Monday, 26 November 2007

CISHOOPS.CA Top 10 for November 26th, 2007

With all conferences well into their regular season schedules, there have been enough games played to begin to assess and rank teams based on who they've played instead of speculating on talent and potential which weighed heavily on the pre-season and early season rankings. While Carleton is clearly #1, the remainder of the rankings are up for debate based on schedule strength, key wins and losses and how teams have done most recently. Teams with few losses and relatively easier schedules can be ranked high but 1 or 2 subsequent losses can cost those teams in subsequent rankings. With one more week to go until the exam/holiday break, next week's Top 10 will be last for the calendar year 2007.

#1 Carleton (12-0 overall, 6-0 in OUA, #1 last week) (2-0 this past weekend: defeated Western 78-50 and then-#2 Windsor 81-73 at home) Riding the nation's longest winning streak at 15 games (including last season's 3 game run to the national championship), the Ravens unleashed their 6'7" Moser Award candidate Aaron Doornekamp on the Windsor Lancers and in a big spot he put on a display worthy of the Player-of-the-year with 33 points and 17 rebounds as Carleton avenged last season's Wilson Cup loss to the Lancers. NEXT: at Brock Friday night and at #4 Guelph on Saturday night.

#2 UBC (10-1 overall, 9-1 Canada West, #3 last week) (2-0 this past weekend: defeated Thompson Rivers 101-81 and 110-72 at home) Another pair of easy wins for the T-Birds against Pacific Division competition at home as 6'8" Bryson Kool appears to be rounding back into form after several months of getting back to full strength after injuries. UBC is one of only 2 CIS teams with fewer than 2 losses, their only loss coming at Calgary three weeks ago. But the T-Birds have only one win against a Top 10 team, defeating Toronto at home in October, with the remainder of their wins against teams with .500 or lower records. NEXT: UBC entertains arch-rival UVic for a pair of games at home this coming weekend.

#3 Acadia (10-2 overall, 5-1 in AUS, #6 last week) (2-0 this past weekend: had a pair of victories at UPEI, 88-54 and 84-75) The Axemen have won five in a row after an regular season opening night loss at home to St. Mary's and have moved up in the rankings as others have fallen. Acadia's only two losses are to the Huskies and their margin of victory in other games has been generally high although none of their wins outside of the pre-season opener against St. Mary's have been against Top 10 teams. The Axemen need to win some quality games to maintain this lofty ranking. NEXT: Acadia has completed their first half AUS regular season schedule and now plays next at the Wesmen Class tournament between December 28th and 30th in Winnipeg.

#4 Guelph (12-2 overall, 6-0 in OUA, #9 last week) (this past weekend: 2-0 defeated U of T 79-75 in OT and Ryerson 95-87, both at home) Winners of 12 in a row (tied with Carleton for the nation's longest win streak for this season), Guelph continues to win all the close games and has an emerging talent in 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli, who has made 10 of his last 12 three-point shots and despite playing only about 20 minutes per game, has been on the floor late in games and has led Guelph offensively down the stretch. Combined with 6'3" Nick Pankerichan who is having his best season and 6'9" Duncan Milne, the Gryphs are currently the top team in the OUA West. Guelph has quality wins at Queen's and at home against Cape Breton and Toronto. As well, the Gryphs pushed #1 Carleton at home losing by 3 at the House-Laughton tournament in Ottawa, one of only 2 losses on the season. NEXT: Host #10 Ottawa (Friday) and #1 Carleton (Saturday) this weekend.

#5 Brandon (11-3 overall, 7-1 Canada West, #7 last week) (2-0 this past weekend: defeated Regina at home twice 76-64 and 95-77) The Cats rolled over the Cougars at home and have opened up a three-game lead atop the Great Plains division. Brandon was without usual rotation players 6'1" Tarik Tokar and 6'8" Yuri Whyms for Saturday's game but was still able to win comfortably. Two losses to Alberta and a set back against top ranked Carleton by 3 at the UVic tournament in October are the only blemishes on the Cats season. Brandon has a pair of wins against Saskatchewan and a nice road win at UVic during the Vetrie tournament; the remainder of the victories are against .500 or lower teams. NEXT: Thursday/Saturday home-and-home set against Winnipeg this weekend beginning at the Duckworth Center on Thursday night.

