Lesson Learned For Yancy?

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At some point in the first half on Wednesday night, Yancy Gates is going to rise from the bench and move toward the scorer's table to check into UC's crucial game against Louisville.


If you have a ticket, do you plan to boo?


Give it some thought first.


While I felt badly for Yancy when he got booed near the end of the St. John's game, I can't blame anyone for doing so.  There's no excuse for failing to support your teammates, and Gates appeared disinterested as he sat on the end of the bench during a great Bearcat comeback.  His behavior was immature and indefensible.


The fans sent a loud message that I'm certain Yancy heard.  Does it really need to be sent again?


I'm not suggesting that people should cheer wildly when he enters the game and pretend that nothing happened, but I do think that Gates deserves another chance.  Additionally, do we really want the image of Cincinnati fans jeering a hometown kid to be the storyline on national television?


Until 11 days ago when an incident at practice before the Pittsburgh game led to his one-game suspension, Gates was having an OK-but-not-great season, averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds.  He had enjoyed moments of brilliance including a 22 point, 14 rebound effort in the win over Xavier, and delivered the game-winning three-point play with eight seconds to go at St. John's.


Unfortunately, there have also been dismal performances where he grows visibly frustrated over not getting the ball and doesn't compete with maximum effort.  Until that ceases, Yancy will never be the player he is capable of being.


But his effort - particularly at practice - has been improved this year and I have no doubt that he regrets how he behaved in the St. John's game.  I attended practice on Tuesday, and Yancy hustled throughout and paid attention to the coaching staff.  Can he keep it up when things aren't going his way?  That's the question.


Feel free to remain skeptical.  Yancy has yet to earn the benefit of the doubt.


But can we give him an opportunity to turn those boos back into cheers?


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


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


And I've finally joined Facebook.  Just search for Dan Hoard and look for the photo of me with the handsome lad.


Rondo shirt.jpg 

Speaking of young Sam, enjoy this week's photo of him proudly rocking some Celtics gear (yes, I know Rajon Rondo played at UK.  As soon as a former Bearcat joins Boston, he'll have a new favorite player).


anniversary signage.jpg 

And look for new signage at Wednesday's Louisville game celebrating the 50th anniversary of Cincinnati's back-to-back NCAA titles in 1961 and 1962.



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