It was easy to overlook ... a Dec. 30th non-league game for Canisius at the University of Maine.
But it's not easy to overlook the big numbers turned in by the Golden Griffin's 6-foot-9 center Chris Gadley.
The Canisius big man, a junior playing his first season at a MAAC school after transferring from Hofstra, pulled down 25 rebounds.
Big number? How about matching the biggest in MAAC history?
The only other MAAC player ever to record 25 rebounds in a game was former Fairfield standout Darren Phillip, who had 25 in the 1999-00 season.
Phillip also had 24 rebounds in a game in the 1998-99 season. Former Rider big man Jason Thompson also had 24 in a game last season. Thompson, who now plays for the NBA's Sacramento Kings, is the only MAAC player to go over 20 rebounds in a game three times in his career. Oddly enough, he went over the 20-carom mark twice in a nine-day span last season, both times against Siena. He grabbed 21 against the Saints on Feb. 2, 2008 and, then, 24 against Siena on Feb. 10, 2008.
Gadley's 25-rebound effort this year was the best by a Division I player so far this season, and made him the 12th player in the country to record 20 or more rebounds in a game this season.
His peformance was the first 20-plus rebound night for a Griff since Darren Fenn had 22 against Manhattan on Jan. 31, 2000, and Fenn's work came in a four-overtime victory. The last Canisius player to have more than 20 rebounds in a regulation 40-rebound game was Ron Peaks who had 21 against Seton Hall on Feb. 4, 1978. Larry Fogle holds the program's single-game mark with 26 rebounds in a 104-61 rout of Catholic University on Dec. 8, 1973.
Gadley grew up in Amherst, N.Y., about 10 miles from the Canisius campus. This blogger recalls that he was heavily recruited by Fran McCaffery in the Siena coach's early days on the job there in spring of 2005. Gadley, though, chose Hofstra over Siena. At Hofstra, he played sparringly as a freshman and was still a reserve in 2006-07, although he averaged 4.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 2006-07.
He then transferred to Canisius where he had to sit out the mandatory season required of transfers last season. After a relatively slow start to this year, he has had 25 and 11 rebounds in his last two games. On the year he is averaging 11.7 points and 8.8 rebounds and is filling a role as a big man for Canisius that has been lacking in recent years.
Gadley is truly a big man, and was listed at 320 pounds on his program's preseason roster. Purely a guess here, but it's not a reach to think that Gadley has worked himself into better physical condition as the season has progressed.