Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Top 10 Tuesday: CISHOOPS.CA & NABCC Polls

As mentioned, much of my time in the last few days has been spent working on launching a new poll - details to be published shortly. UPDATED: NACBB poll has been published below. Here are my choices for this week's Top 10:

#1 Carleton (20-0, 14-0, RPI = #1) The Ravens have their toughest weekend of the league season coming up as they travel to Queen's on Friday before returning home to face arch-rival Ottawa at Scotiabank Place in the Capital Hoops Classic where, according to host-school uOttawa, a crowd of over 12,000 is expected. 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp missed Carleton's game at Laurentian this past Saturday but should be ready to play this weekend.

#2 Acadia (17-4, 11-1, RPI = # 12) The Axemen had a solid home win against Cape Breton in a battle for top spot in the AUS and have a deep team with skill and athleticism very worthy of a top 10 ranking. The health of 6'1" Paolo Santana, battling an ankle injury, could be an issue but Acadia has taken on all comers thus far. The Axemen will be tested this coming weekend as they travel to Sydney on Saturday for a return match against Cape Breton and then meet St. FX in Antigonish on Sunday afternoon.

#3 Brandon (19-6, 14-2, RPI = #4) In what was described as one of the most exciting games ever at the Brandon gym, the Bobcats got an All-Canadian performance from 6'3" Dany Charlery to edge Calgary on Saturday after giving up a big lead. This veteran-laden group has size, athleticism and a fifth-year point guard 6'1" Yul Michel who has been to two previous Nationals. Brandon has a pair of road games in Winnipeg this weekend at last place Manitoba.

#4 Calgary (17-5, 13-3, RPI = #2) The Dinos made a valiant effort in Brandon after travelling in from Regina the night before, coming back from a sizeable deficit before succuming to the brillance of Dany Charlery. Prior to the season, talk was that the Dinos would go as far as their guards would take them, led by 6'2" newcomer Jeff Price. If the past month or so is any indicator, all is well with the Dinos backcourt as Price continues his great play, scoring, distribution and rebounding. The Dinos are back at home where they are undefeated this season to face UCFV and Thompson Rivers this weekend.

#5 Cape Breton (16-6, 10-3, RPI = #9) After a close loss at Acadia, the Capers get a rematch on Satuday at home in Sydney. It will be another battle inside between 6'5" Eric Breland and 6'5" Leonel Saintil, statistically by far the two best big men in the AUS. This past Sunday's game was a defensive struggle in the 60's but with the firepower each team possesses and both teams having a week to prepare (unlike last week when Acadia played the afternoon before and CBU had to travel 5 hours after Friday night's home game against Dal), expect another classic AUS matchup between two teams which are likely to vie for the conference championship.

#6 Toronto (20-6, 11-3, RPI = #6) The hot-shooting Blues matched a very tough Queen's Golden Gaels team three-pointer for three-pointer this past Saturday night in taking an exciting win from the Gaels at home to sweep their season series. The Blues have a number of solid players but the consistency and mental toughness of 6'3" fifth-year point guard Mike Degiorgio down the stretch of the season is key. The Blues are 3-2 against this week's CISHOOPS.CA Top 10, defeating Ottawa & Windsor at home and Calgary on a neutral floor while losing to Carleton at home and at UBC. Toronto travels to Laurentian and York this weekend.

#7 Ottawa (18-5, 12-2, RPI = #7) With an opportunity to move closer to first place Carleton with a win at the Capital Hoops Classic looming, the Gee-Gees enter the most critical part of their regular season schedule (5 games in 9 days) without key reserve 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe, out with a foot injury, putting more pressure on their starting five to play major minutes. It seems reasonable that at some point the Gee-Gees will have to rely on their inexperienced bench to help them win games. Ottawa meets RMC prior to Saturday's game against the Ravens then goes to Kingston on Tuesday to face Queen's before coming home to host Ryerson and Toronto next weekend.

#8 Windsor (13-5, 9-4, RPI = #10) The Lancers have won 3 in a row on the road including wins at Western and Brock to take sole possession of first place in the balanced OUA West. Windsor has defended and rebounded and got stellar play from 6'1" fifth-year guard Ryan Steer, receipes for success down the stretch. The Lancers host Waterloo on Wednesday and Brock on Saturday at the St. Denis Center with a chance to put more space between them and their challengers.

#9 UBC (15-4, 13-4, RPI = #8) It is apparent how important 6'3" Chris Dyck is to the fortunes of the T-Birds, who were soundly defeated at home by a Simon Fraser team that proceeded to lose two games against Central Division teams when Dyck was out and then won at UVic when Dyck returned. Now the favorite to capture the Pacific Division regular season crown, UBC will have to win away from War Memorial Gym to secure a spot at the Nationals. The Birds have a pair of tough home games next weekend as they host #10 Alberta on Friday and Saskatchewan on Saturday. Prior to that the Birds travel to Langley to play a pair of games at Trinity Western this weekend.

#10 Alberta (16-6, 11-5, RPI = #3) The Bears are getting their groove back, led by 6'4" Andrew Parker who appears to be coming out of a mid-season slump during which foul trouble was an issue. Alberta usually peaks around this time of the year and, while first place in the division is likely out of sight given how well Calgary is playing, the Bears remain one of the top teams in Canada West. Alberta has an opportunity to show how far they've progress recently when they travel to Saskatchewan for a pair of games this weekend and then to UBC the following Friday.

Other considered:
St. FX (16-7, 7-3, RPI = #6)
Laval (13-8, 7-2, RPI = #17)

January 22, 2008

Last Week League Record Votes
1. Carleton (43) #1 14-0 516 votes
2. Acadia #3 11-1 467 votes
3. Brandon #5 14-2 425 votes
4. Calgary #2 13-3 382 votes
5. Ottawa #6 12-2 328 votes
6. UBC #4 13-4 313 votes
7. Toronto #9 11-3 232 votes
8. Concordia #7 4-3 200 votes
9. Brock #8 8-5 148 votes
10. Cape Breton #10 10-3 107 votes
11. Windsor #14 9-4 93 votes
12. Alberta #12 11-5 92 votes
13. Laval NR 7-2 25 votes
14. Guelph #11 8-5 12 votes
Saint Mary's #13 8-4 12 votes


Anonymous said...

The fact that Concordia is still in the top 10 is a mark of shame on all the coaches in this country. I wonder how the Stingers themselves feel about it, surely knowing that they don't deserve it. For that matter, how does Laval feel?! Some sort of overhaul/transparency in this process is badly needed. Why should the coaches' selections be concealed to the public? Unless there are personal agendas involved, making known the voting process might provide an impetus for coaches to show some accountability for their picks.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. I wrote a long diatribe on one of the popular basketball discussion boards in Toronto about it last season.

When the #1 seed came out of Quebec, I saw it as an absolute disgrace and a complete farce. The level of competition in Quebec is abysmal compared to the other three leagues. Put those teams in the OUA or AUS and none of them would make nationals.

No Quebec team should be ranked unless they have beaten significant top-10 teams in tournament play.