We kick-off 2015 the right way with the most complete and competitive edition of the BasketballBuzz 2014-15 Top 10 CIS Men’s Basketball performers. By now we are all familiar with the usual suspects (Scrubb Brothers, Jonny Basketball, Javon Masters, Tyler Scott and more) and week in, week out there are guys motivate and hungry to see their name on the Top 10. With less then six weeks away from the start of post-season it’s now or never!
Johnny Berhanemeskel (G 6’3″, 175 lbs, 5th year) – Ottawa Gee-Gees
“Jonny Basketball” has pretty much cemented his name as the greatest Gee-Gee player of all-time by nailing his second career game-winning basket over cross-town rivals Carleton Ravens. At the mid-way point of the season, it’s now clear that the race for the Moser (MVP) trophy will come down to Berhanemeskel and his good pal Philip Scrubb. The only thing left for Berhanemeskel to do is win a CIS Basketball national championship and end Scrubb’s historic grip as a three-time Most Valuable Player, something that he will likely have to go through to Ravens accomplish both feats.
Jan 10. vs. Carleton Ravens W, 68-66: 21 points (8/24 FG, 3/7 3PT, 2/2 FT), 4 assists, 4 rebounds
Philip Scrubb – (PG 6’4″, 195 lbs, 5th year) Carleton Ravens
The three-time CIS MVP scored 14 of the Ravens 20 fourth-quarter points in the loss against rivals Ottawa Gee-Gees and had zero turnovers in 39 pressure cooker minutes. Scrubb is averaging 24.6 points per game and 38 minutes against the OUA’s big three teams thus far (Ottawa, Ryerson, McMaster) compared to only 15.5 PPG and just 22.6 minutes per game against other conference opponents. A legit contender to become the first-ever player to win the Most Valuable Player Trophy four consecutive years, a feat that if accomplished will certainly catapult him into the most decorated CIS Player of All-Time!
Jan 10. @ Carleton Ravens L, 68-66: 26 points (7/16 FG, 5/11 3PT, 7/7 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Chris McLaughlin – (F 6’10″, 235 lbs, 4th year) Victoria Vikes
The most dominant big man in the country put together his most complete performances of the season in a weekend road sweep of the Manitoba Bisons. McLaughlin also put up a season-high 19 field goals and came up a rebound shy of his sixth double-double of the year. It will be hard to deny McLaughlin a spot on the All-Canadian team if he keeps putting up double-doubles and the Vikes keep on winning.
Tommy Nixon (F 6’6″, 220 lbs, 5th year) – UBC Thunderbirds
5th year senior forward Tommy Nixon has “saved his best for last” and is having an outstanding final season with the Thunderbirds. An accomplished violinist off the court, Nixon has strung together his best two-game stretch of the season and leads an improving and talented UBC team in scoring (19.9) and 5.9 rebounds per game, both team-highs.
Jan 9. @ Lethbridge Pronghorns W, 92-77: 36 points (11/13 FG, 3/4 3FG, 11/14 FT), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks
Jan 10. @ Lethbridge Pronghorns W, 91-69: 21 points (5/6 FG, 2/2 3FG, 9/10 FT), 9 rebounds, 3 steals
Caleb Agada (G 6’5″, 200 lbs, 3rd year) – Ottawa Gee-Gees
You’ll be hard pressed to find another CIS Basketball player that plays a bigger role on a National ranked team than Caleb Agada. The 20-year old junior guard has been instrumental to the Gee-Gees rise to the number one spot in the country. Agada put together another great performance against the Ravens and has been nearly unstoppable all-season including strong efforts versus top NCAA teams in the preseason. At this point of the season, the discussion about Agada shouldn’t be whether he is an All-Canadian, but rather if he is first or second-team.
Jan 10. vs. Carleton Ravens W, 68-66: 17 points (4/10 FG, 1/4 3PT, 8/10 FT), 10 rebounds
Javon Masters (G 6’3″, 190 lbs, 2nd year) – UNB Varsity Reds
Javon Masters is looking to become the first player in CIS history to lead the league in scoring for two consecutive seasons. The sophomore guard and former rookie of the year opened the new year and second-half of the season with a bang, ringing-up a season-best 37 points and is now averaging 25.3 points per game.
Jan 9. vs. St. Mary’s Huskies L, 95-92: 37 points (12/23 FG, 3/6 3PT, 10/11 FT), 8 assists, 2 steals
Jan 10. vs. St. Mary’s Huskies W, 107-76: 27 points (9/17 FG, 1/4 3FG, 8/11 FT), 4 assists, 3 rebounds
Jonathan Tull (F 6’4″, 195 lbs, 4th year) – Regina Cougars
Jonathan Tull has been as consistent as they come across the country and has the Regina Cougars eyeing a Canada West playoff spot. With four straight games of 20+ plus points, Tull not only has earned his fair share of national buzz and should be considered as a conference all-star. Tull and the Cougars will need to keep it going as Regina enters their toughest part of their schedule.
Jan 9. @ Trinity Western Spartans 107-89: 23 points (7/17 FG, 4/9 3FG, 5/6 FT) 6 rebounds, 7 assists
Jan 10. @ Trinity Western Spartans 96-81: 28 points (8/13 FG, 0/3 3FG, 12/17 FT), 4 assists, 4 steals
Ben Baker (F 6’3″, 182 lbs, 5th year) – Saskatchewan Huskies
How do you explain your 6’3 guard grabbing a CIS-best 24 rebounds? Ben Baker grabbed a total 35 rebounds in two games and is the Huskies second-leading rebounder at 7.9 per game, he also averages 9.7 points and 4.7 assists per game.
Tyler Scott (G 6’2″, 185 lbs, 2nd year) – UPEI Panthers
Tyler Scott opened-up the second-half of the year right where he left off. The UPEI guard has the Panthers atop of the AUS standings with a 7-2 record. Scott has scored 20 or more points in eight of the UPEI’s first nine league games and currently leads the country in scoring 25.4 points per game while shooting 49.7 from the floor and 44.6% from behind the arc.
Jan 9 vs. Dalhousie Tigers W, 89-82: 17 points (6/15 FG, 3/5 3PT 2/2 FT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Jan 10 vs. Dalhousie Tigers W, 94-89: 26 points (8/18 FG, 2/6 3PT, 8/9 FT), 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks
Aaron Best (G 6’4″, 183 lbs, 4th year) – Ryerson Rams
Aaron Best exploded for his second 30-point game of this season against a Top 10 opponent. Best canned 6-of-7 triples including three in the final quarter to break open a tight contest against the McMaster Marauders. The fourth-year Scarborough, Ontario guard is shooting 23-44 (52.3%) from three-pointers and ranks in the Top 15 best shooters in the country.
Thomas Scrubb (F 6’7″, 215 lbs, 4th year) – Carleton Ravens
Thomas Scrubb dominated the Gee-Gees on the offensive glass pulling down 8 o-boards for a season-best 13 rebounds in the loss to Ottawa for his third double-double of the year. Despite playing limited minutes due to many blow-outs delivered by the Ravens, the fourth-year Scrubb is averaging 18.3 rebounds, 7.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists on a nightly basis.
Jan 10. @ Carleton Ravens L, 68-66: 15 points (6/18 FG, 0/2 3PT, 3/5 FT), 13 rebounds, 5 assists
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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