It was a perfect homestand for the Cincinnati Bearcats this past Thanksgiving weekend. UC rolled past Samford and Lipscomb as appetizers for a showdown against nationally ranked Iowa State this Thursday. Some players took advantage of the dip in competition level to impress, while a few others faded a bit.
13. John Koz (LW 13)
Koz did not play in either game.
12. Jackson Bart (LW 12)
Bart recorded the rare trillion (one minute played with zero stats) in UC’s 91-68 rout of Lipscomb.
11. Zack Tobler (LW 11)
Tobler earned a minute of playing time and also failed to record a statistic against Lipscomb.
10. Quadri Moore (LW 9)
Moore has tumbled down the rankings after starting the year at No. 7. He only played in one game this week, getting in eight minutes against Lipscomb. However, he was not particularly effective in that short time, making just 1-of-6 field goal attempts while bringing down three rebounds.
9. Justin Jenifer (LW 5)
Speaking of players taking a tumble, Jenifer may have played a fair number of minutes (22 total), but he was almost invisible on the stat sheet, recording a total of five points and three assists while shooting 28.6 percent from the floor. His shooting slump has been a season-long issue (.381 FG percentage) and its one that will hopefully correct itself as Jenifer will be needed to run the point when Troy Caupain needs a break.
8. Nysier Brooks (LW 10)
The freshman center had one good game and one forgettable one. Against Samford, he ate up 15 minutes of playing time and put in 10 points to go with four rebounds and three blocks, showing that UC has a wealth of rim protectors. However, Brooks only had five points and didn’t get one rebound across nine minutes in UC’s win over Lipscomb. Brooks is only averaging 7.3 minutes per game, which is better than only Tobler, Bart and Koz, so he needs to be more of the player he was against Samford to make an impact and improve his playing time.
7. Kevin Johnson (LW 8)
While Moore has slowly slid, KJ has slowly risen. He’s still having trouble knocking down shots at an efficient rate, shooting just 32.4 percent from the floor this season, but he knocked down 40 percent of his tries last week, including a 4-of-8 effort against Lipscomb that yielded him 13 points in 31 minutes. Johnson is fourth on the team in minutes played (25.7) and field goals attempted (6.2). For that to be sustainable on a winning team, continuing to show an ability to make shots will obviously be key.
6. Jarron Cumberland (LW 7)
Cumberland makes his way into the top six because of just one game. He poured in a career-high 17 points on 4-of-6 from the floor and 8-of-10 at the free-throw line while throwing in three blocks against Lipscomb. It is that type of hard-nosed scoring ability that made Cumberland such an attractive recruit and illustrates the promise Cumberland possesses going forward. However, he was held scoreless in eight minutes against Samford, so its still too early to proclaim him a primary scoring option.
5. Gary Clark (LW 4)
Clark’s injury against Lipscomb limited him to just six minutes and casts a cloud over UC, as the defending American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year is obviously a key part of the Bearcats plans. Clark still managed to stuff two points and two rebounds into his shortened time against Lipscomb and he played well against Samford (13 points, seven rebounds).
4. Tre Scott (LW 6)
Scott’s promotion to the top four is based on his strong showing against Lipscomb as well as the fact that he is the likely stand-in while Clark recovers from injury. Scott showed just how well he can replicate Clark’s kind of production in the win over the Bisons, stuffing the stat sheet to the tune of nine points, nine rebounds, five assists and five blocks. He played 29 minutes in that contest with Clark sidelined and will be in for major minutes as long as Clark isn’t 100 percent.
3. Troy Caupain (LW 3)
The senior point guard didn’t do anything that really wowed, but he did play the most minutes of any Bearcat (32.5 pg) in the last two games. He will continue to be ridden hard by Cronin, which is why Jenifer needs to step up because at some point Caupain will need a break. Caupain had seven points and four assists against Samford and was again a secondary scorer and willing passer against Lipscomb, accumulating eight points and five helpers.
2. Jacob Evans (LW 2)
Evans has come back to earth a bit when it comes to scoring. Although he still leads the team in points per game (18.2), he has been held below 20 points in each of the last three games, including a season-low 12 against Samford when he shot just 37.5 percent from the floor. Before that contest, he had made at least 75 percent of his field goal tries in every game. He rebounded nicely against Lipscomb, with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting while adding four rebounds and as many assists.
1. Kyle Washington (LW 1)
Washington continues to be a terror in the paint for opponents of the red and black. He is averaging an impressive 16.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while also passing a little (2.0 APG) and defending well (1.2 BPG). He carried UC over Samford with 18 points and 12 boards as well as three blocks and then earned some rest against Lipscomb, allowing Cumberland and Scott to take over. However, even in that game he had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting although his two rebounds were clearly a low. Still, Washington has been the best player on this team for the last two weeks. Let’s see what he can do Thursday.