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Bearcat Hoops has a Bright Future

1 PM, March 21, 2016
Article by Jacob Geiser

It's never too early to talk Bearcats hoops. After the emotions have settled from Friday's heart-breaker, I can talk about the future. Bearcats basketball in 2015-16 seemed to be riddled with ups, downs, and absolute gut punching losses. Mo Egger seconds the amount of heart breaking losses the Bearcats suffered in 2015-16.


Well said Mo. via Mo Egger's twitter. 
The 'Season of Heartache' has finally come to a close.
The 2015-16 season can be called the 'Season of Heartache' I don't know how many times my heart hurt to watch some of the games play out the way they did. The list of heart breakers include: Butler, Iowa State, SMU, Temple, Tulsa, UConn, and finally St. Joe's.They lost all of them by a combined total of 16 points, 7 loses by 16 points. They all hurt. St. Joe's was the last straw for most UC fans, the proverbial "nail in the coffin".

Xavier fans got a glimpse of what it felt like to be a Bearcat fan in 2015-16 in their loss to Wisconsin
on Sunday night. I won't harp on the loss for them, I'll just say this. Xavier was very good in 2015-16. I would say they didn't have to deal with the heartache UC fans had to deal with all year, so seeing them lose the way did last night was ironic. We all know that XU and UC fans tend to battle on twitter. XU fans say things to Bearcats fans after losses. I have witnessed the indirect, but direct mocking of the Bearcats. So it is only 'fitting' that UC fans do it to XU fans when they lose. UC fans dealt with so much heartache this season, so to see XU lose that way... Yeah, I was happy they had to deal with that heartache. It gave them a taste of what it had felt like to be a UC fan all year. Other than that, great season for the Muskies but a tough way to end it.

Back to the team I care about, the Bearcats.  Losing 4 seniors would hurt most teams, but it shouldn't affect the Bearcats. Troy Caupain and Gary Clark will be the sure fire leaders next year, and I couldn't be more excited to see how they turn out. Every UC fan owes Octavius Ellis, Farrad Cobb, Coreontae DeBerry, and Shaq Thomas a big thank you for everything they did to help the program. They will be missed.

However, there is a bright future for the basketball team. The starting 5 next year is pretty solid: Troy Caupain running the point, Kevin Johnson and Jacob Evans III on the wings, Gary Clark and Kyle Washington in the paint. That is a very talented starting 5. The 3 who I think fans will expect the most from and for obvious reasons are Caupain, Clark, and Evans III. Those 3 will be the big players on offense. All of those guys have the talent to average double figures by the end of the year. KJ could be playing for a spot because if Jarron Cumberland can score at a decent rate, I could see Cumberland getting good minutes. KJ has breakout games, but he isn't a consistent scorer. He will need to make sure he becomes a more consistent all around player. Cronin loves his defense which is why he will start, but I think his lack of offense could hurt him in his senior campaign. Kyle Washington will be fun to watch. I don't know what he will be able to bring, but from what I have heard and watched, he could be another talented offensive player. His defense was a bit suspect at NC State, which could lead to Cronin getting in his grill consistently. His ability to play "Mick Cronin" defense will determine whether or not he plays a lot. Quadri Moore will be a junior next year. Now I know how some fans cringe when he steps on the floor, but I have a changed heart about Quad. When he played in the St. Joe's game he had a certain confidence to himself that was noticeable. He took good shots, and hit them too. Moore had the best game of his career against St. Joe's. His production was desperately needed with Clark's sprained ankle. It is clear to see Moore is working on both his defense and his offensive footwork in the paint. I think he could, emphasis on could, be a nice player off the bench next year. I like his mid range game and if he can get some post moves who knows, we could see a lot more #QuadSquad.
Here is a more in depth look at the 2016-17 Bearcats.

At the moment, on 3/22/16, Mick Cronin is still the head coach at the University of Cincinnati. He has been linked to the UNLV coaching vacancy. I'm not concerned now, but this could change as more information comes out. For any UC fans out there that want him gone, stop it. Who will UC bring in? They are not like UNC, Duke, UK, and so on. They have a great history, but they don't have the money or the appeal to lure any big name coach. Mick Cronin put this program back on the map (for the most part) and he has helped get the Bearcats 6 straight NCAA tournament berths. That is a good trend that should continue to go up. He is a UC grad, and a west sider; this is his dream job. He has said that too.

"I'm the only guy who has an agent that doesn't need one. I have no interest, none. The only job I have an interest in is the Cincinnati job." 
That quote came from a story regarding Cronin, and the current nature of the situation. All in all, I want and hope Cronin stays because next year's team has a lot of potential.

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