The Cincinnati Bearcats have dominated unranked out of conference competition this season and Thursday’s game against Marshall should be no different. UC will hopefully knock the Thundering Herd off by a wide margin to head into conference play with the most momentum possible. t is always easy to look ahead to your next opponent in college basketball but upsets can happen on any given night, so Mick Cronin and the Bearcats will need to maintain focus to knock off their second to last non-conference foe. (Remember, the Crosstown Shootout is in late January.)
Get to Know the Opponent
The Marshall Thundering Herd will enter Thursday’s battle with UC holding a 7-4 record. UC will certainly be the toughest team Marshall will have played up to this point and quite possible the hardest team the Herd will play all season. Marshall has impressed early on in the season with an offensive attack averaging 86.2 points per game. The Herd has had success moving the ball inside and out with a few talented players doing most of the work for the team.
Jon Elmore is the leader of the charge averaging 21.1 points per game and an impressive 6.9 assists per game to go along with it. Elmore stands small at 6’3” 189 pounds but is not afraid to take the ball through the lane. The next big threat comes from a guard with an identical build to that of Elmore and his name is Stevie Browning. The senior guard is posting 16.7 points per game with a 51.9 field goal percentage and carries a 90.6 free throw percentage. Elmore and Browning are about the only consistent threats that the Herd have had this season which is not helpful going up against UC team that can get the job done from a lot of different areas.
Bearcats Putting It All Together
The beginning of the year was a bit frustrating for Bearcats fans because of the two-man show they started out as, with Jacob Evans and Kyle Washington being the stars day in and day out. Now UC is beating bad teams by a good margin and the whole team is getting involved. Something it will need even more once conference play starts.
Troy Caupain and Gray Clark have found their groove at the right time as the Bearcats close in on conference play. Caupain and Clark were expected to be two of the best players in the conference but started off the year sluggish. They have come around as of late looking like the stars that we know they can be. UC has even found some big games out of freshman Jarron Cumberland, Justin Jenifer and recently Kevin Johnson. UC has hit full stride at the perfect time and will look to dismantle Marshall before heading to face Temple in the first conference game of the season.
I expect UC to win by a wide margin on Thursday against Marshall. The Bearcats will have a big size advantage and are a much more talented team. Expect big games out of Clark and Kyle Washington in the low post in a big win heading into conference play.