The Layup Line: Carleton

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Bearcats first exhibition game of the 2013-2014 basketball season is actually against a decent team. Carleton's played 11 games this year already, and they've defeated multiple teams from BCS conferences. Is there a chance Mick Cronin's squad actually loses an exhibition game?

You know that guy in the office who's king of the corny phrases? Struts around cubicles sipping his cup o' joe all while yelling coffee's for closers or teamwork makes the dreamwork? Well, today, I'm that guy. Sort of.

I'm starting a new phrase around these parts - The Layup Line. It's just a fancy corny phrase I'm using to describe the preview article written before each men's basketball game. And since a layup line is exactly what every team does prior to a game starting, I assumed you all would get the point. Don't let me down. And if this exists somewhere else already, oh well; I didn't Google it ahead of time.

Each one of these preview articles will have a similar feel:

  • Preview what to expect from the upcoming opponent
  • Give 3 keys of what to look for in order for UC to win
  • Predict the final score

Buckle up, ladies and gents; here we go...

What we know about Carleton: they're actually pretty darn good. They've already played 11 games so far this year due to the awesome funky rules they have in Canada, and they're averaging 86 points according to the school's website. They pounded TCU by 26, smoked Wisconsin by 13, and lost to Syracuse in overtime after being up double digits in the second half. Don't be surprised if the Bearcats lose on Saturday.

Aside from being able to practice and play games year-round in Canada, student athletes get 5 years of eligibility, and the Ravens have 3 fifth year players. Two of those guys, Tyson Hinz and Kevin Churchill, man the paint for Carleton, and both are capable of putting a few buckets in the basket. Defensively, though, I don't think these two match up well with anyone the Bearcats run out in the front court.

Phillip Scrubb, a 6'3" guard that can knock down the trey with regularity, also handles the ball pretty well. Look for Scrubb (and his brother Thomas Scrubb) to try to create offense for the Ravens.

I can't believe I just broke down an exhibition game against a team from Canada. Hope you're happy.

What the 'Cats have to do to win:

  • Offensive Rebound. Carelton appears to be strong and experienced inside. This early in the season, I don't know how well the Bearcats will be hitting from outside, so grabbing easy put-backs for points will be key.
  • Limit Turnovers. Lots of minutes to go around at the 1-spot this year, and the guys filling this hole haven't played much. Guyn and Caupain will be tested by a well-coached team playing in midseason form already.
  • Score in Transition. You've heard Cronin wants to press; let's see if the guards can get out on the fast break and lay-in several easy buckets.
If the Bearcats do all 3 of these things, they'll beat Carleton. But they won't be playing to win; Cronin's going to rearrange lineups tomorrow like Anderson Silva rearranges opponents' faces. Seriously, don't be alarmed if the Bearcats lose tomorrow. Lots of freshman that need to be broken in, and the 'Cats need to debut new roles for Justin Jackson, Titus Rubles, and both point guards (among others).

My prediction: Bearcats win 78-72. Twitter explodes as the 'Cats are losing a majority of the first half.
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