Men's Basketball |
Jan. 19, 2009
GAME 19: CINCINNATI AT PROVIDENCE
Monday, Jan. 19 l 8 p.m. EST l Dunkin’ Donuts Center (12,600) l Providence, R.I. l BIG EAST Network
The Cincinnati Bearcats (12-6; 2-3 BIG EAST) continue their three-game BIG EAST road trip on Monday, Jan. 19 as the they travel to Providence, R.I., to take on Providence (11-6, 3-2 BIG EAST) at 8 p.m. EST at Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The game will be televised on the BIG EAST Network. Dan Orsille will call the play-by-play with Ron Perry handling the analysis. Cincinnati snapped a four-game BIG EAST road losing skid with a 59-55 win over DePaul Saturday afternoon. The Bearcats enter the match-up with Providence with a 3-4 record on road/neutral courts. The Friars are riding a two-game losing streak that includes losses to then-No. 10/9 Georgetown (92-82), and No. 14/14 Marquette (91-82). The Friars are 9-2 this season at home. In its last game, Providence dropped a 91-82 decision to No.14/14 Marquette, despite 21 points from sophomore Marshon Brooks and 15 points and 17 rebounds from senior Geoff McDermott.
Monday’s game will be the fifth meeting between Cincinnati and Providence with all meetings occurring since UC joined the BIG EAST. Providence holds a 3-1 lead in the series, which began in 2005-06. The Friars defeated Cincinnati 87-79 in the last meeting between the schools just 12 days ago.
Providence is 11-6 this season and 3-2 in the BIG EAST after dropping a 91-82 decision to No. 14/14 Marquette on Saturday, Jan. 17.
The Friars have dropped back-to-back games to then-No. 9/10 Georgetown and No. 14/14 Marquette.
Providence owns a 9-2 record at home, including a 2-1 mark in BIG EAST games.
The Friars are playing just their third road game since defeating Cincinnati, 87-79, on Jan. 7.
Two players average in double digits for Providence led by Weyinmi Efejuku’s 13.5 ppg. Marshon Brooks (13.4 ppg) is the other Friar scoring in double digits.
Geoff McDermott is the Friars top rebounder, averaging 8.8 rpg, while also posting 8.9 ppg, and 3.1 apg.
Providence is averaging 22.6 free throw attempts per game compared to just 18.4 for its opponents. The Friars have made 257 free throws this season, while its opponents have shot 313.
Providence is shooting 46.0 percent from the field, .318 from the 3-point line and .669 from the charity stripe.
The Friars are outrebounding their opponents by 3.5 boards a game (38.4-34.9).
PC is averaging 7.7 steals per game and it is forcing its opponents into 15.9 turnovers per game.
RUTGERS GAME NOTES - JAN. 14
Two free throws by junior Deonta Vaughn with four seconds to play put the Bearcats in front, 59-55, and that would be the final score. Those two free throws were Vaughn’s only second-half points.
The win snapped Cincinnati’s four-game BIG EAST road losing streak. UC’s last BIG EAST road win was a 72-68 overtime win at Rutgers on Feb. 9, 2008.
Cincinnati improved to 30-14 in the all-time series vs. DePaul and the series is tied at 10 games apiece when playing in Chicago.
The Bearcats outrebounded DePaul, 35-24. DePaul’s 24 rebounds tied for the fewest rebounds allowed by Cincinnati this season.
UC collected 11 steals in the game, marking the second time this season the Bearcats notched 10-plus steals in a game.
UC improved to 9-0 when leading at the half.
After shooting 46.3 percent (13-of-28) from the field in the first half, the Bearcats shot 31.5 percent (6-of-19) in the second half.
DePaul went on a 14-1 run from the 6:02 mark to the 2:14 mark to close within two points, 55-53.
After a senior Mike Williams jumper put UC in front 43-32 with 15:24 to play, the Bearcats went scoreless for the next 4:57 before a sophomore Alvin Mitchell three-pointer kick-started an 11-2 run over the next 3:20, pushing the Cincinnati lead to 54-39 with 7:07 to play.
UC shot 70 percent (7-of-10) from three and registered seven steals the first half.
Four points in the final 25 seconds of the first half by freshman Yancy Gates gave Cincinnati a 36-25 lead heading into halftime. The 11-point lead was the first time in the past six games that the Bearcats held an advantage at intermission.
Trailing 15-9 with 11:41 to play in the first half, UC went on a 20-2 run to take a 29-17 lead with 4:02 remaining in the opening stanza.
Mike Williams scored 13 points, his fourth consecutive double-figure scoring game. He also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Vaughn hit four of his first five shots, all of which were three-pointers, and scored 13 of UC’s first 22 points of the game. Vaughn scored 16 first-half points and finished with a game-high 18 points. His five 3-pointers in the game tied a season-high.
Vaughn’s 18 points marked his fourth consecutive double-figure scoring game and his eighth 10-plus scoring effort in the last nine games.
Junior Steve Toyloy earned his second start of the season and finished with seven points, six rebounds and a season-high three steals.
For the third time this season, the Cincinnati Bearcats battled back from a half-time deficit, knocking off Rutgers, 71-59, on Jan. 14. The Bearcats trailed by as many at 16 to the Scarlet Knights in the first half, making it the second-largest come-from-behind victory in Mick Cronin’s tenure at UC.
UC’s other halftime 2008-09 comebacks came against UNLV (Nov. 29) and Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 20).
Cincinnati trailed Eastern Kentucky, 30-15, at 7:19 of the first half on Dec. 20 before mounting the second-largest comeback under head coach Mick Cronin.
Trailing 73-71, an alley-oop dunk by Yancy Gates from Deonta Vaughn with 0.1 second left in regulation tied the game at 73, sending UC to its first overtime game this season and its first overtime game since March 2, 2008.
The Bearcats went on a 12-4 run in overtime, including nine free throws, to pull out the dramatic victory.
The largest comeback under Cronin was vs. West Virginia in 2006-07. Down by as many as 17 points with 10:49 left in the first half, UC, led by 32 points by Marvin Gentry, fought all the way back and downed the Mountaineers, 96-83, in overtime.
Cronin is 4-1 at UC in overtime games.
“D-ING” IT UP
After getting behind by as many as 16 and trailing 36-29 at halftime to Rutgers on Jan. 14, head coach Mick Cronin went in search of his five best defenders to help Cincinnati come from behind and knock off the Scarlet Knights, 71-59.
In the second half, Cronin found his line-up as he went to a rotation of Deonta Vaughn, Larry Davis/Dion Dixon, Rashad Bishop, Mike Williams, and Steve Toyloy.
Cincinnati held Rutgers to 29.0 percent (9-of-31) shooting in the second half, including 1-for-10 from 3-point range. Mike Rosario, the Scarlet Knights top scorer, scored just one 3-pointer in the second half and was 1-of-10 from the floor.
UC outrebounded the Knights, 20-18, in the second half, led by Vaughn’s seven second-half boards. He finished with a career-high eight rebounds in the game.
The same lineup got the start vs. DePaul and the group did its job again as the Bearcats defeated the Blue Demons, 59-55.
UC held the Blue Demons to 25.0 percent shooting from three (4-of-16) and 1-of-8 shooting from deep in the second half.
O’ CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
Twice in Cincinnati’s last four games, team captains Deonta Vaughn and Mike Williams have each scored 20 or more points.
In a 87-79 loss to Providence, the duo each tossed in 20 points, while Vaughn added seven rebounds.
In the second half of UC’s 71-59 come-from-behind win vs. Rutgers, the pair scored 31 of UC’s 42 points.
Against Rutgers, Vaughn scored a game-high 24 points, while Williams posted 20. The pair also combined for 14 rebounds vs. the Scarlet Knights, including a career-high eight by Vaughn.
Over the last four games, Vaughn is averaging 20.3 ppg and Williams is scoring 16.8 ppg. They are also averaging 4.8 and 6.0 rebounds, respectively.
GETTING BETTER AS WE GO
Throughout his career, Deonta Vaughn has played some of his best basketball in the month of January.
In 20 career games in the month of December, Vaughn averaged 14.7 ppg, shot .397 from the field and, .333 from behind the arc.
In 22 career games in January, Vaughn averages 16.7 ppg, and has shot .430 from the field, and .335 from three.
In the five games in January this season, Vaughn is averaging 16.2 ppg, he is shooting .465 from the field, and .394 from three.
TALE OF TWO SEASONS
Looking at the Bearcats statistically, UC has played two totally different seasons; one being the first 12 games of the year and the second, the six games following the Christmas break.
UC started off the year winning 10 of 12 during its non-conference slate, picking up quality wins over UNLV (14-4), who has lost just twice since playing Cincinnati on Nov. 29, and Mississippi State (13-5), last year’s SEC West Division champion.
