Yesterday we unveiled the final bracket for the The All-Time Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Basketball Player Tournament and now its time to get started on actually discussing and voting. Up first is the Ed Jucker Region. For a reminder, this portion of the bracket is copied below.
Now let’s break down these matchups.
No. 1 Oscar Robertson vs. No. 16 Andre Tate
I’m not expecting a whole lot of support for Tate in this one. Its no condemnation of Tate, who played for the Bearcats in the early 90s and is the all-time leader in minutes played. Its just that Robertson is the best known Bearcat of all-time and, before Russell Westbrook, the only NBA player to average a triple double for a full season in the NBA.
No. 8 Octavius Ellis vs. No. 9 Rashad Bishop
We’ll see how much recency bias there is in the voting here. Ellis was a shot-blocking wonder who played for the Bearcats as recently as 2016. The 6’10 forward averaged 9.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game during his time with UC. As for Bishop, he was a standout for the Bearcats from 2007-2011 and is considered one of the best players of the Mick Cronin era.
No. 4 Eric Hicks vs. No. 13 Dick Dallmer
Hicks had a strong finish to his UC career, scoring in double figures during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. He finished 28th in scoring in program history and was a first-team All-Big East selection during his senior season. If you don’t recognize Dallmer’s name don’t fret too much. A star from way back, Dallmer played his last game for UC in 1950 and was UC’s first All-American. He may be seeded way too low.
No. 5 Dontonio Wingfield vs. No. 12 Dwight Jones
Wingfield only played one season at UC but he sure made an impression, especially in his debut game. He was then selected in the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft. Jones played during a down period in UC history, doing his work in the early 80s. He was a first-team All-Metro honoree in 1982 and 1983 and is 16th all-time in scoring for the program.
No. 2 Paul Hogue vs. No. 15 Ralph Davis
Hogue was a contemporary of Oscar Robertson and the captain of the 1962 national championship team. He is third in all-time rebounds for the Bearcats and 17th in scoring and that’s with only three years of full-time play. Davis is another player from the the Robertson era, an all-conference caliber performer and a member of the 1959 and 1960 Final Four teams.
No. 7 Roger McClendon vs. No. 10 Anthony Buford
In 1986, McClendon earned the first of his back-to-back all-Metro first-team honors, reaching a career-high of 19.9 points per game in 1987. He is sixth in scoring all-time at UC and would certainly be higher if the three-point line had been in place during his first two years. Buford will always hold a special place in people’s hearts as a member of the 1992 Final Four team. That year he was a second-team all-Great Midwest selection and captain.
No. 3 Jim Ard vs. No. 14 Derrick McMillan
In this matchup we have a second-team all-metro performer from 1985 against the man who carried the Bearcats on his shoulders at the end of the 60s and into the 70s. Ard ranks seventh in all-time rebounds and 26th in scoring for the Bearcats.
No. 6 LaZelle Durden vs. No. 11 James White
Known by most of the country for his performance in the 2013 Slam Dunk Contest, White was a solid player, especially in his senior year when he averaged 16.3 points per game. Durden played with Danny Fortson (more on him later) and was a first-team All-Great Midwest contributor for the 1995 team. He averaged more than 17 points per game in each of his last two seasons.
Now that you’ve had a chance to read up on the matchups its time to vote.