Former Monmouth forward Marcus Ware joins Niagara program

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Just over two months ago it was reported that former Monmouth forward Marcus Ware, who completed his undergraduate studies at the school, would be transferring to Iona.

Turns out that Ware will remain in the MAAC, but he’ll be doing so at another school. Ware has transferred to Niagara to play for first-year head coach Chris Casey, with the school announcing its full list of newcomers on Tuesday. Also joining the Purple Eagles, who won the MAAC regular season title last season, are former Iowa State guard Cameron Fowler and freshmen Wesley Myers (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Ramone Snowden (Virginia Beach, Va.).

Like Ware, Fowler has been cleared to play immediately due to the fact that he redshirted at Iowa State last season.

As a redshirt junior at Monmouth Ware averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, finishing the season ranked third on the team in rebounding. With the loss of leading rebounder Ameen Tanksley (6.0 rpg in 2012-13), the Purple Eagles will need Ware to contribute on the glass. But Tanksley wasn’t the only key loss for Niagara, with star guard Juan’ya Green also leaving the program after head coach Joe Mihalich accepted the head coaching position at Hofstra.

Both Green and Tanksley transferred to Hofstra, where they’ll sit out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer rules. That leaves wing Antoine Mason, who posted averages of 18.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last year, to lead the way offensively as Niagara looks to become the first repeat MAAC regular season champion since Siena won three straight from 2008-2010 (the Saints shared the 2008 regular season title with Rider).

But that mission will be a tough one for Casey and company, as both Iona and Manhattan have put together strong squads entering the 2013-14 campaign.

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.