The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team were favourites heading into the 2012-13 season, after dominating the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec conference for two straight years.
However, injury troubles even before the season started made things tough for the team right from the get-go.
In November, the Stingers won their first three contests to open the season. Two close losses at the end of the month, against McGill and Laval respectively, knocked the team out of first place. Concordia would never get that first place spot back.
For the rest of the season, the Stingers were never able to get a good winning streak going. As soon as they would win two straight, they would go on to drop the one or two games. The team had some roller coaster performances, blowing out teams in some games, and dropping fourth quarter leads in other ones.
When the team was healthy, they brought back glimpses of their dominating performances from previous seasons. Unfortunately, players kept going down, forcing head coach John Dore to constantly adjust his lineup.
Concordia’s biggest victory of the season came on Nov. 15, when they beat the Laval Rouge et Or by 28 points. Laval returned the favour handing the Stingers their biggest defeat of the season on Feb. 23. The Rouge et Or beat Concordia by 22 points, in a match where Stingers needed to win to secure home playoff advantage.
Offensively, the maroon and gold led the league in most overall points and average points per game. They had three players finish in the top 10 in the league in terms of average points per game. Evens Laroche and Kyle Desmarais finished in third and fourth overall with 15.1 and 15 points per game. Guard Jerome Blake was in 10th spot overall in the league with 12 points per game.
It was defensively where the team lost some of their games. The Stingers found themselves in the middle of the pack in most defensive stat categories. Although, rebounding was the exception as the Stingers were the best offensive rebounding team and second best defensively behind McGill.
The below average Stingers season could have also come down to an overall improvement of the four other teams in the league. As expected, McGill put pressure on the Stingers all season long and ultimately dethroned Concordia, winning the RSEQ Championship. After finishing last in the two prior season, Bishop’s Gaiters turned things around and ended up beating out ConU for second place in the standings and went on to eliminate the Stingers in the playoffs.
Concordia will use the off-season to regroup and come out strong next year. Fewer injuries will hopefully lead to more consistent play from the 20-time RSEQ champions.