Deveroes Summer League Report-June 23

Bearcat Insider attended a couple of Saturday's Deveroes Summer League games and got an early look at four of Mick Cronin's coveted freshmen. We also spoke with Bearcat great George Wilson to get his opinion of the UC freshmen.

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 Cincinnati."  Slats' colors are red and black-perfect colors for these guys.  "I've been playing in red and white all my life so I'm used to it."  Alvin's goal on Saturday was simple.  "I want to go out and have some fun.  I also want to try and get some continuity with my teammates."  Alvin didn't know who would coach the Slats team, but he had a strategy.  "All I know is I'm listening to Mike Williams."  Mike Williams and Deonte Vaughn were the UC veterans on the Slats' squad.  The new players have been in town since last weekend.  (Alvin played basketball at Cardinal Gibbons in Florida and word has surfaced that David Blackwell (QB/WR) is getting considerable interest from the Bearcat football staff.)



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 Cincinnati.  Rashad described what he does well.  "I get to the basket, and I can shoot."  Rashad had three goals for Saturday.  "I want to have fun, put on a show and get a W."  Rashad has set very high team goals for the 2007-2008 Bearcats.  "I want to win the Big East Conference and go to the NCAA tournament."


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.


Kenny Belton


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 Cincinnati State players, but Cintas did have an advantage since this was their second league game, and Slats had not played.  Alvin Mitchell took the floor for warm-ups and was attempting dunks in every conceivable way.  He is a very impressive athlete.  Larry Davis was also throwing down quite a few dunks in warm-up.  The starting unit for Slats was Deonte Vaughn, Mike Williams, Kenny Belton, Larry Davis and Alvin Mitchell.  The games consist of two 15 minute halves.


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).

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