I’m going to preface this by saying I’ve been a UC fan since the days of Coach Gale Catlett in the 70s. I’ve seen some bad teams, I’ve been through really dark times, and I survived them all. I’m also going to put this out there; I don’t like Mick Cronin. I don’t think he’s a good coach. At all. What we saw last night was embarrassing. I’m not talking about just losing a game. I’m talking about game execution, or the severe lack thereof.
Each year I have to listen to fellow UC fans talk about how great it is that we win 30 games and make the tournament. That’s your goal? Winning a bunch of meaningless games against teams like UCF, Tulsa, East Carolina, and whatever other teams make up this conference of rejects? Great, we made the tournament. We don’t win once we get there, but hey, we made it. That’s not good enough. At some point fans need to stop accepting mediocrity. I know that seems to be the Cincinnati way (hello Marvin Lewis), but things have to change. They have to change soon. There’s not one relevant team in the country that has feared UC since Bob Huggins was here. Yet, here we are, embracing Mick Cronin and his 30 ‘wins’.
Last night was ugly. UC started off the game with an early 8 minute field goal drought. Here we go again, another season of dismal shooting. The Bearcats shot 4-29 in the first half with 6 turnovers, leading to a 27-18 halftime deficit. It got a little better in the second half, but they still finished shooting at a 27% clip, including 6-26 from downtown. “But it’s their first game”. Shut it, you’ll only have to modify your feeble defense of this team come mid-January. They won’t be a good shooting team because Cronin can’t recruit. He was handed the job because he has ties to the program. He’ll continue to keep his job under the same thought process. What we saw last night is exactly what we saw last season and it’s what we can expect this year as well.
In typical UC fashion, their next several games are cupcakes. They’ll win these games easily while their fans get excited for another ‘great’ season. Then, right before heading into conference play, they’ll suffer a 3 game losing streak at the hands of Xavier, Mississippi State, and UCLA. I follow enough UC fans on Twitter to know that the refs will be 100% responsible for these losses. Take that to the bank. “That wasn’t a foul, he got all ball. That’s why we lost by 15 points.” Cue the eye roll emoji.
I would love for Mick Cronin to prove me wrong, but he won’t. He’s not a coach. He’s a little ball of anger trolling up and down the court giving that mean mug to anyone who looks at him. Note to Mick, mean mugging hasn’t been effective since 3rd grade. The Cincinnati Bearcats will continue to be who they are until changes are made. I’ll still root for them, albeit without my hopes getting up. I’ll also bet against them in Las Vegas during March Madness, just like I did last season when I cashed on Nevada. This is who they are. Don’t like it? Let your wallet speak for you. Some of you will get triggered reading this. Ask yourself if it’s because you know I’m right though. Be honest.
The Bearcats play powerhouse NC Central next Tuesday. I’m looking forward to watching it. It should be an easy win for UC. Don’t let it detract from the fact that they probably won’t get a quality win this season though. The American Athletic Conference isn’t going to do them any favors as far as schedule strength goes, so they need to earn it by beating the few good teams they face this season. Hold your breath………..