Fifth-year senior Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles has been Gees’ backbone

The University of Ottawa Men’s basketball team sports a 6-2 record and sit at ninth in the latest U Sports top 10 poll. They rank fifth best in both offensive points for and against in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference.

The Gees have shot the ball at a relatively high rate from both the field at 47 per cent and from behind the arc at 35 per cent. Ultimately, coach James Derouin believes his team needs to be more consistent scoring the ball. “I think the best word for our offensive would be inconsistent. Against Carleton we had a game in the 50s and then we followed that up with a game against Western in the 60s and followed by back to back games in the 90s,” said Derouin. “In order to be in the elite group, you have to have an elite level offence.”

Defence has been strong all year and has kept the Garnet and Grey in some games when their offence has been inconsistent. Despite being last in the league in their opponent’s three-point percentage, the Gees are tied for the third when it comes to made threes against.

The Gees have held teams to under 60 points in wins against Algoma and Lakehead. “Our defence has kept us in a lot of games when our offence seems to disappear at times,” said Derouin. “Jean is the backbone for our defence, he is probably the best all-around defensive player in the country.”

Pierre-Charles has been leaned on not just defensively, but also offensively. Without the services of Brody Maracle, the Gees have given the ball to their fifth-year who ranks fourth in the conference in field goal percentage and rebounds. Along with Pierre-Charles, fourth-year players Brandon Robinson and transfer Sean Stoqua have been contributing with 10 points apiece.

With the Gee-Gees having a good record at 6-2 and national ranking, the Gees looked poised to continue to improve with young players coming off the bench. Coach Derouin spoke to his record and ranking saying, “We knew that a hiccup could happen along the way like at Laurier or just being overwhelmed at Carleton for the first time, this is exactly where I thought this group would be especially with the injury to Brody.”

Derouin is pleased with where his team is, but also sees a high ceiling for them. He hopes that his young team will be able to hit its stride in March when the games really start to count.