UNC Pembroke Men's Basketball Inks Four To National Letters Of Intent
PEMBROKE – UNCP men's basketball head coach Ben Miller announced four additions to his 2011-12 recruiting class on Wednesday as in-state products Alex Bradley, Kyle Buffkin, Chris Lindsay and Tyler Thayer all inked their names to national letters of intent to continue their playing career with the Braves.
Bradley (Pine Forest HS) and Lindsay (Trinity Christian HS) both make the trip to Pembroke following outstanding prep careers in Fayetteville, while Thayer (Hoggard HS) makes his transition to the college game after an standout senior season in Wilmington. Buffkin, a 6-10 forward/center, prepped at Union Academy in Monroe.
"Our staff is very excited about our 2012 recruiting class," Miller said. "We are adding some talented players from excellent North Carolina high school programs. These young men are high-character kids who will represent our University well both on and off the court."
Bradley, a 5-7 guard, led all of Cumberland County in scoring with more than 22 points per game and assists with nearly five per game and shot better than 80 percent from the free throw line as a prep senior in leading Pine Forest to a 28-2 record and a deep run in the state tournament. He reached the 20-point plateau 23 times, including a season-best 36 points in a 14-point win over area rival Jack Britt High School. He also shot nearly 40 percent from the perimeter and drained at least one 3-point attempt in all but one of his outings in 2011-12.
His breakout senior season helped earn Bradley a slew of awards including a pair of all-state honors (NCPreps.com, NCBCA), Mid-South, Cape Fear Region and District 4 Player of the Year laurels. He was also selected to the East/West All-Star Game in July.
"I am happy for Alex and his family for the opportunity to play next year at UNC Pembroke," said Pine Forest head coach David May. "Alex had an outstanding career at Pine Forest and I know he will have continued success under Coach Miller and his staff."
Buffkin averaged 12 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks per game as a prep senior en route to leading Union Academy to the state tournament as well. He connected on better than 50 percent (117-of-282) of his shots from the field and scored 17 or more points on six occasions and tallied 12 double-doubles, as well as the school's first-ever triple double when he booked 28 points, 19 rebounds and 11 blocks against local rival Piedmont. Buffkin finished second in the state in blocked shots (119), while also leading both the Rocky River Conference and Union County in that statistic as well en route to all-county and all-conference laurels.
"Kyle has a great passion for playing the game and played a large role in Union Academy setting a school record in wins," said Union Academy coach Justin Johannes. "Kyle will be a great asset to UNC Pembroke and I look forward to his further development as a student-athlete."
Lindsay, a 6-7 forward/center, averaged more than 15 points per game and nearly nine rebounds per game in leading Trinity Christian to a spot in the state tournament, as well as a second round upset of rival Word of God. Along the way, he booked 10 double-double performances as an encore to a junior campaign that saw him take his team to the NCISSA state championship. Lindsay was decorated with all-conference, all-state and all-area accolades at season's end as well.
"Chris Lindsay is a terrific young man," said Trinity Christian coach Heath Vandevender. "He has had a great career at Trinity Christian and has been a pleasure to coach. He has a very high ceiling and Coach Miller will further develop him on and off the court"
Thayer, a 6-4 guard, averaged a team-best 13 points per game and shattered Hoggard's single-season record with 87 3-pointers en route to pacing the Vikings to an 18-8 record and a state tournament appearance. Thayer also swiped a team-high 32 steals as well, canned nearly 75 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe and finished his prep career second in the Hoggard record books in 3-point percentage (37.4) and fourth in 3-point field goals (145). A team captain as well, Thayer earned all-conference, all-area and all-district accolades at season's end.
"Tyler is one of the finest young men I have ever had the opportunity to coach," said Hoggard head coach Brett Queen. "He is a talented, hard-working and passionate winner that developed into a great leader on our team and in our school."