Sunday, September 30, 2007

Varsity Blues Look to keep momentum going

After a stellar, 19 year career which produced multiple CCAA National championships at Humber College and a decade-plus career with Canada's National team program, in probably his final coaching challenge, University of Toronto Head Coach Mike Katz had his Varsity Blues within one game of getting to the CIS Nationals in only his third season at the helm. After a gut-wrenching one point loss to eventual Final Four participant Ottawa Gee-Gees ended last season, Katz and his experienced staff face another challenge in 2007-08, trying to replace four starters including 6'8" Michael Williams, 6'3" Ben Katz, 6'2" Dwayne Grant and 6'5" Mo Safarzadeh (currently ineligible until at least second semester). However, with a solid, experienced fifth-year combo guard in 6'3" Mike DeGiorgio, a pair of underrated posts in 6'7" Amed Nazmi and 6'7" Nick Snow plus an emerging guard in 6'1" Nick Magalas, the Blues have the foundation for another run at the top of the OUA East. DeGiorgio has shifted between the point and off guard during his career, handling both spots very well and being one of only two fifth-year players (6'4" Paul Sergautis is the other) on this young team, will be relied upon for leadership, scoring and significant minutes. Sergautis had a strong year two seasons ago but battled injuries last season and needs to assert himself, especially offensively, for the Blues to succeed. Snow, entering his third season, was a highly-touted recruit from London, ON and began to show flashes of all-conference potential last season with a solid mid-range and low post game but has also battled injuries including a hip that will likely cause him discomfort for the rest of his career. Nazmi came on late last season as a solid forward off the bench and spent his summer with the Egyptian National team, so expect his level of productivity to increase. The heady, scrappy Magalas has a chance to be an all-conference guard very soon with his combination of playmaking and finishing abilities. Probably the most improved Blues player this season is 6'3" Rob Paris, Katz's first recruit, who rarely contributed in his first three seasons but is an emerging perimeter threat who should be a solid rotation guy this season. The loss of four starters usually sets programs back to the drawing board and into rebuilding mode but with the quality coaching staff and key returnees, if everyone can stay healthy, don't count the Blues out of the apparent race for second place in the OUA East. The Blues kick off their pre-season at the 40th Naismith Invitational at Waterloo on the weekend after Thanksgiving, meeting McMaster on Friday, the host Warriors on Saturday and the Calgary Dinos from Canada West on Sunday.

Gaels Run Away in Second Half

Shaking off a mediocre start, the Queen's Golden Gaels came out firing in the second half and shot a blistering 62% from the field after the intermission to blow open a 4 point game at the half and defeat CCAA's St. Lawrence Vikings 80-52 at St. Lawrence for their second straight blowout win against an OCAA school this pre-season. The Gaels led only 32-28 at halftime but outscored STL by 48-24 as 6'6" sophomore Mitch Leger led the way with 28 points on 10/17 shooting and added 8 rebounds. Queen's also got 11 points including 3-4 3's from 6'2" second-year guard Baris Ondul. 6'5" freshman Jon Ogden pushed a double/double with 11 points and 8 boards while veteran Simon Mitchell added 9 points and 5 assists for Queen's. The Gaels also did a tremendous job on the glass outrebounding the Vikings 49-24. The Gaels now look forward to hosting a pair of games in two weeks as Paul Smith College (U.S. NAIA) visits Kingston on Friday, October 5th. The next evening, Queen's plays their first pre-season game against a CIS school as the UNB Varsity Reds visit the Bartlett Gym.

BRANDON WINS ALUMNI GAME: Thanks to Jeremy Sawatsky from Brandon Sports Information for this report... The Brandon University Bobcats won their annual alumni game Saturday night at the BU Gymnasium. Six current ‘Cats scored in double figures as the 2007-08 roster defeated a squad of former ‘Cats 115-73. Dany Charlery topped all scorers with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Yuri Whyms delivered 16 points and 8 boards and Nikosey Quick notched 11 points and 9 assists. Adam Hartman scored 13, while rookies Kyle Vince and Martin Lawrence each had 11. “It was exciting for our guys to finally play on the same side,” joked first year Bobcat head coach Mike Raimbault. “I’m happy with how it went. We got all of our guys in the game, we played hard, we executed on offense… it was a lot of fun.” Former All-Canadian O’Neil Gordon led the alumni team with 18 points.

Saturday, September 29, 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.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Memorial Seahawks Preview

The phrase "rebuilding effort" may not be more applicable anywhere than to the situation facing Memorial Seahawks Head Coach Todd Aughey this coming season. With his six of his top seven scorers from last season's 5-15 (7-22 overall) team which did not qualify for the AUS tournament not returning and only three players who saw any time at all on this season's roster, the challenges are huge. The Seahawks lost players who collectively averaged about 35 minutes per game including Sean Thistle (19.2 ppg), Justin Halleran (16.7 ppg), Evan Constantine (12.1 ppg), Stephen Singleton (6.4 ppg), Colin Power (5.3 ppg) and Curtis Power (4.1 ppg), returning only 3rd year Mark English (3.7 ppg/1.6 rpg in 16 mpg) and a pair of sophomores: Randy O'Reilly (2.4 ppg/1.8 rpg) and Grant Harvey (4.4 ppg/3.4 rpg - MUN's top returning scorer and rebounder. While the recruiting class did bring in quantity with 7 first-year players listed on the roster, none of the newcomers would likely be considered a major impact recruit. Probably the best known name nationally is 6'10" Nick Rigakos, who spent his final year of high school at Woodbridge, ON Emily Carr H.S. after playing his first 4 high school seasons at Toronto Eastern Commerce. Rigakos was identified as the 8th ranked graduating center by Jim Thomas of All-Ontario Scouting Service in his annual ranking of the Top 50 graduating high schoolers in the province of Ontario. Aughey was able to bring in some experience as former Seahawk volleyballer Jeffrey Gallant will play basketball this season and Georgian College transfer Mark Lynch also has been added to the roster. Other freshman who will look to gain time include Justin Penney (St. Catherine's Academy; Salmonier, NFLD), Matthew Gregory (St. Catherine's Academy; Salmonier, NFLD), Jason Shepherd (Central Kings Rural H.S., Cambridge, Nova Scotia) and Andrew Spurrell (Saint Malachy H.S., Saint John, New Brunswick). Coming off a non-playoff, losing season and without virtually your entire lineup from last season is likely to present huge challenges to Coach Aughey, especially given the returning talent and relative improvements made by the other 7 teams in the AUS coming into this season. The Seahawks kick off their season next Thursday night in Montreal when they face the McGill Redmen and then move across town on Friday and Saturday to play in the NIKE Invitational tournament at Concordia with Laurier, Laurentian and the host Stingers also participating in the two-day, two-game event.

Brock adds prodigal son Steen to lineup

The Brock Badgers bolstered their already-impressive lineup as they announced that 6'3" Rohan Steen (pictured) has returned to the program where he started his career. Steen, who played the last two seasons at York, will enter his fifth and final year of eligibility and with the new rules allowing transfers who are entering graduate study programs to be eligible immediately, can play this season. Steen, a native of Welland, Ontario, spent his first two seasons with the Badgers, beginning in 2002-03 before transfering to York University in Toronto, where he played in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He returns home to the Niagara Region with an undergraduate degree and will add an graduate degree to his impressive resume. Steen has a fine array of offensive skills including the ability to get to the rim off the dribble and shooting range beyond the three point line and is also one of the top defenders in Ontario. He was headed to what most observes felt was an OUA East all-star season last year before injuries in late January forced him to miss time and curtailed an excellent year. Steen ended up averaging 15.5 points per game but was among the OUA's leading scorers in mid-January before the injury bug hit. The Badgers lineup now features reigning OUA West Player-of-the-Year Brad Rootes, stalward 6'2" wing Mike Kemp, emerging 6'7" Owen White, 6'7" Dusty Bianchin, 6'1" Scott Murray plus Steen, forming one of the more formidable six man rotations in the country. Coach Ken Murray is also impressed with a couple of his freshmen as 6'4" Joe Kendrick from Horton H.S. in Wolfville, NS and 6'6" Andrew Ferguson from St. Catharines Governor Simoce Redcoats look to earn time in the rotation. Coach Murray plans to bring three-year starter Scott (his son) off the bench this season, planning a starting lineup of Rootes, Steen, Kemp, White and Bianchin. (Note: 6'5" Matt Bassett-Speiers has decided not to play this season to concentrate on teacher's college). These recent additions should allow the Badgers to compete for a Top 10 ranking all season long and challenge Windsor for the OUA West championship. The Badgers play their intra-squad game on Friday, October 5th and then kick off their pre-season on Friday, October 12th when they participate in the Mickey Place Memorial tournament at the University of Prince Edward Island where they will face Cape Breton, Laval and the host Panthers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Articles on the hiring of Wayne Parrish


Michael Grange from the Globe and Mail provides some interesting details on what came out of the process around Wayne Parrish's hiring - apparently Parrish comes very highly regarded Canada passes reins to Parrish Also Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star provides an overview of the signing New boss hopes to turn things around at Basketball Canada Matthew Sekeres of the National Post provides his usual insightful commentary in this article New hoops head faces challenges

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wayne Parrish is New Executive Director of Canada Basketball

I received a very nice note from Andrew Bergant passing on some of the details around today's announcement that Wayne Parrish is the new Executive Director of Canada Basketball...

