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Barrels and Bearcats: The Gauntlet Strikes Back

Cougars Slip Past Bearcats


Take a deep breathe. Hold it. Now breathe out. Feel better? If not get a beer, that always makes me feel better. Last night the UC Bearcats lost to the Houston Cougars 67-62. I wasn’t going to look at the box score but I’m a glutton for punishment and had to write this.

Even though the loss sucks and the dream of a 1 seed is all but lost the world isn’t over. I mean Donny John is still President and I haven’t turned the news on yet today to see what or who he’s threatening today but I’m pretty sure we’re all going to be ok after this Bearcats loss, especially the Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team.

Last night in the world of college basketball the #5, #6,#8, and #15 teams all lost! If you throw in two games from Wednesday where #3 and #11 lost it’s been a wild week in this sport. The parody is great in college basketball, especially this season. No one has escaped it this season, not even our Bearcats.

From the game:

The Bad. After a picture perfect start for the Bearcats things finally slowed down, especially half way through the second half. The Bearcats shot 14% from 3 pt land in the 2nd half. They were   36-27. They were outscored in the paint 26-22. They were outscored on second chance points 17-10. Outscored on fast break points 4-0 and outscored from the bench 16-2. That is not a recipe for winning on the road in February. In the second half the Bearcats went 12 minutes without making a field goal. That’s incredible really.

The Good. JE3 finished with 16 points, Teddy with 14, Clark with 13,and Washington with 10. I thought the defense if Cumberland was as good as it has ever been last night. He took 3 charges which is a nice change of pace from him getting called for them. The stats sheet credits him with one steal but he had to have half a dozen deflections too. Washington continues to look good on offense, which is a good sign.

The Eye. You hear people talk about the eye test. If the team looks good or how they look winning, or losing. I’ve watched or listened to every Bearcats game this year so I know this wasn’t a great example but to some this might be their only example of the Bearcats this year. They did not pass the eye test.

The Media. When the Bearcats win some are silent. When the Bearcats lose they’re loud. To me it felt like the Enquirer was rubbing it in our faces. Now I don’t read their paper or even follow it on social media but somehow it still creeps up on the twitter feed from RT and shares. They suck. Also, there is a certain college basketball “analysts” who called out UC fans last night. What a turd. Also, the very first time the Bearcats make an appearance on the ESPN home page banner is after this loss. *Huge eye roll*

We can’t for get about the Beer of the Game.

The Bearcats can right the ship with one we’ve all had circled for a while now. Wichita State comes to town Sunday at 4pm. Go Bearcats!

Comparing Top 5 Bearcats

Earlier this week the Cincinnati Bearcats 23-2 (12-0) were voted in as the #5 team in America. It’s the highest rating under coach Mick Cronin and the best ranking of a Bearcats team since 2002. That’s 16 years! Let’s take a trip back to 2002 real quick.

The top three songs on the Billboard Top 100 were How You Remind Me by Nickelback, Foolish by Ashanti, and Hot in Herre by Nelly.

Some of the top movie of the year were Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, Gangs of New York, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

George W. Bush was in his second year of office and I was the only Bearcat fan in Middle School. American Idol was born, IPods were new, and B Rabbit punked the entire crew from Free World. What a time!

But let’s get back to basketball.

The 01-02 Bearcats finished 31-4 (14-2) and in 1st place in C-USA. They started the season unranked but started the tournament with a 1 seed. By the end of the season they were the #2 team in the country. They were led by Steve Logan, Jason Maxiell, and Leonard Stokes. Here’s the complete roster.

This team essentially had 2 NBA talents (one of which was the CPOY and first team all American), an elite lockdown defender, a high flyer, and couple unmentionables.

The interesting thing about this team is they weren’t great in any one stat. They ranked 43rd in FG%, 94th in FT%, 7th in def Rb, and 57th in assists.

Compared to this year’s team who ranks 136th in FG%, 264th in FT%, and 49th in assists.

Those stats might seem obsure but if you want to win in March FT% is a big deal and last time I checked the only way to get points in the game of basketball is putting the ball through the hoop.

This version of the Bearcats were upset in a classic March double overtime by the 8 seed, UCLA in the second round.

Now, we know this year’s roster, the storylines, the greatness that is Gary Clark, the talent that is Jacob Evans III, the physics defying that is Kyle Washington. Right now the Bearcats stand undefeated in conference play and haven’t lost since the beginning of December.

