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Black and Gold men ink quartet of young players for the future

By Curtis Brooks
Sports Editor

April 26, 2012

Photo by Nick Phillips
UNCP head coach Ben Miller (middle) talks with his team last season.

The Braves basketball team and head coach Ben Miler were able to add four in-state products to its 2011-2012 recruiting class.

Alex Bradley, Kyle Buffkin, Chris Lindsay and Tyler Thayer all recently signed their names to national letters of intent to play their collegiate ball in the Black and Gold.

Bradley, a 5-7 point guard, makes the short trip down 1-95 from Fayetteville to join his new basketball family at UNCP.

The feisty guard from Pine Forest High School led Cumberland County in scoring and assists this past season, with 22 points and nearly five assists per contest.

Miller said that Bradley was a "tough-minded, competitive leader" who had the ability to score or create for others.

A consistent scorer, Bradley shot 80 percent from the charity stripe and nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc in the 2011-2012 season.

The Trojans finished 28-2 on the season after a deep run in the state playoffs, behind Bradley's leadership.

After a strong senior season Bradley received all-state honors, as well as winning Mid-South, Cape Fear Region and District 4 Player of the Year.

Buffkin, a post player who prepped at Union Academy this past season, averaged 12 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks a game en route to all-conference and all-country laurels for the Cardinals. The prep senior also shot over 50 percent from the field for the season.

Miller said that Buffkin had "good length and that he can really run the floor."

The 6'10" center was second in the state with 119 blocked shots this past season, as he led Union Academy to a state playoff appearance. Buffkin recorded 12 doubles-doubles and a triple double against rival Piedmont with 28 points, 19 rebounds and 11 blocks.

Lindsay led Trinity Christian back to another state playoff appearance on the strength of his 10 double-doubles on the season. The 6'7" forward averaged 15 points and nearly nine rebounds a game.

Miller called Lindsay a "big, strong-minded kid with great hands and mobility."

The Fayetteville native was awarded with all-conference, all-state and all-area accolades at the end of the 2011-2012 season. As a junior, Lindsay contributed to Trinity Christian's state championship run.

After a stellar career at Wilmington's JT Hoggard High School, Thayer hopes to add some size to the Black and Gold's backcourt with his 6'4" frame.

Thayer led the Vikings with 13 points a game and 32 steals on the season en route to 18-8 record and a berth in the state playoffs. Thayer set the single season school record at Hoggard with 87 made three point field goals on the season.

Miller called Buffkin a "exceptional shooter," and said that his "work ethic shows why he's such a good shooter. Miller also added that Thayer would be the second player in the University's Honors College.

The sharp-shooting Thayer was decorated with all-conference, all-area and all-district laurels at the end of the 2011-2012 campaign.

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Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012
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