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Weekend Preview: Men’s Basketball host NCAA Exhibition

Thursday September 2, 2010

Host Cincinnati Bearcats Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at Montpetit Hall

The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will kick-off their exhibition action this week when they host the Cincinnati Bearcats on Sunday, September 5, at 2:00 p.m. at Montpetit Hall.

This will be new head coach James Derouin CIS coaching debut and fans will get a glimpse at a Gee-Gees team that will look much different than last season. Tickets will be sold at Montpetit Hall one hour before game time.

The Gee-Gees will face the Bearcats in the last game of their Canadian tour, as they will be taking on McGill University on Friday, September 3, and Carleton on Saturday, September 4, in the CAN-AM Shootout at Scotiabank Place.

This international tour is the Bearcats’ first under head coach Mick Cronin and their first in 14 years, having last travelled to Italy in 1996. By NCAA rules, teams are only allowed to travel internationally every four years, granting the team an additional ten days of practice – a big advantage for the program.

Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin is thrilled to open up their exhibition schedule against such “a storied NCAA program.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to play a top level team this early in the season. It allows us a chance to get a head start on the season and evaluate our new talent.”

Cincinnati enters the 2010-11 season coming off a 19-16 season and a second-round appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. They are without three players from last year’s roster, including second-round NBA Draft Pick Lance Stephenson who signed a multiyear contract with the Indiana Pacers in July.

Cronin made an immediate impact by recruiting several top players, many of whom went on to be drafted into the NBA: Steve Logan (Golden State Warriors), DerMarr Johnson (Atlanta), Pete Mickeal (Dallas), Kenny Satterfield (Dallas), and Jason Maxiell (Detroit). Another current NBA star to pass through Cincinnati’s program is 6’9” power forward forward Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets.  

In the past three years, the Bearcats program has continued to show great progress, recording more overall wins each season (11 in 2006-07, 13 in 2007-08, and 18 in 2008-09). Last year, the program won 18 games, finished ninth in the BIG EAST Conference, and posted its first winning season since Cronin took over.

With exactly two months before their season opening game at home against Brock on November 5, the Gee-Gees will look to gain much experience from this NCAA contest.

“These NCAA games are a great measuring stick to see what work needs to be done as a team. It also shows where the CIS levels up to the NCAA division,” explains Derouin. He adds that based on the results of recent CIS vs. NCAA match-ups across the country, “the gap is narrowing” between the two divisions.

The Gee-Gees, coming off a very successful 18-4 regular season in 2009-10, will have a new look this year with the departure of fifth year star player Donnie Gibson and Gee-Gees all-time leading scorer Josh Gibson-Bascombe.

The Gee-Gees will look to 2009-10 OUA all-star Warren Ward for leadership on the court this year. Entering his third season with the team, the 6’5” guard had an outstanding season last year, finishing as the Gee-Gees top rebounder with 149 rebounds and second leading scorer with 401 points. 6’3” guard Jacob Gibson-Bascombe will also return to the Gee-Gees roster after a one year leave and compliment Ward in the backcourt. 

Veteran players Louis Gauthier and Nemanja Baletic will return for their final year and provide solid support in the frontcourt.

2009-10 All Rookie Team Ryan Malcolm-Campbell and 6’5” forward Akeem Gardner will also be back for their second year with the team and will look to build on very successful rookie performances.

Joining these returning players will be a strong 2010 recruiting class composed of several players who will likely put in valuable minutes for the garnet and grey, including cégep all-stars Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue and Serge Grenon.

Tickets for the Gee-Gees vs. Bearcats match-up can be purchased ahead of time by contacting the Gee-Gees ticketing office at 613-562-5800 ext. 4337 or online at http://www2.capitaltickets.ca/en/default.asp?capitaltickets=11.

Also new this season, the Gee-Gees will be launching a new beer garden at all home basketball events, sponsored Sleeman breweries.