Monday, 29 October 2007

CISHOOPS.CA Top 10 for 29 October 2007

#1 Carleton (6-0, #1 last week) (this past weekend: IDLE. Carleton faces three NCAA Division 1 teams in the U.S. beginning tonight in Louisville in venerable Freedom Hall against the Cardinals. Carleton also faces Providence and Boston College later this week before beginning their OUA interlock schedule against McMaster and Lakehead the weekend after next.
#2 Windsor (4-1, #2 last week) (this past weekend: Won Hawk Challenge at Laurier by defeating Bishop's and then-#7 Cape Breton) Had two solid wins that were rarely in doubt, knocking Cape Breton from the ranks of the unbeaten and then against a better-than-advertised Gaiters team. The Lancers face Oakland University, an NCAA Division 1 team this coming Sunday night in Michigan before starting their OUA interlocking schedule at home the following weekend against York and Laurentian.
#3 Concordia (4-1, #3 last week) (this past weekend: IDLE. The Stingers now prepare for five games in eight days in the U.S. against NCAA Division 1 teams beginning next Wednesday night at Vermont. The Stingers come-from-behind win in overtime at Queen's two weeks ago, the Gaels only loss thus far, looks that much more impressive given how well the Gaels (who are now ranked in our Top 10) have played. Concordia begins their defense of the QSSF championship on Friday, November 16th at Bishop's in Lennoxville.
#4 UBC (3-0, 2-0 in Canada West, #4 last week) (this past weekend: defeated TWU at home and Simon Fraser on the road) The T-Birds pounded a pair of Canada West Pacific Division opponents this past weekend, defeating Trinity Western at home and then shellacking Simon Fraser on the road in Burnaby. UBC faces a two-game swing through the province of Alberta where they will face Lethbridge and a highly-touted Calgary Dinos team in a tough road contest for the defending Canada West champions.
#5 St. Mary's (8-1, #5 last week) (this past weekend: 3-0 won Laval Tourney defeating UNB, Laval & Laurentian) The Huskies, in the midst of an eight-game winning streak, have won every tight game they've played in, including Saturday's overtime win against Laval. Coach Ross Quackenbush has much more depth than last season and apart from his main rotation, is also getting unlikely contributions from freshmen such as Jazz Cain who led the way back against Les Rouge et Or and Jack Gallinaugh who lit up Laurentian's zone on Sunday. St. Mary's faces conference rival Cape Breton at the X tournament this weekend with the winner meeting the X/UPEI winner in the championship game of the four-team, two-day event in Antigonish, NS.
#6 Acadia (5-1, #6 last week) (this past weekend: IDLE) The Axemen had a solid pre-season with their only loss coming to St. Mary's in the championship of the UNB tournament and have quality wins against Bishop's, Victoria and the Huskies in Moncton in the first game of the season. Acadia begins AUS regular season play on Nov. 7th (Wednesday night) when they host St. Mary's in Wolfville.
#7 Alberta (5-1, NR last week) (This past weekend: Won their own Golden Bear Invitational, going 3-0 by defeating Waterloo, York and Ottawa) With their only loss a tight 5 point game against #1 Carleton in which they shot 40% from the line plus wins at Victoria, Brandon and a pounding of an Ottawa team that had only one loss prior, the Bears could easily be considered for an even higher ranking. In 6'4" Andrew Parker and 6'2" Alex Steele, Alberta has a pair of high-honours candidates and are deep and experienced throughout their rotation. Alberta kicks off their Canada West regular season schedule this weekend, traveling to B.C. to meet Fraser Valley and Thompson Rivers.
#8 Brandon (4-2, #8 last week) (this past weekend: 3-0 with wins against U.S. NAIA schools Dakota State, at Mayville State and at Minot State) The Cats have wins against quality opponents Saskatchewan (before injuries set in on the Huskies) and at Victoria. Both losses came to top teams: #1 Carleton and #7 Alberta. Brandon opens their Canada West regular season this coming weekend, hosting Simon Fraser and Trinity Western. The 'Cats defeated the Clan earlier in the Super 8 tournament three weeks ago.
#9 Queen's (5-1, NR last week) (this past weekend: 3-0 winning Western's Purple & White tournament) On the verge of being ranked all last season, the Gaels finally break onto the national scene with an impressive set of wins at Western including a come-from-behind win against the host Mustangs in the championship game. The Gaels found ways to stay in games early on the weekend and then relied on their solid half-court "d" and ability to create open shots down the stretch. The only blemish on Queen's season is an overtime loss to #3 Concordia in which the Stingers rallied from a 4 point deficit with 15 seconds to play and won in the extra session. Queen's also has a pair of wins against former Top 10 team McGill. 6'3" Simon Mitchell is taking the next step to becoming an elite CIS player while Coach Rob Smart is getting top performances out of at least three unheralded freshmen including 6'5" Travis Mitchell, 6'4" Nick DiDonato, 6'1" Jon Odgen. Queen's meet St. Lawrence College (NCAA Division III) in Canton, NY on Saturday and then hosts Guelph and Brock the following weekend to kick off the interlocking portion of their OUA regular season.
#10 Toronto (7-2, NR last week) The Blues, winners of 4 in a row, have already defeated then-#10 Dalhousie, St. FX and a touted Calgary team at Waterloo. Varsity also traveled to B.C., losing a tight game at Simon Fraser in which they came from 18 points down before losing and then building a big lead at #4 UBC before succuming down the stretch. Toronto has been holding teams in the low 40% defensively and creating open shots offensively. Free throw shooting, a problem for the past couple of years, could have been the difference in at least one of their losses. The Blues will play a pair of games at Daemen College in Buffalo this weekend before hosting Waterloo and Laurier the following weekend to kick off their regular season.

Also considered:
last week's #7 Cape Breton (5-2) (this past weekend: went 2-2 on a tour of Southern Ontario, defeating Brock and Laurier before losing to #2 Windsor and Guelph) The Capers had to deal with not having arguably their second best player in Paul Blake for half of the Windsor loss and all of the Guelph loss. Cape Breton has defeated Brock (2-6) twice, Laval (4-5), UPEI (1-8) and won at Laurier (2-4). Especially with Blake in the lineup, the Capers should push the Top 10 all season long. Cape Breton faces #5 St. Mary's in the first round of the X tournament this coming weekend.
Guelph (5-2) (this past weekend: 3-0 with home wins against Memorial, then-#10 Dalhousie and then-#7 Cape Breton) Winners of five in a row, the Gryphs played Carleton tough on their home floor and have really only played one rough game, their season opener against Dal, who they later came back to defeat comfortably at home. Guelph travels to Kingston to face RMC and Queen's in two weeks to kick off their regular season.

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