Thursday, 29 March 2007

OUA East: Needs for Next Season

The beginning of the off-season provides an opportunity to think about next season's CIS rosters including key losses to graduation and recruiting needs for next season. We plan to go around the country with comprehensive reports on a conference-by-conference basis. Today we begin with the OUA East.

Carleton: Key Losses - Osvaldo Jeanty, Shawn McCleery. Key Players scheduled to return: 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp (4th), 6'4" Ryan Bell (5th), 6'4" Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie (5th), 6'3" Stu Turnbull (4th), 6'3" Rob Saunders (4th), 6'7" Kevin McCleery (3rd), 5'10" Mike Kenny (2nd). Comments: Losing Os after 5 championships is obvious a big loss not only for games but maybe more importantly for the example he set each day in practice and preparing for the season. McCleery was an underrated shooter who filled in well when injuries forced regulars to the sidelines. Look for Doornekamp, entering his fourth year, to assume the mantle as team leader with support from veterans Jean-Marie, Turnbull and Bell. As a result, it is hardly a rebuilding year for the experienced Ravens, who should again be the favorites for a sixth consecutive CIS championship. With McCleery quickly emerging into a top offensive threat in the post, Coach Dave Smart may look to start his offense in the post more often and play more inside/out in the coming years. But make no mistake about it, the Ravens will bring in players who can make shots, rebound and defend in their system. Recruiting Focus: Although 7 top players return, another guard who can bring the ball up, a versatile forward with an array of offensive skills in the Doornekamp mould and another big kid who can spell McCleery would round out this roster even nicer.

Ottawa: Key Losses Alex McLeod, Curtis Shakespeare, Jermaine Campbell. Key Players scheduled to return: 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe (3rd), 6'3" Sean Peter (4th), 6'9" Dax Dessureault (4th), 5'11" Willy Manigat (3rd), 6'3" Donnie Gibson (3rd), 6'5" David Labentowicz (4th). Comments: Losing 3 fifth-year seniors representing about 90 minutes per game will be impactful however the cupboard is not bare as First Team OUA East point guard Gibson-Bascombe returns along with at least 4 others who were in the rotation this season. This is now officially Gibson-Bascombe's team and the focus of the recruiting effort is to round out the parts around him for his final 3 seasons. Veteran wing Peter is tough getting to the rim and on the offensive glass and has steadily moved his offensive game out further onto the perimeter. Gibson will look to fill a role shooting the ball from downtown while Dessureault needs to take that next step as a steady, consistent offensive threat worthy of consistently drawing double teams. Manigat should get stronger and able to push up to a 28 minute a game type player while Labentowicz, entering his fourth year, has improved each and every season. Recruiting Focus: To continue their trapping ways defensively, Ottawa will need to add quick-footed forwards who can step out onto the perimeter and as well as another athletic wing who can create off the dribble. Also, this team can never have enough shooters especially after losing McLeod, the Gee-Gees all-time leader in 3 pointers.

Toronto: Key Losses Mike Williams, 6'9" center; Ben Katz, 6'3" forward. Key Players scheduled to return: 6'3" Mike DeGiorgio (5th), 6'2" Dwayne Grant (4th), 6'6" Nick Snow (3rd), 6'2" Nick Magalas (3rd), 6'4" Mo Safarzadeh (4th), 6'3" Paul Sergautis (4th), 6'3" Rob Paris (3rd) Comments: The Blues lost two critical pieces to a team that was as good as any in Canada coming down the stretch with the graduation of Katz, a leader on and off the floor, and Williams, with his tremendous interior defense allowing perimeter defenders more liberties pushing up on the ball. Katz was one of Canada's top 3 point shooters and Williams scored, blocked shots and rebounded inside. Steady point guard DeGiorgio is scheduled to return for a fifth and final year while quick footed Grant will assume more leadership offensively. The continuing development of a pair of third-year players, Magalas and Snow, is key as both will be thrust into higher profile roles and expectations are high based on solid play in big spots this past season. Snow may be a more well-rounded offensive player than Williams but the Blues sacrifice shot blocking, rebounding and physicality (the newest buzz word challenging Webster around basketball circles) when compared to Williams contribution. Safarzadeh and Sergautis, now both upper classmen are main threats from downtown. Recruiting Focus: Obvious needs begin in the middle defensively with the requirement to replace the defensive player-of-the-year in Williams. Although Magalas is likely to assume DeGiorgio's role once he graduates, another point guard groomed under the veterans would be helpful. A talented wing player who can create and make 3's is also likely to be a high priority item on the shopping list.

York Key Losses Dan Eves, 6'7" forward; Jordan Foebel, 6'10" forward, Rohan Steen, 6'3" wing. Key Players scheduled to return: 6'3" Tut Ruach (4th), 6'2" Amde Evans (5th), 6'1" Eylon Zemer (4th), 6'7" Matt Terejko (5th), 6'2" Jason Hoult (2nd), 6'9" Stefan Haynes (2nd), 6'9" Wes Anderson (3rd). Comments: Losing a two-time All-Canadian, one of Canada's top big men and one of the top wings in the conference usually would conjuour up the word "rebuilding" however a solid stable of talent remains, beginning with All-Canadian candidate Ruach who can carry this team for long stretches and should benefit from a full season of play in '07-'08 and the exciting Evans, who flashed some solid offensive skills late in the year especially in the Carleton playoff game. PG Zemer should be thrust into a higher profile role at the point and Hoult, who gained confidence as an offensive player toward the end of his freshman season, will be in the mix on the wing. Up front, Anderson, a prized recruit from two seasons ago, needs to work into major minutes while Haynes, as he adds bulk and experience, is turning into a solid OUA players. Expect Terejko to see major minutes in his final season. Recruiting Focus: The Lions need an infusion of big men up front both to protect the paint defensively and play inside/out on the offensive end. Although Ruach can stroke it and Hoult showed flashes of becoming a solid perimeter threat, a pure shooter would round out the roster. A top player at the 3/4 who can score and rebound is also a likely top target.

Queen's Key Losses Glen Smith, 6'8" post; others possibly not returning: Kyle McCleery 6'4", Simon Mitchell 6'3", Jordan Balaban 6'3", Cam Eby 6'6" Key Players scheduled to return: Mitch Leger, 6'6" (2nd), Baris Ondul 5'11" (3rd), Ryan Hairsine 6'0" (4th), Robert Shaw 6'6" (4th). Comments: Assuming the stable of fourth-year players plus Mitchell do not return, the Gaels still have a strong core of talent with Leger and Ondul, two of the top newcomers in the OUA East this past season plus Hairsine, who was maybe the most improved player in the league last season, extending his game from a pure spot-up shooter to being able to get to the rim and create his own shot more effectively. Recruiting Focus: Likely to be among the top priorities on the recruiting trail is another ball handler who can start the offense plus another quality forward/post with size and strength who can complement Leger. No doubt Queen's will also look to bring in a couple of steady, spot-up shooters to fit into their read-and-react offense that set the table for so many open looks from downtown this past season. The Gaels hit a bit of a wall toward the end of the season but have built the foundation of a solid program and hope that momentum is on their side for a second consecutive solid recruiting class for this coming season.

Laurentian Key Losses Brody Bishop, 6'0" guard; Key Players scheduled to return: Darrel Drake (5th), 5'11" guard; Lucas Wiebenga (4th), 6'5" wing; Ryan Vetrie (4th), 5'11" guard; Matas Tirillis, 6'6" (3rd); Alex Whiteman (4th), 6'7" forward; Brady Bolan (4th), 6'6", forward; Craig Bauslaugh (3rd), 6'0" guard; Paul Kovacs (3rd), 6'3" wing; Jason Brown (4th), 6'4", forward; Shane Bertolacci (2nd), 6'8" forward. Comments: The Voyageurs were forced to play small ball much of the season but will welcome back the injured Bertolacci for a full season. Brown is an undersized power forward with the skills and athleticism to cause matchup issues. Losing Bishop opens the door for another perimeter threat to get minutes. Drake has shown signs of being a solid pg and Kovacs needs to grow into the potential he had coming out of high school. Bauslaugh has been an excellent scorer at other levels. Recruiting Focus: Regardless of who returns, Laurentian, who missed the solid inside work of Ben Palmer this past season, could use another post player who can score inside and keep perimeter defenses honest. As well, a take charge point guard who can score to set the table and an athletic wing who can score and rebound are also key targets.

Ryerson Key Losses none; Key Players scheduled to return: Boris Bakovic 6'7" (2nd), Igor Bakovic 6'10" (5th), Brandon Krupa 6'1" (4th), Peeter Veltman 6'4" (5th), Joey Imbrogno 6'10" (3rd), Ryan McNeilly 6'2" (2nd), Khris Montague 6'6" (2nd), Scott Neil 6'1" (2nd). Comments: With all key players returning, the still-young Rams have plenty of upside. Boris Bakovic is a potential first-team conference all-star in the making while young point guard McNeilly continued his improvement after being thrust into the starting lineup toward the end of the season. Imbrogno, a solid finisher around the rim, again showed flashes of brilliance while oft-injured Montague has a chance to be a solid player. Igor Bakovic, Krupa and Veltman represent the experience for what is basically a very young team after that. Recruiting Focus: Adding a scorer or two at the small forward slot plus at least one more pure three point shooter would help the roster. A lesser need is another point guard to push McNeilly each day in practice.

RMC Key Losses Paul Hungler 6'5" forward. Other possibly not returning: Adam Asquini 6'5"; Bryan Matthews 6'2", Matt McLeod 5'10", Doug Priestley 6'4". Key Players scheduled to return: Andrew Macintosh 6'3" (2nd), Richard Whitfield 6'6" (2nd), Josh Whiteside 6'5" (3rd), David Duizer 5'10" (4th). Comments: The possible loss of their top two scorers would thrust sophomore Macintosh, last season's top rookie, into the primary offensive threat. Whitfield provides size up front while Whiteside had the makings of a solid player before sucumming to a bad knee injury early in his freshman season in '05-'06. Duizer is a three point shooting threat. Recruiting Focus: The Paladins needs begin at the point with a lead guard who can take care of the ball and create. A scorer on the wing who can beat defenders off the dribble is also key as is an effective big man who can score, defend and rebound.

