UConn is one of those schools that always manages to have a strong team. This year is no exception. I guess winning a national championship as recently as 2011 will do that to a program.
The team is a little down this year but February is the optimal time for good teams to become great. They enter this game coming off a three game winning streak. The loss that preceded this streak was to Louisville (no shame in that really). But in this winning streak they have outscored their opponents (Temple, Rutgers, Houston) 254- 180.
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Looking at UConn’s Players
Shabazz Napier is one of those guys who seems like he has been around forever. Good players always seem that way (Aaron Craft at OSU is another one of those). To be fair, Sean Kilpatrick is probably starting to feel that way to others. But Napier is a special player. Cronin speaks highly of him and rightfully so. He may be the best guard we have seen or will seen this year.
DeAndre Daniels is a key player to keep an eye on. He is a forward who will potentially give us some fits. A little while back at Memphis he put up 23 points and 11 rebounds. As of now he averages a shade over 13 points per game and 6 rebounds. A few more games like that Memphis one and he could easily be averaging a double double. Luckily for us, it sounds like he is probable or questionable for the game. Obviously you never cheer for another team’s players to be injured so I hope he is well but as a UC fan I can say the kid deserves a day off.
They have a full lineup but those are the two standouts in my mind. Check the links below for deeper analysis of UConn.
Keys for Cincinnati
- It would be nice to have Jermaine Lawrence back. Rumor has it he could play tonight but I certainly don’t want him back if he’s not 100%. I think we can win without him but it might be another exhausting game for us playing a good team while one man short..
- We’re #4 in the country in scoring defense. Let’s keep it that way. No easy shots, no stupid fouls and no foul trouble.
- Cincinnati is 24th in steals. UConn has climbed their way up to only 68th in turnovers. It should be very possible for our defense to generate some turnovers.
By the way, I’ve just tried to get some relative stats for the game. I’m pulling my stats from CBS. Any fan can have fun poking around all the categories there.
As of now (9:15 am CST), Bleacher Report has not weighed in but check them throughout the day. I’d imagine they’ll say something.
Fun fact: When I tried to find a Fansided page for UConn, I stumbled across this and noticed most of these entries are from a guy name Jack Jorgensen. Perhaps I’m squaring off in my preview today against some long lost relative of mine?
In previous years I would have picked this as a slip-up game for Mick and company. But since my Ode to Cronin, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ll call it at 63-58 in favor of Cincinnati. It could really go either way
Not sure if I’ll be available to live tweet the game but if I do then it will be from @Bearnati (sorry for the dumb handle, all the good ones were taken). I’ve also picked up a few followers on my personal twitter account who may be sorely disappointed because all of my Bearcat related talk comes from the Bearnati account.