PIKEVILLE – University of Pikeville head men’s basketball coach Kelly Wells announced his 2016 recruiting class on Monday and it’s a group that includes one NCAA Div. I transfer, one NCAA Div. II transfer, three junior-college transfers and three incoming freshmen.
The Bears are coming off their fourth straight trip to the NAIA National Tournament after putting together a 25-6 record last season. Wells’ bunch finished the campaign ranked eighth in the final NAIA Top-25 Poll of the season, making it 39 straight editions of the poll ranked among the nation’s top 10.
“We are really looking forward to coaching this group of young men,” said Wells. “These guys have shown our staff their desire to compete day in and day out on the court, as well as a high-level commitment to being their best in the classroom and in the community. We were tasked with replacing several impact players from last season, but we feel great about this incoming group, as well as our returners that have been working hard all summer.
“We look forward to seeing what the 2016-17 season has in store for our program.”
The UPIKE men’s basketball program’s 2016 recruiting class follows.
Richard Freeman – 6-8, Senior, Forward (University of Illinois-Springfield/Indianapolis, Ind.): Richard Freeman comes to UPIKE from NCAA Div. II Illinois-Springfield. As a junior, Freeman posted averages of 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while also leading the team in blocked shots. Prior to IUS, Freeman posted sophomore averages of 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for NCAA Div. I Grambling State where he again led the team in blocks. Freeman scored a season-high 17 points against McKendree (Ill.) on January 8th and grabbed at least seven rebounds in nine games.
Clint Nwosuh – 6-2, Senior, Guard (Idaho State University/Houston, Texas): At Idaho State, Clint Nwosuh appeared in 14 games as a junior, starting five. He averaged 4.3 points per game and scored a season-high 13 points on two occasions, against Dickinson State and Southern Utah. As a sophomore, Nwosuh starred at Motlow State C.C., averaging 14 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 44 percent from behind the arc. Nwosuh holds multiple spots in the Motlow College record book, including the most threes made in a game with 11. His 37 points during that January 24 win over Volunteer State (Tenn.) is the 10th-most points ever scored by a Motlow player in a game. His free-throw shooting percentage is the fifth best in school history for a single season and his 67 threes made are the sixth most at Motlow.
Antwine Baker – 6-6, Junior, Guard/Forward (Bossier Parish C.C./Shreveport, La.): Antwine Baker averaged 9.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Bossier Parish. While playing in NJCAA Region 14, Baker recorded 14 double-digit scoring games to go along with six double-digit rebounding efforts from the guard position. He scored a season-high 24 points against Panola College on February 3rd and hauled in a season-best 14 rebounds on November 24th at Southern-Shreveport (La.).
George Johnson – 6-0, Junior, Guard (College of Marin/Brentwood, Calif.): George Johnson led College of Marin last season with 17.1 points per game while dishing out a team high 4.2. assists per contest. He shot 44.6 percent from 3-point range and 78.6 percent from the free-throw line. Johnson was named All Bay Valley Conference as a sophomore after nine games of scoring more than 20 points. His season best showing of 32 points came against Lassen College on November 13th, while also putting up a career-best 11 assists against College of Alameda on January 22.
Darrion Leslie – 6-4, Junior, Guard (Cleveland State C.C./Huntsville, Ala.): Darrion Leslie was Cleveland State C.C.’s leading scorer last season, averaging 18.5 points per game on 55 percent shooting from the field. He also posted averages of 9.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists and steals per contest. For his career as a Cougar, Leslie averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and 1.9 assists & steals in 51 games. Leslie posted a season-high 32 points on January 29 against Volunteer State (Tenn.), as well as a season high 21 rebounds against Snead State on November 10. Leslie was named First Team All-TCCAA.
Robert Dalton – 6-2, Freshman, Guard (Lawrence County HS/Louisa): Robert Dalton comes to UPIKE from Lawrence County. Dalton finished his prep career as Lawrence County’s all-time leading scorer with 2,030 points, becoming the first player in school history to eclipse the 2,000-point mark. As a senior, Dalton averaged 17.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Dalton was also named the 15th Region Coaches Association Player of the Year, as well as an Honorable Mention All-State selection.
Da’Rell Domineck – 6-6, Freshman, Forward/Center (Hughes HS/Cincinnati, Ohio): As a senior, Da’Rell Domineck averaged 17.9 points per game for Hughes High School while also leading the league in field-goal percentage at 61 percent. Domineck averaged 10.7 rebounds per contest and was named First-Team All-CMAC, as well as a Division II First-Team Winter All Star by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Jordan Perry – 6-3, Freshman, Guard (Morgan County HS/West Liberty): As a senior, Jordan Perry averaged 27 points and 6 rebounds per game while being named First Team All State and 16th Region Player of the Year. Perry finished his career with 3,331 points, which is good for first all time in Morgan County High School history and eighth all time in Kentucky high school basketball history. Perry was selected to participate in the Kentucky/Ohio High School All-Star Game, as well as the KABC East/West All-Star Game.