With the Final 8 all set to go and the conference seasons over, it's time to consider which players stood out most in the regular season. In no particular order, we'll take a look at five players from each of the OUA and Canada West, as well as two or three from the QUBL and AUS, looking at their strengths, best moments, and prospects for landing All-Canadian status.
The player rankings can be found here; individual stats are on the CIS site here.
Jamelle Barrett, Saskatchewan Huskies
Averages: 25.0 points, 6.8 assists, 51.6 FG%
When the Huskies lost Showron Glover after last year's championship, they lost a ball-dominating guard who could score in numerous ways and capably distribute the rock. Fortunately for the Dogs, they've got a very similar player in Barrett, who was named Canada West Player of the Year. Simply an outstanding player when he has the ball, Barrett's got excellent prospects for first team All-Canadian Status.
Rejean Chabot, Saskatchewan Huskies
Averages: 21.5 points, 4.4 assists
Much like Glover, Chabot is a guard who can score with the ball in his hands. The lights-out tandem he and Barrett give Saskatchewan is a big reason why the Huskies were the league's highest-scoring team. Still, Barrett's presence in the same backcourt (not to mention the glut of excellent guards in Canada West) probably hurt his first-team chances.
Josh Whyte, UBC Thunderbirds
Averages: 18.1 points, 1.9 assists, 54.7 FG%
Whyte would likely post much higher averages if he played more than 27.6 minutes per game; his team usually produces a big enough lead that he has much of the night off. He's continued his excellent play from last year's Player of the Year season, leading UBC to the Canada West title and the Final 8's top seed with his crafty, efficient scoring game. He's the top dog in a very good offence and having another spectacular season worthy of All-Canadian status.
Jacob Doerksen, Trinity Western Spartans
Averages: 21.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 62.1 FG%
Doerksen, also a former CIS Player of the Year, is simply a beast. With plenty of size to rumble his way into the paint but a soft touch that stretches out to the three point line, Doerksen is arguably the hardest big to guard in CIS - as seen by his obscene shooting percentage. He posted nine 25+ point games this season and is the main source of Trinity's resurgence this year. All-Canadian prospects are very good.
Jordan Baker, Alberta Golden Bears
Averages: 17.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 54.7 FG%
I struggled choosing Baker over Daniel Ferguson, Baker's teammate and the nation's third-leading scorer at 23 points per game. But Baker is such a versatile threat and a menace in the paint (as seen by this 31-point, 24-rebound performance) that he warrants mentioning above his Golden Bear teammate. Despite his eye-popping stats, however, I don't think he sneaks by Doerksen for All-Canadian status.
Tyson Hinz, Carleton Ravens
Averages: 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 57.2 FG%
Hinz' high school coach called him "the fastest slow player you've ever seen" (thanks to Neate Sager for that one). He's by no means the best athlete on the floor any night, but is as fundamentally sound a basketball player as you can find, always knowing exactly where to be on the court at all times. Like Whyte, his team's dominance lowers his stats. And like Whyte, he's got a very good chance of making an All-Canadian appearance this year.
Warren Ward, Ottawa Gee-Gees
Averages: 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds
Ward is a nice scorer, as demonstrated by his 41-point (on 16-of-18 shooting) performance in a convincing win over Toronto. He struggled through injuries for much of the season, but his late-season return to health was a huge reason the Gee-Gees came within a Venzal Russell jumper of reaching the Final 8. Still, his team's relative mediocrity and his own relatively lacklustre stats will keep him from All-Canadian status this year.
Isaac Kuon, Windsor Lancers
Averages: 21.7 points, 45.7 3FG%
Kuon kicked off the OUA season with a 43-point outburst in a win over York, getting the Player of the Year discussion started very early. However, an ankle injury slowed him as the season went on, and he took himself out of the discussion with a horrid 8-for-54 slump over three games, all losses. He led a Lancers team in a bit of transition to yet another solid campaign, but may lose out on All-Canadian status thanks to his own inconsistency.
