Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Peter Yannopoulos' QSSF Report

QSSF RECAP It was a relatively quiet week-end in the "Q" in the 1st week of February with only 3 games that were completed. With horrible and dangerous weather conditions, the much anticipated matchup between Laval and Concordia was postponed. Laval only played one game at Bishop's and as expected, they blew out the Gaiter's 69-48. Even though Bishop's got off to their usual hot start, they weren't able to contain the "Rouge" hot Rouge et Or. Laval welcomed back JF Beaulieu-Mahieux from injury and he continued his solid 2nd season for Coach Jacques Paiement. Laval is the hottest team in the country, but for some reason are being neglected in national media and coaches polls. Not being in the Top 10 is a huge slap in the face, to both the Rouge et Or program, but the QSSF in general. Laval is talented, deep, well coached and have probably the best player in the country, JP Morin, on their squad. Although championships are not won by polls in early February, this lack of respect should not be overlooked. However, I'm sure coach Paiment will continue to push his team even harder, and use it as motivation heading into playoffs and hopefully the Nationals... Concordia hosted McGill on Saturday as well, and even though the Stingers lost to the Redmen at home a few weeks ago, they came back with a solid 99-84 win. Damian Buckley continued his great all around play, competing with Morin for QSSF player of the year honours, the Stingers also received a huge lift from underrated and underappreciated 6-2 4th year Forward Andre Johnny. Johnny has been a quiet leader for the Stingers the last 2 years, but has played behind some talented players (The Buckley brothers, Pat Perrotte and Ben Sormonte). However this year, Johnny has been more vocal and has showed that he is a skilled ball player, who can play multiple positions for his team. Mcgill were once again battling the injury bug, with 3rd yr 6-6 Forward LP Lagradelle only playing 3 mins due to an upper body injury and 1st yr 6-4 Guard Kyle Bernard out with an injury as well. The game was a chippy affair, with an enormous amount of fouls called, and the bad blood between both teams is clearly mounting. It will be interesting to see these two programs meet in the playoffs, as the cross town rivalry is back... Bishop's visited Mcgill on Sunday, and as is the case for most Bishop's games, the Gaiter's jumped out to a big lead once again, but failed to close out a win late in the 4th quarter. Mcgill came back and won 78-70. You have to feel for the Gaiters, who do not have the same talent level as their QSSF rivals, but Coach Pomykala always has his team playing tough and competitive basketball. Mcgill bounced back from their loss to Concordia, and sit in 3rd place in the "Q" with a 6-7 record. The Redmen are receiving strong play from 6-3 4th year Forward Sean Anthony and 6-4 2nd year Guard Matt Thornhill. Coach Craig Norman is also pleasantly surprised with 1st year rookie PG Jeff Cummings. Cummings has been pressed into duty due to injuries this season, and the graduate of St-Lambert Cavalier from the CCAA has shown he's not afraid to step and run the offense for Mcgill... Laval is on a roll and sits very comfortably in 1st place. They host Concordia friday night, and this should be a telling game of where the Stingers stand. Will they compete and challenge Laval for 1st, or will they have to battle Mcgill and UQam for 2nd place. The Redmen have 6 wins as do the Stingers, but Concordia has 3 games in hand. UQam, coming off a bye week, look to continue their strong second semester play and hope to catch both Mcgill and Concordia for 2nd place, in order to secure a very important home playoff game.

Peter Yannopoulos
Yanno Basketball Consulting

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