CIS Top 10 Performers at the Final 8: Studs do stud things – #TheCBGBunch

Welcome to the second season of The CBG Bunch, a specialized column dedicated to CIS basketball. 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 decide to revisit the 2015 Arcelormittal Dofasco CIS Men’s Final 8, because we needed one full week to process the greatness that we witnessed. (Look at that—one alliteration, and we haven’t even started yet.)

Aficionado readers understand that we intend on building this edition of #TheCBGBunch strictly from the Final 8 games—this may be challenging. If there were eight teams at Ryerson for the event, they competed in only 11 games in total. Still, we will find 10 studs, one from 10 of the games played. Oddly enough, the one game that we overlook is the semifinal between the No. 2 and the No. 3 team in the country—or No. 3 and No. 7, if you go by the CIS seedings. #ThereCanOnlyBe10

Philip Scrubb, Carleton Ravens VS Saskatchewan Huskies: 31 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists Philip Scrubb

The then-quadruple CIS defending champions opened the festivities at the 2015 Arcelormittal Dofasco CIS Men’s Basketball Final 8 and one might have thought that the governing body had given the Ravens a raw deal… but!

They quickly dispelled the doubts and for that, we have our Point God to thank. After the Huskies’ Matthew Forbes scored a basket at the 9:12 mark for a 2-0 lead, Philip Scrubb scored 17 points, his brother Thomas added 7 and, behind a 28-8 run to end the first quarter, Carleton never looked back. Philip Scrubb only managed 14 points the rest of the way, but only because that’s all the team needed—the Huskies were fatally wounded even if the game had barely started. Cloud

Playing against the Ravens is akin to experiencing what #myguyyy is feeling to the right. Look at him. If you can read the misery in his face, it’s because his heart is so dark. The Ravens don’t always play in their Ravens’ Nest, but their Nest is never far away when you battle them—it’s that dark cloud of rain you see above your head every time you look up as you ponder the meaning of CIS life. “Why, God. Why?” You know the answer.

Kashrell Lawrence, Dalhousie Tigers VS Victoria Vikes: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals Kashrell Lawrence

Life sucks. You can’t win every game in a season, but okay, maybe that’s all we can hope for in this Carleton world, so maybe you accept that and trust the process. The flipside to “You cannot lose if you do not play” is that you will lose sometimes if you do choose to play. But you accept that idea. You trust that if you put in the work, then the work will show up when you need it most.

It’s karma, right? You trust the process and hope to reap the rewards. And for a good 19 seconds, you do reap the reward—your jump shot was cash money… until referees called a foul on their big man and he drained them both probably because he, too, had trusted the process.

“But, karma,” you protested. You know what they say about karma though, right?

Adika Peter McNeilly, Ryerson Rams VS Windsor Lancers: 19 points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block Adika Peter-McNeilly

Head coach Roy Rana has managed to rebuild the Ryerson Rams program more or less from the ground up, relying on the commitment and maturation of the trio of Jahmal Jones, Jordon Gauthier and Bjorn Michaelsen. If the team has excelled over the past three seasons, it’s thanks to them.

(I can hear my readers now. “Boooooo! Where are our puns?” they say. Well, hold on.)

But you can’t ram (nice!) through the competition the way that Ryerson has done without some excellent complementary parts. Adika Peter-McNeilly is this complimentary part for Rana and co., though saying this diminishes his importance. The third-year guard will probably be the one tasked with replacing Jones next season, but he’s a luxury piece until then.

Think of him this way—APM is all the RPM that the Ryerson Rams engine needs to be at full speed. (There’s that #badpun.)

Caleb Agada, Ottawa Gee-Gees VS Bishop’s Gaiters: 22 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

Photo by Richard A. Whittaker
Photo by Richard A. Whittaker

The season was slipping away. The 2014-2015, the one that had seen the Gee-Gees reach the heights that had seemed unreachable not so long ago, and the one which had seen them conquer their own Mount Carleton, that season, yes, was slipping away. The dream was fading fast, because Ottawa trailed the upstart Bishop’s Gaiters. What had worked earlier was now doomed and the shots weren’t falling the same way that they had earlier in the season. The Gee-Gees were C.A.’s. A basketball season comes at you fast—before you know it, you’re where you hoped you would be all along, but then you have to perform. Nothing’s handed to you.

Not even the steal that the Gee-Gees’ own C.A. got them with 8 seconds left or the subsequent two free throws that he drained to force overtime. You don’t know quite how you’ll save your season, you just know that when it happens you need to make it count.

Sven Stammberger, Dalhousie Tigers VS Saskatchewan Huskies: 34 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals Sven Stammberger

Because this was the foremost “bad guy” performance of the CIS Final 8, because one does not simply forget about all the things that one has learned, because this particular lesson was a little like cycling (i.e. can’t ever forget it!) and because it has been so much fun every single time we’ve done it, here, again, let’s remind folks that the chief reason why the CIS is better than the NCAA is that the CIS puts the “student” in “student-athlete.” In other words, our athletes know their 10 digits when they see them.

