Nixon was instrumental in helping UBC finish with a 14-6 record after starting the current campaign with one win in its first six games.
Victoria Vikes fifth-year forward Chris McLaughlin is the 2014-15 Canada West men’s basketball Outstanding Player of the Year.
The Oakville, Ont. native finished the regular season second in scoring (19.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (10.0 rpg), leading the Vikes to a 15-5 record. The Vikes open their quarter-final series versus the Alberta Golden Bears on Thursday, 7:00 pm PT (CanadaWest.TV).
Saskatchewan Huskies fifth-year guard Ben Baker was selected as the conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in three years, after finishing among the league leaders in rebounds (eighth with 7.7 rpg) and steals (tied for fifth with 2.1 spg).
Calgary Dinos forward Lars Schlueter was voted as Rookie of the Year after seeing averaging 9.3 ppg and 3.2 rpg while starting every game for the 12-8 Dinos.
Schlueter’s coach, Dan Vanhooren is the league’s top coach for 2014-15 season. In his 15th year at the helm, Vanhooren orchestrated a turnaround for the Dinos and led them back to the playoffs after a two-year absence.
UNBC Timberwolves fifth-year forward Devin McMurtry was honoured with the Student-Athlete Community Service Award for his outstanding work in academics, athletics and the community.
OUTSTANDING PLAYER OF THE YEAR. As a third-straight appearance at the CIS Final 8 looms, fifth-year University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball player Chris McLaughlin will already end his post-secondary career in a story book way. McLaughlin, the lone five-year Vike on the team, had the textbook journey from rookie to vet and will now cap off his career as the Canada West Outstanding Player of the Year.
“I am very proud of what Chris has accomplished in his five years at UVic,” said Craig Beaucamp, head coach of the Vikes men. “This is a fitting tribute to a true fifth-year player who developed and improved over the course of his career.”
McLaughlin helped the Vikes to a 15-5 regular season record, tied with Saskatchewan for the top of the standings, and good for a bye straight in to the Canada West quarter-finals. The Oakville, Ont. native averaged 19.8 points per game and was second in the conference in scoring, while a season average of 10 rebounds per game sat the six-foot-ten forward at third in the conference.
Averaging 33.2 minutes per game, McLaughlin’s contributions were pivotal to the Vikes’ success this season. The power forward posted nine double-doubles and was in double-digit scoring in 19 of 20 games including a 32-point game against Brandon and 31 points against UBC.
“Many people forget how hard Chris worked to become the player he is now,” added Beaucamp. “We are talking about a guy that averaged five minutes a game in his first two years and this year he was a dominant player in the Canada West this year.”
McLaughlin moves forward as the conference nominee for the CIS Mike Moser Memorial Trophy.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR. For the second time in three seasons, University of Saskatchewan guard Ben Baker has been named the top defensive player in the Canada West.
Helping the No. 6 ranked Huskies to a 15-5 record and first place in the conference, the Kinesiology student finished fifth in the conference with 42 steals and eighth in rebounds with 7.7 per game. The 6-3 fifth-year from Saskatoon accumulated 23 offensive rebounds and 131 defensive rebounds. Baker also helped the Huskies hold opponents to averaging just 76.4 points per game.
Also a threat to score, Baker averaged 12 points per game in his 31.8 minutes per game.
“Ben is known around the conference for his fierce competitive spirit and the intensity with which he always plays,” said Huskie head coach Barry Rawlyk. “His athleticism and versatility allow him to guard opponents that play a variety of positions, and over the course of the season he has invariably been asked to guard our opponent’s most prolific offensive players. His ability to rebound the ball to end defensive possessions has been key to our success all year. We are very proud of what he has been able to accomplish for our team this season, and he is a most worthy recipient of the Canada West Defensive Player of the Year Award.”
Baker will contend for the CIS Defensive Player of the Year as the Canada West nominee.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR & ALL-ROOKIE TEAM. In his first season in the CIS, Lars Schlueter started in every game for the Dinos. The Ulm, Germany native reached double digits in points nine times in the regular season, including his best game of the regular season when he scored 20 points against the Alberta Golden Bears on February 5. The Arts student ranks in the top 20 in the conference in three-point shooting percentage, despite his 6’8” frame and comes in at third on the team in points and points per game in just his first season.
Schlueter is the fifth University of Calgary student-athlete to be named Canada West Rookie of the Year. He joins teammate Matt Letkeman (2011), and Dinos alumnus Tyler Fidler (2008), Chris Harris (1998), and Josh Goertzen (1996).
“When freshmen enter the CIS, usually they are either not ready physically, not prepared technically for the speed of play, or not ready mentally to handle the responsibility of a starting role, let alone the academic demands of university,” said Dinos head coach Dan Vanhooren. “Lars has surpassed all of these assumptions. He is physically ready and at 6’8″ a tremendous asset on the perimeter or in the post. He sees the game well and has been taught, not only how to space a ball screen, but to rotate well defensively. He is a high percentage shooter with a quick enough release to handle the speed of our game and can run the floor very well. He is also a gem for us administratively and has shown a strong ability to manage his time well and perform in the classroom. Overall, he is a perfect recruit for any CIS program and we are fortunate to have him with ours.”
Schlueter will represent the Canada West as the conference nominee for the CIS Dr. Peter Mullens Trophy.
Joining Schlueter on the All-Rookie Team are Aldrich Berrios (UBC Okanagan), Zac Overwater (Lethbridge), Sebastien Denault (Alberta) and Josh Mayorga (Thompson Rivers).
