Men's Basketball Welcomes in Coastal Carolina|
Nov. 24, 2008
GAME 4: Coastal Carolina AT CINCINNATI
Monday, Nov. 24 u 7:30 p.m. EST u Fifth Third Arena (13,176) u Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0, 0-0 BIG EAST) close out a season-opening four-game homestand on Monday, Nov. 24 as they host Coastal Carolina (0-3, 0-0 Big South) in the second round of the Global Sports Classic. This is the second year in a row the Chanticleers have visited Cincinnati and the fourth meeting overall between the two schools with UC owning a 2-1 advantage. The Bearcats won last year's match-up, 74-59, in large part due to a career-high 36 points from Deonta Vaughn. CCU comes into the game having lost its first three contests of the year, while UC is 3-0 for the first since 2005-06, Mick Cronin's first season at Cincinnati.
FINDING SOME HELP
Last season junior guard Deonta Vaughn led the Bearcats in scoring in 22 of their 32 games. This year Vaughn has yet to lead UC in scoring after three contests. Sophomore guard Alvin Mitchell has led UC in points the last two games with15 and 19, respectively, while freshman forward Yancy Gates was the top points-getter in the opener vs. South Dakota with 16.
ABOUT COASTAL CAROLINA
· Coastal Carolina heads into Cincinnati with a record of 0-3 after losing 82-70 at Florida State on Sunday.
· The Chanticleers have three players averaging 10 or more points, led by junior forward Joseph Harris' 12.7 points per game. Harris played in eight games for CCU last season before suffering a thumb injury that kept him out the rest of last season. Harris scored two points vs. UC last season. He is also the team's top rebounder (10.0 rpg).
· Junior guards Mario Edwards (11.7 ppg) and Anthony Breeze (11.3 ppg) are the other two Chanticleers averaging double-digits.
· Coastal Carolina is averaging 64.7 points per game on .429 shooting from the floor, while its opponents are .456 from the floor and scoring 76.0 ppg.
· Freshman guard Dexter Moore is the Chanticleers top threat behind the 3-point line, shooting 7-for-13 (.538) from behind the line. As a team, CCU is posting 6.7 treys per night.
BEARCATS JOIN FIELD FOR 2009 MAUI INVITATIONAL
· The EA Sports Maui Invitational announced last week that the University of Cincinnati will replace Louisville in the 2009 tournament field.
· The Bearcats join former national champions Arizona, Maryland, and Wisconsin along with Colorado, Gonzaga, Vanderbilt and host Chaminade University of Honolulu.
· The invitational, which turns 26-years old next season, will take place Thanksgiving Week 2009 in the Lahaina Civic Center.
· It will be Cincinnati's first appearance in the Maui Invitational.
VAUGHN A COUSY AWARD NOMINEE
· Junior guard Deonta Vaughn has been named one of 35 Division I nominees for the Bob Cousy Award presented by The Hartford.
· The award is given annually to the top collegiate male point guard spanning across all divisions within the game by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
· The selection criteria emphasize leadership, team work, success, and fundamentals as being critical parts for the game of basketball as a point guard.
· Nominations are solicited from across the country from head coaches and the winner is selected by a Blue Ribbon Selection Committee.
· Vaughn joins fellow BIG EAST Conference nominees: Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Jonny Flynn (Syracuse), Levance Fields (Pittsburgh), Malik Boothe (St. John's), and Scottie Reynolds (Villanova).
FINDING MORE DEPTH
· In 2007-08, the Cincinnati Bearcats relied on their starting five to generate 72.4 percent of the offense (46.8 points per game).
· Through the first three games of this season, the tide has swung as UC's bench is scoring 37.7 points per game or 48.5 percent of the points.
· The Bearcats have four players averaging over five points off the bench, led by the team's leading scorer Alvin Mitchell (12.3 ppg). Steve Toyloy, who also leads UC with 7.3 rebounds per game, is second, netting 8.3 points per game as a reserve.
GETTING RIGHT TO BUSINESS
· With the departure of five veteran players from last year's squad that accounted for 33.6 points per game, Cronin needed to find scoring in the off-season and his Class of 2008-09 has not disappointed.
· Despite the loss of highly-touted point guard Cashmere Wright for the season, the four new faces, which includes freshmen Dion Dixon, and Yancy Gates, senior transfer Mike Williams, and junior college transfer Steve Toyloy, are averaging 33.0 points a game.
· More impressively, the group is averaging 24.9 rebounds per game -- over half of the team's nightly average (48.7).
