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Top 10 CIS Men’s Basketball Performers: Week 5

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We kick-off 2015 the right way with 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 dominate 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.

Jan 9. @ Manitoba Bisons W, 88-75: 19 points (8/17 FG, 3/4 FT), 15 rebounds, 4 blocks
Jan 10. @ Manitoba Bisons W, 85-55: 23 points (11/19 FG, 1/1 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 blocks

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 stringed 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 weather he is an All-Canadian, but rather if he is first or second-team.

Must Read:  Ottawa Gee-Gees claim #1 spot with clutch 75-73 win over Carleton

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.

Jan 9. @ Brandon Bobcats W, 78-64: 13 points (5/10 FG, 1/2 3FG, 2/4 FT), 24 rebounds, 7 assists
Jan 10. @ Brandon Bobcats W, 90-82: 7 points (1/8 FG, 0/3 3FG, 5/8 FT), 11 rebounds, 3 assists

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.

Jan 7. @ Toronto Blues W, 92-68: 10 points (3/9 FG,  2/5 3PT, 2/3  FT), 3 rebounds
Jan 10. @ McMaster Marauders W, 98-78: 30 points (11/13 FG, 6/7 3PT, 2/2 FT), 4 rebounds, steals

Honorable Mention:

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

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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:  Top 10 Performers: 2011-12 BasketballBuzz CIS Men's Basketball Week 3

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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