"Hopefully this note finds you well. Just returned from the Canada Basketball press conference at the Air Canada Centre and wanted to pass along the name of the incoming Executive Director and CEO for Canada Basketball, Wayne Parrish is the new head of basketball in Canada. As well, I would like to congratulate you on your excellent CIS Hoops website, which keeps basketball fans connected throughout the country! "

Excerpt from the media handout
Wayne Parrish is a successful media and business executive who brings a wealth of experience to the position. His appointment ends a four-month search and ushers in a new chapter as the sport's national governing body strives to strengthen and leverage its flourishing grass roots programs and ultimately deliver success internationally.

A native of Vancouver, Parrish brings to his new role more than three decades experience in business and in traditional and digital media, beginning his career as a newspaper reporter before assuming a series of increasingly senior executive positions across a broad range of segments, including newspapers, the Internet, television and book publishing.

Parrish was a senior executive with Sun Media Corporation during a period that culminated in a management buyout of the company from Rogers Communications Inc., and eventual sale to Quebecor Inc. He has been General Manager and Executive Editor of the Toronto Sun, Vice-President-Strategy at Sun Media, Chairman, President & CEO of the CANOE Online Network, President & CEO of Quebecor New Media and, more recently, principal of Sport Media Group, comprising several media and sports-related business, including a consulting arm, publishing group and The SPORT Gallery, North America's only gallery devoted to photography, art and illustration related to sports, located at the Historic Distillery District in downtown Toronto.

Here is a news clip from Canadian Press Wayne Parrish named to lead Canada Basketball

Canada Basketball Announcement; Player and Schedule Updates

After a three month search, Canada Basketball is prepared to announce their new Executive Director Wednesday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Here is a note from Canada Basketball. CANADA BASKETBALL TO ANNOUNCE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CEO (Toronto, Ontario) On Wednesday September 26 2007 at 1:00 p.m. (EST), Canada Basketball will host a press conference at Air Canada Centre to announce the hiring of the new Executive Director & CEO. The Executive Director and CEO will be responsible for unifying the basketball community, while strengthening the overall governance of the game of basketball in Canada, from the grassroots level to the national teams.
Guests: Canada Basketball Executive Director & CEO; Robert Gordon, President of Canada Basketball Board of Directors
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Venue: Rogers Media Centre (event level – enter via gate 2); Air Canada Centre; 40 Bay Street, Toronto ON

Here is a pre-announcement article from Michael Grange of the Globe & Mail Canada Basketball’s big secret plus another article by Grange New Leader Expected to be named Also, Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun covers multiple National team items in this piece Steve Buffery article in Toronto Sun

Good to hear from new UVic SID Mike Tucker who advised that the "UVic Tournament" originally listed in our pre-season schedule for the weekend of Oct. 19th through Oct. 21st is in fact named “Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament” and will feature arguably the most talented set of teams at any tournament this season with defending CIS champions Carleton Ravens, last season's CIS finalist Brandon Bobcats and perennially strong Alberta Golden Bears in addition to the host Vikes. The tournament will also feature a coaching clinic available to the general public on Saturday Oct 20, 2007; details as follows:

Location: McKinnon Gym at UVic
Cost: $75 early registration, $85 after Oct. 13th (Registration includes Lunch and Tournament Pass)
Sessions:
8:30 - 9:30 am......Registration and Coffee
9:30 - 10:45 am....Mike Raimbault, Brandon University, "Transition Offense"
10:45 - 12:00 pm...Don Horwood, University of Alberta, "Special Situations"
12:00 - 12:30 pm.....Lunch
12:30 - 1:45 pm.......Craig Beaucamp, University of Victoria
1:45 pm - 3:00 pm......Dave Smart, Carleton University

Alex J. Walling of Halifax Daily News recently published an article on a pair of new entrants in the Saint Mary's University Hall of Fame including John Gallinaugh and Lee Thomas, who were inducted on the weekend. Both were part of the first team to win a national title for Saint Mary's in 1973. John's son, Jack is a freshman on this season's Huskies squad. Two of the best get inducted into Saint Mary's Hall of Fame

A couple of former CIS players have caught on with the OCAA's Algonquin Thunder as 6'6" Didier Dorion, who spent a couple of seasons at Carleton including a redshirt season and another in which he played sparingly, will play for the Thunder. As well, 6'3" former Kingston Frontenac S.S. wing Craig Smith, who played for the Ottawa Gee-Gees two seasons ago, seeing limited action, has also joined the Thunder.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

CIS Pre-Season Tournaments & Exhibitions 2007

While some teams have started playing pre-season games against CCAA schools and/or participating in scrimmages, we are still about 2 weeks away from the unofficial kickoff to the 2007-08 CIS Men's Basketball season on Thanksgiving weekend. Here is a comprehensive schedule of this season's CIS tournaments and non-conference games on a weekend-by-weekend basis (NOTE: All Games listed are Eastern Time - schedule subject to changes/corrections).

Thanksgiving Weekend (Thurs. Oct. 4th through Sunday, Oct. 7th)
Oct. 4th Memorial at McGill 7 PM (non-conference)
Oct. 4th Laurentian at Algonquin 8:30 PM (non-conference)
Oct. 4th Lakeland vs. Saskatchewan 9 PM (non-conference/neutral site)
Oct. 5th & 6th Concordia NIKE Classic: (2 day/2 game tournament)
Concordia, Memorial, Laurier, Laurentian
Oct. 5th Acadia vs. SMU at Moncton 6:30 PM (non-conference)
Oct. 6th American International at Bishop’s 7:00 PM (U.S. NCAA Exhibition)
Oct. 7th American International at UQAM 1:00 PM. (U.S. NCAA Exhibition)

Weekend of Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14th
Oct. 12th Laurier at Laurentian (non-conference)
Mickey Place Tournament at UPEI
UPEI vs. Laval, Brock vs.Cape Breton
Laval vs. Cape Breton; UPEI vs. Brock
UPEI vs. Cape Breton; Laval vs. Brock
House-Laughton Classic at Carleton
Oct. 12 Guelph vs. Dalhousie 6:00 p.m.; UQAM vs. Carleton 8:00 p.m.
Oct. 13 UQAM vs. Dalhousie 6:00 p.m.; Guelph vs. Carleton 8:00 p.m.
Oct. 14 Guelph vs. UQAM 12:00 p.m.; Dalhousie vs. Carleton 2:00 p.m.
Redbird Classic at McGill
Oct. 12 6 PM Windsor vs. Bishop’s; 8 PM York at McGill
Oct. 13 5 PM Bishop's vs. York; 7 PM Windsor at McGill
Oct. 14 2 PM Windsor vs. York; 4 PM Bishop's at McGill
Naismith Classic at Waterloo
Oct. 12 6 PM Toronto vs. McMaster; 8 PM Waterloo vs. Calgary
Oct. 13 6 PM Calgary vs. McMaster; 8 PM Toronto at Waterloo
Oct. 14 2 PM Toronto vs. Calgary; 4 PM McMaster at Waterloo
Thompson Rivers Desert Classic (starts Thursday 11th)
Oct. 11 8:30 PM Lethbridge vs. AIA; 10:30 PM Quest vs. TRU
Oct. 12 8:30 PM Quest vs. AIA; 10:30 PM Lethbridge vs. TRU
Oct. 13 4:30 PM Lethbridge vs Quest; 7:30 PM AIA vs. TRU
Brandon Super 8 Tournament (starts Thursday 11th)
Oct. 11 7 PM Saskatchewan vs Simon Fraser; 9 PM Brandon vs. Lakehead
Oct. 12 7 PM Lakehead vs. Simon Fraser; 9 PM Saskatchewan at Brandon
Oct. 13 7 PM Saskatchewan vs Lakehead; 9 PM Brandon vs. Simon Fraser
Pembina Chrysler Tournament (Winnipeg)
Oct. 12 Manitoba vs. Concordia; Winnipeg vs. UCFV
Oct. 13 Manitoba vs. UCFV; Winnipeg vs. Concordia
Stu Aberdeen Challenge in Atlantic Canada
Oct. 12 5 PM Victoria at St. Francis Xavier
Oct. 12 5 PM Ryerson at St. Mary’s
Oct. 13 5 PM Ryerson at Acadia
Oct. 13 5 PM Victoria at Saint Mary's
Oct. 14 11 AM Victoria at Acadia
Oct. 14 1 PM Ryerson at St. FX
RMC/Queen’s hosting non-conference games
Oct. 12 8 PM Paul Smith College (NAIA Sunrise Conference) at Queen’s
Oct. 12 6 PM UNB at RMC
Oct. 13 6 PM UNB at Queen’s
Oct. 13 8 PM Paul Smith College (NAIA Sunrise Conference) at RMC
Oct. 14 11:30 AM Paul Smith College (NAIA) vs. UNB at RMC

Weekend of Thursday, October 18 through Sunday, October 21st
Oct. 18 10 PM Lethbridge at Western Montana (non-conference)
Oct. 19 10 PM Lethbridge at Carroll College (non-conference)
Oct. 19 Calgary at Montana Tech (non-conference)
Oct. 20 Calgary at Carroll College (non-conference)
Oct. 20 10 PM Lethbridge at Montana State Northern (non-conference)
Oct. 20 3 PM Concordia at St. Lawrence College (Kingston)
Jack Donohue Memorial Tournament at uOttawa
Ottawa vs. Laval; Brock vs. St. Francis Xavier
Brock vs. Laval; X vs. Ottawa
Laval vs. X; Ottawa vs. Brock
Eric Garland Tournament at UNB
First Round: RMC vs. Acadia; Bishop’s vs. UPEI, Western vs. SMU, Manitoba vs. UNB
Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament at University of Victoria
Oct. 19 8 PM Carleton vs. Brandon; 10 PM Alberta at Victoria
Oct. 20 8 PM Carleton vs. Alberta; 10 PM Brandon at Victoria
Oct. 21 2 PM Brandon vs. Alberta; 5 PM Carleton at Victoria;
Huskie Invitational at Saskatchewan (starts Thursday)
Oct. 18 7 PM Regina vs. Lakehead; Memorial at Saskatchewan 9 PM
Oct. 19 7 PM Lakehead vs. Memorial; Regina at Saskatchewan 9 PM
Oct. 20 7 PM Memorial vs. Regina; Lakehead at Saskatchewan 9 PM
Dalhousie tour of Ontario
Oct. 18 7 PM Dalhousie at Laurier
Oct. 19 7 PM Dalhousie at Ryerson
Oct. 20 8 PM Dalhousie at York
McGill Tour of Kingston
Oct. 19 7 PM McGill at St. Lawrence College
Oct. 20 2 PM McGill at Queen's
University of Toronto Tour of British Columbia
Oct. 18 10 PM Toronto at Simon Fraser
Oct. 19 4 PM Toronto at UBC
Oct. 20 7 PM Toronto at Fraser Valley
Winnipeg Tour of Ontario
Oct. 19 7 PM Winnipeg at McMaster
Oct. 20 tbd Winnipeg at Guelph

Weekend of Thursday, October 25 through Sunday, October 28th
Regina Tour of Montana
Oct. 25 Regina at Carroll College (Helena, Montana)
Oct. 26 Regina at MSU-Northern Tournament (Havre, Montana)
Oct. 27 Regina at MSU-Northern Tournament (Havre, Montana)
Laval Tournament
Laval vs. UNB; Laurentian vs. St. Mary's
Laval vs. St. Mary’s; Laurentian vs. UNB
Laval vs. Laurentian; St. Mary’s vs. UNB
Golden Bear Invitational at University of Alberta (Oct. 25-27)
Alberta, York, Ottawa, Waterloo
RMC Tour of Manitoba
Oct. 25 RMC at Winnipeg
Then Applebee’s Alumni
Oct. 26 RMC at Manitoba 8:30 PM
Oct. 27 RMC at Manitoba 8:30 PM
Western Tournament (Oct. 26/27/28)
Western, Queens, McGill and UPEI
Laurier Tournament (Oct. 26/27)
Laurier, Windsor, Bishop's and Cape Breton
University of Lethbridge Alumni Invitational
Lethbridge, Ryerson, Saskatchewan, Rocky Mountain College (NAIA, Billings, MT)
Oct. 25 Lethbridge vs. Rocky Mt; Saskatchewan vs Ryerson
Oct. 26 Saskatchewan at Lethbridge; Ryerson vs. Rocky Mt.
Oct. 27 Saskatchewan vs Rocky Mountain; Lethbridge vs. Ryerson
Dalhousie, Cape Breton, Memorial & St. FX Tour of Ontario
Oct. 25 Memorial at Guelph 7:30 PM
Oct. 25 Cape Breton at Brock 7:30 pm
Oct. 26 Memorial at McMaster
Oct. 26 St. Francis Xavier at Brock 7:30 pm
Oct. 26 Dalhousie at Toronto
Oct. 27 Dalhousie at Guelph 2:00 PM
Oct. 27 Memorial at Toronto
Oct. 27 St. FX at McMaster
Oct. 28 St. FX at Toronto 1:00 PM
Oct. 28 Cape Breton at Guelph 2:00 PM
Oct. 28 Memorial at Brock 2:00 PM
Oct. 28 Dalhousie at McMaster 3:00 PM
Lakehead at North Dakota tournament

Oct. 29th through early November: CIS vs. U.S. Schools (non-conference games)
Oct. 29 Carleton at Louisville
Oct. 31 Ottawa at UNC-Charlotte
Oct. 31 Concordia at Vermont 7 PM
Oct. 31 UQAM at Maine Fort Kent 8 PM
Oct. 31 Brock at Air Force 9 PM
Nov. 1 UQAM at Maine 8 PM
Nov. 1 McMaster at D’Youville College (Buffalo N.Y.)
Nov. 1 Ottawa at UNC-Wilmington
Nov. 1 Laval at Weber State 9 PM
Nov. 1 Brock at Colorado 9 PM
Nov. 2 Toronto vs. Daemen College 8 PM
Nov. 2 Laval at Brigham Young Utah 9 PM
Nov. 2 Carleton at Providence 7:30 PM
Nov. 2 Concordia at Northern Arizona 10 PM
Nov. 2 Dalhousie at Univ. of Maine
Nov. 2 McMaster at Mansfield University (Mansfield PA)
Nov. 3 Toronto vs. Daemen College 2 PM
Nov. 3 Laval at Utah State 9 PM
Nov. 3 Queen's at St. Lawrence (Canton, NY) 4 PM
Nov. 3 McMaster at Lock Haven University (Lock Haven PA)
Nov. 3 Waterloo at St. John Fisher Rochester, NY 3 PM
Nov. 4 Carleton at Boston College 2 PM
Nov. 4 Laval at Maine
Nov. 4 Concordia at Arizona 5 PM ET
Nov. 4 Windsor at Oakland (MI) 7 PM ET
Nov. 5 Concordia at Rhode Island 7 PM ET
Nov. 7 Concordia at Maryland 7 PM ET

November 2nd, 3rd, 4th
28th Annual NIKE St. FX Invitational: X, UPEI, Cape Breton, St. Mary's
Nov. 2 UQAM at UNB (Woodstock H.S.) 8 PM

December Non-Conference, Tournament Schedule
Dec. 8 Manitoba at North Dakota State College of Science* 7:30 PM Wahpeton, ND
Dec. 9 Manitoba at Jamestown College* 7:00 PM Jamestown, ND
Dec. 17 Trinity Western at Westmont 11 PM
Dec. 20 Trinity Western at Concordia-Portland 10 PM
Dec. 28 Thompson Rivers at Lewis Clark State 10 PM
Dec. 29 Thompson Rivers at Lewis Clark State 2 PM
Dec. 30 Thompson Rivers at Whitman College 2 PM
Holiday Tournaments
Wesmen Classic at Winnipeg: Brock, Manitoba, Winnipeg, Brandon, RMC, Calgary, Acadia, Minot State
Rod Shovellor Memorial Tournament Dec.28-30: Dalhousie, Ottawa, Concordia, Laurentian, Laurier, St. Francis Xavier, St. Mary's, UNB
Ed Dearmon Memorial Tournament at Ryerson Ryerson, Laval, Toronto, McGill, Lakehead, Western
Lethbridge Tour of Montana
Dec. 28/29 Rocky Mountain College Tournament; Teams TBA in Billings, Montana
Dec. 30 at University of Great Falls Great Falls, Montana
Regina, Victoria in Arizona
Dec 28, 12:00pm Regina vs. Victoria at Phoenix, AZ
Dec 29, 10:00am Victoria vs. Trevecca Nazerene at Phoenix, AZ
Saskatchewan and Carleton at Broward Community College (BCC) Tournament (Florida)
Dec. 29 Indian River CC vs Globe NY TBA , Broward vs Saskatchewan TBA
Dec. 30 IRCC vs Saskatchewan, Miami Dade vs Carleton, BCC vs Globe
Dec. 31 Miami Dade vs Globe, Carleton vs BCC

Monday, September 24, 2007

Saskatchewan Coasts to victory over Lakeland

Jumping out to a 24-5 lead before the game was less than 5 minutes old, Canada West Final Four participant from last season Saskatchewan Huskies defeated Lakeland College of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA) 104-67 on Saturday afternoon in Lloydminster, Alberta. 6'8" Andrew Spagrud had game-highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds for Saskatchewan, while 6'2" Rejean Chabot added 22 points, four steals and four assists. After the Rustlers brought the game back to within 10 at 57-47 by halftime, Saskatchewan opened the third quarter on a 27-8 run to put the game away for good. The Huskies, who meet the Rustlers again on Thursday, October 4th at a neutral site in Saskatchewan, played without fifth-year senior guard Kyle Grant (knee) and junior guard Mark Thompson (hip). Here is the Full Game Report courtesy of Huskiehoops.com plus the Box Score

Also, in one of probably numerous omissions and debatable ratings appearing and likely to further appear on this site, it was pointed out by a reader that St. Mary's will also be returning 6'0" fifth-year captain and point guard Mark Ross, who was an underrated stalward in the Huskies run to the CIS Final Four last season. Ross played every minute of every game in the AUS tournament and the CIS Nationals before fouling out late in the semi-final loss to Concordia and ran the Huskies to near-perfection, handling the ball the majority of the time and setting the table for Mark McLaughlin, Clint Bateman, Ike Uchegbu and company. As the reader pointed out, Ross was #7 in assists and was # 2 in minutes played in the country last season. Ross was also deservedly awarded SMU's "Unsung Hero" award for qualities of leadership and heart after last season. Mark Ross is definitely another reason why St. Mary's has one of the top teams in Canada going into this season.

Canada's Top Teams: A First Look

Virtually all CIS teams have completed their tryouts and have made roster selections in preparation for early October when most teams will get into full stride, playing pre-season tournaments and exhibition games. This site is scheduled to publish the entire non-league schedule for all teams in the next week or so. In the mean time, here is first look at Canada's top teams on a regional basis. We expect to publish our first CIShoops.ca Top 10 in early October.

In CANADA WEST, defending champions UBC Thunderbirds must replace graduated 6'4" All-Canadian Casey Archibald, now playing professionally in Austria, but return a number of key players led by 6'3" Chris Dyck, who will likely be counted upon to pick up the bulk of the scoring plus 6'8" veteran post Bryson Kool. UBC brought in another typically-strong recruiting class including 6'2" guard Nathan Yu and 6'5" forward Graham Bath, both of whom started in the T-Birds victory over Boise State over the Labour Day weekend. While not yet having the type of leader and "go to" scorer like Archibald established as of yet, the T-Birds could be even deeper top to bottom than they were last season. UVic Vikes must replace key graduates in 6'4" Brandon Ellis, 6'6" Grahame Bollinger and 6'2" Steve Moore and the surprising late summer loss of 6'6" Jacob Doerksen and 6'3" Josh Whyte. While losing 5 top players would generally set most programs back significantly, the Vikes still return one of the better athletes in Canada West in 6'6" Tyler Hass and brought in three potential rotation players in 6'1" Brandon Dunlop, 6'4" Ryan MacKinnon and 6'4" Julian Spear Chief-Morris. UVic will stay in games with their disciplined offensive sets and, while they won't be as deep as in the past, should contend for Canada West honours. The Simon Fraser Clan may be ready to take the next step in competing for a Pacific Division title with a big team, especially at the guard spots with 6'4" point guard Sean Burke and 6'4" shooting guard Kevin Shaw, a pair of big guards entering their third seasons who have played together since they were freshmen. Up front, the Clan has another pair of veterans in 6'8" Nolan Holmes (5th year) and 6'7" Greg Wallis (4th year). The core of this team has been together for multiple seasons and look for the Clan to make a move up the standings. In the Central Division, defending champion Saskatchewan Huskies return all key players with the exception of 6'2" Sam Lamontange, who came off the bench to provide solid minutes and leadership. In 6'8" Andrew Spagrud, the Huskies have a Moser candidate who will be their scoring and rebounding leader but also return 6'1" veteran Rob Lovelace, who didn't play last season, to run the point, complementing returning guards and wings 6'2" Rejean Chabot, 6'2" Kyle Grant and 6'1" Jordan Harbidge. The Huskies are deep, experienced, have a definitive "go-to" guy, a solid athletic point, solid outside shooting and came very close last season. The Calgary Dinos had arguably Canada's top recruiting class this side of Carleton and have the talent in positions 2 through 5 with the Bekkering brothers (Henry & Ross), 6'6" Robbie Sihota, 6'4" Cody Darrah, 6'1" Jeff Price and 6'9" freshman sensation guard/forward Tyler Fidler, to compete with any team in Canada. The Dinos must find a consistent performing point guard who can step in for the under-rated Josh Feist and get production from the lead guard position. In the Great Plains conference, national finalists Brandon Bobcats must replace their top two perimeter shooters in 6'2" Chad Jacobsen and 5'10" Taylor Cherris-Wilding and welcome new coach Mike Raimbault but return Canada West Player-of-the-Year candidate Dany "Rip" Charlery, dynamic 6'1" point guard Yul Michel, under-rated 6'6" forward Adam Hartman and two very solid bigs in 6'11" Yuri Whyms and 6'9" Stevens Marcelins. The 'Cats also add 6'3" Nick Quick, who has sat out the past 3 seasons, but averaged 14 ppg as a sophomore.

After a season in which the OUA East was the better ONTARIO conference top-to-bottom, expect the scales to tip back in favour of the OUA West this coming season as most top East teams from a year ago deal with heavy losses to graduation and other while most West teams return key pieces and have added significant talent. Windsor Lancers return all main contributors from a year ago and add 6'3" Issac Kuon, an athletic wing who will free up space for 6'5" all-conference star Kevin Kloostra. Competitive 6'0" Ryan Steer enters his fifth and final season with a long playoff run manning the point behind him and 6'8" Greg Surmacz is one of Canada's top big men. Burly 6'6" Greg Allin provides toughness plus defensive presence in the paint and on the glass while 6'0" Corey Boswell came alive offensively during last season's playoff run and is always a tremendous ball defender. The Brock Badgers return OUA West Player-of-the-Year 5'10" Brad Rootes, one of the nation's top defenders in 6'2" Mike Kemp, 6'0" Scott Murray, who has scored over 1,000 points in his university career and have emerging 6'7" forward Owen White, who became an offensive force down the stretch last season and continues to improve and gain confidence. The Badgers also solidified their interior by bringing back 6'7" Dusty Bianchin and 6'5" Matt Bassett-Speiers. Brock may even add one more impact transfer who, if it works out, will be eligible immediately, adding to the experienced talent base. Peter Campbell's Laurier Golden Hawks returned a stable of young talent led by 6'5" all-OUA West forward Matt Walker plus a pair of forwards named to last season's OUA West All-Freshman team in 6'8" Andrew Pennycook, one of the better shot blockers to enter the league in some time, and 6'5" Justin Golob, a solid perimeter shooter. 6'0" Jesse MacDonald matured tremendously toward the end of last season as a point guard who can create off the dribble. The Hawks also bring in a solid recruiting class including 6'4" athletic wing Dominique Brown from Henry Carr in Toronto and 6'1" point guard Austin Walsh from Hamilton St. Mary's. Western had as deep and talented of an incoming recruiting class as any program in Canada, adding to a young group that was maturing. 6'3" Andrew Wedemire managed to avoid major injury last season and showed his all-conference skills while 6'2" Matt Curtis is a flashy, exciting point guard who finds people. Western also returns 6'5" lefty scoring forward Brad Smith and 6'1" sharp shooting guard Jason Milliquet. But three NCAA Division 1 transfers highlight possibly the most significant of a talent influx in the CIS with 6'6" Keenan Jeppesen, from Brown University (eligible in late November), 6'10" Colin Laforme, from Youngstown State and 6'2" Alex Brzozowicz from the University of Michigan. The talent appears in place to return the 'Stangs to the top of the OUA West standings. Despite the shift in talent westward, the top team in Ontario and the country remains the Carleton Ravens, returning two Canadian National team players in 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp, a Moser Award candidate, and 6'4" guard Ryan Bell, who as much as anyone appears to have benefited from a summer playing against top players. 6'5" Jean Emmanuel Jean-Marie, entering his final season, appears to have extended his game further out on the perimeter. 6'3" Stuart Turnbull is a scrappy winner while 6'8" Kevin McCleery came into his own last season, finishing everything inside and maturing as a presence defensively. Under-rated 6'3" Rob Saunders could be Carleton's top defender this side of Bell and makes his open shots. Carleton also had one of Canada's top recruiting classes in 6'8" Aaron Chapman, 6'3" Elliott Thompson and 6'5" Cole Hobin. All three showed flashes during the Labour Day weekend that they will fit into the Raven system at both ends, adding to the talent and depth of the 5 time defending champions. One of the few teams in Ontario East that does return a number of key players are the rapidly-improving Queen's Golden Gaels, a team on the verge of cracking the CIS Top 10 in late January of last season before settling back. In 6'6" Mitch Leger, Queen's has a legitimate scorer inside and out. The Gaels also return three solid back court starters in 6'4" Simon Mitchell, a former OUA East Rookie-of-the-Year, 6'3" Ryan Hairsine, arguably one of the more improved two men in Ontario last season and tough 6'2" guard Baris Ondul. The Gaels also added a number of potential impact freshmen including 6'7" Travis Mitchell. With their ability to find open looks from downtown, Queen's is always a threat to be in most games. Ottawa Gee-Gees, a Final Four team last season, loses three top graduating seniors in 6'5" Curtis Shakespeare, 5'11" Alex McLeod and 6'5" Jermaine Campbell plus 6'0" Willy Manigat but returns 6'4" OUA East First Team All-Star Josh Gibson-Bascombe, who starred on Canada's entry at the FISU games in Thailand this summer. 6'9" Dax Dessureault and 6'3" Sean Peter must make the leap to "go-to" player status while 6'3" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe is probably the Gee-Gees top recruit. It is unlikely that Ottawa will be able to use their customary pressing, up tempo style that served them well in the last few seasons, given the reduction in depth. Instead, Ottawa will likely have to ride the elder Gibson-Bascombe, who has been somewhat fragile in the past, for 30+ minutes per game each night to contend.

