The CBG Bunch: Adika Peter-McNeily, Stephon Lamar, Michael L’Africain + more!
Welcome to The CBG Bunch, a specialized column dedicated to the CIS season. Every week, Charles Blouin-Gascon parses through the CIS box scores over Sunday brunch while looking for the CBG Bunch, a group of the top performers of the weekend’s action.
This week in #badpuns, we get a real Super Bowl weekend, write poetry, and revisit the old scriptures. There was an especially high number of worthy candidates, which made my task of bringing the people what they want that much harder in #TheCBGBunch. Apologies to Javon Masters, Ellis Ffrench, Terry Thomas and Alex Fletcher—there can only be 10.
Adika Peter-McNeilly, Ryerson Rams VS Carleton Ravens: 26 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
This weekend could have been the consecration of the steady rise of Ryerson Rams basketball, playing against the two top teams in the division and also the entire CIS, but instead it was just a weekend where Roy Rana’s team went 0-2. But that’s looking at things the wrong way. The loss to Ottawa was tough, and yet the Rams came back the following night and just about rocked everyone’s world by shocking the Carleton Ravens. If they came so close, they can thank Ryerson newcomer Adika Peter-McNeilly.
In the second half, the guard was simply the best player on the court, and there’s little use for any of my puns here, or for me to list his stats. Let’s just say that he was good enough for Carleton head coach Dave Smart to come away impressed. Let’s just say that he looked down current top dog Philip Scrubb and never hesitated. Let’s just say that he was a beast, a beast from the East. Let’s just say that he reminded us all of what a great poet of our time once said. “I go On & On like Erykah Badu. A hundred times nicer than the best is, twice as arrogant as KRS is. Who wants to test this?”
Thank the Lord for Peter-McNeilly. This weekend, he gave us the Super Bowl we didn’t have.
Dani Elgadi, Brock Badgers at Waterloo Warriors: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Don’t look now, but the young rookie Dani Elgadi could very well be the most decorated CIS player in this inaugural season of #TheCBGBunch. It makes total sense, too—it’s like this column is growing up just as the young man is finding his footing, or vice-versa. The only difference, really, is that this column never puts up 15- or 20-rebound games like Elgadi does. I don’t know what I find most impressive. Is it that he’s putting grown-man numbers—second in the CIS for rebounds, eighth for blocks and 16th for points—or is it that he’s sporting a grown-man hairdo?
I wrote that Elgadi’s motto was “Be like Wilt” this season, and I never thought he’d embrace it like that. Like Chamberlain once led the league in assists because he wanted to, Elgadi will finish the season with the most nods in this column here. Just because he can, too!
Stephon Lamar, Saskatchewan Huskies VS UNBC Timberwolves: 30 points, 1 rebound, 7 assists
Stephon, my bad. I confess that I take you for granted. You’re the sixth highest scorer in the country, and yet here I am just completely dismissing you despite the fact that you’re like a remix of DJ Khaled and that all you do is score. (What’s that? No more bad puns? Alright, I’ll try.) Stephon, it’s an art to score at least 13 points in every single game of the season but one. I tip my virtual hat to you. But you’re not just art—you’ve been clocked in at 4.4 seconds from one end of the floor to the other. That’s not art, it’s science. Coincidentally, Art & Science is also your major at the University of Saskatchewan.
(Yeah, I had said no more puns. Sorry, Stephon.)
Thibaud Dezutter, Laval Rouge et Or VS UQAM Citadins: 22 points, 16 rebounds, 1 assist
Thibaud Dezutter does a little bit of everything for head coach Jacques Paiement, scoring over 12 points (i.e. an average that looks better in comparison to the RSEQ, where the leading scorer is at 14 points per game) and grabbing almost 7 rebounds a game. He also averages over two assists per game while draining free throws at 87.5 per cent. He does everything, and if he were Swiss, my lame pun would work better—Dezutter is the Belgian knife of the ‘Q.
But he just misses out on getting the nod for this week’s ‘Man game’ of the week, his haul of 16 rebounds somehow not topping the list.
Daniel Tulloch, York Lions VS Laurentian Voyageurs: 34 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals
To say that Daniel Tulloch has been scorching hot for the York Lions would be akin to saying that the sky is blue. By that, I mean that even when the sky is grey, it is blue. What does that mean, really? Even when Tulloch is off, he’s still going off.
Tulloch missed seven games in the first half of this season, but he’s scored over 10 points in the nine games he’s played in since coming back in 2014. To top it off, he’s shot better than 50 per cent from the field in seven of those games. We wrote that Tulloch could take our lunch money if this were second grade, but by now it’s beyond even that. The second-year player has taken over the school cafeteria, and we’re all watching through the glass window as he’s eating our meals.
Owen Klassen, Acadia Axemen at UNB Varsity Reds: 36 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
The fifth-year Klassen hangs over every Acadia opponent, which going into the game must accept its fate as sacrificial lamb to the basketball gods. Consider that the only games where Klassen did not score at least 12 points are the ones where he didn’t play, and that he grabbed at least 10 rebounds in 11 of 15 games this season. It’s not easy to play Acadia, but there’s a way to make it easier on the mind—your first step to a better CIS basketball life is accepting that Klassen will get his 20 (ish) points and 10 (ish) rebounds.
Will Coulthard, Wilfried Laurier Golden Hawks at Windsor Lancers: 34 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Against the Windsor Lancers, Will Coulthard finally feasted during a season that’s been much more famine—consider that he had almost as many games where he didn’t manage 10 points (i.e. four of them) as games where he scored over 20 (i.e. five). More problematic, the third-year player hasn’t shot the ball well, having drained 35.7 per cent of his shots this season. But in Windsor, he slowly and methodically hawked his way to 34 points. Though, really, he wasn’t all that methodical, or slow, as he managed no fewer than 29 points across the middle two quarters. There’s no way around it—Coulthard got so scorching hot at one point that even I, with my approximation of perimeter defense (i.e. think Brent Barry), would have been hopeless.
Michael L’Africain, Ottawa Gee-Gees at Toronto Varsity Blues: 33 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 steal
Michael, or Mike if you’re running the CIS website, L’Africain is among the great poets of our time, and his shooting touch is his masterpiece. Most of his alexandrines come from three-point land—that is where he’s most effective, playing off a team that counts on scorers like Johnny “B Goode” Berhanemeskel and Terry “Bad Man” Thomas. The third-year point guard launches many, many threes, because he’s a great shooter yes, but also and mostly because that’s what this Gee-Gees team needs. He wins this week’s distinction of being the single ruthlessly efficient scorer, outdueling Toronto’s Alex Hill.
Since Mr. L’Africain is a poet, we’ll pay him homage with this haiku:
In the cold winter
A L’Africain three warms us;
Blanket for our souls.
Jasper Moedt, UFV Cascades VS Brandon Bobcats: 23 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
You glance at the box score and start just about anywhere, because your friend told you it would impress you. Well, that’s not quite true. When you look at the box score of UFV’s win against the Brandon Bobcats, you see that Jasper Moedt has indeed stuffed the stat sheet. He scored close to 10 points over his season average, but your friend tells you, “No, you can do better.” So you look at the two steals and came away unimpressed, with which your friend agrees. You look at the two threes made. “Meh” is what your friend says. Then you see that the fourth-year dished out five assists. And grabbed a God-like 19 rebounds. “Now you’re cascading right toward the truth,” your friend tells you.
You realize all of it is impressive and you tell your friend you give up. “Congratulations, you’re now a Brandon Bobcat.” (Yeah, your friend is a funny guy, you know.)
Kevon Parchment, UFC Cascades VS Regina Cougars: 36 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
At long last, our young hero is back. The last time we read from the scriptures, our young hero had moved out west. He had moved out west and he had a routine by then, reading from the scriptures like his father had told him to do before going to bed every night. He read from the scriptures, because the scriptures were full of truths and wisdom. And so our young hero had become quite wise and well versed with the ways of the world. One night he read again about that combo guard who had become a cascade. He still didn’t fully understand, because no one possibly could, but the scriptures weren’t about understanding and knowing—the scriptures were about feeling and experiencing. He would read about a game against the Cougars that was his best in about 200, 300 years—because in the scriptures, every week may as well be an eternity—even if he didn’t quite understand why. ‘Why, and what, is scoring 36 points?’ he would almost ask before recanting that misstep. ‘Why’ wasn’t in his repertoire anymore, not with the scriptures. Our young hero didn’t quite understand how a combo guard who stood six-foot-three could play so tall, but it didn’t matter.
Our young hero would make up his mind that day. “One day I’ll be like that combo guard,” our young hero would say. He could hear the voice of his father saying, “One day, yes, but right now it’s one night.” It wasn’t the voice of his father, of course, it was only the scriptures, but our young hero would nod off all the same.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops