Sunday, January 10, 1999

UC NOTEBOOK


Starters have a very bad day

BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Not a single one of the Cincinnati Bearcats starters will ever again be forced to visit Hattiesburg, Miss., and they are not the least bit sorry.

        With the exception of forward Pete Mickeal, the UC starters (Kenyon Martin, Michael Horton, Ryan Fletcher and Melvin Levett) shot a combined 4-for-17 and scored 12 points.

        The Bearcats got 29 points from their bench, which was greater than the total for the starting five. “It's the only thing that saved us: our depth,” UC coach Bob Huggins said. “We haven't had anybody that's been consistent.”

        Huggins suggested he may need to make changes to his lineup, but declined to say what they might be.

        “We get so caught up in making shots,” Huggins said, “we don't do anything else if we're not making shots.”

Road blues
        Levett had another typical shooting night — typical for a road game. He was 2-of-10 from the field. His 1-of-3 three-point shooting was an improvement on his average.

        Levett entered the game having made just 8-of-41 from three-point range in games outside the Shoemaker Center, compared to 30-of-60 at home.

        Huggins believes the difference in Levett's shooting can be explained not only by the confidence he has at the Shoe, but more so by his preparation.

        “He has his days where he's got to put more quality time in at the shootarounds,” Huggins said.

        At the Shoe, “if he doesn't shoot it well in shootaround, he can come back in and work some more later. So much of his shooting is preparation prior to the game.”

Double dribbles
       

        • Mickeal now has an 87-game personal winning streak.

        • This is the earliest in a season UC has won 15 games — by nearly two weeks. The previous quickest was in 1959-60, when the 15th win came on Jan. 23, 1960.

        • Although Conference USA ranks sixth in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) computer standings, the league has a winning record against only two major conferences: the Atlantic 10 (8-2) and Big 12 (5-4). C-USA's record against the other eight majors combined is 24-29. UC owns six of those wins and none of the losses.

        • UC forward Aaron McGhee broke a string of seven games and 79 minutes played without an assist when he delivered a pass to Mickeal in the left post for a layup with 15:02 left. The assist was McGhee's third of the season.

       



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