Week six (6) of the Top 10 performers is locked and loaded with bonafide talent and performances from across the country. Triple-doubles, double-doubles, assists, blocks and whole lot more on this weeks’ edition of the Top 10 CIS men’s basketball performers!
Rotimi Osuntola Jr. (G 6’5”, 175 lbs, 4th year) – Windsor Lancers
Just about the only thing slowing down Osuntola Jr. is his poor free-throw shooting (57-96 for 59.4%). The Windsor Lancers forward continues to dominate the opposition and leads the country in rebounding at 12.3 RPG alangside his 20.7 points per game ranking fourth in the nation.
Jan 15. vs. Laurier Golden Hawks, W, 94-87: 24 points (7/13 FG, 10/18 FT), 16 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (PG 5’9″, 160 lbs, 4th year) – Calgary Dinos
We got the triple-double! After flirting with the rare feat all-season, Ogungbemi-Jackson delivered a 26 point, 11 rebound, 10 assist triple-double in a 95-84 W over the Lethridge Pronghorns.
Jan 16 @ Lethbridge Pronghorns W, 95-84: 26 points (7/14 FG, 4/7 3FG, 9/10 FT), 11 rebounds, 10 assists
Jan 17 @ Lethbridge Pronghorns L, 82-70: 15 points (4/10 FG, 0/4 3FG, 1/1 FT) 7 rebounds, 7 assists
Greg Morrow (G 6’3″, 185 lbs, 4th year) – Western Mustangs
The Western Mustangs perhaps the biggest surprise of the CIS season and Greg Morrow is large part of the Mustangs turn-around season. After going 10-18 the previous year Western (8-3) surpassed last years win total and find themselves atop of the OUA West division. Morrow poured in career-high 34 points in win over Laurier and added his second double-double the season. Morrow has upped his scoring average from 15.4 points per the previous year to 20.5 this season and has the Mustangs riding a season-high four game winning streak.
Brandon Brine (F 6’6″, 229 lbs, 4th year) – Lethbridge Pronghorns
Brandon Brine took matters into his own hands as the Lethbridge Pronghorns snapped a six-game losing skid behind a season-high 30-points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-8 from the outside. The Australian import has been consistent and is averaging 17.8 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 41.2 FG and 33.8% from downtown.
Mamadou Gueye (F 6’7″, 185 lbs, 2nd year) – Alberta Golden Bears
Mamadou Gueye broke-out off a mini-slump in big way with back-back 25-plus point games in 1-1 weekend split against a tough Manitoba Bisons squad. The Golden Bears will need this sort of output and production from their sophomore forward to if has any hopes of making any noise down the stretch of the season.
Jan 17 vs. Manitoba Bisons W, 90-73: 25 points (6/17 FG, 0/3 3 FG, 13/18 FT), 7 rebounds, 4 assists
Tychon Carter-Newman (G 6’5″, 200 lbs, 2 year) – Laurentian Voyageurs
Is there a better basketball name out there than Tychon Carter-Newman? Carter-Newman and his #North705 crew nearly pulled off an upset over McMaster in one of the toughest collegiate environments (Ben Avery Gymnasium) to play in Canada.
Jan 16. vs. McMaster Marauders, L, 83-80: 27 points (11/23 FG, 1/4 3PT, 4/5 FT), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Jan 17. vs. Brock Badgers, W, 89-81: 24 points (10/20 FG, 1/4 3PT, 3/4 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 assists,
Osman Barrie (F 6’2″, 197 lbs, 2nd year) – St. Mary’s Huskies
Who says CCAA transfers can’t play in the CIS? Osman Barrie (Ottawa, Rideau Rams High School) and his partner in crime Achuil Lual (Ottawa) assaulted the Acadia Axemen to earn their names on our weekly Top 10 list. Barrie & Lual both transferred from Crandall Chargers of the CCAA’s Atlantic conference (ACAA) with Barrie earning conference player of the year and Lual earning second-team All-Conference honors and leading the Chargers all the way to the National championships. Osman ranked-up a 20-point, 17-rebound, 6 blocks double-double while Lual dominated inside with 24 points, 17 rebounds on 10-of-18 shooting. Quietly and without anybody really noticing Mr. Barrie is entering AUS player of the year discussions with his 18.4 points and 9.9 rebound per game for the improving Huskies
Jan 13. vs. Acadia Axemen W, 89-75: 20 points (8/11 FG, 1/2 3FG, 8/14 FT), 17 rebounds, 6 blocks
Achuil Lual (F 6’4″, 215 lbs, 2nd year) – St. Mary’s Huskies
See above for more on Lual and his feasting of the Acadia Axemen this past weekend. Avid followers of CIS Basketball might remember the name Achuil Lual as his brother also named Achuil Lual played for the Axemen (2006-2008) and was a key contributor in dethroning Carleton in the National semi-finals, in one of the most epic CIS games ever played. So far so good for the younger Lual who is averaging 13.4 points and 9.3 rebounds for the St. Mary’s Huskies.