The Quebec league has at least three teams that should push for the league title, led by defending champions Concordia Stingers, led by 6'1" Damian Buckley and 6'3" Dwayne Buckley. 6'7" Jamal Gallier needs to take over at least some of the inside scoring that will be missing with the graduation of last season's Quebec Player-of-the-Year Patrick Perrotte while 6'1" Andre Johnny must step into a leading role at both ends as well. 5'9" Levi Vann will be looked upon as the key perimeter threat, replacing the graduated 6'3" Ben Sormonte. Concordia also has potential for solid depth with 6'3" Sebastien Martin, 6'7" Desmond Murphy and 5'10" Pierre Thompson. Laval has a Moser candidate in 6'7" J.P. Morin, who benefited from a summer with Canada's Student team in Thailand and also returns last season's CIS Rookie-of-the-Year in 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Maheux. Les Rouge et Or also brought in one of CIS's top recruiting classes led by 6'4" Jerome Turcotte and 5'9" Xavier Barbeau, both from CEGEP Sainte-Foy. After a couple of years reloading, the young but rapidly-maturing Rouge et Or should be in a position to challenge for Top 10 status once again. Coach Craig Norman appears to be turning the McGill program into one of Canada's finest with another solid recruiting class and a solid effort against Illinois over the Labour Day weekend. 6'4" veteran Sean Anthony is still the top offensive threat while 6'4" sophomore Matt Thornhill should be more of a force now that he will likely play the wing full time. The Redmen now have a pure point guard in 6'2" U.S. import Sam Goulet. McGill also brought in another immediate impact player in U.S. college transfer, 6'3" Mustafa El Zanaty, who should start from Day One. 6'5" Pawel Herra also showed glipses of all-conference talent during his freshman season and should continue to improve.

Defending AUS champions Acadia Axemen, who made an improbable run to the conference championship last season, only 2 years removed from being one of the lowest-ranked teams in Canada, should again push for a spot in the CIS Top 10, led by 6'1" All-Canadian and reigning AUS Player-of-the-Year Paolo Santana. Acadia is also scheduled to bring in 6'5" Leonil Santil, a former CIS rebounding champion who sat out last season after transfering over from Memorial. In fact, the Axemen, who lose only 6'2" Jordan Sheriko to graduation, are scheduled to return their entire starting lineup including 6'4" Luckern Dieu, 6'8" Achuil Lual, 6'1" shooting guard Peter Leighton and 6'2" point guard Andrew Kraus, in addition to Santana. Acadia also brought back the greatest player in the history of their program, Brian Heaney, as Athletic Director. The uncertainty regarding the suspension of Head Coach Les Berry, which is scheduled to be reviewed by the AUS, is the only question mark for a program that clearly appears to be on the rise. Another surprising team late last season was Ross Quackenbush's St. Mary's Huskies, who rode basically five guys to within a minute or two of advancing all the way to the CIS championship game, defeating #1 ranked Concordia Stingers along the way. The Huskies heart and soul is 6'2" guard Mark McLaughlin while last season's hero in the middle 6'5" Ike Uchegbu will get some much needed help from a number of new faces that will make St. Mary's much deeper and talented than last season. 6'1" guard Shane Morrison, originally from Toronto, has a chance to be one of the top guards in Canada from Day One, while a pair of U.S. imports look to make immediate impacts including 6'8" Derrick Coleman, a native of Detroit and a transfer from NCAA Division 1 Oakland University and Schoolcraft (MI) Junior College should see action up front immediately while 6'4" Brandon Mullins, from Spalding University, an NAIA school in Louisville, KY should see time on the wing. As well, 6'4" Aaron Duncan, who pushed a triple double numerous times last season before an off-court altercation prematurely ended his season, will also return, giving the Huskies much more depth and talent than last season's Final Four team. Although St. FX loses two of Canada's top players from last season in 6'3" Garry Gallimore and 6'10" Neil MacDonald, X does return last season's fabulous recruiting class featuring 5'11" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw, 6'5" Terrence Taylor, underrated 5'9" guard Will Silver and emerging 6'8" post Alberto Rodriquez, one of the most improved of X's players over the course of the summer. However, this is 6'2" fourth-year guard Tyler Richards' team and for X to compete for a championship, leadership and scoring must come from him. 6'3" Dwayne Johnson is also in the mix. Newcomers who are sure to make an impact include 6'7" Islam "Luiz" de Toledo, a native of Brazil who played two seasons of high school basketball in Modesto, Ca. and accepted an NCAA Division 1 scholarship from Brigham Young University before returning home to care for his ailing mother in Brazil. de Toledo is a potential impact player along the lines of former X star 6'9" Richard Bella, who led the X-Men to their first CIAU national championship under Coach Steve Konchalski in 1993.

OTHER TEAMS TO WATCH:
Fraser Valley - reigning CIS Coach-of-the-Year Barnaby Craddock starts his first season in Abbottsford with plenty of athleticism including 6'0" Tristan Smith, a solid point guard from California.
Alberta - Veteran coach Don Horwood always has a competitive team but must replace a number of solid graduating seniors.
Winnipeg - With Cam Hornby ready to play almost the entire season and All-Canadian candidate Erfan Nasajpour, the Wesmen have as much talent at the top of their lineup as anyone.
Guelph - Assuming that injuries don't continue to plague the Gryphons, their ability to defend as a team, their depth and hopefully a contribution from Jonathan Moscatelli, a prized recruit from 2 years ago, will keep them in the hunt.
York - The Lions still have 6'3" All-Canadian candidate Tut Ruach and solid 6'3" wing Amde Evans plus a number of younger players who will have an opportunity to assert themselves with more minutes.
Dalhousie - The Tigers took a step closer to pushing for a spot atop the AUS with a solid performance down the stretch and with the depth and quality of their incoming class, led by 6'1" Simon Farine, the Tigers should move into the top half of the AUS this season.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gaels open pre-season with win; UBC Update

6'6" Mitch Leger had 31 points and the Gaels hit 10 first-half 3's to break out to a 30+ point lead before the intermission before coasting to a 90-57 victory over Algoma University Thunderbirds Saturday night at Bartlett Gymnasium in Kingston. Queen's had their long-range shooting in high gear all evening as 7 different Gaels hit 3's and only a late run of 8 points by Algoma brought the game back to 55-22 by halftime. The Thunderbirds were playing their third game in 2 days, having defeating RMC by about 20 before playing an overtime affair with St. Lawrence College (Kingston). Queen's has welcomed back 6'4" Simon Mitchell, a mainstay of the program for the past few seasons, which has added even more depth to a group that should contend for a spot near the top of the OUA East this season. The Gaels got solid contributions from their veterans as 6'2" Baris Ondul and 6'3" Ryan Hairsine continue to mature and look to be two of the stronger guards in the OUA East. However, the Gaels also are getting early contributions from their underrated recruiting class as 6'5" Jon Ogden (Belleville St. Theresa) and 6'5" Nick DiDonato (Sault Ste. Marie St. Basil's) both started and were impactful as Ogden grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds while DiDonato continue to show he has a chance to be a solid player in the league. The Gaels were without 6'6" first-year forward Travis Mitchell, who is nursing a leg injury that is not regarded as serious. Algoma, which currently competes in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA), is coached by former Durham College player Thomas Cory. The program has ambitions of joining the OUA within the next couple of seasons - Algoma U., situated in Sault Ste. Marie, is already a degree-granting institution, as students can graduate with a Laurentian University degree. Over the next couple of years, Algoma may be granted full University status and thus athletically will be eligible to compete at the CIS/OUA level. Nippissing University in North Bay has already been granted status and is likely to field a men's basketball program by 2009-10. We hope to have more on the impact of new programs on the OUA divisions and schedules. The Gaels will meet Barry Smith's St. Lawrence College of Kingston next Saturday night at St. Lawrence.

