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Bearcats basketball getting respect in multiple early Preseason rankings

Say what you want about the current Cincinnati Bearcats basketball program they have been very consistent in the recent years, making seven straight NCAA Tournaments is just a testament of that success. As good as these teams have been they have received little to no love from media outside of the Cincinnati early. I know, I know preseason rankings mean nothing, but it is good to see Cincinnati on the list of multiple publications because the local media knows this team is on the brink of doing something special and it seems others are taking notice.

What this team does in March will mark if this team is successful because who doesn’t want a deep run in March right? In the meantime just check out these rankings and let us know what your thoughts are.

Per GoBearcats

National media outlets listed in highest ranking for Cincinnati and include date of ranking.

// ROTHSTEIN’S CBB TOP 25 FOR 2017-18 (MAY EDITION) – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 11

Jon Rothstein, FanRag Sports Network (May 25) Story Link: https://www.fanragsports.com/cbb/rothsteins-cbb-top-25-2017-18-may-edition/

Key Losses: Troy Caupain, Kevin Johnson
Key Newcomers: Cane Broome (transfer), Trevor Moore, Keith Williams, Mamodou Diarra
Projected Starting Five:
PG Cane Broome
SG Jacob Evans
SF Jarron Cumberland
PF Gary Clark
C Kyle Washington
Projected Bench: Nysier Brooks, Tre Scott, Justin Jenifer, Trevor Moore, Keith Williams, Mamodou Diarra

// SPORTING NEWS – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 13

Ryan Fagan, Sporting News (May 30) Story Link: http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/news/college-basketball-top-25-rankings-2017-2018-arizona-kentucky-duke-kansas-north-carolina-recruiting/9km64x4imz0z1icg9m122z6f4

Why they’re here: The Bearcats had five guys average at least 8.3 points per game this season, and four of them are expected back. That’s pretty darn good, considering those guys formed the core of a team that won 30 games this season. Plus, former Sacred Heart star guard Cane Broome — he averaged 23.1 points as a sophomore and was the Northeast Conference player of the year — will be eligible after sitting out this year as a transfer. Mick Cronin just wins at Cincinnati.

// FOXSPORTS.COM – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 14

Aaron Torres, FoxSports.com (May 25) Story Link: http://www.foxsports.com/college-basketball/gallery/college-basketball-way-too-early-top-25-for-2018-nba-draft-deadline-decisions-052517

Mick Cronin’s program continues to plug along, and after a 30-win season in 2017, could be even better next year. The Bearcats return their top three scorers and add transfer Cane Broome, who averaged 23 points per game at Sacred Heart two seasons ago. The rich got even richer late, when Cincinnati added a commitment from former Washington signee Mamoudou Diarra just a few weeks ago.

// SB NATION – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 15

Mike Rutherford, SB Nation (May 30) Story Link: http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2017/5/30/15695904/college-basketball-early-rankings-2017-2018-arizona-wildcats

Troy Caupain leaves big shoes to fill, but fellow stars Jacob Evans and Gary Clark are back from Mick Cronin’s strongest Cincinnati team to date. Sacred Heart transfer Cane Broome should add even more offensive firepower to a roster that should provide the best competition for Wichita State in the AAC.

// ESPN.COM – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 16

Myron Metcalf, ESPN (May 25) Story Link: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/19443560/arizona-rises-top-college-basketball-way-too-early-top-25

Since 2011, Mick Cronin’s Bearcats have finished within the top 25 of KenPom.com’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings for seven consecutive seasons. In that stretch, he has lost an abundance of talent, including Octavius Ellis, Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright. Cincy’s identity as one of America’s top defensive teams has not changed, but in 2017-18, Cronin might field his most balanced team. Kyle Washington (12.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.2 BPG), who connected on 53 percent of his shots inside the arc and 36 percent of his 3-point attempts, returns to lead Cincinnati into a battle with Wichita State for the American championship. With Jacob Evans and Gary Clark in the mix, Cronin will have his top three scorers and critical elements of his defense from last season. Jarron Cumberland made 65 percent of his shots inside the arc last season. Now he moves into a more significant role with Troy Caupain and Kevin Johnson gone. This group also adds Sacred Heart transfer Cane Broome, a guard who sat last season after averaging 23.1 points in 2015-16. Another strong year for Cincy? Yes, another strong year for Cincy.

// CBSSPORTS.COM – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 16

Gary Parrish, CBSSports.com (May 22) Story Link: http://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/college-basketball-rankings-arizona-jumps-kansas-for-no-1-spot-in-the-top-25-and-1/

Coach: Mick Cronin
2016-17 record: 30-6
Notable players definitely gone: Troy Caupain, Kevin Johnson
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Jacob Evans, Kyle Washington, Gary Clark, Jarron Cumberland, Trey Scott, Justin Jenifer, Nysier Brooks, Quadri Moore
Notable newcomers: Cane Broome, Mamoudou Diarra, Keith Williams, Trevor Moore, Eliel Nsoseme
Why the Bearcats are here: Mick Cronin has guided the Bearcats to seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments. An eighth is on tap considering Jacob Evans, Kyle Washington, Gary Clark and Jarron Cumberland are back and capable of competing at or near the top of the AAC standings again.

// USA TODAY – BEARCATS RANKING: NO. 21

Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports (May 26) Story Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2017/05/26/college-basketball-early-preseason-top-25-draft-deadline/101038344/

Coach Mick Cronin has most of the nucleus back from a 30-win squad, including the top three scorers Jacob Evans, Kyle Washington and Gary Clark. Guard Jarron Cumberland figures to take another step as a sophomore. The key offensive addition is Sacred Heart transfer Cane Broome, who averaged 23.1 points a game in 2015-16 as the Northeast Conference Player of the Year.

Managing Editor of Bearcat Insider, I've been on the BCI team the last couple of years. I made the final four in the Biggest Big East Fan contest in 2011, I covered UC also on Cincy on the Prowl. I'm just a lefty trying to get buckets in this game called life Van Exel style.

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