Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Couple of Stories by Greg Layson

Greg provides a link to his game story from Wednesday's Laurier win over Guelph from the Guelph Mercury.

Also Greg outlines his thoughts on the top two teams in the OUA West in his Big Man on Campus blog

The always-articulate David Larkins provides his thoughts on the inaugural CISHOOPS.CA Top 10 Media poll on The Scrum

Chad Lucas sorts out the AUS playoff picture in his Posting Up blog

Peter Yannopoulos's QSSF Report

QSSF REPORT by Peter Yannopoulos.... It has been quite an eventful season in the QSSF so far, with many surprises from a team stanpoint to great individual performances. As the dog days of winter have hit coaches, players and the ever-neglected but vital team trainers, this is the key stretch to the end of the regular season. As it stands right now, the class of the QSSF has to be the Laval Rouge et Or. They sit alone in 1st place with a 9-2 record, and after a slugglish start to the season, they have found their groove and seem headed to capture the regular season title and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. It all starts with 5th year Foward JP Morin. The All-Canadian and Player of the year candidate is averaging 25.1 ppg and 10.1 rebs, and he has had a super season to date. Morin is almost unstopable in the post, but has also taken his game to the outside this year, hitting 3 pointers with consistency, making opposing coaches shake their heads wondering how will they stop him now. The supporting cast is impressive as well. JF Beaulieu-Maxieux hasn't missed a beat from his National Rookie of the year season, averaging 15.7ppg 4.1 rebs and 1.6apg. He can score from a variety of ways, but he's the main finisher of Laval's fast break. He has missed the last 2 games with a groin pull, and although Laval has won without him, they will need him down the stretch and especially in the playoffs. Two freshman have had solid 1st year season's so far, Jerome Turcotte( 10.8ppg and 5.8rebs 2.8apg) and PG Xavier Baribeau(9.8ppg 5.3apg). Both have proven that they can contribute right away and both have strong confidence in their abilities. Probably the most underated player in the "Q" is 6-7 Forward Marc Andre Cote. Cote is a player i love because he can play and more importantly defend all 5 positions on the court. He sits 2nd in league rebounding with an 8.6 avg, and along with Morin, form the toughest frontline duo in the conference. There is no doubt that this starting 5 can compete with any team in the country and they seem to be getting better with each game. They have a decent bench and Coach Jacques Paiment has them playing better defense this season and look for them to continue their streak of wins up until the playoffs.... The Concordia Stingers are currently in 2nd place with a 5-4 record but the Stingers have been hit with injuries all season long. The most devasting injury is to all star Dwayne Buckley. One of the toughest matchup's in the country, Buckley is gone for the year with a knee injury and that has really hurt Concordia. His brother has picked up the slack and Damian Buckley is having another All-Canadian season. He's averaging 17.8ppg 6.4rebs, 6.0 apg and 2 steals a game. Basically, he's doing it all for Coach John Dore this season. Levi Vann (11.1ppg), Jamal Gallier(8.0ppg 6.9rebs) and Andre Johnny(7.1ppg)have done their part in helping out Damian, but there is a serious lack of depth this season for Concordia. The role players must step up and the Stingers might have to rely on their defense instead of their usual high octane offense to win games down the stretch. It will be interesting to see what transpires for Concordia, who are not use to losing so many games in regular season play... The McGill Redmen are in third place with a 5-6 record, but have been the surprise team in the QSSF this season. Coach Craig Norman has really