The 2015 CIS silver-medalist Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will host two NCAA squads in the coming weeks at Montpetit Hall. Murray State will visit on Sunday, August 2 at 6 p.m. and Baylor will arrive on August 13 at 8 p.m.
Last summer the Gee-Gees went 3-1 against NCAA competition, falling to Memphis (104-89) after claiming victories over Indiana (109-101), Vermont (73-66) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (79-76). The Gee-Gees will look to fill the offensive void left by the graduated Johnny Berhanemeskel, who scored a combined 111 points in the four outings against NCAA competition, leading the Gee-Gees in scoring in every game.
This year’s border battle kicks off with a long-weekend matchup against Murray State. Murray State finished atop the Ohio Valley (West) conference with a 16-0 conference record and a 29-6 record overall. In 2014-15, the Racers put up 79 points per game, shooting 48 per cent from the floor and pulling down 37 rebounds per game. Murray State’s Jarvis Williams, a 6-foot-8 forward out of Macon, Georgia, and Jonathan Fairell, a 6-foot-7 Miami, Florida native, led the conference in rebounds with 8.4 per game and 7.1 per game, respectively. Williams also ranked second in conference scoring, averaging 15.7 points per game. Ottawa averaged 38.2 rebounds per game last season, but will be missing the inside presence of Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue who graduated this past year.
The Gee-Gees will then host to the Baylor Bears, who went 11-7 in the Big 12 and 24-9 during the 2014-15 season. Baylor outscored their opponents last season by a margin of 9.2 points, shooting 43.4 per cent from the floor and 37 per cent from beyond the arc. The Bears also averaged eight more rebounds than their opposition, pulling down 39.2 per game.
Baylor’s Rico Gathers is a dominating presence on the glass, after averaging a double-double with 11.6 rebounds and 11.7 points per game during the 2014-15 season; Gathers was named to the All Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Baylor’s backcourt will be missing its steady-handed Canadian point guard Kenny Chery. The Montreal native averaged 11.4 points and 4 assists per game and graduated this year.
You can purchase tickets for NCAA games online at: http://uottawa.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event_listings.asp