Next we plan to review the needs of OUA West teams for next season.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Olympic Qualifying Tournament Announcement

After a couple of days to decompress after the weekend in Halifax, we've come with a shortened edition today, highlighting the recently-announced FIBA Americas 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament this summer in Las Vegas in which Canada needs to finish in the top five to continue their quest for a spot at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Entries will not be as consistent as during the season but we are planning a number of special features including reassessing the needs of the top CIS programs for next season and other material.

Ranked #15 in the world by FIBA, the governing body of basketball in the world, Canada's national basketball team begins their quest to qualify for the 2008 Olympics with FIBA Americas 2007 Olympic Qualifying Tournament beginning August 22nd, 2007 in Las Vegas. Canada needs to finish in the Top 5 of this tournament to remain in contention for a spot in Beijing (a top 2 finish would ensure a spot at the 2008 Olympics). In all, there are 10 teams participating in the initial qualifying event in Las Vegas including (FIBA world ranking) #1 United States, #2 Argentina, #13 Puerto Rico, #17 Brazil, #21 Venezuela, #30 Panama, #31 Uruguay, #34 Mexico and the US Virgin Islands. The top 2 teams in the Las Vegas event advance directly to the 2008 Olympics while finisers 3 through 5 enter in another qualifier just prior to the 2008 games next summer. Six of the teams in this summer's qualifier, including #15 Canada, are ranked in the FIBA world Top 25. With the U.S. and Argentina the probable favorites for the top 2 spots at this summer's qualifier, one of the 4 remaining teams in the current Top 25 will be eliminated from Olympics contention at this tournament. The 10 teams at the Las Vegas event (all games to be held at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV)) will initially be placed into two Groups of five. Canada has been placed in Group B and will open the tournament against Brazil in the first game of Group B action. Other teams in Group B include the United States, the US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela. Group A includes Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. Each team will play one game against all others in their group in the preliminary round, with the fifth-place finisher in each group eliminated from the tournament. From there, 8 teams move on to the second round where games against their qualifiers in their group continue to count and four more games, against qualifying teams from the other group, are played. The top four teams advance to the semi-finals, while the FIFTH PLACE team in the second round standings becomes the fifth and final team to remain in contention for qualifying. Clear?

CIS players from this season who should merit strong consideration for this summer's National team include CIS Final 8 MVP Aaron Doornekamp (Carleton), Osvaldo Jeanty (Carleton), Garry Gallimore (St. FX) and Casey Archibald (UBC). Hopefully, a high number of other CIS stars will be invited to tryout. The Canada Basketball national team coaching staff includes Dave Smart (Carleton). More on the tryouts and other news on the National team should follow in the coming weeks.

Here is FIBA's current list of the Top 25 basketball nations in the world with FIBA Americas 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament participants in BOLD:

Rank Points
1. USA 832.0
2. ARG 720.0
3. ESP 619.0
4. YUG* 508.0
5. LTU 460.0
6. GRE 429.0
7. ITA 418.0
8. FRA 343.0
9. GER 282.0
10. AUS 279.0
11. CHN 262.0
12. NZL 228.0
13. PUR 218.0
14. ANG 206.0
15. CAN 196.0
16. TUR 194.0
17. BRA 168.0
18. RUS 162.0
19. CRO 125.0
20. SLO 121.0
21. VEN 105.0
22. NGR 101.0
23. ISR 62.0
24. LIB 57.0
25. KOR 52.0

Official Canada Basketball Release

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Tuesday's Thoughts and Articles

The Ottawa Citizen devotes one of its City Editorial comments to CIS basketball and the national tournament's arrival to the City of Ottawa The Drive for Six

The focus of the Nationals now shifts to Ottawa after the tremendous job done by Halifax for the past 24 years. As a review of the articles below with attest, there are varying opinions on how well Ottawa will do with the tournament. My personal opinion is that Carleton has already done a tremendous job positioning this event for success including their solid decision to develop a partnership with the excellent team at Capital Sports and Scotiabank Place. Capital Sports track record is already top notch with their sales and marketing team being the strongest ticket sales channel in the Capital Region. Operationally, as Wayne Kondro reports in today's Ottawa Citizen, they continue to do their homework to ensure that all operational logistics for the tournament next season are properly thought through given the unique circumstances of arena location to downtown. Tickets are already on sale for the event as a pair of quarter-page ads in yesterday's and today's editions of the Citizen have expoused.

The group has already done a tremendous job building profile in the Capital Region where more than 1.1 million people reside (as compared to about 934,000 in all of Nova Scotia ). However, target geographical markets for this tournament will likely also include:

- the "Greater Golden Horseshoe" (population 8,100,000 and a 3 1/2 to 4 hour car ride to Kanata depending upon where you are coming from), which includes Canada's largest city, Toronto, and stretches from the Niagara Penninsula around through to Peterborough, with home to more than one-quarter of Canada's population and 15 CIS basketball programs

- the province of Quebec (population 7,600,000) including CIS-sport-crazy Quebec City with Universite Laval and Canada's second largest city, Montreal, and home to 5 CIS basketball programs. Quebec City is within 3.5 to 4 hours of Kanata and Montreal within 2 hours.

With 16,800,000 million people within 4 hours of the event and basketball one of the fastest growing sports in Canada among youth, achieving an average of 10,000 fans per session (50,000 fans total if there are 5 sessions) represents a miniscule market share of 0.29% (less than one-third of one percent). Strictly as an observer not privy to any of the details of the marketing plan - only having witnessed the Capital Hoops Classic in January, my sense is that 50,000 fans could be achieved strictly with a marketing focus on the Capital Region and Kingston/Belleville augmented by fans travelling with qualifying teams from the other conferences in Canada. With a targeted marketing effort in Quebec and Greater Golden Horseshoe, the potential is almost limitless, especially if there is a view of partnering with other professional sports marketing organizations in Toronto, Hamilton, Quebec City and Montreal among others. Event marketing will bring profile to the Nationals event for the short-term; for a long-term, sustainable product to have profile for many years to come, an infrastructure that includes communicating timely, accurate and consistent information to the market place is also critical. Fans need to be able to have detailed information on all games, players, coaches, events and everything else that makes all games (not just those at the Nationals) a big event throughout the year at their finger tips so momentum builds from Labour Day through March. I have all the confidence in the world that the Nationals in Ottawa will be a resounding success.

Here are some further articles from across the country:

Claude Skilly from the Kingston Whig-Standard presents the Kingston area perspective to the Nationals Doornekamp delivers for Ravens

Wayne Kondro's article in today's Ottawa Citizen describing the work done over the weekend by Capital Sports on location in Halifax to further understand the logistics of holding such a tournament (subscription needed) It's going to be different... Ottawa to utilize lessons learned

Alex J. Walling in the Halifax Daily News puts forth his thoughts on the Nationals Halifax built CIS into a real event

David Larkins blog "The Point After" with some CIS tournament thoughts David Larkins Blog

Don Brennan from the Ottawa Sun describes some of the aftermath of Carleton's victory on Sunday Carleton students stark raven mad ?

Paul Owen from the Gateway on-line on Sunday's championship Ravens take yellow brick road to title

Monday, 19 March 2007

Os goes out in style

Here are a pair of links to Neate Sager's excellent "Out of Left Field" blog with solid stories about the weekend Doornekamp Leads Way, Little Plays Maintain Ravens Winning Ways and his most recent post from earlier today Doornekamp's MVP performance was also for the birds of a different feather

Also, a link to a blog by Globe & Mail columnist James Mirtle with a nice feature on Sunday's game Carleton wins fifth CIS title

Congratulations to Osvaldo Jeanty for delivering on his bold promise of 5 rings in 5 seasons - it is the way he got it done which should be a great lesson for all... competitiveness & hard work combined with humility. His acceptance speech after being named Moser award winner focused on the important support resources in his career including teammates, coaches and administration - very little if at all about himself, his genuine interest in stopping to have consoling words and embraces with his main combatants over his 5 years on Carleton's bitter rivals Ottawa Gee-Gees after Saturday night's semi-final and his generally relaxed, non-threatening and classy way he has carried himself for five years is what makes him such a great ambassador for CIS basketball. Congratulations again - you deserve everything you get.

The Ravens again did it with defense and rebounding plus a pair of late, clutch three-point shots off Carleton's staple pick-and-pop from Aaron Doornekamp. They kept things interesting to the very end however as the Ravens were able to withstand a couple of late free-throw misses, a potential turnover of their own up 2 just before Stu Turnbull went 1 for 2 to ice the game and then benefit from a late Brandon turnover with a chance to tie the game. But great teams usually find ways around adversity and this is a great team.

Once again my experience in Halifax was a great one and there are many people to thank, starting with the fine hospitality provided by folks like Phil Currie, John Keefe and the rest of the organizing committee that made the experience smooth at the Metro Center. Let's hope that we all get to return to Halifax for this event at some point in our lives because they do it right. Getting a chance to watch the majority of the games with Dale Stevens was a treat given how often he's been on press row and the fine work he does with the Canadian University Basketball discussion list and with Mac in general. It is always a treat to run into Ottawa Citizen reporter Wayne Kondro scurrying around putting his detailed stories together, usually just before the deadline. Howard Bloom from did the CIS a tremendous service putting together the web casts that allowed fans from across the country to tune in and view the games live. Thanks to Howard for allowing me the priviledge to call two of the games. president Doug Sutherland and team did a fine job with the logistics including handling technical support and user comments and suggestions. Watching the games beside Bob Adams, who compiles the CIS scores and standings on his site - a tremendous resource - was great. Seeing both Marg McGregor and Peter Metuzals from the CIS and getting a chance to chat was great. It was also tremendous to be able to catch up to the various coaches and officials from across the CIS who have supported this site over the past season, many of who I have known for many years and consider good friends including Mike Katz, Ken Murray, Joe Raso, Chris O'Rourke, Peter Campbell, John Campbell, Craig Norman, Virgil Hill, Dave Smart, Taffe Charles, Jacques Paiement, Ross Quackenbush, Steve Konchalski, Jim Charters, Eddie Pomykala, John Dore, Nathan Schellenberg, John Scobie, Clarence Porter, Jim Kent, James Derouin, Glenn Taylor, Richard Dean, Bill Arden, Bob Bain, Kevin McGuire, Mike Connolly, Craig Beaucamp, Scott Morrison, Andrew Sommerville, Jama Mahlalela, Rick Dilena, David Larkins, Brandon AD Rick Nickelchok, Don Horwood, Rick Suffield, Greg Jockims, Barnaby Craddock, Brad Campbell, James Hillis, Dave Vanhooren, Les Berry, Chris Oliver and of course David DeAveiro who I have watched grow as a coach and person over the last few years.

