Chronic knee pain caused Keith Pickens to announce his retirement from the game late in his junior season (3/1/13), but summer progress and a desire to play an impactful senior season have brought about his return to the Bears this fall as a fifth-year performer. Despite being limited last season, Pickens led the Bears in rebounding avearge (4.7) and will bring unparalleled experience to the squad this season.
Started 19 of 30 games he participated in, leading the Bears in rebounding average (4.7 rpg) with team-high 16 blocks ... In MVC Games only, he finished 8th in the league in offensive rebounds (2.1) and 11th in total rebounds (5.3) ... Tallied 11 points and 5 rebounds in just under 40 minutes vs. Wichita State (3/8/13) in MVC Tournament quarterfinals with a block and a pair of steals ... Had 7 points in MVC Tournament win over SIU (3/7/13) ... Tallied 8 points with a 4-for-4 effort at the line in Senior Night win over Bradley (3/2/13) ... On 3/1/13, he announced he would retire from the game at the end of the current season due to chronic knee pain ... Shared team high with 5 boards at Illinois State (2/27/13) ... Had team-high 7 boards and knocked down a 3-pointer vs. UNI (2/19/13) ... Played 37 minutes, was 3-for-3 from the field and snagged game-high 8 boards in win at SIU (2/16/13) ... Registered 11 points and team-high 9 rebounds in home win over Indiana State (2/12/13) with 11 FGA, 1 block and 2 steals ... Shared team-high rebounding honors at No. 22 Wichita State (2/9/13) ... Matched career high with 4 blocks to go with team-high 6 rebounds in win over Evansville (2/2/13) ... Had a career game in home win over Drake (1/27/13) with 19 points, team-high 7 rebounds and 2 blocks ... Had 7 points and 4 boards in second league start (1/16/13) at Indiana State ... Led Bears in scoring for the first time in his career with 10 points and team-high 4 rebounds in first Valley start of year vs. No. 11/13 Creighton (1/11/13) ... Had team-high 6 rebounds with 2 assists and a blocked shot in win over Illinois State (1/8/13) ... Came off the bench to tally 10 points and 6 boards in win at Drake (1/5/13) with first dunk of the season ... Played 33 minutes off the bench and finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals at Evansville (1/2/13)... Scored 8 points and 5 boards in Valley opener against SIU (12/30/12) on 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 at the line ... Started 9 straight games from 11/17/12 to 12/15/12 ... Had season-high 4 assists against SMU (11/25/12) in Puerto Vallarta ... Scored 5 points and game-high 8 rebounds in overtime loss to South Carolina in Puerto Vallarta (11/24/12) ... Snatched 10 rebounds vs. Malone (11/21/12) at JQH Arena for his third career double-figure rebound game and was 3-for-6 from the field ... Averaged 9.0 boards per game for two-game stretch vs. Malone and USC ... Scored 11 points at home against Jacksonville (11/19/12) with a 3-pointer and 6-for-6 effort at the line ... Scored 9 points against No. 23/25 San Diego State (11/17/12) with 4 field goals and 6 rebounds ... Played one game on the summer tour of Costa Rica and had 10 points and 4 assists against the Costa Rica National Team ... Named to MSU Athletic Director's Honor roll for spring 2013 semester.
As the team's top defender his sophomore season, drawing a team-high 21 charges, with 19 blocks and 18 steals ... Finished 3rd on the club in rebounding (127), despite playing just 21.6 minutes per game, and was 2nd in blocks (19), 4th in assists (42) and 5th in scoring (140) ... Started seven of the last eight games to end the season with six in a row ... In conference games only, he ranked 7th in the league in blocked shots (0.9) and 13th in rebounds (5.6) ... Was 3-for-3 from the field with 6 points and an assist against Evansville (3/2/12) in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals ... Posted career-high 38 minutes with a game-high 10 rebounds in regular-season finale at Evansville (2/25/12) ... Had 6 rebounds and a dunk against Indiana State (2/22/12), his fifth start in six games ... Was 4-for-6 from the field and posted 11 points and 5 boards against Old Dominion (2/18/12) on ESPNU ... Notched 6 rebounds in start at Wichita State (2/15/12) ... Posted game-high 12 rebounds with 4 blocked shots and 6 points in home win over Bradley (2/12/12) ... Posted game-high 9 rebounds in win at Southern Illinois (2/8/12) to go with 9 points off the bench ... Returned to the starting lineup in road win vs. Drake (2/4/12) with career-high 31 minutes, 6 points and 6 rebounds ... Posted a career-high 12 points at home against Wichita State (2/1/12) on 5-of-7 shooting with 4 boards ... Had a pair of rebounds, a key put-back and made 2-of-3 free throws in home win over UNI (1/28/12) ... Logged 16 minutes and 5 rebounds in OT loss at Illinois State (1/25/12) ... Did not play in win at Bradley (1/21/12) while recovering from nagging injuries ... Had career highs in free throws (5) and assists (5) in 30 minutes with a 10-point outburst in home loss to Evansville (1/15/12), his fourth straight start ... Posted 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assissts at Northern Iowa (1/13/12) ... Had 6 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in win over Southern Illinois (1/10/12) ... Made his first start of the season in win at Indiana State (1/7/12), securing 5 points and 7 rebounds ... Had 8 points, including a dunk, in home loss to Illinois State (1/4/12) ... Saw 26 minutes and had 7 points, 8 rebounds and team-high 3 assists in home win over Drake (12/31/11) ... Came off the bench to log 23 minutes with 5 boards, 2 assists and a pair of blocks in win at No. 19 Creighton (12/28/11) in MVC opener ... Played 8 minutes and had a basket and a pair of assists against West Virginia (12/22/11) in Vegas after missing two games ... Registered 10 minutes in win at UALR (12/10/11) ... Went 5-of-6 at the line and snagged 3 rebounds vs. Oklahoma State (12/7/11) ... Had 28 minutes, 8 rebounds and 4 assists off the bench at ORU (11/30/11) ... Had a pair of blocks in win over Tulsa (11/26/11) ... Had 6 points and 5 rebounds in home opener against Emporia State (11/19/11) ... Played 22 minutes at Arkansas State (11/15/11) with 8 points and a 2-for-2 effort at the line ... Had 5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists off the bench in season opener at Nevada (11/11/11).
After rupturing his left patellar tendon doing off-season conditioning in his hometown of St. Louis in August 2010, he missed the entire season after subsquent emergency knee surgery.
Started 17 games as a true freshman and finished sixth on the squad in rebounds (78) and steals (21) and seventh in scoring (130), while starting 17 ball games as a true freshman ... Missed the first three games of the season and the last three rounds of the CIT with a knee injury ... Had minor knee surgery on April 7, 2010 ... Scored 6 points vs. Middle Tennesse (3/17/10) in CIT first-round game, his first start in over two months (1/9/10), while playing 23 minutes ... Hit key three-pointer in MVC Tournament Quarterfinals vs. Wichita State (3/5/10) and had 4 rebounds in MVC Tourney first round vs. Evansville (3/4/10) with career-high 23 minutes ... Was 3-for-4 from the field with 6 points in home win over Drake (2/24/10) ... Had another 4-point effort in BracketBusters win against Nevada (2/20/10) on ESPN2 with 3 rebounds and 1 steal ... Led Bears in rebounding (6) for first time in career in loss at Illinois State (2/17/10) while tallying 4 points and a steal ... Played 22 minutes at Wichita State (2/14/10) with 4 points and 3 rebounds ... Had 3 steals to go with 6 rebounds and 6 points vs. Southern Illinois (2/10/10) and earn game ball honors ... Had 2 assists vs. Creighton (2/6/10) ... Had 4 rebounds vs. #25 Northern Iowa (1/30/10) with 22 minutes off the bench ... Notched 6 points in win over Evansville (1/27/10) on 3-of-5 shooting effort and was game ball recipient for his efforts ... Played 21 minutes at Creighton (1/24/10) with 2 rebounds, 4 points and 2-for-2 at the FT line ... Scored 11 points with first multiple-three-point game (2-2) in win over Indiana State (1-19-10) while going 5-for-6 at the line, including 2 key free throws in overtime ...Started first 16 games in 2009-10 before coming off the bench for the first time in loss at Drake (1/12/10) ... Was 2-for-3 from field for 4 points at Drake (1/12/10) ... Was 2-for-2 at the line and had 4 points against Bradley (1/9/10) ... Had 2 steals and 2 rebounds in win at hometown Saint Louis University (12/19/09) ... Posted season-best 8 rebounds and got to the free throw line 10 times, making 5 of last 6 charity shots vs. UTM (12/9/09) ... Was 4-for-4 at the line in win over Air Force (12/5/09) and had 6 points overall ... Posted 10 points and 3 rebounds in win at UALR (12/2/09) on 5-of-7 shooting ... Scored 8 points vs. Citadel (11/21/09) on 2-of-3 shooting from the field and his first career three-pointer ...
Three-year starter for Coach Nick Traxler at Oakville High School in St. Louis ... Averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a senior in 2008-09 for the Tigers ... Guided his team to a 23-9 season and Class 5 fourth-place finish in Missouri in school's first-ever final four appearance ... Was a consensus Class 5 All-State selection by the MBCA and Associated Press ... Blocked 114 shots, which ranked seventh among all St. Louis players ... Scored a season-high 29 points on 1/19/09 against University City ... Earned St. Louis Post-Dispatch First-Team All-Metro Honors as a senior ... Played alongside fellow MSU signee Jerome Jones in Ramey Basketball All-Star Game after his senior season, scoring eight points with 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots ... As a junior in 2007-08, he averaged 13.0 points and 5.9 rebounds, with 2.3 blocks and 1.7 assists ... Collected 7.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest in his sophomore campaign in 2006-07 ... Scored 4 points in his only varsity appearance his freshman season ... Played AAU basketball for Ramey Basketball ... signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Missouri State on Nov. 12, 2008 after being recruited by former head coach Cuonzo Martin and assistant Jon Harris.
Keith Eric Pickens was born 4/17/1991 in St. Louis, Mo. ... He is the son of Graig and Phyllis Jeffries of St. Louis ... Has three brothers, Mark, Antione, and Dwayne, and a sister, Tamika ... Majoring in Sports Management ... Chose Missouri State over Evansville, Southern Illinois, Austin Peay, Saint Louis, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.