This year the Cincinnati Bearcats have put together an impressive season worthy of a bid to the NCAA tournament. Obviously basketball is a team sport so your success is solely dependent upon how well your team plays as a whole but sometimes you come across a player who can put his team on his back and carry them to victory. For the Bearcats this year, that player has been senior guard Sean Kilpatrick. Although Kilpatrick has had a fantastic career at Cincinnati his last season in a Bearcat uniform may end up being his best.
In Cincinnati’s 29 games this year, Kilpatrick has averaged a team-high 20.3 points per game (nearly double the average of Cincy’s second-leading scorer), 4.5 rebounds per game and a team-high 2.6 assists per game. While he experienced a slight decline in his rebounding numbers, Kilpatrick registered a career-high in assists this year along with a two percent increase in his shooting percentage. He has fine-tuned his game and is arguably playing the best basketball of his college career–and it shows.
I must say, you shouldn’t be at all surprised how well Kilpatrick has been playing this year. Ever since he arrived at Cincinnati in the fall of 2010, Sean has made his presence known in the court. As a freshman, he averaged slightly over 20 minutes per game with 9.7 points per game. His numbers only improved throughout his career. During his sophomore and junior seasons he averaged 34 minutes a game with 14.3 and 17 points per game respectively. Kilpatrick has been a focal point of the Bearcats success for the last four seasons as he looks to lead Cincinnati into the postseason.
One thing in particular that jumps out about Kilpatrick’s game is his consistency. Night in and night out he has delivered for his team on their way to a 24-5 record on the season. In order to prove to you just how consistent Sean has been all season long let me give you some numbers. In Cincinnati’s 29 games this year, Kilpatrick has scored in double figures in all but one of those games. If that wasn’t convincing enough, he has managed to shoot at least 40% from the field in 18 of the Bearcats’ games this season. Whether it’s the first game of the year or championship week, you always know Kilpatrick will come out aggressive and look to dictate the tempo of any game.
Another thing that Kilpatrick does extremely well is he can beat you in a number of different ways. He can put up a ton of points but can also provide problems for you on the defensive side of the ball on the glass and in causing turnovers. As he has gotten older he has improved his ability to doll out assists furthering the issues he causes for opposing players. Lastly, he has demonstrated his ability to get to the free throw line almost at will. And given his career-high in free throw percentage this year, that will quickly turn into easy points for the Bearcats.
Unfortunately for us, this is Kilpatrick’s last year at the University of Cincinnati. And with just about a month left before a champion is crowned at the Final Four, we’ve only got a limited window left to watch him play before he makes the jump to the NBA. So make sure you catch a few Cincinnati games over the next couple weeks as I’m sure he’s going to put on a couple spectacular performances as we head into championship week. Who knows, maybe they’ll even make a run to the Final Four–we already know they have the talent.
Who’s your favorite college basketball player?
Photos via Getty Images