2022 Record: 23-13 (11-7 AAC)
Head Coach: Wes Miller (Career Record 226-163) (Cincy Record 41-28)
PG: DaVeon Thomas (Kilgore College 19.0 Pts, 6.0 Reb, 3.1 Ast)
SG: CJ Fredrick (Kentucky 6.1 Pts, 0.8 Reb, 1.5 Ast)
SF: Simas Lukosius (Butler 11.6 Pts, 4.0 Reb, 2.9 Ast)
PF: Viktor Lakhin (11.6 Pts, 7.1 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
C: Aziz Bandaogo (Utah Valley 11.5 Pts, 10.4 Reb, 1.2 Ast) (Double Transfer, Waiver TBA)
6: PG Jizzle James
7: SG John Newman (2021-22 6.9 Pts, 4.2 Reb, 1.7 Ast)
8: SF Rayvon Griffith
9: SG Daniel Skillings (5.3 Pts, 3.3 Reb, 0.6 Ast)
10: C Ody Oguama (5.5 Pts, 5.4 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
11: C Jamille Reynolds (Temple 10.1 Pts, 5.4 Reb, 0.7 Ast) (Double Transfer, Waiver TBA)
12: SF Josh Reed (1.5 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 0.2 Ast)
13: C Sage Tolentino (2.5 Pts, 1.0 Reb, 0.0 Ast)
Cincinnati had the task of replacing 7 players that they lost this offseason due to the portal and eligibility. The lone returning starter for the Bearcats is big man Viktor Lakhin. He averaged double figures last season and shot 62% from the field overall. He also rebounds at a very high level averaging over 7RPG last season. He could be the primary big man in the Bearcats rotation if Aziz Bandaogo fails to get a waiver. Some other returners include another big man Ody Oguama and SG John Newman. Oguama is going into his 5th season of CBB and also previously spent time at Wake Forest. Like Lakhin, Oguama also is very efficient shooting around the rim. John Newman missed all of last season due to injury, but he’s been granted an additional year and will bring the experience needed to the Bearcats this season. The 6-5 guard previously spent time at Clemson where he averaged 9.5PPG in his sophomore season with the Tigers.
The remaining returners for the Bearcats next season are SG Daniel Skillings, SF Josh Reed, and C Sage Tolentino. Josh Reed saw action in 29 games last season with an averaged of 8MPG played. Reed is a former Top 150 recruit who could make significant improvements going to next season. Tolentino only played in 2 games last season and was able to receive a medical redshirt year so he will have 4 seasons left to play. The 7-1 big man has potential to be a consistent member of the rotation this season. Dan Skillings Jr is a former Top 100 recruit in the 2022 class. He averaged just over 5PPG and 3RPG during his freshman season. He should see a huge rise in minutes going into his sophomore season and could even be a spot starter at times.
Cincinnati also added a duo of big men in the portal this offseason. Both players are double transfers so they would be ineligible next season if they don’t receive a waiver. Jamille Reynolds played in 22 games last season seeing an average of 20 minutes of action per game. He shot 60% from the floor this past season. The 6-10 285lb big man averaged double figures this past season at Temple. Reynolds previously spent time at UCF as well. Aziz Bandaogo burst onto the scene this past season where he averaged a double double at Utah Valley this past season. He averaged 11.5PPG and 10.4RPG this past season with the Wolverines and shot 60% from the floor. He will make an immediate impact for the Bearcats as soon as he’s eligible whether it be in the 2023-24 season or 2024-25 season.
The remaining players the Bearcats added in the transfer portal this offseason were Simas Lukosius from Butler and CJ Fredrick from Kentucky. Lukosius had a very productive season this past year with the Bulldogs. He started in all 32 games last season averaging nearly 12PPG as a sophomore. He also improved his shooting percentages this past season. He shot 43% from the floor and 38% from 3 in addition to shooting 80% from the free throw line. He could be one of the more productive scorers for the Bearcats next season. CJ Fredrick is going to be the best three point shooter for the Bearcats next season. Fredrick battled injuries this past season at Kentucky this past year, but he flourished during his time at Iowa. He shot 32% from three at Kentucky this past year, but shot 47% from three during his two year career at Iowa.
Cincinnati also added JUCO PG DaVeon Thomas out of Kilgore College (TX) this offseason. Thomas averaged 19PPG, 6RPG, 3APG this past season on a very productive JUCO team. He rebounds very well for a guard and is also a great passer. With the point guard spot wide open this year, Thomas has a chance to start since he already has collegiate experience over the incoming freshman. Cincinnati also added 2 highly regarded freshman in the 2023 class. Edgerrin “Jizzle” James Jr. out of Orlando is ranked as the #80 player in the country according to 247 sports. He is the son of Hall of Fame NFL running back Edgerrin James. He also has the chance of landing the starting point guard role. The Bearcats also signed 4 star SF Rayvon Griffith who is originally from Cincinnati. Griffith, like James Jr, will have the chance to be a heavy part of the rotation and even possibly start at times as a freshman.
Cincinnati has a very talented team this upcoming season, but they also have their work cut out for them as they are joining the Big 12 which is a big step up from the American. Cincinnati projects to be in the 7th-9th range in the conference this upcoming season. With the talent they have on the team this year and their strength of schedule that comes with being in the Big 12, Cincy really has a chance to earn an at-large bid to the tournament this upcoming season which could end the 4 year tournament drought.