You have 0 (block), 1 (assist), 2 (steals), 3 (defensive rebounds), 4 (total rebounds), 5 (three-pointers made), 6 (three-point attempts), 7 (34 points: 3+4 = 7), 8 (35 minutes played: 3+5 = 8) and 9 (13 field goals of 16 attempts: 1X3 + 1X6 = 3+6 = 9).

Until next year, folks. The lessons never stop when you play in the CIS.

Mike Andrews, Bishop’s Gaiters VS Windsor Lancers: 29 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block Mike Andrews

Mike Andrews loves to cook, and the big man prepared a feast for himself in his very last CIS game. Against the mighty Windsor Lancers, Andrews had uncorked a recipe where his Gaiters teammates would keep feeding him—business and pleasure don’t have to be mutually exclusive, right?

Head coach Rod Gilpin has his work cut out for him next season, having to replace four of the team’s starters, but that wasn’t what was on his mind against the Lancers. The Gaiters couldn’t beat the Gee-Gees the same way that they couldn’t Windsor, but they had already put on for the RSEQ. The conference that gets no respect and which had crowned a champion that finished the season with a .500 record, that same conference shined bright in Toronto despite two losses in as many games for said champion.

With better luck at the end of games, Bishop’s might have gone 2-0 and not 0-2. I’ll take it.

Dadrian Collins, Saskatchewan Huskies VS Windsor Lancers: 29 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists Dadrian Collins

Dadrian Collins is proof that it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. Likewise, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Let’s examine each separately. DC is a native of Williamsburg, VA—he was raised closer to the actual D.C. district than the Saskatoon city he finished his career, or the Toronto megacity where he competed in two national championships. Oh, we’ve jumped the gun. DC started his post-high school career at Howard University—that’s right, he played three seasons under the shining bright lights and with the big, bad boys of Division I basketball.

And guess what, DC enjoyed himself more with the Huskies. He’s called the D1 that he’s left behind “overrated” all the while praising the coaching, the culture and the teammates he discovered here in Canada.

Damn right. Godspeed, DC. Come back whenever you feel like it.

Marcus Tibbs, Victoria Vikes VS Carleton Ravens: 27 points, 9 assists Marcus Tibbs

Marcus Tibbs is, like DC, a fellow American who decided to pack his things and head north to the great white of Canada. The native of Seattle was a Top 10 player in the state of Washington in his class of 2009, but he took the scenic route to travel to Canada—on his way to Victoria University, the point guard made a stop at Bellevue Community College, apparently 303 kilometers away.

There will be no #badpuns here, because the puns don’t always tell the whole tale. Instead, I urge my aficionado readers to read Tibbs’s entire story here. It includes the death of his grandfather, a broken jaw and two years spent away from the game he grew up loving.

Jahmal Jones, Ryerson Rams VS Victoria Vikes: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals Jahmal Jones

APM might be the maestro next season, but Jahmal Jones was still the one who made all the Rams players fit into the great symphony that they were this season. We’ve said many things over the years about this point guard, including the fact that he’s a great basketball player and an equally great dude.

We’ll add that it was a delight to watch him grow from a fast and agile point guard to one who could harness those capabilities, relying on the threat of his athleticism to set up shots for himself and teammates. Jones’s games against the Carleton Ravens at the Wilson Cup and then against the Victoria Vikes at the Final 8 will stay with us as two of the finest of his great career.

In typical fashion for #TheCBGBunch, we’ll also add this. Once upon a time, we were the unofficial NBA 2K champion of Ryerson’s ILLC student dormitory. Really. We would step up and challenge any- and everyone, escaping unscathed even while playing with the 2000 NBA Draft team (i.e. it is bad: Hedo Turkoglu starts.). Our advantage was in wreaking havoc with athletic, über-explosive point guards in the mold of Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. Unfortunate victims can attest to it—give us a point guard and you were guaranteed a loss.

This is a roundabout way of saying that while there isn’t a CIS men’s basketball video game (yet?), if there were then we would have played with the Ryerson Rams. And won. Every. Single. Time.

Thomas Scrubb, Carleton Ravens VS Ottawa Gee-Gees: 20 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks Thomas Scrubb

The Carleton Ravens finished the event in much the same way that they started it, this time crushing the dreams of their cross-town rivals Ottawa Gee-Gees in a blowout. This is their fifth championship in a row, as any aficionado reader knows, and 11th in the previous 13 seasons.

The “not a scrub” Scrubb brothers have known no other outcome than a national championship in their CIS careers, but because they’ve been successful behind the well-oiled machine of Dave Smart maybe you want to diminish what they’ve accomplished a tiny bit. “Anyone could,” maybe you say.

But not everyone did. And in fact, it’s the other way around—if the Ravens have been such a dominant powerhouse, it’s because of Thomas and Philip Scrubb. They’re both versatile and important and, because we’ve shown some love to the Point God earlier, let’s end here with Plastic Man.

Oh, we know what our readers will say. “Phil was the most impressive in the final!” They’ll scream this, because they can’t support such blatant injustice.

They may well be right too, but we’re happy with our choice. Thomas Scrubb finished his CIS career with the poor man’s triple-double. He didn’t quite make it (i.e. he fell three assists shy), but he made the cut here.

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

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