Paul Daugherty
Enquirer columnist files news and observations

Paul Daugherty
Paul Daugherty has been an Enquirer sports columnist since 1994 and has been chronicling Cincinnati sports since 1988. He has covered almost every major sporting event in America, as well as five Summer Olympics. Along the way, he has been named one of the country's top-5 sports columnists four times, and Ohio columnist of the year on seven different occasions. Last year, he was voted 2nd-best sports columnist in the country, by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mick and his men

The respect and appreciation they have for their coach was evident in their play and their words last night. They wanted to win for him, that much was obvious. It helped that WVU didnt shoot straight. Maybe the Mountaineers were blinded by Bob's suit. But UC was so much better than WVU in every phase, it's hard to say they won just because the other team couldnt hit the ocean from a boat.

Nice, validating win for a guy who shows every sign of being able to make UC basketball better than it has ever been. Some of us suggested that would be the case, the day they hired him. Even we didnt guess it would happen so quickly... 5-4 in the league, halfway through the schedule, which eases from here on.

I'm wondering if Mick has changed some minds in the last month.


at 8:52 AM Blogger Dave in Omaha said...

The question is not "has he changed minds?" , because surely he has. To me, the question is will those who were so vocal and dubious ADMIT that their minds were changed? I love Huggs like always, but Mick is the new sherriff in town and has earned the respects from all. Good column yesterday, by the way. How about Huggs matching mustard shoes? He's great!


at 9:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really happy to see how far this team has come. Hopefully the pro-Huggs, anti-Nancy crowd can turn the page...FINALLY. I believe had Huggins not been fired, he would have eventually taken the WVU job anyway (didn't he interview for that job five years ago??). Wish him well and let's be on our way.

at 9:13 AM Anonymous a.turtle said...

Since he's not had much talent to work with his first two years, I had raised eyebrows whether Cronin was much of a floor coach.

But he's beaten Pitino, Boeheim and Huggins, and if not for lousy free-throw shooting would have beaten Calhoun. All have superior talent. Two of those were on the road.

Mick can coach a little.

at 9:30 AM Anonymous Matt said...

Can you believe a Huggins team got blown out like that!! That team quit on him, no doubt. I bet Bob can't wait to get his own recruits in there.

Props to Mick. He was the greatest steal in college basketball coaching history. I'm sure they are not paying him near what he is worth.

at 10:04 AM Anonymous Ben said...

One of the sweetest wins I've experienced as a fan of any Cincinnati team. It's possible to recognize Bob Huggins importance in the history of UC basketball and still look forward to the future. Also, how about that Marcus Sikes?

at 11:01 AM Anonymous jwads said...

Honestly since Mick left I thought he would be a good eventual replacement for Huggs. I have a lot of respect for Huggs and what he accomplished but we all know he would have left eventually for Morgantown. Cronin has a great pedigree and will put UC back on the map.

at 12:10 PM Blogger ewad said...


I don't think this has ever really been about Mick to most of us.
I think it was about the total mismanagement of the post Huggins era.
Mick should have never inherited such a mess.
UC had a powerhouse basketball progam completly blown apart. That should have never happened.
If you are a UC fan you want the best for the program no matter who the coach is.
It seems like the wrong argument is constantly going on.
Debating about the coach.
It ought to be about who is responsible for setting the recovery of the basketball program so far back.
No one currently at UC has ever stepped forward to take responsibility.
No blame has been leveled for that failure.
UC's administration circled the wagons and frankly nobody ever called them for it... except fans who were unfairly labled in the media as malcontents.
I want Mick to do well.
I want UC to do well.
If you are a UC fan its time to support Mick in full if you haven't yet.
Its not his fault what he walked into.
Go 'Cats!

at 12:48 PM Blogger Jeff Lehner said...


For what it's worth: good show topic for sports talk, maybe 6 at 6 - background checks on officials in pro sports. NBA had the ref betting scandal last summer, this week we get the report that Bud Selig's got a team investigating some pretty serious allegations against certain MLB umps - umps' union is livid, of course. see below.

The most powerful guy on a diamond is the guy calling balls & strikes. Worth a segment or two?


at 1:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agree that UC should honor Huggs in someway, and next year's WVU game would be a great time to do it.

HOWEVER, UC has a long history of alienating those who provided so much to the school. Remember all the years that Oscar wouldn't even go to a game. How long did it take for them to build his statue.

Meanwhile, Mick's winning over the fans and all will be well in Clifton soon.

Does Huggs have to give that suit back to the Kiddie Entertainer at Chuck E Cheese?

at 1:32 PM Anonymous a.turtle said...

The umps story reminds me of the early-'90s novel by Jim Bouton called "Strike Zone." It made you wonder.

at 2:53 PM Anonymous emc said...

Doc ... what's the deal? UC beats the crap out of Huggins ... Chad J. is blowing up the sports media ... there's a super bowl coming up, I hear ... and your column today was on the glories of HDTV, which , I'm guessing, a majority of your readers can't afford. That's pretty lame, dude. Did you get paid by Circuit City or something?

at 3:27 PM Blogger Paul Daugherty said...

Hey, emc..

Tired of knee-jerking to Chad's frequent Trade Me's... UC was at WVU, I dont travel with them. Yesterday's colum was on the game, sort of. I'm not being sent to The Bowl, I don't write about The Bowl. And I need, every so often, to ease off the So-Serious gas, and have a little fun. Otherwise, I'd go insane(r)...

at 4:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy Zimpher is a university's dream-come-true.
Mick Cronin is a basketball coaching wizard. Bob Huggins is a has-been. I am a fool. Please forgive me.

at 4:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doc, forget emc. I appreciate the non sports columns, for their content and to get a different side of PD than we're used to. I for one really enjoyed your columns about your daughter and your old(er) age. Keep it up...

at 6:09 PM Anonymous mike said...

I guess you dont have a clue.Yes uc beat WVU ,but it was really wvu beat wvu. You got to remember they only wanted to play wvu once this year and not at home. in the past wvu and uc split a game each. I dont see uc becoming anything good for sometime.......................atleast ohio state is a good team since cincinnati is such a fair weather city anyways.

at 9:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have no idea what you are talking about. Mick outcoached Huggs so badly that WVU had no idea how to combat the changing defenses. WVU beat WVU is pure BS. UC beat WVU and embarressed them at home.

at 9:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, I'm not sure but are you drunk or illiterate?

at 10:13 PM Blogger Dave in Omaha said...

Hey Mike,

Perhaps you didn't notice the other team on the court last night - You know, the one playing defense? Packing it in and forcing WVU into outside jumpers(many well contested)? Setting up solid rebounding position, then outhustling the homers for nearly all of the "effort balls". Also, please be aware that the BIG E sets the schedule (we only played AT Louisville this year too) The league has "mirror" teams that rotate every year that you play twice. There is no "home & home" for everyone. Also, here's a newsflash: UC is pretty good and getting better. Wins over UL, Nova, Syracuse, Pitt and WVU are BIG WINS. Next time, look in the mirror before calling out others as "clueless". You've exposed yourself as being the same. Nice going. Saves others the time.

at 11:36 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

Hey Mike, a win is a win is a win. Ways and means? Doesn't matter. W in the standings for UC, L in the standings for Mounties.

And UC doesn't determine the conference schedule in the Big East--the Big East does. Teams rotate on the years they play an opponent just once compared to home and away.

at 12:22 AM Blogger oldtimer said...

Hey it's late and I'm getting sleepy, but one more comment then it's off to Dreamland....zzz

Read the articles, the blogs, etc etc today and no one has offered up the following thought, which occurred to me right after the game.

Maybe this game was harder for Huggins than anybody else. I'm sure there was some dread and a maelstrom of conflicting emotins going on inside the Bear; he'd never admit it. Imagine how weird it was for him to look acress the court and see the familiar Red and Black, the big Cats Paw, and all the other visual evidence that he gave his life to for sixteen years.

Plus it was a lose-lose situation for him, in that if Cronin wins, the man Bob trained to succeed does just that and yet Bob bot wins and loses, since he loses the game. If WVU wins, he beats the school he dedicated the best part of his career to, so again he wins and loses too. Add to that the fact he left here under duress, and I think it's entirely credible to think he was very conflicted and distracted the whole game.

We all know that was not a typical Huggins team performance. Even without his type of players, he has these guys playing well. My guess is he'll be more than ready next time and probably return the favor.

at 1:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bet Huggs wished he was in Manhattan, Kansas 'stead of M-Town . Nice performances by the programs he resurrected.

at 8:04 AM Anonymous mike said...

Yes a win is a win. So is a fair weather fan is a fair weather fan. I just get mad at some people that dont talk good about a team unless they win or are doing good.I support uc as long as they are not playing wvu,but i see in this city that it goes Bengals(losers),Reds(losers),Buckeyes(losers), and then Bearcats(winners atleast in football).There should be more bearcat fans than there is. I was told this is Buckeye country,which it should not be. I just wish these fans would go to the games even if they are losing,which they dont. Look at Alabama for instance they sell out every year and the Steelers.

Oh and the way some of you talk is sounding like a sports recap,not like someone who watched the game.

Dave in Omaha ,you are right the big east does make the call on confernce games.the school try to bid to other schools for the nonconfernce games ,sorry.

at 10:19 AM Blogger Dave in Omaha said...

Mike - Being a "fairweather fan" is NOT unique to Cincy...Remember seeing Atlanta Braves games on TV with hundreds of fans before they started to win? Remember Indians & Cavs games in Cleveland playing to empty houses? Sure there are hard core fans everywhere, but in general folks don't spend their entertainment dollars on losers. Fans are the same everywhere. If you don't get that, then you haven't been paying attention.

Curious: Were you a Kansas State fan last year? Were you a WVU fan before Huggins got there? If not, and you always were a UC fan before, I find it pretty pathetic that you root for the to lose against WVU...

at 10:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ghost of Huggins Past has been exorcised.

at 12:13 PM Anonymous mike said...

Dave in omaha i was a wvu fan for 30 years now, the only reason i root some for uc because i live in the cincinnati area.

Kansas state who are they?Screw kansas state.I would have said the same thing last year too.

at 12:23 PM Anonymous mike said...

oh another thing the bearcats are so great at 10-11 lol good old cincinnati. and wvu 15-6.

at 3:25 PM Blogger Dave in Omaha said...

Hey Mike, I don't recall anyone saying that the bearcats were great. Typical though, to put words in our mouths, then use them to support your argument. What a clown! Yes, UC may be 10-11, but they are ahead of WVU in the conference and own the dead to head match up. Also, the most recent sagarin index has UC's SOS at #5. What is it for the 'eers? Say, why not go discuss it over a few burned couches with your pals?

at 3:47 PM Blogger Jeff Lehner said...

ah, the internet. surely al gore had something bigger in mind than to create the medium of choice for sports fans looking to pick an anonymous cross-country battle of wits when he invented it...

good work getting the ump on tonight's show.

at 5:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

They could win multiple National Championships....no $$ until Z is GONE.

The clock's ticking Nancy! You are 62 years old. I'm a lot younger. The day you leave UC will be one of the happiest days I've had in a long time.

I speak for a large number of graduates...


all Pre-Zimpher UC Alumni

at 6:54 PM Blogger Dave in Omaha said...

5:42...Nice of you to speak for everyone...I'm a "pre-Z UC alum" and still support the programs. I loved Huggs (still do) and would boo Nancy if I saw her in the grocery, but fachrisakes man, move on. This team is fun to watch and deserves your support. You probably have a purple "Huggieville" t-shirt as well. I was at games before I was old enough to know I was there. I went to UC and so did my folks. Take your holier than thou attitude (and money) elsewhere if that's how you feel.

at 7:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul, I guess 5:42 answered your question >> "I'm wondering if Mick has changed some minds in the last month."
His answer is NO! and he speaks for "all Pre-Zimpher UC Alumni ".

I'm not originally from here & try to keep an open mind but find this attitude bizarre. And they don't even know or care about any other opinions?

at 11:21 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not originally from here & try to keep an open mind but find this attitude bizarre. And they don't even know or care about any other opinions?

Dude--the reason you don't understand this opinion is because she didn't insult your degree and denigrate your hard work on the national stage.

Anyone who gives money to someone who thinks that little of the donor lacks a large amount of self-respect.

Had she not made these comments, UC would be in a lot better shape right now...

She has YET to apologize for what she said.

I doubt she ever will...


at 8:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take your holier than thou attitude (and money) elsewhere if that's how you feel.

The only person with a "holier-than-thou" attitude is Nancy L. Zimpher.

I have to believe that there is someone out there who can do her job better than she can WITHOUT THE ARROGANT ATTITUDE. I implore the BOT to find this person so that the University can REALLY begin to heal. Until then, we will all suffer.

at 4:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who graduated pre Huggins and remembers the Big O when he was playing Coach Cronin still has to prove himself. With the totally embrassing start of the season we have gone up and down like a roller coaster. You can blame this on lack of talent on the teams part but the Coach has to take responsibility also. If he has student athletes who are talking back to him during practice they need to be benched. He is the boss and these "kids" don't seem to understand that. I would suggest here that Huggins and Pitino would never let the players run the show. So I think there is plenty of blame to spread around here. As for President Zimpher I wish her no ill will but hope that she retires quickly!!

at 11:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cronin has already proven himself, in my mind. He took no talent, went to Huggie's home floor & kicked his butt.
After a huge national-TV win, they were flat 3 days later? It happens to the very best.
Cronin's program is taking off. If you love UC basketball, you should be thrilled.
If you can't get over Nancy, I'm sorry for you.

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