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What’s Next for Canisius?

blog by BuffaloDotCom  • 

There’s considerable uncertainty ahead for the Canisius Golden Griffins.  There’s no luxury of five contributing upperclassmen returning for 2011-12, and regardless of your feelings on the success of Coach Tom Parrotta’s 2008 recruiting class, Julius Coles, Greg Logins,  Robert Goldsberry, Elton Frazier, and Tomas Vazquez-Simmons will not be wearing gold and blue next winter.  The MAAC Quarterfinal loss to Rider brought the era to a close without a conference semifinal appearance.

Point guard Gaby Belardo, who had an uneven first season at Canisius despite early season hype, appears likely to start again next year as a redshirt junior, but he’ll share time with emerging sophomore Reggie Groves.  Can both coexist on the court at once?  Relative-unknown David Santiago, a transfer from American University in Puerto Rico, will fight for minutes at the two guard with Alshwan Hymes, who struggled heavily down the stretch in 2011.  Ashton Khan rounds out the prospective 2012 backcourt.

Canisius’ future frontcourt may be more imposing than you’d expect,  despite the losses of pogo-stick Frazier and career blocks leader Vazquez-Simmons.  Chris Manhertz showed flashes of dominance on the glass, and Kansas State center Freddy Asprilla is poised to transfer in (eligibility date unclear, however).  If the burly, aggressive Manhertz can add a few post moves to his arsenal, he’ll keep opponents from collapsing on Belardo’s relentless (if sometimes out of control)  drives.  Could Manhertz develop into a Zach Randolph type of player?  It’s possible.

Asprilla’s even more of a question mark,  as he’s been unable to stick at any school.  Asprilla forfeited his scholarship to Miami by failing to meet academic requirements, left Florida International when Isiah Thomas arrived, and wound up at Miami Dade Junior College because Thomas wouldn’t let him out of his scholarship (another reason why Isiah Thomas is an idiot).

Perhaps dictatorial Frank Martin wasn’t the ideal next coach for Asprilla, as the 6’10, 280 pound center left Kansas State in mid-January for a myriad of reasons.  Because Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta has a strong relationship with Asprilla’s AAU coach Art Alvarez, Freddy will likely spend his remaining 1.5 years of eligibility with the Griffins.  The Canisius coaching staff will have its work cut out from a developmental standpoint, but there’s hope for a Groves - Belardo -  Gricius/freshman - Manhertz - Asprilla lineup.  Recruiting, obviously,  will be crucial again.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo.com’s Erica Morano.

TAGGED: canisius college, canisius griffins, downtown, maac basketball, sports

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