Friday, November 19, 1999

Logan making case at point


May share floor with Satterfield

BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As the question is presented to Steve Logan, the answer comes rapidly. And the answer is that the question is all wrong.

        What must Logan do to make the Cincinnati Bearcats his team?

        “I feel as though it is my team,” he said.

        Logan has this on good authority from senior stars Kenyon Martin and Pete Mickeal.

        “They're always looking to me for big plays and they're like, "Run the team. It's your team,'” Logan said. “They give me a lot of confidence. Even though I'm a young guy, they listen to what I say as well.”

        So Logan, a 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard, must show up, put on his uniform and answer the call of the P.A. announcer at the Shoemaker Center when the starting lineup is introduced for Saturday's season opener for the No.1-ranked Bearcats against Youngstown State.

        He started 17 games at point as a freshman, and both of this season's exhibitions. He averaged 8.9 points and 1.8 assists for each turnover he committed and made Conference USA's all-freshman team. He scored 16 points, passed for five assists and did not commit a turnover in Tuesday's preseason win against Athletes In Action.

        In the offseason, though, UC recruited McDonald's All-American Kenny Satterfield to also play point guard. In the exhibitions, Satterfield has enjoyed some spectacular moments, averaging 5.0 assists and routinely executing breathtaking fast breaks.

        If this were football, there would be a quarterback controversy.

        But it's not football. You can play two point guards in basketball. You can play them at the same time, as defending national champion Connecticut proved when precocious Khalid El-Amin joined veteran Ricky Moore in the Huskies' backcourt.

        “We'll play both of them together a lot,” coach Bob Huggins said. “Steve does things well, and Kenny does things well, and they're not the same things.

        “We'll see what's going on, how we can best take advantage of what each one of them can do. They both need to be in charge.”

        Logan has done nothing to lose his position as the Bearcats' point guard and plenty to retain it. He lost 15 pounds in the offseason to improve his quickness on defense and his ability to play extended minutes.

        Most important, he is playing with more energy and abandon than at any time in his career. With their depth and athletic ability, the Bearcats want to play the game at a rapid pace, but they can move only as quickly as the ball. If it's in Logan's hands, that's his responsibility.

        “Back home, that's the way the game was taught to me: We walked it up, ran set plays, and I adjusted to that,” Logan said. “I knew it would be different here when I used to watch them on TV. Pushing the ball, making plays — it was something that was emphasized a lot to me this year. Now I know what passes to make, when to go, when not to.”

        As new as he is to college basketball, Satterfield occasionally gets himself into trouble with his zeal to attack the de fense, but his gift for advancing the ball expands the possibilities for the UC offense.

        The key is gaining a complete understanding of the UC system. “It's real hard,” Huggins said. “He's got to have a great aptitude for the game. He's got to know everybody's position; not just his, but everybody's. He's got to be able to put people in the right place.”

        Although freshman DerMarr Johnson will be the regular shooting guard, the Bearcats were successful in their exhibitions when Logan and Satterfield played together. Satterfield consistently delivers the ball on the break to the right players at the proper time. Logan is as versatile a shooter as the Bearcats have on their roster, with the ability to consistently hit shots from both sides of the court, from the wings, the baseline and the lane.

        They can switch assignments from possession to possession if that's to UC's advantage.

        “If I'm the two, I'll tell Kenny to run a certain play for Kenyon or whatever,” Logan said. “I'm in control, but I'm helping him out.”

        It is not essential that the Bearcats put either Logan or Satterfield entirely in charge at this juncture. They completed a significant portion of the 1991-92 season before Nick Van Exel became the team's primary point guard, and that team wound up in the Final Four.

        “I'm probably 100 percent more comfortable now,” Logan said. “My teammates and coaches know the things I can do. Sometimes I'll make mistakes, but I won't make the same mistakes twice.”

       



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