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Recruiting trail brings Keishawn Brewton back to UB basketball

When Keishawn Brewton joins the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team, he hopes he will be able to build for the future.

Brewton, a 6-foot-2 guard from Spartanburg, S.C., announced last week that he will join the Bulls as a transfer, and he will be part of the Bulls' incoming recruiting class. He played last season at Coastal Carolina, where he was the Chanticleers’ second-leading scorer in 22 games.

“Coastal Carolina was a great program with a lot of great coaches,” Brewton said. “But the guy who recruited me left, two days after I got to campus. Coach (Cliff) Ellis and I didn’t build a relationship, but I learned it’s bigger than basketball. The ball isn’t going to bounce forever and I want a place I can feel like I’m home, and will prepare me for the future.

“I felt that at Buffalo, it’s a family. It’s not just about basketball. I think it will be a great situation.”

This isn’t Brewton’s first brush with UB, either. He said that former Bulls coach Nate Oats and his staff recruited him at Chipola College, and that when Oats went to Alabama, his initial scholarship offer from UB did not stand.

However, Brewton reconnected with UB coach Jim Whitesell after he decided to leave Coastal Carolina, and announced his transfer to UB despite not having visited the campus this spring because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I knew a lot about Buffalo,” Brewton said. “It’s a great program that’s won a lot of MAC championships. It’s a great situation and a great culture.”

Brewton averaged 14.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games in 2019-20 at Coastal Carolina.

"Keishawn is a player who can score at an extremely high level," Whitesell said in a news release. "He is an excellent shooter and is also a really good defender. We are really excited that he chose to become a Bull and can't wait to start working with him."

Prior to his only season at Coastal Carolina, Brewton played for two seasons at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. He averaged 19.4 points and 3.4 rebounds as a sophomore in 2018-19.

“I’m a great teammate, I really can shoot the ball and I bring a lot of energy,” Brewton said. “I feel like I’m going to be a good leader at Buffalo. I’ve learned a lot in college basketball.”

Brewton, who has one year of eligibility remaining, will have to sit out the 2020-21 season, per NCAA transfer guidelines. He does not plan to apply for a transfer waiver that, if granted by the NCAA, would allow him to immediately play for the Bulls.

Instead, he wants to use the 2020-21 season to gain weight – he said he currently weighs 176 pounds and wants to weigh 185 – to improve his endurance and to learn UB’s system.

“I didn’t want to just come in and learn about a great program that fast,” said Brewton, who chose the Bulls over Northern Kentucky and Akron. “We might not even have summer school this year. This year is going to help, a lot.

“With Jayvon Graves, we’re planning on him coming back and it’ll be great work for me to work against him.”

Brewton will be reunited with former Chipola teammate Malik Zachery, who committed to the Bulls in April. Zachery, a guard, played at Chipola for the last two seasons.

“He’s probably one of the best point guards I’ve ever played with,” Brewton said. "I have a daughter, and he has a son, and we relate with each other really well.”

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