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Uottawa

Gee-Gees up to the challenge at this year’s Capital Hoops Classic

Tuesday January 25, 2011

Men's Basketball (6-8 OUA)
At Carleton (14-0) for the 5th annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday January 26, 2011, 8 p.m., in Ottawa, Ont.

While this may be the fifth annual instalment of the MBNA Capital Hoops Classic, the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team is looking to write a new chapter in their storied rivalry with the Carleton Ravens. A new coach, some fresh faces, youthful energy, and a new attitude is what the garnet and grey will be bringing to this year’s Capital Hoops Classic.

The Carleton Ravens are ranked No. 1 in the country as they remain undefeated this season. Although impressive, it remains somewhat irrelevant when playing your cross-town rival, and school pride is on the line.

Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin understands this all too well; while this may be his first Capital Hoops at the helm, James is no stranger to Capital Hoops having already served as an assistant for Gee-Gees. He also understands what it takes to prepare a team for such an emotional game, after having appeared in the last two CIS national men’s basketball championship games with UBC as an assistant coach.

“I’m just hoping we go in there relaxed. Obviously the adrenaline and everything will be pumping with the crowd, and the stadium. Especially for our university athletes that really don’t get a chance to play in front that kind of crowd as much as I would like them to be able to, but I just want them to play their game, relax, and stay focused,” said Derouin ahead of Ottawa’s most anticipated basketball event.

Derouin explained that he wants his team to  simply play their game, and not to be intimated. He cautioned that any good team like Carleton has the ability to hold a certain psychological edge over their opponent and to be able to win the game well before the game is ever played.

As such, Derouin explained “We haven’t changed our game plan, I mean we’ve worked on some small things but we’re going stick with the things that we are good at.  We need to move the ball. We got to make shots. Warren’s got to defend, and Louis’ got to shoot a high percentage in the post. If those things happen then we give ourselves a good chance of winning on any given night.”

The Gee-Gees head coach is excited for his players leading up to the Capital Hoops Classic, and hopes that his young players continue to step up their game. He is especially encouraged by the play of first-year guards Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa, Ont., and Chris Anderson, Toronto, Ont. Derouin is also equally pleased with how Jacob Gibson-Bascombe, Toronto, Ont., is settling back in as a starting point guard, and how third-year Yacob Issayas, Vancouver, B.C., was able to step up his game this past weekend when given the opportunity. 

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Make sure to get your tickets for the fifth annual MBNA Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place this Wednesday night starting at 6 p.m. with the women’s game followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. Student tickets (15$), which include transportation to Scotiabank Place and back, are for sale at Sports Services Client Services counters or can be purchased by e-mail at ggtix@uottawa.ca or by phone at 613-562-5800, ext. 4337. Adult tickets (16$) can also be purchased by e-mail at ggtix@uottawa.ca or by phone at 613-562-5800, ext. 4337.