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Previewing Southeastern Louisiana at Cincinnati

Cincinnati hosts the 1-3 Southeastern Louisiana Lions in their second game of the Barclays Center Classic.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight game, the Bearcats take-on a team nicknamed the "Lions". On Sunday, Cincinnati faced the Golden Lions of Arkansas Pine-Bluff and now, Cincinnati hosts the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana. The UAPB game ended in a 99-50 victory for the Bearcats. Now, we take a look at today's game against the 1-3 Southeastern Louisiana Lions.

Meet the Opponent

Southeastern Louisiana is 1-3 with losses to TCU, Texas A&M and, most recently, a 65-92 loss to Nebraska in their first game of the Barclays Center Classic. Senior Zay Jackson leads the Lions' scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game. Freshman Dimi Cook averages 9.0 points per game and junior Keith Charleston leads the team in rebounding, reeling in 6.3 boards per game.

The Lions has gone 42.4% from the field and 26% from three point range. They're shooting 64.7% from the free throw line. Southeastern Louisiana has been struggling to keep pace against the likes of the Horned Frogs, the Aggies and the Cornhuskers with their scoring margin at -18.8 on the year. Their lone win came against Mississippi College, 76-69.

One source of the Lions' struggles against bigger schools this season is their lack of team size. Dominic Nelson is 6-foot-10, but beyond that, Charleston is the next tallest at 6-foot-8. There are four other players on the roster at 6-foot-7. Opponents are averaging 42.5 rebounds per game compared to the Lions' 31.0.

Making a Run

Cincinnati has had an explosive start to their season, comfortably winning each of their first four contests while outscoring their opponents, 385-216. That has been, in large part, because of a renewed offensive emphasis. The defense hasn't been forgotten or faltered, but the tempo has been pushed and the pressure defensively has been ramped up, creating turnovers and creating transition opportunities. Those opportunities have led to easy open shots and those easy open shots have led to points.

Cincinnati has an impressive scoring margin of +42.2, which ranks 2nd in the country, and averages 96.3 points per game, which ranks 7th nationally. Those numbers are absurd for Cincinnati fans anyway, but it's even more interesting when you look at the runs the Bearcats have thrown together in the first four games to achieve those numbers. Against Western Carolina, Cincinnati had an 11-1 run in the first half and an 11-2 run in the second half. Against Robert Morris, it was a 31-4 run in the first half and a 30-4 run in the second. In Cincinnati's closest game of the early-going, the Bearcats needed a 26-4 run in the second half to push the game out of reach and on Sunday, UAPB was on the losing end of a 21-2 run.

This matchup with Southeastern Louisiana should set up for another explosive run or two. It's something the Bearcats have been doing with consistency and should be able to continue that success with their up-tempo, suffocating defense, not to mention, the Bearcats should have a clear advantage on the glass, allowing them to continue to push tempo.

Farad Cobb

Cobb has been fantastic for Cincinnati this season. He has scored 20 points in back-to-back games against Bowling Green and UAPB and has been lighting it up from beyond the arc. Cobb is 11th nationally in three-pointers made with 16, 14th in three pointers made per game, averaging four, and 16th in three-point shooting percentage, shooting 61.5%.

Shooting, particularly from long-range, tends to be a bit temperamental with hot and cold streaks sprinkled in over time. It will be very interesting to see if Cobb can not only maintain this hot streak, but also contribute in this sort of capacity when the threes aren't falling. He's a heck of a shooter and has clearly found his rhythm early this season, but it will be interesting to see if he can keep knocking down shots from deep.