OUA Pre-Season Power Rankings and Individual All-Star & Freshman Teams:
#1 Carleton… As has been submitted previously across several different channels, this may be the best team Carleton has ever had depth and talent wise. With 6’9″ freshman Eddie Ekiyor, Ravens have a legitimate high Division 1 talent and return last season’s CIS Final 8 MVP Connor Wood among others.
#2 uOttawa… The instant impact of 6’2″ Adam Presutti evident this past weekend strengthens the case for the Gee-Gees in this spot. With Moser candidate 6’3″ Caleb Agada leading this team and one of the most formidable post tandems in the country in 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles and 6’7″ Brody Maracle, uOttawa is again an OUA Wilson Cup tournament favorite.
#3 Brock… Much more depth than last season although still relatively young at the point guard spot with 5’11” Tyler Brown. 6’7″ Dani Elgadi is a Moser award candidate and 6’6″ Daniel Cayer has been one of the more impactful freshman in this early season.
#4 Ryerson… Off to a bit of a slow start with the home loss to Dalhousie and falling at Brock, Rams still have at least two All-Canadian candidates in 6’4″ Ammanuel Diressa and 6’3″ Adika Peter-McNeilly and plenty of depth.
#5 McMaster… Marauders had a perfect pre-season that highlighted their perimeter shooting ability among other things. Most noteworthy was the fine play of 6’1″ David McCulloch who has played with supreme confidence and looks to push for all-conference honors. Mac has been getting support from some unlikely sources as well as the start of a fine fifth and final season from 6’4″ Rohan Boney, a former OUA All-Star who appears healthy and motivated.
#6 Windsor… Stronger-than-expected pre-season including upset over Dalhousie, led by scrappy 5’10” Mike Rocca and 6’2″ newcomer Micqueel Martin. Talent level set to improve when 6’7″ Luke Allin (transfer) and 6’3″ Mitch Farrell (injury) return later this season.
#7 Queen’s… Increased depth and talent allows more flexibility in how Gaels can play. With 6’3″ Sukhpreet Singh, a reigning OUA all-star and 6’6″ Tanner Graham on the verge of that same honor, Gaels have at least two high-end contributors who now have plenty of support.
#8 Toronto… Veteran team was disappointing in Ottawa this past weekend but with 6’5″ Devin Johnson, Blues feature one of the best pure scorers in the conference. The continued maturation at the point of 6’3″ Sage Usher is critical to Blues taking that next step of hosting a playoff game. 6’3″ Reilly Reid has the body and skill set to be a conference all-star at some point in his career.
#9 Guelph… Long, more athletic rotation on the wings especially however size/inside presence could be an issue. Guelph brings in arguably their best recruiting class in several years with 4-5 further starters. Gryphons are defending very well and, after missing the playoffs last season due to the quirky format, appear poised to be in a position to host a playoff game in their new facility which should now be ready by Christmas.
#10 Lakehead… Thunderwolves usually get better as season wears on and play a tough, physical style focused on defending and rebounding that usually keeps them in games. 6’5″ Bakarius Dinkins is an all-star as is 5’11” Henry Tan who missed much of the pre-season with an injury.
#11 Laurier… First-year coach Justin Serresse inherits a younger team that does return 6’8″ veteran Matt Chesson and 6’2″ Owen Coulthard among others. 6’0″ Tevean Kokko has some productive offensive games in the pre-season but has been somewhat turnover prone also.
#12 Laurentian… With 6’2″ Kadre Gray already turning heads as a high-quality guard who can get his own and the return of 6’6″ veteran Nelson Yengue, one of the purest athletes in the entire conference, this seeding could well be much too low depending upon how the roster works out in the coming days.
#13 Western… A rebuilding year for the Mustangs with a new post player in 6’9″ Alex Otzyv, a returning wing/forward coming off multiple knee surgeries in 6’5″ Cam Morris and a very young back court led by 6’1″ Omar Shiddo and 6’1″ D2 transfer Eriq Jenkins. Plenty of new talented faces but it will likely take time for the group to learn to win together.
#14 Waterloo… A team definitely on the rise with three very good freshmen and three fifth-year seniors hoping to put a positive final year together. Warriors are improving steadily and may surprise going forward, trying to show that this ranking may be too low.
#15 Nipissing… An improving, athletic roster supported by the return of former Ontario Provincial team stalward 6’6″ Justin Shaver and touted 6’2″ freshman Jaaden Lewis.
#16 Algoma… Coach Thomas Cory has brought in a couple of U.S. imports designed to move the program forward but this team remains very young – no fifth-year players on the roster – led by 6’0″ fourth-year guard Sean Clendinning.
#17 York… Significant roster churn will give younger players a chance led by 6’6″ Jayden Frederick, a long, explosive athlete around the rim.
Pre-Season All-OUA teams:
1st Team: Connor Wood, Carleton; Caleb Agada, Ottawa; Dani Elgadi, Brock; Ammanuel Diressa, Ryerson; Adika Peter-McNeilly, Ryerson.
2nd Team: Kaza Keene, Carleton; Sukhpreet Singh, Queen’s; David McCulloch, McMaster; Devin Johnson, Toronto; Rohan Boney, McMaster.
3rd Team: Mike Rocca, Windsor; Bakarius Dinkins, Lakehead; Micqueel Martin, Windsor; Tanner Graham, Queen’s; Adam Presutti, Ottawa.
Honorable Mention: Nelson Yengue, Laurentian; Henry Tan, Lakehead; Jean Pierre-Charles, Ottawa; Connor Gilmore, McMaster; Justin Shaver, Nipissing.
OUA All-Rookie Teams:
1st Team: 6’9″ Eddie Ekiyor, Carleton; 6’6″ Daniel Cayer, Brock; 6’2″ Kadre Gray, Laurentian; 6’4″ Justin Hardy, Waterloo; 6’5″ Keevon Small, Ryerson.
2nd Team: 6’5″ Nedim Hodzic, Waterloo; 6’1″ Simon Petrov, Waterloo; 5’11” Teveon Kokko, Laurier; 6’1″ Omar Shiddo, Western; 6’2″ Jaaden Lewis, Nipissing.
Honorable Mention: 6’5″ Gage Sabean, Ottawa; 6’5″ Harry Range, Queen’s; 6’5″ Aaron Nugent, Guelph; 6’1″ Jordon Sobot, Guelph; 5’10” Tyler Thomson, Western; 6’4″ Lucas Wood, Windsor.
OUA kicks off on Saturday night with 4 games:
Toronto at Waterloo
Ryerson at Laurier
Guelph at Western
Algoma at Lakehead