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Top 10 CIS Men’s Basketball Performers: Week 1

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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.

Must Read:  2013 CIS Final 8: Warren Ward leads #3 Ottawa Gee-Gees over #6 Mcgill Redmen

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.

Oct 31 @ Brandon Bobcats, W, 85-82: 16 points (7/16 FG,  2/5 3PT, 0/1 FT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Nov 1 @ Brandon Bobcats, W, 84-66: 19 points (8/21 FG, 3/8 3PT, 0/1 FT) 9 rebounds, 2 steals

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.

Oct 31. @ Alberta Golden Bears W, 72-60: 17 points (6/10 FG, 2/4 3FG, 3/3 FT), 10 rebounds
Nov 1. @  Alberta Golden Bears L, 77-63: 9 points (4/11 FG, 0/1 3FG, 1/2 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 assists

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.

Oct 31. @ Victoria Vikes, L, 72-63: 14 points (3/10 FG, 2/3 3FG, 6/8 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Nov 1. @ Victoria Vikes, L, 78-63: 25 points (9/20 FG, 2/8 3FG, 5/7 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist

Honorable Mention:

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.

Oct 31. @ Winnipeg Wesmen, W, 77-64: 8 points (4/5 FG, 0/1 3FG), 1 rebound
Nov 1. @ Winnipeg Wesmen, W, 87-82: 24 points (10/17 FG, 1/3 3FG, 3/3 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists

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Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson Return To Canada

The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.

The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).

The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.

Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.

Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the  2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.

Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.

Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

Calgary Dinos senior guard Thomas Cooper had himself and impressive CIS/Usports career to say the least. The Chattanooga, Tenn. native, a 6-5, 200 lbs guard earned himself two first team All-Canadian awards while leading Dinos back to the championship game for the first time since 1966.

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No. 1 Carleton Ravens 81-40 lock-up rivals No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees

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Eddie Ekiyor Carleton Ravens Vs.Ottawa Gee Gees USports Basketball
Photo - Valerie Wutti

Ottawa, ON – The twelve-time defending CIS/USports National Basketball Champions and No.1 Carleton Ravens went into Monpetit Hall and completely dominated the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, locking up their Bytown rivals with a blistering 81-40 win.

The Ravens, the top defensive unit in the country, allowing an incredible low of only 60 points to opponents, dominated every aspect of the much anticipated game holding Ottawa to four points in the first-quarter and thirteen in the second for a grand total of seventeen first-half points and 35-17 half-time lead.

The first-quarter ended with Ravens leading 11-4 as both teams slugged it out in front of a jam packed standing room only Monpetit Hall which hasn’t seen the Gee-Gees get dismantled like this on their home floor in 32-game OUA conference games – snapping home winning streak which dated back to 2012.

Fifth-year senior Guard Connor Wood caught fire in the second-quarter after a cold start scoring all but 14 of the teams 24 points in the quarter and finished with 16 in the half and game-high 19 points. Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane added 10 points, six rebounds in just 19 minutes.

The Gee-Gees were limited to 6-of-32 (18.8%) shooting, 3-of-17 from the outside in the opening 20 minutes and managed to only connect on 12-56 (21.4%) of their field goal attempts for the entire game and only 6-of-26 from the outside.

Carleton shot 50% in the second-half and finished 31-68 from the floor and 13-of-28 from downtown while turning the ball over 9 times compared to the Gee-Gees 18.

Must Read:  Philip Scrubb dominates as Carleton Ravens defeat NCAA's Memphis Tigers in 86-76

The 40 points allowed by the Ravens is their lowest against the Gee-Gees since a 74-34 smack-down in January 18th, 2012 at the Sixth Annual Capital Hoops Classic.

Carleton Ravens 6’10” freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) finished one point shy of double-doubles with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively, and shutdown the Gee-Gees dynamic duo of Caleb Agada (12 points, 4 rebounds) and former Ravens Jean Emmanuel Pierre (7 points, 6 rebounds). Gee-Gees Guard Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-4 triples.

Carleton’s record  stays unblemished at a perfect 10-0, 16-0 against Canadian competition and 22-2 overall with the only losses coming from two NCAA opponents on the road in Rhode Island – Providence Friars 87-69 and in Philadelphia against LaSalle Explorers 79-73.

Both teams will meet again in just over two weeks (Feb 3rd) at the 2017 Capital Hoops Classic at the ScotiaBank Centre.

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