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2024 Ottawa Blackjacks Team Preview

Welcome back to part seven of my ten part series previewing every single team for the 2024 CEBL season. This is a daily series where I will choose to preview one of the 10 teams in the league, which will lead up to my complete overview and predictions piece! These articles will go over who is on each of the rosters, followed by some main headlines to lookout for, and ending off with a little sneak peak at my prediction for that teams finish.


In the seventh edition of this series, we will be taking a look at a team that I am still trying to figure out where their direction of the roster is going, the Ottawa Blackjacks. The Blackjacks organization has been going crazy with signings over the last week and have added lots of players to their roster. While the actual limit is 14 per team, I am sure they will most likely have to make some decisions going into opening week. There is one part of their roster I really like, and another part I’m not sure will be talented enough to keep up with the best teams in 2024, but we’ll get to that later.


Legend

-Sorted by “Guards” and “Forwards”

-Canadians will be identified by “(C)”

-American imports will be identified by “(A)”

-If applicable, International imports will be identified by “(I)”

-U Sports draftees will be identified by “(U)”

-If applicable, Development players will be identified by “(D)”


Note: Ottawa’s current roster size is 19, and will shrink before the season starts. When that happens, this overview will be updated.


Guards

Javon Masters (C)

Keevan Veinot (C)

Ibrahim Watson (A)

Brandon Sampson (A)

Joel Brown (C)

Kevin Otoo (C)

Yasiin Joseph (C)

Tyrrel Tate (C)

Lloyd Pandi (C)

Dragan Stajic (U)



Forwards

James Jean-Marie (C)

J.D. Muila (C)

Peter Jok (I)

JaKeenan Gant (A)

Jermel Kennedy (C)

Abu Kigab (C)

Alonzo Walker (C)

Justin Ndjock-Tadjore (U)

Michael Kelvin II (U)


Complete Makeover

Realistically, besides Jean-Marie, Tate and Kigab, this is a completely different roster in Ottawa this summer. Having lost Kadre Grey and Jackson Rowe to Scarborough, Maxime Boursiquot to Montréal, and a couple more players not returning, it’s going to be tough for the Blackjacks to hold up to last seasons standard. They’ve made up for it somewhat with bringing in Javon Masters. Ibi Watson and Brandon Sampson, but it still may not be enough talent to compete with the other top dogs in the league.


Player To Watch: Brandon Sampson

One of the best scorers the CEBL has has the privilege of showcasing has returned and he is joining the nation’s capital squad. Sampson has shown he can be a primary scorer for a club, doing it from all three levels. Having lost Grey, Adel and Flowers, three of their main scorers, Sampson may have the ability to make up for some of that production. Be on the lookout for him to have some crazy performances.


Is It Enough? This Ottawa Blackjacks team may have one of the best scoring backcourts in the entire CEBL. What makes me worried about this squad is their forward talent and depth. There is no one that I think will be able to stack up to the talent the other top teams in the league have. For that reason, this Ottawa team might lag behind and will be in the “best of the rest” category of teams. Still a chance that guard play carries them farther than I think.

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