MITCHELL MAKES ADJUSTMENTS
· After scoring 33 points per game as a senior at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., sophomore guard Alvin Mitchell found the transition to college basketball difficult last season as he averaged 2.8 points and shot 26.3 percent from the floor.
· After spending a lot of time in the gym during the offseason, Mitchell has found his shooting touch once again and is leading the Bearcats in scoring with 12.3 points per game in 20-plus minutes off the bench.
· In UC's last two games, Mitchell has led the team in scoring each night, improving on his career-high for points with 15 vs. Texas Southern and 19 vs. Western Illinois. In each game, Mitchell has knocked down a career-high four 3-pointers.
· Only one of his 10 baskets this season is not a 3-pointer and he is shooting 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from behind the arc.
· Junior guard Deonta Vaughn put himself in elite company last season as he joined college basketball's Player of the Century Oscar Robertson (1957-60) as one of only two players in Cincinnati history to lead the team in scoring and assists in back-to-back seasons.
· Vaughn led UC with 14.5 points and 3.5 assists per game as a freshman in 2006-07 and then again as a sophomore with averages of 17.3 ppg and 4.2 apg.
· Robertson led the Bearcats in scoring all three years he played at Cincinnati, posting 35.1 (1957-58), 32.6 (1958-59) and 33.7 (1959-60) points per contest. Even though the NCAA did not track assists per game as an official stat during his career and UC only kept it for his final two seasons, Robertson led the team with 6.9 assists in 1958-59 and 7.3 in 1959-60.
A LONG ROAD BACK
· Senior forward Mike Williams has battled and persevered during his basketball career since first stepping foot on a college campus at the University of Texas in 2004-05.
· A highly-recruited McDonald's All-American, Williams spent two seasons at Texas (2004-06) where he played in 58 games and averaged 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game. He helped the Longhorns to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2005-06.
· After his sophomore season at Texas, Williams decided to transfer to the University of Cincinnati to join Mick Cronin who had just taken over as head coach at his alma mater.
· After sitting out the 2006-07 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Williams was set to join the Bearcats for the 2007-08 season, but was lost for the year during preseason workouts when he ruptured an Achilles tendon.
· After missing last year, Williams made his Bearcats debut during UC's exhibition games and on Nov. 16, 2008 vs. South Dakota -- a span of 973 days -- played in his first regular-season game at Cincinnati. Williams scored eight points and pulled down nine rebounds vs. the Coyotes.
· Williams has made a dramatic impact on the team in his first three games, averaging 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes of work. He scored a career-high 12 points in his last start vs. Western Illinois.
KNOCKING IT DOWN
· One of the most noticeable differences for Cincinnati this season is its ability to shoot the ball. This year, UC is shooting 48.4 percent from the field, an improvement of over six percent from last year (41.8). The Bearcats lowest shooting percentage so for was a 46.6 percent against Western Illinois.
· UC shot 50 percent from the field for the game (31-of-62) against Texas Southern (Nov. 18), marking the first time Cincinnati shot 50 percent or better from the field since Feb. 6, 2006 when it shot 50 percent versus Providence -- a span of 40 games.
· UC's best shooting performance last season was .483 (29-of-60) vs. Connecticut at home on Jan. 23, 2008.
· The Bearcats' 31-point wins over South Dakota (Nov. 16) and Texas Southern (Nov. 18) to open the year are the first back-to-back 30-plus point victories for UC since the 2001-02 season when the Red and Black defeated Louisiana-Monroe by 36 points (102-66) on Dec. 20, 2001, and Mississippi State by 34 points (90-56) on Dec. 21, 2001.
· The 31-point wins also equal the largest margin of victory under head coach Mick Cronin. Cronin won his Cincinnati debut at Fifth Third Arena on Nov.10, 2006 with a 70-39 victory over Howard.
HOME SWEET HOME
· The Bearcats open the season with just three road games in their first 14 contests before starting BIG EAST Conference play on Jan. 4 at Marquette.
· Two of the three road games are part of the Global Sports Classic. After playing home games vs. Western Illinois (Nov. 22) and Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24), the Bearcats travel to Las Vegas for the final two rounds at the Thomas & Mack Center where they face Florida State (Nov. 28) and the winner of the UNLV-Cal game (Nov. 29).
· The other lone pre-conference road game is to NCAA national runner-up Memphis on Dec. 29.
· UC is 257-50 (.837) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.
