Before last night, Justin Jackson had never made 9 field goals in a game. He had never scored more than 14. Hell, Jackson had 5 double digit scoring games period coming into the game. Wright State last year was the only time Jackson had attempted double digit field goals. We had never seen him so aggressive offensively. Campbell had just 2 players listed at 6'9, one of whom didn't play, and those were the only players listed above 6'6. Charles Barkley makes a joke on Inside the NBA about sending a limo for some guys because you want them to get to the game safely. Justin Jackson was flying Campbell's plane and driving their bus to the arena. He never had a more dominant effort than last night.
Through the magic of watchESPN, let's take a look at how Justin Jackson got it done. Since there are many pictures, click continue reading if you are on the front page.
If you look at the Cincinnati vs Campbell preview, you'll see that I predicted a final score of 81-63. To say I knew exactly how this game would turn out would be absolutely correct. You are reading the words of a genius, folks. In all seriousness, this might have been the easiest game of the season to predict. Cincinnati's 81-62 victory was just what you would think they would do to a small team like Campbell, they pounded them inside. 58 of the 81 points were in the paint. Campbell had no answers because they were small. UC shot 63% from the field. That'll get every last job done.
The game was almost too easy though. Cincinnati wasn't really that impressive. They were just a whole lot better. There is a difference. Campbell pulled down an absurd 43.3% of offensive rebounds. They had been around 28% coming into the game. That's effort, plain and simple. If guys don't want to defensive rebound, there is enough depth to find guys who will. Sorry to say.
Free throw shooting was another concentration thing that was incredibly awful. Cincinnati was 5-14 at the foul line. Beyond horrific. I'm not saying that Cincinnati's effort level was low, not at all. I'm saying their hustle wasn't there like we've seen. There's a difference between effort level 10 and effort level 3.
The defense wasn't there either. UC was all about the easy buckets on offense. UC was 18-28, 64% in the second half. That's great. They gave up 12-25 shooting, 7-13 from 3. That's not as great.
What was great were the 23 forced turnovers that turned into 32 points. It's not like the defense was bad. It was just one of those things where you wanted to go "Come on, let's get it moving," and they would give up a 3 pointer after getting a layup.
Cincinnati opens the doors to 5/3 Arena tonight to welcome in the Campbell Fighting Camels. Fighting Camels is one of the best nicknames in sports. You can't go wrong with Camels. I will spare you the lame "They are playing the Camels on hump day," joke by simply quoting it and not saying it myself.
This is the 3rd game for Campbell in 5 days. They played at NC State on Saturday and hosted NC Central on Monday. They lost both games. They lost to NC Central by more points than they lost to NC State. NC Central beat them by 19. That's the benchmark Cincinnati should be aiming at tonight.
As we get closer to the end of the regular season, two games left!, our bowl destinations become clearer and clearer. We've been cut down to a couple of options it seems. The option for shocking the world and ending up in a better bowl game exists though. These are only projections, no one knows the future. Cincinnati could win the league. Cincinnati could lose the rest of their games and play in some bowl that we didn't know existed before today. Life is full of various possibilities. There is a Beef O'Brady's Bowl for every potential Fiesta Bowl. New York or Birmingham. There is nothing those cities have in common. I'm guessing we would all rather spend time in the former instead of the latter. We won't know for sure for a couple of weeks, but the thing about bowl projections is they are usually right. The options aren't very wide. But a new contender stepped in. Let's get on with it.
18) Central Florida
All I can find is a top 39 this week. The top 3 are the only ones that matter. Louisville's only shot at winning the league is winning out while UCF loses 2 of 3. It's looking like a long shot now. Cincinnati needs UCF to lose once. 11 spots is a lot to make up in the BCS. Cincinnati did jump 7 though. The Bearcats were aided by picking up poll vote momentum. If UCF lost, maybe that opens up a door for them dropping out of the top 25. Beating Louisville would be a huge chip on the Bearcats side. UCF has no one good left on their schedule. They host Rutgers, go to USF and SMU.
Freshman guard Deshaun Morman was a curious case coming into this season. He didn't play the exhibition opener, which raised some eyebrows. He played a handful of minutes in the second game. It caused me to write in the preseason preview that I didn't think he was going to play. Shortly after that, word came out that Morman was considering redshirting. He hadn't played in any regular season game so far. His tough decision was made for him yesterday.
On Monday, Morman stepped on Sean Kilpatrick's foot in practice, which broke his. Morman is out 6-8 weeks. Mick Cronin threw this out to the media via Cincinnati.com:
“He maybe was not going to redshirt,” Cronin said, “but now he has to redshirt due to medical reasons.”
The true freshman season for Deshaun Morman is over before it even started. Hopefully he's able to take the time to recover and bounce back for next season. His role this year was probably going to be sporadic. He might have split some of Kevin Johnson's minutes or something. Nonetheless, Morman is out.