The Bearcats accomplished essentially exactly what they set out to do this afternoon. And that doesn’t necessarily include winning. With a roster full of new players, Mick Cronin got them involved early and often. Deshaun Morman and Jamaree Strickland were absent today but fellow freshmen Troy Caupain, Kevin Johnson, and Jermaine Lawrence garnered their fair share of minutes.
Cronin started with veteran Ge’Lawn Guyn at the point guard position but cycled Caupain in frequently. Both will clearly be battling it out there this season but I wouldn’t be surprised if the freshman won the starting job sometime this year. Johnson came in at the shooting guard slot and contributed three points, three assists, and a rebound. He was solid in his first start as a Bearcat. One player who was disappointing was the much-hyped Jermaine Lawrence. He was on the floor for just ten minutes and fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, putting up just two points and a rebound. It was an inauspicious start to Lawrence’s Cincinnati career.
Two players who really stood out this afternoon were seniors Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles. Maybe it was the fact that Carleton didn’t really have an inside presence to match up with them, but Cincinnati’s primary post players dominated the Ravens. Justin Jackson, a much larger Jackson Jackson I might add, put up 14 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks. Most importantly he was called for just one foul and didn’t turn the ball over. It was an encouraging performance from him. Titus Rubles was also impressive, slashing his way inside for ten points and six rebounds.
In general, this game went about as expected. Carleton put up a good fight but Cincinnati’s defense held strong and the inside presence of Jackson/Rubles confounded them all game. Mick Cronin has to be happy with the way his team performed, outside of the free throw shooting, and especially with Caupain and Johnson who had never played in a collegiate game before. Plus Sean Kilpatrick’s team leading 20 points, and his steady play in general, had to put a rare smile on his face. Overall, simply a solid outing from the Bearcats.