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He Shoots, He Scores

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Sean Kilpatrick scored 26 points in his 6th college game.

 

Did you know that no other current member of the team has had a 26 point game?  Either did Lance Stephenson.  Or Eric Hicks.  Or DerMarr Johnson.

 

Kenyon Martin did, but not until his 96th game in a Bearcat uniform.

 

Kilpatrick.jpg 

Kilpatrick reminds me of the Big East's all-time leader scorer Lawrence Moten, whom I covered as a TV guy in Syracuse in the early 90's.  He's not the best athlete on the floor and doesn't have the prettiest shot, but he has a knack for scoring. 

 

"I've said this from day one - when he makes 3-point shots, he is a devastating player," Mick Cronin told me.  "He has confidence and that's a big factor.  He believes in himself."

 

"I say to myself that if I have an open jump shot, I'm not going to miss it," Kilpatrick said.  "Coach teaches us to play with that kind of confidence.  When you shoot the ball, you shoot with a purpose."

 

The 6'4" redshirt freshman is averaging 11.7 points in only 20.7 minutes per game.  He is the Big East's second-leading freshman scorer behind DePaul's Brandon Young (14.9 points in 30.8 minutes), and he leads the league in scoring among non-starters.

 

But early success hasn't gone to Sean's head.

 

"You have to stay humble and just come to practice and work hard," Kilpatrick said.  "Coach preaches every day that if you play defense and rebound, the game will come to you.  I don't try to force anything - I try to get everyone else involved." 

 

"His effort is great every day," Coach Cronin said.  "Look at Kemba Walker at UConn, who I recruited extremely hard.  His success doesn't surprise me because I know who he is as a person.  Sean Kilpatrick has that competitive fire in him.  He practices as hard as he can every day.  Does he make every shot every day?  Of course not.  Does he have days where he turns the ball over?  Sure.  But his effort is tremendous."

 

And his enthusiasm is infectious.  After making a great pass from directly in front of UC's bench in the 'Cats last home game against Wright State, Kilpatrick surprised his coach with an impromptu high five.

 

"I was shocked because he usually doesn't do stuff like that," Kilpatrick said with a grin.  "He yelled too so it must have been a good thing."

 

"He's a winner," Coach Cronin said.  "If you watched us closely last year, Sean started the year at the end of the bench and by the Big East Tournament he was sitting next to me in order to be as involved as possible.  He was the first guy charging out on to the court after every time out.  He will eventually be a captain of our team because he was that much character."

 

And since he sat out last season, Kilpatrick still has 3 ½ years remaining in his Bearcat career.

 

"I'm happy that I decided to redshirt," Sean said.  "It made me a lot better to have one year to just practice.  Coach told me last year that since I wasn't going to be able to play in the games that I had to treat practices like they were my games.  I still do that to this day.  That's something that I'll take for the rest of my life now.  If you keep working every day it will pay off for you."

 

"There's not a day where he comes to practice and doesn't want to be there," Coach Cronin said.  "People are addicted to different things in life - he is addicted to basketball."

 

I'd love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com.

 

And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

 

Enjoy this week's photo of the handsome lad.

 

Sam in tree.jpg

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