The CBG Bunch: CIS Top Performers, Week 4
Welcome to the CBG Bunch, a new column for the new CIS season. Every week, the CBG Group parses through the CIS box scores over Sunday brunch while looking for the CBG Bunch, a group of the top performers from the weekend’s action.
Week 4 in the CIS had an incredible amount of great individual performances, so much so that I needed to cut a few of them. Honourable mentions go to Ryerson’s Jahmal Jones, who dissected Guelph to the tune of 35 points; to Waterloo’s freshman Myles Charvis, too, who went into the Ravens’ Nest and laid a big fat egg worth 25 points; and to the Vikes’ Terrell Evans, who had himself a day in a win against Winnipeg.
Owen Klassen, Acadia Axemen VS UNB Varsity Reds: 34 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals
Owen Klassen is a big man, and that’s exactly how we played against the UNB Varsity Reds. In only his second game of the season, he carved the interior of the Varsity Reds frontline as an axe would a pine tree—methodically, one shot after another. Don’t look now, but Klassen is up to his old tricks, hitting over 56 per cent with averages that flirt with a 20/10 this season.
(Oh, and I went with the pun on “Axemen” rather than saying Klassen took UNB to school, because the player believes in a team and there is no “I” in team—nor in class though, I guess. M’eh, let’s move on.)
Marquis Clayton, St. Mary’s Huskies VS Cape Breton Capers: 30 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
The second-year point guard led his team to a win over the Capers by contributing points, rebounds assists and steals. Numbers will say that his 39.8 shooting percentage is a tad low, but the numbers do lie sometimes—that mark would be much higher if not for two clunkers against Memorial and St.FX, where he shot 3 of 14 and 2 of 17. The pessimist will point the 8 turnovers against Cape Breton while the optimist will say that it showed he was attacking all game long—and that besides, he still flirted with an outside shot at a triple-double.
Greg Morrow, Western Mustangs VS Laurentian Voyageurs: 27 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal
The Western Mustangs scored a perfect weekend at home in defeating the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Algoma Thunderbirds, thanks to two major performances from third-year forward Greg Morrow. He flirted with a triple-double in his team’s most impressive win, against Laurentian, but fell three assists short. “I almost had it, guys,” Morrow said. “But no worries. I’ll get it ‘morrow.” Against Algoma the following night, Morrow played well but didn’t get a triple-double, probably because the basketball gods don’t take such lame puns lightly.
Andrew Cunningham, Winnipeg Wesmen at UBC Thunderbirds: 27 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals
The Wesmen’s Andrew Cunningham couldn’t possibly have done much more to prevent his team’s first loss, 95-93 against the UBC Thunderbirds. The fifth-year guard scored, rebounded and dished out assists, because that’s what Cunningham has done all year for the Wesmen. It’s no fluke that the folks in Winnipeg have given him the nickname “Yes Man,” as the man leads the entire CIS with 62 assists. When his teammates call for the ball, he dishes.
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary Dinos VS Thompson Rivers WolfPack: 32 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals
Whomever said OJ was a healthy choice surely also meant it for dinosaurs. (Yes, I will be rolling with the OJ nickname for Jarred.) Ogungbemi-Jackson leads the CIS in minutes per game, at 36.5 per game, and he’s been plenty good for the Dinos this season. Had he not attempted so many three-point shots in the win against Thompson Rivers, the fourth-year point guard would have been just about perfect from the field (i.e. six of his nine misses came from three-point land). OJ is a great rebounding guard and has now at least 24 points in three straight games. More importantly, Calgary has won four in a row.
Javon Masters, UNB Varsity Reds at Acadia Axemen: 42 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
The two games between UNB and Acadia finished with one win apiece, in large part because Javon Masters saw Klassen’s 30-point outburst and raised it with a 42-point effort of his own. By now, it’s not a fluke. The Varsity Reds, sitting at 5-1, are for real in the AUS—and Masters’s 32.5 point-per-game average has no match in the CIS.
What I like so much about the young master is his ability to get to the line—in six games, he’s shot 87 free throws already. As he’s hitting those at an 83.9 per cent clip, these are pretty much freebies. Well, really, Masters is also hitting 52.5 per cent from the field and 48.5 per cent from downtown, so more or less anything is a freebie for the young phenom right now.
Jordan Clarke, St. Francis Xavier X-Men at Memorial Sea-Hawks: 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
In his team’s win over the Memorial Sea-Hawks, Jordan Clarke hit 8 of 10 shots on his way to 24 points. He added four rebounds and four assists while hitting four shots from the charity stripe and four three-pointers. This confirmed what everyone already knew, that the fifth-year guard has been an avid listener of Jay Z dating back to Hova’s Reasonable Doubt days. “You know, before Jay became famous and wedded ‘Bey, he had that song called 22 Two’s,” Clarke told his teammates. “I’m going for 44 Four’s.”
Logan Reiter, Lethbridge Pronghorns VS Thompson Rivers WolfPack: 30 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
This weekend wasn’t kind on the WolfPack. One night after being on the receiving end of an OJ beatdown, Thompson Rivers had to defend against Logan Reiter, and the fifth-year guard exploded for 30 points. In a Prairie Division that’s looking like it could be tight throughout the year, the Pronghorns will need more outbursts like this one.
Ryan Ejim, York Lions VS McMaster Marauders: 27 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
If the York Lions have been hurting with injuries (i.e. they have three starters currently out), it’s at least allowed Ryan Ejim to expand his role. He didn’t play in the team’s first three games, and only did so sparingly in a close loss against the Lancers, but he’s now on a five-game streak with at least 18 points.
It all came together in a close loss against McMaster, where the third-year forward carried the team on his back. There’s not much finesse to his game—Ejim is strong, and he uses that to make his way to the basket. It’s simple, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Boy has this Lion roared loud so far. (Yes, thank you. I’ll be here all season.)
Alex Ratte, Laurentian Voyageurs at Windsor Lancers: 48 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
If Alex Ratte were a fan of soccer and the Premier League, he’d cheer for Arsenal. Why? Because they’re the Gunners. Alright, an even better one then. If Alex Ratte had grown up playing football instead of basketball, it would be because of Brett Favre. Why? Because he’s the greatest gunslinger of all time.
Alright, well, my point is that Alex Ratte can flat out score, even on the road and against a top 10 team. It’s not always a good sign if one player takes 30 shots, but Ratte has proven this year that he’s not Rudy Gay. He’s the second leading scorer in the CIS and is definitely one Voyageur who does travel well.
Josh Collins, Windsor Lancers VS Laurentian Voyageurs: 24 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals
If the Lancers overcame the Ratte onslaught against Laurentian, they can point to their three-headed monster of seniors Enrico Diloreto, Lien Phillip and Josh Collins. The point guard Collins, especially, proved that his on-court game rivals Gilette as he was razor-sharp all over the floor. We don’t see many triple-doubles in the CIS, but let me say it right here—whomever does score one will always be the kicker of that week’s CBG Bunch.
And seriously, Josh Collins has a mean, mean beard.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops