Cincinnati males’s basketball roster assessment, offseason updates

CINCINNATI — With a full offseason at his disposal, head coach Wes Miller has carried out some fast work to solidify his roster for his second season in Cincinnati. The bear cats added a trio of skilled veteran transfers in April, becoming a member of the three incoming freshmen signed within the Class of 2022 and 7 returning scholarship gamers.

It was necessary turnover for a staff that confirmed promise at the beginning of final season however spat on the stretch. Amongst transfers, particularly, Miller appears to have recognized complementary items that may fill within the gaps in management, tenacity and hanging, whereas adapting to the coach’s most well-liked type of play that the staff of the membership. ‘final yr by no means fairly reached.

With the basketball staff’s eight weeks of summer time practices roughly midway by, let’s take inventory of the 2022-23 roster, what we’re listening to about how all of the items look alike and match collectively up to now, and let’s dive into a number of extra offseason updates.

Guards

Rob Phinisee (Fifth-year Sr.): The Indiana to switch was brought in to reinforce the point guard position, the place he’s anticipated to win the beginning job. Phinisee wasn’t a lot of a scorer or shooter in his 4 years with the Hoosiers (6.5 ppg, 35.1 FG proportion, 29 FG 3-point proportion), however he performs with good offensive tempo. and may benefit from a stint on the American Athletic Convention. Any rating will probably be a bonus – he was introduced in to arrange the assault, facilitate, play protection and add one other grownup to the dressing room, all expectations he has maintained this summer time.

David DeJulius (Graduate): Final yr’s main scorer (14.5 factors per recreation) selected to return to Cincinnati for its eligibility bonus year. He relied method an excessive amount of on assault final season out of necessity as the only real ball-maker. DeJulius will possible play some on and off the ball this coming season, however he must also be much less tasked with scoring, ideally giving him brisker legs and extra room to create.

Mika Adams Woods (Sr.): The 6-foot-3 guard was second on the staff in minutes and third in scoring final season, and admittedly, he appeared to be affected by the elevated position for a full-season schedule. His taking pictures percentages dropped throughout the board, particularly from 3-pointers, the place he went from 32 % as a sophomore to 26 % as a junior. The hope is that its effectiveness will rebound in a decreased position. If he can present high quality save minutes at both guard place, knock down the open 3s, and play stable protection, he’ll add great worth off the bench.


Landers Nolley II (3) traded to Cincinnati after enjoying two seasons at Memphis. (Troy Wayrynen / USA Immediately)

wings

Nolley II landers (Fifth-year Sr.): With all due respect to DeJulius, Nolley regarded (and behaved) precisely because the staff had hoped since his arrival: just like the Bearcats’ greatest participant. He was curious when information circulated final week that Nolley was instantly eligible for 2022-23 as a result of he’d had a waiver signed weeks earlier and Cincinnati had by no means feared he would not be obtainable. No matter, land Nolley out of the portal was a small transfer that helped tie the entire roster collectively, giving UC a go-to goalscorer and dynamic shot-maker on the wing with the power to fill it from all three tiers. Final yr’s curler coaster experience in Memphis did not sit properly with Nolley, however he brings some much-needed confidence and angle as the ultimate piece of the puzzle this season.

Jeremy Davenport (Sr.): Davenport is one other returning participant who ought to profit from incoming reinforcements and slide the opposing scouting ratio a notch or two. He turned a supply of frustration for followers final season for overemphasizing offensive and defensive self-discipline that left a lot to be desired. These evaluations have been truthful, however he additionally averaged 13.4 factors on 36 % from deep and led the staff in rebounds at 5.5 per recreation. Davenport nonetheless has a number of worth and may have much more house offensively to point out it off this season, and his vitality and angle proceed to offer important gas to this group on the court docket. He wants to enhance defensively, however upgrading the expertise round him ought to assist him. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see how he and Nolley can play collectively, particularly on protection.

John Newman III (Graduate): It is no coincidence that Newman was at his greatest final season, Cincinnati often was too. The Clemson The switch has battled a number of nagging accidents which have hampered him at occasions, however he is a great, robust participant and a locked down defender which is why he’ll proceed to play a outstanding position in Miller’s system. If Newman can persistently rating between six and 12 factors and enhance his 3-point proportion by 33%, he’ll be the right candidate for what the Bearcats need from him this season.

Hensley hock (Jr.): Cincinnati ought to have some depth on the wing this season. The highest three listed are all going to play large minutes, and these subsequent three are additionally going to be trying to see the ground. The 6-8 Hensley confirmed flashes of versatility final season in about eight minutes a recreation off the bench, however he is additionally an early contender for the largest makeover of the offseason. The left-hander broke his proper hand late within the recreation towards Houston however he endured and didn’t have surgical procedure till the tip of the yr. Hensley is a notoriously relentless employee, so together with his hand not pulling in a solid for a number of weeks, he was compelled to apply one-handed, which helped align and soften his contact. His taking pictures seems a lot improved, and if he can translate that into actual motion and change into a 3&D wing with some positional flexibility, he could be a issue off the bench.

Daniel Skillings (Fr.): The four star rookie from Philadelphia was the final participant to reach because of latest highschool commencement dates on the East Coast, however he confirmed up each little bit of the 6-6, 7-foot lengthy specimen. wingspan that Miller covets on the wing. Skillings additionally noticed speedy beneficial properties within the weight room beneath coach Mike Rehfeldt, including 10 kilos in a short while.

Josh Reed (Fr.): The reed of 6-7, 220 kilos doesn’t look like a freshman, on or above floor. He held his personal this summer time by coaching and open gyms with good tempo, energy and an all-around inside-out recreation and has that early really feel of the kind of all-around participant sporting a helmet that may change into a fan favorite. among the many loyal Bearcats. He and Skillings have a block forward of them on the wing for a couple of minutes, however they’re too proficient and promising to remain off the pitch.

Nice

Kalu Ezikpe (Fifth-year Sr.): The frontcourt would be the greatest query mark for the Bearcats heading into this fall, and the Old Dominion transfer we are going to rely on him to offer some solutions. Ezikpe’s 6-8 body, toughness and athleticism ought to pair very properly with Miller’s high-intensity protection and fluid offense, and Ezikpe has proven the sweetness of getting out and pulling down jumpers this summer time. . He is not a pure shot blocker or rim defender, however Cincinnati will want him to play robust protection after and gobble up rebounds.

Viktor Lakhin (Sof.): The expertise and the potential are there, which is why Lakhin deserves rave evaluations and optimism for a second straight offseason. He has next-level instincts and reflexes and a pleasant attacking contact, however that contact did not absolutely develop final season as he needed to take care of accidents, fouls and psychological failures. Can a full offseason with Miller and assistant coach Mike Roberts change that? Can Lakhin keep wholesome, keep away from fouls, and restrict psychological errors? If that’s the case, it might elevate the ceiling for Cincinnati this yr.

Ody Oguama (Sr.): 6-9 WakeForest switch is one other participant who confirmed encouraging glimpses of final season however not sufficient consistency. He is essentially the most explosive athlete among the many bigs and displayed robust rebounding instincts final season, grabbing 4.2 in 13.6 minutes for UC. However like Lakhin, he was too typically hampered by crude annoyances and psychological errors. If he can spruce up these areas, he could be a important bench component, particularly defensively.

Sage Tolentino (fr.): The Hawaii 7-1 Center He should still be a yr away, however he arrived this summer time in good well being and confirmed off some expertise, together with a backward 3 bend in an open gymnasium session. If he can muscle up and get snug with the velocity of the school recreation, he has actual potential on the highway.

First inquiries to be careful for?

How are Wing Minutes distributed? It could possibly be a mixture of large ball and small ball with the wings enjoying minutes on the two and 4 spots, however both method it is clearly the deepest place on the record.

Can UC rebound and defend properly sufficient to go small? Will a lineup of, say, Phinissee, DeJulius, Nolley, Davenport/Newman and Ezikpe have the ability to maintain their very own? What number of opponents on the schedule have the dimensions and expertise to efficiently counter him?

Who’s on the entrance line? Ezikpe will probably be counted on, however Lakhin or Oguama (if not each) must step up this season, even when the Bearcats select to remain small a great deal of the time.

NIL and previous occasions

Many present Bearcats gamers will take part within the Crosstown collaboration with xavier males’s basketball gamers this weekend, together with a Fan Fest and game of old. The occasion, organized by G3 Advertising | ProCamps, will deliver ZERO cash to present gamers, and the alumni recreation will present a tune up for the basketball match, the place the bad nation – in its first season and led by the previous Bearcats participant and Cincinnati native Kevin Johnson — will take part within the regional Xavier. Nasty Nati’s first-round recreation is at 6 p.m. Monday at Cintas Middle.

(High picture by David DeJulius: Courtesy of Cincinnati Bearcats Athletics)

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