It has been a pleasure working on this site during the season. From humble beginnings and a focus strictly on the content, we were able to achieve a one day high of 900 visitors on the site this past Friday with an average of about 500 visitors per day during late February and through March. As the Nationals move to Ottawa for the next 3 seasons, we plan to continue our coverage and hope that this site can help provide another channel of information to help our game grow to the level of profile it deserves. Please keep the ideas and comments coming. We plan to continue adding entries when possible throughout the off season.

Wayne Kondro has a couple of strong accounts of yesterday's Carleton win including an article focusing on Osvaldo Jeanty Absolutely the greatest feeling and a detailed account of the game Simply the best Also, an article from this morning's Globe & Mail with files from James Mirtle and quotes from many of Carleton's opponents Ravens make it five in a row

Chad Lucas reports on the Ravens victory Ravens run continues Halifax Chronicle-Herald's article on Carleton's win Ravens win fifth CIS basketball crown Ottawa Sun article with a CP detailed account of the game Ottawa Sun article Toronto Sun article on CIS championship game Ravens Fly to fifth CIS crown Toronto Star also has an article on the game Ravens stifle Bobcats for 5th straight win Carleton's campus newspaper, the Charlatan, has another account of yesterday's game Ravens capture fifth straight national title Kirk Penton from the Winnipeg Sun provides the Brandon perspective on yesterday's game Brandon Heartache

Chris Cochrane from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald provides his take on the fans at this weekend's Nationals Fans made Final 8 a great ride Adam Richardson from the Halifax Daily News on the fans impact on the Nationals CIS has fans to thank for success also Chris Kallan's article highlighting tournament MVP Aaron Doornekamp Doornekamp makes up for lost time Chris Kallan also comments on the last event to be held in Halifax for the foreseeable future Relocation leaves a Metro hoops void

Mary Caton from the Windsor Star provides an account of the championship game Ravens capture 5th straight crown Also, an article summarizing the Lancers experience in Halifax Lancers humble in defeat

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Sunday Afternoon Entry

I have been off line since late last night, travelling home to Carp, ON from Halifax this morning so this entry is a little late. Great time in Halifax and extremely well done again - I will miss Halifax but look forward to today's championship game and also next season's tournament which will take place about 10 minutes from my home.

Carleton was dominant last night as Ottawa did not provide their best effort in the face of the Ravens relentless "d" and well-executed offensive play that creates and finds the best matchups for their array of top talent including Moser winner Osvaldo Jeanty, who carried the day in the first half and Canadian National team probable Aaron Doornekamp who broke out of a small shooting slump to knock in four 3's and help push the lead to the high 20's. Congratulations to Coach Smart and his team and for the Gee-Gees, it was an emotional end to a great season and for 3 very special seniors who I had the pleasure of working with, it didn't end the way they had hoped but Alex McLeod, Curtis Shakespeare and Jermaine Campbell has tremendous careers that have laid the ground work for a solid program in Ottawa.

Also congratulations to Coach Barnaby Craddock and the Brandon Bobcats who I had only been able to watch on film prior to the games in Halifax and many times film does not do teams justice - this is the case for Brandon as they are a complete team from 1 through 8, play great defense and execute offensively at key times. Yul Michel is a top guard who did a wonderful job on St. Mary's Mark McLaughlin yesterday in the semi-final, Dany Charlery got it going in transition and getting to the rim, Chad Jacobsen provided a number of crucial, game-breaking threes from way out at key times and up front Adam Hartman is a very underrated post player who understands how to read opponents and defensive situations. He can score in a variety of ways and tape certainly doesn't do his game justice. Finally, up front, a pair of long, athletic centers in Yuri Whyms and Stevens Marcelins. The most impressive thing about this group is their mental discipline and the excellent chemistry among the players. There is very little talking, very little if any body language, they just play according to the discipline very obviously instilled in them by coach Craddock. It should be a great final.

Here are some newspaper articles from yesterday:

Wayne Kondro reports for the Canwest News group on Brandon's victory Bobcats Advance to CIS basketball final plus Kirk Penton provides the Sun Media perspective on Brandon's win Brandon returns to CIS Final

The Toronto Star reports on Carleton's win over Ottawa Carleton cruises into familiar CIS finals territory Wayne Kondro's report on the Carleton win in this morning's Ottawa Citizen Ravens swoop into finals Carleton's student newspaper, the Charlatan, reports on last night's game Ravens down Gee-Gees, off to defend national title

Halifax Daily News reports on St. Mary's comeback that just fell short against Brandon in the national semi-finals Huskies comeback falls just short Chad Lucas from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports on the Bobcats/Huskies game Bobcats stop Huskies Chad Lucas also provides some Metro Center hoops memories from the past years Metro Center hoops memories

Sun Media's Rob Brodie reports on Ottawa and the 2008 CIS hoops tournament Ottawa feeling CIS hoop-la

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Ottawa vs. Carleton Semi-Final

Carleton 80, Ottawa 58 FINAL The fourth edition of the Canal War turned into a Carleton blitzkrieg as the Ravens built leads as large as 29 with a defensive clinic and unbelievable second half shooting display to move closer to their fifth consecutive CIS championship. Ravens blew the game open with a 12-1 run early in the second half, pushing a 9 point halftime lead to high double digits as the Gee-Gees simply could not get clean looks at the basket with Carleton taking Ottawa out of their offense and Doornekamp, Saunders and Bell all making 3's for the suddenly hot-shooting Ravens. Doornekamp's 3rd three of the half gave Carleton their largest lead at 29. Carleton had earlier extended their lead on the first possession of the second half after a three by Aaron Doornekamp and a pair of layins in close by Kevin McCleery to take a 13 point lead at the first TV time out of the second half.

Halftime Report: 37-29 Carleton; Carleton had their trademark defence and rebounding in high gear plus a healthy dose of Mike Moser Award winner Osvaldo Jeanty on display in the first half, holding the Gee-Gees to 21 points in the final 15 minutes of the half. Jeanty has gone 3 of 6 from 3 point land for a game-high 13 points and made a couple of tough 3's in a signature performance. Ottawa had limited success with their trapping "d" as Carleton generally has beat them. Jeanty is on fire from downtown hitting a deep 3 from the right baseline to offset Willy Manigat's 6 consecutive points that brought Ottawa back from a six point deficit. Ottawa had earlier tied the game at 16 but 3 of 4 free throws by Stu Turnbull followed by a three in transition by Osvaldo Jeanty gave the Ravens a six point lead at 22-16 the third TV timeout. The Gee-Gees just forced Carleton into consecutive shot clock violations ahead of the TV timeout with 11:32 remaining. 6'9" Dax Dessureault knocked in a pair of free throws to curtail a 7-0 Carleton run led by Kevin McCleery five consecutive points. Sean Peter scored Ottawa's first six points and Gee-Gees Josh Gibson-Bascombe finished a slick take to the rim to provide Ottawa with a 4 point lead at the first TV timeout. Os 3 out of the time out followed by Curtis Shakespeare put back to restore a one point Ottawa lead at 10-9. Turnbull shot in the lane followed by 3 point play for Kevin McCleery 14-10 Carleton, 5-0 run. Doubleheader attendance 6,395.

Brandon vs. St. Mary's Semi-Final

Here is a perspective from a Concordia fan We Lost. The End.

For those of you so inclined, here is an interesting link to a site just pointed out to me here on press row The Odds on Tonight's Ottawa vs. Carleton game

Brandon 79, St. Mary's 74 FINAL Brandon survived a furious St. Mary's rally in the final two minutes to capture the first semi-final as the Bobcats could not put the game away on the foul line until the last 13 seconds when, up 3, Dany Charlery knocked in a pair to finally seal the game. The Bobcats took the game over with an early second half run bouyed by Canada West First Team all-star Charlery, who scored all off his 18 points after halftime and Player of the game 6'1" Chad Jacobsen, who went off for four consecutive long 3's, part of his 17 point effort including 5 for 6 from 3 point land. 6'5" Adam Hartman had 16 of his co-game-high 20 points in the first half when Brandon went after the undersized Huskies inside, getting 25 of their 31 first half points from their forward combination of Hartman, 6'9" Yuri Whyms (9 points, 12 rebounds) and 6'8" Stevens Marcelins (4 points, 5 rebounds). The Bobcats advance to tomorrow's championship game against the winner of the Carleton/Ottawa game coming up at 7:30 PM Eastern/8:30 Atlantic. Huskies star guard Mark McLaughlin got it going late, scoring 16 of his 20 after the intermission, while Cordell Wright added 13 points and 5 rebounds for St. Mary's, which received a standing ovation at the end of the game from the partisan crowd of about 7,000.

Other game notes...The game has completely lost its flow in the wake of a plethora of calls. Dany Charlery just converted a pair of free throws to give Brandon a 71-60. Cordell Wright, who has been a spark for the Huskies, just fouled out with 3:12 remaining on a ticky tack fifth foul off the ball, one of many calls at both ends that have left the crowd and both teams shaking their heads. Adam Hartman made one of two. On the very next possession, another questionable call resulted in Adam Hartman's fifth foul as an out of control Clint Bateman leaned in with no obvious contact but Hartman was whistled for the foul. Bateman made 1 for 2, possibly the Huskies last real opportunity to get back in the game as Yul Michel grabbed the rebound and was quickly fouled - but missed both. St. Mary's has outscored the 'Cats 14-8 over the last 6 minutes as Mark McLaughlin made a tough leaner and Ike Uchegbu took it up strong against Yuri Whyms to energize the crowd. Eric Glavic also got to the rim on a nice take around Adam Hartman, who has 4 fouls but the Bobcats remain in control.

