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Masters leads men’s team into playoffs

The 2013-14 season was one to remember for UNB Varsity Reds basketball star Javon Masters. The freshman guard was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport rookie of the year while also leading the country in scoring with an astounding 27.4 points per game.

“Masters has made a major impact on our program and will continue to do so as he progresses through his career at UNB,” said V-Reds head coach Brent Baker at the time. “Leading the country in scoring as a freshman is a rare and special accomplishment.”

Now in his second season with the Varsity Reds, Masters has shown no signs of slowing down.

The Kitchener, Ont. native leads the scoring race yet again with 25.1 points per game, narrowly beating out UPEI’s Tyler Scott, who has been averaging 23.4 points.

Masters has also been a key factor in UNB’s 16-4 overall record, giving them a first place finish in the AUS standings for the first time since 1967.

“Overall, this season has been going really well for us,” said Masters. “Going into the season, we knew we had the talent and the depth to be successful, and I think we’ve done that thus far.”

While the team finished at the top of the standings, there were a few challenges along the way; notably, the team losing back-to-back games heading into the mid-season break.

“The season is a marathon, and not a sprint, so you will always experience some highs and lows,” explained Masters. “We knew we just had to keep level headed and play the game of basketball the way we want to.”

In terms of his individual play, Masters believes that he has made significant gains in all aspects of his play.

“Personally, I think I played a more well-rounded game this year,” he said. “Last season, I was more of a pure scorer. This year, however, I’m becoming more of a playmaker and getting my teammates involved.

“When the others get going it’s tough for the opposing defence to only key in on me, because they have to worry about four other guys too. I feel that was the biggest change I made this year in my own game.”

As the V-Reds head into post-season play, Masters believes his team has what it takes to succeed at the next level.

“We feel like we are playing some great basketball at this point in the season, and we believe that this is our year. UNB hasn’t brought home a banner in basketball since 1967, so we’re aware of the pressure. We just need to go out and execute, and play like we have been playing all year.”

UNB, thanks to a first round bye, advances straight to Saturday’s AUS Championship semi-final where they’ll play the winner of the first quarterfinal. All playoff games are being held at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.

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