Posted on 05 April 2012.
Last week, we gave you numbers 10-6 on our list of Carleton’s top 10 varsity athletes of the year. Here are our picks for the top five.
5. Alyson Bush (Basketball)
Carleton’s female athlete of the year kicks off the second half of our list.
When players go down due to injury, it’s the responsibility of everyone else on the team to step up and help fill the void. In addition, the best player on the team needs to bring his/her game to another level.
That’s exactly what Bush did this year. In the wake of key injuries to Darcy Hawkins and Jennifer Stoqua in the fall, and Kendall MacLeod at the end of the season, the standout player’s role on the team grew even more.
The Ottawa native led the Ravens to a 17-5 record this season, capturing a spot on the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division first all-star team.
One of the most explosive offensive players in the country, Bush has an incredible ability to break down the defence on the dribble, causing havoc for opponents all season long.
Once she beats her defender, she can finish the play at the rim herself, or dish off to a teammate for an open look. Both of those skills were on display throughout the season. Despite being the focal point for opposing defences, she led the Ravens in points (13.7 per game) and assists (3.0 per game).
The 5’7” guard will be returning for her final year as a Raven next September, and she will be hoping to lead the team to one more appearance at the national championship tournament.
4. Brandon MacLean (Hockey)
When last season’s captain Brad Good graduated from the program and turned his attention to the professional ranks, there were some big skates to fill for the men’s hockey team.
Before this season started, MacLean was given the extra responsibility of filling those skates and taking over the captaincy.
Head coach Marty Johnston and his staff couldn’t have made a better selection.
The 6’0” forward – playing in his fifth and final year with the team – capped off an impressive collegiate career this season, leading the Ravens in every offensive category.
MacLean finished the campaign with 40 points, putting him fifth on the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) scoring chart. His 12 goals and 28 assists on the year were each team-leading totals.
From his first game with the program, MacLean has been a standout performer, leading the Ravens in scoring each and every season. A three-time OUA all-star, he finished his Carleton career with 143 points (47 goals and 96 assists), in 108 games.
But the Burlington, Ont., native was more than just an offensive juggernaut. When his team was going through a difficult slump, losing 10 of 13 games nearing the end of the regular season, it was MacLean who stepped up and ensured that the Ravens clinched a playoff berth.
The captain recorded five points in Carleton’s final two games of the regular season, which helped the team hold down the seventh-seed in a very competitive OUA East division.
For his efforts, MacLean was recognized by the CIS with a spot on the second all-Canadian team after the season.
3. Tyson Hinz (Basketball)
Skilled big men are the most sought-after commodities in basketball. In Hinz, men’s basketball coach Dave Smart has arguably the best one in the country right now.
Hinz was the focal point of the Ravens offence once again, despite seeing his numbers drop slightly from last season, when he was named CIS player of the year.
The Ravens were praised all season long for their incredible three-point shooting, but that success starts inside the paint, with the 6’6” forward.
His ability to command attention under the basket and draw help from a second defender opens up room for the Ravens’ shooters beyond the arc.
If the double-team doesn’t come, his incredible combination of strength and quickness in the post makes him almost impossible to guard.
Those skills were on full display during the Ravens CIS championship final in Halifax, as Hinz earned game-MVP honours thanks to his 20 points (on 8-13 shooting), four rebounds, one assist and one steal against the University of Alberta.
During the regular season, Hinz was second on the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game, and led the Ravens on the glass, pulling down five rebounds per game.
He also added another element to his game this season, one that makes him even more difficult to defend. The Ottawa native showed that he can step beyond the arc and hit shots from three-point range, making him the ultimate matchup nightmare for opposing big-men.
Good luck stopping him next year, Canada.
2. Tamber Tisdale (Hockey)
Ask any hockey expert around, and they will tell you that long-term success begins with a solid foundation in goal.
And that’s exactly what Tisdale offers the women’s hockey team.
Coming into training camp, Tisdale was expected to be part of a trio of netminders who would share the load in goal for head coach Shelley Coolidge. Instead, she took the job and ran with it.
The Red Deer, Alta. native posted a very impressive .917 save percentage in her 17 games this season. While her goals against average of 3.18 was not amongst the nation’s best, that number has to be put into perspective.
Tisdale faced more rubber than most goalies in the country, being peppered with on average 36 shots per game this season. With numbers like those, it’s obvious she gave the Ravens a chance to win every time they hit the ice.
The highlight of her season came in late January, when Tisdale led the Ravens to a historic 4-3 shootout victory over the powerhouse from McGill. That marked the first ever win for Carleton in 65 meetings with the Martlets, who came into the game having won 116 of their past 117 regular season contests.
Tisdale outdueled her counterpart Charline Labonte, a two-time Olympic gold-medal winner with Team Canada, by making 36 saves in the victory.
Fans should expect much of the same next year, when Tisdale will return as the undisputed number-one goaltender.
1. Philip Scrubb (Basketball)
Was there ever really any doubt about this one?
What more can be said about the best collegiate basketball player in the country?
The list of accolades in only his second season as a Raven is remarkable.
Scrubb was named the CIS men’s basketball player of the year, took home MVP honours from the national championship tournament in Halifax, and was a first-team all-star at that tournament as well.
The Richmond, B.C. native was the offensive leader for the Ravens all season long, putting up one monster performance after another. Scrubb led his team in most offensive categories, including points (16.8 per game), assists (3.3 per game) and three-point shooting percentage (57 per cent).
He also saw more action than any other player on the roster, putting in 23.5 minutes per game.
All of those numbers came to a head in the national championship game against the University of Alberta, where Scrubb put up one of the more impressive stat lines you’ll see in a national final.
The second-year guard led all players with 26 points and eight rebounds, while also chipping in with five assists to lead the Ravens to their eighth W.P. McGee Trophy.
Closer to home, he was also named the Carleton University male athlete of the year at last week’s athletic banquet, capping off one of the greatest years from a Ravens in recent memory.