Tuesday, 13 March 2007

A First Look at the Final 8

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Howard Bloom, who behind the scenes has been leading an effort to have CIS Nationals games web cast LIVE! later this week, will appear on Rogers Sportsnet sports magazine show "Prime Time Sports" with Bob McCown tonight at approximately 6:30 PM Eastern. Among the issues that Howard will address with the PTS team will be March Madness both NCAA and CIS style. By the way, we expect to hear about the webcasting of the Nationals by early Wednesday morning at the latest. Check back to the site periodically as we plan to make an announcement as soon as we know one way or the other.

A nice article on Windsor coach Chris Oliver by Mary Caton of the Windsor Star Oliver Twist: Men's Basketball coach elevates Lancers

As per usual, here are the weekly computer-generated rankings: Rankings by Ratings has a new #1: UBC Thunderbirds. As of now, the Cheers RPI index has not been updated for this week.

Neate Sager has another nice entry in the his "Out of Left Field" blog touching on the UBC/Ottawa game Gee-Gees may be poised for upset

There have been some inquiries as to whether or not the teams will be re-seeded after the first round. This will not be the case; that is, the brackets are pre-determined - Concordia/St. Mary's winner will face Windsor/Brandon winner & Carleton/Acadia winner will face UBC/Ottawa winner.

WEBCASTING UPDATE: Although nothing has been formally announced, interested parties are working hard behind the scenes to make webcasting of games at the Nationals a reality. Nothing has been finalized however if something does happen, be prepared for a pay-per-view model to watch the games.


#1 Concordia Stingers (22-2 vs. CIS) QSSF Champions; Montreal, Quebec The Stingers defeated Laval 84-57 and UQAM 84-75, both at home at Loyola Gym, to win the "Q" and qualify as the #1 seed in the tournament. Concordia is on a 10 game winning streak including the pair of playoff wins and has won 22 of 23 overall since an opening game loss to Laurentian in the first round of the NIKE Concordia tournament in early October. The Stingers feature 4 QSSF all-stars including Player-of-the-Year in the "Q", 6'1" Patrick Perrotte, the Buckley brothers (6'1" Damian and 6'3" Dwayne, both first-team all-stars) and 6'3" Ben Sormonte, a second-team QSSF choice. Dwayne Buckley was also named QSSF defensive player-of-the-year as the key man in the Stingers in their turnover-creating, pressure defense. Dwayne Buckley, Perrotte and Sormonte were stalwards two years ago on Concordia's 2004-05 CIS Final 10 finalist squad that was defeated by Carleton.
5 Damian Buckley PG 6'1" 2nd Year, Montreal (Vanier College)
12 Benjamin Sormonte SG 6'3" 5th Year, France (University of South Alabama)
23 Dwayne Buckley F 6' 3" 3rd Year, Montreal (Vanier College)
33 Patrick Perrotte PF 6'1" 5th Year, Verdun (CEGEP Edouard Montpetit), PQ
35 Jamal Gallier C 6'7" 3rd Year, Scarborough (Lester B. Pearson), ON
11 Pierre Thompson PG 5'10" 2nd Year, Brampton (Notre Dame), ON
3 Levi Vann SG 5'9" 3rd Year, Brian, Texas Saskatchewan Huskies
14 Sebastien Martin PF 6'3" 1st Year Granby (CEGEP Granby), PQ
15 Andre Johnny F 6'1" 3rd Year, Montreal (Vanier College)
4 Paget Berridge G 6'2" 2nd Year Montreal (Ganon University)
22 Desmond Murphy C 6'7" 1st Year Beaconsfield, Que. (Dawson College)
25 Henry Sarr F 6'6" 1st Year Dakar, Senegal (AS Maison Alfort)
HEAD COACH: John Dore; Assistant Coaches: Ernie Rosa, Don Caldwell

#2 UBC Thunderbirds (32-4 vs. CIS), Canada West Champions, Vancouver, BC UBC defeated Saskatchewan 76-68 and Brandon 76-73 in the Canada West Final Four to qualify as Canada West champions. Winners of their last 8 in a row including 6 consecutive playoff wins, the T-Birds return to Halifax for the second consecutive season after last year's quarter-final loss to Cape Breton. T-Birds feature Canada West Player-of-the-Year 6'4" fifth-year guard Casey Archibald, their leading scorer. The well-balanced T-Birds also had 6'3" wing Chris Dyck named to the Canada West second team and boast a deep, talented supporting cast with size, strength, athleticism and experience. Coach Kevin Hansen has had tremendous success both with the T-Birds and previously as head man at Langara College.
11 Casey Archibald G 6-4 190 5 Salmon Arm, BC Salmon Arm HS
14 Matt Rachar G 6-7 205 3 Burnaby, BC Alpha HS
15 Adam Friesen G 6-2 190 5 Winnipeg, MA Trinity Western University
20 Chris Dyck G 6-3 190 3 Winnipeg, MA University of Manitoba
30 Bryson Kool F 6-8 230 3 Pitt Meadows, BC Pitt Meadows HS
21 Brent Malish G/F 6-6 205 1 Langley, BC Brookswood HS
22 Jason Birring G 6-3 175 5 Richmond, BC Langara College
35 Alex Murphy G 6-1 185 1 Richmond, BC St. George's HS
45 Cody Berg F 6-9 230 4 New Westminster, BC Douglas College
25 Brent Lewis G/F 6-4 210 2 Penticton, BC Rocky Mt. College
25 Sean Stewart F 6-5 230 5 White Rock, BC Simon Fraser University
10 Brett Leversage G 6-1 175 2 Delta, BC Delta Pacers
55 Jeremy Alexander F 6-8 245 3 Vancouver, BC Langara College
HEAD COACH: Kevin Hanson; Asst. Coach: Les Brown, Randy Nohr, Vern Knopp

#3 Carleton Ravens (29-4 vs. CIS), OUA East Champions, Ottawa, Ontario The four-time defending CIS National champions look to fulfill an objective of defending Mike Moser Award winner Osvaldo Jeanty made prior to his freshman season five years ago - that Carleton would win the national championship in each of his five years as a Raven. Carleton looks for "one for the thumb" in a season in which they have apparently come back to the pack a bit according to some observers. In Jeanty, again the Player-of-the-Year in the OUA East, they have as clutch a performer as has ever been at the Nationals including last season when he willed an injury-depleted Ravens squad to another championship. 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp was named a second team all-star and looks to make up last season when he missed the entire Final 10 tournament due to an ankle injury. Carleton lost the Wilson Cup last weekend in Windsor 84-75 after defeating York 68-57 and Ottawa 65-63 at home in the OUA East playoffs.
11 Ryan Bell Guard 6'4 4th Orleans, ON
13 Stuart Turnbull Guard 6'2 3rd Kingston, ON
15 Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie Guard 6'3 4th Ottawa, ON
42 Aaron Doornekamp Forward 6'7 3rd Odessa, ON
43 Osvaldo Jeanty Guard 6'0 5th Gloucester, ON
23 Daron Leonard Forward 6'6 4th London, ON
33 Rob Saunders Guard 6'3 3rd Kingston, ON
3 Michael Kenny Guard 5'10 1st Ottawa, ON
45 Kevin McCleery Center 6'7 2nd Ottawa, ON
10 Shawn McCleery Forward 6'4 5th Ottawa, ON
31 Luke Chapman Guard 6'4 1st Bloomfield, ON
41 Sheldon Stewart Forward 6'6' 2nd Ottawa, ON
HEAD COACH: Dave Smart, 7th Year; Associate Head Coach: Taffe Charles; Assistant Coaches: Bill Arden, Robert Smart Jr., Dean Petridis

