While the University of Cincinnati college classes have been out for over a week, it hasn’t stopped the athletic department from staying busy. From football to basketball to baseball, it was yet another eventful week for the Bearcats.
Luke Fickell and his coaching staff have hit the recruiting trail hard, and this week they landed yet another big-name transfer. L’Christian “Blue” Smith made his announcement Thursday that he’d be transferring from Ohio State to Cincinnati. Smith, a former 4-star wide receiver out of Wayne High School in Ohio, did not see any playing time last year as a freshman, but with the addition of Garyn Prater, another former Buckeye wideout, the Bearcats have put together a wide receiver core that is looking very scary to any opposing secondary.
Coach John Brannen landed his first transfer in his tenure with the Bearcats, and it’s another familiar face. Chris Vogt, a 7’1” center from Northern Kentucky, made the decision on Thursday to follow Brannen. While Vogt didn’t see much playing time as he sat behind all-time NKU scoring leader Drew McDonald, he still averaged 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds, improving from his 1.1 points and 0.7 rebounds averaged during his freshman season. Vogt isn’t the shiniest pickup for Brannen, but it’s yet another step in the right direction.
Brannen also retained Mike Rehfeldt as the director of sports performance for men’s basketball. Rehfeldt has been with the program since 2012, and it’s hard to think of Mick Cronin using his hard-nosed style of play without Rehfeldt conditioning his players for the physicality of the Big East and American.
Finally, Bearcats baseball had an eventful week as they wrapped up regular season play, going 2-2 on the week, including a win against rival Xavier on Friday night. Cincinnati and Xavier played their series finale at Great American Ballpark after the Reds game on Saturday, and while the Bearcats were defeated 10-2, it was a great environment in a MLB stadium. The Bearcats also secured the number two seed for the American tournament, their highest seed since 2008. Cincinnati will travel down to Clearwater, Florida, to take on Memphis Tuesday night.