Men's Basketball |
Sept. 5, 2010
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OTTAWA - Head men's basketball coach Mick Cronin was just a little kid in the 1970s when the Bee Gees were symbols of the Disco Era in America. On Sunday, in the final game of a preseason tour through Canada, Cronin turned his attention to the Gee Gees, the mascot of the University of Ottawa. And for the record, a Gee Gee is a lean horse that has nothing to do with music.
"It was a great trip for us," Cronin said. "We improved on the offensive end and the chemistry is definitely there."
The Bearcats completed a three-game weekend sweep of McGill University, Carleton, and Ottawa with a 79-57 victory over the Gee Gees on Sunday afternoon. Freshman Sean Kilpatrick and sophomore Cashmere Wright each led the way with 17 points for UC.
"Since I haven't played in a long time, coming up here on this trip reassured me that I can get back in the groove of playing basketball again." Wright said.
Wright tore up his left knee two years ago and had a minor operation on the same knee this offseason. The UC medical staff is taking things slowly and asking Wright to wear a protective brace so the point guard can be ready for the regular season.
"Adversity only makes you stronger, Wright continued. "I've have to keep pushing and one day I'll be better."
Yancy Gates turned in 15 points and 5 rebounds in the finale.
"Personally, this is a big year for me." Gates said.
Gates, who grew up in Cincinnati, starred at Withrow High School and knows all about the expectations that have followed him as a hometown product to the University of Cincinnati.
"I just try not to worry about it because the expectations are going be there no matter what," Gates said. "I just go out there and do what I can do and not what everyone else expects me to do." Gates said.
The junior spent part of August running on sand dunes in California, losing 15 pounds in that training regimen alone and earning praise from his head coach.
"He's had a great summer," Cronin said. "The biggest difference is coaching a young guy and an adult. Immature versus mature. I can focus in on coaching technique. I haven't had to coach effort once. His effort and attitude have been tremendous."
UC trailed 24-23 in the second quarter, but after a timeout the Bearcats went on a 17-to-4 run to take a 40-31 lead into the locker room. The Bearcats locked down defensively after halftime and won the third quarter, 18-5.
"It was our goal to average 80 points a game for the trip and we accomplished that." Cronin said.
UC also won the rebounding battle 36-32. A statistic that reflects a ball-sharing offensive mentality is the 16 assists on 29 made baskets.
Johny Berhane connected on 4-of-6 three point attempts for the University of Ottawa for a team-high 16 points in a losing effort.
The Bearcats travel back to Cincinnati on Monday and plan to take 10 days off before voluntary workouts resume.