The Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0, 0-0 BIG EAST) travel over 4,000 miles for their first game of the season away from Fifth Third Arena as they take on Vanderbilt University (2-0, 0-0 SEC) in the opening round of the 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational on Monday, Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. ET. UC owns a 5-1 advantage in the series vs. the Commodores and have won the last two meetings (88-72 in 2004; 92-83 in 2005). The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 with Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, and Jay Bilas handling the call. Dan Hoard (p-b-p) and Chuck Machock (color) will call the game on 700 WLW.
The game will be only the seventh match-up between UC and Vanderbilt since the series began in 1922 in Cincinnati with a 42-24 Bearcats victory in Schmidlapp Gymnasium. UC has won the last two meetings in 2004 and 2005 since the Commodores picked up their first win in the series in 1970.
The Bearcats will take on either Maryland or tournament host Chaminade University in the second round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 23 depending on the outcome of the tournament opener vs. Vanderbilt.
· Vanderbilt welcomes back all but one player from last season's 19-12 team and add a talented freshmen class including John Jenkins. The Commodores missed the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time in three seasons despite closing out SEC play winning seven of its last 10 games.
· The Commodores have had a hot hand shooting the ball to start the season, knocking down 53.1 percent (60-of-113) of its shots from the field, including 40.7 percent (11-of-27) behind the arc.
· Sophomore guard/forward Jeffery Taylor has paced the Commodores in scoring in the first two games of 2009-10, posting 19.5 points per game vs. Lipscomb and Saint Mary's (CA). Taylor also leads the team with six steals and is second in rebounding (7.0 rpg).
· Taylor is one of three Commodores averaging 10 or more points through the first two games. Joining him are senior guard Jermaine Beal (16.5 ppg) and redshirt sophomore guard Andre Walker (11.5).
· Sophomore guard Brad Tinsley, who played both guard positions for the team last season, is the squad's top assist man averaging 5.5 assists per game.
· In two games, the Commordores have caused 40 turnovers - 20 of which were stolen by Vanderbilt.
· Eastern Illinois forced Toledo into 21 turnovers in the season opener.
NOV. 18 - TOLEDO GAME NOTES
· After starting the season opener without a basket from the field in the first five minutes, Cincinnati was hot out of the shoot vs. Toledo, outscoring the Rockets, 21-5, in the first 6:26. UC went 9-for-13 from the field, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range, during the stretch.
· Cincinnati shot 52.6 percent (20-of-38) in the first half, one game after shooting 28.6 percent in the opening period of the season opener vs. Prairie View A&M. The Bearcats finished the game 37-of-71 (.521) from the floor.
· UC's starters (Wright, Vaughn, Stephenson, Gates, Toyloy) combined to score 54 of UC's 92 points in the game, but it was the bench that was a difference maker, outscoring Toledo, 38-11.
· The Bearcats scored 49 points in the first half, two short of the second most points in a half during the Mick Cronin's three-plus years at UC.
· Cincinnati's 92 points is its highest scoring output since posting 93 vs. Notre Dame on Feb. 4 of last season.
· One of the key contributors to Cincinnati's 52.1 shooting percentage vs. Toledo was its 27 assists vs. the Rockets. The 27 assists are the most for UC under Coach Mick Cronin and are tied for the third most in school history. The previous best under Cronin was 22 vs. Wofford in his first season as head coach.
· Junior forward Rashad Bishop came off the bench in the first half to give the Bearcats an offensive punch, scoring 13 of his career-high 20 points. His previous career high came at St. John's last year when he scored 15. He also added eight rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes of action.
· Freshman forward Lance Stephenson posted his first career double-digit scoring night as a Bearcat, posting 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Cashmere Wright scored 12 in the season opener making it two straight games a UC freshman has scored 10 or more points.
· Senior guard Deonta Vaughn moved into 12th place on the career scoring list at UC, ahead of Robert Miller (1,498), and eclipsed the 1,500-point plateau as a Bearcat with his 13-point performance. He just missed matching his career high of 10 assists last season at Marquette, finishing with nine assists vs. the Rockets.
· Sophomore forward Yancy Gates logged his 19th double-digit scoring performance of his career, hitting on 6-of-8 shots.
NOV. 16 - PRAIRIE VIEW A&M NOTES
· Cincinnati overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat Prairie View A&M, 69-62.
· The game was the first meeting between UC and Prairie View A&M and the Bearcats improved to 88-21 in openers and 91-17 in home openers.
· After shooting 28.6 percent from the field in the first half, UC shot 53.8 percent from the field in the second half.
· Cincinnati outrebounded Prairie View A&M, 47-32, and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to the Panthers' nine.
· Eight players played 20-plus minutes for the Bearcats.
· UC's bench outscored Prairie View A&M, 28-14.
· UC held PVAMU without a field goal from the 16:37 mark of the second half to the 7:53 mark and went on a 14-0 run during that span to take a 50-46 advantage and never looked back.
· A Yancy Gates put-back dunk with 9:31 to play in the second half put Cincinnati ahead 47-46, giving UC its first lead of the game since leading 3-2 with 18:45 to play in the first half.
· Cincinnati went scoreless from the field in the first five minutes of the game as Prairie View A&M jumped out to a 15-3 lead with 15:00 to play in the first half. The Panthers hit 6-of-13 shots from the field during that stretch.
· Senior Deonta Vaughn scored just three points in the first half, but tacked on 12 second-half points to finish with a team-high 15 points.
· Junior Larry Davis led the Bearcats with eight points at the half. Davis finished with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
· Sophomore Yancy Gates finished with 10 rebounds, the third double-figure rebounding game of his career. Gates' last double-digit rebounding effort came against West Virginia on Feb. 26, 2009, where he grabbed 11 boards.
· Senior Steve Toyloy tied a career-high with four assists. He also pulled down nine rebounds.
· Freshmen Cashmere Wright and Lance Stephenson both earned the first start of their careers. Wright finished with 12 points while Stephenson finished with seven points and four rebounds.
SAND, SUN, AND HOOPS
· After opening up with Prairie View A&M (Nov. 16) and Toledo (Nov. 18), the Bearcats make their first appearance in the EA Sports Maui Invitational hosted by Chaminade University on Nov. 23-25 at the Lahaina Civic Center.
· The Bearcats open the tournament vs. SEC opponent Vanderbilt on Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. before facing either Maryland from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) or Chaminade from the Pacific West Conference (Pac West) in the second round on Nov. 24. Cincinnati will take on a team from other side of the bracket (Arizona, Colorado, Gonzaga, or Wisconsin) in the third round on Nov. 25.
· It will be Cincinnati's fifth trip to the Hawaiian Islands for an early-season tournament. They played in the 1975-76, 1989-90 and 1994-95 Rainbow Classics hosted by the University of Hawaii and won the 1999-00 Big Island Invitational tournament.
· UC owns a record of 7-5 in the islands. A complete listing of Cincinnati's tournament history in Hawai'i is on page 2 of these game notes.
BEARCATS PICKED SEVENTH IN BIG EAST
· For the first time since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06, the University of Cincinnati was picked to finish in the upper division of the league in the preseason poll being selected to finish seventh by the coaches.
· The Bearcats also earned individual preseason honors as senior guard Deonta Vaughn earned first-team all-BIG EAST plaudits and freshman Lance Stephenson was named the league's Rookie of the Year.
2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Coach's Poll
Rk. Team Result
1. Villanova (10) 218
2. West Virginia (5) 215
3. Connecticut (1) 185
4. Louisville 179
5. Georgetown 161
6. Syracuse 152
7. Cincinnati 135
8. Notre Dame 132
9. Pittsburgh 119
10. Seton Hall 110
11. St. John's 82
12. Marquette 78
13. Providence 52
14. USF 44
15. Rutgers 43
16. DePaul 15
2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati, F
2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame, F, Sr.
Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Sr.
Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C, So.
Lazar Hayward, Marquette, F, Sr.
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Sr.
Da'Sean Butler, West Virginia, F, Sr.
GOOD OUT OF THE BLOCKS
· Since head coach Mick Cronin took over the program in 2006-07, his teams have traditionally gotten off to strong starts, posting a record of 16-4 in the month of November.
· The Bearcats went have gone 5-1 in November twice under Cronin (2006-07 and 2008-09).
· Senior guard Deonta Vaughn is UC's top active scorer in the month of November averaging 15.4 points in 20 career games.
VAUGHN IN SEARCH OF HISTORY
· Senior guard Deonta Vaughn has started his first three years at Cincinnati for head coach Mick Cronin where he has twice been named all-BIG EAST Conference (1st team in 2007-08; 3rd team in 2008-09) and lead the team in points and assists all three years.
· In UC's last game vs. Toledo he became the 12th player in school history to score 1,500 points in his career and the fifth to post 400 or more career assists. Only Oscar Robertson, Steve Logan, and now Deonta Vaughn have scored 1,500 points and dished out 400 assists in their career in Clifton.
· Currently Vaughn is climbing several career lists at UC and needs:
• 13 starts to tie Steve Collier for fourth all-time in career starts with 104.
• 308 minutes to tie Jason Maxiell (2001-05) for fifth in career minutes played with 3,563.
• 62 points to tie Jason Maxiell (2001-05) for 11th on the career scoring list with 1,566 points.
• 13 3-pointers to tie Steve Logan (1998-02) for fourth on the career 3-point field goals made list.
• Seven assists to tie Damon Flint (1993-97) for fourth on the career assists list with 407
• 20 steals to tie Tarrance Gibson (1989-93) for fifth on the career steals list.
BISHOP TAKES QUEEN CITY
· In his career, junior forward Rashad Bishop has been one of Cincinnati's most steady players, bringing an all-around game to the court every night.
· Besides developing into Cincinnati's top defender and someone Coach Cronin believes is one of the top defensive stoppers in the BIG EAST, Bishop has posted 5.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game through his first two years.
· This offseason Coach Cronin has challenged Bishop to become more of an offensive threat for UC and through the first two games of the 2009-10 season, Bishop is beginning to relinquish the role, scoring 28 points and is tied for the team lead in scoring with Deonta Vaughn. He is also third on the squad with 11 rebounds.
· In Cincinnati's last game vs. Toledo, Bishop posted a career night with 20 points. His previous high for points was 15 at St. John's last season. In addition to the 20 points, he also collected eight rebounds (one short of his career high) and dished out five assists.
FINAL PIECE OF ROSTER CERTIFIED BY NCAA
· Just prior to the University of Cincinnati's first exhibition game on Nov. 5 vs. Saginaw Valley State, freshman forward Lance Stephenson was certified by the NCAA to begin competing immediately.
· Stephenson was the last of UC's five true freshmen to cleared by the NCAA. He is joined by fellow NLI signees Sean Kilpatrick and Jaquon Parker.
· Stephenson, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound forward who was named the 2009 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Rookie of the Year, committed to the Bearcats on June 30 after a highly-decorated prep career at Lincoln High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.), where he averaged 28.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists to earn Class AA New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) Player of the Year honors his senior year. He graduated high school as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the state of New York with 2,946 points, passing fellow Lincoln High grad Sebastian Telfair, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
· Selected to play in the 2009 McDonald's All-American Game, Stephenson finished his high school career with 12 points, six assists and three steals as his East squad knocked off the West, 113-110, in the annual high school all-star showcase.
· Stephenson commented, "I am happy to be able to put this behind me," said Stephenson. "Since I committed to the Bearcats back in the summer, all I have wanted to do was get here and start playing ball with my teammates. I want to thank everyone that has given me encouragement and support during this, especially my family, coaches and teammates. They have been with me every step."
· Stephenson made his college debut starting the season opener vs. Prairie View A&M. He scored seven points, pulling down four rebounds and dishing out two assists vs. the Panthers.
· He followed up his debut with his first double-digit scoring performance vs. Toledo, putting 16 points on 6-of-13 shooing. He also added three rebounds and two assists.
MISCELLANEOUS BEARCAT BITES
· Redshirt freshman point guard Cashmere Wright, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, posted 12 points, five rebounds and an assist in his collegiate debut vs. Prairie View A&M.
· Sophomore Yancy Gates blocked three of Cincinnati's five shots vs. Toledo, one short of his career best.
· In his pregame radio interview prior to the season opener vs. Prairie View A&M, head coach Mick Cronin announced that he is planning to redshirt 6-foot-4, 215 pound, freshman guard Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep).
· The Bearcats are almost doubling up their opponents on the offense glass through the first two games (30 to 17). Last year, Cincinnati (14.3 rpg) finished third behind West Virginia (15.2 rpg) and Pittsburgh (14.8) in the BIG EAST in overall offensive rebounds and ahead of fourth place Connecticut (14.2).