upgraded the talent level at McGill and he has implemented a tough and hard nosed basketball mentality. The Redmen who were sitting in 1st place just a month ago, have also battled injuries. They have lost their rookie PG Sam Goulet for the season with a knee injury and their back-up PG Victor Mansour is injured and out for the season as well. The Redmen have been led by defending QSSF Defensive Player of the year Sean Anthony (12.9 and 5.7rebs) whose carried the load for McGill on both ends of the floor. Moustafa El-Zanaty (17.7ppg) has shown that he can score at will, coming off the bench to become of one the best 6th men in the country. Matt Thornhill (8.9ppg) has had a solid 2nd season, and Yannick Chouinard continues to be one of the best 3point shooters in the "Q". The Redmen have beaten Laval and Concordia on the road, but have struggled somewhat at home. They have several solid role players and will look to finish strong heading into the playoffs... The UQAM Citadins are in 4th place with a 4-6 record. They started off 0-5 during the 1st semester, but now have won 4 of 5, and are finally healthy as well after battling through the injury bug. Uqam is led by Mario Joseph (12.3ppg 5.7 rebs and 2.9apg). The 6-3 245 lbs PG has changed positions this season after playing foward most of his career. He runs the show for Coach Olga Hrycak, and brings the intensity and winning attitude to this program. Sam Johnson (12.4ppg) is still the pure shooter for the Citadins and after being hobbled early in the season, he has come back strong and looks to lead Uqam to the playoffs. Kevin Boucher(11.5ppg 7.1rebs) is another underated PF, who plays hard and battles every minute he touches the floor. What makes UQAM dangerous is the return of the "African tandem" of Jules Diagne( 12.3ppg 4.4 rebs and 2apg) and Joseph Antagana( 5.7rebs 1.8 apg 2.2blocks per game). Both were members of the UQAM squad that won the QSSF two years ago, and their athleticism and all around game creates major problems for opponents. UQAM is playing inspired basketball right now, and are looking at improving their record and seeding heading into the playoffs... The Bishop Gaiters are in last place with a 2-7 record. The Gaiters started off the season at 2-0 but have lost 7 straight. Its been a tough season for coach Eddy Pomykala and his Gaiters. Although the Gaiters record does not look that good, they have been in almost every game this season, but have not been able to close out games. Bishop's Emmanuel Junior Nicolas(17.7ppg and 5apg) has had a monster season. The SG has carried the Gaiters on his back this season, with explosive scoring performances. Herman Tesfaghebriel(12.9ppg) has had a strong season as well and Doug McCooeye(8.2ppg) has shown heart and grit for the Gaiters. The bottom line for Bishop's is time is ticking, and they must start winning and fast. The playoffs are still within reach, but they are in a "must win situation" as of now. They can't afford any more losses if they have any hope of catching the teams ahead of them... It should be a very exciting finish to the QSSF regular season. Laval looks like they have 1st place locked up, but 2nd place is up for grabs. Concordia who just last year entered the CIS Nationals as the #1 seed, have struggled and got spanked by Uqam by 20 points last week. But they have one of the best players in the country in Damian Buckley, and he can carry them a long way. McGill has become a major player this season, they are always extremely well prepared for any opponent and they can really put up points with their 3point shooting. Uqam has talent, athleticism and toughness. Those are three key ingredients to any team aspiring for a championship. Bishop's is still in the hunt but it will be very difficult for them. The next coming weeks will give us a better indication of where teams will end up. It should be quite a ride, a cold winter one no doubt.


