The town of Oakville should be in a boastful athletic mood today.
The two winners of the rookies of the year awards from the Ontario University Athletics’ East and West basketball divisions call Oakville home. McMaster Marauders Adam Presutti takes home the West honour while Mike L’Africain is this year’s east Rookie of the Year.
Presutti, a guard, led the No. 8 Marauders in minutes played and netted 243 points while collecting 75 rebounds in his first campaign. Presutti was earlier named to the All-Rookie team.
L’Africain, a point guard, excelled right off the bat and dressed in all 22 games this season for the Ottawa Gee-Gees, averaging just over 30 minutes per game. He finished second in team scoring with 264 points and ran an efficient offence, finding his teammates for 73 assists. He also finished eighth in OUA with a 46.3 completion percentage from beyond the arc.
L’Africain has also been named to the All-Rookie team.
The defending champion Lakehead Thunderwolves led the pack in the west division while defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Carleton collected four of five major awards in the east.
This season’s west division Player of the Year is Lakehead guard Venzal Russell (Detroit). The fourth-year guard led the No. 2 ranked Thunderwolves in scoring with 347 points, good for tenth in the league, and converted 140 field goals, fourth most in OUA. His strong play was also evident at the defensive end of the floor as he finished third with 52 steals. Russell has also been named a First-Team All-Star.
Greg Carter (Ottawa) is this year’s west Defensive Player of the Year, giving him his third straight honour. The Thunderwolves’ guard helped lead Lakehead to the second-best defence in the west, surrendering just 72.0 points per game. Normally matched against his opponents’ best offensive player, he finished second in OUA with 56 steals for an average of 2.55 steals per game. Carter has also been named a Second-Team All-Star.
The winner of this year’s west division Ken Shields Award, given to the student-athlete who best exhibits outstanding achievements in basketball, academics, and community involvement, is Guelph’s Daniel McCarthy (Guelph). The fourth-year biomedical science student is now a two-time west division all-star and also excels in the classroom. Outside of his student-athlete routine, McCarthy is active in the Guelph community. He is currently the regional coordinator for Brain Day, an organization that educates children about brain safety and is a student athlete mentor, helping fellow student athletes academically. He also volunteers in s schools as part of the Boys, Books and Basketball program and the Believe to Achieve program. McCarthy has also been named a Second-Team All-Star.
Lakehead bench boss Scott Morrison is the 2011-12 west Coach of the Year, earning his third consecutive award. Morrison has turned the Thunderwolves into a juggernaut in the west division, finishing the year with a 20-2 record and their highest national ranking in program history at the No. 2 spot.
In the east, Carleton once again owns the Player of the Year, this time in Phil Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.). The second-year guard followed up his rookie of the year campaign last year with more impressive numbers. He finished tenth in league scoring, averaging 16.18 points per game, and sixth in field goal percentage at 55.7 percent. He also finished with 61 three-pointers to lead the league and his 57.0 three-point field goal percentage was tops in both OUA and CIS play. Scrubb has also been named a First-Team All-Star.
For the third straight year, Carleton’s Cole Hobin (Ashton) takes home the east Defensive Player r of the Year award. The Ravens had the stingiest defence in the nation, allowing just 56.6 points per game against. Hobin tallied 55 defensive rebounds, 27 steals, and 15 blocks this year and kept the opponent’s top players in check.
The east Ken Shields Award, given to the student-athlete who best exhibits outstanding achievements in basketball, academics, and community involvement, goes to Kevin Churchill (Toronto). The Ravens’ forward is an Academic All-Canadian and excels in his philosophy studies. On the court Churchill has shown his dedication, working his way from being a twelfth-man into a considerable scoring threat and decision maker. Giving back to the community is important for the third-year player and he is actively involved with both the Ottawa area Spirit Program and Camp Merrywood, helping children with special needs. He also volunteers at the Swish for the Cure event in Toronto to help raise money for Childhood Cancer Canada.
Carleton head coach Dave Smart earns this year’s east Coach of the Year distinction. This is Smart’s seventh such honour which comes on the heels of his second straight 22-0 season. The Ravens were ranked No. 1 for the entirety of this year’s campaign and look to continue their dynasty-type run as they look for their fourth Wilson Cup in five years and eighth national championship in ten years.