6 of 9. UC was matched up in the first round with DePaul. The game went into overtime. LaZelle Durden made a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left to give the Bearcats a 96-95 victory. Durden had memorably nailed 3 free throws with no time on the clock earlier in the season to beat Wyoming. Cincinnati was matched up with top seed Memphis in the semi finals. The Bearcats got 22 from Durden to upset the Tigers, who had beaten them twice. On the other half of the bracket, St Louis was dominating. They whooped Dayton, well everyone whooped Dayton that season. UD won 7 games, 0 in the GM. St Louis also beat down Marquette, who was hosting the tournament. In the regular season, the teams split, both winning at home.

The game was both ugly and tough. The teams shot terribly in the first half. Cincinnati was 10-29, 34%, while St. Louis was 10-32, 31%. The Bearcats led by a point at the half, 27-26. The game was close through the second half as well. Cincinnati was powered by a herculean effort by Danny Fortson. The power forward scored 31 points and had 6 rebounds. The Billikens trailed much of the second half, including down 64-63 with 16 seconds left. Erwin Claggett took the ball from the top of the key and drove on Durden. He got all the way into the lane, making a runner with 7.5 seconds left to give St. Louis the lead. Durden raced the inbound pass up the court. He got the left wing, turned, which in turn backed off his defender, which allowed Durden to drill a 3 with 1.2 seconds left. The celebration ensued on the UC sideline. It almost was all for naught, as Carl Turner threw up a 60 footer that hit the rim. Luckily, Durden's 14th point was another game winner for UC. The Bearcats finished the Great Midwest going 10-0 in the conference tournament. A streak that carried over to Conference USA.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday Random Stuff

This shortened week is kicking my ass a little, so we are switching things up to get a post in today. Instead of Friday Random Stuff, it's Wednesday Random Stuff. There will be a Memorable Game and Bearcat coming Thursday and Friday. The game piece will be up in the morning. Don't fret friends. This site may be called mean when it comes to talking about acne or douche sounding names, but you can't say that new content is up nearly every day. It's a thing that happens. Mainly because Bearcats Blog is confident in it's sex-u-al-i-tay.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bearcats Breakdown: Darnell Wilks

Happy Memorial Day everybody. I hope your extended weekend went great. I spent mine on a boat. I didn't really, I just love that song. I did spend the weekend getting linked to by the Enquirer's UC blog, which was pretty cool. Thanks to whoever did that at Cincinnati.com. I also updated the blog roll, which should have been done a long time ago. Sorry Voodoo 5 and Down the Drive. There is also some potentially big news coming down the pipeline, but we can never be sure about such things. What we can be sure about is this edition of Bearcats Breakdown. This features a player who was frustrating, flashy, fixed to the bench, and finally broke out. That player is Darnell Wilks.

Scoring

Darnell Wilks averaged 3.4 points a game, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Wilks averaged less than that before the Big East Tournament and NIT, where he averaged nearly 7 points a game. Wilks didn't get his chance to play because he was position blocked by Rashad Bishop. Wilks averaged 10 minutes a game, and used 18% of UC possessions his time on the floor. Wilks had an offensive rating of 106, up dramatically from his first 2 seasons in a Bearcat uniform. His effective field goal percentage was right on line with last season, 56. His true shooting percentage was also 56. Wilks took more shots this season than he had his whole UC career up to this point, 98. He made 49, for 50%. A third of those were 3 pointers, 32, of which Wilks made 12, 37%. That made him one of the better UC 3 point shooters because the rest were horrible. Wilks only got to the free throw line 13, making 6. He got to the line 17 times his sophomore season, but his free throw rate was 34%. This year, it was 13%.

Wilks started the season playing sparce minutes, but when the Bearcats came back from Maui, Darnell scored a career high 12 against Texas Southern. Wilks scored 8 against Xavier, making 2 of 4 triples. I remember the two he missed being bad shots. Wilks then didn't do anything until the bench stat stuffing game against Cal St Bakersfield, where he poured in 8 points. Most of them like this.
And

The almost dunking Wilks picture is definitely from the Bakersfield game if you check the recap. I have pictures of Darnell Wilks dunking, and I'm going to use every last one, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.  After CSB, Wilks didn't do anything until the Providence game. Wilks led a Bearcats rally with 10 points on 5/7 shooting. Wilks went back to gathering dust on the bench until the Big East Tournament. With Bishop suspended, Wilks got thrown into the fire. Let me go back a second. Wilks didn't play much, but it always seemed like he would take a bad shot. He took 4 against Seton Hall, 1 against Louisville in losses, so maybe that's not true. Back to the Big East Tournament. Wilks played 13 minutes against Rutgers and dropped in 9 points, all in the first half. The next day against Louisville, Wilks was more assertive, matching his career high of 12. Wilks shot 5-11 in the game, also a career high in shots. Wilks didn't score much against West Virginia, making a three. He scored 7 in the NIT win over Weber State to close out his good games.

Rebounding

Wilks averaged nearly 2 rebounds a game, 66 total. He had 32 offensive, nearly 1 a game, which was 10% of the UC o boards when he was on the floor. Wilks averaged 1 defensive board, but only got 11% of them, down from 13% his sophomore year. Wilks best rebounding game was against Notre Dame, where he pulled down 8 boards in 12 minutes. The 8 is a career high. Wilks pulled in 7 in the Big East Tournament win against Louisville. He had 6 against Texas Southern and CSB, and 5 against Xavier and Prairie View.

Other Things

Wilks had 15 assists this season, down from 20 the year before. Wilks had 7 steals, down from 15. He turned the ball over 3 times less than the year before, 22 times. Wilks had 11 blocks, 2 coming in the Big East Tournament game against West Virginia.

