College basketball fans are in limbo, stuck between the end of the regular season and the thrill of March Madness.
In the interim, with conference tournaments underway and Selection Sunday quickly approaching, we take a look at the Canadian players who earned top honours during the regular season. Thirteen players from north of the border received All-Star team awards across 10 different conferences — including the America East conference, which recognized three outstanding players from Canada.
Trae Bell-Haynes, University of Vermont (Toronto, Ont.)
For the second straight year, Trae Bell-Haynes has earned the honour of America East Conference player of the year — only the eighth player in conference history to earn the POY award on more than one occasion. The senior guard averaged 16.6 points per game in conference play, and 14.9 points throughout the season (good enough for eighth in the conference in scoring). He was also fourth in the league in assists after averaging 3.9 assists per game.
The six-foot-two, 180-pound Toronto native was also assigned to the all-conference team for the second year in a row.
Stef Smith, University of Vermont (Ajax, Ont.)
Smith made an immediate impact on the Catamount roster and earned a spot on the All-Rookie team. The freshman averaged 4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1 assist per game to lead his team to the top of the standings in the America East Conference with a 26-6 overall record.
He recorded a season-high against Marquette on Dec. 5 when he scored 20 points, including going six-for-six from beyond the arc. He also added four rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Drew Urquhart, University of Vermont (Vancouver, B.C.)
The senior big man for Vermont averaged 10.7 points per game, more than doubling his totals from last season. He also pulled down an average of 5.1 rebounds per game, while shooting over 60 percent from the field throughout the regular season.
The West Coast native was named to the America East Conference’s second team for the first time in his career.
Joseph Chartouny, Fordham University (Montreal, Que.)
Montreal native Joseph Chartouny has had a great career at Fordham University in his first two seasons. His junior year was no different, being named to the Atlantic-10 All-Defensive team after leading the NCAA with 93 steals (3.32 per game).
Chartouny started 27 of his 28 games this season and averaged 12 points, 5.6 rebounds, and was just one steal shy of tying the Fordham University single-season record that he set last season. The guard ended the regular season seventh in the A-10 conference in assists and 21st in rebounding, making him one of three A-10 players to rank in the top 25 in assists, steals and rebounds.
Oshae Brissett, Syracuse University (Mississauga, Ont.)
When Oshae Brissett posted a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) in his collegiate debut earlier this season, Syracuse fans knew he was going to have a fantastic year — and they weren’t wrong.
After earning two Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week honours during the season, Brissett was named to the ACC All-Rookie team. He averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and recorded 10 double-doubles throughout the year. He scored his season-high 25 points in three games, including in a 86-79 victory over Georgetown, when he also grabbed 14 rebounds.
Lindell Wigginton, Iowa State University (Dartmouth, N.S.)
The six-foot-two Nova Scotia native earned Newcomer of the Week honours in the Big-12 Conference three times this year before eventually being named to the All-Newcomer Team. After posting one of the best rookie seasons in the school’s history, he also received an All Big-12 honourable mention.
Wigginton recorded an ISU freshman record of 12 20-point games, including eight in conference play, and averaged 16.6 points during the regular season. He became the Big 12’s eighth freshman, joining an elite club which includes Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley, to score more than 300 points in conference games. He also set the ISU freshman record for three-point field goals made, with 67 on the year. (He also put up this massive dunk against Oklahoma, a candidate for Dunk of the Year).
Jahvon Blair, Georgetown University (Brampton, Ont.)
Jahvon Blair played in all 29 games for the Hoyas, starting two of them while averaging 9.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. He earned one Big East Freshman of the Week honour in January, and then was named to the Big East Conference All-Freshman team in the post season.
The six-foot-three guard recorded 50 assists and 12 steals in his rookie season, shooting over 85 percent from the free throw line.
Jackson Rowe, Cal State Fullerton (Toronto, Ont.)
Last season, the Toronto native was named Big West Conference Freshman of the Year. This season, after averaging 12.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists (while shooting almost 60 percent from the field and 45 percent from the 3-point line), Rowe was given an All-Conference honourable mention.
He recorded three double-doubles this season, including a 24 point, 12 rebound performance against California Polytechnic State University on Jan. 6.
Prince Oduro, Siena College (Toronto, Ont.)
Oduro started 27 of the Saints’ 31 games, averaging 9.1 points and 5 rebounds per game, while recording 21 blocks over his freshman season.
He reached double-digit scoring in 12 of his games, including a season-high 19 points in a game against Niagara in early January.
The Toronto native was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie team.
Koby McEwen, Utah State University (Toronto, Ont.)
The Aggies’ sophomore was named to the Mountain West Conference’s third team this season after averaging 15.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
Koby McEwen scored 20+ points in 10 games for Utah State, and two 30+ games en route to sinking 412 points in 27 games. The Toronto native scored a career-high 32 points against Nevada on Feb. 17.
Kassius Robertson, University of Missouri (Toronto, Ont.)
A transfer from Canisius College, Kassius Robertson became Mizzou’s starting guard this season and averaged 16.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He also racked-up 31 steals over the year and helped the Tigers to a fifth seed after.
He reached a season-high 27 points against Ole Miss, and sunk a season-high six 3-pointers in a game against Kentucky.
With a stellar performance in one of the NCAA’s top conferences, the Toronto native earned a spot on the All-SEC first team.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, University of Kentucky (Hamilton, Ont.)
What a rookie season Hamilton’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has had.
He made an immediate impact on a top 25 team and averaged more than 13 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. The 6’6″ guard had a season-high 30 points against Vanderbilt back in January, and has scored in double-digits in 19 games wearing the blue and white.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who started 18 of his 31 games, earned a spot on the All-SEC second team, as well as earning SEC All-Freshman honours.
Mathieu Kamba, University of Central Arkansas (Calgary, Alb.)
The Bears’ starting guard received a Southland Conference honourable mention for his senior-year efforts.
The Calgary native averaged an impressive 14.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1 block per game. His season-highs include games where he recorded 30 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and 5 steals respectively.
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