Cincinnati-Marshall Preview

While it would be easy to get caught up in its remarkable start,

undefeated Cincinnati appears to be plenty focused on its next


The No. 11 Bearcats try to avenge last season’s loss to

Marshall, which won’t have junior standout DeAndre Kane available

for the first time this season for Saturday’s matchup at the

Charleston Civic Center.

Cincinnati finds itself on the verge of its second 10-0 start in

three seasons after blowing out Maryland-Eastern Shore 92-60 last

Saturday. Sean Kilpatrick had 23 points while Cashmere Wright

scored 20 to go along with a season-high nine assists for the

Bearcats, who rank fourth in the country with 84.2 points per


“We are just trying to get ready for the big games like the

Marshall games,” Wright said. “We’re just trying to get everything

in order, get the offense flowing. Make sure everybody knows where

they’re supposed to be at and just play hard.”

Though Cincinnati outrebounded the Hawks 55-31 and held them to

29.9 percent shooting, coach Mick Cronin wasn’t entirely pleased

with the effort.

“We gave up 14 offensive rebounds and (there were) too many

loose balls that we don’t grab. In my opinion, we are too soft,” he


“When I talk, I’m talking about things we need to do to beat

Marshall (on) Saturday, a great physical team. A great early test

for us with their size and their toughness.”

The Bearcats are 19-12 all-time against the Thundering Herd

(6-4) but were outrebounded 43-30 in a 73-69 overtime loss Nov. 25,

2011 – their first meeting since 2000. Kane was one of four players

to score in double figures for Marshall in that game, posting 12

points on 4-of-16 shooting.

Another upset could be hard to come by with Kane on the

sidelines. The 6-foot-4 guard, who’s averaging a team-leading 15.0

points and ranks second in the country with 8.5 assists per game,

is out indefinitely with an injured right hand.

“It’s just like if Michael Jordan isn’t on the floor one game,

like Derrick Rose not being on the court now for the Chicago

Bulls,” forward Elijah Pittman told the school’s official


“It’s just another good person down, someone steps up, has to

step up. They have to play better and look at it like, ‘This is my

chance to show I can play.'”

Pittman and fellow junior college transfer D.D. Scarver are

averaging a combined 29.0 points but will likely be asked to carry

an even bigger load going forward. Scarver led the way with 20

points last Saturday in a 69-63 win over Coppin State.

While Marshall will likely have its hands full with Kilpatrick,

slowing down Wright could also prove difficult. The senior guard

went 6 for 7 from 3-point range last weekend and is shooting a Big

East-best 46.3 percent from beyond the arc among players with at

least 40 attempts.

“Right now, the coaches are giving me the green light to shoot,”

Wright said. “If you feel you’re open, you take the shot. At the

same time, I’m trying to walk the thin line between shooting the

ball and not shooting so much. So it’s like an ongoing progression

for me to get into the best of that.”

The Thundering Herd are allowing 70.5 points per game to rank

second-worst in Conference USA.

“We’re going to score whenever. We’ll be fine there,” Pittman

said. “The problem is our defense, in transition, and lack of

communication there. That’s the only thing that stops this team,


Marshall gave then-No. 3 Syracuse all it could handle Dec. 6,

2011, but fell 62-56 in its last matchup against a ranked