Recently in Wayne Box Miller Category
So many of us have convinced ourselves that UC basketball is a thing of the past and after this year's disappointing football season we have started wishing on a star. Well while your head was skyward, UC basketball has reeled off 11 wins in a row including a always scary Miami of Ohio and Coach Charlie Coles.
Now I know, like you the majority of these teams were scheduled to win and beef up the record but they are beating them like they're supposed to and some teams who scheduled the "cupcakes" ended up losing to them so give respect to the process. Duke does the exact same thing for those ready to offer elite team comparisons. The bottom line is they're undefeated and they deserve some support from students and alumni.
We will find out how much fools gold we have but I have a feeling this team is pretty good; notice I didn't say great, which is THE most overused word in the sports dictionary as it now relates to one play or one season versus a lifetime of work. But when you are 11-0 and have beaten who you are supposed to by the margin you're supposed to I have to acknowledge that. Maybe you can acknowledge them by going to a game when time permits. I mean for what one Bengal ticket cost, you can have a family affair at a UC basketball game and be indoors where it's warm.
I can't make you go to a game and I can't make UC's schedule for them, but if I did I would leave it the way it is until they're ready to have a schedule like Kentucky's whose comes equipped with NBA in waiting players touring and passing time.
So check out a game, get to know some names and faces on this team and when they turn the corner you can say I know; I've been coming for a minute. And that's better than not at all. I always say these kids want to believe you care about them like you did when they were hot shot recruits. Where you faking then when you said we got your back? I wasn't and that's why I'm writing you with 11 reasons to come back home...to the shoe.
Now if they can just change the name to the Big O-Rena in honor of Oscar Robertson...that's for another day
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat.
Well the football season didn't pan out the way we wanted but we have next year and with so many returning players how can you not be optomistic about the future of UC football?
And with an 8-0 start how can you not have optimism about the future of UC basketball? Now i'm not proclaiming they're going to run the Big East table or even make the tournament but give them credit for beating the teams they scheduled by the margins you would expect. Yes their first true test witll be Oklahoma because it will be a team in a major conference who has major players and a major advantage with the home crowd; but it will also allow us to see how players who have had little trouble getting their shots, work to get them against like minded competition. Will Yancy Gates continue to rebound and deliver double doubles? Will Dion Dixon still contribute and keep his composure? Will Cashmere Wright run the point effectively? These answers will start to reveal themselves in the very near future.
I am not opposed to scheduling wins for two reasons; One, to get in the NCAA, it appears 20 something is the key regardless of other factors. When you look at teams who haven't had much success still get in the tournament, typically its because they've won 20plus games. So the 'Cats have 8 down and I'd estimate 15 to go to be a lock. Secondly, whatever isn't working or needs tweaking, you can fix with these games because it will show itself to the coaching staff. Now either the coaches fix the problem or replace the parts, and I don't think UC still has the depth to replace players with the same talent level so they can focus on the task at hand.
This is one of the most anticipated seasons in Bearcat basketball history because it will most certainly decide whether Mick Cronin is successful or not. I think they just have to win the games they're supposed to win like the first 8 and the rest will take care of itself. The bigger question is: Which games are they supposed to win in the Big East? The answer will come well after the question.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat...
OK the season is coming to a sad end with no Bowl in sight...lets move on and focus on the Pitt Panthers. The seniors from this football team had a great run minus this season. Big East titles, Orange and Sugar Bowl appearances and they helped to restore credibility and respect to this program. So how will you honor them? Hopefully by showing up this Saturday and paying homage to them for giving you reason to be UC proud again.
There's no question this is a season many of you want to forget but note this season as a bump in the road because this team will be better next year. They will have returning players, a recruiting class to add to the depth of this program and the hunger for payback after this year's rough and tumble results.
But lets get back to these seniors who came here when they had options; when they could have said what has UC done football wise? Or I'll go to an established college power regardless of the number of players at my desired position. Instead, they came here and won; and won consistently and raised the profile of the school as evidence by their appearance on ABC primetime and ESPN primetime. Yes this senior class has much to be proud of and when they look back on their time at UC it will be fond memories and lots of camaraderie.
What I don't want is for them to look back and see empty seats on their last game and wonder where all the people were who claimed they were fans. Remember these players can still influence younger players in their hometown to follow them here and one of the selling points can be: "The fans showed us love, even in our last but not so successful year". As the argument goes: look at the total body of work and then respond accordingly.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat.