There have been, or will be, some key personnel comings and goings from around the conference in the early part of this season. Here are some updates:
Canisius has lost two players recently, both expected to be key reserves.
Chris Gadley, the 6-foot-9, 300-pounder who matched a MAAC record with 25 rebounds in a game last season, is sitting out the first semester to concentrate on academics. Gadley was not suspended, and was not asked to leave the team. The move was entirely his own decision, according to reports, in order to give him more time to improve his academic work. If all goes well, he could return to the team after the first semester.
Rob Gagliardi, a 6-2 guard and one of the more highly-touted freshmen coming into the conference this season, appears lost to the Golden Griffins for the season. Gagliardi has returned to his Whitby, Ont., home to deal with an unspecified illness. Canisius coach Tom Parotta addressed Gagliardi’s situation at a recent luncheon for program boosters. Upon his recovery Gagliardi is expected to return to the program, but is likely to be red-shirted this season.
At Manhattan, standout guard Rico Pickett missed his team’s most recent game, a 75-70 loss to William & Mary. Pickett, a transfer from Miami Dade Junior College, had averaged 10.5 points through the Jaspers’ first two games. He was suspended for a “violation of team rules.” A school spokesman said that there is no timetable for Pickett’s return, but indicated that the guard could return this week, although it isn’t know if that includes tonight’s game at home against Florida Atlantic.
R.J. Hall, expected to be the starting point guard at Marist, is sitting out the first semester due to an academic suspension. Hall is currently a sophomore. As a freshman he averaged 6.9 points and 2.1 assists per games, third- and second-best, respectively, for the Red Foxes.
The returns of Gadley, Hall and Pickett will boost their respective programs.
Marist, off to an 0-2 start (including a 75-38 defeat at Hartford in its most recent game) will get another lift in the second semester when 6-10, 270-pound Casiem Drummond, a mid-season transfer from Villanova last year, becomes eligible. Drummond had some effective games at Villanova and might provide the type inside play from a big man the MAAC rarely sees. Or ... he could have difficulty fitting into the Red Foxes' style of play. It should be interesting to see how things develop here.
He won’t be the only mid-season addition expected to help a conference team.
Siena, which has struggled to find help off its bench through its 2-1 start, has two players who should help solve that dilemma becoming eligible soon.
Guard Kyle Griffin, a transfer from La Salle, becomes eligible for Siena's game on Dec. 23; and, forward Davis Martens, a native of Germany, can begin playing on Dec. 31.
The 6-3 Griffin can play either guard spot. He was once highly recruited by Siena before opting for La Salle, where he played 15 games and averaged 3.5 points and 1.4 assists as a freshman during the 2007-08 season before a knee injury set him back. Griffin transferred to Siena between semesters last year and has spent the past year with the Saints rehabbing his injury. He has been participating in full practices for several weeks and is said to be near 100 percent.
Martens has the typical perimeter skills of a European player, but has also shown some strength inside, according to those who have watched him practice. Because he played games in a professional league (but was not paid) last year, he is required to sit out the Saints' first 12 contests this season.