Ottawa, Ont. – (BasketballBuzz) – A night after finding out that Canadians can shoot and play the game they invented the University of Wisconsin Badgers rolled into Montpetit Hall focused and eager to get their first win of their 2013 Canadian Tour.
The Ottawa Gee-Gees coming off a 90-74 victory over the TCU Horned Frogs in their NCAA preseason opener came out gunning from beyond the arc and opened up the game on a 9-2 run and found themselves up 41-36 late in the first-half. But Wisconsin closed out the half on 19-3 run, took a 55-44 advantage in a well played opening 20 minutes and never looked back to defeat the Gee-Gees 101-92 and even their preseason record to 1-1.
For the second straight night 6’7 sophmore forward Sam Dekker led the way for the Badgers with a great all-around game, finishing with a team-high 20 points on 9-of-11 shots. Dekker absolutely destroyed the Gee-Gees on both ends of the floor while picking up eight rebounds, seven assists in the process and leaving Gee-Gees head coaching James Derouin searching for answers.
“Well, I mean they have an NBA calibre guy, in Dekker, he’s a nightmare match-up, you put a big on him he can blow by you, put a small guy he can post up.” “He hits threes and can rebound well.” described Ottawa Gee-Gees Head Coach James Derouin after the game.
“We don’t see a guy like that too often.” concluded the fourth-year head coach.
Badgers Head coach Bo Ryan has seen plenty of talented players during his 13 years at Madison and also believes Dekker has the ceiling to be amongst the top players in the country.
“He’s a very a good player, he’s one of the best players in the country, is one of those guys that wants to get better, hes learning, I mean he is a high level college basketball player.”
Mike L’Africain controlled the Gee-Gees offense early and scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the first-half. Johnny Berhanemeskel also showed signs of brilliance adding 23 points and five rebounds. Other Ottawa players in double figures were sophomore guard Moe Ismail who came off the bench and finished with 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from behind the three-point line.
The Badgers shot a scorching 56.5% from the field and 57.7% from the outside – nailing 15-out-26 three-pointers. Ottawa also shot the ball well going 47.8% and burying 13 three-pointers in a single digit losing effort.
Overall the Badgers displayed significant improvement from their preseason opener, they shot the ball well, displayed their front court versatility and looked like a team that could be dangerous once Big Ten conference play roles around.
Starting guard Ben Brust rebounded well from a poor showing against Carleton with 18 points and five triples. Other Badgers players to reach double-figures included George Marshall 15, Duje Dukan 14 and Frank Kaminsky with 12 points and 4 rebounds.
“I think we were more comfortable on the offensive end, if you saw and broke down our game we got in our sets much quicker and got shots, against Carleton we didnt get as many good shots, we have a lot of good shooters and if we get open looks we are going to knock them down” discussed Dekker after the game.
Wisconsin will now travel to Toronto for game against another Ontario University Association (OUA) East opponent when it visits the Ryerson Rams at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The Gee-Gees will take on the Syracuse Orange next.
Ottawa Gee-Gee’s point guard Mike L’African injured himself late in the game and is expected to miss the game against the Syracuse Orange.
Toronto NCAA basketball triple-header to feature big names
For the past 20 years NCAA basketball teams have been making the trip north of the border to take on Canadian U Sports teams in early August as part of the NCAA vs. U Sports exhibition series.
Now it looks like we are ready for the next step — regular season, non-conference games between NCAA schools on fertile Canadian basketball
According to multiple reports, a massive six-team, non-conference,
Sponsored by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame — the South Carolina Gamecocks (SEC) will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Big 10). The Buffalo Bulls (MAC) will face the Harvard Crimson (Ivy) and the Tennessee Volunteers (SEC) will square off against the Pac 12 champions Washington Huskies.
A total of seven Canadian’s could be featured in the marque homecoming event including, South Carolina’s standout freshman A.J. Lawson (Toronto), Rutgers’ Eugene Omoruyi (Rexdale, Ont.), Harvard’s Danilo Djuricic Brampton, Ont.), and Luka Sakota (Oakville, Ont.). The Crimson also features Ottawa, Ont. duo Noah Kirkwood and Corey Johnson. Buffalo’s Dominic Johnson (Windsor, Ont.) would round-out the potential list.
