Entertaining, informative media session with Mick Cronin yesterday, as always. The more of these I enjoy the more I think Cronin may have a future in standup comedy when he decides to retire. Of course, we learned Monday that may not be as far off as you would think for a 41-year-old coach who just earned win No. 200.
After researching the comparisons and looking at the big picture of win 200 here yesterday (you can read that here), I was asking Cronin a bit more about that. He couldn't help but continue to laugh at the concept of being mentioned in the same comparison breath as those like Coach K or any of those among the active leaders in career wins. Most of those surpassed, 700, 800 and 900 wins. Cronin doesn't expect to see those types of numbers, mainly because he doesn't plan on coaching that long.
"I started young which means I'll be able to retire young," he said. "That's the goal at least, I hope you guys understand that. People start comparing me to guys that coach in their 60s, they are barking up the wrong tree."
He went on to point out his father, Hep, retired from coaching hoops at age 50 and became a successful baseball scout. Cronin's followed in his dad's footsteps thus far, it would be hard to imagine it stopping now.
Mick lives, eats, breathes basketball and raising his daughter. But he also sees a bigger picture in the long run.
"There are other things to do," Cronin said. "I got a period and a window where whatever I am going to get done, I am going to get it done."
This wasn't exactly the Pitino-style announcement of a future retirement date, but also not the first time we've heard Mick talk like this. He's mentioned other time he wants to coach at UC for 20-25 years. He's been here for seven. Placing him at 25 years here would place him at 59 years old. Obviously, he's not planning on coaching into his 60s, so there you go.
Having conversations about when Mick might retire or even speculating to what his feelings could be in the year 2031 are beyond laughable at this point, but found it to be an interesting concept he brought up.
I don't know who will be the Bearcats basketball coach in 2031, but I do know there better be a Back to the Future hoverboard by that point in time. We've waited long enough.
Let's eat ...
--- Mick had a great exchange as Bill Koch brought up the joking suggestion made by Mick to Hep after Saturday's game, that he should receive $200 for his 200th career win.
Cronin could only laugh about the concept he would ever receive that cash. (To be fair, Hep did show up at the radio show last night at Montgomery Inn with a cake for him)
"You know what happens nowadays, they say the relationship comes full circle in parenting," Mick said. "They take care of you, you grow up, then you take care of them. Let's just say we're in the latter stages of that relationship."
All joking aside, Hep never misses a practice and is there with Mick every step of the way. Add that to the reasons Mick feels this is the perfect setup and why he never would want to leave UC.
--- More expounding on the 200-win comparisons I made yesterday, was curious what Mick felt most legitimized a coach. The truly great ones do it year in and year out, not just a few fluke tournament runs. The elite are cloaked in consistency.
Not surprisingly, Cronin could have cared less about any of those types of comparisons.
"I don't think about that stuff," Cronin said. "I don't think about where you would rank as coaches; all that stuff is very, very hollow to me. I really don't think twice about where people view me in the rankings of college coaches. I view coaching as the minute you are a head coach every year they tie you to the railroad tracks. By the time the train rolls around in April, you better have gotten off. That means you get to keep your job another year. You survive March and April with your job, just remember, come March and April, they tie you to the tracks again."
Love that analogy. I think most of us who work(ed) in the newspaper business know what it feels like when the train starts tooting the horn.
--- Scott Springer chatted up Mick about all his different wardrobes. If this were baseball, he'd be forced to wear a jersey and shorts. I might actually get behind that.
--- Sean Kilpatrick was named to the Big East honor roll again this week. This is his sixth appearance as either a Player of the Week or spot on the honor roll. He's now tied for second in the league in points in conference games. He's averaging 18.1 points per game.
Only person averaging more points against him will be his matchup Wednesday, Providence's Bryce Cotton (20.7).
"I seen him play the other night, he's a great player," Kilpatrick said. "He can make big shots. That's how it is all around the Big East, though. You have palyers like that that can make big shots and any play, but he's pretty good."
He plays quite a bit like SK, actually. He loves to fire up the 3 and will do it often. Only once in conference play has he not shot at least seven triples in a game.
Here's the leaders in 3-pointers made during conference play thus far:
- 1. Bryce Cotton 35
- 2. Sean Kilpatrick 27
- 3. Shabazz Napier 22
- 4. D'Angelo Harrison 20
Both SK and Cotton stand in the top 15 of the nation in 3-point attempts per game. Just don't expect for Kilpatrick to be tracking the individual battle.
"I'm always one of the guys that's able to take on anybody," he said. "That's just what my mentality is. I don't care who it is and I don't care who I play. As long as we win by one that's all that matters to me."
--- SK doing more than just motivating his current teammates, but his future teammates as well. Troy Caupain, who signed in November, posted this on Instagram with a message about his excitement to play alongside Kilpatrick next season. The Bearcats only hope the comparison goes beyond this photo.
--- Updating the rankings for you:
- AP: 17
- Coaches: 17
- ESPN BPI: 15
- Sagarin: 18
- KenPom: 20
- Massey: 18
- RPI: 20
--- Don't expect Mick to pay much attention to the rankings and he does his best to keep his players from doing so, as well. He believes rankings and hype are a big reason for the lull which occurred in last December/early January.
"When we were Top 10 we got ahead of ourselves a little bit and started thinking about what could happen. And what we are capable of, our standing on the national scene, and we learned real quick that will get you beat. Not that we weren't playing hard I just think that our attention to detail cost us 10 points which cost us being 22-0. We all have the same problem with kids. With any sport, pros or college, it's just trying to stay game by game, day by day. It's such a long season it's almost impossible for the guys at points not to start looking ahead to when it gets really exciting in March."
--- For those that don't know, the baseball team is holding its First Pitch Reception at Great American Ballpark on Friday. It will be extra special this year as Whit Babcock, Reds CEO Phil Castellini and coach Brian Clearly will be announcing a partnership between UC baseball and the Reds. You'll want to hear about this. Here's your details on event, though, unfortunately it is sold out. I'll be bring you more information as it goes down this weekend.
If need your baseball fix, however, you can check out Sunday's public practice in the bubble. Here's the details on that. It includes a Q&A session with coaches and players.
--- Tomorrow is National Signing Day. Tommy G and the crew will be churning out all the details for you right here at GoBearcats.com. This officially includes the return of Fax Cam, aka, the Bruce Springsteen channel.
Interview with coach Tuberville and both coordinators will be up in the morning. Indications are there are huge numbers for the Signing Day Dinner Event later tomorrow night. Here's the details.
--- On to some randomness ...
--- A race that we'll be watching in the coming years, HBO vs. Netflix. Great quote from the Netflix content chief: "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us."
--- Kristin Wiig is joining the cast of Anchorman 2, which I assume will be loaded with famous cameos.
--- The final QBs on Facebook post of the season. Reminder, rough language.
--- Armein Keteyian was filming a behind-the-scenes piece for 60 Minutes sports from the control room of the Superdome when the power went out. Seems like the information he heard immediately might have been useful to the CBS broadcast which repeatedly told viewers 15 minutes, don't you think?
Those guys were pretty calm. Having worked in a control room when things go haywire, I can only attest it's not always so smooth.
--- Even these kids know, you throw the ball to JR Smith, it's not coming back.
--- Today is Bobby Brown's birthday. Don't live like Bobby, but feel free to dance like him.
I want to hear from you, email me at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr) with any questions, comments or whatever else your heart desires. Except videos of you dancing to My Prerogative, you can save those.