Last night’s obliteration at the hand of UC’s crosstown rival didn’t sit well with me. I’m sure others shared my feelings. Here are those postgame reactions.
For the second game in a row, Ge’Lawn Guyn went scoreless. He was 0-2. Justin Jackson threw up 1 point, and just 1 field goal, with 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 turnovers. Titus Rubles was 0-6 from the field for 3 points. Troy Caupain was 2-8. No one really played well. Cincinnati had 7 assists against 10 turnovers. Just an ugly night.
The hope was that Sean Kilpatrick would smooth over the transition a bit, and that guys who played limited roles in previous seasons would adapt well to the bright lights. Five weeks into the season that dream lays shattered and broken at our collective feet. Where do we go from here? You turn the freshman lose, play Kevin Johnson, Jermaine Lawrence and especially Troy Caupain as much as possible and let them learn from this year. The NCAA tournament streak will end, but that is beside the point.
By comparison Cincinnati shot 33.3% from the field and could only convert those 20 turnovers into 14 points (Xavier scored 15 points on ten Cincinnati turnovers). With the Bearcats shooting as poorly as they did, and leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick attempting just nine shots from the field (he was averaging 12.8 attempts/game entering Saturday), Xavier was able to get away with their turnover problem.
Sean Kilpatrick paced the team with 17 points, including 8-of-12 free-throw shooting, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a night of poor team shooting. UC never recovered from allowing 41 first-half points, the most they’d surrendered in any half this season.
Cincinnati turned up the defensive pressure and forced six turnovers early in the second half but couldn’t get the deficit under 10 points. Kilpatrick was Cincinnati’s only consistent scoring threat.
UC, which never led, had no answer with an offense that at times seemed disorganized and at other times simply failed to take advantage of its open shots the way the Musketeers did.
When UC isn’t creating offense from its defense, it isn’t getting much offense. The Bearcats were woeful in the half court Saturday. Their point guards, Ge’Lawn Guyn and Troy Caupain, combined for zero assists and two turnovers. Cronin blasted the play of Sean Kilpatrick. But in truth, Kilpatrick is the only UC player who looks capable of creating his own shot.