Wow, it’s been exactly one whole month since I’ve blogged about something and it’s probably a good idea to change that! Survivor is done for the season, my favorite shows haven’t come back, so let’s get updated with the University of Cincinnati’s college athletics. So let’s get to it!
First, let’s talk about the men’s basketball team. Unlike previous seasons, they’re doing so many things right. Their shooting and shot percentages have been far better than previous seasons. They’re shooting like 77 points per game and that’s crazy to think because they don’t have anyone named Sean Kilpatrick on their team. They have 4 players right now that’s averaging double figures per game in Jacob Evans, Kyle Washington, Gary Clark and Troy Caupain. This it makes it difficult for the opposing teams because they can’t key on 1 player. And, as usual, the defense has been really stellar like always allowing opposing teams scoring 60 points per game, which is in the top 20 scoring defense in the nation. Freshmen Jarron Cumberland and Nysier Brooks are going to have great college careers at Cincinnati. They’re working hard and proving that we have a solid bench this year. Justin Jennifer and Tre Scott are playing a lot of minutes as well and contributing to the team.
Right now, the 19th ranked Bearcats are 15-2 and sit alone at 1st place in the AAC with valuable wins over Iowa State, Temple, Houston and SMU. Yesterday they escaped a win over East Carolina 55-46. Kyle Washington posted a double-double with 11 rebounds and 16 points and Jacob Evans nailed 6 of his 7 free throws down the stretch. What made this game so hard to watch was their hesitation and shooting percentage. They only scored 2 three-pointers in the game. Senior guard Troy Caupain didn’t shoot his first shot selection until about 4 minutes to play in the 1st half. Caupain stated that he was feeling under the weather before the game and it definitely showed in his game play. We are half way through the season and soon enough, the bearcats will be playing a game every 3 days. The SMU game took its toll on them and the fatigue showed. The team has to be well rested and energized every time they take on an opponent. This Wednesday they take on Temple at home and I hope that the team will regain their strength and beat Temple for the 2nd consecutive time. The players keep talking they want to do big things in March but they have to show it on the court. My dream for this team is for them to be the season conference champions and the AAC tournament conference champions, something that hasn’t been done yet in Mick Cronin’s tenure. I sincerely believe that can happen with this team. We have scorers, great defenders and a bench that can contribute. I really hope we can end the regular season on a high note and not take any opponent for granted, then they can concentrate on March. But, I am happy with where this team is at right now. A coach can do so much, it’s up to the players to execute and get the job done.
Now that UC is back in class for the new semester, the current football team has now met the new coach, Luke Fickell. Fickell has literally wasted no time to get this team prepared for the 2017 season. This past week, via twitter, Fickell has got his team to do attention training. Basically it’s not officially team practicing but getting their conditioning level up. Fickell told them not to wear anything Cincinnati and the whole idea for this training is to “Earn the C” and I love it. Wearing Cincinnati for the players is not a right but a privilege and I love that Coach Fickell is getting these kids into that mindset.
Not only Fickell is getting the kids into better shape, he’s wasted no time getting local talent to commit to UC. He’s already had 2 four-star recruits to commit in a matter of weeks. Tuberville couldn’t do that in the 4 years he was here. As a matter of fact, local high school head coaches had a matter of say with Tuberville “recruiting” in Cincinnati. Colerain Head Coach Tom Bolden stated that Tuberville never set foot in his office and only came to a couple games and that was it. 20 year Elder Head Coach Doug Ramsey stated that Tuberville never came to campus, while they had 15 players were walk-ons or on scholarship at UC. Hearing this makes me cringe. University of Cincinnati college athletics should be a chance for local talent to play for their city and a chance for their family to see them play. Tuberville tarnished that. Fickell was able to get 4-star recruit Jarell White from La Salle High School and I’m sure it won’t stop there. What’s crazy is that Ohio State coaches Urban Meyer and Kerry Coombs would do 17 Cincinnati high schools in 1 day. Now that Fickell is here, I can’t imagine what he would do in 1 day since all the high schools are accessible in minutes.
I’m really excited for this season and the future for the Bearcats. I can tell that Fickell is a passionate guy and is ready to get this program back to its winning ways.