This is a memo directly to the Cincinnati Bearcats, from top to bottom:
You want to get to the NCAA Tournament this season, right? You don't want to be studying film on College of Charleston for your first round NIT home game, do you?
Then get tough. Get mean. These other Big East teams are trying to keep you out of the NCAA Tournament.
Don't f***in' let 'em!
This fadeaway, shy-away-from-contact stuff ain't gonna cut it. This is the Big East. This is a grown ass man's league. You get the ball five feet from the rim, you take a power dribble and you go up like you are trying to shatter the g**damn backboard! Make the defender have to foul you to hold you down.
Floaters and fadeaways take the pressure off the defender. When you don't go up strong, you just made his job easier than Tara Reid after one Natty Light.
I hate to single out one player, but I have a quick message for 6'9", 265-pound Yancy Gates: Dunks are legal, ya know. And I'm not talkin' about the wide open, nobody-within-10-feet slams you get against Georgia Southern. I'm talkin' about the facials you provide when a smaller guy saddled with two fouls (Notre Dame's Tyrone Nash last night) tries to check you without a double-team.
Turn, face, fake right, and then take a power dribble, go right through his left shoulder and go up and thunder that sh*t! Yes, this is legal. And, if the guy draws a charge on you, make it hurt! Dunk on him anyway.
The bottom line is this, guys: Nobody is going to hand you that tournament bid on a silver platter with a side of Elisha Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door. You want that bid? You've gotta TAKE that bid. Snatch that bid. Grab that bid, growl, and then bite a giant piece out of it!
Get tough! Get pissed off. That's your bid!
Not sure how to elevate into "Mean Mug Bearcat Mode?" Ask your coach to show you tape of Eric Hicks, Jason Maxiell, Kenyon Martin, and then more Eric Hicks. That's how you intimidate. That's how you take it strong to the rack with no regard for human life.
That's how you get to the NCAA Tournament.