UC Men's Basketball to Host Coastal Carolina

Nov. 15, 2007

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SCOUTING THE CHANTICLEERS: Coastal Carolina opened up the season in the last week with impressive wins vs. North Greenville (95-75) and Campbell (85-76). The Chanticleers are led offensively by senior guard Jack Leasure, who has scored 67 points in the first two games (33.5 ppg). Leasure has scored the majority of his points from behind the 3-point arc, shooting 63.6 percent (14-of-22). CCU is led on the boards by sophomore forward Joseph Harris' 9.0 rebounds per game. The Chanticleers are scoring 90 points per game thanks to an overall .544 shooting percentage and a .500 mark behind the arc.

      CCU is coached by Cliff Ellis who has amassed a Division I record of 536-337 and a 612-349 (.637) mark as a head coach overall. He is also just one of 10 coaches in NCAA Division I history to post 100 or more wins at three separate schools and has been named conference Coach of the Year five times in his career.


CINCINNATI VS. THE BIG SOUTH: The Bearcats are 4-1 vs. teams that are currently in the Big South. Besides being 1-1 with Coastal Carolina, UC is a perfect 3-0 vs. the rest of the conference with wins over High Point (63-51 in 2006-07), UNC Asheville (95-51 in 1990-91), and Winthrop (79-36 in 1997-98).

RECAP: Bowling Green 69, CINCINNATI 67 - Bowling Green's Chris Knight scored 24 points, leading the Falcons to a 69-67 win over Cincinnati in the finale of the Peggy Cronin Classic hosted by UC at Fifth Third Arena. The loss dropped the Bearcats' record to 1-2 on the young season. Sophomore guard Deonta Vaughn led the Bearcats in scoring with 17 points against the Falcons, connecting on 5-of-13 shots, with all but one attempt coming from three-point range. UC attempted to use it's size advantage to beat the Falcons as its big-man trio of John Williamson (14 points, 5 rebounds), Adam Hrycaniuk (11 points, 4 rebounds) and Anthony McClain (8 points, 7 rebounds) combined for 33 of UC's 67 points. Bowling Green shot 58 percent (14-of-24) in the second half and 46 percent (26-of-56) for the game as the Falcons held off a late UC surge. BGSU sealed the victory by making all four of its free throws in the final 14 seconds of play.



          It was the new faces in the UC lineup that helped the Bearcats off to a 21-13 lead in the first half. Senior transfer Adam Hrycaniuk (four points) and freshmen Anthony McClain (six points) and Rashad Bishop (six points) combined for 16 of UC's 25 points first-half points.

          In ten minutes of action, freshman Anthony McClain had eight points and seven rebounds, including six off the offensive glass.

          For the third straight night, the Bearcats owned the advantage on the glass; with a +9 rebounding margin (39-30).

          Deonta Vaughn opened the second half with a 3-pointer, ending a 0-5 first half slump. He finished the night going 5-for-8 in the second half from behind the arc and scored 17 points.

          The Bearcats erased the Falcons' six-point halftime lead with an 8-2 run to start the second half.

          Senior John Williamson posted his third straight double-digit scoring night going for 14 points against BGSU. Williamson posted 10 vs. Belmont in the season opener and 13 the previous night vs. Western Carolina.

          Bishop put UC on top for the first time in the second half at 14:31 with an old-fashion three-point play. The free throw put the Bearcats up 41-40. Bishop finished his second straight double-digit night, scoring 12 points.

          The Bearcats outscored the Falcons from the free-throw line 22-10, knocking down 73.3 percent (22-of-30).


BEARCATS TOUGH TO BEAT IN FIFTH THIRD ARENA: Despite a slow 1-2 start to its home schedule, Cincinnati owns a record of 246-45 (.845 winning percentage) in its 19 seasons in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.  The Bearcats are half way through a season-long six-game homestand that includes last week's Peggy Cronin Classic (Nov. 9-11) and upcoming games vs. Coastal Carolina (Nov. 16), Fairfield (Nov. 24) and South Carolina Upstate (Nov. 26). UC is 81-22 in Fifth Third over the last six seasons.


PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF: Head coach Mick Cronin is in just his second year at Cincinnati has done the work of a coach in this fourth year on the job, having had to sign 15 players in the last 18+ months. This season's six-person freshman class is considered by the recruiting services as one of the top 20 groups of players in the nation and the stats from the first weekend attest to that. Larry Davis and Rashad Bishop have combined for three double-digit scoring nights and center Anthony McClain scored 14 points, pulled down 11 rebounds (10 offensive) and blocked four shots in just 24 minutes of action. Bishop had the best performance of any player in the finale of the Cronin Classic vs. Bowling Green, registering 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a steal.


CLEANING UP ON THE GLASS: One key to playing winning basketball is to limit your opponents' scoring opportunity by rebounding the ball. Even though the record does not show it, UC has owned the boards through its first three games, averaging 6.7 more rebounds per game than its opponents. Overall the Bearcats are pulling down 37.3 rebounds per game, including 13.7 offensive boards. Senior forward John Williamson leads UC in rebounding, securing an average of 7.7 boards a game. Freshman center Anthony McClain leads all Bearcats with 10 offensive rebounds.


