CIS Top 10: Misty-eyed, but we’re Not Crying! – #TheCBGBunch All-Stars

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.

cbg bunchThis week in #badpuns, we run it back and select the all-star team of the most powerful CIS player recap in the history of mankind. Though my readers are by and large of the aficionado kind, the memory is a faculty that forgets and I shall remind everyone of the criteria behind this madness.

There are three ways to make this all-star team. First, and this is a sine qua non condition, make your conference all-star team because #TheCBGBunch only recognizes actual #AllStars. Second, put up numbers—in this space, there is no place for #intangibles like heart and hustle. It’s points and rebounds or bust. Finally, and not lastly, have a #punable name.

With no further ado, please roll out the red carpet. Apologies to Carleton’s Elastic Man Thomas Scrubb, Young Icarus Javon Masters and Marcus Tibbs. Some cuts cut the deepest. #ThereCanOnlyBe10

Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa Gee-Gees: 23.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists (First team all-OUA)

Photo: Richard A. Whittaker

This year’s edition starts the same place where the previous one did, with Johnny B Goode and his ever-smiling self. Johnny Berhanemeskel was far from the only horsepower that head coach James Derouin had on his team this season, but the Gee-Gees went as their shooting guard did.

Berhanemeskel started as a walk-on at Ottawa and now exits as the most prolific scorer in the school’s history as well as the country’s player of the year. He took the Gee-Gees to places and rankings they had never visited and finishes just one just one national championship short of having run the table through the OUA and the CIS medals.

He didn’t get the fairytale ending that he deserved, but that’s only because life is always worse than the movies. The fact that he accomplished all that he has while staring the Ravens in the face every week should make us appreciate him even more. Let’s end on a strong note with one very strong #badpun for wherever he goes next—B Goode, Johnny.

Philip Scrubb, Carleton Ravens: 16.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists (First team all-OUA)

Philip ScrubbBy and large, it is a given that my aficionado readers are brighter and smarter than I am, and this is why I consider myself lucky—I can point out the fact that this year-end edition of #TheCBGBunch starts out with the same two players that the first edition of this season had, and readers don’t miss a beat.

Coincidentally, ‘not missing a beat’ is precisely what Philip Scrubb has done his entire CIS career. The native of Richmond, B.C, turned LeBron James into a prophet—little did we know that when the then-Miami Heat forward had his “…not two, not three, not four…” epiphany, he was really referring to this Point God.

There aren’t many things to say about Scrubb that haven’t been said already, except maybe for this. Throughout his five years in the Ravens Nest, the Point God was the metronome at the heart of head coach Dave Smart’s symphony.

*Toc, toc, toc* but in his case, it’s always been *Win, win, win*

Alexandre Bernard, UQAM Citadins: 17.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists (First team all-RSEQ)

Alexandre BernardMaybe you’ve noticed a theme here, and it’s the fact that fifth-year seniors dominate this year-end edition of #TheCBGBunch.

Alexandre Bernard is another of those departing seniors who, *wink wink nudge nudge to the NCAA*, now graduates and can most likely turn pro. This very bad “bad man” and very good “man of the city” can set his sights on his next mission to head to Polaris the North Star. If you can’t find it, just head north. He knows this, because the name tells the tale.

Speaking of names, Bernard has one worthy of his basketball talents. “A. B.”—as in, the fundamentals of the alphabet. And he scores, rebounds the basketball and plays defense—as in, the fundamentals of winning.

Jahmal Jones, Ryerson Rams: 17.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists (First team all-OUA)

Jahmal JonesThe mind behind this most powerful CIS player recap in the history of mankind prides itself on being rational, not emotional, but sometimes the emotions do run high. It’s like they say, right? The heart has reasons that better men could sweep under the rug, but we’re just an ordinary guy.

This leads me to Jahmal Jones, point guard and star player at my alma mater and, most importantly, an overall great dude. Jones arrived at Ryerson five years ago and, along with fellow seniors Bjorn Michaelsen and Jordon Gauthier, has managed to build an OUA powerhouse more or less from the ground up. Once upon a time, Jones and Gauthier had told NPH that one of the things that attracted them to the Rams was a possibility to start something new. It’s not every day that you get to fulfill your dreams.

The perfect ending would have crowned the Rams this past weekend at the CIS Final 8, but this is Carleton’s world and we are all mere passengers. Maybe Jones didn’t bring a championship to the Rams faithful, but he gave them something better—legitimacy and relevancy.

Rotimi Osuntola Jr., Windsor Lancers: 20.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists (First team all-OUA)

Rotimi Osuntola Jr.Rotimi Osuntola Jr. did not make the cut for #TheCBGBunch every single week of the season because he is not God, but just about every week he had a case to be included. He couldn’t quite pull off what would have been hailed as the 10th wonder, but he and the rest of the Windsor Lancers did manage to make me look like a fool.

