Tuesday, 27 November 2007

(Belated) Weekend Recap

Belated recap this week as my 24 week pregnant wife is passing a kidney stone which she says is more painful than child birth itself. Needless to say I have been sidetracked so patience is appreciated.

Here is this week's RPI courtesy of Mark Cheers and the Bob Adams CIS Sports Page as well as some always-provocative thoughts from Neate Sager in Out of Left Field, which I visit daily for keen insights virtually all sports-related issues.

AUS Plenty of exciting action across the country this past weekend with the valiant effort by winless Memorial at home in a double overtime loss on Saturday against St. Mary's probably being the most noteable. 6'3" third-year guard Robert Grant was incredible as Chad Lucas notes in Posting Up Grant's 38 point effort is a season-high in AUS regular season play... The Huskies won a bit more comfortably on Sunday afternoon as 6'1" fifth-year point guard Mark Ross was credited with 17 assists which apparently ties an AUS single-game record also held by Augie Jones and Randy Nohr. Without diminishing the tremendous effort of Ross, who we've stated here is one of the most solid, underrated guards in the CIS, it still must be noted that assists are probably the most inconsistent and difficult statistics to maintain any degree of integrity since interpretations and importance is keeping them among scorers vary so widely. I've been at games where I've counted numerous obvious assists and then the final official stats show much fewer. Conversely, there are other tables that are much quicker to hand out assists and some can be felt to favour the home team's star. Nonetheless, Ross's accomplishment on Sunday was clearly very strong and worthy of note... Huskie teammate 6'2" Mark McLaughlin averaged 27 points per game over the weekend including 32 in St. Mary's overtime win. McLaughlin leads the AUS in scoring (league games only) at 23.0 ppg while Acadia's 6'5" Leonil Saintil, coming off what was for him a relatively quiet weekend, still is fourth in scoring at 17.3 ppg and 1st in rebounding at 15.5 rpg. Cape Breton's 6'5" fifth-year forward Eric Breland is second in conference scoring at 17.8 ppg and second in rebounding with 9.8 rpg. 6'2" Tyler Richards leads St. FX in scoring and is third in the AUS at 17.4 ppg while Cape Breton's 6'7" sophomore Scott Jaspers-Fayer, who played limited minutes as a freshman, has come on since the start of the regular season and is leading all AUS players in field goal percentage at .694... Dal's 6'5" Germain Bendegue had arguably his strongest game as a Tiger this season with a 17 point, 10 rebound effort, which included 7 offensive rebounds, in Dal's win at UNB on Saturday. Dal later swept the weekend series... The schedule is light in the AUS this coming weekend as the first semester draws to a close with only two games: St. FX visits arch-rival St. Mary's in Halifax with the Huskies finally returning home after spending much of the first half of the season on the road - Thursday's game is actually St. Mary's regular season home opener. On Saturday, Cape Breton travels to UNB for a four-point game.

QSSF The standings are very tight in Quebec although if you check the CIS site, last season's standings are still posted. On the QSSF site, McGill remains undefeated at 2-0 which is peculiar since Concordia pounded the Redmen this past Thursday... As a fan, this is, to say the least, disappointing and for those who ponder why our sport isn't regard as "mainstream" by the mainstream media, this situation plus the abysmal OUA and CIS stats are a possible clue as to why (see below for more)... As far as we can tell without going thru each game and pulling out our abbacus, 6'7" J.P. Morin leads the "Q" in scoring at 25 ppg and in rebounding at 11.3 rpg. Bishop's 6'1" Junior Nicolas has had a fine start to the regular season, averaging 24.3 ppg while shooting .550 from the field including a stellar 14 for 27 from three point land; his 14 3's lead all Quebec players in the regular season... A pair of McGill Redmen sits third and fourth in the scoring derby in the "Q" as 6'3" Moustafa El-Zanaty averages 22.5 ppg and 6'4" Sean Anthony is at 18.0 ppg... Laval's Marc-Andre Cote is shooting a blistering .714 from the floor while averaging 7.3 rebounds per game... Just 3 games in the "Q" this weekend with UQAM playing at Concordia and Laval at McGill on Friday followed McGill at UQAM on Saturday.

