CIS Top 10 Performers – #TheCBGBunch: All hail the Ryerson Rams!

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 stop with the pretend and congratulate the Ryerson Rams; once upon a time we graduated from Ryerson, so we’re thrilled. Over the weekend, the team made its case as worthy of the top seat atop the CIS mountaintop by beating the top two teams in the country (Ottawa and Carleton. After these two wins, we can all expect to see Patrick Tatham’s squad at No. 1 when the powers that be unveil the new edition of their weekly Top 10. That’s quite the turnaround for the newest CIS power—see below.

CIS Final 8

Apologies to Regina’s Jonathan Tull, Acadia’s Ben Miller and Thompson Rivers’s Josh Wolfram. You played great and I didn’t think you were worthy of a spot; in other words, it’s not you, it’s me. #ThereCanOnlyBe10

Entire Ryerson Rams team: Beat No. 2 Carleton Ravens 79-61

Well then, this happened.

As alert Twitter user @AlanHudes gamely points out, the math on this isn’t quite right but basically #whatever. Sixteen years to the day after it last happened, the Rams finally defeated the Carleton Ravens, the quintuple defending CIS national champions. It has left everyone with a slew of questions, namely: is Adika Peter-McNeill the No. 1 player in the CIS instead of the third best? Is he better than Jamal Jones was? Is this Ryerson team better than the one that finished third in the country last season? Does it have more depth?

So many questions, but who cares for now. It’s #whiteout season.

Entire Ryerson Rams team: Beat No. 1 Ottawa Gee-Gees 87-80 diressa

The following night, the Rams downed the top ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees in a back-and-forth game that was still tied with 56 seconds left to play. From there, Ammanuel Diressa scored five points in the Rams’ 7-0 run to end the game. And that was, as they say, that. If we’ve learned anything this weekend, it’s that Rams newcomer (and 44th best in the CIS, as per NPH) Ammanuel Diressa can ball, as he dropped 50 combined points on the Ottawa powers.

Not too long ago in 2003-04, this Ryerson program had an 0-22 season, which was followed by a five-year stretch of 38-115 stretch. On Tuesday, the Rams will likely be ranked No. 1 in the CIS for the first time in its history. What a time to be alive.

What does the rest of the CIS think of this?


Aaron Redpath, McMaster Marauders VS Windsor Lancers: 27 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals Redpath_Aaron

At their best, and they’ve been so for about three or four seasons now, but at their best the McMaster Marauders are as good as any other marauder out there. Let the record show that a marauder is, and we quote, “a person who marauds; a raider.” While the former part of this definition is a tautology and does little to explain things, the latter helps. What’s a marauder? It’s a raider. What’s a raider? It’s, and again we quote, “a person who attacks an enemy in the enemy’s territory.”

What has made McMaster so lethal these past few years has been that the machine is so well-oiled and that any one part can do the heavy lifting on any given night; that’s their advantage. On most nights, it may be (NPH’s 13th-ranked) Leon Alexander. Against the rivals Windsor Lancers though, it was Aaron Redpath’s turn, NPH’s 46th best player.

Ricardo Monge, Concordia Stingers VS McGill Redmen: 28 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal Monge_Ricardo1

In 2015-16, the Concordia Stingers are a young team that has, as young teams tend to do, struggled with consistency: after two wins to start the season, the Stingers lost their next four games…only to then bounce back and win another four games. The latter two of those wins have come against the big and mighty McGill Redmen, and we’re giving a nod in this week’s #Bunch to sophomore Ricardo Monge for his performance in the first of the two wins.

We hear it was quite the classic too!

Will Coulthard, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks at Nipissing Lakers: 32 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists Will Coulthard

In his fifth-year in the CIS, Will Coulthard is enjoying his finest season yet, which is saying something: he started with 7.1 points per game in his rookie season, but has scored 16.7 or better since.

With 20.1 points per game, Coulthard is leading a surprising Golden Hawks team, one that sits atop the OUA West division right now. Different players have different roles in the CIS, and Coulthard is as good a scorer as there is. You’ll say that he’s a volume shooter and a volume scorer, sure, but whatever.

Call him Maybelline, because he must be born with it.

Brody Clarke, Alberta Golden Bears at Brandon Bobcats: 30 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks brody clarke

Do you know what the Alberta Golden Bears have been known for? Excellent basketball, sure, but there’s something else because this edition of the Bears has been merely good. There’s something else, something that cuts at the heart of what it means to be a Golden Bear.

If Jordan Baker started the trend, and Joel Friesen perfected it, now Brody Clarke has taken the baton and is running away with the Golden-most Name of all. You known what they say, right? With a million-dollar comes a million dollars; just look for the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Rob Olsen, Lethbridge Pronghorns VS Manitoba Bisons: 30 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists Olsen_Robbie

While the current season of these Lethbridge Pronghorns has nothing humorous, that one time we gave a nod to Rob Olsen has to go down as one of the most prolific ones in the history of the #Bunch. Because the fifth-year player has a wonderful and so pun-nable name.

Is Rob, we wrote, related to Lute Olson, ex-head coach at Arizona? We also discussed Owen and Luke Wilson, the “Smooth” song and a peer-reviewed research on Bambi. Why are we running through the laundry list of our puns from last season? Because there’s no way we could top it; so go read it.

Lucas Mannes, Trinity Western Spartans VS Calgary Dinos: 39 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal mannes

I know what you’ll say. That we’re better than this. That just because a fruit hangs low, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for the one that sits atop the tree. That just because a pun is easy to make, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better one out there.

Well no, we’re not better than this and will gladly rely on the easy pun, even if there’s a better one somewhere. So here it is: against the Calgary Dinos, Lucas Mannes vas very much the Man-nes.

Greg Morrow, Western Mustangs at McMaster Marauders: 34 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal 01915_Greg_Morrow_Cropped

Do you know The Starters? Not the NBA All-Star starters, but the NBA’s starters all the same. You know, The Starters! As best as I can tell, the group are still the one media entity that has managed to make a full-time career and living from a sports podcast. The Starters, they should be celebrated, in part because they hail from Toronto, went to Ryerson for its RTA program and are now doing their thing every day in Atlanta at NBA headquarters.

The Starters recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. Many things can happen in 10 years, among them Leigh Ellis’s timeless “Tweet of the Week” segment. In TOTW, and here’s where I bring it full circle, Ellis starts with a series of shoutouts to Twitter users who have sent him a good choice for the week’s best tweet.

Well, I ask: should I start the #Bunch shoutout? I was minding my own business on Saturday night when my colleague Ray Bala tagged me in his photo on Twitter.

Bacarius Dinkins, Lakehead Thunderwolves at Algoma Thunderbirds: 27 points, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks

Bacarius Dinkins

In the battle of thunder animals, Bacarius Dinkins led his team to the victory. Another way of saying this is that the big man had himself quite a big man’s game, among the most impressive ones we’ve seen this season. After a tight first half, the Florida native exploded for 18 points and 7 rebounds for the final tally of 27/17.

Algoma had no answer. They had run out of thunder. (HA!)

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

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