Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Top 10 thoughts; other items of note

This week's CIS coaches Top 10 was more consistent than last week's however some observations/questions: Brandon beats UBC at UBC and is ranked below them; #7 Concordia drops only 2 spots (maximum 3 spot drop - several coaches I spoke to said the only reason they had the Stingers at #8 was because the rules said they couldn't drop more than 3 spots; #9 Toronto has already beaten Brock at Brock, just defeated Ottawa at home and beat Calgary on a neutral floor in October yet is ranked behind all three teams; surprising that St. FX does not even rank in the Top 15.

Neate Sager provides his thoughts on the CIS Top 10 on the CIS Blog

Greg Layson of Big Man on Campus provides his thoughts on the Top 10

Chad Lucas also provides his Top 10 thoughts on his Posting Up blog

Wayne Thomas from Calgary previews the Dinos trip to Regina and Brandon this weekend... Although Calgary has not lost to Regina in this century, if our memory is accurate, they face a Cougars team with guards who can get very hot in their own gym, and a couple of posts who are willing to mix it up on the boards with Calgary's vaunted big men. Jeff Lukomski has matched the 39 pts. we saw from Henry Bekkering here last weekend ... against Winnipeg, the diminutive bomber hit 6 treys and added 11/14 free throws in a home win ... Never seen a 30 footer he didn't like ! Paul Schubach may be the Cougars' most complete player as he directs the attack, leads in assists, scores 12.5 ppg, defends and rebounds well. Bryden Wright, a 5th year senior, is the most consistent offensive threat, averaging 17.5 ppg. as he and Lukomski launch more shots than the rest of the top 8 players combined. Kris 'Krash' Heshka, who will bang with anybody, teams well with the smooth Jamaal Williams in the post. Calgary's advantage is the depth overall, and the athleticism up front with the Bekkering boys and Robbie Sihota presenting a formidable problem for the Regina lads, and Josh Lovestone, now recovered from a bout of the flu, should be up to his old tricks coming off the bench. Jeff Price will more than hold his own against the Cougar guards, and that unusual 2 man, Cody Darrah/Tyler Fidler may well determine how the game turns. Notes ... We pay tribute to a couple of our favourite Dinos families, who grace the 'Queen City' with their friendliness ... the Salgados ... big Jon, father Luis, and Mum Sandra ... let's hope there's no blizzard this time around! The Hornsbergers ... wandering Whit, last heard from on the west coast, Dad Barry, and Mum Wilma. Miss seeing you all ... cheer on the Dinos! Big man on the move ... no moss under Art Unsworth, as he catches son Chris against Regina on Friday, then up the highway to see #1 son Clint suit up for the Saskatchewan Huskies vs. Simon Fraser on Saturday. After flying to Regina and playing Friday, the Dinos will hop aboard a highway cruiser Saturday am for the 4 hours to Brandon and play Brandon that night ... hope you get to stop and stock up on silly movies guys! After the Brandon game, they return to Regina to fly back on Sunday. Huh !?!? Didn't anyone in the Athletic office realize Winnipeg was two and a half hours closer! Word from the NCAA that they will allow Canadian schools to apply for membership. Suggestion ... why don't we celebrate our own CIS rather than the glorious possibility of a spot in Division II with schools we've barely heard about? Simon Fraser plays at UBC tonight, and, for the second week in a row, they will play 3 league games. With this schedule, they are more likely to go 0-3, and lose ground in their playoff hunt. Kudos to the Stampede Show Band, who are playing at every Dinos home game this season, and who are putting on a great show, which improves every time out. Dinos climb to #2 in the CIS coaches poll this week ...
1. Carleton (1) - they've been on top longer than 'The Beatles'.
2. Calgary (4) - jump over both UBC and Acadia ... wins on the road can solidify this ranking
3. Acadia (3) - stay in the 3rd spot with two wins and have a big game with Cape Breton this week
4. UBC (2)- stay in top 4 despite a home loss ... at Victoria for a key game in Pacific
5. Brandon (8) - split on the coast ... chance to stop #2 Calgary at home on Saturday
6. Ottawa (7) - lost to Toronto and beat Ryerson in two away games
7. Concordia (5)- 4-3 in their league ... are you kidding ?!
8. Brock - (12) - big bump up for the Badgers. Reflects some good wins on the road
9 Toronto - (13) - lost at home to Carleton by 16, beat Ottawa, so they move up 4 spots ....
10. Cape Breton - have to win at Acadia to stay in the top 10.
Where is Victoria ? As usual, we have some differences with the rankings, but , if you're at or near the top, all you have to do is keep on winning!

