Off the basketball court, Brookland-Cayce guard Kyle Stinson is soft-spoken. He answers nearly every question with one or two sentences.
But put him on the floor in his Bearcat uniform, and he transforms into a dead-eye shooter that can score from anywhere. His offensive resurgence this season has made opposing team’s gameplan for him despite little preseason notoriety.
The 6-foot-1 senior guard is averaging 21.2 points per game, and he has scored over 20 points in seven of 16 games this season. His posted a season-high 34 points against Wagener-Salley, and he has reached double figures in all 16 games. That has helped Brookland-Cayce to a 10-6 start, the most wins in a season since 2008.
“He can flat out with play,” B-C coach Robert Wells said. “ He’s been a big difference this year. He was an under the radar type of guy. As a sophomore, he played on the junior varsity. It took him a little while to get going and playing to his ability. He had a lot to learn about basketball, but around region time last year, he started standing out a little bit, and it’s continued this season. He’s got to be one of the best shooters in the state of South Carolina.”
Stinson is well rounded. He averages six rebounds, five steals and five assists per game, but it’s his ability to score that has made him a standout. He’s seen his share of “junk” defenses to try and slow him down.
“I usually see something different every game,” Stinson said. “Teams have tried a box-and one or keep me away from the ball to try and slow or team down. My teammates usually step up and score when the defense focuses too much on me.”
Stinson is following three brothers that previously played for the Bearcats. He’s been around the game for much of his life, and it’s his first love despite being an All-Region safety in football. Being the under-the-radar guy has made this season a surprise.
Wells, who played at Brookland-Cayce in the early 2000’s, is in his second year as coach.
“He’s gained a lot of confidence just by seeing the ball go through the hoop,” Wells said. “He’s always been a good shooter, but he can create his shot and get to the basket now. He’s learning when people come out to guard him, he has to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. He has a knack for scoring.”
The glimpses came late last season. Stinson connected on 10 3-pointers and scored 39 points against Swansea. Given that bit of promise, Stinson has turned himself into a gym rat.
He often arrives at practice early or stays late.
“I stay in the gym every day or I come in before practice to get up as many shots as I can,” Stinson said.
Wells says football has helped Stinson on the basketball floor. He takes an aggressive approach but understands when to defer to his teammates.
“He puts the work in,” Wells said. “He stays after practice and puts shots up. He takes coaching very well and makes adjustments during the game. The best thing I can say is he’s a competitor. He’s not big at all but he understands how to compete.”