Victor Oladipo, Kyle Vinales

Toledo lands former Central Connecticut St. guard Kyle Vinales (UPDATED)

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(UPDATE: Vinales has since backed off his commitment.)

In two seasons at Central Connecticut State, Kyle Vinales proved to be one of the better scoring guards at the mid-major level. Vinales averaged 19.8 points per contest during his time in New Britain (21.8 ppg last season), but something was missing: postseason success.

The Blue Devils failed to reach the semifinals of the NEC tournament in either of Vinales’ two seasons, and that lack of success ultimately led to his decision to transfer.

Via Twitter Vinales announced his decision to transfer to Toledo. The move is somewhat surprising given Vinales’ stated desire to reach postseason play, as the Rockets haven’t gone to the NCAA tournament since 1980.

Toledo won 15 games last season, a campaign that included a postseason ban due to APR issues. But with leading scorers Rian Pearson (17.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Julius Brown (13.1, 6.0 apg) returning and Loyola (MD) transfer Justin Drummond eligible after sitting out last season, the Rockets could be poised to make a jump in the MAC pecking order.

Vinales won’t fit into that equation on the court as he’ll be required to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules. But he can help them in practice, and once eligible (2014-15) Vinales will join Brown and Drummond as Toledo’s biggest factors.

Raphielle 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.