McGill opens the CIS tournament as the fifth seed. The Redmen won the RESQ for the second time in a row after beating the Bishop Gaiters last Sunday by 26 points. They will be playing their first game against a familiar foe in the Victoria Vikes. They faced the Vikes in the consolation final at last year’s tournament and won. The Redmen have challenges ahead of them as they are trying to be the first RESQ team to win the CIS championship since the Bishop Gaiters did it in 1998, Concordia also won it in 1990. A RESQ team has not won their first game since Concordia did it in 2005. This is the Redmen’s 7th appearance in the tournament.
In many people minds, The RESQ is the weak conference in the CIS as they do not play as many games and have only five teams. The other conferences in the CIS have eight teams which allow for more competition between all the teams and not an easy path to be named a champion of their conference.
The Redmen were not talked about winning the RESQ championship again at the beginning of the season. The reasoning was because they had ten freshmen on the squad which was the most among the other universities in the conference. The Redmen season started with two losses to NCAA schools Sacred Heart and Syracuse. The Syracuse game they lost by 40 points. The two losses did provide one thing for the Redmen which was a starting lineup that featured three freshmen, François Bourque, Dele Ogundokun and Michael Peterkin. Before conference play started in the RESQ, the Redmen played Ottawa (1 Seed in final 8) and Alberta (3 seed in final 8). The Redmen lost both games however they did force OT with the Gee-Gees. In that game vs. Ottawa, Francois Bourque had 25 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. In their loss to the Golden Bears, François Bourque was also the best player on the court except for this time he only had 17 points with five rebounds. The Redmen in conference play was deadly as they rolled to 14-2 record however they did have some hiccups as they have lost back to back to Concordia and Laval. In the Laval game, they committed 21 turnovers and also bad shooting percentages. They had an FG% of 39.4%, 3FG% of 17.4 and FT of 57.1. The Concordia loss was the difference as they blew the lead in the fourth quarter and had bad shooting FG% in the fourth quarter (30%).
The Redmen have won 11 straight games. They hope to change that to that 14 as they can win their quarter-finals match up and then semi-finals and final which would mean they are CIS champions. The Redmen path will be a hard one as they will have to play the number one seed, Ottawa Gee-Gees in the Semi-Finals if they beat UVic on Friday. If the Redmen pull the upset over the Gee-Gees. In the finals, they will have to play the likes of the Carlton Ravens who will be looking for their tenth title and third in a row or Alberta Golden Bears again.
I believe the Redmen have a chance to win their quarter-finals matchup on Friday. I believe in order for them to beat the Gee-Gees, Ravens or Golden Bears they will have to have great games from freshmen phenomenon duo of Francois Bourque and Dele Ogundokun and RESQ MVP, Vincent Dufort. Bourque who averaged 10 PPG and 7.8rebs PPG while Ogundokun averaged 10PPG and 2.5 steals PPG. Bourque finished second in the RESQ rebounding and was named to the RESQ all-rookie team. Ogundokun lead the RESQ steals and 3FG% for his efforts, he was named RESQ rookie of the year and was named to CIS all-rookie team. The Redmen’s best player has been third-year man, Vincent Dufort who was named second time All Canadian next to be named RESQ MVP after averaging 13 PPG and 6.7RBS PPG. Their success in this year tournament will depend on how on amount of Turnovers they committed and how many rebounds they can collect. My prediction is that Redmen do become the first RESQ team to win their first game since 2005, but will lose to the Gee-Gees in the Semi-finals.
Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions
The No. 1 ranked Carleton Ravens improved to 16-2 overall and 8-0 in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference action with a 129-44 — 85 point beat-down of the York Lions to set a modern-day U Sports men’s basketball record, for most points scored and the largest margin of victory in a OUA conference game.
The Ravens’ 129 points is the most points scored in a (OUA) game and the third highest scoring output in historic programs’ 58-year history. Carleton routed the Fleming Knights (CCAA/OCAA) 130-78 in non-conference win on October 3, 2009. The 85-point win is the second largest margin of victory in team’s history — including CIAU, CIS, OUA conference, non-conference and games against NCAA teams.
