The crowd came filing in after a huge win at Nippert Stadium last night for the Cincinnati Bearcat Football team and they were looking for the Men's and Women's Basketball programs to keep the excitement going, and they did just that for Bearcat diehards.
The lower bowl of 5/3 arena was just about full with fans grabbing their "Bearcat Madness" t-shirts that were sitting on every chair and the buzz was around all the excitement of bringing in the John Brannen era. After the team introductions, Brannen grabbed the mic and gave the fans a nice speech about what to expect for their team this upcoming season. "When I was out recruiting a rival head coach came up to me and said coach, you got the best home-court advantage in the league." Brannen told the Bearcat faithful "What you're gonna see this season is this group of men giving it everything they got to each other, to this program and this university."
Here are some of the Highlights from the Bearcat practice:
Jaevin Cumberland: Cumberland, the grad transfer from Oakland University and cousin of Bearcat star player Jarron Cumberland was the winner of the 3 point contest going into the final against the Women's Basketball teams guard Sam Rodgers. During the Men's team scrimmage to close the night Jaevin continued to flash his 3 point shooting ability that John Brannen was not fond of coaching against during his time at Northern Kentucky University. With Jarron Cumberland's 39% 3 point shooting last season, the Bearcats may have their Splash... Cousins?
Height: When the Bearcats lost Nassir Brooks to transfer they looked like a team that was going to have to find some height and strength in the paint as soon as possible. Mamoudou Diarra is heading into his junior year with the Bearcats and looks primed to be a big part of the Bearcats rotation. Diarra showed an impressive 3 point shooting touch for a man of his size during the Men's scrimmage which could be a nice added touch to expanding the offense, much like Brannen did with Drew McDonald at NKU. The Bearcats also got a grand transfer in Jaume "Jay" Sorolla from Valparaiso who stands at 7'0 and Junior Chris Vogt joins Brannen from NKU. Vogt received a waiver from the NCAA allowing him to play immediately this year for the Bearcats.
The height of these three players add a dynamic to the paint the Bearcats will need through their season for the team to gain the success they are looking for and also for the competition they will face through the season.
Zach Harvey: Zach Harvey is the biggest recruit John Brannen has ever signed since he became a Head Coach in College Basketball. Although there is some controversy surrounding Harvey, you can see why he was so coveted by the Bearcats to re-classify and play this season.
Harvey showed a few solid strides in where his athleticism can take him in his time at Cincinnati. He had a few solid dunks including a one-handed jam that got the crowd to let out a loud cheer. Harvey was also a target for the Xavier Musketeers at one time so that will add another ripple to the Crosstown Shootout December 7th.
Did Not Participate: Although Jarron Cumberland was in uniform and had the loudest introduction of any player, he did not participate in any of the drills or activities. Junior guard Trevor Moore also did not play and had his foot in a boot.
Overall there is a lot of excitement in Clifton right now for the Bearcat programs. The Bearcats are defending their American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and the right coach to lead the way.
Tim Daniel is the Host of 48 Minutes and @ Large Bid here on the 48 Minutes Network. Tim is also a credentialed writer covering Northern Kentucky University, Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati. If you want to discuss NBA or College Basketball with Tim, give him a follow!