When I heard back in the summer that Steve Logan was going to be inducted into the UC Athletic Hall of Fame, I was excited for him. I was the UC beat reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer during Logan's junior and senior years and found him to be one of the most exciting players I covered during my 11 years writing about college basketball.
Of course, I was saddened a short time later when I read that he was arrested in Cleveland on charges of rape and gross sexual imposition. Just last week Logan removed himself from the Hall of Fame induction this year while dealing with his personal issues. The Hall of Fame banquet is Feb. 19.
I haven't seen Logan since late in 2004 when he was at a UC game. The next day he spontaneously did a book signing ("Tales from Cincinnati Bearcats Basketball") with me and Corie Blount at the Barnes & Noble at Newport on the Levee.
When I think of Logan's playing days, one of my favorite memories was a game on Feb. 15, 2002, when he did something I had never seen before: He outscored an opponent all by himself.
The Bearcats blew out Southern Mississippi 89-37 that night - and Logan himself had 41 points.
James Green, the coach at Southern Miss back then, said his team tried to deny Logan the ball, tried to double-team him, tried everything. But Logan still went 12-of-18 from the field, hit 8 of 13 shots from 3-point range and added nine assists and six rebounds. He also made 9 of 10 free throws.
"To do it in a game like there was nobody in the gym with me, it's amazing," Logan told me the next day. "I was just in a zone, I guess."
The 5-foot-11 guard was Conference USA Player of the Year two years in a row, was first-team All-America as a senior and finished as the No. 2 scorer in school history. He also won the Francis Pomeroy Naismith Award as the top player in the country 6 feet and under.
In one of those life-altering situations, Logan fell out of the first round of the 2002 NBA draft and was the first pick in the second round (by Golden State). The misfortune of this? There was one less first-round pick because Minnesota had forfeited its first-round selection. If Logan would have gone in the first round, he would have received a guaranteed contract.
Instead, his agent and the Warriors could not agree on contract terms and Logan never played in the NBA, though he did spend some time playing in Poland and Israel.
I always thought it was a shame. It would've been interesting to see how Logan, despite his lack of height, could have fared in the NBA. His will to succeed and will to win were incredible. Though he was short, I always wondered whether he had the intangibles to make it in the pros.
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You can catch former Bearcat Trent Cole in the NFL's Pro Bowl this Sunday night (7:30, ESPN). The fifth-year defensive end had 90 tackles and 12.5 sacks this season for Philadelphia. He is playing in his second Pro Bowl (2007). Cole, 27, is fifth all-time on the Eagles career sacks list with 47.
As for the Super Bowl (Feb. 7), UC fans can watch for Troy Evans, an eighth-year linebacker and special teams player with the New Orleans Saints. This is his third season with the Saints after five with the Houston Texans. The Lakota High School graduate had 29 tackles this season.