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Three more recruits brings Niagara hoops roster to 9 scholarship players

The Niagara University men’s basketball team has accumulated three more commitments in the past week.

That brings to four the number of recruits signed by embattled coach Chris Casey, whose program has been rocked by transfers.

Guard Romero Collier of Syracuse, guard Chris Barton of the Detroit area and junior college forward Alioune Tew, a native of France, have committed to the Purple Eagles. They join 6-foot-8 forward Dominic Robb of Pittsburgh as newcomers to Niagara.

Niagara made the Collier signing official on Tuesday. A 6-foot-1 point guard, Collier averaged 16.3 points and 9.9 assists in helping Henninger High to a 21-2 record and sectional title. He also was named Central New York’s Mr. Football by the Syracuse Post-Standard after quarterbacking Henninger to a sectional crown. He passed for 1,406 yards and 21 touchdowns, ran for seven TDs and returned a punt for a TD.

"Romero is as competitive as they come," said Niagara's Casey. "He was an outstanding basketball player and football player during his high school career. As he concentrates exclusively on basketball in college, he will blossom.  We are excited to have him in the program."

Niagara has seen seven players transfer out of the program this year. Five scholarship players return. Three of them were full-time starters and a fourth was a significant contributor. Now the team is up to nine scholarship players. There also were two walk-ons last season.

Barton, 6-1 and 180 pounds, missed his junior year of high school with a broken leg. He returned as a senior to help Avondale High of Auburn Hills, Mich., to a 20-4 record. He had 23 points and 10 rebounds in Avondale’s last game, a Class A regional semifinal loss.

The 6-foot-9 Tew tore ligaments in his left knee on the first day of practice for the 2014-15 season with Allan Hancock College of Santa Maria, Calif. His signing was announced by the junior college. Every Division I college that had recruited him to that point withdrew their offers, the school reported.

Niagara no doubt hopes Tew can come back like 6-8 Purple Eagles forward Dominiuqe Reid did. Reid missed most of his senior year due to a knee injury. He made the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference all-freshman team this season.

Tew transferred to Hancock after one year at the College of Eastern Utah, a junior college in Price, Utah. He averaged 6.5 points and 5.6 rebounds there in the 2013-14 season.

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