Week four of the CIS BasketballBuzz Top 10 performers is here with some familiar names and newcomers to the list. This week we have five new names including a freshman making their first appearances in the Top 10 with well earned performances.
Jelane Pryce (G 6’7″, 200 lbs, 4th year) – Winnipeg Wesmen
Jelane Pryce was a nightmare for the UBC Thunderbirds. The Winnipeg Wesmen forward showed off his impressive offensive game with two monster games. Pryce erupted for 21 first-half points to complete the sweep of the struggling Thunderbirds. The Wesmen have gone 3-1 since Pryce was inserted into the starting line-up, earning wins over Saskatchewan & UBC.
Greg Faulkner (G 6’5″, 205 lbs, 4th year) – Queens Gaels
Greg Faulkner just missed the cut last week. This week Faulkner made sure his name appeared in the Top 10 with a career-high and CIS best 40-point outing versus the Brock Badgers. The former Carleton Raven also dominated the glass by pulling down a total 29 boards for Queens.
Josh Wolfram (F 6’10”, 229 lbs, 4th year) – Thompson Rivers Wolfpack
Josh Wolfram continues to put-up big numbers for the Wolfpack. The Kamloops, BC native has racked-up six straight double-doubles to open the season and leads the country in rebounding at 12.7 RPG while also ranking in the top ten nationally in scoring at 21.7 PPG.
Javon Masters (G 6’3″, 190 lbs, 2nd year) – UNB Varsity Reds
Javon Masters is doing just about everything for the red hot UNB Varsity Reds. The second-year guard from Waterloo, Ontario has scored over 20 points per game in all but one game thus far. The only thing not going right for Masters is his three-point shooting, with a sub-par 25.5% from behind the arc.
Johnny Berhanemeskel (G 6’3″, 175 lbs, 5th year) – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Berhanemeskel becomes the first player to earn a spot on the Top 10 performers list for the third consecutive week with yet another 30-plus point outburst. The fifth-year captain has proven that he’s more than just a three-point threat by dishing out 5 or more assists in the past four outings.
Nov 14. @ Waterloo Warriors W, 89-48: 15 points (5/11 FG, 3/5 3PT, 2/2 FT), 5 assists, 5 rebounds
Nov 14. @ Laurier Golden Hawks, W, 113-95: 34 points (8/22 FG, 1/8 3PT, 6/6 FT), 6 rebounds, 7 assists
Tyler Scott (G 6’2″, 185 lbs, 2nd year) – UPEI Panthers
The country’s top scorer stayed hot with a near perfect road win over the Memorial Seahawks and finished with a double-double (or triple-double – 10 turnovers) in a close defeat to the same Seahawks. With two more solid outings Tyler Scott continues to make a case for the premier shooting guard in the country.
Johneil Simpson (G 6’5″, 185 lbs, 1st year) – Brock Badgers
It’s rare to see freshmen make appearances in the Top 10 but its hard to ignore Johneil Simpson and his 6’5″ athletic frame. The rookie point-guard exploded for a career-high 33 points and 13 rebounds in the shoot-out win over the Queens Gaels. Simpson is currently averaging 22 points and 5.8 rebounds per game and currently stands as the leading candidate for CIS Rookie of the year honors.
Dadrian Collins (F 6’6″, 205 lbs, 5th year) – Saskatchewan Huskies
What do you do or say when a guy goes 8-for-8 from the downtown? Dadrian Collins was lights-out for the Huskies in their 2-0 weekend sweep of the previously unbeaten Victoria Vikes.
Nick Tufegdzich (F 6’7″, 215 lbs, 4th year) – York Lions
Nick Tufegdzich has improved each year with the Lions. The 6’7″ forward put up some numbers as York earned a well deserved split with a win over the Guelph Gryphons. Tufegdzich found himself at the charity stripe a total of 33 times during the weekend
Jared Baker (G 6’2″, 182 lbs, 3th year) – Lethbridge Pronghorns
We have the first triple-double of the 2014-15 season! Jared Baker dropped a 20-point, 11-assist and 10-rebound performance over the Regina Cougars to earn himself a spot in the weekly top 10. The Alberta guard has been an integral part of the Pronghorns 5-3 start by averaging 10.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
Chris McLaughlin – (F 6’10″, 235 lbs, 4th year) Victoria Vikes
The Victoria Vikes need to find a way to get Chris McLaughlin more touches, we would love to see what his productivity would look like at 17-19 shots per game. McLaughlin added two more double-doubles, bring his total to four in six games. The 6’10” senior is averaging 19.9 points, 9.5 rebounds per game and shooting an efficient 59.7% from the floor.
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.