Overall

Overall, I have to say that Darnell Wilks had a nice season. We were teased a little at the end of his sophomore year when he started getting minutes late, and I hope that we aren't teased again with this performance. Wilks seemed to finally put it together, and it was great to see. Darnell still has some areas to improve his game, but I think some of that is going to have to come with him getting more play. I think that he will, regardless of Bishop coming back. I think Wilks has earned some minutes. Mainly because he can do this.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorable Bearcats: Jackson Julson

This week's Memorable Bearcat is Jackson Julson. How is Jackson Julson a Memorable Bearcat? You must be asking yourself that, as you ponder if Bearcats Blog is on crack. The reason that Jackson Julson is a Memorable Bearcat is because...... I hated him. Dun dun dunnnnn. Cue dramatic gopher.


Now let me say this, I didn't, and don't actually hate Jackson Julson, I just didn't like his style of play. Or his incredibly annoying, WASPy name. Jackson Julson sounds like someone who rows crew. He sounds like one of those people that wears a sweater around his shoulders and plaid shorts. He sounds like one of those people when you are at a group gathering, you will order a Bud Light, and he will look at you in disdain as he orders a white zinfandel. Who orders white zinfandel at a bar? C'mon son. He sounds like one of those guys you see at a party or gathering where you know like 3 people and you say "Who's that douchenozzle in the corner?" "Oh, that's Jackson Julson." Automatically, he puts you on the wrong foot. It's not even his fault, it's his parents fault. Now that he's kinda famous, he can't change his name. He's stuck as Jackson Julson forever. He sounds like he should have played for Xavier, Rhode Island, George Washington, St Louis, some preppy school. He also looked like a doofus.
Example A
Oh look at me dive at the ball I have no chance of getting with my breathe rite on! I'm Superman!
Look at his face as he holds the ball. Ugh. Not even Damon Flint can 'stand' him. Get it? Because he's falling down?
 In this one, he is like "Oh look at me, I can play defense too guys." How about standing in front of the guy with the ball dude? Works better. All pictures are from the Enquirer by the way, please don't sue me.

Jackson Julson is probably a cool guy, and I would like him if I met him, but I haven't met him so there. I mean no offense, just having fun. Don't paste this on his Facebook though. Let's take a real look at his UC career, at least the 96-97 season thanks to our friends at Stat Sheet.

There are seriously no good pictures of Jackson Julson, so that one with him with another weird look on his face is going to have to do. Julson, despite my jokes, was a huge recruit. He was a part of one of the most heralded classes in UC history. He came in with Dontonio Wingfield, Damon Flint, Darnell Burton, Marko Wright and Brian Wolf. Wingfield was a special talent, Flint was solid, and so was Burton. Wright and Wolf enrolled at UC, then were eaten by grizzly bears in a camping expedition before the season started. Tragic. Julson rotated between starting and coming off the bench. In the highlighted year, he started 28 of 32 games. He averaged but 10 minutes an outing though. He scored 2.3 points a game on 45% shooting. He loved to shoot the triple for some reason only known to himself. He took 60 shots, 23 from three. Oh yeah, he was 6'9 as well. Julson made just 7. He took more threes than free throws, 19. If I remember correctly, he took 3s at the worst times. Well, nearly every time is the worst time when you don't make them. Julson averaged just under 2 boards a game, 0.6 offensive, 1 defensive.

Julson scored maybe a career high 10 points in a blowout win over DePaul. He had 8-2 steals in a demolition of Arkansas. He pulled in 6 rebounds in a win over Howard. The year before, 1996, Julson made the game icing free throws in a Conference USA tournament win over St Louis. He made those after a tough offensive rebound on a Flint missed free throw.

Julson's early career, and late career, were beset by injuries. He had elbow problems his early years. He had a knee injury after the 97 season ended, and that was that for his UC career. He said his heart wasn't in basketball anymore. He went to Georgetown, Kentucky Georgetown, to finish up his schooling. I read something on some forum that popped up on a google search that said that Julson wanted more minutes his senior season, but UC had Bobby Brannen, Kenyon, and Ryan Fletcher coming into their own, so Jackson split town.

Jackson Julson is now a financial services professional in San Antonio, Texas. We here at Bearcats Blog had some fun with Jackson, but we wish him the best. We hope he takes this in the spirit it was given. In closing, one last picture of Jackson Julson face.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorable Bearcat Games: Arizona 79 Cincinnati 76

This Memorable Bearcat game is quite painful. I remember this big Cincinnati v. Arizona clash being on a Sunday afternoon. My best friend and I were working on a huge project for school that was probably due the next day. For the life of me I can't remember what it was about. I do remember that it took all fucking day and it was boring as shit. Arizona came into the game rocking a 17-4 record, and Cincinnati an 18-1 mark. The Bearcats had been dominating since their 1 point loss to UAB, winning every game by at least 10 points. Arizona  was starting to get the ship right after some early Pac 10 struggles. Both teams had big time NBA talent. Cincinnati had Danny Fortson, Arizona Jason Terry (who didn't play) and Michael Dickerson. Both teams made runs deep into the tournament. Arizona went to the Sweet 16 where they lost to Kansas, and Cincinnati went to the Elite 8, where they lost to Mississippi State. 

The first half was a barn burner. The Wildcats played without standout center Ben Davis, who was in foul trouble, but that didn't stop them from putting 41 on the mighty Bearcat defense. The Bearcats hung in there, scoring 38. Cincinnati pounded Arizona on the glass, 26-16 in the half. The Bearcats won the rebounding 46-32, but Arizona must have gotten some rebounds in the second half that were huge, because Lute said "We got got killed on the boards, but as soon as Ben came back in the game the second half, he gave us strong rebounding." Davis had 6 rebounds, so that's kinda a weird thing to say. I'm going to go ahead and guess that Damon Flint had a huge first half, because he had 16 points. The highlight of the first half would have to have been when guard Reggie Geary got a steal and bent the rim on a breakaway dunk.


