NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team will add a trio of talented high schoolers for 2016-17, head coach Casey Alexander announced on Wednesday.
“We are definitely excited about this class,” said Alexander. “We have high hopes for all three players. We are always looking for players and people that want to be at Lipscomb, fit at Lipscomb and guys that Lipscomb will be proud of. I think we hit a home run with all three of these signees.”
Signing their National Letters of Intent are Michael Buckland, Kenny Bunton and Kenny Cooper.
A native of High Point, North Carolina, Buckland has starred for Wesleyan Christian Academy helping lead his squad to a pair of NCISAA 3A titles and three appearances in the championship game. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged seven points and three rebounds per game as a junior for the Trojans. Buckland also played for the PSB Select 17U AAU team.
“Michael is a jack of all trades,” said Alexander. “He’s a real cerebral player that is skilled, tough and a winner. He finds a way to get the job done regardless of who he’s playing or where he’s playing.”
A Chattanooga native, Kenny Bunton has been a standout on the court for Walker Valley High School under coach Bob Williams. The 6-foot-6 forward also plays for the TN Tigers AAU club that finished third at AAU nationals in 2014.
“Kenny has been committed to us for a long time,” said Alexander. “His skill set is something that we always look for. A guy with some size and length that can shoot the ball, pass it and put it on the floor. Those are things we want all of our perimeter players to be able to do.”
A two-time all-state selection and Mr. Basketball finalist in the state of Tennessee, Kenny Cooper joins the Bisons from Franklin Road Academy where he plays under Lipscomb legend John Pierce. The 6-foot Nashville native averages 17.5 points per game and 7.4 assists per outing and has helped lead the Panthers to a pair of regional championships.
“Kenny is a guy that we have been recruiting since we got here,” said Alexander. “He’s just a tough, kind of throwback point guard. He has a lot of skill and I love his competitiveness and natural point guard instincts more than anything.”
The signing of Buckland, Bunton and Cooper wraps up the recruiting for Alexander and his staff in the early signing period as they turn their attention toward the 2017 class of future Bisons.
“It’s ideal for us to finish our recruiting in the early signing period and part of our recruiting philosophy,” said Alexander. “We’re not going to sign guys just so we can finish up the class but anytime we can get the players that we want and get it wrapped up early is very advantageous for us. It allows us to move on to the next class quicker and focus on our own team better.”
The Bisons open action this weekend participating in the 49th Annual Cable Car Classic hosted by Santa Clara University. Lipscomb takes on the host Broncos in the first game on Friday night at 9.