Monday, 30 July 2007

Canada Basketball & Pan-Am Update + CIS Stuff

SR. MEN'S TEAM: Canada (1-4) finished 7th out of 8 nations in the recent Pan-Am Games after winning their first game of the tournament by defeating U.S. Virgin Islands 69-60 in the 7th place game on the final day. Earlier, in the first 5th-8th classification game, Canada built up a 37-18 first half lead before watching the Panamians come back with a late 3 with 10 seconds left to edge Canada 68-67. Andy Rautins led Canada with 24 points in the Panama game while 5 Canadians reached double figures in the win over U.S. Virgin Islands, including Jermaine Bucknor who came off the bench for 10 points. Montreal's Sheray Thomas battled injuries throughout the tournament which limited his action. Of the 3 CIS players on the Pan-Am team roster, 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp contributed the most, starting the final 3 games of the tournament and averaging 33 minutes of play in the final two games. Against Panama, Doornekamp had 6 points and 7 rebounds in 36 minutes and followed that effort up with 1 point and 8 rebounds in 30 minutes in the victory against the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ozvaldo Jeanty had 5 points in 10 minutes against the U.S. Virgin Islands. Next up on the schedule for Canada internationally is the Super 4 Tournament in Rosario, Argentina (August 4th through August 9th) which is scheduled to include the Senior teams of both Brazil and Argentina. Later, Canada is scheduled to participate in the Tuto Marchand Cup in Puerto Rico between August 16th and 18th as a final tuneup for their first game in Las Vegas on August 22nd against Brazil beginning at 8:30 PM Eastern time.

FISU MEN'S TEAM: The FISU men continue to prepare for Thailand and the coaching staff is expected to name their final 12 man roster for the Games by Tuesday. As practices continue, a rotation is emerging but two players in particular: 6'3" Garry Gallimore (St. FX, Ottawa Woodroffe) and 6'3" Jamie McNeilly (New Orleans, Toronto Mother Teresa) appear emerging as team leaders. Gallimore, who always brings a solid work ethic to the floor, has done his usual job locking-up his check and his size, strength and international experience should see him play major minutes with the Student team. McNeilly has shown a great ability to score in several different ways, is very crafty with the basketball and is probably Canada's top overall wing player. McNeilly has been a vocal leader who should see plenty of minutes on the wing and at the point in a pinch. Speaking of the point, Canada has a nice complement with 6'1" Tristan Blackwood's speed and quickness and 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe's size and length. Both should share the vast majority of minutes at the point. Up front, another veteran of international play for Canada, 6'10" Neil MacDonald (St. FX grad) may be Canada's strongest and most consistent big man in camp as he is finishing inside and playing with the confidence of a player set to begin a professional career in Europe. 6'2" Tyler Kepkay has been a pleasant surprise at the workouts however it is unlikely he will accompany the team to Thailand as he is expected back at Utah where he will begin his initial season with the Utes in the fall. According to the FISU men's coaching staff, Kepkay, who was described as extremely coachable, has a bright future as a scoring point guard who can run a team and make shots with a smooth stroke. We hope to have news on Canada's final 12 man roster for Thailand prior to the team leaving for Bangkok on Wednesday.

PAN-AM GAMES WRAP UP: Behind 20 points from former Gonzaga star J.P. Batista, Brazil soundly defeated upstart Puerto Rico 86-65 to capture the Gold medal at the Pan-Am Games. Brazil wins gold at the Pan-Am Games for the third consecutive time. After spotting Argentina a 17 point halftime lead, Uruguay came back to win 99-93 in overtime to win the Bronze medal game, marking possibly the biggest victory in the history of Uruguian basketball. Hosts win Pan-Am Gold

Speaking of Argentina, it appears they will be severely shorthanded in their quest to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as NBAer's Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto, Walter Herrmann, Pepe Sanchez, Andres Nocioni and Ruben Wolkowisky are not likely to play for their home country Argentina coach looking to future

Here is note from a blog written by a Cornell Big Red basketball fan on the possibilities of landing Saskatchewan native 6'11" Marc Van Burck, who as previously reported is transfering from the University of Colorado Big Colorado Buffalo Available

6'2" former Memorial Seahawk Peter Benoite has signed on with the new ABA franchise in Halifax as Chris Cochrane reports in a recent article in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald Rainmen send a message Also an article in the St. John's Telegram Rain in the forecast for Benoite

A note on 6'6" Kai Williams, one of the stars of Canada's Jr. National team at the FIBA U19 world men's basketball championships Which way to the weight room ?

The Langley Times chimes in on Jamie Vaughan's transfer from Fraser Valley to rival Trinity Western University Spartans Land Rival's Top Scorer

More on Laval's newest recruit Kevin Crevant from France who according to interpretations of CIS by-laws should be classified as a freshman in his first year of eligibility. Here is some information on the system in France:
Basketball like every other sports (soccer-football, rugby, volleyball) is developed under the club system. Each club develops its own players from the younger ages to the higher level the club has a team playing in. The 3 highest levels in France are Pro A, Pro B and N1 (Nationale 1). At these levels they also bring in foreign players (Samuel Audet-Sow who played at Laval from 1999 to 2004 played for Lille in N1 last year). Kevin, who just turned 18 years old in March, played for an N1 team in '05-'06 at the age of 16 and this season he focused on his academics and went back to his Cadet France team playing for the national championship in what they call "le championnat" and "la coupe de France". According to CIS eligibility rules, players under 20 do not lose any eligibility from participation with these teams so Crevant will be classified as a freshman this coming season. Crevant landed in Laval after Kevin's father (a former volleyball player) was informed by a Canadian volleyball coach that the Canadian university sport system provides the opportunity for a young man to achieve excellence in multiple sports and, apparently, the Crevants were sold on the idea almost immediately.

David Larkins article on Brandon's new head coach The Point After Blog on Brandon's new coach

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