Bearcats Breakfast 2.9.12

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The Bearcats provided a nice change of pace for hearts of Bearcats fans last night. Game after game this Big East season, UC keeps its fans standing in a pool of sweat with seemingly every game coming down to the final minutes. Wednesday they left no doubt.

In a game they couldn't afford to lose, they didn't give the referees a chance to blow a call or the ball a chance to bounce the wrong way. Momentum can change in an instant, but for now, the three-game losing streak seems like it's officially forgotten for this team.

It won't be a game people look back on and remember once this season concludes, but Wednesday's game could go a long way to a Bearcats surge. Only time will tell.

Let's eat...

--- Here are the
highlights in case you missed it.

--- If any team allows UC to rebound 16 of 29 misses, they will lose. The Bearcats biggest weakness, by design, is the trouble rebounding the basketball. They are near impossible to beat if the opponent doesn't make them pay for their height disadvantage.

A big reason for that was the play of Cheikh Mbodj. Over the past few weeks he's shown flashes of why Mick Cronin was so high on him. the recurring theme from Mick when talking about Cheikh has been that he doesn't have his lift due to the ankle sprain he suffered early in the year.

Everybody saw the lift last night as he blocked five shots, grabbed five rebounds and scored four points in 16 minutes.

His play allowed Yancy Gates extra minutes to rest and he proved to be much more efficient with the limited playing time. Gates went for 14 points and 9 rebounds in his 21 minutes.
--- Two days after I showed the stats of Sean Kilpatrick's lack of efficiency when shooting more than 50 percent of his shots from 3, he disproved the theory for the first time this year. Six of his 10 shots came from deep and his finished with 14 points. The numbers still stand pretty strong, but Kilpatrick proved them slightly wrong on this night.

SK admitted to this being a big night for him, though. When you grow up in the shadows of New York City, there's nothing like playing in the Garden.

"Going back into the locker room coach was just telling me I was rushing it a little bit. I was a little too anxious.  In an atmosphere like this you tend to do that. You get so excited to be here and play here, especially being a New York kid. My teammates just told me to calm down. When the shots were there I was just taking them."

--- UC passed the ball as well
as they have all season. Cronin has been stomping for improved passing repeatedly over the last few weeks. The struggles doing so was one of the biggest reasons they lost the first game against St. John's.

Their 18 assists were the most in any regulation Big East game this season (they also had 18 in OT at WVU).

Compare that number with the fact in five of the previous 10 Big East games UC didn't even top 12 assists and you have a major step in the right direction offensively. You can credit hot shooting all you want, it's a lot easier to shoot 51 percent from the paint.

"Our attitude was much different (than the first game)," Cronin said. "When you lose you got to give the other team credit. I don't like coaches who only say "we stunk". Maybe it's because of what they did. We tried obviously to be a little more prepared for their match-up type zones and their switching man-to-mans. Our passing was much better and obviously our rebounding was much better. We played a lot more zone tonight than we did before. It's easier to find D'Angelo (Harrison) in the zone."

--- St. John's is down to six scholarship players?!? Boy, all the good luck they enjoyed last season is really flipping on them this year.

--- Here's the game recap from Bill Koch.

--- Bill also gave an update on Shaq Thomas. It will be exciting seeing the lift he provides next season.

--- Drew Cannon for ESPN Insider likes the Bearcats chances of getting into the Dance.

--- KenPom now has
UC up to No. 41 overall.

--- South Florida is tough at home this year. They beat resurgent Pitt by 12 last night. Outside of a wild three-point loss to UConn, they haven't lost at home in Big East play. That includes wins against Pitt, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Rutgers. Not exactly world beaters, but a huge step forward for the Bulls.

That will be a difficult game Feb. 26.

--- A brief glance ahead to Marquette, yes, they have won eight of the last nine games, but if you take a look at the competition, the jury is still out on how good they actually are.

In Big East play they have four games against teams ranked in KenPom's top 50. They are 1-3 in those with the lone win coming at home against Louisville when the Cards were a disaster area. (Lost 73-70 @Georgetown, Lost 73-66 @Syracuse, Lost 76-59 @Notre Dame)

They've done a great job of beating the teams they should and are great at home, but haven't beaten the top teams in the league. Should be an even matchup, but pollsters and the like who believe the Eagles should run away with it aren't looking close enough.

--- Also, as a child of the 90s, I am jacked up to hear about UC's latest promotion. They are breaking out the 90s at 9 promo for the Providence game (9 p.m. tip, get it?)

Anyway, all 90s music and 90s themed activities will be happening during the game. This seems like a perfect time to reset the Big Head Initiative with 90s pop culture icons. Yes, I'm looking at you, A.C. Slater.

So, everybody get to rasterbating and I'll be keeping an eye out for Ren and Stimpy.


--- Will Ferrell announced the visiting team lineups last night in New Orleans. Typical strong Ferrell.

"No. 1, whose favorite movie is The Notebook, Derrick Rose!"

--- Austin Rivers vs. Tyler Zeller. Hand down, man down.

--- Gary Busey files for bankruptcy.
Just goes to show, you can't list "Crazy" as a profession and get away with it.

--- I want no piece of the world's
largest dodgeball game.

--- Typically, you can't go wrong with bacon.
The bacon milkshake tests that theory.

--- Is there really need for another golf network?

--- The Internet continues to
bring the weird out of people.

--- In honor of the 90s at 9,
I have to offer one of my favorite 90s jams and really all-time jams. What is Method Man doing these days? Can I please get another album?

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