Peter Yannopoulos
Yanno Basketball Consulting
peteryannopoulos@hotmail.com

McGill, Bishop's Game Rescheduled for this Sunday

LENNOXVILLE, Que. - Please be advised that the Bishop's Gaiters basketball doubleheader at McGill, originally scheduled for last night, will be played on Sunday, February 3. The women's game will start at 12 noon, with the men's game set for 2 p.m. The Gaiters have a regularly-scheduled game this Saturday night as they host the Laval Rouge et Or. Game times at the Mitchell Gym in Lennoxville is set for 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men).

PLUS the Carleton perspective from last Saturday's Capital Hoops Classic

Canada's Olympic Qualifying Draw Announced

CANADA DRAWS SLOVENIA AND KOREA IN FIBA OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT FOR MEN (Toronto, ON) Canada’s senior men’s national basketball team has drawn Slovenia and Korea in their group for this summer’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Athens, Greece from July 14-20. The top three finishers from the qualifier will earn the right to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, August 9-24. The groups for the tournament are as follows:

Group A: Brazil, Greece and Lebanon
Group B: Cape Verde, Germany and New Zealand
Group C: Canada, Korea and Slovenia
Group D: Cameroon, Croatia and Puerto Rico

The teams placed 1st and 2nd in each group will advance to the Quarter-Finals; the teams placed 3rd in each group will be eliminated. Canada’s possible cross-over opponents are the countries from group C: Cameroon, Croatia and Puerto Rico. “I like our draw,” said Men’s National Team Coach Leo Rautins. “We’re playing in Greece, so anytime you can stay away from them it’s a good thing.” Still, Rautins wasn’t looking beyond Canada’s first round opponents. “Korea is a very tough team with a 7”4’ centre and they are a tremendous three-point shooting team. They can definitely spread the court out. Slovenia as well, everyone is familiar with Rasho Nesterovic of the Raptors, but they have four other players in the NBA and they’re certainly a team that we have to be concerned about,” said Rautins. “They’re a very tough team. There are no easy games, but we are very optimistic about our team’s chances,” concluded the coach.

The nucleus of the senior men’s national team that finished fifth at last summer’s FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada is committed to returning for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, with Rautins adding that others, including Miami Heat forward Joel Anthony of the NBA, will vie for a spot on the team as well.

The schedule for the tournament is as follows:

Preliminary Round
14th July 2008:
Game A1: Greece vs. Lebanon
Game B1: New Zealand vs. Cape Verde
Game C1: Korea vs. Slovenia
Game D1: Croatia vs. Cameroon

15th July 2008:
Game A2: Lebanon vs. Brazil
Game B2: Cape Verde vs. Germany
Game C2: Slovenia vs. Canada
Game D2: Cameroon vs. Puerto Rico

16th July 2008:
Game A3: Brazil vs. Greece
Game B3: Germany vs. New Zealand
Game C3: Canada vs. Korea
Game D3: Puerto Rico vs. Croatia

The teams placed 1st and 2nd in each group will advance to the Quarter-Finals; the teams placed 3rd in each group will be eliminated and may return home. The games of the Preliminary Round and the Quarter-Finals will be played at 13:00 hours, 15:30 hours, 19:30 hours and 22:00 hours. The exact order of games will be fixed in March.

17th July 2008: Rest Day
3. Quarter-Finals:
18th July 2008:
Game 13: A1 vs. B2
Game 14: B1 vs. A2
Game 15: C1 vs. D2
Game 16: D1 vs. C2

The games of the Quarter-Finals will be played at 13:00 hours, 15:30 hours, 19:30 hours and 22:00 hours.

4. Semi-Finals:
19th July 2008:
Game 17: Winner 13 vs. Winner 15
Game 18: Winner 14 vs. Winner 16

The two winners of the Semi-Finals will qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The two losers will play in the Finals the game for the 3rd place (Game 19 below) for one remaining Olympic spot. The Semi-Final games will be played at 19:00 hours and 21:30 hours.

5. Finals:
20th July 2008:
Game 19 (20:00 hours): Loser 17 vs. Loser 18

The winner will qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Canada Basketball (www.basketball.ca) is a private, not-for-profit corporation that is committed to the growth of the sport in Canada. Just as important, Canada Basketball is focused on the development and preparation of Canada’s national teams for the Olympic; Pan American and FISU Games as well as the World Championships. The aspiration of Canada Basketball is to instill the pride, commitment, passion and respect that Canadians personify into the development of basketball across the country and internationally.

The tentative schedule for 2008 Canadian Senior Men’s National team is as follows: FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men Greece (GRE) July 14-20: Olympic Games Men’s Tournament China (CHN) August 10-24 2008 (upon qualification).


For more information please contact: Andrew Cook, Manager, Men’s Elite Performance, Canada Basketball Tel: 416.614.8037 x 210
e-mail: acook@basketball.ca
Website: www.basketball.ca

UVic Vikes Strike Live Video Streaming Deal

Vikes reach deal to broadcast remaining home games VICTORIA - The University of Victoria department of Athletics is pleased to announce a partnership with 777online.com and Urban Networks, to broadcast the remaining home basketball games and playoff matches. The games are available live in streaming video, for free over the internet, making UVic the first Pacific Division institution to offer such a service. The broadcasts can be found online at: Vikes Streaming Video. The mediaManager software also allows user to watch archives of previous broadcasts. The Vikes piloted the broadcast for a January 18 game against the UBC Thunderbirds, and because of the success and demand decided to extend the broadcast agreement through the regular season and playoffs. "The UVic Vikes are the ideal partner to embrace the mediaManager broadcast platform," said Dave McIlory, Director, Sales and Marketing, Urban Networks and founder, 777online.com. "The Vikes have typically been ahead of the curve when it comes to online broadcast innovations, and 777online.com and Urban Networks will escalate the Vikes video broadcasts to new heights." Peter Songhurst, the "Voice of the Vikes", will provide play-by-play commentary.

