Cincinnati Opens Season with Alabama State on Sunday
gobearcats.COM UC head coach Mick Cronin
gobearcats.COM
UC head coach Mick Cronin
gobearcats.COM

Nov. 12, 2011

UC Game Notes

Watch game on ESPN3

CINCINNATI -- The University of Cincinnati opens its 2011-12 regular season Sunday when it plays host to Alabama State (0-1) at Fifth Third Arena. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be televised by Fox Sports Ohio.

The Bearcats return seven letterwinners and their top four scorers from last season’s 26-9 squad that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. UC won both of its preseason exhibition games, topping McGill University (75-41) and Northern Kentucky (66-54), in preparation for the new season.

Alabama State posted a 17-18 record last season, winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament title to advance to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hornets opened their 2011-12 season Friday with a 67-49 loss at Marshall. Sunday’s contest marks the first in Cincinnati-Alabama State series history.

The Alabama State game is the first of four contests the Bearcats will participate in as part of the Global Sports Challenge this season. The NCAA-exempt event includes UC home contests with Jacksonville State (Nov. 15), Northwestern State (Nov. 21) and Marshall (Nov. 25).

GAME AT A GLANCE
Series Info: First meeting
Last Meeting: n/a
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his sixth season at Cincinnati (87-77); ninth season overall (156-101). Cronin is 0-0 vs. Alabama State. Lewis Jackson is in his seventh season with Alabama State (97-93); seventh season overall (97-93). Jackson is 0-0 vs. UC.
Rankings: Cincinnati is ranked No. 21 in the preseason AP poll and No. 22 in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. Alabama State is not ranked in either poll.
Radio: 700 WLW; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play alongside color analyst Chuck Machock. Mo Egger serves as host/engineer.
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Tom Gelehrter provides play-by-play alongside color analyst Terry Nelson. Brian Hunterman serves as producer. (Time Warner Cable in Cincinnati: channels 43, 309 and 1309; also available on ESPN3, SNY and MASN)
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS

STREAKS, STORYLINES, SIDEBARS
-Cincinnati opens its 111th season of varsity men’s basketball Sunday against Alabama State.
-UC owns a record of 89-21 (.810) in season openers, including a 78-10 (.886) mark at home.
-The Bearcats posted a 9-0 record against non-conference opponents last season at Fifth Third Arena.
-After allowing a BIG EAST-leading 59.6 points per game in 2010-11, UC held its two exhibition opponents to an average of 49.5 points in victories over McGill (75-41) and Northern Kentucky (66-54).
-UC earned preseason rankings in both the Associated Press Poll (No. 21) and the USA Today/ESPN -Coaches Poll (No. 22) for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.
-The Bearcats were picked to finish fifth in the BIG EAST according to the league’s coaches.
-The Bearcats return seven letterwinners and their top four scorers from last season in forward Yancy -Gates (11.9), guard Dion Dixon (11.6), swingman Sean Kilpatrick (9.7) and guard Cashmere Wright (8.9).
-UC is the only team in the nation to increase its win total in each of the last five seasons (11 in 2006-07, 13 in 2007-08, 18 in 2008-09, 19 in 2009-10 and 26 in 2010-11).