UC vs Memphis

The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team went head to head with the Memphis Tigers on Jan. 22, 2023, at Fifth-Third Area. The Bearcats fell 75-68, leaving them ranked No. 4 in the American Athletic Conference.

For University of Cincinnati (UC) men’s basketball head coach Wes Miller, the 2023 recruiting class has been put to bed. The two-man ’23 class is a small one, but the players coming in are highly touted, and both rank inside the top 60, nationally, according to 247Sports.

Jizzle James, a four-star point guard from Florida, and Rayvon Griffith, a four-star small forward from Arizona, are the eighth and ninth highest rated recruits in school history, respectively. James and Griffith will be key components of the 2024 Bearcats roster as coach Miller looks to potentially replace veterans like David Dejulius and Jeremiah Davenport.

On Feb. 2, UC also landed a highly touted transfer in point guard DaVeon Thomas. Thomas comes to Cincinnati via the JuCo ranks and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

With the ’23 class now complete, Miller and the Bearcats turn their focus toward 2024 and beyond.

UC has taken a different approach to recruiting under Wes Miller compared to the likes of Mick Cronin. Miller has put the Bearcats in a solid position to bring in top-level talent, something that will be a necessity as UC moves to the Big 12 –one of, if not the, most competitive conferences in college basketball– next season.

Names like five-star Isaiah Collier, the top ranked player in the ’23 class whom UC narrowly missed out on, Jizzle James, and Rayvon Griffith are examples of the caliber of player Miller covets. In the ’24 class, the Bearcats will be swinging for the fences once again along with the elite programs around the country.

Flory Bidunga, a five-star center from Kokomo, Indiana, is a top-five recruit in the nation in 2024, according to 247Sports. Landing Bidunga would be a massive win for Miller and the Bearcats.Bidunga has offers from blue blood programs such as Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, UCLA, and more. Nationally, UC may not be seen as much of a threat for such a talented prospect, however, 247Sports has UC as the only school on his offer list designated as “warm.”

The Bearcats have a legitimate chance to land one of the top recruits in the country and are in on a couple other highly ranked prospects in 2024.

Four-star center Somto Cyril, out of Atlanta, Georgia, is another player Miller is keeping a close eye on. Cyril visited UC in September 2022, and also holds offers from Kansas and Indiana. There have been rumors that he will explore professional options rather than playing a year in college, but Cyril is still an intriguing prospect for the Bearcats.

Two other names to monitor are four-star shooting guard Jonathan Powell, a Dayton, Ohio, native, and five-star small forward Trentyn Flowers from Charlotte, North Carolina. Powell too garners interest from Ohio State, Dayton, and others, but Miller has shown his fondness for local products. Flowers would be a tough land, but Miller has deep ties in North Carolina from his days at UNC-Greensboro; so consider Cincinnati to have a fighting chance.