Blog

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

Bearcats Host Temple Preview

The #9 Bearcats Host the Temple Owls Tonight!


Tonight at 9pm on CBSSN our Cincinnati Bearcats battle it out again with the Temple Owls (10-9, 2-5) I’m sure we all remember the heroics from Jacob Evans III that it took for the Bearcats to win the game in Philly. I don’t think that will be the story at BB&T later tonight. The Bearcats are rolling right now and are currently favored to win the rest of the games on the schedule! That’s intense. The conference is ours to lose and I like it that way. Controlling your own destiny is always the best case scenario.

Regardless, Temple isn’t going to be an easy fight but we’ve had their best shot at their place and walked away victors. I like the Bearcats by a lot in this one too. In Philly the Owls had two players in double figures, Forward Obi Enechionyia with 14 and Guard Shizz Alston Jr with 12. Josh Brown chipped in with 6 points and 11 rebounds also. The Owls managed to keep it close with the Bearcats on the glass all game which really helped them. They finished with 35 boards and the ‘Cats with 40.

The other huge problem in the first game was turnovers. The Bearcats had 16! We only manged to score 55 points in this one winning by 2 after JEIII hit the game winner with 0.4 seconds left.

Here are the highlights

The Bearcats also struggled from the field shooting 36% in the first half and only shot 60% from the line for the game. I’d bet a dollar that we shoot poor again in the first half. That’s the trend so far this season.

Keys to the game:

  • DON’T TURN THE BALL OVER! Less than 10
  • Make free throws (Jarron Cumberland really improved last game)
  • Feed Gary Clark
  • Shut down Enechionyia and Brown (Probably the best players on the roster)
  • Increase the rebound margin this time around I’d like to see +12 or more

We’re in the Top 10 for the first time since 2014 and I’d like to stay there. We just have to take care of business tonight.

Here are the standings in the American so far. Isn’t it beautiful?

I look for Jarron Cumberland to lead the Bearcats in this one tonight and Gary goes for another double double

Prediction: Bearcats 75 Owls 61

Brewery Review: Little Miami Brewing Co.


This past weekend I visited Little Miami Brewing Company for the first time. They are located at 208 Mill St. in Milford, OH. LMBC (I don’t know if they’re using that acronym) has been open for just over one month and is already a very popular spot on the weekends.

The Place

To start they have plenty of parking behind the building, which is a plus considering the crowd you can expect inside the taproom. I was there on a Friday night and the lot was almost full, still there was parking. The building is hard to miss and really sticks out in the part of town locals call “Old Milford.” Just to the left of it is a huge grain silo. You can’t miss it. You walk in and the setting is that of many breweries today. This one separates itself though with it’s extras. Each window in the front is like a mini roll up cargo door which is something I had not seen before. Tanks and fermenters are placed behind a half wall behind the taps and a large patio is on the far side. With it being January they have the patio door open and a large tent covering it for overflow seating. According to their twitter you can reserve this space for private events. They also have a small open kitchen that serves pizza (which I heard was delicious), pretzels, and an assortment of other things. Above the taps behind the bar they have a giant canoe and other decorations. The canoe and wall is littered with arrows, which I thought was a really cool touch.

The Beer

When I visited, LMBC had 8 of their own beers on tap. The styles ranged from a blackberry witbier to a red IPA. The beer was certainly fresh and the service was great. Of the 8 beers they had on tap of their own I had 6. They also had 4 beers on tap from other local breweries. In addition to that they offer, wine, and spirits as well. The highlight of their beer list were Bike Path a pilsner and Ruby in the Dust a red IPA. I was really impressed with Bike Path. I didn’t expect much since it was a pilsner, they’re not my favorite, but this one was very well done. At 4.8 % ABV and 20 IBUs it’s very crushable. A close second for me was the Ruby in the Dust Red IPA. There is some balance with this one with the hops and malts but I picked up a lot more of the malt. At 7.9% ABV and 50 IBUs it’s a solid red IPA. That night the Ruby was popular, the keg was blown pretty early.

The one criticism I have of the beer line up was that the darkest beer they had on tap that night was a brown ale. If you’re a craft beer drinker looking for dark beer you know a brown ale isn’t really what you’re looking for. According to Untappd they do have a porter they call Smoke on the Water, I’m guessing that just wasn’t available that night.

Overall

LMBC has a lot of potential and with the crowd I saw this past Friday night it looks like they’re going to do very well. I really have no reason to visit Old Milford so if bringing new people into the area was one of their goals they’re certainly accomplishing it. I’ll definitely be back soon, I’m anxious to see what other beers they have lined up in the near future.

They are opened daily and you can find out more about Little Miami Brewing Company on their website and their social media accounts. ( www.littlemiamibrewing.com or @littlemiamibrew on twitter )

The Bearcats make it 36 with Win over ECU

Gary Clark is the AAC Player of the Year


The #12 Cincinnati Bearcats now 17-2 and 6-0 in the American have now won 36 straight home games. In a game where the ECU Pirates hung around a little too long because of hot shooting (55% in the first half) the ‘cats got an attitude adjustment at halftime and the defensive effort kicked it up a notch. Gary Clark went out and did Gary Clark things notching yet another double double (14 points and 14 rebounds). It was his third straight double double and seventh of the season. He probably should have had around 25 points but missed a handful of half contested shots around the rim. Jacob Evans III and Kyle Washington each chipped in 17 points apiece and was followed by 14 from Jarron Cumberland.