· Under Mick Cronin, UC is 23-15 at home (.605).
WRIGHT OUT FOR SEASON
· For the second year in a row, the University of Cincinnati will go the season minus one of its top players as highly-touted freshman point guard Cashmere Wright suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during preseason practices.
· Wright underwent surgery to repair his ACL and will miss the season as he goes through rehabilitation over the next 6-8 months.
· Wright, a 6-0, 175-pound native of Savannah, Ga., was a highly-regarded high school prospect who was listed as one of the nation's Top 100 players by many of the national recruiting services and was listed as the No. 12 point guard in 2007-08 by Rivals.com.
BEARCATS INK ONE IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
· Sean Kilpatrick, a native of White Plains, N.Y., signed a national letter of intent during the first week of the early signing period to play for UC next year.
· Kilpatrick, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward was a three-time all-league and all-section selection at White Plains Senior High School and was the school's second-leading scorer. He averaged 25.6 ppg as a senior.
· He is is playing for Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., this season and is averaging 23.0 ppg in his first five games.
WESTERN ILLINOIS NOTES - NOV. 22
· Cincinnati scored over 70 points in three consecutive games for the first time since the 2005-06 season, when UC scored 76 points versus Minnesota, 86 points versus Charlotte, and 73 points versus Syracuse.
· UC won three consecutive games for the first time since defeating Rutgers (Feb. 9), St. John's (Feb. 13), and USF (Feb. 20) last season.
· 10 players scored for the Bearcats in the win, the second consecutive game with 10 players scoring.
· UC outrebounded WIU by 30, 54-24, recording its third straight 40-plus rebounding game and its first 50-plus rebounding game since pulling down 52 rebounds at Rutgers on Feb. 2, 2008. Last season, UC had only eight 40-plus rebounding games for the season.
· UC shot 71.4 percent from the free throw line, the first time since March 12, 2008 that the Bearcats shot better than 70 percent from the charity stripe (72.2% vs. Pittsburgh).
· The Bearcats held Western Illinois to 15 points in the first half, matching the lowest point total an opponent has scored in the first half the last eight years. UC has held an opponent to 15 first-half points three other times since the 2000-01 season, against Tennessee Martin on Nov. 11, 2006 (a 67-49 victory), in a 74-48 win vs. USF on Jan. 27, 2004, and in a 66-61 overtime win against Louisville on Feb 21, 2004.
· UC forced Western Illinois to 27.9 percent shooting for the game, the lowest it has held an opponent in field goal percentage since holding West Virginia to 20 percent last season.
· UC opened the game on a 12-0 run, preventing the Leathernecks from scoring until the 13:43 mark of the game and later went on a 16-4 run over 5:32, pushing out to a 36-10 lead.
· Cincinnati outscored Western Illinois 39-15 off the bench in the game and is now averaging 37.7 points per game off the bench. Sophomore Alvin Mitchell is the Bearcats sixth man and the team's leading scorer, averaging 12.3 points per game as a sub.
· Sophomore guard Alvin Mitchell scored his first two-point bucket of the season at the 18:43 mark of the second half against WIU. Prior to the two-pointer this season, Mitchell scored a total of 27 points, all of them 3-pointers. He scored a game-high 19 points, giving him back-to-back games in double figures, and back-to-back games notching his career high in points and triples in a game (4).
· Senior forward Mike Williams notched a UC career-high 12 points, shooting 5-for-8 from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
· Junior forward Steve Toyloy recorded a game and career-high eight rebounds.
· Sophomore center Anthony McClain recorded a career-high four blocks and shot perfect for the game, hitting 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe for eight points.
· Freshman forward Yancy Gates scored 10 points, his second double-digit scoring game in his first three games of his college career.
TEXAS SOUTHERN NOTES - NOV. 18
· Cincinnati scored over 70 points in consecutive games for the first time since the 2006-07 season, when it scored 76 points versus Syracuse and 96 points versus West Virginia.
· 10 players scored for the Bearcats in the win, including four double-figure scorers.
· UC outscored Texas Southern 20-0 in points off turnovers in the first half.
· The Bearcats shot 60.6 percent from the field in the first half (20-of-33), while the Tigers shot 29.0 percent (9-of-31).
· Cincinnati scored 51 first-half points and led 51-24 at the intermission. It was the first time UC scored 50 points in a half since posting 50 in the second half vs. North Carolina State on Dec. 23, 2006. The 51 points in a half are the most points in a half since Dec. 30, 2005, when the Bearcats scored 53 points in the second half against North Carolina A&T.
