It was a pre-season exhibition tournament, so we won’t read too much into it, but the Memorial Sea-Hawks’ men’s basketball championship at Montreal’s Concordia Classic over the Thanksgiving Day weekend has to bode well for a program that appears to be showing an upswing.
And a large part — that’s six-foot-seven large — of that is St. John’s native Cole Long, who is coming off three seasons of NCAA basketball at the University of Detroit-Mercy.
Long finished his degree at Detroit in three years, meaning he has two years of USports eligibility with the Sea-Hawks.
Long was named the Concordia Classic’s MVP, and also gained a berth on the tournament all-star team, along with teammate and first-team Atlantic University Sport all-star Nathan Barker of Corner Brook.
In three years at Detroit-Mercy, Long — who attended the Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ont. — averaged 2.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 19 games last season, 3.8 points and 2.6 boards in 30 appearances in 2017-18 and two points and 2.1 rebounds in 30 games played in his 2016-17 freshman season.
In Montreal, the Sea-Hawks beat the University of Saskatchewan 85-69, northern Ontario’s Nipissing University 80-69 and host Concordia 74-73 Sunday.
Long and Barker once again led the way for the Sea-Hawks with 14 points apiece in the Stingers game, while Daniel Foo added 13 off the bench.
The busy 10-day stretch of basketball for the Memorial men continues in Kingston, Ont.. for the Tindall Invitational Tournament at Queen’s University, starting Thursday. The Sea-Hawks will face St. Lawrence Vikings, Queens Golden Gaels, Ottawa Gee-Gees and Regina Cougars.
Along with reigning AUS rookie of the year Emmanuel Ring in the Sea-Hawks’ lineup, Memorial now has Ring’s brother, Deng, in the fold. Deng Ring, who like his brother is a product of Prince of Wales Collegiate in St. John’s, redshirted the past two years.
The Sea-Hawks went 6-14 last season, but did manage a berth in the AUS playoffs.