CIS Top 10 Performers – The CBG Bunch: Real MVPs

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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 #badpuns, we commend all CIS student-athletes who took to the hardwoods across the country this past weekend. Most Canadians were probably busy prepping for a Super Bowl Sunday that was anything but Super—but why football when you can basketball? You guys are the real MVP.

Apologies to Algoma’s Andre Barber, Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye and MacEwan’s Denzel James. The heart is full and sometimes, you can’t rush it. #ThereCanOnlyBe10

Aaron Best, Ryerson Rams VS Brock Badgers: 28 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks best

When the Ryerson Rams have an Aaron Best at the height of his powers, they’re simply the best team in the CIS and are damn near unstoppable. Considering the fifth-year’s last name, maybe this isn’t a coincidence.

Also turning the team into a jugggernaut? The fact that it has quite the homecourt advantage; just look at what things were like against the Brock Badgers.

Are we responsible for such madness? A little while ago, we asked whether the Badgers nation were the best fans in the country. Well, for Brock’s visit at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the Rams intended to make a statement.

After a call of arms on Twitter, Ryerson answered in kind. Good luck to any team heading there for the rest of the season. #WeCreatedAMonster

Javon Masters, UNB Varsity Reds at Saint Mary’s Huskies: 43 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 3 steals javon masters nph

We’ve harped quite a few times already about Young Icarus, the one who manages to make history and to let us read over his shoulder while he’s doing it. We’ve mentioned that Young Icarus encounters one main challenge in his ongoing ascent toward the Sun: the closer he gets, the harder it is for his once-feeble wings.

But wised up, Young Icarus has; still ascending, Young Icarus is. And right back to the top of the CIS scoring list, Young Icarus is. It may as well be his birthright by now. Can he climb Mount Olympus in this, now his third season? Well to the answer to that depends: does Mount Olympus go up to the Sun? His feeble wings aren’t so feeble no more.

Sukhpreet Singh, Queen’s Gaels VS Lakehead Thunderwolves: 36 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal Singh_Sukhpreet

Last week, Sukhpreet Singh celebrated the end of January by taking it to the quintuple defending CIS champions Carleton Ravens in their own Ravens’ Nest. This prompted good aficionado reader DOUG WOODS to comment the following:

Singh put on one of the best basketball performances that we have seen in a long time at the Ravens’ Nest. Had he not been so bagged after the third quarter, Queen’s might have had an upset win.

Injuries, of course, are regrettably nothing new for Singh and they’re at the basis of our fascination with the guy. After his performances this past weekend, we’ll have to say that Singh is having himself a season: after 36 against Lakehead, he’s now up to fifth in the CIS in scoring. If the Gaels are relatively overachieving in 2015-16, it’s mostly thanks to him.

Alas, he’s not the bad man of the week this week, if only because he’s competing against a Greek mythological figure in Javon “Young Icarus” Masters; but Singh’s still that dude.

Kewyn Blain, UQAM Citadins at McGill Redmen: 22 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals Kewyn_Blain_m

Once more, welcome back young blood. This 2015-16 season marks the return to the CIS hardwoods for the CIS’s Uncle Ben, a young veteran with already an old soul in his third season of eligibility and one who moonlights as a grizzled playground legend.

This season, the UQAM Citadins are 6-6 behind the prowess of their third-year point guard. The future is bright under the bright lights of the Montreal metropolis.

We don’t know for sure, but we figure that head coach Nate Philippe probably has Blain in mind when he tweets out something like this.

Ritchie Kanza Mata, Dalhousie Tigers at Memorial Sea-Hawks: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals kanza mata

We’ve long been fans of Ritchie Kanza Mata, ever since he and the Dalhousie Tigers visited the Ryerson Rams and lost a close preseason game in the weeks before the launch of the 2011-12 season.

Ritchie was young back then, only a rookie, and he’s now a fourth-year and the engine at the heart of everything Dalhousie accomplishes in the CIS. Against the Memorial Sea-Hawks, the guard came oh so close of notching a triple-double—you’ll say that close doesn’t count, we’ll say that it does not mata. We’ll say that if you want, then you can-za. We’ll also mention that a soul can be both ritch y unique.

