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Game Guide: Coppin State at No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats

If they score 100 points tonight, it will mark the first time in program history the Bearcats have hit the century mark in three-straight games.

NCAA Basketball: Savannah State at Cincinnati David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

What’s that sound? Oh, its just the offensive juggernaut that is the No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats, who will host the Coppin State Eagles at BB&T Arena on Thursday night. Let’s get into it.

How to Watch, Stream, Listen

  • Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
  • Television/Stream: FOX Sports Ohio/SPN3.com
  • Announcing crew: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play) and Terry Nelson (analyst)
  • Radio: 700 WLW AM
  • Announcing crew: Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Chuck Machock (analyst)
  • Series history: With how well the Bearcats have played, Coppin State needs to be careful. It has lost all three previous meetings against UC, falling by an average score of 86.3-53.7. The last matchup came in 2003 when the Bearcats won 76-56.

Who is Coppin State?

Let me give you some numbers. Eight, nine, eight, 12, eight. Those are the win totals of the Eagles in each of the last five years. This isn’t a team to worry too much about, especially since they are 0-2, having lost to Oregon and East Carolina (hey, we know them!).

At least a new era has begun for the program, as former Maryland All-American Juan Dixon is now the head coach. Its the first head coaching gig for Dixon, who is a native of Baltimore where Coppin State is located. Obviously Dixon has a tough job ahead of him, as the Eagles haven’t won much in the last 20 years or so, and are ranked No. 345 out of No. 351 by KenPom.

Dejuan Clayton leads the team in scoring right now. The sophomore guard has netted 10.5 points per game, while Adam Traore and Tre’ Thomas are averaging at least nine. Clayton had eight points against ECU, while Traore had 10 and Thomas had five off the bench, shooting 2-of-10 from the field. The team had an offensive rating of 66.7 in that losing effort. The Eagles will let it fly from long range, but they don’t rebound very well, especially on the offensive side of the floor, so if the Bearcats can just force difficult shots, they should control the ball and pace pretty easily.

Cincinnati is an offense-first program

There are caveats to the above statement, of course. They have played two terribly over matched programs and until they are pouring in 100 points against teams in the American Athletic Conference, its not time to crown these Bearcats Mick Cronin’s best offensive team. However, the flashes of depth and incredible ability that have been on display make it seem likely we will be saying that eventually.

UC has crept up to No. 10 in KenPom’s rankings (started at No. 12). The Bearcats are No. 17 in adjusted offense, while sitting No. 7 in adjusted defense. They are scoring 104.5 points per game and, if they score 100 again tonight, it will mark the first time they have ever done so in three-straight games.

Newcomer Cane Broome is currently the leading scorer (16 PPG), following a 15-point effort against Western Carolina when he came off the bench. Speaking of, the starting lineup that seemed locked in to start the season (Broome, Jarron Cumberland, Jacob Evans, Gary Clark and Kyle Washington) has already been changed once. We’ll see if more experiments are on the way.

Regardless of who are the nominal starters, you can expect Broome to score and distribute a bunch, while Cumberland, fresh off his 20-point showing against WCU, will be a top contributor. Evans and Clark are both doing plenty as well, especially Evans who has been the best player on the team, even if he hasn’t led in scoring.

Prediction Time!

With how good the Bearcats are and how well they have been playing, this section is less about if they will win but by how much. I think 40. Cincinnati 92 Coppin State 52