This UC team is no joke.
After slipping into the national rankings, the Bearcats bloodlettered lowly Texas Southern in a 94-57 washout. While it was a walloping and the opposite of a barometer game, the blowout win displays UC's oceanic depth.
A message to the Big East: Don't Sleep. These guys can flat out hoop.
Seven players scored in double digits, and the Bearcats shot a sizzling 57 percent from the floor. The 'Cats were 9-of-19 from beyond the arc, though they shot just 15-for-26 from the foul line. Foul shooting has been the lone Achilles Heal for the Bearcats.
UC let one slip away against Gonzaga during the Maui Invitational, missing crucial free throws during the first 1:54 of overtime.
Rashad Bishop, a 6-foot-6 forward who dropped 20 against Toledo but has averaged just a thread over five points since then, led the Bearcats with 14 points. He shot the rock at 6-for-7 clip.
Bearcats big man Steve Toyloy had 13 points in 15 minutes of burn. Ratchet man Deonta Vaughn and forward Darnell Wilks each had 12 apiece.
Jaquan Parker and Yancy Gates, a jumbo sophomore whose game has taken off, added 10 points apiece.
Lance Stephenson, the heavily-hyped freshman from Brooklyn, was out of sync offensively (3-for-9, 7 points. But Stephenson showed his versatility and the flashy passing that helped make him such a highly sought after recruit, dishing out seven dimes and tacking on a game-high 11 boards.
I think the weight/added muscle has made him more active on the glass but I'm not sure if its made him more explosive and there seems to be a search warrant out for his 3ball.
In the Sports Illustrated piece on Stephenson (which ran in the spring of 2009), a reputable scout did say Lance needed to lose weight. It seems the kid from baller-breeding Coney Island has become more aggressive on the glass and his scoring will come when they need it to. Right now they don't seem to, as his scoring will take a back seat to Vaughn and Gates.
Re-illustrating what I said at the beginning of this post, these cats can flat out ball and have plenty of depth with guys like Bishop, Toyloy, Dixon, Parker, Cash Wright, Wilks (even 7-foot Center Anthony "Biggie" McClain if the rail-slim beanstalk can just manage to grab a rebound or two, block shots and use his length) supplementing Vaughn, Yancy, and Stephenson.