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01 December 2008


posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
12/01/2008 03:18:00 PM

Casiem Drummond, a junior and Villanova's only true center, has decided to pursue transfer opportunities, according to a press release from campus today.

Drummond had been suspended for at least one game this season for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. Though Drummond had a history of injury, his development under the basket looked like it had been progressing nicely.

Drummond's departure leaves Villanova with an even thinner rotation, and may affect the planned redshirt of freshman forward Maurice Sutton.

Losing Drummond is a major blow to Villanova's frontcourt, which now consists solely of Dante Cunningham and Antonio Pena. The Wildcats literally have no one off the bench to bring into the paint outside of Frank Tchuisi, who's been hopeless his entire career, and Shane Clark, who is more suited to wing play.

Villanova fans excited about the Wildcats' top-20 ranking may have to adjust expectations drastically for this season considering the complete and total lack of frontcourt depth a full month before Big East play.

"Casiem is interested in finding a place where he can earn significantly more playing time than he has received here," said Jay Wright. "Our staff is doing all it can to help him locate that opportunity. Cas' has made strides in his time with us and we appreciate all his efforts on behalf of our basketball family."

One has to take Wright's statement with a grain of salt, because it is unlikely that Drummond could not have earned significant playing time on the Main Line under ideal conditions. Indeed, Drummond started much of last season at center and the natural place for him this year would have been starting at the 5, moving Cunningham to his preferred spot at the 4.

Rumors have been swirling all over Villanova's campus that Drummond was asked to leave the team by Wright, and not the other way around, as claimed in the official story.

Casiem Drummond adds his name to a growing list of recent Villanova transfers, which includes guards Malcolm Grant and Bilal Benn, and forwards Andrew Ott and (pseudo-transfer) Kraidon Woods.

One has to wonder if something is wrong in the state of Villanova basketball, with four transfers and one broken committment in just over two years. Jay Wright likes to talk about how Villanova basketball is a family first and foremost, but it sure is a family that loses a lot of members.

It's possible that leaving was truly the best option for all five of these players, but losing nearly half of your scholarship players to transfer in a three-year period is not the sign of a stable program.

Villanova's recent success in the NCAA tournament and the top-25 rankings may obscure some of this ugliness, but it is there, under the surface, that Jay Wright loses a significant percentage of the student-athletes he pledged were to become lifelong members of his Villanova basketball family.

Drummond's transfer drops the current regular rotation for Villanova down to seven: Reynolds, Fisher, Pena, Cunningham, Stokes, Clark, and Redding. Dwayne Anderson will be eight when he returns from injury.

Villanova cannot afford to lose any more depth, especially with the brutal Big East schedule looming.

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At 3:54 PM, December 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word on the street was that Cas suffered from depression and refused to take medication because his peers would think he wasn't "cool". Apparently his mood swings caused by this were what lead to his disciplinary problems this year and ultimately his being asked to leave the team.

I wish him the best of luck.

At 3:56 PM, December 01, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

I've updated the story to include the fact that most of the rumors say Drummond was asked to leave and not the other way around.

At 5:01 PM, December 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see any of these transfers as indicative of any bigger problem within the program. Grant and Benn left because of playing time, and Drummond obviously has some other deeper issues. However, it is shame because our frontcourt is going to be really thin this year for sure.

At 5:27 PM, December 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the word on this? I have heard for years, basically since he was on campus, that he wanted to transfer and that he was always in Wright's doghouse...then he came up fairly big last year when he saw time, and I thought things were looking up. Is there anyone who can provide anymore insight to this? I mean, we have done ok without him thus far, but against big east teams with good big men, we are going to be hurting big time. Let's hope Jay Wright has a good enough contingency plan. As for Benn, Grant and Ott (Woods not coming to Nova is just life, thats how recruiting goes) Benn and Ott were players who weren't gonna see time at nova, and Grant was sad to see go, but I mean, thats what happens when you bring in a good amount of recruits and the rotation seems to be working just fine.

At 8:07 PM, December 01, 2008, Blogger Foye's Boy said...

I don't agree with the statement that we are not a stable program. You are talking about 4 players who transfered who are not starters, and not even significant contributors. We don't need Cas and his terrible attitude on this team, regardless of how big he is. He was just an unhappy, unatheletic big man used to buy a few minutes.

I have heard that in fact it was the other way around that he was told to leave, and good for Wright. He was very very close to leaving 2 years ago, and it would have been better if he did that. I love this team, and don't think our lack of size is going to be as big of a factor as you think. Happy trails grumps

At 9:33 PM, December 01, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

Pete, you've lost it. We're on track to win 3 straight national championships while going roughly 116-0. Cas is (and now was) dead weight. We'll be just fine without him. Small ball got us to the elite 8 and sweet 16 a few years back and it would have been a final 4/National championship except for a dubious traveling call. Stay the course. You're either with us or against us.

At 10:05 PM, December 01, 2008, Anonymous Gregg said...

Yes, Drummond was asked by Wright to leave. He was threatened many times to be "Sent home with his grandmother in Bloomfield," (Quote by coaching staff) if he refused to dedicate himself. I'm sure things escalated because he is lazy, and that's how it ended.

At 10:41 PM, December 01, 2008, Anonymous imisskylelowry said...

Unstable program? Family that loses a lot of members?

Wright was able to keep Dwayne Anderson around even though he straight up told him he was not going to get playing time.

The problems aren't with Jay Wright or the Nova program, its with either the players (Drummond), or the lack of an opportunity for the players (as was the case with Grant, Benn, etc).

All schools lose transfers. Look at Uconn, they've had numerous transfers lately. Is their program unstable!??!?

Wright was also able to retain Sumpter, Ray, Foye, Nardi, Cunningham, Sheridan and Fraser into their senior seasons (granted not many of them were cut out for the NBA). And Reynolds is still here in his junior year.

You don't need to drink the kool-aid, but your strong pessimistic opinions do make reading this site painful sometimes. Don't be so one-sided, remember the good that's been done.

It's a shame you seem to destroy Wright and his program at least once a season. Here comes another drum you can beat, after beating the Malcolm Grant drum all last year.

At 12:27 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Pete said...


The whole point of this site is that I love villanova basketball and am a huge fan... can't see how saying some negative things occasionally is "one sided."

At 12:34 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

I M K L --

Also, what a coincidence this issue is the same as Grant't -- Jay's inability to keep a talented player we could have used on the court.

In many ways this is moreso with Drummond -- We are really thin up front.

At 7:46 AM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring in Mouph!!!

At 8:08 AM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is today's game at 7 or 8pm? I have heard both.

At 8:52 AM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only alley oops!!!! I bet you wish you could hug Malcolm Grant everyday pete.

At 9:23 AM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Pete's article indicates he's pessimistic or anti-Jay Wright. What he did was bring to light something that MIGHT be a legit issue with our program, and if that's the case it's definitely better to know about and deal with it than having it bite us in the ass when we lose more recruits, bench players, or even starters.

At this point, it seems to me like a series of coincidences that we've lost 4 players in the last couple years, none of them vital to team success, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on.

At 9:35 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Jeff said...

DRUMMOND WAS NEVER AT HOME AT NOVA!!! I have heard him first hand, and so have friends, have conversations on the phone with family members where he was complaining and talking about getting out...this was 2-3 years ago too when he was a freshman. This guy was never one of Wright's favorites, and that's fine, I trust Jay's judgment, to be honest. And Grant, it was sad to see him go, but he deserved starting time somewhere, and we really didn't have room in our back court. Luckily, we have a great class (hopefully) coming in.

At 11:33 AM, December 02, 2008, Blogger stan said...

Such are the vicissitudes of life. If the guys head wasn't into it for whatever reason, he's better off gone and so is the team.

This may even give Maurice Sutton an early chance. I haven't seen him play and only know what the scouting services rated him. I think he has tremendous potential, provided he has a good attitude. When I look at him I think Tayshaun Prince. admittedly not the skills or same position, but the same body type that can be developed. AND you can't teach height.

This may also make the team more focused. Can you say NY Giants.

And I agree with Anonymous. I don't think a Jay Wright problem. He's a great coach with a great staff. They can bring Maurice along at the right pace and take advantage of his strengths, IF that's the road they want to travel. If not, look how the team did without Drummond last year. They came together at the right time.

At 1:05 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you had to do was look at Drummond's picture on Rivals.com to know he though of himself as a bad-ass guy. http://collegebasketball.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=2&pr_key=27370
I have met him, but he aways struck me as a guy with a bad attitude that never scored well on Villanova's attitude stats.

Pete, if your suggestion that the Nova program is unstable was intended to create some buzz, you accomplished your goal. However, I do think you do tend to have a half-full perspective on the program and Jay Wright specifically that seems inconsistent with your professed love of the program. I must say that I find your commentary to be negatively biased rather than objective.

At 1:36 PM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Anonymous -- do you mean "half-empty"?

