The CBG Bunch: Ta’Quan Zimmerman, Alex Ratte, Terry Thomas + 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 the CBG Bunch, a group of the top performers of the weekend’s action.
This week in #badpuns, we give props to perhaps the two baddest men in all of college basketball, to a young rookie whose stock is quickly rising and to a prototype. As usual, there were once more many worthy candidates for this week’s edition of #TheCBGBunch.
Apologies to Max Allin, Dani Elgadi and his ongoing approximation of Wilt Chamberlain, and to UQAM’s scoring duo of Alexandre Bernard and Richard Addai. I wish I could give these people what they want as well, but there can only be 10.
Ta’Quan Zimmerman, Thompson Rivers WolfPack at Victoria Vikes: 31 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Ta’Quan Zimmerman goes by Tootie (check him out on Facebook!), and he’s a bad, bad man. He’s the type of bad man who will tell you exactly what will happen on Friday night, that his team will beat the No. 3-ranked Victoria Vikes in their own building, which he did tell me, and then he goes out and does it. And then Tootie will post a video on his Instagram profile so that you and the entire world can see that he did win that game—and then Tootie will name the video “Ball Game!!”
While Zimmerman may be a newcomer to the CIS, he’s no stranger to self-belief and self-confidence. He headed out to Thompson Rivers this year after a stint at Monroe Community College and all he’s done in the Canada West is average 20.1 points per game while shooting almost 50 per cent from the floor and 46.7 per cent from deep. You can say Tootie’s the man, so long as you say he’s the bad man—he’ll definitely remind you.
Myles Charvis, Waterloo Warriors at Guelph Gryphons: 35 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals
The Waterloo Warriors lost this game against the Guelph Gryphons, but really it’s all of us who won. (Well okay, us and the Gryphons team.) Because every time this young rookie plays well, it’s all of us who can be thankful that the future may well be bright. Charvis has basically been learning as he goes, as he shoots and defends and messes up, or not, because he’s been starting from day 1—and it’s surprising even to as well-travelled a man as I am (i.e. I have been to the United States and Italy, thank you very much) that he can have games like this one. Charvis’ average is now up to 13 points per game and he’s scored in double figures in nine of 11 games in 2014.
One day soon enough, Charvis will be grown up. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as fun to watch him get there.
Lien Phillip, Windsor Lancers VS McMaster Marauders: 20 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
While there is no Carleton in the West division, the Windsor Lancers and McMaster Marauders are very much akin to the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Ryerson Rams of the OUA East. The two teams had played once up to this point, McMaster winning by two on their home court. Now a month later, the Lancers wanted nothing but to enact revenge.
And they did, with a 5-point win in Windsor. Fifth-year Lien Phillip was instrumental in the win and is this week’s laureate of the “God-like” moniker with his 20-point, 17-rebound effort. Phillip is a rare breed in the CIS, a fifth-year player who wants to ride into the sunset with the highest of consecrations—wait, that’s actually the wish of every fifth-year player alive. Phillip is most comfortable with his back to the basket, and he is the leading rebounder in the country, because his wingspan is nine-foot-11 (i.e. a healthy estimate). Everything is still possible for Windsor, who trails McMaster by two with three games to play—if McMaster was trying to maraude its way to the top, it might actually be Windsor who lances itself ahead at the finish line. (Ouch.)
In other words, Phillip is the missing “lien” to the top for Windsor. (Stop it, our soul hurts.)
Denny McDonald, Trinity Western Spartans at Mount Royal Cougars: 29 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
The Spartans needed this win. They were assailed from all sides, had been for a good 14 weeks now, just them against the world, their little group of brothers facing evil on all fronts just like they drew it up in the movies, and they decided to break through this night. They had enough, and really this was about resolve. About men bonding and coming together to stand up for their dream, a dream of prosperity and of playoff basketball where the strongest survive. About having suffered with your brothers in arms, sweated through blood and tears until there was no more blood to shed and until you had no more tears to dry. It was about men seizing the moment and being able to look into each other’s eyes afterward and say, with all their heart, that they couldn’t possibly have done anything more.
Good thing, these Spartans got the win they needed to stay alive in contention for the title of Supreme Power. That this win followed a difficult battle just previously mattered little—and anyway, fourth-year Denny McDonald had planted the seed for this new battle, standing up to the conqueror and drop kicking them to oblivion. The Spartans lost that battle, but they won the next one and they know that forever there are more battles to fight, more enemies to repel, against the wall, more axes to grind and more souls to steal. They’re the Spartans! This! Is! SPARTA!
Jona Bermillo, Bishop’s Gaiters VS Concordia Stingers: 26 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
The Gaiters are sitting comfortably in second place of the Q with an 8-2 record, and Jona Bermillo did his part in the first game of the back-to-back against the Stingers with 26 points on only 13 shot attempts in what is likely his best game of the year. Bermillo isn’t the first option on offense for head coach Rod Gilpin, but that’s alright—the sophomore is 14th in scoring in the conference with over 10 points per game. Because Bishop’s has won 5 of 6 games when Bermillo scores over 10 points, the team would be well encouraged to let him shoot. #TakeTheJ
Just one piece of advice, Jona—if your favourite player is indeed James “Beard” Harden, you need to embrace it and let the hair grow. A beard is a lifestyle.
Javon Masters, UNB Varsity Reds at Cape Breton Capers: 28 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal
The UNB Varsity Reds must be thinking, “It was all good just a month and change ago!” A month and change ago, this website published a fairly decent column (#humblebrag) about the Reds’ super freshman Javon Masters but had it, somewhere deep in there, buried the real lede? When I spoke to Masters, the team was first in the AUS at 6-1 and by the time the feature was published, “the team (was) 7-2 and (had) 16 points, second only to the Acadia Axemen.”
Well a month and change later, UNB is sitting at just 20 points and has lost 8 of 10 games in 2014, including six in a row. Meanwhile, Young Masters is still scoring, just maybe a little less than in the first half of the year. There’s no need to panic, however, as a great modern poet taught us—it’s not where you’ve been, it’s where you’re going. This may be Young Masters’s first rodeo (read: CIS season) and they may not have actual rodeos (read: rodeos) in New Brunswick, but Young Masters knows there’s only one thing to do. Grab the bull by the horns.
Vincent Dufort, McGill Redmen VS UQAM Citadins: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Tried as they might, UQAM’s Alexandre Bernard and Richard Addai couldn’t overcome the one-man army of Vincent Dufort. The third-year left his best for last, scoring 9 of his 24 points in the final quarter and crushing any hopes that the Citadins might have still had. Dufort, with 12.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this year, has numbers that stack up well against other players in the Quebec conference and he’s a big reason why the Redmen may well be crowned regular season champions.
Against UQAM, Dufort dominated. The Citadins–especially Bernard and Addai–who combined for 53 points in the loss, did everything they could and even threw the kitchen sink at him. Little did they know, this was playing right into his hands, as Dufort is a well-established chef who knows his way around the proverbial kitchen. Rumour has it that he even tried out for that new MasterChef Canada series—if he never made it, it’s not because he was cut but because the powers that be reminded him that filming a reality series might impede with his basketball career at McGill.
Alex Ratte, Laurentian Voyageurs VS Ryerson Rams: 28 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Alex Ratte is among the country’s most gifted shotmakers, but lately he hadn’t been playing like it. In fact, the Voyageurs were reeling as they couldn’t live up to their team’s name and had dropped four games in a row away from home, including one to, yes, these same Rams.
But this weekend, they were home for seniors’ night. This weekend, they proved that while this bunch may not be good travelers (get it?), there is no place like home. This was Josh Budd’s night, a fitting end to the career of a player who first started at Ryerson way back once upon a time, and it’s teammate Ratte who proved that home was also the place where he could barely miss, or rate, anything. He scored the ball well but he also rebounded and set up his fellow Voyageurs. Ratte is an artist and his scoring is his trump card—but think of this game as his Drake’s Degrassi days, Ice Cube’s Friday series, or Michael Jordan’s baseball career. Well okay, not that last one.
Kevin Bercy, St. FX X-Men VS UNB Varsity Reds: 30 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks
Kevin Bercy is a rookie playing fairly well for the X-Men. In that sense, call him the Storm of the X-Men Universe. You don’t want to be there when he does that weird thing to his eyes. What’s that? Storm is not a rookie? Alright, well Bercy is the Kick-Ass of the X-Men—except that Kick-Ass really is neither part of the X-Men Universe nor an actual superhero. (He is, however, a rookie.)
Anyway, the point being that Bercy is having himself a rookie season, scoring over 12 points and grabbing 7 rebounds per game. Already this season, he’s had a God-like 19-rebound game—now he has a stud-like 30-point game to go with it. This is proof that a running nose is not a doomsday scenario. Bercy has played the empire peason with this rubbing bose, and he’s been fine. (Lord have mercy on me, with those #badpuns—or should I say, Lord have Bercy!)
Terry Thomas, Ottawa Gee-Gees at York Lions: 44 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
In what is a first in the history of the most powerful CIS player recap in the history of mankind, Terry Thomas wins two unofficial awards. He’s the week’s “bad man,” edging out Tootie with a new Ottawa single-game scoring record. But don’t think Tweeds went trigger happy—he scored 44 points on 22 shot attempts, of which he drained 15. Thomas also added 7 rebounds and one of each of the other statistical category. Why one assist, steal, block, turnover and personal foul? Thomas doesn’t care much for your question, but still why would he want more than one turnover and one personal foul? That’s his answer. Yep. Thomas is a BAD man.
In short, there’s no way around it. Tweeds is not only a bad, bad man, he may as well be the meanest guy on your block. Yes, even meaner than your old uncle Jimmy.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops