Record: 14-5, 5-2 AAC
Head Coach: Mick Cronin
Interim Head Coach: Larry Davis
In Cincinnati's first meeting with the Huskies, the Bearcats didn't have enough offensive fire power down the stretch, losing 62-56 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. The Bearcats shot 39.6% from the field and 6-18 from three, while Troy Caupain led the team with 14 points on 6-15 shooting. In their following game, Cincinnati traveled to Memphis and got no offense, turning the ball over 20 times in a 63-50 loss.
Since their back-to-back losses, Interim Head Coach Larry Davis's team has rattled off three wins, including one of their best performances of the year against Temple. The Bearcats had four different players score double figures while shooting 53.7% from the field and 9-14 from three en route to a 84-53 triumph over the Owls. Cincinnati then defeated Houston 67-54 and UCF 56-46.
Although the Bearcats have no one averaging double figures, Davis will still go 9 or 10 deep in games, with each player being able to rebound and defend. On the defensive end, Cincinnati is ranked fifth in points allowed at 54.5 while ranking 20th in Kenpom's adjusted defensive efficiency. They are allowing teams to shoot just 38.3% from the field, and blocking 5.7 shots per game which ranks 15th in the nation.
In other words, they are really really good at defense.
#10 Troy Caupain, Sophomore, Guard (6-4, 200): A player with high basketball IQ who is averaging 9.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 3.7 APG in 30.8 MPG. He is shooting the ball well, as he is up to 43.7% from the field and 38.6% from behind the arc. Caupain has been the team's primary scorer out of the backcourt, and has stepped up his game even more in conference. The 6-foot-4 guard is averaging 10.9 PPG and 4.4 APG while shooting 52.3% from the field and 10-22 from three in AAC play. Caupain scored 14 points and 3 assists in the first game against UConn.
#2 Octavius Ellis, Junior, Forward (6-10, 226): The cousin of NBA player Monta Ellis, Octavius was a part of the Cincinnati team that made the Sweet 16 in 2012, but was kicked off for legal problems. Knowing the system from his freshman season has helped this year as he is averaging 9.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 2.4 BPG while shooting 57.4% from the field. Ellis is a great shot blocker and rebounder while also being one of the team's best defensive big men. He is averaging 9.3 PPG and 6.1 RPG in conference. In the first meeting between these two teams, Ellis scored 7 points, while adding 6 rebounds and 6 blocks.
#11 Gary Clark, Freshman, Forward (6-7, 223): Averaging 7.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 1.4 BPG on the season while shooting 51.8% from the field. Clark is a combination forward who can hit midrange jumpers, drive to the hoop, and even post up at times. Cronin is extremely high on him and even went as far as saying, "He (Clark) is going to be an All-American someday." Clark is averaging 7.3 PPG and 7.6 RPG in AAC play, but only scored 2 points on 1-2 shooting in the loss to UConn.
#21 Farad Cobb, Junior, Guard (6-1, 175): The sixth man for the Bearcats who plays starter minutes, Cobb is averaging 6.8 PPG and 2.4 RPG. Although he has a high ability to make shots and get extremely hot, he has struggled from the field this season, shooting just 34.4% overall and 31.0% from three. He is averaging 6.0 PPG in conference play while shooting 10-33 from three. Cobb scored 6 points in the loss to UConn, with both of his made field goals being three-pointers.
#25 Kevin Johnson, Sophomore, Guard (6-3, 175): Averaging 6.5 PPG while shooting 38.7% from the field and 32.4% from three. Johnson has become a much needed offensive weapon since conference play picked up, giving the Bearcats a player who can stretch the floor and knock down three-pointers. He is averaging 8.3 PPG while shooting 12-30 from three in AAC play. Johnson scored just six points in the loss to UConn, going 1-8 from the field and 0-4 from three.
Interim head coach for the Bearcats is Larry Davis who has filled in nicely in the absence of Mick Cronin, leading Cincinnati to a 7-3 record since Cronin was sidelined. Davis has head coaching experience, as he was the head coach at Furman University from 1997-2006 where he went 124-139. Before Furman, he was an assistant at a number of schools including Minnesota and Wake Forest.