Sean Kilpatrick is probably about to get his lunch handed to him.
The Cincinnati sophomore guard went on the radio Thursday and said Xavier point guard Tu Holloway isn't as good as him -- and that the preseason top-five player wouldn't garner a start spot on Cincinnati's roster. The exchange between Kilpatrick, Cincinnati's leading scorer, and Real Talk 1160 WQRT host Andy Furman.
Furman: “Are you better than Tu Holloway?”I don't blame Kilpatrick for having pride and claiming he's better than Holloway, even though everyone not associated with Cincinnati knows that not to be true. The category where Kilpatrick is clearly better: effective field goal percentage. Kilpatrick is clearing 58 percent to Holloway's 45.
Kilpatrick: “I’ll let the fans decide…”
Furman: “I need to know. No one’s listening. Just between you and me.”
Kilpatrick: “Yes I am.”
Furman: “Would Tu Holloway start for UC?”
Kilpatrick: “Would he, with the players we have now? I would say no.”
The he-wouldn't-start-for-us line is where things get personal, and will no doubt serve to further motivate a team that's already of Final Four caliber. As if Holloway wasn't already motivated enough playing against the hated Bearcats, plus he had arguably his worst game of the season against Cincy last year, shooting 15 percent from the floor and scoring five points ... now he gets this.
Holloway's been a opposing team's dream-killer this season, playing fantastically in the clutch and late in games. I can't wait to see how X reacts and rallies around Holloway, who will most likely have another good-to-great showing.
In a grander scheme, what Kilpatrick's comments do is put the spotlight on what's truly one of the meanest, if not the meanest, college basketball rivalries. Xavier-Cincy will never be the biggest, but the Crosstown Shootout has spread the venom for decades. It gets pockets of recognition for how seething it can get -- perhaps this hyperbole from Kilpatrick will give the matchup even more recognition. We need rivalries with some true disgust and contempt between players.
Speaking out against the other team's star player is never smart for the team involved, but as fans of game, we always benefit. Bring on the trash talk and let the game begin.
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