What wasn't to like about this one? They got off to a relatively slow start, but nowhere near as slow as UCF who missed I think all but two of their first half shots and UC raced to a 40-18 halftime advantage. Thankfully unlike the Temple and Houston games before where UC got off to huge leads, UCF did not make it interesting in the second half. The Bearcats actually blew someone out. It doesn't happen often, but when it does we're all very grateful for the "night off".
What I Liked:
- Everyone (except the victory cigars) played. That's always a good sign when you can play everyone and keep the starters fresher. No one played over 30 minutes and guys like Kevin Johnson (15 minutes) Jermaine Lawrence (21 minutes) who don't get that much time on the floor got some extended play. It was really nice to see KJ get out there for a longer stretch and he even played when SK was on the floor.
- Sean Kilpatrick will finish his illustrious career as the #2 score in the history of Cincinnati Bearcats basketball. Since he's about 1,000 points behind Oscar Robertson this is his limit. But what a career it has been. He had the chance to take over Steve Logan's spot but SK mysteriously (and IMO appropriately) missed the free throw so he could take over second place on an actual bucket, which came on a nice tip assist from Justin Jackson. Congratulations to Sean. He's been one hell of a Bearcat and a man (yes, a man. He's 37 now I believe) we can all be proud of.
- Good game from Justin Jackson, but I'm a little worried about that shoulder of his. It's still taped up and he looked to be wincing a few times during breaks. Hopefully it's nothing major. But, be assured he will fight through it. He's all Bearcat!!
- Welcome back Troy Caupain!! Wow was that nice to see. Hopefully this starts an upswing and indicates he may be getting his second/third/fourth/whatever wind. Obviously it's a big step up from high school so we expected this kind of drop late in the season. Either way, 5 points and 6 assists with no turnovers was very very nice to see last night
- Also, it appears Shaq Thomas may be back on his upswing too. He was much more aggressive last night and was looking for his shot too. Perhaps Mick's tactics are working. I love this from two days ago.
Shaq Thomas now has a "no laughing" rule in practice. Coach says his personality is about having fun and wants that to change on the court.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) February 18, 2014
- Jermaine Sanders was also very good last night. 4-5 from the field and even had a questionable charge take away a bucket. And he had a great tip on over a defender. Not often do we talk about Sanders having the athleticism to do that.
- 17 assists to 6 turnovers. In a blowout it's very easy to start getting sloppy, but they kept it together and played a complete ball game...something they'll need to replicate Saturday.
What I Didn't Like:
- Got outrebounded, but UCF is a good rebounding team so only losing by 3 isn't necessarily awful.
- I know Jermaine Lawrence is still finding his way back, but 0-4 from the field isn't good. He also hasn't made a field goal in 7 attempts since coming back from his toe injury. Obviously they don't need him to win games, but it sure would be nice to see him chip in 6 - 8 points a game somehow.
- Anything else is nitpicking again. Let's move on.
So that team from down I-71 comes to town on Saturday looking for some revenge. The Bearcats stole one at the Yum Center back on January 30 by a 69-66 score. Louisville will be looking to give UC its first home court loss of the season and cut UC's first place lead to just a half game in the standings. A UC win would all but lock up the AAC Championship. It's going to be a rocking house Saturday come noon. I'm guessing the atmosphere is going to be pretty good for that one.
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