NCAA basketball is littered with players from all over the world. The recruiting base for college coaches is now global, with teams like Saint Mary’s and Grand Canyon featuring six Australian born players, while Grand Canyon features seven internationally-born players.
Canada has become a hot bed for top college and NBA players, with well over 100 Canadians currently playing Div. I basketball. There are currently 77 Canadian-born players on mid-major rosters, which includes a four-way tie for the most Canadians; Harvard, Vermont, Sienna and Canisius all have three Canadians on the roster.
New Mexico State had four Canadians on its roster last year, but has none remaining for this season. This includes Toronto-born head coach Paul Weir, who left the Aggies for rival New Mexico.
Last year, we created the list of top 10 Canadians playing at mid-major programs but with the abundance of Canadian talent, we have increased this year’s list to include the top 15 Canadians.
Here is the 2017-18 list of the top 15 Canadians playing at mid-major programs in the NCAA.
All-Freshman Team: James Karnik Surrey, BC 6’9 Center - Lehigh Josip Vrankic Toronto, ON 6’8 Forward - Santa Clara Prince Oduro Toronto, ON 6’8 Forward - Sienna Aaryn Rai Markham, ON 6’6 G/F - Dartmouth Jerome Desrosiers Saint-Hyacinthe, QC 6’7 Forward - Princeton
15. Isiah Osbourne | Windsor, ON | 6’5 G Soph. | UTEP
Osbourne is in his first season of NCAA ball after transferring from the University of Windsor, where he was the OUA and USports national Rookie of the Year in Canada in 2015-16. Osbourne is making an impact for UTEP, where he is averaging 9.3 points per game, including a season-high 25 points against Louisiana Tech on Jan 6.
14. Kareem South | Scarborough, ON | 6’2 G Soph. | Texas A&M Corpus Christi
South has started every game this year for the Islanders, where he is averaging 9.3 points per game, along with 4.1 rebounds per game. He has been one of the best guards in the Southland Conference over the past two years, and looks to be in line for postseason All-Conference honors.
13. Patrick Steeves | Montreal, QC | 6’8 G Sr. | George Washington
Steeves transferred from Harvard last year and struggled through injury during his first season with the Colonials. However, he’s been healthy this year and has been one of the best players in the A-10, where he is averaging 10.8 points along with 5.3 rebounds per game.
12. Matt Willms | Leamington, ON | 7’1 C Jr. | UTEP
The big man played for Canada at the U17 level where he was teammates with Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. Willms was a dominant force in C-USA last year, averaging 11.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He was granted a sixth year of eligibility back in March and has continued his fine form this season, averaging 10.5 points with 5.7 rebounds per game.
11. Kevin Zabo | Gatineau, QC | 6’2 G Sr. | Kent State
Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff spoke high praise for his senior guard, who is second on the Golden Flashes in scoring and assists. Zabo’s 11.9 points per game has helped ishisteam go 3-2 in MAC play, and has them in position to make decent run in the postseason.
10. Nate Darling | Halifax, NS | 6’5 G Soph. | UAB
Darling has started every game this year for the Blazers while averaging 10.6 points per game. Darling won a gold medal with Team Canada at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt this past summer while playing alongside phenom RJ Barrett.
9. Joseph Chartouny | Montreal, QC | 6’3 G Jr. | Fordham
Chartouny is one of only two players who made last year’s list. He led the A-10 in steals last year (3.24/game) and was third nationally while being named to the 2017 Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team. He is currently averaging 11.4 points with 5.9 rebounds per game while starting every game this season. Look for him to be among the A-10’s All-Conference players at the end of the season.
8. Mathieu Kamba | Calgary, AB | 6’5 G Sr. | Central Arkansas
Kamba has scored in double figures in 16 of 19 games this season while averaging 12.7 points per game, and he is one of the best rebounding guards in the Southland with 6.3 rebounds per game. Many Canadian players who don’t live in the Toronto area often don’t get the recognition they deserve, but Kamba’s play in the run n’ gun Southland Conference hasn’t gone unnoticed.
7. Marcus Ottey | Ajax, ON | 6’2 G Soph. | UIC
Ottey is an explosive guard averaging 13.1 points per game, with a season-high 23 points against Illinois State on Dec. 19. He has improved on his play from his freshman campaign, where he averaged 10.5 points per game and scored in double figures 18 times. Ottey looks to be a guy who could average well over 20 points per game in the future.
6. Jackson Rowe | Toronto, ON | 6’7 F Soph. | Cal-State Fullerton
Rowe had an outstanding freshman campaign in 2016-17, starting all 27 games that he appeared in while averaging 10.4 points with 7.2 rebounds per game. This earned him the Big West Freshman of the Year award. Rowe has continued his dominance this year, and is averaging 12.9 points with 6.5 rebounds per game, and should be in contention for all-conference honors at the end of the year.
5. Tevonn Walker | Montreal, QC | 6’2 G Sr. | Valparaiso
Walker declared for the NBA draft following last season, but after testing the waters he decided to return to Valpo for his senior season. He has come along way since playing for Vanier College in the CCAA, and was named to the Horizon League All-Defensive team while averaging 11.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 2016-17. Walker is leading his team in scoring so far this year, with 15.9 points along with 5.1 rebounds per game.
4. Jadon Cohee | Langley, BC | 6’4 G Jr. | Southern Utah
Cohee sat out the 2016-17 season after transferring from Seattle, and is tearing up the Big Sky Conference. He’s averaging 15.2 points per game and looks to be a dominant force for years to come. Cohee should garner some all-conference accolades by season end, and he could be a POY candidate before his career is over at SUU.
3. Trae Bell-Haynes | Toronto, ON | 6’3 G Sr. | Vermont
Bell-Haynes is one of the three Canadians on the Catamounts, and is one of the more impressive guards in all of college basketball. He was named America East Conference Player of the Year for 2016-17, while also being first team All-Conference and honorable mention All-American. Bell-Haynes has improved on all of his statistical categories this year while averaging 13.2 points, 4.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Expect to see Bell-Haynes get an opportunity in the NBA Summer League after the year.
2. Koby McEwen | Toronto, ON | 6’4 G Soph. | Utah State
McEwen set a school freshman record with a 14.9 points per game scoring average last year, which led him to being named Mountain West Freshman of the Year. He started 30 games during his freshman campaign and scored in double figures in 24 of those games. McEwen is currently averaging 14.9 points per game and had a season-high 28 points against Fresno State on Jan 3. McEwen has been a special player for Utah State.
1. Malcolm Duvivier | Toronto, ON | 6’2 G Sr. | Akron
Duvivier is a graduate transfer from Oregon State, where he helped lead the Beavers to their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1990 in 2015-16. He has a wealth of experience having played against several future NBA stars in the Pac-12, and has brought that leadership with him to Akron. Duvivier is big, strong and explosive and has made a major impact this year. He’s averaging 14.1 points, along with 3.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. Expect to see Duvivier receive all-conference accolades, and be in the running for MAC POY.