Melvin Ejim, Javan Felix

Hip procedure sidelines Texas PG Javan Felix indefinitely

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With Myck Kabongo sidelined for the first 23 games of the 2012-13 season due to a violation of NCAA rules (and his not being forthcoming when questioned about his acceptance of impermissible benefits), Texas point guard Javan Felix went through a “baptism by fire” of sorts at the point guard position. The New Orleans native took his lumps and so did his young teammates, finishing the season with averages of 6.8 points and 4.1 assists per game on a team that finished with an overall record of 16-18 (7-11 Big 12). 

That experience could potentially serve as the foundation for an improved sophomore season, but unfortunately for Felix and head coach Rick Barnes the answer the point guard could miss some game time. On Wednesday the school announced that just over a week ago Felix underwent a surgical procedure on his hip, and as a result he’s out indefinitely. 

“Javan had a successful procedure on his left hip performed on Tuesday, October 1st,” Texas athletic trainer Eric Fry said via the team’s Twitter account. “He has begun his rehab process and is expected to make a full recovery. Javan obviously is not practicing with the team at this time. We won’t have a specific timetable for his return, but we are looking forward to getting him back.”

With Kabongo now playing professionally and three other guards having transferred over the last two seasons, the Longhorns are once again young on the perimeter. Felix and fellow sophomore Demarcus Holland (3.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 2012-13) are the “veterans” for coach Barnes, with four freshman guards joining the program this season. 

Kendal Yancy and Isaiah Taylor both played the point in high school, so those two would likely be next in line to run the show if Felix were forced to miss any game action. Texas also adds shooting guards Damarcus Croaker and Martez Walker. Despite the presence of some talented players experience could once again be an issue, with the Longhorns having just one upperclassman on the entire roster (junior forward Jonathan Holmes). 

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.