Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Rootes first class scores several impact recruits

Press Release from Shawn Whiteley (Brock SID)

The start of Brad Rootes tenure at Brock got off to an inauspicous beginning with the transfer of last season's CIS Freshman of the Year Clinton Springer-Williams to Gannon, an NCAA Division II school in Erie, PA where he has accepted a full scholarship and will be eligible to play immediately.  Normally, losing your best scorer would result in a significant set back to the program, however with their most recent recruiting class, the Badgers appear to have offset the loss of a potential budding All-Canadian candidate. 

Highlighting the class is the return to Canada of 6'5" Tshing Kasamba, originally from St. Catharines St. Francis where he played for former Badger Pat Sullivan.  Kasamba spent the past two seasons at Chicago State, an NCAA Division 1 program in the Great West conference.  Although Kasamba started and was a key contributor in both his seasons in Chicago, the Cougars went through a coaching change and he has transfered back home but will have to sit out this season as a redshirt transfer.  Kasamba was one of the top high school players in Ontario in 2006-07 and '07-'08, leading his club to the OFSAA "AA" championship game in Perth in 2007.  Expect him to be an immediate impact player in the OUA when he is scheduled to suit up in 2011-12.

Rootes got some immediate help to his back court as Brandon transfer Andrew Kraus, a 6'1" fifth-year guard and 6'3" Cedric Kasongo, another in the long line of great players from Welland Notre Dame, committed after being courted by several CIS schools.  Ironically, Kraus, who has enrolled in graduate school so will be eligible immediately, faced off against Rootes the player when the two met for a CIS National championship three seasons ago in Ottawa with the Badgers taking their second National championship under Ken Murray.  Kraus, son of long-time Markham area coach George Kraus, brings instant veteran leadership to the most important position on the floor and should be a tremendous mentor for Brock's stable of young talent.  He is especially important given the uncertain status of incumbent 5'11" point guard Joel Whitty who has been dealing with the effects of several concussions.

Kasongo is a big guard who has excellent court vision and is a tremendous passer with both hands.  Kasongo joins former Notre Dame teammate Anto Raic, entering his sophomore season with the Badgers.  Expect Kasongo to grow into the key decision making role in the backcourt, working closely with Kraus and Whitty.

Brock also adds another in the long line of CIS players from St. Catharines Governor Simcoe with Jay Fast, the son of Brock/Niagara Region legend, former All-Canadian (early 80's) Doug Fast. The younger Fast was an All-Niagara selection the past two seasons with the Redcoats.

Even with the loss of Springer-Williams and 6'6" Andrew Cicuttini who left the team late last season, the Badgers return former CIS Rookie-of-the-Year 6'1" Didi Mukendi, Whitty, forwards 6'6" Mark Gibson and 6'8" Brian Nahimana plus Raic and athletic guard Mike Cruikshank among several others.  The talent remains in this program to make an impact at the upper echelons of the OUA West as the young group matures and Rootes makes what for some others has been a challenging transition from player to assistant coach to Head Coach.

To help ease the transition, Rootes has brought in a nice stable of coaches including Brian "Mugsy" Mulligan, another Niagara Falls native, plus Team Ontario U-15 mentor Craig Steel.  As well, the Badgers have retained the services of Chris Ward, who has ties to the N.B.A. as a fundamentals coach.  Ward will be with the team periodically for spurts during the season and his main responsibility is likely to teach individual skills.

Brock hosts a pair of Canada West teams:  Manitoba and Fraser Valley during the first full weekend in October and then travels to UPEI for the Mickey Place tournament and also hosts Acadia later in October.


Anonymous said...

Could somebody please explain to me why CSW can just up and leave Brock and get accepted immediately into a D2 school, while if the reverse was true, he'd have to sit out a year?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure but I believe D2 schools have different rules governing such transfers. The bigger question is why a CIS ROY would settle for a D2 school to begin with.

Anonymous said...

To answer anon *2's question as to why CSW would go D2:

First, Clinton just wanted to get out of Brock...PDQ. Under Ken, he did pretty much whatever he wanted, because Murray just didn't give a crap anymore. Rootes wanted him to become a team know, actually work WITH his teammates instead of having them work for him.
And BTW, his CIS ROY award was a prime example of how voters look at stats rather than the big picture. Sure he was one of the league's leading scorers but the team ran the offense through him.
On the defensive side, though, he was a liability. Defense was somebody else's job.
Secondly, as to why he would "settle" for D2, it's simple really.
He got a scholarship and a chance to play right away. If he transferred to another OUA school, he'd have to sit a year then pay his own way. End of discussion.
NCAA D2, contrary to what some people like to believe, is not a step down from fact, quite the opposite is true, as Simon Fraser is about to find out.

Bob said...

I watched enough games this year and saw CSW's highest scoring games resulting in a Brock team loss...go figure! Losing Cicuttini will put a big hole in their defence. No other big man on Brock can play defence like he did. He was the most underated player on that team but thats not a surprise. It's all about the flash these days. And I agree that it should not be all about the points either for a ROY consideration and this team found that out in the last 2 years. 2 back to back ROY's and both seasons were dismal. Don't coaches understand the importance of defense yet? But that appears to be the trend now.
I don't see the new recruits adding defence to this team either. Best catch was Kraus though. This team needs leadership.