Rider head coach Kevin Baggett announces completion of coaching staff

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As announced by Rider University, first-year head coach Kevin Baggett made three hires to complete his coaching staff for the 2012-12 campaign.

Joining now associate head coach Mike Witcoskie (promoted in May) as assistants are Louis Rowe and Michael Cotton, and John Griffin comes on board as the director of basketball operations.

Rowe, who played professionally overseas following his career at James Madison (two seasons there after playing his first two at Florida), arrives in Lawrenceville after spending four seasons as an assistant at his alma mater.

“I’m excited to have Coach Rowe join our staff,” said Baggett in a statement released by the school. “Louis is a guy with great character that possesses the will and desire to win.

“His knowledge of the game and experience are two of his many resourceful credentials and he’s already had proven success in his collegiate and professional careers both on and off the court. I am really looking forward to working with Louis.”

Cotton and Griffin both have a connection to Bucknell, where Cotton was an assistant for four seasons and Griffin a member of two NCAA tournament teams as a player.

“We are fortunate to have Coach Cotton join our program as he has a passion and energy for the game that will help elevate us to new levels,” said Baggett in the same statement.

“A competitive spirit combined with a formula for academic success is what Mike brings to our staff and I am eager to work with him.”

Griffin, who played four seasons in England after graduating from Bucknell in 2008, was video coordinator for the Indiana Pacers last season.

The fact that all three have collegiate and professional playing experience wasn’t lost on Baggett, who feels that the Broncs can learn from the assistants’ experiences overseas.

“I don’t think we have anybody on our team that is an NBA player at this point, but we have some guys that can play overseas and make a good living out of it,” Baggett said.

“What was important with my staff and putting them together was getting guys with overseas experience and having our guys be able to relate to them.

“I want our guys to be able to pick their brains everyday about how they got to where they’re at. It was important to surround myself with guys like that.”

The Broncs have to account for the loss of Novar Gadson and Jeff Jones, but Danny Stewart leads the returnees up front and St. John’s transfer Nurideen Lindsey will help matters on the perimeter in 2012-13.

Photo credit: Jackie Schear/The Trentonian

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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.