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2019 OUA men’s playoff preview: Round One

Jaz Bains - 2019 OUA men’s playoff preview: Round One
Queen's guard Jaz Bains barrels toward the hoop. Ian MacAlpine/Queen's Photo

It’s that time again.

The OUA men’s basketball playoffs begin tomorrow (Feb. 20), with four first-round games that will decide who advances to the quarter-finals.

Here’s our preview.
OUA East

Carleton Ravens (first place, 22-1) and Ryerson Rams (second place, 21-2) receive a bye.

Queen’s Golden Gals (fifth place, 12-11) at Laurentian Voyageurs (fourth place, 13-10)

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Season series: 1-1

Queen’s 87-80 win on Jan. 4
Laurentian 85-72 win on Jan. 26

Kadre2
Kadre Gray is the reigning U Sports Player of the Year. U Sports Photo

Who to watch

Queen’s: Jaz Bains

Bains, a fifth-year guard from Brampton, leads the Golden Gaels in scoring this season with 19.3 points per game.

He was an OUA Third-Team All-Star last season after three seasons with the St. Lawrence College Vikings, where he was an All-Canadian, OCCA player of the year in 2015-16 and OCAA rookie of the year in 2014-15.

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Laurentian: Kadre Gray

Gray has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Huskies, averaging 31 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.

The 6-foot-1 guard from Toronto is the OUA’s leading scorer by a mile, and the reigning U Sports player of the year.

Ottawa Gee-Gees Guillaume Pepin - 2019 Oua Men’s Playoff Preview: Round One
Ottawa Gee-Gees Guillaume Pepin – 2019 Oua Men’s Playoff Preview: Round One

York Lions (sixth place, 8-15) at Ottawa Gee-Gees (third place, 15-8)

Season series 1-1

Ottawa 92-58 win on Jan. 18
York 78-67 win on Feb. 9

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Who to watch

Ottawa: Guillaume Pepin and Gage Sabean

Pepin, a freshman 6-foot-6 forward from Montreal and Sabean, a 6-foot-5 junior guard from Port Williams, N.S., lead a balanced attack for the Gee Gees.

Both averaged about 15 points per game during the regular season.

Chevon Brown - 2019 OUA men’s playoff preview: Round One
Chevon Brown – 2019 OUA men’s playoff preview: Round One

York Lions: Chevon Brown an DeAndrae Pierre

Brown and Pierre have shouldered much of the scoring load for the Lions this season, forming a potent backcourt with a mix of youth and experience.

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Pierre has 13 ppg as a freshman combo guard, starting 18 games this season. Brown has 14.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a senior in his fourth year of eligibility.

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Brown, a 6-foot-1 guard from Toronto, spent two seasons at ASA College, a junior college in Brooklyn, N.Y., before joining York in 2017-18.
OUA West

Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (first place, 18-6) and Western Mustangs (second place, 16-8) have a first-round bye.

Johneil Simpson
Brock University’s Johneil Simpson. Stephen Leithwood/Brock Photo

Lakehead Thunderwolves (sixth place, 10-14) at Brock Badgers (third place, 16-8)

Season series: 1-1

Lakehead 94-74 win on Feb. 15
Brock 73-72 win on Feb. 16

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Who to watch

Brock: Cassidy Ryan and Johneil Simpson

Ryan, a 6-foot-7 forward from Mississauga, Ont., had 20 points and nine rebounds in Brock’s victory over Lakehead.

He also had 20 points, five rebounds and a steal in a loss to Lakehead the previous evening.

Simpson, a 6-foot-5 guard from Toronto, is Brock’s second all-time leading scorer and fourth in the OUA this season with 20.5 points per game.

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Thunderwolves: Lock Lam and Isaiah Traylor

Lam, a 6-foot-9 forward from Ottawa, is the Thunderwolves’ defensive anchor.

He had 19 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and a steal in the loss to Brock on Feb. 16, after an 18/6/5 performance the previous day.

Traylor, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Tupelo, Miss., played NCAA Division I before joining Lakehead, and is the Thunderwolves’ leading scorer this season.

Malcolm Glanville Guelph Gryphons -  – 2019 OUA men’s playoff preview: Round One
Malcolm Glanville Guelph Gryphons – – 2019 OUA men’s playoff preview: Round One

Guelph Gryphons (fifth place, 11-13) at McMaster Marauders (sixth place, 11-13)

Season series: 1-1

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McMaster 97-80 win on Jan. 11
Guelph 77-75 win on Feb. 13

Who to watch

Guelph: Tommy Yanchus and Malcolm Glanville

Yanchus (senior guard from Guelph) and Glanville (sophomore guard from Toronto) have been an effective one-two punch for the Gryphons, both averaging roughly 17 points per game during the regular season.

McMaster: Connor Gilmore and David McCulloch

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Gilmore, a senior forward from Etobicoke, Ont., has been remarkably consistent this season, averaging 16.4 points and eight rebounds per game.

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McCullough is a crafty fifth-year guard who moves well with and without the ball. Good spot-up shooter who can create his own shot off the dribble. He averaged 15.4 points and 3.3 assists during the regular season.

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