The second half saw Cincinnati dominate. Darnell Burton scored 9 of his 12 points in a big Cincinnati run that put the Bearcats up 68-59 with under 6 minutes left. Arizona would make a run. Obviously you knew they would make a run because hello, the score is in the title. Spoiler alert much. Michael Dickerson scored on a put back to cut the lead. Next trip, Geary drilled a wide open lead to cut the lead to 2 with 4 minutes left. Cincinnati was able to push the lead back out to 4. I'm guessing they got the ball to Fortson. I have no idea because no one says how Cincinnati scored, and all the youtube videos are of Arizona points. The score was 73-69 with 2:20 left in favor of the Bearcats. Dickerson got the ball after a pass inside to Davis, and knocked down a trey. On UC's next possession, Keith Gregor tried to get the ball inside to Fortson. The only problem was that Gregor was being trapped, and Danny was surrounded by 7 Wildcats. The bad pass turned into a breakaway lay up attempt by Simon that was blocked by I think Monroe, but Davis got the put back for the lead. Cincinnati took the lead on a 3 pointer. Or a 3 point play. Let's say it was Flint, since he made the most 3s in the the game. The Bearcats forced Arizona into a wild, tough shot by Dickerson. Dickerson fell on the floor. It appears UC tried to slap the rebound out of bounds, but the ball went right to Dickerson, who threw it back out top. Simon drove, found Davis on the wing, and he splashed one home in Fortson's face for the tie. UC raced the ball up the court. Keith LeGree drove to the rim and had his shot blocked by Davis out of bounds with 3 seconds left. It could have been a charge, but there was no call. LeGree for some reason tried to bounce pass the inbound to Fortson. The ball was tipped. Fortson couldn't bring it in. Simon wrangled the ball, took a dribble and threw one in from 65 feet for the win. It was terrible. There was a smashed chalkboard in the UC locker room, and a smashed face for my friend who said the shot was awesome.


Unbelievably, it's hard to find information about a random February basketball game from 1996. You would think that it would be incredibly easy. But no, it's not. The AP didn't bother to say how UC scored to take the lead at the end of the game for crying out loud. Sadly, there is video of the shot that sucked. It's video of Arizona's run the last few minutes, making it even worse. View it if you want to punch something.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just a Heads Up



Quick heads up post for your Tuesday. First of all, UC made the Big East Tournament in baseball. The mighty Bearcats earned the 7 seed, and play the 2 seed Connecticut Huskies tomorrow at 1 pm. You can watch the game on BigEastBaseball.com. You can listen on Sirius. I don't know what channel, because we can't know everything peeps. That's your Bearcats Blog tip of the day. Other match ups include 6) Rutgers v. 3) Pittsburgh at 10 am, 8) West Virginia v. 1) Louisville at 5, and 5) South Florida v. 4) St Johns at 8.

The other note is that the Big East roundtable I participated in over at East Coast Bias is up. It was a fun time, and you should all ch-ch-check it out. Orange 44, the UConn Blog, the Nova Blog, Pitt Blather, we all talked about the Big East. And so did some other people. Tomorrow, Memorable Bearcats Games continues with a memorable Bearcats game. If you have any suggestion for that, or Memorable Bearcats, drop a line or comment.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bearcats Breakdown: Ibrahima Thomas

Bearcats Breakdown today focuses on one of the more unsung players on the Cincinnati roster this season, Ibrahima Thomas. Thomas was in his first season as a Bearcat, his junior year overall. He played 2 seasons at Oklahoma State if you don't remember. Thomas wasn't eligible until December, and didn't get consistent minutes until January. But, he came on late in the season, and is one of the players I'm interested in seeing next season.

Scoring

Ibrahima Thomas averaged 5.75 points a game his first year at UC. In his full year at OSU, he averaged 6. Thomas shot a horrible 38%. His effective field goal percentage was 41, and his true shooting percentage was 44. All of those are pretty bad. Thomas played 18 minutes a game, and used 19.6 of UC possessions when he was on the floor. That resulted in his offensive rating being a poor 94.7. Thomas was 54-141 on the season overall. He was determined to shoot the 3 ball, putting up 31 attempts. He made 8. He made 2 of 2 in the WVU regular season game, meaning he was just 6-29 the rest of the year. Take away a 3-7 string he had in 3 games, and he was 3-22 outside those 4 games. Thomas was also horrible from the free throw line, going 45-83, 54.2%. But, the good thing in that was that he got to the line a lot. He shot more free throws this season than he did in his Oklahoma State career. The biggest thing that kept Thomas' scoring, and percentage down was his inability to make put backs. I swear he missed at least 3 a game. At least. If he can learn to score from inside 5 feet, he's going to be very good.

Thomas had his biggest scoring day in one of the Bearcats biggest games, scoring 13 against Syracuse. Thomas made 4-8 from the field, 4-6 at the line, and hit a 3. Thomas had 11 against Cal State Bakersfield. Seriously, who didn't have a good game against Cal State Bakersfield? If UC didn't play them, everyone's stats would suck. Thomas matched the 11 in a winning effort against Winthrop. Thomas scored 10 against Lipscomb, his first big UC performance. Winthrop and Lipscomb came back to back, and I think some of the fanbase might have had raised expectations for Thomas then. Ibby scored 10 on a season high 12 shots in the win at UConn. He scored 10 one last time against Seton Hall in only 14 minutes. Here is a freaky occurrence. Ibrahima Thomas had all of his double digit scoring games back to back. The previously mentioned Lipscomb and Winthrop, Bakersfield and Seton Hall, and Syracuse and UConn. Odd isn't it? The 3 point games I mentioned in the first paragraph were West Virginia for the 2-2, and Notre Dame, Syracuse and UConn for the 3-7.

Rebounding

Ibby averaged 5.28 rebounds per game, a career best. Thomas had 148 total. Ibrahima pulled in 1.821 offensive boards a game, 11% of UC's o boards, and 3.6 defensive rebounds, 22%. Thomas had a career best rebounding game in the Big East Tournament win over Rutgers, pulling home 13. That bested his previous career high, 11 in the road win at UConn. That was his only double double of the season, and his best game statistically. Thomas pulled home 10 rebounds in 19 minutes in the win over DePaul. Thomas had 9 rebounds twice, in the home win over UConn, and the NIT loss to Dayton.

