Cincinnati Bearcats: Deonta Vaughn's Hard Work and Sacrifices Paying Off

Jux BergSenior Analyst IDecember 6, 2009

You think Cincinnati guard Deonta Vaughn is happy?  Oh man, you know the kid is downright giddy these days.  Ah, it’s nice to have some help isn’t it, Deonta?

For those of us who have stuck with the Cincinnati Bearcats (5-1, No. 22 AP) through Vaughn’s first three seasons, the difference in UC’s senior guard is obvious.  His demeanor has done a complete 180.  Seems to me that DV has cracked more smiles through the first six games of the 2009-10 season than he mustered the strength for in the past three seasons combined.

Why?  Well, Vaughn is the CEO now.  He’s got secretaries and employees; he doesn’t have to do everything.  He’s living the good life these days. 

In the past, Vaughn had to handle and distribute the ball, take all the big shots, and log nearly 40 minutes a game.  Now, as his protégés Cashmere Wright, Jaquon Parker, and Lance Stephenson run the point, DV can just coast into the frontcourt and begin working without the ball to find a nice, clean look at the bucket.

Deonta Vaughn, Bearcats CEO, can finally relax a little bit.  He recently took a trip to Hawaii—for business and pleasure.  And when he needed to take a “sick day” (two minutes, zero points, and two fouls in the first half vs. Vanderbilt), his employees had his back, as Cincinnati built a 24-8 lead with their boss resting in his chair.  UC would beat No. 24 Vandy and No. 22 Maryland before falling in overtime to Gonzaga in the championship game.  The CEO's tropical excursion was a success, as the company stock rose while college basketball consumers Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery loaded up their portfolios.

Vaughn and owner Mick Cronin hung in there valiantly during the long, hard hours the past three years to build what you have the pleasure of watching today: a top 25 team on the rise. 

Vaughn’s blood, sweat, and heavy minutes caused the Indianapolis native to wear down the past two seasons, as UC struggled mightily down the stretch.  But this season, with a full stock of eager, unselfish (the Bearcats have twice topped 20 team assists this season already) employees who know how to play the game (just about everybody on the roster can shoot and handle the ball), the man who started it all can reap the benefits and stay fresh for the pivotal stretch run. 

If things go according to the business plan, Mick and Deonta will be able to take their company public in the form of an NCAA Tournament bid.  Enjoy the journey.  Next up, vs. Miami (OH) @ 5:30 PST on ESPN2.  Go ‘Cats.