Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 17, 2013

NU's Casey comments on basketball recruits

Niagara Gazette —

First-year Niagara University men's basketball coach Chris Casey commented on his inaugural recruiting class for the first time on Thursday.

Despite getting a relatively-late start to the recruiting process, Casey brought in high schoolers Karonn Davis and Dominique Reid, prep schooler Aaron Bodie and transfer Emile Blackman to replace Juan'ya Green, Ameen Tanksley and T.J. Cline, who transfered following the departure of long-time head coach Joe Mihalich.

Casey said that each of the players — outside of Blackman, who will need to sit out a season per NCAA rules — has the ability to come in and contribute right away, but added that minutes will be determined more after the team has a chance to practice together.

"That kind of thing will play out later in the year," Casey said. "That's something guys will have to earn in practice."

Casey described each member of his class as flexible and athletic, with the ability to play inside and out and guard multiple positions. That fits the up-and-down, man-to-man style Casey said he preferred during his introductory press conference.

Davis, listed at 6-foot-2 at NU's website, played at Friends' Central High School in Philadelphia last season. He's a guard with the ability to play with or without the ball, Casey said, and can guard three positions at the defensive end.

"He's a very physical guard," Casey said. "The best thing he does is he competes very hard, and that's something you always want in your program. ... He shoots well enough, and he can get to the basket and distribute."

Blackman, 6-foot-4, played guard for Casey at Division II LIU Post last season. After playing sparingly for most of the season, he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent on 3-pointers and from the field in his last six games, during which he played close to 26 minutes per game. His uncle, Mark Jackson, is a former NBA player and currently coaches the Golden State Warriors.

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