Do you know what brilliant conclusion should be drawn from the Villanova game?
Anybody who is pointing toward that loss as proof that the Bearcats are "pretenders" is either:
A) Not paying close enough attention, or
B) Trying to get under the skin of a UC fan.
Here's the deal. It's perfectly legitimate to question if
By the way, I find it amusing that a bunch of people said that the Xavier game would be
In all seriousness, I did draw a significant conclusion from Sunday's loss: The Bearcats have to get better guard play to beat the elite teams in the Big East.
Villanova has two McDonald's All-American point guards who play at the same time in Corey Fisher and Maalik Wayns. Against
"They do an unbelievable job - and TV doesn't do it justice - of taking you out of what you want to do on offense," Coach Cronin told me. "They speed your guards up and we never could get settled on offense. When we were tough enough to do it, we got the shots we wanted. But initially, when they took us out of our first option, Dion and
"In fairness to
The stats back that up. Since leaving the St. Francis game early with a shoulder injury, Wright has gone 4-for-22 (18%) from the floor and 0-for-8 from 3-point range.
Another huge factor in the Villanova game was fouls . . . and please note that I didn't say bad officiating. Sure there were a few lousy calls, but the Bearcats took too long to adjust to the way the game was being officiated.
One of the biggest reasons why
"You can't commit the fouls that we committed," Coach Cronin said. "We have our own stat sheet and keep track of 'bad fouls.' We average about four a game, but we had 10 against Villanova. We fouled two 3-point shooters which is the worst foul in basketball, and the second-worst is fouling a guy without the basketball. You can talk about officials all you want but we committed some dumb fouls."
The Bearcats did some good things against Villanova. They forced a team with one of the best backcourts in the country to commit 19 turnovers, won the rebound battle 35-33, and scored 36 points in the paint. If they didn't go 2-for-20 from 3-point range, the 'Cats might have even won (FYI, after reviewing the tape, Coach Cronin determined that 7 of the 20 3-point attempts were bad shots).
I obviously disagree with skeptics who dismiss anything that the Bearcats have accomplished this season, but there is one thing that we can all agree on:
They have to beat USF at home.
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