The second half was all Bearcats all the time. The Bearcats controlled the pace and the effort as they breezed past ECU 86-60. Offense rebounds were key and the Bearcats grabbed 22 of them. While Evans, Washington, Clark, and Cumberland were the A team last night the B team showed great potential as well. Brooks produced 8 points and 5 rebounds in 11 minutes, Tre Scott had 5 points and 7 rebounds in 14 minutes, and Cane Broome is starting to play better after his ankle sprain, last night he had 7 points and 6 assists with 0 turnovers, which is huge. The Bearcats only turned the ball over 7 times all game.

Let’s revisit the keys to the game from the game preview:

– Make the open shot – The Bearcats struggled in the first half but picked it up in the second

– Don’t commit stupid turnovers, less than 10 for the game. Check! The ‘Cats had 7 for the game

– Gary Clark – Yeah, he showed up.

My prediction was 83-59. Final score 86-60. Pretty damn close.

If you were paying attention yesterday the Wichita State Shockers lost again. That’s two in a row for the Shockers. They lost at home against SMU and at Houston yesterday. I’m not really sure what that means for the strength of the AAC. Where does a Wichita State team with losses to SMU, Houston, and Cincinnati land in the big dance? Also, I’m not sure where I’ve been but as I watched the Houston-Wichita St game yesterday I finally noticed Houston’s Rob Gray and his man bun. We have to beat Houston every chance we get. We can not lose to a guy with a man bun like Wichita St did.

Andy Katz also had some remarks about the AAC and the Bearcats

So it seems the AAC is soley in the hands of our Cincinnati Bearcats. I don’t see us losing a home game. The streak will live to see the New Shoe but the rest of the season, will hinge on playing better in the first half and the Bearcats showing up on the road. Next up for Cronin and the Bearcats is another home game, Wednesday at 9pm on the CBSSN against the Temple Owls.

We can’t forget the Beer of the Game

Bike Path Pilsner from Little Miami Brewing Company in Milford. (@littlemiamibrew)

Bearcats look to make it 36 at Home.

Today at 4pm the #12 AP ranked and #1 in the American Athletic Conference Cincinnati Bearcats (16-2, 5-0) take on East Carolina (8-10, 2-5) at BB&T arena. (Wear White) The Bearcats put their 35 game home winning streak on the line on ESPN News.

The Pirates are led by BJ Tyson who scores almost 16 points per game and Kentrell Barkley who scores around 12 points and grabs 7 rebounds per game. They do average 66 points per game as a team it allow 70. The ECU Pirates are a typical AAC team. They have horrid losses on their “resume.” They’ve lost games to Eastern Connecticut, North Carolina A&T, Radford, and UCONN.

This should be a walk in Fountain Square for the Bearcats. They don’t have to do that much to win. The Keys are:

– Make the open shot

– Don’t commit stupid turnovers, less than 10 in the game

– More contribution from Jenifer and Broome

– Gary Clark

– Gary Clark

– Gary Clark

Pretty simple, right?

Prediction: Bearcats 83 Pirates 59

The Basketball Bearcats Have a First Half Problem

Cronin Has a Questionable Philosophy on Big Games

If you’ve watched the Cincinnati Bearcats over the past 12 years you’ve seen some classic basketball games. You’ve seen wins over hall of fame coaches, quadruple overtimes, and heavyweight bouts with top 25 opponents. However, you’ve also see a lot of one thing in particular. You’ve seen the Bearcats come out absolutely flat in more big games than not. I’m talking Waffle House pancakes flat. I mean 15 points in a half flat. Xavier up by 20+ flat. I think you get the picture. We almost expect it now. The Bearcats play very uninspired basketball the first half and, at least for this season so far, play a much better second half and come back and win.

Now, this isn’t a bash Cronin article. What the man has done at UC a lot of people thought was impossible. I want him coaching the Bearcats for the next 112 years and beyond. I just want him to try one thing.

Talk to the players about the weight of the game!

I went back and listened to almost every clip of Coach previewing a big game on YouTube. I’ve also heard him say this multiple times on his weekly radio show.  Here’s one thing they all have in common, Coach says something to the affected of:

“If I have to talk to my players about this being a big/important game, we got bigger problems than playing _____ tomorrow.”

The Bearcats then proceed to go out and play absolutely atrocious  basketball for the first half of the game. I think it’s a little thing but he’s spoke about it many times in the past why not switch it up and let the players know that YOU think it’s a big/important game? Don’t just count on the players having intrinsic motivation to go out and win. With my opinion and $10 you can buy a 6 pack but players need that hype from their coach. Just try to speak on it once, lets see what happens.

Have you not ever noticed him saying that before? Watch this clip for just the first 57 seconds.

57 seconds is all it took in this one. What happened when we took the court at Cintas? Well the Bearcats got ran off the floor letting X score 43 points at half. There are plenty of other examples. At Temple this season, 26 points and down 3 at the half, the UCF dumpster fire, and the Florida game. We can’t come out flat against Wichita St home or away. We can’t come out flat at SMU or Houston either. The hopes of a 3 seed live with winning 3 of those games mentioned.

Whatever the man says (or screams) at halftime has to work. In most instances this season the Bearcats respond in the second half and play so much better. It would just be nice to show life in the first half and not have to have someone save the season on a last second shot.

Now, I could be dead wrong about this and he does speak to the importance of big games to his players in the locker room removed from the media and cameras, but I don’t get that vibe from Cronin. He’s a say something and live it guy. Maybe Cronin is going for a Phil Jackson type of Zen Master so he tries to use Jedi mind tricks on his players. I don’t think Cronin can namaste his way to inner peace and a National Championship, he’s too jacked up. I wouldn’t have him any other way really. Maybe this is a little to much of having your cake and eating it too. I mean we are 16-2 and ranked #12 in the country. With this team though a deep run in March is pretty much expected and we have to play complete games to make it.