#59 Cincinnati Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Cincinnati Bearcats
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #59
Conference Rank: #4 American Athletic Conference
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Cincinnati had a solid first season under the direction of head coach John Brannen who came over from Northern Kentucky prior to the 2019-20 season. Brannen took over for Mick Cronin who left the Bearcats for the head coaching position at UCLA. Cincinnati grinded out a 20-win season, including 13 wins in conference play and probably would have found their way into the NCAA Tournament if it was not for the Covid-19 pandemic.
2019-20 Record: 20-10, 13-5
Coach: John Brannen
Coach Record: 20-10 at Cincinnati, 102-62 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jarron Cumberland, Guard, 15.5 ppg
Tre Scott, Forward, 11.4 ppg
Jaevin Cumberland, Guard, 8.8 ppg
Chris McNeal, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Keith Williams, Senior, Guard, 12.6 ppg
Chris Vogt, Senior, Center, 11.0 ppg
Mamadou Diarra, Redshirt Junior, Forward, 3.0 ppg
Mika Adams-Woods, Sophomore, Guard, 5.0 ppg
Jeremiah Davenport, Sophomore, Guard, 1.9 ppg
Zach Harvey, Sophomore, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Sam Martin, Senior, Guard, 0.0 ppg
Rob Banks, Sophomore, Forward, 0.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Mason Madsen, Freshman, Guard
Gabe Madsen, Freshman, Guard
Mike Saunders, Freshman, Guard
Tari Eason, Freshman, Guard
David Dejulius, Junior, Guard
Viktor Lakhin, Freshman, Forward
Rapolas Ivanauskas, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Colgate
There will be plenty of new faces for Coach Brannen and his staff heading into the 2020-21 season as Cincinnati will welcome seven new players to the program. Keith Williams and Chris Vogt are the top two returning scorers for the Bearcats. Williams averaged 12.6 points per game and made 43.5 percent of his shots from the field last season. Vogt is an experienced low post presence that averaged 11 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. It will be important for Vogt to get his rebounding totals up closer to ten per game to make for the loss of Tre Scott. Defense has always been a staple of the Cincinnati program over the years as the Bearcats held opposing teams to a 39.8 percent field goal percentage last season. However, there was a little bit of an issue with scoring defense as Cincinnati allowed 67.1 points per game, which ranked seventh overall in the American Athletic Conference. The Bearcats will need to shore some things up offensively as they ranked 259th in three-point shooting, 275th in free-throw shooting, and 289th in turnovers. If Cincinnati can put things together quickly with the new players offensively, then they should be able to hover around 20 wins and find their way into at least the NIT this season.  
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.7 (127th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.1 (117, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage:44.5 (132, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.8 (29, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 6.8 (242, 9):
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.9 (259, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (275, 11)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (72, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (60, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (289, 10)
Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#88 Tari Eason