The Punch Out with March First

The Punch Out: Round 3


Coming up this Saturday is the Fifty West Brewing’s Punch Out: Round 3. The event starts at 4pm and as of the Thursday evening there are tickets still available HERE. Now if you’re not aware of what the Punch Out is then let me try to explain. In what I’ll venture to say is the most unique beer event in the country the creative people at Fifty West went out to other breweries around Cincinnati and found people to represent their respective brewery in a boxing match. They paired them up and on Saturday we see 18 match ups between 9 different breweries. If you need a visual let me show you their hype video from last year’s Punch Out.

It looks like the coolest thing ever! Or as the kids say, it’s lit! Craft beer and amateur boxing? Sign me up.

Needless to say I’m pumped for Saturday.

I had one problem though. I’m a fan of all the breweries participating in the event so who am I going to cheer for? I’m a person that draws lines in the sand when it comes to sports and competition and becuase of that I needed to take sides. I turned to Twitter to help me decide which brewery to cheer on.

Several liked and responded but only one brewery retweeted…

March First Brewing

March First is sending out Bryan Fischer to take on Corey Minton of Rhinegeist.

I thought it would be cool to hear from the boxer representing the brewery in the ring so I sat down with Bryan (sort of) to ask him a couple of questions about his fight and about March First. Enjoy.

Q. What is your roll / job title at March First ?

A. Assistant Brewer and Director of Throwing Hands

Q.  If you could pick one person to compare your boxing style to who would it be? (Real or fictional)

A. Batman!

Q. Did you volunteer as tribute or were you picked to participate in the Punch Out ? Why?

A.  I volunteered because it has always been an interesting event that I have wanted to be a part of.

Q.  Is this your first time boxing in the Punch Out ? How did you do previously? Will you be trying any signature moves/combos?

A.  Yes it is my first time! My signature moves are … secrets 

Q. What’s one thing the good people of Cincinnati have to know about March First?

A. We are in the process of an extensive expansion. It will include a bigger, new taproom and patio, more parking, and more production space.

Q. What does the brewery have coming up that you’re most excited about?

A. Same Answer as above

Q.  I heard boxers are supposed to trade beers at the end of their matches, which beer will you give to Corey from Rhinegeist?

A. We just released a Tropical Blonde that will be at the event. It will be the perfect, refreshing after fight drink.

To sum this up Bryan is a Batman-like fighter with secret moves and an expanding brewery supporting him so good luck Corey, you’ll need it.

In full disclosure I have not visited the taproom at March First so Saturday before the festivities begin at Fifty West you can catch me there. Feel free to join me! The taproom can be found at  7885 E Kemper Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45249 – look for the red “M” flags out front.

You can find them online at www.marchfirstbrewing.com. 

If you’d like to hear a more in depth conversation with the guys at March First and what they have coming up in the near future they recently sat down with the Gnarly Gnome on Cincy Brewcast, listen HERE.

 

 

Photo credits from the Instagram pages of Fifty West Brewing and March First Brewing, respectively.

Jacob Evans the Golden State Warrior

Jacob Evans III Drafted 28th Overall


     On Thursday night in the NBA Draft the reigning world champions the Golden State Warriors selected University of Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans III with their only pick in the draft. I for one am very excited JEIII was selected by a top-notch organization. Cincinnati sports fans who follow the Cleveland Cavaliers won’t be so thrilled with where he landed but they can get over it.

Jacob “Big Game Jake” as Warrior fans will soon get to know him as is a great fit here. His pre-draft prospect card says he’s a 3 and D wing that can guard multiple positions. He has a long wingspan and has an extremely high basketball IQ. I’m not saying anything Bearcats fans don’t already know. Jake did a lot of great things at UC and I believe he’ll be a great Bearcat ambassador in the NBA now too.

Glancing at his career numbers at UC you probably won’t be too impressed. He put up respectable numbers but nothing that even matched the former UC great and undrafted Chicago Bulls player Sean Kilpatrick. In his defense though the team he played on was much better overall. JEIII played along side 2017-’18 AAC POY Gary Clark all three years, not to mention Kyle Washington, Troy Caupain, and underclassmen/ the future Jarron Cumberland. Jake did what he had to do to make his team win and that’s exactly what the did, win. During Jake’s time at UC (3 years) the team went an almost unbelievable 85-22 and 65-11 his sophomore and junior year.

