Illinois tension: Richmond, Weber at odds

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Apparently there’s more friction in Champaign. Luckily for Illinois, it doesn’t involve Demetri McCamey.

Freshman Jereme Richmond didn’t play in Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin because he missed practice time and had a basic lack of preparation, according to a story in the St. Louis Dispatch. Big Ten Network analyst Jim Jackson tweeted he has sources who said Richmond wanted to transfer, but he later back off that claim.

Weber says Richmond “hopefully” will play Tuesday against Michigan State. The players aren’t talking, either.

Asked if he was surprised that Richmond didn’t play, forward Bill Cole offered an abrupt, “No.” Said forward Tyler Griffey, “I’m not going to comment on the Jereme situation, sorry.”

The only one who’s talking? McCamey. And he’s backing the coach. (Lesson learned from last year.)

“He’s part of the team and coach Weber played the best people, so nobody talked about Jereme and everyone was just trying to win a ballgame,” McCamey told the paper. “Everybody has a chance to play the next game. That’s up to coach Weber.”

Richmond is averaging 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.

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Creighton lands 2016 combo guard

Greg McDermott
Associated Press
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Sunday evening Creighton got on the board in the Class of 2016, as 6-foor-4 combo guard Davion Mintz made his pledge to Greg McDermott’s program. Mintz made the decision on the tail end of his official visit to Creighton, picking the Bluejays over Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Tulsa and Wichita State.

News of Mintz’s commitment was first reported by Rick Lewis of the Phenom Hoop Report, with Mintz confirming the news via Twitter shortly thereafter.

Creighton has just two seniors on its current roster in guard Jams Milliken and forward Geoffrey Groselle, but that doesn’t mean they lack for experience. Among the guards on the roster who will be around when Mintz arrives on campus are redshirt juniors Maurice Watson Jr., Malik Albert, and Isaiah Zierden, and Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster will be eligible in 2016-17.

Mintz, who attends North Mecklenberg HS just outside of Charlotte, can play either on or off the basketball. Creighton’s veteran guards should help Mintz with his transition to the college game when he arrives in Omaha in 2016. Mintz played for the Charlotte Nets grassroots program this summer.

Three-star power forward commits to WVU

Bob Huggins
Associated Press
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Three days after landing one power forward in Sagaba Konate, West Virginia received a verbal commitment from another big man Sunday evening.

6-foot-11 Mountain Mission School (Gurndy, Virginia) power forward Maciej Bender became the Mountaineers’ fourth commitment in the Class of 2016 on Sunday, with the Mountain Mission program announcing the news via Twitter. Bender is a native of Poland, and in addition to Konate he joins guards Brandon Knapper and Chase Harler in West Virginia’s 2016 recruiting class.

West Virginia will lose two forwards in TyQuane Goard and Jonathan Holton at the end of the 2015-16 season, and the additions of Konate and Bender will help the Mountaineers account for those departures from a depth standpoint. Bender can score around the basket, but he’s also capable of facing up and scoring in pick-and-pop situations out beyond the three-point line.

Bender officially visited West Virginia last weekend, and he was a player the WVU coaching staff wanted to get in the fold. Other programs to offer Bender included Arizona State (teammate Jethro Tshisumpa is an ASU commit), Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Providence. Bender played his grassroots basketball for the West Virginia Wildcats program this summer.