Canisius College men’s basketball coach Jim Baron announced today that Kassius Robertson (Toronto, Ontario) and Jeremiah Williams (Grand Rapids, Mich.) have signed their National Letter of Intent and will join the Golden Griffins for the 2013-14 season. Additionally, Baron announced that Chris Perez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) has applied for and received a waiver from the NCAA that allows him to play for Canisius in 2013-14. Perez spent the previous three years at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., where he earned his undergraduate degree and he has one year of eligibility remaining. He will work toward his master’s degree in sport administration at Canisius.
“We are excited to add these three players to our 2013-14 roster,” Baron said. “We have some big holes to try and fill, especially with losing two starters and offensive pieces [Isaac Sosa and Harold Washington] to graduation. We feel like these three new guys will help us try and fill those spots.”
Perez will be eligible to play for the Griffs after he graduated from Stetson with his undergraduate degree in elementary education in May 2013. On the court in 2012-13, Perez was named Second Team All-Atlantic Sun after he averaged 15.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, while leading the Hatters with 1.1 steals and 30.6 minutes played per contest. He has posted double figures in the scoring column 48 times in his college career and he poured in a career-high 32 points at Jacksonville Jan. 31, 2013. A graduate of Oldsmar Christian School in Oldsmar, Fla., Perez started his college playing career at Liberty, where he played in 31 games and averaged 5.5 points per game for the Flames during the 2009-10 season.
Robertson is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound guard who averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game during the 2012-13 at Thornlea Secondary School in Thornhill, Ontario. An all-league selection, Robertson was coached by former Loyola (Md.) player Shane James. Prior to playing at Thornlea, Robertson played two years at Vaughn Secondary School in Vaughn, Ontario. There he helped lead the Voyageurs to two OFSAA Provincial championships and two league titles.
Williams comes to Canisius after spending two seasons at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Ind., and he will have two years of eligibility available at the start of next season. A 5-foot-11, 165-point point guard, Williams played in 34 games in 2012-13 where he averaged 4.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game for the Trailblazers, helping the team reach the NJCAA Division I Final Four. He averaged 5.0 points, 1.8 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game in 2011-12, and he ended his career at Vincennes with a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.82. He graduated from East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, Mich., where the Falcons went 19-5 overall and finished the 2010-11 season ranked No. 12 in the Michigan State High School Boy’s Basketball poll.
Baron also announced that Tyrel Edwards and Jermaine Johnson have been granted their release from the College and both players have chosen to transfer. Redshirt junior Reggie Groves, who played in 91 career games as a Griff, has also chosen to transfer from Canisius to North Carolina Central. Groves earned his undergraduate degree in communications from Canisius and will have one year of eligibility for the Eagles.
Perez, Robertson and Williams will join with newcomers Jermaine Crumpton (Niagara Falls, N.Y.), Zach Lewis (Windsor, Conn.) and Adam Weir (Tonawanda, N.Y.) on next season’s roster. Those three player signed the National Letters of Intent during the NCAA’s early signing period in November 2012.
Canisius will return three starters and five letterwinners to next season’s team. The Griffs went 20-14 in 2012-13, the program’s seventh 20-win campaign and first since 2000-01. The Blue and Gold saw their season end in the quarterfinal round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, the school’s first postseason appearance since 1996.