During the 12-game stretch, the Bearcats averaged 74.6 points compared to its opponents 60.2. UC held its opponents to 36.7 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati’s leading scorer, averaged 15.1 points in 33.2 minutes a night.
Since the break, the Bearcats are 2-4 and have struggled offensively and defensively, being outscored 72.1 to 62.7 a game. UC opponents are hitting 47.8 percent (151-of-316) of their shots, including 40.2 percent (45-of-112) from three.
After outrebounding opponents by 11.4 boards a night to start the year, UC is outrebounding its opponents by 0.4 rebounds per game, 34.2 to 33.8, a decrease of 9.2 rebounds a game for Cincinnati.
MORE HELP DOWN THE STRETCH
Last season junior guard Deonta Vaughn was called on more often than not to be the Bearcats go-to-man down the stretch of games, a role he excelled at averaging 7.2 points per game over the final 10 minutes.
With the addition of Mike Williams and the maturation of the team, he has not had to do as much this season and is averaging 3.1 ppg.
Last year after Vaughn, only John Williamson (2.8 ppg) averaged over two points per contest down the stretch.
Mike Williams has been the Bearcats leading scorer down the stretch this year, posting 3.8 points per contest. He has also received help from Vaughn (3.1 ppg), Dion Dixon (2.5 ppg) and Yancy Gates (2.2 ppg) who all average over two points per game during the stretch run.
In the 71-59 come-from-behind win over Rutgers, Vaughn returned to old self, scoring nine points in the final 10 minutes, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line.
Williams also exceeded his average vs. the Knights, scoring five points — 2-for-3 from the field and 1-for-2 from the charity stripe.
In UC’s four-point win over DePaul, Williams and Gates scored nine of UC’s final 13 points in the final 10 minutes (Williams 5, Gates 4).
BISHOP STEPS UP BIG IN BIG EAST
Since the start of BIG EAST Conference play, sophomore guard Rashad Bishop re-asserted himself as an all-around threat in the Bearcats starting line-up averaging, 8.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8, assists in his last five games.
For the season Bishop has put up 6.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists a night.
He notched his first double-figure scoring games of the year to start league play, posting 11 vs. Marquette (Jan. 4) and Providence (Jan. 7).
16 of his 27 rebounds in league play are from the offensive glass (3.2 offensive rpg).
Bishop has also taken care of the ball since the start of conference play, dishing out 19 assists, while committing just three turnovers.
His 6.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference-only games ranks first in the BIG EAST.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Senior guard Deonta Vaughn has become more comfortable with his new role as the team’s point guard and has 55 assists in the last 11 games (5.0 apg).
He is fifth overall and tied for fifth in conference-only games with 4.8 and 5.4 assists per game, respectively.
With his 10 assists at Marquette on Jan. 4, Vaughn surpassed 300 assists for his career. He has 326 assists in his career and needs 81 more assists to reach Damon Flint’s 407 career assists, which ranks fourth on the all-time UC assists list.
Vaughn became the first player since Devan Downey on Dec. 30, 2005, to record 10-plus assists in a game after dishing out 10 assists at Marquette on Jan. 4.
For the first time in his career, senior guard Deonta Vaughn was held scoreless in Cincinnati’s loss to Marquette on Jan. 4, marking the 18th game in his career that he has been held to 10 points or less.
Vaughn rebounded against Providence posting his 16th career game with 20 or more points on 8-of-16 shooting. He also added a career-high tying seven rebounds.
For his career, Vaughn is averaging 15.7 points per game in games following single-digit point contests.
Eight times in his career Vaughn has followed up a single-digit point performance with a 20-plus point performance, including two 30-plus point performances.
He is averaging 20.3 ppg since being shutout, including two 20-point plus performances.
GATES LEADING THE WAY
Over the past 10 games, freshman Yancy Gates has begun to step up his game and provide UC a presence on the blocks.
Since the Dec. 13 match-up with then No. 10/9 Xavier, Gates is second on the team in scoring, averaging 10.8 points per game and leads the squad with 6.7 rebounds per contest.
During that stretch, Gates is also shooting 47.0 percent from the field (47-of-100).
After scoring just two points against Xavier on Dec. 13, freshman Yancy Gates has turned in six double-digit scoring nights in the past ten games (vs. Charleston Southern (18), Mississippi State (12), Eastern Kentucky (17), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (14), Marquette (10), and Connecticut (12)).
For the season, Gates is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 9.8 points per game.