OUA As mentioned in a previous post, probably the best all-round performance in a big spot was offered up by 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp of the Carleton Ravens as he established what are believed to be career-highs in points (33) and rebounds (17) as the Ravens held off the then-#2 Windsor Lancers before a packed house at the Raven's Nest on Saturday night. The fourth-year forward showed observers that he is the clutch player that his team can look to in important spots now that Osvaldo Jeanty has graduated. Ryerson's 6'7" Boris Bakovic authored a pair of 30+ point games including a 39 point effort against Brock and with at least 2 other 30+ point games this regular season, you would expect the sophomore from Toronto to be leading the OUA in scoring. But a quick visit to the OUA web site surprisingly shows a pair of York Lions tied for the lead in scoring with 32 points per game as Tut Ruach, also averaging 67.3 minutes per game, and Matt Terejko, with a workman-like 55 minutes per game, are off to tremendous, record-setting starts. It is obvious that OUA stats as on their site are simply flat out incorrect as many players are averaging over 40 mpg, Ottawa's 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe has apparently played in only 4 games and many other inaccuracies prevail in only a quick first glance of the site. The CIS stats page is even more inaccurate as Simon Fraser's Greg Wallis is listed as the leading scorer in Canada averaging 37.4 points per game in 56.8 minutes per game and Junior Nicolas has apparently played only 1 game all season. It is now Tuesday at noon and these stats continue to be incorrect; as a fan of the game, I'm not sure what else can be said... Lakehead's 6'4" Kiraan Posey had 29 against Laurentian and then 20 against York in a pair of road victories for his Thunderwolves (3-5), who have won 3 in a row... The Vees Darrell Drake had 26 points and 8 assists in the loss to Lakehead... Brock's Brad Rootes appears to have fully recovered from his ankle injury as he had 26 against Ryerson and then 20 against Toronto over the weekend but the Badgers had some bad news on the injury front as the St. Catharines Standard is reporting that defensive stopper and key starter 6'3" Rohan Steen is likely to miss this weekend's pair of big games against Carleton and Ottawa with an ankle injury... We've mentioned it previously but I don't recall ever remembering a torrid three point shooting streak the likes that 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli of Guelph currently is riding. After making only one of his first 6 threes from the start of the regular season, Moscatelli has made 12 of his last 13 three pointers including 4 for 4 vs. York last weekend, 3 for 3 vs. Toronto on Friday and 4-5 vs. Ryerson on Saturday... The OUA East holds a slim 25-23 advantage in the cumulative interlock standings as the final set of games between the divisions closes this coming Friday and Saturday. Last season, the OUA East won the season series comfortably after 5 consecutive seasons of relative dominance by the West.

CANADA WEST The difficulty of winning on the road in Canada West action has been discussed ancedotally and the statistics bear out the fact that wins away from home are precious. After this weekend's games, home teams have won 39 of 56 games in Canada West regular season play (70%). Conversely, in other conferences, the disparity is much lower. Asking teams to travel as long as 8 hours to play a Saturday game after playing on Friday night is a receipe for less-than-stellar efforts, poorer product for the fans and in some cases higher chance for injuries to players. Apparently, Canada West coaches will discuss these issues and hopefully maximize the number of games that can be played either Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday such as what Brandon and Winnipeg are doing this coming weekend... Congratulations to 6'8" Greg Wallis who was named Canada West Male Athlete of the week for his efforts in a pair of wins for the suddenly-hot Simon Fraser Clan, who defeated Winnipeg and Manitoba at home over the weekend. Wallis had double doubles in both games including 27 points and 10 rebounds against Winnipeg. In all Wallis shot 20 for 30 from the floor, including several big dunks, over the weekend. 6'7" teammate Nolan Holmes had 20 rebounds in the win against Winnipeg... The undermanned Wesmen, suffering injuries to starters 6'7" Dan Shynkaryk and 6'0" Matt Opalko, got a split in B.C. behind the great work of 5'9" Erfan Nasajpour, who had 25 against the Clan and 26 against Trinity Western in the Wesmen win over the Spartans... Congratulations to 6'6" Tyler Hass who recently joined a number of other great players on the Victoria Vikes 1,000 point career list... The Bekkering brothers took turns leading their Calgary Dinos to victories over their Central Division rivals Alberta Golden Bears as Henry dominated inside with 28 points and 9 rebounds on Friday before watching brother Ross take over on Saturday with a 20 point/11 rebound effort... 6'2" freshman Chris Bodnar, just added to the Saskatchewan Huskies lineup after playing a major role on the Huskies football team, had a career-high 20 points in a win against Lethbridge over the weekend... Bodnar's teammate 6'2" Kyle Grant put his team on his shoulders with 22 second half points (25 in total) to lead the Huskies to a win on a night when 6'8" Andrew Spagrud missed his first-ever Canada West regular season game in his five year career due to an ankle injury that he sustained in the first quarter of the Friday game but kept playing on the rest of the night... Two of the top players in Canada West had big games on Saturday night as the Brandon Bobcats grabbed a strangle-hold on first place in the Great Plains conference. 6'3" Dany Charlery had his season-high of 29 points while adding 10 rebounds and 4 assists while 6'5" Adam Hartman added 25 as the Bobcats swept Regina Cougars, handing them their 3rd and 4th losses in a row after a 4-0 start... Manitoba's Isaac Ansah had a strong 27 point effort in the Bisons' loss at Trinity Western... Winnipeg's 6'1" Cam Hornby, who transfered back to Canada after one season and a bit in the U.S. in NCAA Division 1, has struggled since becoming eligible three games ago. Hornby has made only 4 of his first 21 field goal attempts including 1 for 11 for 3 point land for a total of 10 points in 3 games. Expect his shooting touch to improve as he gets comfortable after not playing in live, competitive action for almost two years.

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