FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS:
6’1″ Javon Masters, UNB (3rd Year)… Another sterling offensive season for the lefty from Kitchener, ON as Masters captured the AUS scoring title (28.0 ppg) while shooting a tidy 49% from the floor and 88% from the free throw line. The ability to explode off the dribble and create contact allowed Masters to shoot a ridiculous 188 free throws on the season (~9.5 free throw attempts per game) as few if any defenders could keep up. Still, Masters has struggled from deep, shooting only 28% from beyond the arc; he finished the season on a 1-19 streak from downtown. Well deserving of a First-team all-star and AUS Player-of-the-Year selection.
6’2″ Tyler Scott, UPEI (4th Year)… Arguably the most explosive scorer in the country, Scott had another fine offensive season (25.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.6 apg) while leading the AUS in three-pointers made. Scott tended to score in bunches and in Panthers fluid offensive system has license to launch from anywhere at anytime. When right, Scott can turn games around at both ends but – much like UPEI which finished just 3-6 with 2 of those wins at home vs. non-playoff team MUN – Scott did not have a particularly strong finish to his season, which in my opinion was the difference in my Player-of-the-Year choice.
5’11” Ritchie Kanza-Mata, Dalhousie (5th Year)… The reigning AUS defensive player-of-the-year continued his ball hawking effectiveness for the AUS regular season champions Tigers. Kanza-Mata led the way defensively and as the lead decision maker with the ball for the top defensive and rebounding team in the AUS and, despite less than eye-popping stats, is in my opinion well deserving of a first team all-star selection. Finished with 12.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 6.9 assists per game, which led the entire AUS.
6’3″ Ben Miller, Acadia (2nd Year)… Axemen’s surprising jump from a non-playoff team last season to a legitimate AUS tournament contender was led by the high-IQ point guard from Winnipeg. Similar to Kanza-Mata above, Miller’s offensive statistics (13.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.8 apg) are not headline-grabbing – his perimeter shooting could be more consistent – however all key decisions run through him offensively and his passing skills, decision making and competitiveness set the tone for Acadia all season long. Miller would get upper-rotation minutes on any team in Canada and, if he stays healthy, should one day achieve All-Canadian status.
6’3″ Brian Rouse, Saint Mary’s (4th Year)…Consistently Huskies most productive player, especially at key points in several big games, Rouse has the entire offensive package, including a high-end motor on the offensive glass. At 17.8 ppg, Rouse was 7th in the conference, adding 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game with a season-high of 31 at UNB and 42 vs. UPEI in a pre-season game.
SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS:
6’6″ Bradley States, UPEI… Author of many highlight-reel finishes including numerous put-back slams, this exciting forward can also rip down a defensive board and go coast-to-coast to get to the rim. At 19.0 points per game including a season-high 29 at Cape Breton, States is arguably the top offensive forward in the conference, adding 7.8 rpg (8th in AUS). Much like Scott, once States remains fully engaged for 40 minutes, he could easily have AUS MVP attached to his name.
6’5″ Kenny Jean-Louis, Cape Breton… With multiple triple-doubles under his belt, the sophomore from Montreal was Capers best overall player this season, getting to the rim, rebounding and making most key offensive decisions. 15.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 5 assists per game (5th in AUS) are numbers worthy of an all-star selection.
6’5″ Kyle Arsenault, Acadia… An injury that sidelined the burly three-point shooter (missed 5 games in January) likely prevented a 1st team selection. Recall Arsenault finished the first half 25 for 47 from three-point land including a 14 for 21 stretch. Overall, he scored at an 18.7 ppg clip in 15 games including 46% from 3 and adding 5.7 rpg. While shot selection could improve, I am nit picking: Arsenault three times made 6 3’s in a single game and was a major reason why Axemen returned to the post season.
6’8″ Osman Barrie, Saint Mary’s… Arguably the top pure low post player in the conference who can score with his back to the basket and on the offensive glass. An efficient finisher (56% FG%/4th in AUS) and productive offensive rebounder (#1 in AUS), Barrie averaged almost 10 rpg (4th in AUS) while contributing 15.1 ppg. Consistency at the defensive end and as a rim protector would make him a viable 1st team candidate.
6’2″ Kashrell Lawrence, Dalhousie… Not a banner season by his standards, Lawrence still had almost 15 ppg – while shooting 56% from the floor – and his one-game absence was evident when Tigers lost decisively to Saint Mary’s. The undersized forward finished strong with a 30 point effort in the season finale at Cape Breton.
Honorable Mention: 5’9″ Matt Daley, UNB; 6’9″ Vasilije Curcic, Memorial, 6’8″ Kevin Bercy, ST.FX, 6’8″ Meshack Lufile, Cape Breton, 6’6″ Sven Stammberger, Dalhousie, 6’5″ Theon Reefer, Saint Mary’s.
Jack MacAulay, Cape Breton (Freshman-of-the-Year)… With 41 3’s in his first season, MacAulay led all freshman and was the only first-year player with multiple 20 point games (24 vs. MUN and 22 vs. X); he had two games with 6 3’s and was tough down the stretch, making 7 of 9 3’s in the two games Capers needed to make the playoffs, capped by his improbable game-winning shot from deep in the left corner at the first overtime buzzer to defeat Dal and send CBU into the post-season.
Amin Suleman, UPEI… A strong finish to his season during which he put in good minutes as the back-up point guard, Suleman scored in double figures in 4 of the last 5 games of the season including a season-high 18 points at UNB. He made 6 of his final 10 3’s of the season and shot 41% overall from downtown while averaging 6.4 ppg.
Jordan Aquino-Serjue, Dalhousie… Tigers had a strong freshman class led by this dynamic wing/guard from Montreal who averaged 7.1 ppg on the deepest rotation in the conference.
Tristen Ross, St. FX… Finished second among freshman with 30 made 3’s while average 6.4 ppg as a perimeter shooting specialist. Ross however tailed off after mid-January
Sascha Kappos, Dalhousie… Promising stretch 4-type with nice perimeter skills who averaged 3.7 ppg but tailed off in the second half including missing 5 of the final 10 games of the regular season due to injury.