The CBG Bunch: Joel Friesen, Kedar Wright, Tyson Hinz & 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 #TheCBGBunch, a group of the top performers of the weekend’s action.
This week in #badpuns, we salute a graduating senior, repeat history and have a walk in Hollywood. This week’s edition of #TheCBGBunch is a weird one, you see, because CIS action had scores and results from both the regular season and the playoffs. But wait, how am I supposed to give the people what they want if the CIS pulls the rug from under my feet—and in a column like this one, I’m already on thin ice?
This week, I find proof that CIS player recaps like this one, despite all the nonsense and the jokes, can still have an effect. There are four names in this week’s list that made last week’s as well. And yes, I am being serious—with all the dumb things I write, I feel like I need a disclaimer when I’m not kidding.
That said, there are fewer matches this week and if only for that reason, it seems like those identified on this list have clearly been the best of the past week—with apologies to Ta’Quan “Toootie” Zimmerman and Jordan “Golden Bear” Baker. I’m confident that there won’t be any uprising over one player or another not making the cut. And yet…As a great poet of our time puts it, #NeverSayNever. (Look how young he still is in that video!)
Mukiya Post, Concordia Stingers at Bishop’s Gaiters: 31 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
This week, the Prime Minister Mukiya Post repeats as the lede for #TheCBGBunch after a strong effort against the Bishop’s Gaiters. It wasn’t quite as impressive as last week’s 48 hours of heaven, but that’s because nothing possibly could be—it’s a new week, and a new week brings a new storyline, a new narrative, and a new challenge.
A new week brings a loss, too. The storyline was the Prime Minister going back to his old stomping grounds at Bishop’s University. The narrative was that Postastic (a nickname popular with some of my readers) was #AllCluthAllTheTime. In the previous two games he had scored 31 points in the fourth quarter, but he forgot to step up in the final period against Bishop’s. The challenge was keeping pace with his ex-team—sometimes you want to show that you’re so much better off without them, yet they’re the ones who end up doing that to you.
Tried as he might, the Prime Minister simply couldn’t get over Bishop’s gate. As a result, and the ensuing loss against McGill, the Stingers finish third in the RSEQ, behind Bishop’s. Now that’s a stinger. He’s going nowhere, though—prime ministers are elected for four years, right?
Tychon Carter-Newman, Laurentian Voyageurs VS York Lions: 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals
Fans of the HBO original series True Detective who watched this playoff game between the York Lions and the Laurentian Voyageurs probably were looking everywhere for antlers—or was it the gang of little men made from tall cans of beer? They knew that, as the show teaches us, time is a fraudulent concept and that the entirety of our existence and universe is contained within one single entity, and that the entirety of life consists of everything that has already happened repeating itself again and again and again ad nauseam. (Yeah, it’s a weird show. Good, but weird. And I ask, have you not already read this but forgot that you had?)
Just a month ago, the Lions had traveled to Ben Avery Gym and lost 86-85 at the buzzer on a three-point shot from Alex Ratte. And on this night in the playoffs a month later, York again lost, again at the buzzer, and again by a score of 86-85. Only this time, it was a Tychon Carter-Newman, who scored 10 of his points in the final period and the final layup, not Ratte.
But how could this same song and dance happen again so soon? Rust Cohle was nowhere to be seen in Sudbury on this night, and though this felt like a nightmare, it wasn’t. It wasn’t a dream either, it was way worse. It was reality—and while time had lapsed, nothing had changed.
Richard Addai, UQAM Citadins at McGill Redmen: 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
It wasn’t supposed to go this way. This season was always going to be Richard Addai’s last in the CIS, but the UQAM Citadins weren’t supposed to miss the playoffs. Sure, they had holes to overcome, but who doesn’t? And in a 5-team league like the RSEQ is, it’s cruel that it had to be Addai’s that is the proverbial fifth wheel. The Citadins’ 1-7 record in games decided by fewer than 10 points did them in.
It’s a shame, too. It’s a shame, because there really isn’t much more that Addai could have done this year. Oh, he’ll say that there is, because that’s what we all say—but if sometimes less is more, doesn’t that also mean that more is less? Addai switched to a new position and somehow scored over 17 points per game on average.
This season is Addai’s Graduation album, and I’m confident the next chapter will be different than Kanye West’s. There will be no 808s and Hearbreaks for the young man.
Davion Parnsalu, Memorial Sea-Hawks at Saint Mary’s Huskies: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals
Like every rookie before him, Davion Parnsalu has been learning the ropes of the trades as he has gone this year. And by the end of the season, it sure seemed like he had figured something out because he had three of his four highest scoring games of the year to end on a high note. This bodes well for his future.
So does his pragmatism. If we called him a pragmatic kind of guy last week, it turns out that he’s also a reader. He read last week’s edition of the most powerful CIS player recap in the history of mankind, specifically the kicker with all the different kinds and levels of the triple-double. And then he had a moment of genius, so he went for it.
It’s really not there, though. Not even close. But it’s just close enough that you can see what he went for—a few more rebounds, assists and steals, and he would have gotten it. Parnsalu fell short, but he still managed the bankrupt quadruple-double. Just close enough to deserve the “Good job, good effort” patch for the week.
Joel Friesen, UBC Thunderbirds at Alberta Golden Bears: 25 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block
Maybe it’s because I’m grasping at straws after about 10 columns of pure nonsense like this one, or maybe it’s just because I love that TV show Community and actor Joel McHale, but doesn’t Joel Friesen have a great Hollywood name? (Yeah, it’s probably the former…)
Whether the fourth-year player, who cascaded to the Bears’ refuge this year after three seasons at Fraser Valley, will make the walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is beyond the point. If Alberta hopes for a golden finish (i.e. well played), it must bear down. (Thank you, I’ll be here all week!) It must hope for more of the same from its player with the All-World name, who scored over 13 points per game on 48 per cent shooting in 2014 (i.e. he couldn’t play in 2013).
