Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Canada West Top Freshmen

Lori Ewing of the Canadian Press has a piece that appeared in the Toronto Star on the NEDA women's program that alludes to a cut in funding for the program.

KEVIN KLOOSTRA INJURY UPDATE: Sources out of Windsor are saying that all-star Kevin Kloostra is expected to miss the next two weeks after having a procedure done Monday on his injured knee in London. According to Lancers coach Chris Oliver, doctors removed bone chips and part of his meniscus. The Lancers, leading the OUA West, are one of the hottest teams in Canada as they prepare to meet Waterloo tomorrow night and then second-place Brock Badgers on Saturday afternoon, with both games at home at the St. Denis Center.

Wayne Thomas of Dino Hoop News has a comprehensive look at the top freshmen in Canada West... Rookie Award Up For Grabs.... Each Canada West coach, around this time of year, is invited to submit the name of a player he wants to nominate for each of the following awards:
> Rookie of the Year
> Player of the Year
> Top Defensive Player
> Ken Shields Student-Athlete-Community Service Award

The league's coaches also vote on a Coach of the Year. In the first of a series, we analyze the qualifications of the most likely candidates to be nominated for Canada West Rookie of the Year. In reverse alphabetical order ...
Quinn Van Gaalen - Lethbridge Pronghorns: this lefty shooting guard has had to step up and play big minutes for the 'Horns, and he has had some great games ... averages 10..9 ppg, not the best passer in the group ... good defensive quickness and has 1+ steals a game.
Ryan McKinnon - Victoria Vikes : Scott's (U of L '07) younger brother ... 6'4" wing, solid player with a good alll-around game. has had some big nights ... averages 6.9 ppg ... good defender with even more steals than van Gaalen. The only one of the bunch with a positive assist to turnover ratio.
Jon Loewen - Trinity Western Spartans: a 6' guard, Jon is averaging 28 minutes, which is huge for a 1st year ... is a fair shooter with 76% from the foul line ... averaging 10.2 points ... 3.2 rebounds ... good defender. Interesting to see how he fits in with next year's roster additions.
Brennan Jarrett - Saskatchewan Huskies : the 6'4" forward does not get big minutes with this veteran team, but he has good offensive skills ... 53% shooter and 45% from 3 pt. range .... averages 7 points. Will be a key guy for Coach Jockims once the four 5th year players graduate. Chris Bodnar, 5'11" guard, is also a rookie to watch for the Huskies.
Tyler Fidler - Calgary Dinos : (pictured) a 6'8" ball handing guard, scorer, long armed defender ... scores at 8.7 points, has 6X as many blocked shots as anyone else (10th in CW) ... 1.5 steals per game ... 3.7 rebounds. Defers to others at the offensive end, but has , easily, the most upside of this group. A game breaker.
Graham Bath - UBC T-Birds : 6'5", 225 ... plays the least minutes in this group ... 55% from the field ... averages 4.8 points ... 2.9 rebs. ... good foul shooter .... steady, but not dynamic.
Ravi Athwal - Fraser Valley Cascades : 6'5" wing shooter ... 39% from 3 pt. range ... good stroke and great range ... playing less than most of this group ... needs work on his defense ... may be a bit one dimensional.
George Aramide - Thompson Rivers Wolfpack : a 6'5" muscular forward, who is a bull on the boards ... 5.4 rebs. a game, by far the best of the bunch ... not a shooter from beyond 8-10', but tenacious inside ... 7.7 ppg ... can't believe he doesn't play more (18 min.) for this team.

We can whittle this group of 8 (none of Alberta, SFU, Manitoba, or the entire G-PAC have any rookies approaching these, in our humble opinion) down to the top 3 for discussion ... Van Gaalen, McKinnon, and Fidler. Pondering this choice, let's assume we were the GM of a team in this league and we had our choice of any of these three outstanding young players ... who would we choose as our #1 guy ? You, me, the average fan with half an eye for talent, and surely, every coach in the league would jump all over ... TYLER FIDLER ! So many skills, an x-factor player, solid stats across the board, despite a tendency to throw the odd ill-considered pass. This Calgary Dino from Western Canada HS in Calgary stayed at home, when he had offers from NCAA Div. 1, and Coach Dan Vanhooren is delighted he did.

Scoring Spree Nets Bekkering Athlete of the Week Honours from Wayne Thomas of Dino News... Henry Bekkering struck for a combined 72 points and 18 rebounds in Calgary Dinos victories over the visiting Fraser Valley Cascades (90-76) and the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack (117-100) last weekend, and for this he was chosen as the Canada West Male Athlete of the Week. Henry is now averaging 20.7 points per game in league play, moving him into 3rd place in the scoring list behind Andrew Spagrud of Saskatchewan (22.2) and Erfan Najaspour of Winnipeg (22.1). Trinity Western Forfeits Games The CIS announced Monday that the Trinity Western Spartans would forfeit three games they had won this season because they had played an ineligible player in those games. Trinity Western discovered they had made an administrative error, and reported to CIS officials they had played transfer Lucas Goltz, Comox, B.C., who had previously played at Royal Military College. Although Goltz had sat out the required one year after transferring, he did not complete the requisite number of credits to make him eligible. As a result of the ruling by the CIS, the Spartans drop to 3-17 in Canada West standings, with Fraser Valley (10-10), Thompson Rivers (3-17), and Lethbridge (2-16) now given credit for an extra win each.... A quick look at the Pacific standings tells us this change puts Fraser Valley back into a tie with Simon Fraser for the 3rd playoff spot, but the Cascades have a much tougher finishing slate than the Clan.... New Media Poll for CIS Hoops In an attempt to drum up more talk around CIS Basketball, writers from media outlets across most of Canada, with leadership from Mark Wacyk of http://www.cishoops.ca, have started to publish a Media Poll of CIS Rankings. Pollsters include media from Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Halifax, and many others in the East. Let's hope other media are added in the future ... some may not have been contacted, and, in some cities, the media does a good job of ignoring CIS Sport. Mea Culpa ! Apologies to Brennan Jarrett of the Saskatchewan Huskies, and one of our candidates for Rookie of the Year in Canada West. As basketball guru David Wells, Lethbridge reminds us, Jarrett had an unfortunate bout with cancer in the fall, and has been inactive in Canada West play since December. Prior to that time, Jarrett was performing well for the Huskies, and it is hoped he will make a complete recovery and resume play next season. Notes ...
> Andrew Spagrud, 5th year, U of S Huskies, is chasing the all-time Canada West scoring record of former Dinos star, Richard Bohne. Bohne tallied 2,171 points, and Spagrud is 62 points back going into the weekend. As a footnote, Bohne's record was set over a 4 year span, and with a 20 game schedule. Some would argue the record should be on average points per game, and we won't get into the whole date of inception of the three point line (see Karl Tilleman !). The bottom line, really, is that Spagrud is a fabulous competitor, who we've been fortunate to see in Canada West, and his durability and skill have allowed him to challenge the all-time points record.
> An article last week referred to CIS grads who are playing pro in Europe ... some additions ...
Chris Wright - Calgary Dinos - at BBV Hagen, in Germany. Averaging 19 pts. and 10 rebs.
Chris Harris - Calgary Dinos - also at BBV Hagen ... 9 pts. and 8 rebs. web site http://www.bbv-hagen-fans.de
James Hudson - Alberta Golden Bears - at Recklinghausen Citybasket, Germany ... 28 pts., 5 rebs., 4 assists
There must be a list of CIS grads playing pro around the world ... Wellsie, you're usually up to that challenge !
> Biggest games in Canada West this week ?
Alberta and Saskatchewan at UBC and Victoria ... wildcard implications
Brandon at Regina ... Winnipeg at Calgary and Lethbridge ... G-PAC playoff positions

