Thursday, 28 February 2008

Coach Rautins thoughts on CIS stars

The new and improved Canada Basketball site has a section in which Head Coach Leo Rautins provides his thoughts on several basketball issues and in his most recent post, he has articulated his views on the top players in the CIS. Click here for the link to Leo's blog... Below is the text of the blog entry with the relevant CIS material (thanks to Wellsie for point out the link)

I have people asking me about CIS players, and if there are any National team prospect out there. I’m always watching and talking to contacts across Canada, looking for players that can help us win. I think it’s important for people to understand that just because a player has success at CIS or NCAA school, it doesn’t mean that it will translate to the National Team level. I often hear that this player, or that player, should be on the team – but in reality, they may not be able to play at our level.

However, I am always trying to find the players that can help Canada win. I have put together some names of the top players (in no particular order) in the CIS – for you to look for with the playoffs in full gear.

By the way, I’m betting on ‘five time’ (my nickname for Carleton Head Coach, Dave Smart, who also coaches by my side on the National Team) to win his sixth consecutive CIS Championship. I can’t tell you how impressed I am by his numbers and successes – amazing at any level! Dave has won championships by simply out-coaching, and his players, out-executing, his opponents. The University of Victoria, under Ken Shields, won seven straight titles - but from what I saw, had far greater size and talent (their National Team presence and impact at the time, supports this) relative to their competition, than Smart has won with at Carleton. Their first big test comes Saturday vs. Dave DeAveiro’s Ottawa Gee-Gee’s, in the OUA Final, at the Ravens Nest in Ottawa.

Players to watch:

Aaron Doornekamp – a forward on the undefeated Carleton Ravens…Aaron played for Canada last summer at the Pan Ams and was in the final 15 with the Qualifier team…versatile player that can play inside or outside…outstanding passer…tough and scrappy…will beat you dropping 30 - or do it with defense and rebounding.

Ryan Bell – a guard with the Ravens…played for Canada in Las Vegas…with Ryan I know exactly what I get – every time he steps on the floor…can run the team…excellent rebounder and defender at the 1 or 2 spot…can hit the open shot…tremendous competitor…great attitude.

Henry Beckkering – best athlete in the CIS…you can read about this high flyer in last weeks Sports Illustrated (surprisingly, in an article on dunking!)…transferred from Eastern Washington to the U of Calgary…21 and 7 rbs on the season…put up huge numbers when his brother Ross went down recently…versatile…finally getting a chance to show what he can do on the floor.

Ross Beckkering – has been out with an ankle injury…picked him out of an open tryout camp last summer in Toronto – loved his energy and aggressiveness around the hoop…Ross made the World University Team…also at U of C with his brother…6’8”…great athlete…hops…works hard…huge upside.

JP Morin – led the CIS with 24.5 at U de Laval in Quebec…6’7” inside – outside scorer…goes to the glass…3 man skills but plays better at the 4 in National Team camps…physical…solid offensive player.

Leonil Santil – the rebounding monster from Acadia – broke the conference record for single season rebounding – 13.9 rpg…also dropped 18+ a game…size could be an issue moving up.

Greg Surmacz – the U of Windsor forward was #8 in scoring at 19.5 and also grabbed 8.2 boards a game…tough on the offensive glass…versatility allows him to score inside and step out for the J as well.

Josh Gibson-Bascombe – plays for DeAveiro at Ottawa…at 6’4” good size for a point guard…long arms – can get after you defensively…scores…not afraid to attack the basket…played for the World University Team last summer.

Others to watch:

Danny Charlery – Brandon U
Tyler Richards – St. FX
Andrew Spagrud – U of Saskatchewan
Erfan Nasajpour – U of Winnipeg
Alex Steele – U of Alberta
Nick Pankerichian – U of Guelph

Also, while surfing around the new and improved Canada Basketball site, I came across an excellent blog by Matt Slan on CIS basketball

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