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The Layup Line: Saint Francis

Here we sit, on the eve of the 2014-15 college basketball season, and I'm a little excited. Join the layup line and get warmed up for the Bearcats first game.

Stephen Dunn

It's baaaaaaaaaaaack! Everyone's favorite Cincinnati Bearcat basketball game preview, that is. So how ya been? How's the family? Did you get the new iPhone?

It's only been 239 days since we last previewed a Bearcat basketball opponent. And I know you're thirsting for it, so let's dig in.

As you've undoubtedly read so far this offseason, head coach Mick Cronin has spent the offseason breaking in a team with 7* new players.

*You can make the argument that junior forward Octavius Ellis shouldn't count as a new player, but you'd be arguing with yourself. So don't.

The Bearcats spent time scouring the warm beaches of practicing and scrimmaging in the Bahamas this summer, and now they're back and ready to unleash their first game jitters on the Saint Francis Red Flash.

  • Game: Friday, November 14 @ 8:00pm ET
  • Location: Fifth Third Arena; Cincinnati, OH
  • TV/Radio: ESPN3; 700 WLW

What is a Red Flash anyway? Is it that thing that happens to you right before you die? You know, when your life "flashes before your eyes?" That flash has to be red, with the bright light and all, right? That should honestly make every opponent of the Red Flash nervous because their mascot is essentially your death.

Anyway, Saint Francis hails from the Northeast Conference and was picked to finish fourth in said conference based on their preseason coaches poll. The Red Flash return senior Earl Brown (#15) who led the team in points (14.4) and rebounds (8.0) per game last year.

Saint Francis head coach, Rob Krimmel, is in his third season leading the Red Flash and has seen improvement each year. This team was one of the youngest in all of NCAA Division 1 basketball the last two seasons and hopes are high around central Pennsylvania.

What the 'Cats have to do to win:

  • Shake the first-game jitters. Cronin's lost his blankey - his 3 senior leaders. And while I don't expect Saint Francis to win this game, the Bearcats don't return many starters. Just breathe at the beginning. Woosah.
  • Listen to their head coach. Umm, yeah... I only mention this because in the last exhibition postgame, Cronin railed the team for not doing the things written on the board in their locker room.
  • Show up. Sure, this one's tongue-in-cheek, but the Bearcats are more talented and more athletic than the Red Flash. This game really shouldn't be close - as is the case with most season openers in Cincinnati.
A loss here would turn the fanbase on its collective head - regardless of how young this year's team is. They'd be the butt of jokes around the city, and rightfully so. Saint Francis gets out to an early lead, but the Bearcats do their thang: 72-60.