In the previous post, I started a countdown of the top UC basketball players of the decade. It continues today with players 9-7. It bums me out a whole lot looking back through stats and pictures of the way things were in the mid-00s and the 90s. This program didn't have to fall like it did. But, the sweet wouldn't be as sweet without the sour as they say in Vanilla Sky, so taking our lumps now will only set us up for the reward of being back to national relevance and in the NCAA tournament. I think Mick Cronin is the man who will lead us to the mountain top, or at least to the mountain. With all the bummer stuff out of the way, let's relive some of the good days shall we? In case you missed the last post, the countdown begins here.
9. James White. How could I not pick a picture of the man nicknamed "Flight" dunking? It's too easy. I remember being really pumped up when it was announced that James was transferring from Florida to Cincinnati. My excitement would not turn to disappointment. James averaged 16 points his senior year, 10 his junior year and 8 his sophomore year. He turned himself from a pure slasher, into a good shooter. His last 2 seasons he put up 44% and 48% shooting. He also turned it around from 3. After 23% his sophomore year and 29% his year at Florida, he shot 38% and 37% his last 2 years. He was much better known for his dunks. He finished second in whatever the dunk contest was Final Four weekend his senior year I believe, and he put on a show in the NBDL dunk contest last year. I think he's playing in Russia now. Nonetheless, James White was one of my favorites. In NCAA 05, I always switched him and Nick Williams so White would run the point. You couldn't stop him on the pick and roll
8. Pete Mickeal. I loved me some Pete Mickeal. Kenyon Martin's wingman was not too shabby himself. He was another 2 year player, and was very solid. He averaged 13.5 6.3 1.8 and 1.4 steals this decade. His junior year was better stat wise, but Pete was a hard worker. He was an honorable mention All American his senior year. Pete was also left handed, so when I would ball it up in high school, any lefty was called Pete Mickeal. Especially if he played hard defense. I don't have any Pete Mickeal video game stories, so let's move on to the next man.
7. Leonard Stokes. Lenny Stokes was one of the more frustrating Bearcats that I remember. I always thought he had so much potential, and he would flash it, and then put it away. Lenny averaged 10 his career, but taking out a freshman year he didn't play much, he put up 10, 12 and 15. I think the biggest thing I didn't like about Stokes was that he was a terrible 3 point shooter, who thought he could shoot the 3. Just 29% for his career. Leonard was the typical Huggins player though. He stayed all 4 years and learned, and grew and by the time he was a senior, he was a team leader. The 2002-2003 team wasn't the best, but Lenny tried his best to make them something. The absolute best Stokes game was in 2001 against UCLA in the second round. Stokes put up 39 points and 10 rebounds in 46 minutes. He was the best Cat on the court, and that team had Steve Logan. That was one of the worst losses I can remember, but I was incredibly proud of how the team played, and a big part of that was 13.