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Bearcats Breakfast 12.9.11

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What would a Crosstown Shootout be without a little Crosstown trash talk? To answer the rhetorical question, it would be boring. And as we all know, that's not the case.

The latest to come out was Sean Kilpatrick stating that not only is he better than Tu Holloway, but Holloway wouldn't start on the Bearcats. These comments came on the Andy Furman radio show on AM1160.

Here is the transcript.

Furman: "Are you better than Tu Holloway?"
Kilpatrick: "I'll let the fans decide..."
Furman: "I need to know. No one's listening. Just between you and me."
Kilpatrick: "Yes I am."
Furman: "Would Tu Holloway start for UC?"
Kilpatrick: "Would he, with the players we have now? I would say no."

Does Kilpatrick say these words? Yes. Should he probably have avoided the bulletin board material for Tu? Yes.

But what was he supposed to say?:

"Are you better than Tu? Actually, no I am not, he's much better than me. In fact, we are doomed."

"Could he start on your team? Oh, of course. Not only is he better than me, he's definitely better than that bum we have at PG Cashmere Wright. Dion Dixon? Tu would own him. Shoot, I'd rather have him at 6-foot battling for post position rather than Yancy Gates!"

Anybody reading anything into these words and taking anything except a guy confident in himself and his team from these quotes needs a serious lesson in context. (I'm looking at you, front page of Cincinnati.com)

This was nothing more than a lazy line of questioning and baiting a kid into saying something that would draw headlines or controversy. SK even tried to sidestep the question off the top.  Listen, I've been on Furman's show many times before and would happily go on again and say this to him. In fact, that's highly likely. He does plenty of things well, I just thought this was a cheap way to prod a kid into saying something controversial.

Enough media-manufactured drivel, let's eat...

--- Give some props
to Brad Johansen and the Local12 folks with this Night Before the Crosstown Shootout Video. Good stuff. I love a good Cheikh Mbodj pronounciation gag.

--- Scott at Bearcats Blog gives his 10 reasons Xavier, um, falls out of his favor. I will only point out from the sign at the top of the post, folks, it's embarrassing for everyone if you make a derogatory sign about another school and use improper grammar. With the slash of one apostrophe, suddenly, the joke is very much on you.

--- How well do
you know the Shootout? Here's a quiz from The Enquirer.

--- Bill Koch on how UC can
repeat their job on Tu Holloway from last season.

Once done providing his perspective on why UC was able to shut down Holloway last season, Mick Cronin reminded UC folks of a fact they are all too aware of considering the early-season showing of both squads.

"Last year is irrelevant," Cronin said. "They are two completely different teams."


--- The Musketeers haven't forgotten last season. This from Shannon Russell.

--- The Cintas Center will be rocking tomorrow. This will be by far one of the best atmospheres in all of college basketball this season, as always. Cronin pointed out the importance of Cashmere Wright in the hostile environment.

Cronin should feel confident because not only has Cash handled tough situations before, but his freshman season at the Cintas Center he played one of the better games of his first year.

He only had four points -- he wasn't as much of a scorer back then -- but distributed four assists to just two turnovers in 32 minutes.

Cronin also went on to say that he thought Wright played his best half of basketball after halftime at Georgia.

"Just because he took care of the ball and ran our team," Cronin said. "Dion and SK were the guys making shots, but if he turns the ball over and our team is not settled down on the offensive end on the road, you are going to get blown out. You won't lose, you are going to get blown out. You can't go on the road and have your quarterback rattled."

Cronin thought Wright was rattled for a first half against Georgia that saw a nine-minute UC scoring drought.

"He's important, I don't mean it from a statistical standpoint," Cronin said. "You got to take care of the basketball. He's got to play solid defense and run his team. That is going to be all year for us."

--- Speaking of not getting rattled, quote of the day comes in that department comes from Yancy Gates. Asked how do you avoid this group of freshmen not being rattled in a hostile environment like Cintas, he came out with this:

"Don't put them in?" he said, laughing.

Gates went on to give some great analysis of what it's like to enter your first Shootout at Cintas Center.

"
It's hard," he said. "My first time going over there was my sophomore year and it was hard, even though I already played in one. It's rough over there. You try to get them prepared for how the game on the court is going to go, but you can't simulate that atmosphere that's going to be over there...they are just going to have to, I don't know, they are just going to have to try to play through it."

For whatever my opinion is worth (what would be considered less than little?), I don't think you see more than three minutes out of any freshmen except for maybe 5-10 for Guyn.

--- Crazy stat from the game notes: UC's last road win against an AP Top 10 opponent came at then-No. 8 Louisville, 71-66 on Jan. 4, 1990.

Here's one of my favorite pastimes when recognizing ancient streaks like this: No. 1 song in the country that day? Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins.

--- Luke Winn's power rankings point out Tu Holloway ranks top in the nation in free throw rate (ratio of free throws to field goal attempts) among guards playing at least 30 minutes.

One of the biggest keys last year was UC not allowing Holloway to the stripe. He only shot three free throws. Keeping him out of the lane and not drawing contact will probably be the key again Saturday.

--- Some bad news for struggling St. John's as their top scorer Nuri Lindsey announced he is transferring. This great recruiting class has turned into an epic fail.

--- Moving to football, I wrote yesterday afternoon about the historical perspective behind UC's sweep of Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. It's the first time in the Big East since Miami in 2001.

--- Not only was yesterday a good day for Derek Wolfe in the Big East awards, Rivals named him second team All-American at DT. Tavon Austin at punt returner is the only other Big East player on the first or second team.

--- We'd be remiss in not mentioning the other members of the Big East First Team, which are OL Randy Martinez, aka Randeazy, aka, Mr. McSaucy, aka, Ragu, S Drew Frey, P Pat O'Donnell and LB JK Schaffer.

OL Alex Hoffman and QB Zach Collaros were named to the second team.

--- All right, I am headed
out of here. I can only say I'm jacked up for tomorrow's game. As well as pounding one too many coneys before noon tomorrow. I'm assuming all of you will be watching on ESPN. Should be a blast. Check back to the blog Saturday afternoon for reaction from players, coaches and a postgame column.

I'll leave you with highlights from last year. Have a good weekend.



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