Two local UC basketball commits could lead to top-ranked 2024 Bearcat class

Walnut Hills center Tyler McKinley shoots the ball over Fairfield center Aamir Rogers (24) during their district final, Sunday, March 6, 2022. McKinley transferred to Link Academy in Missouri for last season. He commited to Wes Miller’s Cincinnati Bearcats June 8.

When 6-foot-7 wing Rayvon Griffth, then of Taft High School, committed to play for Coach Wes Miller’s University of Cincinnati Bearcats in May 2022, he mentioned there might be more to come.

“I’ve definitely got dudes on the phone,” Griffith said.

Griffith left Taft for Arizona’s Compass Academy, just as 6-foot-9 post player Tyler McKinley of Walnut Hills left for Branson, Missouri’s Link Academy. The two kept in touch and Thursday, June 8, McKinley became UC’s highest-rated recruit with local connections since Withrow’s Yancy Gates. According to, McKinely is rated slightly higher than Griffith and still has another year of high school ball.

If you’re wondering, one-year wonder Lance Stephenson was UC’s highest-rated recruit ever and the only five-star. To be fair, the ratings systems are relatively recent, so many players prior to Mick Cronin’s era aren’t listed. Orlando guard and incoming freshman Jizzle James is UC’s top-rated recruit on the current roster.

Now what?

After just a year at Link, McKinley was regarded as the top recruit at his position in Missouri. Just as Griffith knew McKinley through competition, McKinley knows four-star point guard Jase Richardson through competition. Though he recently cut his list of suitors to eight, Richardson told On3’s Joe Tipton that four schools have been in heavy pursuit. One of those schools is Cincinnati. The others are Alabama, Michigan State and Stanford.

Bishop Gorman’s Jase Richardson #4 in action against Camden during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Monday, January 16,…


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