Thomas had some disappointing rebounding games. He had only 2 against Marquette, not taking advantage of his size. He had but 4 in the destructions at Notre Dame and Georgetown. But other than that, he hit his averages in the minutes that he got. It's hard to come down harshly on games he didn't score or rebound well in, because Mick came down harshly and didn't play him. Thomas had some solid games down the stretch, 8-9 against Dayton, 8-8 against Louisville, 9-5 against Weber St.

Other things

Thomas had 7 assists this season, which is pretty horrible. He was basically a black hole inside, or outside, when he touched the ball. Or, people bricked shots after he passed them the ball. Thomas had 4 steals against Georgetown before that game turned into a rout. Thomas also blocked 3 shots in that game, a season high. Thomas got himself into too much foul trouble this season. He fouled out of 3 games, Dayton, Villanova, West Virginia. The Villanova game has to be his most disappointing game, as he played but 12 minutes. You can't talk about Ibrahima Thomas and not mention the pull apart he was involved in against Xavier. It was his first game and he nearly got into a fight. That's dedication.


Overall

I would dare say that overall, Ibrahima Thomas had a good first season. He played hard once he got his sea legs, and was a part of the best line ups that UC had. He may have committed silly fouls, and shot poorly, but you couldn't question his effort. Especially when it was clear that he has less talent than Yancy Gates, but played with a much higher motor. Thomas needs to work on his shot this summer, that's a no duh. If he's going to be a big help to the team, he needs to develop some more muscle and a shot around the basket. I think he's going to have a very solid senior season.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Random Stuff

Double shot of Friday Random things. The great Trey Kerby of Ball Don't Lie, and the Blowtorch, and other NBA related things, posted a link to this youtube video from Tremendous News. I love Lost, and am looking forward to the finale very much on Sunday night, and this video is a great recap of the series. It's very funny and you should all check it out. And it's got cats.

Flight of the Conchords Friday

Today's Friday Random Thing is another Flight of the Conchords video. It's probably my favorite songs by them, Carol Brown. Hope you have a great weekend everybody. We'll get back to the normal routine next week. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Questions and Answers

Bearcats Blog apologizes for the lack of Memorable Bearcats and Games posts this week. We'll get back to that next week. Today, we'll do questions and answers, starring myself.

What Big East coach picked St John's to win the Big East?

Rick Pitino did. He said he would have picked UC to win, but didn't want to put that pressure on Mick. I don't know what's happened to Rick Pitino the past year. Well, we all know what's happened to Rick Pitino in the past year, but I meant more basketball wise. Louisville never seemed to get the right mix going last season, after the disappointing loss to Michigan State in the Elite 8. The Cards have a couple of big recruiting classes coming in the next few seasons, so we'll see if Pitino still has the magic.

What Bearcats Blog first team Big East player was booted from his team?

That would be Jamine Peterson of Providence. It hasn't been said what made Keno Davis boot him off the team, but the leading scorer and rebounder won't be back. I don't know if it's going to be such a terrible thing for the Friars. Peterson earned the nickname of Greedy from the Friar faithful. Maybe that's just a cool nickname, but it also means he was a black hole once he touched the ball. Peterson didn't care as much about defense as Friar fans would have liked, but who really played defense on Providence last season? I think the answer was no one. I like watching Providence play because their brand of basketball is exciting. I would rip my hair out if I were a Providence fan though. Especially after the disaster against South Florida. Looking back on it, both the South Florida games were disasters for Providence. The first meeting saw the Friars blow a 12 point lead with 2 minutes left and a 5 point lead with 11 seconds left. They would lose in OT. In the second meeting, they gave up a 7 point lead with 5 minutes left, took a late lead, but gave up a lay up to Dominque Jones, who was fouled by Curry, who got hit with a technical. Providence probably doesn't want to see them on the schedule twice next season.

I heard from Brian Bennett that Phil Steele's list of All America teams came out. Were any Big East players on it?

Yes. On the second team were Pitt Panther stars Dion Lewis, Jonathan Baldwin and Greg Romeus, and Mountaineer Robert Sands. The fourth team featured WVU back Noel Devine and UConn LB Lawrence Wilson.

What about Steele's Big East team?

What about it? Get off Phil Steele already. No one cares.

Is there talk of the Big East getting rid of the double bye in the Big East Tournament?

Yes there is. I'm a big fan of getting rid of the double bye. It was stupid from the get go. For one, it punished every team who had to play on Tuesday. It also punished the teams who received the double bye, not counting Louisville, who won the whole thing. The first year, Pitt and UConn lost. Last season, everyone lost but West Virginia, and they almost lost their first game. They are speculating about a pure 16 team bracket, with 4 games on Tuesday, 4 on Wednesday, and the quarter finals starting on Thursday. That seems about fair. I think the top 4 play on Tuesday. That seems to be the most fair way to do things. I mean, if you play well enough to earn a top 4 seed in the ridiculous Big East, than I think you deserve a day off in the tournament. And if you lose, you deserve the shame an extra day.

Let's get back to Brian Bennett. Would he like to see Cincinnati in a non-conference rivalry game every year?

Glad you asked. The answer is yes. He, like every Bearcat fan and none of the spineless Buckeye fans, would love to see Cincinnati and Ohio State play every season. Ohio State would much rather play Akron and Toledo and other MAC schools before playing the other major conference team from Ohio. That's because Ohio State is scared of losing Ohio. The teams play again in 2014. I'm predicting a Cincinnati victory on this date.

Is there a New Jersey blog Big East ranking for next season? I have a need to see one. It's my crack.

Great question, and yes there is. It's right here. Thank you New Jersey Hoops Haven for putting out such a list today. I'll run down the top 5 for you if you are too lazy to click. Villanova, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virgnia, Georgetown. That's rather vanilla. They pick Cincinnati 12. Shockingly, they have DePaul in last place.

