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Commitment alert: Cincinnati lands Edgerrin James Jr.

Cincinnati picked up its second commitment of the 2023 cycle on Tuesday night, when Edgerrin James Jr. announced his intention to sign with the Bearcats. Head coach Wes Miller programs held off fellow finalists Georgia and LSU to land the Florida-based point guard. Below, Rivals has a look at what Cincinnati is getting and what the news says about the direction of the program.


WHAT CINCINNATI IS GETTING

The son of the NFL Hall of Fame running back with the same name, James Jr. has blazed his own trail by tossing aside the sport that made his father famous and becoming one of the top prospects in the state of Florida. The hyper-athletic point guard is already a 1,000-point scorer at Florida’s Olympia High School and enters his senior season following a summer that saw him develop into an elite on-ball defender and a decision maker in the half court. The scoring prowess has always been there, so the fact that his peripheral skills all seemed to take a step forward this year is encouraging to say the least. Offensively, James' game is about taking defenders off the bounce and getting to the bucket, where he finishes with confidence through traffic and contact. He’ll take the next step as he becomes a better jump shooter from deep.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE BEARCATS

Even beyond James’ talent, this represents a massive win for Wes Miller. He and his staff were able to overcome a full-court press from Georgia, which had a longstanding relationship with James stretching back to that staff’s old position at Florida. Things began to turn well before James’ Sept. 24 official visit to Cincy, though, and, by the time that trip wrapped up, the deal was all but done. James provides an incredibly solid insurance policy for five-star Bearcat target Isaiah Collier, for whom Miller and company now seem to trail USC by a hair. Cincinnati could not afford to go 0-for-2 on their two priority guards, and this ensures that they won’t. James joins 6-foot-7 forward Rayvon Griffith on the Bearcats commitment list.

COACHES CORNER

“He’s gotten a lot better with his playmaking. I always knew he could score. He’s one of the best scorers easily in Florida, but he really added that ability to make plays for others and make others better over the last year. If you looked, for like 80 percent of the EYBL, he was in the top three in assists. He really added that part of his game.” – Florida Rebels coach Steve Reece, who coached James on the Nike EYBL circuit.