In our “way-too-early” Top 10 preview published earlier today, uOttawa Gee-Gees were ranked considerably lower at #8 than the elite U Sports program has been used to in years past, primarily from the comparative lack of experience at the point guard and wing spots where the only rotation-ready scheduled-to-return players are 6’4″ rising fourth-year wing Brandon Robinson and 5’10” rising third-year point guard Calvin Epistola. Much of Ottawa’s skill over the past two seasons breaking down opponents off the dribble sat in the hands of 6’3″ Caleb Agada, who has graduated.
However, with the additions of a pair of Nova Scotia-bred freshmen, 6’5″ Chase Tynes (Auburn Drive H.S., Cole Harbor, N.S.) and 6’3″ Alex Muise (C.P. Allen H.S., Bedford, N.S.), Ottawa brings in a potential pair of stars in the making who led their province to the Canadian national championships last summer, highlighted by their ability to break opponents down off the dribble and get to the rim. Still, both are freshman in a league where there is no substitute for experience.
Fortunately, Gee-Gees coach James Derouin has a proven, experienced top-end transfer waiting in the wings in 5’11” point guard Sean Stoqua, a native of Ottawa who was a two-sport star at Acadia but has transferred home to a graduate program. The high IQ point has been participating in informal workouts with the Gee-Gees for several weeks. While Stoqua’s academic course acceptance is not a done deal, the final few details are said to be a mere formality and most expect Stoqua to step in at the lead guard spot for the next two seasons as an Ottawa Gee-Gee.
The basketball world here in Ottawa continues to turn on it’s proverbial head as Stoqua is the son of long-time (40 years plus) Ravens two-sport alumni and Capital Region sports legend Pat Stoqua. Recall also that Ravens women’s team has uOttawa transfer Catherine Traer, daughter of Gee-Gees alumnus Rick Traer, a loyal Garnet & Grey player, coach and influential alumni for 40 years plus also.
The younger Stoqua, an AUS all-star in both basketball and football at Acadia, has a wonderful feel for the game and tremendous decision making ability combined with beyond-the-arc shooting range, which sets up well for uOttawa’s stable of young shooting guards and perimeter slashing wings.
Gee-Gees also are expected to announce shortly that 6’1″ Borys Minger from Quebec’s Thetford Academy will join the program in time for next season. Some recruiting news-bites had Minger headed for Carleton last season however that never materialized. Minger has solid athletic ability and defensive skills. If ultimately realized and there is little reason to think otherwise, a Gee-Gees rotation with Stoqua running the point elevates uOttawa back into a Top 5 pre-season ranking even if it is “way-too-early” !