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.
Marcus Foster, a guard whose sophomore season at Kansas State was an inconsistent one, has found a new home. Foster, who entered last season as a candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year, has decided that he’ll complete his college career at Creighton.
Foster announced the decision on Twitter, and after sitting out the 2015-16 season he’ll have two years to play under head coach Greg McDermott.
As a sophomore Foster averaged 12.5 points per game, shooting just under 39 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. He and head coach Bruce Weber clashed on multiple occasions throughout the season, but that was the story for most of the Kansas State team as a group that reached the NCAA tournament in 2014 finished below .500. In the case of Foster a change of scenery may benefit him, and he joins a Creighton system that should serve him well once eligible.
While Foster sits out this season Creighton will look for major contributions from two other transfers in guard Maurice Watson and forward Cole Huff, both of whom sat out the 2014-15 campaign per NCAA transfer rules. Both were productive options at their previous stops, Watson at Boston University and Huff at Nevada, and that will need to be the case next season as the Bluejays lost their lone double-digit scorer in guard Austin Chatman.
Foster is the fifth newcomer who will join the Creighton program this summer with the other four being freshmen. Guards Malon Stewart and Khyri Thomas, and forwards Justin Patton and Martin Krampelj complete the class, with the 6-foot-10 Patton the most highly regarded of the freshman quartet.
In looking to keep up in the Big East after the graduation of All-American Doug McDermott, Creighton has continued to aggressively recruit the country for talent, but they’ve also improved their on-campus amenities immensely with their new practice facility.
Athletic director Bruce Rasmussen showed off the new $13 million practice facility to the media on Friday. The Associated Press was there to take it in.
“Kids and their parents want to see if you’re walking the talk,” Rasmussen said to the media. “Everybody wants to be Top 25. They say we want to be an NCAA-caliber program every year. You come into the strength-and-conditioning area, you go into the athletic training area, you go into the academic support area and you see the practice area.
“You’re saying, ‘I think they have made a commitment to where they can say we’re trying to keep up and be nationally relevant with a number of sports.’ ”
The facility includes a pro-level practice floor paid for by Kyle Korver, a player’s lounge named after Doug McDermott (at the request of the donor) that includes tour 90-inch televisions and three 60-inch televisions.
A locker room touchscreen that is 94 inches and custom iPod docks for locker room and shower listening. The weight room has also doubled in size to 6,000 square feet and has an iPad attached to each station to record movement on the machine to report for data.
Creighton has done a nice job of investing money into the men’s basketball program through a very nice practice facility. By putting focus into development, players that Creighton recruits can buy into a plan and it should pay off for them long term.
Coming off of the having a prolific scoring All-American like Doug McDermott, the Bluejays are capitalizing immediately on the recruiting trail.