Saturday afternoon will be the first Cincinnati/Xavier rivalry game experience for first year Bearcats’ head coach John Brannen.
Mick Cronin went 5-8. He won his first game in 2006 and his last game in 2018. In between, he never won at the Cintas Center. Bearcats have lost 7 in a row at Cintas Center, with the last win coming in 2004.
If they are going to win, they are going to need to rely on guys with experience playing against Xavier. Jarron Cumberland and Trevon Scott have both played 3 games against Xavier, going 2-1. Keith Williams and Trevor Moore have had 2 experiences in this rivalry. And transfers Jaevin Cumberland and Chris McNeal both have experience playing against Xavier, even if it wasn’t with Cincinnati.
Jarron Cumberland has averaged just over 16 ppg and his three games. He has made significant contributions in all three games and it will take more significant contributions in 2019, for the Bearcats to win on Saturday.
- Freshman (January 2017) - 21 minutes off the bench, scoring 15 points on 5-9 shooting
- Sophomore (December 2017) - 26 minutes as a starter, scoring 15 points, on 5-12 shooting
- Junior (December 2018) - 37 minutes as a starter, scoring 19 points on 7-15 shooting, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Jarron Cumberland scored 19 points as @GoBearcatsMBB held Xavier to 35.3 percent shooting from the field on the way to a 62-47 victory on Saturday afternoon in the #CrosstownShootout. pic.twitter.com/N88r3xTlkn— American MBB (@American_MBB) December 8, 2018
Scott didn’t really do much his first two years, but last year played a huge role in the Bearcats win. As Cincinnati came into the game, riding an 8-game win streak, Scott was still a big question mark as he (and Nysier Brooks) were tasked with replacing Gary Clark and Kyle Washington in the front court. Scott proved he was up for the challenge and this game was viewed as a confidence builder for fans, who began to believe Scott is legit and would be able to fill the huge void.
- Freshman (January 2017) - Played just 4 minutes and grabbed just 1 rebound in the 2017 game.
- Sophomore (December 2017) - Played 18 minutes off the bench, hit both of his shots and finished with 4 points, 7 rebounds
- Junior (December 2018) - Played 34 minutes as a starter, scored 10 points on 5-11 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds, recording his third double-double of the season at that point.
After playing just 2 minutes as a freshman in the 2017 loss at Cintas Center, Williams started last year’s game, playing 30 minutes. He was second on the team (behind Cumberland) with 16 points on 7-14 shooting and missed all 3 of his three point shot attempts.
John Brannen coached against Xavier one time in his career, back in November 2015. Xavier beat Northern Kentucky 78-66. His NKU team shot 9-22 from three (41%) and hit 13-19 free throws (68%), while committing 11 turnovers.
As a member of Oakland, Jaevin Cumberland faced Xavier in 2018-19. Oakland lost 73-63 at the Cintas Center on 12/1. He shot just 3/11 from the floor, totaling 8 points.
In 2015-16, Chris McNeal, as a member of Western Kentucky, played 29 minutes at Xavier, scoring just 3 points and turning the ball over 5 times. He did grab 6 rebounds and get 5 assists.