Marauders’ Connolly takes OUA West coach honours

Completing his fourth year as McMaster Marauders men’s basketball head coach, Amos Connolly is garnering Ontario University Athletics West coach of the year. His award was included with other major award winners announced at the Wilson Cup awards breakfast in Toronto on Friday (Feb. 28).

Amos Connolly (left) chats with forward Jason Quiring. (Photo: Rick Zazulak/McMaster Athletics)

Amos Connolly (left) chats with forward Jason Quiring. (Photo: Rick Zazulak/McMaster Athletics)

It is the first time Connolly has won the award.

During his tenure Marauder teams have always finished in the top four of the OUA West division, culminating in a first-place finish this season. His 2011-12 McMaster squad also advanced all the way to the OUA Final Four hosted at Waterloo. As an assistant coach with both the Marauder men’s and women’s programs, Connolly was part of McMaster OUA championship teams in 1999 and 2006.

A diligent recruiter, he has brought some outstanding talent into the Maroon ranks, and has had two players named conference rookie of the year, with one of those receiving national freshman honours. In 2014 he has guided the Marauders to their highest ranking (No. 5) in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport top ten rankings since 2006.

The defending champions Carleton Ravens collect four of the five major awards in the east, while four schools are featured among the five major awards in the west.

Lien Phillip, a fifth-year power forward from St. Mark’s Grenada, had another terrific season for the Windsor Lancers, earning OUA West player of the year. He once again established himself as the premier big man in the province. He averaged 16.1 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in helping Windsor finish second overall in the OUA West with a 16-6 record and the No. 7 ranking in the CIS.

This is the second consecutive year that Phillip has been named the OUA West division player of the year. He is without question one of the most talented forwards in Canada, and arguably the most dominant rebounder in the country. This season, he elevated his game even further and finished the regular season with an outstanding 16 double-doubles to lead the OUA and the nation in rebounding.

Phillip will close out his five year Lancer career as the program’s all-time leader in rebounding with an amazing 1,125 career rebounds, and third overall in scoring with 1,338 points.

The OUA West defensive player for the 2013-14 season is Dwayne Harvey of the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Harvey, a wily senior point guard, was handed the reins to the team this year as one of three returning seniors from the 2012-13 CIS silver medal team. Never averse to a challenge, Harvey led his team (with nine newcomers to the lineup) through a grueling schedule and a fourth-place finish in the OUA West.

In doing so, Harvey scored 12.8 points per game, led the OUA West with 46 steals and was in the top 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio, making 4.0 assists per game. While his team made a first round exit from the playoffs this year, Harvey looks forward to playing out his fifth season with the Thunderwolves next year, and with more experience on the roster, leading his team deep into the playoffs.

Dani Elgadi made an immediate impact with the Brock Badgers as a first-year student-athlete and has earned the rookie of the year honour in the OUA West. In a season that didn’t go as expected for the Badgers, the rookie forward was a shining star, becoming a second team all-star in his debut campaign. The Waterloo, Ont., native was one of only three players in the OUA to average a double-double for the season. His 19.5 points per game was tops in the West division, while his 10.4 rebounds tied him for second in the OUA.

Captain of the Western Mustangs for the past two seasons, Quinn Henderson is not only one of the team’s top performers but he also excels in the classroom and in the community. The well-rounded student-athlete is the OUA West nominee for the Ken Shields award.

Outside of the court and classroom Quinn is heavily involved with the London basketball community, helping to coach youth teams in the London Ramblers basketball program as well as being involved with Western University’s Annual Indigenous Services Basketball Tournament. He also volunteered at this year’s Special Olympics Ontario 3-on-3 Tournament. Hailing from Dundas, Ont., Henderson is finishing up his fourth-year at Western and is working towards a Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies degree

No stranger to the limelight, Philip Scrubb is the OUA East player of the year for the third straight season. This year Scrubb helped lead the Ravens to a perfect 22-0 season. He led the team in points (409) with an 18.6 point per-game average. Scrubb also led the Ravens in assists (107) and 4.9 average.

In 2011, Scrubb was named the OUA and CIS Rookie of the Year. In 2012, Scrubb was an OUA first team all-star, OUA and CIS Player of the Year and CIS first team all-Canadian. He also earned the Jack Donohue Trophy as MVP of the CIS championship.

Last season, he accomplished the same feat except for the Donohue Trophy.

Thomas Scrubb played a pivotal role in the success of this year’s edition of the Carleton Ravens and earned himself a second consecutive OUA East defensive player of the year award. Scrubb led the Ravens in individual rebounding (185) with 48 offensive and 137 defensive rebounds or an average of 8.4 a game.

Scrubb was second in assists (56) with a 2.5 per game average.

He was named the 2013 OUA East division defensive player of the year. Scrubb was tremendous in last year’s playoffs being named the MVP of the 2013 Wilson Cup and earned the Kitch MacPherson Trophy as the MVP of the OUA championship. In the 2013 CIS Final 8 Scrubb was named an all-star and tournament MVP (Donohue Trophy).

In his first season with the Ryerson Rams, Jean-Victor Mukama (Hamilton) made an immediate impact en route to the rookie of the year award in the OUA East. On a team rich with veterans at the guard position, Mukama made his presence known by contributing at both ends of the floor.

The freshman played in all 22 games, started on six occasions, and finished the regular season with 145 points and 66 rebounds while adding 26 steals and ten blocks. Mukama finished second on the Rams with 34 three point field goals while shooting 34.3% from beyond the arc.

The Hamilton native scored at least 12 points in seven games and posted a career-high 19 points against the No. 1 team in the country.

Kevin Churchill of the Carleton Ravens for years has combined basketball, academics and the community, and in doing so earns the OUA East division’s nomination for the Ken Shields award. The fifth-year veteran has earned the honour for the past three years. His leadership skills and contributions to the Ravens program during his Carleton career are immeasurable.

This season, Churchill had the team’s best field goal percentage (61%) after being successful on 84 of 137 attempts. Churchill placed third in rebounding for the Ravens with 103 total boards, was tied for third with 16 steals and was the team’s second best shot blocker with seven.

Giving back to the community is important to the philosophy major, and even with a full course load he manages to contribute his time to a number of charitable organizations. 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.

In recognition of his team’s 22-0 regular season record, Dave Smart of the Carleton Ravens is the coach of the year in the OUA East. Smart has served as the head men’s basketball coach at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario since 1999, where he has led the Ravens to nine Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships.

He is a seven-time CIS coach of the year winner. Smart was awarded the Stewart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy, as the top men’s basketball coach in the CIS in 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons. He has also been named the OUA East division coach of the year on 10 occasions.

Smart has won more than 92 per cent of his games against CIS opposition since his first season as Ravens head coach.

In March 2013, Smart’s Carleton Ravens won their ninth title, defeating Lakehead University, 92-42, setting a Canadian university basketball records for largest winning margin (50 points) and fewest points allowed (42 points) in a championship final. The win also broke a tie with the University of Victoria for the most championships won in Canadian men’s university basketball.