Despite the 2017-18 season still about 6 months away, U Sports coaches are pounding the pavement looking to fill out their rosters for the coming season with once again one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country being the RSEQ college league: Cégep.
The Quebec educational system differs from the rest of the country as high school only goes for three years before students move on to Cégep for three and sometimes as many as four years. As such, many Cégep players come out at the age of 20 or 21, in many cases more physically and mentally mature than a four-year high school student/athlete in the rest of the country. Consequently, Cégep continues to be a fertile recruiting ground for a growing number of U Sports programs across the country over and above the RSEQ.
And there is quality talent in the league: note that Montmorency College captured this season CCAA championship behind several quality players including 5’10” Kevin Civil and 6’5″ Alix Lochard. Both are expected to return to Momo for next season. To qualify for the Nationals, Les Nomades defeated Vanier College of Montreal in the Quebec championship game and the finalist Cheetahs will be well represented at the next level this coming season as at least five Vanier players are set to join U Sports programs including a pair of announced McGill recruits: 6’5″ Jahfari Coulombe, regarded as a strong defender at the 3 and 4 spots and 6’9″ Arnaud Boyer-Cillis, expected to be groomed into another in the growing line of impact posts at McGill.
The quality talent has not gone unrecognized outside of the Quebec border – recall that two of the top Cégep graduates from last season ended up in the OUA as the league’s leading scorer 6’6″ Keevon Small (John Abbott) was an impact freshman at Final 8 finalist Ryerson Rams and 6’6″ Daniel Cayer (John Abbott), the leading rebounder in Cégep in his final season, was a solid rotation contributor at Brock.
And, according to multiple sources, the Badgers are set to announce at least three more Cégep recruits – all from Vanier – including a potential point-guard-of-the-future in 6’3″ Ibrahim Ngom (15.4 ppg/4 apg/28 mpg/86% ft) who should be an immediate contributor at Brock. (Note that we originally had talked about 6’2″ Kascius Small-Martin from Vaughan Prep as Brock’s next point guard; Small-Martin is actually set to be an impact wing). Also said to be headed to St. Catharines are Ibrahim’s twin brother 6’3″ Djibril Ngom (3.4 ppg/21 mpg) and 6’6″ Godsman Kwakwah (9.2 ppg) who is dripping with athletic ability and potential and likely will be more impactful as he grows into what is now a slight even skinny frame.
Carleton has another potential big man star in the making in 6’9″ Biniam Ghebrekidan, from Gatineau, Quebec via Ecole Grande Riviere, Cégep Outaouais (where he played for former Carleton great and present Raven assistant Osvaldo Jeanty) and the Ottawa Guardsmen. Saint Mary’s have signed 6’5″ Nikita Kasongo (Champlain St. Lambert), another in the long line of athletic wing forwards in the Huskies mould who love to get out in transition and attack the offensive glass.
Other Cégep stars looking to make an impact in U Sports next season include 6’1″ Anthony Sanogo of Edouard Montpetit, Cégep leading scorer this past season, who has committed to Concordia. Stingers also just signed 6’3″ James Murray (Champlain-Lennoxville), where he played for Head Coach Mathieu Beaudoin. We also previously announced 4 UQAM recruits all from Cégep.
Quebec basketball continues to improve at a rapid clip and expect the Cégep league to continue to stock rosters across the country going forward.