BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is excited to announce the 2015-16 men's basketball major awards and all-stars.
For just the third time in program history but the second time in past two seasons, the Ottawa Gee-Gees roster features the OUA Player of the Year as point guard Mike L'Africain (Oakville, Ont.) has been recognized following an outstanding fifth and final season.
L'Africain, who has also been named an OUA first-team all-star for the first time in his career, follows in the footsteps of his former Gee-Gees teammate Johnny Berhanemeskel after he earned the honours last season.
The fifth-year social sciences major led the Gee-Gees to a first place finish in the OUA North division with a 17-2 regular season record. The Oakville, Ont. native led the Gee-Gees in scoring, averaging 20.4 points per game which ranked him fifth in OUA. Starting all 19 games for uOttawa this season, the shifty 6-foot-1 point guard finished second in the league with 101 assists.
L'Africain, the 2011-12 OUA East Rookie of the Year, also finished the season in the top five in several other statistical categories including: three-point field goal percentage (41.8), free throw percentage (85.9) and steals (36).
Joining L'Africain on the all-star team is Gee-Gees teammate Caleb Agada (Burlington, Ont.), who is a first-team selection for a second straight season. Although an ankle injury limited him to 14 games this season, "The Burlington Skyway" was a human highlight reel, hooking up with L'Africain on more than one occasion for some show stopping dunks. The fourth-year economics major averaged 15.8 points per game while shooting 52.3 percent.
Agada also has been recognized for his ability to shut down the other team's top threats and has been named the OUA Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts. Agada picked up 2.7 steals and 8.6 rebounds per game to rank third in OUA in both categories. He becomes just the second player in team history to win the award and first since former Gee-Gee Dax Dessureault in 2007-08.
The Gee-Gees will also be represented on the second-team by fourth-year centre Nathan McCarthy (Burlington, Ont.). McCarthy, who is an OUA all-star for the first time in his career, appeared in all 19 games this season for uOttawa and led the conference with 39 blocks. He was also second in the league with a field goal percentage of 60.6.
For the second straight year, the Ryerson Rams finished the season with a program high 17 wins thanks in large part to the play of guards Aaron Best (Scarborough, Ont.) and Adika Peter-McNeilly (Scarborough, Ont.), who are OUA first-team all-stars once again.
Now in his fifth season with the Rams, Best led the Rams to their first CIS national No. 1 ranking in not only program, but school history, after knocking off the perennial powerhouses from Ottawa and Carleton in back-to-back games. The Scarborough, Ont. native is an OUA first team all-star for the third time in his career after he averaged 17.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Best was at his best from beyond the arc where he finished fourth in OUA with a 43.5 three-point field goal percentage.
Peter-McNeilly joins Best on the first-team this year after earning second-team honours the past two seasons. The fourth-year sociology student-athlete finished second on the Rams behind Best in terms of team scoring, averaging 15.1 points per game. When he did get to the free-throw line, Peter-McNeilly was clutch for Ryerson, sinking 92.2 percent of his attempts which led the conference. The Ryerson offence ran through the Scarborough, Ont. native and he led the team in assists and OUA with a sparkling 3.1 assist to turnover ratio.
After transferring from Tennessee Tech in the NCAA prior to the start of the season, Ammanuel Diressa (Toronto, Ont.) instantly made an impact for his hometown Rams and has been named an OUA second-team all-star in his first season in the league. The third-year guard, who is currently studying business management, averaged 14.9 points in 18 games this season for Ryerson.
After spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Rams, Patrick Tatham took over the head coaching duties from Roy Rana on an interim basis and did not miss a beat. Tatham has been named OUA Coach of the Year after leading the Rams to yet another 17-2 regular season record. Tatham, who helped coach the Rams to their first CIS national championship medal in school history last season, becomes the third Rams coach to win the award and first since former head coach Terry Haggerty in 1999-00.
Despite the graduation of Phil and Thomas Scrubb, it was business as usual for the five-time defending CIS national champion and No. 1 ranked Carleton Ravens, who were led this season by guard Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, Ont.).
Kajami-Keane, who transferred from Cleveland State in the NCAA, is the Ravens' lone first-team all-star after he led the conference with 6.6 assists per game and finished second in OUA to fellow first-team all-star Peter McNeilly with a 2.4 assist to turnover ratio. The communications major averaged 14.1 points per game in his first season in OUA.
A pair of Ravens' guards will represent Carleton on the second-team as Guillaume Payen Boucard (Montreal, Que.) and Connor Wood (Guelph, Ont.) have been selected as OUA all-stars.
