Welcome to the second 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.
You three deserve recognition, but #ThereCanOnlyBe10—mostly because those puns don’t write themselves and I need to sleep. (It’s hard to be this dumb, man!)
Aaron Best, Ryerson Rams VS Laurentian Voyageurs: 7 points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
You know why they call it a lay-up line, right? I’ll decide that it’s because most people start playing basketball when they are young and, when they are young, just about none of them can dunk. So coaches reinforce the idea to them to make lay-ups during warm-ups, because it’s always great to watch the ball go in the basket and because the lay-up is the easiest shot at an age when there are no such “easy shots.”
But then you grow up and maybe you realize that you can dunk. It’s still called the lay-up line, but by then that only becomes a suggestion. Plus, you tell yourself that you’ll do plenty of lay-ups during the game (although…), so why wouldn’t the pre-game be the time to unveil your latest dunks? To you, anyway, the dunk is an even easier shot—because you don’t play for the Philadelphia Sixers. So you dunk. Next thing you know, they have to postpone the game, because you broke the backboard. Laurentian had voyage’d to town, but the world stopped when you dunked.
Taylor Black, McMaster Marauders VS York Lions: 20 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 29 minutes
This week, let’s give the “McMaster Marauders” Award to the McMaster Marauders, and the “Most McMaster Game” nod to Taylor Black. At their best, the Marauders are a wrecking train of seemingly interchangeable athletes who play 20-ish minutes and who are as adept at attacking off the dribble as they are shooting the ball. When you play against the Marauders, there’s no one to stop. There’s just a team, and, well, good luck with stopping that team, because it’s basically a reincarnation of the timeless “One for all, all for one” doctrine. Put it this way—if Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers had died, gone to heaven and been sent back to our world to play CIS basketball, they would be the Marauders.
And Black, despite the “Taylor Swift” monicker that opposing fans like to burden him with, is the closest thing McMaster has to a go-to guy. He’s fundamentally sound and loves to win. He’s in his seemingly 87th season of CIS eligibility, yes, but that doesn’t matter—he’s Aramis.
Osman Barrie, Saint Mary’s Huskies VS Cape Breton Capers: 24 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
In pursuing our review of differences between NCAA’s and the CIS’s different takes on “student-athlete,” another thing sticks out. (Regulars of #TheCBGBunch will remember last week’s distinction between digits and numbers.)
It turns out that Canadian student-athletes have the capacity to take abstract theories and find illustrations of them in their everyday lives. Take, for example, Antoine Lavoisier’s “Nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed” mantra. Simple enough, right? Yet this week, Osman Barrie couldn’t help but marvel that this founding father of modern chemistry was probably a basketball fan—because every basketball team needs a good chemist who will build the group’s overall chemistry. It’s science.
A) 35 minutes played: 3 + 5 = 8
19 field goal attempts: 9 – 1 = 8
B) 24 points scored: 2 + 4 = 6
2-for-3 at the free throw line: 2 X 3 = 6
C) 11 field goals made: 11
3 offensive rebounds and 14 total: 14 – 3 = 11
D) 11 defensive rebounds: 11
The rest of the statistics: 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 3 = 11
Cameron Walker, St. FX X-Men at UNB Varsity Reds: 16 points, 16 rebounds, 1 block
The game was well in hand by then. The Varsity Reds, in the past five minutes, had secured the win behind the play and the 10 points of their Icarus point guard. The X-Men had tried a three-point shot to force overtime, but the shot didn’t go in. There was a rebound, but not enough time to try another shot from deep, so Cameron Walker made a lay-up—the final margin would be one point, not three.
And of course, he obtains the sweet 16.
Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa Gee-Gees at Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks: 34 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal
You know that you will never top the Beats By Dre commercial, or the movie feature, but still you try. You try, because you watch Johnny Berhanemeskel play basketball and, despite all that he has already accomplished, he still sits atop the CIS leaderboard of scorers or just about. You feel inspired, so you give it a shot.
But then again, because Berhane is a regular to the program, you just let it be…Johnny B.
Greg Faulkner, Queen’s Gaels at Brock Badgers: 40 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
It’s been a rough start to the 2014-2015 season for the Brock Badgers as they again find themselves on the wrong end of scoring onslaught from a bad man. After the aforementioned Johnny B Goode, it was Greg Faulkner’s turn at dismantling the Badgers. It was just like the time Baron Davis threw it down on Andrei Kirilenko’s head—only the exact opposite, because Faulkner did mess with Brock in its own building.
I am obligated to mention, here, that the fifth-year guard was once recruited by none other than Dave Smart for his Ravens’ Nest, which literally cannot mean anything other than the fact that Faulkner is #GoodAtBasketball. Because it seems Smart can do no wrong. (Though maybe he might want to have Faulkner again on his roster and HAHAHAHAHA NO YOU SILLY GOOSE SMART HAS NO REGRETS EVER).
Mitch Goodwin, UBC Okanagan Heat VS MacEwan Griffins: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
The heat was on the Heat’s Mitch Goodwin to lead his team to a Good Win. (As impossibly dumb as this sounds, I could not bring myself to pass up the opportunity for this #badpun.)
When the heat is on, all the Heat players must respond in kind, but sometimes it just takes one player. One player to score 17 of his points in the first half. One player to then ice the game late, from the free throw line. And if that one player happens to have once worn the No. 1 jersey? You’re golden. And in 2014-2015, Goodwin has doubled down and settled on the jersey with the number Double-1 (i.e. 11), which leads me to conclude that maybe the third-year player is born with it, or maybe it’s the number on the back of his jersey.
What’s a Good Win, you ask? It’s just the team’s most recent win—or, in the UBC Okanagan Heat’s case, it’s the team’s point guard.
Mike Andrews, Bishop’s Gaiters at Laval Rouge et Or: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks
If there can only be 10 for the #TheCBGBunch, there will always be one who will be deemed to be out of place. Make no mistake about it—Mike Andrews, because he bled the Rouge et Or to the tune of 16/11 in only 18 minutes of play (why need 40 if 18 will suffice?), deserves the nod.
This week, it’s Andrews but another week it will be another player from the RSEQ. I’m sorry, I will always have a soft spot for my ‘Q, because it’s where I was born and raised—it’s where I had my first poutine and the heart never forgets the first poutine. Among the Bunch will always lurk a player from the five-team conference.
Jelane Pryce, Winnipeg Wesmen VS UBC Thunderbirds: 32 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks
I want to say that the smart, thoughtful and aficionado readers of #TheCBGBunch are probably stumped by now. That every time they think they know the method to the madness that is this space and how, or why, one player makes it over another, that every time this is the case I surprise them and they realize that they have no idea. This column just very well may be the 2014 Internet version of MTV’s Diary series. The readers think they know… but they have no idea. At long last, let’s reveal some of the secrets behind the selection process.
It’s pretty easy to make the cut, it turns out, and there are a few clear paths. Score 30+ points. Play in my native Quebec (hey, it’s never been objective). Or compliment me, on Facebook, on Twitter or even in person. Winnipeg’s Jelane Pryce went two-for-three this week, so it’s only right that I hold my end of the bargain as well.
Jared Baker, Lethbridge Pronghorns VS Regina Cougars: 20 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists
And yet, there is one sure-fire way to make the cut for #TheCBGBunch—just score a triple-double. If you do that, you will automatically be the 10th entry on that week’s given column. That’s a promise.
There may not be many much greater joys in the world of basketball than the triple-double, which has long been the sport’s four-leaf clover. You see ‘em once in a while, more often than you realize, but you always feel born again when you stumble upon one. Every single time, it gets to you and gets you emotional.
You look at Jared Baker’s stat line against Regina and see that he amassed no other statistic (beyond turnovers). That’s when you realize that he knows it as well as you do—you don’t need anything else when you have a triple-double. Five-leaf clovers don’t exist, stupid.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops