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UB Hoops Adds Third Recruit

By Bob DiCesare

Justin Moss, a 6-foot-7 forward, has signed with UB out of Indian Hills Community College and is expected to step right in and play according to Bulls coach Bobby Hurley.

"Justin is going to be a great addtion to the program," Hurley said in a news release. "I'm confident that he will be an immediate contributor next year."

Continue reading "UB Hoops Adds Third Recruit" »

Green, Tanksley Leaving Niagara

By Bob DiCesare

When coach Joe Mihalich left Niagara for Hofstra last month Purple Eagle fans could take comfort in the wealth of talent he was leaving behind.

It’s time to get uncomfortable.

All-conference guard Juan’ya Green and rebounding leader Ameen Tanksley have been granted transfer requests and are leaving the university, athletic department spokesman Derick Thornton confirmed today. The two sophomores are Philadelphia natives and lifelong friends.

Continue reading "Green, Tanksley Leaving Niagara" »

Video: Buffalo-born, UB grad Means on being drafted by NFL's Bucs

Steven Means, a former defensive end at the University at Buffalo taken by Tampa Bay in the fifth round of the NFL draft, talks about growing up playing football in Buffalo:

Carter: 'Down to Maryland & Florida'

By Rodney McKissic

Rutgers transfer Eli Carter just Tweeted he has narrowed his choices to Maryland and Florida. It was reported earlier this week that UB and new coach Bobby Hurley were among a host of schools in the hunt for the Scarlet Knights' leading scorer from a year ago. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 14.9 points last season.

Carter played at St. Anthony’s in Jersey City with Hall of Famer Bob Hurley, Sr. which put UB in the mix. Bobby Hurley also hired former St. Anthony’s assistant Eric Harrield at UB.


UB could be in the running for Carter

---UB is believed to be in the mix for former Rutgers guard Eli Carter, who is transferring from the school.The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 14.9 points last season and was the Scarlet Knight's leading scorer.

The irony of Carter possibly playing in Western New York won’t be lost on St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt.

Carter committed to the Bonnies in October, 2009 and later signed with the school, only to ask out of his letter of intent in May of the following year. Carter developed into a high-major player during his senior season at St. Anthony’s in Jersey City like his coach, Hall of Famer Bob Hurley, Sr., said he would and decided to attend Brewster Academy (N.H.). Carter signed with Rutgers in April, 2011.

Obviously in the Bulls’ favor is that Hurley’s son, Bobby, is coaching at UB, but he also hired former St. Anthony’s assistant Eric Harrield.

Working against UB is that others are in pursuit of the high-scoring guard including Florida and Duke. Florida assistant Rashon Burno played for Hurley at St. Anthony’s while Carter’s best friend, Cleveland Cavs guard Kyrie Irving, played at Duke.

---Rodney McKissic

Video: Chris Casey shares his excitement at NU welcoming event

Niagara University staged a welcoming event for new basketball coach Chris Casey, who paid tribute to Joe Mihalich and shared his excitement about the university's program.

Gregg signs with Bonnies

---St. Bonaventure announced the signing of Denzel Gregg, a 6-foot-7 forward from Syracuse, who played his last two seasons at St. Thomas More Prep School in Connecticut.

Gregg helped St. Thomas to a 24-8 record and a spot in the National Prep School Tournament semifinals this past season. Gregg averaged 12 points and six rebounds a game for a balanced team that featured 10 players who received college scholarships.

“We’re most excited about Denzel's tremendous upside,” Schmidt said in a statement released by the school about the 17-year-old Gregg. “He's a long, athletic forward whose versatility will allow him to guard multiple positions at the defensive end and create mismatches on the offensive side of the ball.”

ESPN College Basketball analysts graded Gregg as one the top-125 class of 2013 forwards in the nation, and the New England Basketball Recruiting Report ranked him as the No. 22 overall prospect in his class.

An ESPN analyst had the following to say about the 195-pound senior:

“Gregg is an explosive athlete with incredible leaping ability. He's as quick off his feet as he is high above the rim, a terrific lob catcher and the type of finisher who can instantly change the momentum of a game.”

Gregg is St. Bonaventure’s first commitment this year.

---Rodney McKissic

Tragedy hits Buffalo track and field

by Amy Moritz

The University at Buffalo athletics department is dealing with the death of track and field athlete Brian Archie. The senior was found unresponsive at his apartment late last night. Police do not suspect foul play.

