Sunday, January 20, 2008

2008 Recruiting Profiles (Bearcats)

I wanted to give equal time to the UC Bearcats on the recruiting front and share information from Prepstars about the 2008 class thus far. I also have my own insights on their three man class. They have at least two scholarships available at this time and I think Mick will look for another point guard and big man.

Yancy Gates (#27 overall)

6-9 240 C Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow HS

"This inside horse had an inconsistent spring and early summer but possesses a great deal of promise. When he's playing hard (as he does most but not all the time), he uses his ample strength and good (not great) athleticism to drive the baseline, hang in the air and finish with either hand. He also has a smooth turnaround jump shot, and he uses the board wisely on angle jumpers. The few jump hooks (and occasional sky hook) we saw him try had good form but were off the mark. He bangs on the boards for putbacks, and his power moves versus weaker opponents often gain him free throw opportunities. On defense, he plays physically and is a very capable shot-blocker."

Cashmere Wright (#53 overall)

6-1 175 PG Savannah, GA/Urban Christian HS

"With his excellent athleticism, tight handle and dangerous jump shot to 21 feet, he's proven through the early summer that he can compete at the highest level of prep hoops. While he's certainly a scorer who can get his shot with excellent quickness off the dribble, he is also capable of slick dishes, especially on the break. What he must improve are his on-court decision making and his ability to set up and orcherstrate a halfcourt offense. We especially like the way he hawks the ball on defense (reaping lots of steals), jets in the open floor to acrobatic finishes and elevates easily over taller opponents for one footed slams. Committed to Clemson originally."

Nick Aldridge (Transfer)

6-7 240 PF South Webster, OH/South Webster HS-Western Carolina University

(His transfer was so recent I have no report from Prepstars on it.)

My take:

Gates: His rating has fallen a bit with Scout and Rivals but Prepstars continues to rate him very high. In my mind that means he is still a top 50 talent who happened to have a bad spring on the AAU circuit. I have seen him play several times including at the adidas 'It Takes 5ive' classic AAU tournament on UC's campus this summer where he played with Ohio State commit BJ Mullens among others. He is a first rate scorer and one of the best in the class at finishing around the basket. His desire is to play the '4' instead of the '5' at the next level to enhance his play for pay chances. He needs to keep his offense from the 3 point stripe and in and not get away from what makes him a superior talent which is horsing around the basket. 'Biggie' McClain and him will make a fordimable Big East front line if they continue to work hard.

Wright: I have not seen Cashmere play but from what I have read he is a high caliber point guard. I am not sure if Mick plans to hand him the ball from day one but Vaughn is the only other guy on the roster who would seem to fit a lead guard role. The state of Georgia is producing phenomenal players right now and for the '09 class so Mick did a fantastic job getting this commit.

Aldridge: I have seen him play numerous times. Including the '05 Division IV state title game while he was at South Webster. The Catamounts of Western Carolina also played Xavier in 2006 at the Cintas Center. I think this kid will have a bigger impact than most expect. Once he becomes eligible mid season next year I think he is the first front line sub for Gates and McClain. Yes I know about Mike Williams but I do not think he will ever produce at the D1 level due to the injury, rust, and having only one year to do it in. Aldridge has nice touch on his jumper, wide shoulders and ass that helps in the post, and a good IQ.

Mick has done nothing to disclaim his reputation for recruiting acumen with this class. He also has a solid verbal from '09 prospect Danny McElroy (top 200) in pocket. Again I think another point guard has to be a priority for depth. Personally I hope the rumors of him recruiting Bud Mackey are just that. From a PR perspective (unfortunatley for Mick) I don't think they can take any risks with players with felony charges hanging over their head. Unfortunately for Bud even if he is exonerated the stigma will still be there.

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