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Another Niagara Update

By BOB DICESARE

The mass exodus from the Niagara basketball program continued over the weekend as freshman forward TJ Cline tweeted that he's landed at Richmond of the Atlantic 10. That came on the heels of the anticipated news that all-MAAC guard Juan'ya Green and his lifelong friend and Niagara teammate Ameen Tanksley both are joining former Purple Eagles coach Joe Mihalich at Hofstra. They will sit out next season and be eligible in 2014-15.

Cline's departure means five players off Niagara's MAAC regular-season title team won't be back next season. Guard Malcolm Lemmons also has been granted his release and center Devon White has graduated. Meanwhile, freshman guard Tahjere McCall, a starter at the point much of last season, remains with the program and sources say has not requested his release.

Here are the numbers on what Niagara has lost since Mihalich took the Hofstra job last month:

Green: 16.5 ppg, 5 apg

Tanksley: 11.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg

Cline: (all freshman team) 7.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Lemmons: 3.3 ppg

White: 5.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg

That makes it some 44 points per game departed. Niagara has retained leading scorer Antoine Mason (18.7) but has mega-holes to fill between now and the season opener. New coach Chris Casey has signed Philly guard Karonn Davis and continues to work feverishly to fill out a slew of other roster spots.

As of now the starting lineup could look something like Mason, McCall, Marvin Jordan, Joe Thomas and . . . . Scooter Gillette?

In regard to Green and Tanksley, it's commonplace for Niagara to deny players transfer requests within conference or the Big 4. In this case, though, Hofstra should have been included on the list since Mihalich made a lateral move (at significantly more pay) and the situation invited Niagara plyers to follow. In Cline's case, if a player can land at a higher level, more power to him.

 

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Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference | Transfer
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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 | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

@RodneyMcKissic | rmckissic@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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