No Coach Could Do What Mick Cronin Did Against SMU, Again
Peel back the layers from Cincinnati Men’s Basketball victory over the SMU Mustangs. What do you see?
The outer layers show, first and foremost a win. A solid street fight win over the defending AAC Tournament Champs. This was SMU’s last chance to make the tournament, the Mustangs needed to win the tournament but instead they will be watching the NCCA tournament from their couches.
Keep peeling. Future Golden State Warrior Jacob Evans struggled early thanks to foul trouble and only ended the game with 2 points. He’s going to be fine because Jacob Evans wasn’t cut from the same cloth as the rest of us. Look for the All Conference player to bounce back Saturday.
And more peeling. Kyle Washington remains the most infuriating player the Bearcats have. HOWEVER, he had 15 points, 7 rebounds and kept the Bearcats in the game. Cane Broome came off the bench again on Friday. His 13 points were clutch for the Bearcats including his late-game three which put the Bearcats on a run.
That’s enough peeling. What you’re left with is No. 8 Cincinnati’s 61-51 victory over Southern Methodist University.
The Amway Center sounded more like GABP on a late April night, the exact opposite of the Bearcats last game in Wichita. Bearcats fans know what happened the last time the Bearcats played in Orlando at the Amway Center. Thankfully Cincinnati rolled into Orlando, rubbed their eyes and got to work when they needed to. There would be no time bending defining moment this time around.
Shoutout to the Bearcats fans that did travel to Orlando. UC has been traveling better and better recently, those fans that were there could definitely be heard over JT3’s monotone calls.
By my count, three were in double figures in Cincinnati’s win over SMU. Chris Mack taught us you need four at least players in double digits to win. The Cats had three. SMU only had two. Chris Mack algorithm of math states that’s a toss-up.
To recap, Cronin had. A.) His two starting bigs in foul trouble. B.) Jacob Evans struggling C.) Nysier Brooks and Tre Scott playing meaningful minutes.
Instead of feeling intimidated by their lack of urgency, Cincinnati put its hard hats on and went to work.
Jarron Cumberland had a setback, after dropping 11 on Wichita State the Sophmore had 0 points on Friday. Gary Clark continued to show why he deserved literally every award the AAC handed out this year. The senior had 12 points and 11 rebounds for another double-double. As goes Gary Clark so goes Cincinnati.
This win doesn’t have the appeal of at UCLA, At Wichita State or the win against Mississippi State on a national scale (Seth Davis you rat), it’s better.
The team is only faltering in the sense that they’re falling victim to “life in the American,” and that’s not fair. People will look at this score and see it’s SMU and not be impressed. Which is unfair because future Avenger’s villain Tim Jankovich can flat out coach, with Shake Milton in the lineup this game would have been much closer.
UC moves on to face the winner of Memphis v. Tulsa on Saturday. That game will be on CBS at 1pm.
This whole blog was written by The Enquirer’s Pat Brennan weeks ago about Xavier’s “impressive” win over Marshall. It was absurd at the time and a crazy spin zone. We decided to take Pat’s article and plug UC’s stats. The Enquirer won’t spin area this win for UC as a positive so we’ll use their article to do it ourselves.
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