Jan. 02, 2017
Recapping the Bearcats thrashing of Tulane
As expected, the 23rd ranked Cincinnati Bearcats demolished the undermanned Tulane Green Wave in every way possible Sunday Night at 5th Third Arena, 92-56. Paced by the true freshman Jarron Cumblerland career high19 points, to go along with 15 by senior Kevin Johnson, UC cruised to an easy victory. A few observations below:
The continued emergence of Cumberland can only lead to good things for this basketball team. Coming out of Wilmington HS as a lethal scorer, to the tune of nearly 30 points per game, the former top 100 recruit had plenty of hype. And while he has come along slowly, averaging less than 6 points a game coming in, the flashes have always been there, as he has games of 11, 17, 18, and 11 along the way of some typical freshman struggles. Early in the season, all he wanted to do was stand behind the 3 point line and hoist up long 3's. If they were going in, that was great. But more often than not, he would miss a few, and then become invisible the rest of the way. The entire time, head coach Mick Cronin has urged him to be more aggressive and put the ball on the floor, to utilize his big frame to overpower opponents. Slowly but surely, as he has gained confidence, that has started to happen more and more, which can only bode well for the Bearcats and their fans.
Meanwhile, Kevin Johnson continues to quietly put together a solid senior campaign. Always known as an elite defender with his long arms and quickness, Kevin has been very consistent on the offensive end after a slow start to the season from behind the arc. He often gets overlooked by fans and media alike as he does it in an unspectacular way, and is way down the scouting report, behind guys like Evans, Washington, Clark, and Caupain, but he manages to get the job done, and always seems good for a clutch play or two. Tonight he poured in 15 on an efficient 6-10 shooting, including 3-6 from downtown. Only averaging a little over 7 points a game, he blends in with all the other good players on the 12-2, 2-0 AAC, ranked #23 in the country Bearcats, but he is essential to the long term success of this team. His toughness is unmatched, as he is more than willing to take on the challenge of guarding the opposing team's best perimeter player. He has now reached double figures in 4 of the team's past 5 games, and will be a key cog going forward.