Bearcats Close Out Road Swing at USF
gobearcats.COM Lance Stephenson
gobearcats.COM
Lance Stephenson
gobearcats.COM

Feb. 15, 2010

Game Notes

THE MATCH-UP

The Cincinnati Bearcats (15-9, 6-6 BIG EAST) conclude a five-day, two-game road swing on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. when it travels to Tampa, Fla., to take on the USF Bulls. UC downed Connecticut, 60-48, on Saturday, Feb. 13, to kick off the road trip, holding UConn to its lowest scoring output since 2002. The win also was Cincinnati’s first in Hartford. USF (15-9; 5-7 BIG EAST) has lost back-to-back road contests after stringing together four straight conference triumphs over Providence, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, and Georgetown. Tuesday’s game will be telecast on ESPNU with Rob Stone (pxp) and Bob Wenzel (analyst) handling the call. Dan Hoard (pxp) and Chuck Machock (analyst) will call the game on 700 WLW.

 

THE SERIES


 

 

Tuesday’s game will be the 28th meeting between Cincinnati and USF, with the Bearcats owning a 21-6 lead in the series after the Bearcats defeated the Bulls, 78-70, on Jan. 20, in Cincinnati. UC won 14 straight meetings from 1991 to 2005, before USF snapped the winning streak with a 80-68 win on March 10, 2005. Since that point, the home team has been victorious the last five meetings. UC is 7-4 all-time when playing in Tampa, Fla., with its last win in Tampa occurring on Jan. 27, 2005, when the Bearcats downed the Bulls, 74-48.

 

SCOUTING THE BULLS

·         USF enters the week with a 15-9 record and a 5-7 BIG EAST mark. The Bulls have lost back-to-back road contests against Notre Dame and Marquette after stringing together four straight conference triumphs over Providence, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, and Georgetown.

·         USF owns a 3-2 record at home in conference play and an 8-3 overall record at the Sun Dome.

·         The Bulls are averaging 68.9 points per game and 85.2 percent of their points this season have come from four players.

·         Junior guard Dominque Jones leads the team, ranks third in the conference, and 10th nationally with 21.6 points per game.

·         Jones also leads the team in assists per game (4.3) and steals (1.75).

·         The other three double-figure scorers for the Bulls are Augustus Gilchrist (17.4 ppg), Jarrid Famous (11.6 ppg), and Chris Howard (10.4 ppg). Gilchrist has only played in nine games this season.

·         Famous and Gilchrist also lead the team in rebounding, averaging 7.8 rpg and 7.0 rpg, respectively.

·         USF takes care of the basketball, averaging just 12.4 turnovers per game.

·         As the point guard, senior Chris Howard owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.18, which also ranks sixth in the BIG EAST.

 

CURRENT BEARCATS VS. USF

·         UC has three players averaging in double-figures in their careers against the Bulls in freshman Jaquon Parker, sophomore Yancy Gates, and senior Deonta Vaughn.

·         Senior Deonta Vaughn averages 18.8 ppg in his career against USF in four games. The Indianapolis, Ind., native has scored 20-plus points three times, including twice in the Sun Dome.

·         In his first BIG EAST start on Jan. 20, against the Bulls, Parker scored a career-high 15 points, while adding a career-best five assists and four rebounds.

·         Gates is averaging 11.0 ppg in two games against USF on 52.6 percent (10-of-19) shooting from the floor.

 

FEB. 13 - CONNECTICUT GAME NOTES

·         Cincinnati picked up the season sweep of Connecticut and is now 2-5 vs. the Huskies all-time, including a 1-1 mark in Hartford.

·         After holding Connecticut scoreless for a 10-minute stretch from the end of the first half to middle of the second and building up a 15-point lead, Cincinnati held on for a 60-48 win at the XL Center.

·         UConn’s, which averaged 72.2 points per game heading into the game, was held to 48 points, its lowest point total since a 46-40 win over Villanova on Feb. 11, 2002.

·         UC, which had a -6.0 turnover margin in BIG EAST road games heading into Saturday, forced nine UConn turnovers in the first half while giving the ball up five times itself. UC ended the game with a +2 turnover margin (16-14).

·         Deonta Vaughn went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and Lance Stephenson took a feed from Vaughn for an easy lay up to cement the 12-point win for UC over the final 1:11 of the game.

·         The Bearcats dominated the boards vs. UConn, 46-32, including 19-12 on the offensive glass. It is the seventh time this season UC has grabbed 45 or more rebounds in a game.

·         Bearcats held UConn without a basket the final 2:47 of the first half and first 11:30 minutes of the second half for a combined stretch of 11:17. UC outscored UConn 19-3 during the run.

·         Freshman Lance Stephenson posted his eighth double-digit scoring game in 12 BIG EAST Conference games, posting a team-high and game-high tying 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He also added five rebounds and one assist.

·         Junior forward Ibrahima Thomas had a career game for the Bearcats scoring 10 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. It was his first double-double at UC and the first by a Bearcat since Yancy Gates had 11 points and 13 rebounds at home vs. Notre Dame on Jan. 16.

·         Sophomore guard Dion Dixon, who was scoreless in UC’s last four games, scored six points in a three-minute stretch in the second half that put UC up, 51-36, its largest lead of the game.

·         Despite playing just 21 minutes, senior center Steve Toyloy posted eight rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. He also pitched in four points, a steal, and a block.

·         Senior guard Deonta Vaughn scored 10 points in the game for UC, including a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw stripe. He also dished our four assists and made two steals.

·         Vaughn’s start moved him past Dwight Jones (1979-83) for first on the career start list. He also moved into second place in minutes played, sliding past Steve Logan (1988-02).

 

GETTING DOWN TO THE END

·         With just six games remaining in the regular season and NCAA Tournament bid on the line, the Cincinnati Bearcats are into one of the toughest portions of their schedule.

·         Over the final three weeks of the season, UC faces three of the nation’s top 10 teams (No. 4/5 Villanova, No. 5/4 West Virginia, No. 7/8 Georgetown), and a road game at USF. The final two contests are at home vs. Marquette and DePaul.

·         UC’s final eight opponents own a combined record of 98-46 (.681).

 

RESUME BUILDING — UC VS. RANKED OPPONENTS

·         UC is 3-2 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 losses were to No. 23 Pittsburgh, 74-71, on Jan. 4 (Cincinnati’s first at home this season), and to No. 3 Syracuse, 71-54, on Feb. 7.

·         Cincinnati is 114-170 (.401) all-time vs. opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including a 23-22 (.511) 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 6-18 vs. ranked opponents under Cronin.

 

PLATOONING AT THE POINT

·         Over the last six games, one of the areas that UC has seen steady improvement has been in the play of its two freshmen point guards, Cashmere Wright and Jaquon Parker.

·         In the last six games, the duo has combined to average 13.2 points (Wright 8.2; Parker 5.0), 3.9 rebounds (Parker 2.6; Wright 1.3), and 2.5 assists (Wright 1.3; Parker 1.2) per game. They have also turned the ball over just eight times in 193 minutes of action.

·         Prior to this six-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 began their second trip through their repeat league opponents (Connecticut, Notre Dame, USF).

·         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 first three games vs. UConn, Notre Dame and USF, senior guard Deonta Vaughn averaged a team high 17.3 points per game, followed by freshman Lance Stephenson’s 15.0 ppg. Rashad Bishop and Jaquon Parker also averaged in double figures with 10.3 and 10.0 ppg, respectively.

·         The Bearcats 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 points a night. The two were held to 69 and 58 points, respectively. USF, which is averaging 77.8 points per game since playing UC on Jan. 20, scored just 70 points.

·         In its first game against a repeat opponent at Notre Dame on Feb. 4, Cincinnati saw the Irish offense come alive and post 83 points in an 18-point win, led by Luke Harangody’s 37 points and Tim Abromaitis’s 22.

·         The Bearcats responded against UConn with a 60-48 victory, giving UC a season sweep of the Huskies.

·         The 48 points by UConn is its lowest point total since scoring 46 in a 46-40 win on Feb. 11, 2002.

 

FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE

·         The Bearcats are 277-57 (.829) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.

·         Under Mick Cronin, UC is 40-22 in Fifth Third (.645).

·         UC is 11-2 at home and 10-2 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 75.8 points per game at home led by Lance Stephenson’s 12.1 points per game and Deonta Vaughn’s 11.5 average.

 

TOUGH TIMES ON THE ROAD

·         The Bearcats are 2-6 in away games this season and have a record of 9-33 (.214) in road games under Mick Cronin.