Steady point guard Yul Michel interrupted a Huskies run with a driving lay-in and Huskies are showing signs of fatigue, missing on the line. St. Mary's had been on a mini 5-0 run after a steal and lay-in by Eric Glavic forced Brandon into a 20 second time out. Brandon is generally in control and are flashing their athleticism in the open floor, including a nice set for an allyoop dunk by Dany Charlery who has come alive in the second half. St. Mary's is in bonus and going to the line again. Brandon has 10 team fouls with 9:34 remaining.

Chad Jacobsen hit 3 consecutive 3's and already has 4 3's in the half, manufactured in a variety of ways including draw and kicks, in transition and on hand offs, as Brandon is currently on a 12-5 run. His first wide-open 3 off a nice in-bounds play followed by Dany Charlery's first two buckets of the game, the second a sweet spinning take in transition gave the 'Cats a 7-0 run to start the half and their largest lead at that point: 11.

The Bobcats took control about midway through the half as 6'5" Adam Hartman (16 points on 7-9 shooting and 5 rebounds) showed off his fine array of offensive skills leading Brandon on a 12-4 run and a 27-17 lead with 4 minutes left. But the pesky Huskies, who gave up 26 points to the Brandon front line in the half, stayed in the game on the early shooting of 6'6" Clint Bateman (9 points, 3 rebounds) and the late work of 6'3" Cordell Wright (6 points) who had 4 late points including a leaner at the buzzer, capping a 6-0 St. Mary's run to bring the game back to 4 at halftime. St. Mary's appeared to tire midway through the half and settled for perimeter jumpers but later in the half got back to their inside/out game offensively, getting 6'5" Ike Uchegbu more involved. Canada West Defensive Player-of-the-year Yul Michel has done an excellent job on Huskies Mark McLaughlin, limiting his catches in comfortable spots and keeping him in check off the dribble, although McLaughlin (4 points on 2-4 shooting, 3 turnovers) did have a sweet assist on a drop off to post Eric Glavic (4 points) to bring St. Mary's back and ignite a big crowd that is estimated to be in the 6,000 range thus far. 6'9" Yuri Whyms had 8 early points and added 8 rebounds in the half as the Cats outrebounded St. Mary's 25-11 including 8 second chances and holding the Huskies to zero offensive rebounds. Still, St. Mary's has stayed in the game playing scrappy, opportunistic ball, energized by the crowd.

In earlier games played today in the consolation round, Concordia got 25 points from Patrick Perrotte and 10 pts. 11 rbs. from Jamal Gallier to route Windsor 79-62 while UBC slammed Acadia 83-69 with Casey Archibald going for 28 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Previews of Today's Games

Brandon vs. St. Mary's As always, the Huskies need to control the tempo with solid point guard Mark Ross, who has played every minute of every game in the post season, covering four games including overtime in the AUS tournament final. St.Mary's star guard Mark McLaughlin showed the country that he can compete and succeed against the top defenders in the CIS with a superlative showing against Concordia's array of athletes and expect Brandon Head Coach to throw multiple defenders and multiple looks at the Huskies prime offensive threat. The ability of Cordell Wright, Clint Bateman and Ross to make shots off draw and kicks, if indeed the Cats decide to send double teams at McLaughlin, will be key. The Huskies have survived foul trouble for the most part in the post-season including yesterday when Bateman was saddled with two questionable fouls including one in the first 3 seconds when absolutely no advantage was gained by an inadvertent bump. (That said, the officials yesterday did a great job for the most part, generally letting teams play and sensibly deploying the "no call" in many instances when it was very appropriate.) With a favorable matchup yesterday afternoon against Concordia, Ike Uchegbu was a key cog to run the offense through for St. Mary's. Tonight, against 6'9" Yuri Whyms and 6'7" Stevens Marcelins, Uchegbu faces probably a more formidable pair of opponents, especially on offense when he'll likely have to face up more - Uchegbu's much more comfortable scoring with his back to the basket and putting misses back. The 6'6" Bateman could be the wild card as long as he stays out of foul trouble because of his ability to step out and knock shots down - he could be Brandon's toughest matchup tonight. The Bobcats will likely look to isolate their tremendous slashing wing, Dany Charlery on the perimeter. Point guard Yul Michel will need to make shots as Huskies pg Ross has proven he can keep more athletic defenders in front of him the entire post season. Bobcats Chad Jacobsen stepped up at a key moment in yesterday's game against Windsor when Charlery went to the bench, scoring 5 straight points as the Cats took the game over early in the second half. Michel's ability to draw help and find Jacobsen for open looks will be a key. Look for Cordell Wright to have to play a role defensively, likely working on Charlery, while expect Whyms to try to take advantage of his size advantage inside. 6'5" Adam Hartman plays a very cerebral game, reading his check very well and his matchup with Bateman will be interesting. Here's a layman's view of the potential matchups of the starters tonight. michel - ross; jacobsen - mclaughlin; charlery - wright; hartman - bateman; whyms - uchegbu

Bottom Line: If Brandon can push the tempo defensively and use their bench to wear the Huskies down, the Cats could romp, but St.Mary's has been written off before and McLaughlin and Co are on a tear. Expect a large, boisterous crowd that will provide energy for the hometown Huskies to feed off of and another methodical, close game.

Carleton vs. Ottawa As most already know, this will be the fourth meeting of the season between these bitter rivals and it will be played in the fourth different venue. Both teams have had the advantage of playing in a large arena with the different shooting sight lines prior to coming to Halifax after their game at Scotiabank Place in January and their games yesterday. The Gee-Gees especially, showed no effects in the new environs, shooting a solid 11-24 (45.8%) from 3 in yesterday's win vs. UBC. There already has been enough tape watched between the 2 coaching staffs to humble Captain Video Roger Neilson so there isn't much more these teams can learn about each other nor is there alot of time to put in anything new so I believe the game will come down to how the big stars on both teams perform on this stage. The exploits of 6'2" Osvaldo Jeanty in big moments over the course of his career have been well chronicled and 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe, when he looks for his offense, is a very difficult check for anyone and has already led the Gee-Gees twice in this series. The Ravens also have 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp, who potentially is tonight's X-factor. When he's knocking shots down, posting up favorable matchups and finding people out of double teams, Carleton is nearly impossible to beat. 6'5" Jermaine Campbell returned to earlier season form with a dominating second half effort against UBC and his ability to hit perimeter shots and have the offense go inside/out through him and 6'5" Curtis Shakespeare will be key. 5'11" Alex McLeod has had big games in this series and expect him to make big shots when getting a good look at the rim. 6'4" Ryan Bell made probably the biggest shot in Carleton's win in the playoff meeting, a late 3 in rhythm to give the Ravens the lead and Bell's lock-up "d" could be complemented by a solid shooting game. Gee-Gees need more from 6'3" Sean Peter who generally struggled yesterday but stayed with it at the end, grabbing a huge offensive rebound and converting a backdoor layup off a solid set to help clinch the win. He usually is tasked with guard 6'3" Stu Turnbull, who has been picking his spots taking Peter off the dribble on ball reversals. 6'3" Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie had likely his best Ottawa game in his career last time. Matchups tend to go out the window in these games as each coach makes adjustments almost from possession to possession - Ryan Bell, Rob Saunders, Jeanty guarding Gibson-Bascombe; G-B, McLeod, others guarding Os.

Bottom Line: The ability of each team to guard the ball and limit the draw and kick opportunities may decide this game. Expect another classic game in the 60's that goes down to the wire and hopefully will be decided by the players on the floor.

The Carleton student newspaper, the Charlatan, has a prompt report on-line this morning summarizing last night's win and previewing tonight's Carleton/Ottawa win Ravens cut Axemen down to size, face Gee Gees tomorrow uOttawa's official web site just posted a game report from last night Gee-Gees advanced to semi-final

Saturday Morning in Halifax

The City of Halifax's unpredictable March weather threw many of us for a bit of a loop as freezing rain hit the downtown core making driving (and walking the hills) a bit of a challenge. The unpredictability hit the Metro Center as well as each of the 4 league champions were defeated yesterday and last night including #1 seeded Concordia and #2 UBC, setting up a pair of very interesting semi-finals this evening including the hometown St. Mary's Huskies tangling with Brandon and the fourth and final meeting of the season between the bitter National Capital rivals Carleton and Ottawa.

Once again, I remember why I love coming to this event so much and why the many years I've been in Halifax for the Nationals has helped shape my obvious addiction to CIS basketball. The event has always been first class in my opinion, beginning with Executive Director Phil Currie's leadership, John Keefe's tremendous work as the Communications person and the many other personalities involved in the game including Bob Adams, Dale Stevens and the many coaches and fans out here. Although I am excited that the next 3 tournaments will be held within 10 minutes of my home in Carp, Ontario, I will miss getting off the airplane, smelling the ocean and fog and then filing into a cab to talk CIS hoops with the cabbie for 45 minutes (which happens EVERY year) on the way into downtown. Halifax can truly make the claim as "Canada's basketball capital" since the game is ingrained in the culture of the people in Atlantic Canada and Halifax and my sincere thanks goes out to the people here for the great memories... and still two days to go !!!

