Julian Mavunga is still the man to watch for Miami (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
November 29th | Fifth Third Arena | Miami Redhawks (2-2) | Tip Off at 7 | FSN Ohio | Tickets
Last season the Bearcats went to Oxford started slow but recovered to put a colossal beat down on the Redhawks. This year Miami comes to Fifth Third Arena looking for revenge. Meanwhile the Cincinnati media braces for another Charlie Coles press conference, which are rarely on point, but are always entertaining.
The Bottom Line. Unfortunately, unless Doug Penno walks through that door to hit another bank shot, I don't think Miami is going dancing this year. The RedHawks will finish the regular season something like 17-12, make it to the semis of the MAC tournament (because it seems like that always happens), and bow out in an ugly game (because it seems like that always happens too). Next season, Coach Henderson or Coach Lickliter will be patrolling the sidelines for the Red and White, and everyone -- especially me -- will miss Professor Hoops.
The Redhawks are 2-2 on the season to date. They opened up the season with a hard fought win over Dayton. Next on the docket was a trip to the Cintas Center where they gave Tu Holloway fits but made to many mistakes down the stretch and lost 66-60. The Redhawks struggled to dispatch Saginaw Valley State, a Division II school, but won 71-61. In their last outing, a battle of Redhawks, Miami fell on the road 64-57 to South East Missouri State.
The player to watch for the Redhawks hasn't changed, its still Julian Mavunga. Mavunga was an All MAC first team selection a year ago averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds. He is back and better than ever this season averaging 19 points and 9 rebounds a game. He is still the center of attention for the Redhawks offense. The other offensive threat for Miami is Bill Edwards, a native of Middletown and a one time Penn State commitment. Edwards sat out last season as a transfer but is eligible this year. To date he is averaging 11 points per game on 40 per cent shooting, 28 per cent from three. Edwards is also a very good defender with his combination of size 6'6" 245 and athleticism, he was a guard in high school.
Arguably the best shooter on the roster for the Redhawks is Brian Sullivan. He is a true Freshman, and definitely on the smallish side at 5'11" 168 pounds. But he can fill it up shooting 40 per cent from the field and boasting a true shooting percentage of 67.5.
In terms of style nothing has really changed for Miami. They still emphasize defense and rebounding above all else and play at a glacial pace offensively. They are in some respects a carbon copy of the Bearcats, but they don't have UC's offensive acumen or athleticism. Miami is a team that UC should beat, but at this point nothing can be taken for granted with this inconsistent bunch.