It might be best to list off the candidates from west to east, with a little commentary on who has a strong case, pending the AUS nominations.
Mike Moser Memorial Trophy (most valuable player): UBC guard Josh Whyte (19.1 points, 4.2 assists, 2.4 steals); McMaster forward Keenan Jeppesen (19.7 points, 8.6 rebounds); Ottawa guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe (20.1 points, 6.2 assists, 2.4 steals); McGill guard Matthew Thornhill (18.3 points, 4.9 rebounds).
It probably boils down to Joshua East and West (fist bump: the late Mordecai Richler), along with Christian Upshaw of No. 3 St. FX.
Gibson-Bascombe has been an iron man for No. 5 Ottawa, putting up 20 points a night, leading CIS in assists and being third nationally in steals. The argument for JGB basically boils down to picturing the Gee-Gees, who began the season outside of the top 10, without him. A small counter-point: he averaged 30.3 points in Ottawa's four games vs. York and Laurentian, the sixth- and seventh-place teams in the eight-team OUA East.
Whyte is a similar type of lead guard, who can get to the rim, distribute and defend, but the deeper Thunderbirds have the luxury of not having to lean on him as much as Ottawa rides its talismanic floor leader. Whyte has put up numbers when needed, such as when he had a 50-point weekend during the T-Birds' big southern Alberta swing in January, when they won at Lethbridge and Calgary.
One factor is the Moser often can be a senior award. Whyte is a fourth-year who played elsewhere, while JGB has been with the Gee-Gees for his whole five-year run.
Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (coach of the year): Kevin Hanson, UBC; Scott Morrison, Lakehead; Dave DeAveiro, Ottawa; Olga Hrycak, UQAM.
Hanson, who won four seasons ago, has UBC's No. 1 ranking on his side. Morrison has turned around a losing Lakehead program, against the odds, but that doesn't always cut a lot of ice at the national level. (Current McGill coach Craig Norman, when he won with RMC in '03-04, was about the only example).
DeAveiro has a solid case. He's probably the most accomplished coach in the country who has never received the Stu Aberdeen award. It has gone to an OUA East coach five of the past nine seasons.
Defensive player of the year: Thompson Rivers centre Greg Stewart; Lakehead guard Greg Carter; Carleton guard-forward Cole Hobin; UQAM guard Éric Côté-Kougnima.
It would be disingenuous to weigh in on this as someone who's only seen one of the four (Hobin) play in person.
Stewart is an incredible story, becoming a solid CIS player while playing with a prosthetic left arm. The selectors do tend to see this in purely basketall terms, so it might come down to the two Ottawa-area products on ranked teams, Carter and Hobin. The scary thought is Carter is a second-year player and Hobin is only in his third.
Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy (rookie of the year): Alberta forward Jordan Baker (13.7 points, 9.1 boards); Brock swingman Clinton Springer-Williams (21.2 points, 6.2 rebounds); Laurentian guard Manny Pasquale (15.1 points, 3.3 assists); McGill guard Olivier Bouchard (9.9 points, 3.7 assists).
Please keep in mind it is who had the best season, not who is going to have the best career. Springer-Williams -- and how his game and presidential namesake haven't earned him the sobriquet of Slick Willie is, frankly astounding -- wins on the former count. Feel free to debate the latter. Baker almost averaged a double-double in his yearling campaign.
Ken Shields Award (outstanding humanitarian): Simon Fraser guard Kevin Shaw, Lakehead guard Jamie Searle, Queen's guard Baris Ondul
Here you thought Searle's team was a great group of dudes. (Various releases out of the QSSF have not listed a nominee.)
First-team forwards: Ross Bekkering, Calgary; Jacob Doerksen, Trinity Western; Keenan Jeppesen, McMaster; Andrew Wedemire, Western; Isaac Kuon Windsor; Boris Bakovic, Ryerson; Kevin McCleery, Carleton; Mitch Leger, Queen's; Evens Laroche, Concordia; Étienne Labrecque, Laval
Four of the five division/league MVPs are likely to be guards. One big should be selected so that the all-Canadian team conforms to the lineup of an actual basketball team. (Would six defensive backs and only two linebackers be named all-Canadian in football?)
It's a similar argument for both Bakovic (26.2, 9.6, 51.3% effecting shooting), the No. 2 scorer in the country, and Leger (21.4, 11.9, 51.5% effective shooting) is the only player to average 20 and 10 in 2010. Where do their teams finish without them?
Queen's assistant coach Duncan Cowan had a money quote about Leger following Queen's playoff loss to Ottawa last weekend:
"If this was his last game, he leaves as one of the best players in the country and easily one of the top players in our program’s history."(The 20-and-10 argument might be a bit facetious, since Bakovic only needed a few more boards to get to double digits.)
McCleery (16.8, 5.1, 63.1% effective) plays on a top team and led CIS in field-goal percentage. Bekkering (19.0, 8.9, 55.8% effective) is the best man on a very good team.
First-team guards: Josh Whyte, UBC; Showron Glover, Saskatchewan; Zeon Gray, Fraser Valley; Jamie Searle, Lakehead; Clinton Springer-Williams, Brock; Josh Gibson-Bascombe, Ottawa; Nick Magalas, Toronto; Matt Thornhill, McGill; Onnex Blackwood, Bishop's.
Whyte, Gibson-Bascombe and Upshaw are probably the choices.