By Nick Veronica
Canisius coach Reggie Witherspoon announced this week the addition of 6-foot-8 forward Jibreel Faulkner, a JUCO transfer with three years of eligibility remaining.
Faulkner would’ve filled the Griffs’ 13th and final scholarship, but the team paired his announcement with news that guard Raven Owen is transferring out of Canisius after all, bringing Witherspoon back down to 12 scholarship players.
Owen was named on ESPN’s list of transferring players back in June, but the team said at the time Owen was enrolled in summer classes and hadn’t transferred. He played in three games as a freshman.
Only six players from last year’s roster are still with the team.
Faulkner, a Washington, D.C. native, comes to Canisius from San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas. He began his collegiate career at Division I Cal State Northridge in 2014-15, but was one of six players who didn’t play all season amid a reported academic scandal that resulted in a school-imposed postseason ban, though the team never confirmed that any individual player was involved in wrongdoing.
Last season at San Jacinto, Faulkner averaged 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. When he was in high school, the Washington Post wrote that he was “one of the best defensive players in the city.”
Faulkner was connected to Witherspoon’s staff through assistant coach Chris Hawkins, who recruited Faulkner out of high school when he was an assistant at Radford.
Here’s how the roster looks now:
Guards: Kassius Robertson, Chris Atkinson, Kiefer Douse, Malik Johnson, Isaiah Reese, Spencer Foley.
Forwards: Phil Valenti, Jermaine Crumpton, Selvedin Planincic, Ronnie Gombe, Dantai St. Louis, Jibreel Faulkner.
(Foley, who’s 6-foot-7, has been listed both as a shooting guard and a small forward. He’ll likely be a swingman who can play both positions, but the Griffs roster lists him as a guard.)