The uOttawa Gee-Gees men basketball team added two more victories to what has been a successful preseason for the squad. The team took a 101-76 win over the Concordia Stingers on Friday and a 104-74 victory against UQAM on Saturday and finished the preseason with a perfect 8-0 record against CIS competition.
The team has shown high efficiency on offence in the preseason, averaging 95.3 points per game while holding a margin of victory of nearly 20 points per game. “We want to play high pace basketball this year, but we know when it really matters, it’s going to be about good defence and rebounding. We still have a lot of work to do in those areas,” said head coach James Derouin.
After having a difficult sophomore season, Mike L’Africain has had an excellent pre-season heading into his third season with the Gee-Gees. The talented point guard has averaged 16.0 points per game in the pre-season and 6.5 assists per game. Overall L’Africain has impressed this pre-season and will likely be a big offensive threat for Ottawa this season as he steps into a more significant role.
“I have been playing in bigger role and just trying to play with chip on my shoulder. We’re playing my style of ball and think I have gotten mentally tougher,” said L’Africain. “The preseason helped our bench get deeper and helped us practice our plays and just get used to playing in road situations.”
Other Gee-Gees have also impressed this pre-season. Second-year big man Matt Nelson was a big part of the Gee-Gees win on Saturday night versus UQAM, posting excellent numbers as he shot 8-for-9 from the field and posted a career high 20 points. Fans will see more of the towering centre this season as his playing time was limited in his rookie season due to multiple injuries. He has made tremendous strides this off season and will be depended on to play a bigger role on the team this year.
“I am extremely proud of Matt and I am excited about the progress he has made after a very difficult and injury-filled rookie season with the team,” commented Derouin.
The Gee-Gees will be off this weekend as they prepare for their anxiously awaited home opening weekend where they will play big games versus the Western Mustangs on Friday night and the Windsor Lancers on Saturday. Both games will tip-off at 8 p.m. at Montpetit Hall.
GEE-GEES CIS PRESEASON RESULTS:
Ottawa 88 @UNB 71
Ottawa 93 @ Laval 73
Ottawa 98 @ St-FX 71
Ottawa 94 vs McGill 88
Ottawa 94 vs St-FX 81
Ottawa 88 vs Queen’s 70
Ottawa 101 @ Concordia 76
Ottawa 104 @ UQAM 74