Tuesday, 20 February 2007

OUA East All-Stars (cishoops.ca); AUS Breakdown with 2 weeks remaining

Late breaking news from sources in Toronto indicate that Ryerson University has gone in another direction with Program Director David Dubois and Manager-Intercollegiate Athletics Terry Haggerty, former Men's Basketball coach.

X (11-6, 32 pts) 78 at St.Mary's (8-9, 22 pts) 76 in Overtime (4 pt. game) 6'10" Neil McDonald (17 points, 7 rebounds) set the tone in overtime with a pair of power moves for scores and X scored the first 6 points of the extra frame to continue their push for second place in front of a large crowd at the Tower. Earlier, Huskies Mark McLaughlin (27 points) hit a big 3 to tie the score with under a minute to play and McLaughlin had a chance to win the game in regulation but his well-contested take after St. Mary's flatten out for him just came off. The X-Men struggled with fouls in the first half as both 6'2" Tyler Richards and McDonald sat, part of the reason why St. Mary's took at 10 point lead into halftime. Coach Steve Konchalski then rolled the dice by starting backups Will Silver (point), Dave Joyce (wing) and Terrance Taylor off the start of the second half and his moved worked as X pressed and got some deflections to start transition scores, getting the X-Men back in the game. Richards (15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) then reemerged down the stretch, hitting a pair of clutch shots. Freshman Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw injured his ankle early in the second half and did not return. St. Mary's played only 6 players all night as Mark Ross and McLaughlin played all 45 minutes while X's Garry Gallimore (18 points including 2 clinching free throws with 5 seconds left in the overtime) played the entire game for X-Men. X now is within 2 points of second place Acadia with 10 possible points remaining against only 6 possible points remaining for the Axemen. X returns home to face last place MUN in a pair of 4 pointers on the weekend while Acadia travels to UPEI for a 2 point affair.

Recently announced coach's Top 10 courtesy of the NABCC ...

February 20, 2007

LW Votes
-- -----
1. Brandon (42) #1 514 votes
2. Concordia (2) #2 472 votes
3. Victoria #4 417 votes
4. Carleton #3 361 votes
5. UBC #5 357 votes
6. Ottawa #8 291 votes
7. Cape Breton #7 280 votes
8. St. Francis Xavier #9 194 votes
9. Acadia #6 153 votes
10. Windsor #10 123 votes
11. Toronto #11 92 votes
12. Brock #12 50 votes
13. Alberta #13 26 votes
14. York #14 15 votes
15. Saskatchewan NR 3 votes

James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail has been doing a weekly story on the CIS which this week focuses on the women's championships that have been dominated for over a decade by Canada West Bring Home Baby

The Tim McGarrigle vs. Dalhousie case continues as Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports Jury Could Reach Decision Today

In advance of the CIS coach's poll coming out later today, "Rankings by Ratings" recently released its weekly computer-based rating system Rankings by Ratings Interestingly, Ottawa makes the jump from 5th up to 3rd while Carleton remains #1. In the Cheers RPI index, the top teams are basically all the same except the order varies somewhat, with Carleton still ranked #1 Cheers RPI for Feb. 18th

With the OUA East regular season completed, here is one observer's view of the post-season player's honours in the division:
Osvaldo Jeanty, Carleton, 5th Year Guard ** PLAYER OF THE YEAR ** Once again, Os was the catalyst on the first place team in the division, doing his usual thing making big shots and leading his club in scoring but in his fifth and final year, he was even more masterful at running the team, distributing the ball and dealing well with having every team prepare to stop him every night. Defensively, Os usually watches one of the opponent's top two scorers and, if such stats were kept, Jeanty would likely lead the league in charges taken and loose balls retrieved. Probably the hardest working player in the league as well as the best, Jeanty is one Final 8 championship away from fulfilling his brash promise made prior to his freshman season of 5 championships in 5 career seasons.