Here’s the question for you:

If matched up head to head, who ya go?

Do you go with Hugs and his 23 ppg gaurd Steve Logan? Would Cronin and this team whose depth goes on for days be too much?

Rebounds would come at a premium in this totally made up game that obviously can never take place and is only for fun. But man, watching JEIII try to defend Steve Logan would be fun and seeing Maxiell trying to defend Washington’s left half hook would be worth the ticket.

Could the 02 team match up with Clark? What about Cumberland, who checks him? How many defenders would it take to stop Steve Logan?

Ultimately the end of the season will determine where this version of the Bearcats end up in UC history. I know they’re special and look like they’re ready for a run.

In terms of the 2002 Bearcats or the 2018 Bearcats, I know who I’d pick to win it but I want to hear from you.

’02 v. ’18 Who wins? 

 

Barrels and Bearcats: The Gauntlet 2

So Far So Good…


Moody Silenced. Sunday’s game got ugly. Not what anyone was expecting going into the game really but SMU was outmanned and after the first 5 minutes that became pretty evident. The Bearcats didn’t make it easy on themselves early on. They started off 0-7 and for a minute you thought this might be a tight one. Finally the Bearcats caught on to the 2-3 zone that SMU refused to fall out of throughout most of the game. The zone left the high post open all night. It was a bold move really. Tim Jankovich dared Gary Clark and Kyle Washington to beat them in the high post. They finished with 11 and 17 points, respectively. Needless to say if you give those two the high post you’re going to lose. The Bearcats finished with 38 points in the paint. Why would you not switch up the zone? Go to a 3-2 or 1-3-1, do something. The Mustangs shot 26% for the game.

Washington. Now I was hard on Kyle in the first half of the season. If he wasn’t in foul trouble he couldn’t make a shot to save his life and was ghosting most of his time on the court. Man has he came roaring back in the second half this season. Sunday he finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. That’s just the latest installment of his Senior year farewell tour. He’s making them count now.

Bush. Speaking of Presidents George W. Bush was in the house to watch his favorite team, I can only assume it’s the Bearcats, dominate again.

Top 5 Dead or Alive. The Cincinnati Bearcats are now ranked #5 in the country. Let that sink in for a moment. #5. That’s intense. For playing in the American Athletic Conference that seems pretty good. Someone tell UConn fans it’s possible. In addition to the top 5 ranking Cronin now has his longest winning streak of his career and off to the best league start in his tenure here as well.

2 Seed. In the only look into the thought process of the selection committee this past Sunday it was annouced that if the tournament started that day the Bearcats would be a 2 seed playing in Atlanta. It should be noted that the Bearcats were the 6 seed overall but were switched with Kansas to even out the bracket. They were projected in the same region as Virignia (1) Michigan State (3) and Tenessee (4). I’m all for that.

The Gauntlet 2 Continues… The Bearcats took care of the Mustangs and next up is The Man Bun and the Houston Cougars in Houston on Thursday. The Cougars are renovating their stadium as well so the game will take place at Texas Southern, a close neighbor. The last game was lit. Probably the most entertaining game of the season. The Bearcats decided to give Houston an 18 point first half lead and see if they could come back and win. Thankfully, the Bearcats are that good this year. Jacob Evans III pulled out his entire game for this one, including a buzzer beater over Man Bun to end the half and cut the Houston lead to 3.

This one isn’t going to be easy and to hold onto this top 5 ranking we just have to keep winning.

Football. Today, around 11am the AAC will annouce the in conference football schedule. Should be an exciting announcemnt and I’m anxious to see the home slate. Need something to get you amped up for football?

Brewery Review: Rockmill Brewery

Rockmill Brewery

– TheBeercat


Every once in a while you need to take a road trip. I was surprised to find out beer exists outside of the greater Cincinnati area. Naturally I had to get out and try it. Just Southeast of Columbus sits Lancaster, OH. In Lancaster you’ll find Rockmill Brewery. I can’t recommend seeking out this hidden gem enough. With its close proximity to Hocking Hills you can bet the landscape is amazing.

(They have opened a second location in Columbus to spread their liquid happiness to others but if you have a chance to visit the original, do it.)

Rockmill sits on an a beautiful old horse farm and all of their beer is Belgian inspired Farmhouse ales. They’ve been open since 2010 so they know what they’re doing. They’re family owned and operated and are cranking out delicious beer of all kinds.

