By: STEVE LeMASTERSPORTS EDITOR
October 23, 2012
PIKEVILLE - The University of Pikeville men’s basketball team has reloaded for the 2012-13 season. Kelly Wells is headed into seventh season as head coach of the University of Pikeville men’s basketball program. Wells, who was named the 2011 Rawlings NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, once again reloaded in the offseason, signing multiple players with NCAA Division I experience. UPIKE is less than two years removed from winning an NAIA national title.
Pikeville ended the 2011-12 season 17-12 overall and 9-7 in the highly-competitive Mid-South Conference. The Bears exited the season in a three-way tie for third place in the MSC.
Pikeville’s latest recruiting class includes senior guard Jamar “Deuce” Briscoe, a 2009 NCAA Division I Freshman All-American selection. Briscoe was tabbed one of the top 20 Division I transfers in the nation in 2012. He starred at both North Carolina Central and Charlotte prior to signing to play for the Bears.
Elisha Justice (Shelby Valley High School) is back home in Pike County. After playing two seasons on the University of Louisville men’s basketball team, Justice, a former Kentucky Mr. Basketball, transferred to Pikeville over the summer. Justice, a 5-10 junior guard, played for Louisville in the 2012 Final Four. The Shelby Valley High School product logged minutes for Louisville in each of his two seasons.
Other newcomers to the Pikeville basketball program include senior guard Chris Johnson (6-0), senior center Terrance Saintil (6-8), junior guard Darnell Tubbs (6-2), junior forward/center Trevon Flores (6-1) and freshmen Cody Malicoat (6-5, G/F), Colt Chapman (6-5, G/F) and Zach Howard (6-3, G).
Senior guard/forward Trevor Setty (15.9 5.2 rpg) and junior guard Josh Whitaker (4.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.6 apg) are returning starters for the Bears. Setty, a former standout at Mason County High School, led Pikeville in scoring last season.
Senior forward/center Chris Watson (4.9 ppg), senior guard Chris Barlow and sophomore Hobo McCoy are also back for the Bears.
The Bears will host St. Andrews on Saturday. Pikeville will visit Louisville on Nov. 1.