Monday, July 08, 2002

Bearcats need point guard,
covet Houston star Minor


UC looking at other top-ranked players

By Michael Perry, mperry@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        When the 2002-03 college basketball season ends, the University of Cincinnati will have just one scholarship point guard on its roster — incoming freshman Chadd Moore.

        With that being one of the most important positions on the floor, signing a point guard would seem to be a priority for the Bearcats coaching staff, which takes to the road this week for the first of two recruiting evaluation periods.

        Coaches can go watch potential recruits today through July 17, then July 22-31. Home visits begin in September.

        One of UC's top targets is Taurean “Tack” Minor, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Houston who is rated in the top 25 in almost all Class of 2003 rankings. He is as high as No. 7 by Hoop Scoop and No. 10 by The Sporting News.

        According to one internet report, Minor has narrowed his choices to Cincinnati and LSU.

        UC is recruiting other top-25 players, such as Shannon Brown, a small forward from Maywood, Ill. (No. 4, Hoop Scoop; top 25, InsideHoops.com), Brandon Bass, a power forward from Baton Rouge, La. (No. 13, Hoop Scoop; No. 17, TheInsidersHoops.com), Vakeaton Wafer, a small forward from Lisbon, La. (No. 12, TheInsidersHoops.com) and Chris Taft, a center from New York (No. 25, Hoop Scoop).

        The Bearcats have four scholarships available. They also would like to sign at least one wing player and one big man.

        UC already had an official visit last month from Karron Clarke, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Brooklyn, N.Y., who is going to attend The Winchendon School in Massachusetts this fall. Clarke told RivalsHoops.com after his trip: “My visit to Cincinnati was great. I had a nice time. It's a big campus. I liked the school. I enjoyed talking to the coaches.”

        He also told RivalsHoops his top five schools are UC, Connecticut, Illinois, Miami and Syracuse.

        Cincinnati is coming off a 31-4 season. The Bearcats lost consensus All-American Steve Logan and Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Immanuel McElroy, among others, but are bringing in a recruiting class — Tony Bobbitt, Eric Hicks, Armein Kirkland, Kareem Johnson and Moore — tied for ninth in the nation by Hoop Scoop and ranked 14th by PrepStars.com.

UC TOP TARGETS Hgt Pos High School - Junior College
Vincent Banks 6-4 SG South Atlanta
Brandon Bass 6-7 PF Baton Rouge (La.) Capitol
Jermaine Bell 6-10 C Virginia Beach Coastal Christian
Lakeith Blanks 6-6 SF National Christian Academy (Va.)
Will Blaylock 5-11 PG East Boston
Shannon Brown 6-4 SG Maywood (Ill.) Proviso East
Karron Clarke 6-6 SF The Winchendon School (Mass.)
Jermario Davidson 6-10 PF Stone Mountain (Ga.)
Brandon Foust 6-6 PF Columbus Brookhaven
Corey Gibbs 6-7 PF Lithonia (Ga.) Redan
Andrew Lavender 5-7 PG Columbus Brookhaven
Taurean Minor 5-11 PG Houston Booker T.Washington
Jarvelle Scott 6-8 PF New Orleans Abramson
Tyler Smith 6-2 PG TBA
Chris Taft 6-9 C New York Xaverian
Shawn Taylor 6-11 C Atlanta Dooley
Vakeaton Wafer 6-5 SF Lisbon (La.) Pineview
Nick Williams 6-4 SG Chipola Junior College (Fla.)



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