Evans and the Bearcats could never make it over the hump in the NCAA Tournament though. They failed to make it out of the first round each year and none more devastating than this years loss to Nevada in the second round. One the Bearcats looked to have locked up early in the second half.

I’d have to say this is the first draft I have paid attention to since SK was supposedly going to be drafted several years back and it’s the first draft I followed along with on twitter. I have to say it was wildly entertaining. Some started to panic though when we got to the mid twenties and Jake was still on the board. The writing was on the wall though for Golden State taking Jake. A team rep had been to watch Jake on three separate occasions this past season. He also worked out for them twice, the second coming just the day before the draft.

Then, you knew it was going to happen…

Realizing Jake won’t be wearing that Cincinnati jersey next year hurts but I can’t wait to see him play for the Champs. He has that winning mentality and over the past three seasons it’s hard to pick a favorite moment I had of Jake but if I had to pick one it would have to be the buzzer beater over the Man Bun against Houston at home. I got chills watching it again, full highlights below.

Not impressive enough? How about that time in Wichita when Jacob Evans III carried the Bearcats to victory on just one leg?

So #DubNation are you ready for the next Splash Brother with some Cajun flavor? He’s going to fit in just fine with the boys!

All I need to know is which Evans III Golden State jersey I should I get?

 

Jacob Evans III and the NBA Draft

Where Will Jake End Up in the NBA Draft?


Jacob Evans III left plenty of awesome memories for UC fans over the past three years but after his JR season JEIII forewent his senior season to make his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA a reality. Who can blame him? He has the size to play and guard multiple positions at the NBA level and the mentality to score at will as well.

The one phrase you’ll hear around Jake is “3 and D” which he can absolutely be in the NBA but don’t forget in his Jr season at UC he averaged 13, 4.7, 3.1. and 1.3 steals. He saved the season at Temple early in the season and took over in Wichita in March to save the top seed for the Bearcats.

I’ve seen a lot of pre draft predictions for this year with Evans landing all over the place so we at GoBeercats complied a list for you so you don’t have to rome all over the internet trying to find out where this Bearcat product is going to land.

The NBA Draft is just a couple of days away. One June 21st at 7pm on ESPN the next wave of stars will enter the NBA via the draft. Here are where the talking heads on the internet think Jake will land:

20 to the Minnesota Timberwolves – SEC Country

20 to the Minnesota Timberwolves – Tankathon

24 to the Portland Trailblazers – Bleacher Report

25 to the Los Angeles Lakers – Masslive.com

24 to the Portland Traiblazers – SB Nation

28 to the Golden State Warriors – CBS Sports

28 to the Golden State Warriors – The Ringer

39 to the Philadelphia 76ers – NBA Draft.net (second round)

Our prediction:

25 to the Los Angeles Lakers – GoBeercats.com – I’ve got to say though I’m not sure if there is a team in the NBA that needs a guard with the size enough to guard up to 3 different positions and the mentality to score, especially when the game is on the line other than the Los Angeles Lakers. Just last week JEIII worked out for the Lakers and met with team President Magic Johnson. With LA on the brink of putting the pieces together of the next great super team Jake could be a great rookie roll player for PG, Leonard, and Lebron.

 

Never Forget Jacob Evans III carried the Bearcats to a W in Wichita on just one leg!

I’d love to buy a new Lakers jersey next week with Evans III on the back but where ever he lands, we’ll support the next Bearcats ambassador to the NBA.

Butch Jones was a Turd of a Coach

Butch Jones was a Fraud


Yesterday Barstool Cincinnati tweeted

We replied

Today we’d like to elaborate.

If you were around for the BK era of Bearcats football you really know what the glory days were like for the program. Conference titles back to back years, the first trip to a BCS bowl game, an undefeated regular season, and a second BCS bowl trip in as many years. We also saw the greatest college football game ever played when UC beat Pitt in 2009. WE WERE 3 INCHES FROM PLAYING FOR A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

That all came to an abrupt halt when UC decided to try their luck again with a coach out of Central Michigan, Butch Jones.

