The Bearcats have struggled in early conference play but have found ways to win games, except in Greenville, and on Saturday they did just that again. In a hostile environment the Bearcats emerged victorious again. Despite Gregg Marshall and his sideshow on the sidelines, which ended up costing his squad the game.
First, some random thoughts from the game.
- Cumberland was aggressive on the glass from the beginning. He actually matched his season high with 7 rebounds. He had just 2 against USF.
- Brooks and Scott both chipped in with 10 rebounds each but struggled to score
- Gregg Marshall is a mad man and that’s saying something in this conference.
- 3 point defense still needs a lot of work.
- Williams and Cumberland have a really good working chemistry and you can tell the trust teach other with the ball. Could be crucial down the stretch.
Watching the game yesterday was a nerve racking affair. Every time the Bearcats seemed poised to break the game open the Shockers, no so shockingly, hit a tough 3 to put them right in the mix. The entire game was like that, not just the second half. It felt like every other AAC game this year not including Tulane. Cumberland is putting up almost 20 a night with what seems like very little effort. He keeps getting better.
Bearcats fans might see an uptick in hypertension this season but I don’t think these close games are huge problem, as long as we keep winning. After looking into this the average margin of victory last season during conference play was 11.6 points which was kind of surprising. So far that average is 9.7, although the Tulane game throws it off. These rock fight games that the Bearcats are winning is what make teams come March. Good teams find ways to win close games. I’ll take these close ones as we keep winning them.
The frustration of the 3 point defense is warranted, especially for this program and its history and if that can get better these games wont’ be so close but at this point the reality might be the 3 is our weakness and will continue to be.
The road to repeating doesn’t get any easier though, Tulsa looms at the edge of the week in a home match up on Thursday night. Bring your pacemaker.