I was fortunate enough to be able to call a pair of games on the web cast yesterday and I had two tremendous partners in Scott Morrison, Head Coach of Lakehead, for the Brandon/Windsor game in which the Bobcats took the game over late in the first half against a Windsor team experiencing their first taste of this tournament. Barnaby Craddock had his team prepared, especially mentally, because at the key point of the game, with Dany Charlery on the bench with 4 fouls early in the second half and Windsor already in bonus, had his team run tremendous offensive sets to get great looks as Brandon showed wonderful discipline and pulled away under the most adverse circumstances. It was a ton of fun working with Scott. I also was fortunate to work with Mike Katz on the Carleton/Acadia webcast and unfortunately for the home side, the Axemen did not put forth their best game as the Ravens dominated from start to finish. Coach Katz first was introduced to me in the late 70's when I was a fledgeling baller at Chaminade College School in Toronto and we were asked to play a non-league game at George Harvey C.I. against one of Mike's first teams. Mike introduced me to my first real look at a game adjustment as one of our guys made his first 6 or 7 shots by the middle of the second quarter (ok it was me who made all those shots) and Coach Katz at that time put his best defender (former Mac Marauder Maurice Armstrong) on me and I rarely got a solid look the rest of the game thereafter. It has been a pleasure watching Mike mentor my good friend Dave DeAveiro and I have learned a tremendous amount about the game myself from watching and talking basketball with Mike over the years. It was a great honour to work the game last night with one of Canada's most successful coaches of all time. As well, much thanks to Dale Stevens, the tireless CIS basketball supporter who helped make everything run smoothly, Wayne Kondro, who, with all due respect to the multiple other reporters covering the game, in my opinion is without a doubt the leading CIS basketball journalist in the country - he proves it every year - Howard Bloom, who has the energy and initiative basketball in this country needs to increase the profile of the sport to where it belongs, and Bob Adams, who patiently put up with my table banging during one of the games involving one of the team's from Ottawa, compromising some unwritten rules around press row. What I learned is that I am a fan of the game first and, not being trained as a journalist, it is difficult to put old loyalties behind me easily, which to be completely objective, you must. Hopefully this site is as objective as it can be given my lack of formal training in the nuances of "reporting".

Other thoughts from Day One... Mark McLaughlin is the real deal. Dwayne Buckley can guard people, make no mistake about it, but McLaughlin was tremendous taking Buckley (and other Concordia defenders) off the bounce in yesterday's St. Mary's upset, shaking Buckley many times and either pulling up for fundamentally-sound, mid-range jumpers, getting to the rim or kicking out. Ike Uchegu was also very good although he didn't shoot a high percentage, he got himself down low with great positioning and the Huskies were able to play inside/out for the majority of the afternoon. I also thought that once again Ross Quackenbush proved he is one of Canada's top and most underrated coaches - Ross has this relaxed way about him in person and on the phone - but deep down he competes and this season is another testament to his ability to prepare and motivate his kids - the Huskies probably got the short end of the stick with calls down the stretch - to move into Saturday's semi-final. The Gee-Gees (for those who don't know, I was an assistant coach with the Gee-Gees last season and a part of the program since DeAveiro took it over 6 seasons ago and prior to that an assistant with Dave under Jack Eisenmann when we made the Final Four in '92-'93 losing to X in Coach Konchalski's first national championship) again made life interesting for their fans with 11 second-half points left on the free throw line, several unforced turnovers, a few missed layups and by far the best individual effort of the tournament thus far from 6'4" Casey Archibald who showed why he was First Team All-Canadian. But in the end, Ottawa ran solid stuff down the stretch, highlighted by a pair of great looks by 6'9" Dax Dessureault, some big shots from 6'5" Curtis Shakespeare, a great second half and first big game in a couple of months from 6'5" Jermaine Campbell and another All-Canadian-like effort from 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe. And when the Gee-Gees needed stops down the stretch, they got them, holding the T-Birds scoreless for at least 4 straight key possessions, although it hurt UBC that Archibald had to leave the game briefly after cramping up severely - he had authored at least 3 long-range facials - NBA 3's - in the mouths of Donnie Gibson, Sean Peter and then Gibson-Bascombe, to keep UBC within striking distance. Tremendous effort by the T-Birds and Gee-Gees. We look forward to another great day of balling today here in icy Halifax. Stay tuned for the usual coast-to-coast look at what made news in CIS men's basketball over the past 24 hours.

Chris Kallan's article on St. Mary's win appearing in this morning's Halifax Daily News Huskies Stun Stingers in nailbiter ... also, Chad Lucas from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald gets front page coverage of St. Mary's win over Concordia including a great shot of an elated Mark McLaughlin after the game SMU Stings Concordia Finally, the aforementioned Wayne Kondro's report on St. Mary's upset win over Concordia Concordia knocked from the top

Windsor Lancers and Mary Caton got front page coverage in this morning's Windsor Star after yesterday's loss to Brandon Hope shifts to next year

The Halifax Daily News reports on Ottawa's upset win over #2 UBC Gee-Gees provide second upset of the day also, Wayne Kondro's report on Ottawa's victory over UBC Gee-Gees steal the Thunder Howard Tsumura from the Vancouver Province provides the UBC angle to yesterday's upset loss to #7 Ottawa Fourth time still unlucky for T-Birds Tsumura also did a nice interview with T-Birds star Casey Archibald Q & A with Casey Archibald

Canadian Press article from yesterday's action that appeared in the Ottawa Sun and a number of other dailies this morning Gee-Gees, Ravens have CIS semi date Chris Kallan also reviews Acadia's loss to Carleton, the largest margin in 44 years of the tournament Defending Champs Dominate Axemen Chad Lucas' article on Carleton's domination of Acadia Ravens Hammer Axemen Wayne Kondro's look at last night's Carleton win in the Ottawa Citizen, done as Wayne properly points out, with defense The Canal War is ON

James Mirtle's nice, nostalgic article about the volunteers over the past 24 years who have made the Halifax-based Nationals such a wonderful event throughout the years Halifax volunteers bid adieu to their own March Madness

Neate Sager provides his thoughts on tonight's semi-finals in his excellent blog "Out of Left Field" Tonight's the night... for the real final also David Larkins from the Brandon Sun offers his thoughts on Day One on his "The Point After" blog The Point After-Day 1

Adam Richardson from the Halifax Daily News touches on the lack of a bronze medal game at the CIS Nationals No Third Place in this tourney

Adam Richardson from the Halifax Daily News also has a report on the volunteers at the tournament Volunteering a labour of love

Chris Cochrane from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald discusses the possibilities of the nationals returning to Halifax at some point and the emotion the organizing committee will feel on Sunday at tournament's end No guarantee tournament will ever return

Toronto Star article on yesterday's games Concordia bounced

Finally, the CIS Final 8 web site provides a comprehensive look at the tournament including game stories, stats, photos, schedules and everything you need to know about the tournament Official Final 8 web site as well here is a link to the CIS web site for men's basketball CIS Site

As well, here are a couple of links to articles on the Nationals Day 1 Predictions from Joe Scanlon plus Day 1 from the Nationals

Friday, 16 March 2007

Friday Night's Quarter-Final Action from the Final 8

Game 4: Carleton 86, Acadia 38, FINAL SCORE The Canal War, Part IV, is now set, as the Carleton Ravens were never threatened, pounding the defenseless Acadia Axemen; the 4-time defending CIS Champs will tangle with their cross-town rivals, the Ottawa Gee Gees, in Saturday's second Championship Semi-Final; the Gee Gees have won two of the three earlier meetings this season, but this is the Nationals, and this is Carleton, so look for a classic match-up; with Ottawa knowing the Ravens better than anyone, it might indeed be the toughest obstacle Carleton has faced in the last 5 years at the Metro Centre ... Carleton's in a different league than their AUS counterparts, able to impose their will offensively; look for Coach Dave Smart to give his bench lots of minutes down the stretch, resting his starters for Saturday's semi-final ... The energy was short-lived, as the defending champs regained control, opening their biggest lead of the night ... 5 straight points by the Axemen brought a bit of life to the Metro Centre ... In what must have been Les Berry's nightmare, Carleton totally dominated the opening 20 minutes; Acadia could get nothing going offensively, and weren't much better on the defensive end; Berry has quite a task in front of him, as the teams head to the locker room ... An intentional technical foul on Lual, his 3rd personal of the half, sends the Ravens to the line; Acadia seems totally disorganized at the moment ... It's all Carleton, as a 10-0 run has allowed them to pull away; Acadia is in danger of getting blown out, and needs to start generating some offensive very soon ... With the Axemen being on the wrong end of a number of controversial calls, the Ravens have begun to pull away; what has raised the ire of Coach Les Berry the most is 5-6 travelling violations that were not called; Acadia needs to stay composed, as Berry signals for a time-out ... With Carleton leading 13-6, freshman guard Mike Kenny was whistled for a flagrant foul, sending Achuil Lual to the charity stripe ... After spotting Acadia the first basket, Mike Moser Award winner Oz Jeanty knocked down a shot from beyond the arc, igniting a 9-0 Raven run ... Dale Stevens back at the keyboard, as Mark steps behind the mike once again for the videowebcast. The Metro Centre is ready for the final game of the evening, as the 4-time defending champion, and 3rd seeded Carleton University Ravens tip off against the AUS Champions, the 6th seeded Acadia University Axemen. The joint is rockin', with about 4,000-5,000 loud fans in attendance. Carleton has their supporters, but for the most part, as expected, it's a pro-Acadia gathering. It's a tough atmosphere for the Ravens, but one they have faced a lot in their 4 year run. Tip-off to come.

Ottawa 92, UBC 85 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe went 5-7 from three point land for a team-high 23 points offsetting a tremendous effort by Canada West MVP Casey Archibald as the Gee-Gees advanced to tomorrow night's championship semi-final by defeating the #2 seed T-Birds. With score tied at 55 early in the second half, the Gee-Gees went on a 15-2 run led by Gibson-Bascombe and 6'5" fifth-year forward Jermaine Campbell (20 points including 14 in the second half) to break the game open. The T-Birds, behind the play of the incomparable Archibald (32 points on 13-15 shooting including 5-6 from 3), cut the deficit to 1 at 72-71 but the Gee-Gees pulled away as 6'5" Curtis Shakespeare (12 points, 6 boards) had 4 consecutive points including a tough turnaround on the left block to restore a comfortable Ottawa cushion. Archibald made several unbelievable takes to the rim and hit at least 3 NBA 3's in Gee-Gees faces but Ottawa survived with solid sets in the quarter court and tough "d" in the last 3 minutes, holding the T-Birds without a field goal on 4 straight possessions.

