Hopefully New Mexico isn't on the schedule next year to give the Bearcats their first loss. They seem to get off on that those jerks. Anyway, thankfully I let things settle down overnight or this post would have been a LOT more negative. I mean it's going to be negative anyway because they lost, but it would have been pretty scathing. Well let's get to it...
Things I Liked:
- Troy Caupain. The freshman took a big step forward in the point guard battle. He was 4-7 from the field and was able to get to the basket a few times. Still not sure if/when he takes over the starting job but he's been much better of late.
- 14-15 from the foul line. At home that's impressive, but on the road in a hostile environment that's downright ridiculous.
- +7 in the turnover margin. The press really seems to be a pretty big factor thus far this season. It's going to have to get a LOT better if the offense continues to sputter.
- Kevin Johnson made a clutch three-pointer at a time when the Bearcats were still within striking range
- They *only* lost by 9. At the Pit against a pretty good New Mexico team that's not awful. Especially when you shoot 25% from the field as a team. They battled and clawed and fought like true Bearcats. Too bad their offense stunk the gym up. But again only losing by 9 isn't terrible. Better Bearcat teams have lost in less hostile environments by more than 9.
Things I Didn't Like:
- Offense and lack of movement. Especially in the last part of the game it was the Sean Kilpatrick show and everyone else standing around watching.
- 2012 SK showed back up. Too many threes, too many shots all together. Just ugly. Yeah great he scored 19 points but 5-18 from the field is NOT GOOD.
- Justin Jackson scored 10 points but he took TEN shots to do so. If your center is 3-10 from the field (and let's be honest he's consistently shooting under 50% from the field) he's shooting too much. And that God awful bank shot (no not the one he made from the foul line) has to go. Get rid of it. In fact, just stop shooting anything beyond 5 feet all together. Please.
- Ge'Lawn Guyn. No points. 0-6 from the field including 0-4 from beyond the arc. 3 turnovers in 20 minutes. This is the freshman and sophomore Ge'Lawn Guyn showing back up. He doesn't have to score a ton for the Bearcats to be successful but he can't NOT score.
- Shaq Thomas. ALL OF IT. Sadly through seven games it does not appear Shaq is going to make that next step just yet. Unfortunately I think we all had visions of the Creighton game (plus more) in our heads for Shaq this year. He probably will have some of those moments going forward this year, but I'm afraid he's way too passive and tentative right now for us to count on it consistently. Perhaps he's better coming off the bench.
- Titus Rubles. See above. 4 points on 2-6 from the field. YUCK. Unfortunately for him and Justin Jackson UC can't play USC Upstate or Northwestern Truck School Tech every game where they can look like NBA players. We're always given reports in the offseason on how well these guys are progressing. We heard the same thing about Titus over the summer. We've heard the exact same thing about Justin Jackson for 3 years now. It's all garbage. Can't say any of it was true.
- Beat by 11 on the boards. And a few of those were key offensive rebounds when the game was still within reach. Obviously Mick was able to convince some good big men to commit when so much playing time is available. I just hope he doesn't let those guys watch this crop of big men and how poorly they rebound the ball. I hope that's not how the new crop of Bearcat big men is going to be taught to rebound.
OK that's enough of this one. No sense in dwelling on every little thing that went wrong yesterday. They lost, the offense needs fixing. Everyone knows that.
So let's move on because we have the Crosstown coming up and if UC isn't fully focused on this game they could be upset. Yes I say "upset" because, well, UC is better and they should win. But I've said this numerous times before and they've lost to that team in Norwood. Yes, it's Eggs week. Perhaps for the final time.