Monday, 25 February 2008

Peter Yannopoulos Report: Stingers defeat Redmen

Concordia 84 McGill 75 Second place and the right to host a home playoff game were on the line Sunday afternoon at the always seemingly quiet McGill gymnasium, where both McGill and Concordia were battling for the ever important 2nd place in the QSSF and with a win, avoid 1st place Laval in the semi finals. From the get go, you could see Concordia's Head John Dore was nervous, as he tried to sweet talk the officials, knowing that he could use all the help he could get against a very tough and extremely well prepared McGill team. The game's 1st quarter was all McGill, with the home team coming out and hitting their shots early on and disrupting Con. U's offensive flow, which is usually led by one man, Damian Buckley (18pts 4assist's 5 steals 7 TOs). Craig Norman's strategy was clear, try and make things difficult for Buckley, by banging him, changing defender's on him and switching defense's as well. The game plan worked somewhat,as Buckley didn't have his greatest game, turning the ball over 7 times, but his teammates picked up the slack, and made several key 3pointers during a huge 2nd quarter run that gave the Stingers a 48-40 lead at halftime. Levi Vann( 9pts), Pierre Thompson(13pts 4 rebs) and Decee Krah (11pts) all played a vital role for Concordia's run. The 3rd quarter started all Concordia, as the Stingers went on a 9-0 run and built a 17pt lead. The Redmen looked all but done, but a strong surge of solid 2-3 zone defense and the herculean effort from Sean Anthony(26pts 10rebs 8 steals) brought McGill back and only down 65-63 heading into the 4th quarter. Where the game was decided in my opinion, was very simple, on the glass. Concordia destroyed the Redmen on the boards by a 45 to 31 margin. What was even more disturbing to watch was that Concordia got 22 offensive rebounds, continually getting 2nd and 3rd shot opportunities. Jamal Gallier( 12pts, 12 rebs, 7 offensive) led the charge. The Stingers made a couple of big shots down the stretch and McGill couldn't put the basketball in the ocean on Sunday, shooting a dreadful 24% from 3 point range and 38% from the field. The only player who could score was Anthony for McGill, as Moustafa El Zanaty was held to (6pts and 4 rebs on 2-10 shooting). You can see that McGill is missing their 2 PGs who are injured (Goulet and Mansour), because graduating PG Nicolas Pronovost continues to struggle running the offense for McGill. He isn't scoring, he hardly gets any assists and he's a turnover waiting to happen. Rookie back-up Jeff Cummings has shown flashes of solid potential, but at this point of the season, you don't need potential, you need results, and Coach Norman isn't getting it at the point guard position, while Concordia has All-Canadian candidate Buckley playing quality basketball for 40mins. Both Laval's Head Coach Jacques Paiement and Uqam's Olga Hrycak( along with Assistant Coach Nevio Marzinatto) were in attendance scouting their opponents next week. While Paiment was just watching by himself, Hyrcak and Marzinatto were writting down countless pages of notes, set plays, and tendencies from both teams. The QSSF playoffs are here folks, and the coaches are pumped and so are the players. McGill travels to Quebec City to face Laval(who they already beat there early this season) while Concordia host's Uqam. It should be a very exciting final four in the Q. A side note: Concordia injured All Star Forward Dwayne Buckley was dressed and in uniform on the bench for Concordia, continuously cheering his teammates during the game. He is out for the season with a knee injury, but i was quite surprised to see him easily dunk the basketball during half time warm-ups.

Peter Yannopoulos
Yanno Basketball Consulting

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can you said that M. Dore was nervous. I saw the game and this was not sweet talk. The ref wasn't good. They missed several easy calls.
McGill had a good chance to win, but Mustafa was selfish in the fourth quarter. I think he tought he was Moustafa JORDAN. Another example, in the first half, McGill went 3 against 1, Mustafa had the ball, stop at the three points line. The only guy for the Stingers jump on Mustafa. He shot the three instead passing the ball to is 2 teammates alone under the basket...WOW!!!!