The CIS Men’s basketball product has undoubtedly gotten better each year with top tier athletes landing pro contracts overseas with regularity, we are now in the midst of witnessing All-Canadians earning NBA Pre-draft camp invites. After an intense preseason that begun in early August we’ve been hard at work attending games, chatting with coaches, hunting down and scouring box scores to try and compile the 2014-15 BasketballBuzz CIS Basketball Preseason All-Canadian list. It’s never an easy task, specially this early in the year to put together such a list, specially when teams are just starting to gel and aside from several preseason games there aren’t many indicators to accurately predict who will eventually end-up as All-Canadians. Without further ado here is our 2014-15 BasketballBuzz CIS Basketball Preseason All-Canadian list with first, second, third and honorable team honors.
First Team All-Canadians
G Philip Scrubb (6’4, 195 lbs, 5th year) – Carleton Ravens
Philip Scrubb is a NBA point guard prospect in the CIS! The possibility of Scrubb getting into the league is as strong as it gets for a CIS basketball player. Now in his fifth-year with the Carleton Ravens the Richmond, B.C kid who turned down mid division one offers to come to the Nations capital is on the verge of cementing his name as the greatest CIS player of all-time. The three-time Most Valuable Player is on a mission to win his fourth straight Mike Moser (MVP) trophy and a fifth straight CIS championship. If it all comes together once again for Scrubb and the Ravens come March you can bet the mortgage and the couch that he will be invited to a few NBA Pre-Draft workouts in July 2015. Scrubb left Memphis and head coach Josh Pastner calling for back-up with back-to-back 30-point (35 points/10 assists/7 rebs & 30 points/4 assists) outbursts in the Ravens 2-0 series sweep of the Tigers.
G Javon Masters (6’0, 175 lbs, 2nd year) – UNB Varsity Reds
The 2014 CIS Rookie of the year could have easily been a first-team All-Canadian last year, instead he was named to the second-team after torching the country with his absurd 27.4 point per game average. Masters aka Mr. Get Buckets hasn’t skipped a beat this preseason, leading the Varsity Reds in scoring in all but one of their ten preseason contests, including 35 large on both UQAM Citadins and Crandall University, ending the preseason schedule with a 26.1 point per game average while averaging just shy off 11 free-throws attempts per game.
G Johnny Berhanemeskel (6’3, 175 lbs, 5th-year) – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Johnny Berhanemeskel aka”Johnny Basketball” got snubbed from last years official CIS first-team All-Canadian team, period! Expect the fifth-year senior to play with chip on his shoulder all-year as he makes his swan song. If the Gee-Gees can return to the National Championship once again there will be no doubt as to who is best of all-time to rock the Garnett and Grey! In 10 preseason games Berhanemeskel has torched just about everything in sight by scoring over 25 points in three-straight games to kick off the preseason including and a ridiculous 27 points (11/18FG) on the Indiana Hoosiers and 33 on the Memphis Tigers.
F Thomas Scrubb (6’7, 215 lbs, 4th year) – Carleton Ravens
The rise of Thomas Scrubb has been coming! Playing under the shadow of the his younger brother for quite sometime the older Scrubb is now finally ready to dominate after a summer with the Canadian Senior Men’s National team. The 2014 CIS Championship game MVP finds himself in prime position for an All-Canadian season. With Tyson Hinz gone their will be more touches available on the offensive end and his dynamic ability to put the ball in the basket from behind the arc and the low post makes him a nightmare to defend. Scrubb shined in the preseason as he nearly beat the Indiana Hoosiers with a 34 point, 8 rebound, 7 assist, 4 steal performance and added a triple-double the next game with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists on the Vermont Catamounts.
F Conor Morgan (6’9″, 225 lbs, 3rd year) – UBC Thunderbirds
Conor Morgan has the total package, now in his junior year with the Thunderbirds he has the ability to be a special player on a team will need him to deliver on a nightly basis if it wants to return to the CIS Final 8 in March. Morgan a product of Victoria, BC was the only CIS player invited to the 2013 Canadian Jr. National team and despite not making the final roster the progress is evident and the skill set is undeniable. At 6’9″ Morgan is versatile enough to do damage both inside and out has worked hard to expand his range to the three-point line. Morgan opened the preseason playing well against the Detroit Titans (NCAA) with a 17 point, 12 rebound, 5 block effort and and showed the full repertoire against the Windsor Lancers for 34 points and 8 rebounds in the close 90-87 preseason loss.
Second Team All-Canadians
G Jamal Jones – Ryerson Rams
G Joel Friesen – Alberta Golden Bears
G Caleb Agada – Ottawa Gee-Gees
F Dadrian Collins – Saskatchewan Huskies
C Chris McLaughlin – Victoria Vikes
Third Team All-Canadians
G Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson – Calgary Dinos
G Tyler Scott – UPEI Panthers
G Theon Reefer – St. Mary’s Huskies
F Mamadou Gueye – Alberta Golden Bears
F Meshack Lufile – Cape Breton Capers
Honorable Mention All-Canadians
G Stephan Walton – Manitoba Bisons
G Mike L’African – Ottawa Gee-Gees
G Greg Faulkner – Queens Gaels
F Mukiya Post – Concordia Stingers
F Taylor Black – McMaster Marauders
Kadre Gray wins second consecutive U Sports MVP
Laurentian guard Kadre Gray took his game to another level this season.
