Well thank God for Memphis, who upset Louisville. And considering the way Louisville had been playing that was a pretty big upset. So UC is still currently tied atop the AAC with the Cardinals for the top spot. UC has their fate in their hands: win the next two and they're AAC Champions. As for seeding, that's another discussion. But UC could at least claim a championship. Not bad for a team picked 4th in the preseason.
But, in order to do that they need some major work. I don't think much of Bearcat Nation has any confidence in their ability to beat a talented team with the woeful performance on offense lately. Last Saturday against Louisville was bad, but the UConn game was atrocious. Outside of Sean Kilpatrick, no one seems to have any confidence. No one is willing or able to step up and help out. It's gone to the comedic. And it's very concerning.
As there really wasn't much to like about yesterday's game, there really isn't need to do the breakdown again. Yes, they played awful yesterday. They turned the ball over a TON of times. They didn't make any shots. Only Shaq Thomas even approached double figure scoring with 8 and could have eclipsed that if he didn't miss 4 of his 6 free throws.
Most concerning is it seems like the offense is morphing back into last year's boring, grind-it-out, pray we get lucky offense. If Kilpatrick isn't shooting, he apparently needs to touch the ball at least 3 times per possession. If he's triple teamed (like he probably should be), someone else forces a bad shot near the end of the shot clock. Or as it was yesterday they commit a stupid turnover.
Something happened in the first Louisville game. As it turns out UC apparently used up the rest of SK's help for the remainder of the season. Shaq Thomas was great. Jermaine Sanders was great. Since then...nothing. And when you add in the already inept Titus Rubles on offense and the now foul-prone Justin Jackson, you're relying on Ge'Lawn Guyn, Troy Caupain, and Jermaine Lawrence to provide a pick-me-up...and quite honestly I don't think I want Lawrence shooting anymore jumpers until next season at the earliest. He's got "great form" as they say. But his percentage of making those shots is in the Titus Rubles neighborhood.
Not sure about you, but "Sean Kilpatrick and the Miracles" sounds great in theory because of Danny Manning's run. However, I'm just not seeing it. Not right now. UC may still be a high seed (thinking around a 4), but without help from someone else offensively, they're a prime candidate for first round upset. Just being honest here. I'd love to be a homer and say they're going to the Final Four. They should be in any game against any team. Their defense will travel and it will be intense. Much like yesterday it kept them in a game they had no business being within 15 points. But the offense is a major problem and the thing keeping them down. Headline news, right?
All of this can be fixed with a good win on Senior Night Thursday against Memphis. They should enter this game with confidence as they already beat the Tigers by 16 in early January. The house should be rocking as we say goodbye to three phenomenal seniors. Let's hope that can kickstart the entire team.
Coming up this week...bubble watch and a tribute to the seniors.