Anyway, I'm sorry I don't try to spin everything that happens with the program as a positive. That's Mike Sheridan's job, not mine. This is an opinion and news site, so I am going to write what I believe.

Losing a major player like Drummond is bad news, not good, so you should expect my opinion to reflect that.

At 2:55 PM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Shel said...

Pete, the second paragraph highlights a major point: Casiem has already been suspended this season. I'm not necessarily in agreement with everything that has been said in the comments, but if the guy isn't doing what he needs to be doing for the team then he isn't exactly the kind of player the team needs. I'll go a step further: he's not the kind of player I want representing my alma mater either. If it was just about winning games, then I'm sure the staff would have sucked it up and kept Cas around. Ironically though, asking someone with an alleged bad attitude to leave the team should increase our chances of winning, not diminish them (shorter rotation and all).

Now I agree that five players leaving the program in three seasons is reason enough to have an open dialogue, but if the atmosphere with the team is that poor then I'll need someone to explain to me how Nova was able to ink the top recruiting class in the Big East and a transfer from one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball this offseason. That said, we should wish Cas the same that we've wished the other four departures: the best.

At 4:04 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Rich said...

This blog is starting to become very negative and very unenjoyable to read lately. Ever since Malcolm left you've bashed Jay every chance you've had. You're pathetic Pete, I've never seen anyone be a critic of Jay Wright. The man who turned this program around. An unstable family? Give me a break Pete. Stop trying to stir the pot. We just beat our first tough team of the year(a team who almost took out Duke at Cameron) without Anderson and you're telling me to hamper my expectations because of some lazy bum who never played last year decided to transfer? Hell no, I'm gonna stay confident in Jay and in our the rest of our team. Bottom line is that Drummond was a non factor in our run last year and I didn't expect the bum to be any different this year.

At 5:03 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Pete said...

Rich, isn't it convenient that you decide we don't need a player the moment he leaves?

Bottom line is Villanova is weaker without Drummond. How much weaker depends on your opinion. Hence Drummond's transfer is bad news.

It is also bad news because this is not the NBA. This is college. The goal is not just to win games, but to build solid student-athletes. It is always sad when a player is asked to leave a team or as the case may be, Jay's "Villanova family."

At 5:21 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anthony Molson said...

Unstable?!?! How can you say that? Stop being a Jay Wright hater all the time Pete. There is a reason why were ranked 16th, and its because Jay Wright plays the players he thinks gives him the best chance of winning. Drummond is dead weight.

Tell Malcolm Grants pocket snake I said whats up.

At 5:37 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm back to VUhoops.com .... it's too depressing here. Pete, there is a half-full side to VU basketball, but it seems easier for you to see the negative.

At 6:06 PM, December 02, 2008, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Haha, I am sorry that saying a transfer is bad news, and that 5 transfers is too man, would be too "depressing" for you. If this depresses you then you probably have a pretty good life!

At 6:21 PM, December 02, 2008, Anonymous imisskylelowry said...

Rich, Anthony, myself, and others... so many of us feel the same way Pete.

Paint the whole picture.

Playing time... the same reason for Grant's deparature and Casiem's. RIIIIIIGHT. Casiem had no one to blame for his lack of playing time (injuries, foul trouble, and disciplinary actions). There were no players to steal his minutes. There is plenty of PT for big men, this was not the case for Malcolm.

I think Malcolm could've seen more minutes last year sure, but you won't let it go! Ever since the Malcolm Grant drama you've turned anti-Jay Wright.

And no we don't need Cas. We did well without him last year with an inexperienced team. We'll do it again. Dwayne Anderson arrived late last year too, he'll do the same this year. Shane Clark (although I don't trust him in BE play) is playing much better. Cunningham has up'd his game again. And this does nothing but speed up Pena's majority.

We're fine. We don't need Drummond if his heart wasn't in it. Best of luck!

Sorry but there are no signs pointing to instability in this family!!!!!!

At 12:41 PM, December 03, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

3 straight titles, with or without Cas. Mark it. Now.

At 10:44 AM, December 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12/2/08: "even more so with Drummond"...?? i respect your fanaticism and the dedication to the site, but c'mon man! Drummond was garbage!! We succeeded in SPITE of him, not because of him.

But props on somehow making the case that losing Bilal Benn, Kraidon Woods and Andrew Ott were serious blows to the program. Not many could have said that with a straight face. If you want to be objective, maybe you can say something about Jay's inability to RECRUIT big men, not that we lost garbage time players to transfer.


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