Kilpatrick has 29, No. 24 Cincy beats NC A&T 93-39


Kilpatrick has 29, No. 24 Cincy beats NC A&T 93-39

CINCINNATI (AP) Forty-nine points in his last 51 minutes. Sean Kilpatrick seems to like Cincinnati's new up-tempo offense.

The junior guard scored a career-high 29 points on Sunday, hitting eight shots from behind the arc, and the 24th-ranked Bearcats dominated from the outset of a 93-39 victory over North Carolina A&T.

The Bearcats (3-0) opened with a 14-point run that featured four 3s by Kilpatrick, who got wide-open shots all around the arc. Cincinnati's lead never slipped below double digits. It wound up as the Bearcats' most lopsided win since 1994.

And Kilpatrick was right in the middle of it.

``None of that surprises me,'' coach Mick Cronin said. ``His preparation every day for every game is as good as I've ever been around as a coach. It's off the charts.''

Kilpatrick had 21 points in the opening half and matched his career best with six 3-pointers. He made more shots from beyond the arc than the Aggies (1-3) did overall in the half - NC A&T was 4 of 30.

``I was just playing within the flow of the game,'' said Kilpatrick, who finished 10 of 15 from the field, including 8 of 12 from behind the arc. ``Everyone was finding me early. On top of that, we just had open shots.''

Kilpatrick had a big game all-around, getting seven rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes. He has 49 points in the last two games, adapting quickly to the Bearcats' new push-the-pace style of offense that spreads out the guards.

``It opens the floor more to better opportunities,'' Kilpatrick said. ``You find players if they're open because the whole floor is open.''

The Aggies knew what he could do, but left him unguarded too many times.

``We didn't make the adjustments,'' coach Cy Alexander said. ``We told them what he was capable of doing. This was the first game that I was disappointed in our defensive effort. We knew what we had to do from a defensive standpoint and we didn't do it.

``It appeared to me from the sideline that we were somewhat intimidated, which there is no excuse for whether you are playing mid-major, high-major, or whatever major. You've got to step up to the competition that you are playing against. We didn't do that. We played like a team who was scared.''

North Carolina A&T shot only 15 percent from the field (10 of 66) with 20 turnovers. Lamont Middleton led the Aggies with 11 points.

Kilpatrick set a career high for scoring on his eighth 3-pointer with 10:26 left, completing a 16-0 run for a 68-24 lead. At that point, the Aggies had only seven field goals combined.

The only blemish for Cincinnati was free-throw shooting. The Bearcats came in averaging 59.6 percent from the line and missed 11 of their first 14. The crowd of 5,582 cheered when Cashmere Wright made a free throw that ended a streak of seven straight misses in the second half.

Cincinnati finished 9 of 23 on free throws, prompting Cronin to schedule a special practice for Monday morning.

``We've all got 7 a.m. free throws,'' Kilpatrick said. ``So no late-night watching (television). We've got to go to sleep.''

The Aggies repeatedly shot air balls over outstretched arms, missing their first 10 shots overall. They didn't get their first field goal until Lamont Middleton scored at the 12:37 mark, making it 17-3. Six of their shots were swatted away in the first half.

North Carolina A&T also had trouble holding onto the ball against Cincinnati's extended man-to-man defense. The Aggies had 12 turnovers while falling behind 47-16 at halftime.

The Bearcats are using their early games to build a 10-man-deep bench for Big East play. Cronin used his reserves a lot during an 80-57 win over Tennessee-Martin and a 102-60 win over Mississippi Valley State, and quickly got some of his reserve in against the Aggies.

No matter who was on the floor, Cincinnati's defense was too much for the Aggies, who couldn't score more than five points in a row.


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Six most likely quarterback options for the Redskins after Alex Smith's gruesome injury

Six most likely quarterback options for the Redskins after Alex Smith's gruesome injury

Alex Smith's brutal leg injury suffered in the third quarter of the Redskins’ 23-21 home loss against the Texans on Sunday shook up the lineup, and opened up long-term quarterback questions.

There’s also the immediate need at backup now that Colt McCoy moved into the starter role. There’s no QB on the practice squad so scratch that possibility.

Let’s go through some potential free agent options:

Sam Bradford – Probably the cleanest candidate among the available free agents, which also perhaps says something about the available free agents. Arizona signed Bradford to a one-year, $20 million contract during the offseason hoping the former No. 1 overall pick would serve as a bridge while 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen developed. That plan last three games as the Cardinals went 0-3. Bradford threw four interceptions and two touchdowns while posting a QB-rating under 60 in two of the three losses. However, Bradford threw for 3,000 yards as recently as 2016 and would likely be ready to play rather quickly. It’s possible he even emerges as the starter depending on how the Cult of Colt fares.

Paxton Lynch – The 2016 first-round selection flamed out after two seasons with the Broncos. The 6-foot-7 passer posted video game statistics at the University of Memphis, but entered the NFL with raw skills. His game didn’t develop with Denver, leading the AFC West squad to cut bait and sign free agent Case Keenum this offseason. Lynch, 24, worked out for the Redskins earlier this season and had a good workout, according to one source. If nothing else, Washington could get a look at a young passer.

Matt Moore – Longtime NFL backup spent the previous seven seasons with the Dolphins. Moore provided instant offense when called upon over the years. At 34, he might be cooling off. Moore threw for 861 yards, four touchdown and five interceptions in four games last season. Miami lost both of his starts.

Josh Johnson – Johnson last played in 2015, but has served as a backup in different spots as recently as 2017 with the Texans. The Raiders released the 32-year-old in May. He is listed as a quarterback for the San Diego Fleet in the upstart Alliance of American Football League. So, why does Johnson deserve consideration? He played for the Bengals in 2013 under then offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

Ryan Mallett – The strong-armed passer had nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions over 21 games for the Patriots, Texans and Ravens. He played two games for Baltimore in 2017.

Colin Kaepernick – If we’re talking best available quarterback, Kaepernick’s name tops this list. The irony of him replacing Smith on the active roster is evident. Kaepernick’s rise led the 49ers to benching Smith and then trading him to the Chiefs after the younger QB directed San Francisco to the 2013 Super Bowl. Kaepernick’s remaining time in the Bay Area was spotty, but he had 16 touchdown passes with only four interceptions in 2016.

He hasn’t played an NFL game since. Obviously, there are numerous factors involved with that scenario beyond talent, namely Kaepernick’s stance on police brutality nationwide turning him into a political topic.  Teams across the league lack viable backup options. Some struggle with their starter. Yet Kaepernick remains waiting for a job. The wait likely continues. All we know for sure is the Redskins need another quarterback.


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NFL world sends well-wishes to Alex Smith

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NFL world sends well-wishes to Alex Smith

Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Texans.

On the field, players from both teams went up to the veteran quarterback to offer an encouraging word as he was carted away with his leg in an air cast. 

Reaction poured in immediately across Twitter - including a chilling reminder from Joe Theismann about his own brutal injury.