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Ottawa Gee-Gees pull-off historic 109-101 win over Indiana Hoosiers

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Ottawa Gee-Gees Guard Caleb Agada against Indiana Hoosiers

Lennoxville, Que. – The Ottawa Gees took the court for the first since coming up just shy of winning their first ever CIS Men’s National championship against city rivals Carleton Ravens 79-67 in the 2014 CIS Men’s title game and earned a historic 109-101 victory over NCAA division one powerhouse Indiana Hoosiers who are on their second-game of their 2014 Canadian tour.

The Gee-Gees who return four starters from their 2014 team that went 38-5 jumped out to an early 20-7 lead on Indiana thanks to their hot shooting and maintained a six-point cushion at 26-20 after the first quarter which saw Ottawa nail 6-of-8 three-pointers. Starting point guard Mike L’African torched the Hoosiers for 10 points in quarter.

Indiana quickly regrouped and ripped-off an explosive 22-4 run to take a 36-35 lead with 4:55 left in the first-half, but the Gee-Gees behind fourth year head coach maintained their cool and continued to move the ball around the horn and both teams headed to locked room tied at 52-52.

Tom Crean and the Hoosiers opened the third-quarter on a 7-2 run for a quick 59-54 lead but struggled to contain the penetration of L’African leading to wide open three-pointers shots for Johnny Berhnameskel and Vikas Gill. The two teams found little to no seperation and exchanged multiple leads in fast paced quarter which ended with the Hoosiers leading last years CIS Final 8 finalist 79 -78.

With the score tied at 88-88 with 4:55 minutes remaining and the Gee-Gees on the verge of pulling off their biggest win in program history third-year forward Vikas Gill caught fire by knocking three-straight three-pointers to spark a decisive a 14-5 run to put the Gee-Gees ahead for good at 102-93 with a 1:30 remaining.

The Gee-Gees offensive onslaught saw four players reach double-figures led  by their starting back-court duo of Mike L’African and Johnny Berhanemeskel who combined for have half of the Ottawa points with 27 apiece. L’African connected on 6-of-8 shots from downtown and shot 9-of-15 from the floor while racking up six assists and only one turnover. Second-Team All-Canadian  Johnny Berhanemeskel went 11-18 from the floor and buried 3-of-7 shots from deep. Vikas Gill finished with 21 points including a scorching 7-of-8 from 3-pointers, Caleb Agada added double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds. Fifth-year senior provided his usual toughness inside with 11 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.

Must Read:  Roster Breakdown: Ottawa Gee-Gees

The Gee-Gees shot an incredible 18-30 (60%) from 3-pointers and 41-78 (52%) from the game to pick-up their fourth victory over a NCAA team. Ottawa has now beaten the likes of TCU Horned Frogs (2013),  La Salle Explorers (2006), and Eastern Kentucky (2005).

Indiana was paced by 6’7″ sophmore forward Troy Williams with 27 points on 12-of 16 from the field and highly touted freshman James Blackmon Jr. who continued to show his potential with 20 points on 8-14 shooting. The Hoosiers shot a healthy 41-of-73 (56%) for the game and connected on 7-of-17 from behind the arc and left points off the board by going 12-of-20 from the free-throw line.

Ottawa’s NCAA preseason schedule continues with a game at home against the Vermont Catamounts (America East) who also touring Canada and are currently 2-0 with convincing wins over Queens 95-53 and Laval Rouge et Or 85-67.

The Hoosiers 1-1 will now travel to the Nations Capital for another tough contest against the 10-time CIS champions Carleton Ravens will kick-off their 2014 campaign at the Ravens Nest in Ottawa.

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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

Must Read:  Roster Breakdown: Ottawa Gee-Gees

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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Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson 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.

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