U-Sports All-Canadian “Watch List” Review and 2017-18 Selections

The third in our series of look backs at pre-season forecasts:  this will be our final players-centric view – the All-Canadian “Watch List” we published in October, in which we captured our take on the players across the country who in the pre-season had a high probability of being considered for All-Canadian status this season overlaid with our present view of conference/division MVP’s and other candidates.

Looking back at AUS Pre-Season All-Canadian “Watch List” (in alphabetical order)… 6’2″ Kemar Alleyne, Saint Mary’s; 6’7″ Kevin Bercy, St. FX; 6’2″ Daniel Gordon, Memorial; 5’11” Javon Masters, UNB; 6’3″ Ben Miller, Acadia; 6’9″ Erik Nissen, Acadia; 6’6″ Sven Stammberger, Dalhousie.

AUS 2017-18 MVP/All-Canadian candidates:  Probably the most well-balanced league in the country with competitive games virtually every night and, justifiably, multiple Player-of-the-Year/All-Canadian candidates.  Despite the balance across much of the conference, especially given the success of the Varsity Reds in the standings (UNB is firmly in the running for the AUS regular season pennant), it is clear from our perspective that 6’0″ Javon Masters has fashioned a Player-of-the-Year-type season and thus All-Canadian status.  Masters (26.1 ppg/1st in AUS; 2nd in assists in AUS) became the all-time leading scorer in both AUS and U-Sports regular season history, adding 6.3 rpg and 5.4 apg while shooting 51% from the floor/39% from three and 90% from the free throw line.  With six games of 30+ points including a season-high 39 in a recent victory over Saint Mary’s, Masters has carried the Reds on his back as he looks to close his career with thus-far-elusive AUS tournament success.  Dalhousie’s 6’6″ forward Sven Stammberger looked like the odds-on favorite in the first half of the season but the slick forward has been saddled with some nagging injuries.  Still Stammberger averages 18.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.8 apg while shooting 53% from the floor/42.3% from three.  The fifth-year wing forward scored 35 and 36 points in his first two games of the AUS regular season and has ten games of 20+ points as Tigers go for the four-peat.  Acadia’s 6’11” lefty post Erik Nissen again has fashioned a dominant season as the best pure post player in the conference this season, averaging 18.9 points (6th in AUS) and an AUS-leading 10.4 rpg.  Defending AUS MVP 6’7″ Kevin Bercy has not matched last season’s dominant effort but remains a 1st team-esque player while 6’6″ Nikita Kasongo (19.2 ppg) is also in the discussion for a First Team All-Star spot.

Looking back at RSEQ Pre-season All-Canadian “Watch List” (in alphabetical order)… 6’5″ Ken Beaulieu, Concordia; 6’2″ Greishe Clerjuste, UQAM; 6’5″ Abdul Kamane, Bishops; 6’1″ Jonathan Koud, Concordia; 6’5″ Alexandre Leclerc, Laval; 6’1″ Jenning Leung, McGill; 6’2″ Dele Ogundokun, McGill.

RSEQ 2017-18 MVP/All-Canadian candidates:  Although the individual stats are not eye-popping, once again McGill’s 6’2″ Dele Ogondokun has been the best overall player for the best team in the conference.  Ordinarily tasked with defending the opposition’s best players, the fifth-year wing guard from Hamilton, ON again has dominated when it matters and, as has been the norm throughout his career, stuffing the stats sheets:  Dele is third in scoring (14.0 ppg), sixth in rebounding (6.5 rpg), second in steals, ninth in assists and fourth in three-point field goal percentage.  Teammate 6’1″ Alex Paquin, the transfer from NCAA Division 1 American U., took some time to re-adjust to playing major minutes as well as the Redmen system but has exploded especially in the second half, averaging 14.2 ppg (2nd in RSEQ), tied for second in assists and third in three-point percentage.  More importantly, Paquin gives McGill a legitimate break-down guy off the bounce who can create defensive rotations consistently.  6’5″ Abdul Kamane leads the Q in scoring at 21.6 ppg as Gaiters qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the slashing wing’s career.  6’4″ Ken Beaulieu had solid numbers for 8-5 Stingers while Laval’s 6’6″ Frantson Demosthene is among the league’s leading scorers (13.5 ppg/4th in RSEQ) and leading rebounder (9.1), arguably the top producer for Laval (6-6).

Looking back at the pre-season OUA All-Canadian “Watch List” (in alphabetical order)… 6’5″ Ammanuel Diressa, Ryerson; 6’9″ Eddie Ekiyor, Carleton; 6’7″ Dani Elgadi, Brock; 6’2″ Kadre Gray, Laurentian; 5’10” Tevaun Kokko, Laurier; 6’2″ David McCulloch, McMaster; 5’10” Emmanuel Owootoah, Carleton; 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles, Ottawa; 5’11” Mike Rocca, Windsor.

OUA East 2017-18 MVP/All-Canadian candidates:  Probably the most difficult selection in the country given the numerous dominant efforts by several deserving candidates – indeed in my opinion there are at least two Moser Award candidate in the division.  At the risk of inducing memories of the wonderful Rolling Stones ballad from 1967 “Sittin’ on a Fence” , my choice for OUA East co-MVP’s are Ryerson’s incomparable 6’5″ Manny Diressa (22.6 ppg including a 50 point game) and Laurentian’s 6’2″ Kadre Gray (24.4 ppg/OUA leading scorer).  The two candidates meet this Saturday night in Toronto on the final night of the season with a second-place bye potentially on the line and, possibly, evidence to push me off the fence in either direction.  Others who have authored tremendous seasons worthy of some consideration include Carleton’s 6’1″ Yasiin Joseph and 6’9 1/2″ Eddie Ekiyor.

OUA West 2017-18 MVP/All-Canadian candidates:  This division was, in a word, “dominated” and in at least two dimensions: by the OUA East in head-to-head play and in the second half by the Brock Badgers who remain unbeaten against division foes heading into the final week of the season.  Given Brock’s dominance, my choice for this division’s MVP is fifth-year forward 6’7″ Dani Elgadi (17.7 ppg).  Fellow Brock forward 6’7″ Cassidy Ryan has had big performances in important spots while without a doubt 6’6″ sophomore Nedim Hodzic (23.5 ppg/11.9 rpg; both first in OUA West) has the offensive numbers to warrant consideration.

Looking back at the pre-season CANADA WEST All-Canadian “Watch List” (in alphabetical order)… 6’3″ Justus Alleyn, Manitoba; 6’1″ Dejan Bordeaux, Lethbridge; 6’7″ Brody Clarke, Alberta; 6’5″ Mambi Diawara, Calgary; 6’7″ Mamadou Gueye, Alberta; 5’11” David Kapinga, Calgary; 6’3″ Mason Loewen, Victoria; 6’4″ Denzel Lynch-Blair, Winnipeg; 6’2″ Lawrence Moore, Saskatchewan; 6’9″ Conor Morgan, UBC.

Canada West 2017-18 MVP/All-Canadian candidates:  Another difficult selection again given the numerous dominant efforts by several deserving candidates.  Admittedly I am not in a position to make a definitive choice however the following players should merit consideration (in no particular order):  Manitoba’s 6’3″ Justus Alleyn (24.1 ppg), Saskatchewan’s 6’3″ Lawrence Moore (24.0 ppg), UBC’s 6’9″ Conor Morgan (23.9 ppg/9.7 rpg), Calgary’s 6’6″ Mambi Diawara (22.0 ppg), Alberta’s 6’7″ Brody Clarke (14.9 ppg/8.7 rpg) and 6’7″ Mamadou Gueye (14.8 ppg).  Prior to his injury, Lethbridge’s 6’1″ Dejon Burdeaux (19.3 ppg) was on path for a 1st Team All-Canada West selection at a minimum and a possible All-Canadian and in my opinion is also worthy of mention.




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