As first reported here last month, former Villanova big man Casiem Drummond is now at Marist. Seton Hall also announced that former Memphis guard Jeff Robinson is officially part of the team. Both are New Jersey natives — Drummond is from East Orange and Robinson is from Trenton. Both left to get more burn. And both are expected to be eligible in the second semester of next year.
“We are really excited about Casiem Drummond joining our family at Marist College,” Marist coach Chuck Martin said. “First and foremost, he’s a great kid and a great addition to our community. I think the sky is the limit for Casiem. At Villanova, he showed flashes of what he can do.”
In the 2007-08 season, the 6-foot-10 Drummond set a career high by hauling in 17 rebounds against North Carolina State in the final game of the Old Spice Classic. In the Old Spice Classic, Drummond averaged 10.7 rebounds per game. He also had a 10-point, five-rebound game against LSU, and scored 11 in a contest against Syracuse. Drummond finished last season with nine starts in his 21 appearances, averaging 4.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. As a freshman in the 2006-07 season, he averaged 1.8 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Drummond played scholastically at Bloomfield Tech, the same school Marist freshman R.J. Hall attended. He averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior, and as a senior he was named to the Jordan Classic Regional All-Star game held at Madison Square Garden. Drummond averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds a game as a senior.
“I’m excited to be here because I think Chuck Martin is a great coach, and I think the players who are here really want to be part of a winning team,” Drummond said. “I think I can really help them get to where we want to go.”
JEFF ROBINSON JOINS SETON HALL
Meanwhile, Robinson has officially transferred to Seton Hall. Read my interview with Jeff from a week ago.
He will sit out the remainder of the 2008-09 season and the first semester of the 2009-10 season, becoming eligible to play at the conclusion of the first semester next year. He will be eligible to practice with the team immediately.
“We’re really excited to be adding such a talented player in Jeff Robinson,” Pirates coach Bobby Gonzalez said. “He comes from a great high school program at St. Pat’s that Seton Hall has received a long line of successful past players such as Shaheen Holloway, Samuel Dalembert and Grant Billmeier. He has been well-coached at both St. Pat’s with Kevin Boyle and at Memphis with John Calipari. He’s an explosive athlete that can play multiple positions and is ideal for our up-tempo, pressing style of play. A high-flying, energy guy, he’s another important piece to our 2009-10 puzzle that already features transfers Keon Lawrence and Herb Pope. We believe he’ll be hungry to prove himself.”
Calipari told me this weekend in Springfield, Mass., that he would work with Seton Hall to get Robinson a redshirt so he can have two and a half years at the school instead of one and a half.
“Whatever we’ve got to do to help that process along, we will,” Calipari said
The 6-foot-5, 232-pound Robinson played in five games for the Tigers this season including Memphis’ 84-70 victory over Seton Hall on Nov. 21 at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Robinson played 11 minutes vs. the Pirates scoring three points and grabbing two rebounds.
Last season, Robinson saw action in 28 games as Memphis marched all the way to the NCAA Championship game. The Trenton, N.J. native averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game. Against Siena on Jan. 3, 2008, Robinson logged career-highs with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
At St. Patrick’s High School, Robinson was a consensus Top-50 recruit, rated #36 by Rivals.com and #38 by ESPN150. Ranked among the nation’s top small forwards, he was rated #5 by ESPN150 and #11 by Rivals.com. In 2007, Robinson was a national All-America honorable mention by MaxPreps.com. He earned All-State honors and was named the Star-Ledger Union County Player of the Year. Robinson averaged 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while helping St. Patrick’s to a 30-2 overall record and a second straight NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title.