Friday, 19 January 2007

Fri. Jan. 19th/07: Game Previews, Media Coverage

Another great weekend of CIS basketball awaits highlighted by a pair of #6 UBC at #9 UVic games in Victoria, which should go a long way in determining the winner of Canada West Pacific division. Tonight’s key matchups include Queen’s visiting #7 Ottawa, McGill traveling to Concordia and St.Mary's in Sydney to face the Capers. Even more encouraging is the number of games available for viewing or listening via the Internet (see further down for the complete list and links). Tonight, 7 of the 16 games can be either watched or listened to and this number should grow (see article below on Carleton's thoughts on the issue).

However, before we get into our Friday night game previews section, we've found a number of very interesting article beginning with a tribute to our friend Bernie Offstein on the 3rd anniversary of his passing.

I first met Bernie Offstein as a skinny, long-hair kid in the late 70's playing at a tournament at St. Robert High School just north of Toronto when Bernie was refereeing. I remember trying to challenge him on more than one call and finally he took me aside without embarrasing me and telling me I was making a fool of myself. Just one small anecdote from the King of Toronto basketball. His good friend Frank Zicarelli remembers Bernie in a recent Toronto Sun article Bernie Offstein article on the 3rd anniversary of his death

Carleton's student newspaper, the Charlatan, has a number of decent articles this week including Carleton weekend review with some quotes from players and coaches. As well, an encouraging article concerning possible Internet broadcasts of Ravens basketball here Carleton strongly contemplating Internet broadcasts. Finally, the first of hopefully many previews for Tuesday night's Capital Hoops Classic including a game preview that hopefully for Ottawa's sake incorrectly identifies Jermaine Campbell as a point guard Carleton student newspaper previews Capital Hoops Classic

Congratulations to Sarah Crooks from Saskatchewan Huskies women's team, now the all-team leading rebounder in CIS women's basketball and possibly soon to be all-time scoring leader Sarah Crooks career summary Sarah needs 168 points in her last 8 regular season games - that is, she must average 21.0 points per game - to break the existing career record

Another in the growing line of articles commenting on the NCAA's recent ruling potentially allowing Canadian schools to join their association, this time in the Gateway, U of Alberta's student newspaper U of A's Gateway weekly chimes in on Canadian schools in the NCAA

UBC adds another top recruit Graham Bath commits to UBC

Our good friend Jim Thomas has just released his annual list of the Top 100 Ontario high school players which this morning appears on the web site. I'll leave the speculation on where most of these kids are going to the experts however, based on my recent discussions, there seem to be a larger number of players on this list than usual who have committed and/or are projected to stay home and play in the CIS. In my mind, three main reasons pop up for this positive development: 1. Kids are realizing just how good the basketball is in the CIS; 2. More Head Coaches continue to work much harder on the recruiting trail than in year's past 3. the OUA allowing first-year scholarship money. Combine these developments with some already-announced high profile former NCAA Division 1 players returning home and things bode well for the future of CIS basketball.

A couple of good articles on X's win Wednesday night at Acadia in front of a packed house in Wolfville X halts Acadia's win streak from Acadia Nova News Now and a report from the Acadia site X Acadia report from Acadia site

6:00 PM McGill at #5 Concordia Stingers web site (click on video icon) This has not yet been confirmed
8:00 PM Queen's at #7 Ottawa video webcast LIVE! Streaming Sports Network (SSN)
8:00 PM #10 York at Ryerson Ryerson radio produced by
8:30 PM Laurier at Lakehead live on videowebcast . It can also be heard live in Thunder Bay on Lakehead Radio 102.7 FM and on the net at
9 PM UCFV at Winnipeg Listen LIVE! here
11:00 pm #6 UBC at #9 Victoria Click to listen here
11:00 pm Saskatchewan at Trinity Western Click here and look for link on right of home page