It’s so much different from today. The program wasn’t going to get excited over a 6-6 record and possibly going to a 3rd rate bowl game.People might look back at his time here and think that he carried on the glory in comparison of the state of things today, but that isn’t true at all. Just because after one turd we had an old dusty white dog turd named Tommy that finished us off does not mean Jones was a good coach. There’s a reason he’s an intern now.

Jones coached in the Big East, you know the one that wouldn’t exist in a few short years. The league was on its last leg and with the success of the prior 3 years UC should have easily ran to the front of the league each season. That didn’t happen not even once.

In 2010 Jones took over a team that went 12-1 the previous season. A team that only lost 1 game to Tim Tebow in his last collegiate game ever. Yes they lost players, Tony Pike got drafted for instance. I get that but posting a 4-8 record, 2-5 in the conference, the very next season was brutal. We were embarrassed by Fresno State on ESPN2 the very first game that year and things never really got better. The highlights of the season would had to have been beating Miami, OH (yay.) and a horrid Louisville team that year. Sad losses to USF, Syracuse, and UConn are all you need to know about this season.

The Big East had UConn represent the league with their auto BCS bowl bid that season. This fact still blows my mind.

Year 2 (2011)was a little better for Butch, but as they say even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion. I’ll say this is Butch’s best coaching year on record, at any school. The team went 9-3 that season with losses to Tennessee, West Virginia, and a real clinker to Rutgers (20-3) in NJ. The team capped off a decent season with an appearance at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN and beat  Vanderbilt 31-24. We actually finished 25 in the AP poll. (a far cry from #4 just two short years before) Yet, they couldn’t manage to separate themselves from the rest of the league. The Bearcats finished in a three-way tie for first place along with West Virginia and Louisville.

That’s as good as it ever got.

The next season the Butch and the Bearcats started hot, we thought maybe Butch has really figured this thing out. A thrilling go-ahead tochdown pass by Munchie against Virginia Tech to win the game was easily the highlight of the season. The Bearcats were 5-0 heading up to Toledo to win a buy game with what we all perceived as a lesser in state foe. We lost. Then lost the next week in the battle for the Keg of Nails in Louisville and a again a couple of weeks later to Rutgers in Nippert.

The Big East would finish in almost hilarious fashion with a 4-way tie between Cincinnati, Louisville, Syracuse, and Rutgers.

Butch Jones then proceeded to parade himself around like he was the next Vince Lombardi publicly taking interviews at Colorado, Purdue, among others, before Tennessee decide to settle for him as their 3rd pick to take over the program.

He left before we played in the prodigious Belk Bowl against perennial college football powerhouse Duke.

So did he leave the program in better shape than when he arrived? No. No way did he make anything better in Clifton. Fraud. Fake. Intern. Turd.

Hosting a Bottle Share


I love bottle shares! What’s a bottle share? Great question. Let me explain. The concept is pretty easy. Gather a small group of people who like beer, have them bring a couple of bottles of random beer they haven’t tried yet and if everyone else follows suit and does the same thing you’ll have the opportunity to try a heck of a lot of different beer at once. Easy right?

The hardest part of having a bottle share is finding a host and picking a date, people are busy. Once we had someone volunteer their house as tribute and picked a date far out enough that everyone could plan accordingly we were ready to go! We used Facebook events to organize and communicate with those invited. It let us post what we’re bringing so we didn’t have a lot of duplicates, obviously because we want to try a lot of different beer from different breweries and places we don’t always have access to regularly. We definitely accomplished this.

Overall we only had about 10 people attend and over 60 beers to try this past fine Saturday. We had one guy buy a boatload of beer while he was in Florida a couple of weeks ago. He brought back a lot of beer for us, most notably beer from a brewery in Tampa this blog has mentioned before in Beer of the American . Cigar City Brewing is world famous and now I know why, the beer was amazing.

Of course, local bottle shops like Cappy’s and Jungle Jims are a great place to pick out a couple of bottles you’ve never seen before. They always have something new every time you go in to one of those places.

We had beer from everywhere though. Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, California and others were all represented.

We threw in a wrinkle to this share though. We wanted to do something a little different so we came up with the idea to award one beer a “Best in Show” for the day. We narrowed it down to 3 beers then voted on our favorite from the day.