#6 Concordia (6-2 overall, 2-1 in QSSF, #5 last week) (1-1 this past week: won at McGill 81-62 and lost at Laval 68-62). Playing their first three QSSF league games on the road, the Stingers could not hold an early lead in bowing to Laval on Saturday. Concordia has battled injuries to both Buckley brothers the entire first semester but has played by far the fewest games against CIS competition of any of the Top 10 contenders. A key road win at overtime against Queen's helps as does the win this past Thursday at McGill however the overtime loss at Winnipeg against the unranked Wesmen and a lack of stronger opponents on the schedule weighs down on the ranking. NEXT: Concordia closes their first semester by hosting UQAM on Friday.

#7 Toronto (12-3 overall, 5-1 in OUA, #8 last week) (This past weekend: 1-1 with a 79-75 overtime loss to then #9 Guelph and a 70-66 win at Brock) The Guelph game was as billed: two very even teams slugging it out into overtime before the Gryphs prevailed. 6'3" Mike Degiorgio continues to be the fifth-year leader the Blues need, hitting a big shot late in regulation against the Gryphs that almost gave the Blues the win. Toronto did a great job bouncing back to beat a very capable Brock team in St. Catharines. The Blues have quality wins against Calgary (neutral site at Waterloo) and at Brock. Toronto's only losses have come at Simon Fraser, which has won 5 of their last 6, at #2 UBC and at #4 Guelph. NEXT: The Blues get another shot at a quality win when they entertain #9 Windsor on Saturday and also play a solid Western Mustangs side at home on Friday.

#8 Calgary (9-2 overall, 7-1 in Canada West, "also considered" last week) (2-0 this past week: defeated then #4 Alberta twice at home 95-74 and 98-73). Took command of first place in the Central Division by two games with a pair of lopsided wins against Alberta, beginning with Friday night's win in which the Dinos took complete control late in the third quarter and dominated the fourth. Saturday's game was basically over in the first half as Calgary's depth and athleticism created all kinds of problems for the Bears. Calgary has also defeated UBC at home but has losses against Toronto (neutral court in Waterloo) and at Simon Fraser. The Dinos still need that big win on the road to move further up the rankings but fully deserve a spot in this week's Top 10. NEXT: Host division rival Saskatchewan Huskies twice to complete the first half of the season.

#9 Windsor (8-3 overall, 4-2 in OUA, #2 last week) (this past week: 0-2 lost at Ottawa 78-61 and at #1 Carleton 81-73) Once again, the Lancers squandered an opportunity for big road wins in losing a pair in the Nation's Capital. Two of Windsor's prized fifth-year players had less than stellar weekends as 6'5" Kevin Kloostra averaged only 7 points in the losses, shooting 5 for 21 in total, while 6'0" Ryan Steer was outplayed at Ottawa on Friday but did recover to have a solid offensive performance against Carleton. 6'8" Greg Surmacz has been the most consistent Lancer all season while 6'3" Isaac Kuon had a pair of solid shooting games this weekend. All 3 of the Lancer losses this season have been on the road and they have a couple of quality wins including last weekend's victory over Queen's at home and a neutral court win against Cape Breton. NEXT: The Lancers get another chance at winning a big road game this Saturday night at #7 Toronto; prior to that Windsor visits Ryerson in downtown Toronto.

#10 Ottawa (10-2 overall, 6-0 in OUA, NR last week) (this past week: 2-0 defeated then-#2 Windsor 78-61 and Western 84-67) The Gee-Gees are riding a six-game winning streak and comfortably handled the Lancers at home in a game that was basically over early in the fourth quarter. 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe is having an all-conference-type start to the season and Ottawa's starting five ranks up there with the top quintets in the nation. Ottawa is undefeated at home and is beginning to develop their bench but currently relies on 30+ minutes from at least 4 of their starters against quality opposition to have a chance to win. In addition to Friday night's win against Windsor, Ottawa has home wins against St. FX, Brock and Laval. The Gee-Gees still do not have that signature win on the road and have lost to a Waterloo team that has only 1 other win against CIS competition this season, that coming this weekend against winless RMC. Ottawa also was soundly defeated in Alberta earlier this year. NEXT: at #4 Guelph (Friday) and at Brock (Saturday).

Alberta (10-4 overall, 5-3 Canada West, #4 last week) (Lost twice at Calgary 95-74 and 98-73)
Cape Breton (11-4 overall, 5-1 in AUS, #10 last week) (this past weekend: 1-1 split with St. FX)

Also Considered:
Queen's (9-3 overall, 4-2 in OUA)
St. FX (10-5 overall, 4-1 in AUS)
St. Mary's (12-4 overall, 3-2 in AUS)

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