The next member of the Bearcats Blog countdown is a person that I originally had ranked higher. When I dug into the stats, he wasn't quite as great as I remembered. He is still a great player, hell I have him ranked 12th on the list, but he's not a top 10 player. He is one of the rare players on the countdown that is a Cincinnati product. He was a McDonald's All American. He is Damon Flint.
Damon Flint came to UC from Withrow high. He came in with a lot of hype. He was a local kid making good, and he was a McDonald's All American. He and Dontonio Wingfield were expected to be the next great Bearcats. Wingfield was one and done, but Flint hung around all 4 seaons. Mainly so he could dunk on heads. There was one notable dunk that I still remember to this day in the Arizona game that UC lost on the Miles Simon bullshit banked 3 from the UC 3 point arch. Flint was on a fast break. He had the ball in his right hand. He used his left arm to do the 'up yours, buddy' thing where he took it to the bend of his right elbow while in the air. Then he dunked it. It was one of the most awesome things I've ever seen. Of course it's not on youtube anywhere.
Flint was also very popular with the t-shirt under the jersey look. He didn't always rock it, which was a bit disconcerting, but he rocked it enough that when you think of Damon Flint, you think of t-shirt under the jersey. As a white kid with no guns, I rocked that look a lot in grade school. I didn't pull it off very well. Mainly because I was not very good. Damon left a big impact just with that look. I thought it was cool, you thought it was cool, we all liked it. Michael Jordan had hanging out his tongue, Patrick Ewing his sweat, John Stockton the short shorts, and Damon Flint had his t-shirt under the jersey.
As was the case with Darnell Burton, it's hard to say a lot about Flint's early career as a Bearcat. That's mostly due to there not being a site out there that has box scores from the mid-90s. If there is such a site, it should be shared with me so I can use it. We do have his NCAA tournament box scores, so that's good enough.
What we do know about Damon Flint is what we all remember about him was true, there wasn't a shot that he wouldn't take. That and he was an awful, awful 3 point shooter who attempted a ton. Flint showed off both of those things his freshman season. He played in 32 games that season. He made 151 field goals in 403 attempts for 37.5%. That was a career high in attempts. Flint was 50-175, 28.6% from 3. He was 50-85, 59% from the foul line. He had 402 points. On a team that had Wingfield, LaZelle Durden and Burton, Flint took the most shots. He hade the second most. That's not a good combo. Flint attempted 41 more 3s than Burton, but only made 1 more. Only the near blind John Jacobs (19-42) was a worse foul shooter. Damon would pack a box score though. He had 120 rebounds, 90 assists, 37 steals and 19 blocks. His stat line was 12.6, 3.75, 2.8, 1.16. Not too bad. Flint was 5-11 for 11 points in the loss to Wisconsin.
Flint missed 3 games his sophomore season. He turned down the volume on his shot selection. After attempting over 400 shots, he put up 196. He was 78-196, 40%. He hit 27-92, 29% from 3. He got better at the foul line. Flint made 33-53, 62%. He scored 216 points, a career low. Flint had career lows in everything else as well. He had 76 assists, 67 rebounds, 20 steals and 1 block. The additions of Keith Legree and Danny Fortson cut into his numbers. Flint averaged 7 points, 2.45 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 0.6 steals.
Damon played a big part in the NCAA tournament win against Temple. He hit 6 of 8 from the field for 14 points. The Bearcats knocked off Temple by 6. Flint played very well in the second round game against UConn. He was 4-10 shooting for 10 points, and he had 8 assists. It wasn't quite enough as UC lost and the season ended.
If the Bearcats were going to make a run in the NCAA tournament, it was clear that they needed Damon Flint to be a large part of the system. After falling from the 3rd leading scorer on the team to the 5th leading scorer, Flint put together a much balanced season. It helped that he wasn't battling injuries during his junior year. One thing that Flint clearly worked on was his shooting. He put up the best shooting numbers of his career nearly across the board. Flint was 152-351, 43% from the field. He hit 64 of 185, 34.6% from 3. That was by far his career best. He improved another 7% at the foul line. He was 55-79, 70%. He scored 423 points. It was during this season that he passed the 1,000 point mark in his UC career. Flint dished out 116 assists. He had 98 rebounds, 46 steals and 13 blocks. Flint could play the point, shooting guard or small forward. He became a better all around player. He averaged a career high 12.8 points, with 3.5 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.4 steals a game. He was a 3rd team All-Conference USA selection.
