The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team, sporting its 15-2 record, travels to Nipissing (3-14) and Laurentian (5-12) this weekend to wrap up the regular season. While eyes have started to turn to the playoff seeding, two games against division rivals remain at hand this weekend.
The regular season opened with these two teams at Montpetit Hall, where Ottawa promptly delivered commanding 91-49 and 97-66 wins over the Lakers and Voyageurs, respectively. Those two games were Ottawa’s highest scoring of the season, until Saturday’s 109 point performance against Laurier.
Similarly to last weekend, head coach James Derouin expects to see a lot of players spreading the minutes around. Describing his team as “a little banged up,” Derouin also noted the importance of the first round playoff bye at this point in the season. Ottawa went 14 players deep last weekend, with all of them scoring a basket and no one playing more than Mike L’Africain’s 28 minutes per game.
Statistical averages to keep an eye on this weekend will be Nathan McCarthy’s 2.0 blocks per game, which ranks him second in the CIS and first in the OUA. McCarthy’s field goal percentage of 60.0 is fourth best in the nation, slightly behind his substitution partner Brody Maracle who owns the OUA’s best mark at 64.5 per cent and sits second in the CIS. Meanwhile, Caleb Agada leads the OUA with 2.8 steals per game and is chasing Lethbridge’s Dejon Burdeaux for the CIS lead.
The games may not ultimately factor into Ottawa’s overall RPI standings but the team still needs a victory over Laurentian to ensure a chance at home court advantage for the duration of the OUA playoffs. The Gee-Gees will also be scoreboard watching as a pivotal game between Queen’s and Ryerson unfolds Friday night. Should Ryerson (15-2) lose to Queen’s (10-7), that opens the door for Ottawa to finish first overall with a win over Laurentian.
Ottawa will tip off at Nipissing on Friday and Laurentian on Saturday. Both games will be webcast live on OUA.tv.