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Bearcats Breakfast 8.28.12

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We'd like to take this break in your regularly scheduled football preview blogs to discuss the 7-foot-1 man ducking under doorways at Fifth Third Arena.

His name is David Nyarsuk. Cheikh Mbodj should probably give him a hug. Kelvin Gaines should probably give him a hug. And Mick Cronin should definitely give him a hug.

Nyarsuk, a 230-pound center from the Sudan, will provide a welcome relief on the inside for Mbodj, Gaines and Justin Jackson as they attempt to replace the minutes of Yancy Gates. Much of that job looked to be entrusted to Mbodj, who despite his dynamic weight loss and fit look, shouldn't be asked to play 32-35 minutes per game in the run-and-gun style.

If Nyarsuk lives up to his reputation (second in the nation in blocks per game at 2.8 last year at NAIA Mountain State), he will supplement the interior presence, keep everyone fresh and stretch that wingspan in front of the basket daring anyone to shoot over it.

Andy Katz of ESPN leads his 3-point shot talking about the addition and plops onto the end UC is a Top 25 team and Big East top four contender.

Mike DeCourcy talks about who Cronin dubs an "all-work/no-play" big man.

Bill Koch spoke with Mick, who points out Nyarsuk hit 70 percent of his free throws. How's that for the tallest player in UC history?

Where did Nyarsuk come from this late in the process? Well, read Dan Hoard's excellent, thorough piece on the new UC big man.

Facts plucked from Dan's story and other spots you need to know:

-- He's an athletic 7-foot-1.

-- Was the 18th-rated center in his high school class in 2010 according to ESPN. Who was rated one point above him? Louisville's Gorgui Dieng (anything in the area of Dieng's contribution for the Cardinals last year would place UC among the most dangerous in college hoops)

-- Averaged 10.8, 8.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in two seasons.

-- He's an athletic 7-foot-1.

-- In one game against D-I competition last year, he dominated the paint in a victory against Morehead State.

-- Originally committed to West Virginia, but endured eligibility issues.

-- Hey, did you hear? He's an athletic 7-foot-1.

The depth adds for a team Cronin wants to run 10-11 players deep, much as he did in 2011 with nearly two full teams swapping in and out.

Not doing so at this point would be a mistake. Consider the depth:

Sean Kilpatrick: Possible first-team All-Big East player. In the conversation for preseason player of the year options.

Cashmere Wright: Coming off a season where he set a new record for steals and one of the premier point guards in the country in his senior year.

JaQuon Parker: Invaluable glue guy, Jon Rothstein calls him "pound-for-pound, toughest player in college hoops."

Jermaine Sanders: By all accounts, one of the most improved players on the team. Reports indicate Sanders has been tearing it up this summer and his game will be almost unrecognizable compared to what he was last year.

Shaq Thomas: The top prospect out of last year's recruiting class with a year of practice polish. Tall, athletic wing this team lacked at times last year. Explosive.

Titus Rubles: He's looked so good since arriving as a JuCo transfer, there's been rumbling he could start. Will make major contribution.

Justin Jackson: #JustinJacksonMeanFace

Cheikh Mbodj: Slimmed down and returned the lift that drew Cronin to him in the first place. No longer slowed by injury that limited his contribution last year.

David Nyarsuk: See above.

Jermaine Davis III: Need a 3? Developing into a solid contributor off the bench last year and not afraid to fire a shot, no matter how big the spot.

Ge'Lawn Guyn: Cash's backup who came into his own as the season progressed. Versatile, can play off the ball and did many times alongside Wright last year.

Yeah, that's 11 players who nobody would have a problem seeing on the floor and all can run it with the best of them. There will be few teams more exciting to watch than what the Bearcats will be sprinting up and down the floor with this winter. Enjoy.

Moving on, let's eat...

--- Did you know there are 22 former Bearcats in the NFL right now? Here's an update on how they've all been doing in the preseason.

--- Butch Jones will announce the starting QB following today's practice. As always, for UC football updates, follow me on Twitter @pauldehnerjr.

--- Nippert Stadium is the best in the Big East according to USA Today. Obviously not news to students who wrapped around into Nippert waiting in line to grab tickets for the Pitt game. Sales are above the pace of last year's Thursday night game against N.C. State.

That place should be jammin.

--- Ray Graham is currently a game-time decision for Pitt's game against Youngstown State. Wouldn't be surprised if they gave him a few series until the Panthers got up big then rested him for the UC game. He's still not at 100 percent yet, according to reports.

--- Some randomness...

--- Jerry Jones raps. We all lose.

--- Madden 13 looks freaking awesome. Might be time to bring my thumbs out of retirement.

--- The poodle moth. Frightening.

--- For those of you who are Flight of the Conchords fans as I am, they are back. Well, for 14 minutes at least. They took part in a New Zealand fundraiser with this 14-minute YouTube clip. Standard hilarity.

--- Kelsey Grammar wasn't real keen on his last marriage.

--- Only four more days until the weekend and for anybody having a rough day, take the Hard Knocks approach and let this jam seep into your soul.




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