8:00 pm UPEI (3-6, 12 pts) at UNB (1-9, 2 pts) The Panthers come off a blow-out loss at home to Acadia last Saturday while UNB has lost 7 in a row including 5 league games since their only victory in league play in late November against Memorial. UPEI has size and athleticism advantages up front with 6'10" Doug McKinney, 6'5" Sherone Edwards and 6'2" freshman Jonathan Cooper but the Varsity Reds play teams tough at home as witnessed by a pair of very close loses last weekend to Acadia and St. Mary's.
8:00 pm Saint Mary's (4-4, 12 pts) at #8 Cape Breton (7-1, 22 pts) 4 PT. GAME The Huskies embark on their most difficult and long road trip of the season as they travel to Sydney to meet the red-hot Capers, now ranked #8 and coming off a big win at X, before moving to X on Saturday. This may be the most up-tempo and entertaining game of the weekend as both teams having plenty of athleticism including Huskies' 6'4" Aaron Duncan and Capers 6'6" Eric Breland, 6'3" Paul Blake and 6'4" Phil Nkruma, author of a highlight reel alley-oop dunk against X. The Huskies have had trouble finishing games, having lost a number of tight encounters in the last 3-5 minutes of play. The Capers did well to hold back a hard-charging comeback attempt by the X-Men and currently are the hottest team in the AUS.

6:00 pm McGill (5-3) at #5 Concordia (7-1) In a querky schedule, McGill plays their 4th game in the last 7 days while Laval is idle all week and doesn't play again until next weekend. The Stingers have handled the Redmen this season and have had a full week of practice preparing to play without star guard Damian Buckley. The Redmen are coming off a huge come-from-behind win over UQAM on Wednesday and are getting solid play from veteran Sean Anthony plus a pair of top freshman in 6'4" Matt Thornhill and 6'4" Paul Herra. Both teams have plenty of depth and look for the Stingers to push the tempo as they almost always do on their home court. Note: Concordia usually webcasts home games after the holidays.
8:00 pm UQAM (2-6) at Bishop's (1-6) The Gaiters are in a must-win situation at home in Lennoxville against the Citadins who they are chasing for the fourth and final playoff spot in the "Q". Here is a comprehensive preview from the Gaiters web site more from Bishop's web site

OUA East
8:00 pm Queen's (8-4) at #7 Ottawa (10-2) The feature game of the night in the OUA East as both teams try to rebound from blowing a late leads last weekend as #7 Gee-Gees didn't score in the last 5 minutes in losing by 3 at #10 York while Queen's gave up a late 3 and lost in overtime at Toronto. This will be a contrast in styles with Gaels high-post read-and-react offence that invariably generates an open 3 or a back-door cut for a layup versus Ottawa's tenacious turnover-creating perimeter defence. The Gee-Gees swept Queen's last season including a 30 point trouncing at Montpetit Hall. Ottawa's ability to limit the good looks of 6'5" freshman sensation Mitch Leger will be important however given Ottawa's lack of depth it will be difficult to pressure for 40 minutes. The Gaels could easily come up with the upset in this one. More from Queen's web site Queen's weekend preview
8:00 pm Laurentian (3-9) at Toronto (6-6) The Blues found their shooting touch at home last weekend, especially at the free throw line and kept themselves within striking distance of the chance for a home playoff game. The scrappy Voyageurs have pushed Carleton, Ottawa and Queen's very hard the past 2 weekends with little to show for it. Expect a close affair that Laurentian needs to stay with Ryerson in the battle for the final OUA East playoff spot. Here is a Laurentian weekend preview from Laurentian weekend preview
8:00 pm #10 York (8-4) at Ryerson (4-8) In an intriguing matchup that includes a number of potentially great head-to-head matchups, the Lions look to break into third place in the conference. A pair of pure, veteran centers in 6'10" Igor Bakovic and 6'10" Jordan Foebel face off, as do 6'7" Boris Bakovic against 6'8" Dan Eves (both allegedly turned down NCAA Division 1 scholarships out of high school to stay home). The key matchup could be in the backcourt where Ryerson needs to find an answer to stop 6'3" Tut Ruach and 6'3" Rohan Steen, two of the better scorers in the conference. Look for York to utilize some zone and pressure the younger Ryerson guards. Rams 6'2" shooting guard Brandon Krupa has emerged as one of the league's top 3 point shooters. Last season, the Lions took both games during the regular season. The game is available in audio via Ryerson web cast (see above for link).
8:00 pm RMC (1-11) at #1 Carleton (12-0) The Paladins hope to keep it close for as long as they can against the Ravens who should have a good warmup to their likely tougher affair against Queen's on Saturday night.

