Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ryerson Rams host Ottawa Gee Gees at Kerr Hall Friday February 11th, 2011

Sr. Night, Steve Williams, Head Coach Roy Rana, Ryan McNeilly
Photo: Drew Ebanks
 Ryerson University's Kerr Hall Gymnasium was the site for a very important OUA east match up between the host Ryerson Rams and the visiting Ottawa Gee Gees.
Before the game tipped-off there were some formalities as it was Senior Night and Ryan McNeilly and Steve Williams were bestowed plaques to thank them for their commitment as student athletes by Head Coach Roy Rana. The 5 year players have seen some lean times at the university in downtown Toronto but see a bright future for the program due to the talent on the squad and Rana's reputation as a quality coach and great all-round mentor to the players on the team.
The gym was packed with friends, family and supporters of Ryerson basketball, which seem to be growing with each week and game that goes by. There is a buzz now that surrounds the basketball program which hasn't been there for years.
Coach Rana brings discipline and a seriousness to Ryerson and is raising the profile of this historically underachieving program. The team is on the rise and if Rana continues to get quality recruits like Jordon Gautier, Jahmal Jones and Jelane Price the sky's the limit for the Rams going forward.

The player introductions
Photo: Drew Ebanks


1st qtr.

The game started off a pretty close affair...with Ryerson taking control at the 3:35 mark as Ola Adegboruwa  stole the ball and scored putting the Rams up 18-12. Jordon Gauthier was on fire in the qtr pouring in 7 points including a long three with 25 seconds left to put the Rams up 7(they then went up 9 on two Jelane Pryce FT's). But Ryerson had a lapse on defence as the clock ran down and Gee Gees forward Warren Ward took advantage by burying a three at the buzzer to make it a 6 point deficit. Coach Rana wasn't pleased with the coverage by Pryce and let him know it in the huddle!

Rana in control in the huddle
Photo: Drew Ebanks

2nd qtr.

The Rams started the quarter playing great defence forcing a shot clock violation on the Gee Gees while holding a 5 point lead. They continued to hold things down defensively as Adegboruwa got up to block an Ottawa shot to preserve a 4 point Ryerson lead. Later, Adegboruwa got caught up with a Gee Gee player throwing an elbow and earning an offensive foul but the Rams still led by 6. Gauthier continued to play well scoring a layup at the buzzer as the Rams went into the locker room ahead 44-37 on the scoreboard. Gauthier continued his stellar play scoring 9 in the quarter to lead all scorers with 16 points. Louis Gauthier(no relation to Jordon) was a handful inside for the Rams. The Gee Gee big man scored 14 points and pulled in 6 rebounds in the first half, mostly on post-ups and short jumpers.

Nice Crowd at Kerr Hall
Photo: Drew Ebanks

3rd qtr.

The Gee Gees started the 3rd firing on all cylinders, as Gauthier scored a layup and a runner and then John Berhanemeskel, a sharpshooter, buried a corner three to cut the Rams lead to 2. Ottawa then took their first lead at the 7:10 mark on a layup by Berhanemeskel. A big play for Ryerson came at 3:41 left as McNeilly converted a layup with the harm as Yacob Issayas had no choice but to foul the senior from Toronto.
Gauthier then slammed home a sweet dunk as Adegboruwa fouled him to give the Gee Gees a 5 point lead.
The game was knotted at 62 after three qtrs as Afeworki Gebrekerestos converted 3 big free throws as Dimitrios Seymour fouled him behind the arc.
Gauthier continued to lead the Rams in scoring with 22 points and 7 rebounds after 3. His opponent and namesake Louis Gauthier had 25 points and 8 rebounds going into the 4th.

Rams' players Jahmal Jones and Afeworki Gebrekerestos ready for action
Photo: Drew Ebanks

4th qtr.

Gauthier buried a long jumper for the Rams to put them up 69-66. At the 5:12 mark a little skirmish took place as Ottawa's Akeem Gardner fouled Gauthier hard going in for a score, but both guys ended up with unsportsmanlike fouls with a barrage of trash talk going back and forth. The Rams got two free throws and the ball to go up 73-67 on the Gee Gees. Ward took the reigns for Ottawa down the stretch scoring on a couple free throws and then a layup with 2:33 left to tie the game at 75.
Key play with 1:38 left and the Rams up 2, Ottawa's Gauthier lost the ball in the post to the Rams' Gauthier who had to foul him. Gauthier hit one FT to make it a three point game. Later, on a great feed from Jones, Adegboruwa finished a sweet layup to put the Rams up 5, forcing the Gee Gees to call a timeout.
McNeilly then iced the game for the rams hitting 3 out of 4 free throws as the Rams improved to 10-10 on the season and in a tie for third place with the Gee Gees in the OUA East with a 85-76 victory.
The win was a well-deserved hard fought battle for the Rams, and a very important one in the standings.
For the Rams, Gauthier collected a game-high 27 points and corralled 11 rebounds. McNeilly added 20 points and 4 rebounds and Adegboruwa scored 14 points and added a game-high 5 assists.
For the Gee Gees, their Gauthier dropped 25 points and 11 rebounds(6 offensive) in 31 minutes. Berhanemeskel knocked down 3 threes to finish with 19 points and 5 rebounds.

Rams finally down the Gee Gees
Photo: Drew Ebanks

The speed and pace of the CIS game has improved dramatically over the last dozen or so years. The athleticism is also improving as guys like Adegboruwa, Jones and Gauthier got out on the fast break several times and pulled down rebounds in traffic. Pryce has an unorthodox game but he gets the most out of his abilities.
Steve Williams' value to this Ryerson squad may not always show up on a score sheet but his tenacity and heady play defensively bailed out several of his Rams' teammates, especially while hedging and protecting the basket for the Rams guards.

The seniors Williams and McNeilly after the game.
Photo: Drew Ebanks

Loved to see the fan and student support at Kerr Hall. The Ryerson athletic department put on a great event with dancers and giveaways to make the game experience top notch.
The Rams athletic department seems serious in their game ops and organization this season and I can see a clear difference from years past.
Tons of former Rana players and friends were on hand including Tyrone Mattison(former Easter Commerce PG) and Sheldon Benoit(former CFL player). Ontario Basketball's Fred Grannum also on hand to see the Rams take down the Gee Gees.
Overall the support and positivity around the Rams basketball team seems to be growing and the atmosphere at Kerr Hall is the best I've seen in years.
Hats off to them as they make Ryerson Basketball a viable entertainment option in Toronto, especially since there's so much to do in the big city.

Jahmal Jones is a freshman with big game skills
Photo: Drew Ebanks

After the game I had a chance to speak to the two seniors, Steve Williams and Ryan McNeilly who had a lot to say about the game, the season and their careers playing for the Ryerson Rams...check it out!

To check out live streams of Ryerson basketball games go to:

Here's the Ryerson Rams Men's basketball site: has their take on the Ottawa Gee Gees loss here:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kyle Wiltjer, who's father Greg is Canadian, is selected to the 2011 McDonald's All-Star Game

Kentucky bound...and McDonald's All-American
Photo Courtesy of

Kyle Wiltjer...joins Myck Kabongo and Khem Birch on the 2011 McDonald's All-American roster!
The 6'9" Kentucky committ can play for Canada internationally because his father Greg, a former national team member, is Canadian.

Watch a video of the presentation of Kyle Wiltjer being selected to the McDonald's All-American high school basketball all-star game and listen in to an interview with Wiltjer as he talks about making the game, his ankle injury and when he plans on returning to the court. Video by Tim Brown,