The wife and one of the kids have been sick for the past week. It’s been nicely staggered so that just as one started improving the next goes down. Spare time has been minimal.
Guess who said this?
“It’s an area we love to recruit. Playing in New York City is something we try to do every year. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue to do it on an annual basis one way or another.”
Nope. Not Jamie Dixon. That’s Cinci Coach Mick Cronin. With Rutgers off to the Big 10, and not even Seton Hall to kick around there is no NY area team in the American Conference. Cinci has four NY area kids on their squad, so there will be families from both sides.
That loss over the weekend to Xavier has Cronin questioning his players’ “toughness.” So, expect a chippy effort.
Have to remind myself this is now a non-con game. Thankfully the River City Rivalry Trophy is not involved. Apparently so do the players.
“I’m predicting that game will be a lot more physical [than any of Pitt's games to date],” point guard James Robinson said. “It is going to be up and down, they have good guards and wings and they always have a good presence inside, so we are going to have to focus on our defense first.
“But, like I said, they are going to be physical, I’m sure they are going to press us, but it is going to be a fun game.”
The game is unlikely to offer much, if any goodwill.
Robinson recalled that, as a freshman last season, he got schooled on how physical the Big East would be when Pitt opened its conference schedule against Cincinnati.
“That was the first conference game for us last year, and I could definitely feel the difference in how physical it was from the non-conference games to the conference games,” Robinson said. “I’m expecting them to bring a lot of energy, a lot of toughness, and they will be physical. They are going to attack the whole game, and we just need to be confident and know that we can be just as physical and just as aggressive.”
The focus will be on shutting down a guard (again).
The onus will be on Pitt’s backcourt to stop senior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who averages 19.3 points. The Panthers know it will be an emphasis, after allowing Youngstown State’s Kendrick Perry to go for 28 points Saturday and Penn State’s Tim Frazier to score 27 earlier this month.
“He is basically going to attack the whole game,” Robinson said of Kilpatrick. “He is going to try and score any way he can.
“He’s physical. He’s going to go for the entire game, whether it be to the bucket or shooting 3s.”
7pm on ESPN.