Thursday, 24 January 2008

Thursday Night News/Links

Greg Layson's article on last night's Guelph win at Waterloo Slim win for Gryphs

CIS Blog Neate Sager and the week that will be

The Scrum's Podcast out of Brandon with Jeremy Sawatsky and David Larkins has Lakehead Coach Scott Morrison as a guest; the T-Wolves, 7-7 in league play and in the thick of things in the OUA West, play a pair of important road games at Windsor this weekend.

CAPITAL HOOPS CLASSIC TALK... Ottawa Sun writer and fellow blogger Neate Sager once again has an insightful piece, this time previewing this weekend's game in Ottawa Holding court in the Capital ... Thanks for the note from blog reader Brian Eves who advises that thanks to some lobbying from him (and others?) that Rogers Television in Brantford has decided to pick up the Carleton vs. Ottawa game LIVE! in the Brantford area. For others who would like to watch, it may be worth a quick email to your local Rogers Television station to ask; sometimes yee shall receive. According to Brian, the game might also be carried in the Waterloo/Kitchener area because their broadcasts are usually the same. The CIS web site has an update on the game including a list of the largest crowds ever at a CIS basketball game Ravens/Gee-Gees look to set attendance record... again

Cory Wolfe from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix reports on Saskatchewan Huskies guard Chris Bodnar, who is leaving the football Huskies to play junior football, in part because he didn't want to miss the first part of the basketball season Making a change

More accolades for Coach Dave Smart and his Carleton Ravens as they garner awards from at a local banquet last night.

Mary Caton from Windsor Star has a nice piece on the Lancers who have picked up the slack in the absence of injured wing Kevin Kloostra... Lancers pick up the slack; Kloostra absent with knee injury

The Windsor Lancers picked an odd time to play some of their best basketball of the OUA men’s season. They’ve won three tough games on the road (at McMaster, Western and Brock) without all-star guard Kevin Kloostra. With Kloostra out indefinitely with a knee injury, it’s been left to others, like third-year guard Matt Handsor, to fill the gap. “He’s started in Kevin’s absence and he’s playing consistently important minutes for us at the end of games,” Windsor coach Chris Oliver said of Handsor. Both Handsor and Monty Hardware deployed some aggressive defence over the closing moments of the Lancers’ most recent win against the eighth-ranked Brock Badgers in St. Catharines. “ I think I’ve finally started to figure some things out,” Handsor said of Oliver’s complex defensive schemes. “Coach teaches great defence and now, for me, it’s more reaction than stopping to think about it.” He’ll need to produce more of the same in a Friday/Saturday doubleheader against the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Lakehead boasts the OUA’s secondleading scorer in guard Kiraan Posey (23.14 ppg), a defensive matchup that could fall in Handsor’s lap. “I like the challenge,” the 21-year-old Chatham native said. “I don’t have to score. We’ve got other guys who can do that. I just want to do my part for the team.” That’s not to say Handsor can’t knock down an open look when opposing defenses cut him loose in favour of double coverage on Kloostra, Greg Surmacz or Ryan Steer. “People are more aware of him this year and fewer teams are leaving him unguarded in the half court,” Oliver said. “Because of that, he’s learned to be more aggressive with his dribble and is way more comfortable looking for his own offence.” Kloostra, the team’s third leading scorer (14.8 ppg), is scheduled to have his knee scoped in London Monday. He suffered the injury in a Jan. 5 game against Guelph, played in the Lancers’ next game but has missed the last three. Windsor leads a tight race in the OUA West with a 9-4 record. They want a weekend sweep against the 7-7 Thunderwolves to put some distance between them and their closest pursuers from Brock and Guelph. The Lancers are also in a log jam in the women’s division with Windsor, Brock and Waterloo all tied for fourth at 8-7. Two wins against the 7-9 Thunderwolves could tighten the Lancers’ grip on fourth.

