Instant Analysis: UC Upsets Marquette.
-Cashmere Wright's absence was definitely felt tonight. Without their point guard, the Bearcats struggled to get things going on offense, often having trouble moving the ball inside. Depending on how long Wright is out, UC will have to find a capable replacement to run the show. -It was the Sean Kilpatrick show on offense. At times, it seemed like Kilpatrick was the only guy on UC's offense who can get his own shot. He took far too many threes, in my opinion, but that was due to UC's inability to get into their offense, not an indictment of his play. Still, you'd like to see Kilpatrick attack the basket the way he had been the past two games, getting into the paint and to the foul line. -Cincinnati's offense at the end of the game was just awful. On one possession, Jaquon Parker literally dribbled the ball for the entire duration of the shot clock, in the same spot, before pulling up for a deep two pointer than clanked off the rim. Marquette guard Todd Mayo was playing isolation defense on Sean Kilpatrick, and UC was unable to screen Mayo to allow Kilpatrick to get open. It was painful at times to watch the Bearcats struggle to even pass the ball on offense around the perimeter. They need to work on screening off of Kilpatrick's man to get him the ball on offense. -Titus Rubles had a great game. While not the greatest ball handler, he's a special athlete and can attack the basket at will, hence his double-digit free throw attempts. It basically turned into the Rubles show late in the second half, as Kilpatrick was iso'ed on defense, and JaQuon Parker struggled to penetrate Marquette's defense from the point guard position. Rubles also led the Bearcats in rebounding, finishing with 10. -I was a little confused why UC didn't allow Kilpatrick to bring the ball up the court. They had trouble getting him the ball once the crossed half court, so why not just let your best offensive weapon, and really, your only offensive weapon, bring the ball up to get the offense started? -Apparently they read this site, because that last play is exactly what they should have done the whole second half. Either way, Kilpatrick attacked the rim like a guard of his size should, and hit a tough layup for the game winner. It wasn't the prettiest game, and Cincinnati has got to learn to finish off games in which they lead, but a win is a win, and UC can build on this. -With Cheikh Mbdoj and David Nyarsuk in foul trouble, the Marquette big men, specifically Davante Gardner had no issue getting position in the block and easily pushed the Cincinnati front court around, which led to Marquette's tying basket that forced overtime, as well as their game tying basket at the end of the overtime period. Both Mbdoj and Nyarsuk have to do a better job of playing under control when fouls are an issue. The Bearcats can't afford to have both of them out of the game. -This was the first game I can remember in which UC lost the rebounding margin, 36 to 38. Even with the Bearcats lack of a frontcourt, they've been able to win the rebounding margin in almost every game they've played this season. Much of this is due to their superior athletes. -Much of Cincinnati's defensive prowess comes from block shots. Against the Golden Eagles, the UC big men had 11 blocks, including four from David Nyarsuk. While the big men struggles on the offensive end, they give great effort on defense and come up big with timely blocked shots.