Speaking of Big East talk, is it true that you are participating in something for the East Coast Bias in the next couple of weeks? 

Yes. I'll tell you when things get posted over there and you can check them out. It's a roundtable deal, with things from Orange 44, Voodoo 5, Eye of a Panther, The Nova Blog, Pitt Blather, and lots of other email address I don't recognize. Pretty much every blog listed is involved. It should be awesome.

NBE Basketball says in their latest Big East roundup that UC might be better with this roster. Thoughts?

I agree. The person who wrote that said that it was clear that the players hated each other last season, and it would be addition by subtraction. Believe me, there are a ton of people who think that UC was better off losing one player in particular this season. I think it should help UC. I've written about it this issue myself. What, with rumors that Bishop and Lance hated each other, Bishop hating Mick (getting kicked off the team didn't help that not be true), and Vaughn and Lance playing horribly along side each other all season. I think UC has a nucleus of players that genuinely like each other. At least they follow each other on twitter.

After that seemingly awkward answer, how does Brian Bennett rank the Big East running backs?

I should link Brian at least once, so there that is. He, like everyone else with eyes, ranks Pittsburgh first, and West Virginia second. He has UC 4th, behind UConn. That seems about fair. He looks for big things from Isaiah Pead, and so do I. I'm really pumped about my boy Darrin Williams getting touches this year. I think he's going to be a home run threat on kick returns, and getting handoffs and screens.

Can we get one last reminder about UC baseball?

This weekend, UC plays host to Georgetown. The Bearcats need to win to guarantee they make the Big East tournament. Georgetown kinda sucks, 5 Big East wins, but spoilers are everywhere. Show up and root the Bearcats onward and upward.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh Say Did UC?

My nephew had to have pretty serious back surgery yesterday. I say that because not only would I like for you to send good thoughts, but because it's why today there is no Memorable Bearcat Game. That could come tomorrow, but I'm pressed for time today. That means we go for the always entertaining oh say did UC link round up. Did I just google Cincinnati Bearcats and none of these things are in any kind of order? Yes

  • The Bearcats baseball club played host to #22 Pittsburgh over the weekend. The Panthers took 2 of 3, with UC winning Sunday. The Bearcats are 26-27, 10-14 in the Big East. They host Georgetown to end the regular season this weekend.
  • In a crazy, scary story, former Bearcat and current St Louis Ram Mardy Gilyard was robbed at gunpoint last night. It happened near UC. Gilyard was with his friend, and they had about $1,000 in chains, and $300 taken. Thank god nothing more happened and Mardy and friend left the situation relatively alright. I never trusted that BP on Corry. 
  • In better news surrounding UC football, the kick off time for the Indiana State thrashing has been set. The game will be at noon. Better to get the 70-3 thrashings out of the way early so we have a whole day to enjoy ourselves. The game will be on FSN.
  • Speaking of September UC football, someone on Bleacher Report ran down the tough start to the season UC faces. Bearcats Blog will break that down closer to the start of the season.
  • Brad Jones, who started every game last season, was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. He participated in their rookie mini camp, and earned a contract. Congrats Brad.
  • Bill Koch knows how hard it is to write about UC when nothing is happening, so he wrote about Nippert Stadium. Not in a boring way, but in how it's too small and how UC can make it bigger and stuff. Just read it.
  • Vidal Hazelton has earned some attention coming into his first season at UC. The USC transfer impressed during the spring game, and has caught the attention of a couple of people. First, someone else on Bleacher Report ran down 10 transfers who will have an impact. I don't think that list is in any order, because Robert Marve is number 1. 
  • Hazelton got more ink, or whatever that is for the internet, from the National Football Post. In their list of WRs who would be household names, they listed Vidal. I have to admit, I was pumped for Hazelton coming into the season, and now that we are getting closer, I can't wait. He, Binns, DJ and Thompkins are going to be a nightmare for secondaries. UC will be a ton of fun to throw with 50 times a game in NCAA 2011. 
  • DJ Gallo at Page 2 wrote about livable and unlivable sports cities. He put Cincinnati on the list as livable, with the Bearcats being a strong part. 
  • Finally, we wrap things up with some recruiting talk. The Bearcats added a new player for this season, DT Ty Phillips. Our pal(s) at Down the Drive wrote about him. They also write about other UC things. It's good. I read it. The Bearcats also locked down LB Robert Martin
  • UC has 2 recruits locked down for next season. First, is OL Justin Murray. He goes to Sycamore. Second, but actually first to sign, is Patrick Coyne. Patrick is already my favorite UC recruit of all time, sorry Munchie Legaux, because he goes to my high school, Badin. Hail to the colors bright green and white. Badin's uniforms now are much cooler than they were when I went there. It was like Penn State, but green. Now they have all green uniforms with a big ass B on the side of their helmets. Just watching the video on whatever scouting site that is, takes me back to the days where I would trudge out to Hamilton High to watch my beloved Rams play. The time we beat Hamilton was awesome. It happened my sophomore year, and was still talked about at graduation. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bearcats Breakdown: Yancy Gates

Today's Bearcats Breakdown is about Yancy Gates. Yancy is going to be a gigantic part of this upcoming season, as he's going to have to be the man. UC needs him to be what all the hype said he was, and more. Yancy is going to finally have some company up front, with Ibby Thomas, and the new guys, and we are finally going to see if he is everything we hoped he would be when he decided to stay home and play for Mick Cronin.

