On August 25, the Concordia Stingers Men’s basketball team opened their 2014-15 season at home in a preseason tilt against NCAA opponent Fordham Rams (Atlantic 10 Conference). Two days later the Stingers continued their early season action against another NCAA opponent in the Loyola Maryland University Greyhounds (Patriot league). The new look Stingers return only six players from last year’s team that lost in the RESQ semis to the Bishop Gaiters and will depend heavily on fifth year guard, Mukiya Post and third year forward, Mike Fosu for their leadership. The Stingers unfortunately dropped both games to their friends across the border, losing 70-48 to the Fordham Rams and 72-49 to Loyola
First game: Fordham Rams vs. Concordia Stingers
The Stingers started the game off strong as forward Mike Fosu scored the first basket of the game and guard Mukiya Post added another basket to the Stingers early lead. Fordham got their offense in gear with a few minutes left in the first quarter by score six unanswered points. The Rams ended the first quarter leading 13-10 after the Stingers early 8-3 advantage.
Concordia again scored the points of the second quarter but the Rams responded with three-straight baskets by guards, Mandall Thomas, Zaire Thompson and forward, Eric Paschall. Stingers’ Mukiya Post stopped the bleeding by drilling his second three-pointer of the night to helped cut the Rams lead. The Stingers went into halftime trailing 34-20.
Fordham freshman guard Nemanja Zarkovic (Montreal, Que) continued to cause problems for the new Stingers as they ripped off a 7-0 run which was capitalized by a three pointer by forward Christian Sengfelder. Stingers’ point guard Frank Mpeck would end the quarter with a three pointer as Concordia trailed 50-31 after three quarters. The Rams continue to dominate the Stingers in the fourth-quarter as they started with yet another 6-0 run. Stinger’s forward Ken Beaulieu gave the home fans something to cheer for as he slammed home a monstrous dunk in the fourth.
The game brought the homecoming of Fordham’s point guard, Nemanja Zarkovic. Zarkovic led College Jean-De-Brebeuf to a provincial championship last season. Zarkovic was also leading scorer in the game with 16 points. Mukiya Post was leading Stinger with 12 points in the los. Ernie Rosa, Stingers Assistant coach on young Stingers team “We have a lot of young guys who are willing to learn, play hard and are willing to win.”Rosa also stated that the game was a great learning experience for his young Stingers team. Additionally, he mentioned that NCAA teams are bigger in height and also quicker and faster. Stingers guard, Mukiya Post was positive after the loss “We have a lot of growing to do, but it is not bad place to start”.
Second game: Concordia vs. Loyola Maryland Greyhounds
Loyola held the Stingers scoreless for the first seven minutes of the quarter and produced a 9-0 run and never looked back as Stingers forward, Xander Jean would put Concordia on the board with a two pointer at 3:20 left in the first quarter. The Greyhounds dominated the opening ten minutes outscoring Concordia 21-4.
Stingers came out firing to start the second quarter as they scored 13 unanswered points to begin the second-quarter, both guards, Mukiya Post and Aamir Gyles knocked down three pointers. Greyhounds guard, Tyler Hubbard made his own magic with a deep three-pointer. Concordia would end up dominating the quarter by scoring 21 points. The score going into half-time was 32-25 for Loyola.
Greyhounds got the first points of the second half on basket by forward Franz Rassman. Stingers forward, Mike Fosu would respond by getting his own basket. Greyhounds’ guards, Stefano Mancini and Denzel Brito added three pointers to the big lead. Loyola ended up scoring 28 points in the third quarter to increase their big margin. Stingers got the first basket of the fourth quarter on a three pointer by forward Ken Beaullieu. The Greyhounds responded on forward, Cam Gregory second slam dunk of the game. Beaulieu get his second three-pointer of the quarter. Greyhounds ’forward, Nick Gorski would respond with his own three. Stingers scored 17 points in the quarter while Greyhounds scored 12 points.
Loyola’s forward, Cam Gregory was the leading scorer as he had 14 points in the win.Stinger’s forward; Ken Beaulieu was the leading Stinger with 12 points. Greyhounds dominated the boards with 41 rebounds while Concordia had 30. Rastko Popovic, Stingers Assistant coach described the game as tale of two stingers team,” second and fourth quarter, we played really well and beginning of the first and third, we weren’t ready to play.” Mukiya Post, Stingers guard describing his feeling after the first two games, “I see a lot of progress in the young guys so (I’m) not too worried about the rest of the season.”
Both universities went undefeated in their tours across Quebec. Fordham went 4-0 and Loyola went 5-0.
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.