#19 Cincinnati Bearcats: College Basketball 111 in 111


cincinnati cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Cincinnati Bearcats were at the epicenter of college basketball’s black eye last season when they brawled on the court with crosstown rival, Xavier.  Rather than letting that spin Cincy’s season in a downward spiral, Mick Cronin rallied his team and they grew stronger as the season progressed.  The ‘Cats should once again be in a position to make some noise since they return three of their five starters.

Last Season: T-4th, 12-6 in Big East, 26-11 overall
Predicted Big East Finish: 4th

Projected Depth Chart
C/F: Cheikh Mbodj (Sr)/Kelvin Gaines (So)/David Nyarsuk (Jr)
F: Justin Jackson (Jr)/Titus Rubles (Jr)/Jermaine Sanders (So)
G/F: Sean Kilpatrick (Jr)/Shaquille Thomas (Fr)
G: JaQuon Parker (Sr)/Jeremiah Davis (So)
PG: Cashmere Wright (Sr)/Ge’Lawn Guyn (So)

Gone: C-Yancy Gates, SG-Dion Dixon, PF-Octavius Ellis (dismissed)

2012-2013 Outlook:
Cronin primarily used a quicker, smaller four-guard line-up that allowed Cincy to really pressure the ball defensively but also use their quickness and ability to shoot the rock on offense.  Three of those four guards return and will be relied upon to lead the charge this season.

Sean Kilpatrick built off a solid freshman campaign to lead the team in scoring thanks to his smooth stroke from distance.  Cashmere Wright will once again be the floor general, a role that he has steadily grown into while also providing tons of pressure on the defensive end.  JaQuon Parker fits the role of glue guy and was often the guard having to guard bigger, more physical opponents.  He can use his ability to break down defenders and get to the tin but also rebounds well for his size.

More than likely, the Bearcats will use a bigger starting five with Cheikh Mbodj holding down the fort and either Justin Jackson or JUCO transfer Titus Rubles at the four.  Mbodj backed up Yancy Gates last year and will bring some physicality inside but doesn’t possess the offensive ability Gates did.  Because of a thumb injury to Jackson early on, Rubles has started both exhibition games.  Cronin does expect Jackson to be ready for the season opener against UT-Martin on Sunday and he’ll make his biggest impact due to his athleticism, shot blocking, and ability to run the floor.

The bench is a bit of a question mark due to a lack of experience.  Ge’Lawn Guyn and Jeremiah Davis each played sparingly off the bench as freshmen and should each continue in that role this season.  6-7 Shaquille Thomas wasn’t cleared to play by the NCAA last year but did practice with the team and will bring some more length and athleticism to the forward position.

Assuming Jackson gets the nod to open games, Rubles will be a valuable reserve since he was one of the top junior college recruits in the country.  Kelvin Gaines and Jermaine Sanders could see expanded roles off the bench though 7-1 transfer David Nyarsuk might steal some minutes because his height and length.

Cincy will once again play a very rugged brand of basketball.  With plenty of experience in the starting backcourt, the productivity of the guys up-front could determine how competitive the ‘Cats can be in the bigger picture.

Player to Watch: Sean Kilpatrick
In losing Gates and Dion Dixon, that’s a little more than 25 points per game Cronin must replace from his starting unit.  Kilpatrick figures to pick up some of that slack and becoming more confident with his dribble-drive ability will help him take his game to the next level.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/23 vs. Iowa State (Las Vegas Classic)
11/24 vs. UNLV/Oregon (Las Vegas Classic)
12/1 vs. Alabama
12/15 at Marshall
12/19 vs. Xavier
12/27 vs. New Mexico

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#21 Creighton Bluejays
#22 Gonzaga Bulldogs
#23 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#24 Memphis Tigers
#25 Baylor Bears
#26 Wisconsin Badgers
#27 Tennessee Volunteers
#28 Pitt Panthers
#29 New Mexico Lobos
#30 St. Mary’s Gaels
#31 Georgetown Hoyas
#32 North Texas Mean Green
#33 Ohio Bobcats
#34 Texas Longhorns
#35 Miami Hurricanes
#36 Purdue Boilermakers
#37 Alabama Crimson Tide
#38 St. Joseph’s Hawks
#39 Murray State Racers
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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