This is the first Jump Off in a while. My bad on that but lets get cracking with your daily helping of Bearcat news and notes.
Georgetown Post Game
Saturday was a great place for college basketball. All those losses that took place in all of those empty seats, the feelings of hopelessness felt while watching the Bearcats, the barbs from the other fans, and the snickers from the people who sold their allegiance and their souls to Morgantown...Saturday made all of it worth it
Backing into a bye: Casual Hoya
Today was a tough day for Georgetown fans. Down 43-39 with eight minutes to play, the Hoyas proceeded to get blown off the court, losing 69-47 at Cincinnati. The Bearcats went on a 26-8 run to close the game, resulting in the Hoyas third straight loss and fourth in the last five games. Austin Freeman couldn't buy a bucket, but played valiantly in his last Big East regular season game, scoring 21 points on 7-23 shooting. Hollis Thompson was the only other Hoya in double figures, scoring 12 points. Julian Vaughn and Jason Clark combined for 5 points on 1-14 shooting.
To be frank I was shocked when Sir. Casual said that Chris Wright is the most important player on the Hoyas team in the run up to the first match up. I thought it was Austin Freeman before the year, and in my sporadic viewing of them this year I was still clinging to that notion. But the last three games point to the importance of Wright. Without him the Hoyas aren't a very good team, offensively or defensively.
Cincinnati 69-Georgetown 47: Bearcats Blog
The defense was once again sensational. The Bearcats closed on the Hoyas, and sucked their will to win. Freeman was pressing a lot, and no one else seemed to want the ball. Georgetown is going to be in trouble if they can't figure something out and quick.
It is far from a secret to mention just how good this team is on defense, and how they have to be that good for this team to win. The offense comes and goes for these Bearcats. Everything is by committee and no one player can be counted on to bail out bad possessions. That's why most of the losses this year can be attributed to lack luster defense rather than offense. The only game you can say the offense lost was the St. John's game.
Three weeks ago Sunday, UC was losing at home to St.John’s, Fifth Third Arena fans were lustily booing Yancy Gates and the NIT had the Bearcats on speed-dial.
On Saturday, UC thrashed No.17 Georgetown, Fifth Third fans gave Gates a standing ovation with four minutes to play and the Bearcats now are playing for a better line on your NCAA tournament bracket.
If there is any doubt that the St. Johns game and all the hysteria afterward were the turning point of the season doubt no more.
Only 1's and 3's for Gates: Bill Koch
Gates did not make a two-point field goal. All his points came on free throws and one 3-point shot at the end of the first half.
Holding Yancy Gates to 1 field goal for a game is impressive. Keeping him scoreless from 2 point land is great. But there is an important caveat. When shots like this fall it is just your day.
Cincinnati getting in shape in a hurry: Brian Bennett
Lawson, who followed Jones from Central Michigan to Cincinnati, has tailored his program according to the team's style of play and the evolution of the sport. Gone are the massive 350-pound offensive linemen he used to train as an assistant strength coach under Don Nehlen at West Virginia. In are players who can sprint to the line of scrimmage over and over again while being in good enough shape to maintain their mental focus. Old-school strength methods like squats and dead lifts remain. But it also means heavy concentration on core muscles and flexibility.
"The spread system has really changed the way we condition," he said. "Everybody talks about sport-specific [programs]; we're training an energy-system specific in the weight room. People think conditioning is just running but ... instead of going out and pounding our legs with gassers after practice, we can get it in here with our lifting. I think that separates what we do from other places."
I think this was something that was missing this year. The pace of the game was about the same as it was in the Kelly era, AKA not that fast at all. Certainly not relative to what Jones was doing at Central Michigan. The problem is that the faster you play the more people you need, particularly along the lines. The lack of depth on both fronts really required a rethink of that strategy. It is cliched to say that the Stregnth Coach is the second most important guy on the staff, but it is true. Do you think UC would have been as good under Brian Kelly is Paul Longo wasn't there? I don't. That guy worked some serious magic in his tenure. The over reliance on Longo was an issue in recruiting, but that is another topic for another day.
Big East Tournament
Big East Tournament Preview: SB Nation New York
Cincinnati doesn’t have too many wins that may impress you. The Bearcats have taken care of the lesser teams for the most part, but have also been playing well recently. Down the stretch of the regular season, Cincinnati picked up two wins over Georgetown and also knocked off Louisville. Freshman guard Sean Kilpatrick gives the Bearcats a good shooter off the bench (39.9 percent on 3-pointers) and they’ll need him, with help from their other perimeter players if they’re going to make some noise in the Big East Tournament.
Really? I guess the wins against Xavier, at St. Johns, Louisville, at Georgetown, and against Georgetown again are just shit then.
Big East Tournament Preview: The Dagger
Projected champ: History suggests the chances of this tournament going to form are slim to none, but the pick here is Notre Dame. The second-seeded Irish have a more favorable draw than Pittsburgh and the incentive of playing their way into a No. 1 seed should provide ample motivation.
I hadn't put much thought into the Irish as a potential winner in the Garden but the pick makes a lot of sense considering the road Pitt has to take and the incentive that Notre Dame is going for. Afterall how many people had their money on West Virginia to win it in the Garden last year?
Andrew Luck is going pro: Doc. Saturday
f they didn't get the joke on Luck, the prospect of Daniel Radcliffe as commencement speaker (to "talk about success in the real world"), the Daily referring to itself as "An Indicted Publication" and a weather forecast of "Double Sunny" probably did the trick. Between the annual fakery in Palo Alto and the infamous 1982 hoax edition Stanford printed of the rival Daily Californian declaring the classic game from a few days earlier a retroactive victory for the Cardinal, I don't know how anyone on any campus in the Bay Area believes anything.
I know that Berkely has the reputation as a hippy dippy haven, complete with tree sitting locals and plenty of scorn and contempt for said tree dwellers from noted thinker Brent Musburger.
But all that being said Berkley is too serious. I think I would fit in much better at a school like Stanford that has a marching band that has been banned from an entire state for over a decade. And they still have the decency to pull smart assed pranks with Newspapers of all mediums, how quaint.
Watching this will make you smarter
The U.S.'s tortoise vs. hare problem (via CNNMoney)