Bearcats Hit the Road for ESPN Match-up at Notre Dame|
Feb. 3, 2010
The Cincinnati Bearcats (14-7, 5-4 BIG EAST), who completed the first half of its BIG EAST Conference schedule last Saturday with a 92-88 win over Providence, set sights on the second half, taking on Notre Dame (15-7, 4-5 BIG EAST) on Thursday, Feb. 4 at the newly-renovated Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind. at 9 p.m. ET. UC won the first match-up between the two schools this season on Jan. 16, eking out a 60-58 victory at Fifth Third Arena on a Yancy Gates tip-in with two seconds left. Notre Dame comes into Thursday night looking to stop a two-game losing streak which include a 74-73 loss last Saturday at Rutgers. The game will be telecast on ESPN with Dave Pasch (pxp), and Doris Burke (analyst) handling the call. Dan Hoard (pxp) and Chuck Machock (analyst) will call the game on 700 WLW.
Saturday’s meeting with Notre Dame will be the ninth between the two schools. The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series, 5-3, but UC has won the last two, both of which were played in Cincinnati. The Bearcats are 0-2 vs. the Irish in South Bend, including a 94-71 loss in its last trip in 2007-08. Three UC players have a career scoring average in double-digits against the Irish led by senior Deonta Vaughn, who averages 20.3 ppg all-time against Notre Dame.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING IRISH
· Notre Dame is 15-7 overall and 4-5 in the BIG EAST heading into Thursday’s game vs. Cincinnati.
· The Fighting Irish have lost four of their last five games, all in BIG EAST play, including a 60-58 decision on Jan. 16 at UC.
· Notre Dame averages 79.9 points per game, which ties for fifth in the BIG EAST and 21st nationally.
· The Irish are led by senior forward Luke Harangody, who averages 24.2 ppg and 9.7 rpg. Harangody’s 24.9 ppg is tops in the BIG EAST and third nationally, while his 9.7 rpg ranks fourth in the conference.
· ND also ranks among the nation’s elite in field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage. The Irish are shooting 47.8 percent from the floor (27th in NCAA) and 40.3 percent from behind-the arc, which ranks second in the BIG EAST and 14th nationally.
· Tim Abromaitis leads the squad and is second in the conference in 3-point field goals made per game (2.71), and his 47.7 percent (62-of-130) shooting from behind-the-arc places him fourth among leaders and third nationally.
· Tory Jackson and Ben Hansbrough lead the team in assists, averaging 5.7 and 5.0 apg, respectively. Notre Dame is fourth in the country in assists (18.4) and is first nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.78).
ALL-TIME VS. NOTRE DAME
· Cincinnati has three players averaging 10-plus points per game for their careers against Notre Dame.
· In addition to his 20.3 ppg, Vaughn is also averaging 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg, and 1.8 spg against Notre Dame.
· Vaughn also posted his career-high for points vs. the Irish, scoring 34 on Feb. 4, 2009 in a 93-83 UC victory at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
JAN. 30 - PROVIDENCE GAME NOTES
· Providence outscored Cincinnati 21-11 in the final 2:45, but a free throw by freshman Jaquon Parker with five seconds left sealed the 92-88 win for Cincinnati.
· The 5-4 start in BIG EAST play matches the Bearcats’ best start in league play through nine games since joining the conference. The 2007-08 Cincinnati squad also started 5-4 through nine conference contests.
· The 92 points are UC’s most points in a game in BIG EAST action this season and ties for its second-most points this season. The 92 points are Cincinnati’s most points in a BIG EAST game since scoring 93 vs. Notre Dame on Feb. 4, 2009.
· Cincinnati finished 8-of-18 from three, giving UC its most made 3-pointers in back-to-back games this season (The Bearcats finished 10-of-20 against Louisville in its last outing).
· Cincinnati outscored Providence 40-32 in points in the paint, marking the sixth time this season UC has scored 40-plus points in the paint.
· The Bearcats made 20-of-41 free throws compared to 9-of-18 for the Friars. Cincinnati is now 8-0 on the season when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
· After shooting 50 percent (8-of-16) from behind-the-arc in the first half, UC held Providence to 27.8 percent (5-of-18) shooting from 3-point range in the second half. The Friars 34 3-point attempts tie for fourth in UC single-game history for most attempted treys by an opponent.
· The Bearcats outrebounded the Friars 38-33. UC is now 12-4 on the season when outrebounding its opponents.
· The 17 assists for Cincinnati are its most in BIG EAST action this season. The Bearcats previous best was 16 against Connecticut on Dec. 30.
· Trailing 24-16 with 13:19 to play of the first half, UC went on an 11-3 run over the next 4:35 to tie the game at 27 with 8:43 to play. Six of the 11 points came from junior Darnell Wilks.
· Both teams combined to shoot 15-of-16 from the field (UC, 6-of-6; PC, 9-of-10) over the opening 6:06 of the game as the Friars led 24-16 with 13:54 to play.
· Five players scored in double figures led by Wright’s career-high 24 points. His 24 points are the most by a Cincinnati player this season and the most by a Bearcat against Providence in series history.
· Wright set a new career high with 13 points in the first half (5-of-7 shooting). Wright finished with 24 points, his second straight double-figure scoring effort. The 24 points marked his first career 20-point game and the sixth by a UC player this year.
· Wright also set career-highs in made 3-pointers (3), steals (3), and tied a career-high with five assists.
· Junior Rashad Bishop added 16 points, his sixth double-figure scoring game of season. Bishop connected on three 3-pointers, tying a career high.
· After scoring four points in his last five games, Wilks scored 10 points against the Friars, his second double-figure scoring game of the season. His other came against Texas Southern (12/1), where he scored 12 points.
· Wright and Bishop combined to hit UC’s first six shots and scored 15 of the Bearcats first 16 points in the opening 5:30.
PLATOONING AT THE POINT
· In the last three games, the duo has combined to average 20.0 points (Wright 12.0; Parker 8.0), 6.0 rebounds (Parker 4.0; Wright 2.0), and 4.0 assists (2.0 apg each) per game. They have also turned the ball over just four times in 118 minutes of action.
· Prior to this three-game stretch, Wright and Parker were posting 4.7 and 3.5 points per game, respectively, with a combined 47 assists in 18 games (2.6 apg).
· In his first start in a BIG EAST Conference game on Jan. 20 vs. USF, Parker poured in career-highs of 15 points and five assists along with four rebounds as Cincinnati knocked off the Bulls 78-70.
· At Louisville, Wright single-handedly tried to bring UC back from a 12-point deficit midway through the second half by scoring seven points of a 12-2 run to cut the Cardinals lead to two points, 58-56. Even though the comeback fell short, 68-60, Wright finished with a team-high tying 12 points.
· Wright followed up his double-figure performance at UofL with a career-night vs. Providence as the Bearcats held on for a 92-88 victory over the Friars. Wright, whose previous career scoring high was 12 points, put in 13 points in the first half vs. PC and went on to finish with 24. He also added four rebounds and career-highs of five assists and three steals. He did not turn the ball over in 30 minutes of play.
SECOND TIME AROUND
· Starting with Cincinnati’s game at Notre Dame on Feb. 4, the Bearcats will begin their second trip through their repeat league opponents (Connecticut, Notre Dame, USF).
· UC’s 5-4 start in BIG EAST Conference action equals its best league start since 2007-08 when it knocked off nationally-ranked opponents Villanova and Pittsburgh.
· UC went undefeated against the trio in the first match-ups at Fifth Third Arena, winning 71-60 over then-No. 10 UConn on Dec. 30, knocking off Notre Dame, 60-58, on Jan. 16, and finally beating USF, 78-70 on Jan. 20.
· In the three games vs. UConn, Notre Dame and USF, senior guard Deonta Vaughn is averaging a team high 17.3 points per game, followed by freshman Lance Stephenson’s 15.0 ppg. Rashad Bishop and Jaquon Parker are also averaging in double figures with 10.3 and 10.0 ppg, respectively.
· The Bearcats have outrebounded the three opponents by a margin of +5.3 per game (40.0-34.7) and out shot them 42.2 percent to 40.6 percent.
· Against Connecticut and Notre Dame, two of the nation’s top scoring offenses, Cincinnati held each below their season average. The Huskies came into Fifth Third Arena averaging 74.9 points per game, while Notre Dame was posting 82.1 point a night. The two were held to 69 and 58 points, respectively. USF, which is averaging 85.0 points per game since playing UC on Jan. 20, scored just 70 points.
TOUGH TIMES ON THE ROAD
· The Bearcats are 1-5 in away games this season and have a record of 8-32 (.200) in road games under Mick Cronin.
· UC’s game vs. Xavier at the Cintas Center was its first “official” road game of the season.
