Bearcats back in the win column with a victory at The RAC. Not an easy place to play and no such thing as an easy conference road win in the current Big East.
Bearcats were delayed by fog getting out of New Jersey so they spend even less time back home before departing today for Chicago. UC (14-3, 2-2) at DePaul (10-6, 1-2) tomorrow night at 8:30 on ESPN3.
Interesting as the Big East saw more of a clear dilinetation between the top and bottom then we've seen this early in recent years. After this weekend's game there are not five teams with three losses and three teams still undefeated in conference play.
St. John's hasn't won a conference game outside of the win at Fifth Third. That one makes the stomach turn a bit more with every Johnnies loss.
No matter, thanks to the play of Cashmere Wright, the Bearcats pulled even in conference play. Huge game coming Saturday against Marquette (12-3, 3-0) at 7 p.m. at Fifth Third. My guy Greg Harrell in the ticket office says there are a limited number of free student seats available for the Marquette/Rutgers block. Considering how big that game looks for an early-season tilt, you'll want to run to grab those.
Let's eat ...
--- Latest update on Wright's emergence as the gatekeeper to possessing the basketball since the schedule toughened in late December. Since the Marshall game (8-game span) Wright compiled 27 assists to 10 turnovers. He didn't commit a single turnover Saturday against Rutgers.
--- Great minutes from Jermaine Sanders on Saturday. Earns my underrated stat line of the game award: 9 points, 2 offensive rebounds, 1 block, 0 turnovers.
--- SK's shooting slump carried on into the Rutgers win (3 of 12 from field), but the job he did on Rutgers' star Eli Carter overshadowed any field goal percentage woes. He held him to six points on 1 of 11 shooting. He came in avearging 16 points per game and that was his lowest output since their season opener.
--- Surprising result of the weekend: UConn 65, Notre Dame 58. That game was in South Bend, too. As well as the Irish were playing surprised the Huskies were able to hit the road and take them down. Huskies scored the final seven points of a game that was tied with a minute to play.
Mick Cronin talked about a difficult conference schedule because of the double-ups, here's how those double-ups are doing:
- UConn (12-3, 2-1): 2-1 in conference, w/ win against ND and only loss in OT against undefeated Marquette.
- Notre Dame (14-2, 2-1): 2-1, a win against UConn would have given them best start in school history. Already beat UC and are humming on offense.
- Pitt (13-4, 1-3): Struggling at 1-3 in conference play thus far, certainly proving to be more advantageous than originally thought. Of course, they just throttled Georgetown by 28 in DC. So, there's that.
- Rutgers (11-4, 2-2): UC looked superior this weekend, but Rutgers overachieved thus far.
--- Mick said after the game to Bill Koch the Bearcats needed to toughen up and start living up to their strength.
--- Doc wrote a column on Tommy Tuberville and playing the delicate PR game in what can be an nearly unwinnable situation for a new coach.
--- My guy Mo Egger also spoke with Tommy T last week on ESPN1530.
--- Randomness ...
--- Who throws a shoe, really?
--- Two of the best NFL games I've seen in years. Spent most of the weekend jaw-dropped. Happiest for Tony Gonzalez. Great player, always been class act.
--- Russian cat fight? Don't mind if I do.
--- Here's the list of Golden Globes winners. Think Tommy Lee Jones should have won best supporting actor for Lincoln, of course, my opinion means about as much as those fighting Russian cats.
--- It's a Pearl Jam Monday. Have a great one everybody. Remember, to shoot any comments, questions or cat fight videos to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter at @pauldehnerjr.