Caleb Agada (G 6’5″, 200 lbs, 3rd year) – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Caleb Agada beat out some tough competition (Chris McLaughlin, Tommy Nixon, Scrubb Brothers, Japer Moet) this week to earn his name on back to back Top 10 performers list. Yes, the competition was rather soft but Agada played up to standard and shot the ball extremely well from the outside. Let’s face it, if Carleton is going to have two players in the first-team All-Canadian list why shouldn’t the currently number one ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees also have the same?
Jan 16. vs. Lakehead Thunderwolves W, 89-76: 22 points (9/13 FG, 4/5 3PT, 8/10 FT), 11 rebounds, 3 assists
Jan 17. vs. Guelph Gryphons W, 102-68: 20 points (5/6 FG, 1/1 3PT, 9/10 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Johnny Berhanemeskel (G 6’3″, 175 lbs, 5th year) – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Forget “Johnny Basketball” how about “Jonny Don’t Care”? Berhanemeskel is slowly creeping up on the 2014-15 CIS Men’s basketball scoring title. and if achieved, in our opinion his nickname should be changed to “Johnny MVP!”
Rohan Boney (G 6’4″, 190 lbs, 2nd year) – McMaster Mauraders
It’s natural to see why Rohan Boney is a fan favorite and valuable asset for the Marauders. The 6’5 sophomore plays limited minutes, guards multiple positions, can put the ball in the hole, cleans the glass, swats weak attempts at the rack, and if you don’t watch-out it might just be you kodak, youtube, poster time. (Yes that is Andrew Wiggins 22 watching Boney throw down a vicious two-hander (through contact) in his final high school in Canada). Since deciding to join the Mauraders Boney has racked-up 2013-2014 OUA West Rookie of the Year and is averaging 10.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1,8 blocks in 23 minutes of the bench for nationally ranked McMaster.
Jan 16. @ Laurentian Voyageurs W, 83-80: 17 points (4/10 FG, 0/1 3PT, 2/4 FT), 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
Jan 17. @ Nipissing Lakers W, 83-53: 13 points (5/8 FG, 0/1 3PT, 3/4 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Calgary Dinos Win First-Ever U Sports National Basketball Men’s Championship
For the first time ever the Calgary Dinos can call themselves Canadian U sports Men’s Basketball Champions.
In battle of two teams looking for their first title, the No. 2 seeded Calgary Dinos defeated the No. 5 Ryerson Rams in a thrilling 79-77 National Championship game that came down to the last play. With the Rams trailing 77-74 with 16 seconds remaining First Team All-Canadian Guard Manny Diressa capped off a furious comeback burying a clutch three-point shot to tie the score at 77-77 with nine seconds of the clock.
Coaching in his second title game and sixth Usports/CIS Final 8 Dinos head coach Dan Vanhooren opted to call a timeout to calm his troops and his veteran team responded by executing his instructions and play-calling to perfection as All-Star Mambi Diarri came off a double baseline screen and smoothly scored the games’ final two points with 2 seconds remaining.
Diarri, a fourth-year, 6’4′ guard from Montreal, Quebec finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists earning Final 8 all-tournament All-Star honors. Point Guard David Kapinga (Calgary, AB), playing in his second championship game in three years wasn’t to be denied after falling short against the Carleton Ravens in 2016. The 5’11’, 175 lbs guard muscled and carried his team to victory with Most Valuable Player (MVP) 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 10-of-20 shooting performance.
Calgary got off to a hot start as 6’8″, 210-pound German international import Lars Schueter (18 points, 7/15 shooting) scored his team’s first ten points followed by a three-pointer by Kapinga helped push the Dinos lead to nine points at 13-4, forcing a Ryerson timeout. As expected the Rams responded, largely on the play of Jean Victor-Mukama’s (Hamilton/ON) shooting effort, cutting the lead to three points on multiple occasions but Calgary continued to execute their sets and led 39-30 at half-time.
After a scoreless first-quarter and just six points in the first-half Rams fifth-year senior Manny Diressa took over the game scoring 24 of his game-high 28 points in the second-half. Ryerson closed the deficit within four at 55-51 but another David Kapinga three-pointer game Calgary a 57-51 lead with the last quarter of the season remaining. Determined not to squandered their second consecutive title game the Ryerson Rams ripped off a 8-0 run to open the quarter and grabbed their first lead of the game at 59-57 on a Diressa traditional hoop plus the harm three-point play.
For there the action intensified with both teams exchanging baskets and the lead four times including six ties in the last six minutes. Calgary put the pressure on the Rams with the two key baskets in the last minute for a 76-70 advantage before the late game heroics.