·         Both of Cincinnati’s road wins have come in conference play. The first road win of the season came at Rutgers on Jan. 2, 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.

·         The second road win of the season came against Connecticut on Feb. 13, when UC defeated UConn , 60-48.

·         With a win at USF, Cincinnati would post back-to-back league road wins for the first time since victories at West Virginia and Rutgers in 2007-08

·         UC has shot 40.4 percent and averaged 62.8 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 38-of-159 (.239) 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 14.8 turnovers per game, compared to its season average of 13.5, an increase of almost 1.5 per game.

 

TALE OF THE TAPE — CONFERENCE HOME VS. AWAY

·         Cincinnati has a record of 6-6 in the BIG EAST entering Saturday’s game at Connecticut. UC is 4-2 at home compared to 2-4 on the road in league action.

·         The Bearcats are shooting better at home (45.8 percent) than on the road (42.8 percent) in conference play.

·         UC has been turnover prone away from Fifth Third Arena with a -4.7 turnover margin on the road compared to -1.8 at home.

·         While the Bearcats are shooting better from the free throw line in road games (70.8 percent) than in home games (59.2 percent), UC has been able to get to the free throw line 21.7 times per game at home compared to 16.0 times on the road.

·         Cincinnati is 9-0 on the season and 4-0 in conference play when shooting more free throws than its opponents.

 

NEEDING TO FIND CONSISTENCY

·         After going 2-3 in its last five games, one thing the Bearcats need to find is consistency.

·         In the win over Providence, the UC offense posted its second-highest point total of year in the 92-88 victory, shooing 57.1 percent from the field.

·         In the losses at Louisville and Notre Dame and at home vs. Syracuse, the same UC offense has strung together just 59.7 points per game on 41.0 percent shooting.

·         Defensively, UC has been solid most of the season, limiting opponents to an average of 64.9 points per contest on 40.1 percent from the field. That number has jumped considerably in the last five games as opponents are averaging 71.6 points on 44.9 percent shooting.

·         UC’s defense returned to its early-season form against Connecticut on Feb. 13 as the Bearcats held the Huskies to 48 points. The 48 points are the fewest points allowed by UC this season.

·         Throughout the season, UC has been one of the nation’s top rebounding teams averaging 40.0 rebounds per game and a +7.6 rebounding margin, but in the four games prior to the Connecticut game, UC averaged just 33.5 boards per game while its opponents grabbed 32.5 rebounds per game — a +1.0 rebounding margin for UC.

·         The Bearcats dominated the glass against UConn outrebounding them 46-32. UC is now 6-1 on the season when grabbing 45-plus rebounds in a game.

 

FREE THROW WOES

·         After shooting almost 70 percent (69.7) from the free throw line in the first 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.

·         In the first nine games since the start of BIG EAST play, Cincinnati got to the free throw line an average of  15.3 times per game converted 69.6 percent of its attempts.

·         Over the last four games, Cincinnati has made it to the free throw line an average of 26.0 times per game — an average of almost 11 more attempts per game — but converted only 57.7 percent of its attempts, which includes sinking 80 percent (16-of-20) of its free throws at Notre Dame — its second-highest percentage of the year (.818 at Seton Hall).

·         Cincinnati was just 2-for-7 in the first half against Connecticut on Feb. 13, but UC was clutch when it mattered, making 13-of-18 attempts in the second half.

·         For the season, UC is shooting 63.0 percent from the line and averaging 18.7 attempts per game.

·         In the 13 games since the start of league play, sophomore Yancy Gates has attempted just 23 free throws and made 10 (.435).

 

ANOTHER POST THREAT

·         Junior transfer Ibrahima Thomas has now played 17 games for the Bearcats after sitting out the first seven due to NCAA transfer rules and the Dakar, Senegal native has started to emerge as a post threat for the Bearcats over the last five games.

·         In his last five outings, Thomas is averaging 7.4 ppg — 1.5 ppg more than his season average — and 6.0 rebounds per game —1.6 rpg more this his season average.

·         In his last two games against Connecticut and Syracuse, Thomas’ numbers are even more impressive as he is averaging 11.5 ppg and 9.0 rpg.

·         Thomas collected the first double-double of his UC career with 10 points and 11 rebounds against the Huskies on Feb. 13.