Archie was a standout at Niagara Falls High School. He won the long jump at the indoor state championships becoming the first male state champion in Niagara Falls school history. In 2009, he finished third in the long jump and eighth in the 100 meters at the state outdoor meet while winning Section VI titles in the long and triple jumps.

Last year with the Bulls, he placed sixth in the long jump at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships and was ninth in the event at the Outdoor Championships.


Niagara hires Casey

Niagara named Chris Casey its new men’s basketball coach Monday, ending a 12-day search to replace Joe Mihalich, who departed for Hofstra after 15 seasons.

Casey spent the last three seasons at Long Island University Post, where he took the Pioneers to two Division II NCAA Tournaments in 2012 and 2013, finishing with a 62-25 record.  In 2011-12, Casey was named East Coast Conference coach of the year and the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Division II coach of the year.

This season, LIU Post finished with an 18-9 record and finished tied for second in the conference with a 13-5 ECC record, which was a determining factor Niagara, which returns its core group after claiming the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship.

All of Niagara’s players attended Monday’s press conference to announce Casey’s hiring and Casey has three scholarships to fill. The Purple Eagles last NCAA appearance was in 2007.

---Rodney McKissic

Spring Game notes

--UB didn't have any live special teams play during Saturday's annual Blue & White Game but senior Branden Oliver, the Bulls top tailback, fielded punts.

The 5-foot-8, 202-pound Oliver will field punts next season in part to jump start the return game, but also to enhance his pro prospects. No returns took place and all punts were fair-caught as Oliver and Devin Campbell took turns fielding punts for both teams.

A windy, cold afternoon at UB Stadium was a good time to break Oliver in as a returner. In the second quarter Oliver, the Blue team tailback, fumbled a punt as part of the White team, giving the Blue team great field position and eventually led to the first touchdown of the game.

"It wasn't on purpose and I didn't know it was going to happen like that," Oliver said, laughing. "To the tell you the truth, I have to get used to the wind up here, this is my first year doing it so I have to get used to that."

Kicker Patrick Clarke connected on 2 of 3 field goals. After missing a 41-yarder in teh second quarter, he was good from 20 and 28 yards in the fourth. Punter Tyler Grassman, who punted for both teams, averaged 42.6 yards on 14 punts, including a game-long 60-yarder. Brian Orzechowski, a junior from Lockport, punted three times for an average of 39.5 yards.

---The defense showed flashes of what could potentially be one of the best defenses in the Mid-American Conference.

The Blue team, which featured most of the first team starting offense, led 7-0 at the half and to just 320 yards of total offense for the game. For Khalil Mack, one of the leaders on the White team, it wasn't good enough.

"I can't say that I'm happy, you can't be satisfied playing this game and you always want to get better," said Mack, who finished with three tackles, a forced fumble and a hurry. "There are certain things that we can improve on but we did a solid job as a group."

White safety Adam Redden (St. Francis) led both teams in tackles with 6.5 and a tackle for a loss, while linemen Dalton Barksdale and Max Perisse paced the Blue team with four tackles. Linebacker John Aubel finished with two sacks and Beau Bachtelle one. Aubel, Bachtelle, Redden, Khalil Mack, Jake Stockman and Kendal Patterson each had tackles for losses. White team was credited with four breakups while Blue recorded three.
"They really came out with something to prove and I really enjoyed watching the way they handled themselves on the field," Quinn said. "They pursued to the ball very well and wrapped up well. I was really pleased with that side of the football in the first half.

---Sophomore Tony Daniel and redshirt freshman Collin Michael will battled it out for the third spot at quarterback behind Joe Licata and Alex Zordich and both struggled on Saturday.

Daniel was 3 of 12 for 22 yards while Michael was 2 of 6 for 17 yards. Both were sacked twice.

---Quinn said the team will forgo the rotating captain system in favor of returning to four captains for the 2013 season. The players will determined before the start of the season. The captains on Saturday for the Blue team were Oliver, Fred Lee, Jasen Carlsen and Alex Neutz and for the White were Mack, Colby Wa, Beau Bachtelle and Najja Johnson.

---Way, a senior defensive end, was named the 1958 Lambert Cup Team Scholarship Award winner at Saturday morning's Champions Breakfast. ... Alex Dennison, Andre Davis, Jake Pickett, John Kling, Ron Willoughby, Albert McCoy and James Potts all sat out the spring game because of injuries. ... Players report for training camp Aug. 4 and open the season at Ohio State Aug. 31.

---Rodney McKissic

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |