Recap: Bearcats 86, Spartans 50

Mick talking to Shaq during another game. (No pics online yet) - Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

UC now 7-0 after an impressive win over USC Upstate. Schedule gets MUCH harder now

In what was supposed to be a decent ball game, the Bearcats raced to a very nice win over a quality mid-major Tuesday night.  USC Upstate is hailed as a top-100 RPI team with a win at Virginia Tech and a near upset at Kent State already this season.

After the game was tied on a USC Upstate 3-pointer, the Bearcats finished the half on an 11-2 run...and never looked back.  At one point, the Spartans went a full 9 minutes without scoring a bucket.  The Bearcats imposed their will and dominated the second half in what turned out to be a laugher.

What I Liked:

  • Caupain, Kilpatrick, and Guyn outscored the Spartans by themselves.  That's impressive.
  • Caupain AND Guyn scoring 15 apiece.  VERY nice to see them bust out.  Was beginning to wonder if Caupain was going to challenge Guyn at all for the starting point guard spot by the time league plays begins like most thought.
  • 13-26 from behind the line.  Yeah, pencil me in for approving this every game.  Just hope they don't start to get too reliant on this like in recent years. 
  • 27-34 (79%) free throw shooting.  I'll take it.
  • +15 turnover margin.  Very important.  Got some easy buckets during that key stretch toward the end of the first half.
  • 19 assists on 23 baskets.  Is that a typo??? 
  • Oh yeah, Kevin Johnson scored 9 as well.  And it only took him 7 shots.  2 were dunks I believe.  The kid has hops that's for sure.  He even made a three, which is rare thus far on the season.
  • SK had 7 assists.  Has to be a career high, doesn't it?  And only took 9 shots to score his 22 points.  That's efficient

What I Didn't Like:

  • Outrebounded by 8.  Yikes. But if you win by 36 you can overlook this and hope it doesn't carry over to Saturday. 
  • 26 three point attempts.  USCU wanted UC to take threes, and the Bearcats obliged.  Still shooting more threes than twos is not something we need to see going forward.
  • Fouls.  Good lord.  But get used to it.  UC will.  Defense is what this program is built on. 
  • Jermaine Sanders' jump shot looks WAY off right now.  He's leaning so far back you think he might tip over and hit his head.  This needs to get corrected pronto.
  • JDIII played fewer minutes (0) than the walk-on.  Sad.
  • Shaq Thomas was passive again.  I don't like this.  4 shots attempted, 2 rebounds, no assists.  Yuck.

OK that's enough of this game.  It's done.  What we need to focus on now is what's ahead for the Bearcats the next three games.  A very very tough trip to the Pit to face New Mexico Saturday.  UC will be looking to exact some revenge for the Lobos handing the Bearcats their first loss last season.  It's going to be a daunting task no doubt.  After that, the Crosstown and, well, you know what's at stake.  Shortly after that is a trip to NYC to face Pitt in the Jimmy V Classic and you know that will be a knockout, dragout affair.

We'll get more into these games later this week.  As for now, your Bearcats are 7-0.  7-0 is 7-0 no matter who you face.  They've had one scare (until the 4:00 mark of the NC State game) but otherwise have handled their business accordingly.  We will find out just how good (or mediocre) this team is Saturday.

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