UNCP men's basketball signs 8 for 2022-23 season

·4 min read

Jul. 16—PEMBROKE — UNC Pembroke men's basketball head coach Drew Richards announced a slew of additions to his 2022-23 roster on Friday as prep standouts Donovahn Keyes, Amare Miller and Lureon Walker joined transfers Bryce Brown, JaJuan Carr, Elijah Cobb, Qon Murphy and K.J. Walker to comprise the newest crop of talent for the Black and Gold.

"We want to welcome these quality people and players to our Braves family," Richards said. "After losing four 1,000-point scorers to graduation and five starters overall, our staff knew that we had to bring in a hearty recruiting class. To add to our core of returners, we have a mix of high-potential freshman, multi-year transfers, and a couple of seasoned vets. Although we have to become a unified team, this is a talented group to lead Braves basketball into a successful future."

Keyes, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound guard from Stafford, Virginia, played one season of post-grad basketball at Hargrave Military Academy after playing high school basketball at Fairfax Christian School, where he earned all-state honors after averaging 19.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals as a senior; he was also named state tournament MVP. Richards says Keyes is a "physical, hard-playing guard" and "stocky scorer." Keyes plans to major in business administration.

Greensboro native Amare Miller, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound guard who prepped at The Burlington School, played on four state championship teams in his high school career. He is "a skilled forward who has the ability to score inside and outside, while also having a nose for rebounding," Richards said. He plans to major in business analytics.

Lureon Walker, from Durham, played at the NC Good Better Best Academy. The 6-foot-4, 170-pound guard was an All-State selection as a senior after averaging 14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game as a "long shifty playmaker who is an explosive athlete" with a high ceiling, Richards said. He will be a business major.

From the transfer market, Brown comes to UNCP after three years at South Georgia State College and one at Tarleton State after not playing organized basketball until his senior year of high school. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound junior forward from Atlanta averaged 1.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game at Division-I Tartleton. Richards touts the kinesiology major as "a big, skilled post scorer who can stretch it from the perimeter" with "a ton of energy."

Carr, a Burgaw native, transfers to UNCP from Cape Fear Community College, where the 6-foot-6, 180-pound sophomore guard averaged 14.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists; he previously transferred from UNC Wilmington after redshirting the 2020-21 season and was Wilmington Star News Player of the Year his senior season at Pender High School. Carr, who is enrolled in pre-major studies, is a "quick-twitch and shifty-point touch guard" who is a good decision maker, Richards said.

Cobb comes to Pembroke from Roane State Community College in Tennessee, where he redshirted last season after averaging 11.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks as a freshman in 2020-21. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward from Murfreesboro, Tennessee is a "long and explosive athlete ... able to score from all three levels, handle and be a playmaker for his teammates," Richards said. Cobb is an athletic training major.

A Division-I transfer from New Hampshire, Murphy returns closer to home after the Charlotte native averaged 5.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard/forward who previously played two years at Houston Baptist enters his senior season as a "very versatile player who can produce in multiple positions in our system," Richards said.

K.J. Walker joins UNCP for his final college season after four years at Alderson Broaddus, where the 5-foot-10, 180-pound graduate guard averaged a team-high 15.0 points with 4.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season. The Columbus, Ohio native, who is pursuing a masters in business administration, is a "stocky and quick play-making point guard" who is a "proven shooter and crafty finisher," Richards said.