· The Bearcats’ three games in Maui were considered neutral site contests, while the Miami (OH) game at U.S. Bank Arena is considered a “home” game since Cincinnati moved a home contest to an arena within the city limits.
· Cincinnati picked up its first road win of the season at Rutgers, knocking off the Scarlet Knights, 65-58. It was UC’s first road win since Feb. 7 of last year when the Bearcats beat Georgetown, 64-62, in overtime at the Verizon Center.
· UC has shot 41.4 percent and averaged 63.1 points per game on the road this season compared to 48.4 percent shooting and 77.6 points in Fifth Third Arena.
· Cincinnati’s 3-point shooting struggles the most on the road as the Bearcats are converting just 28-of-114 (.246) treys away from home, compared to 34.6 percent at home (81-of-234).
· Taking care of the ball is also a weakness on the road as UC is giving up 15.7 turnovers per game, compared to its season average of 12.9, an increase of almost three per game.
FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE
· The Bearcats are 277-56 (.831) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.
· Under Mick Cronin, UC is 40-21 in Fifth Third (.656).
· UC is 11-1 at home and 10-1 in Fifth Third Arena this season. The Miami (OH) game is considered a home game despite being played at U.S. Bank Arena.
· The seven consecutive wins to start the year matched the best home winning streak for the Bearcats since 2004-05, when they won nine games, spanning two seasons.
· The Bearcats are averaging 77.6 points per game at home led by Lance Stephenson’s 12.3 points per game and Deonta Vaughn’s 12.2 average.
TALE OF THE TAPE — CONFERENCE HOME VS. AWAY
· Cincinnati has a record of 5-4 in the BIG EAST entering Thursday’s game at Notre Dame. UC is 4-1 at home compared to 1-3 on the road in league action.
· The Bearcats are shooting better at home (46.5 percent) than on the road (45.3 percent) in conference play
· UC has been turnover prone away from Fifth Third Arena with a -7.2 turnover margin on the road compared to -1.0 at home.
· While the Bearcats are shooting better from the free throw line in road games (72.5 percent) than in home games (60.7 percent), UC has been able to get to the free throw line 22.4 times per game at home compared to 12.8 times on the road.
· Cincinnati also has done a much better job defending the three-pointer in Fifth Third Arena than in road contests. Opponents are shooting 34.7 percent (25-of-72) on their home floor compared to 32.6 percent (29-of-89) on UC’s home floor.
RESUME BUILDING — UC VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
· UC is 3-1 vs. teams ranked in the AP Poll this season after knocking off No. 24/24 Vanderbilt and No. 21/22 Maryland in the first and second rounds of the 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational, respectively, and No. 10/10 Connecticut at home on Dec. 30. The loss was to No. 23 Pittsburgh, 74-71, on Jan. 4, and Cincinnati’s first at home this season.
· Cincinnati is 114-169 (.403) all-time vs. opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including a 23-21 (.523) record in Fifth Third Arena.
· The wins vs. Vanderbilt and Maryland marked the first time since the 1999-00 season that Cincinnati defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games. That year, UC defeated No. 25 Gonzaga 75-68 on Dec. 4, 1999, before defeating No. 7 North Carolina 77-68 on Dec. 8, 1999.
· UC is 6-17 vs. ranked opponents under Cronin.
LAST THREE GAMES
· One of the keys to the Bearcats record of 2-1 in its last three games has been its offense (76.7 ppg) and their shooting from the floor.
· Over the last three games, UC is shooting an impressive 52.1 percent from the floor (85-of-163), led by freshman Cashmere Wright’s 72.2 percent (13-of-18).
· Cincinnati, which came into the last three games shooting 28.1 percent from 3-point range, has been on fire converting 23-of-52 (.442) treys vs. USF, Louisville, and Providence.
· Vaughn leads the team with eight (8-of-18) triples during the three-game stretch, but Wright has been efficient with five threes in his last six attempts (.833).
STRUGGLES FROM THE LINE
· After shooting almost 70 percent (69.7) from the free throw line in the nine games since the start of BIG EAST play on Dec. 30 vs. UConn, the Bearcats free-throw shooting woes returned against Providence as they knocked down just 20 of their 41 attempts (.488).
· Senior Deonta Vaughn, who had not missed a free throw in 24 attempts since Nov. 25 vs. Gonzaga in the finals of the Maui Invitational was just 5-of-10 from the line vs. the Friars.
