Although the OUA has a different format for announcing All-Stars: the official list as soon to be announced by the league will have three teams (15 players) league (East + West) wide, being our usual accommodative selves – our read is that there is a high probability that the West teams would be more comfortable being a separate entity from the East (happy to be corrected in that regard if my assumption is incorrect) – we have decided to bestow honours to ten All-Stars in each of the two OUA divisions, beginning with OUA East in this post, as follows:
OUA First Team All-Stars
OUA East Player-of-the-Year 6’2″ Kadre Gray, Laurentian… Ridiculous numbers (24.4 ppg (1st in league), 8.0 rpg, 7.0 apg (1st), 51% fg%, 43.1% 3’s, 80.5% f.t. that were the catalyst behind Vees being in Top 10 all season and within a week of clinching second place in the division. Gray’s injury for all intents and purposes killed Laurentian’s season (Vees were 2-3 without him; 19-5 with him) and he shapes up as a First Team All-Canadian in just his second season in Sudbury.
6’5″ Ammanuel Diressa, Ryerson… As noted here previously, Diressa is the best pure scorer in the country who can carry the Rams by himself and has done so in big spots, especially as a game-closer. His game-tying three at the buzzer at home vs. Ottawa basically saved Ryerson’s season (Diressa finished with 41 points as Rams prevailed in OT) and earlier had a career-high and U-Sports season-high 50 points at home vs. York. Rams are 15-4 with Diressa – he missed Ryerson’s two losses to Brock earlier in the season, their OT loss at RBC Brock Classic to Calgary and early regular season road set-back at Western. Another strong All-Canadian candidate.
6’0″ Yasiin Joseph, Carleton… Emerging from a walk-on who waited two seasons just to get a uniform, Joseph has established himself as one of the best break-down guards in the country with a knack for getting in the lane and usually making great decisions. Joseph was at his best at the end of big games this season including Carleton’s home win over Ryerson, at Brock. Joseph led the well-balanced Ravens attack at 14.7 ppg plus almost 4 apg and while his numbers – and all Carleton players numbers – rarely compare to the best in the division, Joseph has been the main decision maker – especially down the stretch of games – for the undefeated and #1 ranked team in the country.
6’9 1/2″ Eddie Ekiyor, Carleton… A formidable presence at both ends up front for the #1 Ravens who has improved his offensive skill set, forcing defenses to either consider a double down or at least dig deeper and harder from the wing spot. Ekiyor is an above-the-rim athlete who can intimidate/shot block and rebound at both ends. He also runs the floor like a wing forward and has the most potential to over-achieve of any player in the country and is still just a sophomore.
6’4″ Brandon Robinson, Ottawa… The value to the Gee-Gees of this versatile wing was punctuated after the injury to point guard Sean Stoqua as Robinson had to handle much more of the offensive decision making as well as defend opponent’s top players each night. Robinson was magnificent defensively this past Saturday night checking Ryerson’s Ammanuel Diressa and also ran the point and was Ottawa’s main offensive threat.
OUA East Second Team All-Stars
6’6″ Nelson (not William) Yengue, Laurentian… An undersized big with an explosive second jump, Yengue provided virtually all of the key inside play at both ends for Laurentian. His work inside at uOttawa in January was the catalyst to Vees road victory over the Gee-Gees and, save for the seemingly-recurring bouts of foul trouble which frankly plagued him for much of his career, Yengue was the second best big man in the conference.
6’7″ Tanner Graham, Queen’s… A versatile offensive player who can score inside and from beyond the arc – albeit somewhat streaky – Graham established himself as one of the top players in the division, led by explosiveness and strength. As a rim protector, Graham used his great timing and athleticism to lead the conference in blocked shots and kept the Gaels in many games against top teams this season.
6’3″ Reilly Reid, Toronto… Blues had a thin roster that was further hampered by injuries but Reid (14.0 ppg/6.0 rpg/2.4 apg) was able to lead this group to a fifth-place finish after Toronto was predicted by multiple outlets to finish out of the playoffs this season.
6’1″ Munis Tutu, Carleton… Although again the numbers don’t immediately jump out at you, Tutu worked his way into the decision making process with the Ravens and earned the confidence of coach Dave Smart and staff, teaming with Joseph to form the most potent back court – defensively and offensively – in the conference.
5’11” Jaz Bains, Queen’s & 6’4″ Marcus Lewis, Nipissing… tied for 10th.
OUA East All-Freshmen Selections
6’3″ Evan Shadkami, Toronto (OUA East Freshman-of-the-Year)
7’2″ Tanor Ngom, Ryerson
6’3″ Alex Muise, Ottawa
6’4″ Prince Kamunga, York
6’4″ Chase Tynes, Ottawa
OUA East Defensive Player-of-the-Year: 6’3″ Marcus Anderson