The UBC Thunderbirds are preparing to defend their Canada West championship without 6'4" All-Canadian Casey Archibald and the T-Birds appear to be continuing where they left off last season if a five quarter scrimmage against highly-touted Douglas College is any indicator. UBC won all 5 quarters by 2, 8, 12, 14 and 20+ points on Friday night against the early-season CCAA favorites despite not having 6'7" Bryson Kool (MCL injury against NCAA teams on Labour Day) and 6'5" Graham Bath (did not play to attend a class). The T-Birds appear to have even more depth than last season to the point of likely redshirting touted freshman 6'8" Nick Adair, who has tremendous athleticism and will be brought along slowly, feeling big men need more time to develop. The Birds should get even better as a leader begins to emerge to replace Archibald and 6'3" Chris Dyck appears ready to assume the mantle as will Kool when he returns from injury. Douglas College, which was also missing some players due to injury, still had highly-touted 6'7" Bol Kong in the lineup. Kong, who had 40 points in a game against an NCAA D1 opponent over the Labour Day weekend, has been described by some as a legitimate NBA prospect and according to UBC Assistant Coach Randy Nohr, the assessment is not that far off. Nohr believes Kong's skill set is "National-team good", and that the athletic wing reminds him of ex-National team wing Denham Brown, who Nohr played with while playing for Canada a couple of summers ago. Kong appears to be an eager learner and by all indications a very good kid. Finally, UBC is still awaiting word on the eligiblity status for the coming season on 6'4" Blain Labranche, a third-year transfer from Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton. Labranche, who should help the T-Birds with his solid perimeter shooting, is another reason why UBC top-to-bottom is probably even deeper than last season's Canada West championship team.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ryan Bell, Windsor, Brandon and Toronto Updates

6'5" Ryan Bell was the lone CIS representative on Canada's Senior National team for this past summer's FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Las Vegas. Bell, entering his fifth and final season with the Carleton Ravens, was considered by some as a somewhat-surprising choice for a spot on the Sr. Nats given his statistics and role with the Ravens relative to high profile teammates like Aaron Doornekamp and Osvaldo Jeanty. The culture of our game in many cases values numbers and flash over the ability of a player to do the not-so-noticeable things that help teams win, especially at the guard spot given how much the ball is in their hands. In Bell's case, his scoring numbers have never been spectacular and he will rarely "wow" anyone with athleticism but as someone who has watched him play probably 100 or more times live and on tape, it was not surprising to me that he solidly fulfilled for Canada the role he was given, which was to defend on and off the ball, take care of the basketball, find the right people in transition and rebound - all at 6'5" with long arms, allowing him to match up well physically with the majority of the guards in the Las Vegas tournament, many of who were as big or bigger than Bell. Oh yes, in terms of the ultimate barometer - winning - Bell is 4 for 4 in his CIS career. At the CIS level he is an excellent defender on and off the ball guarding point guards and 2 men with his long arms and excellent positioning; has a tremendous ability to take away a player's strengths (when Ottawa defeated Carleton for the first time in many years two seasons ago, the Gee-Gees were exploiting another Carleton defender guarding Alex McLeod with hand-offs and McLeod had a big first half. But the moment Bell moved over to guard McLeod, he couldn't get an easy look) and he rebounds the ball. Offensively, he is not flashy on the break but is wise enough not to turn it over with high-risk looks, usually finding the lowest-risk but highest reward play. At full speed in transition, he can beat defenders either way. As someone who came into the CIS as a weak perimeter shooter, he has made himself into a solid spot up shooter who makes big shots when it counts and up until this coming season, I would have recommended treating him as a non-shooter when he is coming off screens or has the ball off the bounce, however, after watching him on the Labour Day weekend, Bell clearly has a much more refined skill set creating off the dribble with a more assertive first step and one dribble pull up for those playing the drive. While there are a number of tremendous guards in the CIS, I don't know who else at the guard spot has Ryan's combination of defending, rebounding, savvy in transition and improving ability to finish, all at 6'5". Here is an article on Bell in the Carleton campus newspaper Bell blossoms in Vegas with Canada

Defending OUA champions Windsor Lancers are about two weeks into their preparation for the coming season and, as expected, there is very little turnover from last season's roster that carried the Lancers to their first OUA championship in almost three decades. Still there have been some changes. As many already know, Windsor has added high-impact 6'3" guard Isaac Kuon as a U.S. JUCO transfer, likely to be one of the better scoring wings in the OUA this season. The Lancers also lost a couple of players who were in the rotation last season including 6'3" Kyle Kane, who decided not to play this year due in large part to continuing issues with his knee that has endured three ACL surgeries. Coach Chris Oliver is proud of what Kane accomplished in the face of his injuries: "What Kyle did last year was impressive. We are proud of the contribution Kyle made to our OUA championship team and we know it was a difficult decision for him to make." Also not available at least for the early part of the season is tough 6'6" forward Rich Allin, a solid rebounder and defender who kept defenders honest with his solid perimeter shooting for a big man. Rich made an academic choice to focus on teacher’s college, which he is enrolled in at the University of Windsor. In addition to Kuon, the Lancers also added 6'7" Serbian import Sasha Lazic, who has local connections with his mom and two uncles having lived in Windsor. Lazic is said to have solid fundamental skills and should help the Lancers down the road as he adjusts to spoken English with the help of some coaches in the Serbian community. The talented, experienced and deep Lancers should be the favorites for the OUA West championship.

Thanks to Jeremy Sawatsky from Brandon who has sent along this Bobcats Season Preview: Bobcats Geared Up For Another Shot At Championship Written by: Jeremy Sawatzky, BU Sports Information; BRANDON, MB – A few quick glances into the BU Gymnasium over the past few weeks leaves one with the distinct impression that the Brandon Bobcats men’s basketball team doesn’t need a whole lot of extra motivation for the upcoming season. After falling to the Carleton Ravens in last year’s CIS National Championship game, the ‘Cats are feeling re-focused and re-energized with the start of the 2007-08 campaign just around the corner. “Most of these guys played in that game last year,” said Brandon head coach Mike Raimbault. “They’ve been there, they’ve seen what it takes to get there, all season long, day in and day out.. and they’re hungry to get back.” While the ‘Cats lost a couple of key contributors in 5th year guards Taylor Cherris Wilding and Chad Jacobson, the additions they made this off-season have left them with a roster that, if anything, is a huge upgrade over last year’s model. “I’m really impressed with the guys we’ve brought in,” added Raimbault. “We’re a team that pride ourselves on our cohesiveness as a unit. The new guys have fit right in. Martin Lawrence gives us another big, athletic body in the paint. Tarik Tokar is a veteran kid that can shoot the ball. And our two first year player – Kevin Oliver and Kyle Vincent – these are two guys that are going to contribute as well.” But perhaps the biggest addition to this year’s team is a former ‘Cat who rejoins the squad after a 5 year absence. Nick Quick, a guard who led the Bobcats in scoring and was named to the Canada West All Star team in 2002-03, is back in blue and gold, and his teammates couldn’t be happier. “He is a tremendous player,” noted Raimbault. “He’s obviously very talented, but he’s also one of our hardest workers. He elevates the intensity every time he steps on the floor. Not only that, but he’s fitting in so well with our guys… it’s just a pleasure to have him on this team.” The ‘Cats are still a few weeks away from any live game action – although they will be holding an Alumni Game on Saturday, September 29th – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t chomping at the bit to avenge last season’s heartbreaking finish. “We’re a veteran group this year,” added Raimbault. “The guys are focused, and they don’t need me to give them any extra motivation. They know what it will take to get back to that final game, what it will take to get over that hump, and they’re determined to get there.”

While the Toronto Varsity Blues are busy finalizing their roster for the coming season, there are a couple of veterans with eligibility issues pending who may be available for this coming season. 6'4" Mo Safarzedeh, a starter from last season hoping to enter his fifth and final season of eligibility, is awaiting the results of an eligibility appeal resulting from deferring a summer period exam he missed due to illness. As well, 6'6" St. FX transfer David Stephens is also appealing his eligibility after being the victim of an act of violence late in the second semester of this past school year. Stephens was attacked from behind in a random act that put him into a coma for 8 days, forced him to miss the final weeks of school and all of his exams. As well, the Blues will enter this season without another starter as 6'2" Dwayne Grant will not return to their lineup.

Finally, in the continuing saga of former Canada Basketball Executive Director Fred Nykamp, it appears that he will be taking legal action against the Canadian Soccer Association, an organization with which he agree to an employment contract earlier this season but later was announced he would not be leading Nykamp suing CSA here is another story by Lori Ewing in the Toronto Star Star Article on Nykamp suit plus a more comprehensive article by Peter Mallett in the Globe Nykamp sues CSA, claiming wrongful hiring and firing and here is another article by Doug Smith in the Toronto Star Nykamp suing

Friday, September 21, 2007

Varsity Blues, Carleton, Ottawa Updates

The Varsity Blues Men's Basketball team have finalized their roster for the 07-08 season by adding 6'3 freshman “walk on” Joeseph Munn from Jarvis High School. Munn impressed coaches at the Open Try outs with his size, strength and ability to shoot the ball from any range. “Joeseph is somebody that we are thinking about for the long term. We aren't expecting a lot from him straight away as he is still raw but he does have huge potential. Once he spends some time in our program and understands our system, along with making the nessacary adjustments to his game in order to compete at the CIS level he should have a good future here” commented Varsity Blues Head Coach Mike Katz. Joesph is a bigger bodied wing who can rebound and shoot the 3. He can guard bigger players and in time should be able to play anywhere from the 2 to the 4 spots. Munn played at Jarvis High School with current Varsity Blue Justin Holmes, an athletic wing who is looking to make an impact after coming off a red-shirt season last year. Here is another piece about 2 other new Blues from the Varsity Blues web site Blues add Magalas and Glisic

The Blues also added to their coaching staff as former Blues and McMaster Marauders star Ben Katz (pictured) will take on the role of assistant coach and academic supervisor for the Blues. Katz replaces assistant coach Tom Lytle who returned back to the U.S to take a high school Head Coaching position. Katz's addition rounds out aruguably the deepest coaching staff in the CIS. This staff includes Coach Katz's long time assistant and former Seneca head coach Rick Dilena, former UBC player and Raptors Basketball Development Co-ordinator Jama Mahalela and former Australian professional and U.S college assistant coach Andrew Summerville. “It is a pleasure to have Ben join our staff. He has a great understanding of what we are trying to do and he gives us the advantage of being able to look at things from a player's perspective” added Coach Katz. Ben will also over see the Academic progress of the Blues players and help with individual player work outs with an emphasis on perimeter shooting. Ben, along with Jama Mahalela are the co-founders of “Concrete Hoops” an international basketball camp that is run both here in Toronto and in Mahalela's home country of Swaziland.

The five-time defending CIS champion Carleton Ravens, hosts of the next 3 CIS Final Eight National championships, are busy preparing for a challenging pre-season which includes the annual House-Laughton Invitational (Guelph, Dalhousie, UQAM visit), a trip to Victoria which includes a rematch of last season's CIS championship game against Brandon and then a three game tour of the Big East/ACC with games at Louisville in famed Freedom Hall, at Providence and at Boston College. Both the Cardinals and Eagles are likely to be Top 20 teams in NCAA Division 1 this season. This season's edition of the Ravens may be the deepest and talented of any of the previous five National Champions with size, perimeter shooting, toughness and plenty of talent one through twelve. With 7 of the projected main 12 players in their fourth or fifth seasons, this group also represents one of the most experienced teams in the CIS with 6'4" Ryan Bell, 6'5" Jean-Emmanuel Jean-Marie, 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp, 6'2" Stuart Turnbull and 6'3" Rob Saunders being undefeated at the Nationals during their career. The Ravens have one key injury currently as 5'10" sophomore point guard Michael Kenny, who came on strong toward the end of last season despite battling various ailments, unfortunately has been plagued with a bad ankle for which he just had an MRI. Based on the returning talent and their play over the Labour Day weekend, the Ravens look like Canada's top team once again.

The Ottawa Gee-Gees had a pleasant surprise through their tryout period as 6'2" Bojan Dodik from Ottawa Sir Robert Borden has been selected to the Gee-Gees roster. Dodik has shown tremendous court awareness and basketball intelligence with the added ability to knock down perimeter shots. Dodik was rated as the #10 shooting guard in Ontario by Jim Thomas in the All-Ontario Scouting Service Class of 2007 Top 50 player rankings and gives Ottawa a tough guard who knows how to play. Dodik is a veteran of the Ottawa Guardsman club program.

Another article on Will Njoku's new post as Athletic Director at Atlantic Baptist University, this time by Chad Lucas of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald Njoku takes over as AD at ABU

Thursday, September 20, 2007

OUA West Updates, Sr. Nats News

Look for an improved Lakehead Thunderwolves squad after last season's 1-21 last place finish in the OUA West. The main reason for the optimism is the return of 6'4" Baltimore, MD native Kiraan Posey, the OUA West scoring champion from 2005-06 at 20.7 ppg who was ineligibile last season but, as the following article elaborates on, was very active practicing with the Wolves and, more importantly, successful in the classroom. Posey, who enters his fourth season of eligibility, will combine with 6'8" Warren Thomas, another U.S. import, to give Lakehead one of the top one-two punches in the OUA. Kiraan's Comeback

More updates from the Guelph Gryphon camp courtesy of Coach Chris O'Rourke as the Gryphs were able to add one more solid recruit in 6'3" Sheriff Wiredu from Central Tech in Toronto. The long armed, athletic Wiredu impressed the Guelph staff during tryouts enough to earn a roster spot. As well, 6'3" third year wing Jay Mott, expected to be a key contributor this season who injured his knee over the Labour Day weekend, had an MRI that luckily revealed no ligament damage. The diagnosis was a hyper extended knee and badly bruised knee cap and Mott should be good to go in a few weeks. Prized recruit 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli also should be in full practice mode in the next 4 weeks after his knee became inflamed in late August preparing for the Labour Day weekend. Recall Moscatelli arrived in Guelph two years ago after a stellar career at Toronto's Oakwood Collegiate but injured his knee during the pre-season and has since had a pair of serious operations. A healthy Moscatelli would be a huge lift to the Gryphons rotation. Gryphons update from Guelph Mercury

The Western Mustangs today announced a deal with Rogers Television which will televise numerous Mustang sporting events including Men's and Women's basketball Mustangs announce television deal with Rogers in London According to the release, here are the basketball games to be televised:

10-Nov M & W Basketball/Mustangs vs. Laurentian 6 & 8 PM LIVE
17-Nov M & W Basketball/Mustangs vs. RMC 6 & 8 PM LIVE
5-Jan M & W Basketball/Mustangs vs. Brock 2 & 4 PM LIVE
12-Jan M & W Basketball/Mustangs vs. Waterloo 2 & 4 PM LIVE
16-Jan M & W Basketball/Mustangs vs. Windsor 6 & 8 PM LIVE
26-Jan M & W Basketball/Mustangs vs. Laurier 2 & 4 PM LIVE
16-Feb M Basketball/Mustangs vs. McMaster 2 PM LIVE

Thanks to Richard Taylor from Alberta for this link to an article by Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail updating Andy Rautins' injury (news is as good as it can be) and the plans for several of the members of this summer's Canadian national team for this coming season. Finally, Grange provides a first preview at the teams that Canada will likely face off against in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament next summer just prior to the Beijing Games. Rautins's injury may prove a blessing in disguise

MORE ON THE PRE-OLYMPIC QUALIFIER: The following link outlines that 9 of the 12 teams that will participate in the Beijing Olympic basketball tournament have been determined: China (host nation), Spain (2006 FIBA World Champion), Angola (Africa), United States of America and Argentina (Americas), Islamic Republic of Iran (Asia), Russian Federation and Lithuania (Europe) and Australia (Oceania). The final 3 spots will be determined in what is scheduled to be a 12 team pre-Olympic tournament at a site to be determined. The participants in that tournament are scheduled to include: Cameroon and Cape Verde (Africa); Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada (Americas), Lebanon and Republic of Korea (Asia), Greece, Germany, Croatia and Slovenia (Europe) and New Zealand (Oceania). Beijing 2008: nine teams qualified for men’s basketball tournament

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Guelph loses Bailey; names Milne co-captain

The Guelph Gryphons got some unexpected news that 6'9" J.R. Bailey will not return due to failing to meet the minimum academic requirements but with emerging 6'9" Duncan Milne, who began to come into his own during the second half of last season, Bailey's loss is more than cushioned. The Gryphs named Milne and 6'4" Nick Pankerichan co-captains recently as their pre-season camp continues Milne in control

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Njoku is New AD at ABU; Bobcats Reload with new coach, recruits

Congratulations to former CIS star Will Njoku, (pictured) who played at St. Mary's in the early 90's and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers of the NBA upon graduation, for being named Athletic Director at Atlantic Baptist University in Moncton, New Brunswick. ABU, a small, 700 student university has a Men's basketball program which competes in the Atlantic colleges conference and the team is coached by former Calgary Dino and Ottawa Gee-Gee Greg Maillet. In fact, Maillet, who doubles as an English professor at ABU, and Njoku competed against each other on several occasions in the early 90's when the Gee-Gees and Huskies met. Maillet, who admired Njoku as an opponent but also was able to carve out his own solid games (once scoring 35 points against SMU and Njoku at the Naismith Tournament in 1993), actually recruited Njoku to the Moncton university when the Athletic Director opening became available. There is plenty more to read on this story by clicking on the following link ABU Hires Basketball Standout

