Miller, Adams-Woods, Oguama Meet the media | Techy Kings


CINCINNATI — Six days is all that separates the Cincinnati men’s basketball team from its season opener, a Monday night showdown at Fifth Third Arena against Chaminade (7 p.m.)

“The sense of urgency, the butterflies, the first day of practice, or going into every practice I feel those and definitely before the first game, before any game. It’s like being a kid,” the head coach Wes Miller said. “That’s one of the great parts of coaching, you get that competitive drug from it making you feel, it’s really unique and special.”

The Bearcats have been running at full capacity since September 28th. It is November after all. Simply put, the human element is that games are often what get people going the most.

“When you have the ability to do two scrimmages behind closed doors against a Division I opponent, that’s worth five practices,” Miller said. “So, I’ve been so adamant about using it as much as I can. I wish we could do more of that because of the different play styles. It’s not a real game, so it doesn’t provide some of the other things that are involved, you can try different combinations, you can try different things that might not work in practice against yourself, but it might work against someone else.

“You can learn so much from those scrimmages. I really value the ones they let us do. If I made the college basketball rules, we’d do six of them in the preseason.”

Ody Oguamaa senior in his second year at Cincinnati and known for his beaming smile, couldn’t help but hold back the anticipation of playing in front of fans and with consequence.

“I’m just ready to go into the season,” he said. “It’s right around the corner. I’m just looking forward to it and playing with the guys and seeing another jersey. We’re fighting each other every day, and that’s always going to help prepare us in the long run.”

Oguama also touched on his emphasis on not only getting to the line more next season, but shooting at a higher percentage. The downside to his game comes from his higher mobility compared to a typical No. 4 or 5, especially as Miller looks to shape his program around full-court pressure and defensive intensity.

“The biggest difference would be having to guard multiple positions, not just sitting in the paint or around the basket and actually guarding a perimeter player at some point,” Oguama said. “Coach Roberts also asks the post players every day to knock the guy down low and look for the ball.”

Mika Adams-Woodsanother senior but also the only one Jeremiah Davenport to be in his fourth Clifton season, said the main focus for the team is “now,” with the ultimate goal being the tournament. In fact, he started 19 games as a true freshman in 2019-20, a squad that won the AAC regular-season title before its NCAA hopes were dashed by COVID-19.

Last year, his 2.81 assist-to-turnover ratio was No. 15 nationally.

“I feel like my game is making the right play and finding the right guy,” he said. “I’m a team-oriented guy, so I always like to play the right way and see my teammates score. This year I’ve been working hard on my jumper and knew I needed to make a jump for my game and my team here.”

And as for Miller’s parting thoughts?

“The day I don’t have nerves and I’m not excited or can’t sleep before the game is the day I stop training,” he said. “Obviously I get as nervous as everyone else, and I mean that in a really good way. I care a lot.”

Season tickets for the 2022-23 men’s basketball campaign at Fifth Third Arena are for saleand serves as the only guaranteed way to gain entry into the Crosstown Shootout against Xavier on December 10th. UC opens its 18-game homestand Monday, Nov. 7 against Chaminade.


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