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Old 11-05-2023, 11:28 AM   #1
Queens_NYC
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UIC

Monday, November 6th, 2023
9:00 PM
Fifth Third Arena
ESPN+

The Bearcats open their 23/24 season against the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Flames as the second game of a Monday evening double header where the women's BB team will play Louisville at 6 pm.

UIC is coming off a 12-20 22/23 campaign under 4th-year head coach Luke Yaklich where they finished #301 in KenPom.

The Flames were picked to finish 10th of 12 teams in the MVC's preseason poll with 4th-year 6'8 guard Toby Okani (11 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.3 apg) named to the preseason All-MVC Third Team.

Okani will be joined by one other returning starter in 3rd-year 6'7 forward Filip Skobalj (7.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 36.5% 3FG) and will hope to get a boost from a 6-man transfer class that is highlighted by 4th-year 6'5 guard Isaiah Rivera (8.6 ppg at Colorado State in 22/23) and 5th-year 6'1 guard Marquise Kennedy (7.5 ppg at Loyola in 22/23).

UIC enters the new season ranked #243 in KenPom (while UC is #53) and ended their preseason with a 71-47 exhibition victory over D2 Clayton State last Tuesday.
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Old 11-05-2023, 04:33 PM   #2
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Thanks for the pre-game summary. Excited to see how this team comes out of the gate.

Really want to see some set plays executed, rather than just stronger athletes taking over.
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Old 11-06-2023, 08:42 AM   #3
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9pm, woof.
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Old 11-06-2023, 08:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Thanks for the pre-game summary. Excited to see how this team comes out of the gate.

Really want to see some set plays executed, rather than just stronger athletes taking over.
You'd hope that this would be a byproduct of us being in Year 3 of Wes's system, but I'm sure there'll still be some growing pains with a number of new players debuting and returning players taking on bigger roles.

We're 14.5-point favorites at the moment. Make of that what you want.
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Old 11-06-2023, 03:14 PM   #5
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With Aziz and Reynolds ineligible and having more athletic PGs this year, we have a roster that could play a positionless style. And with such limited frontcourt depth, I think it would make sense. As always, I just want to see us avoid midrange shots

Based on who has been featured most by social media reps in the last month, I'd guess the starters will be Day Day, Fredrick, Newman, Ody, and Vik.

I'm excited to see what the new guys bring and how the vets have improved.
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Old 11-06-2023, 03:40 PM   #6
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Reporter lays out the projected starters here.

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/spo...s/71440622007/
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Old 11-06-2023, 09:22 PM   #7
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Good to see Day Day get to the rim and finish. Just like last year, a lot of 1v1 on offense and poor rim protection on defense. Vik looks like he wants to play small forward.
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Old 11-06-2023, 09:57 PM   #8
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Like the effort and the flair so far. Aside from Reed, everyone out there looks capable of making plays. Shut down Okani and we should hopefully win by double digits. Need Vik to find a bit of a mean streak.
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Old 11-06-2023, 11:25 PM   #9
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We've got no shortage of players who want to attack with the ball in their hands. Rebounding might be a struggle all year. Outside of Skillings, none of the guards look like good rebounders. We need them to be with such thin frontcourt depth. It was disappointing to see Sage and Rayvon ride the bench all game, since we could use their size if they can contribute at all.
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Old 11-07-2023, 08:32 AM   #10
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Solid performance against a semi-formidable mid-major opponent.

The Good:

-CJ's shooting
-Skillings attacking the rim along with his rebounding
-Day Day and Jizzle's athleticism/playmaking
-Newman is healthy and fulfilled his role well
-Team depth as good as advertised - 9 players seeing action with no one eclipsing 28 minutes. Well-balanced line-ups from start to finish (with the odd exception).
-Kept a double-digit lead for the better part of the game's final 13-14 minutes.
-3-point defense was great. Held UIC to 2-16 shooting from deep

Needs to Improve:

-Rim defense left much to be desired; neither Vik nor Ody recorded a block; desperately need Aziz and/or Reynolds in this regard.
-Aside from CJ, 3-point shooting was awful and looks like it could be a major issue going forward
-Simas was wildly inefficient; the raw playmaking ability is there so hopefully his issues were more due to first-game jitters
-Vik seemed "off" for the better part of the game; didn't watch the postgame interview yet so not sure if he's nursing an injury or not, but he did not move or attack with 100% fluidity
-Not sure of what Josh Reed's role will be. 10 minutes played and his only recorded stat was a 3-point brick from the corner. Trevor Moore lite?
-Disappointed not to see Rayvon debut. I'm sure it was a tough night for him. Hoping he gets the boost he needs and sees the court soon.

Last edited by Queens_NYC; 11-07-2023 at 08:35 AM.
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