Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky officially adds Creighton grad transfer Davion Mintz
Kentucky on Wednesday officially bolstered its backcourt with the addition of Creighton grad transfer Davion Mintz, who announced his commitment April 10.
Mintz, a 6-foot-3 guard who played in 97 games with 79 starts for the Bluejays, is expected to provide leadership for a young but talented squad in 2020-21.
Under NCAA graduate
transfer rules, Mintz will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in the
fall after graduating from Creighton with undergraduate degree in
marketing. He is expected to graduate in May.
“BBN, I am thrilled,
humble and hungry to be part of the UK family,” Mintz said. “I look
forward to earning your trust and respect through my commitment,
experience and hard work every day. I am immensely thankful
to the Kentucky Wildcats, Coach Calipari and his staff for extending me
an opportunity to continue my college basketball career as a Wildcat.
“To my new teammates and
fans, you can believe and trust in me. I look forward to meeting all of
you. I can’t wait to arrive to Big Lex and get to work.”
Mintz will be Kentucky’s third graduate transfer over the last three seasons. UK added Reid Travis from Stanford for the 2018-19 season and Nate Sestina from Bucknell for 2019-20. Travis helped anchor a frontcourt that went to the 2019 Elite Eight and Sestina provided valuable depth and timely shooting for the 2020 Southeastern Conference champions.
The Wildcats are hoping UK’s first graduate guard transfer since Julius Mays in 2012-13 will have a similar impact.
“I’m really excited
about Davion and what he adds to our team,” UK head coach John Calipari
said. “You’re talking about a veteran who has been through the wars and
has been well-coached from high school through
his time at Creighton. Davion wanted this opportunity and challenge.
He’s in the mold of so many of our other guys in that he’s a terrific
kid from a terrific family.”
Mintz redshirted in
2019-20 after battling an ankle injury in the preseason and then
re-aggravating it in practice upon his return, but he started all but
one game in the previous two seasons.
A native of Charlotte,
North Carolina, Mintz started all 35 games for Creighton in 2018-19,
averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per
game. Mintz was regarded as the Bluejays’ best
defender and ranked second on the team with 40 steals.
Mintz can play both on
and off the ball. He totaled more than 100 assists in each of his last
two active seasons – 259 total in his three-year career – and is an
adept shooter. He made 43 3-pointers in his last
season on the floor and is a career 35.0% 3-point shooter.
The 6-3 guard scored in
double figures in 16 games his junior season with a career high of 21
points vs. No. 21 Marquette. He also played all 45 minutes vs. No. 14
Villanova and totaled 19 points, eight rebounds
and four assists. He was expected to be a key part of the 2019-20
Creighton squad that went 24-7 and won a share of the Big East title.
As a sophomore, Mintz
led the Big East and ranked 15th nationally with a 2.83
assist-to-turnover ratio. In 10 games vs. ranked opponents in 2017-18,
he totaled 38 assists with just 10 turnovers.
Mintz also made the Big East All-Academic Team in 2017-18.
Although not officially a
part of the 2020 signing class, Mintz will join a group of newcomers
that is widely regarded as the top class in the country. UK’s current
seven-man class features six consensus five-
and four-star prospects, including top-10 signees Brandon Boston and
Forward Keion Brooks Jr. has already announced he will return for his sophomore season, but Kentucky will have to replace seven of its top eight players from a season ago with five underclassmen declaring for the NBA Draft in recent weeks, Sestina’s eligibility expiration and the transfer of Johnny Juzang.
The 2020-21 Wildcats will be tasked with replacing 94 percent of their scoring and 84.4 percent of their rebounding from this past season.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.