The Cincinnati Bearcats opened practice last Friday night. Cincinnati alumni were there to see practice live. One of those people was Alex Meacham. Meacham was a wildly popular walk on in the late 90s. He was so popular and his story so great, that he wrote a book.
I still have that book somewhere. I wonder if I could get Alex to sign it for me. What I could get Alex to do, is open up about the Bearcats practice. So let's get to it.
Answers in bold.
BB: What kind of vibe did you get from the team based off the first practice?
AM: I believe this is Coach Cronin's best team since he has been here. I feel like the team will play fast and faster this season. They might look very sloppy at the start of the season but once they figure out their roles and the system, they will be very fun to watch. Fans will love this team!
What were your first thoughts on the newcomers David Nyarsuk and Titus Rubles?
Same thoughts I have with most newcomers...they have a long way to go! The game of basketball is 90% Mental 10% Physical! David and Titus will need to adjust to Big East basketball and the mentality that is needed to play at a high level night in and night out. Rubles reminds me a lot of my former teammate Ruben Patterson. He plays with a lot of energy! Nyarsuk has very very skinny legs and needs to get stronger. He runs the floor well,rebounds and blocks shots! I think by late mid season these guys will start to contribute in a major way.
What other players caught your eye?
Mbodj has lost like 30lbs and looks like a new person. Needs to stay out of foul trouble this season. Jermaine Sanders will have a break out season in my opinion. I really wished he could have played more last season but I understand why he didn't in some cases. Gelawn Guyn has this incredible bounce when he plays the game. Reminds me of how Tarrance Gibson used to play, from an energy standpoint. Guyn needs to continue to work on the cerebral part of the game and making good decisions.
Who seemed like the leaders of the team?
SK is as good a leader as we have had in a long time. Always good when you best player is hardest worker and a vocal leader. Cash is doing a nice job vocally as well.
Did the practice raise your expectations for the season?
Practice was sloppy as I expected it to be. Fans have to understand that this is a marathon and not a sprint! Expectations for this team are high but they wont be great early. From what I saw this team is being built for March and it's a process. I think they will make a nice run in the NCAA tourney.
The student sections got named the red C and the black C after your awesome shirts from senior day. Did you think that concept would take off like it has?
First of, I was honored to have the opportunity to give back to the university I love and the one that gave me an opportunity! My good friend and creative artist Glenn Riley came up with the Red C/Black C concept and we really thought it was one that could be adopted for every single game, not just one night. It would be unique to us and I haven't seen any other schools do it. I honestly got goose bumps when I was sitting at the game and looked at both student sections wearing those shirts. Steve Boymell helped fund this project so that it would be FREE for all the students. He is UC's #1 fan! I gave them one more idea and I hope they use it...I think it would be a great idea to split the bball team into two and have 6 guys go to the Black C and 6 go to the Red C and they walk down the middle of the student section before each game. Giving high fives to our great student body. We would call this, "The Parting of the C's!" Get it??? I think the students would love this!
Any more great ideas for shirts this year?
The university hasn't asked me to help them with any T Shirt ideas this year. I always have T shirt ideas. I gave UC the idea last year to do a shirt that said "CRAY." The "C" would be the C-paw and it plays off the phrase from Jay-Z/Kanye West smash hit single. I think this would have been a GIANT hit with the students. They were not able to get it done last year. I have some real cool T Shirt ideas I'm getting made to wear this season at UC games. They are all based around UC bball history. I will be sharing photo's of these shirts on my twitter,instagram and facebook page.
Alex Meacham has a lot of cool t shirts that he has made and wears to games. He's not lying about that. Alex mentioned his twitter page. It's linked to in the article, but you can follow him right here @Big_Meach41. His facebook is linked above. I'm guessing his instagram is the same as his twitter. I don't know because I don't use instagram that much. Yes, I'm the one person.
If you were pumped up about basketball season now, I hope this changed your mind. A thousand thanks to Alex Meacham. He's awesome.