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A Few Shootout-related Thoughts

Just some things bouncing around my head this afternoon.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to my one-year-old son, I have been up since 7:30am this beautiful Saturday. That gives me more than half a day to wait for something to happen before the Shootout tips off at 8. Here is what's bouncing around in my head.

  • Dirty Harry Callahan (no relationship to Big Tom) said that it's important that a man understand his limitations, and - to his credit - Mick Cronin does that. He never tries to get stuff off the top shelf is a defense and glass coach, and he recruits athletes that are maybe short on refined basketball skills but long on the things that fit his system. The less refinement that goes into a game, the better Cronin feels. Now that I've said something kind of nice about UC, I can move on.
  • I'm sure there's a Bearcats blog out there that provides insightful, high-quality basketball writing, but I didn't find it. Once you hit me with rebounding margin as a pivotal stat and start quoting the RPI as a be-all, end-all measure of schedule strength and team quality, you've lost me. Spend the twenty buck on KenPom, fellas; it will change the way you follow hoops.
  • Cinci fans are mostly in favor of continuing the Shootout on a neutral site, for obvious reasons. Despite having two more home games last year, UC brought almost 20,000 fewer fans through the turnstiles, averaging 2,000 fewer fans per home game. Bearcat fans know the Cintas Center is a far more powerful home-court advantage than whatever they can contrive at 5/3rd Arena. Xavier average 99.1% of capacity last year; UC hit 61.2%. UC did draw almost 600 more fans per game than the WNBA, though.
  • I like a prime-time game on FOX Sports 1, but I hate waiting all day for this things to happen.
  • If UC doesn't want to extend the contract for the Shootout, I wouldn't mind adding UD back to the schedule as quickly as possible. I enjoyed hating them, they seemed to enjoy hating us, and everyone agreed that home-and-home was the best way to vent that bile. They may have been getting spanked at Xavier since Jimmy Carter was in offense, but they kept girding up their loins and charging in, and I can admire that.

Let's go, X.