CIS Top 10 Performers – #TheCBGBunch: Celebrating road warriors

cbg bunchWelcome to the third 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 appreciate a number of good road warriors. All wins are created equal (except for the AUS’s four-point games but shhhhhh), but it takes a special mix of heart, guts and glory for one man to walk into another man’s house and emerge with a W. There is no “I” in team, but there is one in WIN.

Apologies to Manitoba’s Keith Omoerah, Toronto’s Devin Johnson and UBC Okanagan’s Randall Mosca. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business; feel free to use this slight as motivation for the rest of the season. #ThereCanOnlyBe10

David Aromolaran, Laurentian Voyageurs at Guelph Gryphons: 29 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block aromolaran_david_0

Does anybody here know David O. Russell? I don’t mean on a personal basis, to the point that you could dab him or nothing, I just mean do you know who he is. Not a trick question, folks; yes, David O. Russell is the famed Hollywood movie director responsible for recent classics such as The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and, soon, Joy.

The staple in these movies is the bubbling energy with which David O. Russell creates his narratives; David O. Russell is creative, versatile and just a little bit all over the place. Likewise, David Aromolaran leaves his imprint on games in multiple ways.—and thus you say “Ahh the parallel isn’t just about the names sounding similar (ish).”

Then again, some think David O. Russell is currently riding Jennifer Lawrence’s coattails all the way to glory. Who’s David Aromolaran’s J-Law? According to his Twitter bio, it’s Jesus. J-Law as the Savior? Sure.

Plus, David Aromolaran mostly RTs people on his Twitter account. Just like David O. Russell, he lets others showcase their inner awesomeness.

Kevin Bercy, StFX X-Men at Acadia Axemen: 23 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals 

Kevin Bercey
Kevin Bercey

Have we found a worthy successor to Michael Jordan’s famed and fabled flu game? Now now, I known what you’ll say. You’ll say, “CBG bah gawd! MJ had 39 in his flu game. What do you mean, the CIS isn’t the NBA!” Yes, I know all that; I know you’re an aficionado reader after all.

But could it be? You know how it is when you have the flu, right? It’s not so much that it’s impossible to do the typical things you do; it’s that you need that more time to get up to speed to do the things you typically do. In winning their first game of the season, the St Francis Xavier X-Men relied on forward Kevin Bercy, who followed that formula to a tee. After 11 points in the first 30 minutes…he exploded for 12 in the final quarter, including the team’s last six points. By the time Bercy made two free throws with 24 seconds left, the X-Men had completed their comeback from 13 points down.

There is no mercy in basketball, only slow and painful death at the hands of Bercy.

Alex Campbell, Windsor Lancers VS Toronto Varsity Blues: 26 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks Campbell_Alex

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes, you’re up against it, battling one of the premier programs in your OUA conference. You’re battling hard, too, and after having erased a 44-32 deficit, you’re finally out in front and if you can only hold on for just a little longer you’ll taste victory. The boy Devin Johnson has been dealing and teaching to the tune of 34 points and you even manage to take a four-point with all of 70 seconds left to play. You even say, “Oh come on, what’s the worst thing that can happen in 70 seconds?”

Well, Alex Campbell happens: a three-pointer and a layup right at the end of the game to win it, that’s what. Or if you’d rather, possibilities happen. Here’s a guy who steals the show, teammates’ imagination flow at what he does.

Caleb Gould, Memorial Sea-Hawks VS UNB Varsity Reds: 38 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal Caleb Gould

All hail the bad man of the week! The bad man Caleb Gould was superhuman this past weekend, leading his Sea-Hawks to a win over the UNB Varsity Reds. Memorial knows it has a good thing going with this bad man, as they’ve been letting him do his thing—which has amounted to punishing fools silly enough to step to him down low all season. The bad man knows his weight in gold and, though he spent three quarters against UNB looking for the rainbow that led to the pot of gold, he found it at last. Feel the rainbow, taste the rainbow; oh, UNB felt the 17 fourth-quarter points, alright.

Will Coulthard, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks at Waterloo Warriors: 35 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals Will Coulthard

Look at this man. He knows. For sure he knows, because the smile says it all. Will Coulthard is in his fifth year now and he knows that for his Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks to reach the OUA Final Four they so deeply covet, this senior has to be a bad man.

It’s all right there in the smile. The confidence of a bad man, though his performance this week wasn’t quite enough for the bad man of the week. The belief that even if he missed his last shot, he could make the next one. The knowledge that when Wayne Gretzky said that you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take, he was referring to Coulthard. Every team needs an unapologetic gunner and Coulthard fills this role for Laurier. The smile tells the tale.

