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UBC guard Josh Whyte named top player in Canadian university men’s hoops

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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.

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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.

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Syracuse Oshae Brissett delivers massive Rack Attack on Miami Hurricanes

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Syracuse Oshae Brissett Delivers Massive Rack Attack On Miami Hurricanes
Photo: David Gunn - Syracuse

Canadian Freshman and Syracuse Stud Oshae Brissett added to his growing and impressive highlight package with a massive rack attack and facial dunk on the face of Miami Hurricanes defender. The Mississauga, Ontario native is averaging a 14.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and is amongst college basketball finest talents. Brissett has started all the Orangemens’ 27 games to date and has racked up 11 double-doubles in the process. A skilled 6’8″ forward who has stardom written all-over him.

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New wave of Canadian Freshmen making NCAA splash

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New Wave Canadian Basketball Freshmen Making NCAA Splash

There’s a new wave of rising Canadians basketball players making an early NCAA splash. Below we take a look at freshmen players that are making their mark on the college basketball landscape. Like previous years, look for most of the names on this list to become household names come March Madness and a select few to continue Canada’s NBA takeover.

Oshea Brissett New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Oshea Brissett (Mississauga, ON) – Syracuse Orange

Oshea Brissett – Syracuse Orange

Brissett has been arguably the best freshman in college basketball. The 6’8″, 210 lbs forward from Mississauga, Ontario is beasting the opposition, averaging 13.6 points per game, including a team-high 9.2 rebounds (55th in all of the nation.) A true special talent, he has already racked-up four double-doubles in his first eight games, missing two more by just a single rebound. Look for Brissett to continue his torrid start to season as he helps the Syracuse Orange make a run at a conference title in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Although early in the season, Brissett is looking more and more like a true one and done prospect. Expect a green room invitation come June 2018 at NBA Draft.

Canadian Lindell Wigginton Iowa State Cyclones NCAA

Lindell Wigginton (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) Iowa State Cyclones

Lindell Wigginton – Iowa State Cyclones

Looking for stability at the guard position? Well, look no further than Lindell Wigginton. A true versatile bucket getter, with major hops (38″ vertical), he currently leads all Canadian freshmen in scoring at 16.3 points per game while contributing in other aspects with 4 rebounds and 2.6 assists. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia product is shooting a healthy 46.3 % from the field,  48.9% from three-pointers and has reached double-figures scoring in 7-of-9 games, including a season best 28-points, 7 rebound performance against Northern Illinois. Although, the tougher part of the Big 12 conference schedule remains, it is clear that in less than ten games Wigginton has solidified himself as a go to option in the fast paced Cyclones offensive system. Expect the 6’2″, 188 lbs guard to flourish all-season long as he looks to fulfill is long time dream of playing in the NBA.

Nickeil Alexander Walker Virginia Tech Hookies New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Nickeil Alexander Walker (Toronto, ON) Virginia Tech Hokies

Nickeil Alexander-Walker – Virginia Tech Hokies

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Talk about talent. Standing 6’5″ tall, weighing-in at 210-pounds, is Toronto, Ontario freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker. A diamond in the rough find for head coach Buzz Williams and Virgina Tech. The Hokies, traditionally not a prime destination for top Canadian prospects is seeing just how special Alexander-Walker can be early-on. The 19-year-old kicked-off his NCAA career with scoring outbursts against Detroit Mercy (24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and Citadel (29 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and is an integral reason for the Hokies early season success. A knock-down shooter (.529%, FG% .477% 3-pointers) with a 7-footer wing-span Alexander Walker is averaging 14.4 per game, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. A triple-threat he is comfortable handling the rock as well as, dishing off no looks, as he is scoring.

Shai Gilgeous Alexander Kentucky Wildcats New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Shai Gilgeous Alexander Hamilton/ON) – Kentucky Wildcats

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Kentucky Wildcats

It’s hard to talk about Shai-Gilgenous-Alexander (6’6″, 180 lbs, Hamilton/ON) without mentioning the aforementioned Nickeil Alexander-Walker. After-all, both are cousins, their names resemble each other, their games even more. What-else, they played, dominated and caused headaches for coaches as a dynamic high school back-court duo for Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, winning a State title along the way. Now they find themselves on the biggest stage of college basketball doing similar things for highly respected basketball teams. Despite coming off the bench Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 28.2 minutes per game, good for second on a team that also features a bevy of NBA prospects, including Hamidou Diallo, P.J Washington. A efficient natural stat-stuffer he’s averaging 10.1 points, a team-high 4.4 assists per game along side 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

Marcus Carr Pittsburg Panthers New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Point Guard Marcus Carr (Toronto/ON) – Pittsburgh Panthers

Marcus Carr – Pittsburgh Panthers

A true floor general, Marcus Carr (6’1″, 185 lbs, Toronto/ON) has taken charge and ignited the Pittsburgh Panthers rebuilding offense. Carr’s strong play has propel the Panthers to a early four-game winning streak. The pass-first guard scored a career-best 23 points in a overtime win over St. Mary’s and has scored in double-digits in the five of the past six Panthers contests. Currently averaging 12 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds, including shooting a 48% from the field, 48.1% from downtown and Steve Nash like 921% from the charity stripe. Despite his size Carr is strong enough to finish through contact and loves to gets under your chin with defensive pressure.

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Montreal’s Luguentz Dort commits to Arizona State Sun Devils

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Montreals Luguentz Dort Arizona State Sun Devils

Five star Canadian Guard Lugentz 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.

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