Welcome to the second season of The CBG Bunch, a specialized column dedicated to the CIS season. Every week, CBG parses through the box scores over Sunday brunch while looking for #TheCBGBunch, a group of the top performers of the week’s action.
This week in #badpuns, we marvel at the number of ruthlessly prolific scoring performances. A field goal is only worth two or three points but sometimes, you’ll glance at a box score and NOT BELIEVE YOUR LIFE because a player has seemingly scored so many points on so few field goal attempts. It’s as if the math doesn’t add up. This is one of those times.
Apologies to York’s big man Nick Tufegdzich, Waterloo’s Myles Charvis and Saskatchewan’s Mike Scott. The motto goes that #ThereCanOnlyBe10 and I advise any of you that if you feel like you deserved a nod but didn’t get one, you should take it up with the committee. (It’s a committee of one, presided by myself, so good luck with that.)
Alexandre Bernard, UQAM Citadins at Concordia Stingers: 39 points, 3 rebounds
Sure, the readers read me—I know that—but could the CIS players read #TheCBGBunch as well? I’m trained to expect the worst, hope for the worst and brace for, yep, the worst, but sometimes life just gives me moments (before the worst hits, yes. Meh.). A week after I declared to any- and everyone that an RSEQ player would always make the cut, Alexandre Bernard answered the call.
The fifth-year senior had the very best “bad man” performance of this young season and is currently the No. 5 scorer in the country. Every week in #TheCBGBunch, there has to be a player from my ‘Q, but this week Bernard is the one player who deserves recognition more than anyone else. Don’t fool yourself—he plays in Québec, but he could play anywhere. This bad man will drop 11 on you in the third quarter, then another 13 in the fourth seemingly just because he can. Why, you ask? Don’t ask why, it’s not in your vocabulary anymore!
(OMG, the bad man is turning ME into a bad man!!)
Will Coulthard, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks at Waterloo Warriors: 26 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Laurier VS Waterloo is as close a rivalry as there is in the entire CIS. We don’t mean that with respect to the wins and losses over the years—we mean close as in actual distance. The Golden Hawks’ main campus is at 75 University Ave. while the Warriors work on their craft at 200 University Ave., both in the city of Waterloo. Life is fun, but bragging rights are everything in basketball—and nothing beats the bragging rights you get from winning a game. If you’re Waterloo, you literally cross the street and you’re in enemy territory. If you’re Wilfrid Laurier, there’s a no-fly zone just a few meters away from campus.
Yes, it’s just a few meters away, but it might as well be a universe away. Winter is coming and you do not simply win at Waterloo’s PAC—you have to make shots. You have to make shots and to make shots, you first have to take shots, because a great poet once said that you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take. He could have added that you don’t need to make all the shots. Sometimes, you just need one right at the buzzer. He would have been talking about Will Coulthard.
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary Dinos VS Trinity Western Spartans: 24 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
OJ, my old friend! We learned many things about the Dinos point guard last year on #TheCBG Bunch, notably that 1) orange juice is good for children and dinosaurs, 2) orange juice is the most important meal of the dinos’ day and 3) orange juice can fuel a little engine.
The fifth-year player was a favourite of this column a year ago and was named an all-star of the bunch, because OJ can do it all—and he does all of it a whole lot. He plays a lot, scores a lot, dishes out assists a lot… you get the idea. He also rebounds a lot, and that’s where you fin your #badpun for the week. OJ is among the very best rebounding guards in the CIS, and it’s no coincidence. Orange juice gets you back on track. After a particularly rough week or day, it’s with orange juice that dinos rebound and go on with their new day.
Tommy Nixon, UBC Thunderbirds VS Saskatchewan Huskies: 30 shots, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 1 block
In a battle of 30-point scorers, Tommy Nixon gets the nod this week for the simple reason that he has proven that he too knows all 10 digits of our world and doesn’t need many mental gymnastics to prove it: 0 (take the 0 of his 30 points), 1 (block), 2 (offensive rebounds), 3 (fouls), 4 (steals), 5 (defensive rebounds), 6 (assists), 7 (total rebounds), 8 (take the 8 of his 38 minutes played) and 9 (field goals attempted).
Except, really, that Nixon has stumbled upon a cheat code that they never taught you in school—unlike those digits, which you definitely learned in second grade while admiring that Stephanie girl who sat two aisles across from you then. The cheat code is this—when you count to 6 (field goals made), you really are counting to 30 (points). If 30 is the new 20, then 6 is the new 30, which is the new 20. So 6 is the new 20. It’s complicated… Nixon is better than Jay Z, that’s all I mean.
Tyler Scott, UPEI Panthers at St. FX X-Men: 23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, 1 block
A staple of #TheCBGBunch has been to say that player X has had “himself a day,” but do you know what’s better than a day? That’s right, a full weekend. And what if we say that players with the Scott last name have had themselves quite the weekend? Well, that works too.
Against the X-Men, there is no right or wrong answer on the Panthers’ side, with Tyler Scott, Ellis Ffrench and Brad States scoring 23, 22 and 22 points respectively in UPEI’s win at St. FX. Scott, rapidly becoming a regular of the bunch, makes the cut again this week to make up for the fact that his namesake Mike Scott, who plays at Saskatchewan, was snubbed despite meeting the very first criterion of scoring 30 points in a game. The Panthers’ Scott also had 8 rebounds and 7 assists, and I guess these help too.
Marcos Clennon, Nipissing Lakers VS Guelph Gryphons: 19 points, 16 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
Life as an expansion team is hard and unforgiving anywhere in the CIS, but to be assigned the North division of Carleton and Ottawa under the OUA realignment, as was the case for the Nipissing Lakers, seems like cruelty. No one on the team will say so, of course, and the result will probably be more games this season where the team manages 44 points.
It will get worse before it gets better for Nipissing, and maybe that’s why Lovett spoke of an Eye of the Storm. And if you look into said eye, you’ll still see bright spots amid the chaos and destruction—there’s Marcos Clennon, for example, who manages close to half of the team’s output against Guelph.
Alternatively, “Marcos Clennon” is the 2014 version of “Marco Polo.” Just close your eyes, say his first name and hear how he seems to be everywhere at once.
Rotimi Osuntola Jr., Windsor Lancers VS McMaster Marauders: 28 points, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks
Rotimi Osuntola Jr. is Jamal Crawford, remember? Much like Crawford, Osuntola happens to be thriving this season. He’s not crossover-ing, shooting and four-point-play-ing the same way that the NBA player is, but just because his method is different doesn’t mean that he’s less efficient. Rather, Osuntola is scoring with dunks, and is rebounding (i.e. 1st in the CIS with 12.1) and blocking (i.e. fourth in the country with 12 this season) the life out of CIS competition.
But now, could the Windsor Lancers, Osuntola’s team, be the Los Angeles Clippers, Crawford’s team? The Clippers opened the season on any short list of title contenders in the NBA, which is the exact same thing that the Lancers did in the CIS. (Although, you know, maybe don’t ask just anyone about it.) So far this young season, the Clippers rank only 7th in their conference, despite an 11-5 record—it’s because the West is ridiculously tough. Likewise, the Lancers are 5-2 and are fifth in the OUA—because that conference is ridiculously tough.
Jonathan Tull, Regina Cougars VS Brandon Bobcats: 29 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
As we continue our documentation of the differences between the NCAA and the CIS versions of college basketball, we now turn to numerology. What’s that, you ask? Oh, you know, just the study of the relationship between a number and some coinciding events… And yep, numerology happens to be a staple of college basketball in Canada, much like the distinction between digits and numbers, and abstract theories.
After his third season of eligibility and with an undergraduate degree in hand, Jonathan left Acadia University and transferred to Regina this season. And the number 3 is everywhere he looks. A native of Ajax, he has played in Wolfville and now Regina—three cities and three provinces. For the Cougars, he wears No. 6 (2 X 3) and against Brandon, Tull made 9 (3 X 3) field goals, including 3 from the 3-point line, and drained 8 of 10 (8 + 1 + 0 = 9 = 3 X 3) free throws while getting 3 assists and 3 steals.
The number 3 is linked to optimism, joy, creativity and growth. The skies say it’s also linked to indifference and a lack of stamina—that’s probably why Tull played all 40 minutes of the game against the Bobcats. He wanted to show the Gods up.
Jasper Moedt, Fraser Valley Cascades VS MacEwan Griffins: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
Jasper Moedt had himself a day against the MacEwan Griffins and took home the “Big Man” nod for week 4. But I will not write a #badpun about the fifth-year senior, not when he’s among the reasons why the Cascades head into the Christmas break with a perfect 8-0 record in the Explorers Division of the Canada West.
But this is where my aficionado readers will probably try a joke or two and say, with a smirk on their face, that surely Moedt wouldn’t be the first player to see his name defamed on this sacred space. Perhaps, but the native of Abbotsford, B.C., deserves way more than a #badpun. His story is touching and beautiful, and he’s lived through and explored many things that remain only theoretical for the rest of us. I’ll always have a soft spot for Moedt in my heart, in large part because his heart was once so heavy. (There. That’s your pun.)
Thomas Scrubb, Carleton Ravens VS Ryerson Rams: 26 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
Such is the life in the OUA East that the No. 3 team in the CIS can go on the road and get blown out twice. This weekend, the Rams were in Ottawa for a pair of matchups that were promising on paper—I guess that’s why the games are played on the floor! It was a stern reminder, for the Rams, that while they’re good, they’re still lagging behind. Big, but not big enough.
For one, the Rams don’t have a Thomas Scrubb, because only the Ravens do. When the Rams arrived in the Ravens’ Nest this past weekend, it’s the other non-scrub who served as the token raven beak that picks up an opponent and hauls them way the hell back home.
Thomas Scrubb is Plastic Man. He can do it all on a basketball court, and every game all you need to do is to decide what you need from him. Once you know, you just fix Scrubb in whichever form you want/need, and you just watch him do it.