Tyler Scott, UPEI Panthers VS Cape Breton Capers: 35 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks Tyler Scott

Here is where I state the obvious: the Cape Breton Capers, in traveling to UPEI for a pair of games against the Panthers, suffered two no good, bad losses. They wanted to make the statement, only it’s a duo of two UPEI Panthers that stated their case as one of the best one-two punch in Canada. First, Brad States had 28 points and 11 rebounds in a performance that should have been enough for the #Bunch, to state the crystal clear. What was States’s problem? Teammate Tyler Scott went off the next game.

Scott makes the cut, because the native of Halifax is another believer in the good that the CIS is doing in comparison to its American counterpart that is the NCAA. Here’s a statement that I’ve repeated often here: Canada is better, because our players know the 10 digits of our universe. There is the all-important 0 (turnover), 1 (3 personal fouls – 2 blocks = 1), 2 (offensive rebounds), 3 (defensive rebounds), 4 (steals), 5 (rebounds), 6 (assists), 7 (three-pointers made), 8 (35 points: 3 + 5 = 8) and 9 (27 minutes: 2 + 7 = 9).

You can do anything with these digits, and if you’re a basketball team so can you with the duo of Brad States and Tyler Scott.

Henry Tan, Lakehead Thunderwolves VS Laurentian Voyageurs: 26 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 1 block Henry-Tan

You know who is having himself a season? Henry Tan, that’s who. The point guard was always destined to greatness due to the six degrees of Kevin Bacon rule: he played on the same Vaughan high school teams as the excellent Andrew Wiggins, so Tan is excellent. But Tan has held up his end of the bargain this season: he’s rebounding and sharing the rock well, and he’s scoring at a clip that’s equivalent to 20.4 points per 40 minutes, or 17.2 per game.

If Henry Tan were a Texan, he’d say that every game he’s scoring a tan o’ points.

Thibaud Dezutter, Laval Rouge et Or at Bishop’s Gaiters: 33 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals dezutter

Here, I introduce you to perhaps the most heralded and recognized RSEQ player in the short history of this highly (un)forgettable CIS player rankings recaps series; he appears here, here and here, and that’s just from a quick search on the NPH website. (We say perhaps the most heralded, because we haven’t kept a tally with every name of every player that ever appeared in #TheCBGBunch, so you’ll just have to take our word for it.)

Expect this normal to keep happening in this, Dezutter’s fifth and final season with the Laval Rouge et Or. He rebounds, shoots the three well, picks up steals and can score with the best of Canada. Call this man the Belgian Army Knife, because he does it all.

Chan De Ciman, Saskatchewan Panthers VS UBC Thunderbirds: 37 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block ahzt2iu2yffp86xv

We know that the Saskatchewan Huskies lost this game 101-98. We know that but we’re giving Chan De Ciman the benefit of the doubt  because 1) UBC is a great team and 2) De Ciman is #studtime.

Mostly, we’re giving De Ciman the benefit of the doubt because while still just a rookie, he may already be wise enough for graduate class.

Aficionado readers understand that oftentimes, the math doesn’t add up. We’ve seen it all the time, but this is entirely different: a basket is worth either one, two or three points in this sport but… but how do you score 37 points if you only make nine shots?? Whaaaaa-?! #woah

Kevon Parchment, Fraser Valley Cascades at UNBC Timberwolves: 25 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 steals Kevon Parchment dp

At long last, we turn to the scriptures again. Our young hero is still here, though he is grown and not quite so green behind the ears anymore. The not-so-young young hero was still out west, amid the cascades of his heart, and finally he could read from the Ancient text; the scriptures never lie, remember? The young hero’s father wasn’t with him anymore, but eventually the son becomes the father. This time, the scriptures were explaining in painstaking detail that every young hero needs his last rodeo.

The last rodeo had started differently for the combo guard who had headed out west: it’s not every time that you and your brothers can turn in immaculate seasons twice in a row. Sometimes you lose, the scriptures reminded our young hero, and winning isn’t an antidote to being underrated. “Wins and losses lie, but looking through your teammates’ soul doesn’t,” the scriptures said. You can only keep rebounding, keep scoring, keep playing, keep trying.

Our young hero never understood everything the scriptures explained in that old parchment, but the scriptures were always as much about feeling as they were understanding. He nodded off until the next time he would read.

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

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