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.
Dave Smart steps down as Carleton men’s head coach after 14 national titles
It’s the end of an era at Carleton.
The school has announced that Dave Smart, who built a dynasty that dominated Canadian university sport for nearly 20 years, has stepped down.
Smart has accepted a new role as the university’s director of basketball operations, Carleton said in a news release.
He will be responsible for “developing the men’s and women’s basketball programs and continuing to build a culture of sport excellence,” the release said.
“Smart will provide operational support, mentorship and technical leadership to the coaching staff of both programs, and he will work with the Department of University Advancement in fundraising and community development.
“He’ll also provide mentorship to other U Sports coaches in Carleton Athletics.”
Taffe Charles, who coached Carleton’s women’s program for 12 years and won a national title in 2017-18 will succeed Smart as men’s team head coach.
“It’s been a great run,’’ said Smart in a statement.
“Coaching is my second love, my first being my wife and children. I am very thankful to the university and I am looking forward to my new role.
“This gives me an opportunity to stay involved in basketball while having more time to spend with my family.”
Smart’s 19-year tenure at Carleton was one of remarkable dominance, with 14 national championships.
He also won a record number of coaching awards and has been active as a coach with Canada Basketball.
“Dave’s success on the court has given Carleton great national visibility and we are sincerely grateful,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president of Carleton University.
“I wish Dave all the best in his new role where he will share his ‘playbook’ with all our Ravens programs.”
Charles played on Carleton’s men’s team from 1990 to 1995 and began his coaching career as an assistant in 1995; he then served as an assistant with the men’s program from 1998 to 2007.
Since returning to the women’s program in 2007, Carleton won four U Sports Final 8 berths, four OUA East titles, and two OUA championships.
Carleton’s women’s national championship in 2018 was the first in school history.
“I am truly honoured to be entrusted as the next head coach of the Carleton University men’s basketball program,’’ said Charles in a statement.
“I look forward to the challenge of continuing the high standard of excellence that has been set by Coach Smart, his coaching staff and the players.’’
Carleton said it has launched a national search for a head coach of its women’s program.
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.