The first week of Wes Miller’s head-coaching stint at Cincinnati went as well as could be expected.
The Bearcats won their first two games, including a 73-68 victory over Georgia on Saturday. They will host Alabama A&M on Tuesday.
Cincinnati displayed a well-balanced attack against Georgia, with no player scoring more than 11 points. The Bearcats shot just 40 percent from the field overall and 20 percent on 3-point attempts, but they forced 13 turnovers and scored 14 second-chance points.
“We’ve got a long way to go as a team, but in the second half, I thought there were some really good moments,” said Miller, who previously coached UNC Greensboro. “We continued to defend, but we realize that it’s not all put together yet.”
Miller was particularly pleased with Clemson transfer John Newman III, who grabbed four of the team’s 17 offensive rebounds
“John Newman really set a tone for us there (Saturday),” he said. “We got a couple early and we’ve been all over him in practice about doing a better job on the offensive boards.”
Jeremiah Davenport scored 11 points, equaling his total in the season opener against Evansville. He is the only Bearcat who has reached double figures in both games.
Cincinnati might not have a go-to guy on offense, so hard-nosed defense and rebounding will be key to a successful season.
“I told them in the locker room if we keep working every day, keep having the right approach, we’re going to have a lot of fun nights here,” Miller said.
The Bearcats will face another group of Bulldogs on Tuesday. Alabama A&M has split its first two games, defeating Tennessee State 82-73 in its opener before losing at Jacksonville State 70-47 on Saturday. Jacksonville State took control with a 40-18 halftime lead.
Jalen Johnson leads Alabama A&M in scoring (14 points per game) and rebounding (8.5 per game) with Garrett Hicks close behind in both categories (13.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg). The loss to Jacksonville State began a stretch of 12 consecutive road games for the Bulldogs.
–Field Level Media