Over the course of his first three years with the program, junior Micah Kinsey has provided the UNCP men’s basketball team with a tremendous spark off the bench when he comes into the game. His knack for making clutch plays for the Braves when it seems they need some so
rt of lift or boost to get going or back on track has made him an invaluable piece to the team’s success over the years.
For the majority of this season, he had been an integral member of the Braves’ second unit on the team’s deep and loaded roster. When that unit comes into the game off the bench it is not just to give the starters a breath or keep them out of foul trouble, they often check in when the team need’s a boost when things just aren’t clicking with the initial unit.
Kinsey had been the most utilized spark plug from the Black and Gold’s second team, many of which would start at other programs, as he led all players off the bench in minutes prior to being elevated to the starting line up down the final stretch of the season.
According to Head Coach Ben Miller, Kinsey has never been one to complain about coming into the game off the bench because of his “team first” mentality, he is willing to assume whatever role that is needed to help his teammates succeed and win games.
He’s basically played starter type minutes. We do have a very deep team but Micah has really become a great leader for our team as an upperclassman now, setting the tone for our defense,” said Miller.
Even though he hasn’t started the whole season and is ninth in scoring despite being fifth in minutes, he leads the team in assists, steals and three-pointer percentage. Although his tenacious efforts on both offense and defense don’t always show up on the scoreboard and aren’t as glamorous stats in the eyes of some like points and rebounds are, they are vital to the team’s success.
“I think he’s one of the best defenders in the league and in the region. People don’t want to bring the ball up against him, the way he can guard the ball and be disruptive there but he’s also one of the best passers we’ve had here in terms of assist to turnover ratio,” said Miller.
His propensity for taking the ball away from opponents and distributing the ball to his teammates has led to several buckets off of fast breaks as well as some of the most exciting scoring plays and vicious dunks by other members of the team.
“He’s a capable scorer, but he just wants to get everyone involved, very unselfish, loves to pass the ball and create for others and defensively he’s just a menace out there for opponents,” said Miller.
As the Braves head into the Peach Belt Conference tournament and beyond they will rely on the player who was once a spark off the bench to now provide the jolt that will get them going from the jump.