The gist of this week's column in the Sun is the the Gee-Gees face longer odds in OUA East men's basketball than they are accustomed to, but this group still wants to get its due.
The big if to contemplate with the Gee-Gees is how quickly the youngbloods -- including Marvin Bazile and Justin Bell at the forward spots, Jacob Gibson-Bascombe, Vlad Pislaru, Bojan Dodic in the backcourt -- show they can be counted on in coach Dave DeAveiro's rotation.
DeAveiro noted there's a lot of taking two steps back to go one step forward with the younger players. He added it's possible the "ninth guy might never emerge," meaning going just eight deep is possible. Bazile, who by some accounts plays bigger than his listed height of 6-foot-5, seems like the name to circle: "He he's been coming on pretty good of late," DeAveiro said. "He had some good games in the States (during the Gee-Gees road trip to play NCAA teams) and he played well last weekend."
For column purposes, it made more sense to focus on how the newish group of starters have bent to the task of carrying a young team. Lead guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe said "it's business, all business" when it comes to how his role has changed after just being expected to get his on the court the past couple seasons.
To give you an idea of the workload the Gee-Gees starting five is carrying, Donnie Gibson, the shooting guard, played 74 of 80 minutes last weekend. Last season, he averaged less than half that, 17 minutes a game. DeAveiro pointed out this is bliss for the new starters who have waited their turn.
"For a guy like Donnie, who's in his third year and finally starting, he's enjoying that. It may be taxing on his body, but these guys know how to take care of their bodies."
Just finishing second in the OUA East and having a shot at a Final 8 spot (assuming Carleton, who already has the host berth sewn up, wins) is going to be tough enough. Toronto plays hard each night; Queen's can run that Princeton-style offence all night; York has the division's best point guard in Tut Ruach and Ryerson offers the best pair of bigs in the Bakovic brothers, Igor and Boris.
The bottom line for the Gee-Gees is matching last season's feat -- 18-4 in the conference and a regular-season sweep of Carleton -- is a long shot, but they are going to be heard from, somehow, some way.
Taking their shot: GGs out to prove skeptics wrong (Ottawa Sun)