Thursday, March 14, 2002

Who's better? Final Four Bearcats
vs. this year's team




        The Enquirer's comparison of the 1991-92 UC Final Four team and the 2001-02 UC team:

Point guard: Nick Van Exel vs. Steve Logan

        How do you make this call? A first-team All-American who has meant everything to this season's Bearcats and a third-team All-American who went on to be an NBA All-Star. Each plays with an incredible amount of confidence and the desire to take big shots. ADVANTAGE: Even. We have to call this a tie despite Logan being so much better statistically — that's how good Van Exel is.

Shooting guard: Anthony Buford vs. Leonard Stokes

        Buford easily gets the nod for his consistency and leadership. Stokes is just a junior. For Buford, the Final Four season was his only one as a Bearcat — he had left Akron to follow Bob Huggins, sat out a year, then had just one season of eligibility remaining. Buford was the fiery captain who had no problem getting in teammates' faces. ADVANTAGE: 1991-92.

Small forward: Herb Jones vs. Immanuel McElroy

        Both are quiet players with unbelievable work ethics. To that end, they would have made magnificent teammates. McElroy is UC's defensive stopper, but Jones was so talented in so many ways. ADVANTAGE: 1991-92: Jones led the Bearcats in scoring and rebounding, so how do you not give him the edge?

Power forward: Terry Nelson vs. Jamaal Davis

        Both players have a great understanding for the game, and their contributions go beyond numbers. ADVANTAGE: 2001-02. Davis' statistics are better in scoring and rebounding, so we have to go with him. Nelson gets the edge in media interviews, though.

Center: Corie Blount vs. Donald Little

        Their numbers are so similar. Blount averaged 8.2 points and 6.3 rebounds. Little is averaging 7.2 points and 6.8 rebounds. Blount had 51 blocks. Little has 56. Blount is in his ninth year in the NBA. Little remains somewhat of an enigma. ADVANTAGE: Even. This is too tough a call to be anything but a draw.

Bench

        Erik Martin, A.D. Jackson, Jeff Scott, Tarrice Gibson vs. Jason Maxiell, Field Williams, Taron Barker, Rodney Crawford. Maxiell has better stats than Martin. Williams is a more dangerous offensive threat than Jackson, just because almost all his baskets are 3-pointers, but Jackson was better defensively. Give Scott the edge on Crawford and Gibson the nod over Barker. That's how the older guys win this one. ADVANTAGE: 1991-92.

Overall

        If you're scoring at home, that's two even categories, one for this season's team and three for the Final Four Bearcats.

Enquirer's prediction

        1991-92 team wins, 76-72. That's the same score as UC's loss to Michigan in the Final Four.

       



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