Omoruyi a 6’7″, 234-pound bruising senior forward is coming off of his best season — leading the Scarlet Knights in scoring and rebounds at a respective 13.8 and 7.2 per game.
Lawson a 6’6″ 172 lbs guard is currently testing the NBA Draft process after averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for head coach Frank Martin.
Noah Kirkwood (6’7, 215 lbs) guard had a productive freshman season with 11.1 rebounds, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists as the Crimson (18-11, 10-4 Conf) just missed out on the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament with a close loss to Yale in the conference title game.
The Buffalo Bulls’ are coming off their most successful season in the program’s history with an outstanding 32-4, 16-2 record and a six-seed in the West region.
South Carolina had it’s up’s and down’s with a 16-16, 11-7 SEC conference record — Rutgers’ is looking to improve from their 14-17 record, 7-13 in Big 10.
The marquee match-up pits the Tennessee Volunteers against the Washington Huskies. Tennessee finished second in the SEC with a strong 31-6, 15-3 campaign for head coach Rick Barnes – bowing out to Purdue in the Sweet 16.
The Huskies, although not a traditional Canadian destination, will become the first NCAA men’s basketball team to make back-to-back trips to Canada.
In 2018 the Vancouver Showcase tipped off — bringing four NCAA men’s (Washington, Santa Clara, Minnesota, Texas A&M) and eight women’s basketball team’s to the west coast of Canada — marking the first time NCAA division one games played in Canada counted as non-conference records.
With Toronto continuously out-churning the mecca (New York City) and other traditional American powerhouses for quality NCAA and NBA basketball prospects — it makes more than dollars and cents — much like the Empire Classic — to ensure that the northern city that never sleeps has it’s annual NCAA regular season dosage.
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Ionescu
There’s no business, like unfinished business.
Most great basketball stars take their smartphone penmanship to ‘The Players Tribune’ to announce a change of game and mind move to greener pastures, which seems to be the new trend like Kung Fu Kenny headbands. But not the green duck of Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu. In a pen drop moment she dropped the mic as she made a declaration like Leonardo DiCaprio staring at all that love in the boardroom in ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’.
“I’m not f##### leaving!”
O.K. she didn’t say it quite like that. Rather more eloquently in the form of a love letter to her state and basketball mind. She may have that Eurostep stop on a dime from downtown that puts in that change and pops the button like James Harden. She may have film broke down by the mamba mentality of the one and only Kobe Bryant. Or articles wrote about her by this writers’ writing inspiration Shea Serrano of The Ringer. She may have even gone number one if she put in her draft card this year.
But the WNBA can wait.
Green with envy and legendary shades she may be the next great of this game like the Storm of Sue Bird to Breanna Stewart. She’s the type of player that’s so good to watch she could even get away with taking more steps than ladders like most of those NBA folks. But no! An inspired Ionescu is doing things the right way. After being made by Baylor, the ducks will quack again. And they will do so with their top billing. Sabrina will return for one last run. She’s got the rest of her playing career to be a WNBA legend for whatever team from the Sparks to Mercury picks her. But the Pac-12 Wade trophy winner has only got one last chance at a Final Four dance after the madness that is March.
Just look at the above picture. She’s only got so long for this. To be a kid. She may be far from ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, but this maturing talent is still young. To be that again, we should just be happy she still has that chance. One chance to make the Ducks mighty again. To have those best years of your life with the best friends you’ll ever meet. These are her memories. Her signed sneakers and scissored nets. Who are any of us to take that away. We can wait. As her parquet paths next year to the big leagues will be like this season’s road to Zion.
The two time Nancy Lieberman award winner will take her L ready 19.9 points, 8.2 assists and 7.4 rebounds averages to one last ride and stand in Oregon. Flying with the 18 record of the most career triple doubles in NCAA history. She won’t be in New York next month, but she’ll be writing in more history books next year as other teams bet it all on some bouncing balls. And if you think this game is all about the big league and the big payday, then this outstanding Oregon statement doesn’t give a duck.
“I won’t predict exactly how far we’re going to go….. but I’ll just say this. We have unfinished business. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
Time to get back to work and take everyone back to school.