The Cincinnati native has had 10 double-figure scoring games this season and Cincinnati is 8-2 when he scores in double-figures
His lone double-double of the season came in the season opener vs. South Dakota (Nov. 16).
In the last game vs. DePaul, Gates came off the bench to score eight points and a grab five rebounds in 17 minutes.
HARD TIMES BEHIND THE LINE
Before their last six games, the Bearcats were one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the BIG EAST knocking down 34.9 percent of its 3-point attempts.
During its four-game losing streak from Dec. 29 to Jan. 10, Cincinnati struggled from behind the arc, shooting 27.0 percent (20-of-74).
However, the Bearcats have slowly started to come out of their long range shooting woes by shooting 41.4 percent in the last two contests (12-of-29).
In the last two games, junior Deonta Vaughn is shooting 53.8 percent from behind the arc (7-of-13).
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Through 18 games this season, UC has improved its win total by three and notched 10 wins before the start of conference play for the first time since going 11-2 in 2005-06.
The Bearcats did not win their 12th game of the season last year until Game 24 vs. St. John’s on Feb. 13.
Defensive play has been the biggest area of improvement for UC as it has limited opponents to 63.8 points per game, down 4.0 points from last year. From the field, opponents are hitting on just 40.2 percent of their shots this year.
After defense, the boards have also keyed UC’s three-win jump as they are getting 4.9 more rebounds per game this season.
FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE
The Bearcats opened the season with just three road games in their first 14 contests before starting BIG EAST Conference play on Jan. 4 at Marquette.
Two of the three road games were part of the Global Sports Classic. After playing home games vs. Western Illinois (Nov. 22) and Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24), the Bearcats traveled to Las Vegas for the final two rounds at the Thomas & Mack Center where they faced Florida State (Nov. 28) and UNLV (Nov. 29).
The other lone pre-conference road game was at 2008 NCAA national runner-up Memphis on Dec. 29.
UC is 2-3 in their five games away from Fifth Third this season and a 9-3 at home.
UC’s 8-1 start at home this season was its best since the 2004-05 team started its home campaign with an 8-0 record.
UC is 263-53 (.832) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.
Under Mick Cronin, UC is 29-18 at home (.609).
TALE OF THE TAPE
In Cincinnati’s 12 wins this season, UC is averaging 8.4 3-pointers per game and 16.6 assists per game compared to 14.2 turnovers per game.
However, in UC’s six losses, the Bearcats are averaging just 5.0 made 3-pointers per game, while averaging 11.7 assists per game compared to 15.5 turnovers per game.
The Bearcats are also one of the top rebounding teams in the country and owning a positive rebounding margin is key for the Bearcats. UC owns a rebounding margin of +13.2 in wins compared to -3.2 in losses.
SCORING IN BUNCHES
Junior guard Deonta Vaughn has begun to earn a reputation for scoring his points in bunches during a game, starting at last year’s BIG EAST Conference Championship in New York, when he single-handedly brought UC back against Pittsburgh with 23 of his 30 points in the second half.
In front by three points, 32-29, with 4:06 to play in the first half vs. Mississippi State (12/18), Cincinnati went on a 15-0 run over that stretch to enter the intermission with a 47-29 lead. Vaughn scored 14 of his team-high 16 points during that run, including 11 straight points.
Cincinnati closed out the first half vs. Eastern Kentucky (12/20) on a 17-6 run over the final 5:59 to close within four points, 36-32, after trailing in the half by as many as 15 points. Vaughn scored all eight of his first-half points during that stretch.
The Bearcats jumped out to an 11-7 lead against Arkansas-Pine Bluff thanks to three 3-pointers from Vaughn.
From the 12:10 to the 8:38 mark of the first half vs. DePaul, Vaughn scored 10 of his game-high 18 points, which included a four-point play.
PLAY DEFENSE AND REBOUND
UC basketball has built its success over the last 20 years on two core values ... defense and rebounding. Head coach Mick Cronin learned it as an assistant at UC and those same values still hold true.
This season UC has shown marked improvement in each category, holding its opponents to 63.8 points per game and 40.2 percent shooting, while averaging 40.3 rebounds per game and a +7.7 rebounding margin. Last year, UC allowed opponents 67.8 points per contest on .430 shooting.
UC’s +7.7 rebounding margin ranks third in the BIG EAST.
In the most recent NCAA statistics, Cincinnati was ranked nationally among the Top 15 in rebounding margin (+7.9/15th).
Five players are averaging over 4.0 rebounds per game this season.
With the addition to Mike Williams and Yancy Gates down in the blocks this year, UC has jumped from 11th in the BIG EAST in offensive rebounds per game last year (12.7) to third this season (15.8).
Of the 588 missed shots by Cincinnati this season, the Bearcats have come away with the offensive rebound 284 times (46.1 percent).
In the latest release of NCAA statistics, UC’s 15.8 offensive rebounds per game ranked 13th nationally.
UC SHOOTS PAST BULLDOGS
Cincinnati hit nine first-half 3-pointers vs. Mississippi State to jump out to a 47-29 halftime advantage over the Bulldogs.
UC finished the game 12-of-27 from behind the arc (.444), its most made 3-pointers in a game this season.
Sophomore Larry Davis tied a career-high with four three’s, while Vaughn also hit four treys. Freshman Dion Dixon and sophomore Alvin Mitchell each buried two triples apiece.
THE GROOVY 70’S
With Cincinnati’s 71-59 win over Rutgers on Jan. 14, UC surpassed the 70-point plateau in its third straight game and for the 12th time this season. UC is 10-2 in those contests.
UC is 18-10 in head coach Mick Cronin’s two-plus seasons behind the bench when scoring 70 or more points.
Last season, the Bearcats surpassed 70 points seven times in 32 contests.
FINDING MORE DEPTH
In 2007-08, the Cincinnati Bearcats relied on their starting five to generate 72.4 percent of the offense (46.8 points per game).
This season the tide has swung as UC’s bench is scoring 26.3 points per game or 37.4 percent of the points. The bench has been outscored six times this season, including 24-15 vs. Rutgers, and the Bearcats are 2-4 in those games.
Against Charleston Southern on Dec. 15, Cincinnati’s bench scored 55 points to equal the Buccaneer scoring total in the game. The last time Cincinnati’s bench scored 50-plus points in a game was on Dec. 30, 2003 in a 102-63 win over Elon, posting 50 points.
The Bearcats have three players averaging four points or more off the bench, led by the team’s fourth-leading scorer Dion Dixon (6.7 ppg).
Steve Toyloy, the team’s third-leading rebounder is averaging 4.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 16.9 minutes a game. He posted season-highs for points (14) and rebounds (9) vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff off the bench.
In his sixth year as a Division I head coach, Mick Cronin reached his 100th career victory with a 74-55 victory over Charleston Southern on Dec. 15.
Cronin has compiled a 105-68 (.607) record over stints at Murray State (2003-06) and Cincinnati (2006-pres.).
NO. 5 SLIDES INTO NO. 5 SLOT
Junior guard Deonta Vaughn made five 3-pointers vs. Xavier on Dec. 13 in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout and moved into fifth-place on the career 3-pointer list ahead of former UC standout Damon Flint (1993-97).
Vaughn has sank 206-of-592 (.348) 3-point field goal attempts in 79 career games, while Flint was 177-of-593 (.298) over his four-year career.
Vaughn is 52 treys behind Steve Logan (1998-2002) for fourth place.
With two treys vs. Rutgers on Jan. 14, Vaughn became just the fifth player in school history to record 200 3-point baskets.
Darnell Burton is the all-time leader in 3-pointers made with 306.
GETTING RIGHT TO BUSINESS
With the departure of five veteran players from last year’s squad that accounted for 33.6 points per game, Cronin needed to find scoring in the off-season and his Class of 2008-09 has not disappointed.
Despite the loss of highly-touted point guard Cashmere Wright for the season, the four new faces, which includes freshmen Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates, senior transfer Mike Williams, and junior college transfer Steve Toyloy, are averaging 30.9 points a game.
More impressively, the group is averaging 19.2 rebounds per game — almost half of the team’s nightly average (47.6 percent).
A LONG ROAD BACK
Senior forward Mike Williams has battled and persevered during his basketball career since first stepping foot on a college campus at the University of Texas in 2004-05.
A highly-recruited McDonald’s All-American, Williams spent two seasons at Texas (2004-06) where he played in 58 games and averaged 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game. He helped the Longhorns to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2005-06.
After his sophomore season at Texas, Williams decided to transfer to the University of Cincinnati to join Mick Cronin who had just taken over as head coach at his alma mater.
After sitting out the 2006-07 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Williams was set to join the Bearcats for the 2007-08 season, but was lost for the year during preseason workouts when he ruptured an Achilles tendon.
