Steven Malkoski/USA Basketball

Four-star 2015 center Daniel Giddens to announce college choice July 4

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As one of the top front court prospects in the country, 2015 center Daniel Giddens has been one the receiving end of recruiting pledges from many of the nation’s top programs. However Giddens made the decision to narrow his list down to six schools in February: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio State.

And Sunday afternoon the Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler HS product announced via his Twitter account that he’ll be making his college decision on July 4, which in addition to being Independence Day is also Giddens’ birthday.

This past season Giddens, who plays alongside another highly regarded 2015 prospect in forward Jaylen Brown, helped lead Wheeler to a 28-6 record and a second place finish in the Georgia Class AAAAAA state tournament. Wheeler fell to Tift County in the title game, 63-49.

Giddens, who’s playing with E1T1 Elite this summer on the Nike EYBL circuit (6.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg in 16 games), was also a member of the United States U-16 national team last summer. That team won the FIBA Americas title, with Giddens posting averages of 6.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.

What kind of player will one of the six aforementioned schools be receiving when Giddens announces his decision July 4? Kellon Hassenstab of wrote the following about Giddens back in February:

A talented defender at this stage in his development, Giddens is still putting the pieces together on the offensive end. Playing in a strong program at Wheeler, Giddens has made an impact on the glass, as well as in blocking shots. He has all the tools to be an imposing defender and rim protector on the defensive end of the floor. He is most comfortable near the hoop on the offensive end, as is athletic enough to make plays off rebounds and in transition.

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.