It was great to hear from new Brandon Bobcats Head Coach Mike Raimbault who took time out of the busy tryout period to stay in touch and provide a view of the coming season for his Bobcats. As many already know, Brandon loses a pair of sharpshooting guards to graduation in 6'3" Chad Jacobsen and 5'10" Taylor Cherris-Welding. However, the 'Cats return the remainder of their CIS finalist team including All-Canadian candidate 6'3" Dany "Rip" Charlery, stellar 6'1" pg Yul Michel, underrated 6'6" forward Adam Hartman and a pair of tough centers in 6'10" Yuri Whyms and 6'9" Stevens Marcelins. The Bobcats also added some significant talent on the recruiting trail led by 6'1" guard Tarik Tokar, a transfer from Manitoba who averaged 13.2 ppg, 3.3 apg for the Bisons in 2005-06. Tokar should add depth and leadership to an already solid backcourt. Raimbault also added a pair of Winnipeg high schoolers to the mix in 6'6" Kevin Oliver from Silver Heights H.S., who brings a reputation as solid outside shooter and a player with a high basketball IQ; and 6'4" Kyle Vince from J.H. Burns H.S., a swingman who will add depth to the roster. Brandon also added 6'5" Martin Lawrence, originally from Toronto who has played in the U.S. at NCAA Division II Minot State-Botineau and Sauk Valley Community College. Lawrence is a long, athletic big man who should complement Hartman, Whyms and Marcelins up front. Raimbault's final recruit came in the late summer as 6'3" Nikosey Quick returns to the Bobcats after an absence of 4 seasons. When right, Quick is a proven CIS scorer who played two seasons at Brandon including 2002-03 when he was a Canada West First Team All-Star, averaging about 14 ppg. According to Raimbault, Quick, who had a reputation as a player with a short fuse during his first go-round with the 'Cats, has shown a "real maturity on and off the court" yet still has retained his competitive fire on the floor. Quick could add yet another dynamic to one of Canada's top teams. As far as new Head Coach Raimbault, a Brandon native, graduate of the University and an assistant on last season's successful team, he is very appreciative of the opportunity to lead the 'Cats: "Without a doubt, it is a tremendous honor to join the coaching ranks at this level and to work with such a tremendous group of student-athletes. It is an absolute pleasure to work with a group that has the character of the guys on this team.". Raimbault, beginning his first season as the youngest Head Coach in the CIS, feels the team can build on last season's success, "We have a veteran group of guys returning who are hungry to compete for a championship. We have tremendous leadership on our team and we are focused on the process that it will take for us to get where we want to go." Brandon has added quality recruits at guard, on the wing and up front to an already-powerful lineup that should once again challenge for a top ranking in Canada.

Finally, here is the latest Thomas Report, authored by Jim Thomas, long-time publisher of the "All-Ontario Scouting Service" and posted on the hoop-la.com web site run out of Hamilton, Ontario by Kirk Alfaro.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dinos Charitable Effort; More Campus Newspaper Articles

The Calgary Dinos are taking to the streets in support of a charitable cause as described in the following note from Dinos Assistant Coach Matt Skinn: This year, the Calgary Dinos Men's Basketball team will be taking part in the "Walk a Mile in her Shoes" event, a fundraiser for the YWCA and the Cardel Homes Crisis Foundation to help women and their children find emergency housing. The event will take place on Monday, September 24, 2007 at Noon on Stephen Ave. in Calgary. The Dinos and the YWCA are looking for your support. If you are interested in helping the cause, visit www.walkamile.ca, and click on the Calgary Dinos Logo at the top of the page. You can also go to www.dinosbasketball.com to find a link to the site. Once you have clicked the logo, a team photo will appear a long with a button to click to help support the charity. Any amount would be outstanding and we hope that the support we have received from the community will continue to grow. If there are any questions please feel free to contact me using my contact information below! Thanks for any and all contributions and you are more than welcome to join us on September 24! Thanks again! Regards.
Matt Skinn, B.A. (Hon), B.Sc., M.Sc. '07
Head Assistant Coach, Calgary Dinos Men's Basketball
General Manager, Jr. Dinos
mjskinn@ucalgary.ca
Office - 403 220 3453
Cell - 403 836 6288
www.dinosbasketball.com

The Charlatan reviews the Carleton/Alabama game and includes quotes from several Ravens Ravens humble Alabama in Labour Day finale

A pair of ballers from the 1940's and late 60's/early 70's are named to the University of Windsor Sports Hall of Fame. One of the inductees, Chris Wydrzynski, has two sons who have already played CIS basketball, including ex-Lancer and Ottawa Gee-Gee Chet Wydrzynski Lancers Hall-of-Fame

An update on Canadian Theo Davis, one of the top performers on Canada's Student team which took home a Bronze medal at this summer's World University Games in Thailand Theo Davis Update

Carlos Delfino of the Toronto Raptors talks about his joy in helping Argentina to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, allowing them to defend their Gold medal victory in Athens in 2004 Delfino: Olympic berth a boost for Argentina

Peter Mallett of the Globe and Mail provides an update on former Canada Basketball Executive Director Fred Nykamp and his relationship with the Canadian Soccer Association CSA mulls severance package for CEO Nykamp

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wesmen add some new faces

The Winnipeg Wesmen recently completed their tryouts and the Wesmen, who return the majority of their top players including 5'9" Erfan Nasajpour, an All-Canadian candidate, have added at least two probable impact players in preparation for the coming season. Most have known since last Christmas that 6'0" guard Cam Hornby, originally from Winnipeg Glenlaw High School who spent the past 2 seasons (one redshirt year) with South Dakota State (NCAA Division 1) has decided to return home to play for Coach Dave Crook's Wesmen. Hornby last played for the Jackrabbits on November 16th, 2006 so he should be eligible to play on November 17th, 2007 when the Wesmen host UVic at the Duckworth Center. Hornby and Nasajpour should make up one of the top backcourts in Canada West if not the country. Crook also was able to add 6'0" Mike Passley from Toronto West Humber, who has been out of high school for a few years. In addition, the Wesmen recently added 6'7" post Justin Deng plus 6'1" Randy Kezie, a pair of local Winnipeg area products. The Wesmen kick off their season on October 12th and 13th when they hosts the Pembina Chrysler Invitational at the Duckworth Center, a four team event that includes Manitoba Bisons, Concordia Stingers and Fraser Valley Cascades. As well, one of Canada's longest-running tournaments, the 41st MTS Wesmen Classic, which has become a holiday tradition, will run again just before the New Year featuring the following teams: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brandon, Calgary, Brock, RMC, Acadia and Minot State. Stay tuned to the site for a comprehensive listing of all pre-season and Holiday tournaments on the CIS schedule coming up soon.

Brazilian Basketball Confederation president Gerasime Bozikis was in Spain to try to convince FIBA to hold next year's Olympic Qualifying repechage in Rio de Janeiro as Neate Sager reports in "Out of Left Field" Brazil's on the ball

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Quick Returns to 'Cats; Laurentian Celebrates '98 team

According to reports by Dave Larkins in the Brandon Sun, 6'5" Nick Quick, who last played in 2002-03 when he was a Canada West All-Star, averaging more than 15 points per game, has returned to Brandon and will play for the Bobcats this season. (Links to the Brandon Sun are by subscription only). The addition of an apparently-matured Quick, who is a proven scorer at the CIS level, will help off-set the loss of starting shooting guard Chad Jacobsen for the highly-ranked Bobcats. Fans in Victoria will get a chance to see Quick and the Bobcats in one of the top tournaments of the pre-season during the weekend of October 19th, 20th and 21st as Alberta, Carleton, Brandon and Victoria participate in a three-day, three-game round robin event that will feature a rematch of last season's CIS National championship game between the Bobcats and the Ravens on Friday, October 19th. We will have a complete list of tournament schedules in a future post.

This pre-season will also feature the coaching debut of former CIS and Canadian National teamer Shawn Swords at his alma mater, Laurentian University. The Voyageurs plan to celebrate the accomplishments of the 1998 Voyageurs team which captured the Wilson Cup championship at home in the Ben Avery Gymnasium by defeating Waterloo and then reaching the CIS Final Four before bowing to the McMaster Marauders. The '98 Voyageurs included CIS All-Canadians Cory Bailey and Ted Donglemans, Roan Biggs, Kevin "Flash" Gordon, Anthony Malcolm, Adam Dusome and Clifton Edwards. Helping to celebrate Laurentian's Hall-of-Fame weekend will be '98 Voyageurs Head Coach Peter Campbell and his Laurier Golden Hawks. Campbell, who recruited and coached Swords for five seasons at Laurentian in the mid-1990's is an appropriate coaching opponent for Swords in his first game ever as Head Coach of the Voyageurs. The Laurier/Laurentian game goes on Friday, October 12th and the Laurentian alumni game and ceremony goes the following day in Sudbury.

HuskieHoops web site is reporting that former Saskatchewan Huskies center Kevin Langdon has signed a professional contract in Finland. Langdon, an athletic 6-7 forward from Saskatoon, signed with Huima of the Finnish 1st Division. The club is based in Aanekoskie, Finland. The team has played five games thus far, and Langdon had 12 points and led his team with 10 rebounds last week in a loss to Plannja Basket, the 2006-07 Swedish Basketligan champions. Langdon reports that the level of ball is pretty good, with the local talent as well as the foreign players, most of whom are from the NCAA Division I ranks. He does say that there seems to be a lot more running and less structure than in the CIS though. Langdon spent five years with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, redshirting his first year, from 2001-06. As a senior he averaged 8.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 41 games, helping the Huskies reach the 2005-06 National Championships. He also set a school record for blocked shots in a season.

Good to hear from Scott Meeson, former Queen's coach who runs a successful basketball camp in Eastern Ontario called Jump Shots. Scott continues to stay involved in Canadian basketball as a National Coaching Certification Progam instructor and remains very close to the OUA/CIS scene. Please visit his site for a look at the camps he directs.