Texas A&M’s Billy Kennedy discusses decision to part ways with top assistant Glynn Cyprien

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In three seasons at Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy has put together a record of 50 wins and 49 losses, with the program yet to reach the NCAA tournament under his watch. With players such as Alex Caruso, Jamal Jones and Kourtney Roberson all expected back next season, the hope in College Station is that Texas A&M will play its way into a postseason tournament of higher prestige than the CBI.

Texas A&M will attempt to do so with a coaching staff that will look much different than the one that sat on the bench in 2013-14, with Kennedy parting ways with top assistant Glynn Cyprien and John Reese this offseason. Reese’s departure came a couple months after his son, J-Mychal, was dismissed from the program for a violation of team rules.

As for Cyprien, Kennedy discussed the matter with Brett Zwenerman of the San Antonio Express-News, noting that the decision was one he made on his own.

“It was in the best interest of our program to make changes that needed to be made,” said Kennedy, who’s yet to make the NCAA or NIT postseasons over three years at A&M. “Sometimes it’s best for both parties to go their different ways. We’ve got to get better and we needed to make some changes to get better as a program.”

Kyle Keller and Mitch Cole, who according to the story went from special assistant to the head coach to an assistant coaching role following the departure of Reese, are the current assistants on Kennedy’s staff.

However while it will be interesting to see who fills the void left by Cyprien, what will be more important for the future of the program is that they improve their standing within the SEC. Texas A&M has won 18 games in consecutive seasons but they’ve got just one postseason berth, this season’s CBI, to show for it.

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.