Looks like I've finally broken through my jam-packed October. Just got back from St Louis from a conference that I'll probably talk about here soon. But I had to get up a post tonight because of some devastating news today.
As of late, it's sucked to be a sports fan in Cincinnati. Look at the Reds and Bengals, even count the Buckeyes' consecutive losses in the national championship, and there's nothing redeemable [sure, UC football could make a BCS bowl this year, but I doubt they'll ever compete for a national championship].
Following my beloved UC basketball has been an especially painful experience since the departure of Bob Huggins. We've endured one season under interim coach Andy Kennedy, where the Bearcats were jobbed out of a tournament appearance, and two abysmal rebuilding years under headcoach Mick Cronin that I will likely forget someday.
But there was hope this year that things were turning the corner. Mick has finally assembled a good recruiting class and is putting his fingerprints on the program. I went out to the summer league a few times this summer and was impressed by the squad for this year; it's a great mix of established players and new, exceptional talent. And considering that Rick Pitino (coach at rival Louisville) stated that this year's Big East could be the toughest conference he's ever seen, you start to realize that we need a good squad in order to compete.
I have been very excited at this young group as I've missed having a winner around town.
But it was reported today that freshman phenom and probable starter Cashmere Wright (cool name, eh?) tore his ACL and will be out for the year. Also out for the year is sophomore Kenny Belton, who wouldn't have started but would have earned considerable playing time.
To say the least, I'm a little depressed. It's not as if UC basketball was going to go all the way, but I think this year was going to be a great vaulting year onto something more. Now Deonta Vaughn will have to run the point which will hamper his ability to score.
Why is there this black cloud over the program? Go back to Kenyon Martin's broken leg in 2000 (I almost cried then), to Armein Kirkland's ACL in 2006, to Mike Williams' ACL last year, and it keeps snowballing. And it seems like I could go much further than this in the mishaps plaguing the boys in Clifton. Since 1992 [when top-seeded Kansas lost to UTEP, giving the Bearcats a trip to the Final Four] nothing has gone right in this program. Perhaps I should call the AD an offer to perform an exorcism.
Still, I think it will be an entertaining season building to something more. But since those Cincinnati sports glory days of my youth [1988-1992], it's been a rough place to be a fan.