The second week at Higher Ground continues for UC. I will be heading out there this afternoon to take in the exhilirating practice action. I say that partially sarcastically because I was actually surprised at how intense and physical the Bearcats practice was last week.
We will see if they keep that up, but they were extremely competitive out there as I detailed in my sights and sounds blog on Friday.
--- Rightfully so, plenty is being written about Butch Jones and the Bearcats offense right now. Those guys are the star of the show and will likely be the reason UC wins however many games it does this year. Personally, I am more interested in this defense right now. I feel like there is more we need to know and need to learn happening on the other side of the ball. That's where you will see most of my stories come from this week. I want you guys to get a feel for why or why not to have confidence in this unit with the question mark around it entering the season.
But, yeah, people are writing about the offense.
--- Scott Springer talks about Vidal Hazelton. In many ways, at least to the fans, Hazelton would also be considered an unknown. But if you have seen him in practice, you know there is nothing to worry about with this kid. Scott does a nice job providing that glimpse here. Hazelton's the real deal.
--- Bill Koch put together a great story about Zach Collaros as the pride of Steubenville. I met a man who lives in Stuebenville not too long ago and said, "Oh yeah, the home of Zach Collaros." He responded by informing how crazy it is I said that because until recently everyone used to talk about it as the home of Dean Martin, but now he hears Collaros' name more.
If Collaros lives up to his expecations this year, people maybe calling Ohio the home of Zach Collaros.
--- The Hartford Courtant offers a preview of UC.
--- If you want to know what Higher Ground feels like, check out the video on Butch Jones' blog.
--- Mardy Gilyard sat out the Rams' first preseason game with an injury. He is supposed to be back this week, according to CBSsports.com. Although, the reports are Danny Amendola has looked great in returns this preseason and took a punt back 93 yards for a touchdown.
--- There were a glutton of scrimmages around the Big East this past weekend, UC didn't have one, but Brian Bennett has a round up of the others. Of note, Bill Stewart blasted his team B.J. Daniels missed 11 of his first 12 passes. Yikes.
--- Bad news for Lance Stephenson, who was arrested for pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs. Stephenson may be a professional, but it's hard to forget he is still only a 19-year-old kid.
--- UC will begin its basketball practices for its trip to Canada this week. Rush the Court checked in with the Big East. Bottom line: they're not in love with the Bearcats.
RTC ranks them 13th of 16. Of course, they place Louisville 7th and all they have coming back is Peyton Siva and a decent recruiting class. RTC is entertaining, but they aren't always the most informed and have always held bias' with certain teams. Although, most will probably have UC in the bottom five preseason.
--- RTC also has Villanova No. 1. Of course, that could have something to do with the fact Corey Fisher just dropped 105 points in a summer league game.
You think they play defense in the summer league? His season high last year for Nova was 24.