#4 Brandon Bobcats (30-4 vs. CIS), Canada West Finalist, Brandon, MB The Cats had a 15 game winning streak snapped in the Canada West final, losing 76-73 to UBC in a season which originally was forecasted as a rebuilding one. Brandon features Canada West Defensive Player-of-the-Year 6'1" Yul Michel, who keys the Bobcats solid ball pressing defense which created numerous turnovers in Canada West play this season. The Cats also feature 6'2" Canada West First Team All-Star Dany Charlery, who had 27 points in the nationals qualifying win over Victoria in the Canada West semi-final, plus 6'6" Adam Hartman, a crafty post-player who was named to Canada West's second all-star team. Under second-year coach Barnaby Craddock, Brandon has returned to the Nationals after a one-season absence with virtually an entirely different team (only Michel was among the key players two seasons ago at the Nationals).
00 Yuri Whyms 6'9" 4th Post Nevada, USA
10 Chad Jacobson 6'0" 4th Guard Brandon, MB
12 David Yul Michel 6'1" 4th Guard Montreal
20 Dany Charlery 6'3" 2nd Guard Montreal
40 Adam Hartman 6'5" 4th Post Virden, MB
11 Taylor Cherris-Wilding 5'10" 5th Guard New Westminster, BC
22 Nathan Grant 6'0" 2nd Guard Montreal
54 Stevens Marcelin 6'7" 2nd Post Laval, PQ
15 Erik Holm 6'3" 3rd Guard New Westminster, BC
33 Jon Thomson 6'5" 4th Post Burnaby, BC
34 Chris Schmidt-Watt 6'6" 2nd Guard Winnipeg, MB
50 Liam Ricci 6'8" 2nd Post Penticton, BC
HEAD COACH: Barnaby Craddock Assistant: Mike Raimbault

#5 Windsor Lancers (22-7 vs. CIS) OUA West and Wilson Cup (OUA) Champions, Windsor, ON Bringing back memories of Windsor CIAU national champions of the past for the first time in almost 30 years, the Lancers captured a pair of championships in consecutive weeks under second-year coach Chris Oliver. After a three-game losing streak in early February, the Lancers have won 7 consecutive games including 3 playoff wins against Guelph 69-61, McMaster 75-58 (OUA West championship) and Carleton 84-75 (Wilson Cup). The Lancers feature 6'5" OUA West First Team All-Star and Wilson Cup MVP Kevin Kloostra plus a pair of OUA West second-teamers in 6'2" Ryan Steer and 6'8" Greg Surmacz. Windsor has depth, experience, talent and discipline: a championship receipe.
Allin, Greg Forward 4 Chatham, ON 6'5 215
Kane, Kyle Guard 1 Windsor, ON 6'3 175
Kloostra, Kevin Forward 4 Chatham, ON 6'3 200
Steer, Ryan Guard 4 Windsor, ON 5'11 175
Surmacz, Greg Forward 3 Peterborough, ON 6'8 225
Allin, Rich Forward 4 Chatham, ON 6'6 220
Boswell, Corey Guard 2 Detroit, MI 6'0 170
Carey, Tyler Forward 1 London, ON 6'5 225
Handsor, Matt Guard 2 Chatham, ON 5'10 175
Hardware, Monty Guard 1 Toronto, ON 6'0 160
Allin, Conor Guard 1 Chatham, ON 6'4 200
Ewell, Marlon Guard 2 Detroit, MI 6'6 190
HEAD COACH: Chris Oliver