· For the season, UC is shooting 63.0 percent from the line and averaging 18.4 attempts per game.
· In the 10 games since the start of league play, sophomore Yancy Gates has attempted just 13 free throws and made only six (.461).
EXPERIENCE IN THE POST
· Yancy Gates went against a talented group of post players during his freshman year, playing against the likes of Hasheem Thabeet, DeJuan Blair, and Luke Harangody. That experience has been beneficial for Gates in his second year in the BIG EAST.
· The Cincinnati product finished his freshman season of conference action averaging 10.9 ppg and 6.0 rpg, but Gates started a bit slow in conference play averaging 9.4 ppg and 5.4 rpg, while shooting .409 over the first nine conference games.
· Through nine conference games this season, Gates has gotten off to a better start averaging 10.7 ppg and 7.2 rpg, while shooting .577 percent from the field.
· Gates has scored in double figures in six of nine conference contests and posted double-doubles vs. Pittsburgh (16 points and 14 rebounds) and Notre Dame (11 points, 13 rebounds).
· Gates’ defense has shown improvement as well in 2009-10. Against Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody on Jan. 16, Gates and teammate Steve Toyloy combined to hold the nation’s second-leading scorer at the time (29.4 ppg) to 14 points on 5-of-20 shooting — 10.4 points below his season average.
· Gates has also become the team’s top shot blocker, averaging 1.1 per game.
· Despite playing in the paint, Gates has made it to the free-throw line just 13 times in UC’s last 10 games. Four of those attempts came against Seton Hall on Jan. 9 where he was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line.
· With the Bearcats trailing, 24-16, with 13:19 to play of the first half against Providence on Jan. 30, UC went on an 11-3 run over the next 4:35 to tie the game at 27 and set up the Bearcats 92-88 win over the Friars. Six of the 11 points came from junior forward Darnell Wilks.
· Wilks came off the bench for UC vs. Providence and finished with his second double-figure scoring night of the year with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting in 16 minutes. He also grabbed four rebounds (three offensive), dished out an assist and blocked a shot.
· Wilks’ 10 points helped him break out of a slump in which he had scored just four points in Cincinnati’s last five games.
· One of the Bearcats most athletically gifted players, Wilks owns the highest vertical jump on the team at 40.5 inches.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
· After getting off to a tough start to the season averaging 9.7 points per game through the first 10 games, two-time all-BIG EAST performer Deonta Vaughn has found his shooting stroke since.
· Vaughn struggled with his 3-point shot (.258, 16-of-62) through UC’s first 10 games, but is 29 for his last 63 (.460) from 3-point range in the last 11 games.
· Vaughn posted his first 20-point game of the season at Seton Hall on Jan. 9 with a 7-for-13 shooting performance, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range. He has since posted 15 points vs. Notre Dame, another 20 vs. USF, and 12 points vs. Louisville and Providence.
· The Bearcats are 10-3 this season and 44-40 (.524) during Vaughn’s career when he scores in double figures.
DEFENSIVE STOPPERS ...
· One of the major reasons for Cincinnati’s success this season has been its defense, which has held its opponents to 64.6 points per game.
· 13 of UC’s 21 opponents this season have scored 64 points or less.
· Despite giving up 83 points to Xavier, Cincinnati limited XU to 61 points in regulation.
· Opponents are shooting 39.6 percent (475-of-1201) vs. UC.
· Even in UC’s seven losses, UC’s defense has held its opponents to 43.1 percent shooting overall and 32.5 percent from 3-point range.
· The Bearcats rank 31st in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.396) and 86th in scoring defense (64.6 ppg).
· On Jan. 16 vs. Notre Dame, the Bearcats held the Irish to 58 points on 22-of-54 (.407) shooting. The Irish came into the game scoring 82.1 ppg and were one of the nation’s top shooting teams converting on 49.6 percent of their shots.
... AND REBOUNDING FIENDS
· Besides defense, the other main characteristic of UC basketball has been rebounding.
· The Bearcats are seventh in the nation in rebounding margin at +8.4 per game.
· Cincinnati is pulling down 40.6 boards per game, while limiting opponents to 32.2 rebounds.
· Six times this season UC has posted 45 or more rebounds in a game (Prairie View A&M - 47, Vanderbilt - 53, Maryland - 47, Texas Southern - 47, Xavier - 52, Notre Dame - 50).