Kale Harrison, Laurier Golden Hawks
Averages: 21.2 points, 5.2 rebounds
After a sub-par 2009-10, Harrison responded strongly to becoming the new leader of a young Golden Hawks team. A catch-and-shoot/drive player who thrives off the ball, Harrison found a way to become one of the nation's best scorers despite the relative inexperience around him. His team's 12-10 record doesn't really do justice to the quality of play they produced this year, having played Carleton as well as anyone before the Wilson Cup final. Harrison shot just 42.7 per cent from the field, however, hurting his case for All-Canadian status.
Andrew Wedemire, Western Mustangs
Averages: 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 55.2 FG%
A second-team All-Canadian last year, Wedemire played his final season as one of few veterans on a injury-plagued and depth-lacking Mustangs squad. He also limped through a midseason ankle injury to help his team to a playoff upset over McMaster. His rock-solid performance in a shaky Western season gives Wedemire a decent shot at repeat second-team status.
Joey Haywood, St. Mary's Huskies
Averages: 28.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 51.6 FG%
Three games of 40+ points? 15 games of 25 or better? Nobody put the ball in the hoop like King Handles this year, torching opponents in a way rarely seen in the CIS game. No matter that his team struggled to a below .500 record and was dismissed in the first round of the AUS tournament; a season of this scoring magnitude needs to be recognized with at least second team All-Canadian status.
Christian Upshaw, St. FX X-Men
Averages: 18.1 points, 3.1 rebounds
When I was looking through the individual stats, I thought Upshaw was missing because I wasn't expecting to scroll down to the 30s before finding his name. But it was as a disappointing season for Upshaw as with anyone else on the St. FX team that looked like a national contender to start the year but fizzled to a whimpering defeat, failing to even reach the AUS final. Upshaw's been a heck of a scorer and playmaker for X over his five years, and had his moments this season (including a 43-point outburst in the AUS Tournament's first round), but never got on track the way many thought he would earlier this year.
Owen Klassen, Acadia Axemen
Averages: 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks
Building off his All-Rookie campaign last year, Klassen became arguably the best big man in the AUS this year, posting 10 double-doubles and giving Acadia a semblance of consistency in a shaky year (note: it's nice to make the Final 8 in a shaky year). He's got a chance to be one of the youngest All-Canadians this season.
Jérôme Turcotte-Routhier, Laval Rouge-et-Or
Averages: 16.6 points, 6.8 rebounds
The QUBL's co-Player of the Year was 101st in the player rankings? I'm not sure there are 25 guys, let alone 100, I'd rather have on my team before this dude. Though the rankings are based on minutes played as well as PER, so the short Q season hurts him, not to mention that he did struggle with turnovers at times, and Laval's suspect top-10 season doesn't help him out in the race.
Kyle Desmarais, Concordia Stingers
Averages: 19.3 points, 4.1 assists, 55.4 FG%
How to make a QUBL Champion: 1. Take league's worst team from last year 2. Add Kyle Desmarais 3. Stir.
Alright, that's a gross oversimplification, but the dude was the main difference between last year's last-place team and this year's championship. A turnaround of that magnitude takes some serious ballin' from one player (not to take away from the ballin-ness of teammates Evens Laroche and Decee Krah).
Note: I'm not going to try and make an All-Canadian case for any other QUBL players. Disagreements with the player rankings aside, there's no one else even in the top-50.
Brian's All-Canadian Teams
G - Jamelle Barrett - Saskatchewan
G - Josh Whyte - UBC
G - Kyle Desmarais - Concordia
F - Jacob Doerksen - Trinity Western
F - Tyson Hinz - Carleton
G - Rejean Chabot - Saskatchewan
G - Joey Haywood - Saint Mary's
F - Jordan Baker - Alberta
F - Isaac Kuon - Windsor
F - Andy Wedemire - Western
Player of the Year: Josh Whyte
Major snub: Daniel Ferguson - Alberta