CINCINNATI (AP) — John Brannen performed pick-up video games at Cincinnati’s on-campus area when he used to be rising up and vividly remembers looking at Kenyon Martin dunk over some other participant. He is coached — and misplaced — with visiting groups on the similar area.

The native man is now in control of the house staff.

The Bearcats determined to stick of their yard for Mick Cronin’s alternative, opting for Brannen — the pinnacle trainer at within sight Northern Kentucky — to take a look at to increase their American Athletic Convention luck and get deeper into the NCAA Event.

The 45-year-old trainer grew up in northern Kentucky and used to be on the most sensible of Cincinnati’s listing when Cronin — some other Cincinnati-area local — left for UCLA remaining week .

“No person trumped John,” athletics director Mike Bohn stated Monday.

Brannen led Northern Kentucky to unequalled luck in its first 3 seasons in Department I, main the Norse to a couple of NCAA Event appearances and profitable the Horizon League’s trainer of the 12 months award. When he arrived at the Norse campus, many scholars nonetheless rooted for the Kentucky Wildcats at event time.

That modified when the Norse reached the event of their first 12 months of eligibility and gave Kentucky a scare within the first around prior to dropping 79-70. They reached it once more this season and misplaced to runner-up Texas Tech 72-57 within the opening around .

Getting the Bearcats deeper into the event shall be one in every of Brannen’s major objectives.

Cincinnati reached the NCAA Event each and every of the remaining 9 seasons beneath Cronin, who dug this system out from its mess after Bob Huggins’ departure. However the Bearcats reached the Candy 16 simplest as soon as, in 2012. A primary-round loss to Iowa remaining month in Columbus, Ohio made it seven directly years of failing to get past the hole weekend.

Within the brief time period, Brannen takes over a staff in transition on the guard spot. The Bearcats lose senior level guards Justin Jenifer and Cane Broome. Jarron Cumberland, the AAC’s participant of the 12 months, hasn’t declared whether or not he’s going to go back for a senior season.

Probably the most intriguing query is how a lot Brannen adjustments the Bearcats’ taste. Cronin emphasised protection, rebounding and toughness. Whilst Brannen additionally likes full-court defensive drive, his offense at Northern Kentucky used to be a lot more large open.

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“Our taste of play will invigorate the fan base and seize your hearts,” Brannen stated.

Bohn indicated that used to be an element within the hiring choice. He stated the brand new trainer will usher in “an exhilarating logo of basketball. We love that. That is one thing we have been on the lookout for.”

Brannen has shut ties to the college past the ones pick-up video games. Northern Kentucky allowed the Bearcats to make use of its house court docket right through the 2017-18 season whilst their area used to be being renovated. Brannen wasn’t extremely joyful with the speculation — “I in reality idea it used to be going to be a distraction” — however the colleges shaped a just right operating courting.

Brannen additionally has coached at Cincinnati’s on-campus area. He used to be an assistant with Alabama when it misplaced at Cincinnati 58-56 on Dec. 1, 2012. The Norse performed at Cincinnati remaining season and misplaced 78-65.

In a while after he used to be presented on Monday, Brannen used to be requested about the yearly crosstown sport with Xavier for town’s bragging rights. Xavier has taken 8 of the remaining 12 within the sequence, even though Cincinnati ruled on its house court docket 62-47 remaining season. The sport shall be at Xavier subsequent season.

Brannen stated he and his spouse, Lisa, already had mentioned how he’s going to get an opportunity to train within the contention.

“I have all the time watched the sport, all the time knew the coaches concerned,” he stated.

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