· Sophomore Yancy Gates has posted double-digit rebounds five times this season and UC is 4-1 in those games (Prairie View A&M, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame). His 14 rebounds in the loss to Pitt are a career high.
· UC is 12-4 when outrebounding its opponents this season and 2-3 when its opponent outrebounds the Bearcats.
· Now in his fourth year, Coach Cronin has developed a bench that has 10 players averaging 10 minutes or more a game and another posting 9.8 a game.
· Cincinnati’s depth has afforded Coach Cronin to use 14 different starting lineups in 21 games.
· UC is outscoring its opponents bench 576-319 (27.4-15.2 per night).
· UC’s bench outscored Cal State Bakersfield’s bench 56-11. The 56 bench points are the most bench points scored in the Cronin era.
· UC’s bench has been outscored three times this season. All three instances have come in conference losses — losses to Pittsburgh (Jan. 4), Seton Hall (Jan. 9), and St. John’s (Jan. 13). In the three games, the opponent’s bench has outscored Cincinnati’s bench, 91-56 (30.3 - 18.7). The 18.7 ppg from its bench is 9.2 ppg lower than its season average.
A CAREER MAN
Senior guard Deonta Vaughn currently ranks fourth among active NCAA players from 2006 to the present in 3-point field goals made with 286.
The top five active leaders are:
VAUGHN IN SEARCH OF HISTORY
· Senior guard Deonta Vaughn has started all four years at Cincinnati for head coach Mick Cronin where he has twice been named all-BIG EAST Conference (1st team in 2007-08; 3rd team in 2008-09) and led the team in points and assists all three years.
· In UC’s game vs. USF on Jan. 20 he became the sixth player in school history to score 1,700 points in his career.
· Only Oscar Robertson, Steve Logan, and Deonta Vaughn have scored 1,700 points and dished out 400 assists in their career in Clifton.
· Currently Vaughn is climbing several career lists at UC and needs:
• 35 points to tie Pat Cummings (1974-79) for fifth on the career scoring list.
• 38 assists to tie Eddie Lee (1976-80) for first on the career assists list with 500.
• Three starts to move ahead of Dwight Jones (1979-83) for first all-time in career starts with 113.
• Nine steals to tie Eddie Lee (1976-80) for third on the career steals list with 163.
• 65 minutes to tie Steve Logan (1998-02) for second in career minutes played with 3,902.
• 20 made 3-pointers to surpass Darnell Burton (1993-97) for first in career 3-pointers made with 307.
· The maturation of junior forward Rashad Bishop and his flexibility to play the four spot on the floor has given Coach Cronin many options, offensively and defensively.
· After averaging 5.4 points per game as both a freshman and sophomore, Bishop has become a bigger scoring option for UC, posting 8.2 points per game — fourth-best on the team.
· He scored a career-high 20 points vs. Toledo on Nov. 18.
· Bishop scored 15 points for the Bearcats vs. USF on Jan. 20. It was the first time this season and the first time in a year that he has scored 10-plus points in consecutive games. Bishop last registered back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts on Jan 4, 2009 and Jan. 7, 2009, scoring 11 points against Marquette and Providence, respectively.
· On Jan. 30 vs. Providence, Bishop posted 16 points for his sixth double-figure scoring game of season. Bishop connected on three 3-pointers in the game, equalling his career high.
· Bishop has a keen sense for shot selection and is the Bearcats third-best shooter, converting 50.0 percent of his shots (68-of-136).
· Bishop is also third on the team in rebounds (4.8) and is fourth in assists (1.8 apg).
· On defense, Bishop is considered the Bearcats top defender and typically draws the opponent’s toughest assignment.
STEPHENSON PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
· Freshman Lance Stephenson, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard who was named the 2009 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Rookie of the Year, committed to the Bearcats on June 30 after a highly-decorated prep career at Lincoln High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.), where he averaged 28.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists to earn Class AA New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) Player of the Year honors his senior year.
· He graduated high school as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the state of New York with 2,946 points, passing fellow Lincoln High grad Sebastian Telfair, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
· Stephenson is among the team’s top three in points (1st, 12.2 ppg), rebounds (2nd, 5.1 rpg), assists (2nd, 2.7 apg), and steals (2nd, 0.9 spg).
· He is also 29th in the BIG EAST in overall scoring, the highest scoring freshman in the league.
· Stephenson made his college debut starting the season opener vs. Prairie View A&M. He scored seven points, pulling down four rebounds and dishing out two assists vs. the Panthers.
· Stephenson earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors for the second time this season after leading the Bearcats in scoring against local foes Miami (OH) and Xavier. He scored 11 points in a 63-59 win over the RedHawks. In an 83-79 double-overtime loss at Xavier, Stephenson scored a collegiate-high 22 points and grabbed six boards.
· Stephenson is looking to become the first UC freshman to lead the team in scoring since his teammate Deonta Vaughn did it in 2006-07 with 14.5 points per game.
· After starting UC’s first 18 games, he missed his first game as a Bearcat vs. USF on Jan. 20 after rolling his ankle in practice the day before.
UC VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
· UC finished with a record of 9-3 vs. non-conference opponents this season.
· All three losses came away from Fifth Third Arena (vs. Gonzaga at Maui Invitational; at Xavier; at UAB).
· Since Mick Cronin took over the program in 2006-07, Cincinnati is 33-18 (.647) vs. non-conference opponents, including a record of 28-6 (.824) at home.
· UC has won 15 of its last 17 non-conference games at home with the losses coming vs. Xavier and Memphis the last two seasons.
Mick Cronin vs. Non-Conference Opponents
BEARCATS INK TWO IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
· The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball program has signed Justin Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla./Arlington Country Day) and Kelvin Gaines (Ocala, Fla. /Arlington Country Day) to a National Letters of intent for the 2010-2011 season during the early signing period.
· Jackson is ranked No. 92 among the top ESPN 100 recruits and was the first player to sign during the early period with the Bearcats.
· Jackson, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound power forward with strong defensive and rebounding skills, starred last season for Montverde Academy and head coach Kevin Sutton where he posted 15.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.1 blocked shots per game as a junior. He was named to the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches (FABC) and Florida Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) State All-Independent team (for players not participating in district competition).
· Gaines, a 6-foot-10, 225 pound center, averaged 10.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.2 blocks in 2008-09 playing for Jason Niblett at Heat Academy in Martinsville, Va. The Heat finished the season with a record of 50-8 and was ranked as high as No. 12 in the national prep school polls.
· This season, Gaines transferred to Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla., where he will team with fellow Bearcat signee Justin Jackson. The Indians were ranked No. 31 in country in ESPN’s Preseason poll.
KILPATRICK TO REDSHIRT
· In his pregame radio interview prior to the season opener vs. Prairie View A&M, head coach Mick Cronin announced that he is planning to redshirt 6-foot-4, 215 pound, freshman guard Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep).
· Kilpatrick averaged 28.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists over his four-year high school career at White Plains High School and finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
· Three times he earned all-state, all-section, all-league and all-county honors.
· He played one season of prep ball at Notre Dame Prep for Ryan Hurd.
SAND, SUN, AND HOOPS
· After opening up with Prairie View A&M (Nov. 16) and Toledo (Nov. 18), the Bearcats made their first appearance in the EA Sports Maui Invitational hosted by Chaminade University on Nov. 23-25 at the Lahaina Civic Center.
· In the first two rounds, the Bearcats knocked off nationally-ranked opponents No. 24/24 Vanderbilt, 67-58, and No. 21/22 Maryland, 69-57, marking the first time since the 1999-00 season UC has beaten ranked opponents in back-to-back games.
· The wins propelled UC into the championship game of the Maui Invitational vs. Gonzaga. With UC leading by as many as 10 points midway through the second half, Gonzaga rallied and forced UC into overtime for the first time this season where the Bulldogs came away with a 61-59 victory.
· Sophomore forward Yancy Gates and senior guard Deonta Vaughn were named to the all-tournament team. Gates was the Bearcats top scorer and rebounder in the tournament, averaging 14.7 points and 10 rebounds per game. Vaughn averaged 10.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists.
· The Maui Invitational was Cincinnati’s fifth trip to the Hawaiian Islands for an early-season tournament. They played in the 1975-76, 1989-90 and 1994-95 Rainbow Classics hosted by the University of Hawaii and won the 1999-00 Big Island Invitational tournament.
· UC now owns a record of 9-6 in the islands.
· The Bearcats return home on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 7) to face No. 3/4 Syracuse at 2 p.m. in Fifth Third Arena. UC is 2-4 all-time vs. the Orange. UC won Syracuse’s last trip to the Queen City, 74-66, on Jan. 9, 2008. Deonta Vaughn posted 29 points and five assists in the victory.