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Uottawa

SEASON PREVIEW: Men’s basketball ready to contend with new-look for 2017-18

 Capital Hoops
Friday November 3, 2017
Joueurs de l'équipe
Photo: 
Greg Mason

The Gee-Gees had a strong 16-3 regular season in 2016-17, with their only losses coming at the hands of eventual national champion Carleton and runner up Ryerson.

For the first time since 2012, Ottawa did not advance to the National Championship tournament, however, coming into 2017-18, they have retooled significantly with nine new faces on the roster. Adding so much new talent to a veteran returning roster, the team needs its time to mesh, but once they’ve clicked, the team will be ready to push forward into contention once again.

“We are about to start what is probably the most competitive and challenging season since my first few years with the program,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin.

The duo of All-Star caliber players in Brody Maracle and Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles provide the Gee-Gees with a post presence that is largely unmatched in the league.

Incoming rookies Chase Tynes and Alex Muise have already shown excellent signs of success at the university level, and will develop into key pieces to complement the veteran guards as the season unfolds.

“We have a great bunch of young talent. If we can continue to see them grow, I think we can be really difficult to beat come March,” said Derouin, in his eighth season at the helm of the Gee-Gees.

Brandon Robinson and Mackenzie Morrison, both in their fourth-year with the team will be leaned on as leaders on and off the floor this season. Transfers Sean Stoqua and Kenny Jean-Louis will help add a boost of experience to the court for the Gee-Gees as well this season.

The Gee-Gees will have a challenging schedule to navigate as the OUA shifts back to an East-West format this season. This means the team will have two games against top-ranked Carleton, two against seventh-ranked Ryerson, two against tenth-ranked Laurentian, and cross-divisional visit to second-ranked Brock, and McMaster.

The 2017-18 season kicks off at home against Algoma on Friday night at 8 p.m. and  tickets are available at tickets.geegees.ca. All home and away games will be broadcast live on OUA.tv this season.


KEY RETURNERS:

Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles – 6-foot-8 – Forward

  • From Ottawa, attended Ashbury College
  • Second season with Gee-Gees after transferring from Carleton
  • Excellent defender as well as dependable scorer
  • Represented Canada at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei
  • OUA First Team All-Star in 2016-17
  • Ranked second in OUA with 1.5 blocks per game in 2016-17
  • Led Ottawa with 8.7 rebounds per game in 2016-17
  • Second on team scoring with 14.4 points per game in 2016-17

Brody Maracle – 6-foot-7 – Forward

  • From Napanee, Ont.
  • 3rd season with Ottawa, played 1 season at Carleton.
  • Led the OUA conference in field goal percentage at 61.2 in 2016-17
  • Leading team scoring in preseason with 14.6 points per game

Brandon Robinson – 6-foot-5 – Guard

  • From Montreal
  • 4th season with Ottawa
  • Scored 7.1 points per game in 2016-17 but averaging 12.8 in exhibition play this fall. Will be relied upon for scoring to increase while also maintaining his strong defence due to his quickness and length for his size.


KEY DEPARTURES:

Caleb Agada

  • U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year for last two seasons
  • U SPORTS All-Canadian

Matt Plunkett

  • Starter in 2016-17. Three-point shooter and rebounder.

Adam Presutti

  • Starting point guard from 2016-17.


KEY RECRUITS/TRANSFERS:

Sean Stoqua (via Acadia) – 5-foot-11 – Point guard

  • From Stittsville
  • Master’s student in Health Science
  • Averaging 9 points per game in preseason

Chase Tynes – 6-foot-5 – Guard

  • From Dartmouth, N.S.
  • Exciting player part of two national champion provincial teams

Alex Muise – 6-foot-4 – Guard

  • From Hammonds Plains, N.S.
  • Excellent three-point shooter also part of NS national champion provincial teams

Kenny Jean-Louis (via Cape Breton) – 6-foot-4 – Guard

  • From Montreal
  • Education student after 4 seasons at Cape Breton
  • Led Cape Breton with 19.9 points, 8.6 rebounds last year