Baylor got a convincing win over Lehigh Friday night in Waco, but they may have suffered a big early season loss, as well.
The Bears held a 10-point lead at halftime and pulled away in the second half for a 99-77 victory, but star freshman center Isaiah Austin went down in the second half with what appeared to be a sprained ankle.
After making a jump hook in the lane with close to 17 minutes remaining, Austin came down awkwardly on a defender’s foot and fell to the ground in obvious pain. He remained on the ground for a time before being helped off the floor and led to the locker room by teammates.
Prior to the injury Austin was impressive, scoring 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-4 from three-point range. The Texas native and seven-footer is the crown jewel of coach Scott Drew’s strong 2012 recruiting class.
NBCSports.com will add an update as more news becomes available.
Aside from Austin’s injury, Baylor junior forward Cory Jefferson scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Senior point guard Pierre Jackson kicked it into gear in the second half and finished with a double-double of 14 points and 12 assists.
Lehigh star C.J. McCollum led the way for Mountain Hawks with 36 points on 14-of-31 shooting, but got little help on the offensive end from his teammates. Outside of McCollum, Lehigh shot 33 percent from the floor.
Baylor tips off again Sunday, as they host Jackson State. Lehigh returns to the court Monday against Robert Morris.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
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 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.