Bucknell v Butler

Butler’s Roosevelt Jones out for season following left wrist injury

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Butler’s trip to Australia turned into a costly one, as the program lost one of its key perimeter options for the 2013-14 season.

According to the Butler athletic department, junior wing Roosevelt Jones will miss the entire 2013-14 campaign after tearing ligaments in his left wrist. Jones, who suffered the injury during the Bulldogs’ first game of the trip, is expected to make a full recovery for the 2014-15 season.

“First and foremost, our thoughts are with Roosevelt,” stated Butler head coach Brandon Miller in the release.  “He has worked very hard to position himself to have a terrific junior hear.  Having said that, Roosevelt is a tough-minded, determined young man, and I am confident he will return from this adversity an even better player and person.

“Despite not playing, Roosevelt will continue to have an impact in leading this team as we move forward.”

Not only did Jones average 10.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest last season, but he also led the Bulldogs with an average of 3.5 assists per game. With Rotnei Clarke having graduated, Butler’s a very young team on the perimeter with Jones being their most experienced option.

His injury means that junior Jackson Aldridge is Butler’s leading returnee in assist percentage (20.0%) according to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers. But Aldridge did so with a possession percentage of 17.7%, with Jones factoring into 23.6% of the Bulldogs’ possessions in 2012-13.

Aldridge, sophomore Kellen Dunham and newcomers Elijah Brown and Rene Castro will need to account for Jones’ departure from a playmaking standpoint, and the Bulldogs do have senior Khyle Marshall at the small forward position as well. And even with all of this talk about Jones’ ability as a playmaker, his impact as a versatile defender shouldn’t be ignored either.

But there’s no glossing over the fact that this is a critical loss for Butler as it begins its first season as a member of the Big East.

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.