Men's Basketball Prepares to Fight the Tigers
gobearcats.COM Anthony McClain
gobearcats.COM
Anthony McClain
gobearcats.COM

Nov. 23, 2010

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Game 4: Savannah State at Cincinnati

Wednesday, Nov. 24 l 7 p.m. l Fifth Third Arena (13,176) l Cincinnati, Ohio l TV: FOX Sports Ohio/BIG EAST Network l Radio: 700 WLW

SCOUTING SAVANNAH STATE

·         Savannah State enters its match-up vs. Cincinnati with a record of 1-5, having lost its last five in a row after knocking off Brewton Parker College, 61-33 in its opener.

·         In a game that saw 10 second-half lead changes on Monday, the Tigers lost a close contest at Dayton, 61-59, despite 17 points from senior forward/guard Jovonni Shuler.

·         The Tigers are in the midst of a six-game road trip and will be playing their fifth game in the last week.

·         Shuler leads the team in scoring with 17.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He is followed by sophomore point guard Preston Blackmon who is scoring 12.3 points and dishing out 4.5 assists per game.

 

CINCINNATI VS. THE MEAC

·         The Bearcats own a combined record of  12-0 against teams currently in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. This will be the Bearcats first meeting vs. Savannah State.

·         Head coach Mick Cronin is 4-0 against MEAC teams in his career, knocking off Delaware State twice, while at Murray State, Howard, and Florida A&M.

 

GLOBAL SPORTS MAIN EVENT

·         As part of its early season schedule, the University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team will take part in the Global Sports Main Event, an NCAA exempted tournament, on Nov. 13-27.

·         Due to the tournament being a qualifying regular-season multiple-team event, the Bearcats play host to three additional home games as part of the event in Fifth Third Arena as they take on Mount St. Mary’s on Monday, Nov. 15, Florida A&M on Monday, Nov. 22, and Savannah State on Wednesday, Nov. 24.

·         The Bearcats, who are currently 2-0 in the event with wins over Mount St. Mary’s, 69-59, and Florida A&M, 76-51, take on Savannah State Nov. 24.

·         UC will close out play in the Global Sports Main Event by taking on the University of Dayton in a rematch of last season’s second-round NIT match-up at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday, Nov. 27. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

·         Tickets for the finale vs. Dayton are now on sale through the U.S. Bank Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, including select Kroger stores, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or going online at ticketmaster.com.

 

NOV. 22 FLORIDA A&M NOTES

·         Cincinnati’s first 11 points of the game came via a trio of three-pointers – two by Rashad Bishop and one from Cashmere Wright – and a dunk by Yancy Gates.

·         UC made three of its first six attempts from long range and finished the game 12-for-27, the most 3-pointers in a game since Dec. 18. 2008 vs. Mississippi State at U.S. Bank Arena.

·         The Bearcats had 24 rebounds at halftime and finished the game at 46. Florida A&M comparatively had 27 rebounds.

·         UC went on a 14-2 run midway through the second half to break the game open.

·         Cincinnati’s 18 assists are a season-high.

·         UC had 15 offensive rebounds, led by Gates’ four, and scored 13 second-chance points.

·         Sophomore point guard Cashmere Wright had a career-high in 3-pointers made (four) and assists (eight) and led all scorers with 18 points and added four rebounds.

·         The double-digit scoring effort for Wright is his sixth of his career and his first since he scored 16 at South Florida on Feb. 16 of last season.

·         Junior guard Dion Dixon scored a season-high 14 points and hit 4-of-6 from three-point land, adding three assists and a steal.

·         Rashad Bishop, a junior forward, made consecutive threes in the first five minutes of the game and finished the night with eight points and six rebounds.

·         Junior forward Yancy Gates had his second double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) of the season and ninth of his career. The Bearcats are 8-1 when Gates has a double-double.

·         Gates tied his career-high for blocks in a game with four, the fifth time he has reached that number.

·         Cincinnati had four double-digit scorers – Wright (18 points), Dion Dixon (14 points), Ibrahima Thomas (11 points) and Gates (11 points).

 

KILPATRICK WINS BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

·         University of Cincinnati redshirt freshman Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) won the BIG EAST Conference’s first league Rookie of the Week honor today (Nov. 22) after leading UC to a pair of opening wins over Mount St. Mary’s (69-59) and IPFW (65-59).

·         Kilpatrick scored 34 points during the week, including 21 points in his collegiate debut vs. The Mount on Nov. 15.

·         He shot 55.0 percent (11-of-20) from the field, including 5-for-11 (.455) from 3-point range.

·         Defensively, Kilpatrick posted a pair of steals in each game.

·         Last season, UC players earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week five times as Lance Stephenson won the honor four times and Cashmere Wright claimed it once. 

 

A TALE OF TWO HALVES

·         Up until the Bearcats 76-51 win over Florida A&M on Nov. 22, Cincinnati’s offense  was flourishing out of the gates and using its stingy defense in the second half to knock off its first two opponents.

·         So far this season, UC is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and has scored 58 percent of its points in the first half of games.

·         Contrarily, UC has found scoring to be more difficult in the second half, shooting 35.6 percent.

 

MAKING THEIR DEBUTS

·         Redshirt freshman Sean Kilpatrick and true freshman Justin Jackson made their UC debuts vs. Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 15.

·         Kilpatrick was the game-high scorer, posting 21 points in 24 minutes off the bench for the Bearcats.

·         The last time a Cincinnati basketball player scored a game-high for points in his debut, was on Nov. 16, 2008 when Yancy Gates had a game-high 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in a 77-46 win over South Dakota at Fifth Third Arena.

·         Jackson, despite going scoreless on an 0-for-3 shooting night, was extremely active for UC, grabbing four rebounds (3 defensive), blocking two shots, making three steals, and dishing out two assists.

 

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 2006-07, 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).

·         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.

·         So far this season, Thomas has continued to be an important cog in the Bearcats line-up starting all three games and averaging 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Thomas is shooting a team-best 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from the floor.

 

FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE

·         The Bearcats are 282-60 (.825) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.

·         Under Mick Cronin, UC is 45-25 in Fifth Third (.643).

·         UC was 13-5 at home and 12-5 in Fifth Third Arena last season. The Miami (OH) game was 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.

·         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 opened the 2010-11 season, it was 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.

·         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.

 

UC INKS FIVE NLI’S

·         The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team signed five players to national letters of intent for the 2011-12 season.

·         Joining the Bearcats will be Shaquille Thomas (Paterson, N.J./NIA Prep School), Jermaine Sanders (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Rice), Octavius Ellis (Memphis, Tenn./Whitehaven), Ge’Lawn Guyn (Georgetown, Ky./Scott County), and Jeremiah Davis (Muncie, Ind./Huntington Prep [W.Va.]).

·         The group is ranked the 21st best recruiting class in the nation by ESPN.com.