Welcome 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 #bad puns, we pay homage to a legion of great rebounders. Seriously. We don’t like to deal in hyperboles, but we might have to say that this week had the best string of rebounding performances we’ve seen in our lifetime! They call crashing the boards the “dirty work” of basketball, but let me tell you something: it’s anything but dirty when it’s this gorgeous.
Apologies to UPEI’s Tyler Scott, SMU’s Osman Barrie and Waterloo’s Mike Pereira. Don’t change anything about yourselves, gents; like the boy Drizzy said, keep doing you. This reflects more poorly on myself than anyone else. You’ll make it next time; and if not next time, then the time after that (or the next after that, etc.). #ThereCanOnlyBe10
Nathan Culbreath, York Lions at Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks: 31 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals
You know what your momma always told you about Wikipedia, research and believing everything that you read on the Internet? Well, in an effort to find a new #badpun to exploit for our guy Nathan “Excel” Culbreath, we went ahead and looked into Excel gum. We found, on its Wikipedia page, that the company’s slogan of “Excel-eee-ra-te you-uuur breath” had been changed to “Eat, drink, chew, Excel.”
Apparently, that’s not true because a YouTube search with these words is mostly fruitless. That “eat, drink, chew, Excel” commercial has apparently never 1) existed or 2) made it to YouTube. But Cool Breath Nate certainly has. Look at him soar.
He even has his own fans praising him online.
— Geoff Stewart (@BayridgeBBall) November 22, 2015
Hmm, wrong week, coach.
— Geoff Stewart (@BayridgeBBall) November 29, 2015
Sukhpreet Singh, Queen’s Gaels at Waterloo Warriors: 33 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
We’ll keep this one short and sweet, because we owe it to our dear readers and, if not, to Sukhpreet Singh himself. You see, we are of the belief that the six-foot-two fourth-year guard is more of a man than we ever will be. If you’ve read our team preview before the season, you’ll recall the following quote. “His pain threshold is pretty spectacular, as was his recovery rate.”
Who dat? Well, who dat happens to be Queen’s head coach Stephan Barrie; he’s speaking of his pupil Singh, who played part of last season through a torn hip labrum. This latest injury was actually his second labral tear, the first coming the season prior. This season, he’s at 19.7 points per game for a resurgent Queen’s team that is first in the OUA East division at 6-1.
It’s early BUT WHATEVER THIS GUY SUFFERED A TORN HIP LABRUM!!! Whenever we hit our pinky toe on the refrigerator, we’re bed-ridden for a month. Keep doing you, Sukhpreet!
Mamadou Gueye, Alberta Golden Bears VS Regina Cougars: 35 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
Much like he’s become a veteran of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, Mamadou Gueye, now in his third season in Alberta, has emerged as quite the force with 16.9 points per game. If nothing else, the forward is well on his way to equalling his second-team Canada West All-Star nod of last season.
In 2015, Gueye has had to fully replace the golden-most bear of them all—aficionado readers will fondly recall Jordan Baker—and he’s aced the test for a young Alberta team. This past weekend, against a Regina team that has all the Tull’s, the third-year Gueye created perhaps a new category of excellence. The bad man of the week? Nah, call him the mad man. (HA!)
Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos VS UBC Thunderbirds: 35 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
You’ve got to hand it to the Calgary Dinos: just a few mere months after the departure of their “OJ” Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, they’ve found a player who’s become an equally important part of their diet. Thomas Cooper, it turns out, is a bad, bad man. Much like OJ before him, the native of Chattanooga, Tenn., does a whole lot of everything for the Dinos… which is another way of saying that he’s 12th in the CIS in rebounds per game and second for points per game with 27.5.
The new OJ? He’s bigger, meaner and more explosive. During games, Cooper will show up as Calgary pulls away: in the second and fourth quarters, Cooper scores 23 just to crush your spirits. He can do it all. Notably, he can dunk the hell out of the ball. Seriously, just look at this.
Dejon Burdeaux, Lethbridge Pronghorns VS Victoria Vikes: 26 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals
Alright, let’s be upfront here, because we know we’re read by scholarly men and women, if not downright aficionado readers. We’re pulling for these Lethbridge Pronghorns and we’re glad that despite a near tragedy with teammate Brent Watkins, the team has been good. If the playoffs started today, they don’t but if they did, well these Pronghorns would be locks in the Pioneer division. That’s good because, again, the story of their team is touching and inspiring.
We’ll also be upfront with our aficionado readers and say that the following is nothing but conjecture. But we believe that third-year guard Dejon Burdeaux is quite the oenophile—that’s wine connoisseur, if you will. How do I know? Burdeaux is from Fresno in California, which is quite the destination for wineries. Know where else is known for its wines? Bordeaux, in France. TELL ME I’M LYING!
Rudolphe Joly, UQAM Citadins at Laval Rouge et Or: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 7 blocks
Hey you, dearest of reader, remember what we said in the intro to this post? That we commended and tipped our so-called proverbial hat to those willing to complete the gorgeous dirty work of rebounding. Well, we didn’t mention third-year centre Rudolphe Joly directly by name, but we’ll do it here—because a poor man’s triple-double, one that relies on blocks and falls just three short of the goal, should be celebrated.
Joly is selfless and that’s something quite beautiful; maybe he takes after his coach?
Good TEAM Win on the road 86-82 vs Laval!! 29 Assists on 37 FG's…our team has been making progress & it's nice to see it pay off! #UQAM
— Coach Nate Philippe (@CoachPhilippe) November 28, 2015
Twenty-nine assists on 37 field goals? That’s also quite gorgeous; better yet, it’s joly.
Kelvin Smith, Trinity Western Spartans VS Saskatchewan Huskies: 29 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
“This is madness! No matter what I do, it’s never enough!”
Sometimes, it just isn’t enough. No matter what you do and no matter how much you work, it just isn’t enough. It. just. isn’t. enough. You can put your heart and soul, your guts and your glory into working to bring about a better tomorrow, but what do you do when you’re outnumbered? What do you do when try as you might, you can’t break through? You can’t ever break through. What do you do when tomorrow’s so far away and today just god-awfully sucks.
The Spartans have battled every single game, but there are so many enemies; it’s like you’re home, but home isn’t home. Not when there’s so few of you and so many of them. So many archers, so many foot soldiers, and, wait were those flame-throwing dragons flying in from the skies? “But, but, this is madness!”
Spartans are used to the madness, but it doesn’t make the madness any easier to stomach. You still haven’t won; spartans traditionally win, but not every time. Not every year. And, this season, not any week. The Spartans hit a shot that they thought would be enough, but the enemies can always take their own if there’s still time on the clock. The enemies can always get the W. Welcome to Sparta.
Marcus Lewis, Nipissing Lakers VS Algoma Thunderbirds: 25 points, 20 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block
The Nipissing Lakers won their first game of the 2015-16 season this past weekend and, well, it’s in large part due to Marcus Lewis. Because, you see, the sophomore had himself a day.
Can we call him the bad man of the week? Because 20-20 games don’t happen all that often, in the CIS or elsewhere in life, we need to cherish them. You know what they say about life and the box of chocolates, right? Eat the chocolates while you can because goddamnit you’ll be out of cookies before you know it and who knows if you’ll ever get more.
Only seven games into this new season, the Lakers are already more successful than last season. Thanks to the bad man.
Marcus Lewis commits to Nipissing. HUGE pick up for Chris Cheng & Lakers. Division 1 talent – high motor, do-it-all player. Freak athlete.
— Tariq Sbiet 🏆🇨🇦🌎 (@Tariq_NPH) June 13, 2014
Javon Masters, UNB Varsity Reds VS Saint Mary’s Huskies: 28 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Ah, at long last, we find our hero Young Icarus. While the debut chapter of this most awesome of adventures led to high highs and history being made, the second chapter of Young Icarus’s tale seemed destined to lead to team excellence, a more important kind of lasting excellence—until it didn’t, because the Sun, this cruel mistress, does not care for neat narratives.
In this third chapter, the Sun has done without any pretence of letting Young Icarus soar and soar. Our young hero had barely had time to lace up his shoes that his team was tested already. Young Icarus, and he’ll be able to attest to that, you’ll see, believes that it doesn’t matter so much if your feathers and your wings are feeble at the start of your season. The ascent to the Sun is long and treacherous; you need your wings for tomorrow, not today. For now, Young Icarus, just tip your hat to the crowd and keep soaring.
— UNB Reds (@UNBAthletics) November 28, 2015
UNB's Javon Masters broke the AUS record for free throws made on Friday vs. SMU.
— monty mosher (@justplainmonty) November 28, 2015
Dani Elgadi, Brock Badgers VS Lakehead Thunderwolves: 28 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks
Our old friend Dani Elgadi, how we have missed thee! If ever there were a thing as a #TheCBGBunch superstar, and we don’t pretend that there is but if there ever were one, then Elgadi would be it: he’s been here from the beginning of the #badpuns and, in year three, he’s only getting better.
We’ve repeated often that while our generation wants to “Be Like Mike” in honour of the greatest player who ever lived in Michael Jordan, and while the next may well want to “Find Their Inner Bean” after Kobe Bryant announced he would retire after the season, Elgadi is an old school kind of player. Speaking of retirement, knowing how to estimate your future Social Security benefits is a smart decision. It is also essential to be informed about the social security office in your area for the processing.
The haircut, the jersey number, it’s all old school; and so are the numbers Elgadi has been putting up since he arrived in the CIS. This season, he stands third in the CIS in minutes per game, 26th in field goal percentage, third in rebounds per game, ninth in blocks and eight in points per game.
Be like Mike? He wants to “Be Like Wilt.” Like Chamberlain before him, Elgadi does it all. He’s ready.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops