Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sunday's Game Results and Reports

PLEASE ACCEPT MY BEST WISHES FOR A SAFE, HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR. Stay tuned to the blog in 2007 and beyond and keep the comments, suggestions and ideas coming.

Game/Tournament Recaps from today

#3 St. Francis Xavier 79, Dalhousie 72 X captured the Shoveller championship with a comfortable win over the host Tigers, grabbing leads as large as 14 in the second half and pushing back a couple of late Dalhousie runs. Tournament MVP Tyler Richards had 19 points and 5 assists in the win for X, which got the ball inside and attacked the rim to the tune of 59% shooting from two point land (X was only 1-8 from 3). Garry Gallimore (14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) got the X-Men off to a fast start scoring 6 of the first 8 points of the game as X got out to an early 10-3 lead and had a late steal and dunk to help X grab a nine point halftime lead. Christian (T-Bear) Upshaw also added 19 points while 6'10" center Neil McDonald finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Andrew Sullivan, who led Dal with 16 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds, gave Dal one of its few leads with a three with about 10 1/2 minutes left in the first half but it was catch-up for most of the game for Coach John Campbell's side. Dal was able to cut the lead to 6 a couple of times in the second half, the final time in the last 2 minutes, but X, despite going only 3-7 at the line in the final minute, was able to hold on for the victory. Dal was only 4-18 from the three point line and got 15 points and 8 rebounds from 6'8" center Germain Bendegue plus 13 points from Monte Francois, who went 0-8 from behind the arc on the afternoon. X hosts UPEI while Memorial visits Dal next Saturday as the AUS regular season continues. Tournament All-Stars: SMU - Aaron Duncan, Acadia - Paulo Santana, DAL - Andrew Sullivan, DAL - Monte Francois, StFX - Christian Upshaw; Tournament MVP: StFX - Tyler Richards X/Dal Box Score

Acadia 65, St. Mary's 61 In the bronze medal game of the Rod Shoveller Memorial in Halifax, veteran guard Peter Leighton knocked down 3 of his game-high 5 3's late in the game and in overtime, the last missle from downtown with 30 seconds left in the extra frame to give the Axemen the lead for good as Acadia edged the Huskies in another of the many barnburners this holiday weekend. Lake Superior State transfer Sean Berry hit his only 3 of the game with just over 3 minutes left in overtime giving Acadia a 4 point lead at 57-53 but then tournament All-Star Aaron Duncan knocked down back-to-back 3's of his own to regain the lead for St. Mary's. Leighton, who earlier had scored the last 6 points in regulation for Acadia including a three pointer with 11 seconds left to knot the score at 51, again answered from downtown giving the Axemen the lead for good in the overtime. Acadia had rallied from an 11 point halftime deficit with an 8-0 run off the start of the second half but the Huskies, led by back-to-back 3's from Sean Bouly re-established a 9 point lead with under 14 minutes to play, setting up Leighton's crunch-time heroics. Duncan led St. Mary's with 17 points (3-4 3's) and 7 boards while Paolo Santana again had a stat-sheet-stuffing day with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and went 8-12 from the foul line. Leighton finished with 17 points on 5-6 shooting from downtown. SMU/Acadia Box Score

Bishop's "Converse" Tournament at Lennoxville, PQ Courtesy of Eddie Pomykala and the Gaiters Sports Information Dept. Sunday, December 31, 2006

Using the Kazimir Borkowski tie breaking system (an elaborate mathematical system developed in Krakow, Poland) the Bishop’s Gaiters won the 3rd annual BU-Converse Classic tournament. Led by tournament MVP Andy Wright the Gaiters prevailed today over the gritty RMC Paladins 78-45. The Gaiters enjoyed a balanced attack with Jason Thorne leading the way with 13 points followed by Cam McDonald with 12 and Andy Wright with 10 points and 8 assists. The Paladins came out strong and took a 13-7 point lead early and had the Gaiters flustered with their crisp execution. However, Bishops' athleticism won out as the game progressed as the Gaiters ended the first half on a 30-11 run to grab a 37-24 at halftime. Leading scorers for RMC were tournament all star Paul Hungler with 13, hard working post Adam Asquini and Rich Whittfield had 10 points apiece... The first game of the doubleheader proved to be the most exciting of the tournament as Laval Rouge et Or withstood a torrid three point shooting barrage to come out with a 67-64 victory over UNB Varsity Reds. Laval led 37-23 at halftime and looked like they were going to run away from the game. Paced by freshman sensation JF Maheux’s 22 points and Jean Michel Leblanc’s 21 Laval showed great character and execution pulling off 2 wins without their All Canadian post JP Morin (the secret must be in having 2 first names!!). UNB showed that a Thom Gillespie team will not quit and had a stellar performance from Oliver Glencross 17 points and Adam Parent’s hard earned 13. Final Standings: 1. Bishop’s 2-0 +43 2. Laval 2-0 + 32 3. UNB 0-2 3. RMC 0-2. Tournament All Stars: MVP Andy Wright- BU, JF Maheux- Laval, Jean Michel Leblanc - Laval, Junior Nicolas – BU, Oliver Glencross- UNB, Paul Hungler- RMC.

CIS Schedule for Sunday, December 31st, 2006 (All Games Eastern Time)

Montmorency 95, Maine Fort-Kent 76 (Rod Shoveller 7th Place Game) Box Score
UQAM UQAM 82, Lee Academy 58 (Rod Shoveller 5th Place Game) Box Score
Acadia 65, St. Mary's 61 OT (Bronze Medal Game - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
#3 St. Francis Xavier 79, Dalhousie 72 (Championship Game - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)

Laval 67, UNB 64 (Day Two – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)
Bishop's 78, RMC 45 (Day Two – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)

1 PM Carleton vs. Ancilla (Ind.) College at Broward CC, Fort Lauderdale, FLA
Notre Dame College (NAIA) 82, Windsor 64 (South Euclid, OH) Game Recap and Box Score

Also, Ottawa at Eckerd College Tritons (NCAA Division II program with 10-1 record thus far this season) played 3 20 minutes halves as both teams played their top rotation in the first half (Ottawa wins by 10) and then both teams substituted freely in the next 2 halfs (Eckerd won each by 3 points). No official stats other than the score were kept.

Preview of Sunday's Games

Sunday's schedule is a little lighter as the tournaments and non-conference games draw to a close and teams begin to focus on re-starting the second half of their season's in league play. The highest profile game on the slate is the Rod Shoveller Memorial tournament championship game as the host Dalhousie Tigers entertain Canada's #3 team, St. Francis Xavier X-Men at Dalplex in Halifax for 2 PM Eastern time start. The Bishop's "Converse" tournament wraps up today while #1 Carleton and #5 Ottawa each play an exhibition game against U.S. competition today.

Please see previous blog "Saturday's Results and Game Reports" for all of yesterday's action. Other late breaking articles from yesterday's action: Chad Lucas Article in Halifax Chronicle Herald: "T-Bear Makes Me Better"

CIS Schedule for Sunday, December 31st, 2006 (All Games Eastern Time)

8 AM Lee Academy vs. Maine Fort-Kent (Rod Shoveller 7th Place Game)
10 AM Montmorency vs. UQAM (Rod Shoveller 5th Place Game)
Noon Acadia vs. St. Mary's (Bronze Medal Game - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
2 PM #3 St. Francis Xavier at Dalhousie (Championship Game - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)

1 PM UNB vs. Laval (Day Two – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)
3 PM RMC at Bishop’s (Day Two – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)

1 PM Carleton vs. Ancilla (Ind.) College at Broward CC, Fort Lauderdale, FLA
1 PM Windsor at Notre Dame College NAIA (South Euclid, OH)
Also, Ottawa at Eckerd College Tritons (NCAA Division II program with 10-1 record thus far this season) start time not known at this point.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saturday's Game Results and Reports

Note that this entry will be updated with scores and reports as they become available periodically throughout the day.

Late breaking reports: Day Three Recap: Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament at UVic and Day Three Recap: Golden Bear Invitational at Alberta

#2 UBC 75, Queen's 68 The T-Birds pulled away late to secure a 7 point win over the Gaels who down the stretch showed the wear-and-tear of three tough games in three nights. Down 2, Queen's could not convert several open looks and the T-Birds behind guard Chris Dyck (16 points), All-Canadian candidate Casey Archibald (15 points) and emerging 6'7" forward Bryson Kool (14 points) were able to grab the victory. The Gaels, who led 38-36 at halftime, were able to stay in the game despite being outrebounded 48-26 with another solid 13-31 (42%) from three point land. Turkish import Baris Ondul led the Gaels with 14 while freshman sensation Mitch Leger had 12 and Simon Mitchell added 11. The Gaels have one more non-conference game, Tuesday January 2nd at UCFV (Fraser Valley) before returning home to host York and Laurentian next weekend in Kingston as the OUA East restarts. UBC has a home-and-home series next weekend with Simon Fraser.

Winnipeg 91, #9 Brandon 72 ** With thanks to the Winnipeg Sports Information Department ** The Winnipeg Wesmen captured their second Wesmen Classic Championship in three years with a convincing 91-72 victory over the Brandon Bobcats in front of 2,500 spectators at the Duckworth Centre Saturday night. Erfan Nasajpour led the Wesmen with 24 points and 12 assists. Three other Wesmen players had over 10 points including Dan Shynkaryk who finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, fifth year Will Bergmann playing in his last Wesmen Classic scored 14 points and Ivan Saric finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Yul Michel led Brandon with 16 points followed by Adam Hartman with 15. The game was dead even after 20 minutes with the score at halftime tied at 40-40. In the second half Winnipeg pulled away at the midway point of the half going on a 15-1 run to take a 65-51 lead. The Bobcats were unable to fight back and a big three point basket basket by Nasajpour followed by a four point play by Shynkaryk put the game out of reach. “It feels good, real good”, said Matt Opalko who returned from injury to the lineup during the Classic. Tournament All-Stars: Mike Williams – Toronto; Cleodis Hilliard - Minot State; Yul Michel – Brandon; Dan Shynkaryk – Winnipeg; Adam Hartman – Brandon. Tournament MVP: Erfan Nasjpour - Winnipeg

Dalhousie 80, Acadia 60 The host Tigers used a 16-0 run late in the second half to break open a tight game and defeat the Axemen to move into tomorrow's championship game against X. Fifth-year guard Monte Francois had a game-high 23 points for Dal which got a career effort from 6'7" third-year forward Drew Stratton, who ended up with 20 points and 6 rebounds on 9-12 shooting. After Acadia's Paolo Santana (22 points, 7 rebounds) brought the Axemen to within 2 at 53-51 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining, Stratton bouyed the game-deciding run by first making a jumper and then creating a turnover and feeding Andrew Sullivan for an easy layup. After Francois hit a three and knocked down some free throws, Dal led 69-51 with under 7 minutes to play and the route was on. Dal shot 57.4% for the game including a very efficient 9-17 from 3, breaking away from the reliance on the three point shot exhibited early in yesterday's game. Acadia will meet St. Mary's in tomorrow's third-place game. Dal / Acadia box score

Guelph 71, McGill 69 In yet another barnburning finish, 6'3" third-year guard Nick Pankerichan converted a layup at the buzzer to give the Gryphons a thrilling 2 point win over the emerging Redmen on the final day of the Golden Bear Invitational at the University of Alberta. McGill's 6'4" freshman forward Paul Herra had tied the game with a pair of clutch free throws with 6 seconds remaining to set up Pankerichan's heroics. The Gryphons played without veterans Aron Bariagabre, JR Bailey and Duncan Milne who all sat out the game due to disciplinary reasons yet still were able to rally from a 16 point deficit with about 12 minutes remaining to claim their second win in three games in Alberta. Second-year swingman Jay Mott led Guelph with 17 while forward Seb Kasuik added 16 and Pankerichan 10. The Redmen, who led by only 1 at halftime, went on a huge run to open the second half led by 6'6" forward Yannick Chouinard who knocked down 3 long 3's during the run that gave McGill a seemingly-insurmountable lead. The Gryphs now prepare to host the Western Mustangs next Saturday while McGill prepares for another cross-town battle next Saturday at 4 PM at Concordia.

#3 St. Francis Xavier 86, St. Mary's 70 The X-Men pulled away late in the second half, starting a game-deciding 19-2 spurt with about 8 minutes left and emerging All-Canadian candidate Tyler Richards broke loose for 32 points (23 in the first half) to lead X into tomorrow's championship game at the Rod Shoveller tournament at Dalhousie. With the game tied at 33-33 with 5 minutes remaining in the first half, Richards led a 16-9 X run with 8 points to give his club a 7 point lead at the half. However the Huskies scored the first 7 points of the second half and when St. Mary's 6'7" Nigerian input forward Ikeobi Uchegbu converted a lay-in with about 9 minutes left, St. Mary's had their largest lead at 59-55. But X took over from there, beginning with a conventional three-point play by 6'3" Garry Gallimore (11 points, 9 rebounds) and ending with a pair of free throws from emerging 6'4" freshman Dwayne Johnson (4 points, 8 rebounds in 26 minutes) to sew up the victory. X awaits the Acadia/Dalhousie winner in tomorrow's final. X vs. St. Mary's box score

York 67, UPEI 63 York wins Ryerson's Ed DeArmon tournament with a victory over UPEI. Here is Ryerson's SID Jim McLarty's report on the championship game and tournament all-stars... York Lions Win 16th Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament

TORONTO - The York Lions captured their second Ed DeArmon Memorial Basketball Tournament title in three years with a 67-63 victory over the Prince Edward Island Panthers on Saturday at Ryerson University.

Rohan Steen led the Lions with a game-high 22 points against the Panthers, while Jordan Foebel recorded a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Tournament MVP Dan Eves added 17 points and five assists for York. Brent McLaren led the Panthers with 19 points, while Sherone Edwards and Jared Budd posted 10 points each.

In other action on Saturday, the No. 10 Cape Breton Capers defeated the host Ryerson Rams 77-61, the No. 8 Brock Badgers cruised to an 88-44 victory over Memorial and Thompson Rivers knocked off Lakehead 98-79.

Tournament MVP: Dan Eves, York; Tournament All-Stars: Paul Blake, Cape Breton; Sherone Edwards, UPEI; Brent McLaren, UPEI; Boris Bakovic, Ryerson; Rohan Steen, York

Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament Champions:
2006 - York
2005 - Toronto
2004 - York
2003 - Humber
2001 - Brandon
1999 - Ryerson
1997 - Dalhousie
1995 - Guelph
1993 - Simon Fraser
1991 - Simon Fraser
1989 - Alberta
1987 - Brandon
1985 - Victoria
1984 - Waterloo
1983 - York
1982 - New Brunswick

Jim McLarty, Communications Co-ordinator, Sports and Recreation, Ryerson University

#8 Brock 88, Memorial 44 The Badgers claimed 5th place in Ryerson's Ed DeArmon tournament with a convincing 44 point victory over the Seahawks. An early 8-0 Memorial run gave the Hawks their only lead of the game at 12-11 and Brock followed with a 27-11 run to finish the half. It was over early in the second half as Brock's Scott Murray tied a career-high with 26 points and went over the 1,000 point mark for his career by going 8-10 from the floor including 4-6 from 3. The Badgers, led by Mike Kemp, did a stellar job negating any solid looks for Memorial's smooth shooting Justin Halleran, who was held to only 3 points on 1-8 shooting after scorching Lakehead for 37 points one day earlier. Chris Keith had a 14 point/10 rebound double-double for Brock (14-5) which also got 13 points apiece from Kemp and point guard Brad Rootes. Sean Thistle led Memorial (5-10 vs. CIS) with 10 points. The Badgers now prepare for next Saturday's OUA West league matchup with McMaster Marauders in St. Catherines at 4 PM while Memorial resumes its AUS league schedule with a visit to Dalhousie next Saturday at 8 PM Atlantic time.

Bishop's "Converse" Tournament in Lennoxville, PQ (with thanks from Coach Eddie Pomykala): Laval 84 RMC 65: Playing without injured All Canadian JP Morin, the Rouge et Or were paced by freshman JF Maheux with a game-high 26 points. The Laval squad hit 13 three point shots enroute to their victory. Paul Hungler tallied 16 points for the Paladins. Bishop's 71 UNB 61: Bishop's overcame a 37-32 halftime deficit to down the Varsity Reds for the second time this season. The Gaiters were led by Hermon Tesfaghebriel 12, Junior Nicolas 12, Andy Wright 11. UNB was led by Adam Parent's 12 points.

CIS Schedule for Saturday, December 30th, 2006 (All Games Eastern Time)

Thompson Rivers 98, Lakehead 79 (Ryerson 7th Place Game)
#8 Brock 88, Memorial 44 (5th Place Game - Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
#10 Cape Breton 77, Ryerson 61 (Third Place Game: Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
York 67, UPEI 63 (Championship Game – Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
Ryerson Web Site Link to tournament summary

Montmorency 84, Lee Academy Prep (Maine) 63 (Consolation Round - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
UQAM 103, Maine Fort-Kent 64 (Consolation Round - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
#3 St. Francis Xavier 86, St. Mary's 70 (Championship Semi-Final: Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
Dalhousie 80, Acadia 60 (Championship Semi-Final: Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
Dalhousie Tournament Link

Laval 84, RMC 65 (Day One – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)
Bishop’s 71, UNB 61 (Day One – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)
Bishop's "Converse" Tournament Link

Lethbridge 88, Laurier 67 (Consolation Game - 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Toronto 80, SAIT 42 (Consolation Game: 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Minot State 85, Manitoba 79 (Third Place Game: 40th Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg)
Winnipeg 91, #9 Brandon 72 (Championship Game: 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Winnipeg Tournament Link

Guelph 71, McGill 69 (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
Calgary 86, Alberta 84 (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)

#2 UBC 75, Queen’s 68 (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)
#6 Concordia 58, #4 Victoria 50 (Championship Game: Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic) Concordia led 31-25 at halftime.

Other games today involving CIS teams:
2 PM Western at Univ. of Rochester (Non-conference game at Rochester, NY)
Montana State-Northern (NAIA D1) 97, Saskatchewan 94 3 OT'S (Havre, MT) Game Report and Box Score
Walsh University NAIA 79, Windsor 70 (North Canton, OH)
11 PM Fraser Valley at Holy Names University tournament (Holy Names Classic, Oakland, CA)

Preview of Saturday's Games

Note: See also previous blog entry for a complete look at yesterday's CIS-related action including links to articles and press releases.

Nice article from the Kingston Whig-Standard on Queen’s freshman Mitch Leger that includes a note abut how he was cut from his grade 9 basketball team yet persevered Kingston Whig-Standard article on Mitch Leger

Late breaking articles from yesterday's action:

Day One review at Rod Shoveller tournament

Article highlighting X freshman point guard Christian T-Bear Upshaw

Wesmen Classic Report from Winnipeg Sun

Manitoba at Winnipeg continues to draw them in at the Wesmen Classic

Wesmen Classic Video Montage

Guelph at Alberta game report

*******
Four of the six CIS holiday tournaments will be decided today and a fifth, the Rod Shoveller Memorial, will see a pair of all-AUS semi-finals. Meanwhile, the Bishop's "Converse" Invitational kicks off today in Lennoxville, PQ.

In Toronto, Ryerson's Ed DeArmon Memorial tournament will feature York Lions facing off against UPEI Panthers in the championship game while in Winnipeg, the championship game is an all-Great Plains affair as #9 Brandon takes on the host Wesmen.

In Edmonton at the Golden Bear Invitational, host Alberta has already clinched the championship since even if the Bears lose to Calgary, they would be tied atop the standings with the winner of the Guelph/McGill matchup but would claim first place because Alberta has already defeated both teams in the tournament. The standings going into the 3rd and final day of the four-team round robin event are as follows: Alberta 2-0; Guelph 1-1; McGill 1-1; Calgary 0-2.

At Victoria, the Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament, a five-team affair, heads into the final day with tonight's final game between current #6 Concordia (2-0), fresh off a 14 point thrashing of current #2 UBC, and the host Vikes (1-0) determining the tournament championship. Note that Vikes forwards Jacob Doerksen and Tyler Haas, both starters who missed the Queen's game on Thursday, are expected back for tonight's game although Doerksen may have tweaked his ankle again in practice yesterday so his status is uncertain. UBC meets the improved Queen's Golden Gaels in the evening's first game. Here are the current standings: #6 Concordia 2-0, #4 UVic 1-0, Queen's 1-1, #2 UBC 0-1, Trinity Western 0-2.

In Halifax, St. Mary's faces X and the host Tigers meet the ever-improving Acadia Axemen in the semi-final games of the Rod Shoveller Memorial tournament.

CIS Schedule for Saturday, December 30th, 2006 (All Games Eastern Time)

11 AM Lakehead vs. Thompson Rivers (Ryerson 7th Place Game)
Noon Montmorency vs. Lee Academy Prep (Maine) (Consolation Round - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
1 PM RMC vs. Laval (Day One – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)
1 PM Lethbridge vs. Laurier (Consolation Game - 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
1 PM #8 Brock vs. Memorial (5th Place Game - Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
2 PM UQAM vs. Maine Fort-Kent (Consolation Round - Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
2 PM Western at Univ. of Rochester (Non-conference game at Rochester, NY)
3 PM UNB at Bishop’s (Day One – Bishop’s “Converse” Classic; Lennoxville, PQ)
3 PM Toronto vs. SAIT (Consolation Game: 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
3 PM #10 Cape Breton vs. Ryerson (Third Place Game: Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
3:30 PM Saskatchewan at Montana State-Northern NAIA D1 (Havre, MT)
4 PM Windsor at Walsh College NAIA (North Canton, OH)
5 PM York vs. UPEI (Championship Game – Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
5 PM St. Mary's vs. #3 St. Francis Xavier (Championship Semi-Final: Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
5 PM Manitoba vs. Minot State (Third Place Game: 40th Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg)
7 PM Acadia vs. Dalhousie (Championship Semi-Final: Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
8 PM McGill vs. Guelph (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
9 PM #2 UBC vs. Queen’s (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)
9 PM Winnipeg vs. #9 Brandon (Championship Game: 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
10 PM Calgary at Alberta (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
11 PM #6 Concordia at #4 UVic (Championship Game: Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)
11 PM Fraser Valley at Holy Names University tournament (Holy Names Classic, Oakland, CA)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday's Game Results and Reports

Stay tuned to the blog all day for the latest scores and game reports

#6 Concordia 84, #2 UBC 70 The first CIS Top 10 of 2007 is bound to have some changes near the top of the list after #6 Concordia Stingers handed #2 UBC Thunderbirds their first loss of the season against CIS competition, building leads as large as 25 in a 84-70 thrashing of the Canada West Pacific Division leaders as the second night of the 3 day Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament at UVic concluded. The Stingers, now 2-0 in the tournament, were playing their second game in as many nights after a solid, come-from-behind win over Trinity Western while the well-rested T-Birds (0-1) had not played in almost a month. Concordia's 6'5" fifth-year forward Patrick Perrotte led 5 Stingers in double figures with 19 points while 6'5" swingman Ben Sormonte added 18. Concordia led 33-24 at halftime in a very comfortable victory for the current leaders of the Quebec conference. There are a couple of articles on the game UVic Press Release and UBC Web Site

Queen's 90, Trinity Western 84 The Gaels rebounded after last night's hearbreaking, buzzer-beating loss with a six-point victory over Trinity Western Spartans who for the second consecutive evening played without leading scorer Brian Banman. Gaels star freshman Mitch Leger continues to make his case as one of Canada's top first-year players with another strong 28 point, 12 rebound effort. Shooting guard Ryan Hairsine added 18 for Queen's which came back from a 9 point halftime deficit as the Gaels gave up a season-high 50 points in the first half. Queen's went 10 for 37 from 3 point land, taking exactly half of their shots from the floor from beyond the arc. Jon Schmidt led the Spartans with 20 including 4 3's. Box Score

Brandon 81, Minot State 77 The Brandon Bobcats will join the Winnipeg Wesmen in an all-Manitoba final at the 40th Annual MTS Wesmen Classic. Brandon hung on to defeat the Minot State Beavers 81-77 in the semi finals. The Bobcats had control of this game in the first half holding a 41-31 lead at halftime. In the second half the Bobcats looked to be running away with the game but several misses free throws kept the Beavers in the game. Minot State closed the gap to within three points in the final minute, after the Bobcats missed five free throws in a row. The Bobcats did manage to sink a free thow in the closing seconds to pull out a close and narrow victory. Adam Hartman led Brandon with 22 points and guard Yul Michel, named Player of the Game, had a strong game finishing with 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Cleodis Hilliard and Jordan Cooper each had 22 points in a losing effort for the Beavers. Brandon will face Winnipeg in the Championship Final Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. Minot State will battle Manitoba for third place at 4:00 p.m. Brandon/Minot State Box Score

UPEI 91, Ryerson 86 The Panthers moved into the DeArmon championship game against York by holding off the host Rams as 6'9" Doug McKinney went off for 25 points including 3 dunks and added 11 rebounds while 5'10" guard Brent McLaren continued his hot shooting in the tournament, dropping 21 including another 5 3's to add to his 5 in the first round win against Lakehead. The Panthers twice had double digit leads and led by nine at 53-44 after shooting a blistering 64% in the first half. However the Rams rallied on the back of 6'2" shooting guard Brandon Krupa (St. Catherines, ON) who had a career-high 29 points including 5-6 3's (10-13 shooting overall) while playing all 40 minutes. 6'10" Igor Bakovic had 23 points and 14 rebounds (6 offensive) but freshman brother Boris struggled with fouls all night and ended up fouling out late in the game. PEI's freshman swingman Jon Cooper (Etobicoke, ON) had a nice homecoming, contributing 14 points off the bench in just 17 minutes. Ryerson now meets Cape Breton in the bronze medal game tomorrow.

Winnipeg 73, Manitoba 70 Much thanks to the Wesmen Sports Information Department for the following game summary of Winnipeg's big win over Manitoba... The “heart and Soul” of the Wesmen will lead his team to the Championship game of the MTS Wesmen Classic. Erfan Nasajpour scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Winnipeg Wesmen to a thrilling 73-70 victory over the Manitoba Bisons in one semi final . The Wesmen started the game on fire building building a 12-4 lead early in the first half. The Bisons though were able to fight back going on a 14-6 run to take a 21-18 lead midway thru the first half. The teams were even by a score of 30-30 at halftime. In the second half the Bisons carried the play for a good majority of the half and were up by as much as nine points on three occasions. Nasajpour scored back-to-back baskets to tie the score at 68-68 with just over one minute left. The Bisons took the lead at 70-68 with one minute left. Ivan Saric of the Wesmen took a great pass from Nasajpour and slammed home the tieing basket at 70 with 46 seconds left to play. The dramatics soon followed. First year player James Horaska came away with a steal and a basket with 28 seconds to play to give the Wesmen a 72-70 lead. Nasajpour closed the deal with 15 seconds left, coming up with a steal and then proceeding to sink 1-of-2 free throws to seal the win for the Wesmen. Darcy Coss led the Bisons with 24 points. Winnipeg will meet the winner of the Brandon-Minot State game in the championship game tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Manitoba will play in the third place game at 4:00 p.m. Erfan Nasajpour (Winnipeg) 30 Player of the Game; Darcy Coss (Manitoba) 24 Winnipeg vs. Manitoba Box Score

Dalhousie 93, Maine Fort-Kent 68 The host Tigers made it an all-AUS final four at the Rod Shoveller Memorial with a decisive victory against Maine Fort-Kent Bengals, an NAIA Division II school. Dal was up 15 at halftime despite not taking advantage of a definite size advantage inside - Tigers settled for perimeter jumpers and went only 4-18 from 3 point land in the first 20 minutes. The lead was quickly extended in the second half as the Tigers began pounding the ball inside, getting to the foul line and solidly outrebounding MF-K (22 offensive boards for the game). The visiting Bengals had one last run however Dal finally blew it open with a 20-7 run in the final 6 minutes to secure the victory. Monte Francois led 5 Tigers in double figures with 24 points and added 5 rebounds while 6'7" freshman Sandy Viet had maybe his most productive game as a Tiger with 10 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Dal Game Box Score

Acadia 86, UQAM 70 The Axemen continued their strong play from before the break by jumping out to a 15 point halftime lead and then comfortably finishing off the defending Quebec league champions. Four Axemen ended up in double figures as Acadia (8-8 overall vs. CIS) emptied the bench with all 13 players seeing action. Leading the way for Acadia was Paolo Santana with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals as QAM was held to 31% shooting on the game and outrebounded 42-30. Newcomer Sean Berry, who just became eligible after transfering, immediately jumped into the rotation and had 15 points while big guy Achuil Lual had a 13 point/13 rebound double/double. Brandon transfer Mario Joseph had 15 points to lead the Citadens (1-9 overall vs. CIS). Acadia/UQAM Box Score

York 75, #10 Cape Breton 60 Down 13 early, the Lions crept back into the game to bring it back to 1 by halftime and then ran away in the second half to route the listless Capers in the first semi-final of the Ed DeArmon Memorial tournament at Ryerson in Toronto. The Lions dominated after the intermission as Cape Breton appeared to wear down late after last night's tough OT win over Brock. York's Rohan Steen was the best player on the floor on this night, leading 5 Lions in double figures with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. The turning point in the second half was York Coach Bob Bain's decision to go zone and going against one of the CIS's biggest and longest teams, the Capers were frustrated from the perimeter and when the ball got inside, Capers big guys had trouble finishing. A pair of GTA natives, Brampton's Paul Blake (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Phillip Nkrumah (10 points, 2 rebounds) led Cape Breton (9-6 overall vs. CIS). York (12-5 overall vs. CIS), which also got a 17 point/11 rebound double-double from fifth-year forward Dan Eves, now advances to tomorrow's championship game against UPEI.

#3 St. Francis Xavier 94, Montmorency 62 In an exciting, athletic game that was closer than the final score indicated, X strolled out to an early lead against the initially-tentative defending CCAA champion Nomades but Momo got it back to 43-36 by halftime. X then wore down Momo by continually taking advantage of 6'10" Neil McDonald in the post (9 for 13 from the foul line) and getting a solid effort from 6'3" Garry Gallimore (game-high 25 points on 11-13 shooting and 9 rebounds). Veteran guard Tyler Richards had his usual strong offensive effort with 20 points including 4 3's while freshman T-Bear Upshaw had 9 points and 6 assists. X held Momo to 27% shooting in the second half and themselves finished 7-13 from three point land to gain the decisive win. With the victory, X faces AUS rival St. Mary's tomorrow in the first semi-final while Montmorency faces Lee Academy. Momo X box score

#8 Brock 103, Thompson Rivers 85 The Badgers broke their school record for three pointers in a game with 20 (in 38 attempts) and, led by 4 consecutive early 3's by guard Scott Murray (17 points), grabbed an early 10 point lead, scoring 35 points in the first ten minutes and coasted to an easy win against TRU. Brock 6'4" swingman Mike Kemp led all scorers with 26 while veteran Chris Keith had 21 and All-Canadian candidate Brad Rootes finished with 11 points and 12 assists as all Badgers who dressed saw action. Charlie Spurr led TRU with 25 while freshman Kamar Burke from Mississauga added 20 points and 8 rebounds for TRU which trailed 52-37 at halftime. The Badgers await the winner of the Memorial/Lakehead game in tomorrow's fifth place game.

St.Mary's 90, Lee Academy (Maine) 76 In the opening game of the Rod Shoveller Memorial tournament at Dalhousie in Halifax, Lee Academy stayed with the Huskies for the first half and actually led 39-38 at the intermission but Huskies duo of 6'5" Aaron Duncan and 6'6" Clint Bateman took over as the multi-skilled Bateman got his catch-and-shoot game going, scoring 16 of his game-high 28 points after the break. Duncan, a triple-double threat almost every night, had his usual tremendous all-round game with 28 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 7 steals for St.Mary's which shot 56% in the second half. The undermanned prep school from just over the U.S. border at Lee, Maine, with several players projected to play NCAA D1 basketball next season, played with only 8 players dressed as their Europeans were not with the team and others were injured. St.Mary's now faces St.FX in one championship semi-final on Saturday. St. Mary's/Lee Academy box score

Toronto 76, Lethbridge 60 The Varsity Blues rebounded from their first round loss to Brandon by jumping on the Pronghorns early and often, leading by 10 early, extending that lead to 17 by halftime en route to a comfortable 76-60 victory over Lethbridge as the second day of the 40th Wesmen Classic at the University of Winnipeg began this afternoon. The Blues were able to get out in transtion and run their offence with equal efficiency as well as dominate the glass (48-35 rebounding advantage). Toronto's 6'9" center Michael Williams had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead all scorers while guard Dwayne Grant added 10 for Varsity (9-6 overall vs. CIS). Multi-skilled Matt Bekkering had 17 points to lead the Pronghorns (4-10 overall vs. CIS). Toronto now awaits the winner of Laurier/SAIT in the fifth place game tomorrow while Lethbridge will play for 7th place. Toronto/Lethbridge Game Box Score

CIS Schedule for Friday, December 29th, 2006 (all games Eastern time)

St. Mary’s 90, Lee Academy (MA) 75 (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
#3 St. FX 94, Montmorency CEGEP 62 (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
Acadia 86, UQAM 70 (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
Dalhousie 93, Maine-Fort Kent 68 (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
Tournament Summary from Dal Web Site

Toronto 76, Lethbridge 60 (Consolation Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Laurier 79, SAIT 73 (Consolation Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Winnipeg 73, Manitoba 70 (1st semi-final 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
#9 Brandon 81, Minot State 77 (2nd semi-final 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Tournament Summary from Winnipeg Web Site (scroll down to near the end past high school results)

#8 Brock 103, Thompson Rivers 85 (Consolation Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
Memorial 71, Lakehead 67 (Consolation Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
York over #10 Cape Breton by about 15 (1st semi-final Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
UPEI 91, Ryerson 86 (2nd semi-final Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
Tournament Summary from Rye Web Site

McGill 76, Calgary 74 (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta) Box Score
Alberta 89, Guelph 66 (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta) Box Score

Queen’s 90, Trinity Western 84 (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)
#6 Concordia 84, #2 UBC 70 (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)

Other non-CIS tournament games involving CIS schools
Indian River CC 78, #1 Carleton 76 (Broward CC tournament in Fort Lauderdale, FLA) Game Report from TCPALM.COM
Montana Tech (NAIA) 67, Saskatchewan 64 (Non-conference game at Butte, MT)
9 PM Fraser Valley at Holy Names University (Holy Names Classic, Oakland, CA)
Simon Fraser 101, Puget Sound (NAIA) 93 (Non-conference game at Tacoma, WA)

Friday's Games

Friday brings a number of interesting games including the feature matchup of #2 UBC and #6 Concordia in the Guy Vetrie tournament at UVic which unfortunately for those of us on the East Coast doesn't begin until 11 PM Eastern time. The #10 Cape Breton Capers, fresh off an overtime win against #8 Brock, tangle with York Lions, who played yesterday without star Tut Ruach who had been expected back. Guelph Gryphons have a chance for a big road win as they meet Alberta in the Golden Bear Invitational. Gryphons prized transfer Borko Popic is still unavailable for Guelph in this tournament as he last played on December 30th, 2005 for Hawaii-Pacific and must still out one calendar year while transfering. Three Great Plains division teams are in the semi-finals of the 40th Wesmen Classic including the feature cross-town rivalry game between Manitoba and the host Winnipeg Wesmen.

Rod Shoveller tournament preview articles including Halifax Chronicle-Herald article on Dalhousie's Andrew Sullivan Chroncile Herald Article and Halifax Daily News features Acadia and their quest to move the program back into the upper echelon of the AUS Daily News Article

It's a tad dated but here is an article featurning Alberta Head Coach Don Horwood including his thoughts on the Golden Bear Invitational and what it must take for the Bears to contend for a spot at the Nationals Horwood Article

As well, Acadia's Head Coach Les Berry, happy with the way his team finished the first half of the season, reflects on what must happen in the second half for the Axemen to contend from NovaNewsNow.com

Stay tuned to the blog for scores and game reports as they become available. For yesterday's complete story, check out yesterday's blog complete with links to game reports and box scores.

CIS Schedule for Friday, December 29th, 2006 (all games Eastern time)

Noon St. Mary’s vs. Lee Academy (MA) (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
1 PM Lethbridge vs. Toronto(Consolation Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
2 PM #8 Brock vs. Thompson Rivers (Consolation Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
2 PM #3 St. FX vs. Montmorency CEGEP (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
3 PM SAIT vs. Laurier (Consolation Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
4 PM Lakehead vs. Memorial (Consolation Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
5 PM Acadia vs. UQAM (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
6 PM #10 Cape Breton vs. York (1st semi-final Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
7 PM Maine-Fort Kent at Dalhousie (1st Round Shoveller Classic at Dalhousie in Halifax)
7 PM #9 Brandon vs. Minot State (1st semi-final 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
7 PM #1 Carleton vs. Indian River CC at Broward CC in Fort Lauderdale, FLA
7 PM Saskatchewan at Montana Tech NAIA (Non-conference game at Butte, MT)
8 PM UPEI at Ryerson (2nd semi-final Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
8 PM McGill vs. Calgary (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
9 PM Trinity Western vs. Queen’s (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)
9 PM Manitoba at Winnipeg (2nd semi-final 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
9 PM Fraser Valley at Holy Names University (Holy Names Classic, Oakland, CA)
10 PM Guelph at Alberta (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
10 PM Simon Fraser at University of Puget Sound NAIA (Non-conference game at Tacoma, WA)
11 PM #2 UBC vs. #6 Concordia (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday's Game Results & Reports

This entry will be continually updated as scores and reports come in.

Selected Game Reports

#4 UVic 73, Queen's 72 In another barn burner, this time at the Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament at UVic, Vikes Brandon Ellis knocked down his sixth 3 of the game at the buzzer to give the hosts a narrow, one-point victory over the emerging Gaels. Queen's had taken a two-point lead with 7 seconds remaining after freshman Mitch Leger hit a three of his own on the Gaels final possession. Leger scored Queen's final 5 points, part of his 12 point second half effort. The Gaels shot a blistering 14-29 from the 3 point line on the night. Ellis' 5th 3 of the game gave the Vikes a 70-67 lead with 1:39 to play. The game was tied on 10 seperate occasions and Queen's had a 7 point lead with about 10 minutes remaining in the game. Leger finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds to lead Queen's (10-5 overall vs. CIS) while Graeme Bollinger had 19 points/9 rebounds, including 13 in the second half and Ellis had 18, all on 3's for Victoria (14-3 vs. CIS overall). BOX SCORE plus a report by Ron Rauch from the Victoria Times-Colonist Vikes' guard shoots down Gaels

Also, in the first game of the evening, after trailing 27-19 at the half, #6 Concordia used a 54 point second half to defeat Trinity Western 73-61 as fifth-year forward Patrick Perrotte had 20 points and 12 boards. The Stingers prevailed despite a 1-19 effort from the 3 point line. BOX SCORE

Alberta 82, McGill 74 In a foul plague affair, Alberta used a solid second half to defeat McGill in game two of the Golden Bear Invitational. Alex Steele had 18 in the win for the Bears (9-5 overall vs. CIS) while veteran fifth-year forward Scott Gordon added 15 and point guard C.G. Morrison 12. Two freshmen had solid games from McGill(4-9 overall vs. CIS) as 6'4" Matt Thornhill (Dawson College) led all scorers with 28 while Paul Herra added 15 on 6-7 shooting. The Redmen had leads of as large as 7 points in the first half before the Bears rallied. GAME REPORT FROM ALBERTA SITE and BOX SCORE

Guelph 84, Calgary 76 In a see-saw affair that had numerous lead changes, the Gryphons pulled away late bouyed by a 9 of 10 effort from the foul line down the stretch to defeat the Dinos in the first game of the Edmonton Journal Golden Bear Invitational at the University of Alberta. Calgary (5-12 vs. CIS overall) stayed in the game on the steady play of explosive 6'7" second-year forward Ross Bekkering, 5'9" point guard Josh Fiest and 44 trips to the foul line, as against only 24 by the Gryphs but Guelph was deadly from downtown, hitting 17 3's in the game led by 6'3" Aron Bariagabre's 25 points and 9 rebounds. Guelph's 6'9" center J.R. Bailey battled foul trouble and Bekkering all night, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Bekkering was a force on the glass at both ends with 18 rebounds to go with 19 points. The slick fifth-year veteran Fiest was aggressive getting into the lane off the dribble, pressuring Guelph's "d" and getting himself to the foul line to lead Calgary with 21 points. The Gryphons (5-10 vs. CIS overall) had several opportunities to pull away but the Dinos hung tough until Guelph's late foul line heroics.

Lakehead 67 vs UPEI 80 LAKEHEAD: Warren Thomas (29 pts, 6 rebs); Matthew Verboom (6 pts, 8 rebs) UPEI: Brent McLaren (24 pts, 4 rebs, 6 asts); Sherone Edwards (14 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, 1 stl)
** Many thanks to Jim McLarty, Ryerson Sports Information Director

** Many thanks to Dale Stevens from Canadian University Basketball Discussion List for the following Mac game report (see link on the right for subscription information)

BALANCED ATTACK LEAD MARAUDERS OVER FLORIDA MEMORIAL (Miami Gardens, FL) Five players scored in double figures, as the McMaster University Marauders registered a 91-71 victory over the Florida Memorial Unviersity Lions (NAIA), in exhibition men's basketball action, on Thursday evening in Miami Gardens, Florida. With the victory, the Marauders improve to 10-7 overall, while the Lions fall to 2-6.

As he has done for most of the season, senior guard Martin Ajayi (Hamilton,ON) led the Maroon and Grey in scoring, dropping 24 points. Freshman centre Geoff McLaughlin (Oakville, ON), who has been improving every game of late, chipped in with 12 points, while Adam Steiner (Dundas, ON) and Mike DiClaudio (Hamilton, ON) netted 11 points apiece. Andre Beauford (Pembroke Pines, FL) paced Florida Memorial with a game high 32 points, while Daniel Garcia (Miami, FL) added 27 points.

Manitoba 65, Laurier 54 The Bisons (8-8 vs. CIS overall) pulled away late in a defensive struggle as 6'5" Brian Crowe led the way with 16. Laurier's Matt Walker led his team with 19 points. The Bisons move on to meet Winnipeg in one of two championship semi-finals while the young Golden Hawks (5-9 vs. CIS) face SAIT from the CCAA in the consolation round. BOX SCORE

From Sheldon Appelle Winnipeg Sports Information

Winnipeg 81 SAIT 71; Erfan Nasajpour (Winnipeg) 19 pts. Player of the Game; Branden Stewart (SAIT) 18 pts. BOX SCORE

The Winnipeg Wesmen started slowly but regrouped to defeat the SAIT Trojans 81-71 in their opening game of the MTS Wesmen Classic. A supportive crowd of 1,750 spectators saw the Wesmen start slow but ended the first half on a good note taking a slim 36-32 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Wesmen held off the Trojan's attack in the second half despite SAIT connecting on three of their seven three pointers to keep the score close. Winnipeg had three players in double digits on this night. Erfan Nasajpour scored a game high 19 points, Dan Shynkaryk scored 18 points and Ivan Saric had a double-double finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Branden Stewart had a solid game for the Trojans finishing with 18 points and eight rebounds. The Wesmen will face the winner of the Manitoba-Wilfred Laurier game in one of the semi-finals Friday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Sheldon Appelle, Sports Information Coordinator, University of Winnipeg
s.appelle@uwinnipeg.ca

Also, Winnipeg Sun article on Day One of the Wesmen Classic

Ryerson 80, Memorial 71 The host Rams moved into the championship semi-finals of their own event with a comfortable victory over the Seahawks as once again the Bakovic brothers were a difficult tandem to control as freshman Boris had 20 points and 9 rebounds while brother Igor, a 6'10" fourth-year center, added 16 points and 10 boards. Rye (5-10 overall vs. CIS) took a 7 point lead into halftime and extended the lead to as much as 14 but Memorial (4-9 overall vs. CIS) kept pounding away, staying in the game with 16 offensive rebounds, the majority leading to easy putbacks. Memorial's top player Sean Thistle once again had a tremendous all-round game with 28 points and 12 rebounds while Evan Constantine added 16 points and 7 boards. Ryerson also got a lift from freshman Scott Neil from Cambridge who dropped 4 3's as part of his 15 points. Neil is an interesting story because during high school he was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and did not play high school basketball at all. He learned the game while playing for Mano Watsa's travelling team and also played one semester at Mohawk. With a smooth stroke when open, Neil could be one of the top stories in the country given his challenges in the past. Ryerson awaits the winner of UPEI and winless Lakehead, which appears to have upgraded their roster since before the holidays.

#10 Cape Breton 80, #8 Brock 78 OT In a first-round barnburner at Ryerson's Ed DeArmon Tournament, with seconds remaining in the overtime, Brock's star guard Brad Rootes missed a three pointer from the baseline and the Badgers could not convert on the putback as Cape Breton squeeked past Brock. With the victory, the #10 Capers face York Lions tomorrow in the semi-finals. The Badgers also had the ball with the score tied late in regulation when Rootes drove the lane but was stripped. This came after the resilent Badgers came back from deficits as high as 6 in the second half. Brampton's Paul Blake led the Capers (9-5 vs. CIS) with 22 points while fifth-year forward Eric Breland (Baltimore, MD) had 20 in the win. The Badgers, who had leads as high as 10 points in the first half and were up 6 at the intermission, continued their three-point shooting barrage as they finished with 14 3's, 2 above their season average of 12. In all, 5 Badgers ended in double figures including Omar Kadray, 5'10" second year guard from Halifax, who had a career-high 17. Scott Murray added 13 points, including 3-4 from downtown, for Brock (12-5 overall vs. CIS) which stayed in the game despite being outrebounded 39-24.

York 110, Thompson Rivers 67 In the first game of the day at Ryerson, the Lions roared out to a 20 point lead after 10 minutes of play and coasted to an easy 40+ point win against Thompson Rivers, which remains winless against CIS competition this season at 0-15. Devon Smith led the Lions with 19 points while Eylon Zemer added 16 including three early 3 pointers which catipulted York to their large early lead. Amde Evans added 15 as 7 Lions were in double-figures. Brian Smith with 15 and Charlie Spurr with 14 led the WolfPack. Top Rebounders in the game were Jordan Foebel 13 and Dan Eves 11 for York while Mississauga native Kamar Burke had 8 boards for TRU. The Lions played the game without All-Canadian Tut Ruach who is clearing up his eligibility issues.

TRU: 38 29 67
York: 53 57 110

#9 Brandon 82, Toronto 75 BOX SCORE In the first round of Winnipeg’s 40th Wesmen Classic, 6’3” second-year guard Dany Charlery (Montreal) went 10-13 and had a game-high 23 points as the Bobcats (15-2 overall vs. CIS) turned aside the Varsity Blues (8-6 vs. CIS). After leading by 3 at halftime, Brandon led comfortably in the second half before the Blues got the deficit to 4 with about 2 minutes remaining however U of T was not able to get the big stop when they needed it and the Bobcats, who shot 48% from the floor as a team, advanced to tomorrow’s semi-final against Minot State. 6’8” second-year post Nick Snow had a career game for the Blues with 20 points, going 10-18 from the floor, hopefully a harbinger of things to come for this talented forward. The Blues, who only went to the foul line 5 times all game against 23 trips for the Bobcats, are now bumped to the consolation side of the tournament where they will meet Lethbridge Pronghorns, 77-67 losers to Minot State in their first round game, tomorrow at noon.

Today's Scores (all times are Eastern)

Minot State 77, Lethbridge 67 (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
#9 Brandon 82, Toronto 75 (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Winnipeg 81, SAIT 71 (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
Manitoba 65, Laurier 54 (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)

York 110, Thompson Rivers 67 (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
#10 Cape Breton 80, #8 Brock 78 OT (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
Ryerson 80, Memorial 71 (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
Lakehead 80, UPEI 67 (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)

Guelph 84, Calgary 76 (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
Alberta 92, McGill 84 (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)

#6 Concordia 73, Trinity Western 61 (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)
#4 UVic 73, Queen's 72 (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)

McMaster 91, at Florida Memorial 71 (NCAA Division II Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

CIS Holiday Tournaments and Games Begin Tomorrow

Today we focus on this week's CIS holiday events which include 6 tournaments across the country and numerous other teams playing exhibition games in the U.S., primarily in southern climes. We present tomorrow's schedule organized around game times and offer some previews from publications around the country. As well, on the topic of FIBA rules in Canadian post-secondary leagues, Larry Moko from the Hamilton Spectator has an interesting piece on Sheridan College's Head Coach Jim Flack and his opinion on the new rules.

Stay tuned for as many as results and game reports as we can get our hands on.

Tomorrow’s CIS holiday schedule (Thursday, December 28th, 2006) All games Eastern time

1 PM Lethbridge vs. Minot State (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
2 PM York vs. Thompson Rivers (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
3 PM Toronto vs. #9 Brandon (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
4 PM #8 Brock vs. #10 Cape Breton (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
6 PM Memorial at Ryerson (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
6 PM McMaster at Florida Memorial (NCAA Division II Fort Lauderdale, FL)
7 PM SAIT at Winnipeg (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
8 PM Lakehead vs. UPEI (1st Round Ed DeArmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson)
8 PM Guelph vs. Calgary (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
9 PM Trinity Western vs. #6 Concordia (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)
9 PM Manitoba vs. Laurier (1st Round 40th Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg)
10 PM McGill at Alberta (Golden Bear Classic at Edmonton, Alberta)
11 PM Queen’s at #4 UVic (Guy Vetrie Memorial at UVic)


The 40th Wesmen Classic has become a Winnipeg Holiday basketball institution that the local press supports very well. Here are a couple of recent articles on the tournament that starts tomorrow at the Duckworth Center at the University of Winnipeg Winnipeg Sun's 40th Wesmen Classic preview and Winnipeg Free Press on 40 years of Wesmen Classic hoops

UVic's Guy Vetrie tournament, a five team event, begins tomorrow. The link to the UVic news release for the tournament can be found here

Dalhousie hosts the Rod Shoveller Tournament beginning Friday and the link to the tournament's site can be found here

Sheridan College's Head Coach Jim Flack has been opinionated on the new FIBA rules being implemented in Canadian post-secondary basketball. The Hamilton Spectator has done a nice piece outlining some specifics which can be found here

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

FIBA Rules

CIS teams restart things in the next few days and we will attempt to keep everyone up to date on all the games as best we can. In the mean time, the debate to adopt FIBA rules for CIS men's basketball continues to rage on. The opinions on the merits of using FIBA regulations seem to be polarized however what is certain is that men's teams will have to deal with a revised set of rules beginning next season. Regardless of how one feels about the new rules, those coaching staffs that think through the implications of FIBA rules on their personnel and make any necessary adjustments to preparation and game strategy will likely be further ahead than those that don't.

Here is one person's thoughts on how things might be different and how to prepare for these new nuances.

SHOT CLOCK / BACKCOURT VIOLATION: From a preparation and teaching perspective, this rule likely has the greatest implications on coaching staffs. Doing the math, teams will have 20% less time to get the ball over half court and 20% less time to get a shot up.
8 seconds to get the ball over the time line: The temptation for some defences will be to press full-court more. The more athletic teams may believe that something as simple as run-and-jump traps will be effective; others may believe zone presses, designed more to slow teams down than directly create turnovers will work. Regardless, to prepare, all 5 players on the floor will need to be ready to help bring the ball up. Point guards who can go north-south under control will be in demand as opposed to points that need to back opponents down, can be turned alot by the ball defender (east/west dribblers) and/or walk the ball up. Teams without big men who can't help break the press by handling the ball could be exploited more by pressing defences.
24 second shot clock: Look for more quick-hitting NBA sets as opposed to motion offences. Systems that create, find and exploit mismatches much earlier in the possession should be more effective; in many ways, this plays well into the simplicity of the two-man game and the corresponding reads the offensive team makes vis-a-vis how they are being defended. All 5 players will have to have the ability to face the basket and knock down shots, meaning perimeter skill development, especially for big guys will be important. Big guys who shoot it, even if it is simply off draw and kicks, will be important. More teams may try to play zone and against teams who don't have enough shooters, this could work.

4 10 MINUTE QUARTERS/TWO FREE THROWS ON FIFTH FOUL EACH QUARTER At a clinic a few years ago, Jim Calhoun from Connecticut talked about the importance of practicing end-of-game and end-of-half situations - he spent the last 10 minutes of each practice doing this and his clinic came just after Huskies Tate George hit a baseline shot as time expired to beat Clemson off an inbound play that UConn had practiced at least 50 times that season. The opportunity to potentially use these last second situation plays just doubled.
With more possibility to go to the line, free throws will make a greater difference and teams shooting in the mid-to-high 70's will have an even greater advantage against those shooting in the 60's. "Teaching" proper free throw shooting technique will grow in importance - many teams shoot alot of free throws in practice; spending more time teaching proper technique will become important. Gary Boren, free throw shooting coach from the Dallas Mavericks, did wonders with Steve Nash and many others. His site is www.basketballshootinginstruction.com/
Fouling should penalize teams more because of the automatic two-shot rule although some have said that with 4 fouls to give each quarter, there will be more fouls. It remains to be seen how important depth becomes to teams that foul more because of how much longer it takes to get to bonus (5th in foul in 10 minutes as opposed to 7th foul in 20 minutes). My take is that it is likely you'll need to go deeper into your rotation because the tendancy will be to foul more.

WIDER KEY (TRAPEZOID) This new key pushes bigger people out further and in my opinion forces big guys to develop more skills facing the basket and passing. Low post play will not go away (I just watched Santiago from Puerto Rico in the Euro league do his thing in the low block), however big guys operating from the soft corner from where they can be low post, face up and passing threats will increase. Defensively, big guys will have to learn to step out and guard the perimeter. The Jamaal Magloire's of the world will have to expand their games beyond 12 feet both offensively and defensively to be generally more effective with FIBA rules.

TIMEOUT RULE Fewer time outs and more difficult means of calling them combine to influence that the guys on the floor will have to be that much more mentally in tune to time and score, not to mention opponent's runs. Those programs who have or can develop that cerebral point guard: an extension of the coach on the floor, will benefit as now teams cannot be bailed out easily with a time out during an opponent's run. I can see the need to practice or have some type of preparation around how the players on the floor identify and deal with adverse situations as opposed to having the bench immediately simply calling time out. As well, those who dislike the calling of the time out just before one goes out of bounds apparently will be in luck with these new rules.

Whether or not FIBA rules are the right thing for CIS basketball is another issue however it appears that they will be implemented beginning next season. Planning ahead in anticipation of the new rules to properly develop a team's skill set, mental approach in key situations and/or an overall tweaking of game preparation among other things should serve teams well.

Other tidbits from before the holiday:

Here is a preview of the five-team Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament at UVic beginning later this week Vetrie Preview

Pickering Trojans, despite the loss of 2 key transfers, soundly defeated Eastern Commerce in the finals of the Holiday Classic in Toronto as Canadian Jr. National team star Devoe Joseph dropped 34 points in the finals. Toronto Sun article by Frank Zicarelli plus Toronto Star article by David Grossman

Denham Brown's trials and tribulations in the "D" league, where he is one of the league's top scorers Mike Koreen's Toronto Sun article

Friday, December 22, 2006

UCFV in Idaho II; Rye Hires; HoopLife.Ca relaunch

For the second consecutive night, University College of Fraser Valley (UCFV) from Canada West was soundly defeated 100-61 by Lewis-Clark State College Warriors, an NAIA Division 1 team (Frontier Conference) from Lewiston, Idaho. Kyle Graves had 18 points and 8 boards for the Cascades who trailed by 18 at halftime. LCSC Men roll over Fraser Valley and Box Score

Ryerson has hired another assistant coach with deep ties into the Toronto basketball community. Michael Kennedy, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, who played at San Diego State in the mid-80's and then had numerous stints with pro teams in Europe, even attending some NBA camps, will join the Rams staff immediately. His latest stint was as player/coach of the Jamaican National Team which captured the 2006 FIBA Caribbean championship. No doubt this will continue to help Ryerson recruit top Toronto-area talent and add to an already-impressive array of young talent. Ryerson is a program on the rise and another potentially strong team in the talented OUA East.

Inspired primarily by that new Angelina Jolie, Robert DeNero and Matt Damon movie on the CIA, Wass Blog's team of covert detectives was able to uncover the top secret location of the Carleton Men's team's whereabouts during the holiday season. Good luck to all the CIS teams playing over the holidays including the Ravens who will participate in a tournament at Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida BCC Tournament Schedule

Congratulations to hooplife.ca which recently relaunched their web site touted as Canada’s Number 1 basketball source. It is a creatively-constructed site with photos and some multi-media and covers pro (mainly Raptors), NCAA with a Canadian emphasis, college, university and high school. It is an ambitious site that draws content from across the country but only from what I could tell appears to have its main site managers in B.C. and Ottawa. With the fragmentation of information on Canadian basketball the way it is, any effort to centralize things must be applauded and hopefully this site will continue to produce the type of content that will make it a long-term success. A solid site well worth bookmarking. The site can be accessed here A couple of nice articles that caught my eye were the CanWest Mid-Term report by David Larkins David Larkins' CanWest Mid-Term Report and an article on the new Eastern Commerce Prep school and their basketball team coached by Canadian Jr. National Team coach Greg Francis Eastern Commerce Prep Finally, Howard Tsumura’s solid article on 6’10” Robert Sacre, who made an early pledge to Gonzaga and is touted as the top high school player in B.C. since Steve Nash, is available in full on the Hooplife.ca site Robert Sacre Article

The Eastern Commerce Holiday Classic completed Day One and Ottawa St.Patrick's scored what some consider an upset with a five point win over Toronto Vaughan Road. The great Toronto-based site Hooptown GTA has the details here

Finally, best wishes to everyone for the holidays; may they be safe, happy and healthy.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

OUA East Update: Top Conference in Canada ???

Some have already called it the toughest conference in Canada after years of arguably being the worst and the OUA East does currently boast two teams in the CIS Top 5 and another 2 or 3 that are minimum top 15 material. The arrival of numerous new coaches to the league over the past few years and some stellar recruits, including this season when at least 2 freshman from the OUA East deserve mention as National Rookie-of-the-Year candidates has equaled steady collective progress as a conference. Regardless of how the OUA East compares against the other conferences in Canada, it has an array of teams with different styles and a number of teams on the upswing, promising that the next 3 months should be very interesting.

Here is a team-by-team first half summary and thoughts on what must happen for success in the second half:

#1 CARLETON RAVENS (8-0 in OUA East, 16-0 overall vs. CIS): It was Labour Day Monday morning earlier this year at the Raven's Nest and about 12 hours prior the 4-time defending national champion Carleton Ravens had squeezed out an overtime victory over NCAA Division 1 Atlantic 10 stalward LaSalle Explorers after losing at the buzzer the night before against Louisville Cardinals from the Big East. Ravens All-Canadian guard Osvaldo Jeanty, Carleton's unquestioned leader who had played a total of 85 minutes (two entire games + an overtime) against the NCAA schools in the past 36 hours and made numerous big shots, knocked down 2 clutch free throws to send the La Salle game into overtime and had a body full of floor burns from taking charges and grabbing loose balls, nonetheless was in his practice gear, putting himself through a rigorous personal work out despite the fact Carleton's next game was not for another 6 weeks.

This one quiet scene epitomizes the main reason why the Ravens are the favorites to win "one for the thumb" and five-peat as CIS champions in 2006-07. Jeanty (17.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg in 33 mpg) is again having a tremendous season in his fifth and final year, doing the things that show up on the score sheet (2nd in OUA East scoring) but more importantly, the things that don't. Stats like "charges taken" and "loose balls dove for" are not ordinarily kept, but you can bet that if they were Jeanty would be among the leaders in Canada in these important categories that lead to winning. And when your best guy, a four-time champion and the defending Mike Moser Memorial Trophy winner, prepares and plays like that, it is impossible not to follow, which is another reason why no opponent ever plays harder than or is mentally tougher than the Ravens.

Although Carleton had a couple of close calls in the first half, they proved once again they are the class of the OUA by withstanding anything opponents threw at them. The Ravens are getting it done despite, by his standards, a less than stellar first half from 6'7" third-year forward Aaron Doornekamp (13.4 ppg on only 36% shooting from 2's and 27.8% from 3's). Still, even if his numbers don’t show it, Doornekamp is still taking and making big shots, creating mismatch problems for opponents and generally wrecking havoc at both ends. 6'4" Ryan Bell (8.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.0 apg) excels when playing at high speeds but had an inconsistent first half shooting the ball while 6'3" Stuart Turnbull (5.3 ppg) suffered through injuries, having to don a Jacques Plante-esque original face shield, which no doubt caused him duress shooting the ball (2/24 3's, < 25% shooting overall). Probably Carleton's most consistent performer outside of Jeanty was the underrated 6'5" Jean Emmanuel Jean-Marie (14.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 68% fg), who creates matchup problems in the post and had an all-conference type first half. Carleton should also get more out of 6'5" Sheldon Stewart in the second half. As well, rookie point guard Mike Kenny saw meaningful time in big spots in the first half and there's no reason to think he won't contribute in the second half of his freshman season with his ability to take people off the dribble and create, regardless of his matchup. Ravens Web Site

#5 OTTAWA GEE-GEES (7-1 in OUA East, 16-1 overall vs. CIS): After losing 4 players to graduation, the Gee-Gees appeared to be in a rebuilding phase this season but, behind last season’s OUA East Freshman of the Year, Josh Gibson-Bascombe, Ottawa has shot out to a 7-1 record, again creating over 20 turnovers per game by their opponents (tops in Canada) and leading the entire OUA in 3 point shooting (not to mention significantly upgrading the coaching staff: addition by subtraction). An undefeated pre-season schedule against dubious competition and then a decisive loss at Windsor on the first weekend of the season cast doubts on Gee-Gees' competitiveness but since the loss to the Lancers Coach Dave DeAveiro's side has run off 6 consecutive victories including 5 of at least 15 points or more and 3 by 30 or more. Gibson-Bascombe (15.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 12/26 3's) has looked for his offence much more this season and Ottawa is much less reliant upon the three point shot, instead playing inside out through their two fifth-year forwards Jermaine Campbell (10.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Curtis Shakespeare (11.4 ppg, 4.8 apg). 6'3" Sean Peter (12.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg) has been much more assertive offensively while 5'11" Alex McLeod (9.9 ppg) now picks his spots more effectively but is still relied upon to make big shots and has delivered. Sophomore Donnie Gibson is firmly in the rotation and deservedly so after rebounding from an injury-plague freshman season. 6'10" Dax Dessureault represents one of the biggest wild cards for Ottawa; if he can just finish with more consistency, let alone start to draw double teams, Ottawa could be tough to beat. The success of the Gee-Gees could be predicated on the example set by their three fifth-year seniors and/or Gibson-Bascombe and how they respond when adversity hits, which for Ottawa has been about mid-January in past seasons. Despite being in the CIS Top 10 for much of the past 3 seasons, this group has only won two really big games in their careers: two season's ago at York to qualify for the Nationals and last season's victory at Carleton and the group needs a leader in the mould of the Moser winner across town to emerge. They have about 2 1/2 months to change some observer's perceptions and leave a lasting impression on the CIS. web site

YORK LIONS (6-2 in OUA East, 10-5 overall vs. CIS): With the return of Tut Ruach after Christmas, the Lions boast one of the top starting fives in Canada with fifth-year all-stars 6'8" Dan Eves (19.9 ppg to lead the OUA East, 6.3 rpg) and 6'10" Jordan Foebel (16.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg). Veteran Rohan Steen (17.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg) successfully took on more of a scoring role with Ruach out focusing on academics and 6'3" Amde Evans brought his usual array of athletic skills to the table. The third guard 6'1" Eylon Zemer did a credible job in Ruach's absence and will be an asset coming off the bench for York from where he is better suited. The Lions continue to hope 6'8" Matt Terejko can log more minutes to spell Foebel while freshman Jason Hoult will ideally be asked for about 10 minutes per game of effective play down the stretch. The Lions, who play an exciting brand of fast-paced offensive basketball, peaked at just the proper time last season and rode the hot hand of Ruach to the OUA East title and a spot in Halifax. York would have been the third OUA East team in the Top 10 had they not slipped again Western at home in the last game prior to the break and without a doubt they have the horses to get it done again this season to put coach Bob Bain in position for his first-ever CIS title in March. Lions Web Site

QUEEN'S GOLDEN GAELS (5-3 in OUA East, 10-4 vs. CIS overall): When the Gaels lost 6’10” Neal Dawson as a transfer to Carleton and several others to graduation, the cupboard appeared bear despite Queen’s first playoff victory in many years last season. However, Queen’s had a recruiting coup when local star Mitch Leger stayed home and, combined with former OUA Rookie-of-the-Year Simon Mitchell, Turkish freshman import Baris Ondul and solid work from an unheralded group of forwards including Glen Smith and Rob Shaw, the Gaels have been impressive in the early season, using deft shooting from downtown to author some solid performances including victories at Mac (when they went 15 of 23 from three point land), at Guelph and a narrow overtime defeat at the hands of #7 Windsor. Leger (15.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg) has had some dominant performances, especially early and the Gaels hope that he can continue to produce through the extra attention he will bound to be paid by well-prepared opponents. Mitchell (11.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.5 apg) remains the key and Gaels toughest matchup as a big, solid guard who shoots it, finds people and is physically imposing from the backcourt. Ondul (9.5 ppg) is a three point threat as is emerging Ryan Hairsine (11.2 ppg, 42.9% 3's) who can flat out stroke it when his feet are set and he's wide open, which has been the case in Gaels' draw and kick game. Queen's also has veterans Jordan Balaban and Cameron Eby, who have reduced roles but are still solid contributors. How well Leger responds in the second half, especially in games away from Bartlett Gym, and how well teams guard the ball against the Gaels will determine if Queen's can compete for a first-round bye. Official Queen's University Site and Queen's Basketball Alumni Site (very well done)

TORONTO VARSITY BLUES (4-4 in OUA East, 8-5 overall vs. CIS): The Varsity Blues have hovered in and around the CIS Top 10 for the first half of the season but consistency has been an issue for Coach Mike Katz’s troops especially away from home where the Blues are just 1-3 including a pair of upset losses at Western and at Waterloo. When right, the Blues are a Top 10 calibre team which if not for a complete breakdown at the foul line late would have triumphed at #7 Windsor and also have impact wins vs. #8 Brock, McMaster and Alberta. The Blues are led by 6’9” fifth-year center Mike Williams (13.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg), one of the OUA’s better shot blocking and paint-protecting big men in recent memory while lightning quick Dwayne Grant (12.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg), a top ball defender, continues to expand his offensive game. Fifth-year transfer Ben Katz (9.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg), who replaced last season’s starter Paul Sergautis in the starting lineup, missed the final weekend of the first half with an ankle injury and the Blues suffered at Waterloo. One of Coach Katz’s big challenges is to get Sergautis (2.6 ppg) back toward his expected, historical production while coming off the bench. Point guard Mike DeGiorgio remains steady, solid and capable of keeping his club in games from beyond the arc when he gets it going. Much was expected this season from Nick Snow (5.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg), who based on the last half of last season, looked to be developing into a potential star of the future; Toronto would benefit from a solid 20-22 mpg from Snow and more offensive production. Sophomore guard Nick Magalas also showed tremendous maturity toward the end of last season but he still shows some inconsistency this season. This team has shown signs of competing on a national level but must iron out the inconsistent patchs to have a chance of winning in arguably Canada's toughest conference Varsity Blues Web Site

RYERSON RAMS (3-5 in OUA East, 4-10 in CIS overall): Long gone are the days of the multi-year losing streaks in downtown Toronto as coaches Taylor and Dean have assembled an array of athletic talent, primarily from the GTA but also a couple of three point shooters from outside Toronto. Leger's main competition for OUA East rookie-of-the-year, 6'7" Boris Bakovic (15.4 ppg, 11.4 rpg) has a chance to be a program changer with his array of inside/out skills. Brother Igor (12.5, 9.8 rpg) has had a solid OUA career as a low post player. Add in another freshman, Khrys Montague (8.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg) a slashing wing from Toronto high school dynasty Eastern Commerce and Rams front line can compare with any other in Ontario. Rye also has a pair of long-range threats that make teams pay for doubling down in 6'2" Brandon Krupa (12.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and Scott Neil (5.8 ppg including 11 3's to lead the team). There is also depth up front in last season's top rookie, 6'9" Joey Imbrogno (4.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and 6'5" Peeter Veltman (3.8 ppg). However, guard play, especially at the point, usually dictates success late in the season and how well that role is filled on Ryerson will determine how quickly the Rams genuinely compete in the upper echelons of the OUA East. Ryerson Rams Web Site

LAURENTIAN VOYAGEURS (2-6 in OUA East, 5-8 in CIS overall): After a solid pre-season that included a victory over #6 Concordia Stingers in Montreal, part of capturing the NIKE Concordia tournament championship, the Laurentian Voyageurs were creeping up the rankings (achieved an honourable mention) and appeared poised to challenge for a top spot in the OUA East. Unfortunately, what could go wrong has in the first half including an overtime loss to Laurier in which Hawks' freshman Andrew Pennycook hit the first 3 pointer of his career at the buzzer and a couple of other tough losses. Laurentian did look strong in pounding an improving Western team by 21 on the last weekend of the season but Coach Virgil Hill needs to get more production from his big guys and the team defence must improve. College transfer Craig Bauslaugh leads a balanced Vees lineup at 12.7 ppg while U.S. import Jason Brown (12.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg) has been Laurentian's top overall performer. Laurentian is solid at the point with Brody Bishop (10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg) who can heat up in a hurry from beyond the arc Laurentian Voyageurs Web Site

RMC PALADINS (1-7 in OUA East, 1-16 vs. CIS overall): The Paladins had their first win in a couple of years edging Lakehead and have been more competitive in games this season but likely will continue to struggle to claim a playoff spot this season. 6'5" Adam Asquini (13.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) is their top player and an all-conference candidate who can play with anyone in the league. Veteran Paul Hungler (14.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg) is back to take graduate courses and is welcomed for his offensive skills while freshman Andrew MacIntosh (8.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg) provides hope for the future. The Paladins, who are well-disciplined and play hard on every possession to the end, unfortunately require an injection of talent to begin to move up in the very tough OUA East conference RMC Web Site

The first weekend of the second half of the season will see Toronto and Ryerson make the difficult trip to the Nation's Capital for games against Ottawa and Carleton while York and Laurentian are in Kingston to meet RMC and Queen's. Stay tuned for more on these games early in 2007.

UCFV in Idaho; UBC to NCAA ?; Canadians in NCAA News

CIS holiday basketball continued last night as first-year Canada West program University College of Fraser Valley (UCFV) from Abbotsford, BC ventured to Idaho to meet Lewis-Clark State College Warriors, an NAIA Division 1 team (Frontier Conference) from Lewiston, Idaho. In a game that was close early in the second half, the hosts pulled away to defeat Fraser Valley last night. Game Report from Lewis-Clark State site and Box Score
The two teams go at it again tonight and the live audio for tonight’s Lewis-Clark State and Fraser Valley game is available at 8 PM Pacific/11 PM Eastern is available by clicking here

The UCFV web site is very well done with timely articles including a recap of the first half of the Cascades season UCFV mid-season report and second-half preview Another nice article from the UCFV web site

More talk about UBC's potential entry into NCAA athletics. This time the NCAA has apparently put the topic on an agenda during a set of meetings in early January. Although I truly hope UBC remains in the CIS, I can't blame their athletic department for indirectly challenging CIS administrators to improve the way the Canadian game is administered, marketed and managed. Let's hope that instead of UBC leaving, the CIS becomes more driven to improve the overall product from top to bottom and makes it more appealing for programs like UBC to stay and not seek greener pastures. Read More

Dale Stevens excellent email-based CIS discussion group (see link on this blog to subscribe) reports through the Winnipeg Wesmen Sports Information Office that 6’0” guard Cam Hornby, from Winnipeg Glenlawn Collegiate, is transferring back home to Winnipeg after leaving the South Dakota State Jackrabbits an NCAA Division 1 independent with a current record of 3-10. Hornby, a freshman guard this season after sitting out all of last season as a redshirt, appeared in 4 games this season, averaging 1.0 ppg in 7.5 mpg and will be eligible to play for Coach Dave Crooks Wesmen on November 27, 2007 after sitting out the mandatory one year timeframe. 6’6” Canadian Kai Williams, a former Regina high school star, is also a freshman with the Jackrabbits, and averages 9.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg in 28 minutes.

Former Canadian National team player (part of the Sydney 2000 Olympics team that showed extremely well) Michael Meeks will be inducted into the Canisius College Athletic Hall of Fame. Meeks led the Golden Griffs to the NCAA tournament in his senior year and has enjoyed a stellar career in Europe and of course with our National team. Meeks played his high school basketball in Brampton, Ontario at Cardinal Leger H.S. Meeks to be enshrined in Canisius Athletic Hall of Fame

Story on Mike D'Agostino, a freshman forward from Montreal toiling with Delaware State Hornets, an NCAA Division 1 program Mike D'Agostino Story

Canadian Jamaal Magloire, NBA Player with Portland, has had a book published Magloire book

The Score nets NCAA tournament TV rights in Canada article

Edmonton's Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds take part in a B.C. tournament under some duress article

The Eastern Commerce High School Holiday tournament begins today in Toronto. It is a 16 team event and usually one of the feature tournaments on the Ontario high school calendar. The basketball web site Hoop Life.ca has a comprehensive look at this tournament written by long-time basketball observer Barry Hayes here

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Simon Fraser Wins in Hawaii, High School Articles

A quick post with some interesting items including Simon Fraser in Hawaii, where they won the tournament, an article from Halifax with a comprehensive look at how FIBA rules will impact Canadian basketball, the all-time leader in coaching wins in Canadian post-secondary basketball and some links to solid high school articles, primarily from the Toronto area.

Simon Fraser Sweeps a Pair of Games in Hawaii, Wins Surf and Hoops Classic: After coming from behind on Monday night to win their opening game, the Clan had a more comfortable 20 point win over SUNY-Oneonta (State University of New York) last night to claim the championship of the Surf & Hoops Classic Simon Fraser Clansmen crowned Surf and Hoops Classic champions As well, here is another diary entry on the Hawaii trip from point guard Sean Burke Sean Burke note from Hawaii

This link may not last long so take advantage and get a solid look at how FIBA rules could affect Canadian basketball through an article by Chad Lucas Chad Lucas article on impact of FIBA rules on CIS basketball

Phil Allen, long time coach of Lakeland Rustlers of Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, recently broke the record for most coaching victories at a Canadian post-secondary institution (held by Jerry Hemmings) and the Edmonton Sun honoured the milestone with an article Phil Allen article

Finally, a couple of high school articles from Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun on emerging young talents in the GTA. Tristan Thompson appears to be a name to keep in mind going forward. He is participating in the Canadian Jr. National team camp this week at Humber College, something I've had difficulty getting any information on but am working on for a future blog entry.

Tristan Thompson, St. Marguerite D'Youville High School(Peel Region) and a prospect for Canada's Jr. National Team

Anthony Ottley Jr. Emery S.S. in North York

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

OUA West Update

Traditionally one of Canada's top conferences top to bottom in Canada and for five years prior to this season relatively dominating in OUA East vs. West interlocking play, the OUA West took a step backward on the whole in the first half of 2006-07. Traditionally strong teams like McMaster and Guelph battled injuries, other teams such as Waterloo look like a lack of overall talent is catching up with them and for the first time maybe ever arguably the worst team in Canada resides in this division. With interlocking play all done, the eight teams in the West will battle it out over 7 weeks in January and February with at least 4 teams having a legitimate shot at winning the league's bid to Halifax. However, based on the first half and their overall level of talent, the league is Windsor's for the taking. The following is one observer's view of the first half and thoughts on what has to happen for success for each team in the second half of the 2006-07 season.

#6 Windsor Lancers (6-2 in OUA West, 9-3 overall vs. CIS): With solid, veteran guard play, a pair of horses up front and two NCAA D1 transfers usually leading the club in scoring and/or rebounding on a nightly basis, the Windsor Lancers appear to be the class of the OUA West. After last season’s tough loss in the playoffs at Mac, Windsor added talent and depth to an already solid lineup and the result is the lead in the OUA West at 6-2 and a 9-3 CIS record overall with 2 losses to Carleton. The Lancers will continue to make possessions difficult for teams defensively and have a host of weapons to draw from offensively. As well, they will usually outrebound teams. 6'2" Ryan Steer (13.0 ppg, 8.5 apg, 3.8 rpg) had a First Team All-Star type of first half, newcomer 6'8" Greg Surmacz (15.1 ppg, 11.4 rpg) authored numerous double/doubles, 6'5" Kevin Kloostra (17.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) averaged over 20 points a game in their victories and the Allin brothers, a pair of 6'6" bruisers who can also step out and shoot it, made life miserable for opposing post players. The Lancers are filling up the St. Denis Center again and are proving very tough to beat there but as has been stated before need to win big games on the road to emerge as contenders for a national championship. Still, in what is proving to be a down year for the OUA West, Windsor should win this division. Go Lancers Official Windsor Web Site

#8 Brock Badgers (5-3 in OUA West, 12-4 overall vs. CIS): The Badgers have possibly the OUA West MVP in 5'10" veteran guard Brad Rootes (16.8 ppg, 9.0 apg, 3.8 rpg) (fourth year already!!) and a All-Star capable forward in 6'6" Chris Keith (13.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg). Veteran 6'0" Scott Murray (8.4 ppg) gets the job done in the back court and 6'2" swingman Mike Kemp (14.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) brings one of the better all-round game in the OUA West to the table. As always, they are very tough to beat at the Bob Davis Gym but showed some difficulties competing in OUA East gyms, losing 3 games on the road in the first half by decisive scores. How well this team does in the second half could be predicated on which player or combination of players fits into the five spot: 6'7" Owen White (5.5 ppg) who showed some promise in the first half, 6'5" Jesse Tipping (8.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg) who has decent perimeter skills offensively and 6'5" Matt Bassett-Spiers. As per usual, coach Ken Murray loves to ride the backs of his starters and given the situation at the five spot, look for the Badgers to continue to fire it up from downtown. Rootes has put this team on his back before and as long as he gets some help, is more than capable of doing it again, as long as he stays healthy through all the minutes he plays. Official Brock Badgers Web Site

Western Mustangs (4-4 in OUA West, 6-7 vs. CIS): After a lethargic pre-season during which new Head Coach Brad Campbell and team had to endure a tough loss at home to local college rival Fanshawe Falcons, the 'Stangs lost their first two home games against Ottawa and Carleton and many felt, although the Carleton game was reasonably close, that Western's recent troubles would continue. However, a potentially season-changing victory over U of T Varsity Blues at home propelled Western to a 4-2 finish, further highlighted by a tough road victory at York, which was on the verge of returning to the CIS Top 10. The 'Stangs seem to have finally overcome the major injury bug, especially now that it appears that 6'4" Andrew Wedemire (15.4 ppg) is back to normal, which means a potential 1st Team OUA West all-star at some point and possibly All-Canadian status before all is said and done. Third-year point guard Matt Curtis (11.3 ppg, 6.0 apg) is finally playing with more consistency and is a triple/double threat with his passing, shooting and rebounding skills from the guard spot. 6'3" Jason Milliquet can stretch defences from the "3" but the real turnaround for Western could happen once 6'8" Alan Paron contributes more offence. 6'7" veteran Adam Ruckbie and former 6'6" OUA West Rookie-of-the-Year Brad Smith (9.1 ppg) must also emerge up front for the 'Stangs, still a very young team, to push for a spot in Halifax this season. Western Mustangs Web Site

Guelph Gryphons (4-4 in OUA West, 4-10 overall vs. CIS). Injuries took their toll on the Gryphons in the first half, winless at 0-6 against CIS teams in the pre-season, as 6'10" center J.R. Bailey virtually all non-league games, 6'3" third-year point guard Nick Pankerichan missed some games in November and prized freshman recruit Jonathan Moscatelli (redshirt freshman originally from Toronto Oakwood) remains out after a second major knee injury. Scoring seems to be an issue with the Gryphs as primary outside threat 6'3" Jay Mott hasn’t produced as expected (shooting under 40%) and 6'3" Aron Barbigare (11.6 ppg/6.4 rpg) could be more consistent. But like most good programs, the Gryphons found their way to a 4-4 record despite shots not falling as they displayed their traditionally tough half-court "d" and gutted out some wins. As well, Bailey (14.4 ppg/ 7.8 rpg) was his usual force inside and with the addition of 6'4" D1 transfer Borko Popic (Hawaii Pacific), who can shoot it, coach Chris O’Rourke will add another offensive threat in the second half. Despite how poorly they played at home in the first half, expect this team to at a minimum win the majority of their games in the friendly confines and as long as Guelph’s traditionally tough “d” keeps them in games, they could push for an upper echelon finish, possibly even a bye. Guelph Gryphons Official Web Site

Laurier Golden Hawks (3-5 in OUA West, 5-8 vs. CIS overall): Coach Peter Campbell had to completely rebuild his team after graduation ravaged his CIS Nationals qualifying team from one year ago. With virtually all of his team outside of veteran point guard Omar Miles in their third year or less, the future looks bright for the Hawks, who have been raining threes upon opponents with regular frequency. Third-year forward Matt Walker (19.4 ppg/7.4 rpg) has assumed a leadership role, taking the majority of big shots and emerging as one of the division's top scorers - he was battling mononucleosis at the end of the first half. Second-year guard Jesse MacDonald (11.8 ppg) should inherit the point guard role full time next season when Miles (7.4 ppg, 4.8 apg) graduates but for now the two are sharing significant court time. Coach Campbell was able to bring in a pair of impact recruits in 6'6" Evan Eliason (8.6 ppg) who can stroke it and 6'8" Andrew Pennycook (4.8 ppg), who ended one of the more exciting OUA interlocking games in the first half with a game-winning, buzzer-beating, overtime three-pointer at Laurentian. The young Hawks could make some noise if Miles, now in his fifth-year, can produce more offensively and their freshman provide a lift. Laurier Golden Hawks Web Site

McMaster Marauders (3-5 in OUA West, 8-7 vs. CIS overall): Based on their play on the final weekend of the first half of the season, Mac, if John Obrovac, who only played in parts of 3 league games, comes back healthy, has a solid starting five including emerging freshman 6'10" Geoff McLaughlin (5.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.5 apg), a solid offensive threat and underrated passer. McLaughlin, typical of most freshmen, is behind but learning quickly on the defensive end but it would not be a surprise for him to assume the starting role at the 5. Fifth-year all-conference candidates 6'8" Adam Steiner (13.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and 5'9" Martin Ajayi (20.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.2 apg) will continue to share the scoring and leadership roles for a Marauder team not as deep as in past years. Mac needs more from third-year wing Nathan Histed (only 4.4 ppg on less than 20% shooting) who battled injuries in the first half. Off the bench, Jason Scully has comparable range, the same shooter’s mentality and plays with more of an edge than his older brother, Rob, who graduated. But don’t mistake him for the point guard of the future. Amino Bello, a freshman, plays with a lot of confidence and can knock shots down in spurts. Coach Raso, always as well prepared as any coach in Canada, should have this team contending for the league title as usual. Mac Official Web Site

Waterloo Warriors (3-5 in OUA West, 5-9 vs. CIS overall): These are the sobering facts on Waterloo: their 3 fifth-year starters probably would not start on virtually any other team in Canada (with possible exception of Michael Davis). Their top rookie from a year ago is solid but not spectacular and will likely never be an All-Star. This year’s top freshman is gratuitously described as a pass-first, non-scoring guard. All of the big guys who play significant minutes up front outside of Michael Davis might have trouble making some other OUA teams rosters. Getting the picture as of yet on the level of talent this team has? The only saving grace for the Warriors is that they play very well at home, usually commit fewer fouls than the other team (especially at home) and usually run their stuff to death for a good shot offensively. This team may be most affected by the change to the FIBA-induced 24 second shot clock next season. It will be a successful season for Coach Tom Kieswetter if he can manoeuvre his team into an OUA West playoff spot. Warriors Web Site

Lakehead Thunderwolves (0-8, 0-13): Despite arguably the hardest working and most passionate Sports Information Department in Canada, the Wolves have dropped to the very bottom of the CIS after being ravaged by a roster shuffle that left only one bonafide OUA upper echelon player, U.S. import Warren Thomas. It is back to the drawing board for Coach Scott Morrison; last season, the Wolves brought in a couple of transfers after Christmas and it will take that at a bare minimum if Lakehead has any thoughts of winning even a single game this season. Lakehead Web Site

A future post to the blog will detail the current situation going into the holiday schedule in the OUA East.