Getting bigger and more athletic on the wing is a necessity if Canisius wants to be a serious challenger to perennial basketball powers Monmouth and Iona in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Golden Griffins took a step in that direction with the signing of 6-foot-5 wing Takal Molson of Buffalo.
“Takal has a great fundamental understanding of the game,” said Canisius coach Reggie Witherspoon. “He’s very versatile and he has a toughness about him that will translate into this level of college basketball. I believe he is prepared for the challenge of playing in his hometown, and I hope that his signing here allows us to continue to attract the best of what Western New York has to offer.”
Molson, who signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, spent most of his high school career at St. Mary’s of Lancaster. He averaged 19.1 points and 7.1 rebounds a game for the Lancers in 2015-16 and was on route to a first-team All-Western New York season. However, he was expelled from the school in late February. He completed his high school education at Health Sciences Charter School. He played the 2016-17 season for the TAAG Academy in Tampa, Fla. Molson averaged 20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the prep school. He scored 30-plus points four times.
Molson gives the Griffs two young, athletic 6-5 wings who can play and defend multiple positions. Isaiah Reese averaged 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds as a freshman for Canisius.
Molson figures to get the chance to contribute right away. Canisius graduated two starters, 6-7 forward Phil Valenti and 6-3 wing Kiefer Douse. Valenti averaged 14 points (third on the team) and 5.9 rebounds (first on the team). Douse averaged 10.9 points and 4.4 rebounds.
The signing leaves the Griffs with one scholarship left to give, pending roster developments. Griff guard Kassius Robertson is graduating, has a year of eligibility left and is considering the possibility of a transfer. Griff graduate student Martin Dixon-Green was appealing to the NCAA to get another year of eligibility for medical reasons due to injury earlier in his college career.