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What a beautiful night in Cincinnati.  Andy Katz has arrived, so you know it is a big deal.  Shame the Bearcats are playing on ESPN2, but I expect a fantastic showcase for UC basketball embedded with multiple replays of Yancy punching Kenny.  I know it goes against conventional wisdom and yet I feel a blowout by the Bearcats tonight.  The new venue will be a curious dynamic.  A few places around the country there are settings like this.  Missouri and Illinois playing a Border War in St. Louis, Missouri.  They split that venue 50-50 between the two fanbases.  It is wonderful for the local economy and displays perpetual boo's and cheer's. 
A bad call is loved by half the arena.  It is great and I hope this rivalry adopts the same dynamic.  It remains to be seen.

Tip time 7 PM E.S.T.
12/19 5:32 PM | IP: Logged

Half of the Xavier basketball players are shooting on the floor.  It was bizarre to see US Bank Arena ice mere inches beneath the basketball court.  Of course the Cincinnati Cyclones play in this arena too. 

12/19 5:33 PM | IP: Logged

Sean Kilpatrick

We know all of them.  Of course we haven't reached out to them this week because everyone is just focused on the week and we have just been practicing.  We haven't reached out, but I am pretty sure that it is all love on both ends.

What will atmosphere be like down there?
Oh, the whole city will be down there.  If not the city, then the whole state of Ohio and that is something that I am pretty sure both teams are looking forward to.

Would you rather play this on a neutral site, campuses, or does it not matter to you?
It doesn't matter.  The game is going to get played whether you have it here on somewhere in New York. It is going to happen.

You would rather have it in New York, right?
Ah, I would love it there. All my family members would be there.

12/19 5:38 PM | IP: Logged

Sean Kilpatrick

Does it matter to you that this game will be played at neutral site?
It doesn't matter to me.  As long as it is in Cincinnati it shouldn't make a difference.

Did you guys worry at all that this game wouldn't get played?
That is something that we didn't have any control over.  Whether it is on the schedule or not, it is a great game to have, but we are just happy we are playing the game.  That is something we can control. It will be a great game for the fans, for us, and them as well.

Do you like the matchup?
Of course for the city. 

12/19 5:47 PM | IP: Logged

Kelvin Gaines wearing white Under Armour for the first time ever.  I remember last fall he trained with elbow pads on for fear he would injure a teammate in practice.  Gaines has barely played this season, but has wonderful strength and rebounding skills that could come in handy against a smaller post team like Xavier.

Shaq Thomas working on his perimeter shot.  It is still not there.  Watching him play in high school and prep year I saw a wonderful mid-range scorer.  He showed a few flashes of slashing against Marshall.  Tonight it will be important for either Shaq, Titus, or Jermaine to show up.  We know Cash, Park, and SK will bring their best.  I want to see some offensive maturation from Jermaine and Shaq though. 

12/19 5:51 PM | IP: Logged

Cincinnati is still in their shootaround phase while Xavier players have progressed to jogging and stretching.

12/19 5:53 PM | IP: Logged

At least four players got fresh haircuts for this game.  Cashmere Wright, Ge'Lawn Guyn, Titus Rubbles, Jeremiah Davis all have sharp looks.  Guyn got his hair trimmed, which I wish he hadn't.  He was working on a nice flat-top.  No longer. 

Entering the final hour before the game I have to say there are limited Skyline advertisements visible.  As a title sponsor I would certainly hope for more.  The SID's from both teams are placing Skyline covers on the backs of the player chairs.  Still there will be limited Skyline signs outside of the press table electronic scroller.

12/19 5:59 PM | IP: Logged

After sitting out the last game with concussion symptoms XU wing Justin Martin is not warming up tonight.  He was listed as probable starter in the Xavier game notes, but it appears he is not ready to compete tonight.

Martin is now on the floor with the entire Xavier team.  I was wrong to rule him out and he should be starting.

This post was edited on 12/19 6:40 PM by Andrew_Force

12/19 6:11 PM | IP: Logged
All season Justin Jackson has been working really hard on his outside shot. I am convinced he will never quite find the touch.  He doesn't need this skill to be a contributor.  Still he would like to keep defenders honest and push out to defend him more often.  I have watched him closely all year.  This week he is shooting below 10% from beyond the arc in practice (during my observations). 
12/19 6:16 PM | IP: Logged
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