This is a new year in so many ways. The conference is new, half of the roster is new, the approach to the non conference schedule is definitely new (for the better). But the goals remain the same. A top 4 finish in the conference, and an NCAA tournament birth.
This is a really young team. At least four of the five freshmen are going to be tasked with playing a role within the rotation this year. At least one freshman will start in Jermaine Lawrence. Troy Caupain and the freshly eligible Deshaun Morman will have chances to nail down starting jobs. Though there is competition in each case, Ge`Lawn Guyn and Shaq Thomas.
I really, really like this freshman class. It seems to be the most offensively gifted group to come to UC in a while. Mick Cronin rebuilt the program by recruiting a slew of guys who were tougher than they were skilled. The class of 2013 goes against that notion in every conceivable way. Kevin Johnson, Lawrence, Caupain and Morman are all highly skilled guys. There might not be a long range sniper in the group (Johnson would be the closest IMO) but all of them can create their own shots off the dribble, which is something of a novelty with the Bearcats. I wouldn't expect Cincinnati to be among the better shooting teams in the country this year, but it should be easier to create shots with this group.
In the weeks to come Down The Drive will get you ready for the season ahead from every conceivable angle.