Saturday, 26 May 2007

OUA Officiating News; CIS Hopefuls for Canada Basketball

Congratulations to long-time official Steve Foxcroft who has been named as officiating evaluator for the OUA East men, replacing Doug Harris who resigned shortly after last season. The role includes evaluating officials through live viewing and feedback from coaches and assigning which officials work OUA East league games. Foxcroft adds the men's officiating responsibilities to his ongoing role as evaluator for OUA women's play. Foxcroft, son of legendary referee Ron Foxcroft, has himself been a successful OUA West official since the late 80's and has worked numerous CIS Nationals games including several championship games. It is not clear whether or not this will mean Foxcroft will no longer referee games himself. Long-time Hamilton-based referee Guy Cipriani maintains his role as OUA West evaluator and assignor.

As previously announced by Canada Basketball, open tryouts for Canada's three international teams competing in various events this summer begin in mid-June in Toronto. Several current, former and rising CIS players should have strong opportunities to make U-21, FISU games and Senior National team rosters. The recent All-Canadian game at Humber College was the first of several opportunities for coaches to evaluate prospect talent and here is a quick look at some of the potential CIS stars who could have an impact on our national team programs this summer. One of Canada's strongest hopefuls for a long, successful career with the National program is 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp (Carleton), who brings a wide array of skills to the table including a competitive streak virtually like no other. Doornekamp already displays all the necessary skills of a prototypical international wing with the size, shooting range, passing and ball handling skills, plus some intangibles that contribute to winning. Doornekamp played through various ailments this season that contributed to less-than-stellar numbers during the regular season but he showed that when the stakes are highest, he can elevate his game, as he did in capturing the MVP at the recent CIS nationals. All Doornekamp lacks currently is experience (he's still only 22 years old) and some strength to compete with older, more physical international opponents at his position to possibly become one of Canada's better international players, beginning this summer on the Senior men's team. At 6'4", Casey Archibald possesses the perimeter shooting skills to stretch defenses and the strength and ball handling abilities to handle the basketball if and when required. Archibald matured dramatically in his last 2 seasons of CIS play with UBC as he transformed himself from a tall, relatively slight guard who needed screens to get open to a stronger, mentally tougher wing player who could create his own shot, shoot from distance and get to the rim when needed. He also improved his rebounding and playmaking skills. He could be a smaller version of a Sean Vankoughnett-type player who can make shots in bunches who can be productive in the proper system with the proper lead guard. Expect Archibald to play a role on the FISU games team at a minimum and possibly push for a role on the Senior team. Those who count out 6'2" Osvaldo Jeanty, the two-time Moser Award winner and five-time CIS champion with Carleton could again be in for a surprise as Jeanty's infectious competitive spirit and cerebral understanding of the game could be appealing qualities for the senior program. Jeanty is a bit undersized as a wing for international play however he understands the defensive principles that Canada is likely to implement, has no problem trying to lead in any environment and is not afraid to take big shots. Expect Oz to push for a role on the Senior men's team and if not be a solid part of the FISU team. A veteran of international play for Canada, St. FX's 6'3" Garry Gallimore brings explosive athleticism and the ability to play a shut-down role defensively as he displayed a couple of summers ago against USA's J.J. Reddick (now in the League with Orlando). Garry is a very hard worker who is very coachable and has the mental toughness to play whatever role is assigned to him. This summer is a very important one in Garry's basketball career as he aspires to play professionally somewhere either this coming season or next. Expect Gallimore to push for an important role with Canada's national program in some key capacity. Gallimore's teammate at X, 6'10" Neil MacDonald has previous experience internationally with Canada and has been preparing daily for what could be his final chance at wearing the Red and White. MacDonald has the length and experience that could find him on the senior team but more likely as a FISU team candidate. At 6'7" with solid perimeter skills and a nice back-to-the-basket game, Laval's J.P. Morin has the tools to be a contributor at the International level for Canada. For the second consecutive year, Morin was one of the top players at the recent All-Canada game and has a genuine opportunity to play internationally for Canada as soon as this summer. Others who may have opportunities with Canada internationally include Ryan Bell from Carleton who was in the program last summer but experienced only an average season by his standards with the Ravens this past winter. Ryan has a solid understanding of the game at the point, can defend well with his length and knowledge of the game and is at his best when he is consistently making perimeter jumpers, an area of his game that was solid in '05-'06 but fell off a bit last year; Victoria's Jacob Doerksen who brings a blend of talent and athleticism to the table and Ottawa's 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe, a taller point guard who can stretch defenses with his shooting and can be effective when playing aggressively.

No comments: