Troy Caupain of the University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team was returning from Wing Wednesday at Marketpointe with freshman guard Deshaun Morman when we met.
We walked into his two-bedroom apartment in University Park Apartments located on UC’s campus and met his roommate, freshman guard and Cincinnati native Kevin Johnson, who thinks highly of Caupain.
Sitting at the counter with his laptop, Johnson praised Caupain.
“Off the court, he is a great person with a great character. He is trustworthy and overall a smart and cool guy,” Johnson said. “On the court, he is a leader and a fun player to play with.”
Caupain and I walked to the back of the apartment and entered his bedroom where it was obvious that one of his interests is shoes. The latest pairs of Jordans, Nikes and Kevin Durants covered the floor.
Caupain is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds but has the demeanor of a gentle giant. He hails from Long Island, N.Y., but his family moved to Midlothian, Va., where he has lived since seventh grade.
The Cosby High School graduate has established himself as a valuable asset to the Bearcats with his successful freshman season. He played in 34 games, averaged 5.4 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game and 2.2 assists per game, overall.
“Outstanding and rough, but I handled it well,” said Caupain, describing his freshman season at UC. “I learned a lot of lessons from the seniors last year, like how to handle criticism, which is something I will use for the seasons to come.”
According to Caupain, his favorite moment from this season was beating conference rivals, the Louisville Cardinals, on their home court.
He said he chose to play at UC for two reasons. First, while growing up in New York, he always wanted to play in Madison Square Garden, which he achieved at the Jimmy V Classic where the Bearcats beat Pittsburgh 44-43 on Dec. 17, 2013. Second, he was appreciative of how the coaching staff treated his mother, Renee Caupain, like a queen, something that was really important to him.
You can expect to see his mother at every game, cheering loud and proud in the stands for her son.
“She’s my motivation. She’s done a lot for me as a single mother, she never gave up on me and made sure that I had everything,” said Caupain.
Caupain is headed home to Richmond, Va., for a two week summer break and returns to Cincinnati May 12 with many goals and expectations for himself and the team heading into the 2014-2015 season.
“For myself, [next season] I plan to go to sleep earlier, put in more time outside of practice, own ball pressure, read pick-and-rolls and be a person that people look to for leadership,” Caupain said. “For the team, I want us to do whatever it takes to win, I also want to get to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship Conference.”
Caupain and the Bearcats are back in action Nov. 28 at the Emerald Coast Classic, hosted by UC at Fifth Third Arena.