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Men’s basketball adds JUCO guard Watkins, SEMO forward Branson – Bellarmine University Athletics

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bellarmine University men’s basketball head coach Scott Davenport today announced the signings of guard Myles Watkins, a junior college transfer, and forward Dylan Branson, a graduate transfer from Southeast Missouri State.
 
Watkins comes to Bellarmine from Pasadena City College in southern California, where he was the school’s Men’s Athlete of the Year this past season and an All-South Coast Conference North Division First Team selection. The Frisco, Texas, native had a strong run at PCC, starting all 61 games during his two seasons. He was a key factor in helping turn the Lancers into a ranked program after a one-win season the year prior to his arrival and leaves the school 18th on their all-time scoring list with 901 points.
 
“We value every aspect of recruiting and roster management,” said Davenport. “I sent Coach Al Davis on a mission: Find a 6-foot-3 Al Davis. We were looking for a loyal, competitive winner. This describes Myles Watkins on and off the court.”
 
Watkins averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists during his 31 games as a freshman as the Lancers improved from 1-26 to 22-9. As a sophomore, he increased those averages to 18.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in leading PCC to a No. 15 seed in the Southern California Regional. He dropped 25 points in a first-round victory and 21 points in their quarterfinal loss to the No. 2 seed.
 
“I chose Bellarmine University because I feel confident it’s a place where I can grow on and off the court,” said Watkins. “I worked out in front of countless schools, but Coach Davenport and his staff believed in me. I look forward to being embraced by the Bellarmine community and I am ready to represent the university.”
 
Watkins played his prep ball at Centennial High School (TX), where he was All-District Second Team in District 9-5A, before enrolling at MiraCosta College (CA) and redshirting during the 2021-22 season. He comes to Bellarmine with two years of eligibility remaining.
 
“Need a playmaker? He makes plays. Need a rebounder? Myles rebounds. Score? He scores. Myles is a player,” Davenport added.
 
A 6-foot-5 forward, Branson played four seasons at SEMO where he appeared in 100 games, starting 52 of 64 during his sophomore and junior seasons. The St. Louis, Mo., native shot 51.9 percent both overall from the field and from three-point range as a freshman. As a junior, he averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds while making 45.5 percent of his field goals and ranking fifth on the team in made threes.
 
“I truly believe in someone who loves what they do they will excel in that chosen endeavor,” said Davenport. “Dylan loves basketball. His family is all basketball—the son of a coach, being a player is in his blood.”
 

In the postseason during his junior year, Branson scored 10 points in SEMO’s OVC Tournament championship game win over Tennessee Tech to help them to an NCAA Tournament berth. He recorded eight points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals in the Redhawks’ First Four loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
 
“I am super excited about this new opportunity,” Branson said. “Ultimately, I chose Bellarmine because of the genuine coaching staff who made me feel valued and understood from the start. Their commitment to excellence and fostering a winning culture aligns perfectly with my personal and athletic goals. The positive and driven environment at Bellarmine will provide the ideal foundation for my development both on and off the court. I can’t wait to get to campus and start building relationships with my teammates and throughout the community.”
 
As a senior this past season, Brandon missed 22 games due to a foot injury after averaging 4.0 points and 3.6 rebounds over nine games (three starts). He comes with high-level winning experience to Bellarmine and is expected to bring a combination of toughness and leadership. He will have one year of eligibility remaining.
 
“His recruitment was very rewarding because everyone involved shared the same goals,” added Davenport. “On the court, he is a vocal leader.
 
The additions of Watkins and Branson complete a class that Davenport is ecstatic about.
 
“The six new additions to our roster embrace what it means to represent Bellarmine,” he concluded. “Let’s go!”
 
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