Cincinnati preparing for tough Florida St defense

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 17, 2012
Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates sees a lot of good basketball in the Big East. When he watches Florida State, he sees a team that would fit right in. That's not a knock on the Atlantic Coast Conference, and he's not making a case for more realignment. It's just that in a conference full of talented offensive teams, the Seminoles' defensive style really stands out. ''To me they were the best defensive team in the conference, which was why they were so successful this year,'' Gates said. ''So I think out of all those schools, Florida State would best fit in with the Big East by the way the play. So we'll just get prepared for this game as if we were getting prepared for (the Big East) conference.'' Cincinnati (25-10) knows it won't be easy getting by that defense that led Florida State (25-9) to its first ACC tournament championship a week ago. The sixth-seeded Bearcats and third-seeded Seminoles meet Sunday night in the third round of the NCAA tournament's East Regional. The winner will face No. 2 seed Ohio State in Pittsburgh on Thursday in the round of 16. ''They're one of the top five teams in America every year in field-goal percentage defense,'' Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. ''It's going to be hard to get a basket against them. We've got to make sure we return the favor.'' Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton thinks Cincinnati can mix it up on both offense and defense. The Bearcats are a guard-heavy team that can penetrate and get the ball inside to Gates as well as shoot mid-range jump shots and 3-pointers. They can easily adjust from man-to-man defense to zone and the press to keep an opponent guessing. ''This is a multidimensional-type team that is most difficult for teams to match up against,'' Hamilton said. Entering the tournament, the Seminoles were ranked sixth among Division I teams for their field-goal percentage defense. Their opponents hit just 38.1 percent of their shots and average 62.9 points per game. ''They're big, so we figure we can get out and get some easy buckets and play a transition game,'' Cincinnati guard Dion Dixon said. ''That will be major for us in this game compared to their size.'' Florida State and Cincinnati, both former members of the now defunct Metro Conference, have had a taste of success in recent NCAA tournaments and are ready for more. Florida State is playing in its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament. The Seminoles lost their first game two years in a row before advancing to last year's regional semifinals, where they lost to VCU. They came from behind to beat No. 14 seed St. Bonaventure 66-63 on Friday. Cincinnati returned to the Big Dance last season after a six-year absence but lost in its second game to eventual national champion Connecticut. The Bearcats fought off a second-half rally by No. 11 seed Texas to win 65-59 on Friday. ''You know, they're physical, athletic. They can get out and run,'' Seminoles forward Okaro White said. ''Their style of play, we have seen it in the ACC a bit, but I think the way we play defense and come prepared, we can handle their style of play.'' Cronin has no doubt Florida State can handle his team's style of play because of the way Hamilton and his players can adjust on the fly. He saw it when St. Bonaventure forward Andrew Nicholson hit his first six shots, then struggled to get a look late when the game was on the line. ''St. Bonnie's was trying to get him the ball. Florida State knew it. They smelled it out,'' Cronin said. ''You're not going to be able to live off your set plays against Florida State. You might get them here or there, but the players are going to make adjustments on their own because they're so trained, they're so well-coached and so locked in on the defensive end.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Doug Baldwin now victim of death threats after his comments on police

Report claims Jimmy Garoppolo is the Patriots starter for for Sunday

Sixers rookie Ben Simmons has fracture in foot

Olympic wrestler turned ISIS recruit killed in U.S. drone strike

Report: Jamaal Charles to play Sunday against Steelers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant says he will not play Sunday against 49ers

Bill O’Brien officially rules J.J. Watt out for season

Report: Eric Decker out Sunday with partial tear in rotator cuff

Report: Browns planning to part ways with Josh Gordon

Noah skips dinner at West Point because he's anti-war

Giants could use wide receiver at safety against Vikings

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

Box Score: 9/30 - Dolphins, Popovich and MLB umps

Seven most absurd stats heading into NFL Week 4

Antonio Brown to honor Arnold Palmer with custom cleats

The best and worst from the 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Players Jurgen Klinsmann may call up for USMNT friendlies

Byron Scott has no relationship with D’Angelo Russell

Steve Kerr favors shorter NBA preseason to limit back-to-backs

Flaws of MLB replay system exposed in Cardinals’ victory

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker