Monday, September 16, 2013

Recruiting Report: Canisius Men Fill Key Needs

Here's another in the series taking a look at players joining conference programs for the coming season.

Up now ...


- Lou Dunbar, a 6-3, 170-pound freshman guard: He averaged 18.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game in his senior season at Clear Falls H.S. in Texas. Over his high school career he shot 57 percent from the floor and 36 percent from three-point range, making 134 three-pointers over three seasons. He is the son of "Sweet Lou" Dunbar, a standout at the University of Houston in the mid-1970's who later had a lengthy career playing for the Harlem Globetrotters.

- Kassius Roberson, a 6-3, 170-pound freshman guard: He averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game this past season at Thornlea Secondary School in Thornhill, Ontario. There, he was coached by former Loyola standout Shane James.

- Jeremiah Williams, a 5-11, 165-pound junior guard: He played two seasons at Vincennes (Ind.) University where he averaged 4.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game for that junior college program. He has two remaining years of eligibility and can play immediately.

- Chris Petez, a 6-3, 210-pound senior guard: He earned an undergraduate degree in three years at Stetson University, and has one remaining season and is eligible immediately. He averaged 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game this past season.

- Jermaine Crumpton, a 6-6, 220-pound freshman forward: He averaged 20.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game at Niagara Falls (N.Y.) High School this past season, and 17.0 and 9.0 as a junior there. He was a three-year starter and an all-Western New york honoree all three seasons.

- Zach Lewis, a 6-3, 175-pound freshman guard: He played this past season at Fishburne Military Academy, a prep school in Waynesboro, Va. Prior to that he was a two-time first-team all-state selection in Connecticut where he played at Northwest Catholic H.S. As a senior there he averaged 22.2 points per contest.

- Adam Weir, a 6-4, 185-pound freshman guard: He averaged 21.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game at Canisius High School in Buffalo this past season, after averaging 18.0 and 7.0 as a junior there. He is another three-year starter and was an AAU teammate of Crumpton.

- Phil Valenti, a 6-7, 195-pound redshirt freshman forward: He sat out last season as a redshirt, but practiced with the Golden Griffins. At Aquinas Instittue in Rochester, N.Y. he averaged 25.0 points and 12.0 rebounds as a senior and was named the 2011-12 all-Greater Rochester Player of the Year by the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.

- Dominique Raney, a 6-4, 180-pound redshirt sophomore guard: After transferring in from Navarro Junior College, he sat out last season as a redshirt. At Navaro he averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in the 2011-12 season. He averaged 17.5 points per game as a senior at Putnam City H.S. in Oklahoma and was named the 2011 Tulsa World's Metro Player of the Year.

ANALYSIS: Between graduation and defections, the Griffs have only four returning players with any real experience, but they are four good ones. The only returning guard, though, is all-league player Billy Baron. The program needed to bring in guards and depth, and accomplished both. Perez should start and Williams will see some time at point guard, enabling Baron to play some minutes off the ball. Valenti, Weir and Crumpton were all among the best WNY scholastic players in recent years and their development should ensure the program will stay competitive in coming seasons. Raney, Dunbar, Lewis and Roberson will all battle for reserve minutes this season and prepare for bigger roles in the future.

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