Lewis: Transfer ‘was always lingering on my mind’; not headed to Oregon

By Nick Veronica

Zach Lewis

Zach Lewis

Zach Lewis, Canisius’ leading scorer, announced his intention to transfer earlier this week.

Apparently he’s been planning it for a while.

“The transfer was something I’ve been considering since before the season,” Lewis told Canisius’ school paper, The Griffin. “I just put it in the back of my mind because I wanted to focus on the season in front of me, being the best I could be and helping my team win a MAAC championship. But it was something that was always lingering on my mind.”

Lewis said he’s transferring because he wants to play at a higher level.

“The reason behind it is I just want to pursue my dreams,” he added. “That’s what it comes down to: I want to play at the highest level I can and compete with the best players I can.”

Lewis will have to sit out next season but will have two years of eligibility remaining for his new team. A source said he is not being recruited by Oregon, where former Canisius assistant Mike Mennenga is now working.

Here’s what else Lewis had to say:

On his production drop:

“I might have put some added pressure on myself when Phil [Valenti] went down and then Crump [Jermaine Crumpton].”

On last season:

“The way the seniors played this season was so phenomenal and it really took a lot of pressure off of me. Our team as a whole did a good job of stepping up. Coach [Jim Baron] kept telling us that each guy had to be ready to step up. Phil was huge and when he went down, Crump stepped up. Then when Crump went down, Bleek [Kevin Bleeker] got the nod and he played really well.”

His thoughts about Canisius:

“I love these guys. It has been a great experience at Canisius and I wouldn’t be the person or player that I am today with the coaches, my teammates, and my friends. This team shocked a lot of people and I’m proud of that.”

And next year’s Griffs:

“We ended the year on a high note. We have guys that are ready and hungry. We’ll definitely be a very strong defensive team as we were this year. It’ll be very exciting.”

Check out The Griffin’s full story for more.