Carleton Ravens’ Tyson Hinz caps CIS days with MVP performance

The Eh Game

Hinz rhymes with wins, and the Carleton Ravens' outgoing leader also covers everything.

The last word on what might stand as the best Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's basketball championship game matchup, with Carleton outlasting challenger Ottawa 79-67 in the first cross-town national final, fittingly went to hometowner Tyson Hinz, the toughest bird of them all. The game within the game that unfolded in front of 7,050 at the Canadian Tire Centre, where the nationals might not roost again for a couple years, was Hinz scoring 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting while nabbing six rebounds and a team-high five assists from his centre position. His check on defence, Ottawa's star forward Terry Thomas, was held to 14 on 5-of-14.

Whatever comes next for Hinz, who goes out on a run of four titles in five seasons, it was a legacy-sealing performance. Hinz was named tournament MVP over Thomas Scrubb, who scored at least 20 in all three of Carleton's wins.

"It's tough to even realize it's happening when you're going through the game," said the four-time all-Canadian. "You're looking at the scoreboard, playing for your team. It's hard to put into words. I just really want to enjoy it with the guys.

"Coaches, the program, I'm going to really miss it," Hinz added. "Especially the team culture. What the whole program has done for me is hard to put into words. You just get fired up seeing the guys you played with come back to cheer you on, flying in from all over Canada."

The Ravens rode with Hinz, the 6-foot-6 Scrubb (20 points, eight rebounds) and Phil Scrubb (16), although Ottawa limited the three-time CIS player of the year to 3-for-14 shooting. Carleton went through the entire second quarter and half of the third without anyone but Hinz and Scrubb Basketball Robot 1A and 1B, as the latter two are known in the Twitter-verse, scoring a point. That's how good Hinz was, in a game that Ottawa coach James Derouin said had "probably 4-5-6 guys that could be or are already all-Canadians."

Not that it's a shocker from someone who was CIS player of the year as a sophomore in 2011 before Phil Scrubb began his three-year reign. Hinz, once described by his high school coach Jason Wren as the "fastest slow guy you'll ever see," was simply his proficient self. He's listed at 6-6, but Hinz is well-drilled on using angles and body positioning is tougher to move than Coke machine. He also helped get Ottawa's centre Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue into foul trouble, which led to Ottawa bogging down offensively.

"He did that against Saskatchewan in his second year [in the 2011 national semifinal] too," Carleton coach Dave Smart said. "The kid plays well in big games. People can say what they want about him — unathletic, this and that, he can't do certain things well. Well, he covered Terry Thomas today, one of the best offensive players in the country if not the best scorer in the country. He covered him the entire game and then scored 30 on his own. He was covering a great player.

"Athletically, if it was a 1-on-1 game he'd have no chance," Smart added. "But he knew where he wanted him to go. And he made things tough on him. It's a credit to Ty. Terry's a heckuva basketball player. We were worried about that matchup every time we played Ottawa."

Hindsight being 20/20, there was simply no way that someone such as Hinz, who epitomizes how Carleton brings players along across their five seasons, was going to go out on a loss. He was also self-effacing in victory. The Ravens were a relatively callow bunch in Hinz's frosh year in 2010 when they lost the national semifinal to aforementioned Saskatchewan, which won the title. Sunday made four in a row, and Hinz went out of his way to point out Ottawa compared favourably with any other challenger the Ravens have faced in the last half-decade.

"Ottawa U's a good team, got to give them credit, that's by far the best team I think I've played in my five years here in the CIS. That's a good team. They beat us last weekend and we got them back. It's pretty easy to be motivated after a loss."

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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