Dan Eves, York, 5th Year Forward Despite missing a pair of games with an arm injury, Eves still led the OUA East in scoring and was among the leaders in rebounding at 5.8 ppg. As a 6'7" forward, Eves is quick enough to get his shot off in most situations and has consistent range beyond the three point arc. The OUA East scoring champion at 19.9 points per game, Eves is a former CIS Rookie-of-the-Year and All-Canadian who scored over 1,500 career points in league play over his 5 seasons as a Lion. Teaming with fellow 5th year forward Jordan Foebel, he has made the Lions one of Canada's top teams during his career.

Josh Gibson-Bascombe, Ottawa, 2nd Year Point Guard Fulfilling his promise this season after ending his freshman season with a major wrist injury, Gibson-Bascombe was the catalyst behind a second consecutive 18-4 season and two Ottawa victories over Carleton this season, making everyone around him better while also contributing a team-high 14.5 ppg as a sophomore. As a 6'4" point guard, Gibson-Bascombe averaged 4.6 rpg and almost 4.0 apg/3.0 steals/game while shooting .493 from the floor including 39% 3's and more importantly controlled the game offensively in big spots, none more important than when his dramatic elbow jumper in the waning seconds carried the Gee-Gees over the Ravens at the Capital Hoops Classic before a CIS-regular-season record crowd of 9,730 at Scotiabank Place.

Mike Williams, Toronto, 5th Year Center Leading the Varsity Blues to another top tier finish, Williams again was the top defensive forward in the OUA East, an intimidating presence inside with almost 2 blocks per game and 6.6 rebounds per game, with the versatility to step outside and guard smaller players and strong enough to tangle with taller, longer opponents inside. Offensively, Williams averaged a career-high 12.7 points per game and his jumper off an offensive rebound at the buzzer game the Blues a dramatic win at home over the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Aaron Doornekamp, Carleton, 3rd Year Forward Still regarded as probably the toughest matchup in Canada with his size, skill set and edge for playing the game, Doornekamp had another all-round stellar season in leading the Ravens to another OUA East regular season crown. Still with 12.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg (6th in OUA East) and almost 4.0 apg, Doornekamp's numbers were impressive but his real value is how often and in how many different situations he has the ball in his hands, scoring equally well from the low block or knocking down 3's from the perimeter plus his ability to take a charge and grab loose balls. Expect Doornekamp to continue dominating the OUA East for two more seasons and spend his summers on Canada's National team as a contributing forward.

Rohan Steen, York, 4th Year Guard Steen allegedly played the second half of the season with a severe abdominal injury which makes the offensive season he put together (15.5 ppg) even more tremendous. Steen emerged as the fourth significant offensive threat for the Lions with his ability to get to the rim and knock shots down from beyond the arc.

Ben Katz, Toronto, 5th Year Forward Coming into a situation playing his fifth and final season on a new team with his father as the Head Coach, Katz brought stability and leadership to the Blues. After suffering an ankle injury in the first half that curtailed his time, Katz helped push the Blues to an 11-1 finish down the stretch and third place in the OUA East. Averaging just over 13 ppg, more than 5 rebounds per game, Katz shot 45.2% from 3 point land (2nd in OUA East) and seamlessly fit into Toronto's defensive systems, as the Blues emerged as one of Canada's top defensive sides. Katz was the best player on the floor as the Blues all but clinched third place with a victory at York near the end of the season.

Curtis Shakespeare, Ottawa, 5th Year Forward Overshadowed somewhat by classmates Alex McLeod and Jermaine Campbell, Shakespeare grew his offensive game throughout his career, stretching defenses from the perimeter and scoring against favorable matchups inside, growing into Ottawa's second leading scorer as a fifth-year senior. With career-highs in points per game (11.5), rebounds per game (5.1) and field goal percentage (almost 50%), Shakespeare had the best season of his career including a game-high 21 points against Carleton last Saturday, enabling the Gee-Gees to sweep the first place Ravens for the first time in his career.

Mitch Leger, Queen's, 1st Year, Forward Although mysteriously not nominated as an All-Star in the official coaches vote to be released soon, without a doubt Leger was one of the top 10 players in the OUA East, proving to be one of the toughest matchups inside and outside and establishing himself as one of the better players to come in the league for a number of years. Leger appeared to wear down a little down the stretch but still was the catalyst in the resurgence of the Gaels this season. Leger finished 5th in scoring in the OUA East with 14.9 ppg and tied for 6th in rebounding with 6.5 rpg. His layup and free throw with 0.1 seconds remaining capped a huge Queen's comeback in a one-point upset victory at Ottawa in January.

Boris Bakovic, Ryerson, 1st Year, Forward Although the Rams did not make the playoffs, Bakovic proved to be one of the league's top offensive players, finishing tied for second in OUA East scoring at 17.1 ppg with several 30+ point games. Bakovic's numbers stack up with anyone's in the league as he combined the ability to slash to the rim with a strong post-up game and perimeter shooting skills, establishing himself as one of the top young players in the OUA East.

Baris Ondul, Queen's
Jason Hoult, York
Mike Kenny, Carleton

There remains a few unanswered questions regarding seeding for the annual AUS tournament beginning Thursday, March 8th at the Halifax Metro Center but, after Dal's 10 point come-from-behind win over St. Mary's this past Sunday at Dalplex, the 6 participants are all but set. Starting with the sixth and final playoff spot, MUN trails Dal by 8 points with only 2 games remaining, a pair of 4 point games at X this coming weekend. UNB has 3 games remaining and also must win out at home vs. UPEI (4 point game), at St.Mary's and hosting St.Mary's - 8 possible points remaining and 8 point deficit just to tie. So the Tigers are all but assured a playoff spot for the first time in 4 seasons. At the top of the standings, Cape Breton currently has 40 points with 3 games remaining and has a magic number of 3 points to end X's 8 year reign as AUS regular season champions. Cape Breton needs only to win at Dal (4 point game), at St.Mary's (4 point game) or defeat X on the last night of the season to clinch, even if other teams win out. Acadia has 34 points with only 2 games remaining (maximum 40 points) - any combination of a Cape Breton win or Acadia loss and the Axemen are eliminated from consideration for first place. St.FX has only a slightly better chance of finishing first with 3 four-point games including a pair against MUN at home. The race for second is much more interesting as X, although currently 6 points behind Acadia, has the potential for 14 more points. Even if Acadia wins their final two games by defeating UPEI on the road and Dal at home (4 point game), X can claim second by winning out and tie for second win wins in their three 4 point games. If the teams tie, X would likely win the tiebreaker with a 3-1 advantage in the season series against the Axemen. Dal still has a shot at fifth place with two 4 point games remaining but cannot catch UPEI for 4th. The Panthers cannot finish second and St. Mary's would have to win out, have Acadia and X lose out to have any hope of finishing second. Clear???

The likely AUS tournament matchups: First Round byes: Cape Breton, St. FX; 1st Round: Acadia vs. Dalhousie; UPEI vs. St. Mary's

THIS WEEK'S GAMES IN THE AUS all games local time
Tues. Feb. 20 StFX (10-6, 28 pts) at Saint Mary's (8-8, 22 pts) 8:00pm (4)
Wed. Feb. 21 UPEI (7-11, 26 pts) at UNB (5-12, 10 pts) 8:00pm (4)
Sat. Feb. 24 Memorial (5-13) at StFX 8:00pm (4); Cape Breton (14-3, 40 pts) at Dalhousie (8-10, 18 pts) 8:00pm (4); UNB at Saint Mary's (8-8, 22 pts) 5:00pm (2)
Sun. Feb. 25 Cape Breton at Saint Mary's 4:00pm (4); Memorial at StFX 3:00pm (4); Acadia at UPEI 3:00pm (2).

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