PIKEVILLE – University of Pikeville head men’s basketball coach Kelly Wells announced eight signees for his 2015 recruiting class on Wednesday.
The group includes six transfers and two Kentucky high-school signees from Sheldon Clark and East Ridge. Five of the transfer student-athletes are incoming juniors, while one is playing his final season of eligibility for the Bears.
UPIKE is coming off a 28-6 campaign in 2014-15, finishing one-win shy of the NAIA national semifinals. Wells, who is entering his 10th season at the school, has led UPIKE to 20 wins in seven of the last eight seasons.
The 2015 class joins a roster expected to have seven returners from last season’s team which won a second straight Mid-South Conference Regular-Season Championship. The 2015-16 Bears also enter the season with a 40-game home winning streak in the East Ky. Expo Center dating back to Jan. 19, 2013.
Individual information on the eight new additions is listed below, with links to highlight videos when available.
Marshall Bennett (6-6, 210, F, Jr., Chicago, Ill., Black Hawk College (Ill.): Bennett arrives at UPIKE after a successful sophomore campaign at Black Hawk College (Ill.). The versatile Bennett put up averages of 16.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting nearly 40 percent from the 3-point line. The forward can play several positions and will be a great asset all over the floor.
Daniel Afeaki (6-9, 235, C, Jr., San Bruno, Calif., Skyline College (Calif.): Afeaki comes to UPIKE after two strong seasons at Skyline College (Calif.). As a sophomore, Afeaki posted averages of 7.1 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 62.9 percent from the field. His shooting percentage was the fifth highest in the California JUCO’s. His team also experienced success during the 2014-15 season, making an appearance in the Northern California Regional Tournament.
Dmitri Reaves (6-3, 200, G, Jr., Mullins, S.C., Olney Central College (Ill.): Reaves, comes to UPIKE after two successful seasons at Olney Central College (Ill.). As a freshman, Reaves was named the Region 24 Tournament MVP after guiding the Knights to the Region 24 championship game. As a sophomore, he posted averages of 11.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
Micheal Lewis Jr. (6-10, 225, F/C, Jr., Slidell, La., Mississippi Gulf Coast College): Lewis joins the Bears from Mississippi Gulf Coast College, where he played for two seasons. As a sophomore, Lewis averaged 9.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field. Lewis was also selected to participate in the 2015 MACJC Sophomore All-Star Game where he helped lead his team to a 123-117 victory.
Bobby Barnes (6-5, 210, F, Sr., San Francisco, Calif. | Fresno Pacific (Calif.): Barnes comes to UPIKE after a stellar season at NCAA Div. II Fresno Pacific. As a junior, he led the Sunbirds in scoring at 14.5 ppg. Barnes also added 4.5 rpg while shooting 60.5 percent from the field, which ranks ninth all-time at FPU for a single season and led the PacWest Conference in 2015.
Uzonna Akazi (6’8, 210, F, Jr., Queens, N.Y., Three Rivers CC (Mo.): Akazi comes to UPIKE from Three Rivers Community College (Mo.) where he averaged 14.0 ppg and 6.3 rpg as a sophomore, The versatile Akazi, who can play inside and out, also knocked down 22 three’s while shooting 34.4 percent from downtown.
Chase Parsley (5-10, 165, G, Fr., Kermit, W. Va., Sheldon Clark High School): Parsley comes to Pikeville after a standout high-school career at Sheldon Clark. While a Cardinal, Parsley set the schools all-time scoring record with over 2,300 points in his varsity career. Parsley has garnered numerous awards, including the 57th District Press Association Player of the Year, first team All-Area by the Williamson Daily News, second team All-Mountain Team by WYMT Sports Overtime and the 15th region All-tournament team.
Johnny Miller (6-1, 170, G, Fr., Lick Creek, East Ridge High School): Miller joins UPIKE after a stellar career at local East Ridge. While at East Ridge, Miller became the schools all-time leading scorer after posting 2,165 career points. Miller was also named the 2015 Appalachian News Express and Medical Leader Player of the Year.