BCI Talks With Andre Tate

Andre Tate is well known by Bearcat basketball fans, and Bearcat Insider recently had the chance to talk with Andre about Cincinnati's 2007 recruiting class and much more.

As I sat in the Woodward High School gymnasium watching the Slats team perform in a recent Deveroes League game, a woman asked about a middle-aged man standing in the balcony and watching the action below. I identified the man as Andre Tate, and the fan immediately replied, "I remember him, but it's sometimes hard to recognize them after they've put on some weight." True, Tate is no longer the slender guard that averaged 17.1 points in his senior season, but he is hardly the cover boy for Jenny Craig either. The still very fit ex-Bearcat captain now serves his alma mater as its basketball Video Coordinator, but it wasn't that long ago that Tate held the position of head basketball coach at Cincinnati State.

On this particular day, Andre was able to watch the entire 2007 Bearcat recruiting class go against a young man he used to coach at Cincinnati State, Kenny Hayes. In fact, Hayes had only minutes earlier hit a three point shot at the buzzer to defeat the Slats team made-up entirely of new and old Bearcats. Bearcat Insider asked Andre about each of members of the 2007 Bearcat recruiting class.

First, Tate was asked about Alvin Mitchell. "He's an explosive player with a lot to learn, but you can see the talent, and he's going to be a very, very good player."

Next, Larry Davis. "It's hard to get a read on him right now because he's not 100% coming off that knee injury. He didn't play last year so it's tough to get a good read. I just want to see him play hard."

Kenny Belton? "It seems like he's going to be a rebounder and do some dirty work. I've seen him take three charges in two days so that's a really good sign right there."

Rashad Bishop? "He's versatile. He doesn't go a lot of great things; he just does a lot of good things. The versatility he brings should be helpful with what's coming back."

Finally, the newest addition to the 2007 recruiting class-Darnell Wilks. "Right now, he's still running on empty. His feet haven't touched the ground. He's still trying to get acclimated to the college level. He's only been here three or four days. It's hard to get a read on him right now, but he's very, very, very athletic."

Since Andre had just seen his old point guard Kenny Hayes erupt for 27 points against Slats, he was asked about the future Miami Redhawk and whether he would be a thorn in Cincinnati's side for the next two seasons. "Deonta (Vaughn) saw him some today, but Jamual (Warren) will see him next year. Jamual is the defensive guy, make no mistake about that." Hayes had 18 of those points in the 1st half before Vaughn arrived, and Hayes' only field goal in the 2nd half was the 3 pointer at the end to win the game. Tate continued, "Kenny Hayes is a very explosive player. I recruited him to Cincinnati State from St. Catherine's Community College. He's very, very talented, and we're going to have our hands full with him."

Andre felt Miami was fortunate to get Hayes. "Kenny signed early with Miami, and they're lucky he did because he had a great year last season. I thought if he had stuck around a little longer, he would have had some high offers from a lot of people."

With Darnell Wilks still adjusting to life as a Bearcat in Cincinnati, I decided I would not request an interview, but I had noticed his attachment to Mike Williams and asked Andre if pairing those two up was by design since Williams as a high school McDonald's All-American and originally signing with Texas may know exactly what Wilks is currently going through. "I think it's more their personalities. Both of them are low key, laid back. They probably meshed as soon as they saw each other. Mike always has a smile on his face, and Darnell seems like he doesn't say too much so it was a perfect match."

Andre felt Cincinnati's biggest need on the recruiting trail is getting a point guard, but he hedged just a bit. "I would think a point guard, but you can also never have enough size in the Big East."

The Bearcats have gone through two Big East seasons with no legitimate size or depth, but Andre sees a bright future in Clifton. "I feel confident. We're going to have more bodies, and you need someone ready to bang in the Big East. Mick and the staff have done a good job of adding some size. They've really done a good job recruiting."

Bearcat Insider Top Stories