Bearcats Breakfast 12.10.10

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When I was younger, we used to hold our award banquets at Pizza Tower. We would get all hopped up on Mountain Dew, eat too much pizza and pretty much be quarantined off from the rest of the restaraunt.

I still have a few of those trophies. I can pretty much guarantee none of those are as nice as the trophies handed out at UC's banquet. Or if this were an SAT analogy, it would probably go something like this -- SAY Soccer trophies: UC football trophies as Pizza Tower: The Westin.

Bottom line after that unfortunate view into my pathetic athletic career, is the football team gave out some awards last night.

Armon Binns won the award for Team MVP.

He finished with 75 receptions for 1,101 yards and 10 TDs.

I've been heaping Binns' praises all year -- not that I am somehow alone -- but there's no denying this team's success went right along with his.

Binns enjoyed huge games against Miami, Louisville and was the leading reciever against Rutgers.

Every night, he was the one matchup the opposing defense didn't have an answer for.

Well deserved.

--- Travis Kelce won the scout team award on offense. I've heard a lot of good things about the development of Kelce this year and there's a thought within the program that he will have a significant affect on the team next season in one capacity or another.

--- Derek Wolfe won for best defensive lineman. Dan Giordano could have made a case for the award if you look at the numbers. Wolfe finished with 48 tackles and 6.5 for a loss of 36 yards, 4 sacks, 2 QB hurries. Giordano finished with 36 tackles, led the team in TFL's with 8 for 49 yards, 3 QB hurries and a forced fumble.

The determining factor was the amount of snaps Wolfe labored through, particularly early in the season. Wolfe was playing almost every snap during games in the ealry portion of the year. He was a warrior more than any other player on the team this season.

--- Here is the list of the rest of the awards handed out.

--- Also Tommy G posted up the highlight video shown during the ceremony. Very well done. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any slow motion replays of me grinding out a postgame column, but still fun to watch.

--- TG also posted a tribute video to the seniors.     

--- The basketball team held a media availability yesterday in advance of the Saturday night game against Utah Valley St.

There was a lot of talk about this weak OOC schedule, as has been the case for a number of weeks.

Mick Cronin pointed out that the trip to Oklahoma won't be a cakewalk -- FWIW, the Sooners did break their five-game losing streak with a win over Gardner-Webb last night.

Miami hasn't been great this season, but did stick it to Xavier at Millett Hall. "There's a reason we haven't gone back there since 1993," Cronin said.

Cronin talked earlier this year about the importance of being tested going into Big East play. I don't know that this team will be. But I also don't think that means they won't be ready. If there is one thing we've learned about this team is maturity is a big part of what makes them who they are. They understand what it takes to win in the Big East. You would have liked to see one big time opponent on the early OOC, but that didn't happen. Any affect will be minimal once BE play begins.

"You try to strike a balance. For us, some of the team's we've schduled, maybe they aren't having the best seasons. But we're gonna get all that we want from our schedule here with the two road games as we prepare for the Big East."

--- The players had a team bonding event where they watched the Kentucky-Notre Dame game together. They talked about how they could attack either team. That's as close as they'll get to that type of competition until 2011.

It's interesting to take a peak into the mind of these players right now. They feel like they are good. They feel like they can compete with anybody in the country. But they just don't know.

One thing's for sure, they are eager to prove it:

"I think about it everyday," Yancy Gates said. "I watched Syracuse-Michigan State and I wonder if we're ready for them. It's hard to tell with some of the games we've played so far."


--- Bill Koch writes about Cronin's excitement about new assistant coach Darren Savino. He played a significant role in landing the strong 2011 recruiting class UC has coming in.

Savino was big in landing Shaq Thomas and Jermaine Sanders in particular with his East Coast ties. Plus, he has been living in Cronin's basement, so he must be pretty clean around the house, as well.

--- Chad Brendel wrote about the extra work the Bearcats are putting in during the Christmas Break. He also touches some on the OOC discussion.

--- The Voice took to the blog with a great take on Sean Kilpatrick. He points out that he's already done something that Eric Hicks, Lance Stephenson and DerMarr Johnson never did.

Plus, the Handsome Lad is wearing a Durham Bulls T-Shirt which scores him extra points.

--- Seth Davis gives some credit to Pitt, who has tip-toed their way to the No. 3 spot in the country.

--- Temple upset No. 10 Georgetown. Yes, that's an upset. But winning at Temple when the Owls have a talented team as they do this year is no easy task.

The Temple students rushed the court after the game. C'mon Temple. You're better than that. You have a storied program, beating Georgetown in a year when you returned one of the best players in the A-10 in Lavoy Allen shouldn't be treated like its a shock.

--- Luke Winn's power rankings have 5 of the top 14 from the Big East. And features the best mustache in college hoops.  

--- Reason No. 3,028 why you go to college basketball games even if they don't look like the most appetizing matchup. You never know when a team will come back from down 51-31 in the final 8:17 to win on a buzzer-beater.   

--- On to some randomness...

--- No matter where I travel -- Florida, California or anywhere else -- I never go anywhere without my dried hedgehog. Wait - what?

--- Comedy Central has a new logo in 2011 and is debuting a new sports show run by The Onion folks. That new doesn't make my day, but it gets it off to a nice start.   

--- You know how much you have to love women for a man to show up unannounced and disturb the nails on a chalkboard routine of The View? As much as Prince loves women.  

--- CNN unbelievably aired a scene from Dumb and Dumber during one of its news shows. Unfortunately, for them it wasn't this...

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