TORONTO, CANADA – Only a few games remain in the 2021 CEBL regular season – and then we get in to the really fun stuff. As the playoffs loom in Edmonton, here’s your weekly look at the U SPORTS Names Making Noise in the CEBL this week.
#1: Jordan Baker, F, Edmonton Stingers (Alberta, 2009 – 2014)
The king of the prestigious Names Making Noise list reclaimed his throne this week with another couple of performances for the 10-1 Edmonton Stingers. In true Jordan Baker fashion, his two performances were very different, but both equally important to the Stingers and their championship hopes. Baker showcased his scoring touch in a victory over the Fraser Valley Bandits on Sunday with a 20 point, 11 rebound performance. The former Golden Bear was highly efficient, shooting 8/14 from the field. Baker followed it up a few days later with a supporting performance in another win over the Bandits, as he watched teammate Xavier Moon set a CEBL record with 39 points in the game. Baker still chipped in 12 points in that victory, while also pulling down 12 rebounds for yet another double-double. Baker’s efficient scoring, leadership, and of course rebounding, will be crucial to the Stingers as they look to become the first ever repeat CEBL championships.
#2: Alex Campbell, G, Fraser Valley Bandits (Windsor, 2013 – 2016)
The Bandits had a busy week, playing three games since the last time we put out this list, and Alex Campbell continues to do what he does best – take shots and rebound – as the Bandits look to recapture some of their early season form. They went 0-3 against a tough schedule, including two games against Edmonton, but Campbell still put up some good numbers in the losing efforts. The 28-year-old scored 21 points with 5 made threes against Hamilton on Friday, before making 4 more threes and scoring 12 total points in the first game against Edmonton. His shot escaped him in the rematch on Tuesday, but the former Lancer still managed 8 points to go with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Campbell is 2nd in the league in made threes, and his shot will be key for Fraser Valley going forward.
#3: Kadre Gray, G, Ottawa BlackJacks (Laurentian, 2016-2020)
It’s been an up and down season for the Ottawa BlackJacks, and accordingly, it’s been an up and down season for their best player, Kadre Gray. But the U SPORTS legend put up one of his best games of the season in his only game for Ottawa this week, and led his team to a win over the Saskatchewan Rattlers as a result. The guard scored 18 points on 8/15 shooting, and pulled down 9 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 2 steals as Gray put in one of his patented all around performances. The BlackJacks will have a tough road ahead of them as they look to make a deep playoff run, but more performances like this from Gray will help them force some upsets.
#4: Guillaume Payen-Boucard, F, Niagara River Lions (Carleton, 2011-2016)
The River Lions played just one game this week, and Payen-Boucard made the most of it. The former Carleton Raven contributed a little bit of everything in his team’s win over the Ottawa BlackJacks, putting up 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block. The forward still ranks among the lead leaders in steals, and has put up another solid season for the River Lions as he continues to contribute across the board. The arrival of his old teammates in Phil and Thomas Scrubb will certainly help bring some of that old Carleton chemistry back, and Niagara fans are no doubt hoping that they’ll bring some of their championship winning ways to St. Catharines as well.
#5: Alain Louis, G, Ottawa BlackJacks (Carleton, 2017-Present)
Much like his BlackJacks teammate Kadre Gray, Louis has had strong moments this season, but is still looking to put them up with more consistency. Ottawa fans should hope that his most recent performance is the start of a good stretch, however, as he put up one of his best performances of the season in Ottawa’s win over Saskatchewan. Louis scored 14 points, a season high for him, on efficient 6/7 shooting. The 25 year old also added 4 assists, and made all of his free throws. As we mentioned in Kadre’s section, the BlackJacks could be poised to surprise some people in the playoffs, and more games like this one from their young guard could help the CEBL’s only expansion team to go on a deep run in Edmonton.