Bearcats sign Mayben and Alvin

No game today, but the Bearcats officially announced that they have signed Tiki Mayben and Malik Alvin to LOIs for 2007-08.

I've never seen either young man play, but I am not a fan of either of these signings for several reasons.

First off, I'm not big on bringing in JuCos. Every once in a while, you hit the jackpot, as we did with Andre Heard a couple years ago, but no matter what, the kids only have two years of eligibility remaining. I'm much more in favor of bringing in four-year kids who will develop and learn your system -- especially if you're new to the program and plan to stick around for a while.

And no matter what he says, that's still an 'if' with KB. Some have questioned his dedication to Binghamton, and a small percentage of me agrees -- why go after these quick-strike, high-risk JuCos if you're here for the long haul? (I'm talking maybe eight years? Ten years?)

Sure, these kids have been touted as very talented. Great. It seems that every Al Walker team was considered "talented," and they never went anywhere. This year, many of the same descriptors are stuck on to the individuals on our roster, and we've gotten rocked by St. Bonaventure and Chicago State.

So if you want talent, terrific. Signing these JuCos will add to our talent level, but even if it does translate to wins, in two years -- or less -- they will be gone. Imagine replacing a Mike Gordon, home-grown type point guard that keeps this team together, with a Richie Forbes type. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

And I haven't even mentioned the past problems with both of these players. Long story short, Mayben and Alvin have bounced from school to school. Mayben's troubles have been especially well-documented:

"The perception of him is so much different than what the truth is," Hart said. "Some people hear his name and they've heard some problems and they might think he's actually done something. But if someone said, `What is it exactly that Tiki did,' you couldn't even explain it because there is no one incident he did. He's never gotten into trouble with the law."

Mayben says his high school days followed the same pattern: He'd get expelled from school after the season and finish the year at a center for students with behavioral issues. Then he'd get reinstated the next year and then get expelled again after the season.

"I never really finished any years of high school," he said. "I always finished at that same building or at the public library with a tutor. It was to the point where they'd let me back in school to play basketball, and then they'd kick me out (after the season)."

He gave it his best shot at UMass -- and after seeing his playing time dwindle, he left the school after just one year, heading to Hudson Valley CC. Remember, this is the same kid that was supposed to be big at Syracuse -- coach Jim Boeheim spent plenty of time with him and had lots of high praise.

Just to clarify, I have never met Tiki Mayben or Malik Alvin. I do not know these guys personally and I do not want to make any character judgments on anyone I've never met. That said, I say, where there's smoke, there's fire.

With the Mark Egerson debacle still in the rearview mirror, Broadus is taking a huge risk by bringing in a pair of guys with questionable histories.

But if he's only gunna be here through Tiki's senior year, then I don't think KB is all too worried about it.

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