Sure, the focus is on football right now at the University of Cincinnati, but as the leaves begin to turn and drop slowly on the brick pathways of Varsity Village, the start of basketball practice is upon us. And as we inch closer to the first exhibition game, we here at Down the Drive would like to give you a look at each player on the 2014-2015 men's basketball roster.
To start, we're firing up the DeLorean and heading back to Friday, March 21st of this year - the day after the Bearcats lost to Harvard in the NCAA Tournament and head coach Mick Cronin had to worry about making up for 62% of his scoring offense. You'll hear this narrative frequently as we tip-off the 2014 season, but it can't be ignored: the Bearcats lose their top three scorers heading into 2014 - from a team that didn't score a lot.
And forget scoring for a second - has there been a trio during Cronin's tenure that have collectively meant more to UC basketball than Sean Kilpatrick, Justin Jackson, and Titus Rubles?
Rhetorical question - but you and I both know the answer.
Fast forward to today, and the elephant in the room is how the Bearcats will adapt to losing such monumental pieces of the program. Who's the next Sean Kilpatrick? - a question, I'm sure, that's been asked of Cronin more than he'd prefer.
But asking that question seems to overshadow the fact that there's excellent talent on this year's Bearcat squad. Young, yes. But talent, nonetheless.
Will the Bearcats eclipse last year's win total? I doubt it. Will they repeat as conference champs? Not likely.
But if Mick can navigate the early season pains that accompany a young squad, there's no reason to think the Bearcats will miss the tournament this year. And I think they're talented enough to do some damage come March.
|Percent of Scoring Returning||38.2|
|Percent of Rebounding Returning||39.4|
Be on the lookout for our individual player profiles as we explore the keys to another successful Bearcats basektball season.