The property itself is worth a visit. They have several buildings housing their brewery operation. They have a patio and the most unique taproom I have every been to along with several barns and trails to walk on to see the property you get a one of a kind experience at Rockmill.

While the Lancaster location doesn’t serve food packing a picnic is perfectly acceptable. If you visit during warmer weather months a picnic on the property is a great way to see all of the natural works and with the wooden tables scattered about its pretty easy to find a nice spot.

The Hocking River rolls through the brewery’s property, a natural resource the brewery uses to its advantage in the brewing process.

Walk into the taproom and you won’t find a bar-like atmosphere or something that reflects a brewery atmosphere either. You’ll find a small bar in the main room and a lodge. I’ll call it a beer lodge. It resembles a cabin in the mountains more than anything really. Multiple rooms with tables, leather couches, ottomans, fire places, and some high top tables with chairs. Upstairs you can take in the exposed beams of the ceiling as well as several private cozy rooms. In the main room upstairs a look out of the window lets you see the patio and an awesome view of the entire property.

Beer? Oh they have that too. At the bar they have six taps and offer more beer by the glass poured from their bottles they bottle and sell right out of the taproom themselves. They offer anything you fancy, all with their Belgian twist.

Pilsners, IPAs, Stouts, Saisons, dubbels, tripels, you name it. They also have some outstanding barrel aged beer to choose from. The Cask Aged Tripel was easily my favorite beer I tried. It’s a tripel aged in whiskey barrels from a local micro-distillery Middle West Spirits. It’s smooth at 10.5% ABV.

A close second was the Sour Cherry Saison. At a cool 5% ABV it has a cherry start with a tart finish that isn’t too overbearing and won’t make you pucker it’s light and crushable.

I did bring home a Le Cheval bottle, at 5% ABV with a very attenuative yeast strain from Northern France it leaves a dry, crisp session saison.

(I’m very anxious to try it but I’m trying saving it for a bottle share.)

What’s really cool about this place too? They host private parties and weddings too!

You can find Rockmill Brewery at:

5705 Lithopolis Rd NW, Lancaster, OH 43130

www.rockmillbrewery.com

They’re also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

Barrels and Bearcats

Bearcats Slay Knights Road Trip Looms


Knights. What we witnessed last night was a slaughter. I’m not even sure we’re allowed to put the footage on the internet. The Bearcats were all over UCF from start to finish. The Knights made one shot very early then went what felt like a decade without scoring again. Everyone got involved in this one. Literally, everyone scored except the three walk-ons.

Nsoseme, Williams, Scott, and company all saw major action and held their own in the route. Cronin has been talking for several weeks about getting Nsoseme more minutes because he’s been practicing well. Glad he was the first one off the bench in this one. He finished with 3 points and 4 rebounds.

Trevor Moore lead all scorers with 14 points. Washington had 13, Gary 12, and Jenifer has found his tough again and chipped in 11.

The Bearcats defense looked far improved from the effort against UConn over the weekend. The Knights shot 19% in the first half and a mere 28% for the game. The most impressive thing was the Knights went the entire game without making one 3 pointer. Just as UCF thought they had an open look from 3 Gary Clark closed out blocked it and …

It was a rough night to be a Knight.

We can’t forget the beer of the game.

The Gauntlet Part 2. The Bearcats went 2-2 in the first Gauntlet losing to X and Florida and beating UCLA and Miss St. We are now at the beginning of the second one of the season. The next four games are at SMU, at Houston, #22 Wichita State at home and UConn at home. One big difference between the two stretches are now, it’s late in the season and we’re #6 in the country. Teams are hungry for a resume booster and we’re it. In college sports if we have to lose I’d prefer to lose early. People tend to forget and beatings fade with time. Play defense, hit the open shots, and keep winning.

Next up is SMU. The Evil Empire. The Bane of the Bearcats Existence. The ‘Cats slayer. Too much? You get the idea. It’s that time of year where SMU pops up on our schedule for the second time, at Moody. For the past couple of seasons the Ponies have had our number when they play host. Moody isn’t an easy place to win if you’re a visitor and no one knows that better than Coach Cronin. This will be the third time in five years where we play at SMU at this exact same point in the season. We’ve been ranked #11 or higher in each of those two games. All I know is Sunday at 4pm on ESPN the Bearcats better be ready to bring it.

