Ever since John Brannen was hired as head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team, the program has been in flux. Aside from graduating players like Cane Broome and Justin Jenifer, the Bearcats have already had to say goodbye to Nysier Brooks and Rashawn Fredericks and they may also be without Jarron Cumberland and Logan Johnson as well. For a coach that is taking the reins of one of the most consistently successful programs in the country, having so much of last year’s core opt to leave town — or at least think about it — makes the job a lot more difficult. In other words, Brannen really needed a win in terms of roster construction.
He finally got one this week as the 2019 recruiting class got its first commitment in Jeremiah Davenport.
Davenport most recently played for Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. He is listed at 6’7” and can play guard or forward. Prior to Hargrave, he played pretty close by to where the Bearcats call home, with his high school playing days at Moeller High School. According to 247Sports, other teams that were in the mix for Davenport’s talents were Duquesne, Virginia Tech and East Carolina.
Davenport’s recruitment could signal how Brannen wants to build his team as he joins a roster that is already pretty deep when it comes to players who can shift between guard and forward positions. With Keith Williams, Trevor Moore, LaQuill Hardnett, Prince Gillam Toyambi and now Davenport, the Bearcats have plenty of positional versatility. That means Brannen could role out rotations akin to the “death lineup” of the Golden State Warriors and have players that can push the pace, defend multiple positions and create matchup problems for opponents.
While UC may still be looking for a point guard, Davenport will certainly improve the Bearcats’ roster and the fact that he has ties to Cincinnati is another great sign. Football coach Luke Fickell has gotten a lot of credit for recruiting locally and if Brannen is following that path as well, then perhaps similar success on the court will follow. After all, winning there is what matters the most. The Bearcats are used to getting a lot of those types of victories, but for now its nice to see Brannen get a win of any kind.