The Cincinnati Bearcats fell for the first time this season but also earned a blowout win over the weekend as they competed in the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off. Through four games the Bearcats (3-1) rotation has taken shape and with a bit more evidence at our disposal its time to dive back in and update the weekly player power rankings.
13. John Koz (LW 13)
Koz did not play in either game this weekend.
12. Jackson Bart (LW 12)
Bart was also a non-participant.
11. Zack Tobler (LW 11)
Tobler did not get any court time either.
10. Nysier Brooks (LW 10)
Brooks played about five minutes during the Tip-Off, primarily during the 71-50 win over Penn State when he had a rebound and a steal, as well as two fouls and a turnover while missing both field goal tries. He has played a total of 20 minutes this season and has yet to record a field goal.
9. Quadri Moore (LW 7)
In UC’s disappointing loss to Rhode Island, Moore sat on the bench for all 40 minutes. He got to get the legs moving a bit against Penn State, playing six minutes and recording two points and a rebound. Moore played 23 minutes in the first two games, but has receded to a deep bench option. We’ll see which role he will play going forward.
8. Kevin Johnson (LW 9)
I predicted a big jump for Johnson last week, but that didn’t really come to fruition as he continued to struggle against better competition. Johnson went just 1-of-4 from the field and finished with three points and as many fouls against URI. He was also dusted far too many times on defense. Neither development is particularly great for the “three and D” player that Johnson is supposed to be.
7. Jarron Cumberland (LW 6)
Mick Cronin clearly isn’t afraid to put Cumberland in the fire right away, but the freshman still has work to do. He played in 27 minutes over the weekend, but they were largely empty ones as he scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting combined and missed two free-throw attempts. At least against Penn State he handed out three assists.
6. Tre Scott (LW 8)
One game pushed Scott here. The redshirt freshman took the largest leap in the rankings this week thanks to a 10-point effort against Penn State. He connected on 5-of-6 field goal attempts and also had three rebounds and a block in the win. He also played sparingly against URI, but didn’t make much of an impact.
5. Justin Jenifer (LW 5)
Even if Jenifer didn’t do much scoring (six points combined against URI and PSU) he has cemented himself as the most important player off the bench and a capable point guard, allowing Troy Caupain to play the wing at times. Jenifer played 16 minutes against URI and buried a three-pointer while playing solid defense. He was on the floor even more against PSU (23 minutes) and again did little on the stat sheet but was certainly important to the victory.
4. Gary Clark (LW 4)
Clark is this high mainly because of what we know he can do. Against URI he was ineffective once again, managing only four points on 1-of-5 shooting, but he still fought to six rebounds and blocked three shots across 36 minutes. He looked more himself against PSU, netting nine points to go with six rebounds, three steals and two blocks in just 20 minutes, as foul trouble got to him. Clark (6.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG) isn’t doing what is expected offensively or on the glass, but he is still playing well defensively, with a defensive rating of 83.6. Once the offensive pieces fall into place, Clark will be back to ruling the paint.
3. Troy Caupain (LW 3)
Caupain posted back-to-back 12-point efforts over the weekend and handed out nine total assists. He has been distributing fairly well early on, averaging 4.8 assists per game with an assist percentage of 25, which is just below his career average (26.1). However, efficiency is still eluding the senior guard, who is a 39.8 percent shooter for his career and is coming off a weekend in which he needed 28 shots to produce 24 points.
2. Jacob Evans (LW 1)
Evans fell from the top spot by no fault of his own. He generated a game-high 25 points in the loss to URI and followed that up with 14 points in 29 minutes against PSU. The Bearcats leading scorer (20.8 PPG) is also their most efficient, leading the team in true shooting percentage (.769) and effective field goal percentage (.750). Evans made 8-of-12 field goal tries against URI and 5-of-7 against PSU to keep those numbers in the stratosphere.
1. Kyle Washington (LW 2)
Washington is the only reason Evans did not retain the throne for a second-straight week. The 6’9” forward posted back-to-back double-doubles this past weekend and has had one in three of UC’s four games. He poured in 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and four blocks against URI and ate up 17 rebounds while scoring 16 points against PSU. Washington (17 PPG, 9.5 RPG) is playing as well as any player in the country right now, let alone any player on the UC roster.