Glaze averaged 13.9 points, 11.6 rebounds in 16 games
By José Colorado
Canada's Court king is no more.
On Jan.2 the Sudbury Five announced the departure of fan favorite Grandy Glaze as the big man signed a contract with C.D. Los Leones Quilpué in Chile for the rest of the season.
The news undoubtedly comes as a blow to the Five – and the league frankly – as Glaze's exuberance on the hardwood was something to behold; the Toronto-native leaves as the NBLC's leading rebounder.
In seven total editions, Glaze held the No.1 spot for three weeks with the other four being spent at No.2.
He averaged 13.9 points per game and 11.6 rebounds on 56.3 per cent shooting in 16 games played - all improvements from his numbers in the year prior.
1. Jamal Reynolds (Pickering, Ont.)
Team: Cape Breton Highlanders (11-6)
LW RANK: 3
Stats this week: 22 points (61.54 per cent field goal shooting), 9.75 rebounds, four games played
Season stats: 17.9 points per game (57.5 per cent field goal shooting), 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists
It didn't take long for Jamal Reynolds to take advantage of Glaze's departure as the Highlander put together his best stretch in weeks.
Compiling weekly averages of 22 points and 9.75 rebounds on 61.54 per cent shooting from the floor, Reynolds managed to bust whatever glass ceiling had been holding him back in weeks prior.
The Pickering-native hit the 20-point plateau for the first time since Dec.4 when he poured in 20 points (eight-of-11 field goal shooting) and seven rebounds on Dec.31 against the Halifax Hurricanes.
But ultimately the forward's week will be remembered by his breathtaking performance against the Island Storm on Jan.3: 32 points (tied for a season-high), 15 rebounds (season-high), two assists and two steals.
With the team's third-leading scorer Kenny Jones finalizing a deal in Argentina, Reynolds should see an opening in opportunities – and with that, another chance at staking claim to the No.1 spot in Canada's Court consistently.
2. Joel Friesen (Abbotsford, B.C.)
Team: KW Titans (8-5)
LW RANK: Unranked
Stats this week: 17 points (37.5 per cent field goal shooting), 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, two games played
Season stats: 17.9 points per game (46.8 per cent field goal shooting), 4.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists
In truth Joel Friesen had been performing like one of the best Canadians since the KW Titans picked him up on Dec.7 but only now has he become eligible having competed in 60 per cent of his team's games.
Alongside Reynolds, Friesen is perhaps the only other canuck (apologies to the injured Carl English) capable of exploding for massive scoring outputs with some degree of regularity as evidenced by this past week's 25 point-performance against the Moncton Magic on Jan.6.
In his eight games to date Friesen has twice toppled 30 points as he is currently tied with Reynolds for ninth in league scoring - and first amongst Canadians.
A Reynolds – Garrett Williamson – Friesen - Glaze battle royal for the No.1 slot would have been very interesting to watch unfold had the latter not departed.
Nonetheless the B.C. product certainly comes as a formidable candidate and a serious threat to take the No.1 spot moving forward.
3. Garrett Williamson (Lower Merion, PA.)
Team: London Lightning (8-8)
LW RANK: 2
Stats this week: 8 points (38.5 per cent field goal shooting), nine rebounds, three assists, one game played
Season stats: 16.1 points per game (55.8 per cent field goal shooting), 4.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists
Limited to just one of the London Lightning's three games this past week, Williamson slides down one spot partly due to inactivity and partly from performance.
With a near double-double performance of eight points, nine rebounds and three assists against the Magic on Jan.3, it certainly wasn't a bad showing by any means from the guard – although his field goal percentage (one-of-five for 20 per cent) could have been better.
But rather with Friesen's addition to the group, Williamson will simply have up his game that much more to maintain his spot in the top two.
Five field goal attempts won't cut it for a player as efficient – and important to the Lightning's success - as Williamson as his eight-point outing marked the end of a season-high six-game double-digit scoring streak.
When it comes to the 30-year-old however rarely have two subpar showings been put together.
Expect him to bounce back come week 9.
4. Ashton Smith (Scarborough, ONT.)
Team: KW Titans (8-5)
LW RANK: 5
Stats this week: 12 points (48 per cent field goal shooting), six rebounds, 7.5 assists, two steals, two games played
Season stats: 12.5 points per game (51.8 per cent field goal shooting), 3.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists
The elusive double-double still evades Ashton Smith eight weeks into the season as the guard finished one assist shy of the mark for the third consecutive game this past week – but he'll probably be just fine with that.
KW just keeps winning.
The Titans hung their fourth and fifth straight dub this past week with its starting point guard playing a key role in its 118 -116 victory over the Windsor Express on Jan.5 by way of 18 points (eight-of-12 field goal shooting), six rebounds, nine assists and two steals in just 33 minutes.
The next night Smith had an off shooting night with a season-low six points on two-of-nine shooting but he did contribute six rebounds, six assists and two steals.
In that match the Scarborough-native was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball however recording a season-high five turnovers.
With Smith and Alex Campbell both starting as lead guards in a team sport, something must be said of the collective success when ranking these players.
The Island have bombed 10 straight while KW has trended the other direction.
And while Campbell holds an edge in Smith when it comes to stats, the overall team success of KW – and the futility of the Storm – is too much to ignore at this point; Smith moves up one slot.
5. Alex Campbell (Brampton, ONT.)
Team: Island Storm (2-11)
LW RANK: 4
Stats this week: 9.5 points per game (38.46 per cent field goal shooting), 10 rebounds, 3.75 assists, four games played
Season stats: 12.3 points per game (43.2 per cent field goal shooting), 8.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists
An off shooting week couldn't deter Campbell from attacking the backboard with his trademark ferocity as the point guard notched back-to-back double-digit rebounding games for the first time since week one.
While the Storm's season has spiralled out of control, Campbell has remained a workhorse in all aspects of the game as he recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 13 points (six-of-12 field goal shooting) and 14 rebounds against the St. John's Edge on Jan.4.
Unfortunately – as has been the case all season and alluded to in Smith's section above – that didn't translate to a win.
With Campbell essentially being the league's second-leading rebounder (once Glaze's name drops off the leaderboard in the coming weeks) at just six-foot-two it may seem harsh to move the Brampton-native down a notch.
But the Island must end their dreadful losing streak before he can ascend further.
Whether fair or unfair, it's time for the point guard to rally his troops to a win.
Junior Cadougan, St. John's Edge
10.4 points per game (46.9 per cent field goal shooting), 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists