Big East Basketball Tournament - Cincinnati v Georgetown

Cincinnati aims to keep leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick fresh during preseason

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Entering the 2012-13 season there were high hopes for Cincinnati wing Sean Kilpatrick and the redshirt senior certainly didn’t disappoint, averaging 17.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for a team that reached the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season under head coach Mick Cronin. Kilpatrick’s production opened a door in the form of a spot on the United States World University Games roster, with whom he averaged 7.5 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

While having the opportunity to represent one’s country is certainly a positive, as are the games against solid competition, there’s also the concern once the college season begins that a player can get worn down. That’s something the Bearcats are looking to avoid with Kilpatrick, and the focus on keeping their leading scorer isn’t solely about fitness for Cincinnati.

“Five years is a long time to be in college basketball. What he did this summer with Team USA was great for his career,” Cronin said following the Bearcats’ first practices of the season Saturday (they held two sessions). “My concern is to not burn him out. We need to keep him fresh. There’s not much more he needs to learn about college basketball. We’ve got to get him help on the offensive end. Get him more open shots.

“He’s a guy I’ve got to make sure to keep his legs fresh all year because of what he went through this summer. This is his fifth year so I need to keep this fresh and keep this fun because you never have to worry about his intensity level.”

Kilpatrick finished the 2012-13 season with a possession percentage of 25.5% per, and of the other three Bearcats with a possession percentage above 20% two are gone (guard Cashmere Wright and forward JaQuon Parker). The returnee: senior forward Titus Rubles, who averaged 5.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his first season at Cincinnati.

So who steps up offensively to help out Kilpatrick? Rubles would be one possibility (he’s also the team’s leading returnee in assists), and role players such as Ge’Lawn Guyn, Jermaine Sanders and Shaquille Thomas will need to take advantage of the minutes and scoring opportunities available now with Parker and Wright gone.

Sean Kilpatrick’s going to get his points, but Cincinnati returning to the NCAA tournament will depend on whether or not his teammates prove capable of helping shoulder the offensive load.

Abdul-Malik Abu and Jared Terrell to announce September 7

Expressions Elite
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Expressions Elite teammates Abdul-Malik Abu and Jared Terrell have cut their respective list of offers to 10, then four and as of Saturday have reached a conclusion for their college decisions.

On Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, the duo will announce their commitments. Abu, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Kimball Union Academy (N.H.) is down to Florida, N.C. State, Providence and UConn. Terrell, a 6-foot-3 guard who plays at Brewster Academy (N.H.) will pick from Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Providence and Rhode Island.

Since Expressions Elite’s season came to an end last month, the duo has been busy cutting a list and then scheduling visits. Abu, made unofficial trips to N.C. State on Aug. 11 and then Florida on Aug. 14.

“Abdul liked N.C. State and the fact that he could come in and play right away,” Expressions Elite head coach Ty Boswell told NBC Sports in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. “He liked the overall atmosphere of the school, and he had a real good conversation with the coaching staff.

“He liked the tradition, and the way they develop power forwards for the next level,” Boswell said of the Florida visit. “He also liked Billy Donovan with how he interacts with past and current players.”

The most recent, and final visit for Abu was UConn earlier this week. Kevin Ollie showed the Boston native the new facilities, and according to Boswell, the staff made a great presentation to Abu.

Terrell returned from an official visit to Oklahoma State this past weekend, and is trying to plan a trip to Cincinnati this upcoming weekend.

“He liked the opportunity,” Boswell said of the OK State visit. “Obviously, Marcus Smart is leaving, and he’ll have big shoes to fill. He liked the fact he could come in and play right away.

Though he has the high-major offers, Danny Hurley and the Rhode Island staff have been aggressive in recruiting Terrell, which clearly has paid off.

“Jared liked Danny and the vision they have for him, coming in and being a focal point,” Boswell added. “They see him a guy that can help lead them to an Atlantic 10 championship.”

One school is still in play for both: Providence . Abu and Terrell have been high priorities for the Providence coaching staff, and landing commitments would be great additions to its 2014 class that includes Huntington Prep (W.Va.) small forward Jalen Lindsey. Rumors of a package deal have been consistent throughout their recruitments, though, both stated repeatedly that it would have to be the best possible option for both of them.

Abu and Terrell visited Providence on Aug. 10 for an unofficial visit, and participated in PC’s elite camp.

“It was a great atmosphere and a great situation,” Boswell said. “Ed Cooley has done a great job thus far, and has made it clear he really wants them.

“They have the opportunity to leave a legacy in the New England area.”

Boswell told NBC Sports that the two friends have spent considerable time talking to each other about the process, comparing and contrasting the visits they’ve had. Despite a date being set, Boswell says he doesn’t not know which way either of them are leaning at this point.

“Not yet … we’ll see,” Boswell said, “We’ll sit and chop everything up, and try to make the best decision possible as a group. Then we’ll leave it up to the kids.”

Abu is ranked as the No. 50 overall player in the Class of 2014 by Rivals. Terrell is listed as No. 62 by the same recruiting service.

Report: Cincinnati and Nebraska agree to home-and-home series

Cincinnati and Nebraska
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Cincinnati and Nebraska have agreed in principle to play a home-and-home series beginning in Cincinnati for the 2013-14 season. Officials at Cincinnati have said that a contract has not been signed, but the schools have a verbal agreement.

The schools have only met on the hardwood three times–Cincinnati has won all three–with the most recent meeting on New Year’s eve in 1996 in Puerto Rico as part of a holiday tournament.

In their second year as a member of the Big Ten and first season under head coach Tim Miles, Nebraska went 15-18 overall and 5-13 in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers have never won an NCAA Tournament game, and have not reached the Dance since 1998. Conversely, Cincinnati has gone to three straight NCAA Tournaments and have won three games during that stretch under Mick Cronin.

Cincinnati is putting together a solid non-conference schedule as games against New Mexico, Pittsburgh, NC State, and Xavier are already on the slate.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

Five-star forward Jermaine Lawrence commits to Cincinnati

Mick Cronin
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Jermaine Lawrence, a 6-9, 190-pound native of Queens, N.Y., has committed to coach Mick Cronin and the Cincinnati Bearcats, he announced via a series of pictures on his Tumblr page Sunday.

Lawrence chose Cincinnati over St. John’s and UNLV. He becomes the fifth commit in Cincinnati’s 2013 class, joining Kevin Johnson, Troy Caupain, DeShaun Morman, and Jaramee Strickland.

Over the past year, Lawrence has expanded his game out toward the perimeter and become a legitimate threat out to the three-point line. He is long and athletic, which allows him to get to the basket, rebound, and be an active defender. His performance on the spring AAU circuit turned heads and showed the expansion of his offensive game.

The last Top 100 recruit from New York City that Cronin was able to pull to Cincinnati was Lance Stephenson, who played one year with the Bearcats before jumping to the NBA.

Both St. John’s and UNLV had bothed keyed in on Lawrence, who was to be the centerpiece of each’s programs transition-style offense. UNLV has three commits in the Class of 2013, while St. John’s has still yet to secure any commitments.

To see video highlights of Lawrence, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Michael Carter-Williams dunks as well has he dishes out assists (VIDEO)

Photo via The Daily Orange
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Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams has had a sensational sophomore season. the highly touted distributor did not see much action last season because he was behind the likes of Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and Brandon Triche. But when he did get in, he did things like this.

Through 19 games this season, the 6-foot-6 Massachusetts-native is leading the country in assists per game (9.3) and has an assist-to-turnover ration of 2.4.

While he struggled early against Louisville on Saturday, he was the hero down the stretch and made the games most significant play.

On Monday against Cincinnati, in a game the orange won 57-55, MCW once again had the game’s most significant play, and boy was it sensational.

(Video via ESPN)

Carter-Williams may have an ugly release on his jump shot, and he still is a bit too reckless with some of his decision-making skills, but this kid can get up in a hurry. Methinks this is not the last time we are going to see MCW throw it down like this.

You can reach out to Troy Machir on Twitter at @TroyMachir

Report: UConn Athletic Director denies Catholic 7 rumors

Kevin Ollie
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The defection of the Catholic 7 and Louisville’s recent acceptance to the ACC, have left teams like UConn and Cincinnati left in a Big East Conference that looks more and more like Conference USA.

Both Cincinnati and UConn are looking for new homes and Friday, following a meeting among Big East administrators in Dallas, rumors began to surface that the two remaining Big East schools could join the Catholic 7 in all sports, but football, and take the gridiron as part of the Mountain West Conference.

Mark Blaudschun reported that Friday evening:

According to sources at Connecticut, some UConn officials were considering a plan which would keep the Huskies with the Catholic 7–Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova and Providence, as well as Cincinnati.

He went on to suggest that UConn could play football for the MWC, C-USA, or even the MAC.

However, that report is quickly being disputed by the UConn Athletic Director, Warde Manuel, according to the Hartford Courant.

“We’ve never had a conversation,” Manuel told Paul Doyle and Desmond Conner on Friday evening. “Our intent is to work with the remaining members of the Big East and the current members coming in. That’s been our intent all along. We have not had a conversation with any other group, any other conference, period. I have not had any conversations.”

According to the report from the Courant, Mike Aresco, the Big East commissioner held the meeting to discussing expansion and a television rights package among other things.

Doyle and Conner also reported that current Big East schools Cincinnati and South Florida were in attendance, as well as future members Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, San Diego State, Temple and Tulane.

The remains of the Big East continue to have an unclear future.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne