Tip off is set for 4 p.m. at Rupp Arena
Cypheus Bunton (pronounced SEE-fuss) enters his fourth season as part of the men's basketball staff at South Carolina in 2011-12. Bunton spent the 2010-11 season as the team's director of player development, and the previous two seasons as an assistant coach for the Carolina basketball program. Bunton made the move to South Carolina prior to the 2008-09 season after serving as an assistant under Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn at Western Kentucky.
In the role of director of player development, Bunton worked with the Gamecock student-athletes on a daily basis with an array of on-campus duties.
In his second season (2009-10) in Columbia, Bunton joined forces with the South Carolina coaching staff to help lead the Gamecocks to an 11-5 mark in Colonial Life Arena, a road victory in their SEC opener at Auburn - Carolina's first victory in a league opener on the road since the 1993 campaign - and an upset victory over No. 1 Kentucky in a nationally-televised contest during the 2009-10 season. The squad also continued its upward trend in the classroom.
In the summer of 2010, South Carolina's recruiting class achieved its highest rankings in recent history. A collective effort by the entire Gamecock coaching staff, the class was ranked No. 17 in the country according to Scout.com, No. 22 in the Rivals.com rankings and was the No. 25 class according to ESPN.com.
Bunton helped lead the Gamecocks to one of the most successful seasons in recent history during the 2008-09 campaign, as South Carolina earned double-digit SEC victories for the first time since the 1998 season and earned the SEC Eastern Division Co-Championship. The Gamecocks have reached double-digit victories just three times in their 20-year history competing in the SEC. Additionally, Carolina's 21 wins in 2008-09 marked its first 20-win season since the 2005-06 campaign.
Bunton played an integral role in the success of the 2007-08 Hilltopper squad that captured the Sun Belt Conference Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16", posting victories over Drake and San Diego before falling to top-seeded UCLA. Western Kentucky compiled a school-record 29 wins, finishing the season with an overall record of 29-7.
In his first season as an assistant coach at WKU in 2004-05, Bunton was part of a staff that guided the Hilltoppers to an opening-round victory in the National Invitation Tournament on the way to a 22-9 finish and a 9-5 mark in the Sun Belt Conference. A year later, his efforts helped the Toppers better their overall mark by one game, as WKU won the Sun Belt Conference East Division Championship outright with a 12-2 record, advanced to the title contest of the league tournament and was invited to the NIT for the second-consecutive season. In 2006-07, Bunton again helped the Toppers to a 20-win season as they finished 22-11 (12-6 in the Sun Belt).
Bunton competed at Sullivan Junior College, where he helped the Executives to a 55-14 (.797) record and back-to-back Kentucky Junior College Athletic Conference championships during his two-year career. SJC also advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament his final season after winning the NJCAA Region 7 Tournament.
Bunton played two years at WKU, helping the Hilltoppers to a 46-17 (.730 winning percentage) overall mark, berths in the NCAA Tournament in each of his seasons, one Sun Belt Conference championship and one SBC Tournament title.
Bunton brings a wealth of experience in addition to his playing time in college, having played professionally for nine seasons before serving as the head coach of the Louisville Legends AAU 17-and-under team during the 2003-04 season. That includes two seasons in the Continental Basketball Association and another with the National Basketball Development League as well as overseas experience in four countries. Bunton was the Most Valuable Player of the Swedish Basketball League during the 1996-97 campaign and he also earned MVP honors in the British Basketball League's 2000 All-Star Game.
Bunton was a four-year letterwinner at Valley High School in Louisville, Ky., where he earned all-state and all-conference accolades as a senior. He is a 1995 WKU graduate with a bachelor's degree in recreation.