Friday, 31 August 2007

NCAA Games Begin Tonight

NOTE: For Ottawa area fans, please note that tonight's Illinois / Carleton game begins at 9 PM (originally listed on the schedule below as 8 PM). Carleton web site and tickets distributed for the game confirm game time as 9 PM, likely to allow Illinois enough travel time to get to Ottawa (NCAA teams cannot leave their cities/towns until classes on Friday end).

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix describes the efforts of Saskatchewan Huskies to bring NCAA basketball to Saskatoon. The Huskies will travel to Calgary this weekend to play NCAA teams for this season B-ball Huskies court U.S. teams

The Ottawa Citizen's Wayne Kondro does his usual solid job previewing the NCAA visits to Ottawa this weekend, focusing on the Illinois Fighting Illini in this pieced Even if Jordan's not in the gym, university tourney has plenty to offer (By the way, whoever put the caption on Wayne's piece didn't realize that it is not a tournament)

Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun updates those in the Capital Region on the "Jordan Watch" NBA great Jordan not expected in Ottawa

Also received a nice note from site supporter Nathan Schellenberg from (also Saskatchewan's assistant coach) alerting to the new content on their site including Team Prospectus and a link to a UofS Huskies blog in the local newspaper U of S Blog The Huskies return nine players from last year’s Central Division championship team, and another two players (Rob Lovelace and Mark Thompson) returning to the program that were a part of the 2005-06 squad which reached the national championships. Lovelace is a 5th-year senior point guard, and is considered one of the top defensive players in the conference (has been a two-time Central Division Defensive POY). All five starters are back, and there are five 5th year seniors on the team. As well, four newcomers including one JuCo transfer (Troy Gottselig) and three high school recruits add further depth to the Huskies roster.

A nice article in the Thunder Bay newspaper on Canadian women's basketball legend Dianne Norman, former Laurentian and Canadian national team star and now the wife of Dalhousie men's basketball coach John Campbell Norman knows the game

NCAA vs. CIS Games by Date & Time

It is a Canadian basketball fan's panacea with no less than 55 games scheduled for the next 5 days between CIS and NCAA Division 1 teams across the country. The action kicks off tonight at the Raven's Nest in Ottawa, which has been sold out for weeks in anticipation of Illinois Fighting Illini including a walk-on named Jeffrey Jordan, probably the third best player in his family (the younger Jordan is supposed to be better). Carleton should have Head Coach Dave Smart back behind the bench and possibly 6'4" Ryan Bell after his stint with Canada's National team. We'll try to provide as much coverage as possible throughout the weekend. See below for the complete schedule with all time Eastern.

NCAA vs. CIS Labour Day Weekend Schedule (all games Eastern time)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31st, 2007
9:00 PM ET Illinois at Carleton

11:00AM ET Morehead State at Ryerson
NOON ET McGill vs. Alabama at Carleton
NOON ET Illinois at Ottawa
NOON ET Oral Roberts at Toronto
NOON ET Virginia Tech vs. Western at Windsor
1:00 PM ET Creighton vs. Saskatchewan at Calgary
4:00 PM ET Duquesne at Toronto
4:00 PM ET Liberty at Brock
6:00 PM ET Lethbridge vs. Weber State at Calgary
7:00 PM ET LSU at Guelph
8:00 PM ET Villanova at Carleton
8:00 PM ET Alabama at Ottawa
8:00 PM ET Morehead State at York
8:30 PM ET Air Force at Simon Fraser
9:00 PM ET Creighton at Calgary
10:00PM ET Oklahoma at UBC
11:00PM ET Marquette at Fraser Valley
11:00PM ET Boise State at Trinity Western

11:00 AM Duquesne at Ryerson
11:00AM ET Liberty at Guelph
NOON ET Queen's vs. Villanova at Carleton
2:00 PM ET North Florida at Brock
2:00 PM ET Illinois at Concordia
3:00 PM ET Boise State at Fraser Valley
3:00 PM ET Lethbridge vs. Creighton at Calgary
3:00 PM ET Oklahoma at Simon Fraser
3:00 PM ET LSU at York
6:00 PM ET Toledo vs. Waterloo at Sheridan
7:00 PM ET Villanova at Ottawa
7:00 PM ET Morehead State at Toronto
7:00 PM ET Oral Roberts at Guelph
7:30 PM ET Weber State at Calgary
8:00 PM ET Alabama at Carleton
8:00 PM ET Virginia Tech at Windsor
10:00PM ET Creighton vs. Saskatchewan at Calgary
11:00PM ET Idaho at Fraser Valley
11:00PM ET Air Force at UBC
11:00PM ET Marquette at Victoria
Midnight ET Oklahoma at Trinity Western

10:00AM ET Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. Brock (at Welland Notre Dame)
11:00AM ET LSU at Toronto
11:00AM ET Morehead State at Guelph
11:00AM ET Illinois at McGill
Noon ET Air Force at Fraser Valley
Noon ET Weber State vs. Saskatchewan at Calgary
Noon ET Alabama at Ottawa
2:00 PM ET Duquesne vs. Waterloo (at Sheridan College)
1:00 PM ET Boise State at UBC
2:00 PM ET Creighton at Calgary
10:00PM ET UC-Santa Barbara at Victoria

10:00PM ET UC-Santa Barbara at Victoria

Other CIS VS. NCAA games (not during Labour Day weekend)
Friday, September 7th
10:30 PM UC Santa Barbara at Simon Fraser
Saturday, September 8th
10 PM ET UC Santa Barbara at Trinity Western

Canada Aftermath

DEJECTED: Juan Mendez, Olu Famutimi, Jesse Young and Vlad Kuljanin show the disappointment of Canada's loss to Puerto Rico last night which eliminated Canada from further play at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Las Vegas last night. By virtue of their fifth place finish at this tournament, Canada is scheduled to participate in a pre-Olympic tournament next summer at a site to be determined to get a final crack at qualifying for Beijing 2008.

Mike Ganter reports on yesterday's Canada/Puerto Rico game and the reaction of the players to the possible addition of 6'11" Jamaal Magloire to next season's team that is scheduled to participate in a pre-Olympic qualification tournament Canada advances, Magloire likely not welcome and another article talking about Canada's prospects going forward Nash would be necessary

Doug Smith's article in this morning's Toronto Star Canada gets another chance at the Beijing Olympics plus Canadian Press article Puerto Rico eliminates Canada in FIBA Americas

Matt Sekeres of the National Post has a couple of solid articles, beginning with a focus on last night's Canada loss CANADA SETTLES FOR FIFTH and a detailed piece on Canada's Jermaine Anderson, one of the pleasant stories from the latest Canadian Sr. Men's team Anderson played his part for team

The Globe and Mail's article on last night's game including some kind words for Canada's 6'5" Dave Thomas Puerto Rico eliminates Canada

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Puerto Rico ends Canada's hope of a semi-final berth

A game-deciding 23-7 run to end the third quarter was enough to allow a three-point happy Puerto Rican squad to eliminate Canada from further FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament action with a 72-66 victory tonight in Las Vegas. With the victory, Puerto Rico will face the USA in one of two semi-final games with the winner getting an automatic bid to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Some familiar nemeses came back to get Canada as poor shot selection and an inability to account for 3 point shooters in transition buried Canada in a 19 point hole early in the fourth quarter and then abysmal free throw shooting down the stretch when Canada brought the game back negated any chance of victory. 6'5" Dave Thomas, who was Canada's best overall player on this night and arguably one of their most important players throughout the tournament, had 18 points including 7 down the stretch while 6'10" Samuel Dalembert had 13 points, including a put-back dunk with 4 minutes left to get Canada back to within 6 at 64-58 and added 18 rebounds but epitomized Canada's woes from the free throw line, going 1 for 4, part of a 12-24 effort collectively from the line by Canada. 6'5" Carl English again struggled with his shot selection and decision making trying to get to the rim, going 2 for 12 from the field and then with Canada trying to climb back into the game late, English had an opportunity to make big free throws but went only 2 for 4 from the line when it mattered, including an opportunity to bring it to 4 with 1:10 to play. NBAer Carlos Arroyo led all scorers with 22 points on 4-7 from three point land and keyed the third quarter run with several scintilating moves including a vicious cross-over that ended up as a three. In all, Puerto Rico made five of their 12 3's in the third quarter, going 12 for 30 from beyond the arc for the game. 7'3" Peter John Ramos had a solid 10 point, 9 rebound effort for Puerto Rico including a jump hook in the lane that gave Puerto Rico a 62-43 lead, starting what turned out to be a premature celebration on the Puerto Rican bench. But Canada quickly scored the next 11 points in only a minute and a half and clamped down defensively, drawing to within 5 at 66-61 after Thomas had a sweet "and 1" off a slick feed from the soft corner by Dalembert. But then Canada's free throw shooting woes took over and Puerto Rico finally clinched the game when 5'11" J.J. Berea (Dallas Mavericks/Boston University) sank a pair of free throws, interestingly enough the first free throws of the game for Puerto Rico, to restore a 4 point lead with 16 seconds remaining.

