Featuring Nick Van Exel, triple-doubles, Gino Guidugli, and a way-too-long evaluation of each Bearcat's superhero potential
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.
There was a rumor floating out there that the Bearcats would be wearing the throwback jerseys in the AAC tournament? Have you heard this? Also, favorite Bearcat jersey of all time and least favorite?
I asked a few of my #sources, and nobody seemed to be able to confirm or deny your rumor. If I had to guess, I’d say I doubt it. They usually wear the same uniform for every postseason game, and I doubt the school wants to wear throwbacks on the national stage in March. They seem to prefer current branding at all costs. Not to mention, they’d also need a black version (for games in which they were the lower seed), and I haven’t heard a whisper of one existing.
Least favorite would be the 2013 postseason uniforms or the Adidas home uniforms.
The 2012 postseason uniforms are either great or terrible. They aren’t UC colors and they’re objectively gaudy, but I kind of like them and they have the nostalgia of that magical March all over them.
Why doesn’t UC put temporary seating in the old Armory Fieldhouse for next season? It used to seat 8,000. Pros: No rent, UC keeps parking and concession revenue, and they will have students show up. Cons: They’ll need to address the restroom issue though. I seriously doubt UC will draw 8,000 to many games at BB&T or US Bank.
I discussed this a bit in my “If I Were Athletic Director” post back in October. I’m a big fan of the idea, and always have been. Armory is a gem of college basketball history and it’s a bit shameful that it’s just sitting in the heart of campus while serving no real purpose.
However, it’s far out of commission. I can’t imagine what they’d have to do to the place to get it to a point where it could host 20 games over the course of several months. It doesn’t have any modern features necessary to safely get 8,000 people in and out of it. It isn’t properly equipped for concessions or bathrooms. It is quite literally crumbling.
It’s the type of project that may have to wait for the day the Bearcats return to a Power Five conference and have a bit of money to spend. It has a place in the current UC athletic landscape, but I can’t fathom it hosting a full season. I’d push for volleyball to have the space and perhaps play an exhibition or early season men’s basketball game there.
Also, I’m a bit more optimistic than you are on BB&T Arena. I don’t expect UC will sell out every game, but I think there are a significant portion of fans that are actually excited for the change of pace and modern venue.
In your opinion, What’s the best tweet you’ve ever done?
A tie between all of them.
Actually, no. Let’s be real. It’s the Troy Caupain Smashmouth one.
[e-mail redacted for content purposes]
Wow. I cannot publish that.
The grand debut of a new series where I answer all of the questions in my email inbox.
A selection of some data gathered from Bearcats about their consumption of UC news and content.
(David J. Phillip/AP)
AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco was at AAC basketball media days today, and officially shot down the idea of expansion when asked about it. I understand where he’s coming from. He just dodged a bullet from the Big 12 that may have saved his conference. Right now, he’s happy for stability and probably doesn’t want to immediately go on the attack in expansion.
As armchair quarterback, coach, athletic director, and commissioner, I’m much more aggressive. I think we should add schools and add them now. At the very least, there are a handful of solid basketball-only candidates to add to our awkward 11-team basketball conference to form an even dozen. If you’re feeling crazy, there are a few football programs that could also be plucked from smaller conferences to bolster an AAC group that’s been much better than people originally predicted when it was formed.
So now I ask you: As AAC Commissioner, what are you doing in expansion to improve our conference?
Take the survey here. I’ll update in a few days with the smartest responses and then send them to Aresco to consider. (I lied about that second part.)
Prince, the Gary Clark of Music (from April-August 2016)
Cincinnati Bearcats forward Gary Clark is great. In fact, Gary Clark is so great that his name itself has because synonymous with greatness. I started declaring people the “Gary Clark of…” back in February, and now that the list is long enough, we need a definitive one-stop shop. This page is now the Gary Clark of Gary Clark Lists. I’ll try to keep it updated as people are added and dropped from Gary Clark greatness.
The Gary Clark of…
…the NBA is Tristan Thompson.
…college football is Tyrone Swoopes.
…soccer is Sean Okoli.
…swimming is Jackie Keire.
…golf is Jim Herman.
…movies is Mad Max.
…spelling is Nihar Janga.
…Pokemon Go is Charleston Mailman.
Earlier this week I was contacted by the folks behind @GoBearcats to take part in a behind-the-scenes tour of Nippert as part of a #UCInfluencers program. I know they’ve done this in the past, and I think it’s a great idea, so I was excited to participate. We got a quick tour of the new press box at Nippert, we walked around the field during warmups, and we saw some things in the bowels of the Lindner Center that the public rarely has access to. It was a great time and I encourage anyone who gets the opporunity to participate to do so. It’s a smart idea by the UC social media team that I hope continues. Most programs don’t take the time to bring fans “behind the curtain” like UC has done.
I‘ve watched a ton of games at Nippert. It was super bizarre looking at the field from this angle. Overall, the new field (which has been the topic of Twitter controversy) looked pretty great. The new press box looked even better.
It’s hard to believe this is Nippert Stadium. It’s incredible. I should’ve taken a couple more pictures in here. I’ve been in the club level at Great American Ballpark, and Nippert has them beat. Honestly.
This is the kind of thing the fancy seats get you. On my list of game day priorities, a small TV at my seat is basically at the bottom. Nippert covered all their bases though. Not much more you could want if you’re watching the game from here.
I think I’m one of the few that loves the white uniforms. Adding white facemasks makes all the difference.
Seriously, Nippert Stadium is gorgeous. Especially from this angle. Dear UC, please let me tweet the Houston game from this spot.
People don’t understand how extensive the Lindner Center is. I know it just looks like a long building with offices from the first floor, but the place is endless. This is the practice gym, which gets used by men’s and women’s basketball, as well as the volleyball team. It’s located directly beneath Sheakley Lawn. If you’re worried about the structural integrity of that, I’ve now been told twice that a 747 could park on the roof of this place and be totally fine. It’s basically a bomb shelter with a court in it.
New graphics abound. The weight room is used by all varsity sports except for men’s basketball, who has their own place. (Theirs was all locked up.)
Bonus tidbit: Bengals fans may remember this Sports Illustrated cover from 2006. It was shot in the Lindner Center. UC was the first school in the country to have an underwater treadmill on campus for student athletes. Unsurprisingly, the Bengals do not have one.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been pestered about my 2016 Bearcats Football Predictions:
I’m kind of a loser when it comes to a lot of things. One of those things is numbers. I love seeing people’s mentality in chart form, so here we are. This is my first time using Google Forms, so there’s almost definitely a better way for me to have done this. Maybe I’ll figure it out by basketball season.
If you answered a multiple choice question in the prediction form, your answer was thrown into a pie chart with everyone else. In total, we had 105 respondents. My goal was 100, so I won.
Here is what your fellow Bearcats fans are saying about the 2016 season:
This one was interesting, because after about 40 responses, it was almost dead even. More and more people hopped on the Hayden train as the season grew closer. My guess: Hayden Moore
This was a blowout from the start, and I believe Tion actually gained ground towards the end. I agree that all signs point to Mike Boone leading the way, but I’m perfectly fine with a tw0-headed team, as long as the better performer gets a few extra carries. My guess: Mike Boone
This one is my favorite, because there are actually some differing opinions. Khalil Lewis is the fan favorite for 2016 breakout star, and Nate Cole is the lone returning receiver with serious experience. I’d love for Lewis to blow everyone away, but I took the safe route and chose experience over potential. My guess: Nate Cole
This answer is going to be subjective. I threw in “losses by one possession” so we’d have something concrete to point to in case of controversy. Otherwise, I’m hoping we can come to an agreement on which losses are going to steal our souls. We’ll know it when we feel it. It can’t be as bad as last year, and you guys think we’ll get our hearts torn out twice. My guess: One
Ahh, the unpredictable nature of Bearcats attendance. There is rarely any rhyme or reason to it, and the responses here are proof. Most people think four of seven games will sell out, with three games being the next most popular choice. This one is a crapshoot. My guess: Three
I’m happy to see you’ve all started to temper your expectations. I think October is a very safe bet at this point. Six people think it will never happen. That’s depressing. My guess: #Big12Confirmed
I also asked you guys to submit wild predictions. I won’t share them all, especially the ones that are somehow still Harambe jokes. Here are a few of my favorites, copy and pasted verbatim:
“Gunner Kiel finishes with 4,000 yards passing and at least 25 TDs (lol)”
“Chad Banschbach is leading rusher in multiple games”
“Someone will break Mike Mickens pick 6 record”
“Tommy Tuberville has a stroke week 4”
“Uc loses to Houston at home in regular season on a national televised heartbreaker this sparks the Bearcats to a 10–2 finish only losing to byu in a close one to get a rematch AT houston for the AAC championship and we beat them redeeming ourselves Then (as long as sdsu or Boise don’t have a year) the Bearcats finally get their ny6 bowl win ontop of tommy actually getting winning his first bowl game at cincy”
“UC demolishes all legitimate B12 contenders (BYU, UH, UCONN, Memphis) then loses to the last place American team.”
“Travis Kelce will actually find love on that dating show.”
“THE WORLD WILL END IN FIREY DEATH AND WE FALL INTO A NUCLEAR WINTER ALL IS HELL AND THIS IS OUR STORY. MAY 3, 2017. THE HAVEN’T FOUND ME YET. I HAVE BEEN HIDING IN THIS ABANDONDED WENDY’S. I RAN OUT OF 4 FOR 4 DEALS 2 MONTHS AGO. SEND HELP.”
“Tubby uses golf metaphor to explain a win or loss.”
Let’s just go undefeated. Go Bearcats.