Freshman Casimir a slam dunk for Iona basketball

Schadrac Casimir, a former boys basketball star at Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford, is having an outstanding freshman year and is a key contributor toward the Iona College men’s basketball team having a very good season thus far.

Casimir, a 5-foot-10, 155-pound point guard from Stamford, has started all 21 games. He is fourth on the team with averages of 14.1 points and 32.4 minutes per game and team totals of 46 assists and 20 steals in the games played through Jan. 25, when coach Tim Cluess’ Gaels improved to 15-6 overall and 8-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a convincing 87-64 victory over Niagara at Madison Square Garden.

Casimir is a solid candidate toward being selected the Rookie of the Year in the MAAC.

The conference named him Rookie of the Week for the for the fifth time this season in Week 11, which concluded Jan. 26. Casimir fired in 24 points, including four three-point field goals, in Iona’s 78-68 victory at Rider on Jan. 22. It was the third time this season he was Iona’s high scorer in a game. He had eight points, four assists and two steals in the win over Niagara.

Casimir was the MAAC’s Rookie of the Week in three of the first four weeks. Tyler Nelson of Fairfield has earned that honor twice and is the only other freshman in the MAAC to earn it more than once.

Casimir is currently 10th overall and the top freshman in the MAAC in scoring average. His teammates, senior forward David Laury and junior guard A.J. English, lead the conference with scoring averages of 21.1 points and 20.7 points, respectively. English also leads the MAAC in assists (5.6 apg). Iona, which is located in nearby New Rochelle, N.Y., leads the conference in scoring offense with an average of 83 points per game and is in first place in the conference standings.

Casimir has been sizzling at the foul line, having sank 54 of 61 free throws (.885 percentage). He has a .437 field goal percentage (94-of-215) and a .415 three-point field goal percentage (54-of-130). Casimir was the leading scorer for the Gaels in their season-opening 78-73 victory over Cleveland State.

He also led them when he fired in a career-high 40 points in their 126-76 home rout of Delaware State on Nov. 26. Casimir nailed 8-of-9 three-pointers, 11-of-13 total field goals and was 10-of-11 from the foul line in 28 minutes against Delaware State. He broke a 34-year-old Iona record for most points in a game by a rookie, breaking the old record of 35 points that Gary Springer Sr. set on Jan. 13, 1981.

Casimir averaged 26.2 points, 4.4 assists and 3.2 steals a game during his senior year at Trinity Catholic. He scored 30 points or more seven times, including a 50-point performance against Greenwich, and was selected to the Class L All-State First Team and the 2012-13 All-FCIAC Team. Casimir also helped coach Mike Walsh’s 18th-seeded Crusaders win the 2010-11 Class M state championship with a 57-51 victory over top-seeded Career Magnet in the tourney final.

Last year Casimir averaged 19 points during his postgraduate year at South Kent School and was selected to the All-NEPSAC Second Team.

Iona College freshman Schadrac Casimir. (ICGaels.com – Iona Athletics Photo)