Each week we will analyze the Top 10 Performers across the country giving you insightful look at top players putting in work in the CIS. We kick off week one also better known as the “Canada West Edition” with a Top 10 that is guard heavy with solid all-around performances across the opening weekend.
Chris McLaughlin – (F 6’10″, 235 lbs, 4th year) Victoria Vikes
McLaughlin kicked-off the Canada West regular season with two double-doubles and a weekend sweep of the Regina Cougars. The Oakvile, Ontario native caused havoc on the offensive glass out-muscling the Cougars to the tone off 11 offensive rebounds both games. The bigmen’s shooting touch was in full display from the charity stripe as he went 16-for-18 from the free-throw line.
Oct 31 vs. Regina Cougars Cascades, W, 72-63: 21 points (8/17 FG, 5/6 FT), 12 rebounds, 3 assists
Nov 1. vs. Regina Cougars Cascades, W, 78-63: 21 points (5/11 FG, 0/2 3PT, 11/12 FT) 11 rebounds, 2 blocks
Stephan Walton (PG 5’10”, 170 lbs, 5th year) – Manitoba Bisons
Near perfect weekend for Stephan Walton. The Decatur, Georgia point guard put-up the second-highest point total of the weekend, he went off for game-high 25 points and six rebounds to complete the home-series sweep of Trinity Western. Standing at only 5’10’ Walton demonstrated tremendous speed and ability to control the Bisons who are off to a promising start.
Oct 31. vs. Trinity Western Spartans, W, 84-56: 11 points (4/5 FG, 3/3 3FG,) 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Nov 1. vs. Trinity Western Spartans, W, 96-78: 25 points (9/11 FG, 3/4 3FG, 4/4 FT) 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Joel Friesen (PG 6’5″, 185 lbs, 5th year) – Alberta Golden Bears
“Mr. Do it all” was at again posting the weekends top scoring honors in a key 27-point effort as the Golden Bears came-from behind to earn split against the tough Saskatchewan Huskies on their home floor. Friesen has the ability to do it all for the defending Canada West champions. Look for his name to be a regular on the Top 10 weekly performers.
Oct 31. vs. Saskatchewan Huskies, L, 72-60: 14 points (4/9 FG, 2/4 3FG, 4/6 FT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists
Nov 1. vs. Saskatchewan Huskies, W, 77-63: 27 points (10/17 FG, 4/9 3FG, 3/4 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (PG 5’9″, 160 lbs, 4th year) – Calgary Dinos
Ogungbemi-Jackson is as tough as they come across the country! A weekly triple-double watch, the Calgary Dinos leader was everywhere, nearly missing out on double-doubles against the Winnipeg Wesmen.
Oct 31. @ Winnipeg Wesmen, W, 77-64: 15 points (5/11 FG, 1/2 3FG, 4/4 FT) 9 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Nov 1. @ Winnipeg Wesmen, W, 87-82: 18 points (4/11 FG, 2/2 3FG, 10/11 FT) 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
Amarjit Basi (G 6’0″, 165 lbs, 2nd year) – Manitoba Bisons
Amarjit Basi was arguably the Bisons top player this weekend and that’s is saying a lot, specially since teammate Stephan Walton was nearly perfect on opening weekend. Basi, a sophomore for the Bisons provided timely shooting by coming off the bench as Manitoba took care of business versus the TWU Spartans. Basi averaged just shy of double-digits scoring last year and should be a key contributor for the Bisons moving forward.
Oct 31. vs. Trinity Western Spartans, W, 84-56: 18 points (8/14 FG, 1/5 3FG, 1/1 FT) 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Nov 1. vs. Trinity Western Spartans, W, 96-78: 19 points (6/11 FG, 4/8 3FG, 3/3 FT) 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Marcus Tibbs (PG 6’0″, 170 lbs, 3rd year) – Victoria Vikes
The third-year point guard out of Seattle, Washington took it to Cougars on both games, aside from some poor three-point shooting and some questionable turnovers Tibbs showed that he belongs in the discussion of top point guards in the conference, if not nationally.
Oct 31 vs. Regina Cougars Cascades, W, 72-63: 17 points (7/19 FG, 0/4 3PT, 3/4 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Nov 1. vs. Regina Cougars Cascades, W, 78-63: 22 points (10/17 FG, 0/2 3PT, 2/3 FT) 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Brandon Brine (F 6’6″, 229 lbs, 4th year) – Lethbridge Pronghorns
The Aussie import was solid for the victorious Pronghorns tallying a near double-duece in the blowout win over the Brandon Bobcats. The fourth-year man wasn’t shy about letting the shots fly, putting up a total of 37 field goals over the weekend.
Youssef Ouahrig (G 6’0″, 184 lbs, 3rd year) – Alberta Golden Bears
Ouahrig kept the offense running and his teammates happy with his distribution in Alberta’s win over Saskatchewan. The Montreal PG is the clue that holds the Huskies together and as he long as he can provide consistency throughout the year, folks should become more familiar with his game.
Oct 31. vs. Saskatchewan Huskies, L, 72-60: 17 points (5/6 FG, 4/5 3FG, 3/5 FT), 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Nov 1. vs. Saskatchewan Huskies, W, 77-63: 14 points (5/12 FG, 2/6 3FG, 2/2 FT), 7 rebounds, 7 assists
Matthew Forbes (F 6’6″, 229 lbs, 4th year) – Saskatchewan Huskies
Forbes has been a force to be reckoned with since he arrived in Saskatoon. Now in his fourth-year the arts-science major is set to take his game up a notch as he looks to take Huskies back to the promise land (Nationals). Nearly racked-up double-doubles in the weekend split vs. a tough Alberta Golden Bears.
Jonathan Tull (F 6’4″, 195 lbs, 4th year) – Regina Cougars
“Tull the Bull” was easily Regina’s top player in their two losses to the Victoria Vikes. The former NCAA division one commit (Central Connecticut State) and Acadia Axemen guard didn’t shoot the ball well during opening weekend but it was clearly evident that he will be bullying opposing defenses for the reminder of the Canada West season.
Philip Barndt (F 6’6″, 190 lbs, 4th year) – Calgary Dinos
Let’s not set the exceptions that you can get into the weekly Top 10 performers by putting up 8 points and rebound as was the case for Barndt in opening the win over the Wesmen. The Billings, Montana native bounced back with a 24-point game in the tighter contest of the two-game series. Come to think about it, Brandt shot 4-of-5 in the open game win.
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.
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