CINCINNATI – Head coach Mick Cronin announced Wednesday the addition of three prospects – Troy Caupain (pronounced Co-PAIN), Kevin Johnson and Jamaree Strickland -- who have signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Cincinnati and play basketball for the Bearcats.
Caupain, a 6-3, 180-pound guard from Midlothian, Va., averaged 26 points, 12.9 rebounds and eight assists during his junior season at Cosby High School. Originally from New York, Caupain was named a Top 50 shooting guard by 247Sports and a three-start prospect by Scout.com. He earned second team all-state, first team all-metro, first team all-central region and Dominion District player of the year honors last season. Caupain also was named the most valuable player of the Big Shots AAU Tournament earlier this summer.
“Troy is a big time recruit for our program,” Cronin said. “He is a 6-3 point guard that knows the game and has great court presence and personality. He loves the game and studies it like a coach. Troy has a great ability to breakdown the defense with the dribble, but I am most excited about his passing skills. Troy has the gift of finding open people at the right time and his vision as a passer is something I covet in a point guard. We love to run and players run faster when they have a point guard who will reward them. Troy is that kind of player.
“Troy has benefitted greatly from playing for an outstanding high school coach Ron Carr, who is also a former college coach,” Cronin said. “Coach Carr is very knowable and has developed Troy’s point guard skills to an advanced level.”
Johnson, a 6-2, 175-pound guard from Cincinnati, averaged 14.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.3 steals last season at Summit Country Day School. Johnson helped his team to a 26-1 overall record and the school’s first Division III state crown last season. For his efforts during the state tournament, Johnson received most outstanding player recognition. Johnson also was named a Division III Associated Press honorable mention all-state selection and Cincinnati Enquirer Divisions II-IV all-area honoree. He was named a Top 150 prospect and a Top 30 shooting guard according to Rivals.com.
“Kevin is a do-everything guard who is a proven winner,” Cronin said. “He also has tremendous upside in being 17-years old throughout entire senior year. Kevin can score, handle the ball, and find the open man. He plays with other great players in high school and is very unselfish, which is hard to find these days. Kevin has a love for Cincinnati and the Bearcats which we both share and we are lucky to have him joining our family.
“Kevin plays for former Kentucky and Villanova standout Michael Bradley,” Cronin said. “He’s done a great job developing Kevin and other players at Summit Country Day.”
Strickland is a 6-10, 230-pound center from Oakland, Calif. Currently attending Queen City Prep Academy in Charlotte, N.C., Strickland graduated from McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif., where he battled a knee injury that caused him to miss all of his junior season and portions of his senior campaign. Through six games this season, Strickland is averaging 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for Queen City Prep.
“Jamaree is a rare big man that can play offense,” Cronin said. “He has soft hands and a nice touch which is something we need. He had to battle a knee injury that limited his high school career, but now that he is healthy it is easy to see why he was rated so highly as a sophomore. Like most young big men, we will need to develop his body, but his talent is something that is hard to find. Having a lefty in the post with a great jump hook is something I look forward to very much. He plays at one the top prep school teams in the south, currently ranked in the Top 20, for outstanding prep school coach Tony Taylor.”