#26 Cincinnati Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Cincinnati Bearcats
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #26
Conference Rank: #1 American
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Cincinnati reached the NCAA Tournament for the eighth straight time under Coach Mick Cronin. Only once during that stretch though have the Bearcats reached the Sweet Sixteen. The 2018 tournament looked like a great opportunity for the program to make a deep tournament run after a 30 win regular season. However, the Bearcats were upset as a #2 seed in the second round by Nevada. With three starters gone, this group may need a little time to adjust, but there is enough talent to make a push towards the Sweet Sixteen.
2017-18 Record: 31-5, 16-2
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mick Cronin
Coach Record: 268-140 at Cincinnati, 337-164 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jacob Evans, Guard/Forward, 13.0 ppg
Gary Clark, Forward, 12.9 ppg
Kyle Washington, Forward, 11.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jarron Cumberland, Junior, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Justin Jenifer, Senior, Guard, 4.8 ppg
Cane Broome, Senior, Guard, 7.9 ppg
Trevor Moore, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Keith Williams, Sophomore, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Tre Scott, Junior, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Nysier Brooks, Junior, Center, 2.6 ppg
Eliel Nsoseme, Sophomore, Forward/Center, 0.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Mamoudou Diarra, RS Freshman, Forward
Rashawn Fredericks, Junior, Guard/Forward, JC Transfer
LaQuill Hardnett, Freshman, Forward
Logan Johnson, Freshman, Guard
Prince Gillam Toyambi, Freshman, Forward
The Bearcats do have plenty of experience in the backcourt. Jarron Cumberland is the team’s top returning scorer, averaging 11.5 points per game. By the end of last season, Cumberland was turning into a player who could take over a game. He will be asked to continue that into his junior campaign. Justin Jenifer and Cane Broome shared point guard duties last season and now the senior duo will likely spend more time on the floor together. Junior college transfer Rashawn Fredericks and incoming freshman point guard Logan Johnson are expected to add quality depth on the perimeter. The frontcourt will look different without Gary Clark and Kyle Washington, but there is potential. Tre Scott averaged just 3.1 points per game in 12.5 minutes as a sophomore, but now it is his time to step up. The same is true for Nysier Brooks and Eliel Nsoseme. Both played fewer than ten minutes per game and both will be asked to do much more this season. If the young talent in the frontcourt can live up to their potential, Cincinnati will compete for another AAC title and look to make a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.3 (161st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.5 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (164, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.4 (2, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.3 (212, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.3 (158, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.2 (260, 7)
Rebound Margin: 7.8 (8, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.8 (42, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (35, 2)
Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#160 Logan Johnson