After finishing in the MAAC's basement and, then, losing its best two players (forward Ryan Schneider and point guard David Devizin), Marist needs a lot of help.
The good news is that, potentially, a lot of help is coming.
It appears that incoming players might fill many of Marist needs. Still, expecting two transfers (one not eligible until the second semester), an eligible redshirt freshman and five true freshmen (whew!) to come in, find roles and fit into a team concept ... that's a lot to ask. Talk about a roster turnover. Eight players will be wearing Marist uniforms for the first time this season
But, Chuck Martin's dribble-drive offense puts an emphasis on individual skills so, theoretically, players with high skill levels can make an easier transition. At any rate, it should be both fun and interesting to see how things come together here.
- Casiem Drummond, 6-10, 275-pound center. He is a true, physically developed center, and those are rare at this level. Drummond transferred in from Villanova prior to last season's second semester so he's not eligible to play at Marist until after first-semester games are completed this season. At Villanova he struggled with injuries (most notably a stress fracture in an ankle early last season), and discipline problems. He was suspended for at least one game for violating team policy. He averaged 4.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the 2007-08 season as a sophomore, and that came against Big East opposition. Included was a nine-point, 17-rebound effort against North Carolina State.
- Daye Kaba, 6-3, 215-pound guard. Another transfer from a higher level, coming in from Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference. At a strong 215 pound he is, like Drummond, a physically ready performer that the MAAC doesn't regularly see. He is eligible immediately and has two remaining seasons to play. He was lightly used at BC, getting in nine games as a freshman (1.3 points, 0.3 rebounds) and only seven games for a total of 17 minutes as a sophomore. As a high school senior at our Savior New American School on Long Island he averaged 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He is a native of France who came to the U.S. in 2004. He will be one of the older players in the MAAC, having turned 23 this past August.
- Rob Johnson, a 6-7, 210-pound swingman from Centennial H.S. in Alpharetta, Ga., where he averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds last season. He is reportedly a skilled, versatile player who does his best work in perimeter positions (small forward/off-guard).
- Devin Price, a 6-1, guard from St. Bernard Catholic H.S. in Los Angeles where he averaged 16 points and eight assists. Reports indicate that he is a smart floor leader with athleticism. Likeley to be in the mix for playing time at point guard early on.
- Anell Alexis, a 6-6, 185-pound forward from St. Thomas Moore Prep School in Connecticut. Great hoops genes as the son of former Syracuse standout Wendell Alexis. Reports are that he is an athletic wing player who excellent shooting range who just needs to get a little stronger to become a significant contributor. Then again, his dad had a very nice career at Syracuse with a similarly slight build.
- Sam Prescott, a 6-3, 185-pound guard from Imhotep Charter School in Philadelphia (no statistics available). Prescott, a reserve on his high school team prior to moving to Imhotep broke out in a big way once there. He is reportedly extremely athletic and versatile. Of the freshmen, he appears the most likely to get time early.
- Candin Rusin, a 6-3 guard from Topsail H.S. in North Carolina. Rusin was a terrific scorer in high school, averaging 28.3 points per game at Twin Valley H.S. in Vermont as a junior before transferring to Topsai. As a senior there he averaged 21.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
- Dorvell Carter, a 6-6 swingman who graduated from Rice High School (11 points, 7 rebounds per game) in 2008. Carter was at Marist last season, but redshirted due to a knee injury. Reports indicate he is a versatile perimete player who could be in the playing group early on.