That’s saying something.
A year ago, Gray was the top Canadian university male athlete in any sport, the first Laurentian student to win the honour.
He led the country in assists, narrowly missed a scoring title, and — perhaps by default — also won the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as men’s basketball player of the year.
“Kadre’s work ethic continues to shine bright,” said Laurentian head coach Shawn Swords in a statement.
“He is always looking for ways to improve and refine all aspects of the game.”
If there was any doubt, Gray stifled it in his junior season.
He averaged 31 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game en route to his second consecutive Moser trophy.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment to do it once,” said Swords.
“And now, to be named MVP twice, is truly a testament to his willingness to learn and improve.
“The Kadre effect has spread throughout our community as well. It is great to see him support our local youth and realize the positive impact he has on everyone.”
Gray received the 2019 Moser trophy Thursday at a gala in Halifax, N.S., ahead of the U Sports Men’s Final 8 tournament.
University of Calgary guard Mambi Diawara, Concordia guard Ricardo Monge and St. Mary’s University guard Kemar Alleyne were also finalists for the award.
Gray was simply a cut above. He posted gaudy stats with notable efficiency, shooting 48.8 per cent from the floor.
He was also a First Team All-Canadian and played with Canada’s national team in FIBA World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers against Venezuela and Brazil.
Gray was the only U Sports player to participate in the qualifiers.
Other award winners:
Rookie of the Year (Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy): Alix Lochard, UQAM.
Ken Shields Award for Student-Athlete Community Service: Tanner Graham, Queen’s.
Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Anderson, Carleton.
Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (Coach of the Year): Dan Vanhooren, Calgary.
Carleton Ravens reclaim OUA Basketball Supremacy
The road to Ontario University Basketball supremacy has been firmly cemented through the Carleton University Ravens.
The Canadian basketball powerhouse has continuously dominated the toughest conference in the country year-in, year out, earning eleven (11) conference titles in Dave Smart’s 19 seasons as head coach.
Recently, the Ryerson Rams have threaten to end the Ravens dominance, earning the first non Carleton Ravens’ back-to-back (2016, 2017) conference titles since Joe Raso and the McMaster Marauders pulled it off in 1996 and 1997. Furthermore, despite the Ravens dominance of the Rams, they have managed to beat Carleton and win meaningfully games in March.
Ryerson, playing in their fourth straight Ontario University Association (OUA) conference championship game — a feat that not even the Ravens have accomplished, were looking for their third conference title in four years, having cut down the mesh at the Ravens’ Nest to win their second straight conference banner two years ago.
Add to the fact that Ryerson ended the Ravens hopes of a perfect season, pulling off a 78-74 road win less than five weeks ago and we once again had the ingredients for another great game.
“Coming into game we put a lot of focus in practice on limiting their key players and making it tough for them.” discussed Ravens’ point guard Yasiin Joseph after the Ravens executed their game-plan to perfection, beating the Ryerson Rams 81-61 to reclaiming Wilson Cup supremacy with their second straight conference title.
Carleton ripped off 12-0 run and held the Rams scoreless for over four minutes to grab 25-18 lead after one quarter. Ravens starting back-court of Yasiin Joseph (20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Munis Tutu (16 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds) both played outstanding, controlling the offense and were great on the boards.
“Ryerson is a tough team and you have to be prepared. We made some adjustments from the previous game that helped us come on top.” Also commented Tutu, a Windsor, Ontario native who is looking for his first national title with the Ravens after falling short to the Rams in the national semi-final game.
Now three games away from potentially tasting national glory, Tutu understands the importance of staying focused and trusting the plan. “It’s going to be difficult, we are going to put in a tough week of practice, and prepare for our next opponent and try to bring the championship back to Ottawa.”
Eddie Ekiyor continued his All-Canadian campaign with 16 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. TJ Lall returned from his one game suspension and almost had a perfect game with 10 points, 7 rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting.
Both teams shot poorly from the three-point line going a combined 8-of-49 (16%). Carleton limited the Rams offense to just seven assists and had fairly comfortable +17 (43-26) advantage on the glass.
6’11” Tanor Ngom continued to showcase his upside leading Ryerson in scoring with 15 points and four rebounds including a few exciting dunks for the standing room only, capacity crowd. JV Mukama was largely held in check and finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds including 0-7 from three-point shooting. Myles Charvis started off hot, but cooled down considerably, scoring 8 of his 10 points in the first quarter in 34 minutes.
Carleton won their first OUA conference basketball title of the Dave Smart era in his fourth year and they went on to three-peat on two occasions, from 2003-2005 and again from 2008-2010. They also took home top honors in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018 and now once again 2019.
The only years the Ravens have failed to win the national title as conference champions were in 2008 when they lost to the Acadia Axemen, 2010 against Saskatchewan and recently against Ryerson in 2018.
The Ravens are now the odds on favorites to earn the top seed at next weeks Final 8 National Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia — a place where they have won 8 of their record 13 national titles.