Mike Giffin vs. Laval passer Benoît Groulx for the Hec Crighton Trophy is the best of both worlds for a Tricolour follower.
Either one of our own, Giffin, a Queen'sman and Kingstonian to boot, is honoured or the ol' Ontario guilt complex is serviced if goes to Groulx. It is win-win.
The gut feeling is that Groulx will win, on account of him having a record 75% completion percentage for the unbeaten Rouge et Or. It has been noted that it is high time the honour went to a Francophone player at a Québec university.
That in and of itself is not a reason to give the statuette to Groulx, of course. Our own Rob Pettapiece points out that Groulx completed 75% of his passes in a league where all other passers completed 59% of their passes (742-of-1,258). The conference's rate was 61.6%. It probably bears further scrutiny from a more serious number-cruncher, but it could be that Groulx's stats are helped not only being playing on a powerhouse but playing in a conference where it might be easier to pass for a high percentage (better receivers or poorer defences?).
The selection process might be what Giffin has going for him, as a dot-orger noted. The selectors, four coaches from non-playoff teams, one per conference, evidently get a 12-play video highlight package. On film, a 225-lb. running back with some giddyup might be more impressive than a pocket passer. Mount Allison's elusive dual-threat QB, Kelly Hughes, might also benefit.
Still, if you're talking about value over league average ... Giffin averaged 7.2 yards per carry in a league who had backs who averaged 8.0 (Nathan Riva of Western), 6.7 (Felix Desjardins-Potvin of Ottawa), 6.3 (Guelph's Nick Fitzgibbon and Ottawa's Davie Mason). This is not meant to impugh Giffin, after everything he has done for the Golden Gaels, but between the perception of the OUA,
There is a lot of food for thought. Again, gut feeling is Groulx.
Gaels win major awards; Giffin, Ukwuoma, Carter and Sheahan announced as winners (Clint Walper, Kingston Whig-Standard)
Over at Big Man on Campus, our friend Greg Layson has published his pre-season survey of OUA men's basketball coaches, asking them to pick league all-stars and division winners.
Coaches could not vote for their own players. Carleton's Aaron Doornekamp, the reigning player of the year, did not get the most votes for the pre-season all-star team. Please click through to find out who did.
For what it is worth, Carleton guard Stu Turnbull, Ottawa guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe and Queen's big man Mitch Leger each earned pre-season recognition. (A little help -- is Leger more of a forward, centre, forward/centre or centre/forward?)
Mr. Layson also has a links list to papers which have written advance stories on the season. Along with the Mercury, Windsor Star, St. Catharines Standard and Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal had articles today. That is four papers in the 11 Ontario markets with university basketball. That actually represents progress. I'm also in no position to comment on someone else's lawn, since I wrote about football for this week's Schools page in the print edition of the Ottawa Sun.
Queen's opens this weekend at home to Laurier and Waterloo on Friday and Saturday. Those should be good tests for a young Gaels team. How did Waterloo get so good so quick?
(Cross-posted to The CIS Blog.)