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.
This week in #badpuns, we start by celebrating the excellence of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who fought on their way to a win in—wait, this isn’t a Super Bowl recap. Right. Let’s carry on. (Though if you did watch the Super Bowl, we hope it met your expectations and that the nachos were even better than the game itself. It’s called priorities.)
Apologies to Young Icarus Javon Masters, Wilfrid Laurier’s Cool Man Will Coulthard and St. FX’s Julius Antoine. Because #ThereCanOnlyBe10, there will always be broken hearts. Please nurse it well.
Nick Tufegdzich, York Lions at Windsor Lancers: 30 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
Right from tip-off, let’s do away with the pleasantries and waste no time letting our aficionado readers know that Nick Tufegdzich had himself a day—better yet, the York big man had himself a weekend and one might be inclined to proclaim that his game against Windsor was the “big man game” of the week. Make it games actually, because Tufegdzich had his way against Western as well. We’ll spare no hyperbole… in our mind, Tufgedzich could have written to his mom to tell her about his weekend, that’s how good he was!
We could have picked either of the two games he played last week, but we choose this one because we reward winning. Tufegdzich’s fifth season is clearly his best, as he’s seventh in the CIS for points per game, fifth for rebounds per game and first for blocks. He’s a household name now and the good news is that he’s a member of the “Guys whose name are so difficult to spell that they’re easy” all-stars.
Devin McMurtry, UNBC Timberwolves VS MacEwan Griffins: 14 points, 20 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks
What’s in a name? If a given name will identify a specific person and is bestowed upon said person usually by his or her parents, the surname is different. It serves to identify a specific group of people and group them together into a family.
All that said then, what’s in the last name McMurtry? We have no way of knowing (other than, we suppose, asking the man if it’s true), but we like to entertain the idea that the fifth-year forward might be a fan of The Wire. It all starts with his last name, too—not because fans of the HBO series share a surname but because McMurtry is oh so close to McNulty in spelling, and McNulty is the last name of one of the show’s central characters. So anyway, McMurtry seems to be GOOD AT BASKETBALL. And he’s A-OK in our mind, but it’s unrelated to his on-court skills.
Joel Friesen, Alberta Golden Bears VS Brandon Bobcats: 28 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block
In the same way that you can’t expect to replace the golden-most bear of them all by simply rolling out of bed, you need more than just an all-world name. Baker, who came before you, taught you well and now, when you look into the mirror, you understand things that maybe you didn’t beforehand.
Earlier this season, the mirror had asked that one different Bear “be golden for one game at a time”, but that time is now over. You’re a fifth-year senior, you have the Hollywood name and it’s time for you to go find the gold. You crawled and you walked, and now it’s time to run. Start at the rainbow.
Ken Beaulieu, Concordia Stingers at Laval Rouge et Or: 19 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
They’re starting to notice. The Stingers have noticed, but that probably didn’t take much of an effort—just for them to open their eyes and their hearts, right? But RDS has noticed, and that’s pretty good. Hell, I’m starting to notice, too. I did last week, anointing Ken Beaulieu the Kenny of the CIS because he keeps killing rims all over La belle province but maybe I was off. Why not the poet? Beaulieu is in his first season at Concordia and the dunks have been numerous, but they will never lose their luster—in the same way that an alexandrine poem is timeless.
And maybe it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve made it when this happens, but to us you’re a damn kind of a big deal when you have your own #hashtag. #KenBeaulieuDunking is a thing now, apparently. It’s always more convincing when you’re not the one doing the talking about yourself, and the poet lets his dunks say what he has to say. In turn, he expects us to speak on his behalf. But we don’t speak right away, because we’re in awe. #TheDunksAreTimeless
Manjodh Dulay, UFV Cascades at Mount Royal Cougars: 31 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks
You admire Manjodh Dulay’s approach to life, you really do. Manny plays on the UFV Cascades, a powerhouse the CIS has ignored mostly all season long (and likely will continue to, after the team’s first loss in 29 games), and he understands that you need to do the little things to win in the CIS. For example, when you score 30+ points, some players may think they can rest on their laurels and that they’ve already done all they could have.
