Carter defends defensive award
Greg Carter has already made a splash in his hometown at the Canadian university men’s basketball championship in Ottawa.
The Lakehead Thunderwolves guard was named the national defensive player of the year for the second-straight year on Wednesday, becoming only second multiple winner of this award since its inception in 2005.
Carter, who is from the National Capital Region, anchored LU’s defensive unit that was ranked sixth in the country in points allowed per game (68.5) and fifth in opponents’ field goal percentage (38.3). The five-foot-10 guard was also second in the OUA in steals (2.1 per game) to go with game averages of 9.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
“We’re pleased that the (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) coaches have recognized once again what we at Lakehead have known for five seasons — that Greg Carter is the elite defensive player in the country,” Thunderwolves coach Scott Morrison said in a release.
“Many players have the ability to change a game with a big defensive play but few, if any in recent memory, have the impact on an opponent’s offensive game plan that Greg does on a weekly basis. Greg has been a hard worker, a leader and a winner at every level he has played and it is nice to see his CIS career draw to a close with this outstanding honour being bestowed a second time.”
The No. 7 Thunderwolves will face the second-ranked Cape Breton Capers Friday in the first round of the CIS Final 8 at Scotiabank Place. The team arrived in Ottawa today and will hold their first practice this morning.
Meanwhile, Lakehead women’s basketball guard Carolyn Fragale was named to the OUA West second all-star team. It’s the first all-star section for Fragale, who is also graduating this spring after leading LU in scoring with 15.4 points per game.
Carter was one of three repeat award winners. Carleton guard Philip Scrubb was named Canada’s most outstanding men’s player and Guelph forward Daniel McCarthy won his second straight Ken Shields Award in recognition of his excellence in basketball, academics and community involvement.
Carleton’s Dave Smart became the first head coach to receive three straight coach of the year awards. Deontay Smith, of the University of Prince Edward Island, was named rookie of the year.
Scrubb, a six-foot-three native of Richmond, B.C., finished sixth in the conference in scoring with a team-high average of 18.6 points per game. He connected on 42.6 per cent of his three-point attempts and was 86 per cent from the free-throw line.
Cape Breton guard Jimmy Dorsey, Bishop’s centre Mike Andrews and Saskatchewan guard Stephon Lamar were also considered for the award.
Acadia forward Owen Klassen, Bishop’s centre Mike Andrews and Saskatchewan guard Ben Baker were also in the running for defensive MVP honours.
Smith, a six-foot guard, started in every league game for the Panthers in his university debut and went on to lead the team in scoring with an average of 17.3 points per game. The 19-year-old arts student scored in double figures in 18 of 20 games.
Laval’s Karl Demers-Belanger, McMaster’s Rohan Boney and Alberta’s Youssef Ouahrig, all of them guards, were the other nominees.
Smart won the sixth coach of the year award over his 14-season career.
Despite the loss of three fifth-year seniors to graduation, Carleton racked up 19 straight wins in league play after dropping its opener at Windsor. The Ravens topped the CIS in field-goal percentage (46.8), free-throw percentage (76.7) and fewest turnovers (11.2).
The other finalists were Cape Breton’s Matt Skinn, Rod Gilpin of Bishop’s and Victoria’s Craig Beaucamp.
McCarthy played only half of the season after returning from knee surgery in January, but the six-foot-three forward led Guelph in scoring (13.8 points per game), rebounding (6.1), assists (2.9) and steals (1.4).
In the classroom, the biomedical science student has achieved academic all-Canadian status each of his four years at Guelph and was named the University’s Presidents award winner in 2011 for his outstanding excellence in his academic program.
Saint Mary’s Harry Ezenibe, Bishop’s Tim Hunter and Alberta’s Todd Bergen-Henengouwen were also nominated.
Carleton’s Tyson Hinz joined Scrubb, Dorsey, Lamar and Klassen on the CIS all-Canadian first team.
— with files from The Canadian Press