Here is a running commentary on the game... UBC fouling early putting Jermaine Campbell on the line for 2 shots who misses but Sean Peter grabs a big "o" board and UBC fouls Gibson-Bascombe for Bryson Kool's 5th foul. Shakespeare 4 straight points including a tough turnaround. Gibson-Bascombe hit another clutch 3; Ottawa has the ball up 4 with 3:20 remaining. Casey Archibald just went on a personal 5-0 run highlighted by a long 3 but Archibald appears to be cramping up. Alex McLeod just made a big 3 point play off an in bound play. Casey Archibald is singlehandidly keeping UBC in the game with great takes and just now a long 3 right in Gibson-Bascombe's mouth. In a game of runs, the Gee-Gees went off on a 15-2 run as Donnie Gibson hit a 3 and Willy Manigat hit a breakaway layin, Ottawa scored the last 10 points. Josh Gibson-Bascombe and Jermaine Campbell have led the Gee-Gees in the first 9 minutes as Campbell came alive inside and his three pointer from the left wing gave the Gee-Gees a 65-57 lead. The difference has been Gibson-Bascombe has been on the floor for the entire second half. 5 straight points but Archibald's long 3 gave UBC the lead back. Then Campbell had a conventional three-point play. Josh killer cross-over and then steal and layin by Jermaine Campbell restored Ottawa's lead to 4.

UBC closed the half on a 25-9 run with Gee-Gees star guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe on the bench with 2 fouls and also nursing a suspected re-injuring of his ankle. The Gee-Gees had a comfortable 28-14 lead and UBC coach Kevin Hansen reverted to a zone which turned the momentum around as Ottawa had several unforced turnovers. Adam Freisen's 3 from the right wing gave UBC the lead for the first time with under a minute to play and Casey Archibald's runner at the buzzer put the T-Birds on top going into halftime. Gibson-Bascombe had 10 points including 3-4 from 3 in only 9 minutes of play while Casey Archibald had 10 for the T-Birds. Both teams turned the ball over 11 times and there were 22 fouls called in a very aggressive game. However, the Birds, who had 6 turnovers in the first 6 minutes and 9 mid-way through the half, started taking better care of the ball while the Gee-Gees, especially their second unit looked rattled. Ottawa did a solid job on the defensive glass and had 10 offensive rebounds but shot only 34% as opposed to UBC's 52% for the half.

Jason Birring's 3 from the top of the bowl brought UBC back to 32-30 with a 7-0 run. UBC's zone created a number of Ottawa turnovers, many unforced as the Gee-Gees squandered an early 14 point lead at 28-14. Jermaine Campbell, now saddled with 3 fouls, had broken an earlier UBC run with a pair of free throws. Both Josh Gibson-Bascombe and Curtis Shakespeare are on the bench with 2 fouls. Ottawa missed at least 3 wide-open layups that helped bring the momentum back in the T-Birds favour. UBC used a zone to get back into the game and draw back to within 5 but back-to-back 3's by Josh Gibson-Bascombe restored an 11 point Ottawa lead. After Willy Manigat hit a long 3 from the left side, the Gee-Gees were on a 9-0 run themselves to lead by 14. Campbell 3 from left wing gives Ottawa an early 3-2 lead. Ottawa doubling all ball screens and creating turnovers 5-2 after a Curtis Shakespeare put back and two Sean Peter free throws. Shakespeare's offensive rebound and an Alex McLeod 3 gives Ottawa an 11-0 run. McLeod's second 3 gives Ottawa a 14-2 lead. Josh Gibson-Bascombe 3 17-2. UBC has already turned it over 6 times. Alex McLeod has 8 early points. UBC on a 7-0 run as Ottawa's shot selection poor and the T-Birds have dealt with Gee-Gees double teams much more intelligently.

Friday Afternoon's Action Live from the Metro Center

For game two, Dale Stevens will be pinch hitting with his analysis and game reporting skills.

Game Two: #4 Brandon vs. #5 Windsor FINAL SCORE: BRANDON 81 WINDSOR 64 ... the Bobcats advance to Saturday's first Championship Semi-Final, where they will face the upstart St. Mary's Huskies ... the difference in the game was a non-existent Lancer offense down the strech ... the Lancers hit only two field goals in the final 10:39 of the game, and those were a pair of lay-ups in the final minute ... Brandon has the game well in control, as the Lancers have no offensive flow; the Bobcats are taking the air out of the ball on offense; 77-59, three minutes on the clock; Windsor hasn't scored in 8 minutes, as Brandon has scored the last 11 points ... Neither team can buy a bucket at the moment, but that benefits the Bobcats, as time continues to tick off the clock; they lead 73-59, 4:38 to play ... Windsor needs to go on a run, as they have gone stone cold from the field of late; they will try to use defense to kick-start their offense ... It's Jacobson again from beyond the arc, 71-59 Bobcats ... Chad Jacobson hits a prayer while being fouled, but misses the chance for the conventional 3-point play; 68-59 Brandon, with 8 minutes left ... Steer hits another much needed basket, this time a three-pointer, just as Brandon started to pull away; a foul on the subsequent possession puts Steer at the line, and his resulting free throws draw the Lancers to within 7, 66-59, 10:39 on the clock ... Ryan Steer gives Windsor a much needed hoop, cutting the margin to 61-52 ... Rich Allin's 4th personal foul forces him to the bench with 13:30 to play, Brandon up 57-50 ... Five minutes into the half, the Bobcats pick up their 5th personal foul ... Brandon opens their biggeset lead of the game, 6 points, 51-45, early in the second half ... Greg Surmacz led all scorers in the first half, tallying 12 points, while Dany Charlery had 11 points for Brandon ... AT THE HALF, BRANDON 40 WINDSOR 38 ... Jacobson hits another shot from beyond the arc, to give Brandon a lead, 37-36 ... The Canada West runners-up need to go on a run of their own, and they do, scoring 6 straight points; they're back in it, 31-28, with just under 4 minutes left in the half ... Following a Bobcat hoop, the Lancers score 4 straight points, opening their largest lead, 31-22 ... A 7-0 run puts Windsor up 27-20, with just over 5 minutes remaining ... Greg Surmacz is controlling the defensive glass for the OUA West champs ... Chad Jacobson knocked down a long "3" for the Bobcats, but Windsor led 23-20, 7:56 left in the opening 20 minutes ... Stevens Marcelin picks up an early technical foul for Brandon, the Lancers lead 13-10, 12:40 remaining in the first half ... The Bobcats grab their first lead, 9-8, but Rich Allin answers, and Windsor is back on top ... Neither team able to muster much offense in the early going, as Windsor leads 4-2, three minutes in ...We're underway, with the Bobcats donning new uniforms for the game (which necessitated a bunch of number changes) ... Hello everyone, Dale Stevens here, filling, in for Mark Wacyk during this game, while Mark puts on the headset to provide the play-by-play for the videowebcast of the game. I'll try to do my best in a pinch-hitting role. My analysis won't match the skill Mark brings, but I'll hopefully be able to keep you updated on this game. It's #4 Brandon vs. #5 Windsor. Brandon, perennial visitors to Halifax, were ranked #1 in the country down the stretch, before falling in the Canada West Final 4. Windsor, champions of the OUA West, make their first trip to the Nationals in over 25 years, and hence, their first trip to Halifax. That said, this is a very good, and very well coached Windsor squad, so look for them to show well. The game features a match-up of two of the best young coaches in the country, as Windsor's Chris Oliver faces Brandon's Barnaby Craddock. Both bench bosses are in their 2nd year, and both captured conference Coach of the Year honours in 2006/2007.

Game One: St.Mary's 63, Concordia 62 FINAL Mark McLaughlin made 1-2 free throws with 3 seconds remaining to give the hometown Huskies a huge upset win over #1 seeded Concordia. McLaughlin, who had his way off the dribble all afternoon against Concordia's guards, spun the lane and was fouled going up and made no mistake on his second free throw as the Huskies and their fans went into a frenzy. Dwayne Buckley's dramatic 3 with several defenders in his face had tied the game but Huskies cleared out for McLaughlin who spun and then got fouled with 3 seconds left. The Huskies were able to keep the game at their pace primarily on the tremendous work of point guard Mark Ross, a steady, solid floor leader who once again played all 40 minutes without a turnover. Some quick final game stats from the first match-up: McLaughlin led all scorers with 24 points; Ike Uchegbu had an 11point, 12 rebound double-double for the Huskies; Clint Bateman, knocked down 3 three-pointers, finishing with 11 points; Damian Buckley and Dwayne Buckley tallied 11 points apiece for the Stingers, who strugged to a 6-for-13 mark from the free throw line. A more detailed report will follow... game tracking a la below.

