Originally posted on Bearcats Blog  |  Last updated 11/5/13
Cincinnati put a bow on the exhibition season with an 84-72 win over Bellarmine, which I touched on over the weekend. I'm back to give some fuller thoughts now that there are stats and whatnot. We have a different brand of UC basketball being played right now. I'm not sure if things are going to continue into November and December, but Mick has put in a completely new style. The defense is going to press, press, press and try to force tempo. The offense is going to pass to the block and they are going to use to guards to penetrate. That has worked against less talented foes. Both have had major perks. The defense has forced a lot of turnovers. Bellarmine was worn down and couldn't handle the length and pressure Cincinnati kept throwing at them. UC had 25 points off turnovers, nearly 30% of their points. 16 fast break points as well. The shots Bellarmine was able to get in the first half weren't there in the second. The Knights attempted 15 second half 3s but only connected on 4. You don't live by the 3 ball, you die from it, but giving up 34 threes in 55 attempts is a lot. That has to tighten up. Especially on the press break. That was a flaw in the new system. The offense has had a major emphasis on getting in the paint. Cincinnati attempted 9 threes. That's not enough, but this is the exhibition season and they are clearly being coached to not shoot them. Only Sean Kilpatrick attempted more than two. The Bearcats were able to get to the foul line 35 times. They hit nearly 54% from the field while pulling in 14 offensive rebounds. They hung 12 second chance points on the Knights. The offense only had 10 turnovers. They only had 11 assists too. The ball movement has not been there. Neither has the free throw shooting. We just lived a season where Cincinnati shot free throws very poorly. It's going to be a repeat. If Mick wants the offense running through the big men, they are going to have to make free throws. Unfortunately, Titus Rubles and Justin Jackson were 8-16. Neither one of them is a great foul shooter. Rubles came on strong last year, but he's not what you would call reliable at the line. Add in Jermaine Lawrence, who went 4-7, and the big men as a whole can't hit the easy points. Speaking of Titus Rubles, he's looked really good so far. He had 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals against Bellarmine. He brings a lot of energy and can make plays. He can try too hard, which results in fouls, 3, and turnovers, 2. We know this about Rubles though. It's nothing new. What is new is seeing him play an extended amount of time while making plays. He's got to stay on the floor. 21 minutes isn't enough. Sean Kilpatrick scored 24 points on 7-10 shooting, hit all 8 free throws and added 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. He is so damn good that there really isn't a lot to say about him besides he's so damn good. The new rules are going to be a huge boon for him because he can draw fouls at will. He's a very good foul shooter so huge bonus. That's how you get 2,000 points. Shaq Thomas had a pretty quiet game. He followed 11-7 with 2-2. He only played 15 minutes because of foul trouble. My biggest concern for Shaq, I'll touch on this in the preview coming on Thursday, is that he's got to do it consistently. He really didn't get a chance to last year. He was up and down in a very short sample here. Justin Jackson played the game of his career against Bellarmine. He scored 19 points on 8-10 shooting, with 9 rebounds, 6 offensive, and 3 blocks. He had 1 turnover and 2 fouls the entire exhibition season. He's been a threat around the rim. When have you ever been able to say that about Justin Jackson? Besides he's a threat to turn it over or a threat to miss? He's been a revelation. Get this, Justin Jackson called for the ball. JUSTIN JACKSON IS CALLING FOR THE BALL NOW. These are confidence games and man oh man does his confidence have to be high. Love it. It's gotta be the headband. It's pretty clear what we are going to see from the point guard spot early in the season. Ge'Lawn Guyn looks like the steady hand. He is what he is really. He's going to play very tough defense, 2 steals, get maybe a little too aggressive, 2 fouls. He's kind of a mystery offensively. He can make things happen in transition. He did score 7 points. He was 2-5 from the field, 0-2 from 3, and 3-4 from the line. Guyn has to become a threat if he's going to do more than split time. Let's just hit up Troy Caupain, the other point guard in contention for minutes. He played 14 to Guyn's 22. Kevin Johnson played 13 while splitting roles. Caupain hit a 3 in two attempts. He rebounded very well with 4. That was third on the team actually. He had 2 assists and 2 turnovers. It seems like everyone wants Caupain to take the reins right now. He doesn't look ready for it though. Maybe by January. Jermaine Lawrence looked a lot like the highly touted player we were expecting to see. He scored 10 points on 3-7 shooting, 4-7 free throws, with 2 rebounds. It came out that he had a lot of friends and family at the first game, which maybe put some pressure on himself. With the pressure off, he flashed some very good moves offensively. The soft start to the early season is going to be a great time for him to get his feet wet. He's definitely playing 20 minutes a game unless Mick Cronin goes Rob Ford. It didn't take Lawrence very long to get an awkward photo taken: Jermaine Sanders continues to be in the mix at the 3 and 4. He played 15 minutes with 2 points, 2 steals, 1 rebound and 1 assist. I have not been shy in my 3 year love affair with Sanders and I'll continue to say that he's got to put the ball up. 2 shots aren't enough, my man. Not with that j. 13 minutes from Kevin Johnson. He put up 3 shots, take note, Jermaine, but was 0-3, 0-2 from 3. He racked up 3 fouls in his short time on the court. Not the best of showcases. I honestly don't understand why everyone falls in love with Jeremiah Davis every time he steps on the floor. He is a back of the rotation guard who isn't going to play much for very good reasons. One being he's not a point guard and two being he's not that great defensively. He can do one thing, and that is score. Davis scored 4 in 7 minutes. He did use a steal for one of those buckets. Dave Nyarsuk played 5 minutes. No point in wasting his time before the season starts. A couple of guys made their UC debuts. Deshaun Morman played his first couple of minutes. He picked up a steal and a foul. Zack Tobler played the closing minute. He picked up a foul because everyone has to contribute. Photos via Go Bearcats (Ashley Kempher & Lisa Ventre)
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

Nashville Predators fans just made the worst hype video of 2017

Draymond Green files trademark paperwork for ‘Dray Day’

Aaron Judge gets special fan section at Yankee Stadium

New lawsuit alleges NFL knew about CTE for decades

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

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

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

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