UC Faces Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday
gobearcats.COM Junior Justin Jackson
gobearcats.COM
Junior Justin Jackson
gobearcats.COM

Nov. 12, 2012

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Cincinnati Game Notes

The 24th-ranked University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team plays host to Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday at Fifth Third Arena beginning at 7 p.m. ET.  The game will be televised by ESPN3 and can be heard on 700 WLW. 

The Bearcats (1-0) take the court two days after posting an 80-57 season-opening win against UT Martin on Sunday. Cashmere Wright scored a game-high 16 points while Sean Kilpatrick added 14 points. Justin Jackson added seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Mississippi Valley State (0-1) is coming off a 93-57 setback at Ole Miss on Friday. Davon Usher led the Delta Devils with 19 points and six assists.

MVSU is coming off a 21-13 season a year ago that included a SWAC regular-season and conference tournament championship. After earning an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Delta Devils fell 59-58 to Western Kentucky in the first round. Chico Potts is in his first season as MVSU head coach. He took over for Sean Woods, who is now the head coach at Morehead State.

Tuesday’s game is the second meeting in series history. UC defeated MVSU 74-48 on Dec. 11, 1999 at Fifth Third Arena.

The contest is the second of four consecutive home games for UC to tipoff the season. The Bearcats also play North Carolina A&T (Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.) and Campbell (Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.) at Fifth Third Arena as part of the Global Sports Invitational.

Series Info: Second meeting; UC owns a 1-0 lead in the all-time series. The Bearcats lead 1-0 in Cincinnati.  
Last Meeting: Cincinnati won 74-48 on Dec. 11, 1999 at Fifth Third Arena.
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his seventh season at Cincinnati (114-86); 10th season overall (183-112). Chico Potts is in his first season at Mississippi Valley State (0-1); first season overall (0-1).
Rankings: Cincinnati is ranked No. 24 in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN polls.
Mississippi Valley State is not ranked in either poll.
Radio: 700 WLW; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play alongside color analyst Chuck Machock. Mo Egger produces.
TV: ESPN3; Tom Gelehrter provides play-by-play alongside color analyst Darrin Horn. Mark Balk directs while David Ashbrock produces.
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS

Cincinnati Storylines
-The Bearcats return three starters and 10 lettermen from last season’s squad that posted a 26-11 overall record; appeared in their first BIG EAST Championship title game and returned to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. The squad set school records for best finish in the BIG EAST regular season (tied for fourth) and most league wins (12) while also defeating a school-best eight ranked teams during the year.
-This season’s squad features one of the best backcourts in the BIG EAST Conference with junior guard Sean Kilpatrick and senior guards Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker.
-Kilpatrick was named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list last week. He was tabbed a first team All-BIG EAST selection by the league’s coaches in October. He returns as UC’s leading scorer from last season, averaging 14.3 points. His 92 three-pointers ranked first among all BIG EAST players.
-The Bearcats were picked to finish fourth in the BIG EAST according to a preseason poll of the league’s coaches.
-UC enters the week ranked 24th in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls.
-UC held UT Martin to 28.4 percent shooting from the field (19 of 67) on Sunday. The Bearcats were 15-1 when holding its opponent below 40 percent shooting.
-The Bearcats blocked 10 shots against UT Martin, matching last season’s high mark.
-Mick Cronin moved past legend Ed Jucker for sole possession of fifth place on the UC career coaching wins ledger with 114 following UC’s 80-57 victory over UT Martin on Sunday.

Scouting MVSU
-MVSU is regrouping this season after losing eight players who averaged at least 15 minutes and accounted for 98.9 percent of its offense a year ago.
-The Delta Devils were 21-13 last season, including a 17-1 conference record, and won the SWAC regular season and conference tournament titles.
-Sophomore forward Blake Rallings (1.0 ppg last season) is the only returning lettermen from last season NCAA tournament team.
-Six of MVSU’s newcomers come from junior colleges, including 7-footer center Montrell Holley and 6-11 center Julis Francis (4.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg last season), who transfers from Northern Oklahoma College. Forward Davon Usher (9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg last season) played two seasons at Polk State College.
-Cincinnati holds a 12-0 record all-time against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference with victories against Alcorn State (2-0), Alabama State (1-0), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-0), Jackson State (1-0), Mississippi Valley State (1-0), Prairie View A&M (1-0), Southern (1-0) and Texas Southern (3-0).      
-The Bearcats defeated Alabama State (65-40) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (101-53) last season at Fifth Third Arena.