Men's Basketball Opens 110th Season on Nov. 15 vs. Mount St. Mary'
gobearcats.COM Dion Dixon
gobearcats.COM
Dion Dixon
gobearcats.COM

Nov. 12, 2010

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Game 1: Mount St. Mary's (MD) at Cincinnati

Monday, Nov. 15 u 7 p.m. u Fifth Third Arena (13,176) u Cincinnati, Ohio u TV: None u Radio: 700 WLW

 

SCOUTING MOUNT ST. MARY'S

·         Mount St. Mary's was picked to finish fifth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Preseason Coaches Poll.

·         The Mount went 16-15 overall last season, finishing in third place in the NEC with a 12-6 league record.

·         Mount St. Mary's lost to eventual champion Robert Morris in the NEC Tournament semifinals.  The Mount has advanced to the semifinals in each of the past four seasons.

·         Senior Shawn Atupem is the Mount's top returnee.  The 6-7 forward averaged 10.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game last season.

·         The Mountaineers are coached by first-year head coach Robert Burke, who was an assistant at American last year. Prior to American, Burke spent nine seasons as an assistant at Georgetown University with John Thompson III.

 

CINCINNATI VS. THE NEC

·         The Bearcats own an 9-0 record against teams currently in the Northeast Conference (NEC).

·         This will be the first time UC and Mount St. Mary's have faced each other.

·         Head coach Mick Cronin is 1-0 against NEC teams in his career, knocking off Wagner, 92-68, in his head coaching debut at Murray State in 2003. Current UC Director of Student-Athlete Development Chris Shumate, then a senior at Murray State, scored 11 points in the game.

 

NOV. 9 EXHIBITION VS. INDIANA SOUTHEAST

·         With the score tied at 12, the Bearcats took a 27-15 lead after a 15-3 run from the 14:13 mark in the first half to the 9:07 mark.

·         During that run, sophomore guard JaQuon Parker made UC's first three-pointer of the game with 11:46 remaining in the first half and then followed it up with a three-point play.

·         Cincinnati started the game 8-for-8 from inside the three-point line, but 0-for-7 from beyond the arc.

·         Cincinnati dominated the points-in-the-paint, 54-16.

·         Cincinnati's bench scored 23 points, led by senior center Anthony McClain's eight points.

·         UC scored 23 second-chance points, compared to IU Southeastern's two.

·         Senior forward Ibrahima Thomas had 18 points and six rebounds in the first half, made his first six field goal attempts of the game, and finished with a team-high 21 total points in 21 minutes.

·         Junior forward Yancy Gates was the Bearcats' second-leading scorer after putting up 20 points in 24 minutes.

·         Justin Jackson, a freshman forward, had five rebounds, two points, a blocked shot and an assist in his first five minutes of playing time.

·         Cincinnati's starting guards, sophomore Cashmere Wright and Dion Dixon, each dished out a game-high four assists.

·         Wright also scored 10 points on 3-5 shooting.

 

 

NOV. 1 EXHIBITION VS. CARLETON

·         The Bearcats rolled to a 89-57 victory over  Carleton in their first exhibition game of the season.

·         After a slow offensive start, the Bearcats shot 46.4 percent from the field in the first half and a perfect 13-13 from the free throw line.

·         UC scored 32 points off 23 Carleton turnovers.

·         Cincinnati shot 72.5 percent from the free throw line for the game after making all 13 of its attempts in the first half, led by redshirt freshman guard Sean Kilpatrick (5-for-5) and junior forward Yancy Gates (7-for-8).

·         Cincinnati dominated Carleton in the points-in-the-paint category, 38-18.

·         Juniors Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon led the Bearcats in scoring with 23 and 19 points, respectively.

·         Sean Kilpatrick, a redshirt freshman, made his UC debut and scored an efficient  16 points in 17 minutes.

·         Freshman Justin Jackson came off the bench and led the Bearcats with five rebounds.

·         Sophomore guard Cashmere Wright had a game-high five assists, followed by Dixon, who dished out three helpers.

 

FOR OPENERS ...

·         The regular-season opener vs. Mount St. Mary's officially begins the 110th season of UC men's basketball.

·         Basketball formally debuted as a selected varsity team in 1901-02, playing nine games and finishing with a 5-4 record.

·         UC owns a record of 1,581-936 (.628) all-time. UC ranks 23rd in NCAA Division I history in wins.

·         Cincinnati owns a record of 88-21 (.807) in season openers, including a 77-10 (.885) mark at home.

·         The Red and Black are 28-2 in its last 30 season openers with the two losses coming at home in 2001-02 vs. Oklahoma State, 69-62, and in 2007-08 vs. Belmont, 86-75.

·         The Bearcats are 16-2 (.889) in season openers since Fifth Third Arena at the Shoemaker Center opened in 1989-90 with a 66-64 win over Minnesota on Nov. 25.

·         UC is 91-17 (.843) in home openers (during the 1906-07 season UC did not play a home game) and has won 44 of its last 45 home debuts dating back to 1965-66. The lone loss was to Belmont, 86-75, in 2007-08.

·         Complete listings of UC season openers and home openers are included in these game notes.

 

THE WINS KEEP ADDING UP

·         Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Cincinnati is one of five programs from the major basketball conferences to post more wins in each season.

·         The Bearcats posted 11 wins in 2006-06, 13 in 2007-08, 18 in 2008-09, and 19 last season.

·         The other programs to accomplish the feat are Baylor, California, Duke, and Purdue.

