Toronto Metropolitan University's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1967

TMU Bold men's basketball player David Walker pulls his sweatband over his eyes after losing in the playoffs
All Recaps Sports

‘Trials and tribulations’: TMU’s season ends to McMaster

By Raphael Chahinian

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s basketball team’s season comes to an end in nail-biting fashion after a 74-67 loss to the McMaster Marauders in the first round of the Ontario University Athletics playoffs at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Wednesday night.

The Bold went into the post-season with expectations of making a deep playoff run, but multiple defensive lapses and inconsistent shooting ended their hopes early.

“There were some things that we did well but we just were not bringing that on a consistent basis tonight,” said third-year Bold guard Aaron Rhooms.

The first quarter was a battle to control the paint, with both teams working the low block to get good inside shots and rebound positioning. The Marauders struggled to put the ball in the basket but were dominant on the offensive glass. 

“Giving up offensive boards has been our whole season,” said Bold head coach Dave DeAveiro. “In the playoffs, you can’t give offensive rebounds; that’s one of the keys to being successful.”

The Bold managed to pull away from a combination of poor offence by McMaster and great shooting of their own led by fourth-year guard David Walker. 

“My teammates did a good job of swinging the basketball and I just tried to do everything that they wanted me to do,” said Walker.

“Some guys were getting distracted from outside things and personal problems”

The Bold went into the second quarter leading 20-12. As a result, the Marauders went into a full-court press which caused multiple TMU turnovers.

The playoff tension of the matchup was evident as a minute into the second quarter, TMU third-year forward Simon Chamberlain and first-year Riaz Saliu got into a minor altercation under the Bold rim. Each received a technical foul due to the play. 

The Marauders started the second half firing on all cylinders with phenomenal shooting—leading to a 17-0 run that completely shifted the game’s momentum. The Bold on the other hand, couldn’t catch a break and had no chemistry. 

“We struggled most of the night defensively, and there were too many gaps and too many lulls in our effort,” said DeAveiro.

Later in the third frame, TMU matched the visiting team’s intensity and started a full-court press of their own, turning the game into a defensive chess match. Both teams went blow for blow with each other and the Marauders ultimately went into the fourth quarter leading 53-47.

  • TMU men's basketball player Adrian Stevens stars at the court with his hands in a fist over his mouth
  • TMU men's basketball player David Walker dunks the basketball
  • TMU men's basketball player Aaron Rhooms holds the ball above his knee as he is guarded by a McMaster Marauders defender
  • TMU men's basketball player blocks a shot from a McMaster player
  • TMU men's basketball head coach Dave DeAveiro points direction at his team while standing near the bench
  • TMU men's basketball player David Walker goes for a layup over a McMaster player who is on the ground
  • TMU and McMaster players jump for a jump ball
  • TMU men's basketball player Aaron Rhooms jumps for a rebound as the ball travels through the air

The final frame was 10 minutes of pure intensity. Each time it seemed like TMU was making a comeback, McMaster would come back with a clutch shot of their own.

Late in the fourth quarter, TMU’s veteran presence showed with multiple tough buckets from Walker and Rhooms along with fantastic interior defence from fifth-year forward Lincoln Rosebush.

“[Rosebush], [Walker] and [Rhooms] played well today,” said DeAveiro. “I thought those three did a really great job and you want your seniors to have a really good last game.”

In the end, the Marauders prevailed and capped off their win with a two-handed slam to book their spot in the next round of the playoffs.

DeAveiro described the season for TMU as “disappointing in a lot of ways.”

He also referred to the team as “having a lot of stuff going on internally” throughout the year.  

DeAveiro declined to comment on what the internal issues were but thinks he has learned as a result of the season.  

“It was a learning opportunity. I can say that it’s something that I have not experienced before and now that I have, I’ll be able to deal with it a lot better,” he said. “To be successful in this league, we have to all be connected and this year, we were not connected.” 

Rhooms echoed DeAveiro’s disappointment in the lack of team connection.

“Some guys were getting distracted from outside things and personal problems,” he said. “We need to remember that we’re a team and that whatever people do it affects the team in some way.” 

“We’re going to get over the hump and this program is going to see a banner in due time”

Rhooms believes the team attempted to connect throughout the season, but the issues within the locker room made that more challenging.  

“Internal problems definitely have a ripple effect and some people unfortunately emulate that in their own behaviour,” he said. “It’s definitely difficult when you have distractions within the team, but for the majority of it we just tried to stick together.”

Although the Bold didn’t get the ending they wished for, they still have high expectations for the next season. 

“We have some positions that we need to fill,” said DeAveiro. “We’re really going to focus on getting a couple of transfers who are juniors and sophomores so that we don’t have an imbalance going forward.”

One of the positions that may need to be filled next season is the roster spot of Walker, who is unsure as to what the future has in store for him.

“I’ve got one more year of eligibility so I’m trying to see what I can do, but other than that I can’t say yet,” said Walker.

Amongst the Bold’s returning players, the highest expectations lie on the shoulders of Rhooms—who will be entering his fourth season next year. 

“All of these trials and tribulations are all for a reason,” said Rhooms. “We’re going to get over the hump and this program is going to see a banner in due time.”

Leave a Reply