— UCalgary Dinos (@UCDinos) March 12, 2018
Diressa capped off a stellar three-year career by averaging a tournament best 27 points per game, 5.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and shooting 52.1% from the field and 90.9 from the free-throw line.
The two teams also met in preseason non-conference action back in October 22, 2017 at the Brock Badgers Classic, the Dinos pulled off a tough 87-85 overtime win.
The win is Calgary’s first in 15 championship appearances dating back to 1966. Having reached the National Semi-Finals on three occasions during Vanhooren era they finally were able to get over the hump in a deserving victory that will forever be remembered in Dinos history.
Javon Masters: Sky’s Not The Limit
They’re Biggie’s words, edited for accuracy. Not stolen, exactly, but adapted and adopted and filtered through the prism of another man’s experience. They express the truth as Javon Masters sees it, and at the moment they’re part of his message for the world.
“Stay far from timid,” Biggie said. “Only make moves when your heart’s in it.
“And live the phrase ‘Sky’s the limit. ’ ”
But Masters, the all-time leading scorer in Canadian university basketball, sees it differently, in light of everything that has happened in his five seasons at the University of New Brunswick.
“The sky ain’t the limit,” Masters tells his Twitter followers. “But remember to make moves only when your heart’s in it.”
Put another way: we’re capable of more than we realize. What seems possible only hints at our potential. And there’s an entire universe beyond the sky.
Masters knows this because he’s lived it. He knows it because he’s gone from small-city kid to one of the best players in the history of the Canadian game.
“As human beings, we’re able to do a lot of stuff that not many people think we are able to do,” he said in the hushed, raspy monotone that marks his interviews.
“But once you put your mind to it, anything’s possible.”
Masters does not remember the basket that started it all, but he’s heard the story so many times he can tell it in vivid detail.
He’s around two years old, living in Kitchener, Ontario, and his father Rooyan, a millwright who grew up playing cricket and soccer, brings home a plastic Fisher Price basketball net.
Masters runs and grabs the ball immediately, takes a shot, and it goes in—his first bucket.
“That’s pretty much how the journey started—me playing basketball here at UNB and just growing up in Kitchener, playing it as well, was that moment.”
Kitchener is a city of 233,000 people about an hour west of Toronto, best known in basketball circles as the hometown of Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.
Masters is three years older than Murray and they rarely played together, but he recognized Murray’s potential at an early age.
“Just coming from Kitchener, it’s really a small city,” said Masters. “So I mean, you’ve got to be able to prove yourself on the big stage, and he was certainly doing that from Grade 9 until he went to university at Kentucky.
“I always knew that he had the potential to do it. He just needed to just keep working and just block out all the noise and whatnot, and just keep focused on what matters.”
Murray played at Grand River Collegiate and Orangeville Prep on his way to a starring role at Kentucky and landing in Denver as the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Masters played at Forest Heights Collegiate, winning a city championship in his fourth season and attracting interest from NCAA schools, but no scholarship offers.
He decided to play in Canada rather than burn two years of eligibility at a junior college in the United States, and settled on UNB in part because it wasn’t known as a basketball school.
“I just wanted to go somewhere that I could develop as a basketball player and help build a program from the ground up,” he said. “And that’s what we’ve done here at UNB.”
Masters was an elite high school player, usually scoring around 18 or 19 points a game, he said. But as he transitioned to UNB he made an effort to get bigger, faster and stronger, and to minimize the weaknesses in his game.
“I had that chip on my shoulder to show everyone exactly who I am,” he said, with a hint of swagger.
“And now everyone knows who I am.”
UNB had its eyes on Masters in his senior year of high school, due in part to his remarkable quickness and a highlight tape that showed him diving for loose balls.
But it wasn’t until four games into his freshman season that it was obvious he’d be a star. The turning point was UNB’s home opener against the University of Prince Edward Island, where Masters had 44 points off the bench in a 93-81 win.
“Just being able to play through that … especially putting up that many points in our home opener, really said to me that I could be able to score a lot of baskets,” said Masters.
He became a starter after that, winning the national scoring title with an average of 27.4 points per game, as well as the national rookie of the year award and a second team all-Canadian selection.
Head coach Brent Baker allowed him to be himself on the court, and Masters continued to put up gaudy stats: 25.1 ppg as a sophomore and 28 ppg as a junior, winning the national scoring title both years.
“If you don’t allow your players to have confidence and play with some swagger and play with some toughness, then you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face,” said Baker, who was an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) all-star at St. Francis Xavier in the 1980s.
“As far as me letting him loose and doing what he does, Javon’s a pretty intelligent basketball player. As much as he scores, he doesn’t dominate the ball like you would think.
