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Coreontae DeBerry: An Appreciation

Let's take a moment to appreciate one of our departed seniors, who gallantly defended the paint and made everyone feel ashamed of their hand size for the last two years.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The Career Numbers

  • 5.2 points, 16.5 per 40 minutes
  • 2.9 rebounds, 9.2 per 40 minutes
  • 1.0 blocks, 3.1 per 40 minutes
  • .556/.000/.683 shooting splits (Note, didn't take a 3-point shot at Cincinnati)
Coreonate DeBerry came to Cincinnati after playing in junior college. However, as far as this blog is concerned, he has always been and will always be a Bearcat. DeBerry was a consistent force off the bench in his two years at UC, filling a key role in the paint. As a junior, he tended to just be a body that clogged the key and gave some of the other big guys a rest. He upped his production as a senior and although he wasn't the sequel to Gary Clark (2 Gary 2 Clark?), his ability to rebound, block shots and tip in a bucket or two was important.

Across the span of 67 games, he played a total of 845 minutes, which makes for an average of 12.6 per game. In that time he managed to squeeze in 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. He set career-highs in points (6.2 pg), rebounds (3.7 pg) and shooting percentage (.564) as a senior. He also was a top 15 player in terms of blocked shots in the American Athletic Conference despite playing far fewer minutes than most of the players in the rest of that group.

For the more analytically minded, DeBerry didn't just walk into those numbers. The concentrated shot of effectiveness he brought each time out came with an extra splash of efficiency. As a senior, he posted a PER of 20.9 and his true shooting percentage (.595) was rather solid. He was also a top 20 player in the AAC in total rebound percentage (13.4) and the No. 3 guy in the league in block percentage (8.8).

Consistent improvement, even if it was just over two years, is something you want out of every player on the roster, let alone your eighth man.

We would also be remiss if we did not at least revisit the fact that a regulation football in his hands looks like a toy pigskin you'd give a six-year-old as a stocking stuffer.

The Best of the Best

Thursday March 19, 2015 vs. Purdue

It's pretty awesome that DeBerry always found a way to make an impact or do something memorable in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-foot-10 forward scored a then career-high 13 points in Cincy's 66-65 overtime victory over Purdue in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament and then he did this in the next round against Kentucky.

Is it the smoothest fadeaway you've ever seen? Definitely not. Was it awesome when it happened? Definitely yes.

Wednesday November 18, 2015 at Bowling Green

This was an early season game for the Bearcats, during the portion of the season when they were just slaying fools, and DeBerry ate the Falcons up on the glass, collecting a career-high 12 rebounds. It was the first and only time he managed to eclipse double digits in rebounds and it came in an 83-50 win. Good times all around.

Friday March 18, 2016 vs. St. Joseph's

An under the radar trend during the last few games of this past season was how well DeBerry played. Although it came in a 1-3 stretch for the team, including those heart-destroying games against UConn and St. Joe's, there is no denying DeBerry was on his A-game. Once again, his best came in the NCAA tourney, as he put up a career-best 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting, blocked four shots and brutalized some Hawks in the paint.

A Final Goodbye

I will skip the part where we lament how hard it will be to fill DeBerry's shoes (pun semi-attended). Instead, I will leave you with this.

Anyone that works hard to improve, plays big when the lights are shining bright AND puts a Musketeer on the deck with a smooth post move can play for me (or Mick Cronin) any day.