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AAC Basketball Media Day Report

Bearcats men and women basketball teams were both projected to finish third in the AAC in 2019-20.

Iowa v Cincinnati Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Men

First year men’s basketball coach John Brannen attended his first AAC Media Day with Cincinnati on Monday, flanked by his two seniors, Jarron Cumberland and Trevon Scott.

Bearcats were picked to finish third in the league, behind Memphis and Houston, who were tied for first. Third is a reasonable assessment. Memphis brings in loads of talent in Penny Hardaway’s second year as Head Coach. Tigers have the country’s #1 recruiting class. Houston coach Kelvin Sampson returns after flirting with some jobs. Cougars lose a few key pieces (Corey Davis, Armoni Brooks, Galen Robinson), but return Dejon Jarreau, Nate Hinton, and add Quentin Grimes from Kansas.

Bearcats senior Jarron Cumberland, who returned to UC after initially declaring for the NBA Draft, received a couple of honors Monday morning. First, he was named the AAC Pre-Season Play of the Year. This coming months after receiving the regular season award for conference Player of the Year, after he helped lead the Bearcats to 25 regular season wins (28 wins total) and averaged 18.8 ppg.

Cumberland was also named to the conference’s All Pre-Season First Team and was the only unanimous selection. He joins DeJon Jarreau (Houston), Quinton Rose (Temple), LaQuincy Rideau (South Florida), and James Wiseman (Memphis). Wiseman, the top recruit in the country for 2019, and one of 6 new freshman as part of Memphis’ #1 recruiting class, was also named Freshman of the Year.

Are you excited to see the Bearcats run up and down the floor this year? I am! Brannen is too.

Women

Bearcats women were projected to finish third, behind UConn (no surprise) and USF, and tied with UCF.

Antoinette Miller and IImar’I Thomas were both named to the AAC Pre-Season Second Team.

In 2018-19, Miller started all 35 games, playing 34 minutes per game and averaging 13.6 ppg. Thomas played all 35 games, starting 24, and was second in scoring behind Miller, with 12.9 ppg.

We wrote about Michelle Clark-Heard in detail a few weeks ago. She enters her second year as Bearcats Head Coach and shares her thoughts on the upcoming season at media day.

That picture in the top left below, that’s the goal! That should always be the goal (especially, more realistically) when UConn departs.