It's that time of year again people! Time to break out the cash and join those office pools for the NCAA Tournament. And since you will no doubt be watching the games closely, here is our list of Canadian ballers who'll be playing in the Tournament as well as some others who won't be ...
OK folks, it’s our favorite time of the year if you’re a college basketball fan, like myself – the NCAA Tournament is here! In just a few days, tomorrow if you are watching the other tournaments as well, we’ll be living in a basketball coma and be blissfully unaware of the other happenings in the world around us (meaning in your own home). There will be a few Canadians playing in the Tournament this year, between 18 and 20 depending on who you’re talking to, and I’ve compiled the list of the top players for you to sit up and take notice of. As always, remember to check back for the game previews everyday …
Marquette - Junior Cadougan (Toronto) Sophomore, Guard
Cadougan has been playing well in the last few weeks for the Golden Eagles in both the starting point guard role and off the bench. In his last nine games he’s averaged 22 minutes, 6 points and 4.3 assists with five of those games as a starter. In the Big East Tournament, he played better posting 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4 assists including a 15 point, 3 rebound, 5 assist game in the win against West Virginia. I would expect Junior to play big in the first game and if they can get past Xavier look for more.
Syracuse – Kris Joseph (Montreal) Junior, Forward
We should all know who Kris Joseph is by now and if you don’t then you may not actually be a Canadian basketball fan. In his last three games of the regular season, Joseph only scored in double digits once and in the two that he didn’t Syracuse still managed to beat out both Villanova and Georgetown. In the Big East Tournament, Joseph picked up his game considerably posting averaging 12 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals and a block in the Orange’s three game run. Look for him to pick up where he left off as it seems he plays his best games when all the chips are on the line.
Texas – Tristan Thompson (Brampton, ON) Freshman, Forward / Cory Joseph (Pickering, ON) Freshman Guard
What more can we say about Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson? They have been, in my humble opinion, what Texas needed last year. Thompson is the dominant frontcourt defender while Joseph is the true point guard. They have both been excellent all season and combined they averaged 22 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks though the Big 12 Tournament to get here. This is likely going to be a new environment for them, even with all the high stakes basketball they’ve played all season, and I’m sure we’ll get to really see what they can do in a super pressured environment.
Bucknell – Bryson Johnson (Pictou, NS/Waterloo, ON) Sophomore, Guard
Unless you’re a member of the community at Bucknell or you’ve been following us hear all season, Bryson Johnson may be the most unheralded of the names on display. All he’s done is be his team’s second leading scorer (11.7 ppg), break the school’s record for three point makes in a season (96 and counting) and be top among the tops in the NCAA in threes made per game (tied for 17th with 2.9) and 3-point percentage (5th at 46.8%) while helping lead his team to their best record in years, an outright Patriot League and conference tournament championship and a spot at the Big Dance. Bucknell’s first game may be the only game that they play in these NCAAs so be sure to catch a glimpse now or wait until next year.
Gonzaga – Robert Sacre (North Vancouver) Junior, Centre
Rob Sacre has come out this season and showed that he can be a beast in the middle for the Zags. He’s played huge all season and especially big when it counted like the 16 point, 15 rebound, 4 assist game against Oklahoma St on New Year’s Eve or the 17 point, 12 rebound, 4 block game against Portland in Portland. Sacre is the lone big man for Gonzaga and patrols the middle in any big set of minutes so he’ll be looked upon to provide that muscle in the paint.
And here is where the other Canadians are playing in this NCAA Tournament:
Richmond – Francis-Cedric Martel (Montreal)
Kansas State – Juevol Myles (Toronto)
Belmont – Jon House (Guelph, ON)
Alabama St – Dwayne Harvey (Hamilton, ON)
Missouri – Kadeem Green (Toronto) Redshirt
Illinois – Jean Selus (Montreal)
And because we want to be inclusionary, we’ve also listed the Canadians playing in the other three post season tournaments below.
And here is who’s playing in the NIT Tournament:
California – Emerson Murray (Vancouver)
Harvard – Laurent Rivard (Saint-Bruno, PQ)
McNeese State – Diego Kapelan (Vancouver)
Cleveland State – Ludovic Ndaye (Montreal)
Here’s who’s playing in the College Basketball Invitational:
Davidson – Nik Cochran (Vancouver)
Creighton - Jahenns Manigat (Ottawa)
And here’s who’s playing in the College Insider’s Tournament:
Tennessee Tech – Dane Smith (Toronto)
Iona – Randy Dezouvre - (Montreal)
Idaho – Djim Bandoumel (Montreal)