This is the best Cincinnati team since coach Cronin took over the bench. The Bearcats still have a strong defensive identity (top 10 in the nation in opponents effFG%, opp2P% and Block%), but their offense saw plenty of improvement. Washington and Clark are two huge presence in the post, Caupain and Evans can attack the paint or shoot from outside the arc and all of them are averaging over 10 points per game. They are also getting some help from senior Kevin Johnson and freshman Jarron Cumberland, both deadly shooters. In tournament games it will be crucial to be mentally tough when playing teams in their own category, since the three losses this season came against Rhode Island, Butler and SMU.
No projected Nba talent here, but plenty of interesting players for overseas teams, starting with Jacob Evans, a versatile yet underestimated small forward. Kyle Washington has great hands for his size (42.4% 3P), can play in the post and grab rebounds. Among interior players, Gary Clark is constantly hustling for rebounds and loose balls. Troy Caupain, however, is the beating heart of the team. Despite the numbers he is putting up (10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) his shot selection remains questionable (40% from the field, 30% from beyond the arc) and has a tendency to disappear from the game when it matters, which is not great for a senior named Player of the Year in the AAC in preseason. The future of the team is Cumberland, a shooting guard who can be of some help right now.
The Bearcats will go as far as their offense carries them.Their defense is worth a spot in the Elite 8 but they still have to score at least one point more than their opponents.