His confidence grew as the camera continued to roll. Sure, staring down the dark lens of a handheld video recorder while in a foreign country isn't the most comfortable position to be in, but sophomore guard Troy Caupain handled his impromptu one-on-one interview with class this past summer.
During the first few minutes, his eyes nervously darted down and to the left from time to time, but by the end of his question and answer session, Caupain peered calmly into the other end of the camera - as if everything was starting to click all at once.
Name: Troy Caupain
Weight: 200 lbs
Hometown: Midlothian, VA
Jersey Number: 10
That's about what most expected to see from Caupain last year, too - a point guard who'd hopefully gain composure and patience as the season/camera rolled on. Heck, most of Bearcat nation, it seemed, clamored for Troy to enter the starting lineup at some point last year.
But he didn't.
In a little over 19 minutes a game, Caupain averaged 5.4 points and 2.2 assists a game in 2013/14. Count this author as one that felt he should have played a few more minutes a game last year - but I'm not positive I would have placed in him the starting lineup... last year.
This year's a different story, though.
I can make the argument - and I will if you'd like to debate - that Mr. Caupain is the first true point guard Cronin's ever had on the roster since, well, ever. His 6'3" frame has now received an entire year in the Bearcat strength and conditioning program, and don't forget his crazy wingspan is akin to that of a 6'8" forward.
The way Number Ten dishes the ball is as smooth and on-the-money as any Bearcat we've seen in the last decade (which may not be saying much, but still). Need a refresher? Check out the clip of him passing the ball towards the middle of this article.
So what can we expect this year?
For starters, I think Caupain will be one. A starter, that is.
My heart thinks you'll see him circling midcourt just before tip-off when the Bearcats first open the season next month, but my head says Cronin doesn't sit the only senior guard on the roster - not the one guard who started in front of Caupain every game at the point last year, Mr. Ge'Lawn Guyn.
Because he won't have to; they can coexist. Guyn's defense will make it hard for him to ride pine, plus his set jumper isn't terrible. I'm hoping they're both on the floor together at the beginning of games - as the 1 and 2 guards.
Starter or not, though, you'll see a more confident and poised Troy Caupain. He seemed a step slow on defense at times last year, and, again, having a full year in Cronin's program should help remedy that.
His knack for distributing, scoring, and rebounding will be hard to match this year, and if Cronin's truly looking to run a different offense, Troy has to be the engine that pushes everyone else along. What do you think?