Love lands back in PB


JoVaughn Love’s basketball path is taking him back to Pine Bluff after two years of junior college.

A standout forward for Pine Bluff High two years ago, Love is one of four players who have signed letters of intent with the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s men’s basketball team, the school announced Friday.

UAPB also landed David Tillman of Sugar Land, Texas, Sterling Smoak of San Antonio and Ghiavonni Robinson of Itta Bena, Miss. Robinson’s signing was announced last month.

“We met some areas of concern, we brought in some big, athletic scorers,” coach George Ivory said in a news release. “We got everything we needed to be very competitive this year. We will have more size in the paint. I will be looking for some returning leadership to help with the team chemistry.”

Love (6-foot-8, 210 pounds) spent the last two years at Seminole State College in Oklahoma, where he averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks per game. Love has the ability to knock down the three-point shot and attack the basket off the dribble.

Tillman (6-foot-9, 235 pounds) is one of two signees straight out of high school, along with Robinson. He averaged 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks per game for Texas 5A state champion Fort Bend Travis. He has a 7-foot-2 wing span and played alongside Kentucky signees Andrew and Aaron Harrison (twin brothers) at Travis.

Smoak (6-foot-9, 225 pounds) averaged 5 points and 7 rebounds per game at Motlow State Community College in Tennessee. He helped Motlow reach the NJCAA tournament this season.

Robinson (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) averaged 23 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks this past season at Leflore County High School.

This year, UAPB finished 16-14 overall for its first winning season since 2010 and was third in SWAC standings, but did not play in the postseason because of NCAA sanctions for a low Academic Progress Rate. Barring another low APR, UAPB will be eligible for the postseason in 2013-14.