CIS Midseason – #TheCBGBunch: Meet the Starting Five

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cbg bunchWelcome to the third season of The CBG Bunch, a specialized column dedicated to the CIS season. Every week, CBG 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 #bad puns, we take a look at the first half and reflect on life; how might you guess or come to expect what is yet to come if you never look behind you at what’s happened? You tie your sneakers the same way every time, but you first had to do it once to understand that it works every time, right? Let’s identify the five players who have impressed most.

Apologies to Thompson Rivers’ Josh Wolfram, Ottawa’s Caleb Agada and Western’s Greg Morrow. These three guys are studs in their own right but because the CIS is a great league, many players are bound to be overlooked. I expect the vitriol that’s about to come—they pay me the big bucks to make such hard decisions—but all I ask is that fans please not throw tomatoes my way if and when I’m not looking. Give me a chance to duck is all I ask, you know?

Without further ado, here’s our Five Alive all-star team from the first half of the CIS season.

Osman Barrie, Saint Mary’s Huskies: 19 points, 9.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game, 67.3/0.0/58.8 shooting percentages osman barrie dp

Alright, let’s be upfront from the get-go and admit that we’ve cheated; just a tiny-teeny-little-white-lie bit. See, we’re picking a starting five and, well, Osman Barrie is our sixth man off the bench. Deal with it.

The 2015-16 season hasn’t been kind thus far for the 2-4 Saint Mary’s Huskies, though this is no fault of their fourth-year forward. Much like the Huskies, our Five Alive all-stars need a guy like Barrie, someone who can score with the best of them on a per-minute basis and who’ll grab board after board after board after… Welcome aboard (HA!), Osman.

Devin Johnson, Toronto Varsity Blues: 27.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game, 50.5/44/77.3 shooting percentages player_Johnson_Devin

The first member of the Five Alive Starting Five is Toronto’s Devin Johnson. The fourth-year forward, the one constantly bright spot of what has been a down cycle for the Varsity Blues, is our Tangerine.

Oh, you want to know why?

The tangerine is not so sour, though Johnson can still score boatloads of points—and that’s quite sweet. There’s also this, from Wikipedia: “A ripe tangerine is…heavy for its size, and pebbly-skinned with no deep grooves, as well as orange in color.” Maybe it’s just me, but I read this and I take it to mean that the guy may be undersized but he’s an unbelievable rebounder.

Volodymyr Iegorov, Thompson Rivers WolfPack: 22.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, 55/48.6/80 shooting percentages iegorov

This shouldn’t happen. Not so easily and not so quickly. (And especially not on the WolfPack team that already has the “Wolfman” Josh Wolfram?)

All that newcomer Volodymyr Iegorov has done since arriving in Canada from Donetsk, Ukraine, and joining Thompson Rivers has been scoring at least 12 points every game, ranking seventh in the CIS for points per game, 35th for steals, 33rd for rebounds, 15th for three-point percentage and third for field goals made.

Such a transition shouldn’t happen this way. Iegorov is the grapefruit of this Five Alive, the forbidden fruit.

Dani Elgadi, Brock Badgers: 21.7 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, 53.5/100/76.7 shooting percentages player_MBB-DaniElgadi

Of course, the man who lives with the old school hairdo and the still-older school motto of “Be Like Wilt” makes the cut. Of course. (We’ve also referred to Dani Elgadi as our old friend too despite us having met just the one time, so I suppose that helps him too.)

Every good Five Alive needs a lemon and every good CIS team demands a Dani Elgadi. Still only in his third year, the forward is a rebounding machine—only he’s also a great scorer and he’ll set up his teammates too. You’ll say that this is all fine and fun, but a lemon for Elgadi? Isn’t a lemon sour? Yes. Wikipedia also says it’s a key ingredient to drinks and beverages; sounds about right.

Kewyn Blain, UQAM Citadins: 15.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game, 43.4/25/84.2 shooting percentages Kewyn_Blain_m

Look folks, we know what we have with this team. Our Five Alive all-stars are players who crash the boards, who don’t waste good scoring opportunities on bad shots and, because of that, who #getbuckets.

But this team still needs its orange: someone who makes the engine hum and who’s just happy to see his teammates excel. In that role, who other but the man leading the country in assists per game with 7.3?

The most wise will readily understand that we’re not saying that getting assists is all Kewyn Blain is good for; far from it actually. The third-year point guard scores and grabs an uncanny number of boards too. But Blain loves setting up his teammates: lest we forget, he brings his homies to the taping of his own mixtape.

Tyler Scott, UPEI Panthers: 32.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, 51.6/44.8/86.7 shooting percentages Tyler Scott

How you like me now? Over the years on #thebunch, we’ve harped that the smile tells the tale, and Tyler Scott’s smile says he knows the tale is a good one. In the fourth-year guard, we have the lime of our Five Alive mix: aficionado readers will have figured out that we’re building a team that knows the key to a game remains #buckets.

At six-foot-three, Scott isn’t the tallest or the biggest…just like a lime. More relevant is that the lime is, and we quote, “often used to accent to flavours of foods and beverages.”

This team can score and just for the times that it can’t, it has Tyler Scott and his 32.5 points per game. He’s like the luxury this team can and does afford. How you like them limes??

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