Volume 91, Issue 67

Wednesday, January 28, 1998



A happy homecoming

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
U CAN'T TOUCH THIS. Western point guard Micah Bourdeau lays the shoulder into Laurentian's Kevin Gordon. Bourdeau is off to a fast start this season, averaging 23.5 points per game which places him third in OUA scoring.

By Alex Chiang

Gazette Staff

He'll hurt you on the two most important boards in basketball – the backboard and the scoreboard.

In his first season with Western, point guard Micah Bourdeau has been the Mustangs' most lethal weapon, leading the men's basketball team in both scoring and rebounding.

The six-foot-three guard, who is averaging 23.5 points per game and nine rebounds, is third among the provincial scoring leaders behind Jeff Zdrahal of Laurier and McMaster's Titus Channer.

Mustang head coach Craig Boydell said both Bourdeau's shooting accuracy and his ability to drive to the basket have been big problems for opposing teams.

"There can't be a guard playing better right now," Boydell said. "He's shooting 60 per cent from both two and three and that's what makes him so hard to defend because he can shoot from anywhere."

As for having a point guard as the team's leading rebounder, Boydell responded that although it's unusual, it's not outrageous.

"He's always got his nose down there with the forwards and he has a good nose for the ball and a quick response," he said. "He's always had very good instincts both offensively and defensively."

Named the top high school player in London in both of his final two years at John Paul II Secondary School, Bourdeau was one of the most sought after high school players in Ontario in 1994. Making the decision upon graduation not to stay in London, he opted to spend two years with the St. Mary's Huskies where he earned Atlantic Conference rookie-of-the-year honours in 1995.

Bourdeau soon had a change of heart, however, and after his sophomore season with St. Mary's, notified Boydell he was interested in transferring to Western.

"I wanted to play for coach Boydell and [Brendan] Noonan, plus I wanted to be at home," Bourdeau said. "The city (Halifax) was nice and so was the school and the program, but it just wasn't for me."

With his return to the London basketball scene, the big question now is whether he can keep up the torrid pace he has set after the team's first four games of the season.

"The opposing players have been pretty aggressive on me, but they can't really key on me because Jonathan [Dingle] is such a good shooter and Nat [Graham] is so good in the post," Bourdeau said. "I think I can keep it up, but if I ever have an off-night I know that there are other guys on the team who can pick up the slack."

Boydell has full confidence in Bourdeau's abilities to be effective, even if the opposition's defenders focus on him. In addition, Boydell has asked Bourdeau to shoot the ball more often, because he was being too unselfish and passing up on too many chances.

"He's a mature player and it's to our advantage that he's not just a good shooter, but an excellent passer and he's a hard person to double," Boydell said. "He can hurt you in all kinds of ways and his versatility helps promote our offence."

Bourdeau and the rest of the Mustangs will be in action tonight to take on the Brock Badgers at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998