Today was the first day that Basketball recruits in the class of 2013 were able to sign their national letters of intent for the schools of their choice. The Bearcats landed three prospects today, Guard Kevin Johnson from Summit Country Day, Troy Caupian from Cosby High School in Midlothian VA, a suburb of Richmond and Jamaree Strickland from Oakland, by way of Charlotte NC.
All three address needs for the Bearcats. Mick Cronin wants to commit to the four out, one in style of offense. To do that guards are a necessity, guards who can handle the ball fall into the same category. That's why the additions of Johnson and Caupian are so crucial.
Johnson is the best prospect in this class because of his ability to control the game from the point guard position. He is equally capible of scoring and distributing, though in terms of projecting his game forward the best thing he does is shoot the basketball. Last season he led Summit Country Day to a state championship averaging 14-6-3 on the way to earning All Ohio Honors. Johnson is the most highly regarded prospect in this class so far.
Caupian has a lot in common with fellow Virginia native Jaquon Parker. The one attribute they share most? Rebounding. Caupian is an unreal rebounder for his size and natural position. He makes plays for his team most often by hitting the boards and pushing the break instantly. While Caupian is not as polished offensively as Johnson is, he is a better defender than Johnson and will make his earliest marks on the team from that end of the floor.
C - 6'9" 230
Fun fact, Strickland is the first high school center the Bearcats have landed since Kelvin Gaines. If that feels like a long time, its because it is. Strickland is a post graduate guy who is finally over a knee injury that cost him basically his final two high school seasons.
He is from Oakland, and was at one point, one of the top bigs in Northern California, but that was before his knee injury. But his first surgery cost him his junior season, and required a follow up operation that took away most of his senior season as well.
He decided to go to prep school, and is at Queen City Prep in Charlotte now. He is without the brace, and has dropped over 25 pounds since coming to North Carolina. He is a bit of a project, and no one really knows what his ceiling is, because of the injuries. But he will have time to develop with the Bearcats with a red shirt season.