Updated: May 10
After a big win last night over Merrimack, the Bulldogs are up to 12-8, and 7-1 in conference play. Here's what you need to know after we spoke to Jared Grasso last night.
Peter Kiss, who is up to 22.3 PPG on the year, is a major reason for Bryant's success. PIC: David Silverman
Chris Childs & Grant Coleman no longer with the team
It's a disappointing end to the Bryant careers of Chris Childs and Grant Coleman. This was the third stop in Childs' college career; he played for Jim Calhoun at Univ. of St. Joseph (CT/D3), and became one of the nation's best three-point shooters at Indian Hills CC in Iowa. But the mighty have fallen; Chris Childs went from the third-leading scorer (14 PPG) in 2020-21 to a less-than-ideal start to the year in 2021-22. Childs had just 17 combined minutes in his last 3 games played - they were contests against Mount St. Mary's, St. Francis (PA), and Merrimack. He went a combined 0-for-7 in those games with 0 points scored.
We interviewed Grasso about Childs back in August 2020:
“Even if I didn’t end up recruiting Chris, he is a guy I would’ve stayed in touch with to make sure he ended up in a good situation. I care about him as a kid – he’s worked really hard. Even if he ended up somewhere else, I would’ve still stayed in touch with him to see how he’s doing. There’s a lot of guys like him that had to overcome some odds and kept working to get to where they are now.” - Jared Grasso, August 2020
Chris Childs had 14 PPG last year. Now, he's no longer with the program. PIC: Bryant Athletics
As for Grant Coleman, a 6-7 wing forward who can rip it from downtown, his career in Smithfield was a disappointing one. Coleman played in 7 games - only started in one of them due to the absence of Hall Elisias - and did not live up to his expectations. He finished with 3.1 PPG, shooting 38% from the field and a less-than-ideal 21% from downtown. The potential is there for Coleman - who started 7 games at UW-Milwaukee last year - to succeed elsewhere, but his stock has gone down after this year.
Miles Latimer, Sharif Kenney, Joel Kabimba are on the bench, but ineligible for 2021-22
Jared Grasso has been busy in the transfer portal, even during the season. He secured commitments from guard Sharif Kenney - the reigning A-10 Sixth-Man of the Year at La Salle - guard Miles Latimer (who had stints at Stony Brook and Bucknell), and big-man Joel Kabimba, who made 32 starts over 2 years at Stetson and couldn't find the right fit at George Mason this year. All three of them showed up for the first time on Thursday night against Merrimack. With two scholarship spots now vacated, many wondered if there'd be an opportunity for any of these 3 to suit up immediately, but Grasso put that to rest pretty easily - "they aren't eligible until next year" he told the media on Thursday night. While it's a shame, it's nice to know reinforcements are coming.
Peter Kiss now fifth nationally in PPG
That's not a typo. Sixth-year senior Peter Kiss is ranked #5 in nation with 22.3 PPG.
Antoine Davis (Detroit Mercy) - 24.4
Darius McGhee (Liberty) - 23.0
Keegan Murray (Iowa) - 22.8
Max Abmas (Oral Roberts) - 22.6
Peter Kiss (Bryant) - 22.3
Johnny Davis (Wisconsin) - 22.2
Other notables: Julian Champagnie, St. John's (19.5); EJ Liddell, Ohio State (19.4); Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse (18.9); Drew Timme, Gonzaga (18.8)
Kiss is averaging 27.1 PPG over his last 7 games, and 25.3 PPG in NEC play. I was wrong to say Kiss was not the frontrunner for NEC Player of the Year; right now, it's not even close.
Bryant one of 19 mid-major programs on a win-streak of 6 or more
The Bulldogs have some good company. Here's the full list of teams that are ripping it up like Bryant is.
Boise St (13), Wagner (12), UNCW (10), Princeton (10), Murray St (9), Morehead St (9), Jax St (8), Seattle (8), Vermont (8), S Dakota St (8), CSF (7), Longwood (7), Toledo (7), Iona (6), Sam Houston (6), Liberty (6), N Texas (6), New Orleans (6), Bryant (6)