Analyzing the 'Cats: Coach Jim Molinari

Following his team's 28-point loss at the hands of Mick Cronin and the UC Bearcats, Western Illinois head coach Jim Molinari had nothing but praise and kind words for the University of Cincinnati. "Good luck in your football game," said Molinari, referring to the Bearcat's battle with the Pitt Panthers, set for 7:15p.m. this evening.

Molinari thought his Leathernecks gained a lot from their game against the Bearcats.

"I think that we'll never face a more athletic team, so I think we probably gained a little confidence in that we were able to do a decent job handling their pressure," said Molinari, who also believed the final score could have been worse than it eventually was.

Giving credit where credit's due, Molinari complimented Cronin and his coaching staff for putting together what should be a winning team.

"They've put together a great group of athletes and they know who they are. I think a big part of basketball is knowing your game, and their game is to pressure you on defense, do a great job of switching, contest every shot, and then they probably treat the second shot more importantly than the first shot," said Molinari of the Bearcats. "They do a tremendous job of going to the glass. Their staff has done a great job of recruiting athletes who have weight and size and they really are very aggressive on the boards."

Cincinnati sophomore forward Alvin Mitchell lit up Molinari's Leathernecks for a game-high 19 points, shooting 4-of-5 from behind the arc.

"If (Mitchell) can be a consistent three-point threat for them, and they can just keep pounding the ball inside, they're going to be a tough team to beat no matter who they play," said Molinari, who thought that the ‘Cats unselfishness also helped in leading them to victory.

"If they can play at that level and not worry about how many minutes they're playing, they can do something special as a group because they have so many interchangeable parts," he said. "I think they obviously have great depth."

While the Leathernecks shot just 17-of-61 against Cincinnati, Molinari didn't try to take anything away from the Bearcat's and their pressuring defense.

"On offense if you make a mistake, the ball goes to the other team. On defense you can make a mistake and if you're aggressive, keep pursuing the play, you can make up for it and they do a great job of that," said Molinari. "Give them credit, because they make it real hard to play against."

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