By Chelsea Miya
Ryerson men’s basketball team opened their season Friday night, but more importantly the game marked Boris Bakovic’s first as a Ram.
Last Friday marked the beginning of an era for the Ryerson men’s basketball program, as the team’s future cornerstone stepped onto the court.
Rookie Boris Bakovic scooped the only double-double in his first game as a Ram. He picked up 11 points and a game high 16 rebounds during the Ram’s home opener against last year’s Ontario University Athletics (OUA) champion McMaster University.
But, the Rams choked in the face of McMaster’s tough defence, losing the season opener 90-67.
“They did a very good job of not allowing us to get inside,” said Ryerson men’s basketball head coach Glenn Taylor. “We had to make a lot of outside shots.”
Six and a half minutes into the game, Ryerson briefly overtook the lead 23-22. But Ryerson’s three-point shots became wilder as the game went on, shooting only 11 per cent behind the arc in the second half compared to McMaster’s 40 per cent.
McMaster Marauder Martin Ajayi, a two-time OUA West defensive player of the year, did not hesitate to capitalize. Ajayi swept the court with a game high 25 points.
“Statistically, we were just digging a hole,” said Taylor. “There were five minutes in the first period where we just didn’t score. We were down six and suddenly we were down eighteen.”
Bakovic, a first year business management student, picked up 11 offensive rebounds, more than twice as many as his fourth year teammate and brother, Igor, who last year led the country in rebounding.
Brandon Krupa lead the Rams in scoring, draining a total of 13 points.
“We didn’t play very well this time around, but it’s way too early to tell the outcome of the season. We will only get better,” Boris Bakovic said.
A lack of time in the gym was a big factor in the team’s preparation for the home opener, said Taylor.
“We only get to practice three times a week,” Taylor said. “All the other universities are getting four or five days in. Some of our best players can’t come to practices because they conflict with classes.
“We’ve got huge limitations that the university has got to decide how to deal with.”
Rams centre Igor Bakovic, who averages 14 points and 12 rebounds per game, can only make it to two practices per week.
“I hate the fact that I’m missing practice,” said Bakovic. “It’s hard trying to make up for the lost days. We can’t be a team if we’re not all at practice.”
Terry Haggerty, manager of interuniversity sports at Ryerson, said lack of gym space is a problem for “pretty much every sport RAC offers.”
“We’re certainly due for more gyms,” said Haggerty. “None of us are getting the time we want, and that goes for all of our teams. Within the next five years Ryerson will have to deal with a very real shortage of gym space.”
On Saturday the Rams picked up their first win of the season when they beat the Lakehead Wolverines 80-65.
Boris Bakovic once again lead the Rams, pouring in a game high 27 points and 10 rebounds. His performance this weekend earned him Ryerson athlete of the week honours.
Brandon Krupa scored 12 points in a supporting role as Igor Bakovic was a rebound short of a double-double, scoring 11 while swiping nine rebounds.
The Rams tip off against the Windsor Lancers next Friday night, Nov. 17.