CINCINNATI – With the NBA Draft deadline in the rearview mirror most of the national media outlets have reassessed the upcoming college men’s basketball season and presented an early summer Top 25 preview. The Cincinnati Bearcats are well represented.
National media outlets listed in highest ranking for Cincinnati and include date of ranking.
// ROTHSTEIN’S CBB TOP 25 FOR 2017-18 (MAY EDITION) – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 11
Jon Rothstein, FanRag Sports Network (May 25)Story Link
Why they’re here: The Bearcats had five guys average at least 8.3 points per game this season, and four of them are expected back. That’s pretty darn good, considering those guys formed the core of a team that won 30 games this season. Plus, former Sacred Heart star guard Cane Broome — he averaged 23.1 points as a sophomore and was the Northeast Conference player of the year — will be eligible after sitting out this year as a transfer. Mick Cronin just wins at Cincinnati.
Mick Cronin’s program continues to plug along, and after a 30-win season in 2017, could be even better next year. The Bearcats return their top three scorers and add transfer Cane Broome, who averaged 23 points per game at Sacred Heart two seasons ago. The rich got even richer late, when Cincinnati added a commitment from former Washington signee Mamoudou Diarra just a few weeks ago.
// SB NATION – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 15
Mike Rutherford, SB Nation (May 30)Story Link
Troy Caupain leaves big shoes to fill, but fellow stars Jacob Evans and Gary Clark are back from Mick Cronin’s strongest Cincinnati team to date. Sacred Heart transfer Cane Broome should add even more offensive firepower to a roster that should provide the best competition for Wichita State in the AAC.
Since 2011, Mick Cronin's Bearcats have finished within the top 25 of KenPom.com's adjusted defensive efficiency rankings for seven consecutive seasons. In that stretch, he has lost an abundance of talent, including Octavius Ellis, Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright. Cincy's identity as one of America's top defensive teams has not changed, but in 2017-18, Cronin might field his most balanced team. Kyle Washington (12.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.2 BPG), who connected on 53 percent of his shots inside the arc and 36 percent of his 3-point attempts, returns to lead Cincinnati into a battle with Wichita State for the American championship. With Jacob Evans and Gary Clark in the mix, Cronin will have his top three scorers and critical elements of his defense from last season. Jarron Cumberland made 65 percent of his shots inside the arc last season. Now he moves into a more significant role with Troy Caupain and Kevin Johnson gone. This group also adds Sacred Heart transfer Cane Broome, a guard who sat last season after averaging 23.1 points in 2015-16. Another strong year for Cincy? Yes, another strong year for Cincy.
The American Athletic Conference announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball pairings Thursday.
With the addition of Wichita State to the league for this coming season, the new 12-team format sees each team playing seven of its 11 opponents twice and its four remaining opponents once each, two at home and two away.
// CINCINNATI’S CONFERENCE PAIRINGS
Cincinnati will play UCF, UConn, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple and Wichita State both home and away during the 2017-18 campaign. The Bearcats will face East Carolina and Tulsa at home with games taking place at BB&T Arena while meetings with USF and Tulane will occur on the road.
The complete 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule with dates and times will be announced at a later date.
// TEAM-BY-TEAM LEAGUE HOME AND AWAY PAIRINGS
Home and Away: Cincinnati, UConn, Memphis, USF, SMU, Temple, Wichita State
Home Only: Houston, Tulane
Road Only: East Carolina, Tulsa
Home and Away: UCF, UConn, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Wichita State
Home Only: East Carolina, Tulsa
Road Only: USF, Tulane
Home and Away: UCF, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Memphis, Temple, Tulsa, Wichita State
Home Only: USF, SMU
Road Only: Houston, Tulane
Home and Away: UConn, Houston, Memphis, USF, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa
Home Only: UCF, Wichita State
Road Only: Cincinnati, Temple
Home and Away: Cincinnati, East Carolina, USF, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Wichita State
Home Only: UConn, Tulsa
Road Only: UCF, Memphis
Home and Away: UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, USF, Tulane, Tulsa
Home Only: Houston, Wichita State
Road Only: SMU, Temple
Home and Away: UCF, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa
Home Only: Cincinnati, Temple
Road Only: UConn, Wichita State
Home and Away: UCF, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, USF, Tulane, Wichita State
Home Only: Memphis, Temple
Road Only: UConn, Tulsa
Home and Away: UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, Tulane, Tulsa, Wichita State
Home Only: East Carolina, Memphis
Road Only: USF, SMU
Home and Away: East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, USF, SMU, Temple, Tulsa
Home Only: Cincinnati, UConn
Road Only: UCF, Wichita State
Home and Away: UConn, East Carolina, Memphis, USF, Temple, Tulane, Wichita State
Home Only: UCF, SMU
Road Only: Cincinnati, Houston
Home and Away: UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, SMU, Temple, Tulsa
Home Only: USF, Tulane
Road Only: East Carolina, Memphis
// ABOUT THE AMERICAN
The American closed out the 2016-17 regular season with four teams selected for postseason play. SMU and Cincinnati both finished with top-25 national rankings in the Associated Press poll after reaching the NCAA Tournament, while UCF advanced to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Additionally, Houston returned to the NIT for the second straight season.
Entering 2017-18, nearly 60 percent of the points scored and minutes played across The American return to their respective teams. Four squads (Cincinnati, Temple, Tulsa, and Wichita State) bring back over 70 percent of their points from last season, while half the players selected first or second team all-conference return as well.
// ABOUT THE BEARCATS
Cincinnati’s 2017-18 squad features three returning starters from last season's team that posted the second-most wins in school history (30-6), tied the school mark for conference wins (16-2) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive year.