By: Justin Parker
The McMaster men’s basketball team had a rough week in Toronto, losing 99-77 against Ryerson on Wednesday, followed by a tight defensive battle on Saturday at the University of Toronto that ended with the Varsity Blues coming out on top 65-57. Their shooting woes came due to the missing presence of the team’s leading facilitator Rohan Boney, who missed both games due to an ankle injury.
During a transitional year for the Marauders, veteran players are often a guide for younger players looking to make their mark on the team. This season, Rohan Boney has emerged as one of the team’s leaders.
Last season Boney wavered between starting games on the court or on the bench depending on the game plan. In the 2016/2017 season, Boney has seen his minutes increase, and during those extra minutes, he has contributed all over the team’s stats sheet. This adaptability is one of the key traits Boney brings to the team.
“I’m kind of versatile; I’ll play guard and forward,” Boney said. “I try to get my teammates involved and pass it around, score when needed. But just try to keep everything flowing. Last year… my role was to be an energy guy, come in and play fast and play aggressive. This year if I have a bad game it would really show up on how the team does.”
Last year, Rohan Boney contributed 10.8 points per game and 2.6 assists per game in 22.6 minutes. This year, he currently leads the team in assists (4.2) and blocks (0.8) per game, while sitting second in points (14.8), rebounds (7.3), and steals (1.2) per game. Boney’s numbers rank him as fourth in the province and tenth across Canada for assists per game. This bigger role has enhanced Boney’s position as a leader on the team.
“I think [Rohan Boney] just does what you need him to do,” head coach Amos Connolly said. “I think in the past we didn’t need [Boney] to score as much but we needed him to facilitate and rebound and I think now he looks and he realizes that we need him to score.”
“To see his level of dedication and commitment to the program, and to see him be willing to lead from the side and let other guys lead… I couldn’t be happier with what [he’s] doing for us”.
Head coach, McMaster men’s basketball
“I think his maturity is what we’re really seeing right now. I think his awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the group and the strengths and weaknesses of himself and how he can contribute… I’m really impressed with what he’s done as a leader for this group.”
Boney sees his role as a leader is to get the team to the best position to win as possible.
“Some guys respond differently to certain stuff, like some guys you can yell at, some guys you have to pat on the back,” Boney said. “Honestly, a leadership role [is] trying to get the best result as a team that you can get, and that’s what I try to do every day.”
After five years, Boney has learned a lot about balancing life and school, how to communicate, how to deal with pressure and essentially how hard work can breed success. Playing this long is not an easy feat, but he continues to lead by example according to Connelly.
“To see his level of dedication and commitment to this program, and to see him be willing to lead from the side and let other guys lead but still make sure that things are going in the in the right direction, I couldn’t be happier with what [he’s] doing for us.”
Despite recent struggles, the Marauders currently sit in second place in the Ontario University Athletics Central division with a 7-8 record. They are six points behind first-place Brock, and looking to regain form with four games remaining in the regular season. While they’ve lost three of their last four games, their next four are against lower-ranked teams starting with a Feb. 4 matchup against the 3-11 Waterloo Warriors.