Mick Cronin

Cincinnati announces non-conference schedule

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Fresh off a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014, Cincinnati is re-loading with a younger group that will have to move on without Sean Kilpatrick.

But that doesn’t mean Mick Cronin’s team is scheduling any easier. The Bearcats play a tough non-conference slate in 2014-15 that includes a lot of good opponents with NCAA Tournament résumés of their own, according to a release from the school.

Besides the crosstown rivalry game with Xavier in February, which will be a cool non-conference game in the heart of conference season, Cincinnati has some good matchups against either Creighton or Ole Miss on a neutral court, home games against San Diego State and VCU and road games against Nebraska and NC State.

That doesn’t even include the AAC portion of the schedule, which will include some talented teams like defending champion UConn and SMU.

Here is the Cincinnati non-conference schedule:

Fri. Nov. 14: St. Francis [Pa.]

Wed. Nov. 19: Morehead State

Sun. Nov. 23: Eastern Illinois

Tues. Nov. 25: North Carolina Central

Fri. Nov. 28: vs. Middle Tennessee, Niceville, Fla.

Sat. Nov. 29: vs. Creighton or Ole Miss, Niceville, Fla.

Tues. Dec. 2: Stony Brook

Sat. Dec. 13: at Nebraska

Wed. Dec. 17: San Diego State, 9 p.m.

Sat. Dec. 20: VCU, Noon

Tues. Dec. 23: Wagner

Tues. Dec. 30: at NC State, 4 p.m.

Wed. Feb. 18: Xavier, 7 p.m.

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.