Scoring

Yancy Gates averaged 10.3 points per game. That was slightly down from his freshman effort of 10.5. Gates averaged 2 more minutes a game, making his output look a little worse. Keep in mind that UC played 3 more games this past season. Gates had his possessions cut down, getting 21% of UC shots. His offensive rating was 107.3, up 4 points from his freshman year, and 54th in the Big East. Gates effective fg % was 52, and his true shooting % was 53, both up 4% from his freshman season. Gates was 155/297 for 52% shooting. He took a handful less shots this season. He was 53/90 at the foul line for a horrible 59%. That was consistent with his free throw rate from his first season. It's safe to say that next season, Yancy Gates has to step up his offensive production. He also needs to stop shooting 15 footers from the wing, because he can't shoot and it drives me insane.

Yancy Gates posted his career high this season in the 74-69 win over DePaul. Gates scored 23 points on 11-15 shooting. Gates scored 18 in the Crosstown Shootout. He dominated Maryland with 17 points in 29 minutes on 7-11 shooting. Gates scored 16 points four times, and UC was 3-1 in those games. He did it against Vandy in Maui on 7-13 in 25 minutes, against Winthrop on 6-10 in 25 minutes, Louisville in the Big East Tournament, and the loss to Pitt where he had his best game of the season. Gates was having a big game against Marquette, 14 on 6-9, but for some reason didn't crack the bench down the stretch and in overtime as UC lost. Gates had a couple of plays called for him to win games. UC went for a lob to Gates against Gonzaga, where Gates was clearly fouled but there was no call. More successfully, UC called another lob inside to Gates against Notre Dame. The picture up top is of Gates putting the ball in the basket for that UC victory.

Gates also had games where he vanished. Lipscomb and Cal St Bakersfield shouldn't really count against him, but they do. He played 14 minutes in those games and had 2 points. Gates had no cause to be invisible against Dayton (2), at South Florida where no one showed up (5), UAB, where no one showed up either (7), and Georgetown (7). Gates sucked hard against UConn, where he had 14 points in the two meetings.

Rebounding

Rebounding is where I had the biggest issue with Mr Gates. Gates averaged 5.9 rebounds a game, which is absolutely terrible for your big man. Gates pulled in 2.5 offensive rebounds, 11% of UC's total o boards. That was down from 13.5%. Gates pulled in 3.4 defensive rebounds, 15.2%, which was down from 16%. Rebounds are about wanting the ball, and all too often, it appeared that Yancy Gates did not want the ball. The motor for Yancy Gates can fire, but it also can go stagnant, which it seemed to all too often.

Gates had his best rebounding game against Pitt, where he pulled down 14 to go with his 16 points. Gates had 4 other double digit rebounding games. He had 13 big ones, 6 offensive, in the win over the Irish to go with 11 points. He had 13 to go with his 17 points against Maryland. He had 10, 5 offensive, with his 16 points against Vandy. The other 10 rebound game was against Prairie View in the season opener. Clearly Yancy Gates had the desire to rebound in November. Once the calender turned, his fire burnt out.

Gates had his worst rebounding day against West Virginia, where in 20 minutes he had as many rebounds as you or I, 0. Gates had 2 in the South Florida win, and 3 in the South Florida loss, as he was dominated by Jarrid Famous. Gates had 3 boards in the Toledo, and first UConn victories, as well as the Marquette loss. He had 4 against Miami and Dayton. Gates shockingly had 5 games where he didn't gather a defensive rebound. UC won just 1 of those games, the South Florida game, where Gates played 10 minutes. The others were against WVU, Syracuse, Marquette, and again against South Florida. He had 0 defensive rebounds against the Bulls. Unreal.

Blocks

No one is going to get Gates confused with Kenyon Martin or Eric Hicks, but Gates picked up a few blocks. Most of them early in the season. He blocked 4 against Miami, and 4 more against Pitt. Gates blocked 30 shots this season. But he only blocked 13 in 2010. To get deeper into the numbers, he blocked 6 after January, 2 against Marquette and 2 against Weber State being the highs.

Other

Gates doubled his number of assists. He had 30, compared to 14. He dropped 4 against Toledo. Gates had 20 steals, with 3 of them coming against Weber State. Gates turned the ball over 48 times, which accounted for 15% of UC turnovers.

Overall

Yancy Gates' sophomore season has to be chalked up as a disappointment. He was supposed to be part of the big 3 for UC along with Vaughn and Stephenson, but he didn't perform up to that level. Anthony Bufford and Lance McAlister went on record wondering if you could win with Gates on your team. That has to be motivation for 34 this season to make the leap. Getting back to this past season, Gates would probably have been the biggest UC disappointment if Deonta Vaughn didn't fall off a cliff production wise. Gates was outshined down the stretch by Ibrahima Thomas, and with a couple of new bigs coming in, Yancy needs to do something big. Another season of 10-6 is going to be a gigantic let down. We know he can be a monster, we've seen it, but it takes hard work to maintain, and last year Yancy Gates didn't put in the effort to maintain his November pace. He's going to be a huge part of this team, it's time to nut up or shut up for Yancy Gates.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Random Stuff

Today's random thing is about Cleveland. After the Cavs laid their third straight suck bomb, this time quitting with a minute left, it's time to revel in how much Cleveland sucks. Who agrees with me? The Rock and Joakim Noah.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Memorable Bearcats: Pete Mickeal


After the post about the 2000 Bearcats win over DePaul, it made me think about that team. One of my favorite players was Pete Mickeal. I could end up doing a Memorable Bearcats post about everyone on that team, and maybe I will, but Mickeal was a star on that team. In fact, he was an Honorable Mention All American. Pete was a big part of those Cincinnati teams in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. Let's see how big a part.

Pete Mickeal was a junior college transfer from Indian Hills Community College. He was the Ju-co player of the year for his 2 seasons there, and led the team to back to back championships. Pete came right into the starting line up, starting all 33 games his junior year, and 31 his senior year. He missed the DePaul game due to suspension and I don't believe started the game after that, but he was always there for UC. And he was really always there, seeing 33.8 minutes of action and 31.3 minutes of action his two seasons. He played 84% , and 76% of the minutes for UC his career. If it weren't for blowouts, he would have played every minute of every game. Kenyon Martin was the star of those UC teams, but Mickeal was the glue that held everything together.