We had too much beer for the small amount of people that showed up. Several of us had beer leftover to take home to enjoy at a later day. Here is our complete list:

We had a good time catching up with people we hadn’t seen for a while all while drinking some top notch beer.

Candidates for the “Best in Show”:

– The Awakening from Angry Chair Brewing a coffee milk stout with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs.

– 110K + OT Batch 6 from Cigar City Brewing. Cigar City is in Tampa, FL. This beer is no longer in production so I’m sure there’s only a finite amount left if the world. It’s an Imperial Russian stout with raspberries and aged in port barrels. It was outstanding and at 11% ABV you get a plenty from the barrel and the raspberry finish.

– Cape Good Hope IPA from Yards Brewing. Yards is located in Philadelphia, PA. It was the 2017 version of the Double IPA. IStrong enough to know you’re drinking but very smooth to keep you going. It checks in with an ABV of 9.7 and 76 in IBUs.

The Award went to

The Awakening from Angry Chair, a beer I gave a 5 on Untappd. Angry Chair Brewing is in Tampa, FL. The beer itself we had from a crowler. The brewery says its a coffee milk stout with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs and it is brewed with Buddy Brew Coffee. The roasted coffee beans really come through along with vanilla to make it an easy drinker. At 7.4% ABV you’ll know you’re drinking it sooner than later.

Overall, we had a great time and drank way too much but tried so many awesome beers. I even shed blood, but that’s another story for another time. There are already talks of another bottle share coming soon!

The Ever Growing Beer Scene

Cincinnati has a great craft beer scene. That isn’t news to anyone paying attention. With 35 breweries already in the tri-state area it’s hard to choose a favorite at this point. You have great experimentation and funky combinations coming out of Braxton Labs and Listermans. Rhinegeist is keeping you hopped up with a plethora of IPA options (among others). Places like Fibonacci, Dogberry, and Nine Giant among others make it so you’ll never have to travel too far from your neighborhood for a great beer.

Opening a new brewery isnt’ easy. First you need a great product, then a ton of capital to fund the venture and opening a new place requires a lot of up front costs. Trust me, I’ve looked into it, extensively. Finally, you need to be prepared to invest all the sweat equity you physically can into making it happen.

The list of breweries in the area is growing. There are at least 6 new breweries in the works right now. Places like Northside, Mason/Fields Ertle, and the West side are all gaining new places to check out soon.

Here are the latest groups applying for a brewing license with the state:

Happy 2 Brewing Co ( The same location of a current Mio’s Pizza) 8298 Clogh Pike, Cincinnati

Humble Monk Brewing Co. 1641 Blue Rock Rd Cincinnati

Off Track Brewing Co 227 Stark St. Cincinnati

Rebel Mettle Brewing 246 W McMicken Ave. Cincinnati – www.rebelmettlebrewing.com

Sounder Brewing 8584 Duke Blvd Mason – www.sounderbrewing.com

The Common Beer Co 126 E Main St. Mason – www.commonbeercompany.com

The list doesn’t include already established breweries adding second locations or ones from other cities moving into town.

Beers across America pt 1

Beer Across America pt 1

by: Terry M.


Recently I finished filling in my state of Ohio beer cap map and I wanted to do something a little different with my new US map. I decided I would keep a closer eye on this one by documenting each beer I have with some information about the beer, the process, and anything else I thouht might be cool along the way. I hope you like this journey across America (in beer caps). The map has a total of 177 spots so we’re going to put up a new post everytime I drink 10 more new beers and have the caps to add to the map. Here are the first 10 to get us started!

4/5/18. Beer number one of 177 Apex Predator from Off Color Brewering out of Chicago, IL. It purchased at my favorite place to unwind after a long day at the office. Was enjoyed on back yard with wife and our chickens.  Was a dry farmhouse ale that was fruity and had refreshing bite.  Great beginning to fill up my map of the U.S. and journey to enjoy all beers.

Beer number 2 of 177. This is a really good boozy beer. Purchased again at my favorite watering hole “Old Canal Smokehouse”

After long day at work I needed a pick me up. Victory at Sea by Ballast Point has a good amount of coffee and bit if vanilla in it. With the beer at 12% it helps the mind and body.

on 4/12/18. after a meeting in Columbus and of course at my favorite place to drink Old Canal Smoke House in Chillicothe, OH.  KBS by Founders was as advertised, tons of coffee and boozy.  Thanks to Ryan for the sneak peak.

