The Slats team that features the Bearcat freshmen played its first game of the summer on Saturday at Woodward's new gymnasium. Prior to the game, Bearcat Insider spoke to all four of the new Bearcats playing in the game.
Larry Davis was very upbeat and anxious to show the 400-500 fans in attendance what he could do. Larry was asked about his knee. "It feels good. I'm working out with it, and it's feeling very good." Larry was shocked by the size of the crowd. "I'm surprised so many people would be here for a summer league game."
Alvin Mitchell had trouble containing his enthusiasm as he was constant
motion outside the Woodward gym as he waited for his turn to get on the
floor. "I'm very excited about
playing basketball at
Alvin Mitchell – Larry Davis – Rashad Bishop
Rashad Bishop looked bigger than what I expected. "I'm 6' 6". I grew a little bit over the
summer." Rashad got some playing
time at the point last season at St. Benedict's Prep, but he knows that won't be
his role at
Kenny Belton is easily the biggest of the four newcomers at Woodward on Saturday afternoon. Kenny was interviewed by Fox 19 for quite some time but did have a little time left over to talk with Bearcat Insider. Kenny is recovering from an ankle sprain and was not sure prior to the game if he'd play. The league uses a 24 second clock, and Kenny was concerned about the up tempo style of play with his bad ankle. However Kenny did end up playing the majority of the game. Kenny said he was 6' 7" or 6' 8" and weighed 255 pounds.
In the game prior to Slats, there were several Bearcats involved. Armein Kirkland played for Innovative Marketing and looked healthy. Marvin Gentry and Marcus Sikes played for John Flessa Law Offices. Gentry shot well from the outside but missed a couple of crucial driving shots down the stretch. Still John Flessa took Innovative into overtime when Jack Jennings hit a tightly contested 3 pointer with 2 seconds remaining to tie the score, but Innovative won the contest in overtime. Xavier's B. J. Raymond led Innovative with 25 points.
Slats played Cintas which was comprised of mainly
Slats led at halftime by a 29-21 score. A Vaughn to Mitchell alley oop pass and dunk was the highlight of the game. Mitchell also drew some raves for blocking a shot. Cintas stayed with the Bearcats right until the end, and was trailing 59-56 with 1:09 left in the game. Larry Davis showed some clutch foul shooting down the stretch as he connected on a couple of one-and one attempts. On the other hand, veterans Williams and Vaughn missed important foul shots down the stretch, but Slats held on and won the game.
After the game, I looked to Bearcat All-American George Wilson (1961-1964) to give his impressions of the newest Bearcats. "We've been reading about all the talent coming to UC this year, and I was very impressed with them. They're young and want to do that spectacular stuff. At the end of the game, they didn't need any of those missed dunks and alley oops. They just needed to take care of the basketball, but that will come in time."
"Alvin Mitchell has a lot of talent. You're going to hear a lot from that young man. Larry Davis showed me a lot. He's a smart ball player, good free throw shooter and ball handler. He reminded me of Deonte last year. He has all the tools. I was very impressed with him."
"If Belton can set picks and box out, he'll be able to help this team. He's not as athletic as the others, but he doesn't need to be."
Rashad Bishop played very little if at all in the second half, but he did a nice job passing and rebounding in the first half. "He's also very athletic and looks to have a bright future."
Games resume today (Sunday).