Mickeal was a great offensive weapon at UC, even though he was known mostly for his tenacious defense. He would guard the best player on the opposing team every time out. And most of the time, he shut them down. He averaged 1.5 and 1.4 steals a season. Mickeal's offensive rating his junior year at UC was a superb 120, which was 41st nationally and 2nd in the conference. His numbers dipped a little the next year, but he still had 111.9 rating, which was 7th in C-USA. Pete averaged 14.9 points his junior season, and 13.5 his senior year. That seems like a big dip, and it is, but remember that UC had Martin, Johnson, Logan, Satterfield, Tate and even Ryan Fletcher. UC was deep. Mickeal was still second in scoring on that club, and he would have lead UC in scoring this season. His 14.5 points did lead the team. Pete also rebounded very well. He averaged 7.2 and 6.3 at UC. The hit is a board a game, but UC had 4 players average 4 boards, and 5 who averaged 3. Pete averaged nearly 2 assists a game at UC. He also was a pretty good foul shooter, shooting 70% and 72%.

Pete's best scoring games came his junior season. He put up a career high 28 twice. The first time was against Louisville in a 13 point win, where Pete had 28 on 10-15, 7-9 free throws and had 9 rebounds. His best game as a Bearcat was his other 28 point outing, in the C-USA conference tournament against South Florida. Pete was 13-15, 2-2 at the stripe, 9 rebounds, 5 offensive, 5 assists and 3 steals. Mickeal had another monster game against Charlotte, with 23 points on 8-12 shooting, 7-9 at the line, with a career high 15 rebounds. Against UNLV he had 23 on 8-12, going 7-10 at the line. He had 22 on another 8-12, 6-7 fts win against Memphis where he played 39 minutes. It was a 25 point blowout, don't know if that was smart. Pete put up 22-12 against Tulane, and 20-9-5 steals against Houston. Mickeal also had double doubles in wins against Rhode Island (15-10), Oklahoma (17-10), and Louisville (18-10). UC won every game when Pete Mickeal scored 15 points, which he did 15 times. The problem is that he would disappear in losses. He scored 6 in 35 minutes in a loss to St Louis, 8 on 4 shots in the second round loss to Temple, 9 on 3-8 in a loss to DePaul, 9 in foul trouble in the Crosstown Shootout loss to Xavier, and 9 on 2-8 shooting against Charlotte.

The senior campaign for Pete Mickeal was also incredibly solid. He started off well, but had a few no shows sprinkled in as well, 8 points against Gonzaga, 4 against Oklahoma, but things held steady until mid February. He hit a little slump from the field, bottoming out with a 2-11 5 point outing against Louisville, which saw him pulled from the game. He went 2-7, 4-10, 0-9, 3-4, and 4-9 leading up to it. Whatever was the problem didn't matter, as Pete bounced back. Pete had 5 20 point games that year, and 15 games where he scored 15 points. Unfortunately, UC lost 2 of them. But going 28-2 when you score 15 points is pretty good. Pete's best game was the Humanitarian Bowl make up game at Boise State. He had 23 on 9-12, with 14 rebounds and 3 steals. The 14 was a season high, and the 23 tied his season high. That game came against Marquette, where he had 8 rebounds and shot 7-10, 7-9 at the line. Pete had 21 on 6-9, 9-10, and 5 steals against St Louis, 21-5-4 assists against North Carolina and 20 against Charlotte. Pete had 18-10-3 blocks in a win over Southern Miss. He had 16-11 in the loss to Tulsa in the NCAA Tournament. He also had double doubles in wins over South Florida (16-10) and St Louis (13-10). He had 12 rebounds in a game against Mississippi Valley State, and a very solid 16-8-5 assists-3 blocks-2 steals game against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Pete is still playing today. He was drafted by Dallas, but never played, signed by New York, but never played, and went on to the ABA. He won the MVP in 2002, with 35 points a game. He moved over to Europe ever since. He most recently played with Barcelona, where he had 12-5 in Euro League play, and 10.2-3.8-1.2 assists in the Spanish League. His team recently won the championship. You can read it in his blog here. He plays with NBA draft pick and Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio.

Pete Mickeal was a very solid player in junior college, a very solid player at UC, and is still a very solid player in Spain. Pete Mickeal was one of the best players in probably the best time to be a Bearcat basketball fan, besides never making it out of the second round, but that doesn't count because we are talking about the regular season because that's the only thing that matters, see look at our C-USA banners!!! Anyway, Pete Mickeal was a hell of a player and one of my favorites and that's why he's a Memorable Bearcat.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Memorable Bearcat Games: Cincinnati 64 DePaul 62


Today's Memorable Bearcat Game comes from the year 2000. As you can suspect, that makes it a good one already. The subject of today's game is the Kenyon Martin lead comeback against DePaul.

Cincinnati came into the game at 26-2, 14-0 in C-USA. DePaul was 18-9, fighting for an NCAA tournament bid. The teams played a couple weeks earlier in Cincinnati, with the Bearcats thrashing the Blue Demons by 23. The Bearcats were without Pete Mickeal, who was suspended by Huggins. Mickeal was benched during the previous game against Louisville, didn't see action in this one, but he came back to play out the string relatively well. This may sound a bit crazy now, but the Bearcats walked into a hornets nest in Chicago this night. The Blue Demons needed this game for their NCAA lives, something that seems strange when you look at how bad of shape that program has been the past few seasons.

The Bearcats missed Mickeal early. Pete guarded, nay, hounded Quentin Richardson into a 3-13 night in the first meeting, but with him out, DePaul rained threes early. The Blue Demons hit 5 in the first 8 minutes, charging out into the lead. Richardson was loving the change, drilling 3 triples and having 11 points at the half. DePaul shot 56% going into intermission, and held a 36-29 lead. There were 18,253 fans filling the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, a then record. Needless to say, they were all pretty excited at the way things turned out in the first half. You might be saying to yourself, Bearcats Blog, want to get a little more specific with the first half? That's a great, great question and I appreciate the fact that you asked it. The answer is no. Let's move on to the second half.

