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November 8, 2013

Q&A North Carolina Central

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The Cincinnati Men's Basketball team tips the season off tonight with a home tilt against North Carolina Central. As always, we have you covered with a preview of the Bearcats' opponent as we have caught up with John McCann who covers North Carolina Central athletics for the Durham (N.C.) based newspaper the Herald-Sun.

BearcatReport: Coming off a 22-9 (15-1) season, what are the expectations for this particular group and what is the overall outlook of this team this year?

McCann: N.C. Central coach LeVelle Moton lost the No. 3 scorer in the MEAC when 6-foot-7-inch Stanton Kidd (14.5 ppg) decided to transfer. Kidd ended up at Colorado State. But Moton brought in a good number of players who can make up for Kidd's size, but the key will be whether or not the newcomers can be as productive as Kidd.

BearcatReport: What are the areas of strength on the roster and which players will the Bearcats really need to focus on to be successful in this game?

McCann: While Moton lost the No. 3 scorer in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, he does return the league's No. 2 scorer in Jeremy Ingram (15.7 ppg). NCCU has a very good point guard in Emanuel Chapman who can get the ball to Ingram and anybody else who's open. Chapman really has a knack for the art of distribution.

BearcatReport: On the flip side, what are some of the concerns or question marks of this team heading into the season?

McCann: NCCU's low-post scoring could be of concern against non-conference teams. The MEAC is a guard-oriented league, so the Eagles should be fine without guys like forward Jay Copeland (6-7, 255) scoring like world-beaters. The wonder is what NCCU's' newcomers will bring to the table in the paint.

BearcatReport: North Carolina Central can pull off the upset if.....?

McCann: NCCU last year showed that it could hang with high-major programs. Against the Bearcats, NCCU just needs to take it period by period, possession by possession. Chapman is a great set-up man, but he can shoot, too, and some scoring from him would help.

Do you have any type of game/score prediction for this contest?

McCann: Hey, let me leave that one to the oddsmakers.

John McCann covers North Carolina Central men's basketball for the Herald-Sun based out of Durham, North Carolina. You can follow John on Twitter, @johntmccann.

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