Canada started reasonably strong in the first quarter as 6'9" Jesse Young had 3 early buckets and Canada led 8-7 but Arroyo got cooking early for Puerto Rico scoring 10 first-quarter points as PR took a 19-15 lead. But as he has done throughout the tournament 6'2" Jermaine Anderson knocked in a straight on 3 off a ball screen to keep Canada within 3 at 21-18 after one. PR continued to push the tempo and when Arroyo knocked in a transition 3 after a Denham Brown turnover, Puerto Rico had their largest lead at 27-20 after which both teams struggled with their shot selection and finishing. Later, after Berea stroked a long 3, the Puerto Ricans had their largest lead at 35-26. But Canada's most consistent player on the night, Thomas, ensured that Canada would go into halftime with the momentum, hitting a pair of threes, his second at the halftime buzzer to cap an 8-0 run and Canada was back in the game at 35-34 after two quarters. But that momentum did not carry over into the third quarter as a very poor stretch for the majority of that frame was Canada's undoing.

With their fifth place finish Canada has been eliminated from further action at the Las Vegas qualifier. Still, according to FIBA's web site, fifth-place Canada is scheduled to participate in a play-in tournament next summer at a site to be determined with opponents to be determined. The team will go their seperate ways for now with the majority of players destined for their respective teams in Europe pondering what could have been a re-match with the USA on Saturday. In all, this particular group went 6-5 as a team this summer including 4-4 at the qualification tournament with victories against Venezuela, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uruguay and Mexico plus losses to the USA, Brazil, Argentina and Puerto Rico. Earlier, Canada had defeated Puerto Rico and Argentina in a pre-tournament warm-up however both sides avenged their losses to Canada when it really counted. The goal of this program should always be qualifying for the Olympics and this goal has not yet been reached - we will find out early next summer if it will or not.

Key Recruit Tollestrup to not play for Horns; Veteran Dhaliwal leaves Dinos

In another surprising move, arguably the top recruit for the Lethbridge Pronghorns this coming season, 6'3" Allen Tollestrup has decided to not play basketball this season. As the article from the Lethbridge Herald by Dylan Purcell intimates, Tollestrup had personal reasons for his decision to instead attend Brigham Young University in Utah Tollestrup Leaves Horns Tollestrup was expected to step right into the starting lineup and immediately push for all-conference status this season.

As our Province of Alberta correspondent Dave "Wellsie" Wells describes, the Tollestrup clan are sporting royalty in Southern Alberta. For those not familiar, Allen's dad Phil is one of Canada's all-time great players:

- three-year starter at BYU when freshmen were not allowed to play Varsity
- All-Canadian in his one year allowable at U of Lethbridge
- Canadian national team captain
- Canada's and one of the leading scorer's overall in 1976 Olympics in Montreal in which Canada finished fourth
- played first division in Spain
- coached at McMaster, Lethbridge College and led a school of under 200 students to two biggest category Alberta provincial championships from a school of under 200 students.

Wellsie also passes along some information on the preparation Calgary Dinos are working through as they prepare for this weekend's NCAA visitors:

DINOS HOOPS NEWS .... by Wayne Thomas Dinos Prepare for NCAA Opponents as Dhaliwal Withdraws

One familiar face was absent at the start of Dinos Basketball practice this week, as Tony Dhaliwal, the hard working 3rd year guard from Abbotsford, B.C., informed Coach Dan Vanhooren that he was forced to take this year off to take care of some family obligations back home. Tony's enthusiam and attitude will be missed by his teammates, but he is expected back for the 2008-'09 campaign. The Dinos team has had 3 workouts this week as they prepare to face NCAA Div. 1 opponents, Creighton Bluejays and Weber State Wildcats this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The team looked aggressive and deep at Wednesday's practice with a starting five emerging for the games upcoming. Fans will likely see Jeff Price (3rd year), at the point, and Cody Darrah (5th year), at the shooting guard, while Henry Bekkering (3rd), Robbie Sihota (3rd), and Ross Bekkering (3rd) look to be the starters up front. Tyler Fidler (1st) and Brennen Fule (1st) will provide shooting off the bench, with Andrew Champagnie (1st) giving Price a break at the point spot. The 'bigs' have great depth with Joe Schow (3rd) and Chris Unsworth (2nd) ready to add muscle and scoring. Jeremy Odland (5th) is back healthy again after breaking his jaw late in the season last year, and he will provide strength from the wing. The 2007-'08 Roster also includes guards Joel Bancroft (3rd), Logan Armstrong (1st), and Dustin Reding (2nd), and forward Josh Lovestone (3rd). A 16th player was to be Calgary product Jordan Flagel, but he has been tabbed as the starting QB for the Football Dinos for their opener this weekend at Simon Fraser, so Jordan appears to have his hands full with that assignment.

All games in the Jack Simpson Gym, UC Campus, Central Time

Saturday, September 1
11:00 am Creighton vs. Saskatchewan
4:00 pm Weber State vs. Lethbridge
7:00 pm Dinos vs. Creighton

Sunday, September 2
10:30 am MRC All-Stars vs. Weber State
1:00 pm Creighton vs. Lethbridge
5:30 pm Dinos vs. Weber State
8:00 pm Saskatchewan vs. Creighton

Monday, September 3
10:00 am Weber State vs. Saskatchewan
12:00 pm Dinos vs. Creighton


Single session (2 games): $10
Weekend pass: $50

Tickets can be purchased through Client Services: (403) 220-DINO or by email ( Tickets will either be mailed out or left at Will Call.

Canada's Task is Clear: Beat Puerto Rico and Advance

DENHAM BROWN gets to the rim in yesterday's victory by Canada over Mexico. With a victory today over Puerto Rico (8:30 PM ET on the SCORE), Canada will clinch a spot in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying semi-final round.

Although many scenarios including finishing as high as third place and as low as sixth place still exist for Canada, one thing is clear: with a victory today over an improving Puerto Rico side, a team Canada defeated in overtime two weeks ago in San Juan during the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup, Canada will advance to Saturday's FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier semi-finals. The potential to finish as high as third and avoid what is likely to be a semi-final round meeting with the powerful, first place Americans (they still have to beat Argentina today) remained a possibility after Argentina rallied from a double-digit, second half deficit to defeat Brazil. With a victory over Puerto Rico and a Uruguay victory over Brazil, Canada would finish third at 4-3 and Brazil would finish fifth and be eliminated from this tournament (Uruguay would with the tie-breaker against Brazil). Even with a loss by 11 points or less, Canada would still win a three-way tiebreaker with Puerto Rico and Uruguay and advance to the semi's, however they would finish fourth and play the first place team, likely to be the USA, in the semi-finals.

1. USA 6/0
2. Argentina 6/0
3. Brazil 3/3
4. Canada 3/3
5. Puerto Rico 2/4
6. Uruguay 2/4
7. Mexico 1/5
8. Venezuela 1/5

Matthew Sekeres' article on yesterday's victory and the semi-final possibilities that exist going into today's final day of the quarter-final round Win over Mexico may not be enough Sekeres also has a piece on Canada's Carl English English lets his play do the talking

Mike Ganter has a couple of solid pieces in this morning's Toronto Sun including a report from yesterday's win over Mexico Canadians Bounce Back and a nice article on Vancouver's 6'10" Levon Kendall, who keyed Canada's game-deciding run in yesterday's game Kendall shakes his casual mode

The Toronto Star picked up a Canadian Press report of yesterday's game Canada beats Mexico and Doug Smith previews today's game along with his take on the possibilities for Canada's finish Showdown with Puerto Rico looming large for Canada

The Globe and Mail's article on the game this morning Balanced scoring leads Canada to win over Mexico

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Huge Blow to UVic as Doerksen and Whyte will not play

Coming off a season in which they were within one game of qualifying for the Nationals again and welcoming one of the top recruiting classes in Canada for this coming season, Head Coach Craig Beaucamp and the UVic Vikes were justifiably optimistic about this coming season. That optimism, however, should be tempered somewhat as the program announced today that 6'5" Jacob Doerksen and 6'3" Josh Whyte, two starters on last season's Canada West Final Four participants and viewed as key members of this season's group announced that they will not play this season. Doerksen, who was the final cut from Canada's entry at the recent FISU games and a former CIS Rookie-of-the-Year, could not be reached for comment by the Victoria Times-Colonist (article link below) while Whyte, a flashy, athletic guard who brought an altogether different element to the Vikes last season and improved dramatically as the season wore on, has decided to enroll in classes at Mount Royal community college in Alberta and work on his game. The Vikes also lost Brandon Ellis, Steve Moore and Graeme Bollinger to graduation last year and return only one fifth-year player in Rob Kinnear. However, Victoria did bring in a number of solid recruits but will be very young this season Vikes lose two top ballers for this season

Active, Energetic Canada Cruises Past Mexico

Pounding the offensive glass and breaking Mexican pressure with aplomb (thanks to Wayne Kondro for that word), Canada had a game-deciding 22-5 run in the second quarter led by 6'10" Levon Kendall, 6'5" Denham Brown and 6'7" Juan Mendez to come one game closer to a spot in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier semi-finals with a solid 97-80 victory over Mexico (1-5). After a bit of a slow start, Canada brought the same type of energy to this game as they did against Uruguay on Monday, attacking inside and cleaning up the "o" glass with an almost-absurd 19 first-half offensive rebounds. Canada also got virtually everything they wanted against the Mexican zone, making 5 of their first 11 3's, including 3 by 6'2" Jermaine Anderson (team-high 17 points on 5-8 3's, 5 assists, 3 rebounds) but had trouble finishing inside going only 2 of the first 14 inside the 3. With Canada up 1 at 25-24 and 8 1/2 minutes remaining the second quarter, Kendall got on the glass for 6 straight points (10 points during the run), Brown made a perimeter jumper and then went coast-to-coast after grabbing a defensive rebound and Mendez had a put-back dunk to break the game open late in the second quarter. Mexico had stayed in the game early by taking advantage of poor Canadian transition "d" that led to some open looks but Canada's tremendous energy and effort on the offensive glass limited any further significant spells of transition opportunities for Mexico. Canada broke the game open early in the second half on back-to-back 3's from Anderson and Carl English , capping a 10-2 run giving Canada a 57-33 lead and the route was on. Six players went for double figures for Canada including Anderson, Kendall (14 points/11 rebounds), Brown (11 points/11 rebounds), Mendez (15 points/9 rebounds), English (12 points) and 6'5" Olu Famutimi (11 points/5 rebounds). Canada was able to rest many of their big guns for much of the second half, including the rapidly-improving Anderson - maligned by some (including me) as lacking in pure point guard skills but who has proven to arguably Canada's most important and irreplaceable player in the rotation. 6'10" Samuel Dalembert played only 13 minutes with 8 rebounds and super sub 6'5" Dave Thomas also got a chance to chill. Canada should be fresh for Puerto Rico, an 8:30 PM Eastern time start tomorrow as the Canadians are one win away from a semi-final appearance. EARLY TIE-BREAKING SCENARIOS: Assuming Brazil wins one of its remaining two games (against Argentina tonight and/or Uruguay tomorrow), Brazil will clinch third place. By virtue of Canada's victory today, Canada now owns any head-to-head tie breakers with Venezuela and Mexico. If Puerto Rico defeats Venezuela later today and Brazil wins either of their two games, tomorrow's Canada vs. Puerto Rico matchup is for the fourth and final spot in the semi-finals.

Canada Still in a good spot

LEFT: Canada's Denham Brown battles for a rebound with Argentina's 6'10" Luis Scola, who had 23 points and 6 rebounds as Canada's record in the quarter-final round dropped to 2-3 with 2 games remaining including today's matchup with Mexico at 3:30 PM ET.

After Venezuela's upset over Uruguay yesterday, the fourth and final semi-final spot is there for the taking. In fact, without doing all the math, Canada looks to be in a very favorable position and will definitely clinch fourth with victories in their next two games against Mexico and Puerto Rico. Canada could also still finish third with a pair of wins and a pair of losses by Brazil (to Argentina and Uruguay). Even with a split, Canada could conceivably squeeze into fourth even if they don't win both of their remaining games - depending upon what happens in the remaining games - Canada would likely have to win a Week 17-like NFL wild card tiebreaker. There are a number of permuatations and combinations however Uruguay appears to be in the most difficult position, already losing the head-to-head tiebreaker against Canada (sure they were resting their guys...) and facing both the USA and Brazil in their final two games. No one has been officially eliminated as of yet as even Venezuela, with their upset victory today, can finish fourth with a pair of victories over Puerto Rico and Mexico. Puerto Rico appears to be rounding into the form expected of them before the tournament began and by winning out could finish fourth as well. Wednesday's results should bring more clarity to the situation.

USA 5-0 vs. Uruguay & Argentina
Argentina 5-0 vs. Brazil & USA
Brazil 3-2 vs. Argentina & Uruguay
Canada 2-3 vs. Mexico & Puerto Rico
Uruguay 2-3 vs. USA & Brazil
Puerto Rico 1-4 vs. Venezuela & Canada
Mexico 1-4 vs. Canada & Venezuela
Venezuela 1-4 vs. Puerto Rico & Mexico

(Top 4 teams advance to semi-finals)

Articles from yesterday's game

Matthew Sekeres from the National Post describes how school was in session yesterday as Argentina taught Canada a few lessons
Argentina's veteran squad bullies fresh-faced Canucks

Mike Ganter's piece in this morning's Toronto Sun on, among other things, Canada's terrible first half against Argentina First-half flop dooms cagers Mike also has a piece on Toronto's Denham Brown and his role off the bench for Canada Brown cast in new role on bench brigade

Julie Marriott from the Canadian Press reports on yesterday's loss in an article appearing in this morning's Globe and Mail Canada comes up short

Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reports on how newest Raptor Carlos Delfino helped lead Argentina to victory yesterday New Raptor helps hammer Canada

In another story mentioning former Canada Basketball Executive Director Fred Nykamp, the Ottawa Citizen's Richard Starnes sheds more light on the recent resignation of volunteer President Colin Linford of the Canadian Soccer Association Why Canada Can't win at Soccer and another piece by Peter Mallett in the Globe and Mail CSA President steps down


The Windsor Lancers are preparing for their Labour Day weekend battle against Virginia Tech and Dave Waddell from the Windsor Star has a report (thanks to blog buddy Cam LaCivita for this link) Windsor Basketball camp

I received a short note from Garry Gallimore, fresh off a solid performance as co-captain for Canada at the FISU Games. Gallimore arrived in Europe last week and was immediately back in transit to France "straight off the plane to play against a Pro A team in France" as he put it. However, Garry was up to the task, ending the game with 20 points. He is happy with his teammates and looks to enjoy his season going forward - we hope to have more reports on Garry and other CIS grads throughout the season.

Finally, to fix up an error from a past posting, there are in fact 5 players who will play in the CIS this season from Eastern Commerce Prep. Joining 6'6" Cole Hobin (Carleton), 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe (Ottawa) and 6'1" Omar Ibrahim (Guelph) (previously reported) are 6'6" Robert Nortmann (Dalhousie) and 6'5" Yoosrie Salhia (Lakehead) as the five graduates from the Eastern Prep program from last year. Thanks to various readers who emailed to re-remind me.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Lethargic Canada Hammered by Argentina

Over the course of a long international tournament with tough games on virtually a daily basis, teams usually experience a roller-coaster ride full of emotional and physical challenges. Canada Sr. Men fought through these challenges yesterday with a character-building victory over Uruguay however having to come back 24 hours later against a much-stronger and better-rested Argentina side, the tide turned dramatically against the Canadians. In a game that was over almost as quickly as it began, Argentina took a 30 point lead into halftime, holding Canada to only 16 total first half points and coasted to a 85-70 victory to remain undefeated at 5-0. Unlike Monday, Canada, which drops to 2-3 in the tournament, played a first half characterized by being a step slow defensively, no offensive continuity, questionable shot selection, carelessness with the basketball, allowing way too many second chances, losing virtually every battle for a loose ball, and getting no second chances themselves. After the gut-wrenching victory against Uruguay, Canada could not muster any emotional energy and played by far their worst half of the tournament. Unfortunately they ran into an opponent that is probably the second best team in the tournament, rounding into top form. Canada fell into a 22-4 hole off the start of the game, going 2 for their first 14 from the field and watched as 6'6" Toronto Raptor Carlos Delfino (15 points/6 rebounds) knocked down 3's and got to the rim while 6'10" Houston Rocket Luis Scola (23 points/6 rebounds) got going inside and in the mid-range. Scola's banker from 15 feet at the buzzer gave Argentina a 26-8 lead after one and the route continued immediately in the second quarter as Argentina added a 19-5 run to lead 46-16 at the half. Although Canada came back in the second half to make the score respectable, play turned into something just better than a glorified pick up game as the result had long since been decided. Canada got 13 points from 6'5" Dave Thomas and 10 points apiece from 6'2" Jermaine Anderson and 6'5" Carl English, who also had 5 turnovers. 6'10" Samuel Dalembert had 9 points and 16 rebounds for Canada. All is not lost for Canada and hopefully a game like this will not cost the group the confidence and togetherness they gained and showed on Monday as they must come back strong against the Nolan Richardson-coached Mexicans, a team that will press full court for 40 full minutes and again play with wreckless abandon and plenty of emotion. The game gets started at 3:30 ET. Canada vs. Argentina Box Score

Labour Day Weekend Composite Schedule

Here is another view of the NCAA vs. CIS Labour Day men's schedule broken down by city/town games are in and then broken down by the 20 NCAA teams which will be visiting Canada.

GREATER VANCOUVER AREA(Oklahoma, Marquette, Idaho, Boise State & Air Force visit)
Saturday, September 1st
10:00AM PT TWU vs Air Force @ Kwantlen University College
5:30PM PT Air Force at Simon Fraser
7:00PM PT Oklahoma at UBC
8:00PM PT Boise State at TWU
8:00PM PT Marquette at UCFV
Sunday, September 2nd
NOON PT Oklahoma at Simon Fraser
NOON PT Boise State at UCFV
8:00PM PT Idaho at UCFV
8:00PM PT Air Force at UBC
9:00PM PT Oklahoma at TWU
Monday, September 3rd
9:00AM PT Air Force at UCFV
10:00AM PT Boise State at UBC
Friday, September 7th
7:30PM PT UC Santa Barbara at Simon Fraser
Saturday, September 8th
7 PM PT UC Santa Barbara at TWU

VICTORIA (Marquette, UC-Santa Barbara)
Sunday, September 2nd
8 p.m. PT Marquette at Victoria.
Monday, September 3rd
7 p.m. PT UC-Santa Barbara at Victoria
Tuesday, September 4th
7 p.m. PT UC-Santa Barbara at Victoria

CALGARY (Creighton and Weber State visit- all games at University of Calgary)
Saturday, September 1
11:00 am MT Creighton vs. Saskatchewan
4:00 pm MT Weber State vs. Lethbridge
7:00 pm MT Creighton vs. Calgary
Sunday, September 2
10:30 am MT Mt. Royal All-Stars vs. Weber State
1:00 pm MT Creighton vs. Lethbridge
5:30 pm MT Calgary vs. Weber State
8:00 pm MT Saskatchewan vs. Creighton
Monday, September 3
10:00 am MT Weber State vs. Saskatchewan
12:00 pm MT Creighton vs. Calgary

GUELPH (LSU, Liberty, Oral Roberts and Morehead State visit)
Sat., Sept. 1st LSU at Guelph 7PM
Sun., Sept. 2nd Liberty at Guelph 11AM
Sun., Sept. 2nd Oral Roberts at Guelph 7PM
Mon., Sept. 3rd Morehead State at Guelph 11AM

OTTAWA (Villanova, Alabama, Illinois visits)
Friday, August 31st Illinois at Carleton 9 PM
Saturday, Sept. 1st Illinois at uOttawa Noon
Alabama vs. McGill at Carleton Noon
Villanova at Carleton 7 PM
Alabama at uOttawa 8 PM
Sunday, Sept. 2nd Queen's vs. Villanova at Carleton NOON
Villanova at uOttawa 7 PM
Alabama at Carleton 8 PM
Monday, Sept. 3rd Alabama at Ottawa NOON
Villanova vs. University All-Stars at Carleton 11 AM

TORONTO AREA (Oral Roberts, Duquesne, Morehead State, Toledo and LSU visit)
Saturday, Sept. 1st
Duquesne at Ryerson 11 AM
Oral Roberts at Toronto Noon
Duquesne at Toronto 4 PM
Morehead State at York 8 PM
Sunday, Sept. 2nd
Morehead State at Ryerson 11 AM
LSU at York 3 PM
Toledo vs. Waterloo 6 PM (at Sheridan College)
Morehead State at Toronto 7 PM
Monday, Sept. 3rd
LSU at Toronto 11 AM
Duquesne vs. Waterloo (at Sheridan College) 2 PM

Saturday, Sept. 1st Virginia Tech vs. Western at Windsor NOON
Sunday, Sept. 2nd Virginia Tech at WINDSOR 8 PM

ST.CATHARINES (Texas A&M Corpus Christi, North Florida and Liberty visit)
Sat., Sept. 1st (Triple-Header at Brock University)
12:00 pm - North Florida vs RMC
2:00 pm - Southern Ontario All-Stars vs Texas A&M Corpus Christi
4:00 pm - Liberty vs Brock
Sun., Sept. 2nd (Double-Header at Brock University)
12:00 pm - Texas A&M Corpus Christi vs RMC
2:00 pm - North Florida vs Brock
Mon., Sept. 3rd (Double-Header-Welland Notre Dame High School)
10:00 am - Brock vs Texas A&M Corpus Christi
12:00 pm - North Florida vs Southern Ontario All-Stars

MONTREAL (Illinois Visits)
Sun., Sept. 2nd Illinois at Concordia 2 PM
Mon., Sept. 3rd Illinois at McGill 11 AM
Mon., Sept. 3rd Illinois vs. RMC at McGill 2:30 PM

Air Force
Sat. Sept. 1st vs. TWU @ Kwantlen University College (10 AM PT)
Sat. Sept. 1st at Simon Fraser (5:30 PM PT)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at UBC (8:00 PM PT)
Mon. Sept. 3rd at Fraser Valley (9 AM PT)
Sat. Sept. 1st vs. McGill at Carleton (Noon)
Sat. Sept. 1st at uOttawa (8 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Carleton (8 PM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd at uOttawa (NOON)
Creighton (all games Mountain time in Calgary)
Sat. Sept. 1st vs. Saskatchewan (11 AM)
Sat. Sept. 1st at Calgary (7 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd vs. Lethbridge (1 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd vs. Saskatchewan (7 PM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd at Calgary (NOON)
Boise State
Sat. Sept. 1st at TWU (8 PM PT)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Fraser Valley (NOON)
Mon. Sept. 3rd at UBC (10 AM PT)
Sat. Sept. 1st at Ryerson 11 AM
Sat. Sept. 1st at Toronto 4 PM
Mon. Sept. 3rd vs. Waterloo (at Sheridan College) NOON
Fri. Aug. 31st at Carleton (8 PM)
Sat. Sept. 1st at uOttawa (NOON)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Concordia (2 PM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd at McGill (11 AM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd vs. RMC at McGill (2:30 PM)
Sat. Sept. 1st at Brock (4 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Guelph (11 AM)
Sat. Sept. 1st at Guelph (7 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at York (3 PM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd at Toronto (11 AM)
Sat. Sept. 2nd at UCFV (8 PM PT)
Sun. Sept. 3rd at Victoria (8 PM PT)
Morehead State
Sat. Sept. 1st at York (8 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Ryerson (11 AM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Toronto (7 PM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd at Guelph (11 AM)
North Florida
Sat. Sept. 1st vs. RMC at Brock (NOON)
Sat. Sept. 2nd at Brock (2 PM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd vs. So.Ont. All-Stars (at Welland Notre Dame) NOON
Sat. Sept. 1st at UBC (7 PM PT)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Simon Fraser (Noon PT)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at TWU (9 PM PT)
Oral Roberts
Sat. Sept. 1st at Toronto (Noon)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Guelph (7 PM)
Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Sat. Sept. 1st vs. So. Ont. All-Stars at Brock (2 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd vs. RMC at Brock (NOON)
Mon. Sept. 3rd vs. Brock at Welland Notre Dame (10 AM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd vs. Waterloo at Sheridan College (6 PM)
UC-Santa Barbara
Mon. Sept. 3rd at Victoria (7 PM PT)
Tue. Sept. 4th at Victoria (7 PM PT)
Fri. Sept. 7th at Simon Fraser (7:30 PM PT)
Sat. Sept. 8th at TWU (7 PM PT)
Sat. Sept. 1st at Carleton (8 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at uOttawa (8 PM)
Mon. Sept. 3rd vs. University All-Stars at Carleton (11 AM)
Virginia Tech
Sat. Sept. 1st vs. Western at Windsor (Noon)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Windsor (8 PM)
Weber State (all games Mountain Time in Calgary)
Sat. Sept. 1st vs. Lethbridge (4 PM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd vs. Mt. Royal All-Stars (10:30 AM)
Sun. Sept. 2nd at Calgary (5:30)
Mon. Sept. 3rd vs. Saskatchewan (10 AM)

Canada vs. Uruguay Articles + Fred Nykamp Update

Puerto Rico's 97-75 upset victory over Brazil makes things even more interesting in the battle for the 4 semi-final spots. Brazil now drops to 2-2, creating a three-way tie for the final 2 semi-final spots with Canada (2-2) and Uruguay (2-2). Uruguay and Brazil are due to play on Thursday. Puerto Rico (1-3) still has to play the USA however with two other victories including a defeat of Canada Thursday, the Puerto Ricans could conceivably squeeze into a fourth-place tie breaker depending upon how things shake out. But there is plenty of basketball remaining and if Canada wins out including beating Argentina today, they now could finish as high as second because Argentina still has to play the USA. It appears that only Mexico and Venezuela are in trouble although the Mexicans had a decent result against the USA last night.

