#93 Cincinnati Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Cincinnati Bearcats
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #93
Conference Rank: #5 American
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Cincinnati has gone downhill since Mick Cronin’s departure after the 2018-19 season. The Bearcats have missed the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons after Cronin took them dancing the previous nine years. Now, John Brannen is out and Wes Miller is in as head coach. Miller spent the last ten seasons at UNC Greensboro and went to the NCAA Tournament twice, including last season. Cincinnati returns three of their top four scorers while adding six transfers, three of which followed Miller from UNC Greensboro. Expectations aren’t sky high, but the Bearcats hope to begin improvement in Miller’s first year.

2020-21 Record: 12-11, 8-6
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Wes Miller
Coach Record: 0-0 at Cincinnati, 185-135 overall
Key Departed Players:
Keith Williams, Guard, 14.3 ppg
Tari Eason, Forward, 7.3 ppg
Zach Harvey, Guard, 6.4 ppg
Rapolas Ivanauskas, Forward, 6.3 ppg
Chris Vogt, Center, 5.0 ppg
Mamoudou Diarra, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jeremiah Davenport, Junior, Guard, 11.7 ppg
David Dejulius, Senior, Guard, 9.1 ppg
Mika Adams-Woods, Junior, Guard, 8.6 ppg
Mason Madsen, Sophomore, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Mike Saunders, Sophomore, Guard, 3.5 ppg
Viktor Lakhin, Sophomore, Forward, DNP Last Season
Key New Players:
Abdul Ado, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Mississippi State
Jarrett Hensley, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from UNC Greensboro
Hayden Koval, Senior, Center, Transfer from UNC Greensboro
A.J. McGinnis, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from UNC Greensboro
John Newman, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Clemson
Ody Oguama, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Wake Forest
Top scorer Keith Williams is gone, but Cincinnati returns the next three highest scorers from last season. Jeremiah Davenport is the only double-digit scorer returning after he averaged 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds last season. David Dejulius and Mika Adams-Woods also return as upperclassmen to give Cincinnati good experience in the backcourt. Mason Madsen and Mike Saunders are the only bench players from last season to return. Both saw extended action as freshmen and should see improvement this season. Viktor Lakhin didn’t see any action last season, but the Russian 6-11 forward averaged 9.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in the 2019 FIBA U18 Championship. Cincinnati’s success this season could ultimately hinge on the play of their six incoming transfers. Three of them played for Wes Miller last year at UNC Greensboro. Hayden Koval, A.J. McGinnis and Jarrett Hensley all have experience with Miller, though none of them played more than 20 minutes per game last season. Abdul Ado spent the last four seasons at Mississippi State and started 130 games there. Last year, Ado earned SEC All-Defense honors, and he’s averaged 1.9 blocks per game in his career. John Newman spent the last three seasons at Clemson and started 40 games in his career there. Newman started all 31 games as a sophomore and averaged 9.5 points, but he struggled as a junior scoring just 3.7 points per game. Lastly, Ody Oguama comes from Wake Forest where he spent two seasons and started 42 games. Oguama averaged 7.6 points and 5.4 rebounds as a sophomore. Cincinnati may not quite be ready to get back to the NCAA Tournament, but Wes Miller should have a roster capable of being competitive in the AAC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.9 (233rd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.1 (226, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (259, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.7 (186, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (191, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.1 (291, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.6 (310, 9)
Rebound Margin: 1.7 (135, 5)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (62, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.6 (267, 9)