Instant Analysis: Irish Outshoot Bearcats.

We provide some notes and observations on UC's 66-60 loss against Notre Dame.

-First off, let me state that Cincinnati's uniforms for the game were very stylish. The black on black is a sleek look. However, it made it near impossible to distinguish who was who on the court. Maybe next time, UC will look into giving the alternate uni's some red numbers. Just a suggestion.

-Cheikh Mbdoj had a nice first half, putting up a nice defensive performance against the Fighting Irish. He drew the tough challenge of guarding Notre Dame big man Jack Cooley. Mbdoj held his own, using his superior athleticism to counteract against Cooley's well-rounded post game. At one point in the first half, Cheikh made two consecutive blocks against Cooley, setting up two fast breaks for the Bearcats.

-The first half turned into a three-point barrage as both teams traded shots from deep, with Notre Dame hitting a scorching hot 6-8 from deep and the Bearcats finishing 5-15. While the Fighting Irish are known as a three-point shooting, Cincinnati got sucked into playing that style as well in the first half, struggling to keep up with Notre Dame's hot-shooting offense.

-Notre Dame is a fantastic passing team. With UC running man to man defense for most of the night, the Fighting Irish used great ball movement to confuse the UC defenders and open up the three point shooting lanes.

-UC's defense really let them down in this game. While playing zone against a three-point shooting team is usually a bad idea, UC's man-to-man defense was putrid against the Fighting Irish. They let Notre Dame's perimeter passing lull their post defense to sleep, allowing their big men to cut in the paint at will and get some easy baskets.

-Notre Dame's offense is ruthlessly efficient. Having a team full of upperclassmen will do that, and their game tonight proved how important team chemistry is to fielding a successful squad. They only had six turnovers all game, and assisted on well over half of their made field goals. Not to mention their hot shooting percentages, well over 50% from the floor and nearly 60% from three. The Bearcats did not play a bad game, they were simply beaten by a more experienced team.

-Sean Kilpatrick was the only Bearcat who scored in double figures tonight, finishing with 15 points on 6-11 shooting. He was really their only source of offense all night, with Cashmere Wright and Jaquon Parker struggling to get anything consistent going on offense. Wright finished with five points and Parker finished with eight.

-Cashmere Wright is one of UC's best players, that's not question, but his decision making tends to be a little inconsistent at times during the game. With UC trailing by four, and after Notre Dame had just missed a free throw, Wright decided to try and take Notre Dame big man Jack Cooley off the trouble, which was a great call. However, instead of attacking the basket and using his quickness, Wright opted for a step back three-pointer, which was blocked by Cooley, with Notre Dame grabbing the loose ball, all but sealing the game for the Irish. Wright has got to make better decisions late in games if UC wants to make some noise in conference play.

-At this point, I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, but Kilpatrick has got to attack the basket. Finishing with zero free throw attempts is a joke. He is far too talented and far too physically strong to not get to that free throw long more often.

-Jermaine Sanders had a coming out party of sorts, finishing with eight points on 3-5 shooting, including 2-4 from three. Sanders isn't somebody who is expected to get many minutes off the bench, but if he can contribute like he did tonight, he can expect to be a bigger part of the offense going forward.

-Once again, the Bearcats won the rebound margin, had more assists and finished with less than 10 turnovers, all in a losing effort. The one thing you can never say about this team is they're undisciplined. It'll be nice to see some of these stats translate into wins in the future.

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