Though the team won against Brock University and Queen’s University, the Men’s Basketball Team’s season came to a close at Windsor, falling 85-71. With the loss, the Blues were unable to qualify for the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Playoffs.
The Blues began the season hoping to improve on their disappointing 2013-2014 campaign. They successfully achieved this objective by ending the season with a 6-19 finish, coming in just behind the Ryerson University Rams and York University Lions. While the team still sees room for improvement, it is a gain over last year’s finish.
This achievement was influenced by the pair of National Collegiate Athletics Association division 1 transfers.
Toronto natives Julian Clarke and Manny Sahota returned to the city from Santa Clara University and Cornell University, respectively.
Clarke was named the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ most valuable player in 2010 and Sahota the high school athlete of the year by The Toronto Star.
The players finished this season strong in Toronto, coming in second and third in points per game respectively at 15.3 and 11.2. Devin Johnson, too, experienced success this season having been able to record a career high in January.
Playing against Queen’s Gaels, Johnson scored 25 points in one game and finished the season off leading the team in points per game at 17.5.
The team has faced a history of difficulty with turnovers and rebounds. After a loss against the York University Lions in February 2013, the interim Head Coach, Rick Dilena, noted a problem with ‘costly turnovers’ and difficulty ‘[rebounding] in key situations.’
John Campbell, who returned to the role, expressed similar concerns prior to the Windsor game, hoping to minimize turnovers and rebound well. This season saw the Blues’ rebound margin trailing by only 1.6 per game.
Moving forward, the Blues will likely look to continue guiding first-year point guard Sage Usher, who finished his rookie season off strong.
Usher averaged 6.4 points per game and was able to lead the team with 24 steals and 3.4 assists per game.
The Blues last brought home the Wilson Cup in 1995. The team proudly boasts second best in the OUA for having taken home the conference crown 14 times. The Blues have been to the post-season 23 times in the past 30 years.
Looking to the 2015-2016 season, the Blues will welcome Devon Williams from Sharon, Massachusetts to the team. Williams is currently rated a 3+ star recruit in High School Basketball Illustrated.