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Bearcats Breakfast 5.11.11

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I know folks don't like being taken out of their routine, so hopefully the regular readers weren't out of sorts the last few days by the altered format of the Breakfast. It's a long summer and occassionally shaking it up will be necessary to keep myself from getting bored and your Breakfast from getting stale.

No worries, for all of you who eat two eggs, scrambled, two pieces of turkey bacon, an english muffin, two OCD pills and half a glass of orange juice every single morning, you'll be happy to see the regular format back today.

Let's eat...

--- Doing the basketball outlook, the backup quarterback development got glossed over. I tackled this issue at the conclusion of spring football talking with OC Mike Bajakian and Butch Jones about all the backup candidates.

Jordan Luallen, Muchie Legaux and Brendon Kay all need to overcome weaknesses in their game to ascend to the second QB position. Whoever does so the best over the course of the summer and into training camp will be backing up Zach Collaros against Austin Peay.

For Luallen, it's learning and adjusting to the speed of a college passing game. He not only didn't play at Georgia Tech, but was running an option attack. He ran a Wing-T in high school. If he can become comfortable in drops, passes and route combos, he'd be a favorite for the job.

For Legaux, the battle comes down to game management. Legaux needs to grow his comfort level with the offense and ability to run it efficiently under pressure. His physical tools have more potential than anyone else back there, but building comprehension of how the offense needs to run will be his priority over the offseason. If he shows up in camp and instinctually can run the offense without hesitation, I'd have a hard time giving anyone else the job.

For Kay, it's a matter of health and reps. His advantage over Legaux and Luallen are he was taking reps at QB last season and owns more experience. He's probably more skilled as a pure passer than the other two, without quite as much mobility. But Kay needs to get healthy. Injury problems have followed him throughout his career. If he shows up healthy and shows off his knowledge of the system and a superior passing precision, the job could be his.

Those are quite a few ifs involved in the backup QB job and ideally, none of them will be needed until 2012. But it will likely be the most intriguing position battle this August.

--- As for Chazz Anderson's departure, I'm sad to see him go. Anderson was a stand-up kid in good times and bad. I'll never forget him speaking so open and honest following the Syracuse loss last year, pinning it all on himself. Half of the issues weren't near his fault at all, but as leader of the offense he decided to take the heat for them.

People would have excused him as the backup quarterback and nobody expected him to step in and be Zach Collaros. But Anderson didn't view it that way and handled the situation with class, integrity and pride. He'll be a fine leader in some capacity one day.

--- There is significant concern Mardy Gilyard won't survive training camp with the Rams this year after St. Louis drafted two wideouts.

One columnist said he needs to have "the training camp of his life." Here are a number of opinions on his situation from those in the know.

--- I'm way late on this, but wanted to recognize this great profile by Bill Koch of Larry Sheakley. While many times boosters and donors tend to get their names dragged through the mud in association with violations, Sheakley's only concern was that there wouldn't be any. He's a breath of fresh air to be certain.

--- Brian Bennett is wrapping up the springs of all the Big East football programs. It serves as a nice look at the 2011 season. UC's was not up as of the time of this posting.

--- As you could tell if you read this blog the last two days -- or ever -- I'm a bit of a stat nerd. Though, I concede my spot at the front of the nerdery to the blog Cracked Sidewalks, who went in depth to break down the top 100 players in the Big East last year in terms of offensive value.

For those of you unconcerned with theorems or scientific calculators, the list actually gives plenty of love to the Bearcats, despite their offensive woes throughout the year.

Among players that are returning next year, here are where the Bearcats rank:

5. Dion Dixon, 8. Sean Kilpatrick, 11. Yancy Gates, 20. Cashmere Wright.

If UC finishes next year with four of the top 20 offensive values in the Big East, it will be a special season.

--- The News-Record rated the top five athletics teams of the 2010-11 school year for UC. Baseball and track haven't concluded yet, so it's a little premature, but can't argue with volleyball and Stephanie Niemer at No. 1.

--- Sad story documented by Brendan Prunty coming out of the Rutgers basketball program.

Some randomness...

--- I loathe "legacy on the line" stories. The Boston Celtics Big Three have won a championsihp and lost in The Finals to Kobe, they were the first to form a "superteam." Their legacy has been cemented. To contend they need to beat the Heat to prove anything is absurd. Of course, 85% of Boston sports writing is absurd, so I guess this blends right in.

--- I don't know that I'd be comfortable enough with the development or historical precedence of the jet pack to fly one across the Grand Canyon.

--- Even if you don't follow/watch lacrosse, it's pretty obvious this is one of the most incredible shots ever.

--- Come see the NBA Senior Finals at the Del Boca Vista Rec Center. They really have shaped that place up since Morty Seinfeld was impeached as President.

--- The Dude's cardigan is going up for auction. Remember to hold your paddle up when you want to make a bid. This isn't Nam, there are rules.

 --- Since posting any scenes from the movie is impossible due to language and excessive use of dirty laundry (the whites), here's the a pretty cool trailer from before it came out.

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