OhVarsity Mail Truck: Volume 1


OhVarsity Mail Truck seeks to answer all of life’s questions. Since I’m the only smart person around here, I feel that it’s my responsibility to shoulder that burden. To join in on the fun, send questions with your name and city to OhVarsity@gmail.com.

Do you think UC will still have their branded court next year when they are playing away from 5/3rd? Will they install their own flooring or will there be a Norse logo at center court? As cool as Norse is as a mascot (although I don’t see the connection to Northern KY) it will appear pretty juvenile to national audiences.


Oakland, CA

If they do play at BB&T Arena (which seems to be the case) I can’t imagine that they’ll keep the same court, although I can’t be positive about that. That facility is designed to host an array of events, so I’d imagine it’s pretty easy to do a court swap. If for some reason they cannot, I know the athletic department will still do everything they can to make it feel like home. If you remember games at Paul Brown in 2014, the field was permanently Bengals, but UC hung banners around the stadium walls and brought the inflatable Bearcat with them. At the very least, we’d get something like that.

I enjoy following your tweets. This is a special year for UC basketball. I noticed it at the first game of the season against Brown. I go to all of the early season games, since its easy to get seats in the lower section. I had never seen a UC basketball team that flowed together so easily this early in the season. Even though Brown was baaad, UC shot, passed and rebounded like no UC team I can remember for the first game of the season.

My question: This team does not seem fatigued this late in the season like previous seasons. Is it because we’re deeper and bench players are getting that much more playing time, or has Mick finally learned that he doesn’t have to make practices so physically demanding?


Dayton, OH

Thanks Randy, now you’ve got me worried. To quickly answer the question: I don’t think we’ve yet reached the point where they typically get fatigued. We haven’t cleared that hurdle yet. *cue ominous music*

Unfortunately, a hallmark of Cronin teams has been the propensity to hit a rut in February. In 2014–15, they lost four of six games to open February, including three-straight losses from 2/10 to 2/18. In 2013–14, they lost three of five games between 2/8 and 3/1. In 2012–13, a 2/8 game at Providence began a spiral that saw UC lose six of eight games. The 2011–12 team bucked the trend a bit, because they saw their slump come at the end of January, much like the 2010–11 team.

I think there are a couple ways to look at this. First, maybe Mick does go hard in practice. I’m not there, so I really wouldn’t know. Based on hearsay from players, it sounds like that is in fact the case. Second, many of those early Cronin tournament teams had putrid depth. It’s a wonder the 2011–12 team survived that March run. Third, a few of those teams played in the Old Big East, which had the ability to absolutely shred even the best of teams. It’s easy to forget now, but there’d be times when you’d look at the upcoming week and you’ve got three ranked teams, two of which are on the road.

That brings us to this year, and back to your question. If there’s a late-season slump, it may still be on the horizon. In fairness, I haven’t really seen signs of it, outside of that Tulsa game. I do think this team has fantastic depth, especially when Nysier Brooks returns. I also think Mick’s health scare a couple years ago has led to him reigning things in, and maybe he’s ridden the players a bit less in practice.

I think perhaps a significant contributor is this team’s natural scoring ability. When you’ve got kids that aren’t used to being scorers (like every tournament team from 2010–2015) the tiniest bit of fatigue makes shooting incredibly difficult. Conversely, if guys like Jacob Evans or Jarron Cumberland get tired, it should be less of an issue, because scoring is still a strength of theirs. For that reason, we might (and perhaps already have) see defense slip in February before the offense does.

I think it’s important to point out that it’s still incredibly likely this team loses a game before the regular season is up. Running the table is very difficult, and there are still a few hurdles ahead. The biggest thing this team can do is contain the “slump” to a single game. They’re on a roll. They can’t let an inevitable loss derail this train. A February slip-up will happen. Let’s avoid the losing streaks of the past.

What was your favorite UC basketball game you attended as a student?


Columbus, OH

That’s a tough one. The 2012 home game against Louisville where we all booed Chane Behanan and then he got posterized by Dion Dixon would be in that conversation. Less than a week later was Dion and Yancy’s senior day and we beat #8 Marquette in runaway fashion, which was amazing. SK and Justin’s senior day in 2014 was magical. Other than that, my best memories are games ruined by a loss. Louisville 2014 and Xavier 2015 come to mind.

What is the correct way to tie your shoes? (bunny ears or loop-swoop-and-pull)


Cincinnati, OH

I don’t remember how old I was when I learned to tie my shoes, but I remember the “bunny ears” method being taught to the dumb kids. Making the bunny ears before tying them together is neanderthal.