Basketball: McMaster men recruit 4 off Ontario champions

Yours truly is way late, but McMaster announced its men's basketball recruiting class a couple days ago, consisting of four key cogs from the Hamilton Blessed Sacrament club team which won an OBA banner this spring. Quickly, cribbing from Rob Hilson's press release and The Spec's solid-as-always coverage (small copy editor's quibble, cagers or cagemen as a synonym for basketball player is kind of dated; how about using ballers, like the kids say):
  • Ryan Christie, 6-foot-7 forward (Hamilton St. Thomas More) — The buzz phrase with Christie is "high risk, high reward." He's a solid dude, physically (listed at 240 lbs., with a 6-foot-11 wingspan) and is expected to be an impact player after being in the talent pool for Canada's junior national team. However, this might be the big take-home from The Spec's story:
    "Invited to the Canadian junior team tryout camp last year, Christie has been a member of a handful of provincial championship squads. He did not play high school basketball this past season -- just football -- when he could not see eye to eye with the coach.

    "It should be noted that Christie has lived on his own for the past two years due to family issues, raising his marks high enough to qualify for McMaster.

    "Said (Marauders coach Joe) Raso: 'Did he make mistakes? Absolutely. Every kid does. Does Ryan have to grow up? Yes. But he was in a tough situation. I'm proud of the fact that he got in here.

    " 'Can you imagine a student living on their own for two years and qualifying grade-wise to get into this institution? To me, that's impressive. I've never had to pay rent as an 18-year-old.' "
    There has been some clamouring at about him possibly playing for the Mac football team. The Marauders have had some two-sporters in recent years, including quarterback/receiver/forward Jon Behie and more recently, running back/guard Jermaine De Costa.

  • Paul Hart, 6-foot guard (Ancaster Bishop Tonnos) — Any doubts about his character presumably were cleared up in his second-last year of high school, when he played "magnificently" (Hamilton Spectator, Apr. 9, 2008) in a semi-final playoff game two days after his father died. His high school coach was Steve Maga, the former Mac star.

    Raso said unequivocally Hart is going to play football at Mac. His sister, Rachel Hart, was a CIS defensive player in the year in basketball at Mac.

  • Sean McGrattan, 6-5 forward (Ancaster Bishop Tonnos) — Comes described as versatile player, so it would be interesting to see what role he gravitates toward. He's the cousin of the Calgary Flames' new enforcer, Brian McGrattan.

  • Victor Raso, 6-3 guard (Hamilton St. Thomas More) — The coach's son and a multi-sporter who was a quarterback in football. This is coming from someone who only got to see McMaster in person once last season (vs. Carleton), but they would seem to be looking for a point guard after being 13th in the OUA in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Mac recruits top cagemen (Larry Moko, Hamilton Spectator, July 9)
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