4/13/18. Was sunny day and was in Bee hives all day so after a long day friend Erik stopped by and we popped this open.  What an enjoyment! Seventh Son’s Qahwah was a winter beer full of cinnamon and tasted like Christmas beer.  Seventh son did an amazing job with not only the beer but the art work.

on 4/14/18. Purchase at Larry’s party store in Hillsboro after a birthday party and visit mom and dad’s. The smore’s stout by Short’s Brew is filled full of chocolate and coffee. Good beer.

Beer 6 of 177. Was exchanged with Brandon for some sour beers. The Waldo’s Special ale from Lagunitas, triple IPA was sweet and hoppy at 11.3% it even better. Cheers to Brandon and Lagunitas.

Beet 7 of 177. Whig splitter from 3 Floyd’s brewery from Indiana. Coffee stout that is smooth great finish full of coffee and espresso. Purchased at Old Canal smoke House.

Beer 8 of 177. Purchased at Larry’s party source in Hillsboro. Enjoyed with Hanas and bro after cleaning 20 trout. Was well needed and had a great sour raz taste. My favorite sour of all time.

Beer 9 of 177. Pennsylvania tuxedo from dog fish head. Given to me by Brandon, “cheers sir” Has great spruce/pine flavor to it light and at 8.5% wish I had one more.

Beer 10 of 177. Deschutes Red Chair not only a good name but a good beer overall. Pale Ale that was enjoyed on the creek for the first time in 2018.

Cincinnati Gets Untappd


If you’re a craft beer drinker odds are you’ve at least heard of Untappd. It’s an app for your mobile device that lets you keep tract of, rate, and share the beer you’re drinking as well as the place you’re drinking it. It’s great for beer drinkers everywhere. I’ve had it since 2014 you can find me there under @TheBeercat1 and I love it. For me it’s the best way to keep tract of the beer I’ve and and the beer I liked and the beer I wan to try. I mean what did we do before this, keep a spreadsheet? No thanks.

Recently Untappd decided to throw a party in 7 different cities that had the most check ins at an Untappd verified venue.

You would guess that cities like New York, LA, or Denver would dominate this type of contest and you’d be pretty pleasantly surprised by the Top 7 cities that won.

1. New York, NY

2. Chicago, IL

3. Tampa, FL

4. Anaheim, CA

5. Charlotte, NC

6. Cincinnati, OH

7. Portland, OR

You read that right. Cincinnati, the Queen City herself, made the cut with over 14,000 check ins. That’s pretty awesome when you think about how much the beer culture has grown around Cincinnati.

Some other cities that jumped out to me were Tampa coming in at #3 and Charlotte and #5. I’ve heard good things about the breweries in Tampa, and will get a better look at some up close later in April at a Bottle Share that I’m attending, and will be writing about later as well. So now I’m even more excited to check those out.

It’s been a little while since I’ve been to Charlotte but I might have to check it out soon.

The details for the Untappd event coming to Cincinnati has not been released yet, they just announced the winners today but it looks like Madtree Brewing is one of the most popular check in spots in the city so I’d guess they’re the early favorite. The only other detail that we know for sure right now is that Untappd Co-Founder Greg Avola will be at each event.

In light of recent events I can say Cincinnati doesn’t win a whole lot of things so I’ll take whatever W I can at this point.

Cheers!

The Aftermath

Picking up the Pieces


I didn’t get much sleep the night after the game. Maybe it was all the coffee I had in anticipation of Sunday night’s game or maybe it was witnessing the Bearcats Sweet Sixteen apperance get pulled out right from under them. I’m guessing it was the latter.

I watched this game at my parents house with my wife, having converted them from OSU fans after I went to UC had them just as excited as I was, ok maybe not just as excited. It was a family affair and after the Bearcats hot start we were just going through the motions like it was any other game.

I was concinced we were going to make a run in this tournament, more so than believing the sky is blue or that grass is green. That made it more surreal when the buzzer went off and we failed to hold a 22 point lead.