Mac at Lakehead Preview The Lakehead Thunderwolves face a big test at home at the Thunderdome this weekend when they host their divisional rivals from McMaster Friday and Saturday night. Lakehead is 6-6 in conference play and 11-11 overall. The Wolves are in second place with 12 points in the dogfight that is the OUA West Division; two points behind a three-way tie for first between Brock, Windsor, and Guelph. McMaster is 5-6 in OUA play (11-10 overall) and are only two points behind the Wolves as are Western and Laurier. Last place Waterloo sit in last; only two points behind this group so the gap from first to last in the division is only 6 points. Lakehead is coming off an away split with Laurier last weekend while McMaster beat Guelph and lost to Windsor. Lakehead Head Coach Scott Morrison said MAC will be a tough opponent and their big men pose a challenge for the Wolves. "After a poor outing Saturday night at Laurier, we need to get back to basics and put in a strong week of practice. Every game in this conference has play-off implications from here on out and Mac is always a tough team to contend with. The combination of MAC’s Diaby and Licorish will be something we haven't had to prepare for in some time, and will be key match-ups for both teams." Both games tip off at 8:00 pm EST and will be videowebcast live as well as broadcast live on radio in Thunder Bay on Lakehead Radio 102.7 FM (on the net at www.lakeheadradio.ca). Ordering information for the live videowebcasts is available at http://events.news-cast.com/events/Lakehead and viewers will need hi speed internet and Windows Media Player to watch the broadcasts. Kyle Gerstmar will be calling the action live with Matt Prokopchuk providing the colour. McMaster Radio will also be broadcasting live in Hamilton and on the net at Mac Internet Broadcast. Friday is "WOLVES COLOURS NIGHT" at the Thunderdome and everyone who dresses in Blue and Gold and interesting costumes will be eligible for best costume prizes as well as for draws for great prizes. Photos will be taken of the best dressed fans and then submitted to the OUA as part of the OUA’s Best Dressed Fans Contest with the grand prize winner chosen Jan. 31st for a $250 Future Shop Gift Card courtesy of BelairDirect. Lakehead Thunderwolves: The Wolves played hard in their win last Friday vs. Laurier; led by Kiraan Posey and his 36 points and 10 boards and a double-double by Warren Thomas. However fouls hurt them in Saturday’s loss to the Hawks; putting Posey on the bench for much of the first half and causing Thomas to foul out. Thomas still had a strong game last Saturday; recording his third consecutive double-double. He is averaging 15 ppg (17th OUA) and 7.8 rebounds per game in OUA play (8th OUA). His play will be crucial against MAC’s Bigs. Kiraan Posey continues to be the big gun for the Wolves; averaging 23.25 ppg (2nd OUA), 8.5 rebounds per game (4th OUA), 3 assists per game (tied 15th OUA), and .92 blocks per game (tied 9th OUA). Senior guard Ryan Precious will need to direct the Wolves at a quick pace to counter MAC’s big men; he is averaging 6.8 ppg and 4 assists per game (tied 9th OUA). Precious is in the Top 20 in the OUA for assist to turnover ratio (1.92). Senior post Matt Verboom will need to bring his A-game against MAC and their big men; and Verboom has been playing solid ball in the New Year. The Wolves will need strong play from sophomores Jamie Searle (9.8 ppg, 1.5 steals per game; 10th OUA), Mathew Powell (7.5 ppg, 5.3 rebounds per game), Paul Popo-Ola, Andrew Hackner (4.7 ppg), and Dean Magierowski. Newcomer Powell’s athleticism could be a key this weekend and Popo-Ola has been playing strong defense of late for the Wolves and is in the OUA Top 20 in assist to turnover ratio (2.2). The three-point shooting of freshman Kyle McConnell (7.1 ppg) could also be crucial this weekend. McMaster Marauders: The Marauders are a very dangerous team that features a balanced offensive attack and one of the toughest post tandems in the country; huge Mouctar Diaby (13.1 ppg, 4.9 rebounds per game) and athletic newcomer Terance Licorish (12.3 ppg, 7.3 rebounds per game). Lakehead’s ability to penetrate and use their speed and rebound offensively against this pair could decide the weekend for the Wolves. Jermaine Decosta (9.1 ppg, 4.3 rebounds per game) is the Marauders point guard; he is tough to stop in transition with his speed and is a strong defensive player. Lakehead’s match-ups against him will be another key this weekend. Aminu Bello and his 8.7 ppg is also a dangerous player for the Marauders. Freshmen Tyrell Vernon (13.1 ppg; 3.09 assists per game; 14th OUA) is an excellent shooter and passer and is one of the better first year players in the league. Vernon is in the Top 20 in the OUA for assist to turnover ratio (2.12).

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