Having started 33 out of 34 games during his Cincinnati career, Troy Caupain enters his junior season as an expected leader for Mick Cronin this season. Bearcat Insider spoke with Caupain recently about his expectations this season and more.
BEARCAT INSIDER: What’s different about this year than previous years? Is it your confidence in knowing your role and what you’re gonna be ask to do?
Troy Caupain: Yeah my confidence at playing guard is high as it will be my third year. Me and the upperclassmen should be the guys the younger look up to. It’s different from my freshman year because I was the guy looking up to our upperclassmen for advice and they did a wonderful job in helping me. Now I want to help the younger guys.
BEARCAT INSIDER: Last season you were asked to do a lot. What did you learn from that role?
Troy Caupain: That in pressure situations you can’t fold and if you’re going to be a leader you have to be able to handle the good with the bad. When things are going well you’ve got to keep head held high but when things go bad keep the same mentality.
BEARCAT INSIDER: What did you guys learn last year? Obviously you guys beat Purdue than lost to Kentucky, but what did you learn about this team despite the lost in the third round?
Troy Caupain: In the Purdue game we came together as a family. We worked for each other and we had each others back while fighting for each other in the Kentucky game. Even though we lost, we still gave them a fight and we still came together as a unit, as a family. We worked hard, talked each other up and nobody got down. We just played for each other.
BEARCAT INSIDER: Are you going to use that as a building block for this season? There is a lot of leadership on this team?
Troy Caupain: The leadership is going to be preached not only from me but from Shaq (Thomas), Octavius (Ellis) and all the veterans because they know the game. So not just listening to me but keeping all ears open to everybody and we should all listen to each other.
BEARCAT INSIDER: You get your top six scorers back, do you feel like expectations are high and they should be for this group?
Troy Caupain: I think expectations are very high. We got everybody back from the tournament and we got Coach (Mick) Cronin back. So expectations from everybody else is high. I think our expectations as a team are different from everybody else because we want to get back to the tournament and we want to win rings. It starts here at practice playing for each other and when we get to the game it should be easy.
BEARCAT INSIDER: How close is this team as far as team chemistry?
Troy Caupain: This is probably one of the closest groups I have had since I’ve been here. Once again, that’s a part on the upperclassmen bringing in the young guys and not trying to single anyone out because they are younger and haven’t been here. We rock with each other and we see each other every day when we get back home and now in here at practice. So we see each other three hours a day, so we spend a lot of time together as a group.
BEARCAT INSIDER: Justin Jenifer is a freshman coming in. What can you tell us about what to expect from him as a guy playing behind you?
Troy Caupain: Smart player, good with the ball, very crafty and quick off the dribble. He can create shots for everybody and he can get into the lane drawing double teams while attacking the paint and knocking down the open shot.