Thank you for writing what I’m sure was a difficult article. Appreciate your honesty.

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Listening to Cronin's presser, he truthfully set out all of the teams flaws--can't shoot, unforced turnovers (even though the other team packed in under the paint and did not pressure the ball), fouls and at one point said something about not being very smart (stupid), and of course nobody able to hit the three. He also said that some/all of these things are not on him, it is on the players. When asked about improvement going forward, he said something like other teams adjust but his players can not adjust "on the fly" so his team does not improve. The sound on the presser was not good so I may not have heard some of the things he said properly. Bottom line, my opinion is that Cronin has given up on this team and it will continue to go down hill. Side note, I have tickets from my good U$C friend to see UCLA play U$C at Galen and I cringe to think watching UCLA in another terrible performance sitting next to my U$C friends.

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Telling it like it is, thanks, Dmitri!

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It would be nice if Bona learned when to anticipate an inside dish.

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Jan 5·edited Jan 5

DD had a thoughtful column earlier on the "process over results," to manage our expectations and to ask for patience in this non-Tournament year.

But what if the process is all wrong?

The wrong starters, questionable substitutions, mismatched players on the court, poor end of game clock management.

But overall it's the offense, and this is nothing new. He has a long track record of this criticism, it was the knock on him when he came to Westwood ("Negative recruiting!," complained CMC), and it's true now. Excerpts from a Bearcats fansite nearly 5 years ago (emphasis added mine) still apply:

"...the offense...has been Cronin’s weakness for OVER a decade now. When he first started at Cincinnati, he had to focus on defense because that was his philosophy and his first few recruiting classes greatly lacked offensive prowess due to the status of the program at the time. The great equalizer for those early teams was their gritty defense and affinity for grinding out games. This led to wins in games they probably should not have won.

"...Mick Cronin has the SAME flaws as a coach that he had TEN years ago. Some fans go way too far and call Cronin a bad coach which he isn’t. You don’t make it to the tournament eight seasons in a row (soon to be nine) being a bad coach. Cronin just has very defined limitations and they stem from recruiting and his invasive coaching style.

"Cronin’s recruits all virtually have the same basketball DNA. High 3-star, low 4-star recruit, plays good on-ball defense, but needs work on the offensive end...Cronin is not a good offensive coach. [players] did not or will not develop into dynamic offensive options over their college careers because Mick refuses to focus on developing players’ offensive skill sets.

"Couple this with the fact that officiating rules have changed in favor of faster and more offensive-oriented basketball and the Cincinnati Bearcats look like they are PLAYING IN THE STONE AGES..."

"..... At some point, you have to hit shots. You can beat the dregs of the AMERICAN with these numbers but you are not going to consistently beat the best teams in the conference, let alone the country, by consistently shooting under forty percent from the field. And the worst part is that this IS NOT NEW in the Cronin era."

"... Cronin is a MICROMANAGER during a game. He yells at his point guards and tells them which play to run on almost every trip down the floor and he is quick to pull out any and everybody that makes a mistake. This is probably Cronin’s worst trait as a basketball coach. You cannot take players out each and every time they make a mistake because they will lose their confidence and rhythm when you initially take them and when they realize the pattern, they will only focus on not making mistakes so they aren’t taken out instead of just trying to win the game. How many times have you seen a Bearcat player turn the ball over or commit a foul and then look over to the bench to see if they are coming out? That should never be the case. Players should not play in fear of making mistake because then the focus isn’t on the game itself. This causes players to play tight and they do not let the game come to them.

"...he recruited those players and the amount of guys that provide no outside shooting threat is staggering...That type of recruiting is simply not paying attention to the CHANGING BASKETBALL LANDSCAPE.

"...Again, Mick Cronin is not a bad coach. He just has severe limitations that will keep him from making a deep run in the tournament..."

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Motivation is a good thing. Calling your young players lacking of aptitude, as Ben Bolch headlined his article in the LA Times yesterday, is not motivation--it is bullying and humiliation. Tom Knight type "motivation" aka intimidation. Coach felt that Knight was a great X and O man but not a very good human being. Is this where our current coach is headed? His antics on the bench during the game--quick pulls and a face of total anger--does not bode well.

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One more comment...

Mick stating that freshman don't or can't get better as the season progresses is yet another indictment of his coaching. He uses the excuse that opposing teams know how to play the freshman as the season progresses so apparently he never watched Toby Bailey or JR Henderson or Amari Baily play...

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