It’s been a tough week for the SMU basketball program.
Just days after it was announced that guard Emmanuel Mudiay, the crown jewel of the program’s 2014 recruiting class, would look for somewhere to play professionally (overseas) next season as opposed to attending SMU, head coach Larry Brown and his coaching staff have lost a verbal commitment in the 2015 class. Sunday afternoon four-star shooting guard Matt McQuaid made the decision to reopen his recruitment, with Evan Daniels of Scout.com reporting the news.
McQuaid is considered by some to be the best perimeter shooter in the Class of 2015, and he performed well at the LeBron James Skills Academy last week in Las Vegas with Brown among the college coaches in attendance. McQuaid’s decision leaves SMU with one verbal commitment in the class, point guard Sedrick Barefield.
McQuaid, who committed to attend SMU back in early May, also held offers from programs such as Alabama, Creighton, Oklahoma and Texas at the time of his commitment. The good news for SMU is that they recently landed a commitment from Virginia Tech transfer Ben Emelogu, and while he isn’t the shooter that McQuaid is Emelogu will be an important addition to the perimeter rotation.
In 2015 the Mustangs will have starter Nic Moore (he’ll be a senior) to go along with Emelogu and Barefield, with Keith Frazier (he’d be a junior) also having eligibility remaining.
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.