According to historic records, and stats guru Martin Timmerman, the Ravens’ also hold the bragging rights for the most points scored and largest margin of victory in Canadian university basketball history. The all-time mark dates back to the 1964-1965 season with the Ravens’ beating the Ottawa Gee-Gees 144-52 — a whooping 92 point victory in the old Ottawa-St. Lawrence Intercollegiate Association (IAA) conference which was part of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU).
The OUA was formed on July 1st of 1997 in a amalgamation of the both the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA) and the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA).
The previous largest OUA margin of victory stood firmly at 81, 77 points respectively, dating back to two occasions involving the same two teams. January 15, 2011 — the Ravens pounded the now defunct Royal Military College (RMC) men’s basketball program with a 121-40 win in Kingston, Ontario. Two weeks later, on January 28, in Ottawa, the Ravens’ won by a easy 77 points, in a 101-24 cake walk victory.
The York Lions (7-15, 1-10 OUA) never had a chance — trailing 32-7 after the first 10 minutes and down 64-21 at half-time. The Lions allowed the Ravens’ to outscored them 35-15 in the third-quarter and were limited to just 9 points in the final 10 minutes — while giving-up an another 35-point-quarter.
Stanley Mayambo 17 points, 4 rebounds paced seven Ravens’ players in double-figures. Lloyd Pandi added 14 points, 2 rebounds. Aiden Warnholtz played a game-high 28 minutes off the bench and contributed with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. All of Carleton’s players scored at least five points and attempted at least five shots with only one bench player logging less then 10 minutes of playing time. None of the Carleton’s starting five logged more than 19 minutes of action.
Carleton knocked down 45-of-77 (58.4%) field-goals, made 15-of-32 (46.5%) three-pointers and connected on a healthy 24-30 (80%) from free-throws — while limiting the Lions to just 14-of-62 (22.6%), 4-of-20% (20%) from downtown and 12-of-23 (52%) free-throws.
Carleton, currently on a four-game home stretch will take on the Nipissing Lakers before closing out the first semester with a highly anticipated showdown against nationally ranked and cross-town rival Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Kadre Gray career-high 51 points keep Laurentian Voyageurs unbeaten
Kadre Gray scored a career-high 51 points as the Laurentian Voyageurs (4-0) stayed unbeaten with 107-77 win over the Algoma Thunderbirds. The reigning two-time U Sports Most Valuable Player (MVP) torched Algoma — shooting 17-for-24 (70.8%) from the floor and burying 9-of-15 (60%) triples including 8-of-12 (66%) from the foul line — adding 9 assists and 2 steals in 32 minutes.
Gray scored 14 points in the opening quarter and added 11 more in the second-quarter to finish the half with 25 points as Laurentian trailed the Thunderbirds 51-46. The former Rookie of the Year (2016-17) added to his count with 10 more in the middle frame helping Laurentian rally to take a 74-69 lead.
The Toronto, Ontario native doubled-up the Thunderbirds in the fourth quarter — scoring 16 points in 10 minutes as Laurentian outscored Algoma 33-8 to run away with the game.
Gray has been on a tear to start the 2019-2020 U Sports men’s basketball season pouring 40 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists in a win over the Bishop Gaiters just four days ago. The two-time first-team All-Canadian also racked-up 25 points against the Western Mustangs and 19 points in the preseason opener over the Waterloo Warriors.
Gray is currently averaging 33.7 points per game, slightly higher than the league-leading 31 points per game a year ago. Gray’s previous career-high was a 48-point game in 101-81 win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves on November 3rd 2018.
Kadre Gray on pace to become U Sports All-Time Scorer
With two years of eligibility remaining and currently sitting at 1549 career points the Laurentian guard is on pace to surpass UNB Reds standout Javon Masters to become the all-time greatest scorer in U Sports basketball men’s history.
Masters had 1608 entering his junior year and scored 799 in his final two campaigns to finish with 2407 career points — surpassing Ryerson’s Boris Bakovic’s 2319 total points. Kadre Gray scored 620 points in 20 regular season games last year alone and should he come anywhere near that pace this year and opt to return for a final fifth-year he could shatter the mark.
The four-year stand-out guard is coming off a stellar season and opted to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft and will once again look to make his mark on Canadian University basketball.
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