·         Thomas has also seen increased minutes over the last five contests averaging 22.4 mpg after averaging just 12.8 mpg over his first 12 games.

 

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 10.1 ppg and 5.8 rpg, while shooting .431 over the first 12 conference games.

·         Through 12 conference games this season, Gates’ scoring has gone down to 10.2 ppg, but he is grabbing 6.8 rpg, while shooting 58.3 percent (56-of-96) from the field.

·         Gates has been more consistent, scoring in double figures in eight of 12 conference contests and posting double-doubles vs. Pittsburgh (16 points and 14 rebounds) and Notre Dame (11 points, 13 rebounds).

·         Despite playing in the paint, Gates has made it to the free-throw line just 23 times in UC’s last 13 games.

 

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 since found his shooting stroke.

·         Vaughn struggled with his 3-point shot (.258, 16-of-62) through UC’s first 10 games, but is 32 for his last 82 (.390) from 3-point range in the last 14 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 and another 20 vs. USF.

·         The Bearcats are 11-5 this season and 45-41 (.523) 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 64.9 points per game.

·         14 of UC’s 24 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 40.1 percent (546-of-1361) vs. UC.

·         In its last outing, UC held Connecticut to 48 points, its lowest point total since 2002.

·         Even in UC’s nine losses, UC’s defense has held its opponents to 44.4 percent shooting overall and 34.7 percent from 3-point range.

·         The Bearcats rank 51st in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.403) and 113th in scoring defense (65.7 ppg).

 

... AND REBOUNDING FIENDS

·         Besides defense, the other main characteristic of UC basketball has been rebounding.

·         The Bearcats are 11th in the nation in rebounding margin at +7.6 per game.

·         Cincinnati is pulling down 40.0 boards per game, while limiting opponents to 32.4 rebounds.

·         Seven 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, at Xavier - 52, Notre Dame - 50, at Connecticut - 46).

·         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.

·         Dion Dixon, Lance Stephenson, and Ibrahima Thomas have Cincinnati’s other three double-figure rebounding performances.

·         UC is 13-5 when outrebounding its opponents this season and 2-4 when its opponent outrebounds the Bearcats.

 

BENCH STRENGTH

·         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 9.2 a game.

·         Cincinnati’s depth has afforded Coach Cronin to use 15 different starting lineups in 24 games.

·         UC is outscoring its opponents bench 629-365 (26.2-15.2 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 four times this season. All four instances have come in conference losses — losses to Pittsburgh (Jan. 4), Seton Hall (Jan. 9), St. John’s (Jan. 13), and Syracuse (Feb. 7). In the four games, the opponent’s bench has outscored Cincinnati’s bench, 119-67 (29.8 - 16.8). The 16.8 ppg from its bench is 9.4 ppg lower than its season average.

 

A CAREER MAN

·         Senior guard Deonta Vaughn currently ranks fifth among active NCAA players from 2006 to the present in 3-point field goals made with 289.

The top five active leaders are:

Name, College                    No.

Ryan Wittman, Cornell        344

Tajuan Porter, Oregon        324

Corey Lowe, Boston University 292

Joe Zeglinski, Hartford       290

Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati 289

 

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:

      10 points to tie Pat Cummings (1974-79) for fifth on the career scoring list.

      27 assists to tie Eddie Lee (1976-80) for first on the career assists list with 500.

      Five steals to tie Eddie Lee (1976-80) for third on the career steals list with 163.

      21 minutes to tie Dwight Jones (1979-83) for first in career minutes played with 3,946.

      17 made 3-pointers to surpass Darnell Burton (1993-97) for first in career 3-pointers made with 307.

 

ALL-AROUND EFFORT

·         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 8.0 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 the 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 49.0 percent of his shots (76-of-155).

·         Bishop is also third on the team in rebounds (4.8) and is third in assists (1.9 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, 12.0 ppg), rebounds (2nd, 5.2 rpg), assists (2nd, 2.5 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

Year Home Away Neutral Total

2006-07 8-2     0-1     1-2   9-5

2007-08 5-3     0-4         5-7

2008-09 8-1     1-1     1-1  10-3

2009-10 7-0     0-2     2-1   9-3

Totals 28-6      1-8     4-4 33-18

 

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.

 

UP NEXT

UC returns home for a two-game home stretch beginning with Marquette on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 2 p.m. Marquette is one of the league’s hottest teams winning five straight games.