· From the 10:01 mark on the clock to the 5:36 mark of the opening half, UC went on a 16-2 run to widen its lead to 37-11.
· UC went on a 15-0 run from the 17:03 mark of the first half to the 13:20 mark, opening up a 17-2 lead.
· Sophomore guard Alvin Mitchell hit a career-high four 3-pointers en route to a career-high 15 points. It is the second time in Mitchell's career he has scored in double figures after scoring 12 points versus Villanova on Jan. 12, 2008.
· Junior forward Steve Toyloy scored in double-figures for the first time as a Bearcat, scoring 11 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the floor and 1-of-2 shooting from the free throw line.
· Junior guard Deonta Vaughn scored 12 points for the second game in a row and has now scored in double figures in four straight games, dating back to last year's BIG EAST Championship vs. Pittsburgh and the Collegiate Basketball Invitational at Bradley. Vaughn also added five rebounds and six assists.
· Sophomore guard Larry Davis added 11 points in the win, his sixth double-figure scoring game of his career and his first of the season.
· Sophomore forward Darnell Wilks scored a career-high seven points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting night.
· Freshman guard Dion Dixon grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds, his first double-digit rebounding game of his career.
SOUTH DAKOTA NOTES - NOV. 16
· The Cincinnati Bearcats improved to 88-20 in season openers after knocking off South Dakota, 77-46.
· Freshman forward Yancy Gates, a native of Cincinnati, made quite an impression in his collegiate debut, scoring 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
· Junior guard Deonta Vaughn scored 12 points in the game to give him 1,000 for his career. He is the 45th player in UC history to post 1,000 career points and the sixth-fastest doing it in 63 games. Vaughn scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half.
· Senior forward Mike Williams, making his first start as a Bearcat after two years, posted eight points, nine rebounds and a pair of assists.
· Despite playing just nine minutes, UC big man Anthony McClain tossed in eight points and made four rebounds.
· The Bearcats 31-point margin of victory ties for the largest in Mick Cronin's tenure at UC, equaling a 70-39 win over Howard in his coaching debut on Nov. 10, 2005.
· UC out rebounded the Coyotes 48-29, posting their most rebounds since gathering 52 at Rutgers on Feb. 9 of last season in a 72-68 overtime win.
· The six UC turnovers were their fewest since committing just six vs. USF on Feb. 20 of last year.
· Junior guard Deonta Vaughn became the 45th player in UC basketball history to reach 1,000 points for his career when he scored 12 points in the season opener vs. South Dakota on Nov. 16.
· Vaughn equaled Jim Ard (1968-70) as the sixth-fastest player to reach the 1000-point plateau, doing it in 63 games.
· As remarkable as it would be, Bearcat great Oscar Robertson scored his first 1,000 points in his first 29 games (first game of second season), averaging over 30 points a night.
· Following is a list of the 10 fastest players to 1,000 career points in UC history.
· Junior guard Deonta Vaughn finished last season with 554 points and was the 32nd player in Cincinnati history to record 500 points or more in a season.
· The top three single seasons in the program's history belong to College Basketball's Player of the Century, Oscar Robertson, who scored over 900 points in three straight seasons (1957-60).
RETURN TO POSTSEASON
· Cincinnati played in the postseason for the first time in two years as it took on Bradley University of the Missouri Valley Conference in the inaugural, 16-team College Basketball Invitational (CBI) last spring.
· UC's last postseason appearance before the CBI came during the 2005-06 season when the Bearcats played in the National Invitational Tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals.
· It was the Bearcats 34th postseason tournament appearance. UC has made 24 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and nine in the NIT.
A "BIG" EAST IMPROVEMENT
· Last season, the Bearcats made a six-win improvement in conference wins, going from two victories in 2006-07 to eight in 2007-08.
· The eight wins equal UC's inaugural BIG EAST season when it went 8-8 in the old 16-game format.
· The Bearcats' six-win improvement is tied for the ninth-largest single-season turnaround in BIG EAST history with six other teams.
PLAY DEFENSE AND REBOUND
· UC basketball has built its success over the last 20 years on two core values ... defense and rebounding. Head coach Mick Cronin learned it as an assistant at UC and those same values hold true.
· In Cronin's two-plus seasons at Cincinnati, the Bearcats own a record of 17-5 when holding opponents to 60 points or less last season and 22-16 when winning the rebounding margin.