Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bearcat Preview

BG now moves on to play the Cincinnati Bearcats, a traditional power in the Midwest.  BG and UC have played 10 times and UC has won 9 of them.  The only win for BG was in Game 3 of the Orr Era.

It's a new era at UC, too.  Mick Cronin has moved on to UCLA and the new coach is John Brannen who moved a very short distance from Northern Kentucky to UC.  He was highly successful in building the program at NKU, winning 20 games each of his last three seasons after going 9-21 in year one.  UC's a great job for him.

According to Blue Ribbon, his plan was to press 94 feet.  Not sure if that's going to happen--they turnover % is roughly what is was last year...and that was pretty much average.  Maybe it isn't in their DNA yet.

What IS in their DNA is defense.  Last year, UC was #28 in the country in defensive efficiency and this year they are #30 to date.  They are 3-1.  The loss was @Ohio State and the wins are Drake (129) and Alabama A&M (#350) at home and then a very close win over Illinois State (#197) in the VI.  They beat I-state 66-65.  Their kenpom is #31 and they are picked to be #2 in their conference behind on the Memphis Pennys.

So, that's not a world-beating schedule, but it's not bad either.

Their calling card is FG Defense.  They are #30 in the nation in terms of being difficult to shoot against.  That's 42% (#41) against the 2FG...something that has to make Falcon fans nervous, since BG is shooting the 2FG horribly (#342).  They are also only allowing 28% on the 3FG and BG is shooting that might end up being the struggle that defines the game.

They are average-ish in forcing turnovers and in defensive rebounding but also are #87 in keeping teams off the line---BG is #330 in the nation at getting to the line.

On offense, UC has also been very effective.  They are #49 in offensive efficiency.  They do turn the ball over quite a bit, but beyond that shoot 57% from 2FG and are #36 in the nation on the offensive boards and #46 at getting to the line.  BG is #347 at allowing FTs.

UC is lead by Jarron Cumberland, Blue Ribbon's America East player of the year.  He's scoring 15.7 PPG but inefficiently...shooting 37% and 24%.  He's a 6'5" SR.  His numbers last year were better, so look for him to pick up the pace over the year.

Chris Vogt is their second leading scorer.  He's a 7'1" JR scoring 11.8 PPG on 73% shooting adding 7.5 RPG.  He came from NKU and was supposed to sit out but won the NCAA's Magicwaiver Lottery.  Keith Williams, a 6'5" JR is also scoring about 11 PPG on 52% shooting. 

Other players...Cumberland has a cousin (Jaevin who comes off the bench, grad transfer from Oakland).  Tre Scott (6'8" SR) gets 9.5 RPG.

It will be interesting to see.  Clearly, UC is a high-quality team playing well on both ends of the floor.  BG had a day to get ready and why not?  It would be a huge win for BG.  Right now, UC is ranked ahead of LSU...can't wait to see.

1 comment :

Frank said...

On offense, Bearcats haven't shot well beyond the arc - especially against OSU & Illinois State. With transfer Cumberland injured, chances of 3's even more remote. Falcons have a good chance if they shoot well.