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Previewing Cincinnati

Scouting Report
Season Stats

Cincy Offense 05-06Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%47.7240Turnover Rate16.65Off Reb Rate33.2136FTM/FGA23.7203Cincy Offense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%46.4250Turnover Rate19.238Off Reb Rate36.981FTM/FGA20.2268

Cincinnati is another team dealing with a lot of roster turnover; this year's squad features three juco transfers and a freshman in its starting lineup. The reinforcements from the junior college ranks have helped Cincy patch together a competitive starting five, but that's about it. Six guys average double-digit minutes, while the rest of the bench fills in as little as possible. But even in limited roles, those bench guys have been awful. No need to worry, then, about the Bearcats sending waves of players at us in an attempt to tire us out. Nor will they look to play an up tempo game. We're arguably deeper than they are.

Probable Starters:

Deonta Vaughn (6-1,200) -- Vaughn, who is a true freshman, has stepped into the lineup and played the point admirably. The Bearcats rely on him to both distribute the ball--he has good assist and turnover rates, plus a 1.7 A:T ratio--and to score--he's their second-leading scorer and leads the team in field goal attempts. He shoots a lot from outside (63 3FGAs, hitting 34.9%) and has the highest usage on the team.

Jamual Warren (6-2, 195) -- Warren has struggled with his shooting (38.2 eFG%, 4-26 from three) and is turning the ball over a lot, which has killed his offensive rating. He's using more possessions than he probably should be. Doesn't get to the line but does have a nice steal percentage.

John Williamson (6-6, 225) -- Cincy's MVP so far. He's shooting well (58.4 eFG%) and has a low turnover rate (12.3%) despite high usage. He gets to the line, and, most impressively, grabs a ton of rebounds at both ends of the court. Sounds like a job for Gavin Grant.

Cedric McGowan (6-6, 230) -- McGowan--the only starter on last year's Cincinnati roster--is the other big hole of ineffectiveness in the starting lineup. He's 3-24 (12.5%) from behind the arc; he shot 24.4% (11-45) from long range in 2006.

Marcus Sikes (6-8, 235) -- Fourteen-for-40 (35%), 11-27 (40.7%) from three. Good offensive rebounding numbers but the defensive rebounding could be better. Takes a low proportion of Cincinnati's shots while he's on the court (15.9%) and has fewer field goal attempts than every other starter.


Well, let's see here. I'm just going to go down the offensive rating column to get an-- Oh dear god! For the love of all things holy! Can these numbers be right?

What do I find when I look at the bench? A barrenous wasteland. A massive, swirling, mostly useless Black Hole of Suck from which efficiency cannot possibly escape.

Deonta Vaughn has been given explicit instructions by coach Mick Cronin. "You must ignore your impulse to distribute the basketball! Do not pass to the Black Hole of Suck! Do not even look at the Black Hole of Suck! Would you want to kill a young, innocent possession? Of course not. You're too good a person. Every time you think about passing to the Black Hole of Suck, take a jump shot." And so he does.

The Black Hole of Suck will, in its various incarnations, take the form of Marvin Gentry (6-3, 175), Ronald Allen (6-9, 225), Tim Crowell (6-2, 170), and Connor Barwin (6-4, 240).

Sorry; I never learn my lesson. When the BHoS scores 30 points on Saturday, you can heap the blame on me.

Cincy Defense 05-06Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%46.961Turnover Rate20.5208Off Reb Rate34.6257FTA/FGA28.735Cincy Defense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%44.543Turnover Rate21.7196Off Reb Rate28.627FTA/FGA32.296

Some teams win with offense, others win with defense. Cincinnati wins with (stop me if this is shocking) defense. The Bearcats' offense ranks 165th in offensive efficiency (99.9 pts/100 possessions) while the defense ranks 30th in defensive efficiency (allowing 87.1 pts/100 possessions).

Pomeroy has us losing 70-63. I've got the Bearcats by two, 68-66.