THE Albury-Wodonga Bandits yesterday announced their first US import signing for next year’s campaign to return to the SEABL playoffs.
Jamar Briscoe, a 177-centimetre point guard from National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school University of Pikeville, is expected to provide a high-scoring and playmaking presence for the Border club.
The 23-year-old also played for division 1 colleges North Carolina-Charlotte and North Carolina Central before transferring to Pikeville for his final year of college eligibility.
Briscoe averaged 22.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals in 2012-13 for the Bears, earning All-NAIA 1st team and Mid-Coast Conference player of the year honours.
Nicknamed “Deuce”, Briscoe replaces last year’s point guard Jermel Jenkins, with the Bandits electing to try a fresh approach in the backcourt.
Coach Brad Chalmers said he was delighted to have Briscoe on board after an exhaustive search through a long list of candidates.
“We evaluated everything and Briscoe ticked all the boxes, right across the board,” Chalmers said.
“On the floor, we had some mixed results last year and then the off-court stuff is just as important for us, too.
“We really wanted a similar skillset to (former Bandits star) Jazzmarr Ferguson and we felt like we needed more on-floor leadership than what we got last year in that position.
“And the biggest thing is we wanted a scoring point guard, someone who can create for themselves and the rest of the team.
“He’s potentially one of the best scorers we’ve had in the league in a while, so I’ve got high hopes he’ll put the ball in the hole more than anyone we’ve had in recent times.”
With the signing of Briscoe, the Bandits will now turn their attention to the potential return of pivot Momo Ntumba and some added bench depth for the front court.
The Border outfit is hopeful Ntumba’s surgically repaired knee will be fully healed by the end of the year.
“He’s really keen and we’re really keen to have him back, it’s just a matter of ensuring he’s fully healthy and can play a full season here,” Chalmers said.