cincinnati connecticut

No. 11 Cincinnati’s loss to UConn shows it needs more offensive variety

Leave a comment

The No. 11 Cincinnati Bearcats are one of the toughest teams in the country. Nobody will dispute that Mick Cronin’s team can rebound and defend with the best of them. But does Cincinnati have enough scoring and variety on offense to be a major factor in March?

After Saturday’s 51-45 road loss to UConn, Cincinnati should be a bit concerned.

The Bearcats should be pleased that they were able to hang with UConn despite a poor offensive showing, but history has shown this season that when Cincinnati struggles to score, they usually struggle to win.

That isn’t earth-shattering analysis by any means, but to illustrate my point, Cincinnati is 22-0 when they score 60 or more points and just 2-5 when they don’t.

And when you only have two players that average double-figures in points, like Cincinnati does, 60 points isn’t as easy as it looks.

While Sean Kilpatrick is enjoying a tremendous season — and averages 20 points a game — when teams are able to slow him down like Connecticut did, it gives Cincinnati’s offense major issues.

The Huskies usually denied Kilpatrick the ball on the perimeter, and to avoid getting beat on backdoor cuts, a UConn interior defender would usually sag and help to make sure Kilpatrick didn’t get any easy buckets. Kilpatrick got a few — all good scorers do — but UConn’s defense showed that Cincinnati needs more offensive variety to be a serious threat.

UConn dared Cincinnati’s other players to beat them and they couldn’t. While Kilpatrick struggled to a 4-for-16 day from the field, his teammates weren’t much better. The Bearcats shot 27 percent from the field on 13-for-48 shooting from the field and had four points the first 12 minutes of the second half.

Cincinnati is filled with gritty and tough role guys that do their job, rebound and defend but can they get someone besides Sean Kilpatrick to step up and score if their senior star is struggling? Cincinnati can stay in most games because of its defense, but if a team gets hot against the Bearcats and gets a double-digit lead, Cincinnati could be in trouble.

Iona’s A.J. English, Davidson’s Jack Gibbs both go for 40-plus in wins

Jack Gibbs
Leave a comment

Two of the best guards in the country went absolutely bananas on Tuesday night as Iona senior A.J. English and Davidson junior Jack Gibbs had huge nights.

English dropped 46 points and went 13-for-19 from the 3-point line as the Gaels raced past Fairfield. The Iona star went 15-for-25 from the field and also had eight assists in the win.

Not to be outdone, Gibbs started Davidson’s game against Charlotte by going 14-for-14 from the field. Finishing 14-for-17 for the game, Gibbs had 25 points by halftime and 39 points at the under-12-minute timeout in the second half before deferring to teammates in a blowout win.

The 40-point efforts for both English and Gibbs were the first of their college basketball careers, and given the way both have scored the past two seasons, it’s not out of the question that this could happen again.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Michigan gets nice road win; multiple 40-point games

Caris LeVert
AP Photo
Leave a comment


Michigan 66, N.C. State 59: Playing without starting point guard Derrick Walton Jr. in the second half, the Wolverines still played well enough to win on the road in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Caris LeVert played a tremendous overall floor game to finish with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while Duncan Robinson came off the bench to hit five 3-pointers and finish with 17 points.


A.J. English, Iona: Iona was able to run past Fairfield as the senior guard had 46 points and made 13 3-pointers in the win. English also tallied eight assists as he went 15-for-25 from the field and 13-for-19 from 3-point range.

Jack Gibbs, Davidson: The junior guard had 25 points by halftime and he went 14-for-14 before finally missing a field goal in the second half. Gibbs finished with 41 points in total in the win over Charlotte as he was 14-for-17 from the field.

Robert Hatter, Cornell: The junior guard helped the Big Red to a win over Siena as Hatter had 32 points and six assists to go along with three rebounds and three steals.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown: The Hoyas earned an easy home win over Maryland-Eastern Shore as the senior guard went for 30 points on 10-for-16 shooting.


  • Another big game for Wayne Selden Jr. as he had 18 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead No. 4 Kansas to a big win over Loyola (MD). In his debut, Cheick Diallo went 6-for-8 from the field for 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
  • Abdel Nader had 21 points and Jameel McKay had 15 points and 19 rebounds to lead No. 5 Iowa State past North Dakota State.
  • No. 8 Villanova won a road game in Philly as they defeated Saint Joseph’s, 86-72. Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart each finished with 18 points while Ryan Arcidiacono had 17 points.
  • Virginia was able to win on the road at Ohio State without London Perrantes as Malcolm Brogdon had 22 points and six rebounds. The Buckeyes have lost four consecutive games.


  • Quality blowout win for Florida as they easily dispatched Richmond. John Egbunu finished with 17 to pace the Gators while Dorian Finney-Smith had nine points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
  • Northwestern outlasted Virginia Tech in overtime as Bryant McIntosh had 19 points and Tre Demps finished with 17.
  • Georgia Tech defeated Wofford at home as Adam Smith led with 16 points for the Yellow Jackets.
  • Georgia needed 23 points from J.J. Frazier and 21 points from Yante Maten to outscore Oakland in a close win.
  • B.J. Tyson had 15 points and nine rebounds to help lead East Carolina past Florida Atlantic.
  • Nice win for William & Mary over Old Dominion as Omar Prewitt had 18 points and seven rebounds.
  • Ohio got past Marshall as guard Jaaron Simmons had 25 points, six assists and five rebounds.