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Cincinnati Bearcats Men’s Basketball 2019-20 Preview

Cincinnati Bearcats embark on a new era of basketball beginning in 2019-20.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 06 UCF at Cincinnati Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The college hoops season officially begins two weeks from today, but for the Cincinnati Bearcats it’s two weeks from Wednesday, when they open their first season under head coach John Brannen in Columbus to face Ohio State.

Season Preview Podcast

Listen to Mike Schneid and Scotty Whitehouse give their thoughts on Bearcats basketball. Opinions include closing thoughts on Mick Cronin and his 13 year tenure, the excitement around John Brannen, a look at the key returning players, the departed players and official record predictions for the season.


New Coaching Staff

After 13 years, Mick Cronin left Cincinnati to accept the head coaching job at UCLA. He has been replaced by John Brannen, who is known for an up-tempo offense at Northern Kentucky.

Meet John Brannen and his coaching staff

Schedule Notes

The season begins on Wednesday November 6th, with the Bearcats traveling to Columbus to face Ohio State. These teams opened the 2018 season at Fifth Third Arena. This will be just the 12th meeting all-time between Cincinnati and Ohio State

All-time history between Ohio State and Cincinnati

In addition to opening up at Ohio State, the Bearcats play a really exciting non-conference schedule, that is filled with many storylines. Among those stories includes a rematch of the 2019 NCAA Tournament loss vs Iowa, a potential rematch of their 2018 second round Tournament loss to Nevada in the Paradise Jam finals, Tennessee comes to Fifth Third Arena, and Cincinnati seeks their first win at Xavier since 2001.

Examining Non-Conference Schedule

Bearcats open conference play on January 1, hosting UConn for the final time and end the schedule with Temple at home.

8 observations about the 2020 AAC schedule

Returning Players

Following an exodus of players through the transfer portal, Cincinnati returns 5 key players (3 starters) from their 2018-19 team - Jarron Cumberland, Trevon Scott, Keith Williams, Trevor Moore, and Mamoudou Diarra.

Returning Players Refresher Series


Cincinnati lost 5 players to the transfer portal, but added 4. Those players include Jaevin Cumberland, Chris McNeal, Jaume Sorolla, and Chris Vogt

Meet the Transfers

The Bearcats incoming freshman recruiting class ranks 44th nationally (4th in AAC) with the additions of top 50 prospect Zach Harvey plus Mika Adams-Woods and Jeremiah Davenport.

Meet the Freshman

Departed Players


Bearcats lost two players to graduation - Cane Broome and Justin Jenifer. Jenifer started all 34 games (out of 35) at PG last year. Jenifer (8.6 ppg) and Broome (8.3 ppg) finished 4th and 5th in scoring.

Jenifer had just 25 turnovers total and his steady and consistent hand at PG will be missed. Broome was here the last two years, after transferring from Sacred Heart and provided a spark off the bunch and typically lead the second unit in scoring.

Both men will definitely be missed.

Transfer Portal

Following Mick Cronin’s departure to UCLA, five players announced their decision to leave the program via the transfer portal - Nysier Brooks, Logan Johnson, Eliel Nsoseme, Laquill Hardnett, Rashawn Fredericks

Transfer Recap

Bearcats in the NBA

Our friends over at Golden State of Mind gave us some insights on Jacob Evans, who is entering his second NBA season with the Warriors. Evans was the only first round pick during the Mick Cronin era and one of only two players drafted at all (Lance Stephenson the other).

Jacob Evans - Rookie Season Review

Other Bearcats in the NBA

  • Gary Clark played 51 games (2 starts), averaging 12.6 minutes per game as an undrafted free agent playing for the Houston Rockets.
  • Lance Stephenson spent 2018-19 with the LA Lakers and is now a member of the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association.
  • Justin Jenifer and Troy Caupain are both playing in the G-League this season