“He doesn’t have to pound the you-know-what out of the ball to be a good player. He spaces well without the ball, he gets his teammates involved. He’s not a ball-dominant scorer, and he’s not a volume shooter.
“I mean, he shoots 50 percent [from the field] and he shoots 90 percent from the free throw line. So he’s very, very economical in what he does.”
Baker and Masters have become extremely close.
“We talk about everything, just basketball-wise and life and stuff like that,” said Masters. “It’s really good to have a coach who’s like, super-chill off the floor.
“But when he’s on the floor he’s totally business, because he wants to win.”
More than any other lesson Baker has imparted, this one sticks: “Just be determined. Nothing will ever stop you, really, if you put your mind to it.
“He just has that type of attitude,” said Masters. “He always wants to win.”
Along with the gaudy stats came the knowledge Masters could eventually make history.
After his second season, it was obvious an all-time AUS scoring record was within reach. The national record was possible too, but nothing was certain.
Masters moved from shooting guard to point guard in his fourth season, filling a role Matt Daley vacated when he graduated in 2016.
His scoring average dipped to 19.6 ppg for the season, but his assist numbers jumped.
The National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada’s Cape Breton Highlanders also drafted Masters with the eighth pick of its All-Canadian Draft in 2016, giving him the opportunity to go pro.
“You can go play in the NBL,” Baker remembers telling his star player. “If that’s your goal, fine.
“But I think if you come back and you come back for your fifth year, your goal should be: ‘Hey, let’s get the scoring record. Let’s get an AUS championship. And all that’s going to do is further enhance your resume and make it better for you when you do get an agent and do get a contract, that you’ll be better off.’ ”
Masters agreed to come back and immediately started getting buckets.
He grabbed the AUS career scoring record on Nov. 17, 2017, breaking the existing record of 2,069 points set by UPEI Panthers standout Curtis Robinson in 1996.
In the months that followed, it became clear Masters would break the national scoring record, too. It was only a matter of time.
Boris Bakovic, who set the record with 2,282 points over five seasons at Ryerson and the University of Calgary, would be edged out.
“[Masters’] ability to be that consistent over that range of time is—for me, it’s the most astounding thing of the whole shooting match,” said Baker.
“They’re coming with box-and-ones, they’re coming with, ‘How we’re going to shut Javon down,’ and ‘How we’re going to do this and that.’
“And every night, he finds a way.
“Maybe it’s all about ignorance is bliss, and he just blocks it all out and just goes forward and has that drive about him and he goes and does it.
“But for whatever reason, he gets it done, and it’s all due to his drive.”
The national record fell with a free throw on Jan. 26, 2018, with 46 seconds left in the third quarter of a high-scoring home game against St. Mary’s University.
Masters remembers working through his usual routine: spin the ball, dribble it twice, spin it back, shoot.
“The game didn’t really stop,” he said. “We still had some possession to go, so I didn’t know I’d broken the record until the PA announcer said I did.
“It was pretty chill. I got a standing ovation, but I was still in game mode.”
UNB went on to win 104-96. Masters finished with 39 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
“I’m not really thinking about it,” he said, referring to the record a few days later.
“All the hard work is really paying off for everything I’ve worked on—when I’m in the gym and whatnot, on the pavement back home.
“It means a lot of hard work and stuff like that that’s really helping me get to where I want to be.”
The season is winding down, and Masters is focused on winning that AUS championship.
UNB finished second in the conference during the regular season, eight points behind Dalhousie, the three-time defending champions.
Anything is possible, but UNB enters the playoffs as an underdog. If they win it all, the legend of Javon Masters will grow beyond anything he could have predicted five seasons ago.
“Just being able to be on top in my final year would be something,” he said. Anything is possible, but no one is holding their breath.
After the season is over, Masters hopes to go pro, either in Europe or in a North American league like the NBL.
“I’ll sit down after [the] season with my parents and discuss that,” he said.
But his love for the game is still here. He wants to keep doing this as long as he can.
“I mean, why would I stop now, after I’ve put so much hard work and effort in,” he said. “I’ll only stop when my body tells me to stop.”
Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide 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.
USports2 months ago
Javon Masters: Sky’s Not The Limit
NBA2 months ago
Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?
NBA2 months ago
Miami Heat Icon Dwyane Wade Dedicates Season To Parkland Victim Laid To Rest In His Jersey
USports1 month ago
Calgary Dinos Win First-Ever U Sports National Basketball Men’s Championship
NBLC1 month ago
Carl English amazing 58-point effort sets NBL Canada scoring record
NBA2 months ago
Gary Vee & Nik Stauskas: The Truth About Success, Grinding & “Eating Dirt”
Men2 months ago
Syracuse Oshae Brissett delivers massive Rack Attack on Miami Hurricanes
FIBA2 months ago
Three-point barrage helps Canada route Bahamas 113-67 FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers