The No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats opened their season against the MEAC’s Savannah State, pounding the Tigers in a 103-77 victory. Jacob Evans and Cane Broome led the way for the Bearcats with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting and 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting respectively.
While the Bearcats allowed things to get interesting early in the second half — Savannah State cut Cincy’s lead down to seven — Mick Cronin’s squad had too much athleticism, offense and height for the Tigers.
- We already know that Cincinnati will be one of the most elite defensive teams in the nation based on the program’s history and culture. But this may, in fact, be Mick Cronin’s best offensive unit since he became the head coach at Cincy. The Bearcats drilled 13 three’s, shot 48 percent from the field and scored 107 points against the Tigers. It’s not exactly the largest sample size and didn’t come against a Power Five (+Big East, A10 or AAC) school, but with loads of weapons, shooters and versatile scorers, the Bearcats have the potential to score in the 70’s and 80’s on a consistent basis.
- Evans, Jarron Cumberland and Kyle Washington should be the team’s three leading scorers and Gary Clark is a do-it-all big man, however, Cincinnati has two starting caliber point guards, Cane Broome and Justin Jenifer, who will likely make this team tick. Broome is more of the scorer and bucket getter while Jenifer is a table setter who can also knock down open shots (15 points). They can play on the floor at the same time, but are also capable of leading different units.
- Three-star recruits Trevor Moore and Keith Williams already look like more recruiting gems for Cronin. Moore looked great in the first half, showing flashes of brilliant defense and knocking down an open three from the perimeter. Meanwhile, Williams scored in double figures. If both players become more consistent, they’ll only add to Cincinnati’s backcourt.
- The Bearcats were surprisingly sloppy with the basketball in the second half. They turned the ball over 20 times overall and Broome struggled at times to run the team’s offense against Savannah State’s zone. This is directly related to Cincy playing their first game without Troy Caupain, who graduated last spring. Also, Broome hasn’t played in a live college regular season game in nearly a year and a half and Jenifer is playing a much larger role this year.
Next up for Cincinnati: vs. Western Carolina on Nov. 13 7 p.m. ET on Watch ESPN/ESPN3