Saturday, 29 September 2007

Warriors Look to Rebound

Despite the loss of three starters from a non-playoff team, optimism is high as the Waterloo Warriors look to push up the standings in the OUA West this season. Last season's group faded late, finishing 7-15 in the league and 9-19 overall and coach Tom Kieswetter must replace starters 6'7" Michael Davis, 6'3" Olivier Quesnel and 6'0" Matt Kieswetter, who collectively averaged almost 30 minutes each per game. But Waterloo's top player down the stretch last season was likely 6'2" David Burnett (11.4 ppg/4.7 apg), a scrappy, intelligent guard who has a chance to move into the upper echelon of OUA guards with his ability to score and find people. Waterloo also brought in what many feel is a solid recruiting class led by 6'3" Cam McIntyre, one of the better high school wings two seasons ago out of Kitchener Collegiate who did not play last season, plus a pair of experienced transfers in 6'7" Sinclair Brown (Simon Fraser) and 6'5" Tim Rossy (Lakeland College ALTA). Unfortunately, another heralded recruit, 6'0" Craig Bauslaugh, who transfered back home after spending part of last season at Laurentian with the Voyageurs, has decided not to play this season. Last season's top rookie, 6'8" Alan Goodhoofd (5.9 ppg/4.0 rpg) also got better as the season progressed and with further maturation could be a very serviceable OUA post player. The Warriors also have 6'4" fourth-year Dan White (5.6 ppg/3.0 rpg), a wing with some size who can step out and knock down 3's. Waterloo usually runs patient offensive sets, has guys who can stretch defenses with 3's and typically play hard and scrappy. Waterloo has already played once this pre-season, losing against NCAA Division 1 opponent Duquesne Dukes over the Labour Day weekend. While the Warriors have probably improved their overall talent base, they lack experience (only White is higher than 3rd year) meaning at least one other strong recruiting class is likely necessary to realistically challenge for an OUA West championship. The Warriors will have an intra-squad game this coming Monday and then host an Alumni game on Wednesday prior to kicking off their pre-season schedule on the weekend after Thanksgiving when they host the 40th annual Naismith Classic with Calgary Dinos, U of T Varsity Blues and McMaster Marauders visiting the Physical Activities Center (PAC) in Waterloo.

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