At the beginning of the season, I believed that losing three fifth-year seniors and starters had to mean something, but I was wrong. I was wrong, because Windsor still had Jamal Crawford, and any team with Jamal Crawford is fine.

Osuntola’s methods differ than those of his NBA doppelganger, but the results don’t. The CIS’s Jamal Crawford dunks you to death and rebounds the hell out of missed shots, jumping over and through you. His role should only increase next season in his fifth and final CIS season, and this is good news for head coach Chris Oliver. And bad news for the rest of the OUA, because I’ve learned my lesson.

Tyler Scott, UPEI Panthers: 23.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists (First team all-AUS)

Tyler ScottOne of our favourite staples of the season on #TheCBGBunch has been our ongoing peek into the madness and the mind of one Ridley Scott. This may well be the truth and nothing but the truth, but we have no way of knowing. Take from this what you want.

Our young man had been alive, shackled and standing up, and had asked the crowd whether they were entertained. Then, he finished the season by showing his back to the mighty emperor. He had done so, because he knew only one true emperor—and that emperor was not this man facing him. Still, others did see the man as the emperor. This is where he found the source of his corrupt power. He knew he only needed to distract and entertain the masses—panem et circenses, and you shall govern in peace forever.

The young man didn’t want to tell the emperor his name, because behind a name was an entire story but he had no choice. He had stats, but death had reared its ugly head much too soon. And yet, vengeance would come. In this life or the next.

Tommy Nixon, UBC Thunderbirds: 20.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists (First team all-Canada West)

Tommy NixonTommy Nixon will be sorely missed next season, because the fifth-year senior was a ruthless scorer in his final go-round in the CIS. To fully appreciate what a bad man this philanthropist was, you need more than his 20.8-point-per-game average. You need to glance at the 57.7/50/83.2 shooting percentages he managed for the Thunderbirds, because that’s how you realize what a futile task it was to try to stop the forward.

We’ll give the philanthropist the same parting gift we gave to Johnny B Goode just above—had Tommy Nixon had a hyphenated last name, it would have started with the letter T. Because right now, he’s one letter short of the bomb, or TNT, that he was all season long. #BadPunsNeverDie

Chris McLaughlin, Victoria Vikes: 19.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists (First team all-Canada West)

chris mclaughlin mvpWe haven’t been especially kind to Chris McLaughin this season on #TheCBGBunch. We know that. We know it isn’t especially kind to the fifth-year to make a reference, even if only in passing, to national treasure singer Sarah McLachlan, if only because the singer does not play basketball and the two have a name that sounds only vaguely and indirectly similar. We made that reference on the first edition of the season, and we know it’s, at best, neither kind nor mean.

But we now know why we did that. All season long, McLaughlin laughed all the way to the rim behind a steady diet of double-doubles and made quite the impression on us from afar. Call it admiration, call it fear, call it both but do call it something—we call it Sarah McLachlan.

Kashrell Lawrence, Dalhousie Tigers: 18.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists (First team all-AUS)

Kashrell LawrenceIn this wonderful time of tax returns and T4’s, we shall entertain our readers with a poorly constructed metaphor.

Now that the 2014-2015 season has come and gone, maybe the powers that be will teach the story of these Dalhousie Tigers at business schools throughout the country. You see, these Tigers are proof that responsible fiscal behaviour is paramount and that it leads somewhere—namely, to the CIS Final 8. As the year progresses, you put a little sum of money aside every week and hand it over to the government. Not too much money, just a little percentage of your earnings. You do so just in case, you tell yourself. Furthermore, if your earnings is not enough to sustain your needs, consider reading a blog here at consolidation assistance for some loaning tips.

You’re a responsible citizen and you trust the process. You trust that in the next year, you’ll file your taxes and you might get lucky. You’ve put in so much work and maybe the government will determine that you’ve handed over too much money, and will hand it back to you. That’s what you want and that’s why you put in so much work in the first place. So that when you need it most, you have cash money on your hands.

Kyle Desmarais, Bishop’s Gaiters: 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists (First team all-RSEQ)

Kyle DesmaraisThe Drake season of one Kyle Desmarais came to a fitting end last week but “If you’re reading this, it [means it isn’t] too late. The “Legend” grows for the native of Montreal and he of the playing days at Central Connecticut State, Concordia and now Bishop’s. There’s “No Tellin” what the future holds for the seemingly-83-year-old point guard, but I don’t intend on using “Used To” to discuss his exploits. He’s shined everywhere he’s played, even the gyms he visited only for one day—because “even one day with [him] is a time of a life.”

Throughout his CIS career, Desmarais wasn’t “here to give out compliments” but unlike Drake, he did boost the confidence of his teammates. At every CIS gym in Canada, Desmarais will shine on. “Now & Forever.”

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops

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