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More often than not, John Calipari’s guards decide how far his teams can go, and Davion Mintz can help the Cats go deep this year

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Kentucky did a wonderful job in the transfer market this past offseason with a trio of players, including Davion Mintz, who projects to be a steady, experienced floor general that the Cats could happily use.

Davion Mintz. Dontaie Allen
Davion Mintz may not be the most high-profile name on this Kentucky roster, but he’ll be one of the steadiest performers this season.
UK Athletics

Davion Mintz

  • Class: Graduate Transfer via Creighton
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 196
  • Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • High School: North Mecklenberg (NC)

Davion Mintz during his junior season at Creighton

35 games (35 starts), 1,011 total minutes played, 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals per game with a shooting slash line of 41.6/34.7/72.3 and a box plus-minus of +1.9.

Why is Davion Mintz a solid get for this year’s Kentucky roster?

(I’m glad you asked! I actually wrote about that when he made it known that Kentucky was his next home and you can read a thorough breakdown of Mintz’s game here after this.)

If there’s a word that can best describe Davion Mintz during his three seasons at Creighton and his upcoming final college season in Lexington this year, the word capable is definitely near the top of said list.

Like I mentioned in the breakdown of Mintz (which, again, make sure you go read that after this), Mintz’s numbers aren’t going to wow you. He’s not the absolute splash of a transfer like say, Olivier Sarr and his breakdown season at Wake Forest was.

However, Mintz is absolutely what Kentucky needed and between him and Devin Askew (who has already been previewed for this season here), the Cats have a pair of steady point guards that can not only give you a decent scoring contribution, but can also serve as consistent playmakers that will make like easier for guys like Terrence Clarke (his preview is here), BJ Boston, Olivier Sarr and Keion Brooks Jr.

On top of his possible offensive contributions, Mintz’s game will stick out on the other end of the floor because if his role with Creighton a season ago tells us anything, he’s going to be guarding a fair amount of tough matchups for the Cats on and off the ball with his tenacity, quickness and toughness.

Potential outlook for Mintz and his role in Kentucky’s plans

Speaking of defense, if you’re looking to mentally carve out a role in this rotation for Mintz this season, think of Ashton Hagans, but not as many turnovers. He won’t be a total and dominant thief of ball-handlers like Hagans was the last couple of seasons, but Mintz can and has held his own against some great players already in his career, including former All-American guard Markus Howard in one of the best Big East games of this past season.

I noted it before, but with the talent pool much deeper in Lexington than Omaha, Mintz won’t be asked to guard every tough guard on the perimeter that the Cats face, but he’s absolutely capable (there’s that word again!) of being a pest defensively with his effort. He’s not only a smart defender, but he makes it so tough sometimes to shoot over him and get past him. Even when you do, as Phil Booth found out in the Villanova clip during Mintz’s sophomore season, that ankle sprain that forced Mintz to seemingly miss a year of his career didn’t hinder his athleticism.

The big takeaway from Mintz moving forward is that effort won’t be an issue for the coaches. He’s played a ton of minutes for a quality program already and has seen his role evolve over those three-plus years in Lexington. Flexibility is always key for a Calipari-coached roster, on top of the excellent talent, and Mintz will be able to play on and off the ball, while potentially guarding up to three positions on the floor if teams decide to go small.

He’s not projected to be a rock star for this team and he doesn’t have to be. If he’s the Mintz that Creighton got last year, Kentucky’s got a rock at either guard position that will make this team all the more dangerous come tournament time.