The evidence that Damon Flint was a jack of all trades was evident more than ever on the biggest stage there could be, the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats really struggled to put away 15th seed UNC-Wilmington in the first round. Flint answered the bell when the Bearcats needed it. He scored a game high 18 points on 5-11 shooting. He was 6-6 at the foul line to help ice the game. He had a game high 7 assists as well. It was a great game that would be topped by what he did against Temple. The Owls focused on the UC bigs, leaving Flint open on the perimeter. Not a bad strategy in general, but a bad strategy because Flint dropped in 3s. He made 4 in the first half and had 20 of the first 39 UC points. He finished with 22 on 8-17, with 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
The Bearcats met up with Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16. They had a star freshman guard named Stephon Marbury. Flint drew the assignment on Marbury and held him 4-13 shooting and 15 points. Meanwhile, Flint kept on with the offensive explosion. He hit 7 of 14 for 18 points against Tech. He had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Flint was on fire and the Bearcats were winning basketball games. Unfortunately, both of those ceased to be against Mississippi State. UC was only 22 of 65 from the field. Flint wore the collar for the worst performance. He was 1-12 for 2 points. After such a huge tournament, it ended in a whimper for Flint and UC.
Damon Flint didn't start off his senior season playing amazing basketball. He was 3-11 for 7 points in the season opener and 3-9, 10 points in the second game of the season. He was 1-11 from 3 in those games. Flint found the range against Rutgers, going 7-15, 3-7 from 3, for 19 points. He added 6 boards. Damon lost the shot against Kansas. He was 3-14, 1-9 from 3, 12 points, with 6 assists and 4 steals. The Bearcats dropped that one. Flint shot poorly against Howard, 2-8, 1-5, in a 5 point game. He put it all together against Eastern Michigan, scoring 13 on 5-7 with 9 assists. Damon had 4-4 assists in just 18 minutes against Western Kentucky. He struggled to find the range against Southeast Missouri State. He shot 6-15 in a 14 point game. He had 4 boards, 4 assists and 4 steals. Flint didn't make a field goal against Nebraska in a 6 point, 5 assist, 4 steal game. He only scored 7 on 3-9 against Missouri State, but he had a season high 10 assists. He chipped in 3 steals.
Conference play started ok for Flint. He used 6 free throws for an 8 point game against St Louis. A game where he had 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Flint went 8-8 at the line in a 16 point performance. He shot 3-10. He had another 4-4 game. Damon had 9-5-7 assists against Miami. The Bearcats met up with Temple again. Again Flint shot lights out against them. He was 7-18, 6-13 from 3, for 20 points, with 7 boards and 4 assists. UC lost the game though because the rest of the players scored 35 combined points. After a 9 point game against Arkansas, Flint filled the box score with 2 points, 5 boards, 6 assists and a steal against USC. Conference play picked back up, but Flint's scoring didn't. He was 3-10, 10 points, against Louisville, 2-8, 6 points (5 assists) against DePaul and 1-4, 4 points, against Tulane.
Things turned around in a tough 2 game stretch. Flint hit Marquette for 15 points on 6-10 shooting, with 4 rebounds and 5 assists. He was 3-5 from 3 that game. He didn't make a 3 against Washington, but made his other 6 shots in a 12 point outing. Flint only saw 18 minutes against St Louis, scoring 6 points. He played 33 minutes with 6 assists against South Carolina, but went scoreless. Flint shot better against Houston. He made 6 of 12 for 14 points. It would be the last time he took double digit shots. Unfortunately, it would be the last time he scored in double figures. Flint was just 1 of 3 against USF, 2 of 6 against Southern Miss and 1-3 against Memphis. He picked it up some in the C-USA tournament. He scored 8 against St Louis in the first game. He scored 8 against Marquette, but at the expense of 3-9 from the floor.
Tournament time was when Damon Flint shined as a junior. He picked where he left off in the Cats first game against Butler. He scored 8 points and dished out 9 assists in a 86-69 win. Flint played all 40 minutes against Iowa State. He hit 3 threes in the ball game for 9 points. He dished out 6 assists and had 2 steals. Damon had the ball with the game in his hands. With Danny Fortson and Darnell Burton covered, Flint put up a runner in the lane. It rattled out and the Bearcats went down in the second round.
Damon Flint was 94-260 from the field for 36%. He was 36-141, 25.5% from 3. That was the worst mark of his career. He continued his improvement at the foul line by going 51-68 for 75%. He scored 275 points. Flint dished out 125 assists, which led the team. He had 82 rebounds, 44 steals and 11 blocks. Flint averaged 8.9 points, 4 assists, 2.65 rebounds and 1.42 steals a game.
Damon ended his UC career making 39% of his field goals, 475-1,210. He was 177-593 for 3, 29.8%. He was 189-285, 66% at the line. He scored 1,316 points. That is 20th on the all the leader board for the Bearcats. He had 407 assists.
Why He Made the List
In short, Damon Flint was a jack of all trades. He could be your small forward. He could be your shooting guard. He was a very solid ball handler. He could take over, or he could get other people involved. If there was a shot to be taken, he would take it. If there was a player to be guarded, he would guard him. Damon's career stats don't match up with how my memories of him are. I remember his step in 3 so vividly. I thought he made a lot more than he actually did. Maybe because he was left handed. Damon was a special player during a special season.
What He's Doing Now
I actually don't know what Damon's doing now. I do know that he was elected into the Bearcats Hall of Fame back in February. I think he still lives in Cincinnati. If anyone knows Damon, tell him to drop me a line.