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“I don’t get real nostalgic about it because the season’s not over,” Cronin said. “When SK and those guys come walking out, I’m planning on being with them for at least another month, I’m hoping.”

For that to happen, the Bearcats have to fix their offense. They’ve scored 57 or fewer points during their last three losses, going long stretches without making a field goal.

The two biggest problems: poor shooting and lousy ball handling. Cincinnati shot 35 percent, 29 percent and 27 percent from the field during the three losses, going a combined 15 for 64 from beyond the arc. They also turned the ball over 19, 13 and 20 times in those three games.

Their 33 turnovers in the last two are their most during a two-game span, with the 20 turnovers tying their season high.

“The common denominator in all three losses is turnovers,” Cronin said. “Our turnover situation has been horrific.”

The solution has been to intensify practices to get their offense ready. The Bearcats are accustomed to applying defensive pressure, but haven’t handled it all that well themselves.

“So we have got to practice against the the type of defense we saw against SMU, UConn and Louisville,” Cronin said. “And we’ve got to do a better job of simulating that type of defense when we play 5-on-5 offense in practice.

“Sometimes it’s too easy for our veteran guys to score against our younger guys in our practice sessions. So we’ve talked about that and we’ve made some moves to try to rectify that in practice, just so that it’s more realistic.”

The younger players also have talked about stepping up their game down the stretch.

“It’s something we’ve been working for all year long, and now we’re in control of our destiny and able to really do this,” Kilpatrick said. “It’s something the young guys have been really focusing on and thinking about.”


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