With returnees Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson being sophomores, Houston transfer Joseph Young being a junior (either this season or next, depending upon the result of his request to be granted immediate eligibility) and junior college transfers Elgin Cook and Jalil Abdul-Bassit being juniors as well, the Oregon Ducks don’t lack for depth on the perimeter.
Dana Altman’s squad got even deeper on the perimeter Sunday, as Mount San Jacinto (Calif.) College wing Dwayne Benjamin verbally committed to the Pac-12 school. Benjamin, who joins point guard Casey Benson in Oregon’s 2014 class, took his official visit to Oregon this weekend.
Benjamin started 28 of their 31 games he played in last season, posting averages of 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Benjamin shot 46.7% from the floor for Mount San Jacinto, which finished the 2012-13 season with a 21-11 record. Benjamin’s season high in points was 29, a total he reached in two separate contests, and he posted seven double-doubles as a freshman. One of Benjamin’s best outings came in the second-to-last game of the season, as he tallied 28 points and ten rebounds in an 83-78 win over Ventura JC.
As noted above Benjamin joins a perimeter attack that has depth, with Artis, Dotson and Young in line to lead the way in 2014. Oregon loses UNLV transfer Mike Moser, whose versatility can be an asset when healthy (Moser averaged 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in 2011-12), and Benjamin has the look of a player who can help the Ducks in a similar fashion.
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.