Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Rana continues Rye makeover

After starting his CIS coaching career late last summer with only weeks to prepare for the coming season, little was expected of Roy Rana's first Ryerson team.  However almost from the beginning the Rams displayed a discipline and grit that was the trademark of Rana's numerous OFSAA championship teams at Toronto's Eastern Commerce as Rana clearly put his stamp on the program clearly making his players accountable.  The result was a playoff appearance and a near-upset victory at Queen's which Rye had the game won until a late game meltdown.

Whispers had been circulating around the return of 6'7" Boris Bakovic to the Rams however Bakovic, who arguably had the greatest career of any Ryerson player in history, will pursue a professional career, likely overseas in Europe.  Rana is very pleased to welcome back 6'3" fifth-year senior Ryan McNeilly who should be the leader of this young but talented team.  McNeilly is a big guard who can rebound, shoot 3's and has steadily improved each and every year of his career. 

On the recruiting trail, Rana worked hard to continue to mould his group into one which can rely on their defense to create easy transition scores and generally play an athletic, up tempo game.  Rana significantly upgraded his group at the guard spots, beginning with the commitment of 6'1" combo guard Ola Adegboruwa, an experienced impact player who should log significant minutes immediately and be very comfortable pressuring the ball and running.  Adegboruwa played his high school basketball for legendary Toronto area coach Bob Maydo at Emery Collegiate, leading the Hillmen to OFSAA in 2004-05.  At Emery, Adegbourwa teamed with current Rye forward Steven Williams, entering his fifth and final season at Ryerson.  He then spent his first two seasons of post-secondary basketball at U.S. Juco (Lake Region State), most recently in 2007-08 when he averaged a team-high 16.6 ppg.  In what may turn out to be one of the more dynamic backcourts in the country before all is said and done, Ryerson brings in 6'0" Jahmal Jones (Mississauga S.S.), Hoopstars Canada #9 graduating point guard and a player Rana hopes he can give the reigns to from Day One.  Another solid, athletic wing, 6'3" shooting guard Jordon Gauthier (Windsor Herman) can score the ball and is another in the growing line of athletes who should allow the Rams to be more aggressive defensively. 

Ryerson continued the makeover on the front line with the addition of 6'7" Bjorn Michaelsen (Montreal, QC/Champlain-St. Lambert), a solid post player who has already spent time at a top CEGEP playing against top Quebec competition.  Complementing Michaelsen is 6'6" Jelano Pryce from Barrie, ON, a four man with an "intriguing skill set" according to Rana with the length to be a solid shot blocker inside but with a nice package of offensive skills facing the basket and in the paint.  6'8" Eric Hobson from Kanata All Saints will also push for time in the middle.

Ryerson welcomes six new players, all of whom should be impactful and push for rotation minutes.  The new-look Rams get going on Oct. 9th at home against Sheridan Bruins (OCAA) before heading on the road to tournaments in Montreal (Concordia NIKE Invitational) and Waterloo (Naismith).  Rams then host Humber and Bishop's on the Hallowe'en weekend before beginning their regular season. 

Ryerson will also host the 1st Annual National Invitational Tournament between Christmas and New Year's, welcoming Alberta Golden Bears, UNB Varsity Reds, Waterloo Warriors, Algoma College (OCAA), York Lions, Toronto Varsity Blues and NAIA finalists from a year ago Walsh College from Ohio.

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