By Joel Wass
It took a woman to inspire Errol Fraser to become the Man for Ryerson’s men’s basketball team during last Saturday’s game against Brock University.
“My mom said that if I lose again, [not to] come home or to stop playing basketball,” said Fraser, who netted a career high 38 points, while leading the Rams to an 85-74 victory over the visiting Badgers. “Basically [my mom] told me I have to win every game, so I’m going to try my best.”
The 6-foot-2 shooting guard was far from his best the night before in Ryerson’s 64-58 loss against the Guelph University Gryphons.
“I came out very lackadaisical,” said the Mississauga native, who put up a meagre six points in the Guelph game. “Something’s wrong with my head sometimes. Sometimes I feel like playing and sometimes I don’t. I have to get out of that mind set.”
Following Friday’s fiasco, Rams guard Vladimir Matevski’s mind was set on only one thing – winning.
“I can’t stand losing,” said Matevski, who logged 78 minutes of court time on the weekend. “After [Friday’s] game I was so pissed off. We didn’t show up with our defense. I guess we’re not ready to compete in two games in a row and that’s sad.”
Matevski was happy to see the play of teammate, Jon Reid, elevate over the weekend.
“Jon made some big shots and then made some big stops [Saturday] and I was expecting that,” said the Rams most reliable defensive stopper. “I told him he had to show up or otherwise I would kick his ass.”
Despite Matevski’s threats, the 6-foot-9 Reid did not rely on his teammates for motivation.
“I was pretty frustrated about [the Guelph loss] and I didn’t need anybody to get on my case,” said Reid who scored 22 points to go along with 15 rebounds in the Brock battle.
Lately, Reid has been the Rams’ king of the court.
Over the holidays he was named valuable player following Ryerson’s first place finish at the York University Excalibur Invitational.
Fellow forward Sasha Ivankovic is thrilled to be playing alongside the not-so-little Jon.
“Jon’s go a great three-point shot,” says the fifth-year veteran, who added 14 more rebounds on the weekend to his all-time Ontario University Athletic record.
“All I have to do is kick it out and half the time you just watch it go in. I’ve never had [a teammate] like that before.”
Ivankovic is currently nursing an injured shoulder and feeling the pain from his injured wrist, which caused him to miss all of last season. He vows the pain will not prevent him from banging the boards.
Head coach Terry Haggerty says he’ll need his players to stay healthy if his team is going to improve on its current 3-7 record.
“[Our players] better be in shape or else we’re not going to win anything,” said Haggerty.
Haggerty cites Fraser as one of his top guns with enough firepower to lift Ryerson back into the playoff hunt.
The high-flying Fraser does not consider himself one of the team’s vocal leaders, but he does say he has the talent to lead the OUA in scoring.
“I have all the physical capabilities, but I have not yet mastered the mental part of the game,” says the Algonquin College graduate. “Once I’ve mastered the mental part of basketball I could go a long way.”
Ryerson’s women’s basketball team dipped below .500 this weekend after losing at home to Guelph University 71-58 on Friday and Brock University 52-42 on Saturday. At 4-6 the Rams are currently tied for fifth in the OUA East division.
In on-ice action, the men’s hockey team lost on the road to McGill University 5-2 and fell to the University of Ottawa 7-1 over the weekend. Ryerson continues to struggle with a 1-13-1 record. The Rams play at home this weekend against Queen’s and Royal Military College.