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Bearcats Breakfast 1.11.11

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We have media availability today with Mick Cronin and some players at 3 p.m. I'll remind you of the standing request, if you have any questions you'd like me to ask a player or coach, just shoot me an email (pauldehnerjr@gmail.com) or a message on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr).

If my follower numbers grow, maybe I'll be like Big Tweet.

Anyway, because we've been so inundated with basketball info lately, I've forgotten a few football tidbits. I wanted to relay while we have a quick hoops breather. Plus, on the heels of watching Oregon and Auburn play for the All the Tostitos, it reminded me that there's plenty of football to be discussed.

And Monday was the first workout of the 2011 season.

--- Armon Binns will be playing in the East-West Shrine Game. Hopefully he can make a splash and work his way up draft boards.

His 1,100 yards on 75 catches with 10 touchdowns is nothing to sneeze at. Also, many of Binns' receptions came in big moments of big games. The Louisville win is the first that comes to mind.

Despite a lot of Bearcats players' stock taking a slight hit because of the lack of success this year, Binns wasn't among them.

A general consensus entering the year was he would be a late-round draft pick. Some of the latest updates like this one and this one still have him there, but consider it a possiblity he could move up with strong pre-draft workout -- particularly in the 40.

--- Maybe the biggest mystery in the back end of the draft will be Vidal Hazelton. He has top player athleticism and size but almost zero tape to prove it.

At the very least, he's in somebody's camp next year given a chance to prove he can play at the next level. Brian Bennett wrote this

--- One of the top programs in the Big East hires a coach who enjoyed success at Tulsa. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

For UC's sake, here's to Todd Graham working out as well as Steve Kragthorpe at U of L.

At the very least, he won't have RB Dion Lewis and WR Jonathan Baldwin to help him win. As they declared for the draft.     

--- UC will hold a Signing Day dinner on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Kingsgate Marriot. Cash bar, full meal, meet Butch Jones and see all the highlight packages of every member of the 2011 class.

I've covered events similar to these before and they're pretty nice, as well as a great way to learn firsthand information about all the players and hear some of the specific stories of why they ended up a Bearcat.

--- OK, back to basketball. Some more recap of Sunday's game against Villanova as Bill Koch wrote about the need for poise. With this mature team, we were supposed to be beyond this issue, but with the first big-game adversity of the season, I give the Cats a pass. But that will be the last time before concern starts to enter in.  

--- Pretty soon, I'll be done with this topic, but as people who've clearly watched significantly little continue to make broad brush analysis of the Bearcats, I'll continue to talk about it. UC didn't do much Sunday to convince anybody they are "for real," the hot button topic around this team right now.

But to walk away and say they looked overmatched by Villanova would be absolutely false. They looked like a team that shot poorly and lost in a gym where everyone losses.

So, Ballin is a Habit -- one of the great college hoops blogs out there and I typically agree with them -- decides to give the Cincinnati is mediocre tag after watching, undeniably their first game of the year.

As I've said before, BIAH isn't alone and many others who hold weight in the way important people view your team -- which very much matters come Selection Sunday -- make these bold claims without watching but one or two games.

I know there is no way to watch all the college basketball teams, but try to base analysis off of more than one game and some box scores and use the eye test every once in while.  

All right, enough soap box. If UC beats Cuse, everyone will crown the Cats. Then they'll lose a game and knee-jerk them back to the bottom of the pack. The key is in consistency, not one game.

--- UC hung on to its Top 25 AP ranking, but dropped to No. 27 in the Coaches poll. Wins against South Florida and Syracuse this week would certainly make some believers and push the Cats into the teens. As will be the case with them the rest of the year, they hold their national perception in their hands. Nobody has to speculate anymore. 

--- No. 11 Notre Dame has been fantastic at home, but pretty average on the road this season. They were hammered at Marquette last night. This fact unfortunately means bad news for UC. They're at ND next week.

--- David Steele asks at AOL Fanhouse asks the yearly Big East question -- is the league devouring itself with its own brutal schedule?

After last year's NCAA tournament performance, the concept holds some water.

--- Some randomness....

--- I don't watch Hoarders and I have zero plans on tuning into this season finale, but the recap and quote from Glen, owner of 2,500(!!!) rats cracks me up in its simplicity.

"I can readily admit that I have way too many rats." 

--- While we're in the rodent milieu, I was just thinking about how there weren't enough famous, cross-eyed opposums.

--- I'd concur.

--- Coolio's hairline has taken a fantastic voyage to comedytown.

-- As I mentioned at the top, send me your questions if you have any you'd like answered by Mick or players. Of course, every time I walk into a presser I always turn my phone off. When you have a unique or particularly funny ringtone, this is the last thing you want happening.

That said, can't help but laugh. Also, buddy, you can tap the silent button, you don't need to pick it up and tell them you'll call them back.

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