Top 5. Both #5 Xavier and #4 Michigan State squeaked by and won last night. The Spartans next game is Saturday against #3 Purdue. The Boilermakers have to make it past #14 OSU first. (Go OSU? That’s weird to say.) If the Bearcats keep this in season winning streak alive we can only move up in the polls. While Xavier outlasted Butler last night the Dawgs get another opportunity at a top 5 team on Saturday when they play at #1 Nova. #2 Virginia plays hose to Virginia Tech as well.

UPDATE

Top 5 Collapses. Last night we saw a .500 St. John’s beat #1 Villanova and #3 Purdue get beat by #14 OSU. All the Bearcats have to do is win on Saturday and they’ll more than likely arrive in the top 5. A task easier said than done.

Beer of the American Athletic Conference

Must Try Breweries of the AAC

People say a lot of things about the American Athletic Conference. Some say, like those within the conference, that it’s a Power 6. Others insist it’s a Group of 5. “The football is sub par, the basketball isn’t competitive.” What’s the Big 12 doing? Does the Big 12 know what it’s doing? No one really wanted to go to Iowa that many times anyway. While March draws closer we’ll have to wait to see how many teams get a bid to the Big Dance but UCF was the National Champions in football, went undefeated, and dominated Auburn so take that.

Regardless of all of those talking points out of the American one of the things AAC fans should be talking about is some of the cool cities we can travel to for away games. I mean New  Orleans, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Orlando all have great things to offer traveling fans.(So let’s decide to have the AAC Tournament in Hartford, CT almost every year! More on that at another time.)

So for you traveling Bearcats fans, or any fans traveling to watch your team in the American we thought you should know which places in each city to stop and grab a pint or six of local deliciousness. We researched and put together a formula and picked out one brewery in each city for you to make sure you visit on your next road trip to watch your team. The formula? Beer Advocate rating + Untappd Rating + a bonus for close proximity to campus (for easy navigation) = making it on this list + a double bonus if we’ve already had beer from or have been to one of these breweries.

Here we go:

Annapolis, MD – Navy

Chesapeake Brewing Co. If you’re in town good luck against the triple option. I’d check this place out before you get ran all over. It’s one of the few places in the area that brews their own beer and has a good selection of food. Their owner is a graduate of the Naval Academy. If I’m there I’m definitely trying the Oyster Stout and of course the BEAT  ARMY Golden Lager. They host a handful of events through out the year. Patrons had good things to say about this one too.

“Great brewery with good selection of brews, owner and family are super nice people. A must if you are visiting Annapolis.”

Cincinnati, OH – University of Cincinnati

Rhinegeist. It was hard picking one brewery from the hometown but if one brewery captures the city best I think it’s this one. Located in Over-The-Rhine it’s a short drive to campus. The building and architecture is a must see and the beer is top notch. They host all kinds of crazy events to days featuring animals from the Cincinnati Zoo and a wild German Costume contest you’d have to see to believe. I’d also venture to say Rhinegeist is one of the best in state of Ohio. I suggest you have a Truth.

Dallas, TX – Southern Methodist University

Peticolas Brewing Co. In its first year of operations, Peticolas Brewing Company won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) for its Royal Scandal, an English pale ale, a second one a year later for its Great Scot! A Scottish Ale, and a silver medal for It’s Always Something, a Belgian Strong Ale in their third year. So what does that mean? It means they have some awesome beer available for you to try the next time you’re in Dallas!

Greenville, NC – East Carolina University

Trolling Wood Taproom & Brewery. This microbrewery has a pretty cool history. They’re housed in a completely remodeled building that dates back to 1924. The brewer is a graduate of ECU and they operate on a 3 Bbl system, which is basically the smallest system you can have for a commercial operation. What does that mean? Small batch beer that comes out just the way you want it every time. They have a solid patio and live music regularly. It looks like locals love this place which is always a good sign.

“Awesome brewery. I had a great experience here. Owner/brewer is super friendly and knows his beer. The beer was great and the atmosphere was really chill. If you are a beer geek and you don’t hit this brewery up when you are in Greenville, you are missing out.”

Houston, TX – University of Houston

Spindletap Brewery. When you think of Texas what do you think of? … I think of high school football, the beard of James Hardin, and Oil. The last of which is where this brewery finds its heritage and start. Just read the story on their website. They have all all star line up of beers that they can and serve up fresh in the tap room. Special events and food trucks are there all the time. It isn’t Texas Tea, it’s better, it’ Texas craft beer done right.