USA 4-0
Argentina 4-0
Brazil 2-2
Canada 2-2
Uruguay 2-2
Puerto Rico 1-3
Mexico 1-3
Venezuela 0-4

(Top 4 teams advance to semi-finals)

The National Post's Matt Sekeres again comes up with a solid piece on yesterday's Canadian victory over Uruguay including some of the finer details about the chippy play and European-style flopping that highlighted yesterday's intense affair. Canadians Tough it Out

Mike Ganter's article in this morning's Toronto Sun again chronicling very well yesterday's game and as well talking about the hard road back for yesterday's hero Jesse Young after injury Getting Down and Dirty and here's another piece by Ganter that touches on the Uruguains Head Coach allegedly trying to rest some of his stars Trying to keep its stars fresh proves costly for Uruguay

Canadian Press article which appeared in the Toronto Star Canada downs Uruguay at FIBA Americas

Another article from this morning's Globe and Mail Young leads win in foul-filled game

Here is an interesting article from Sun Sports Media that provides an update on Fred Nykamp, who resigned as Executive Director of Canada Basketball earlier this year to apparently head up Soccer Canada. According to this article, there is some uncertainty as to what will finally transpire with respect to the leadership of soccer's governing body in Canada Canadian Soccer Association without president after Linford quits

Monday, 27 August 2007

Canada takes huge step to semi-finals by defeating Uruguay

LEFT: Canada's Samuel Dalembert fights for a rebound with Uruguay's Esteban Batista in this afternoon's victory by Canada over Uruguay

Establishing a solid defensive tempo from the get-go and for the most part looking as smooth offensively as they have in the entire tournament, Canada took a huge step toward qualifying for one of four semi-final spots at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier with a solid 95-88 victory over Uruguay (2-2) as the quarter-final round opened in Las Vegas this afternoon. Canada's two workmanlike bigs, 6'9" Jesse Young (George Mason/Peterborough, ON) and 6'9" Levon Kendall (Pitt/Vancouver, BC) matched Uruguay's grit up front as for probably the first time in the tournament, Canada experienced the rough, chippy, sometimes literally dirty play that high-stakes international basketball can turn into. Young finished with a game-high 22 points on 10-16 shooting plus 4 rebounds and from the very beginning dominated Uruguay's 6'11" Esteban Batista (Atlanta Hawks), not backing down from any physical play or mental ploys that the obviously-frustrated center began to turn to as the game progressed. Kendall (just missing a double double with 9 points/9 rebounds) made a couple of very tough shots in key spots and got on the defensive glass. Canada had several text book high/low layups and dominated the glass, outrebounding Uruguay 40-22 including 11 offensive rebounds. But this was a team effort with all 10 players who saw time influencing the result. 6'2" Jermaine Anderson made Uruguay pay for going under screens, knocking in 3 3's as part of his 13 point/4 rebound/4 assist effort in a team-high 37 minutes and Canada's best offensive player down the stretch was 6'5" Denham Brown, who scored all 7 of his points (3-4 shooting), virtually all on big, tough shots when it mattered most in the fourth quarter and made several intelligent passes to open teammates to extend possessions for better shots for teammates. If today's game is an indication, Brown is clearly buying into the "team first" concept, taking shots when in rhythm and in the context of the offense and even over-passing in one instance when his shot was there. Based on today's action, Brown should see much more time going forward. 6'5" Olu Famutimi, as he did against the USA, got Canada off to a great start, going 3 for 3 in the first quarter and finished with 9 points while 6'5" Dave Thomas was his steady self with 10 points including several clutch free throws and finishes. 6'5" Carl English also contributed despite having to deal with foul trouble all afternoon, finishing with 7 points and adding a team-high 5 assists.

Defensively, it was clear that Canada needed to limit the quality touches of Batista, including keeping him off the offensive glass, and the clean looks for 6'0" Nicolas Mazzarino (36 points vs. Mexico). Thanks to a high quality defensive game plan, Canada took Uruguay completely out of their comfort zones when defending in the quarter court (don't know for certain but having watched and been part of the preparation for Carleton as an opponent many times, I would have to guess that the scouting report had Coach Smart's fingers all over it). As a result, Canada led comfortably throughout the first half and went into the locker room at halftime with a 10 point lead at 48-38, holding Batista to just 9 points/2 rebounds and Mazzarino to only six. However, Canada's transition "d", an overlooked sore spot for the group thus far in the tournament, again hurt them as Uruguay got some open looks for 3's in transition. Later, Canada's inability to guard the ball and deal with ball screens in spots effectively allowed Uruguay to creep back in the game to trail by only 5 at 70-65 after three quarters. But Canada never let Uruguay come all the way back, despite having the lead dwindle to as little as two on multiple occasions. With Canada clinging to a two point lead at 72-70, Brown made the first of his 3 BIG shots in the fourth quarter. Later Brown dropped another jumper in rhythm to restore another 4 point lead at 76-72. When Mazzarino knocked in a jumper, Uruguay appeared to not want to go away but Canada went on a 10-5 run culminated in a put-back slam by 6'10" Samuel Dalembert (10 points) to give Canada a seven point lead at 86-79, sealing the game with just over a minute to play. With the victory, Canada moves into a tie for fourth place with Uruguay, each team at 2-2. The stakes continue to increase for Canada as they prepare to meet Argentina tomorrow at 6 PM Eastern time. If Canada can defeat Argentina and then run the table, a berth in the semi-finals is a certainty and possibly a finish that could avoid a semi-final meeting with the USA is in the cards. But Argentina presents a more difficult foe than Uruguay with 6'10" Luis Scola and 6'6" Carlos Delfino as their mainstays. Argentina just pounded Venezuela 98-62 so they appear to be rounding into form. If Canada can find ways to limit Scola's looks inside and continue their selfless work offensively, anything can happen.

Canada faces virtual "must win" today vs. Uruguay

The second round of the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier begins today in Las Vegas and Canada, 1-2 after preliminary play (games against advancing teams count in a team's record going forward), faces what is in all likelihood a "must win" situation today against Uruguay, who finished their Group A action last night with a come-from-behind win over Mexico. Uruguay did just enough to win and tried to rest a number of their top players but make no mistake: Uruguay is led by 6'11" lefty Esteban Batista (Atlanta Hawks) who is not a flashy athlete but understands how to use his body inside to get free and is a great finisher. It also usually takes time to get used to playing lefty's defensively and therefore Canada's post defense will have to shine this afternoon, beginning at 3:30 PM ET. However, Uruguay also has a noted outside threat in 6'0" Nicolas Mazzarino, who scorched Mexico for 36 points on 8-13 shooting from 3 point land. However, Mazzarino can also be controlled as witnessed by his scoreless effort in 20 minutes in Uruguay's only loss of the tournament to Argentina. As stated here earlier, Canada likely needs at least 3 victories in their 4 games to compete for an outright spot in the semi-finals and even still may have to succumb to the mercy of a tie-breaker at that. Many thought that the Puerto Rico game could have been the game that decides whether or not Canada has a shot at the semi-finals, and it still might, but the game could be virtually meaningless for Canada by that time if Canada doesn't take care of business against Uruguay and Mexico. Here are the quarter-final round standings prior to play beginning today with Canada's second round opponents in BOLD

Quarter-Final Standings
1. USA 3-0
2. Argentina 3-0
3. Brazil 2-1
4. Uruguay 2-1
5. Mexico 1-2
6. Canada 1-2
7. Puerto Rico 0-3
8. Venezuela 0-3

Canada's other games in this round:

Tuesday, Aug. 28th vs. Argentina 6 PM
Wednesday, Aug. 29th vs. Mexico 3:30 PM
Thursday, Aug. 30th vs. Puerto Rico 9:30 PM

Matt Sekeres' article in this morning's National Post Hoops draw hands Canada a nice break

Another Sekeres article on Argentina's Carlos Delfino, a key addition by the Toronto Raptors for this coming NBA season Argentina's Delfino has his hands full and another Delfino article by Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun Delfino Article in Toronto Sun

Finally, a solid piece by Mike Ganter in this morning's Toronto Sun on 6'2" Jermaine Anderson of Canada Canada's Rock

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Canada's 2nd round opponent list taking shape

By virtue of their victory over Puerto Rico yesterday, Uruguay joins Argentina from Group A in the second round of the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier in Las Vegas. Although the game dates/times will not be established until later today, Canada now knows at least 2 of their opponents in the next round. Canada is familiar with undefeated Argentina (3-0), having defeated them 84-78 last week in Puerto Rico at the Tuto Marchand Cup. The 2 keys to Argentina are 6'10" Luis Scola (Houston Rockets) and 6'6" Carlos Defino (Toronto Raptors). Uruguay (2-1) has 6'10" Esteban Batista (Atlanta Hawks), the first player ever from Uruguay to make the NBA. Batista had 34 points and 15 rebounds yesterday against Puerto Rico (1-3) as Uruguay clinched a spot in the second round. Tonight's final games of the preliminary round will determine the final 2 teams from Group A to advance. Puerto Rico will need help as only winning a tie-breaker can help them advance. Mexico (1-2) meets Uruguay (2-1) at 6:30 PM ET while Panama (1-2) takes on Argentina (3-0) at midnight. All games mean something as teams will take their games against other advancing teams to the next round with them. For example, Canada will start the standings in the next round with a 1-2 record. Nothing is official, but realistically Canada will have to win 3 of their 4 games in the next round; in other words, they will have to beat Uruguay and two of Mexico, Puerto Rico and/or Panama. Another victory over Argentina would of course also help the cause tremendously.

