Cincinnati Bearcats Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mick Cronin led his team to a perfect 7-0 start to begin the season. However, as I noted a few weeks ago, the Bearcats faced three major tests in a row as they were set to square off against New Mexico, Xavier, and Pittsburgh. So far, they have played New Mexico and Xavier and have lost those games by the scores of 63-54 and 64-47, respectively. Talk about offensive issues.
Against New Mexico, as a team, Cincinnati shot an embarrassing 29.5 percent and 25 percent from three-point range. Sean Kilpatrick scored 19 points but went just 5-of-18 from the field, including 1-of-7 from three. As a team, their 18-for-61 shooting performance, including just 4-of-16 from outside, was not going to cut it against a talented New Mexico team.
In the loss to Xavier, the Bearcats shot just 33.3 percent from the field, including 35.7 percent from behind the arc. Kilpatrick led the team with 17 points but once again had a lack of a supporting cast. To add, the team managed pulling down just 20 rebounds on the game with Xavier holding a 33-20 edge.
After cruising past lesser opponents for the first seven games of the season, the Bearcats will either salvage their season or lose all of their believers on Tuesday, Dec. 17 when they take on Pittsburgh in the Jimmy V. Classic at Madison Square Garden. In order to beat Pitt, Kilpatrick will need some sort of supporting cast so he is not be forced to hoist up 15-to-20 shots. Carmelo Anthony already makes a habit of doing that in the historic venue on a nightly basis.