The Canisius Golden Griffins head into their coaching search with a roster that includes 10 scholarship players. There are three scholarships available. The man who replaces retiring Jim Baron may want to look to the junior college ranks for a quick fix to bolster the front court for the 2016-17 season.
2015-16 Record: 14-19, 8-12 (7th MAAC).
Players lost: G-Malcolm McMillan (14.7 ppg), F-Kevin Bleeker (6.8 ppg), F-Jamal Reynolds (5.2 ppg), Cassidy Ryan (2.6), Raven Owen (1.0).
Outlook: The roster currently does not look any better than seventh in the MAAC, and that may be optimistic. Of course, that's without the two or three new additions the new coach is expected to sign.
Canisius has three quality starters in Phil Valenti, Kassius Robertson and Jermaine Crumpton. Kiefer Douse showed some flashes on the wing and might be ready for a solid senior year. Chris Atkinson is a good distributor who needs to take a step forward as a sophomore. Malik Johnson, presuming he sticks with the Griffs, figures to play a lot as a freshman point guard and could challenge Atkinson for the starting role. The low post is a big concern, given the loss of Bleeker, who played 21.7 minutes a game. Can the physically imposing Gombe improve his skills enough to give the Griffs 18 minutes and five rebounds a game? Canisius needs another front-court player.
The 2014 recruiting class for Baron Co. was not good, and that's hurting the roster. It included Juco addition Reynolds, Ryan, Owen and Gurley. The 6-6 Ryan decided to transfer back to his native Canada to play for Brock University. His father died last year and Ryan expressed a desire to be closer to home. Owen never was able to challenge for minutes. The underclass for the Griffs is thin. Canisius really needs recruits Johnson and Spencer Foley to develop into starters.