Fourth-year UBC guard Josh Whyte is the Canadian university men’s basketball player of the year.
The Calgary native was among the Canada West leaders in several categories, finishing fourth in scoring (19.1 points per game), sixth in field-goal percentage (53.8) and assists (4.2) and sixth in steals (2.4). The six-foot-two senior helped lead the Thunderbirds to a 17-1 record.
“Josh has had an outstanding year for us,” UBC head coach Kevin Hanson said in a statement. “He has made hiself stronger and fitter and this has paid off with big dividends.”
Whyte is the third UBC player to receive the Mike Moser trophy, joining J.D. Jackson (1990-92) and Kyle Russell (2002-03).
St. FX point guard Christian Upshaw, McGill guard Matthew Thornhill and Ottawa guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe were the other finalists.
Other award winners announced Thursday included:
-Cape Breton forward Phillip Nkrumah taking home defensive player-of-the-year honours after leading the Atlantic conference with 6.3 defensive rebounds per game;
-Brock swingman Clinton Springer-Williams earning the rookie-of-the-year award after leading all CIS freshman with 21.2 points per game;
-Hanson copping coach-of-the-year accolades for the second time in five seasons, having led the Thunderbirds to the national championship tournament for the seventh time in eight years;
-Dalhousie guard Andrew Sullivan winning the Ken Shields Award, which recognizes a player’s contribution in athletics, academics and community service.
One of the premier guards in the country, Whyte was among the Canada West leaders in numerous statistical categories in 2009-10 finishing fourth (13th CIS) in scoring with 19.1 points per game, sixth in both field goal percentage (53.8) and assists (4.2), and fifth in steals (2.4). He also maintained the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the conference at 1.7 and chipped in with five rebounds per outing, putting up all of these numbers while playing only 28.8 minutes per contest. The 6-foot-2 senior led or tied for the team lead in scoring eight times in 18 league games and had a team-high in assists on nine separate occasions. He scored a season-high 28 points twice and tallied more than 20 points six times during the regular season.
Behind Whyte’s stellar play, the Thunderbirds enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history. UBC was ranked first or second in each of the 14 national coaches’ polls this year and posted a 17-1 record for a CIS-best .944 winning percentage in conference play. The combination of his playmaking and finishing on offence was a big reason why UBC ranked second in Canada West in scoring (85.8 points per game) and first in field goal percentage (47.4) and scoring margin (+17.7). One of the top defenders in the league, Whyte also anchored a T-Bird squad that held opponents to a league-low 38.0% field goal shooting and 68.1 points per game.
A first-time all-Canadian and three-time Canada West all-star, Whyte represented Canada at the 2009 Summer Universiade in Belgrade, Serbia. Prior to joining UBC last season, he played for the Victoria Vikes in 2006-07 after starting his collegiate career with Mount Royal College of the ACAC.
“Josh has had an outstanding year for us. After representing Canada at the FISU Games last summer, he came home with new inspiration and dedication to basketball,” said UBC head coach Kevin Hanson. “He has made himself stronger and fitter and this has paid off with big dividends. He has been our leader on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, our most inspirational player, and has led our team in almost every statistical category. Josh has frequently elevated his game at crucial times for us and has the ability to take over games. He has had a huge impact on our team’s success.”
St. Francis Xavier point guard Christian Upshaw of Halifax, McGill guard Matthew Thornhill of Ile Bizard, Que., and Ottawa guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe of Toronto were the other finalists for the Moser trophy.
Montreal’s Luguentz Dort commits to Arizona State Sun Devils
Five star Canadian Guard Luguentz Dort has committed to Bobby Hurley and the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Dort a 6-5, 220lbs, product of Montreal, Quebec has been one of the most exciting Canadian Basketball prospects in recent years, combining raw speed, with gifted athletic ability, the the 2018 elite top prospect is expected to boast the Sun Devils credibility in a tough PAC 12 conference.
Dort narrowed down his list of top schools from Baylor, eventually settling with the upstart Sun Devils program that will help him transition from a two-guard to a more accomplished point-guard. After all, Coach Hurley knows a thing or two about playing the point, having played the position for the Duke Blue Devils in the early 90’s and over 269 games in the NBA.
Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada
The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.
The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).
The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.
Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.
Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the 2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.
Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.
Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.