This week’s Flashback Friday goes to the 2014-15 AUS winning men’s basketball team
Back Row (L-R): Anton Berry (assistant coach), Sven Stammberger, Kevin Duong, Devon Stedman, Ross Crichton, Justin Bhangoo, Jonathan Kamba, Chad Wadden (assistant coach)
Middle Row (L-R): Renee Muise (trainer), Michael Fraser, Rick Plato (head coach), John Traboulsi, Sean Dodds, Maurice Colley, Cedric Sanogo, Roderick Iyekekpolor, Andrea Plato (manager), Sara Moussali (trainer)
Front Row (L-R): Fabian Wat (student manager), Samantha Horner (trainer), Jarred Reid, Ritchie Kanza-Mata, Kashrell Lawrence, Adam Karmali, Tuyet Vu-Noreau (trainer), Amanda Higgins (student manager)
Missing from Photo: Mark Clarke (assistant coach), Emily Newton (student manager)
After missing the playoffs the previous year, the Tigers were filled with new motivation and determination. Coming into his second season as head coach of the Tigers, Rick Plato knew that the current squad was far better than they got credit for.
With a great blend of first years and returning veterans, the Tigers saw themselves with an almost perfect record of 5-1 heading into the holiday break. But the second half of the season did not go as planned as the Tigers lost two key players to season-ending injuries and saw them end with a 10-10 record. This placing in the regular season, which would leave them with the fifth seed in the AUS playoffs and have them facing Cape Breton in their first game, did not accurately represent the team and they were eager to show everyone they were champions.
After a clutch shot in the final seconds from AUS all-star and championship MVP Kashrell Lawrence, the Tigers beat Cape Breton and moved on to UNB in the semifinals. After a great second half come-from-behind win against UNB, the Tigers found themselves in the championship final versus SMU. Just as they had all year, the Tigers were once again forced to battle adversity, finding themselves down by 17 in the third quarter. On the back of a 31 point performance from Lawrence, the Tigers forced overtime where they showed their grit running away with the game and winning by ten points.
As the AUS champions, the Tigers faced the University of Victoria in the first round of the CIS championship. Unfortunately, the Tigers lost 56-57 and eventually fell in the consolation round as well. This Tigers squad not only proved doubters wrong, but they laid the groundwork for future teams and started the three-year AUS title streak that they look to defend this winter.