Sunday, 21 January 2007

FIBA U19's in Canada; CIS Top 10 Thoughts for Jan. 23rd

For a game report from today's Dalhousie at UPEI game and other stuff from this past weekend click here

A quick reminder for all Canadian basketball fans that Canada Basketball will be hosting the FIBA U19 World Championships, a 16 team event scheduled for July 12th through July 22nd, 2007. This is a world-class basketball tournament the likes that our country has not hosted since the World Championships in the 90's and in 1983 when Edmonton hosted the World University Games and Canada, coached by the late Jack Donohue, won gold upsetting the United States, featuring a team loaded with talented players (including 2 NBA Hall-of-Famers) like 6'6" Charles Barkley (Auburn), 6'9" Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech), 7'0" Kevin Willis (Michigan State), 6'1" Johnny Dawkins (Duke), and 6'9" Ed Pinckney (Villanova), 85-77 behind current Toronto Raptors assistant coach Jay Triano. Canada then defeated Yugoslavia 83-68 in the gold medal game, to this day Canada's only gold medal in a major basketball competition. FIBA U19 World Championship in Canada July, 2007 As well, here is a link to a USA Basketball site summarizing the USA team that Canada defeated in the semi-finals of the 1983 World University Games in Edmonton USA Basketball 1983 World University Bronze Medal Team Recap

Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event including Team Canada roster and coaching staff, venues, ticket information and other news as it becomes available.

CIS TOP TEN TALK: Another set of upsets this past week as the CIS Top 10 will change dramatically again except for at the very top. After a solid road win at Acadia, #2 St. FX tripped up at home against St. Mary's, a team battling to stay around .500. #4 Windsor was stuffed in St.Catharines at Brock on Wednesday night while #7 Ottawa was shocked at home, giving up a 9 point lead with 2 1/2 minutes remaining against upstart Queen's. #10 York was thrashed at Toronto and could be without star guard Rohan Steen while Dan Eves is also injured with a suspected infection in his arm. The Alberta Golden Bears are making their annual run for a Canada West crown and came away with 2 big road victories over Simon Fraser and Trinity Western in B.C.


#1 Carleton (14-0) defeated RMC and Queen's at home
#2 St. Francis Xavier (6-3) won at Acadia; lost at home to St. Mary's
#3 Brandon (14-2) won at Lethbridge and at Calgary
#4 Windsor (10-3) lost at Brock; won at Waterloo
#5 Concordia (8-1) won at McGill
#6 UBC (15-2) split a pair of games at #9 Victoria
#7 Ottawa (10-3) lost at home to Queen's and defeated RMC at home
#8 Cape Breton (8-1) defeated St. Mary's at home
#9 Victoria (14-3) split a pair of games at home against #6 UBC
#10 York (8-5) won at Ryerson and lost at Toronto

CISHOOPS.CA's New Top Ten for the week of January 21st, 2007

#1 CARLETON No debate here as the Ravens continue to plough through opponents. This week's games: Tuesday vs. Ottawa (11-3) at Scotiabank Place; Friday home vs. Laurentian (3-10); Saturday home vs. York (8-5)
#2 BRANDON With a pair of solid road wins in the province of Alberta, albeit against under .500 teams, the Bobcats continue to be the class of the Great Plains conference and a favorite for one of two Canada West spots at the Nationals. This week's games: host Manitoba (6-10) on both Friday and Saturday.
#3 CONCORDIA More than likely with be without Damain Buckley for the remainder of the season but Ben Sormonte has stepped in to do a formidable job running the offence. Their depth will be severely tested going forward but this veteran team still should be the favorite for the "Q" even though they've come back to the pack a bit. This week's game: at UQAM (2-7) on Friday when they try to avenge their only league loss in which the Citadins scored 57 second half points for a come-from-behind win.
#4 ST. FX (6-3) Given that they have now lost consecutive games at home on Saturday nights in front of sell-out crowds, this ranking may be a tad generous however X is still the defending AUS champions. The X-Men will need to rely more and more on their 3 core veterans in 6'10" Neil McDonald, 6'3" Garry Gallimore and 6'1" Tyler Richards, so expect their minutes to rise and they'll need one of their 5 freshman to step up: top candidate to do so is 6'3" Dwayne Johnson. This week's games: Friday at Acadia (7-4) and Saturday at Dalhousie (4-7).
#5 WINDSOR (10-3) Still the class of the OUA West despite their lacklustre effort at Brock last Wednesday in which they trailed by 20 late in the game. Establishing himself as the premier young big man in the OUA West, Windsor has a consistent scorer in the paint in 6'8" Greg Surmacz. When the Lancers make shots especially with 6'5" Kevin Kloostra and 6'2" Ryan Steer, they are tough to beat but the opposite, as we saw on Wednesday, is also true. Having just played their last 3 games on the road, Windsor looks to put even more space between themselves and a bushel-full of teams fighting for second place this week with a pair of home games in what promises to be a loud, excited St. Denis Center as the Lancers host Guelph on Wednesday and McMaster on Saturday.
#6 UBC Poor starts have hampered the T-Birds, especially on the weekend at Victoria where they dug themselves double-digit holes in both games but played UBC basketball in the second half of both games to salvage the split. First place in their division is now theirs for the taking with a one game lead over Vic and the tie-breaker (UBC is 2-1 vs. Vic this season). This week's games: host Trinity Western (8-10) on Thursday and Saturday at UBC.
#7 CAPE BRETON Based on recent AUS league play, the Capers probably deserve an even higher ranking as they soundly defeated a St. Mary's team on Friday that went into Antigonish and defeated a rested X team in their own building. Cape Breton has all the tools to make a run at a National Championship with point guard Ryan Keliher, three-point shooter Paul Blake, inside scorer Eric Breland and tough big man Jarrett Timmons among others. This week's games: The Capers play a pair of games at UPEI (4-5) on Saturday night and then right back on Sunday afternoon, both in Charlottetown.
#8 VICTORIA Still neck and neck with UBC, the Vikes had a chance to sweep the series from the T-Birds but could not hold onto a double-digit lead. With plenty of talent up front and guard Brandon Ellis knocking down shots, the Vikes will compete for a spot in Canada West's Final Four, which will be held March 2nd and 3rd at the winner of the Great Plains division - as long as Vic keeps winning, expect the wild card choice for the Canada West weekend championship to emerge from Canada West Pacific. This week's games: The Vikes host Simon Fraser (9-9) for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday of this week. Even a split will all but guarantee a home playoff game for the Vikes.
#9 ALBERTA (12-4) The Bears are on their typical late season run and have carved a two-game lead atop the Canada West Mountain division after a pair of solid road wins at Simon Fraser and Trinity Western in which they led decisively in both. The return to health and form of combination guard Tyson Jones, a fifth-year veteran, bodes well for coach Don Horwood's side, giving them another weapon to add to the slick tandem of Scott Gordon and Alex Steele. The Mountain division pennant is on the line this weekend as the Bears (12-4) host second-place Saskatchewan Huskies (10-6) in Edmonton on Friday and Saturday. The teams split a pair of games in Saskatoon in November and even a split for Alberta would give them the edge.
#10 OTTAWA (10-3) At least two other OUA East teams, namely last week's #10 in this poll Queen's and last week's CIS poll #10 York, could easily be placed in this spot however both have run into injuries that hurt their teams chances dramatically. Queen's without freshman Mitch Leger, expected to miss at least the next 2 weeks, is simply not the same team. NOTE: LATE BREAKING NEWS INDICATES THAT LEGER'S STOMACH PAIN WAS NOT RELATED TO APPENDICITIS AND HE MAY RETURN AS SOON AS THIS COMING WEEKEND (We are very happy that Mitch is OK !!!) Meanwhile, the Lions, without Dan Eves (expected back this week) and Rohan Steen (status unknown) were down 22 at Toronto by halftime and lost convincingly. As for Ottawa, they simply need to get more from fifth-year forward 6'5" Jermaine Campbell and must also find another young player off the bench (Willy Manigat, Donnie Gibson) who can provide significant second-half minutes so guys like point guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe don't have to play 35+ minutes and they can play up tempo defence for longer parts of the game. Ottawa still has only 3 losses to CIS teams all season (at Windsor, a 3 point loss at York and a 1 point loss to Queen's) and thus still should be considered at Top 10 team in my opinion.

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