I wrote a breakdown of last season last week, if you haven’t checked that out make sure you click the embedded link.
The biggest think that happened at the end of the season was UC being able to keep head coach Mick Cronin as he flirted with UNLV for a week and seemed it was quite possible he was heading out West. Losing Cronin would’ve put this team’s current roster in limbo because who knows who wouldn’t have stayed committed or current players that might’ve requested a transfer.
To head the list the Bearcats have three of their top five scorers returning in Troy Caupain, Gary Clark and Jacob Evans. Caupain is the leader of the bunch and along with Evans and Clark these three should make a huge improvement over the off season and lead the pack.
Kevin Johnson will be a senior and provide an anchor on the wing for defense.
Justin Jenifer will have a whole year in the system so I expect solid improvement and him to be able to handle backup point guard minutes throughout the year.
Quadri Moore will play a lot more minutes due to Ellis and DeBerry graduating and if the NCAA Tournament performance is any indication, he may be a factor next season due to his skill set.
Tre Scott will be coming off of a redshirt season so he figures to be in the mix.
Zack Tobler will still be a fan favorite next season also.
UC has four graduating seniors Farad Cobb, Octavius Ellis , Shaquille Thomas and Coreontae DeBerry. The loss of these four will equal a loss of three forwards and one guard, Ellis and DeBerry manned the middle all season. Cobb was the Bearcats best outside shooter and Thomas was the most athletic player. So it will be interest to see how the newbies fit in.
So far UC has forward/center Kyle Washington who will be eligible to play this year. Washington transferred from North Carolina State.
UC has one more free scholarship so it will be interesting to see who they use it on.
With adding Washington, Cumberland, Scott (redshirted) and Brooks next season I expect Washington to be the starting center, Cumberland to be either starting or 6th or 7th in the rotation and Scott seemingly having skill to play 3 and 4 slot that will help UC out a lot.
I personally think UC will finish top two in the AAC next season with all of the talent they have back next season and with a possible chance to make it out the first weekend. Unless the injury bug hits this group they should have high expectations.