In his fifth and final season, Payen Boucard is an OUA all-star for the first time in his career after he led the Ravens with 14.6 points per game, which ranked him 20th in the conference. The Montreal, Que. native shot 53.8 percent from the floor to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Despite missing the first two games of the season with an injury, Payen Boucard started the final 17 games for the Ravens.
Starting all 19 games for Carleton, Wood is a second-team all-star in back-to-back seasons after the fourth-year guard shot 46.4 percent from the field and averaged 13.6 points per game this year for the Ravens.
The future continues to look bright for the perennial powerhouse Ravens as two players have been named to the all-rookie team following their freshman seasons. Guards Marcus Anderson (Brampton, Ont.) and Stanley Mayambo (Fredericton, NB) will be part of a young Ravens core moving forward.
The Brock Badgers feature one of the best young 1-2 punches in all of the country in third-year forward Dani Elgadi (Waterloo, Ont.) and second-year guard Johneil Simpson (Toronto, Ont.) and now both players can add OUA all-star to their rapidly growing list of accomplishments.
After being named OUA Rookie of the Year and to the all-rookie team in his first year in the league, Elgadi has been selected to represent the Badgers on the first-team after averaging a double-double this season with 19.9 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Elgadi, who is originally from Waterloo, Ont., grabbed 223 rebounds this season in 19 games for the Badgers, including a league leading 162 defensive boards. Now in his third season in OUA, Elgadi also finished second in blocks (38) and steals (41).
Simpson has followed a similar path to Elgadi as the second-year media and communications studies student-athlete took home OUA Rookie of the Year and all-rookie team honours a season ago. There were no signs of a sophomore slump for young guard as he has been selected to represent the Badgers as a second-team all-star this season. Simpson finished second on the Badgers to Elgadi while he 16.6 points per game ranked him just outside the top 10 in the conference.
Leon Alexander (Ajax, Ont.) led the Marauders to a first place in the OUA Central division with a 14-5 regular season record, and now in his fourth season in the league, is an all-star for the first time in his career. Alexander, who is currently studying sociology at McMaster, was named to the first-team after he had a team high 18.8 points over the course of 18 games to finish seventh in the conference. Earlier this season against the Gee-Gees, Alexander went off for 27 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists as McMaster upset Ottawa 96-90.
Also making his all-star debut for McMaster is fifth-year forward Troy Joseph (Ajax, Ont.) who has been named to the second-team in his final year of eligibility. Joseph, who transferred to the McMaster prior to the 2014-15 season from Long Island University (Brooklyn), finished second on the Marauders behind Alexander, averaging 13.6 points per game.
For the first time since the 1995-96 season, the Windsor Lancers roster features the OUA Rookie of the Year as freshman guard Isiah Osborne (Windsor, Ont.) earns the honours following his first season in the league.
Appearing in all 20 games for his hometown Lancers this season, Osborne finished in the top 20 in league scoring, averaging 15.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 2015-16. The human kinetics major announced his arrival earlier this season when he had 23 points, eight rebounds and three steals on the road against the then No. 4 ranked Badgers.
Osborne, who has also been selected to the conference all-rookie team, becomes just the second Lancers player in program history to win the award and first since Geoff Stead won the award in 1995-96.
In his final season with the Lancers, fifth-year guard Alex Campbell (Brampton, Ont.) is an OUA all-star for the first time in his career. The visual arts major has been named to the first-team after averaging 21.5 points per game to sit fifth in the conference. Campbell finished the season with 6.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Last week against Laurentian in the opening round of the playoffs, Campbell went off for a game-high 37 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and a block in 38 minutes of action.
After averaging 24.0 points per game to lead OUA, Western Mustangs fifth-year forward Greg Morrow (London, Ont,) will represent his hometown team as a first-team all-star for the third straight season. Morrow, who was named to the squad last season and the West team in 2013-14, was an absolutely workhorse for the Mustangs this season as he appeared in all 20 games, seeing a league high 35.0 minutes of action per game.
Rounding out the first-team all-star selections is Queen's Gaels guard Sukhpreet Singh (Toronto, Ont.). Now in his fourth season in tricolour, Singh, who was selected to the 2012-13 all-rookie team, averaged a team-high 22.3 points per game this season, which ranked him third in OUA. When Singh was on the floor, he was one of the most dominant players in the league as his 28.2 points per 40 minutes ranked second.
A pair of Thunderwolves have been made second-team selections this year as forward Bacarius Dinkins (Jonesville, Florida) and Henry Tan (Vaughan, Ont.) have been named to the team.
Dinkins, who is originally from Jonesville, Florida and spent time playing for Mesabi Range in the MCAC, is an OUA all-star for the first-time in his career in just his second season in OUA. Starting all 19 games for the Thunderwolves, the fourth-year general arts major, ranked 10th in OUA with 17.2 points per game to go along with 8.3 rebounds, the fifth highest mark in the conference.