Perrotte throws the ball away to Glavic who is fouled for 2 shots with 35.1 seconds left and makes 1-2 to give SMU a 3 point lead. Another poor call on a ball rolling out of bounds after Uchegbu's emphatic block of a Perrotte layup gave the Stingers the ball with 39.9 seconds left and 23 on the shot clock, Stingers down 2. St. Mary's ball with 1:53 remaining up one. Gallier lay-in gave ConU a two point lead but then McLaughlin's driving lay-up gave SMU the lead back. Bateman's 3rd 3 on a pretty draw and kick from underrated and steady-as-a-rock pg Mark Ross gave Huskies a 56-54 lead with 5 minutes left and got the crowd into it. Mike Poole just knocked down a big 3 off a pretty feed from McLaughlin after Stngers had taken their largest lead at 4. Patrick Perrotte's tip-in of a Jamal Gallier miss gave the Stingers a two point lead in a very entertaining and competitive affair. A downright awful call against Clint Bateman on Perrotte when the defender was there saddled Bateman with his 4 foul with 11 minutes left - enter super sub Eric Glavic. Sormonte 3's tied it with 10 minutes to play. Dwayne Buckley gave Conc a two point lead with the Stingers first transition layup of the game and then Andre Johnny stole the ball and had an uncontested layup to stretch Stingers lead to 4 before McLaughlin brought SMU back to within 2 with a driving layup. Bateman's third early in the second half on a reach around 1 1/2 minutes in. Dwayne Buckley tip-in tied the game with 17:20 left; Stingers with 3 team fouls already. Buckley 15 footer gave Stingers their first lead since early in the first half but Ike ties it 35 all with 16 minutes to play. Halftime stats: Sormonte, Buckley and Perrotte together went only 5 for 17; as a team the Stingers shot only 38.7% after scorching Laval for about 55% last week. 8 different Stingers scored led by Levi Vann and Patrick Perrotte with 6 apiece. The Stingers turned it over 9 times. St. Mary's shot only 36.4% themselves but limited their turnovers to 4 as steady point guard Mark Ross who again was air tight in playing all 20 minutes. McLaughlin led all scorers with 12 points on 6-13 shooting. Ike Uchegu had 7 points, 6 rebounds and Cordell Wright went 2-10 from 3 en route to 7 points.Concordia putting pressure on the ball throughout and doubling in the half court forcing an early St. Mary's timeout; Dwayne Buckley's 15 footer gave the Stingers an early 2-0 lead with 1 1/2 minutes but Cordell Wright's 3 gave Huskies the lead. Sormonte 3 from left pocket. Bateman 3 6-5 SMU. A very questionable call against Clint Bateman, the second poor call against him, saddled him with his second foul with only 4 1/2 minutes gone and SMU up 8-5. Johnny 3 from left wing 8-8. 8 fouls after 5 1/2 minutes - officials are having a tough time. 5-0 run by SMU including Wright's 2nd 3 gives SMU the lead but Perrotte nice slashing move. With 10:18 to play, a 9-4 SMU run culminated in a put-back by freshman Mike Poole, off the bench for foul-plagued Bateman, gave the Huskies a 17-14 lead. Game is being played at Concordia's pace but SMU is holding their own. Levi Vann 3 from the left wing off a draw and kick from Damian Buckley brought the Stingers back to within 1 but McLaughlin knocked down a tough jumper off the dribble with Sormonte in his face to give the Huskies a 20-17 lead. Referees have settled down and are letting the teams play. Levi Vann 3, his second of the half off the bench, tied the score 22 with just under 6 minutes to play. 25-25 after a tough baseline jumper by McLaughlin who is keeping Huskies in the game with Bateman on the bench by continually taking Stingers Dwayne Buckley off the bounce and making tough shots. Concordia has also chosen to play behind Ike Uchegbu, allowing many solid looks inside. 31-29 SMU at halftime.

Just getting geared up for Game One between St. Mary's and Concordia and got a late note from Windsor superfan Cam La Civita regarding Windsor's previous championships... here is a note from Cam ... Please confirm with your readers the numerous articles written recently about the Lancers and their championship record... Windsor won 5 out of the first 7 titles (many notes had 4 of the first 7). The Assumption Lancers and the Windsor Lancers were one and the same team. Please clarify this on your website once and for all.

Day One of the Nationals

Articles of note from this morning:

Chad Lucas of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports on the transformation of the Acadia Axemen program under coach Les Berry in this morning's edition. The Axemen will meet four-time defending champions Carleton Ravens in tonight's four quarter-final game at 8 PM Atlantic Les is More Also, Chris Kallan of the Halifax Daily News offers another story on the second-year Axemen and their young head coach I'm Extremely Proud of my guys

Chad Lucas from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports on Windsor's first appearance ever in Halifax Lancers Make First Appearance at Metro Center

Doug Smith from the Toronto Star, the Raptors beat writer, has a nice article about the CIS with quotes from Canada Basketball's National team head coach Leo Rautins Ravens can cause flap with 5th title

Wayne Kondro's article in this morning's Ottawa Citizen and picked up by other newspapers in the Canwest Media family on chasing Carleton again Hunting for Ravens resumes at nationals

Rob Brodie from the Ottawa Sun discusses this weekend's tournament with both Ottawa-based coaches in a comprehensive article this morning GG's hoping to end Ravens hoops run

Carleton's student newspaper, the Charlatan, explores the possibilities of a new format at the Nationals. Expect the dialogue to continue as many within CIS circles are in favour of expanding the tournament to a 16 team affair Basketball championship format under fire

The Charlatan reviews Raven high and lows from this past season Raven Highs and Lows also, a tournament preview from the Carleton campus newspaper The Final 8: Sizing up the competition

Mary Caton from the Windsor Star reports on the Lancers first game at the Final 8 today against former #1 ranked Brandon Bobcats which goes at 3 PM Atlantic (2 PM Eastern time) - with the added bonus of play-by-play coverage via webcast from your's truly and colour commentary from Scott Morrison, Lakehead's Head Coach Lancers set for big test

Randy Phillips from the Montreal Gazette highlights the selection to the All-Canadian first team of Stingers forward Patrick Perrotte and previews Concordia's chances in the tournament in this morning's edition Perrotte named All-Canadian Also, the Gazette reports on Dawson College Blues and their recent win at the CCAA Nationals, defeating Douglas College of B.C. in the championship game - congratulations to Coach Wayne Yearwood and team on the big win Dawson Celebrates men's basketball crown

Larry Moko from the Hamilton Spectator honours McMaster's Martin Ajayi with a nice tribute article after Ajayi was named CIS Defensive Player-of-the-Year yesterday during the major awards announcements His best defense is offense

Hugh Townsend from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald with another nice piece on one of the numerous volunteers here in Halifax that have made this tournament run so well over the last couple of decades plus Halifax's volunteer sector amazes Neal Alderson

Chris Cochrane from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald provides some financial numbers and quotes from tournament Executive Director Phil Currie among other things in his column this morning No guarantee the Final 8 will ever return

The Toronto Star's Chris Zelkovich provides his opinions about television and the Final 8 tournament with quotes from Peter Metuzals from the CIS Toronto Star article on Final 8 television coverage

Rob Brodie from Sun Media Group talks about the webcasting coverage put together by Howard Bloom & Co. augmenting coverage of this weekend's Final 8 Canada gets a touch of madness

Jennifer Stewart provides readers with a 24 year history of the CIS Nationals in Halifax in a report in this morning's Halifax Chronicle-Herald with quotes from St. Mary's Head Coach Ross Quackenbush among others Final 8 Halifax tradition like no other Also, Chris Kallan of the Halifax Daily News provides the thoughts of honorary chairman Mickey Fox among others in this tribute on the 24 year run of the CIS Nationals in Halifax End of an era

JEANTY NAMED PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR Osvaldo Jeanty of Carleton is the repeat winner of the Mike Moser Award for CIS top player... Michael Grange from the Globe & Mail provides an excellent insight into how Jeanty made himself into the top player in the CIS Jeanty excels when stakes are highest Also, Chad Lucas from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald provides his insights on Os and the award Jeanty named player of the year again

Thursday, 15 March 2007

CIS Final 8 Quarter-Final Previews + All-Canadian Announcements

The CIS released its annual list of major award winners and All-Canadians earlier today. See below for CISHOOPS.CA's predictions as well. The announcement about the major award winners can be found by clicking here

Articles from this morning's newspapers across the country:

Neate Sager's most recent piece on "Out in Left Field" blog centers on the young coaches entering the CIS in recent years Transition Game Among Coaches

David Larkins from Brandon Sun's blog "The Point After" has some thoughts from Halifax Beginning of the End

Mary Caton of the Windsor Star provides a look at the Lancers point guard Corey Boswell, a defensive specialist from Detroit Boswell Adds Depth, Energy

William Houston of the Globe & Mail provides a view of March Madness on both sides of the border and shows that viewership numbers are closer than one might immediately think Score Catches Serious Case of March Madness

Wayne Kondro has the scoop on tonight's Mike Moser Award winner and for only the sixth time in the history of Canadian university basketball, there will be a repeat winner Ravens star Canada's best a second time: Jeanty to receive Moser Award

The, Quebec's largest English weekly newspaper has a nice piece of N.D.G. residents who play for the Concordia Stingers Stingers one of Canada's best

Article in Toronto Star about high schooler Andrew Nicholson in which he pays tribute to Canadian universities and the education system Professor on Hardwood

Quarter-Final #1: No. 1 Concordia (22-2) vs. No. 8 St.Mary's (16-17) Expect this game to be a stark contrast in styles as the deeper, more athletic Stingers, who generally look to push the tempo at every turn meet the upstart Huskies, who have been getting it done with a short bench and deliberate, turnover-limiting pace. The Stingers backcourt allows them to push up on the ball and push the ball in transition as 6'1" sophomore Damian Buckley (pictured) ordinarily goes coast to coast to get to the rim or find open shooters in transition while older brother 6'3" third-year Dwayne Buckley checks the opponent's top scorer and can finish on the break. Laval had some success when limiting transition and forcing the Stingers to run half-court offense but then 6'1" fifth-year post Patrick Perrotte, the "Q"'s MVP gets more involved, usually successfully. St. Mary's will have to stay home on 6'3" fifth-year sharp-shooter Ben Sormonte, who lit up Laval, going 7 for 8 from 3 point land, but can also get to the rim to keep close outs honest. 6'7" Jamal Gallier provides strength and rebounding up front and the Stingers lose little when they go to the bench for 6'1" third-year wing Andre Johnny, another gazelle in the open floor and 6'3" freshman forward Sebastien Martin. Although Concordia usually went ten deep in league play, it will be interesting to see how much John Dore uses his 8th, 9th and 10th men in a close game. The Huskies, who play their starting five virtually the entire game when not in foul trouble, teetered through 3 tough AUS tournament games, leaving top players in despite early foul trouble and relying on tremendous production from 6'2" Mark McLaughlin, who averaged 21.7 ppg in the AUS tournament, plus improved efforts from 6'5" Ike Uchegbu, who authored a pair of monster offensive efforts, including 27 pionts/11 rebounds vs. UPEI until running into serious foul trouble in the finals and 6'6" Clint Bateman, who was the star down the stretch against Cape Breton in the semis, going 4 for 7 from 3 for 19 points. St. Mary's will look to control the tempo so the work of underrated fourth-year point guard Mark Ross (pictured), who played every minute of every game (125 minutes including overtime in the title game), and managed an assist to turnover ratio of 2 1/2 to 1, averaging 7.3 assists per game over the 3 games against only 3 turnovers/game and added 11 steals. Ross was the major reason why the Huskies averaged only 10.7 turnovers throughout the tournament. St. Mary's football quarterback Eric Glavic, who would have been well recruited as a basketball player had he not declared his intentions to play football, was brought onto the team in January and has provided solid support off the bench, playing 29 minutes in the championship game when Uchegbu battled foul trouble. If Concordia gets out and runs and gets the Huskies into early foul trouble, this game could be over in a hurry. However, the longer Ross, McLaughlin and Co. can stay in the game, the more confidence St. Mary's gains and the better their chances. CISHOOPS.CA PREDICTION Concordia 77, St. Mary's 63 with the Stingers pulling away in the last 10 minutes of play.

Quarter-Final #2: No. 4 Brandon vs. No. 5 Windsor In a battle of second-year coaches who completely turned around their programs in a matter of months, Friday's second quarter-final provides intrigue if only because both teams are a bit of an unknown quantity when playing away from their home gyms. The Bobcats will play their first meaningful game away from home virtually all season or at least since the finals of the Wesmen Classic just after Christmas when they were handled with relative ease by hometown Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the Lancers come off a big victory at home against Carleton but have yet to have a signature road victory, winning all 3 playoff games in the friendly confines of the St. Denis Center. The Bobcats are much like Concordia as they enjoy a higher tempo game and will push up on teams defensively and typically deny the first pass while Windsor, after a late season slump, has returned to their lane-stuffing, one-and-done defensive ways under Coach Chris Oliver. Both teams have plenty of offensive firepower with Windsor's 6'5" Kevin Kloostra, who can stretch defenses from beyond the arc and can post up smaller opponents on the blocks and Brandon's 6'3" Dany Charlery, who is a great finisher in transition and loves to get to the rim. Both teams have solid leaders at the point although Windsor has a little more depth at this important position with 6'2" Ryan Steer (pictured) and 6'0" Corey Boswell, one of the better ball defenders in Canada, matching up against 6'1" fourth-year veteran Yul Michel (pictured), Canada West's defensive Player-of-the-year. Both Boswell and Michel are likely to guard the ball from end-line to end-line. The versatile Steer is a tremendous decision maker in transition who can create and knock down his own shot. The battle inside will be of contrasting styles and talents as Brandon's front line is much longer and athletic with 6'9" Yuri Whyms and 6'7" Stevens Marcelin, who combined to average an amazing 16.3 rebounds per game in Brandon's four playoff games, while Windsor's front court of 6'8" Greg Surmacz, 6'6" Greg Allin and 6'6" Rich Allin gets it done with a combination of finesse and strength. Brandon boasts a pair of long-range shooters who usually are the recipients of open looks off draw and kicks from drives by Michel and Charlery as 6'0" Chad Jacobsen, who hit 5-6 3's in game one of the Great Plains division championship, and 5'10" Taylor Cherris-Wilding, keep teams honest from the perimeter. Expect Windsor to find Kloostra early and often as Brandon will have to show that they have a defensive matchup with the size and ability to limit Kloostra's looks. Windsor will have to control the tempo and convert defensively as the Bobcats bigs will likely look to beat their somewhat-slower checks down the floor in transition. CIS HOOPS.CA PREDICTION: Windsor 72, Brandon 64 as the Bobcats have a difficult time with the talented Kloostra.

Quarter-Final #3: No. 2 UBC vs. No. 7 Ottawa The T-Birds raised their level of play on the defensive end down the stretch, holding teams to 39% shooting in the playoffs and outrebounding their opponents by a +9 rebounding margin. Given the offensive firepower UBC brings to the table, the T-Birds may be playing as well as any team in tournament currently. The Gee-Gees love to pressure the ball and double team ball screens, looking for easy scores off turnovers and looking to wear teams down late to break away. UBC's strength offensively is in the backcourt with 6'4" Casey Archibald, Canada West MVP, who averages 22 ppg in the playoffs, 2 points above his 19.9 ppg average all season while 6'3" sharpshooter Chris Dyck (pictured) can stroke it from 3 and also get to the rim. Expect Archibald and Dyck to log the majority of the minutes in the backcourt with freshman 6'1" freshman Alex Murphy spelling both for short stretches. Defensively, UBC will have to deal with 6'4" First Team OUA East all-star Josh Gibson-Bascombe and his ability to create in transition and shoot over people from long range. As well, 5'11" fifth-year guard Alex McLeod is a valiant ball defender and is likely to have to check Dyck. All 4 key guards can knock shots down and get to the rim. UBC's steady 6'2" fifth-year Adam Friesen usually shares time with the more athletic 6'3" Jason Birring at the wing and the two combined for about 14 ppg from the 3 spot this season. The Gee-Gees start 6'3" Sean Peter, (pictured) who has extended his offensive game further out onto the perimeter this season while still being able to get to the rim and use his strength to battle inside on the offensive glass. The late-season emergence of 6'3" Donnie Gibson, a sophomore, has allowed coach Dave DeAveiro to offer another long-range shooter from the wing. Up front, each team has enough quality to play four players as UBC's 6'8" Bryson Kool, who has averaged over 30 minutes per game in the playoffs and upped his season averages by 4 points and 2 rebounds per game is the T-Birds main threat, complemented by 6'7 Matt Racher in the starting lineup. Ottawa's athletic pair of 6'5" forwards, fifth-year seniors Curtis Shakespeare and Jermaine Campbell have solid perimeter skills and can take advantage of one-on-one matchups in the low block. Down the stretch, the Gee-Gees have lost very little when 6'9" Dax Dessureault, the former starter, and emerging 6'5" David Labentowicz, a scrappy, underrated post have come in and UBC offers the same with 6'6" freshman Brent Malish and 6'9" fifth-year center Cody Berg. This could be the most evenly-matched game in the quarter-finals as both teams are deep across all positions, have big times players, defend and rebound and have won big games all season. CIS HOOPS.CA PREDICTION: UBC 69, Ottawa 66 as Canada West Player-of-the-Year Casey Archibald makes big plays down the stretch to lead the T-Birds.

Quarter-Final #4: No. 3 Carleton vs. No. 6 Acadia According to Ravens star guard Ozvaldo Jeanty, the Ravens hit "rock bottom" last weekend in their Wilson Cup loss at Windsor and if history tells us anything, Carleton under coach Dave Smart usually rebounds well after such an outing. However, in the athletic Axemen, the Ravens face an opponent with more size and speed up front with 6'4" Luckern Dieu and 6'8" Achiul Lual and the AUS Player-of-the-Year in Paolo Santana. As has been stated here almost ad nauseum, the Ravens, when right, defend and rebound better than any team in the CIS. Last weekend, it took a scorching hot shooting effort from the Lancers (14 for 23, 60.9%) from three point land in their home gym to hand the Ravens only their fourth loss of the season. Acadia's main bombers from downtown are 6'1" Peter Leighton, the recipient of many opens looks off draw and kicks from Santana, 6'2" Jordan Sheriko, who, after an injury-plagued season, had three solid games off the bench in the AUS tournament for Acadia, and 6'5" Shawn Berry, the sixth man who can stretch defenses and shoot over people on the perimeter. Carleton's ability to guard the ball, especially with Santana, will be key - expect both 6'4" Ryan Bell (pictured) and Jeanty to take turns checking the AUS MVP. After a lacklustre 2 1/2 playoff games by his standards, Jeanty came alive late in the Wilson Cup to give Carleton a chance to win and thus far in his career, Halifax has been his town. 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp has not shot the ball with his normal consistency but he may have been Carleton's best player as freshman the last time he played in the Metro Center. Although 6'3" Stu Turnbull has taken advantage of solid matchups in recent games and 6'3" Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie returned to his consistent self after suffering through illness in early February, Carleton's success lies in the hands of Jeanty and Doornekamp. Bell has also watched his consistency shooting the ball fall off but as a defender, on or off the ball, he has few rivals and he has hit big shots many times in his career. Coach Smart will look for a favorable matchup with 6'7" Kevin McCleery who has all the moves on the low block but can get caught out of position defensively against quicker opponents and can get into foul trouble as a result. This may be the right game to see doses of 6'5" Daron Leonard in the rotation given his athleticism and instincts around the rim offensively. The Axemen have gone only 7 deep throughout the AUS playoffs, putting major minutes on Dieu and Lual, who need to be active on the offensive glass for Acadia to stay in the game, while the Ravens can go deep into their bench depending upon the matchups. CISHOOPS.CA PREDICTION: Carleton 76, Acadia 59 with the Ravens ability to guard the ball and make Acadia's shooters score with a hand in their face being the key.

ALL-CANADIAN & OTHER MAJOR AWARD ANNOUNCEMENTS TONIGHT The annual awards night to celebrate CIS men's basketball will go in Halifax tonight. Here are the nominees for each of the awards and honours and CISHOOPS.CA predictions for the winners:

Paulo Santana Acadia
Patrick Perrotte Concordia
Osvaldo Jeanty Carleton
Casey Archibald U.B.C.
Predicted Winner: Osvaldo Jeanty, Carleton

Christian Upshaw St. F. X.
Jean-Francois Beaulieu Laval
Boris Bakovic Ryerson
Jeff Lukomski Regina
Predicted Winner: J.F. Beaulieu-Maheux, Laval

Garry Gallimore St F X
Dwayne Buckley Concordia
Martin Ajayi McMaster
Yul Michel Brandon
Predicted Winner: Garry Gallimore, St. FX

Les Berry Acadia
John Dore Concordia
Dave DeAveiro Ottawa
Barnaby Craddock Brandon
Predicted Winner: Barnaby Craddock, Brandon

Andrew Kraus Acadia
Matthew Thornhill McGill
Andy Wedemire Western
Kamar Burke Thompson Rivers
Predicted 5th member of All-Rookie team: Andrew Wedemire, Western

First Team
Osvaldo Jeanty Carleton
Casey Archibald U.B.C.
Patrick Perrotte Concordia
Paulo Santana Acadia
Brad Rootes Brock
Second Team
Andrew Spagrud Saskatchewan
J.P. Morin Laval
Eric Breland Cape Breton
Efran Nasajpour Winnipeg
Martin Ajayi McMaster

A couple of links to the CIS site officially announcing the availability of live! Final 8 webcasting CIS Final 8: All games available through on-line videocast, TV and their tournament preview Ravens, Jeanty Drive for Five