Quick thanks for some of the responses from the introduction post yesterday and also those who are now following me on Twitter @pauldehnerjr. Thanks for buying in, now its time to deliver.
As one reader pointed out I have very stylish shoes to fill in those of Josh Katzowitz. That's true, I will most certainly need to upgrade my shoe collection before I go representing GoBearcats.com at the field. An extra spit shine on some Italian leather, at the very least.
Well, on to the intertubes to get you caught up on the word on the street.
--- Lance Stephenson made quite a statement in his summer league debut yesterday. Stephenson dropped in 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting for the Pacers in Orlando.
Indiana and coach Jim O'Brien drafted Stephenson 40th little more than a week ago and their this was the first view of their grand plan to have Stephenson play point guard. An intriguing decision as is pointed out here. He never fit that mold at UC -- and one decent summer game doesn't make him any more viable as an NBA point guard than myself -- but he is clearly playing with a purpose. For a guy who everyone knew talent was never the issue, that may be more than enough to earn him a spot in the back end of the Pacers' rotation next season.
At the very least, he made a fan out of Kevin Durant.
--- This is a bit of old news, but since I am new here, I wanted to sneak it in that UC and Wright State are hooking up for a three-game contract. Walking the fine line between a challenging non-conference schedule and wearing out a team that has to survive the Big East can be a difficult one, but considering some of the recent success of the Raiders this should be a nice supplement to the schedule. Plus, it should draw quite a few fans down from the Dayton area to Fifth Third.
The Dayton Daily News has a blog nugget about Mick Cronin's relationship with the WSU AD.
--- You will notice I am a big proponent of the work Brian Bennett does over at ESPN. He will unveil his No. 1 player in the Big East today as Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis.
Here is West Virginia's Noel Devine coming at No. 2 with some info and the complete list. The top 25 included four Bearcats. Vidal Hazelton (No. 20), Isaiah Pead (16), Armon Binns (10) and Zach Collaros (5). Pretty fair, though, TE Ben Guidugli probably deserved a little more love. (Of course, as you should already know, he got some from the Sporting News a few weeks ago.) But this list isn't an easy one to crack, especially considering the focus on speed players at the skill positions. In fact, no tight end is listed at all and only five lineman.
No shocker there on Lewis, however. UC fans who watched him run 47 times for 194 yards at Heinz Field last year can attest he deserves it.
Of course, that is just an excuse to link to this.
--- Lewis is one of the big reasons to love watching the Big East this season, but according to Bruce Feldman at ESPN, the Cincinnati offense would be No. 2 on that official list. (Insider)
--- Xtra Point football has Pitt as the predicted BE champs. It has UC 2nd. Add it to the list of pundits sleeping on the Bearcats...again. Lot of pressure building on Dave Wannstedt over there. While people can talk about what he's put together, as has been the case for nearly all of his career, he hasn't won much of anything yet.
--- The folks at Down the Drive are running through the schedule and take a look at Oklahoma and the unique opportunity it presents to the Bearcats. The exposure of this game, regardless of result, will be enormous. A quick look at the schedule makes it a real possiblity Cincinnati could be featured as the pick for College Gameday that Saturday. The closest competition will likely be WVU at LSU or Alabama at Arkansas. If Oklahoma is perfect including a win over FSU and UC is perfect with wins over Fresno and N.C. State, the game could make quite a case.
While ESPN never misses a chance to head to the SEC, the lure of a new location could overcome yet another trip south. If there ever were a barometer for how far this program has come, the arrival of that crew would be it.