It’s not often that a freshman leads the league in scoring at any level, NBA, NCAA, High SChool or whatever other league out there, so when a rare accomplishment as such happens, its important to pause, reflect, acknowledge it and give it its proper “buzz”.
The 2013-14 CIS Men’s basketball regular season has finally come to a close across the country and for some this marks the end of their careers, for others it means post season and a chance at Final 8 berth. For Javon Masters, it means just the beginning of what could be the start of a memorable career in the East coast of Canada for the Waterloo, Ontario native. Masters became the first player in recent memory (10-plus years) to lead the country in scoring with an absurd 27.4 points per game and in the process he broke some interesting Atlantic (AUS) conference records while leading the UNB Varsity Reds to the playoffs for just the second time in the last eight years.
Masters strong first-half play helped push the Varsity Reds into the CIS Top 10 Rankings for the first time in school history thanks to a 6-1 conference start. If it weren’t for UNB’s second-half struggles (4W- 9L) we would not only be discussing the scoring title, but the potential of a freshman not only leading the league in scoring, but also being named freshman and player of the year — a feat even more rare than then the one mentioned above and perhaps one never accomplished in any other basketball league known to mankind, at least to my knowledge.
Master’s kicked off the AUS conference season by scoring 22 points against the Dalhousie Tigers and never looked back, ringing two 40-plus point games in the first month of his collegiate career including a career & season best 44-points (4 points shy of season-high 48 by Alex Ratte of Laurentian) off the bench on the UPEI Panthers. The freshman connected on 20-of-26 free-throw attempts tying the AUS record for attempts in a game. The 6’3 guard followed that up with a 42-point outburst on the Acadia Axemen, 10 days later while getting to the line 18 times.
Masters ability to get to to rim with his superior speed and size helped him shatter the AUS single season record for free-throw made and attempts, making an incredible 270 shots from the line while attempting 314 for a ridiculous averaging of 15 attempts per game. Owen Klassen of Acadia currently sits second in free-throws made with 142 and far distant from Masters’ incrible accomplishment.
in 20 AUS conference games the freshman racked up a total of 547 points, coming 28 points short of the conference’s all-time record for total points scored in regular season, former St. Mary’s Huskies Joey Haywood (Vancouver, B.C) currently sits at the top with 575 points.
The Varsity Reds finished 5th in the AUS standings with a 10-10 conference record, and will travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia to face the St. Francis Xavier at Metro Centre where Masters’ will look to continue his tremendous season.
UNB and the X-Men split the regular season series at 1-1 with Masters’ scoring 23-points in each contest.
The official CIS scoring record is held by Calgary Dinos Boris Bakovic (2006-2012) with 2319 career points (regular season + playoffs) and at this pace and baring any injury Masters could very well be on his way to smashing the all-time record when its all said and done.