Hoops: Checking in with the Gee-Gees

This week's column in the Sun focused on the Ottawa Gee-Gees. A lot of people would say had their best shot at making a mark on the national scene last season, when they beat Carleton twice in the regular season before losing to the Ravens in the OUA East final and in the national semi-final.

The gist of it was there are longer odds for the Gee-Gees even when it comes to beating out Queen's and Toronto for second in the OUA East and possible berth at nationals, but this group wants to get its due.

Lead guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe has taken on more of a leadership role this season; in his first couple seasons he just had to go out and play: "It's business, all business," was how the 21-year-old grad of Toronto's Jarvis Collegiate put it, adding that he's trying to lead by example on and off the court: "I have to make sure that I'm always in class, always have all my schoolwork done, always show up 15 minutes early for practice."

The big if to contemplate with the Gee-Gees is their depth, and whether they'll be able to play their high-tempo style if the starters -- Gibson-Bascombe, shooting guard Donnie Gibson, big man Dax Dessureault and forwards Sean Peter and David Labentowicz -- have to play 32, 33 minutes per night. Gibson, for instance, averaged 17 minutes last season coming off the bench, but he played a career-high 38 vs. McMaster last Saturday.

Coach Dave DeAveiro pointed out that's bliss for someone such as Gibson, who has to wait his turn to start. At the same time, he said "patience is going to be a virtue for us" in regard to seeing if the rookies, such as forward Marvin Bazile out of Montreal, develop.

Toronto plays hard every night and Queen's can run the Princeton-style offence for threes and backdoor layups all night. Throw in the fact the York has the conference's best point guard in Tut Ruach and that Boris and Igor Bakovic at Ryerson are its best set of bigs, and it will be a dogfight behind Carleton. There's something about the Gee-Gees that makes them bear watching.

Taking their shot: GGs out to prove skeptics wrong (Ottawa Sun)
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