Bearcats Scouting Report Notre Dame

Mick Cronin's Cincinnati Bearcats coming off a tough three game losing streak in the Big East Conference will host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday in what many call a must win contest for Cincinnati.

Getting to know Bearcat opponent:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Head Coach: Mike Brey 202-104, In tenth season

2009/2010 Record: 14-3, 3-1 in Big East

Key Players: Forward Luke Harangody 24.9 ppg, 9.5 rbp, Forward Tim Abromaitis 15.4 ppg, Guard Ben Hansbrough 11.8 ppg 5.2 apg

Five Things to Watch:

1. Notre Dame has only played two road games, the Irish are one and one in though contests.

2. The Irish average 82.1 points per contest, Fifth best in Big East

3. Notre Dame leads the Big East in 3 point percentage hitting 42.7 percent of there 3 point field goals, there also second in 3 point field goals made averaging over eight per contest.

4. The Fighting Irish lead the Big East Conference in assist to turnover ratio, as the Irish really protect the basketball

5. Luke Harangody leads the Big East in scoring (24.9) and is fourth in rebounding (9.5)

Key Matchups to Watch:

Luke Harangody vs. Yancy Gates

Harangody is the best weapon in the conference and sophomore forward Yancy Gates must slow him down for Cincinnati to have a shot

Ben Hansbrough vs. Deonta Vaughn

Hansbrough is the facilitator for the Irish offense, as he averages better then five assists per game, Vaughn must make Hansbrough the scorer rather then the creator and Cincinnati can't help Vaughn because if you leave your man he will find the open man. The other way to slow down Hansbrough would be to make him defend Vaughn, run him off screens and wear him down, which could effect his offense.

Keys for Bearcats

1. Home games are huge for team in conference play, especially in Big East play. Mick Cronin said this about this very situation, "You gotta win your home games in conference play" I believe Mick says it best.

2. Cincinnati is fourth in the conference in rebounding (41.1 rpg), Notre Dame is tenth, the Bearcats must dominate the glass.

3. Get off to a fast start and get crowd involved, the Irish have only played two road games. Crown needs to be a factor on Saturday.

4. Notre Dame averages over 80 points per game, UC only allowes 63.1 per contest, Cincinnati must continue to defend.

5. Yancy Gates, Ibrahima Thomas, and Steven Toyloy must control the paint and continue to throw bodies at Harangody to wear down the big man

Notre Dame Leads All-Time Series: 5-2, Last season Cincinnati won 93-83

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