April 17th 2013 could be a big day years down the road for the University of Cincinnati and Bearcats basketball fans around the country. Not only did Mick Cronin get a contract extension this afternoon through 2018, five star recruit Jermaine Lawrence officially signed his letter of intent to play for Cincinnati next season.
The past week and really since the first round exit by the Bearcats has been up and down. First came the realization that the team was no longer in the tournament and after a sweet 16 appearance in 2012 and then the realization we saw Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker play their last games in a Bearcats uniform.
Then the mood turned when we found out Sean Kilpatrick decided to stay in school for his senior season, followed by the news today that Jermaine Lawrence would officially attend school in Cincinnati. Then the news Mick Cronin would continue to lead the Bearcats for the foreseeable future.
Lawrence comes to Cincinnati as a five star recruit who leads this seasons draft class for the Bearcats who rank 18th overall in terms of draft classes. Lawrence has been injured much of his senior season, he did play in 11 games averaging 13.3 points and 7.5 rebounds this season. Lawrence joinsTroy Caupain (G), Cincinnati native Kevin Johnson (G),Deshaun Morman (G), and Jamaree Strickland (C). Johnson and Morman are both ranked in the Top 150 prospects.
Leading the new draft class is Mick Cronin, Cronin has been as Cincinnati the last seven seasons with an overall record of 204-123 with three NCAA tournament appearances in the last 3 years. Cincinnati fans have a unique relationship with Cronin, a very love hate relationship. Personally I love him and his little guy attitude, he is a winner and he is a recruiter. He is finally getting the players he deserves.
With a great draft class for next season and the return of Sean Kilpatrick the Bearcats look poised to make a decent post season run. Along with joining the American Athletic Conference the Bearcats look to win the Conference in its first season. At the end of the day though Cincinnati Basketball is headed in the right direction.