Peter Peter Yannopoulos provides a recap of Laval/UQAM from last Friday night: Possible Preview of QSSF Final You could feel the buzz in the air during warmup's at Uqam's gymnasium on Friday night, when two of the hottest's teams in Quebec faced off against each other. In a game that was extremely physical and very heated at times, Laval pulled off a hard fought 78-71 win on the road. Laval came into the game slightly hobbled, with starting shooting guard, JF Beaulieu-Mahieux, not in uniform for the Rouge et Or in what team officials called it a groin injury. But Laval didn't miss him at all in the 1st half, as they came out blazing, with a 57-34 at half time lead, shooting a remarkable 9-13 from downtown. Starting in place of Beaulieu-Mahieux, was Marc-Andre Lefevre, and it seemed as though Uqam wasn't really aware of him, as he went 4/4 from 3 point range in the 1st half, finishing with 18pts in 35 mins for the game. The Rouge et Or were feeling great as they came out for the 2nd half, but Uqam had different ideas. The Citadins defense was atrocious in the opening half, allowing Laval to run all their sets with ease, and finishing with wide open looks or easy layups. To start the 2nd half, Uqam created 2 quick turnovers, and that set the pace to what turned out to be a tough battle right until the final buzzer. Uqam's transition offense started to click, which led to easy scores and started to frustrate Laval. JP Morin (19pts 7 rebs in 30mins) picked up his 3rd and 4th fouls early in the 3rd quarter was forced to sit, and now suddenly every shot that was going in for Laval in the 1st half, was bouncing off the rim in the 2nd half. Uqam outscored Laval 27-10 in the 3rd quarter and now we had ourselves a ball game. The key part of the turnaround in my opinion, was the defensive strategy implemented by coach Hrycak in the 2nd half, having the strong and physical 6-2 Arthaud Plesius defend Laval's 5-9 rookie PG Xavier Baribeau. In the 1st half, Baribeau had 9 assists and 0 turnovers, but in the 2nd half, with Plesius banging him and pressing him full court, Baribeau had 4 TOs and only had 2 assists, as Uqam other 4 defenders stayed with their men, and Baribeau was forced to put up wild shots that clinged off the rim. Baribeau finshed with 4pts(on 1-11 shooting), 11 assists and 4 TOs in 40 mins. As he got frustrated, so did JF Turcotte, who had veteran Mario Joseph is in face all night. After driving to the basket and not getting a call he thougt he deserved, Turcotte yelled at official Pierre Marion(something you never do, especially as a rookie), and was instantly given a technical foul. However he came back strong after that, and hit a dagger 3 pointer down the stretch and Turcotte finished with 18pts, 9 rebs and 6 assists in 39mins. Uqam cut the lead to 4 points with 3 mins to go, but their inability to hit free throws the whole game cost them a chance at victory. Uqam shot a dreadful 9/24 from the charity stripe for 37.5%. Laval on the other hand was 12/15 for 80%. Sam Johnson led Uqam with 22 pts, but was unable to get any good looks down the stretch. Uqam got a strong game from Joseph Antagana (7pts 12rebs but 1/7 FTs) and from veteran Kevin Boucher (14pts, 7rebs). Jules Diagne had 9pts and 2rebs in 19mins but seemed to be hurt during the game, riding the bike on the sidelines when he was off. Laval ended picking up a tough win on the road, but Uqam showed that their athleticism and toughness can give Laval problems. Having a strong defender on Baribeau gets him rattled and off his game. Stay on the shooters and make him take shots, and that takes the ball away from Morin. And when Morin and Turcotte do get the ball, you cant let them go to their right, you must force them left. As for Uqam, as much as Mario Joseph has done a solid job running the point for them this season, Coach Hrycak must make opposing defenders pay when guarding him, by posting him up, closer to the basket where his power and strenght can lead to easy scores and more importantly fouls. During the last 5 mins of the game, Uqam's motion offense did not get the ball to the team's scorers. Sam Johnson did not touch the ball and several ill-advised shots cost Uqam a chance for the win. Laval showed character, winning without one of their starters, and has proved to everyone now that they are clearly the team to beat in the QSSF. After a horrid 0-5 start to the season, Uqam has started to put it together, and if they can improve their shot selection, pre-scouting defensive assisgments and free throw shooting, dont be surprised to see both these teams in the QSSF final in March.

Peter Yannopoulos
Yanno Basketball Consulting

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yannopoulos...A GREEK!