The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will play in its first exhibition tournament this weekend, taking on the Alberta Golden Bears, Memorial Sea Hawks, and Queen’s Gaels at the Tindall Invitational in Kingston, Ont. Following this weekend, the Gee-Gees will host the Jack Donohue Tournament at home October 28-30.
The Garnet and Grey lineup features five new players for 2016-17 following the departures of Zach Traer, Vikas Gill, Medhi Tihani, Nathan McCarthy, and CIS Player of the Year Mike L’Africain. The headliner additions, coming via transfers, are at the four spot with Jean-Emmanuel Pierre Charles and point guard Adam Presutti. Both players bring veteran experience and big time skills to the table for Ottawa.
Gage Sabean is an impact rookie wing player from Port Williams, N.S., while Ottawa product Matt Karnik provides more depth down low. Fans can also expect to see a lot more of 6-foot-7 forward Andrew De Groot than in his two previous seasons. Ryan Basso, out of Timmins, Ont., is the freshman in the guard contingent.
Coming off a successful team trip to Costa Rica in August which included five games against NCAA competition, uOttawa shook off some rust in a 75-72 loss at UQAM on September 30. Caleb Agada, the reigning CIS Defensive Player of the Year, recorded a double-double for Ottawa in the effort, but poor team shooting from the outside and numerous UQAM offensive rebounds led to the upset.
Heading into this weekend, Ottawa will look to limit turnovers while continuing to iron out the kinks on a new defensive look. The Gee-Gees participated in the Tindall Invitational last season, sweeping the field handily to claim the tournament banner.