The Bearcats started this game in picture perfect fashion. They shot out of the gate like one of Mick’s horses and less like the team we watched several times this season stutter from the opening tip. Cumberland looked like he was well on his way to at least match his 27 from the Georgia State game.

And then it seemed like the refs took over the first half.

On more than one occasion I looked around the room wondering where in the hell was the foul there? The refs were weak. Popeye before spinach weak. They had a strict handsoff policy and if you looked at someone hard… that’s a foul.

That hurt the physical play of the Bearcats and fouls started piling up. Cumberland sat down in the first half but it was ok because Jacob Evans III took over. For the remaining 5 minutes or so in the first half JEIII had the ball and played 1 on 5. The isolation worked and led to layups for Jacob.

Honestly, I would have to watch the second half all over again to see what happened, I’ve already blacked it out from my memory but here’s what won’t fade.

Cumberland. He came to win this damn thing. He started out so aggressive on the offensive end and finished with 17. As long as he kept that up I knew we’d sprint to the finishline in this game against Nevada. What happened? Foul trouble and for some god forsaken reason when Teddy got his fourth foul you could see him, on television, plea with Cronin to stay in the game. WHY DID CRONIN LISTEN? Of course Cumberland wants to stay in the game he’s a baller!!! I think Coach gambled, hard, and lost here. Sit Cumberland for 4 or 5 minutes at least. He’s there when you need him. Oh man did we need him the last 5 minutes.

Clark. The Problem wasn’t as such this game. Nevada didn’t let Clark get an easy buckets, especially early. His first bucket was off of an offensive rebound and any other points were few and far between.

Cronin. In his post game interview a visibily pissed Mick didn’t take any responsibilty for this loss. Something I was pretty dissapointed with considering the game. Why he didn’t pull Cumberland I’ll never know or understand. Also, when they started doubling and trapping Evans before half court why was the game plan to let anyone just throw it at the rim? That offense was arguable the worst of the Cronin era. You had Clark or another big crowd the rim, drawing in his man with whoever had the ball throw it up. That’s exactly how the game ended too. Cane, dribbling it off his defender’s shin, faking, getting blocked, and then throwing it up with Gary trying to salvage his senior season with a wild snowball’s chance in hell of a rebound.

*sighs*

*Chugs beer*

Looking Forward. This was a phenomial season for the basketball Bearcats with the worst possible ending. We’ll have new banners for the New Shoe being the season and tournament champs, which is nice, but also it will be a reminder of the doom at the end.

Once I started thinking about it I would give up the season and tournament championships up for the next 20 years to make a Final Four or Championship game. I want that national attention. The swagger that comes with making it to April. Winning the AAC is cool and all but no one is talking about that now. Let Dan Hurley or Penny Hardaway win the conference, I’ll take the national title. I get what Cronin said about not caring about the Sweet Sixteen. Making it there is just a stepping stone to the next round, I don’t care about that either.

Clark, Washington, and most likely Evans will most definetly be hard to replace but the pieces to do this all over agin is there again. Broome and Cumberland will be an incredible combo next year. Cumberland could easily average 20+ and it isn’t inconvievable to have Broome average 15+. Also I think Scott huges strides forward in his development, especially on the offensive end.

I’d put Moore ahead of Williams in terms of the success of their freshmen year but both have loads of potential and will play a major roll.

I can’t wait to see Nsoseme get more minutes. I think he’s a force in training just waiting to dominate not to mention Mamoudou, who if you don’t follow on social media you’re really missing out on high quality content.

Fire Cronin. Are you insane? Cronin should be the coach for the forseeable future, some people, especially on twitter, need to chill. The program is clean, we have great players coming in and still on the upward swing. He wants to be here, which is more some schools in the Norwood area can say. It’s not like he’s pulling a Tommy T or anything.

Lift One to A Legend

#11 in your programs but #1 in your hearts, Gary Clark.

A Toast to Gary Clark


What we just witnessed was the last game of a legend. #11 in your programs but #1 in your hearts, Gary Clark. The 6′ 8″ senior out of Clayton, North Carolina has left a lasting impact on the program, one that without a doubt will not be forgotten anytime soon. Four years ago after seeing Gary play for the first time I told a group of friends that he’ll be the closest thing to Kenyon Martin we’ll see again. They shook that off like I was crazy. As the season of his senior year now over, Clark may not be as prolific but he embodies everything it means to be a Bearcat.

His hustle, grit, leadership, and all out effort has put him atop the list of favorites of fans young and old. Who can blame them? The guy is first class and someone we can all be proud to say was a Bearcat. I’m not sure there is anyone as high on Gary Clark as Coach Cronin is,

“One of the greatest kids that you’ll ever coach,” Cronin said. “Guys like Gary Clark, you can’t help but root for them.”

That’s just one of many times I’ve heard Cronin talk up what kind of person Gary Clark is off the court.

Gary Clark was considered a 4 Star recruit coming out of high school and had offers form Pitt, NC State, Maryland, and others. UC associate head coach Larry Davis is credited for finding him, although that fact is disputed, and has a pretty good story about his first encounter with Gary. In a super shortened nutshell Davis told Clark that he didn’t play hard enough to be a Bearcat and left without offering him.

Whatever happened it was for the best. Gary Clark has been a four year starter, he had no red shirt season. He showed up ready to play.

It can be said that since Clark got to Clifton the program has been on an upward trajectory but not without turbulence. Since he got here he’s experienced the loss of Coach Cronin for a season, a 1-3 record against X, early departures from the Tournament each of his first three years, and having to play his senior season at BB&T arena while The Shoemaker Center is being revamped. Clark certainly has made it is own though. Just look at what he’s accomplished at UC.

Accomplishments of Gary Clark

4 year starter

1000 point scorer

1000 rebounds

’17-’18 American Athletic Conference Tournament MVP

’17-’18 American Atheltic Conference Player of the Year

’17-’18 UNANIMOUS American Atheltic All First Team

’17-’18 American Atheltic Conference Defensive Player of the Year

’17-’18 American Atheltic Conference Sportsmanship Award winner

’15-’16 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year

’15-’16 Second Team All Conference

’16-’17 American Championship All-Tournament Team

Most Double Doubles in the Cronin era

’17-’18 American Athletic Conference Player of the week x2

#3 on the UC Rebounding list (behind only the Big O and Jack Twyman)

One thing Bearcats fans certainly enjoyed was the devleopment of Clark over his 4 years in Clifton. The stats show that for sure but he did more than just what showed up in the stats sheet.

Stats

Senior Night

Gary Clark, along with Kyle Washington and Jackson Bart, were honored before the Tulsa game on Feb 25th. It was an emotional game for fans watching Gary Clark live at home for the last time in a Bearcats uniform. The fun was thought to be spoiled after Clark picked up two quick fouls early in the first half. He sat out the rest of the half after scoring just 2 points. After halftime and the Bearcats down by three Clark took over, scoring 15 points in the second half and securing an 8 point win on senior day. Fellow senior Kyle Washington chipped in 8 points as well.

I pretty much held it together during the pregame ceremony, the TV interview with the CBSSN correspondent, and the post game presser. However, it was this interview with the voice of the Bearcats Dan Hoard and his partner Terry Nelson that choked me up. Clark starts to talk about how much it meant to him that his Dad finally made it to a game to watch him in person and got emotional, then I did too. Thankfully Dan saved us from a tear fest. Here’s that interview:

Highlights

#11 has given us plenty to get excited over the past 4 years. Here are my top 5 favorite plays from Clark.

Easily my favorite.

Here’s a 2-fer

Not today sir.

Remember when he lost a tooth at UConn?

and of course Gary Clark the hero…

The AAC Tournament ’18

Gary Clark willed the Bearcats to the championship game. His first game against SMU Clarked anchored the Bearcats once again with a double double. The next day he kept the tradition of beating Memphis again. He posted a second double double with 17 and 12. When it came time to beat Houston a third time in the same season guess what. Gary Clark had his third double double in a row and sealed the game with a free throw with just seconds remaining. Imagine that.

Gary Clark is a guy that we won’t forget anytime soon. His resume as a bearcat parallels that of legends that came before him and while the debate over how to honor those players who have made a lasting impact drums on all I know is Gary Clark’s #11 is now in that conversation.

Here’s to you!