(By: Libaan Osman)
A weekend of blowouts for the Ryerson Rams Men’s basketball team has created excitement for the upcoming season.
The Rams took part in back-to-back exhibition games with visits from the Saskatchewan Huskies and the Marietta Pioneers (NCAA Division III) at the Coca Cola Court inside the Mattamy Athletic Centre over the weekend (Oct. 8-9).
Their first matchup was against the Huskies, where the Rams displayed dominance from the get-go, winning by a margin of 116-43.
Jean-Victor Mukama, starting guard for the Rams, was optimistic about his team’s abilities after the lopsided win.
“There’s not one person on the team that can’t hit an open three,” said Mukama. “We have a lot of different threats, that’s why this team is going to be exciting this year.”
If the Rams can take one thing from this match-up, it’s the full court press they displayed throughout the game, forcing the Huskies to 20 turnovers on the day.
“This year’s theme is putting pressure on the ball,” said Mukama. “We’re not sagging, we’re putting consistent pressure on the ball, making the guard turn their back.”
The Huskies tried preventing the Rams from scoring inside early and dared them to beat them from the three-point line, and the Rams definitely did so. Their first four made shots out of six were from deep, catapulting them to an early 32-15 advantage to end the first quarter.
Sunday’s game wasn’t much different.
The ball seemed to move so effortlessly for the Rams on offence. They recorded 22 assists on the afternoon, 10 of which from starting point guard Myles Charvis.
“Being a point guard, you gotta be the guy to get others open looks and make their job easier,” said Charvis after the game. “I take pride in really getting guys open looks.”
The Marietta Pioneers managed to keep the game close for most of the first half but it slipped away as the game progressed. They were unable to convert their shot attempts, shooting an abysmal 30.4 per cent through fourth quarters as they fell 95-64 to the Rams.
The Rams hot shooting also continued on Sunday, knocking down seven three-pointers with a shooting percentage of 43.8 in the first half.
Tanor Ngom, the recently acquired seven-foot prospect from Senegal, had quite an impact on defense for the Rams coming off the bench Sunday. Ngom scored 10 points, had seven rebounds and four emphatic blocks in just eleven minutes of playing time.
Ngom received high praises from both Mukama and Charvis after the game. They believe his potential to stretch the floor on offence along with the length he provides defensively will help the Rams immensely in their run for a OUA title this season.
The Rams hope to continue to showcase their intense style of defence as the regular season officially gets started in late October.