The Concordia Stingers at the mid-break of the RSEQ season are the bottom dwellers of the Quebec conference with a record of 1-3 in regular season play. The Stingers have struggled on offense ranking dead last in scoring in the RSEQ.
The Stingers started the year in late August against NCAA opponents, Fordham Rams and Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds. They lost both games Fordham (70-48), Loyola –Maryland (72-49). Concordia then headed to the Maritimes at the beginning of October as they faced the Memorial University in two games. They got their first two wins of the season beating Memorial in a close game 67-62 and on the next day they creamed the Seahawks 78-55. After their two wins the Stingers headed home for their annual Concordia-Nike Tournament the following weekend.
Concordia kicked off the tournament with a ten point (76-66) loss to the OUA’s York Lions. York’s All-Star guard, Phil Gillen had 21 points in the win. Stingers guard, Mukiya Post had 16 points in the lost. Mukiya Post had a breakout game as he scored 31 points in a 82-67 win over New York Institute of Technology (NYIT /NCAA division II). The winning continued as they beat the visiting Queens Gaels at home the following week, 73-61.
The Stingers traveled to Kingston the following week to play St. Lawrence College (OCAA), roughing them-up 85-64. The Ontario road trip continued as they played Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks and Waterloo Warriors. The Stingers went 1-1 on the road trip. The Golden Hawks beat them 82-76. Golden Hawks transfer forward, Kyrie Coleman come off the bench and scored 24 points. The leading scorer for the stingers was rookie forward, Ken Beaulieu who scored 15 points. Also in the game, Stingers fifth year forward, Gabe Riche had a double-double as he picked up ten rebounds and scored 11 points in the lost.
The next night the Stingers hammered the Warriors, 87-52. Stingers Mukiya Post was the leading scorer as he scored 18 points in the win. The Stingers headed home and played the number two team in the country, Ottawa Gee-Gees that same week on the Wednesday. The Gee-Gees deciphered the Stingers, 82-60. Gee-Gees all-star guard, Johnny Berhanemeskel scored 18 points in the win. Mukiya Post again led the Stingers on the score-sheet with 14 points in the lost. The Stingers last game before the RSEQ regular season started was against NCAA opponent and a friend across the border, Vermont Catamounts. The Catamounts easily beat the Stingers 80-57. Catamounts forward/center, Ryan Pierson had 17 points and Stingers Mukiya Post also had 17 points in the game. Concordia finished the CIS Men’s Basketball Preseason with an even 6-6 record.
The Stingers opened the regular season at home against the Laval Rouge Et Or. Concordia trailed for a majority of the game and in the third quarter they started a small comeback from being down 43-37 at half-time to trailing 59-62 at the end of the quarter. In the final quarter they complete the comeback scoring 21 points compared to the Rouge et Or who scored only eight points to win the game 80-70, forward Ken Beaulieu had 18 points in the win while forward, Mike Fosu added a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The following week Concordia hosted the hottest team and RSEQ leader, Bishop Gaiters. It was a homecoming for Gaiters guard, Kyle Desmarais who last played for the Stingers two years ago. The Gaiters started with an early lead and never surrendered it as they defeated Concordia 76-69. In his homecoming, Kyle Desmarais led all scorers with 18 points. Michael Fosu led all Stingers in scoring with 17 points.
Up next for Concordia was their inner-city rivals, McGill Redmen. The game was close in the first-half with the first quarter it was tied at eleven and halftime it was 23-17 for the Redmen. In the second half, Redmen dominated the game scoring 41 points between the 3rd and 4th quarter while Stingers only scored 24 points in the two quarters. The final score was 64-41. Redmen guard, Dele Ogundokun led all scorers with 14 points and nine rebounds in the win. Stingers Mukiya Post led all Stingers in scoring with 13 points in the lost. The last game before the winter break saw the Stingers back at home as they played UQAM Citadins. The game started out well for the Stingers as they led 15-14 after the first quarter. The Citadins did take the lead in 2nd and 3rd quarter. The two teams made it interesting in the later part of the fourth quarter as the Stingers made comeback to equal the game at 68 however with a minute and eighteen seconds left, the Citadins took the lead for good on foul shots. The final score was 83-70. Citadins forward, Alexandre Bernard led all scorers with 39 points in the win. Stingers Mukiya Post led his teammates in scoring as he scored 27 points.
Stingers key player’s breakdown at midway point
Mukiya Post (5th guard): Last season Post led the RSEQ scoring at the end of the year and is expect to do accomplish that this year again. At the midway point he is third in the RSEQ scoring as he has scored 62 points in four games. Post averages 15.5 points per a game. He is the Stingers key player for their success in my opinion.
Mike Fosu (3rd year forward): Fosu is proving to be one of the best big men in Quebec this year. He leads the RSEQ in rebounding as he has collected 26 rebounds and averages 8.7 boards per a game. Fosu is also tied for fifth in the RSEQ scoring with 39 points and is averaging 13 points per a game in three games.
Ken Beaulieu (2nd year forward): Beaulieu was a CEGEP All-Star last year with Cegep Edouard-Montpetit and has proven to be a great pickup for the Stingers this year. He is tied for seventh in RSEQ scoring with 50 points in four games. He averages 12.5 points per a game. He’s also third in the RSEQ in steals with 9. The last thing is he uses his height to his advantage as on occasion he averages a slam dunk a game.
Jean-Louis Wayna (2nd year center): Wayna was supposed to be the Stingers biggest recruit and was expected to create a big impact but has struggled so far in my opinion. He came from State Fair Community College in Missouri last season however two years ago he played CEGEP ball for Vanier College. He has scored 11 points in four games this year. Wanya is 6-10 which gives him a great advantage to grab rebounds. This season he has nine rebounds most of them are defensive ones.
Gabe Riche (5th year forward): Riche returned to the Stingers after taking last season off. He has scored 32 points in four games this season. He also averages eight points per a game. Riche has been solid at rebounding as he collected 19 rebounds so far most of them on the defensive end.
Ricardo Monge (1st year point guard): Monge was a CEGEP All-Star last year with John Abbott College. Monge has done good job as being a point guard as he control games. He also has been solid in three pointer as he leads the RSEQ and is third in the CIS in 3PT Pct. with .571. He has made four out of seven of his three pointers this season. He has scored 20 points in four games and averages five points per a game.
I expect the Stingers to make a run at the last playoff spot in the conference but it will not be an easy task as they will have to beat both McGill and Bishops at least once.
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.