After taking down Nebraska yesterday, 65-61, Cincinnati takes on George Washington today in the final game of the Barclays Center Classic. The Championship game will tipoff at 2:30 PM ET in Brooklyn, New York. Here's what you need to know in preparation for today's game.
George Washington is from the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Colonials are 6-0 this season with last night's 73-70 win over Tennessee the most recent. This Colonials team also took down then-No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers, 73-68, a couple weeks ago. They also have wins over Lafayette, South Florida, Army and Gardner-Webb.
Patricio Garino is averaging 17.4 points per game with an impressive 66.7% shooting percentage. Garino also leads the team with 1.4 steals per game and has 1.2 blocks per game on the stat sheet. Tyler Cavanaugh is averaging 14.8 points per game and should offer a solid challenge for Octavius Ellis and the Cincinnati front court. Cavanaugh is tied for the team lead, averaging 8.0 rebounds per game. Kevin Larsen is averaging 14.0 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game. Paul Jorgensen and Yuta Watanabe each contribute 9.2 points per game.
The Colonials are averaging 83 points per game, despite shooting a mere 29.2% from beyond the three-point line. George Washington is shooting 47.2% from the field, making them a formidable offensive team, regardless of three-point success.
Free Throw Shooting
Cincinnati has found themselves in some interesting free throw situations through their first six games. Well... okay... two, but regardless, the free throw shooting is one area where Cincinnati could improve. Last season, the Bearcats shot 67% from the free throw line and now, this season, they have improved on that percentage, currently shooting 68.3%, which ranks 172nd in the country. For example, last night's game against the Cornhuskers ran a little tighter than it needed to, in part, because of free throw shooting. In the final minute, Cincinnati had 10 opportunities to knock down free throws, but missed four of those shots. When the game is on the line, you would hope to knock down more than 6-of-10 free throws. There will be games where that sort of percentage can still be enough to win, but hopefully the free throw shooting improves with time.
Cobb has been electric over the first set of games with high scoring totals and he has been a highly-efficient three-point shooter. While Cobb scored 20 points in two straight games, heading into Tuesday's matchup with Southeastern Louisiana, Cobb has been cold this week. In two games, Cobb has scored only four points on 2-of-10 shooting and has yet to hit a three-pointer.
While Cobb is a fantastic shooter, his early pace was almost impossible to maintain anyway. That said, this feels like a "peak and valley" situation where we saw Cobb's best last week and have seen his worst (in terms of scoring at least) over these past two games. Cobb's shooting touch has been an instrumental piece of Cincinnati's offensive success this season and his ability to knock down shots will continue to be so moving forward. Cincinnati could use Cobb's ability as a shooter in this matchup with a Colonials team that knows how to put the ball in the net themselves.