Zach Lewis transferring to UMass

By Nick Veronica

Zach Lewis

Zach Lewis

Zach Lewis wanted to leave Canisius for a higher level of play. He’ll get that in the Atlantic 10.

After announcing his intent to transfer last month, ESPN reported Tuesday that Lewis is headed to UMass. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2015-16 season.

Lewis, a Third Team All-MAAC selection in each of his two seasons at Canisius, must have made a decent impression on Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg during their Dec. 13 game in Amherst, Mass. UMass cruised to a 75-58 win while Lewis led the Griffs with 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

The jump from the MAAC to the A-10 should give Lewis a more appropriate role on offense. He was often asked to do too much on last season’s young Canisius team, and his shooting percentage suffered (dropping from .399 as a freshman alongside MAAC MVP Billy Baron to .334 as a sophomore). With better scorers around him, Lewis won’t have to be the main scoring threat and won’t need to create his own shot nearly as often.

The move to Massachusetts also sends Lewis closer to his hometown of Windsor, Conn. He turns 21 in October.

UMass last advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14.

mccreamedibayreuth

Javon McCrea named top 10 rookie in Europe

By Nick Veronica

Former UB Bull Javon McCrea was named one of European basketball’s top 10 rookies by the website Sportando, which covers overseas basketball.

McCrea, the former MAC Player of the Year, averaged 14.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with Medi Bayreuth of the German league. His numbers were good for seventh in the league in scoring and 19th in rebounding.

Sportando writer Paolo Villa ranked McCrea ninth on his top 10 list. Here’s what he wrote about McCrea:

9) Javon McCrea, center, Bayreuth. He’ll have to improve his decision making and his mid-range shot, but his toughness in the paint is impressive for a player his size. He showed to be able to play bigger and to be willing to use his strong physique against taller players, fighting in the paint, rebounding, scoring on second chance opportunity and hustling on every possession. Foul trouble and shots selection sometimes limited his playing time, but his physical game and willingness to draw contacts in the paint were often crucial for his team.

Niagara loses 7th player from last season’s team

By Nick Veronica

niagara_logo_bigNiagara forward James Suber tweeted Friday that he has been granted his release from the team, making him the seventh player from last year’s Purple Eagles to leave the school.

Chris Casey now has only five returning scholarship players to a team that didn’t have any seniors.

Suber, a Philadelphia native, played in 21 games last season, averaging 2.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.

Here’s what Niagara has left from last year’s team, arranged by points per game:

Emile Blackman – Still on scholarship (1)
Ramone Snowden – Transfer
Dominique Reid – Still on scholarship (2)
Wesley Myers – Transfer
Karonn Davis – Still on scholarship (3)
Rayvon Harris – Transfer
Matt Scott – Still on scholarship (4)
James Suber – Transfer
Julian Richardson – Transfer
Cameron Fowler – Still on scholarship (5)
DayJar Dickson – Transfer
Anders Skou Hansen – Left mid-season
Thomas Fleming – Still on team, walk-on
David Varoli – Still on team, walk-on
(If I missed anyone, drop me a note on Twitter.)

Casey has signed only one player for next season, 6-foot-7 forward Dominic Robb.

UPDATE: There was one bit of positive news for Niagara Friday night, landing a commitment from Romero Collier, a guard from Syracuse-area Henninger High School. Collier, who also played quarterback on the football team, was named Central New York’s “Mr. Football” by the Syracuse Post-Standard in December. Casey still has six scholarships open for next year.

Exodus from Niagara continues with Snowden, Richardson

By Nick Veronica

niagara_logo_bigTwo more players are leaving the Niagara basketball team, bringing Chris Casey’s transfer count to five just since the end of the season.

Second-leading scorer Ramone Snowden (10.7 points per game) told the Niagara Gazette on Tuesday that he wants to play closer to his hometown in Virginia.

And Tuesday night, Julian Richardson, a reserve guard who played in 11 games, tweeted he is seeking a transfer.

Snowden and Richardson join Wesley Myers, Rayvon Harris and DayJar Dickson in fleeing from Lewiston.

Snowden’s loss may be the biggest of the bunch. He led the team in minutes and steals per game as a sophomore and was second in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. Only Emile Blackman scored more points per game (13.7).

With five players transferring out, plus the mid-season loss of Anders Skou Hansen, that gives Casey six remaining scholarships. Dominic Robb committed earlier this week, but Niagara only used 12 scholarships last season.

Here’s a look at who’s still left from Niagara’s roster last season, arranged by points per game:

Emile Blackman – Still on scholarship (1)
Ramone Snowden – Transfer
Dominique Reid – Still on scholarship (2)
Wesley Myers – Transfer
Karonn Davis – Still on scholarship (3)
Rayvon Harris – Transfer
Matt Scott – Still on scholarship (4)
James Suber – Still on scholarship (5)
Julian Richardson – Transfer
Cameron Fowler – Still on scholarship (6)
DayJar Dickson – Transfer
Anders Skou Hansen – Left mid-season
Thomas Fleming – Still on team, walk-on
David Varoli – Still on team, walk-on

If I missed anyone, drop me a note a Twitter.

Myers third player to leave Niagara; Robb signs

By Nick Veronica

niagara_logo_bigNiagara forward Wesley Myers became the third Purple Eagle to leave the program this offseason, joining transfer candidates Rayvon Harris and DayJar Dickson.

Meanwhile, 6-foot-7 forward Dominic Robb has signed with Niagara, becoming the second-tallest player on the team behind 6-8 Dominique Reid.

Niagara coach Chris Casey still has four scholarships to use for the 2015-16 season.

IN: Dominic Robb.

OUT: Rayvon Harris, DayJar Dickson, Wesley Myers to transfer. Anders Skou Hansen left during the season to return to his native Denmark. Niagara had no seniors. David Varoli and Thomas Fleming are believed to be walk-ons, although that would seem to mean NU only used 12 scholarships last season.

SCHOLARSHIPS LEFT: Four.