We’re confident that he’ll have his own star some day—if not in Hollywood, then at least on Canada’s own Walk of Fame. (If Wayne Gretzky can get one, then so does Friesen.) And if not in Canada, then at least in our hearts.
Stephon Lamar, Saskatchewan Huskies VS Thompson Rivers WolfPack: 35 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
The WolfPack had visions of grandeur, hoping to shock the world (read: the CIS) and overtake the Huskies in their element. All they needed was a strong fourth quarter and they would have the win. It didn’t happen, the WolfPack instead waking up with a hangover and a Mike Tyson-like tattoo on their face like Stu in The Hangover II. Only in the case of the WolfPack, the hangover wasn’t even the fault of Alan or Mr. Chow.
No, it was way worse. Stephon Lamar carved up Thompson Rivers to the tune of 35/4/7, but what impressed most are his 14 made field goals in 17 attempts. For that, the fourth-year player is our choice for this week’s “Ruthlessly efficient scorer,” as Lamar was instrumental and scored 14 points in the final quarter. If this were dog sledding, that’d be one husky who would be ahead of the (wolf)pack.
Kedar Wright, UBC at Alberta Golden Bears: 28 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists
It’s fitting that Kedar Wright went to UBC, as the young rookie is apparently a big believer in the abbreviation. In that sense, KDkrafty (find him on Twitter!) is a match made in heaven for the UBC T(hunder)-Birds.
We like that KDot had the best game of his rookie season in the ‘yoffs, because the ‘yoffs are the time to step up. KDub will keep improving because that’s what life is all about, and we like that he’s already a good shooter from the trey. No doubt, the future is bright for KDub World Peace. (That thing about the fact it should be the athletes who choose their nicknames? I may have proven it right.)
Terry Thomas, Ottawa Gee-Gees VS Ryerson Rams: 28 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block
Ready? This will get confusing…The Ottawa Gee-Gees once more beat the Ryerson Rams in the playoffs in Ottawa to book their tickets to the Wilson Cup held at Ryerson. And because the game happened in Ottawa, we must first start at Ryerson. It’s Jan. 31 and the Rams must beat Ottawa in Ryerson to avoid this looming playoff match in Ottawa—and the Rams would have won that game at Ryerson, but for Terry Thomas. In Ryerson, the fourth-year is a foreigner but he’s cold as ice, so he scored the 13 Ottawa points in the first quarter. It’s always a war when Ottawa and Ryerson play, whether in Ryerson or in Ottawa, and that’s why you want Tweeds on your side.
Remember, Tweeds is a bad, bad man. You know your uncle Jimmy? The one who lives on the meanest block of your neighbourhood, right by the carryout? Uncle Jimmy is scared of Tweeds—so it’s not an OUA playoff game between two great teams that will impress Tweeds. The only thing left to do for the Gee-Gees is to beat their cross-town rivals, either at the Wilson Cup or at the CIS Final 8. The bad man will be there. “Tweeds don’t scare.”
Tyson Hinz, Carleton Ravens VS Laurentian Voyageurs: 27 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists
Tyson Hinz is the perfect all-Canadian. Whereas Jack Swagger, of the WWE, is the brash All-American, Hinz is his counterpart. True story here—seriously!… While the NPH boys were in Ottawa for our showcase in July 2013, we drove by the fifth-year player on our way to the Ravens’ Nest. He was walking, also to his team’s gym. We honked, waved at him and said hi, and he waved back at us (he didn’t have a car so couldn’t honk) and said hi. You know—Canadian!
True story—well, maybe not… Hinz is the All-Canadian who heads to the Tim Horton’s at the same time that you do, opens the door for you and lets you go before him. He orders after you and wins when he rolls up his rim after you’ve rolled up yours and lost. That’s when he says he’s sorry for having opened the door for you and that maybe that free Canadian coffee should be yours.
At this year’s CIS Final 8, because he plays for the Carleton Ravens and Dave Smart, and because he is an integral part for his team’s success, chances are that Hinz will finish his CIS career with yet another championship. Then, after he’s beaten you, he’ll shake your hand and wish you well for next season. It’s what a Canadian would do, eh?
Javon Masters, UNB Varsity Reds VS Cape Breton Capers: 28 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals
I have been calling Javon “Young” Masters all season, but maybe that’s wrong. For one thing, that’s probably preposterous, because no player who leads the entire country in his rookie season really is that young. For another, there’s probably a much better nickname—Young is simple, but that’s the politically correct way to describe what is essentially a pointless name. This nickname is much more simplistic than it is simple. (There, I said it. A #HotNicknameTake from the #PunMaster himself.)
Javon Masters is Icarus. A good nickname should feel intuitive and should describe the legend of the player. Icarus accomplishes that for the young Masters. (GAH! I can’t get rid of it!!) This season, he soared high, and high, even gracing this website with his presence for a fairly good feature…and then he, along with the UNB team, fell off and crashed, almost. They managed only two wins in 2014 before closing the season strong and making the AUS playoffs when this seemed in doubt—and while I’ve occasionally criticized the team here and snubbed Icarus from this list because of poor team results, I must now commend UNB for having righted its ship.
The team righted its ship back to the well-oiled machine that it was during the first half of the season. To the ship that allowed Icarus to first take off. To the ship that now allows him to further his ascent. Icarus is still soaring, higher and higher, and his wings haven’t burnt from the sun. Hell, he’s barely even taken off, really, even though he’s already so, so high in the sky.
He’s still soaring, even if just before he fell off a little bit. Masters will be fine, he didn’t fall back to Earth. He’ll continue reaching for the stars and closing in on the sun.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops