Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Welcome to my CIS Hoops Blog

For over 20 years, I've actively participated and followed Canadian University basketball as a fan, coach and player (barely). The on-the-floor product is tremendous and getting better each season as players and coaches continue to hone their skills. My goal, via this blog, is communicate relevant, timely and accurate information about Canadian University basketball to as many people as possible to help grow the sport to where it becomes a prominent part of the Canadian sports scene.

The blog will contain team updates, game reviews, previews, links to articles on CIS basketball, opinions and stories of interest. I invite your comments, positive or otherwise, and your contributions to make this blog the site of choice for CIS basketball information.

First Installment = Key Games This Weekend:

#3 Victoria vs. #2 UBC- With the wild card back in play this season and these 2 teams dominating Canada West, the 3 regular season games between these 2 teams take on added importance. This weekend is the first of the season series and pits Kevin Hansen's T-Birds who don't mind an up-tempo game against Craig Beauchamp's CIS Finalist team which has had to deal with the loss of All-Canadian point guard Chris Trumpy.

#7 Concordia at McGill- As the Redmen start to get healthy again after a number of early season injuries and freshman Matt Thornhill (Dawson College) continues to gain confidence, coach Craig Norman's quickly improving team has a chance to knock Concordia from the ranks of the undefeated.

Queen's at #9 Brock- The Gaels have been riding the hot hand of top freshman Mitch Leger and a strong defence that clogs the paint and challenges teams to beat them from the perimeter. A 15-23 performance from downtown at McMaster gave Queen's their biggest regular season win in many years a couple of weeks ago and a narrow overtime loss to Windsor showed that the Mac game was no fluke. Brock ended a three-game losing streak with a win at Ryerson last weekend and is always tough, especially within the friendly confines of Bob Davis Gym.
Both teams love the three ball, especially off draw-and-kicks, so which team can defend better could be the story.

#6 Windsor at York- The Lancers only loss was a bitter one-point decision at home to Carleton and last week they were able to overcome some adversity on the road for a character win at Queen's in overtime. This team is strong up front with D1-transfer Greg Surmacz, has a legitimate big-time scorer in Kevin Kloostra and, maybe most importantly, has a tremendous, veteran point guard in Ryan Steer making solid decisions with the basketball. With depth everywhere, right now Windsor looks like the class of the OUA West.
Fifth-year stars Dan Eves and Jordan Foebel are 35+ minutes per game guys who have gone through the wars for coach Bob Bain's Lions, who are without All-Canadian calibre guard Tut Ruach, who rumour has it will return after Christmas. But with Rohan Steen and point guard Eylon Zemer, York has a solid backcourt and, although they are not as a deep as Windsor, are very tough in their gym and also have only lost once this regular season (first weekend at Brock). With a pair of wins this weekend, York should move into the Top 10.

McMaster at #5 Ottawa and #1 Carleton
Mac was embarrassed two years ago at Ottawa and according to Coach Raso it was the first time in his Mac coaching career that his team stopped competing. The Marauders have been fighting injuries, most noteably to star forward John Obrovac - no word on whether he will be ready this weekend - but Mac definitely has retribution on their minds after the blowout in '04-'05 and last season's last second buzzer-beating 3 by Alex McLeod in Hamilton. Also, as far as I can remember, the Marauders have never beaten Carleton in a regular season or playoff game since the OUA interlocking schedule began about 5 years ago. One or two wins in Ottawa will serve Mac well going into the holiday break.

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