In his fifth and final season with the Ottawa Gee-Gees, guard Johnny Berhanemeskel (Ottawa, Ont.) capped off his OUA career with an outstanding regular season that has him taking home the OUA Player of the Year Award for the first time.
Along with developing a reputation as one of the best clutch players in the country, Berhanemeskel led the conference in scoring with 23.2 points per game and has been named a first-team all-star for the fourth consecutive season.
After being a walk-on to the Gee-Gees in his rookie year, Berhanemeskel flourished in Ottawa, quickly developing into an elite scorer and has since become one of the most complete players in the game. Whether it's shooting, ball handling or defence, Berhanemeskel provides it all. He finished third in OUA in made three-pointers with 52 and had the third best three-point shooting percentage. Berhanemeskel ranked seventh in field goal percentage at 55.5% and tied for third in assists per game with 4.5.
Perhaps most famously, Berhanemeskel drained two game-winning shots in the final seconds against Ottawa's cross-town rival, the Carleton Ravens. One came in last year's Wilson Cup final, and the other came this season in a game that propelled Ottawa to No. 1 in the CIS Top 10 for the first time in school history. Berhanemeskel finished his OUA career with 2000 points and established himself as the Gee-Gees all-time leading scorer.
Joining Berhanemeskel from the Gee-Gees as a first-team all-star selection is forward Caleb Agada (Burlington, Ont.). Ottawa's second-leading scorer with 15.8 points per game, Agada finished sixth in OUA with 31 steals in 19 games, ranked eighth with 7.9 rebounds per game, and shot 54.1% from the field. He appeared in all 19 of Ottawa's games and broke the 20-point mark on seven occasions.
Ottawa centre Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue (Gatineau, Que.) is a second-team all-star after averaging 10.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and a shooting a league-leading 58.3% from the field.
Since taking over as Gee-Gees head coach in 2010, James Derouin has taken Ottawa from a middle-of-the-pack team to a national contender and is named OUA Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. This season, the Gee-Gees went 18-1 and held the No. 1 spot in the CIS Top 10 for the first time in school history. The Gee-Gees finished the season in first-place in OUA and as a result will now host the OUA Wilson Cup Final Four this weekend.
For the third consecutive season, Carleton Ravens forward Thomas Scrubb (Richmond, B.C) is the OUA Defensive Player of the Year, and has been named a first-team all-star for the second year in a row. Leading the top defensive team in the conference, Scrubb has been a big reason for Carleton's consistent ranking near the top of OUA in points allowed per game. This season he averaged 7.6 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 0.4 blocks. To go with his smothering defence, Scrubb has a significant offensive touch. He led OUA shooting 50% from three-point range, averaged 3.6 assists, and led Carleton in scoring with 17.2 points per game.
The winner of three consecutive Player of the Year Awards, Carleton guard Philip Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.) – brother of Thomas – has been named a first-team all-star for the fourth consecutive season. Scrubb led OUA making 55 three-pointers, and was fourth in the conference shooting 48.7% from beyond the arc. Arguably the most fundamentally sound player in the conference, he averaged 16.6 points per game, ranked third in OUA with 4.5 assists per game, led the conference with a 4.5 assists to turnover ratio, and shot 90% from the free-throw line.
Rounding out Carleton's all-star selections is guard Connor Wood (Guelph, Ont.), who has been named a second-team all-star. Wood finished third on the Ravens averaging 13.4 points per game, and was second in OUA with 54 made three-pointers.
Three Ryerson Rams have been named OUA all-stars and the team also has one athlete receiving a major award.
Fifth-year guard Jahmal Jones (Mississauga, Ont.) is a first-team all-star for the fourth time in his career. In his final season with the Rams, Jones scored a team-leading 17.2 points per game, led the conference with 5.4 assists per game and ranked tied for third with 1.7 steals per game. But, perhaps nothing demonstrated his growth at the guard position more than posting a career low in turnovers and a career best 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Another Rams guard, Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.), has been named a first-team all-star. Best was second on the team in scoring and rebounds, averaging 14.6 points and 5.5 boards. He was also one of the top three-point shooters in the league, ranking seventh overall with 41 made threes, and was ninth with a 45.6% three-point shooting percentage.
The Ken Shields Award is given to the student-athlete who exhibits outstanding achievement in the areas of basketball, academics, and community involvement, and this year is given to Ryerson forward Bjorn Michaelsen (Otterburn Park, Que.).
Michaelsen averaged 6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds this season, and was a true leader off the court as well.
The fifth-year Mechanical Engineering student maintained a 3.72 GPA, has been a three-time Academic All-Canadian, has made the Dean's List in all four of his previous seasons, and recently co-authored a research paper.
When he's not on the court or in the classroom, Michaelsen donates countless hours of his time to several community and charitable initiatives. He volunteered as an academic mentor for first-year Ryerson student-athletes transitioning from high school to university, helped the Toronto Humane Society by caring for, and fostering, animals in need, travelled to elementary schools in the Toronto area helping with extra-curricular activities and has volunteered at several Ryerson events, including a dodgeball tournament to raise mental health awareness.
Also from Ryerson, guard Adika Peter-McNeilly (Scarborough, Ont.) has been named a second-team all-star. He finished third on the team with 12.8 points per game, and averaged 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
The No. 5 Windsor Lancers have two members from its team selected as OUA all-stars.
When it came to dominating in the paint, arguably no one was as good as Lancers guard Rotimi Osuntola Jr. (Windsor, Ont.), who led the conference with 11.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He also controlled the game at the offensive end, averaging a team-leading 20.2 points – fourth most in OUA – and finished second in the league with 97 made free-throws.
Receiving second-team honours for Windsor is guard Mitch Farrell (Brechin, Ont.). He was the team's second-leading scorer averaging 13.1 points per game and 4.8 rebounds.
