BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is excited to announce the 2016-17 men's basketball major awards and all-stars.
In his fifth and final season, Carleton Ravens guard Connor Wood (Guelph, Ont.) was one of the top shooters in the province (if not the country) and has been named the 2016-17 OUA Player of the Year.
Shooting 50 percent from downtown this season, Wood led OUA with 76 made three-pointers and finished tied for fourth overall averaging 19.1 points per game. Wood receives his inaugural OUA first-team nod this season after being named to the second-team in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Wood becomes the first Carleton player to win the award since former Ravens standout Phil Scrubb was named OUA East Division MVP back in 2013-14.
Wood will receive a customized OUA Player of the Year ring courtesy of Baron Championship Rings to commemorate his outstanding 2016-17 season.
After returning to the bench this season, Carleton head coach Dave Smart picked up right where he left of and led the Ravens to an unbeaten 19-0 regular season record as the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Under the guidance of Smart, the Ravens ranked first in several statistical categories, including: points per game (92.0) and points per game allowed (58.6). This is the tenth OUA Coach of the Year award for Smart and his first since the 2013-14 season.
For a second straight season, Ravens guard Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, Ont.) has been named an OUA first-team all-star after leading the league in assists (99) and finished second on Carleton, averaging 15.5 points per game. Kajami-Keane, who transferred from Cleveland State in the NCAA prior to the start of last season, also ranked in the top ten in field goal percentage (51.8).
Carleton forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, Ont.) is an all-star for the first time in his career after being named to the second-team in his final season with the Ravens, while standout freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, Ont.) was made an all-rookie selection.
uOttawa Gee-Gees guard Caleb Agada (Burlington, Ont.) was once again the toughest player to play against in the conference and has been recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season. "The Burlington Skyway" finished second with 49 steals, while his 6.4 rebounds per game ranked him inside the top 20. Agada becomes the first player to earn the award in back-to-back seasons since former Ravens defensive specialist Thomas Scrubb did so in 2013 and 2014. Agada was also named an OUA first-team all-star for the third straight season.
In his first season with the Gee-Gees, Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles (Ottawa, Ont.) averaged 14.4 points per game during the regular season and is an OUA all-star for the first time in his career. After transferring from the crosstown rival Ravens last season, Pierre-Charles was a welcomed addition to uOttawa , finishing fifth in field goal percentage (54.1) and sixth in the OUA, averaging 8.7 rebounds per game.
No player in the conference had as big an impact as Laurentian Voyageurs Kadre Gray (Toronto, Ont.) did this season as the standout freshman has been named OUA Rookie of the Year, a first-team all-star and a member of the rookie team.
Gray led OUA and U SPORTS averaging 23.2 points per game to go along with a league-high 141 field goals and 130 free throws. The Toronto, Ont. native becomes the first Laurentian player to be named OUA Rookie of the Year since Manny Pasquale captured East Division honours back in 2010.
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 Brock Badgers guard Ryan Bennett (Toronto, Ont.)
After transferring from Laurentian to Brock prior to the 2015 season to complete his MBA, Bennett has not only helped the Badgers achieve success on the court but is a leader within the classroom and community. When he isn't suiting up for the Badgers, Bennett, a U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian, is more than generous with his time and has volunteered over 500 hours of community service to various local organizations.
The Badgers are off to the Wilson Cup Final Four this weekend for the first time since 2008 thanks in large part to the play of fourth-year forward Dani Elgadi (Waterloo, Ont.). Elgadi, who was named OUA Rookie of the Year in 2013-14, has been named an OUA first-team all-star again after being the only player in OUA this season to finish averaging a double-double after scoring 14.7 points and grabbing 10.3 rebounds per game.
Now in his third season, Brock guard Johneil Simpson (Toronto, Ont.) has been selected to the second-team for the second time in as many seasons, while freshman Daniel Cayer (Montreal, Que.) will represent the Badgers on the rookie team.
The defending Wilson Cup champion Ryerson Rams picked up right where they left off this season and were once again led by four-time OUA all-star Adika Peter-McNeilly (Scarborough, Ont.). After being named to the second-team in 2014 and 2015, Peter-McNeilly has been a first-team all-star in each of the past two seasons and is coming off a year that saw him finish tied for fourth in the league with 19.2 points per game.
Joining Peter-McNeilly on the first-team is Rams guard Ammanuel Diressa (Toronto, Ont.). Playing for his hometown team, Diressa, who played for Tennessee Tech in the NCAA before joining the Rams last season, is an OUA all-star for a second time after being selected to the second-team last year. The Toronto, Ont. native finished fourth in the OUA, averaging 26.4 points per 40 minutes during the regular season.
Ryerson forward Keevon Small (Montreal, Que.) will represent the Rams as their lone rookie team selection.
For the first time in his career, McMaster Marauders forward Connor Gilmore (Etobicoke, Ont.) has been named an OUA all-star after a successful 2016-17 season. Now in just his third year with McMaster, Gilmore finished third in league scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game to go along with 9.0 rebounds.
In his fifth and final season, McMaster guard Rohan Boney (Oakville, Ont.) has been named to the second-team for the second time in his career after previously earning the honour back in 2014-15.
University of Toronto Varsity Blues forward Devin Johnson (Ajax, Ont.) rounds out the OUA first-team all-star selections. Johnson, now a three-time all-star, gets the first first-team nod of his career after he finished second in the conference, averaging 20.5 points per game.
2016-17 was a season of firsts for the Nipissing Lakers. First playoff win in their first playoff game and in yet another first, the Lakers lineup features two OUA second-team all-stars in Justin Shaver (Ottawa, Ont.) and Marcus Lewis (Brampton, Ont.)
The future continue the young Lakers as for a third straight season they have a player selected to the rookie team as freshman guard Jaaden Lewis (Thornhill, Ont.) receives the nod this year.
Waterloo really turned some heads this season and there might not be a team in the province (or even the country) with as much young potential as the Warriors showed this year. Rookie sensation Nedim Hodzic (Waterloo, Ont.) becomes the first Waterloo player to be named an all-OUA star since 2011 after a strong season landed him on the second-team. Hodzic is also joined by fellow freshmen and Waterloo residents Simon Petrov (Waterloo, Ont.) and Justin Hardy (Waterloo, Ont.) on the rookie team.
Across town, the rival Laurier Golden Hawks have one of the brightest budding stars in the game. Golden Hawks guard Tevaun Kokko (Markham, Ont.) was named to the second-team as well as the rookie team after leading Laurier in scoring and ranking sixth overall with 19.2 points per game.
Now in his fourth year with the Lancers, Windsor guard Mike Rocca (Sarnia, Ont.) is an OUA all-star for the first time in his career. Selected to the second-team in 2016-17, the Sarnia, Ont. native led the Lancers with 16.8 points per game.
Following a year in which he establish himself as the Gaels all-time leading scorer with 1,392 points in his career, Queen's guard Sukhpreet Singh (Toronto, Ont.) has been named an OUA all-star for a second year in a row. Singh, who was selected to the first-team last season, will represent the Gaels on the second-team in 2016-17.
For a second straight year, Lakehead Thunderwolves forward Bacarius Dinkins (Jonesville, FLA) has now been named a second-team all-star.
Western Mustangs guard Omar Shiddo (Brampton, Ont.) rounds out the rookie team selections.
Dave Maxin receives the Officials Award of Merit for his outstanding contributions to OUA basketball for the second consecutive season.
Now in his 14th year of refereeing and eighth as an OUA official, Maxin is one of the hardest working referees in the league, regularly attending camps to continue enhancing and developing his skills. Known for his calm demeanour and excellent judgment, Maxin is also a member of the OUA Panel of Officials and officiated the CIS Men's Final 8 tournament back in 2015. When he isn't on the refereeing OUA basketball, Maxin can be found in the classroom as a high-school chemistry teacher.
OUA Major Award Winners
Player of the Year: Connor Wood – Carleton Ravens
Defensive Player of the Year: Caleb Agada – uOttawa Gee-Gees
Rookie of the Year: Kadre Gray – Laurentian Voyageurs
Ken Shields Award: Ryan Bennett – Brock Badgers
Coach of the Year: Dave Smart – Carleton Ravens
Officials Award of Merit: Dave Maxin
OUA First-Team All-Stars
Connor Wood – Carleton Ravens
Kaza Kajami-Keane – Carleton Ravens
Adika Peter-McNeilly – Ryerson Rams
Ammanuel Diressa – Ryerson Rams
Caleb Agada – uOttawa Gee-Gees
Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles – uOttawa Gee-Gees
Dani Elgadi – Brock Badgers
Devin Johnson – Toronto Varsity Blues
Kadre Gray – Laurentian Voyageurs
Connor Gilmore – McMaster Marauders
OUA Second-Team All-Stars
Justin Shaver – Nipissing Lakers
Marcus Lewis – Nipissing Lakers
Mike Rocca – Windsor Lancers
Bacarius Dinkins – Lakehead Thunderwolves
Sukhpreet Singh – Queen's Gaels
Johneil Simpson – Brock Badgers
Tevaun Kokko – Laurier Golden Hawks
Rohan Boney – McMaster Marauders
Ryan Ejim – Carleton Ravens
Nedim Hodzic – Waterloo Warriors
OUA All-Rookie Team
Nedim Hodzic – Waterloo Warriors
Simon Petrov – Waterloo Warriors
Justin Hardy – Waterloo Warriors
Kadre Gray – Laurentian Voyageurs
Eddie Ekiyor – Carleton Ravens
Tevaun Kokko – Laurier Golden Hawks
Keevon Small – Ryerson Rams
Daniel Cayer – Brock Badgers
Omar Shiddo – Western Mustangs
Jaaden Lewis – Nipissing Lakers