Memphis, TN – University of Memphis

Ghost River Brewing Co. Memphis, TN is a cool place to visit. It gets called a more tame New Orleans and while I don’t know about all that it is serving up some great beer. Memphis beer is also very interesting because every brewery there uses water from the The Memphis Sand Aquifer because it is purified naturally through 850 feet of fine sand and natural quartz. How cool is that? Ghost River cans or bottles some of its beers too so if it’s football season load up before heading out to tailgate.

New Orleans, LA – Tulane University

Parleaux Beer Lab. With everything there is to do in New Orleans make sure to add this to your itinerary before you forget you made one and can’t remember where Bourbon St is anymore. (Hint: you’re already on Bourbon St.)  This micro-brewery is located in the Bywater community in New Orleans. They have an ever changing beer line up on the taps because this place really is a beer laboratory. They love to experiment!

“This is a really great craft brewery. Great beer selection, chill atmosphere, and a fantastic patio. I’m from Atlanta but if I was local I have a feeling this would be a regular stop.”

Orlando, FL – University of Central Florida

Ellipsis Brewing. Now if you’re a basketball fan this is an important one because the 2018 AAC basketball tournament is hosted by UCF. When you’re there stop by this place. It’s probably the most recently opened brewery on the list but that shouldn’t discourage you. It’s a two story building that houses a 10 Bbl system.  They’re already very popular and have added a stronghold of beer in a newly found beer scene in Orlando. They’re a quick drive from the airport and offer a wide variety of beer.

“Came from out of town expecting an average brewery with average beer and I was blown away. Great brews, great staff and felt right at home. A definite must visit!!!”

Philadelphia, PA – Temple University

Crime and Punishment Brewing Co. This place is cool and it’s located in Philly’s Brewerytown neighborhood. Seems fitting doesn’t it? The beers are unique and the food is Russian inspired. This place aims to mix the once great local brewing tradition with the new age of craft beer techniques and  international influences. They’ve brewed a little known style of beer they call The Grod Inquisitor. Grodziskie, they say “the beer  originates from 14th century Poland and is brewed with 100% oak smoked wheat, and is often soured. They utilize a technique called kettle souring to achieve this desired subtle tartness. Smells of smoked ham and alfalfa bring way to a taste of cloud like sausage lemonade, which finishes with a crisp, dry airiness similar to a brisk wind blowing through your arm hair.”

Stoors, CT – University of Connecticut

Willimantic Brewing Co. I wasn’t sure what I’d find in looking for a brewery in the area but with a short drive from Stoors down to Willimantic you’ll find this brewery housed in an old US Post Office from 1909 to 1967 it sat empty for 30 years until they showed up and started brewing. They brew on a 7 Bbl system and produce a lot of good beer. You’ll feel at home in a cozy atmosphere add some food and you’ll never want to leave. They serve up some award winning chili.

Tampla, FL – University of South Florida

Cigar City Brewing. The first of two of the best breweries in the world on our list. Yeah you can visit 2 of the top 100 breweries in the world by traveling with your team in the American. This place promotes its self as inventive and it certainly is. With beers like Berliner-style Weisse with Cherries and Lime, a Brown Ale with Lactose and Jameson Barrel-rested Coffee, and Double Barrel-aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This place knows what it’s doing and is a must stop the next time you’re in Tampa.

Tulsa, OK – University of Tulsa

Prairie Artisan Ales. This was another one I wasn’t sure what we’d find until I remembered this awesome brewery. They can and distribute so odds are you don’t have to travel to far to find one. I just had Bomb! on Saturday (It was top notch) but if you’re in Tulsa look no further than this place. It’s the second of two places on this list that made the Rate Beer list of Best Breweries in the World list for 2015! That alone makes this place a must visit. Be on the look out for their cans and bottles the artwork on them are second to none.

Wichita, KS – Wichita State  University

Central Standard Brewing. You have to seek this place out. It has a chill atmosphere, board games if you want to play with friends or kick back and relax on some retro furniture or on the open patio good for all sorts of things. They use an oak fermentation vessel which is pretty unique. I don’t know if I’ve seen another place do that but I could be and probably am wrong. You can get anything from a crisp pilsner or a truly unique Saison Brett aged on blackberries and French oak.

 

As always we put together a Wish List of one beer from each of these breweries on our Untappd profile (TheBeercat1) for easy findings.

Have you already visited some of these breweries? Let us know how they were with a comment or a reply on twitter.

Cougars Get Mauled

Drama, Defense, and Dumb Refs


The Cincinnati Bearcats beat the Houston Cougars last night at BB&T arena and was it a doozy. If you turned off your TV mid way through the first half or better yet hurled it through a window hopefully you found a way to watch the end of the first half and whole second half. We witnessed the Bearcats yet again come out flat. As flat as they have been all year really. Shots weren’t falling and the defensive effort was sub par for Cronin’s liking. It seemed like the Cougars couldn’t miss in the first half. From the field, from 3 or from the line. Everything was falling early.

In the first 11 minutes or so the Bearcats had 8 turnovers. Cane Broom had a couple passes so telegraphed by 93 yr old grandpa could have intercepted them. Houston surged to an 18 point lead! It got ugly quick. I really thought Cronin was going to bite off Cane’s head,literally. He had a crazy look in his eye. The Cougars shot 50% from the field and from behind the 3 point line.

With about 7 minutes to go in the first half the Bearcats woke up and they were on a mission. The Bearcats started playing like the #8 Cincinnati Bearcats should play every minute. Brook played very strong in the minutes he got and had two early dunks to keep a pulse. Gary Clark hit two big shots from behind the 3 point line, the Bearcats started playing defense and then Kyle Washington woke up completely, thought, hey this is my senior year let me ball out! He hit a big 3 and the ‘Cats showed life.

My thought process was, we have to get this lead down to single digits or hell at least down to 10 before the half.

Then came Jacob Evans III.

Just like that the lead was down to 3 points going into halftime!

Still, I could not imagine what was happening in the locker room with Mick Cronin going absolutely insane. Whatever happened it worked and has all season.

Gary Clark went out and got yet another double double. Teams should just spot him 10 and 10 to start the game at this point. It’s going to happen one way or another.

Jarron Cumberland continues to improve. His defense is already solid but it’s getting better every game.

Justin Jenifer had a big 3 for us in the first half to keep a pulse as well.

Jacob Evans III showed last night why he’s better than Rob Gray. Evans is in another league, that’ll be quiet literal next year when Evans is in the league and Rob Gray and his man bun are in the Euro league. Evans would not be denied. He finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and just 2 turnovers. He also played all 40 minutes.

Kyle Washington. The Senior Kyle Washington had himself a night. He finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 huge blocks for the Bearcats in 26 minutes. He was on a roll and would not be denied. The Kyle Washington Mean Face lives!

This game featured 7 lead changed and 7 ties. The Bearcats beat the Cougars 30-22 in the paint and 9-4 on points off fast breaks. The ‘Cats had the slight edge in rebounds as well with 39-32.

For the most part Houston’s senior leader and human man bun was held in check all night. He finished with 9 points and 6 assists.

The Bearcats visit Houston in just 16 days. I’m sure that’ll be just as fun as last night.

A note on the refs. They were horrible. Almost as bad as the Memphis game. Jarron was called for a foul on a box out. A text book box out. JEIII was called for a foul and wasn’t close to a player going up for a layup. Both Clark and Washington were in foul trouble the second half. Along with a handful of other calls it wasn’t a good night for the black and white stripes.

If we can continue to get these kinds of tests and power through this level of adversity and win this team is going to be special.

The final score was 80-70 Bearcats.

We can’t forget about the Beer of the Game because there will be plenty of Cougar Fan’s tears after this one.

Bearcats v Houston A Preview

Bearcats. Cougars. Lets Go.


This Wednesday at 7pm on CBSSN the #8 Cincinnati Bearcats (19-2, 8-0) take on the Houston Cougars (16-4, 6-2) at BB&T Arena. Of course the 39 game home winning streak and the current 12 game winning streak are on the line. The Bearcats also have the opportunity to widen the lead in the American over Houston (tied with Wichita St for second) with a win.

The Bearcats breezed by Memphis on Saturday and had a couple days to recoup and prepare for this Houston team.

Houston is led by the Man Bun himself Rob Gray. He’s their hero and leader. The senior averages 19.7 points a game and has the green light at every opportunity. In my opinion he’s one of the top 3 picks for AAC player of the year. I’d currently put him second, right behind Gary Clark. The Bearcats have to know where he is on the floor at all times. I’m guessing JE III, Teddy, and Moore will all see minutes on him. They also have Corey Davis Jr at 12.3 ppg and Devin Davis at 10.8 ppg and 6.4 rpg.

The Cougars average 79.3 points a game and shoot a crisp 46.7 % from the field. They are also all over the glass with 39.5 rebounds per game. Their two losses in conference are to Tulane (81-72) and Wichita St (81-63). The other two losses on the year were to LSU (80-77) and Drexel (84-80) ((ouch)).

The best defense in the country has to be hitting on all cylinders to tame the Cougars.

The GoBeercats Keys to the Game
  • Keep it physical with Man Bun. Keep a body on him and let him earn it. 14 points or less.
  • Keep turnovers to less than 10 (this is super critical) and hit free throws. (Gary had a very off night from the line against Memphis)
  •  Rebound, rebound, rebound.

This game is going to be won in the trenches. Offensive rebounds and turnovers will be huge for the Bearcats. Free throws will need to be hit along the way as well.

Adversity. The Bearcats seemed well in control of the Memphis Tigers on Saturday night. Until half time that is. Memphis came out determined and full of life. They cut down the Bearcats once 16 point down to single digits before the Bearcats knew what hit them. Yes it caused some high blood pressure but I was glad to see them get some resistance. So far the bad AAC teams haven’t shown that kind of life after getting down that much. The Bearcats pushed the lead back over ten and didn’t look back.

Floor General. The Bearcats have a void at the point guard right now. Justin Jenifer seems to have no confidence in his offensive abilities right now and Cane Broom is quick but isn’t up to par on the defensive side of the ball, not to mention he’s turnover prone. For the Bearcats to have one of their starting five produce zero offense leaves them vulnerable. The ‘Cats struggle scoring for stretches of games, not having a key player score at all highlights that. Cronin likes to remedy that with sliding Evans over to PG. What about starting him there and sliding Moore in for a start. He had the D and the shot, as we seen with his dagger late in the game at Memphis on Saturday.

Injury Watch. At Memphis it looked like Gary Clark may have gotten hurt at some point and we all held our breath. Dan and Terry didn’t really make much of it on the radio broadcast just stating that it might have been a shoe insert issue. Apparently Gary goes through them like he does defenses.  I haven’t seen anything else about it so I’m assuming The Problem doesn’t have any. Jarron Cumberland looked just fine on Saturday as well. He twisted an ankle against Temple last week.

Rank Rising. On Monday the most recent AP poll came out having the Bearcats clock in at #8. Their highest rating this season and highest such ranking since they reached #7 in 2014. Cronin is well documented for not caring or discussing the rankings.

The Problem. Gary Clark was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the second time in a row. He continues to play at an elite level. His resume to earn the title again was nothing short of impressive. He averaged 17.5 ppg, and 9.5 rebounds. He also hit career milestones of 1000 points and 1000 rebounds. Unfortunately he broke his streak of double doubles on Saturday. He had 18 points and 9(!) rebounds. Mr. Clark is also the only player in America that ranks in the top 10 of both offensive and defensive ratings.

Bearcats Defense. Clark ranks #1 in country for his defensive rating. Although it should be noted that Kyle Washington is #5, Jacob Evans III is #6, and Jarron Cumberland is #16. Virginia is the only other team with 2 players in the top 16.

The ESPN match up predictor gives the Bearcats an 89.4% chance to win this game. The Bearcats will push the streaks.

Prediction: Bearcats 65  Cougars 55

Former Bearcat Hoppin Things Up

Kevin Youkilis is the Greek God of Hops


You almost definitely remember Kevin Youkilis the baseball player. You might remember him playing in a Bearcats uniform from 1998-2001. While at Cincinnati Youkilis was a two-time Second-Team AP All-American and First-Team All-Conference USA his junior year. He also set the UC career records for home runs (56), walks (206), slugging percentage(.627), and on-base percentage(.499). Mr. Youkilis manged to get inducted into the University of Cincinnati Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 as well.

You probably remember Youkilis the Boston Red Sox player that won two World Series. He had a very successful career in the MLB by any measure. He was a 3 time all star, Gold Glover winner, and Great Bambino curse breaker. He also once held the record for most games without an error and won the Hank Aaron Award in 2008. So yeah, the guy could play the game of baseball pretty damn well.

Somewhere along the way he took on the nickname the Greek God of Walks. Well now he’s tweaked that just a little bit.

Since he hung up his cleats in 2014 Youkilis has been working on his post baseball career. One that we at GoBeercats were super excited to hear about once we read it.

Youkilis is now the owner of Loma Brewing in Los Gatos, California. Which is in the Bay Area close to San Clara and San Jose. This could be the coolest thing we’ve ever heard of. A former Bearcats and Baseball all star to brewery owner? That’s right up our alley. From the looks of their social media accounts the place looks legit too.

In an interview with Draftmagazine.com Youkilis said he discovered craft beer after college and while playing professional baseball.

“The beer you’re drinking changes once you can afford better beer,” he says. “I realized there was really good beer out there created by smaller-producing individuals. What I loved the most was I realized I didn’t have to drink 10 beers to enjoy a night out. A couple well-made beers was more my style.”

So he partnered with his brother Scott and opened up Loma Brewing Co. As mentioned above, Kevin is used to winning awards and whatnot so would it surprise you if we said Loma Brewing won the 2017 California Commercial Beer Brewery of the Year. Well it shouldn’t because they did just that. Now, I didn’t know how prestigious that award is or whatever because it took place at the California State Fair but I do know that California as a whole has an awesome reputation for good beer so winning anything out there isn’t an easy task. After doing some research on the “competition” it turns out it’s legit and super competitive. With more than 1,488 beer entries from more than 400 breweries, the fair has become one of the largest beer competitions in the country. Only the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup are larger!

Loma Brewing Co. offers a wide range of beer styles and is well cemented into the community at this point. Appeasement IPA  is the beer that won the gold medal at the California state fair. There’s also a Kölsch, called Warren Peace, and (No Oranges Allowed) an American wheat ale that won silver in the same competition.

It looks like Loma Brewing does can some of its beers and I will be asking any establishment willing to order beers outside of the normal realm to bring anything it can to the area for GoBeercats to try. I’m looking at you Jungle Jim’s. Hopefully the pictures aren’t just of to go crowlers.

For you Untappd users there is a Wish List on our profile for an easy finding of the brewery and its beers. (@GoBeercats)

For those Bearcats fans planning on making the trip to UCLA for the Bearcats football game in September you should definitely check his place out. According to Google Maps its a mere 5+ hour drive. I’m sure it would be totally worth it.

Now, Kevin Youkilis is known as The Greek God of Hops.

Bearcats Crush Temple

Temple Didn’t Stand a Chance

This was a game dominated by Gary Clark’s history making achievement. He became just the 5th player in Cincinnati history to score 1000 points and get 1000 rebounds. Think of the players that didn’t accomplish that for a minute. Names like Kenyon Martin, Danny Fortson, and Jason Maxiell come to mind first, none of those three guys achieved that mark. Incredible. We’re witnessing history.

It didn’t take long for this one to become untouchable. Temple thought they were going to play us tight for about 3 minutes then their hopes disappeared pretty quickly. The Bearcats has 4 players in double figures. Led by Gary Clark with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 2 steals all in 26 minutes. Making that his 4th double double in a row. Kyle and Jarron each had 13 points each. Jarron had 11 in the first half  and missed most of the 2nd half with what appeared to by an ankle injury. Hopefully he’s good to go on Saturday. We’ll need him. Jacob finished with a nice stat line as well scoring 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and just 2 turnovers in 25 minutes.

Temple had 2 players reach 7 points each, Ernest Aflakpui and Quinton Rose. Their leading scorer from the last time they played the Bearcats, Enechionyiaj, was held to just 5 points. Temple didn’t have a lot going for them in the 33 point loss at BB&T arena last night.

The Bearcats had 45 deflections and out rebounded the Owls 46-36 a major improvement from the game in Philly.

The win also moves the nation’s longest home winning streak to 37.

I predicted a 75-61 victory for the Bearcats. I hit their points spot on but gave way too much credit to Temple. I also thought Jarron would show up big in this one and that was the case as well, at least for the first half. The Bearcats actually accomplished every key of the game that was in the preview for this one. Especially shutting down Obi and Brown.

BB&T was noticeably louder for this one, we need to take it to the next level on Saturday.

The Cincinnati Bearcats are now 18-2, 8-0.

We can’t forget the Beer of the Game