The University of Cincinnati Clermont College men’s basketball squad has earned another berth to compete in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s national championship tournament.
The Cougars finished third in last year’s national championship tourney and they now have the opportunity to improve on that very good achievement.
The tourney will begin March 4 at Penn State University-Fayette which is located in the Pittsburgh area.
In the conference tournament, the Cougars lost the championship game to the conference regular-season champion, Miami University - Middletown, 83-69.
Freshman guard-forward Ian Gordon, a graduate of Colerain High School, powered the Clermont offense with 22 points and he also led on the boards by yanking down 14 rebounds in the tourney finale. Tevenn Jones, a freshman guard from Mansfield, Ohio, High School, added 15 points and Jeffrey Kinney, a Deer Park High School graduate, contributed another 13.
John Hurley is the head coach. He has enjoyed great success not only at Clermont College, but also at Cincinnati State and before that, at Milford High School.
He said, "This has been a disappointing season to some degree, but we lost so much talent from last year's team." One of the players who graduated from last year's squad that finished the entire campaign with a record of 25-14 was All-American Stefan Dunn.
"We played a really, really difficult schedule this year. We played six nationally-ranked teams," Hurley said. He mentioned that three of those squads were Northern Kentucky University, Centre (Ky.) College, and Christian Brothers.
"We began the year with a young team, but things got better as he season went on. A more balanced conference, the most balanced I've seen it, also made it a difficult season."
Gordon is the team's leading scorer with his 17.8 points per game average. Senior guard forward Seth Steele, a graduate of Hughes Center, averages 12.5 points.
On the boards, Gordon is grabbing 9.8 per contest to spearhead his teammates.
Steele is also a standout on defense averaging 3.5 steals per outing. He is Clermont's all-time leader in swiping the basketball. Gordon has been stingy on defense as he leads Clermont with his total of blocked enemy shots.
Jones is the leading playmaker for the Clermonters averaging 4.5 assists per game.
From the field, freshman forward A. J. Frazier, a graduate of Northwest, is accurate on an impressive 42 percent of his three-point attempts.
From the free throw line, Gordon is accurate on 76 percent of his attempts.
Concerning the national championship tournament and the future of the program, Hurley believes he will "wait and see."
Tevenn Jones, 6-feet, 160-pounds, freshman guard, Mansfield (Ohio) High School graduate; Ben Colvin, Jr., 6-2, 175, freshman forward, Clark Montessori School; Andre Eanes, 5-11, 170, freshman guard, St. Edwards High School, Cleveland; Don Porter, 6-4, 195, junior guard, Campbell County (Ky.) High School; Kenton Estill, 6-2, 195, junior guard-forward, Taft High School; A.J. Frazier, 6-2, 180, freshman forward, Northwest High School; Brad Simpson, 5-11, 170, freshman guard, North Adams High School; Ian Gordon, 6-4, 195, freshman guard-forward, Colerain High School; Seth Steele, 6-1, 195, senior guard-forward, Hughes Center High School; Ryan Pope, 6-4, 205, sophomore guard-forward, Western Hills High School; Jeffrey Kinney, 6-2, 205, senior guard, Deer Park High School; Francis Oliverio, 6-0, 180, freshman guard, Maple Grove High School (Minneapolis, Mn.); Bryan Moster, 6-8, 170, freshman center, Northwest High School; Chris O'Donnell, 6-8, 175, sophomore center, Fayetteville High School; Tony Eubanks, 6-4, 190, junior forward, Northwest High School; and Preston Carter, 6-5, freshman forward, Jefferson High School, Louisville, Ky.
John Hurley, former Milford High School and Cincinnati State head men's basketball coach, is the head coach. Jason Moberley is the assistant coach. Peggy Hager, associate professor of mathematics and a Glen Este High School graduate and a member of the UC Clermont College Athletic Hall of Fame, is the academic advisor and scorekeeper.
Wright State University - Lake 77-73, Union College 57-58, Indiana University Southeast 37-96, Miami University - Middletown 72-82, Christian Brothers 53-87, Northern Kentucky University 41-87, Ohio University - Lancaster 95-90, Ohio State University - Lima 93-78, Miami University - Hamilton 80-68, University of Rio Grande 66-100, West Virginia Tech 62-89, Ohio State University - Lima 93-78, Miami University - Hamilton 68-80, Shawnee State University 59-91, Spalding University 52-72, Centre College 54-71, Ohio University - Chillicothe 82-79, Ohio University - Zanesville 81-70, Wilmington College 58-89, Southern State University 88-85, University of the Cumberlands 86-65, Ohio State University - Newark 95-96 (overtime), Ohio State University - Marion 100-79, University of Akron - Wayne 81-62, Miami University - Hamilton 73-76 (overtime). Ohio University - Chillicothe 81-72, Ohio University - Eastern 79-72, University of the Cumberlands 43-84, Southern State University 97-66, Ohio State University - Lima 69-58, Ohio University - Chillicothe (Ohio Regional Campus Conference Tournament quarterfinals) 80-72, Ohio State University - Newark (Ohio Regional Campus Conference semi-final game) 93-82, and Miami University - Middletown (Ohio Regional Campus Conference championship game) 69-83.