CIS vs. NCAA Labour Day: CIS Team Schedules

In what has become a CIS basketball tradition, this coming Labour Day will again see a number of NCAA Division 1 teams visit Canada to play CIS teams. The CIS vs. NCAA series continues to grow as this Labour Day an unprecedented 20 teams will play over 50 games throughout the weekend against Canada West, OUA and QSSF teams. Expect the AUS to join in on these games beginning next season. Games will take place in the greater Vancouver area, Victoria, Calgary, greater Toronto area, Guelph, St. Catharines, Ottawa and Montreal. While Atlantic Canada is not involved in these games this year, expect the City of Halifax to likely host a set of games next season if things pan out. NOTE: This list is only as accurate as the information that could be compiled. To ensure complete accuracy, visit the web sites of the respective CIS teams - virtually all have games and ticket information listed.


"Fri" = Friday, August 31st
"Sat" = Saturday, September 1st
"Sun" = Sunday, September 2nd
"Mon" = Monday, September 3rd
"Tues" = Tuesday, September 4th


Sat - 9 PM ET Creighton
Sun - 7:30 PM ET Weber State
Mon - 2:00 PM ET Creighton

Sat - 11 PM ET Marquette
Sun - 3 PM ET Boise State
Sun - 11 PM ET Idaho
Mon - Noon ET Air Force

Sat - 6 PM ET vs. Weber State at Calgary
Sun - 3 PM ET vs. Creighton at Calgary

Sat - 1 PM ET vs. Creighton at Calgary
Sun - 10 PM ET vs. Creighton at Calgary
Mon - Noon ET vs. Weber State at Calgary

Sat - 8:30PM ET Air Force
Sun - 3 PM ET Oklahoma

Sat - 1 PM ET vs Air Force @ Kwantlen University College
Sat - 11 PM ET Boise State
Sun - Midnight ET Oklahoma

Sat - 10 PM ET Oklahoma
Sun - 11 PM ET Air Force
Mon - 1 PM ET Boise State

Sun - 11 PM ET Marquette
Mon - 10 PM ET UC-Santa Barbara
Tue - 10 PM ET UC-Santa Barbara

Other Canada West games (not during Labour Day weekend)
Friday, September 7th
10:30 PM UC Santa Barbara at Simon Fraser
Saturday, September 8th
10 PM ET UC Santa Barbara at Trinity Western


Fri - Illinois 8 PM
Sat - Villanova 8 PM
Sun - Alabama 8 PM

Sat - Illinois NOON
Sat - Alabama 8 PM
Sun - Villanova 7 PM
Mon - Alabama NOON

Sun - vs. Villanova at Carleton Noon

Sat - vs. North Florida at Brock Noon
Sun - vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Brock Noon
Mon - vs. Illinois at McGill 2:30 PM

Sat - Duquesne 11 AM
Sun - Morehead State 11 AM

Sat - Oral Roberts NOON
Sat - Duquesne 4 PM
Sun - Morehead State 7 PM
Mon - LSU 11 AM

Sat - Morehead State 8 PM
Sun - LSU 3 PM

Sat - Liberty 4 PM
Sun - North Florida 2 PM
Mon - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (at Welland Notre Dame) 10 AM

Sat - LSU 7PM
Sun - Liberty 11 AM
Sun - Oral Roberts 7PM
Mon - Morehead State 11AM

Sun - vs. Toledo (at Sheridan College) 6 PM
Mon - vs. Duquesne (at Sheridan College) 2 PM

Sat - vs. Virginia Tech at Windsor NOON

Sun - Virginia Tech 8 PM

Sun - Illinois 2 PM

Sat - vs. Alabama at Carleton NOON
Mon - Illinois 11 AM

Reports from Saturday's Canada USA Game

Mike Ganter's report in the Toronto Sun Glad that's over with

Toronto Star has the Canadian Press report on the game Dream Team makes it look easy against Canadians

Saturday, 25 August 2007

U.S. Hammers Canada

LEFT: Canada's Juan Mendez gets a hand on a shot by USA's Carmelo Anthony as Ryan Bell looks on; USA defeated Canada in Group B action this afternoon.

The score 113-63 speaks for itself as the Americans just have too much fire power offensively and are too athletic defensively, on and off the ball, for probably any other team at this tournament. Still, there were some things to take away from this game for Canada. Please note these are strictly my own thoughts gleamed primarily from watching Canada's first 4 games of the tournament. It was obvious to me that the one player who could compete with the Americans and in the League apart from Samuel Dalembert, at least today, was 6'5" Olu Famutimi, who showed, even after his mashed up his knee a few years ago, he has the athletic ability to compete with NBA players, although he could get alot stronger. Famutimi made shots (TOUGH shots), got to the rim, was able to create for himself off the dribble and got on the glass. There is another side to playing in the League, which is the ability to defend individually and in a team concept that can make the difference in being a NBA player and not; this game was not one in which one could definitively say that Olu has the skill, understanding of detailed team defensive concepts and effort-level required to be an above average defender in the League but he did show today that he has an offensive package that is League-like. Unfortunately for Carl English, in the short time he was on the floor today, old nemeses of shot selection and decision-making with the basketball were evident. Against lesser teams, bad, off-balance threes from the corner when a ball reversal is warranted or dribbling head down into traffic out-of-control don't end up as dunks in 2 seconds at the other end. In this game and every night in the NBA, that stuff is a given. It is not yet certain yet as to whether English can distinguish between what is and what isn't a good shot - he certainly hasn't proven to understand that consistently in the first 4 games of this tournament. That said, in the right circumstances, he can score using creative skills and good athleticism but, as much as I wish it were different, in my opinion, he's not ready for the League. He was 0-5 today and finished with 2 points on free throws. 6'11" Samuel Dalembert looked ordinary against the U.S.A. as his limited offensive package showed; unlike other games where he had smaller, less athletic checks guarding him, he could not shoot over anyone and certainly could not muscle his way into the paint. Offensively, he is what he is: a long, athletic 4 man who makes a living on the offensive glass and in transition. Remember, his career averages are 7.9 ppg/7.5 rpg with a career-high 10.7 ppg last season. Defensively, viewers may have noticed how often the U.S.A. pulled him out to defend ball screens and Dalembert was exploited early and often. Canada has usually hard hedged and recovered on screens during the tournament and Dalembert just hasn't been showing himself on ball screens and the results usually have been points for opponents. Sam is clearly a tremendous off-the-ball shot blocker and is very tough to post up and score on given his length and leaping ability. But today he was exploited defensively and his offensive limitations were evident. Still, Canada would not be 2-2 right now without Sam's contribution and positive attitude. 6'5" Denham Brown was given some opportunity to flash his one-on-one skills including on the final possession of the third quarter when, with the game clock winding down, he was given the opportunity to go mano-on-mano with Chauncey Billups. Generally speaking, it looks like Brown is trying to play a team game, trying to share the ball and make others around him better but tends to fall into wanting to break people down on his own and either pull-up and get to the rim. He is a solid talent but at 6'5" he doesn't have the range on his jumper needed to be a 2 man (compare him to Michael Redd and Mike Miller for instance) and doesn't give you enough other things like defending, post-up game, rebounding and playmaking to be a 3 in the League. I hope I am wrong. 6'7" Juan Mendez competed today and showed very solid skills and did everything with confidence. However, he is a 4/5 in the body of a 2/3 for the purposes of the League. A great player internationally and for Canada. U.S.A. vs. Canada Box Score

Canada now gets set for the quarter-final round and, if I understand correctly, will take a 1-2 record into that round. Canada will play the 4 teams from Group A which qualify for the next round. As of now, it appears that Argentina, who Canada defeated recently at the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup in Puerto Rico, will be one of the 4 teams however 3 more teams among Puerto Rico, Panama, Uruguay and Mexico must play their way in. Group A after Argentina (2-0) is still wide open however Puerto Rico (1-2) and Panama (1-2) both already have 2 losses. More should be understood after tonight's action in Group A when Uruguay (1-1) meets Puerto Rico and Mexico (1-1) meets Argentina. Again, it is not clear, however, the top four teams (out of 8) in the next round will advance to the championship semi-finals next weekend with the 2 semi-final winners immediately advancing to Beijing. Canada (1-2) will likely need to win at least 3 of their 4 games to get into the top 4. Teams slotted from 5th to 8th place after the next round will continue to play off to determine fifth place and the alleged final spot for the wild card tournament which begins July 7th, 2008 at a location still to be determined. Best of luck to Canada.

