This Saturday on Valentine’s Day the Bearcats play Tulane at home at 2 pm ET. The game will air on ESPNU. While I will not be posted in my normal baseline spot due to certain “relationship obligations,” the rest of the Bearcats Sports Radio team will be there breaking down the game.
Thankfully, the Cats get to play this one at home where they are 13-1 this year (as opposed to losing 6 on the road). The young UC squad is simply a totally different team home and away this year. While the Cats gave it up to Temple on the road, all is not lost. Playing 3 games in 6 days is very tough, and the team was clearly mentally and physically outmatched and exhausted by the end of this stretch playing at then #23 SMU, home against a tough USF team, and closing at Temple.
Record: Tulane is 13-10 on the year, including a 4-7 AAC record, and is tied for 6th in the American with an RPI ranking of 185. The Green Wave has beat Memphis and ECU on the road, and USF and Houston at home. They have lost 5 straight. Will this be #6? Don’t overlook the Green Wave. They are a pesky team that sticks around for both halves. In January alone they narrowly lost to UCF 103-100 (3 OT sessions), Memphis 57-55, and Tulsa 62-55.
Key Players: Junior guard #0 Louis Dabney leads the Green Wave with 13.2 points, 3.4 boards, and 1.5 assists per game. Thankfully, he is not nearly as good as Temple’s Will Cummings, who owned the Cats earlier this week with 21 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 1 block. Tulane also boasts two other scorers averaging double figures in sophomore guard #2 Jonathan Stark (11.2) and senior guard #24 Jay Hook (11.1). Stark also averages over 4 assists a game.
Prediction: The Cats have to, and will, bounce back in this one and crush the Green Wave 65-50. UC will have a huge chip on its shoulder after having the nation’s longest streak of holding opponents under 70 points snapped and getting all-around embarrassed at Temple. I also would not be surprised to see Farad Cobb start or to see a different rotation with the way Kevin Johnson and Jermaine Sanders have been used. Entering the Temple game, Cobb led the Bearcats in scoring in February, averaging 14.3 points while shooting 53.6% (15-28) from the field and 50% (8-16) from 3.
It is my hope Caupain shoots the ball twice as much as any other player (excluding Cobb assuming he is “hot”) given how effective he is, but who knows! The man is shooting 46.4% from the field and 41.1% from 3 so maybe this weekend should be an experiment to let him play off the ball?
Or maybe Troy should bring the headband back out?
By Andy Smith
Side note: With Memphis losing to feisty ECU the conference race is somehow still wide open. For our earlier breakdown of the AAC check this out.