There are Cincinnati Bearcats all over the NBA Summer League this year in Vegas. With some of the talent that has made its way through the program the past few years, with 8 straight NCAA tournament appearances, it’s awesome that we’re finally starting to see some of Mick Cronin’s recruits have success after college. Jacob Evans III was the first round pick for the Golden State Warriors this past year, and has been playing a bunch of minutes for them in their first few games out west. As a Lakers fan, I was super jealous that he went to the GSW, instead of being nabbed by LA a few picks earlier.
Joining Evans this summer is Gary Clark with the Houston Rockets. I’m not sure if Gary is playing in the Summer League because I’ve seen him in street clothes on the bench. He signed a two-way deal with the Houston Rockets after going undrafted, but I think he can be good fit for them under the right circumstances. Clark’s frontcourt buddy Kyle Washington is also on a team this summer, playing for the Detroit Pistons. I’m not sure that Washington has the chops to make it in the NBA, but I think he definitely could make a nice living if he goes to Europe and plays professionally.
Another Bearcat in Vegas is actually already a year removed from UC, and that’s Troy Caupain. He spent this past year in the developmental league with the Orlando Magic, and is actually putting up some pretty nice numbers through the first two games. It would be nice to see him get a crack in the NBA this upcoming year.
The last Bearcat that I’ll mention is a little older; Nick Van Exel is on the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff, and helping along the younger talent. It’s good to see him on the sidelines, and I honestly think he’ll get a shot at a head coaching spot somewhere in college or the NBA soon.
It’s clear that Mick Cronin has been doing some great recruiting the past few years, and if these guys continue to have big league success after college, that can only help his and UC’s name recognition. I’m looking forward to a 9th straight tournament appearance this upcoming season, but for now I guess I’ll settle for seeing a bunch of Bearcats in the Summer League.