CALGARY WEEKEND PREVIEW Wayne Thomas has a piece on the Calgary Dinos coming weekend on Dinos basketball site PLUS B.C. Schools In Southern Alberta The Fraser Valley Cascades (8-10) and the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack (2-16) are in Southern Alberta this weekend to play the Calgary Dinos and the Lethbridge Pronghorns, with the Cascades being first up for the Dinos on Friday at 8:00 pm. The Fraser Valley squad is in a tug of war with Simon Fraser for the 3rd spot in the Pacific Division, and Coach Barnaby Craddock is looking for the Cascades to improve their 1-7 road record. At home the Blue and Green are 7-3, and a much tougher out, but their lone away win has been at Trinity Western, and they are one game behind the Clan with five games remaining in the regular season, although they have clinched a playoff spot in the top four. Doug Plumb, a 2nd year , 6'3" guard, who was added to the lineup after Christmas, leads UCFV with a scoring average of 17.5 ppg. Joel Haviland, a 6'8" forward checks in with 12.5 ppg and 5.5 rebounds, and he is helped up front by 5th year post man Kyle Graves, 6'9". Tristan Smith, a 6' rookie point guard from California, scores 10.5 pts. and dishes out 3.3 assists per game, and Anthony Lao, a 6'4" athletic, 5th year, wing man has returned from an injury to lead the Cascades in rebounds at 6.5 per game. All players on the Fraser Valley Roster but Smith are from B.C., with the majority from the Fraser Valley area. The home-standing Dinos (13-3) have virtually wrapped up the top spot in the Central Division of Canada West, and are now trying to build for the playoffs, which begin in late February. Coach Dan Vanhooren will have overall team improvement as a primary goal, as he prepares the team to win the clutch games down the stretch, with the ultimate aim being a Canada West title, and a spot at the CIS Nationals in Ottawa in mid-March. The brothers Bekkering, Henry and Ross, have been the driving force for the big front line of the Dinos, and they are crucial to the success of the team in big games. Henry leads the scoring at 18.8 per game, while Ross is the top rebounder in Canada West at 11.4 per game, and their playing time is at 29 min. per game and 25 minutes respectively. Jeff Price leads the team with 31.5 min. per game, and is also the steals (1.7), assists(4.8), and free throw (89%) leader. Along with Robbie Sihota, who averages 12.5 pts. ,and is capable of hot streak scoring, and the versatile 5th year guard Cody Darrah, they get the lion's share of court time. There are , however, other big contributors for this Calgary club, including freshman guard Tyler Fidler, a 6'8" ball handling and scoring guard, and two work-horse veterans, Jeremy Odland and Josh Lovestone. The 5th year Odland has been coming off the bench at the wing spot, and, although his minutes are limited ( 10.5), Jeremy makes an impact when he is in the game. His patented drive to the hoop, complete with sound effects, his corner jumper, and his defensive effort have provided a much needed boost at crucial times. Lovestone, a 3rd year transfer from SAIT, who also had a stop at Cariboo College (now Thompson Rivers University), hails from Salmon Arm. B.C., and along with Chris Unsworth, 6'7", 2nd year, from Maple Creek, SK, is one of only two non-Albertans on the UC roster. Josh is the high energy guy off the bench in the post position, and he will crash and bang with guys 3 or 4 inches taller than himself, and he will out-hustle most of his opponents. Calgary wants to come out strong in the first quarter to break the pattern of slow starts they have suffered in a few games recently, and they will try and minimize the opportunities for any offensive runs by the Cascades. With 6 league games remaining, the Dinos will want to play each one to get better and sharper for the approaching post season.

Notes ...
> Calgary slipped to #4 in the CIS rankings this week after their loss in Brandon ...
1. Carleton (1) 2. Acadia (3) 3. Brandon (5) 4. Calgary (2) 5. Ottawa (6) 6. UBC (4) 7. Toronto (9) 8. Concordia (7) 9. Brock (8) 10. Cape Breton (10)
Not wanting to sound like a broken record (skipping cd?) , but why oh why do we have Concordia ? Surely 3rd best in their own league would suggest they don't belong in this group ahead of Windsor, UVic, Alberta or St. FX, just to name a few.
> Tilleman is in town ! Not that Tilleman, but his grade 11 son Dan, a 6'4" guard, who plays for Desert Vista HS in Phoenix, AZ . Danny is up here taking a look at the Dinos in action, and visiting with the coaches and players for the
weekend. The Tillemans still have family in Calgary, and Danny is 'a top prospect' according to Head Coach Dan Vanhooren. This weekend's expected dip in the mercury will test the young man's will to relocate North of the border.

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