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UC Fans Celebrate Basketball at Fountain Square
CINCINNATI (WKC) -- The University of Cincinnati men's and women's basketball teams helped celebrate the start of the 2013-14 season at Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati on Thursday with Bearcats Basketball Midday Madness presented by Skyline Chili.
A black and red outdoor basketball court was staged at the historic Cincinnati landmark and - despite the rainy conditions and cool temperatures - an estimated 1,000 Bearcat fans were able to enjoy meeting several members of both teams. The UC cheerleaders, dance team, pep band and twirlers were also in attendance. Fans witnessed a three-point shooting contest, free-throw shooting contest and an open court for fans to play with the members of each team.
It was exciting to bring Cincinnati basketball to the heart of the city, UC head coach Mick Cronin said. Not even the weather could have put a damper on the experience today. Our players were thrilled to connect with our fans in such a great setting.
Comments from Cronin, senior guard Sean Kilpatrick and womens head coach Jamelle Elliott follow:
UC mens basketball head coach Mick Cronin
On how much the experience with the USA team will benefit Sean Kilpatrick this season:
What Sean learned this summer was despite the fact he is a potential All-American at the collegiate level, there are great players all around the world. It taught him that he needs to get better. He wants to play professional basketball, so sometimes you can have a senior that might get a little complacent and that experience at the World Games made him realize that there are great players all over the world and not just in our country. He came back more motivated than I have ever seen.
On being in a new conference:
Its kind of a half and half because your half in a new league, because your still playing a lot of the same teams and it brings back an old rivalry with Memphis. Cincinnati and Memphis was a great rivalry it brings back a lot of great memories from the 92 Final Four team, beating Memphis four times and having our march to the Final Four. You have to embrace change and were excited about it.
On coaching this season's team:
We have eight guards that are eligible and health right now and ready to play. There isnt a lot of talent differential between about seven of them, you probably have SK and the other seven. There all good players and I think playing faster and getting after it defensively will make it easier on the young guys and a little less complicated the more up and down we go.
#23 Sean Kilpatrick, G
On how much he enjoyed the atmosphere of the Midday Madness:
It has been tough on our fans but they still stood out here in rain. Its amazing what the city does for the fans because this is the first time this has ever happened here and me being a senior I just realize that I am blessed to be a part of this.
On how it feels to be shooting outdoors:
It feels good to shoot out here a little bit. Its kind of hard to shoot out here because all year we have been practicing indoors but now that we see how it feels to be outside shooting. It was a lot of fun. This is what it is all about - the beginning of the season and being able to come out and just have fun.
On being selected preseason first team All-American Conference:
That was amazing because, going into the season, I didnt know if I was going to be a first team all-conference player. It is just another milestone in my career. Im really ready to get things on the road and start playing these games. We want to win so badly and we have been practicing so well that everyone is anxious to go out there and begin playing.
On how much did his experience with Team USA help him:
It helped a lot and it taught me that I am able to play with other great players and really understand my game more. I also learned a lot about that if you have patience and pose, the game will come to you.
UC womens basketball head coach Jamelle Elliott:
On the turnout for the Midday Madness:
I cant say enough about the Bearcat faithful for coming out here in the rain, luckily it subsided a little bit, but that just goes to show you that they want to support UC womens and mens basketball and we are excited that they came out today.
On if she brings out her six Championship rings to motivate her players:
Well every now and then I give them just a little reminder, for something to root for and motivate them to continue to get well in practice every day as well as the game. Hopefully, we can use that as motivation but I dont want that to be the last ring we get and hopefully that will change real soon.
On how she feels about the conference change:
We are excited about the change, obviously there are some new teams in our conference that we need to familiarize ourselves with. But we have already begun watching film and our goal everyday is to continue to get better as a team and we are excited about the upcoming season.
Information from UC Athletics