Kentucky cruised to a 76-42 victory over Division III Translyvania on Friday night, but it wasn’t all positive coming out of the Wildcat locker room.
The most talented team in the country only led 41-30 at the half and allowed six three-pointers in the first half before they made a run in the second half to put the game away.
A trio of freshman led the way for Kentucky as backup center Dakari Johnson had nine points, eight rebounds, a steal and a block in 17 minutes while shooting guard James Young stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block. Julius Randle looked dominant at times with 16 points and 12 boards in 26 minutes.
Among the interesting takeaways from this game includes an interesting quote from head coach John Calipari as he told John Clay, “We had a lot of non competitive guys out there. They’re just going to have to learn. This was a great lesson for them.”
“If you don’t compete, I’m taking you out, which is what I’ve always done throughout my coaching career until last year. I couldn’t.”
Randle also thought he could have played better and mentions that in this video interview also posted from John Clay.
Although Kentucky’s first half was so-so, with so many new pieces and freshmen getting significant playing time, they’re going to take some time to fully adjust and mesh together, especially on the offensive end.
Calipari’s “non competitive guys” quote is interesting though because with so much talent in Lexington it means that guys have to produce in order to earn playing time and some McDonald’s All-Americans will be stuck on the bench.
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.