Thursday, May 13, 2010

Memorable Bearcats: Pete Mickeal

After the post about the 2000 Bearcats win over DePaul, it made me think about that team. One of my favorite players was Pete Mickeal. I could end up doing a Memorable Bearcats post about everyone on that team, and maybe I will, but Mickeal was a star on that team. In fact, he was an Honorable Mention All American. Pete was a big part of those Cincinnati teams in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. Let's see how big a part.

Pete Mickeal was a junior college transfer from Indian Hills Community College. He was the Ju-co player of the year for his 2 seasons there, and led the team to back to back championships. Pete came right into the starting line up, starting all 33 games his junior year, and 31 his senior year. He missed the DePaul game due to suspension and I don't believe started the game after that, but he was always there for UC. And he was really always there, seeing 33.8 minutes of action and 31.3 minutes of action his two seasons. He played 84% , and 76% of the minutes for UC his career. If it weren't for blowouts, he would have played every minute of every game. Kenyon Martin was the star of those UC teams, but Mickeal was the glue that held everything together.

Mickeal was a great offensive weapon at UC, even though he was known mostly for his tenacious defense. He would guard the best player on the opposing team every time out. And most of the time, he shut them down. He averaged 1.5 and 1.4 steals a season. Mickeal's offensive rating his junior year at UC was a superb 120, which was 41st nationally and 2nd in the conference. His numbers dipped a little the next year, but he still had 111.9 rating, which was 7th in C-USA. Pete averaged 14.9 points his junior season, and 13.5 his senior year. That seems like a big dip, and it is, but remember that UC had Martin, Johnson, Logan, Satterfield, Tate and even Ryan Fletcher. UC was deep. Mickeal was still second in scoring on that club, and he would have lead UC in scoring this season. His 14.5 points did lead the team. Pete also rebounded very well. He averaged 7.2 and 6.3 at UC. The hit is a board a game, but UC had 4 players average 4 boards, and 5 who averaged 3. Pete averaged nearly 2 assists a game at UC. He also was a pretty good foul shooter, shooting 70% and 72%.

Pete's best scoring games came his junior season. He put up a career high 28 twice. The first time was against Louisville in a 13 point win, where Pete had 28 on 10-15, 7-9 free throws and had 9 rebounds. His best game as a Bearcat was his other 28 point outing, in the C-USA conference tournament against South Florida. Pete was 13-15, 2-2 at the stripe, 9 rebounds, 5 offensive, 5 assists and 3 steals. Mickeal had another monster game against Charlotte, with 23 points on 8-12 shooting, 7-9 at the line, with a career high 15 rebounds. Against UNLV he had 23 on 8-12, going 7-10 at the line. He had 22 on another 8-12, 6-7 fts win against Memphis where he played 39 minutes. It was a 25 point blowout, don't know if that was smart. Pete put up 22-12 against Tulane, and 20-9-5 steals against Houston. Mickeal also had double doubles in wins against Rhode Island (15-10), Oklahoma (17-10), and Louisville (18-10). UC won every game when Pete Mickeal scored 15 points, which he did 15 times. The problem is that he would disappear in losses. He scored 6 in 35 minutes in a loss to St Louis, 8 on 4 shots in the second round loss to Temple, 9 on 3-8 in a loss to DePaul, 9 in foul trouble in the Crosstown Shootout loss to Xavier, and 9 on 2-8 shooting against Charlotte.

The senior campaign for Pete Mickeal was also incredibly solid. He started off well, but had a few no shows sprinkled in as well, 8 points against Gonzaga, 4 against Oklahoma, but things held steady until mid February. He hit a little slump from the field, bottoming out with a 2-11 5 point outing against Louisville, which saw him pulled from the game. He went 2-7, 4-10, 0-9, 3-4, and 4-9 leading up to it. Whatever was the problem didn't matter, as Pete bounced back. Pete had 5 20 point games that year, and 15 games where he scored 15 points. Unfortunately, UC lost 2 of them. But going 28-2 when you score 15 points is pretty good. Pete's best game was the Humanitarian Bowl make up game at Boise State. He had 23 on 9-12, with 14 rebounds and 3 steals. The 14 was a season high, and the 23 tied his season high. That game came against Marquette, where he had 8 rebounds and shot 7-10, 7-9 at the line. Pete had 21 on 6-9, 9-10, and 5 steals against St Louis, 21-5-4 assists against North Carolina and 20 against Charlotte. Pete had 18-10-3 blocks in a win over Southern Miss. He had 16-11 in the loss to Tulsa in the NCAA Tournament. He also had double doubles in wins over South Florida (16-10) and St Louis (13-10). He had 12 rebounds in a game against Mississippi Valley State, and a very solid 16-8-5 assists-3 blocks-2 steals game against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Pete is still playing today. He was drafted by Dallas, but never played, signed by New York, but never played, and went on to the ABA. He won the MVP in 2002, with 35 points a game. He moved over to Europe ever since. He most recently played with Barcelona, where he had 12-5 in Euro League play, and 10.2-3.8-1.2 assists in the Spanish League. His team recently won the championship. You can read it in his blog here. He plays with NBA draft pick and Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio.

Pete Mickeal was a very solid player in junior college, a very solid player at UC, and is still a very solid player in Spain. Pete Mickeal was one of the best players in probably the best time to be a Bearcat basketball fan, besides never making it out of the second round, but that doesn't count because we are talking about the regular season because that's the only thing that matters, see look at our C-USA banners!!! Anyway, Pete Mickeal was a hell of a player and one of my favorites and that's why he's a Memorable Bearcat.

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