Amidst the election coverage inundating the news Tuesday night it was refreshing to hear some recruiting news cross my eye. Chad Brendal over at Bearcat Lair is reporting that California big man Jamaree Strickland has cast his lot with Cincinnati. Chad also claims that he will be visiting UC on Saturday, likely watching the Bearcats’ home opener against Tennessee-Martin, and signing his letter of intent on Wednesday. Strickland is from Oakland but is now playing for Queen City Prep in North Carolina.
In the past couple of years Mick Cronin has had to settle for accepting JUCO and transfers to fill the ranks in the front court with the dismissal of Octavius Ellis and graduation of Yancy Gates. What is especially encouraging about Strickland is that he provides Mick and his coaching staff a solid four-year big man to develop in the program.
|Height - Weight||5'11" 175 lbs|
|High School||Hargrave Military|
|247 Sports||** - 75|
Obviously Strickland has nice size and seems to be physically developed for a player his age. He did have to overcome a ACL tear which will slow him down slightly but I’m sure over time he will regain his speed. That’s not to say Strikeland doesn’t play hard, it’s just that it takes time to recover fully from a serious knee surgery. From his short highlight tape I really like how the center uses his body to inch closer to the basket for an easier shot and muscle out opposing players in the paint to grab rebounds. That physicality and the knowledge to use that physicality (very important) makes him an extremely intriguing prospect.
It’s uncommon for college basketball teams to redshirt freshman at the rate of college football teams. And that’s even more true for the Bearcats where Mick Cronin likes to utilize his bench depth. With Cheikh Mbodj gone after this season the front court will probably be occupied by Justin Jackson, David Nyarsuk, and Kelvin Gaines. I could absolutely see Strickland getting some reps as a true freshman unless Mick wants to preserve him for an extra year by slapping a redshirt on him like he did Sean Kilpatrick and Shaq Thomas. It worked out well for them and it might just well for Strickland. We’ll just have to wait and see.