Monday, April 12, 2010

Bearcats Breakdown: Deonta Vaughn

The first entry in the series of breaking down the Bearcat players from this past season starts with Deonta Vaughn. All in all, this was a pretty disappointing season for one of the best Bearcats of all time. Deonta did, however, become the Bearcats career leader in 3 pointers made, and assists. He became the first Bearcat ever(?) or in a long time to lead the team in assists all 4 seasons. Deonta only made the post season once, but never the NCAA tournament, which will probably tarnish his legacy. He is one of the reasons that Cincinnati basketball was able to turn things around and make the NIT though, so he deserves many, many props. I bought his jersey at the Dayton game, and that's really all the levels of respect that a man needs.

Scoring: Deonta Vaughn averaged 11.7 points a game this season. That's down from 15.3, 17.3 and 14.5. He shot 37.8%, down from 38.8%, 43.6%, but up from his freshman year of 37.3%. His effective fg% was 48.9, same as last season, but down from 55.5. It was up from his freshman year at 45. Vaughn shot 33.8% from 3, same as last year. It was down from his spectacular sophomore year, 39.8, but up from 29.2 as a freshman. Vaughn shot a career best 82% at the free throw line, up from 80%, 79%, and 75%. Vaughn's offensive rating ended up being 108.5, his second best for his career. Deonta took 325 shots, which is significantly down from his past years. From freshman to junior, he took 407, 408 and 399. It's not like he made it up from the free throw line, he had 110 attempts. That's down from 128 soph and 120 junior.

Vaughn's best shooting days came in the Big East. He was 7-10 for 17 against Pittsburgh, 6-11 for 17 against UConn, and 7-13 against Seton Hall. Deonta had only 9 games shooting 50% or better. I listed the only 3 where he took double digit shots. Vaughn's top scoring game was the NIT loss to Dayton where he had 28, the 20 against Seton Hall, 20 against South Florida (the win), and 18 against Villanova. He had 17 three times, the two mentioned up top and he had 17 at Rutgers. Vaughn averaged 9.8 points non conference, and 11.8 during Big East play. It was a dramatic let down at the scoring end for Deonta Vaughn. Vaughn's worst game was the stinker against Miami where he didn't score.

Assists: Deonta lead UC in assists, but only had 3.514, which was his third best effort while at UC. His best was 4.7 last year, followed by 4.2 and 3.5 even. His best assist game was 9, against Toledo. He had 7 against Lipscomb, Marquette and Weber State. He dropped 6 in the losses to Gonzaga and Notre Dame. Vaughn had 22.5% of Cincinnati's assists on the season. That's a career low. He had 24.9%, 30.8% and 27.2%. That speaks to the team's improved passing, as well as Vaughn's decreased role in the offense.

Rebounding: Vaughn put up a second best in rebounding, gathering 3.5. Last season, he had 4. Vaughn pulled down 9 against Xavier, and 7 in the win against Notre Dame and Gonzaga loss. Vaughn pulled a rebound in every game, except Providence.

Other things: Vaughn continued to be a thief with 1.2 steals a game. His high was 4, and he hit that 3 times, against Dayton, St John's and Toledo. Vaughn blocked 2 shots, good for second best in his career. Interesting side note, in the 6 games Vaughn played the least, Cincinnati won them all. 4 were non conference blowouts, the other 2 were Vanderbilt and DePaul. Cincinnati didn't win a game the times he played the most minutes, Xavier, Villanova, Louisville, Gonzaga and Dayton. That's rather odd. In the games he played 30 minutes or more, UC was 8-11. That means UC was 11-5 in the games he played under 30 minutes. Those include wins over UConn and Louisville. That probably doesn't mean much.

Conclusion: Deonta Vaughn didn't have a great senior season. On the letter scale, his career would go B, A+, B, and C. He wasn't obviously horrible, but he wasn't great either. He never seemed to find his place. He couldn't adjust to being the off guard again, and he never wanted to take over the point guard position. He deferred to Lance Stephenson a lot, but also to the other guards who played with him. Vaughn was shut out in the Big East awards, which is something that didn't happen at all his first 3 years. In many ways, Vaughn's season was like UC's season. Higher expectations, but a failure to deliver what everyone wanted. It wasn't awful by any means, but we wanted and needed more. None the less, Deonta Vaughn had a magnificent career at Cincinnati. He'll be missed.

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