The prevailing story from the media in the run up to this game was all about the return of Yancy Gates. Will the offense change? Will Yancy regain his starting job? Will the return of the three suspended teammates cause the Bearcats to lose the laser like focus that has been on prominent display since the suspensions? It took basically five minutes for me to be able to state conclusively that the answers are No, No and seriously, thats a question.
The Bearcats didn't play 40 minutes of great Basketball tonight. I don't think its a stretch to say that. The offense looked as you would expect inserting two new guys into the rotation after sitting out 5, almost 6 weeks. There were fits of great productivity followed by lulls of varying and lengths and severity. The periods of productivity certainly outnumbered the lulls, but they were there for everyone to see. But the 5 or so minutes where the Bearcats used the four starting guards and Yancy Gates was the best Basketball I have seen UC play in the Cronin era.
When the Bearcats used two forwards the offensive momentum slackened, rather quickly. Doubly so for the three or so minutes where Cronin went with two forwards and no Cashmere Wright. Cash continues to be the most important player on the floor for the Bearcats, as he will be for as long as he wears the Red and Black. Yancy Gates is back, but this is Cash's team, and everyone is better off for it.