It’s 2015 already, and while only a third of the season has been played, I was itching to share my assessment of the five best players in the conference.
After trying to rank the teams at the beginning of the season, 2014-2015 developed into one of the most competitive we’ve had for years in the Q.
For the most part, it is old faces laying down the law and I figured I’d try to rank them too.
My criteria is as follows: production, live-game analysis, head-to-head matchups and team success.
*Stats collected BEFORE the January 7*
My RSEQ Starters
G: Kyle Desmarais, Bishop’s Gaiters
I was curious to see how the guy would fare after a two-year absence and I’ve not been disappointed for sure. To be clear, his numbers are not at his ’10-‘11 MVP-season level, his assist-turnover ratio (-2) is worrisome for a primary ball handler, and while he’s getting to the line often, he converts free throws at only a 57% clip… Still, he’s an above average athlete, with a terrific offensive touch, and he proves to be the leader of this second-place Gaiters team.
It remains to be seen how he will get his team through this tough stretch. Bishop’s lost their last two league games after starting 3-0, and they got kicked at Ryerson during the Holidays.
Good news is they have only played one home game and, as presented here, they have other very good pieces outside of Desmarais
G: Vincent Dufort, McGill Redmen
When you see him play, there is no “wow factor”, to be honest. No crazy hops, no killer crossover or anything like that. But man, is he efficient. You pick up the stat sheet after a game and go: “He did all that?”
Dufort leads the team in rebounds (8.3), assists (3.3) and blocks (1.0), while he is second in points (9.3) and steals (1.5).
In fact, the whole team reflects the image of the reigning RSEQ MVP. The Redmen are not super impressive on paper, but they’re extremely well coached and often find a way to win. Like they did against Bishop’s. McGill is not to be forgotten!
F: Thibaud Dezutter, Laval Rouge et Or
Let me just say Laval is probably the deepest team in the league. I won’t even get the chance here to mention Boris Hadzimuratovic, who is still maybe the most skilled big in the Q (when not sleepwalking), and Alexandre Leclerc, who’s about to blow up. Dezutter, however, distances himself with consistency.
Now in his fourth year, he leads the team in points (16.0) as well as in minutes (35.5), while being second in rebounds (7.8), assists (1.75) and steals (1.). An example of his evolution as an offensive player is his long-range shooting. He takes (and makes) a lot more threes than he used to in his first year, and it’s not just related to playing time.
Now, is he their go-to guy? Not necessarily. In fact, depending on how you see it, they don’t have one or they have multiple options.
F: Alexandre Bernard, UQAM Citadins
UQAM’s greatest game of the season came in the absence of Bernard, a huge 83-78 win against Bishop’s on November 29th. Now, what does it say about him? Some might be tempted to bring up the “Ewing Theory”, but it would be foolish to argue the Citadins are a better team without him. In fact, two nights earlier, he dropped 39 in a 80-73 W against Concordia.
Despite the emergence of Clerjuste, Joseph and Poteau, he is, by far, their best player. Both his 23 points per game and 38.7 minutes per game are league-leading marks.
UQAM may be sitting in fourth place, but if they want to make the playoffs he’ll have to put them on his back.
C: Mike Andrews, Bishop’s Gaiters
Andrews is the centerpiece of the triple-headed monster that is the Bishop’s frontcourt, averaging 12.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
He, too, is a former RSEQ MVP (’12-’13) and while some might argue he should have a bigger impact on the boards or on the offensive end, he sure makes damage on defense.
He challenges opposing offenses and leads the league in blocks by a fair margin: he has a 3.3 average per game while six players post a 1.0 mark.
PG: Karim Sy-Morrissette, Bishop’s Gaiters
PG: Karl Demers-Bélanger, Laval Rouge et Or
Both are among the most used players in the league (32 mins/game) and have a top 5 assist-turnover ratio. I mean, that’s what you want from your point guard right?
I still think they’re head of the class at the position in the league, and if one of them allows his team to breakout in the second portion of the season, he could end up on the starters unit.
G: Dele Ogundokun, McGill Redmen
The sophomore is making great strides in an effort to replace Simon Bibeau’s scoring this season. He provides coach DeAveiro with versatility both on offense and on defense.
F: Mukiya Post, Concordia Stingers
This was the hardest cut of the top 5.
Post is still third leading scorer in the league and a lot of the Concordia offense is going to go through him. But as I said, winning matters and the Stingers have disappointed a little so far, especially in a 64-41 loss at McGill. I had to cut somewhere!
Let’s hope they can pull it back together (it’s still early, I know) and give M. John Dore a proper goodbye. (ICYMI, the 26 seasons veteran, one of the winningest head coaches in the history of the RSEQ, will retire at the end of the season. More to come later.)
F: Michael Fosu, Concordia Stingers
It’s a bit of a surprise to have Fosu here. Not the biggest, not the most talented, but man, is he pounding. If he keeps it up, averaging 13 and 9, he could provide Concordia with a much-needed boost.
F: Antoine Beaumier, Laval Rouge et Or
Beaumier quickly became a key piece for the Rouge et Or. His rebounding and his back-to-the-basket game developed so much as to make him one of their most used players.
Who do you think should be the 12th man?
I’ll leave the final roster spot to you. Who fills it? Are there any other players from the Q, that you’d have on this roster?
Lets hear it!