Back on April 10th, Davion Mintz announced that he would be transferring to Kentucky for his final year of college basketball.
Mintz averaged 9.7 points and 3 assists in his junior season at Creighton before an ankle injury kept him out all of 2019-2020.
He is adding much needed and experienced depth to the backcourt that lost Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey, and Immanuel Quickley to the NBA Draft. They also lost Johnny Juzang who decided to transfer to UCLA.
Mintz is going to be relied on to be a mentor for the incoming freshmen but will also be counted on to produce on the court. It is a role that Mintz already knows too well and does an excellent job of getting the best out of his teammates.
Jon Hale of the Courier Journal was able to talk to Duane Lewis who was Mintz’s high school coach about Mintz and his ability to bring out the best in others and take on multiple roles as a mentor and also produce on the floor.
“He’s always been the guy who does the right thing,” North Mecklenburg coach Duane Lewis told the Courier Journal. “He wasn’t getting in trouble. He’s always so responsible and mature and willing to help others out and be there for someone. He’s carried that on into college.”
Mintz was a four-year starter in high school but as an underclassman he played a complimentary role as he started along side CJ Bryce who was the leading scorer for NC State last season.
Once Mintz took over as the leader of the team, his production increased from 12.3 points and 2.8 assists to 20.7 points and 6.9 assists per game as a senior. He was named first-team All-State by the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association.
While leading the team to a 27-3 record and making it to the state playoff semifinals, Mintz recorded a 43-point performance as well as a triple-double in another game. Coach Lewis talked about how he was able to bring out the best in all of his teammates.
“It was his show,” Lewis said. “We had some younger guys playing and he was able to bring those guys along as well as those seniors who didn’t have a big role their junior year when he did. … He’s always been able to bring the best out in others while also making the impact himself.”
That is exactly why coach Cal wanted to get Mintz to Lexington for next season.
Kentucky is replacing all but one scholarship player that played minutes a year ago and five-star guards Devin Askew, B.J. Boston and Terrence Clarke will only be able to develop faster with an experienced guard like Mintz mentoring them.
Coach Cal is looking forward to having Mintz on the team with what he brings, and he knows that he has been coached very well since high school.
One thing that I think Calipari deserves a lot of credit for is he always gets good kids. Leave their basketball abilities out of it, he gets kids that aren’t going to create trouble off the court.
Coach Lewis helped Mintz through the recruiting process once he decided he was going to transfer from Creighton. Kentucky contacted Mintz the day after he put his name in the transfer portal.
Calipari made the same pitch to Mintz that he does to the top tier recruits every year. Nothing is promised but as long as you are producing, you will play.
However, Mintz also wants to make it to the NBA and what better place to learn and show your abilities then at Kentucky?
We have seen in the past just how much players that stay in the gym all season progress throughout the year. We saw it with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyler Herro, and Immanuel Quickley. Mintz has the same will to work that they possessed.
I think it is safe to say that Mintz fits to mold of exactly to type of player that the 2020-21 team is going to need. A veteran guard who is capable of producing himself while also being an excellent leader who can bring out the absolute best in his teammates.