The second region of our All-Time Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Basketball Player Tournament is named for Gale Catlett, who coached the Bearcats for six years in the 1970s. Its sure to be a tough bracket, with players like Danny Fortson, Nick Van Exel and Troy Caupain in the mix. Here’s the full bracket in case you missed the reveal.
Now let’s discuss these a little bit.
No. 1 Danny Fortson vs. No. 16 Jim Holstein
I’ll admit, Fortson is probably the weakest No. 1 and earned the seeding partially because of my own affinity for him. But don’t let that fool you, Fortson could ball. His name litters the UC history books, ranking fourth in scoring average (18.8 PPG), third in field goal percentage (.565) and second in free throws made (571). Holstein was no slouch himself, as UC’s leading scorer for three-straight years from 1949 to 1952 and the 32nd all-time scorer among Bearcats.
No. 8 Melvin Levett vs. No. 9 Ruben Patterson
Levett played in Kenyon Martin’s shadow to a degree, but the 1999 team would not have been as good as it was without him. With a decent three-point stroke, Levett averaged 14.2 points per game in his senior year. Patterson was another teammate of K-Mart and he enjoyed a very strong 1998 season, scoring a team-high 16.5 points per game.
No. 4 Lloyd Batts vs. No. 13 David Kennedy
Batts challenged for All-American honors in 1973 and averaged no less than 18.7 points per game in three seasons with the Bearcats, topping 20 twice. He ranks 11th in all-time scoring at UC as well. Kennedy started playing for the Bearcats in 1977 and stuck with them into the 80s. He averaged 14.6 points per game as a senior, when he was an all-Metro first-teamer, and is the No. 49 all-time scorer in program history.
No. 5 Troy Caupain vs. No. 12 Cedric Glover
I shouldn’t have to tell you who Caupain is since he just finished his UC career this past spring and is the all-time assists leader for the program. Glover earned first-team All-Metro honors in 1988 and 1989, leading the team in scoring and rebounding in both of those seasons.
No. 2 Nick Van Exel vs. No. 15 Mark Dorris
Van Exel could have very easily been a No. 1 seed as the most notable player for Bearcats in the early 1990s. Averaging 18.3 points and 4.5 assists per game during the 1992-93 season, Van Exel lifted himself to the status of Bearcats legend. Dorris led the Bearcats in scoring and rebounding in 1984, but obviously didn’t have the type of impact that Van Exel did.
No. 7 Bobby Brannen vs. No. 10 Tony Bobbitt
Nobody has hit more free throws in a single game than Brannen, who sank 18 in a game against Minnesota during the 1997-98 season. However, he was more than just a fun fact, as he led the team in rebounding that year and was an all-Conference-USA honoree. Bobbitt was honored by C-USA as well, but as a third-teamer in 2004, when he was also considred the best sixth man in the conference.
No. 3 Field Williams vs. No. 14 Rick Roberson
By popular demand, Williams is in the bracket and higher than he would be if this were simply a who was the best player tournament. Clearly a fan favorite, Williams is a member of the 1,000 point club. Roberson is a contemporary of Jim Ard and an all-Missouri Valley player in the late 60s.
No. 6 Cashmere Wright vs. No. 11 Damon Flint
The Robin to Sean Kilpatrick’s Batman, Wright is another standout of the Mick Cronin era who got better and better in each of his four years with the Bearcats. Flint had an uneven run with the Bearcats, scoring 12.6 points per game as a freshman, 7.0 as a sophomore, 12.8 as a junior and 8.9 as a senior. Still, he played in 127 games and finished No. 23 on the all-time scoring list.
That’s it for this region. Now get out there a vote.