After missing last year, Williams made his Bearcats debut during UC’s exhibition games and on Nov. 16, 2008 vs. South Dakota — a span of 973 days — played in his first regular-season game at Cincinnati. Williams scored eight points and pulled down nine rebounds vs. the Coyotes.
Williams has made a dramatic impact on the team this season, averaging 9.8 points and 5.7 rebounds in 26.1 minutes of work.
His 20 points vs. Providence on 8-of-14 shooting set a new career high for points for Williams.
Williams followed his 20-point performance with 14 points vs. Connecticut (1/10), marking the first time in his career that he has notched consecutive double-digit scoring games.
He added a third consecutive double-figure scoring night against Rutgers, equaling his career-high with 20 points.
Williams continued his strong play with a 13 point, seven-rebound effort vs. DePaul, marking the first time in his career he had four consecutive double-figure scoring games.
With 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, Williams notched his third double-double of the season against Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 20).
He netted 17 points vs. UAB (Dec. 6), knocking down 11-of-14 free throws.
His 78.6 percent (55-of-70) free throw percentage ranks second on the team. He has been Mr. Clutch at the line in the last three minutes of close contests (10 points or less), knocking down 16-of-21 free throws (.762).
BEARCATS JOIN FIELD FOR 2009 MAUI INVITATIONAL
The EA Sports Maui Invitational announced last month that the University of Cincinnati will replace Louisville in the 2009 tournament field.
The Bearcats join former national champions Arizona, Maryland, and Wisconsin along with Colorado, Gonzaga, Vanderbilt and host Chaminade University of Honolulu.
The invitational, which turns 26-years old next season, will take place Thanksgiving Week 2009 in the Lahaina Civic Center.
It will be Cincinnati’s first appearance in the Maui Invitational.
VAUGHN A COUSY AWARD NOMINEE
Junior guard Deonta Vaughn has been named one of 35 Division I nominees for the Bob Cousy Award presented by The Hartford.
The award is given annually to the top collegiate male point guard spanning across all divisions within the game by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The selection criteria emphasize leadership, team work, success, and fundamentals as being critical parts for the game of basketball as a point guard.
Nominations are solicited from across the country from head coaches and the winner is selected by a Blue Ribbon Selection Committee.
Vaughn joins fellow BIG EAST Conference nominees: Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Jonny Flynn (Syracuse), Levance Fields (Pittsburgh), Malik Boothe (St. John’s), and Scottie Reynolds (Villanova).
WRIGHT OUT FOR SEASON
For the second year in a row, the University of Cincinnati will go the season minus one of its top players as highly-touted freshman point guard Cashmere Wright suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during preseason practices.
Wright underwent surgery to repair his ACL and will miss the season as he goes through rehabilitation over the next 6-8 months.
Wright, a 6-0, 175-pound native of Savannah, Ga., was a highly-regarded high school prospect who was listed as one of the nation’s Top 100 players by many of the national recruiting services and was listed as the No. 12 point guard in 2007-08 by Rivals.com.
BEARCATS INK ONE IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
Sean Kilpatrick, a native of White Plains, N.Y., signed a national letter of intent during the first week of the early signing period to play for UC next year.
Kilpatrick, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward was a three-time all-league and all-section selection at White Plains Senior High School and was the school’s second-leading scorer. He averaged 25.6 ppg as a senior.
He is playing for Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., this season and averaged 23.0 ppg in his first five games.
BEARCATS Add Transfer at Start of Quarter
Ibrahima Thomas, a 6-foot-11, 230 pound forward/center, enrolled at the University of Cincinnati at the start of the winter quarter and will be eligible to play after the fall quarter of the 2009-10 school year.
Thomas, a native of Dakar, Senegal, transferred from Oklahoma State and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
He started at forward for Oklahoma State in its first seven games this season before deciding to transfer, averaging 8.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest. In his 40 games at OSU, Thomas started 34 times, including 27 as a freshman in 2007-08. He averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in his time at Oklahoma State.
Junior guard Deonta Vaughn became the 45th player in UC basketball history to reach 1,000 points for his career when he scored 12 points in the season opener vs. South Dakota on Nov. 16.
Vaughn equaled Jim Ard (1968-70) as the sixth-fastest player to reach the 1000-point plateau, doing it in 63 games.
As remarkable as it was, Bearcat great Oscar Robertson scored his first 1,000 points in his first 29 games (first game of second season), averaging over 30 points a night.