It was a busy holiday season for the Cincinnati Bearcats, who earned three victories from right before Christmas to New Year’s Day. Two of those wins were tight (Marshall and Temple) and the other was an easy conference victory against Tulane. Speaking of conference victories, UC is now firmly entrenched in American Athletic Conference play so how well each player performs going forward will be even more critical. Here’s where everyone stands before Saturday’s big test against Houston.
13. John Koz (LW 12)
Koz only got in during UC’s obliteration of Tulane. He played in two minutes and did not record a statistic for the ol’ two trillion.
12. Jackson Bart (LW 13)
Bart also only played against Tulane but he did take two shots in the contest. Unfortunately he missed both tries.
11. Zack Tobler (LW 11)
Tobler played for three minutes against Tulane and sank his second three-pointer of the season.
10. Quadri Moore (LW 10)
Like the three players we just covered, Moore also only played once in the last three games, but it was during a four-minute spurt against Temple. He finished with five points on 2-of-4 shooting in that time.
9. Nysier Brooks (LW 9)
Once again in the nine-hole, Brooks is loosing ground on Tre Scott for the most utilized freshman big man. Brooks only averaged 9.3 minutes per game during the last three contests, averaging 2.3 points in that time. However, he has managed to be consistent in blocking shots and did record five points in the win over Tulane.
8. Kyle Washington (LW 6)
How the mighty have fallen. Scott’s recent ascension has gone hand-in-hand with Washington’s shrinking role. He played only 14 minutes in the win over Marshall and has now played less than 20 minutes in four of the last six outings. Against Temple he recorded seven rebounds, but he went 2-of-9 from the floor. He looked better against Tulane (nine points, four assists, three rebounds, two steals) but so did everybody else.
7. Justin Jenifer (LW 4)
It was a quiet few games for Jenifer, which is both a good and bad thing. He didn’t make many mistakes (zero turnovers) and averaged just 4.7 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of production but it also doesn’t lend itself to standout status.
6. Tre Scott (LW 8)
Although Scott did not rocket up the rankings this week, he is clearly the No. 2 frontcourt option behind Gary Clark at this point. He played more minutes per game over the last three than Washington (22.3 to 18.3) and is doing a solid job rebounding and scoring when called upon, averaging 6.3 points and seven rebounds a game during the last three games.
5. Troy Caupain (LW 2)
Caupain hit the game-winner against Marshall and has continued to be the tough-nosed guard we are all used to seeing. However, his inefficient shooting during the last few matchups has been worrisome. Never an overly efficient sniper, Caupain shot 28.6 percent from the floor in the last three games, matching his ghastly percentage at the free-throw line. He is still eating up minutes (32.3) and that won’t change, and his contributions elsewhere on the stat sheet (seven points, 12 rebounds, six assists against Marshall; nine points, eight assists and five rebounds against Tulane) still make him an extremely valuable piece. If his shooting touch returns, Caupain will be back in the upper echelon in no time.
4. Kevin Johnson (LW 5)
Speaking of finding the shooting touch, Johnson appears to have done just that. He is shooting 50 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range in the last three games while continuing to be a player that stays on the court for long stretches (30.3 minutes per game). He had 15 points against Tulane and has scored in double figures in four of the last five games.
3. Jarron Cumberland (LW 7)
Perhaps this is a bit of a reactionary ranking, but who cares? Cumberland is really coming into his own and after a career-high 19 points against Tulane, it appears his ceiling, even as a freshman, is quite high.
2. Jacob Evans (LW 3)
If it wasn’t for Evans (and the player above him in these rankings), UC would have lost to Marshall. Evans splashed 4-of-5 three-point attempts and finished with 25 points, tying a season-high in that victory. He also handed out five assists and grabbed four steals. He has had at least two steals in each of the last three games and is averaging 16.3 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting during that stretch.
1. Gary Clark (LW 1)
Clark recorded his third double-double of the season against Marshall. It was his most impressive showing by far, as he tallied a season-high 26 points to go with 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks. He had a bit more trouble against Temple (11 points, six rebounds, 4-of-10 shooting) and he was limited against Tulane, but that was more due to game script than any shortcomings on his part. Clark is still the top player for this team.