AUS Hands Out Hardware – Acadia’s Owen Klassen MVP
NORTHPOLEHOOPS will be hosting an AUS ALL-STAR GAME during the East Coast Showcase March 29 at Saint Mary’s University.
The AUS held its annual awards banquet tonight that kicks off the Conference Championships weekend. For any AUS follower, the awards went down as expected and were well earned for player’s recognized.
Conference MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Star Selection
Owen Klassen of the Acadia Axemen is wrapping up his stellar career as the top player in the AUS not only as an MVP but also as the Defensive Player of the year (3rd year in a row). Klassen’s dominance is not measured in pure stats as he impacts the game in so many ways. He is a matchup nightmare that demands 100% of the opposing Ds attention which allows Acadia shooters to slide into spots and sometimes get shots like its an empty gym. Klassen has averaged a modest 20.0 ppg shooting at a 56.1 percent while opponents constantly attempt to physically intimidate. On the defensive side of the ball Owen protects the basketball and directs the Acadia defensive scheme with effective communication and seals the deal by cleaning the glass at a rate of 10.6 boards per game. Klassen took home three awards with the third being a 1st Team AUS All Star. The only award left on Klassen’s sights is no individual accolade. It is earned at nationals. Take a guess.
Conference Rookie of The Year, All Rookie Team, 1st Team All Star Selection
Javon Masters of the University of New Brunswick Varisty Reds kicked off his freshman year with the most stellar start in CIS history. The freshman led the CIS in scoring at 27.4ppg on 45.7% FG, 42.4 3pt FG and 88.8% FT and was the impact player the Reds needed to get them over the hump. With numbers like this, the only thing that kept Masters from being the conference MVP was that Klassen is truly the top AUS player and has been near the top for 4 of his 5 years.
The future is extremely bright for this freshman phenom and should conclude this season with Dr. Peter Mullins trophy as the CIS ROY. Impressive is the manner in which Javon accomplished these monumental stats, in an era when high shot volume leads to scoring numbers Masters is the complete opposite. Masters’ efficiency is exceptional as he scored his 27.4 ppg on 16.2 shots per game. It is going to be very exciting to watch this young man throughout his AUS career.
Conference Coach of the Year
Coach Stephen Baur avoided becoming the Jerry Sloan of the AUS by receiving the COY. No disrespect to the COY winners the past couple of seasons but Coach Baur has been the best bench boss in the AUS. The Axemen have been to three straight AUS championships– winning one, to go with three straight National Championships.
Coach Baur proved his worth and his impact on the program before the Christmas break. In the first weekend of the season, Acadia got the weekend sweep on the road at UPEI without Owen Klassen and Anthony Ashe. What coach Baur has instilled in this program is a mental toughness and an attitude; we compete with no excuses and we win with no arrogance. The Axemen just show up, work hard and compete as a CIS elite no matter who is in uniform. With this attitude the Axemen overcame numerous injuries while amassing a 15-5 record and top spot for the Conference Championship Tournament.
Student-Athlete Community Service Award
Harry Ezenibe of the Saint Mary’s Huskies who epitomizes class, has won this award for the second year in a row. My belief as a basketball coach is that you are on the court who you are in life. Ezenibe plays the game with the highest level of team concept and with a passion and exuberance that just endears every fan to him as a person. This is also how Ezenibe lives his off court life, helping with many organizations in the community and being a leader in the Saint Mary’s Community.
Ezenibe’s who hails from Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria, has had his efforts recognized by Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri as Harry has been an ambassador for Ujiri’s Giants of Africa organization which uses basketball to enrich the lives of African youth and give them opportunity through the game.
AUS 1st TEAM ALL-STARS
- Owen Klassen
- Javon Masters
- Theon Reefer
- Will Donkoh
- DJ Smith
AUS 2nd TEAM ALL STARS
- Vasilije Curcic
- Anthony Sears
- Anthony Ashe
- Boyd Vassell
- Geoff Doane
AUS ALL ROOKIE TEAM
- Julius Antoine
- Javon Masters
- Kevin Bercy
- Davion Parnsalu
- Gianmarco Luciani