Cincinnati Basketball: Preview for the Bearcats season opener against Illinois-Chicago

Cincinnati Bearcats take on Ohio State Buckeyes at Lahaina Civic Arena.
Cincinnati Bearcats take on Ohio State Buckeyes at Lahaina Civic Arena. /
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Make sure to preview the Cincinnati Bearcats long-awaited season opener against the Illinois-Chicago Flames on Monday evening at Fifth Third Arena!

The Bearcats are led by veterans Viktor Lakhin, Ody Oguama, John Newman III and Dan Skillings Jr, plus transfer guards CJ Fredrick and Simas Lukosius.

Skillings showed off elite potential as a freshman with a season-high 20 points in a win over Temple, and will have a significant role as a sophomore.

With a chance to secure an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 2019, Cincinnati is looking to improve on a 23-13 overall record from last year.

Cincinnati Basketball: Preview for the Bearcats season opener against Illinois-Chicago

  • Date: Monday, November 6 at 9:00 PM
  • Location: Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati
  • Series History: Third ever meeting
  • TV Broadcast: ESPN+ and fuboTV

Illinois-Chicago finished with a 12-20 overall record last year and the Flames currently sit at 243rd in the KenPom rankings heading into the season opener.

Lakhin is trying to continue to improve after going for a career-best 11.6 points and 7.1 rebounds on 61.7 percent shooting from the field a year ago.

The Bearcats opened as 14.5-point favorites over Illinois-Chicago with the over/under projected at 143.5 total points according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats attempt to open the regular season on a positive note

Cincinnati should be able to pick up a double digit win over Illinois-Chicago and start the regular season on a positive note before competition increases soon.

During a press conference at the Big 12 media day, Miller previewed the regular season and reflected on recent roster changes via Cincinnati Athletics.

The Flames are led by senior guard Toby Okani, who averaged 11.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in his junior year, and is a focal point of the program.

Wes Miller’s team is hoping to find success in the inaugural Big 12 campaign as the season opener is scheduled to get underway tonight on ESPN+!

Next. Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats gear up for regular season opener against Illinois-Chicago. dark