According to reports in the Charlottetown Guardian, UPEI Panthers dynamic 6’6″ forward Bradley States, thought to be entering his 5th and final season of eligibility with the Panthers after coming off a tough 2 point loss in the AUS championship game against CIS Final 4 participant Dalhousie, will not return to Coach Tim Kendrick‘s club. According to the published report, Kendrick wouldn’t get into why States, who averaged 19 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game last season, was not returning.
“We wish Brad the best of luck wherever he ends up,” the head coach said.
Also leaving the Panthers according to the article are 6’0″ Zac Usherwood and 6’7″ Tevin Sutton-Stephenson. Usherwood was a back-up point guard and Sutton-Stephenson was a little-used forward.
To re-complement his existing group of returnees which include AUS 1st Team all-star Tyler Scott and 6’6″ forward Dut Dut, Kendrick has brought in several veteran transfers plus one high-school recruit, most notable being 6’5″ Mark Matheson, who is coming home to complete his 5th season of eligibility to do graduate work in Charlottetown after a solid four-season career at UNB. Matheson is a bona fide AUS/CIS player who should immediately contribute perimeter shooting as a stretch 4 for a team that could benefit from his outside stroke – he shot 41.5% from three this past season. Matheson and Dut could form one of the best big men combinations in the AUS.
Kendrick also recently announced a pair of transfers who have been out of organized basketball for a period of time. 5’11” Shavon Gayle, originally from Windsor Catholic Central where he finished his high school career in 2012-13, enters the UPEI program after not playing the past two seasons. In his only post-secondary season (2013-14), Gayle averaged 2.8 pgg and 7.7 mpg at Owens Community College in Ohio, where he shot just 21.4% from downtown. Gayle is an athletic dynamo with several highlight reel dunks on file.
Combination guard 6’1″ Vishal Banipal enters his third season of eligibility with the Panters after originally graduating from high school in Calgary in 2009-10. After a year at prep school, Banipal spent one season (2011-12) with the Idaho State Bengals, an NCAA Division 1 program in the Big Sky conference, averaging just 4 minutes over 9 games played. Banipal then surfaced at Cape Breton, playing one season in 2014-15 for the Capers (3.3 ppg/7.9 mpg).
6’6″ Nathan Anderson from Nassau, Bahamas is an intriguing athlete who can help absorb the loss of States up front. Previously, Kendrick announced the signing of 6’1″ Kyle Rotterman (Burlington Nelson), a point guard who was rated #101 by NPH in the Class of 2015.
The article makes no mention of 6’0″ Samy Mohamed, originally from Toronto, who was announced early last season as a Panther recruit who had planned to transfer from Algoma.
Kendrick also hopes to have 6’2″ reserve sixth-man Lorenzo Parker, a key piece of their rotation, back sometime this season after Parker suffered an unfortunate ACL tear during the AUS championship game last season.