What a great night for the Bearcats to completely rip a conference opponent apart for the first time this year. On a night were Syracuse, Florida and Arizona struggled very mightily on the road, the Bearcats went to Orlando, enjoyed the weather judging from the tweets of every player, and kicked some ass. UC beat Rutgers by 20 and UCF by 18 earlier in the season. They closed strong in those games to make them blowouts. UC went on a run in the second segment of the game last night and it was over. Louisville, UConn, Memphis and SMU had all destroyed people from tip to final buzzer. I will be honest, it was worrying me a little bit that Cincinnati wasn't doing the same. My worries were put to rest.
This game sent a message to the rest of the league. 77 points in 65 possessions is pretty good. The last two games have been two of the top seven offensive performances of the season. The offense getting going as we enter the league championship gauntlet is very encouraging. Louisville, at UConn, Memphis. What a closing kick. The last two games were a fine little redemption after the SMU loss. Good teams win a game. Great teams take two of three. Champions sweep out the regular season. I think the Bearcats are the latter. Can't wait to see them play like it.
One more time with congratulations to Sean Kilpatrick for passing Steve Logan for second place all time in scoring. Steve Logan said this after the game.
Congrats to sk for passing me up on the scoring list, Great career little bra !!!!!
— Steve Logan (@Only1SteveLogan) February 20, 2014
To which Kilpatrick followed:
— Sean Kilpatrick (@SeanKilpatrick_) February 20, 2014
That's incredibly awesome.
Oscar Robertson's twitter account added the following as well:
Sean Kilpatrick played 29 minutes last night which was his fewest since ……. the last Central Florida game. SK poured in a game high 23 points on 8 of 16 shooting, 6 of 12 from 3. It's like Kilpatrick took that SMU game where he was 5 of 18, 3 of 12, to hear because he absolutely destroyed Houston and UCF to the tune of 17 of 34, 8 of 20 from 3. Once again he was the most efficient player on the court. He used a lot of possessions and used them well. Kilpatrick scored pretty much any way he wanted. UCF could not stop him. I think all of his 3s were in transition it felt like. Even the ones he missed looked good off the hand. Another standout game in a standout season. I love watching this man play basketball. So glad it's in a Cincinnati uniform. Love you, SK.
Somehow that is the best picture the AP had of Kilpatrick from the game. Why?
UC was 2-9 from 3 at one point in the first half. They finished 9-19. That's 7 of 10. That might be the best UC has shot the 3 ball this year. As you can tell, a lot of it was 23 doing work.
Numbers wise, Justin Jackson had a good game. 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals, 1 assist to 2 turnovers. He needed 12 shots to get 10 points though. He was 5 of 12 from the field and 0-2 at the line. If there was something holding me back from making Jackson the team MVP of conference play, it's the free throw shooting. He's around 50%. It's too big a hole in his game. Especially when you have to pick nits to come up with an MVP on this team. Still though, 12 shots in 26 minutes from Justin Jackson is pretty incredible when you think about it. I don't think he could have taken 12 shots in 26 hours his first three seasons. His confidence against opponents that can not guard him, like UCF, is through the roof. And that's a great thing.
Look at his face on this drive. 'Barbecue chicken' has to be what he's thinking. Because it's what we were all thinking.
Obligatory Justin Jackson block photo.
I love how casual one of Jackson's blocks was. It might have been this one. A UCF player went up weak, Justin jumped and was like 'are you for real with this shot?' and swatted it away so easily. He's great.
A quiet really good game from Jermaine Sanders. Jermaine scored 9 points on 4 of 5 shooting, 1-2 from 3, with 5 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist and a turnover. Sanders had only made 5 shots the last 4 games. Last night's explosion was much needed. I don't think it needs to be said how much better the team looks when you have the bench guys getting buckets. Hopefully this will be a confidence riser for Jermaine and he brings it against Louisville. Great game, 15.
I'll say the same thing about Shaquille Thomas. Thomas was 4-8 for 8 points. Two of his baskets were dunks. He had a big time follow dunk where he got the ball at the top of the box and finished like this:
I don't know where that photo is from but if anyone does, tell me and I'll attribute it.
Thomas also finished a dunk off a no look pass from Troy Caupain. Awful video alert:
Not a bad way to get half of your points. I also like that Thomas took as many shots as he did. 8 shots a game from Shaquille is just about right.
Well balanced game by Titus Rubles with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. He was 2-6 from the field. One of the two was this.
Not a bad second basket. Rubles' other basket was a shot from the elbow. If his midrange game was shots from the elbow, that would be great. His shooting percentage would rise. He's a good foul shooter.
Rubles let the blowout get the best of him and put up a 3. NO, TITUS. NO THREES. YOU DO NOT SHOOT THREE POINTERS. NO.
21 minutes from Jermaine Lawrence. He pulled down 5 rebounds and blocked 2 shots. His offense hasn't come around since the injury. He was 0-4, 1-2 from the line, for a point. He's 0-7 since returning.
Troy Caupain played some great basketball last night. He was 2-2 for 5 points but that wasn't the great part. He dished out 6 assists to 0 turnovers with a steal. His play running the show was tremendous. One of his shots was a layup. The other was a 3 pointer where he popped it clean. I almost said stroked it clean but that sounded weird. Popped it clean kind of sounds weird as well. In only 19 minutes, Troy was the third most efficient Bearcat. He brought it last night. Great game.
Kevin Johnson played 15 minutes last night, the most minutes he's played since Nebraska. He scored 5 points on 2-4 shooting, 1-1 at the line. Johnson had 3 assists to 0 turnovers, 2 rebounds and a block. He played very well. I would have liked to see him have more minutes throughout conference play, but we know Mick's patterns. Kudos to KJ for being ready to go out and perform when he was called upon.
Ge'Lawn Guyn picked up 2 fouls in under a minute to start the game. He finished with 5 points on 2-4 shooting, 1-2 from 3. He had 3 rebounds and an assist in 13 minutes. Another guy who has played very well lately.
David Nyarsuk was 2-3 for 5 points. His miss was a 13 foot jump shot. It was THE BEST. Dave shooting jumpers is always amazing. Love you, Dave.
If you didn't know what a gunner was, Isaiah Sykes showed you the definition last night. He was 5-15 for 13 points with 10 boards. He had 7 turnovers. Once UCF got down 20 in the first half, he was getting his no matter what. These are my least favorite players to watch. Sykes is talented. He doesn't need to be obscenely selfish. He has to be selfish to a large extent because that team is god awful. But there is a line.
Seriously, UCF is worse than Temple.
Justin Jackson is from Florida. His family was at the game.
LARRY JACKSON MEAN FACE. Easy to see where Jack gets it.
The officials were whatever in a 30 point game. But this call was horrendous.
The official looking right at the UCF player dribble the ball off his foot called it out on UCF. TV Teddy called that out on Cincinnati. Apparently Shaquille Thomas has go go gadget arms.