Breaking Down CIS Major Award Race

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By Chad Mallory

Breaking Down the CIS Major Award Races

With all the conference accolades being announced already, the CIS will officially hand out their national awards as the CIS championship approaches.

It’s been a great year highlighted by several worthy seasons by players, which has led to some of the more crowded Player of the Year discussions in recent memory.

Here is my breakdown of the top candidates for the major awards.

Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy (CIS Rookie of the Year)

Courtesy: Windsor Athletics

Courtesy: Windsor Athletics

The Rookie of the Year race was already broken down earlier in the year with Isiah Osborne, Brody Clarke and Abdul Kamane being the front runners for the award.

Since then, all three of these players have taken home the Rookie of the Year awards in their respective conferences. And since Isiah Osborne was named the frontrunner for CIS Rookie of the Year he has only gotten better, increasing his scoring, efficiency and assists. He finished the season averaging 15 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 2.3 APG on a very impressive 54.3 TS%. Not only did he get better but his team flourished down the stretch too, as Windsor took a 9-game winning streak into the OUA conference tournament where they took down Laurentian and also upset McMaster. 

The Canada West ROY, Brody Clarke also improved his scoring and efficiency down the stretch of the season to bring his season averages to 12 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 1.1 APG with a 54.6 TS%. But this award has a pretty clear winner. Isiah Osborne has the numbers and team success to support him being the first CIS Rookie of the Year in Windsor’s history.

PROJECTED WINNER: Isiah Osborne, Windsor

Defensive Player of the Year

With Thomas Scrubb’s graduation last year, there will be a new CIS defensive player of the year after the Carleton forward took home the award the previous two seasons. There are a few different ways this award could go this year. AUS Defensive Player of the Year Meshack Lufile of Cape Breton was a menacing post defender this year. His 1.5 blocks per game ranked in the top 15 in all of CIS and according to Synergy Sports (subscription required), he surrendered just 0.47 points per possession while defending post ups. This was ranked in the top 86th percentile in all of College basketball (NCAA included) earning an “excellent” rating from the system.

Dele Ogundokun

Dele Ogundokun

Ottawa forward Caleb Agada is another strong candidate after winning the OUA Defensive Player of the Year. His on-ball presence and ability to turn you over makes him a dangerous player on the defensive end. He ranked 5th in all of CIS with a stellar 2.7 steals per game along with being rated as one of the best isolation defenders in all of College basketball by Synergy Sports, ranked in the top 98th percentile. 

McGill guard Dele Ogundokun also a strong claim to the award after winning the RSEQ Defensive player of the year. Ogundokun was a big part of McGill averaging the third-fewest points per game in CIS basketball. He averaged two steals per game while being rated as the top overall defender among the players listed here. He gave up just 0.62 points per possession in all of his defensive situations, earning him an excellent rating. Agada was great in isolation situations but his penchant to gamble on defense put him in bad situations at times as he was torched by spot up shooters, being rated as below average in that regard. Ogundokun managed to be a great defender in all aspects of the game for one of the best defensive teams in the CIS, which should be enough to net him the award.

PROJECTED WINNER: Dele Ogundokun, McGill

Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (CIS Coach of the Year)

There were some great candidates for CIS Coach of the Year this year. RSEQ Coach of the Year Dave DeAverio led McGill to the best record in the conference as well as the conference championship.

AUS Coach of the Year Rick Plato won his second straight conference championship with Dalhousie.

Courtesy: @RonnieMexx

Courtesy: @RonnieMexx

Canada West Coach of the Year Scott Clark took Thompson Rivers from an 11-9 record last season to a 16-4 record this season and into the CIS championship.

But with all due respect to these candidates, this award is really Patrick Tatham’s to lose.

Taking over as the head coach of Ryerson at the beginning of the season while head coach Roy Rana took a sabbatical, Ryerson hasn’t skipped a beat building off their success from last season. For the first time in their school’s history, Ryerson found themselves ranked number one overall in a CIS sport at one point this season. A big part of that has to do with Tatham’s energy and intensity on the sidelines.

Despite graduating their top player from last season Jahmal Jones, Ryerson cruised to a 17-2 record which included a 2-0 record against Carleton and Ottawa. Heading into the OUA conference tournament it was more of the same as Ryerson captured the OUA championship culminating with another victory over Carleton in the gold medal game. Ryerson will now look to win the CIS championship as the number one overall seed. Tatham would be the first ever Coach of the Year winner from Ryerson.

PROJECTED WINNER: Patrick Tatham, Ryerson

Mike Moser Memorial Trophy (CIS Outstanding Player)

Courtesy: Erica Roberts

Courtesy: Erica Roberts

Mike L’Africain of the Ottawa Gee-Gees emerged as the victor from a very crowded OUA Player of the Year pool of players and now looks to add CIS Oustanding Player to his resume. Standing in his way are Javon Masters, Kewyn Blain and Thomas Cooper, who all won Player of the Year in their respective conferences. But when factoring team success, efficiency and strength of conference we see that Kewyn Blain just doesn’t measure up. Blain played really well this season but UQAM finished with just a 7-9 record in the RSEQ. 

Let’s take look at the statistical comparison among the top three candidates:

Player

G

MPG

FG

FGA

FG%

3P

3PA

3P%

FT

FTA

FT%

TS%

Points

PPG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TOPG

Javon Masters

20

34.7

185

377

49.1%

25

88

28.4%

165

188

87.8%

60.9%

560

28.0

4.5

3.8

2.1

0.1

2.5

Thomas Cooper

20

33

170

397

42.8%

42

108

38.9%

133

160

83.1%

55.1%

515

25.8

7.5

3.1

1.1

0.1

3.3

Mike L’Africain

19

31.4

135

283

47.7%

51

122

41.8%

67

78

85.9%

61.1%

388

20.4

3.6

5.3

1.9

0.2

3

 

Javon Masters was phenomenal for UNB this season, leading the CIS with an incredible 28 points per game on 49.1% shooting from the field. He practically lived at the free throw line this season as he led the CIS in free throw attempts while sinking an excellent 87.8% of them. It’s just unfortunate this didn’t translate to more team success, as UNB finished with an 11-9 record.

Thomas Cooper was also fantastic this season, his 25.8 points per game was second in the CIS to Masters as he also tacked on 7.5 rebounds per game. As you can see, he was a little less efficient, but he did lead Calgary to a 17-3 record and the Canada West conference championship. 

Now on to L’Africain. Playing in his final season for Ottawa he led the team to a 17-2 record and the third overall seed in the CIS championship. He shot the ball with tremendous efficiency this season while averaging over 20 points a game. He also did a great job of getting his teammates involved with 5.3 assists per game. 

Javon Masters was very impressive this season, but he wasn’t able to raise his team’s level to that of Cooper’s and L’Africain’s. And when it comes down to it, L’Africain was incredibly efficient on a better team in a tougher conference. He’ll end his CIS career on a high note.

PROJECTED WINNER: Mike L’Africain, Ottawa

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