#6 Acadia Axemen (23-12 vs. CIS) AUS Champions, Wolfville, NS Surprise winners of Atlantic Canada after a two-win season just one year ago, Acadia had a strong second-half of the season and then knocked off Dalhousie 77-66, St. Francis Xavier 56-52 and St. Mary's 74-72 in overtime on 3 consecutive evenings in the Halifax Metro Center to capture the automatic bid to the Final 8. The Axemen are led by 6'1" AUS Player-of-the-Year Paolo Santana and have a pair of athletic forwards in 6'8" Achuil Lual and 6'4" Luckern Dieu. Watch for 6'5" transfer Shawn Berry for instant offense off the bench.
11 Peter Leighton Guard 6' 175 2 Halifax, NS
21 Achuil Lual Forward 6'8" 220 4 Ottawa, ON
22 Paulo Santana Guard 6' 175 3 Toronto, ON
33 Luckern Dieu Forward 6'4" 210 3 Montreal, QC
52 Andrew Kraus Guard 6'2" 190 1 Markham, ON
24 Jordan Sheriko Guard 6'2" 185 4 Wolfville, NS
32 Shawn Berry Forward 6'5" 195 4 Toronto, ON
40 Alex Traikov Forward 6'6" 230 2 Mississauga, ON
13 Patrick McIver Guard 6'1" 180 1 Bedford, NS
20 Mike Folker Forward 6'6" 220 2 Markham, ON
25 Garth Reid Forward 6'4" 200 4 Toronto, ON

#7 Ottawa Gee-Gees (28-5 vs. CIS), OUA East Finalist (earned wild card berth), Ottawa, ON Ottawa is back at the Nationals for the second time in three years under 6th year Head Coach David DeAveiro are are led by 6'4" OUA East First Team all-star sophomore Josh Gibson-Bascombe, a point guard. Two fifth-year veterans were also named to the OUA East second team: 6'5" forward Curtis Shakespeare and 5'11" guard Alex McLeod, who was also the OUA East nominee for the Ken Shields award for community efforts. The Gee-Gees have a solid 4-2 record against teams in this season's Final 8 including a well-documented pair of wins against Carleton, a team which later defeated Ottawa in the OUA East final.
3 Josh Gibson-Bascombe PG 6-4 180 2 Ottawa, ON,
23 Sean Peter G 6-3 180 3 Ottawa, ON,
25 Alex McLeod PG 6-0 180 5 Lindsay, ON,
34 Jermaine Campbell P 6-5 215 5 Calgary, AB,
55 Curtis Shakespeare F 6-6 195 5 Alliston, ON,
11 Willy Manigat PG 5-10 175 2 Ottawa, ON,
24 Donnie Gibson SG/SF 6-3 195 2 Kingston, ON,
30 David Labentowicz SF 6-5 195 3 Richmond Hill, ON,
44 Dax Dessureault C 6-8 235 3 Grande Praire, AB,
32 Terry Hawryluk C 6-10 210 1 Whitby, ON,
11 Shawn Allen G 6-5 185 1 Mississauga, ON,
42 Nemanja Baletic F 6-7 215 1 Ottawa, ON
HEAD COACH: David DeAveiro; ASSISTANTS: John Scobie, Jim Kent, James Derouin, Lance Winn.

#8 St. Mary's Huskies (16-17 vs. CIS) AUS Finalists, Halifax, NS Once again the Huskies came up huge when it mattered, defeating UPEI and Cape Breton before giving up a large lead and dropping an overtime affair to Acadia in the AUS championship. St. Mary's has overcome adversity after Player-of-the-Year candidate Aaron Duncan was sidelined after an off-court incident and has won despite a relatively thin bench. With emerging star guard Mark McLaughlin and maturing offensive threat Ike Uchegbu in the middle, the Huskies, as long as they stay out of foul trouble, can be difficult for any team, especially in the Metro Center where Ross Quackenbush teams have played well for more than a decade.
11 Cordell Wright G 3rd year Halifax, NS
14 Clint Bateman F 4th year Moncton, NB
15 Mark McLaughlin G 2nd year Dartmouth, NS
31 Mark Ross G 4th year Cole Harbour, NS
44 Ikeobi Uchegbu F 2nd year Ideani, Nigeria
21 Mike Poole F 1st year Halifax, NS
52 Eric Glavic F 1st year Pickering, ON
32 Andrew Rogers G 3rd year Arts New Minas, NS
45 Thomas Conrad C 2nd year Pleasantville, NS
5 Peter Gilfoy F 1st year Dartmouth, NS
- Basil Habib G 1st year Lower Sackville, NS
HEAD COACH: Ross Quackenbush Assistant: Jonah Taussig

Stay tune for game previews later this week.

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