OUA's second leading scorer, forward Greg Morrow (London, Ont.) of the Western Mustangs, has been named a first-team all-star. Morrow averaged 21.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists, while leading the conference with 111 made free-throws. His 54.8% field goal percentage was eighth best in OUA. On Jan. 2, he managed to score 41 points against the No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees. First-year Western guard Jedson Tavernier (Midland, Ont.) was named to the OUA all-rookie team.
From the York Lions, forward Nick Tufegdzich (Tecumseh, Ont.) was named a first-team all-star after scoring a team-leading 19.1 points per game, ranking him seventh in the conference. In addition to being York's number-one scoring option, Tufegdzich also averaged the second-most rebounds per game in OUA at 10.1, and finished second in the conference with 1.8 blocks per game. Also from the Lions, guard Gene Spagnuolo (Maple, Ont.) was named to the all-rookie team.
Rounding out the first-team all-star selections is Queen's Gaels guard Greg Faulkner (Kingston, Ont.). In 17 games, Faulkner finished fifth in the conference averaging 19.6 points, going along with 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Faulkner had a career-high 40 points in a game against the Brock Badgers on Nov. 22. Selected to the all-rookie team from the Gaels is guard Tanner Graham (Kingston, Ont.).
Guard Johneil Simpson (Toronto, Ont.) of the Brock Badgers is the winner of the OUA Rookie of the Year Award after an impressive inaugural campaign that saw him finish sixth in conference scoring with 19.2 points per game. Though most rookies take a while to see serious time on the court, Simpson averaged the fifth-most minutes in OUA with 33.4, and also averaged 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists. In addition to the Rookie of the Year Award, he was named to the all-rookie team.
The No. 4-ranked McMaster Marauders have two guards named second-team all-stars as Aaron Redpath (Ajax, Ont.) and Rohan Boney (Oakville, Ont.) receive the honour.
Redpath led McMaster with 12.8 points and 2.5 assists per game, while averaging 4.9 rebounds. Boney finished with 9.4 points per game, and was second on the team with 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Another Marauders guard, David McCulloch (Hamilton, Ont.), was named to the all-rookie team.
Lakehead Thunderwolves guard Dwayne Harvey (Hamilton, Ont.), Laurier Golden Hawks guard Will Coulthard (Oakville, Ont.), Laurentian Voyageurs forward Tychon Carter-Newman (Brampton, Ont.), and Toronto Varsity Blues forward Devin Johnson (Ajax, Ont.) are the lone all-star selections from their respective teams, each being selected as second-team all-stars.
Harvey led Lakehead with 12.4 points and 3.5 assists per game, and was second on the team averaging 6.8 rebounds. Thunderwolves guard Ryan Doornick receives all-rookie honours.
For Laurier, Coulthard led the way offensively averaging 17 points in 18 starts and chipped in 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. His teammate, forward Luke Allin (Chatham, Ont.) was named to the all-rookie team.
Only three players in the conference were on the court more than Carter-Newman, whose 656 minutes were the fourth-most in the OUA this season, and his 34.5 minutes per game were second most. He did not disappoint, averaging 15.3 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Grabbing 9.4 rebounds per game, Johnson ranked third in the conference in the statistical category, while finishing ninth in OUA and leading Toronto with 17.4 points per game. Varsity Blues guard Sage Usher (Toronto, Ont.) was named to the all-rookie team.
Two Nipissing Lakers round out the all-rookie team, forwards Marcus Lewis (Brampton, Ont.) and Marcos Clennon (Brampton, Ont.) each receive the honour.
Paul Carter receives the 2015 Officials Award of Merit for his outstanding contributions to OUA basketball. Highly respected by coaches, athletes, and colleagues for his constant professionalism on and off the floor, Carter has been officiating for 38 years, and has been doing OUA basketball for 30 years beginning in 1985. In his time, he has worked four CIS Championships including the 2010 Final 8 tournament in Halifax.
OUA Major Award Winners
Player of the Year: Johnny Berhanemeskel – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Defensive Player of the Year: Thomas Scrubb – Carleton Ravens
Rookie of the Year: Johneil Simpson – Brock Badgers
Ken Shields Award: Bjorn Michaelsen – Ryerson Rams
Coach of the Year: James Derouin – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Officials Award of Merit: Paul Carter
OUA First-Team All-Stars
Johnny Berhanemeskel – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Thomas Scrubb – Carleton Ravens
Philip Scrubb – Carleton Ravens
Jahmal Jones – Ryerson Rams
Rotimi Osuntola – Windsor Lancers
Caleb Agada – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Greg Morrow – Western Mustangs
Aaron Best – Ryerson Rams
Nick Tufegdzich – York Lions
Greg Faulkner – Queen's Gaels
OUA Second-Team All-Stars
Aaron Redpath – McMaster Marauders
Rohan Boney – McMaster Marauders
Dwayne Harvey – Lakehead Thunderwolves
Tychon Carter-Newman – Laurentian Voyageurs
Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Mitch Farrell – Windsor Lancers
Connor Wood – Carleton Ravens
Will Coulthard – Laurier Golden Hawks
Devin Johnson – Toronto Varsity Blues
Adika Peter-McNeilly – Ryerson Rams
OUA All-Rookie Team
Johneil Simpson – Brock Badgers
Luke Allin – Laurier Golden Hawks
Jedson Tavernier – Western Mustangs
Marcos Clennon – Nipissing Lakers
Tanner Graham – Queen's Gaels
Sage Usher – Toronto Varsity Blues
Gene Spagnuolo – York Lion
Marcus Lewis – Nipissing Lakers
Ryan Doornick – Lakehead Thunderwolves
David McCulloch – McMaster Marauders