In his third season with the Thunderwolves, Tan is also a first-time all-star after being selected to the West division all-rookie team in 2013-14. His 15.6 points per game ranked him second on Lakehead behind Dinkins. The shifty-guard also averaged 3.6 assists over the course of 19 starts this season for the Thunderwolves. Tan, who is currently enrolled in kinesiology / concurrent education, was one of Lakehead's most dependable players as he saw 34.3 minutes of action per game, the fourth highest mark in OUA.
University of Toronto Varsity Blues forward Devin Johnson (Ajax, Ont.) was a legitimate scoring threat every time he stepped onto the court and is a second-team all-star again this season. Johnson, who also earned the honours last year, finished first in the conference in points per 40 minutes (29.1) while his points per game ranked him second behind the aforementioned Morrow.
Toronto will be represented by two players on the OUA all-rookie team as Devon Williams (Sharon, Mass.) and Daniel Johansson (Stockholm, Sweden) have been recognized.
Williams finished second on the Blues behind Johnson with 12.0 points per game, while Johansson, who won the Swedish national title with the Solna Vikings U20 team prior to joining Toronto, averaged 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 19 games.
For the second time in as many seasons, Laurier Golden Hawks guard Will Coulthard (Oakville, Ont.) has been named a second-team all-star after surpassing 1500 points in his fifth and final season. Coulthard, who broke into the league as an all-rookie selection back in 2011-12, led the Golden Hawks with 17.8 points per game. The sneaky guard also had 36 steals in 20 games this season for Laurier, ranking him sixth overall in OUA.
Freshman guard Simon Mikre (Scarborough, Ont.) will infuse some purple and gold into the all-rookie lineup.
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 presented to Laurentian Voyageurs forward Sam Hirst (Collingwood, Ont.).
In the classroom, Hirst is a three-time CIS Academic All-Canadian while in the community he is a vital member of the Voyageur Basketball Academy which introduces basketball to local children. When he isn't on the court for Laurentian, the Collingwood, Ont. native also volunteers his time with the Voyageurs Read to Achieve program. Hirst visits local elementary schools in the area and read with students for 30 minutes before performing a 30 to 45 minute basketball clinic.
Hirst becomes the first player in Voyageurs history to win the prestigious award.
Rounding out the OUA all-rookie team selections are Voyageurs guard Anthony Iacoe (Sault. Ste. Marie, Ont.), Waterloo Warriors guard Dylan Phillips (Hamilton, Ont.) and Nipissing Lakers power forward Kalil Langston (Brampton, Ont.)
Paul Carter receives the Officials Award of Merit for his outstanding contributions to OUA basketball for the second consecutive season
Highly respected by coaches, athletes, and colleagues for his constant professionalism on and off the floor, Carter has been officiating for 39 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: Mike L'Africain – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Defensive Player of the Year: Caleb Agada – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Rookie of the Year: Isiah Osborne – Windsor Lancers
Ken Shields Award: Sam Hirst – Laurentian Voyageurs
Coach of the Year: Patrick Tatham – Ryerson Rams
Officials Award of Merit: Paul Carter
OUA First-Team All-Stars
Mike L'Africain – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Caleb Agada – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Aaron Best – Ryerson Rams
Adika Peter-McNeilly – Ryerson Rams
Dani Elgadi – Brock Badgers
Kaza Kajami-Keane – Carleton Ravens
Leon Alexander – McMaster Marauders
Sukpreet Singh – Queen's Gaels
Greg Morrow – Western Mustangs
Alex Campbell – Windsor Lancers
OUA Second-Team All-Stars
Guillaume Boucard – Carleton Ravens
Connor Wood – Carleton Ravens
Bacarius Dinkins – Lakehead Thunderwolves
Henry Tan – Lakehead Thunderwolves
Johneil Simpson – Brock Badgers
Will Coulthard – Laurier Golden Hawks
Troy Joseph – McMaster Marauders
Nathan McCarthy – Ottawa Gee-Gees
Ammanuel Diressa – Ryerson Rams
Devin Johnson – Toronto Varsity Blues
OUA All-Rookie Team
Marcus Anderson – Carleton Ravens
Stanley Mayambo – Carleton Ravens
Devon Williams – Toronto Varsity Blues
Daniel Johansson – Toronto Varsity Blues
Tyler Brown – Brock Badgers
Anthony Iacoe – Laurentian Voyageurs
Simon Mikre – Laurier Golden Hawks
Kalil Langston – Nipissing Lakers
Dylan Phillips – Waterloo Warriors
Isiah Osborne – Windsor Lancers