Posted November 17, 2012 on AP on Fox
A favorable early schedule is allowing Cincinnati the chance to showcase a group of reserves it hopes will be a valuable asset throughout the season. Coach Mick Cronin should again get a good look at his bench Sunday when the No. 24 Bearcats host North Carolina A&T. With its first four games against lower-tier teams from the Ohio Valley, Southwestern Athletic, Mid-Eastern and Big South Conferences, Cincinnati (2-0) is not expected to receive a serious test until next weekend in Las Vegas. That's where the Bearcats will play in the Global Sports Classic, starting Friday against Iowa State and ending Saturday with a matchup versus Oregon or No. 18 UNLV. Until then, Cincinnati will try to keep its focus and fine-tune some things. That includes evaluating a bench Cronin hopes can provide consistent contributions unlike last season. The Bearcats finished 26-11 but ranked near the bottom of the nation in bench production at 11.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. "We have a (fast-paced) style and a system that we have been building since last spring to have a great team this year," Cronin said. "A big part of that is our guys knew that depth was an issue. It hurt us in the (NCAA regional semifinal loss to Ohio State) and the Big East championship game. "Our veteran guys understand you have to have quality play off the bench if you are going to have an elite team." Despite 30 points off the bench in Cincinnati's 80-57 win over Tennessee-Martin last Sunday, Cronin felt his reserves could have played better. They did Tuesday, totaling 45 points and recording 12 of the team's 20 assists in a 102-60 rout of Mississippi Valley State. "Now that we know what our second unit, what our bench can do against other teams, I feel a little better than I did the other game," said swingman Sean Kilpatrick, who had 20 points and eight rebounds Tuesday. While starters like Kilpatrick (17.0 points per game), Cashmere Wright (13.5) and JaQuon Parker (10.5) will be counted on to the carry the load, they would certainly feel more comfortable with effective backups. Reserve Titus Rubles has 16 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists through two games, while 7-footer David Nyarsuk and Jeremiah Davis III have combined to score 31 off the bench. As a team, Cincinnati has shot 51.9 percent from the field while limiting its first two opponents to 31.3 percent. The Bearcats, however, need to be more careful after committing 34 turnovers. "We've got a lot of work to do and a lot of improving," Wright said. "If you want to play this style and win games and actually make it to where we want to make it, we've got to take care of the ball. You've got to realize what you can and can't do in the offense." Cincinnati looks to cut down on those mistakes when it faces North Carolina A&T (1-2) for the first time since a 105-69 home win Dec. 30, 2005. The Aggies will try to avoid a third straight defeat after falling 56-44 to Wright State on Friday. Junior Lamont Middleton was held to six points after scoring 36 in the first two contests.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Kilpatrick has 29, No. 24 Cincy beats NC A&T 93-39

Forty-nine points in his last 51 minutes. Sean Kilpatrick seems to like Cincinnati's new up-tempo offense. The junior guard scored a career-high 29 points on Sunday, hitting eight shots from behind the arc, and the 24th-ranked Bearcats dominated from the outset of a 93-39 victory over North Carolina A&T. The Bearcats (3-0) opened with a 14-point run that featured four 3s...

No. 24 Cincinnati 93, NC A&T 39

Sean Kilpatrick scored a career-high 29 points, hitting eight shots from behind the arc, and No. 24 Cincinnati dominated from the outset Sunday of a 93-39 victory over North Carolina A&T. The Bearcats (3-0) opened with a 14-point run that featured four 3s by Kilpatrick, who got wide-open shots all around the arc. Cincinnati's lead never slipped below double-digits. Kilpatrick...

No. 24 Cincinnati crushes NC A&T

Forty-nine points in his last 51 minutes. Sean Kilpatrick seems to like Cincinnati's new up-tempo offense. The junior guard scored a career-high 29 points on Sunday, hitting eight shots from behind the arc, and the 24th-ranked Bearcats dominated from the outset of a 93-39 victory over North Carolina A&T. The Bearcats (3-0) opened with a 14-point run that featured four 3s...

Kilpatrick has 29, No. 24 Cincy beats NC A&T

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Sean Kilpatrick scored a career-high 29 points on Sunday, hitting eight shots from behind the arc, and No. 24 Cincinnati dominated from the outset Sunday of a 93-39 victory over North Carolina A&T. The Bearcats (3-0) opened with a 14-point run that featured four 3s by Kilpatrick, who got wide-open shots all around the arc. Cincinnati's lead never slipped...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.