Bearcats’ bright future

After coach Bob Huggins left Cincinnati at the end of the 2005 season, Andy Kennedy took over as head coach. Although he had a decent year in 2006, he was gone just as soon as he came. Cincinnati native Mick Cronin then stepped in as the head coach of a disheveled team. The early years were a struggle for Mick, but by his third and fourth seasons he was bringing in some serious talent. Players like Lance Stephenson, Yancy Gates, Cashmere Wright and finally the emerging on Sean Kilpatrick. These men along with coach Cronin shaped the Cats as a legitimate team who feared nothing. After a 26-9 record in 2011, the Bearcats put together another outstanding year in 2012, making it to the Sweet 16 and coming in fourth in the Big East as they finished 26-11. Two young men transformed into what would be the leaders of this squad today. These men are Cashmere Wright and Sean Kilpatrick. Wright, a senior, and Kilpatrick, a junior, are helping the team immensely with their great attitudes and phenomenal work ethics. These two are the stars of the squad and definitely have NBA potential. Outside of the gym they also might even be helping with bringing in some players. February 3, 2013, an unexpected gift was bestowed upon the Bearcat future. 6’-9″ forward Jermaine Lawrence committed to the basketball program. Although Mick has brought in some great players, a lot of questions have come about as to why the 19th best player in the 2013 class committed to UC. I too was curious so I hit the hallways to speak to fellow Bearcat enthusiasts here at Elder. Elder High school sports guru Sam Kwiatkowski gave his explanation for Lawrence’s commit, “SK (Sean Kilpatrick) is from New York, Lawrence is from New York, I guarantee SK did his job in bringing this kid in.” Sounds reasonable to me. Another classmate, John Hussong, also spoke about Lawrence, “I’m not exactly sure on why he committed, but with him (Lawrence), we won’t have to rely on the three ball as much.” Which is great news, as any Bearcat fan would tell you. Another signing comes from the Queen City itself, keeping the local tradition alive. Some students, along with myself even competed with this guy back in grade school. Summit Country Day senior Kevin Johnson signed with UC last June and although it’s not set in stone, he’d be a solid floor general being the point guard of the future. From despair to great fortune, Mick Cronin brought the team back to a well-respected basketball program around the NCAA. Sitting at 18-5 this year, the Cats seek a third straight tournament appearance and hope for even more. At the end of the day, I went to the biggest Cincinnati fan I know, Tyler Loebker on his thoughts for next year. He said this, “I don’t know how we snatched him (Lawrence), but all I know is the future is looking bright in Cincy.” Well said Tyler, very well said.