COACH OF THE YEAR. In his 15th season at the helm, Dinos men’s basketball head coach Dan Vanhooren was named the Canada West Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.
After missing the playoffs the last two seasons, including last year with a 7-15 conference record, Vanhooren’s Dinos turned it around in 2014-15 to finish with a 12-8 record, good for fifth in the Pioneer Division. With the likes of fifth-year Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, one of the leading scorers in the conference for a number of seasons, the Dinos earned a berth in the postseason, winning a play-in series against Manitoba and will continue their quest for the conference title in the quarter-finals against the Fraser Valley Cascades.
Vanhooren is just the second coach in program history to earn the Canada West Coach of the Year honours since 1992. Former coach Gary Howard earned the honours five times in his coaching term with the Dinos.
“I am thrilled that Dan has been recognized by his peers as the conference Coach of the Year,” said Dinos Athletic Director Ron Wuotila. “Dan did some great work in the off-season to give his team the very best chance to succeed in 2014-15. The team has really played some great basketball and this is a testament to Dan’s leadership and vision. I am looking forward to watching them enjoy the fruits of their labour in the playoffs.”
Vanhooren will represent the Canada West as the conference nominee for the CIS Stuart Aberdeen Memorial Award.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD. Since joining UNBC in 2013, Devin McMurtry has been an exceptional addition to the men’s basketball program. He embodies the definition of a true student-athlete through his commitment to academics, athletics, and the community.
Devin transferred from Langara College where he was named to the CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) all-academic team. He continued to stay focused on his studies at UNBC gaining recognition as an academic all-Canadian after his first year in Prince George and will undoubtedly be recognized again as an academic all-Canadian this year.
When it comes to community involvement and giving back the big man from UNBC never shies away from an opportunity. Devin works as a peer-tutor, helping his teammates and other student-athletes with their studies both at home and on the road. He is also an active coach in the Jr. Timberwolves program, spending the majority of his time with the elementary school age group.
As an athlete Devin is admired for his work ethic and the effort he puts forth on the court. Currently second in rebounds per game and fifth in field goal percentage in Canada West, McMurtry has shown that his work ethic has paid dividends not only for himself but for the UNBC men’s basketball team.
Devin spent three years growing his hair, which became a trademark for this outstanding student-athlete. Unbeknownst to even himself in January as part of the UNBC contribution to the Shoot for the Cure fundraiser he offered to cut his hair. Thanks to Devin’s contribution the UNBC Timberwolves were able to add an additional $700 to their total being donated to the BC/Yukon Breast Cancer Foundation. Not only was Devin’s haircut able to raise additional funds but he also donated his hair to the Canadian Cancer Society to be made into a wig.
“As a valued member of the Timberwolf family Devin has been outstanding in all aspects. He exemplifies the Ken Shields award through his commitment and achievement not only in basketball but also in his academics and community involvement at UNBC and in Prince George. As an Academic All-Canadian and peer tutor, Devin’s effort on the court matches his drive to succeed in the classroom. In the community, Devin’s friendly face, positive attitude and keenness to give back and help others goes above and beyond our expectation. We are extremely proud of all the work he does on and off the court,” said Loralyn Murdoch, University of Northern British Columbia Director of Athletics and Recreation.
McMurtry moves forward as the conference nominee for the CIS Ken Shields Award.
FIRST, SECOND & THIRD TEAM ALL-STARS. Joining McLaughlin on the Canada West First Team All-Stars are repeat winners Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (Calgary) and Joel Friesen (Alberta). Nixon and Thompson Rivers’ Josh Wolfram round out the First Team selections.
On the Second Team are Jelane Pryce (Winnipeg), Mamadou Gueye (Alberta), Franco Kouagnia (UNBC), Matthew Forbes (Saskatchewan), and repeat-winner Jasper Moedt (UFV).
Marcus Tibbs (Victoria), Dadrian Collins (Saskatchewan), Denzel James (MacEwan), Kevon Parchment (UFV) and Jonathan Tull (Regina) form the Third Team All-Stars.
Complete list of 2014-15 Canada West Men’s Basketball Awards winners:
Outstanding Player of the Year: Chris McLaughlin, Victoria
Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Baker, Saskatchewan
Rookie of the Year: Lars Schlueter, Calgary
Coach of the Year: Dan Vanhooren, Calgary
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Devin McMurtry, UNBC
2014-15 Canada West All-Stars (repeat-winners in bold):
Chris McLaughlin, Victoria
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary
Tommy Nixon, UBC
Joel Friesen, Alberta
Josh Wolfram, Thompson Rivers
Jelane Pryce, Winnipeg
Mamadou Gueye, Alberta
Franco Kouagnia, UNBC
Matthew Forbes, Saskatchewan
Jasper Moedt, UFV
Marcus Tibbs, Victoria
Dadrian Collins, Saskatchewan
Denzel James, MacEwan
Kevon Parchment, UFV
Jonathan Tull, Regina
2014-15 Canada West All-Rookie Team:
Lars Schlueter, Calgary
Aldrich Berrios, UBC Okanagan
Zac Overwater, Lethbridge
Sebastien Denault, Alberta
Josh Mayorga, Thompson Rivers
About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. As the winningest conference in the CIS with over 100 national championships in the past decade, Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship equally contribute into molding our future professional athletes and leaders. Find out more by logging on CanadaWest.org and following @CWUAA on Twitter.
Contact: Pic Ocampo (email@example.com)