Way back in November, the Down The Drive staff decided it would be fun to prognosticate and see just how much we knew about this team, if anything. There was a huge cloud of mystery above this particular bunch who had lost two very valuable seniors in JaQuon Parker and Cashmere Wright as well as a starting big man Cheikh Mbodj (I think I spelled that correctly without having to look it up).
Of course, they had Sean Kilpatrick returning as well as several other role players from last season. No one knew what Justin Jackson would or could be. No one knew if any contribution would be added by the freshmen. I really don't think anyone truly knew if this team was any good until they went to Memphis and knocked off the (at the time) higher ranked Tigers by 16. That's probably the moment when I started to believe, not sure about you.
So, here's the link to our season predictions. How did we do? If you don't want to click I'll give you a quick rundown.
- Matt Opper: A "wildly optimistic" 24-7 (13-5) that would place UC "probably in the top 4 of the American, and close to an NCAA birth".
- Matt DuMont: 23-8 and 12-6 in conference with the hope of a Sweet 16 run
- Justin Post: 21-10, the 5 seed in the AAC tourney and a loss in the semis. Although he did say "I'll probably eat these words", which is what we all will probably happily do.
- Jeff Gentil: 22-9 and 11-7 in conference. I said I thought they would "sneak in like last year but won't make it past the first weekend." But also hoping that Lawrence and Thomas would be better (which they really weren't) that would lead UC to a sweet 16 or further.
So we all were off. At least we were off in a good way for UC. Obviously we don't know much, if anything, about basketball nor the abilities of Coach Cronin, who is a witch for taking this team of players and finishing 26-5 with a 15-3 record and the Number One seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament in Memphis this weekend.
I also hope we were dead wrong as to how far this team would advance in the NCAA Tournament.