OUA West
8:30 pm Laurier (4-7) at Lakehead (1-11) (Much thanks to Lakehead sports info for this preview) The Wolves will look to build on last week’s away win over McMaster with a little home cooking led by Warren Thomas who is third in OUA scoring at 19 ppg. He is also 17th in OUA rebounding with 6.27 per game. Freshman Saad Beg continues his strong play and recorded a career high 20 points last week in the win over McMaster. He averages 9.3 ppg and 2.2 assists per game. The Wolves will also need continued strong play from post Matt Verboom and freshmen Jamie Searle (2.5 assists per game; Top 20 OUA) and Dean Magierowski. The Hawks look to Matthew Walker, averaging 17.9 ppg - good for sixth in the OUA, as their main man on offense. Walker is also sixth in conference rebounding with 7.5 per game. Omar Miles directs the Hawks attack and is good for 4.55 assists per game; fifth in the OUA. Jesse McDonald can also score for the Hawks; averaging 10.5 ppg. Trevor Csima is also a force on the boards and is 18th in the OUA with 6 per game.

Canada West
9:00 pm Thompson Rivers (0-16) at Manitoba (4-10) This is the first meeting ever in Canada West play between these two teams Preview from Manitoba web site
9:00 pm UCFV (5-11) at Winnipeg (5-9) Riding a 3 game winning streak that has kept their faint Canada West Pacific division playoff hopes alive, the Cascades head into Winnipeg to face the Wesmen and All-Canadian candidate Erfan Nasajpour Preview from Fraser Valley web site
10:00 pm Regina (5-9) at Calgary (5-9)
10:15 pm #3 Brandon (12-2) at Lethbridge (5-9) Moving all the way up to #3 from #8 in the national rankings, the ‘Cats are hoping to extend their 5 game regular season winning streak led by 6'3" Canada West Male Athlete of the Week Chad Jacobson, who had 22 points in last weekend's win over UBC and 6'0" Yul Michel, who made a driving layup with 2.3 seconds remaining to give the ‘Cats a victory over Victoria.
11:00 pm #6 UBC (14-1) at #9 Victoria (13-2) Both teams come off 1-1 road trips to Regina and Brandon with the T-Birds losing their first league game of the season. Vic's talented front court led by Jacob Doerksen and Tyler Haas will try to offset T-Birds leading scorer Casey Archibald. In a game filled with star players from B.C.'s high school and provincial team programs, this rivalry usually produces tight games as was the case earlier in the season in their only other meeting, won by UBC in Vancouver.
11:00 pm Saskatchewan (9-5) at Trinity Western (8-8) The Huskies and Spartans, considered to be ranked just below the Top 4 teams in Canada West, both look to make a statement that each can be considered as contenders for Canada West Final Four. Brian Banman leads the Spartans while All-Canadian candidate Andrew Spagrud will put pressure on the Spartans front court. Preview from This game is also available via audio on the site.
11:15 pm Alberta (10-4) at Simon Fraser (8-8) The Bears are the consensus choice for the fourth-ranked team in Canada West and can solidify that claim with a road victory at Simon Fraser. The Bears are happy that 6'3" point guard Tyson Jones is getting healthy to augment stalwards Alex Steele and Scott Gordon. Aaron Christensen leads the Clan in the attempt to maintain third place in the Pacific.

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