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Bearcats Basketball - Meet the Freshman

Three players highlight John Brannen’s first freshman recruiting class for 2019.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Kansas State vs Cincinnati Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The expectation when the 2018-19 basketball season ended, was that Cincinnati would bring back virtually their whole roster (minus two graduates) and bring in just one freshman (Samari Curtis). Following the departure of Mick Cronin, the program experienced an exodus, with 5 players deciding to transfer. To replace them, new coach John Brannen brought in 4 transfers and also signed 3 freshman.

Those 3 players, collectively, formed the 44th ranked recruiting class in 2019 according to 247Sports and the 4th ranked class in the AAC (behind Memphis, UConn, Wichita State and ahead of Houston).

Zach Harvey

Harvey was the last player to join the Bearcats for 2019-20 and may end up being the most significant and make the biggest immediate impact. Harvey, a 4-star prospect, is the 49th ranked recruit in the 2019 class,, #5 shooting guard overall and ranked 6th among all Kansas high school players. The 6’5 guard reportedly chose Cincinnati over Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Xavier (all of whom he had offers from). He is Cincinnati’s 6th top 50 recruit since 2003.

The reason why Harvey was available until late June, when he committed, was some off-the-court allegations. Harvey was previously charged with two felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child, which were eventually pleaded down to misdemeanors. Cincinnati’s athletic department was fully transparent, with AD Mike Bohn releasing a statement about the discussions they had with Harvey, the honor of being a Bearcat and the zero-strike policy that will apply with him. Cincinnati fully vetted him and did a full background check.

Mika Adams-Woods

Mika Adams-Woods was initially committed to Nebraska, but re-opened his recruitment due to a coaching change. The irony is that the Bearcats previously had one recruit committed for 2019, Samari Curtis, but he de-committed, also because of a coaching change and ultimately chose Nebraska. He is from the Syracuse, NY area and chose Cincinnati over Minnesota.

With Logan Johnson transferring and Justin Jenifer graduating, the 6’3 guard is one of two true point guards on the roster, giving him a big opportunity to play immediately, which he cited as a factor for his commitment.

Last year, at New Hampton School, Adams-Woods averaged 19 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.9 steals per game and shot 42.5% from three.

Jeremiah Davenport

Davenport will forever be the answer to an important question. While players were exiting the program via transfer portal left and right, Davenport became the first official commit of the John Brannen era. The significance with Davenport’s commitment is he is a local prospect, who played at Moeller High School in Cincinnati. He averaged 16.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg and 2.1 spg during his senior year in 2018-19.

Despite being the first commit in the Brannen era, Davenport may not play until 2020, at the earliest. His is currently out of action with a knee injury and with a deep roster, the Bearcats may choose to redshirt Davenport to allow him an extra year of eligibility.

If that’s the case, it will be worth the wait to see dunks like these...

In addition to these three freshman, Cincinnati added 4 transfers to their roster this summer. They also have five key returning players.