Cincinnati Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Cincinnati Bearcats
American (22-10, 13-5)


It has been an interesting season for the Bearcats.  Head coach Mick Cronin had to take a leave of absence in December due to an aneurysm.  Long-time assistant Larry Davis has taken over in the interim.  Despite the tenuous situation with their head coach, Cincinnati has had a decent season.  There were a few games that got away from them down the stretch, but their strong start helped to propel them to postseason play.

Big Wins: 12/17 San Diego State (71-62), 12/30 at North Carolina State (76-60), 2/5 at SMU (62-54)
Bad Losses: 12/13 at Nebraska (55-56), 2/1 at East Carolina (46-50), 2/14 Tulane (49-50)
Coach: Mick Cronin

Why They Can Surprise:
Under Coach Cronin, Cincinnati is a team that has always shown a lot of grit and toughness.  This season is no different.  They rely heavily on causing problems for their opponents on the defensive end and they are among the best defensive scoring teams in the country.  Rarely have their opponents eclipsed 60 points even in Cincinnati’s losses.  They block shots as well as anyone with enforcers Octavius Ellis and Gary Clark down low.  Amazingly, they achieve this sort of defensive success without fouling too often.  They do not give up many free opportunities.  Their defense is going to have to carry them if they wish to get to the second week.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Cincinnati is not nearly as dominant in the offensive half-court as they are on defense.  They are among the worst scoring teams in the nation (62.6 points per game).  Only one player barely averages double-figures.  They do not operate all that well in sets.  They are a high volume turnover team which limits their possessions.  The Bearcats hit some tough stretches during conference play and can be up and down with their consistency.  It is going to be tough for Cincinnati to make any noise with a stagnant offense.

Probable Starters:
Troy Caupain, Sophomore, Guard, 9.5 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.6 rpg, 1.2 spg
Kevin Johnson, Sophomore, Guard, 6.5 ppg, 1.3 apg
Gary Clark, Freshman, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.3 bpg
Octavius Ellis, Junior, Forward, 10.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.4 apg, 2.1 bpg
Jermaine Sanders, Senior, Forward, 4.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Shaquille Thomas, Junior, Forward, 6.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Farad Cobb, Junior, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Coreontae DeBerry, Junior, Center, 3.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 62.6 (284th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.2 (6, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.3 (84, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.0 (22, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.0 (294, 9)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (225, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.5 (236, 6)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (37, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.0 (221, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (200, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round loss to Harvard
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Creighton
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Texas
2012    NCAA    Third Round win over Florida State
2012    NCAA    Regional semifinal loss to Ohio State
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Missouri
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Connecticut
2010    NIT    First Round win over Weber State
2010    NIT    Second Round loss to Dayton
2008    CBI    First Round loss to Bradley
2006    NIT    First Round win over Charlotte
2006    NIT    Second Round win over Minnesota
2006    NIT    Quarterfinal loss to South Carolina
2005    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Iowa
2005    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Kentucky

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules