before the Bearcats basketball team lands in the
playing Vanderbilt on Monday, potentially
foremost, the perimeter defense. After allowing Prairie View to make 41.4
percent of its 3-point shots last Monday,
Part of the problem, Mick Cronin said, is the coaching staff hasn't spent much time working on a basic man-to-man defense. Instead, it's been more involved in implementing more complicated looks. Also, there's still some inexperience on this squad.
"Two things: we're a young team," he said. "We have some new pieces, and because we're subbing and playing a deep rotation, you don't have the cohesiveness defensively. It's something we're going to have to get used to every time as we change lineups. Make sure we know you don't have to help Rashad Bishop because he doesn't get beat. You don't get that feel and that flow as you're changing units all the time, and the defensive cohesiveness is not there yet.
"We've put a lot of things in early and spent a lot of time on a lot of things. We've got (defensive) presses in, and we've got things we haven't showed yet. We just haven't spent time on our team on man-to-man, half-court defense. It shows a little bit. But you can't just play basic man defense."
Plus, two of the team's starters - Lance Stephenson and Cashmere Wright - are freshmen who have never had to worry so much about playing on-ball defense.
young and whenever you have youth, they're still figuring out how to play
shouldn't be much of a concern next week in
"Every game is different in college basketball," Cronin said. "The only difference between mid-major teams and high-major teams is size. Mid-major teams can shoot it and pass it. With the three-point shot, everybody is dangerous. You have to approach every game with a gameplan and scouting report, knowing what we have to do to win this game. If they don't, we are going to lose."
He talked about that because he was disappointed UC allowed Toledo's two best shooters to connect on 8 of 13 three-point shots, especially after telling the team that the only way the Rockets could beat the Bearcats was if they allowed Toledo's Stephen Albrecht and Jake Barnett to make long-range shots.
positive for the Bearcats last Wednesday was the play of sophomore forward
Yancy Gates. Not just his statistical production, though that was pretty good
"It was, by far, the best Yancy has ever moved without the ball in the zone offense," Cronin said.
Gates: "Just trying to be more active. I watched film with the coaches and they
were talking that I needed to be more active on offense, moving without the
ball. When (