D.J. Jordan, Brandon Bobcats at Saskatchewan Huskies: 33 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals DJ_Jordan

What’s in a name? There are probably as many things as you want it to be, but let’s keep it simple here: if you’re named Jordan, and Brandon’s D.J. Jordan certainly is, so if you’re named Jordan, then there comes a certain expectation. It’s not that every basketball player named Jordan evokes memories of the Chicago Bulls’ superstar—but just a tiny bit? He’s named Jordan after all.

While this 2015-16 season has mostly been one to forget for the Brandon Bobcats, Jordan has been one of the few bright spots. And in the fourth quarter of the team’s game against the Saskatchewan Huskies, Jordan scored 15 of his 33 points to almost bring his team all the way back. It was, dare we say, Jordan-ian.

Kevin Bercy, StFX X-Men VS UPEI Panthers: 33 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks bercy

The StFX X-Men forward was here, right here in the #Bunch, at the very birth of this column when he was a rookie. While Kevin Bercy’s second season was mostly a lost one, we’re glad to see him get a nod again this week. (It’s his second for the 2015-16 season, sure, but shhhhh.)

The X-Men haven’t been good this season and entered this past weekend with only the one win to their name. The problems had started on opening night when StFX lost twice against the UPEI Panthers. But this time, the X-Men were home; they still played the Panthers, but they were home.

And in their own gym, things are different. In their own gym, as I wrote earlier, there is no mercy rule; there’s only slow and painful death at the hands of Kevin Bercy.

Alex Campbell, Windsor Lancers VS Nipissing Lakers: 27 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals Campbell_Alex

You know what we never, oh never get tired of? Discussing the one main difference between the CIS and the NCAA, one that aficionado readers are certainly well-acquainted with by now: our student-athletes here in Canada put the student in student-athletes.

Ever since the very first student did it, every one in the CIS has wanted to prove that they too know the 10 digits of our universe. Take the following sample scene, which happens throughout the country on a daily basis:

“In our universe, Mr. Professor, we have 0 (block), 1 (offensive rebound), 2 (steals), 3 (defensive rebounds), 4 (rebounds), 5 (assists), 6 (two three-pointers + 4 three-pointers attempted = 6), 8 (35 minutes played: 3+5 = 8) and 9 (jersey No. 9).

-That’s right, good sir, but I think you may have missed one of our 10 digits over there.

-Oh.

-Did anyone else catch it? Who has the answer?

-Oh, me! Me! There’s also the digit 7. That’s how you get it:

                      11 field goals made

                     15 field goals attempted

                     1+1 = 2

                    1×5 = 5

                    2+5 = 7

That’s our student-athletes alright, here in Canada. They may wear opposing jerseys, but in the classroom they’re all teammates.

Greg Morrow, Western Mustangs VS Nipissing Lakers: 34 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals 01915_Greg_Morrow_Cropped

“So a man walks into a bar…

-Heard that one before!

-No no, it’s a different one this time. Hear me out

-We don’t wanna

-Come on, guys. A man walks into a bar. Sees no one’s sitting by the counter, that the lights are dimmed, thinks it’s the perfect place.

-May be a new one, but I reckon it’ll be just as dumb!

-So guy sees it’s the perfect place and walks up to the counter, pulls up a chair. Man’s part of a team that just rebounded well after a few off games. They won this time.

-Get on with it.

-Just then, man orders a stiff drinks and, when it arrives, he starts speaking. To whom? To everyone and no one at once.

-What’s he say?

-That’s what he says. ‘When you’re desperate as a team, you play like there’s no ‘morrow.’

-Okay, but what’s the joke?

-The man’s name? Greg Morrow.”

Mitch Goodwin, UBC Okanagan Heat VS Fraser Valley Cascades: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists

“Alright alright, I got another one, folks. A better one.

-That doesn’t say much!

-Come on, gimme a chance.

-No chance, just say it damnit.

-Alright, so a guy walks into a bar.

-Not again.

-No, no. Different guy and different bar this one.

-I’m sure it’ll matter.

-So guy walks into a bar for what, it turns out, is a celebration of his Heat team’s win.

-Sure.

-So walks into a bar, sees his friends and his boys, comes up to them and says

-What’s he say?

-Guy goes up to his boys and says, ‘Guys, that was a good win.’

-I don’t get it.

-Guy’s name? Mitch Goodwin.

-Goddamnit.”

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops

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