Manny, instead, doubles down and chips in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Oh, not many of them, sure, but some is better than none. #WinningAttitude
Myles Charvis, Waterloo Warriors at Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks: 37 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
The games will say otherwise, but we can personally attest that Myles Charvis is entirely polite, respectful and insightful. And yet, the nice man turns bad once he steps on a basketball court. Charvis is only in his second season and playing on an incredibly young team (i.e. Waterloo has, count ‘em, eight rookies on its roster), but he’s wise beyond his years because he’s been a starter since day one.
This season, he’s scored in double digits in every game except for a 99-36 loss against the mighty Carleton Ravens, but we won’t hold it against him. Charvis had a career night against Wilfrid Laurier and, typical of a bad man, he made sure it happened in the enemy’s backyard—though to be fair, the Waterloo and Laurier campuses are about 200 feet from one another. But you know what they say, right? Home is where the heart is, but next door will do too.
Ellis Ffrench, UPEI Panthers at Cape Breton Capers: 37 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal
And yet, if Charvis can’t quite claim to have had the best “bad man” game of the last week, it’s because he lives in the same universe as Ellis Ffrench. The fifth-year guard is so bad that he might be straight up mean—what else are we supposed to think when you sport an afro this nice? The well-traveled Nova Scotian (is that how you say it?) has learned a thing or two in his day and in moving from his province to that of Prince Edward—a loss just means you can do better the following day.
Call him New York, New York. Ellis Ffrench is so nice, they spell his last name with two F’s. (It doesn’t quite rhyme like it does for New York, but whatever. I make the rules.)
Meshack Lufile, Cape Breton Capers VS UPEI Panthers: 24 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
We’re not sure if the comparison really is worthy, but running on thin ice has never been a problem in this column so here it goes… If the CIS already has a Jamal Crawford, why can’t it also have a Draymond Green?
Meshack Lufile is a fourth-year center with the Cape Breton Capers, but his value goes beyond mere numbers and statistics—though his statistics are nice, too! Lufile leads the country in field goal percentage and he sits eighth in offensive rebounds. He is also 21st in the CIS with 17.6 points per game, but that’s in only 24.1 minutes. Make that on a per-40 minutes and Lufile is second in the country.
The CIS had high expectations for Cape Breton at the start of the season and while the Capers’ performances so far have to qualify as a disappointment, this doesn’t mean that Draymond Green has failed to hold up his end of the bargain.
Tommy Nixon, UBC Thunderbirds VS Calgary Dinos: 32 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Tommy Nixon is back in #TheCBGBunch for already a fourth time this season, and we swear that we’re not playing favourites. We look and look for reasons to overlook the fifth-year senior, or for other players to recognize instead, but we keep coming back to him. The philanthropist, meanwhile, keeps with his charity stripe diet, this time bargaining his nine made field goals into 32 points because why the hell not. Free throws are free for a reason, and no one understands this better than Nixon—he’s about automatic from the line.
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary Dinos at UBC Thunderbirds: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals, 1 block
If Nixon was such a bad man this week against the Dinos, it’s because he was nursing a broken heart when Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson stomped on UBC’s collective heart in the game prior.
Here’s the thing, too. OJ had himself a better day in the following game, because orange juice is clairvoyant and knows he was going to be matched up with a bad man in UBC’s Nixon. He knew the philanthropist would be mean and, though OJ’s 27 points weren’t enough, it was still a worthy effort.
And anyway in our mind, OJ had already done his part in the win the night prior—where UBC’s Tonner Jackson missed his second free throw with 5.7 seconds left and a two-point lead, OJ hit the three. He was ice cold. And willing to sacrifice.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops