Bearcats disappoint again in bad loss to CCSU

First off -- please pardon my absence lately. I've been a poor blogger. I'm not at liberty to really discuss the primary reason why, except to say that it has to do with a very tumultuous period at the company that employs me. As much as I love this blog, and discussing the Bearcats in general, rocky times at my job have kept me from enjoying much of anything over the past month or so. Considering the very touchy nature of the subject, I will not comment further on the situation, other than to say I hope that from a personal standpoint, things will hopefully settle within the next couple of weeks.

That said -- I must admit that I have also been a poor fan in the last few weeks. I attended the Buffalo State win, followed with some encouraging commentary -- and then sort of skated through the past week and a half that included a win over a Division-II squad and two losses, including what Kevin Broadus called the worst loss of his life, a 25-point shellacking at Central Connecticut State tonight, featuring the worst three-point shooting display since that goofy frat kid during a promotional giveaway at the Buff State exhibition.

Oh-for-19. NINETEEN! According to Moritz, the dubious NCAA record is 0-for-22.

And, geez, it's not like they were playing Duke! These Blue Devils have squeaked past the Bearcats a few times in the past few years, and one would've expected tonight's matchup to be similarly competitive.

NOT! A 25-point train wreck against a mediocre opponent, with critics describing the loss as even worse than it sounds. I didn't see a second of the game, but I don't know how you can butter up 0-for-19 from three as a step in the right direction.

I can't get over this. NINETEEN misses! How do you miss NINETEEN straight threes? Was there an earthquake in Connecticut tonight? Were the Bearcats shooting at one of those amusement park hoops where the ball is bigger than the rim? Was this played under NBA Jam rules, where CCSU got 'on fire' and could goaltend at will, sans consequence?

Well -- no, no, and no. This was a regulation basketball game, against a team one could consider comparable to the Bearcats, considering their recent close results. And the 'Cats -- a team built around GUARDS, mind you -- missed every single three they took. EVERY ONE!

- - - - -

Not to get off topic again, but when I know something definitive about my job status, I will post a quick update. I really, really don't want to make this a personal blog, so if you want to know more about what's going on, send me an e-mail and perhaps we can chat.


Exhibition Game - Bearcats 100-and-something, Buffalo State 64

I was impressed tonight with the Bearcats' hundred-point destruction of D-III Buffalo State.

Of course, every exhibition-game report needs the blah-blah-this-game-doesn't-really-count disclaimer at the outset. But there were some impressive things to take from this game.

The big story, to me, was D.J. Rivera. Nine-for-13 from the field for 21 points, Rivera's intensity is unmatched. His rebound-dunk combo about two minutes in energized the crowd and his teammates, and was hopefully just a flash of what's to come.

Ordinarily, I'd be wary about such intensity on the court, especially after watching cool-as-ice Mike Gordon lead the team for the past few years.

But Tiki Mayben's calm-and-confident demeanor seems to contrast Rivera's energy perfectly.

I've written before about Mayben's prior transgressions, and I still think there is a fundamental flaw in Kevin Broadus' recruiting philosophy.

That said, and not to downplay those reservations -- when you give these two guys the ball, special things happen. At least tonight.

There were other positives tonight. Specifically, Dwayne Jackson.

I have always been a fan of D.J. He came in as a freshman and worked his way through the system, doing everything right from the beginning. No legal troubles, no whining, no B.S.

Of course, the kid lit it up tonight, 4-for-5 from downtown, with another make questionably called back after a Jaan Montgomery foul. If D.J. has improved his horrendous rebounding skills, I think he deserves a spot in the starting five.

Having sung the praises of Mayben and Rivera, the spot for Jackson would be the 3-spot that now belongs to Sean Watson, who played the quietest 22 minutes-13 points-7 rebounds I've seen in a long time. At times, you'd just forget he was on the floor. That can be good or bad, but I don't see that style jiving well with the creativity of Mayben and the electricity of Rivera -- at least as a starter.

It felt good to see Jaan Montgomery succeed tonight. When you're five inches taller than everyone on the other team, it makes things a little easier, but it was nice to see him doing the things that I'm sure Al Walker dreamed of five years ago.

As for Reggie -- I wrote last year that I thought he could develop into a top-tier-type player if he could develop that 16-foot jumper. But I don't think that's the case anymore. In this system, I see Reggie becoming a solid role player, but he'll be shooting even less this season with these hired guns -- erm, transfers -- running the show.

I won't be able to make Monday's game because of work (can you tell how happy I am about that?), but I'll likely post some more on this game later tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks, as always, for reading.
ping Bearcat Country www.bearcatcountry.blogger.com