Nov. 1, 2012
CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin and junior forward Titus Rubles met with members of the media Thursday. Topics included previewing Monday's game against Bellarmine as well the early play of Rubles.
The Bearcats are coming off an 80-60 victory over Division II Grand Valley State on Oct. 29. Junior guard Sean Kilpatrick led UC with 18 points and eight rebounds. Rubles added 11 points and eight rebounds.
UC plays host to NCAA Division II Bellarmine on Monday at 7 p.m. ET at Fifth Third Arena. The game will be available via a free live stream at GoBEARCATS.com.
Following are highlights of comments made at Thursday's media gathering:
UC head coach Mick Cronin
On Titus' play on Monday:
"The big thing about Titus is being an older guy sometimes junior college guys don't play hard enough to be a factor right away. I think he does. Second thing and probably most important is his basketball IQ, which is something you really don't know until you get a guy in practice. During recruiting, everybody always sells their player, coaches always laud about and are very laudatory about how `this guy he knows how to play' then you get them in there and very few guys are at his level of understanding basketball and understanding what you are trying to accomplish. You don't have to tell him things more than once, which allows him to quickly adjust and it allows you to improve as a player because you can take coaching and apply it to your game. The last thing is his raw ability is tremendous. He can make shots. He's explosive. He's got great size. He's a very good passer, and he can really defend. He can defend four positions, really maybe five."
On expecting a competitive game from Bellarmine on Monday:
"Oh absolutely, I mean they won it all two years ago, last year they were No. 1 in the country all year and got beat in the semifinals and got upset really. Scottie Davenport is a close friend of mine and you know he is a great coach. I'm telling him exactly what we are going to do, not that I have to tell him he already knows because we talk a lot. Because we are so close even more so in this game we're talking about maybe some things where he's going to make sure he plays zone or you know he knows we are going to press. It's those little things, so we can prepare and try to make it hard on our teams and get the most out of them."
On what he took from the Grand Valley State game team wise:
"What I can tell you is it's hard to gauge because you really don't know. It's my opinion that that team might have beaten us last year in an exhibition. That's why I scheduled two really well-coached, veteran Division II teams this year because I thought we had veteran players."
No. 2 - Titus Rubles, G
On the experience of getting on the court in UC's first exhibition:
"It was great. I was nervous at first, but once the tipoff came off I just went through what I have been doing my whole life."
On getting the start calming you down in your first game:
"It was good to start. A lot of people don't get to start their first D-1 game obviously at a program like this, a top 25 program, so it was really good to get the start. It calmed my nerves down a lot, especially when I hit my first shot, that's when it made me really realize, `okay, I can do this now.'"
On what it has been like adjusting to practice at this level:
"I've been here since the summer. When I first got here it was like `dang, can I really play at this level?' But I've been here since the summer so it is normal now because I have been practicing with the guys since the summer. I'm glad the NCAA made that rule where you could be here in the summer so now it is really like just adjusting my game (this time of year). When I first got here it was really hard."
On the benefit of having veterans on the team like Cashmere Wright, JaQuon Parker and Sean Kilpatrick to help guide you this season:
"They help me big time. I'm used to coming from (junior college) where a lot of people don't really try to help you out and make you better. These guys up here, even Justin (Jackson), me and him play the same position and on plays I don't know he's steady telling me, `be right here, be right here.' Guys really want to help you and want to see you do well. It is good having veteran players that have been through it. They know how to take care of their body. In (junior college) I used to show up 10 minutes before practice. But seeing these guys; they are here 30 minutes before practice, 45 minutes before practice. I'm here 30 minutes before practice now. It is just normal now so that is really a big adjustment. "
On the excitement of getting the season started and seeing how far the team can go:
"I'm as excited as I have ever been. I know they got us in the Top 25, but I think we are way better than that. I can't wait to get out there with those guys and show them that I can play at this level."
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