Winners of six straight, including a perfect 4-0 road trip, the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will return to their home court this weekend for the final two games of the 2013-14 regular season. The team remains ranked no. 2 in the CIS and was able to get the results they wanted over the last two weekends, most notably taking wins over Queen’s and York last weekend.
The garnet and grey will now shift their focus to what is expected to be an action-packed weekend during which the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Algoma Thunderbirds will take turns at trying to upset the streaking Gee-Gees at Monpetit Hall.
Laurentian poses the biggest threat to the Gee-Gees as they are coming off a well-played weekend in which they took victories over the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams. The Voyageurs appeared to settle into a groove as they played very well despite being without one of their top players in Nelson Yengue. Despite having a better record in the last two seasons, the Gee-Gees have lost to Laurentian on home court in two straight years and will be looking to end that streak this Friday.
“Most of the guys on this team have been there for those two loses so I think that will be a motivating factor for them this weekend. We also just want to close out the season strong because there are still things that we need to clean up and these games will be a great opportunity to do that,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin.
If anyone is to put a stop to the Gee-Gees current hot streak they will first have to focus on Terry Thomas who has been an absolute dynamo for uOttawa since the New Year. He has averaged a team high 28.8 points per game over his last six games and hopes to keep up the scoring this weekend.
“It’s been a blessing to be able to help my team out when we need scoring. There are so many guys on this team that can get it done that I am just thankful to be hitting shots and helping us win,” said Thomas who has been outworking his opponents and making the most out of offensive opportunities as of late.
“What is fun about having a guy like Terry is that you don’t have to set up plays for him all that much. He works so hard defensively that he creates a lot of opportunities in transition for himself and the team and that’s where he gets a lot of his points,” said Derouin.
Mike L’Africain and Thomas have meshed very well to form a deadly combo for uOttawa. Thomas’s ability to run in transition has been a point guard’s dream for L’Africain as the two have been producing on a high level for Ottawa. L’Africain has shot a deadly 15-18 from long range in his last four games while Thomas has two 40-plus point performances over his last five.
“With each game that we play I feel the team focuses more and more on the big picture. There are a lot of talented teams in this league but when it comes down to it working hard will expose their weaknesses,” said Thomas who was named uOttawa Desjardins Athlete of the Week for his dominant play over last weekend.
uOttawa will get starting center, Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue back in the line-up this weekend as he has missed time with an upper body injury. He will likely be back on the court in order to get some playing time in anticipation for next weekend’s playoffs game in which the fourth-year will likely play a big role.
The key for the Gee-Gees will be not looking past the challenge at hand this weekend, despite knowing that they will be hosting their biggest game of the year next Saturday, February 22. They will play host for an OUA East quarter final game which will send the winner to the OUA Final Four Championship in Toronto.