Badgers Announce Late Impact Addition

The Brock Badgers are preparing for 3 games over the Labour Day weekend in the Niagara Region against Liberty, North Florida and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, an NCAA tournament participant from last season coached by long-time NCAA mentor Perry Clark and recently welcomed back a key player who has sat out the past 2 seasons and should step into the starting lineup almost immediately. 6'7" Dusty Bianchin, a native of Niagara Falls, will be reunited with Badger veterans Brad Rootes, Scott Murray and Mike Kemp. Those four players played on the Niagara Falls Red Raiders who won two provincial OBA Championships earlier this decade. Bianchin joined Rootes and Murray in a solid Badger recruiting class beginning in 2003-04 and together the then-freshmen helped lead the Badgers to the CIS Final Four that season. Bianchin then played his sophomore season in 2004-05, occasionally starting but generally defering to CIS Player-of-the-Year Kevin Steinstra offensively before sitting out the past 2 seasons. Expect Bianchin, who is a solid rebounder, passer and finisher to have a much higher profile offensively for the Badgers and, along with 6'7" Owen White, who has also had a strong summer, provide Brock with a legitimate one/two punch up front in the tough OUA West. Head Coach Ken Murray offers that "Dusty is in the best shape of his life and now gives us a very solid starting five."

Canada / U.S. Virgin Islands Articles

Matthew Sekeres's piece in this morning's National Post on the game Canada explodes in fourth to seal win - Canada 93 Vir. Islands 83 Matt also has done a very nice piece on 6'11" Samuel Dalembert and the positive impact he has made on his teammates and the Canadian program in general Dalembert makes impact on Canada

Mike Ganter from the Toronto Sun reports on last night's Canadian victory Dalembert gives Canada a big lift and another report previewing this afternoon's affair with the U.S.A. which still has implications for the next round as usually in these tournaments, games between teams played in the first round usually count in the standings in the following round Subdued Celebration

Here is the Canadian Press article on last night's game that appeared in this morning's Globe and Mail, complete with a photo of CIS player Ryan Bell (pictured above) Canada on the Ball

Ed Willes from the Vancouver Province provides his thoughts on Canada National team and their quest to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing Canadian B-Ball Coach has tall order ahead

Friday, 24 August 2007

Canada Clinches spot in Quarter-Finals

Building leads as large as 18, Canada moved to 2-1 in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier tournament with a solid 93-83 victory over a hot shooting U.S. Virgin Islands team that had lost by over 60 points to the U.S. on Thursday night. 6'6" Juan Mendez (Niagara/Montreal, Quebec) once again had a strong offensive game for Canada with 22 points and 7 rebounds including 3 3's. Once again, 6'11" Samuel Dalembert was a difference-maker, especially defensively as he had 5 blocks plus several other shot-altering plays virtually every time an opponent tried to drive the lane or make a post move. Dalembert also had 15 points and 8 boards. But Canada Head Coach Leo Rautins was very happy with the play of the "other" player from Montreal: "Juan is a very explosive player, he is unique because he can play strong around the basket and can step out and shoot the three-point shot, he gets on the glass. He likes contact; he likes the physical play around the basket." Canada fought back from an early 27-23 deficit as the U.S. Virgin Islands knocked down seven 3's in the first quarter alone, including 3 3's by 6'5" Jason Edwin (Kent State) both in transition and against Canada's 2/3 zone. But Canada had a 10-0 run to start the second quarter as Mendez went to work and 6'5" David Thomas (Michigan State/Brampton, ON) did a fine job limiting Edwin's looks. Rautins was not happy with his team's defensive performance early on, commenting "They did a great job shooting the ball from the three, 13 of 24, that really kept them in the game. I was a little disappointed the way we came out defensively but we came out with intensity in that second quarter and changed the game." After 6'5" Denham Brown (Connecticut, Toronto, ON) knocked in a runner to give Canada a 13 point lead at 48-35 with 2:15 to play in the half, the U.S. Virgin Islands went on a mini 5-0 run but after Mendez (15 points in the first half) hit a 3 at the buzzer Canada went to halftime up 53-40. In all, the US Virgin Islands were 8-13 from downtown in the first half and they continued their hot shooting off the start of the third quarter and a 12-2 run culminated by a 15 footer off the dribble by Edwin allowed them to creep back to within 3 at 55-52. It was 59-56 with 4 minutes left in the quarter when Canada took off on 23-8 run bridging the 3rd and 4th quarters, culminated by a Mendez "and 1", to give Canada their biggest lead at 82-64. But U.S. Virgin Islands had one run left and led by Edwin and 6'0" Kevin Sheppard (Jacksonville) who finished with 23 points, the lead was cut to 7 with 4:11 left but Dalembert came up with a key block that led to 6'5" Carl English (Hawaii/Patrick's Cove, Newfoundland) icing the game with a 3 in transition off a feed from 6'2" Jermaine Anderson (Fordham/Toronto, ON), who had just 5 points but added 12 assists and 5 rebounds. 6'4" Ryan Bell (Carleton/Ottawa, ON), the lone CIS player on Canada's roster, saw 11 minutes of action including a long stint in the second half during which he drove the lane and fed Mendez for a dunk and later shot the gap in the passing lane for a steal and lay-in at the other end. Bell still has not turned the ball over in 31 minutes of play over 3 games. The U.S. Virgin Islands also got 13 points/6 rebounds from 6'5" Cuthbert Victor (Murray State-2003/04 Ohio Valley Conference Player-of-the-Year) and 10 points from 5'11" Carl Krauser (Pitt). Although Canada had a couple of opportunities to put the game away reasonably early, the game was never in doubt after early in the second quarter and Canada did what they had to do to earn a spot in the quarter-final round. But the Canadians have one more game in the preliminary round, tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern time against the host USA and their array of NBA stars. The game will be telecast LIVE! on the SCORE network. Canada vs. U.S. Virgin Islands Box Score

Canada over Venezuela Articles

Doug Smith from the Toronto Star, although apparently not on site in Las Vegas, is still communicating his thoughts via a blog which, as you will read, are insightful. Note: The Toronto Star has chosen to use Canadian Press articles to cover Canada's quest to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. Pain for Canada discusses Andy Rautins injury to BOTH his ACL and MCL and Canada's chances for advancing to the second round. Low Point for Canada touches on Canada's apparent woes at the point.

Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun reports from Las Vegas that Canada Head Coach is miffed by a few issues with FIBA, probably the primary one being the lack of a pre-game warm up for players Rautins Sr. gets riled by FIBA: After seeing son Andy tear a knee, coach tears a strip out of world governing body's procedures here is Ganter's report on last night's win over Venezuela Dalembert delivers Canada elusive win

Matthew Sekeres from the National Post contributes his thoughts on Canada's victory over Venezuela Dalembert Delivers Win

Three More '07 CIS Grads to play in Europe; Guelph get late recruiting coup

Many thanks to those who emailed and commented about 3 other 2007 CIS graduates who will continue their playing careers in Europe as 6'4" Brandon Ellis (pictured - left), a slick shooting wing from UVic, 6'10" Jordan Foebel, a mainstay on the fine York front line over the past 5 years and 6'4" Brian Finniss, from Calgary, have started their professional careers. This brings to at least 7 the number of CIS grads from last season to sign European professional contracts. Ellis made an immediate impact in his first professional game last week with the Dusseldorf Magics, a Division 2 league team in Germany. After arriving in Germany last weekend, he was left out of his team's first game due to jet lag but dressed for the game nevertheless. But early in the second half, with the Magics losing, Ellis came off the bench and scored 21 points to lead Dusseldorf to the victory. Ellis went to high school at G.P. Vanier in Courtenay, B.C. He began his CIS career with the UBC Thunderbirds before transfering to the UVic Vikes. Foebel (pictured) joins USC Freiburg in the German Pro B league after a stellar career at York. reports that Calgary grad Finniss, one of the Dinos co-captains last year, got the call from Citybasket Recklinghausen, the team in Germany for which Dino alumnus Chris Wright played last year. Former Dinos Wright and Chris Harris are just down the road playing for Hagen BBV. Finniss is a native of Summerside, P.E.I. who started his CIS career at Acadia before transfering to Calgary two seasons ago.

The Guelph Gryphons scored a late recruiting coup as 6'1" Omar Ibrahim, originally from Toronto Central Commerce who spent last season with the Eastern Commerce Prep program coached by Canadian Jr. National team coach Greg Francis, has committed to the Gryphons and is practicing with the team preparing for Guelph's set of weekend Labour Day games. Ibrahim is at least the third member of last season's Eastern Commerce Prep team to attend CIS schools joining 6'5" Cole Hobin (Carleton) and 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe (Ottawa). Ibrahim, a combination guard is described by Coach Chris O'Rourke as a player with a "big upside". Expect Ibrahim to contend for a spot in the Gryphs playing rotation almost immediately.

More FIBA Americas News

Our good blogging friend Neate Sager chimes in with a pair of articles on his "Out of Left Field" site providing his thoughts on the Canadian team with an Eastern Ontario touch Sending In The Carleton Swat Team Neate also highlights the lone CIS player: "I know there was skepticism on some of the message boards about Bell and he hasn't taken a shot in two games, but the team's had a couple of nice surges when he's been out." Getting a charge out Bell's contributions For what it's worth, in my view Ryan Bell has been fine for Canada in his limited role. He took a big charge against Brazil in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night which kept Canada in the game and he was on the floor in the second quarter last night when Canada had a solid run to take the lead against Venezuela, making at least 2 solid decisions in transition including a sweet look to Carl English that led directly to a fast-break layup for Canada. At 6'4", he is long and intelligent enough to defend the ball (I can't remember anyone beating him off the dribble) and strong enough not to think you can post him up. He still has not turned it over in 2 games and gives you a big guard who can rebound as well. Given his limitations in being able to beat people off the dribble at this level, he is suited for a back-up role to give Jermaine Anderson a blow. If getting the right people the ball at the right time, not turning it over, defending and rebounding are his roles, then he's done very well up to now.

Unfortunately, the news on 6'5" Andy Rautins is not good as it was confirmed that he will miss the entire 2007-08 season at Syracuse due to the torn ACL injury he suffered early in the game against Brazil. Rautins, who will take a medical redshirt this coming season, hopes to be able to return to action next season and will be entering his junior year athletically with 2 seasons of eligibility remaining. Here is a report from Mike Waters who keeps a blog on Syracuse University basketball Rautins to miss 2007-08

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Dalembert, Anderson Lead Canada to Late Victory

There was a tremendous amount of publicity and excitement when 6'10" Samuel Dalembert finally gained his Canadian citizenship in early August, allowing him to participate in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying event for Canada. Fans got a taste of what the fuss was all about earlier tonight as Dalembert, along with 6'2" Jermaine Anderson, invigorated a listless Canadian side with clutch performances down the stretch, enabling Canada to defeat a scrappy Venezuela side 80-73 to move to 1-1 in Group B of the preliminary round in advance of tomorrow's affair with U.S. Virgin Islands. Dalembert was a force at both ends, especially in the last 2:25 of the game when, with his team down by 2, he had an emphatic block and then followed up with a power move inside to tie the score. On the next possession, Dalembert forced his way inside and the resulting "and 1" gave Canada the lead for good at 73-71. Dalembert then used his length to save a ball from going out-of-bounds and the rock ended up in the hands of the "Rock" (Anderson) who then clinched the game at the foul line. Earlier, Anderson, who scored all of his 17 points after the intermission including 3 consecutive 3's midway through the second half, made the Venezualians pay for going underneath a ball screen, canning a clutch 17 footer that gave Canada a 76-73 lead with 40 seconds remaining. Although Canada struggled to find any consistency, the group did what they had to do, getting another great performance down the stretch from Anderson, his third such effort in the past week, and what we were all waiting for from Dalembert. Canada had leads in the 5 to 7 point range throughout the second half as Anderson awoke by hitting a pair of open 3's late in the third quarter and then nailing another from downtown early in the fourth and Canada looked to be on their way. However, Venezuela didn't quit and a 7-0 gave the underdogs a 67-65 lead with 6:10 remaining. However, Canada clamped down defensively, led by Dalembert, who cleaned up any dribble penetrations with either a block or by forcing a kickout and Canada gave up only 6 points in the last 6 minutes of the game. Dalembert finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds to lead Canada while Anderson went 3-5 from 3 as part of his 17 point effort while 6'5" Carl English added 14 including a big 3 on the next possession immediately after Venezuela had taken their first lead of the game with just over 6 minutes remaining. Canada vs. Venezuela Box Score

Jeanty Signs Pro Deal in Germany

Congratulations to two-time Mike Moser Award winner Ozvaldo Jeanty, who has signed a professional contract with TSV 1861 Noerdlingen of the Pro A League in Germany. Jeanty, arguably the most successful player in CIS history, leading the Carleton Ravens to 5 consecutive CIS championships, had several offers on the table and will play in one of Europe's toughest leagues in Germany. Jeanty's unsurpassed work ethic is well known and he views this opportunity as another challenge he will no doubt face with the same ferocity he trained with each and every day in the CIS. Jeanty is the fourth CIS star from last season to announce a professional deal in Europe. Previously, 6'10" Neil MacDonald and 6'3" Garry Gallimore (both from St. FX) signed with the same team in Belgium and 6'4" Casey Archibald (UBC) signed with a team from Austria. The Ottawa Citizen's Martin Cleary reports on Jeanty's signing Jeanty signs deal to play in Germany As well, Cleary reports on the hype starting to surround one of the Labour Day games in Ottawa involving the University of Illinois and the Carleton Ravens as Ottawa is apparently on "celebrity watch" Ravens fans on celebrity watch

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Barbosa Leads Brazil over Canada

Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa scored 30 points, including 18 in the first half, and made several key plays down the stretch after both 6'11" Nene and 6'10" Tiago Splitter fouled out, allowing Brazil to escape with a 75-67 victory over Canada as a pair of Group B participants went at it on the opening day of the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Canada overcame poor shooting from downtown with a gritty defensive effort and a 12-2 run in the first 2:48 of the fourth quarter to bring the game back to even at 56. But Splitter scored 4 straight and Barbosa had a couple of sweet looks in transition plus 2 free throws with 3 1/2 minutes remaining to lift Brazil to a five point lead and Brazil held on from there. It didn't look good for Canada early as Brazil went off on a 15-0 run to lead 21-8 as Barbosa had 9 early points, many in transition as the Brazilians took advantage of lax Canadian defensive conversion. Worse still, 6'10" Samuel Dalembert went to the bench early in the first quarter with 2 fouls after getting 2 blocks and 3 rebounds. But 6'7" Juan Mendez got it going, starting a Canadian run by knocking down an open 3 and later 6'5" David Thomas, who had a very solid game for Canada, fed Mendez twice, once in transition and a second time for an "and 1" inside, allowing Canada to bring the game back to down only 3 at 36-33 by halftime. Mendez had 12 first-half points for Canada, which played without Dalembert for all but about 5 minutes of the first half. Canada had a terrible start to the second half as questionable shot selection and some solid work by 6'9" J.P. Batista gave Brazil a 9 point lead and Nene's putback with 3 seconds left put Brazil in front 54-44 after 3. But Canada wasn't finished, as after another Mendez open 3 from 6'4" Ryan Bell and 6 points from Dalembert including a thunderous follow-up dunk tied the score at 56. But then Splitter went to work against Canada's zone and Nene's "and 1" with 5:29 to play gave Brazil the lead for good. Canada hurt themselves going 3-8 from the free throw line after they tied the game in the fourth quarter. Canada had success when they started their offense inside but generally had trouble finding clean looks off their offensive sets. Still, an encouraging start, playing with a team generally regarded as one of the favorites to grab one of the two guaranteed spots to the Olympics. Canada appears likely to have lost 6'5" Andy Rautins to a knee injury that looked serious after he got his feet tangled defending the ball in the first quarter and went down claiming he "heard a pop" in his knee.

Gee-Gees to have Brother Act this season

The Ottawa Gee-Gees scored a late recruiting coup as 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe, a combination guard originally from Toronto Jarvis Collegiate who spent last season with the Eastern Commerce Prep program, has committed to the program. Jacob is the younger brother of Gee-Gees OUA East First Team All-Star 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe and will help ease the loss to graduation of 5'11" Alex McLeod in uOttawa's backcourt. Jacob is described as more of a combination guard who can shoot the ball and can play the point as opposed to Josh, who is primarily a point guard. Jacob joins 6'6" forward Justin Bell (Mississauga Rick Hansen), 6'5" forward Marvin Bazile (John Abbott CEGEP) and 6'0" shooting guard Vlad Pislaru (Scarborough Jean Vanier) in the Ottawa's 2007-08 recruiting class. The Gee-Gees are one of several CIS teams hosting NCAA games this coming Labour Day as Alabama (twice), Villanova and Illinois will face uOttawa. A full schedule of all CIS vs. NCAA games will be posted shortly.