Florida got some great news on Thursday: everyone’s healthy and cleared to practice!
Will Yeguete, who missed the last six games with a knee injury he suffered in Florida’s loss at Arkansas, had surgery to remove bits of cartilage floating in his knee. The 6-foot-7 forward is an invaluable piece to Florida’s defense, a versatile glue-guy that hits the glass and plays the point in Florida’s press.
Michael Frazier, who is Florida’s best three-point shooter and the SEC’s leader from beyond the arc in conference games, suffered a concussion last Saturday, which forced him to miss Tuesday’s loss at Tennessee.
Perhaps the scariest incident was Casey Prather’s. The athletic, 6-foot-6 swingman has dealt with all kinds of injuries this season, including a sprained ankle that cost him five SEC games and a pair of concussions that held him out of the first five games of the season. On Tuesday, he went face first into Mike Rosario’s shoulder, which opened up a faucet above his left eye and was yet another blow to the head, never a good thing for a kid dealing with concussion problems.
But they all appear as if they’re now good to go.
They’re cleared for full-contact practice and, hopefully, will be on the floor on Saturday when Florida takes on Alabama at home.
That’s important for the Gators seeing as, in the past couple of weeks, concerns have popped up about this team. But those concerns were the result of a roster that was not complete; the Gators were simply punishing teams when healthy.
Can they get back to that level?
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
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.