Villanova v Syracuse

Report: James Southerland will miss at least two more games

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James Southerland will miss at least two more games before his appeal his heard, according to a report from the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Syracuse senior James Southerland will have his appeal to regain eligibility heard next week, a source told the Post-Standard on Thursday.


The source said Southerland’s appeal will be in front of a Syracuse University panel; not NCAA officials.

Southerland was suspended on January 12th for an unspecified academic issue. He’s missed the last four games, a stretch where Syracuse has gone 3-1. They beat Villanova and Cincinnati at home, then went into Louisville and knocked off the Cardinals before losing to Villanova on the road. Southerland is the best three-point shooter and the second-leading scorer for the Orange.

Syracuse plays at Pitt on Saturday and hosts Notre Dame on Monday. Jim Boeheim will have an even shorter bench during those two games as the result of a procedure done on the knee of freshman big man DaJuan Coleman. That puts more pressure on freshman Jerami Grant, who’s averaged 10.0 points and 5.5 boards the past four games, to produce.

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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.