UB, Niagara to play in 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament

By Nick Veronica

UB and Niagara have been selected to play in the 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in November, along with Florida, North Carolina A&T, Old Dominion, Purdue, Saint Joseph’s and Vermont.

halloffametipoffEach team has two games prior to entering bracket play, though the first two games don’t have any effect on the bracket.

Niagara is at Old Dominion on Friday, Nov. 13 and goes to Saint Joseph’s on Sunday, Nov. 15.

UB travels to Old Dominion on Monday, Nov. 16 and continues the road trip at Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Bracket play is the following weekend, Nov. 21 and 22, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Niagara plays Vermont on Saturday, Nov. 21 and UB plays North Carolina A&T. The winners and losers meet the following day.

A full tournament schedule can be found here.


Shannon Evans commits to Arizona State, reuniting with Hurley

By Nick Veronica



Former UB guard Shannon Evans will follow Bobby Hurley to Arizona State, committing to be a Sun Devil on Friday afternoon. CBS first reported the news.

Evans is in Arizona this weekend visiting the school. (Hurley would never hear the end of it if he let Evans leave without committing.)

Evans seemed to be enjoying himself in Arizona.

UB initially told Evans it would block him from transferring to Arizona State, but changed course after a meeting between Evans and athletic director Danny White.

Evans will have to sit out next season but has two years of eligibility remaining.

Bills give Chris Manhertz No. 47

By Nick Veronica

Former Canisius basketball player and Buffalo Bills signee Chris Manhertz has been given jersey No. 47.

Manhertz signed a reserve/futures contract with the Bills in December as a tight end prospect. The team starts a voluntary minicamp next week.

Tight ends can wear numbers 40-49 and 80-89. Notable tight ends to have worn 47 include Washington’s Chris Cooley and Carolina’s Jeff King.

Former Buffalo Bills 47s include Willie West, Willie Ross, Charley King, Pete Richardson, Leon Garror, Clint Haslerig, Roscoe Word, Curtis Brown, Bill Hurley, Lucious Smith, Mike Panepinto, Kirby Jackson, Ahmad Brooks and Cary Harris.

Manhertz is currently the fourth tight end on the Bills depth chart, behind Charles Clay, Chris Gragg and MarQueis Gray.

Point guard McMillan verbals to Canisius

By Nick Veronica



Canisius got verbal commit from another veteran point guard Tuesday, which would seem to use up the Griffs’ final scholarship for 2015-16.

Malcolm McMillan, senior from Central Connecticut State, reportedly gave his verbal on Tuesday afternoon (update: the Griffs announced his commit on April 27). McMillan played four years at the Northeast Conference school, but injured his back in the second game last season and missed the rest of the year. A medical redshirt gives him an extra year of eligibility and earning his undergraduate degree makes him eligible immediately.

Adding a fifth-year senior further strengthens the Griffs’ backcourt, which also received a verbal from JUCO transfer Kiefer Douse this week. Both McMillan and Douse would appear to have an edge on sophomore Jan Grzelinski.

McMillan (6-foot, 180 pounds), a Baltimore native, started 87 of his 91 career games played. In his junior year of 2013-14, his last full season, McMillan averaged 10.8 points per game along with 3.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds.

Scholarships left: 0

With forward Ronald Gombe and point guards McMillan and Douse in for the Griffs, that would seem to use all three scholarships made available by Zach Lewis’ transfer and the graduation of Josiah Heath and Jeremiah Williams.

Canisius could use another body in the frontcourt (currently composed of only Phil Valenti, Kevin Bleeker, Jeremaine Crumpton, Cassidy Ryan and Gombe), but the only way to add another recruit would be to pull a scholarship from a current player.

UB reverses course, allows Shannon Evans to transfer anywhere

By Nick Veronica

After announcing his intention to transfer on Monday, UB point guard Shannon Evans said the school was “basically going to block all the schools I want to talk to.” But Evans and athletic director Danny White met Monday night, and in light of public backlash, White announced Tuesday that he decided to remove restrictions on Evans’ transfer.

nybuffalologo“After learning about the request for a release [Monday], and meeting with the student-athlete, I have decided that granting Shannon Evans a full release to transfer to any school in the country is in his best interest,” White said in a statement. “We wish Shannon nothing but the best in his future academic and athletic pursuits.”

Evans seemed most upset Monday about restrictions to Arizona State, where Bobby Hurley is now coaching, and VCU and Old Dominion, which are near where Evans is from in Virginia.

Evans is very close with Hurley, which makes me think Arizona State is the leading contender, but Evans will have plenty of options. He’ll have to sit out next season but has two years of eligibility remaining.