·         A 20-plus win season this year for UC would be its first since posting a 21-13 record in 2006-07.

           

WHAT A PRESEASON, EH?

·         In preparation for the 2010-11 season, Cincinnati traveled north of the border to Ottawa, Ontario for a three-game foreign tour on Sept. 3-5.

·         While on the trip, the Bearcats faced McGill University, six-time Canadian National Champion Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa and played using FIBA rules.

·         The foreign tour allowed UC an extra 10 full-team practices prior to the trip.

·         In the opener of the tour vs. McGill on Sept. 3, sophomore guard JaQuon Parker led Cincinnati, who trailed early, 20-16, to an 89-56 victory with a team-high 15 points.

·         Freshman Sean Kilpatrick posted 14 points vs. McGill in his debut as a Bearcat.

·         Sophomore guard Cashmere Wright, who had knee surgery in July, saw his first action, playing 13 minutes off the bench.

·         In the second game, Cincinnati faced six-time Canadian National Champion Carleton University at the Scotiabank Place on Sept. 4 and knocked off the Ravens, 87-70.

·         Junior guard Dion Dixon led the way with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting to add to his two assists and two steals.

·         UC won the finale of the trip vs. Ottawa on Sept. 5, 79-57.

·         Kilpatrick and Wright led the Bearcats in scoring with 17 a piece, while junior forward Yancy Gates added 15 points and five rebounds.

           

BIGGIE GETS BIGGER

·         Over this past summer the Bearcats have been working on getting themselves ready for the season and the grueling BIG EAST schedule.

·         Senior center Anthony "Biggie" McClain, the Bearcats 7-foot center, has found getting playing time during his career tough due to his weight hovering around 235 to 240 most of his career.

·         With the help of UC team dieticians and the strength and conditioning staff, McClain has added 45 pounds to his frame this off-season, getting him up to 290 pounds, and looks to see more playing time.

 

ANOTHER POST THREAT

·         Senior Ibrahima Thomas played 28 games for the Bearcats last year after sitting out the first seven games of the year due to NCAA transfer rules. He transferred to UC from Oklahoma State following the Christmas Break in 2008-09.

·         The Dakar, Senegal native emerged as a post threat for the Bearcats over the last 13 games of the season, scoring 6.5 points per game and was the team's top rebounder (7.3 rpg).

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

·         In the Bearcats first round game of the BIG EAST Championship vs. Rutgers, Thomas pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive end.

·         Thomas saw increased minutes over the last 13 contests averaging 23.7 mpg after averaging just 13.5 mpg over his first 15 games.

 

A RETURN TO THE NIT

·         Cincinnati finished 19-16 last season and earned its 10th berth to the National Invitation Tournament (1951, 1955, 1957, 1970, 1974, 1985, 1990, 1991, 2006, 2010).

·         It was UC's second postseason appearance under Mick Cronin. The Red and Black played in the inaugrual College Basketball Invitational in 2008.

·         The Bearcats knocked off Weber State in the opening round, 76-62, before losing to eventual tournament champion Dayton, 81-66, in the second round.

·         UC is 9-9 all-time in NIT play, including a mark of 6-3 at home.

·         Deonta Vaughn, who graduated following the 2009-10 season, set school NIT single-game records for 3-point field goals made (4), 3-point field goals attempted (15), and free throws made (12).

 

FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE

·         The Bearcats are 279-60 (.823) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.

·         Under Mick Cronin, UC is 42-25 in Fifth Third (.627).

·         UC was 13-5 at home and 12-5 in Fifth Third Arena last 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 averaged 75.0 points per game at home in 2009-10.

 

NEW FACES AROUND CAMPUS

·         After redshirting last season, freshman guard Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep), joins the Bearcats bringing with him a distinguished resume.

·         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.

·         The University of Cincinnati men's basketball program signed Justin Jackson and Kelvin Gaines to a National Letters of intent for the 2010-11 season during the early signing period last year.

·         Jackson 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, played last season for Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.

·         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.

·         In 2009-10 season, Gaines transferred to Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla., where he teamed with fellow Bearcat signee Justin Jackson.

 

NO LONGER WITH THE BEARCATS

·         When the Bearcats open the 2010-11 season, it will be  their first under head coach Mick Cronin without two-time all-BIG EAST performer Deonta Vaughn.

·         Vaughn finished his career in Clifton as the program's third all-time leading scorer with 1,885 points. He is the only Bearcat to ever score 1,800 points and dish out 500 assists.

·         In the opening round game of the NIT vs. Weber State, Vaughn assisted on a 3-pointer by Lance Stephenson with 18:00 to play in the first half to move past Eddie Lee (1976-80) into first place on Cincinnati's all-time assist list (511). A trey by Vaughn with 18:14 remaining in the Weber State game moved him past Darnell Burton (1993-97) as UC's career 3-point leader (313).

·         Besides Vaughn, the Bearcats lost 2010 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Lance Stephenson to the NBA, where he was selected 40th overall in the Draft by the Indiana Pacers.

·         Stephenson led all BIG EAST freshman in overall scoring with 12.0 ppg and was named to the league All-Rookie team in addition to Rookie of the Year.

·         Stephenson ranked among the team's Top 3 in points (1st, 12.3 ppg), rebounds (2nd, 5.4 rpg), assists (2nd, 2.4 apg), and steals (2nd, 0.91 spg).

·         Forward Steve Toyloy was a defensive stopper and rebounder for Cincinnati in his two years after transferring from Miami Dade Community College.

·         In 67 career games as a Bearcat, Toyloy averaged 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.