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Men's Basketball
(Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
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PREVIEW: MBASK ready to prove they belong
Game Dates and Times: Friday, January 6th – 8:00 p.m. (vs. Carleton) and Saturday, January 7th – 8:00 p.m. (vs. Ottawa)
Game Location: Laurier Athletic Complex, Waterloo
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: OUA.tv (both), Radio Laurier (both)
Tickets: vs. Carleton, vs. Ottawa

MEASURING STICK
This weekend will see a pair of clashes pitting a rising force against established powers when the Golden Hawks men’s basketball team welcomes in perennial contenders, the Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees.

The Hawks (5-4) have entered a new era this season with a young team consisting of six rookies while also bringing in a new head coach in JUSTIN SERRESSE. They quickly captured the hearts of fans with many thrilling games and victories and have exceeded the expectations of many with a winning record and a half-game OUA West Division lead at the end of the 2016 portion of the schedule.

Laurier now enters the business end of the regular season following a month long exam/holiday break since their last game on December 3rd, a heart-wrenching loss at the buzzer to Nipissing. The Hawks will need to clear that defeat from their minds and shake off any rust they may have from their time off as they clash with two of Canada’s elite teams, the U-Sports No.1 Ravens (5-0) and No. 4 Gee-Gees (5-0).

The weekend set will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge yet in this new era of Laurier basketball and will serve as a great measure to where the program is at. The keys for the Hawks to pull off the upsets will be to focus on keeping their mistakes to a minimum and feeding off the crowd to gain momentum and energy. Elite teams such as Carleton and Ottawa do not need the extra help of bad turnovers or loose fouls if you’re the Hawks. The sixth man of a raucous crowd can also make a huge difference for the purple and gold if they can use the crowd to their advantage.

TIP-INS
- Carleton and Ottawa are two of only three undefeated teams remaining in the OUA coming into the new year with the other being U-Sports No. 5 Ryerson (7-0)
- the pair of home games this weekend mark the end of a season-high five game home stand for the Hawks and they will travel out to McMaster (3-4) and Guelph (4-3) next week
- Carleton has won seven of the past ten OUA men’s basketball championships
- Ottawa is fresh off a victory at the Joan Shovellor Memorial Tournament in Halifax over the break, defeating St. Mary’s in the final by a score of 79-68

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (5-4)

G Shamar Burrows (Nassau, BHS)
- was outstanding in the loss to Nipissing with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds (both career-highs)
- his performance and confidence have been noticeably trending upwards as of late, and he is starting to become a real force in the backcourt alongside Tevaun Kokko (Markham, Ont.)

F Vlad Matovic (Kitchener, Ont.)
- recently earned Laurier Male Athlete of the Week honours for his efforts against Laurentian and Nipissing
- rhe fourth year forward has arguably been the Hawks’ most consistent performer so far this season, averaging a near double-double with 10.4 points and 7.7 rebounds a game

U-Sports No. 1 Carleton Ravens (5-0)

G Connor Wood (Guelph, Ont.)
- the veteran guard has been a force for the Ravens so far this season, ranking second in the OUA in points per game with just over 24, to go along with six rebounds per game and 50 percent shooting from beyond the arch

U-Sports No. 4 Ottawa Gee-Gees (5-0)

G Caleb Agada (Burlington, Ont.)
- the fifth year guard leads Ottawa with nearly 18 points per game, while also averaging seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals, proving he is an all-around threat
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Men's Basketball
U Sports Top 10
1. Carleton (1)
2. Alberta (3)
3. Brock (2)
4. UBC (4)
5. Calgary (5)
6. McGill (6)
7. Ottawa (9)
8. Ryerson (10)
9. Dalhousie (7)
10. Laurentian (8)
As of Feb. 20, 2018
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