Men's Basketball |
Sept. 10, 2009
Complete Release and Schedule in PDF Format
CINCINNATI - The 2009-10 University of Cincinnati men's basketball season is highlighted by 10 nationally televised games on the ESPN family of networks and 17 match-ups versus teams that participated in postseason action last March.
Cincinnati opens the regular season with two straight home games vs. Prairie View A&M in the lid lifter on Nov. 16 and the University of Toledo on Nov. 18.
Following the short two-game homestand, UC heads across the Pacific Ocean to take part in one of college basketball's premier regular-season tournaments, the EA Sports Maui Invitational. In the tournament opener Cincinnati will take on Vanderbilt University on Nov. 23 before playing either Maryland or tournament host Chaminade in the second round on Nov. 24. UC wraps up the tournament on Nov. 25 where they will face Arizona, Colorado, Gonzaga, or Wisconsin from the other side of the bracket.
The Bearcats return to Cincinnati on Dec. 1 to face Texas Southern before renewing its rivalry with Miami University after a one year hiatus. This year's contest, which is a UC home game, will be played at U.S. Bank Arena on Dec. 10 due to scheduling conflicts with winter graduation in Fifth Third Arena. The contest will be seen nationally on ESPN2. Next year, the Bearcats will travel to Oxford, Ohio, before completing the three-game contract at Cincinnati in 2011-12.
Three days after the Miami game on Dec. 13 the Bearcats travel to the Cintas Center to take on Xavier University in the annual Crosstown Shootout on ESPNU, before playing its last non-conference road game at UAB on Dec. 16.
Cincinnati ends 2009 with two non-conference games vs. Lipscomb University (Dec. 19) and Winthrop University (Dec. 22) before starting league play on Dec. 30.
The Bearcats open their 18-game BIG EAST Conference slate on Dec. 30 when 2009 NCAA Final Four participant University of Connecticut travels to the Queen City. The Huskies are one of three teams UC will face at home and on the road in BIG EAST play. The others are Notre Dame (H - Jan. 16; A - Feb. 4) and USF (H - Jan. 20; A - Feb. 16). Cincinnati will face the remaining 12 teams in the conference once.
Along with UConn, the Bearcats will face six other teams from the 2009 NCAA Tournament field, including home contests vs. Pittsburgh (Jan. 4), an ESPN Big Monday match-up, Syracuse (Feb. 7), Marquette (Feb. 21), and Villanova (March 2), which also made it to the Final Four, in the home finale.
Playing in the BIG EAST, UC's road schedule does not get any easier at it faces additional trips to Rutgers (Jan. 2), Seton Hall (Jan. 9), St. John's (Jan. 13), defending BIG EAST regular-season and tournament champion Louisville (Jan. 24), and West Virginia (Feb. 27), before concluding the regular season at Georgetown on March 6.
After rebuilding the program since taking over in 2006, Mick Cronin looks to capitalize on the momentum from last year's winning season (18-14) as he begins his fourth year at the University of Cincinnati. For the first time since Cronin has been the head coach at UC, he has a senior leader on the floor with three years of experience - all-BIG EAST guard Deonta Vaughn, who averaged 15.3 ppg and 4.7 apg in 2008-09. Vaughn's leadership, coupled with seven returning letterwinners, including BIG EAST All-Rookie honoree Yancy Gates (10.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and a talented recruiting class gives Cincinnati its most experienced team since Cronin's arrival.
An exciting and talented group of newcomers brings excitement to the program, headlined by McDonald's High School All-American Lance Stephenson. Freshmen Sean Kilpatrick, Jaquon Parker, and Alex Eppensteiner complete Cronin's highly-touted recruiting class and redshirt freshman Cashmere Wright, and junior transfers Eddie Tyree and Ibrahima Thomas will don the Red and Black for the first time after missing last season due to injury and NCAA transfer rules.
"I cannot wait for the season to get here," said Cronin. "For the first time since I took over here at Cincinnati, I am looking forward to having a squad that has been through the rigors of the BIG EAST schedule a couple times and coupling that with a talented and exciting bunch of new guys. We finally look to have the depth and skill I want to be able to play all out at both ends of the floor for 40 minutes."
Besides UC's 10 appearances on ESPN, the Bearcats will also be seen a combined 11 times on FOX Sports Ohio through five games the network produces and six it will air as a part of the BIG EAST Network.
The dates and opponents of those FOX Sports Ohio broadcasts, as well as UC's two preseason exhibition games, will be announced in the following weeks.
Fans wishing to travel to the Bearcats' first appearance in the Maui Invitational can purchase ground packages, including game tickets, from Provident Travel, UC's travel partner, by calling (513) 763-3080.