Editorial: Before I get into this you need to know I'm a member of Bearcat Journal so I have information I'm not necessarily permitted to disclose. But, I will discuss as much as I can without giving away too much.
It's no secret the Bearcats have struggled to score the last few years. They play great defense, but haven't been able to combine that with good enough offense to win a few games in March. So who can they bring in that will combine hard-nosed defense and the ability to help UC score more points and be more balanced? That I don't know because I'm neither a coach nor a guy whose job it is to follow around the AAU circuit over the summer. But, much like you, I have twitter and I see who UC is associated with.
Before we get too in-depth let's quickly review the roster and see where UC is in need of some players.
Point guards: Guyn, Caupain. One senior who can't score but plays great defense and a sophomore with a lot of potential but hasn't shown consistency yet.
Shooting guards: Johnson, Morman (?). One sophomore who hit some really big shots down the stretch and a freshman who will be coming off a broken foot and some rust from sitting out the year.
Small forward/wing: Sanders, Thomas. A senior who can basically only shoot threes before February and March, and a junior with enormous potential but hasn't shown the killer instinct the staff wants to see.
Power forward/center: Lawrence, Strickland, Gary Clark (might be a wing, not sure yet), Quadri Moore, Coreontae DeBerry.
Looking at that roster breakdown, who scores???? So the obvious area to address is to bring someone in who can light it up. Sean Kilpatrick's shoes will be tough to fill, but they don't need a guy who scores 20 a game. They need a few guys who can score 10-12 in my opinion. There's enough talent on the current roster where someone will step up and be a go-to guy. Thomas, Caupain, Johnson, and Lawrence could all be 10-12 point scorers.
Who are they looking at? (in no particular order)
- Torian Graham: a JUCO shooting guard from Chipola College. He averaged 12.9 points per game but more importantly he shot 41% from three point range. The biggest issue with Graham is the arrest for marijuana possession in January. The charges have been dropped but Mick has been able to stay away from players like this in his UC tenure. Meaning he hasn't been willing to sell his soul to get a really good player, but the disappointment of losing in the opening round of the NCAA may be changing his mind.
- Ronnie Johnson: PG from Purdue. He'd have to sit out a season, but he would have 2 seasons of eligibility remaining and he would be competing for playing time with Troy Caupain who would probably be firmly entrenched as UC's starting point guard.
- Some 5th year senior options: Bryce Dejean-Jones from UNLV is not returning to school next year. He has one year remaining and could step in right away and help the scoring. He averaged 13.6 points per game this past year. And there could be more leaking out once school ends in May
- Eron Harris is still looking for a home. He supposedly wants to be closer to home. If Xavier wasn't already over their limit I'd predict he ends up there because all transfers end up at Xavier. But Harris and his 17.2 points per game will have plenty of suitors for his game.
- Jerome Seagears from Rutgers. Probably sees the writing on the wall and their move to the Big Ten will come with some thunderous beatdowns next year and Seagears would probably like his last year or two in college to be fun instead of torturous. He's already gone through the Mike Rice fiasco. But he'd have to sit out a year and who knows where he'd fit in once KJ, Troy, and Morman are settled in. Maybe even Graham too.
- Big man with experience? There had been some rumblings about bringing in yet another big man from the JC ranks to help out down low. Only DeBerry and Lawrence will have any sort of experience and only Lawrence will have any DI play, and that was less than impressive.
And you can probably add about 45 more names to this list that no one has even heard about UC having interest before. Be sure they will turn over every rock to find some guys who can contribute right away and help this team score some points. Not sure if we all can handle another offensively-challenged team.
The signing period starts the 16th of April and with the Final Four concluding Monday night, look for a wave of activity in this next week. Hopefully we all have something to be excited about.