Originally posted on Bearcats Blog | Last updated 8/3/12
The 21st player on the list is a little controversial because it's Sean Kilpatrick. Putting a player who is still playing on the list of the top 30 Bearcats of all time is a very risky move. For a lot of reasons. Kilpatrick could turn out to have had his best years and play 2 years that suck. He could pull off a criminal act that scars his reputation and makes me look like a fool. A number of things could happen that could make this entry look foolish. I'm banking against that. I don't think it's any kind of stretch to say that Sean Kilpatrick is the most popular Bearcat. I think he was last year and he is going to be the next 2 years. He is a special player and I think that he deserved to make this list. There will be more explaining of why later. But for now, let's get into the 21st player on the countdown.
Sean Kilpatrick has been at Cincinnati for 2 seasons and he's played every game. He was one of the best 6th men in the Big East his freshman season. He would go on to earn All-Big East Second team honors last season. You hear the term impact player quite a bit. At Cincinnati, it had been a while since an impact player walked on to the floor for multiple seasons. You'd have to go back to Deonta Vaughn. Lance Stephenson would count, but he didn't play very long and he wasn't on any of the all conference teams. Some players are meant to be Cincinnati Bearcats. Sean Kilpatrick is one of them.
Sean Kilpatrick proved his worth to Cincinnati in his very first game. UC was struggling with Mount St Mary's. Kilpatrick game off the bench to score 21 points on 6-11, 3-6 from 3, 6-7 at the line, with 3 boards and 2 steals. He followed that up with 13 points on 5-9, 4 boards and 2 steals. He went cold, 3, 2, 8 before blowing up against Wright State. Kilpatrick went 8-11 from the field, 5-5 from 3, 5-6 from the line for 26 points. He added 3 assists and 2 steals to that. He struggled again the next 2 games, 9-4, 4-4-3 assists, before putting in 10-4-3 against Georgia Southern. Kilpatrick scored 8 points with 6 rebounds in a win over Oklahoma. He kept going up and down. 0 points against Miami. 21 points on 8-12 against St Francis. 2 points, followed by 14 points. 0 points followed by 11 points.
Kilpatrick started finding his groove after the 11 point game against Villanova. He scored 18 on 6-10, 4-5, 2-3 FTs against South Florida. That picture a couple paragraphs up is from that game. He had 11 points on 4-9 at Syracuse. He had 16 on 6-12 in a loss at Notre Dame. Then he couldn't buy a shot as UC lost 3 of 4. He had 1 point on 0-6 against St John's, 7 on 2-8, 7 on 3-9 (6 rebounds), and 6 on 2-6. Things turned around against DePaul. Kilpatrick had 19 points in 27 minutes on 6-11 shooting, 6-9 FTs. He had 5 rebounds as well. He had 15 on 4-11, 4-10 from 3, in the St John's rematch. He helped power an upset over Louisville with 18 points on 5-8 shooting, 6-7 at the line. Kilpatrick had 8 in 13 minutes against PC. He went scoreless against Georgetown, the last time in his career that should happen. He had 11-7 against UConn and 6 against Marquette. In the regular season finale, Killa had 13 points on 4-5, 3-4 from 3, as UC blew out Georgetown.
The first bit of tournament play went well for Sean Kilpatrick. He scored 12 points, 6-6 free throws, against USF. He was not good as the Bearcats were not good against Notre Dame, 7 points on 3-10. In his first NCAA tournament action, Kilpatrick scored 10 points on 4-7 shooting in a win over Missouri. He filled up the box score against UConn, 5 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 fouls, 2 points, in 19 minutes against UConn. Unfortunately UC lost.
The freshman year numbers for Kilpatrick were 114-261, 43.7% from the field. He was 46-122, 37.7% from 3. 65-90, 72%, at the foul line. That adds up to 339 points. He added 111 rebounds, 52 assists and 27 steals to that. His line score was 9.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals.
Sean Kilpatrick moved into the starting lineup his sophomore season. It was a very good move for everyone involved. He scored 13 on 4-8 with 9 rebounds in the season opener. He had 9 the second game, but responded with 19 on 7-15 against Presbyterian. He made a layup with 1:35 left that looked like it would ice it. His 15th shot attempt was for a layup with 14 seconds left, a bad idea because he should have pulled the ball out. Presbyterian would drill a 3 and UC would take a horrible, horrible loss that still pisses me off to this day. Kilpatrick didn't let it bother him too much. He scored 13 on 5-7 with 8 rebounds and 3 assists the following win. He had 19 against Marshall on 7-14 and 5 boards, but a turnover in OT with UC down 2 that led to Marshall icing the game. The late game fortunes would turn. Kilpatrick had 10 the following game. He scorched Georgia for 22 on 7-15, 4-9 from 3 and 5 boards in a win. He had 11 points on 3-12 against X. Then the lineup changed.
Sean Kilpatrick was playing good ball before the suspension of Yancy Gates, he played better ball during it. He had 20 on 7-15, 6-12, against Wright State. He had 16 on 7-11, 5 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals verses Radford. He had 12 on 3-11, but 4 boards, 3 assists and a career best 6 steals against UAPB. Kilpatrick had 21 on 7-14, 4-9, in a win over Chicago State. Kilpatrick posted his only double double of his career against Oklahoma. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds. He dropped 5 triples on Pitt in route to 19 points, with 6 boards, in a Big East opening win back when people thought Pitt was good. Kilpatrick fell into single digits with 9 against ND, but had 6 boards. Kilpatrick had a very high volume shooting day in a loss to St John's, 7-21, 21 points, but responded with a 10-16, 27 point game against Georgetown. The 27 points were gotten on 3-5 from 3 and 4-5 at the foul line. 27 is his career high. He had 4 steals to help UC win. SK put up 14 on 4-7, 4-5 at the line, in a win over Nova. He was 4-14 going into the final 30 seconds of the next game at UConn, but after the Huskies tied the score, Kilpatrick raced to the other end and nailed a 3 to give UC the lead and the win. Killa had 16 on 5-15, 4-9 from 3 in that win. It more than made up for the early season late game miscues.
Following the game winner, Kilpatrick had a mini-slump that coincided with 3 UC losses. He had 12 on 4-11 against WVU and 8 on 3-8 against Syracuse. He had 9 boards and 4 assists against the Orange though. SK had 11 on just 4-12 shooting in the Rutgers loss. He and the team rallied against DePaul. SK had 16 on 6-12, with 5 boards and 4 assists. He had 14-8-4 in a blowout win at St John's. He put up just 7 in the Marquette destruction. Killa rallied for 22 against Providence. He was just 6-15 from the field, but hit 7-8 at the line. He had 8 boards in that one. Kilpatrick had 7 against Seton Hall in a down game. He scored 12 against Louisville and 13 against USF, but on 10-25, 2-11 from 3. He hit just 4-12 for 9 points, 1-7 from 3, against Marquette. The slump kept up against Nova, 5-13, 1-6 from 3, 13 points, to end the regular season.
The cold shooting followed Sean into the Big East tournament. He had 12 on 4-10 against Georgetown. His fortunes changed in a big way against Syracuse. After making 6 threes the last 6 games, Kilpatrick hit 6 threes in 9 attempts for 18 points, with 5 assists and 5 steals in the 71-68 Bearcat victory. Kilpatrick was as cold as everyone else in the 50-44 Big East tournament final against Louisville, 2-9, 5 points. He had an understated game in the NCAA tournament opener vs Texas. SK had 8-4-6 assists-2 steals. Kilpatrick would get more offensively involved against Florida State. Killa had 18 points on 5-9, 4-6 from 3, and went 4-4 at the line in the final seconds to ice the 62-56 win. He scored 10 points the last 3:45. He also had 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Sean played pretty well against Ohio State with 15 points on 6-12 shooting. He scored 8 in a row early in the second half that started the UC run. The run would end and so would the Bearcats season.
Sean Kilpatrick made 185 of 432 shots for 42.8%. He hit 93 of 245, 37.6% from 3. He was 66-88, 75% at the foul line. That's 528 points. It is the second most for a UC player during the Mick Cronin era. He added 169 rebounds, 78 assists, 49 steals and 12 blocks. Kilpatrick averaged 14.3 points, 4.6 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals a game. He was honored by being named to the All-Big East second team. He was 1st in the league in 3s made and attempted.
Why He Made the List
Sean Kilpatrick is on pace to become one of the best players in modern Bearcat history and maybe even UC history. He needs an average of about 88 threes the next 2 years to pass Deonta Vaughn and become the Bearcats leader in 3s made. He has 867 points, which means he's on pace to join the 1,000 point club sometime in December. His scoring average should only continue to improve. His 14.3 average was the highest for a Bearcat since Vaughn's 2009 season. He has the potential to be a great Bearcat.
I touched on most of the problems with putting a current player on the list earlier. But for all the negatives, I can't deny the impact that Kilpatrick has had on the team. I really think we are seeing a good one. Enjoy this season, people.
What He's Doing Now
He's still on the Bearcats. Really thought we established that fact.
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