After a successful home opening weekend the Gee-Gees will hit the road for a tough a weekend road trip where they will face the Guelph Gryphons on Friday night and the Lakehead Thunderwolves on Saturday. The trip is renowned for being one of the most difficult road trips of the season.
The team will play on Friday night and will have to take the plane and travel to Lakehead on game day to arrive for Saturday night’s game. “There are a few places in this league that are hard to play at but I think Lakehead is probably the most difficult. It might be the hardest thing to do in the OUA but it will be a good test for our ability to focus and come out with the victory,” said head coach James Derouin.
The Gee-Gees have a personal vendetta with Lakehead after being upset by the Thunderwolves in last year’s CIS Final Eight semi-final game. However, Lakehead forces have been depleted as the center piece of last year’s team, Greg Carter, along with seven other players have graduated over the summer. If that wasn’t enough, head coach Scott Morisson will also be absent this season as he has taken a year sabbatical to work with the Boston Celtics' D-League organization.
“Regardless of whether or not last year’s players or coaches are there, they are still Lakehead and they are still the school that eliminated us last year. We don’t care. We still want to beat them. There are things beyond the game that are motivating us to keep things going this weekend and to go over there and take the win,” commented Derouin. “We are planning to come in strong and have a good game. They are a good team even without Carter and I’m sure they will be a defensive oriented team once again.”
Before Ottawa get the chance for revenge over the T-Wolves they will have to take out the Gryphons first on Friday for Guelph’s home-opener. Guelph is a shorter in stature and guard oriented team who is known for its hard working and relentless attitude. The size difference will give uOttawa a chance to utilise their post play, where fourth-year Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue will get his share of touches.
uOttawa has had great performances from players throughout the starting line up so far this season and is forming an identity as a ball-moving and high octane offensive team. After a weekend where a three-point shooting record was set by Johnny Berhanemeskel and two career nights from Caleb Agada there is no telling what will come next from this year’s edition of the garnet and grey.
“The unselfish basketball this team is playing is fun to be part of. The ball is constantly moving all over the court and everyone is confident in one another. Any night a different guy or guys could have it going and that’s what makes us dangerous,” Berhanemeskel said. “Saturday is a big game for us because of last year’s events and because of the hostile gym their fans bring. It’s a bit of a different team than last year but nonetheless everyone is anxious to play that game.”