To be perfectly honest, at the beginning of the season I wasn't entirely sure that I wanted Rashad Bishop back on the team. I had no real reason for it. I hadn't heard of him being involved in some sort of egregious off court act. There were no skeletons in his closet that I was aware off. He seemed like a pretty genuine, down to earth guy. Still, after three years of playing a pretty integral role I had almost no opinion on Bishop. I knew he had some value as a defensive player but for most of his career he never really jumped out at me.
As you can imagine I took the news that he would be suspended for the entirety of the Big East Tournament with a very hearty shrug. Following that was a nod of indifference when it was unclear if he would be joining the team on the trip to Canada. And finally an audible" meah" when Bishop was reinstated.The vital statement that day was.
while not a world beater by any stretch of the imagination, I fail to see how him being off the team is any better than him being on it.
Turns out I was wrong on that one. Like really, really wrong on that.
Rashad Bishop is a walking Basketball cliche. "What he does can't be measured," "The stats didn't jump out at me, but he had a good game," "He is a glue guy," and "This is the kind of player that coaches love." I plead guilty to using all of these phrases to describe Bishop at various points last season. I am not exactly proud of it, but it is what it is. The fact of the matter is that Bishop didn't have great stat lines often, if ever last season. Even so Bishop had an enormous impact on the team, both offensively and defensively. (And yes I did just link to a Juice clip for no real reason)
I think last season was by far the best season Bishop had as a Bearcat. He was slightly better offensively in 2009-10, but his defensive output was far greater last year. The only things that can be accurately measured with statistics on defense are steals and blocks, but that doesn't completely tell the story.
Most teams build their defenses from inside out. That has certainly been the case with Mick Cronin in years past. Why else would someone start Steve Toyloy, I want to say ever if they weren't defense first? This year was slightly different. The defense started on the perimeter and it started with Bishop, both in the press and in the half court. Bishop was guaranteed to give the opposing teams best perimeter player a hard time of it. That created a lot of freedom for the rest of the defense to take chances with traps and doubles. His defensive versatility was the key for UC last season.
|Season||Minute %||Offensive Rating||Useage Rate||Effective FG%||True Shooting%||Free Throw Rate|
It isn't a big difference between his junior and senior years for offensive rating. But he was a much more effective and much more efficient shooter as a Junior.
The Final Word
At the end of the season I had a ton of respect for Bishop and the way he brought it. He was a bigger peice of the offensive pie in the 2009-10 season. On offense he was pushed aside by Sean Kilpatrick and Dion Dixon. Both of those guys had better offensive years. But what I liked most about Bishop is that he took that change in role in stride. He became the stopper and the firebrand leader of one of the best defenses in the entire country last year. At the same time he was every bit effective offensively despite being bumped down the offensive hierarchy from 4th as a Junior behind Yancy Gates, Deonta Vaughn and Lance Stephenson. Last year he was basically 5th or 6th. Still he was every bit as effective with fewer possessions and expending all that energy on the defensive end. In the end Bishop will always be remembered by Bearcat fans because of his place as one of the guys who resurrected the program from nothing.