DePaul jumped right back on the Bearcats to start the second frame. The Bearcats helped by playing pretty terribly and fouling a whole lot. The Bearcats had 6 fouls the first 7 minutes, including 3 on one possession. They put DePaul in the bonus with 12 minutes to go. The Blue Demons demanded it though, as they hit 5 of their first 6 shots out of the break. Rashon Burno, DePaul's point guard, was supposed to be guarded by Kenny Satterfield, but Kenny left him to double on Richardson. Burno thanked him for the open shot by draining a 3, pushing the margin to 46-31. Burno had 7 in the game. The Demons got the lead to 16 when Lance Williams scored inside. UC got a basket that neither the Enquirer, CNNSI, nor ESPN cared to mention, when Richardson drilled his last 3 of the game to push the lead to 51-34. Cincinnati faced it's largest deficit of the season. Kenny Satterfield would have none of it. He scored 5 points, and I'm just going to assume that he assisted Steve Logan for a 3 to cut the lead to 51-44. Cincinnati also remembered to play defense, getting 7 stops. Cincinnati had 10 steals in the game, 4 blocks, forced 17 DePaul turnovers, but the Demons shot a piss poor 6-15 at the free throw line. NBA players Richardson and Bobby Simmons were both 1-5, and 70%, and 75% foul shooters respectively.

Down 7 with 10 minutes left, it looked as if the Bearcats had used everything to get back into the game. The lead ballooned up to 10, 60-50, with 3:46 to go. That's when Bob Huggins told his team one thing, "Get the ball to Kenyon." I'm sure there were other words in there, and Bob didn't just say that, drop his clipboard, get a soda and adjust his tie. Sure enough, Satterfield took the ball upcourt, passed to Martin who was guarded by Williams, and watching as Martin hit a turnaround off glass. Burno, who was a midget, couldn't deal with the UC pressure and threw the ball away to DerMarr Johnson. After some quick passes, Johnson missed from the top of the key, but Satterfield pulled home the rebound. UC pulled back out, getting the ball to Satterfield on the left wing. Martin called for the ball on the block, got it, and hit another turnaround on Williams. DePaul looked rattled. They couldn't get into their offense. A deflection by Johnson gave the Demons the ball out of bounds with 3 seconds on the shot clock, but they couldn't do anything off the inbound, and committed another turnover on a shot clock violation. The crowd remembered they were allowed to make noise as UC brought the ball up court. Satterfield waved away a Jermaine Tate screen attempt, looking to get the ball to Martin. He did. Martin this time took Williams left, dropping a little pump fake jumper from the bottom of the circle in his face. That made the score 60-56 with 2 minutes left. Cincinnati threw on a very sloppy press that was broken. Burno hit Richardson high off the left wing, and Q saw an open Paul McPherson under the basket. By the time McPherson went up with his left hand, Martin crashed the rim from the top of the key blocking the shot. Maybe the pass was short armed a little, but it was a pure hustle play by Martin on an amazing block. That started a UC break, as Satterfield raced up court and dropped off for Johnson driving from the right baseline. Johnson was fouled on his dunk attempt, and drilled both, making it 60-58. DePaul called timeout, but looked discombobulated on offense, getting 3 guys in the paint. The man taking the shot was Bobby Simmons. This happened.

UC took about 15 seconds off the clock running their offense, but there was no doubt where the ball was going. This time, it was Logan who fed Martin on the right block. Martin took a dribble, then dropped another turnaround jumper in Williams' face to tie with 1:11 left. UC went back to the trapping defense. Martin and Johnson ended up with a trap on McPherson, but they left room in the middle. McPherson stepped through, finding Williams all alone under the basket for a dunk. Cincinnati took a timeout, but the Bearcats were stunned when DePaul went zone. With no easy entry to Martin, they worked the ball around the perimeter. Martin worked his way over to the left wing. He got the ball with 5 on the shot clock. Kenyon went baseline on Williams, blowing right by him. Simmons came to help at the basket, but was too late, as Martin banked home the tying shot.

DePaul had 22 seconds, 20 after a timeout. DePaul tried some kind of weird play where Burno brought the ball up, Simmons and Williams stood side by side at the free throw line, probably going to screen for each other I dunno, they just stood there, while Richardson screened for McPherson behind that in the paint, and came up top while McPherson went to the wing. Whatever the weird play was, it allowed Tate to jump into the passing lane, where Burno threw an ill, ill, ill advised pass Richardson's direction. Tate handed to Martin, who took the ball up the court, and dropped off for Johnson. In a play a little similar to the Northern Iowa play the beat Kansas, Johnson looked like he was going to pass, the defense went away from him, and he drilled an open 17 footer with 2.6 left. DePaul got the ball into Richardson, who flew up court. He lost a behind the back dribble for just a half of a second, but that was too long, as the buzzer sounded before he drilled a 35 footer.

It was a great, great win for Cincinnati. It was the game that got Kenyon the player of the year award. It made UC one of the favorites for March. It gave the fan base a sense of destiny for this team. Martin had 33-9-2 blocks, but he had one in the highlight package ESPN showed and 2 during the game. Whatever. Johnson was the only other Bearcat in double digits with 10. Satterfield had 7-9 rebounds-4 assists, playing nearly the whole game. After those 3, BJ Grove was UC's next leading scorer with 6. DePaul had Richardson with 17-11, Williams with 14, and McPherson and Simmons (8 rebounds) with 8.

Just remembering this game makes me remember this season and the love I had for this team. This, and the 01-02 teams will always be my favorite UC squads. Things didn't turn out for either one of them, but they were incredibly fun to watch. The 00 team had it's season derailed, but it had a UC legend give amazing performances like this. The Kenyon Martin game, the comeback, whatever you want to call it, this was a Memorable Bearcat Game.