How is everyone breathing today? Likely better than you were at 9:45 p.m. last night when Cashmere Wright fell to the floor, writhing in what appeared to be unbearable pain.
Those five minutes as Wright worked out his injury with trainer Bob Mangine the scenarios of the season were undoubtedly running through your mind as they were mine. None looked too pretty. As I have been saying around here much of the season, Cashmere Wright is the most important player on this team mainly because there's nobody who can replace what he does. The fall off in production would be extreme and ripple to everyone. You can't say that about anyone else, not even Sean Kilpatrick -- though he would be an obvious second-worst case scenario.
From all indications given from courtside, Mick Cronin and Wright's demeanor, the belief is he'll be fine. Bill Koch filed this blog stating Wright looked fine after the game. He even wanted to go back in, according to the coach. He decided not to RG3 him, thankfully. When a guy whose battled knee problems his entire career goes down holding his right one mid-game, there is not enough caution in AllState Arena to err on.
Expectations are Wright will have an MRI today, according to Mike DeCourcy, make sure everything looks OK and move forward from there. Andy Katz reported he's day to day with a sprained knee.
Sure would be nice to have him for the Marquette-Syracuse two-step this weekend, but that question deserves the Marvin Lewis treatment: We'll see. If there is any doubt about how he's feeling, he should sit. Too important in the long run. And there is still a very long run ahead.
Let's eat ...
--- Doesn't it always happen like this? Cash was playing the game of his life, I was literally searching for his career points-assists double-doubles when he went down.
Here's his numbers despite missing the last 15:12 of the game -- 20 points, 7 assists, 2 turnovers on 8 of 11 shooting. He looked wizardly against the DePaul perimeter pressure philosophy.
He was bound to set a career high for assists, it seemed. He'd cracked double digits twice in his career with a high of 11 against Providence as a sophomore.
On the broadcast there was some chatter about the best point guards in the conference. Through the first quarter of conference play (admittedly plenty of time to go) hard to argue against Cash among the top five. Though, I'm sure the folks at CBS are still fighting that he's even in the top 10 in the conference.
He's currently fifth in the conference among all players with 17.8 points per game.
In conference play, here are some comparisons:
- Player: Points -- Assists -- A/TO ratio
- Shabazz Napier, UConn: 19.0 -- 5.3 -- 4.2
- Cashmere Wright, UC: 17.8 -- 4.0 -- 2.9
- Eric Atkins, ND: 16.5 -- 6.0 -- 2.7
- Peyton Siva, Louisville: 11.2 -- 5.0 -- 2.0
- Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse: 10.8 -- 7.0 -- 3.1
- Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh: 7.8 -- 4.8 -- 6.3
- Junior Cadougan, Marquette: 7.3 -- 4.3 -- 2.6
--- Among these seven top point guards, Cash ranked second in points per game, seventh in assists per game and fourth in assist/TO ratio. Those numbers would, of course, look even better had he not missed the final 15 minutes last night.
--- Bottom line, this conference is packed with great point guards and Wright's numbers hold water against all of them right now.
--- Also, UC gets to see two of the best this weekend with Cadougan and Carter-Williams next up.
--- While we are on it, limited tickets available for what should be one of the best home games of the season Saturday, 7 p.m. against Marquette. Hit the site to order, I fully expect a full house for this one.
--- Moving on, should be worth noting that gaining a win in the situation the Bearcats were placed in last night doesn't come easy -- as made obvious by the wild final 45 seconds. UC led by 13 with 15:12 left when Cash went down. The lead stayed at double figures until two minutes remained.
That's a nice job of the reserves pulling together to make enough plays to win.
"Basically, played the second half without him against a team in the Big East that presses the most on the road," Cronin said to 700WLW after the game. "It was good for our guys."
And despite a rocky final two minutes where Wright's presence was dearly missed, UC held on for the win. They have now won 12 of their last 14 games away from Fifth Third Arena.
--- If you would like to see the entire interview with Dan and Chuck, here's the link to video.
--- Cheikh Mbodj with a career high seven blocks last night and David Nyarsuk added three. As a team, UC racked up 12 which ties for the most they've compiled since 12/23/10 against St. Francis (Pa.).
--- How many times has this phrase been uttered at the end of a broadcast: "Fantastic effort from Cleveland Melvin, but DePaul falls." At the very least every time DePaul plays UC and more likely 75 percent of Big East games. He's a great player around the rim, but dying on the vine in Chicago.
--- Notre Dame lost to St. John's last night. I don't know why anybody even tries to predict this stuff. Somehow now Jack Cooley is going in the tank? This league will flip every storyline upside down in a week.
--- Matt Norlander asks, just how good is the Big East this year?
--- Brent Musburger says he did nothing wrong. Good for you, Brent. I'm pretty sure Katherine Webb, who now will be covering the Super Bowl for inside Edition would give him a hug as soon as she sees him for her career explosion. Well, maybe not a hug.
--- Bad Lip Reading in the NFL. You will laugh.
--- Southern Living is running a contest to name the tastiest town in the South. With all due to respect to the participants, nothing beats the unique New Orleans menu.
--- Blake Griffin doing Blake Griffin things.
--- Did you know "Now That's What I Call Music" is now on Volume 83?!? I'm pretty sure I bought Volume 1. This makes me sad. That's why this Flo Rida song that's on the 83rd volume has a fitting title.
It's pop song Wednesday, folks. Enjoy.