THE INK IS DRY: The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team signed two players to national letters of intent for the 2008-09 season, head coach Mick Cronin announced on the first day of the early signing period. Joining the Bearcats are forward Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, OH/Withrow) and guard Cashmere Wright (Savannah, GA/Urban Christian High School).

            Gates, a 6-foot-9, 255-pound forward, is one of the nation's top 50 players according to several recruiting sites. As a junior at Withrow High School playing for Walt McBride, Gates averaged 19.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game in 2006-07. He helped the Tigers to a 17-6 record and missed the state semifinals by one game. A second-team Ohio all-state selection, Gates is the first freshman player in Cronin's first three recruiting classes to come from the talent-rich Cincinnati area.

            Wright, another highly-regarded recruit who is ranked among many of the recruiting services top 100 players, comes to Cincinnati from the Urban Christian Academy in Savannah, Ga., where he averaged 36.2 points, 10.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game in 2006-07. In his first two games this season, Wright has posted 43 and 35 points, respectively, and is a McDonald's All-America candidate.


MR. CONSISTENT: Senior forward John Williamson has picked up right where he left off the end of last year. The 6-6 senior, who scored in double digits in 23 of the team's 30 games last season, has reached the double-digit mark in each of his first three game this season, scoring 10 vs. Belmont, 11 vs. Western Carolina and a season-best 14 against Bowling Green. He also added in a team season-high 13 rebounds vs. Belmont.


REPEAT PERFORMANCE: As a freshman last season, Deonta Vaughn had heavy expectations placed on him coming into a team with so many new faces and being the only freshman on the squad. Vaughn did not let the team down once he was inserted into the starting line-up in UC's fourth game of the year vs. Wofford. In his debut as a starter, Vaughn tallied a UC freshman single-game scoring record of 33 points vs. Wofford, connecting on nine 3-pointers, the second most by any Bearcat in UC history. Vaughn, who was among the BIG EAST's top freshman scorers last year, leads UC in scoring again this year dropping in 13.7 points a game. As the team's point guard, Vaughn has also increased his assist output from 3.5 assists per game in 2006-07 to 5.7 through UC's first three games.


WILLIAMS TO MISS SEASON WITH RUPTURED ACHILLES: Junior forward Mike Williams, who was preparing for his first season on the court for the University of Cincinnati, will miss the 2007-08 season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in preseason workouts. Williams, a 6-7, 230-pound native of Camden, Ala., sat out last season at UC after transferring from the University of Texas and was expected to start this season for Cincinnati. As a Longhorn, Williams played in 58 games over two years, averaging 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds.


WARREN OUT FOR THREE WEEKS: Senior guard Jamual Warren is out three weeks after suffering a left hand injury last Sunday in an automobile accident. Warren, who was expected to provide relief for Deonta Vaughn at the point position, is a key two-way player for Cincinnati, providing offense as well as being one of the Bearcats defenders. Last year Warren tied for the team lead with 55 steals last year.


SUCCESS IN OVERTIME: Cincinnati posted a 2-0 mark in overtime games during the 2006-07 campaign.  On Jan. 20, UC and West Virginia were deadlocked at 75-75 before the Bearcats went on a 21-8 run in the extra frame to claim a 96-83 win.  Eleven games later, UC out scored Seton Hall, 11-8, after being tied at 59 a piece en route to a 70-67 triumph.


IT'S ACADEMIC: Last year, senior Marcus Sikes and junior Branden Miller qualified for the Dean's List academic honors after Fall quarter for having grade point averages of 3.5 or above.  Two others, John Williamson and Mike Williams, posted GPAs of 3.0 or above.  The team's GPA for the quarter was 2.875, a shade lower than the 2.965 of the UC general student body.


BEARCATS ON TV: This season all 30 of Cincinnati's regular-season contests can be seen on television via either its local package with FOX19 (WXIX-TV) or through the conference package with the ESPN family of networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN 360, or ESPN Regional). The BIG EAST's ESPN Regional package, which includes the BIG EAST Game of the Week, can be seen in Cincinnati on CinCW, the digital sister station of WKRC-TV (Channel 12). CinCW is available on most local cable systems as well as via satellite providers.


FOX 19 SUPPLIES TV COVERAGE:  FOX19 (WXIX-TV) has been the local television home of Bearcats basketball for 23 of the past 26 years and will originate 10 games and air two others from the BIG EAST Game of the Week syndicated package with ESPN Regional.  Jeff Piecoro (play-by-play) and Anthony Buford (color analyst) will be the primary talent for the package, while Jim Barbar will handle play-by-play on three broadcasts.


LOOKING AHEAD:  After Coastal Carolina, the Bearcats will take seven days off for the Thanksgiving holiday before playing two games vs. Fairfield and South Carolina Upstate in three days to complete its six-game homestand. UC takes on Fairfield from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. and then USC Upstate from the Atlantic Sun on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m.