After defeating their opponents in the first weekend of the regular season the Gee-Gees men`s basketball team will now hit the road for games versus Laurentian and Nipissing. uOttawa will be making their first road trip of the regular season and it will begin with a difficultFriday night in Laurentian in front of a notoriously intimidating crowd.
“It’s a known thing across the OUA what kind of crowd they [Laurentian] get on opening night. They also have a great coach that always seems to come up with surprises whether it be on offence or defence,” said head coach James Derouin.
“We have a chance to go out there and work on certain things defensively while making the most out of our opportunities. I’m expecting a lot of guys to get playing time over the weekend.”
Friday`s game will mark the first of two occasions that the Gee-Gees and Voyageurs will tip-off as they are set to come to Ottawa on February 21 for the final game of the regular season. Ottawa defeated Laurentian on both occasions last season when now Gee-Gee Alex Ratté was the Voyageurs’ major offensive force. He will now be making his first return to Laurentian since transferring last summer but will be unable to play as he is still battling a nagging knee injury.
“I have mixed feelings on going back. I’m not sure if it would be harder to go there and play against my former team or watching from the sidelines. Regardless it will be nice to see all my old teammates and coaches. There has been a lot of up and downs with this injury but we are right on track to solving the problem now,” said Ratté.
Nipissing is entering their first season in the league and playing their first games of the regular season. They will be hosting the no.1 Carleton Ravens on Friday night followed by the no.2 Gee-Gees on Saturday. The Lakers will are expected to struggle as a first year team but could pose a threat with two fourth years in point guard Joey Puddister and forward Christian Casimier.
The Gee-Gees will be armed with a wealth of offence as they are picking up right where they left off last season as one of the best offensive team in the nation. In their first two games they have posted 100+ point games and hope to keep the ball rolling this weekend. A major reason for this has been the play of Gee-Gees newly named record holder for most points in a career, Johnny Berhanemeskel. Third-year Caleb Agada is also off to a quick start as he is averaging 18.5 points per game while only totalling 22.5 minutes per game.
“The key for us is to always have the mindset that we have to get better and work on our game no matter what opponent we face, whether if it is the number one team or last place team. We have to respect every single opponent and make the most out of each game,” said Agada. “For me I just have to stay out of foul trouble and make the most out of my minutes on the floor. I have always struggled with foul trouble because I am so aggressive. I just have to figure out when and where to be aggressive and when not to.”
Both games will tip off at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and will be available to view on OUA.tv