Broadcast schedule:
Feb. 1 vs. Saskatchewan Huskies - Women 6pm / Men 8pm
Feb. 2 vs. Alberta Golden Bears - Women 6pm / Men 8pm
Feb. 15-17: Canada West Men's Basketball Playoffs - TBA

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About Urban Networks:
Urban Communications Inc., through its operating subsidiaries, is a full service telecommunications company providing a range of next generation IP application services to residential and commercial clients in British Columbia. The Company’s services include developing and operating leased fibre optic networks, engineering design and construction of advanced telecommunications systems to facilitate delivery of video, telephone and broadband Internet services, outside plant and maintenance of the networks plus product sales. Urban Communications is a telecommunications integration company providing end-to-end, turnkey services to meet the demands of its diverse, national telecommunications customers who require the full scope of fibre, cable and wireless technical services. Urban Communications can deliver cost effective media rich solutions via state-of-the-art carrier grade infrastructure designed to reach both residential and business consumers.

About 777online.com:
777online.com is a leader in web broadcasting and publishing. Following the SaaS (Software as a Service) model and open source architecture, 777online.com develops the most advanced applications for self publishing of Internet audio and video. All 777online.com software adheres to the strictest criteria; simplistic interface controls, mass market appeal and powerful enabling technology.

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--
Mike Tucker
Vikes Communications Officer
University of Victoria | Athletics and Recreation
250-721-8725 P | 250-721-8956 F
www.govikesgo.com

Articles/Game Reports from Last Night

Larry Moko's article in the Hamilton Spectator on both the women's and men's games at Mac The article notes that Brad Rootes missed the last 2 days of practice with an ankle injury and that Mike Kemp (DNP) and Rohan Steen (11 minutes) also were injured for Brock.

Mary Caton's article in the Windsor Star on both the women's and men's games in Windsor last night as Waterloo actually took an early 12-6 lead in the men's game before Lancers Coach Chris Oliver went to his ever-productive bench and the game quickly turned around for Windsor. Also from Waterloo web site Windsor easily handles Warriors

St. Catharines Standard article on Brock's win over Mac


ROOTES DRAINS KEY THREE-POINTER AS BADGERS TOP MARARUDERS

(Hamilton, ON) Held in check most of the evening, All Canadian point guard
Brad Rootes (Niagara Falls, ON) knocked down a big three-point shot in the
late going, propelling the Brock University Badgers to 61-57 triumph over the
McMaster University Marauders, in OUA West action on Wednesday evening at the
Burridge Gym.

With the victory, the Badgers (#8 NABCC, #11 cishoops.ca) improve to 11-5,
strengthening their hold on second place, as they look to secure that
all-important first round playoff bye. Brock remains only a single game
behind the first place University of Windsor Lancers. Brock travels to
Windsor Saturday, in a battle for top spot in the conference. The Marauders
fall to 7-9, tied for 5th in the tightly-bunched standings.

The visitors jumped out to an early 12-6 lead. But the Maroon and Grey fought
back, narrowing the margin to a single point, 17-16, at the end of the first
quarter.

The Marauders finally were able to assert themselves as the second quarter
wore on. Mac jumped out to a six-point lead, before a late Badger charge
resulted in the teams heading to the locker room deadlocked at 33-33.

There was not much to choose between the two clubs in the second half either.
The visitors led by five points, but the home side came back to lead by six
points themselves. With the clock winding down, and Mac up 55-53, Rootes
worked his magic. The Badgers drove the court on a fast break, but stopped
short, firing a pass back to Rootes just outside the arc. The Brock captain
calmly knocked down the long range bomb, to restore a 56-55 Badger lead.

Forward Owen White (Port Hope, ON) led all scorers with 20 points and 6
rebounds. Fellow forward Dusty Bianchin had a 12 point, 10 rebound
double-double. Rootes, held scoreless in the first half, finished with 12
points. The Badgers were without forward Mike Kemp (Niagara Falls, ON), and
guard Rohan Steen (Welland, ON), who was injured during the game.

Forward Andrew Losier (Waterdown, ON) continues to exert himself at both ends
of the floor, finishing with a 16 point, 12 rebound double-double. Freshman
guard Tyrell Vernon tallied 10 points for the Maroon and Grey.

The Marauders return to the hardcourt this weeked, when they host the Wilfred
Laurier Golden Hawks, who are among the teams deadlocked with Mac in the
middle of the standings. The action, part of the annual Marauder Weekend
festivities, can be heard on 93.3 CFMU-FM and http://cfmu.mcmaster.ca .
Viewers can also follow the live stats on the internet, via
http://www.athrec.mcmaster.ca/athletics/teams/basketball/livestats/index.htm


GOLDEN HAWKS GRIND OUT WIN OVER GUELPH

The Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks won their first road game of the season, traveling over to Guelph and grinding out a 72-67 win over the University of Guelph Gryphons. The win moves the Hawks’ OUA record to 7-9 (11-15 overall) and keeps them tied with Lakehead and McMaster for the final 2 playoff spots in the OUA West. The Gryphons remain in 3rd place with a 9-7 record. The Hawks have split with the Gryphons this year with both clubs winning on the road, but Guelph holds the point spread tie breaker.

Guelph jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on a pair of baskets in the paint but the Hawks came back to take a 5-4 lead of their own. Neither team was able to sustain their offense over consecutive possessions but, after the Gryphons retook the lead with another inside basket, a pair of 3-point baskets gave the Hawks an 11-6 lead midway through the 1st quarter. A 6-1 mini run by Guelph tie the game but the Hawks hit a foul shot and then a basket to take a 15-12 lead after the 1st period.

The 2nd quarter was very much a duplicate of the first with neither team able to put together any stretch of offensive success and the game seesawed back and forth. The lead changed hands four times with the Hawks seeing their lead expand to 5 points twice only to have the Gryphons take a 3 point lead. In the end, the game remained tied at 26-26 at the end of the 2nd quarter, Both teams displayed some strong defense holding each other in the low 30's% shooting from the floor. The Hawks were in this game because they were able to match the intensity and desire of the Gryphons from the start.

Both teams seemed to find their offense in the dressing rooms at the half. The 3rd quarter opened with each team hitting 4 points to keep the game tied. After the Gryphons took narrow 32-30 lead, the Hawks scored 17 points in their next 8 possessions although Guelph put in 9 during the same period, to take a 47-41 lead. The teams traded foul shots down the stretch and Laurier was up 51-47 after 3 quarters.

The Gryphons stormed out to start the 4th quarter scoring 6 straight points to retake the lead 53-51. A Hawk 3-pointer gave them back a lead that they would never relinquish and, after scoring the next 9 straight points they held a 63-53 lead with 5 minutes remaining in the game. The Gryphons threw everything that they could over the final 5 minutes cutting the Hawks lead to 3 points but the Laurier squad was able to hold them off. The Hawks final 11 points were scored from the free throw line (11/12) making the Gryphons pay for fouling them to stop the clock and lengthen the game.

The Golden Hawks were led by veteran Matthew Walker (4th yr, wing, Waterloo, ON) who finished with a game high 20 points (19 in the 2nd half), including 10/12 from the foul line. He also finished with 7 rebounds to lead the team in that category. Rookie Kale Harrison (wing, Stratford, ON) added 19 points (13 in the 1st half) including 3/4 from behind the 3 point arc. He also added 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. Point guard Jesse MacDonald (3rd yr, Brantford, ON) had a second strong game in a row finishing with 16 points including 8/9 from the foul line. The Hawks, as a team, were 8/16 from 3 point land and 26/37 from the free throw line.

The Gryphons were led by Nick Pankerichan (4th yr, G, Hamilton, ON) who finished with 18 points. Borko Popic (4th yr, G, Waterloo, ON) added 15 while Duncan Milne (4th yr, F, Calgary, AB) had 14. Jay Mott (3rd yr, G, Burlington, ON) had 8 rebounds.

The Golden Hawks will travel to Hamilton on Saturday afternoon to take on the McMaster University Marauders in a battle of 7-9 teams fighting for a playoff berth. Tipoff for this contest is 2:00 pm.

Ben Myers, Sports Editor of the Fulcrum, uOttawa's campus newspaper has a piece on the recent Capital Hoops Classic

UBC takes a shot at bullying article previewing the T-Birds event as part of their game on Friday against Alberta. The game begins at noon PT/3 PM ET.

OUA West Results Tonight

Brock (16-11, 11-5) 61, McMaster (12-11, 7-9) 57 6'7" Owen White had 20 points/6 rebounds and 6'8" Dusty Bianchin added 12 points/10 rebounds as the Badgers won the battle of the bigs on a night when both teams shot under 40%. Brock, who played without 6'2" Mike Kemp, won despite getting only 3-13 shooting from 5'10" Brad Rootes (12 points, 3 assists) before fouling out late and only 11 minutes in total from 6'2" Rohan Steen. 6'6" fourth-year forward Andrew Losier had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Mac and 6'2" freshman Tyrell Vernon added 10 as Marauders lost starters 6'8" Mouchtar Diaby and 6'1" Jermaine DeCosta to fouls during the game. Brock now has a two-game loss column lead over Guelph and Western for second place in the OUA West in advance of their showdown on Saturday at first-place Windsor, who they trail by 1 game. Box Score

Laurier (10-15, 7-9) 72, Guelph (14-9, 9-7) 67 6'5" Matt Walker had 20 points/7 rebounds while 6'5" freshman sensation Kale Harrison added 19 points and 6 boards as the Hawks extended the Gryphs home court losing streak to 6 in a row. Laurier shot 8-16 from downtown as a team including 3 for 4 from Harrison, the smooth stroking first-year forward. 6'2" guard Jesse MacDonald added a season-high 16 points for the Hawks, who move into a tie with Mac and Lakehead for the final two OUA West playoff spots with 6 games remaining. Big Man on Campus reports also game report from Guelph web site

Windsor (16-5, 12-4) 99, Waterloo (7-19, 4-13) 54 The Lancers took a 17 point lead into halftime and then scored 55 second-half points to pound the hapless Warriors at home in the St. Denis Center. All 12 players who dressed saw action for Windsor and 5 scored in double figures led by 6'8" Greg Surmacz with 14 points, 11 rebounds on a night when the Lancers shot 54%.

OUA WEST STANDINGS
Windsor 12-4
Brock 11-5
Guelph 9-7
Western 8-7
Lakehead 7-9
Laurier 7-9
McMaster 7-9
Waterloo 4-13

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Follow Lauier at Guelph via LIVE BLOGGING

Greg Layson of the Guelph Mercury will be live blogging from Guelph tonight as the Gryphons host Laurier. Follow his thoughts and comments on tonight's game via Big Man on Campus

Nice article on UBC's Kyle Watson by Howard Tsumura from the Vancouver Province

Glenn MacDonald's article in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald Can the AUS reach new fans? and Chris Cochrane offers his thoughts in Message just under your nose plus Chris Kallan's piece in the Halifax Daily News AUS, Keith's team up for can-do attitude

Weather Conditions Postpone Bishop's at McGill

GAITERS' BASKETBALL GAMES POSTPONED

LENNOXVILLE, Que. - Please be advised that the Bishop's Gaiters basketball doubleheader at McGill, originally scheduled for tonight, has been postponed due to unsafe highway conditions between Lennoxville and Montreal.

A make-up date will be announced and posted on www.ubishops.ca/gaiters as soon as possible.


John Edwards
Sports Information Officer
Bishop's University Department of Athletics
jedwards@ubishops.ca
www.ubishops.ca/gaiters

Queen's, Ottawa Article in Whig-Standard

An article summarizing last night's Ottawa win over the Queen's Golden Gaels in Kingston that appeared in this morning's Kingston Whig Standard Late Gaels rally falls short Photo above of Queen's sophomore Mitch Leger shooting over Gee-Gees David Labentowicz courtesy of Whig-Standard.

CIS Games Tonight: OUA West & "Q"

We haven't caught up to the CIS Blog for a couple of days as we battle our laptop problems however there are a couple of nice pieces to consider A Promotion we can all get behind talks to the most recent marketing partnership announced by the AUS. In Sunshine is best, you know the rest the talk is again about the inconsistent and/or inaccurate record keeping that makes declaring career milestones a touchy subject. Neate Sager provides his own thoughts on his Out of Left Field blog Going Polling which includes a link to a story in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald by Gordie Sutherland that Halifax will bid for Nationals once again. Greg Layson also has a piece on the media poll

Also, thanks to Barry Hayes from Hoopstars Canada for passing on a link to an article announcing Laurentian's first recruit for next season: Andrew Lalonde (6'0" pg, Sudbury/Lasalle), who will participate in this week's big National Capital Classic high school tournament in Ottawa (Thursday-Saturday).


A rare Wednesday night game in the "Q" plus the usual slate of mid-week games in the OUA West, the only conference in the CIS that consistently tries to schedule single games whereever possible.

QSSF
8 PM Bishop's (6-11, 2-7) at McGill (11-11, 5-6) Both teams have slumped as the Gaiters have lost their last 7 league games after a fast start while McGill is reeling, having lost 4 of their last 5 with their lone win in that stretch a 55-52 win over Bishop's at home on Jan. 13th. McGill leads the season series 2-0 including a 95-83 win in Lennoxville before the holidays. All of a sudden, a season that began with promise for both teams now includes a late January game with likely playoff-spot implications.

OUA WEST TONIGHT
8 PM ET Brock (15-11, 10-5) at McMaster (12-10, 7-8) The QEW rivalry continues as the Badgers look to cement their place in the top two of the division against the inconsistent Marauders. Expect Brock's stable of veteran guards/wings led by 5'10" POY candidate Brad Rootes and 6'2" Mike Kemp to pressure Mac's young backcourt led by 6'2" freshman Tyrell Vernon and 6'1" sophomore Jermaine DeCosta while Mac will look to involve their big, strong posts including 6'8" Mouchtar Diaby and 6'9" Terry Licorish. Listen to the game via the Internet on 93.3 CFMU and/or follow the game using Live Stats

8 PM ET Waterloo (7-17, 4-11) at Windsor (16-5, 12-4) Lancers host Warriors Game can be viewed LIVE! on the Streaming Sports Network

8 PM Laurier (9-15, 6-9) at Guelph (14-8, 9-6) Both teams are coming off loses as Laurier is closing in on "must-win" mode while the Gryphs are reeling after a one-sided setback at Brock on Saturday.

OUA WEST STANDINGS before tonight's games
Windsor 11-4
Brock 10-5
Guelph 9-6
Western 8-7
McMaster 7-8
Lakehead 7-9
Laurier 6-9
Waterloo 4-12

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gee-Gees Record Important Road Win

#6 Ottawa (20-6, 14-3) 74, Queen's (16-10, 10-7) 70 Holding off a valiant Gaels push down the stretch, the Gee-Gees solidified their hold on second place with a victory in Kingston. 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe shook off a lacklustre offensive effort against Carleton on Saturday with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists, including several buckets during an emphatic 20-2 run off the start of the game that gave Ottawa the early momentum. Gibson-Bascombe finished with 5 turnovers but only 1 after the first quarter. 6'9" Dax Dessureault had a strong game inside for Ottawa with 19 points on 7-9 shooting and added 8 rebounds, bouncing back from a two point effort against Carleton. 6'3" Simon Mitchell was outstanding for Queen's with 21 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists, including a bomb from downtown Kingston late in the game, when the Gaels knocked down 5 3's in the last 3 or 4 minutes to bring the game back from being 10 down. Mitchell is having a first-team all star type season for the Gaels. 6'6" Mitch Leger added 13 points for Queen's, most in the first half while 6'5" freshman Jon Ogden finished with 10 points, including a pair of late 3's in the late push. In all, Queen's shot just 34.8% and 8 for 27 from downtown. With Ottawa in control leading by 18 late in the first quarter, the Gee-Gees tried a half-court zone trap which the Gaels proceeded to shred and Queen's got some momentum back later to trail by only 3 at 34-31 at halftime. Ottawa's bench contributed in the first half as 6'0" Vlad Pislaru knocked down 3 3's as part of his 11 point effort. Ottawa came storming out of the gates in the second half, building the lead back up to double digits and the lead remained between 6 and 10 until the late Gaels flurry. Queen's guard Baris Ondul returned to the lineup without the benefit of a practice after missing several games due to injury and was clearly not in game shape, playing only 12 minutes. Queen's hosts Laurentian and York this weekend while Ottawa hosts Ryerson and Toronto.

#1 Carleton (23-0, 17-0) 88, RMC (0-24, 0-17) 37

OUA EAST STANDINGS
Carleton 17-0
Ottawa 14-3
Toronto 13-3
Queen's 10-7
Ryerson 5-11
York 4-13
Laurentian 3-14
RMC 0-17

Canada West Top Freshmen

Lori Ewing of the Canadian Press has a piece that appeared in the Toronto Star on the NEDA women's program that alludes to a cut in funding for the program.

KEVIN KLOOSTRA INJURY UPDATE: Sources out of Windsor are saying that all-star Kevin Kloostra is expected to miss the next two weeks after having a procedure done Monday on his injured knee in London. According to Lancers coach Chris Oliver, doctors removed bone chips and part of his meniscus. The Lancers, leading the OUA West, are one of the hottest teams in Canada as they prepare to meet Waterloo tomorrow night and then second-place Brock Badgers on Saturday afternoon, with both games at home at the St. Denis Center.

Wayne Thomas of Dino Hoop News has a comprehensive look at the top freshmen in Canada West... Rookie Award Up For Grabs.... Each Canada West coach, around this time of year, is invited to submit the name of a player he wants to nominate for each of the following awards:
> Rookie of the Year
> Player of the Year
> Top Defensive Player
> Ken Shields Student-Athlete-Community Service Award

The league's coaches also vote on a Coach of the Year. In the first of a series, we analyze the qualifications of the most likely candidates to be nominated for Canada West Rookie of the Year. In reverse alphabetical order ...
Quinn Van Gaalen - Lethbridge Pronghorns: this lefty shooting guard has had to step up and play big minutes for the 'Horns, and he has had some great games ... averages 10..9 ppg, not the best passer in the group ... good defensive quickness and has 1+ steals a game.
Ryan McKinnon - Victoria Vikes : Scott's (U of L '07) younger brother ... 6'4" wing, solid player with a good alll-around game. has had some big nights ... averages 6.9 ppg ... good defender with even more steals than van Gaalen. The only one of the bunch with a positive assist to turnover ratio.
Jon Loewen - Trinity Western Spartans: a 6' guard, Jon is averaging 28 minutes, which is huge for a 1st year ... is a fair shooter with 76% from the foul line ... averaging 10.2 points ... 3.2 rebounds ... good defender. Interesting to see how he fits in with next year's roster additions.
Brennan Jarrett - Saskatchewan Huskies : the 6'4" forward does not get big minutes with this veteran team, but he has good offensive skills ... 53% shooter and 45% from 3 pt. range .... averages 7 points. Will be a key guy for Coach Jockims once the four 5th year players graduate. Chris Bodnar, 5'11" guard, is also a rookie to watch for the Huskies.
Tyler Fidler - Calgary Dinos : (pictured) a 6'8" ball handing guard, scorer, long armed defender ... scores at 8.7 points, has 6X as many blocked shots as anyone else (10th in CW) ... 1.5 steals per game ... 3.7 rebounds. Defers to others at the offensive end, but has , easily, the most upside of this group. A game breaker.
Graham Bath - UBC T-Birds : 6'5", 225 ... plays the least minutes in this group ... 55% from the field ... averages 4.8 points ... 2.9 rebs. ... good foul shooter .... steady, but not dynamic.
Ravi Athwal - Fraser Valley Cascades : 6'5" wing shooter ... 39% from 3 pt. range ... good stroke and great range ... playing less than most of this group ... needs work on his defense ... may be a bit one dimensional.
George Aramide - Thompson Rivers Wolfpack : a 6'5" muscular forward, who is a bull on the boards ... 5.4 rebs. a game, by far the best of the bunch ... not a shooter from beyond 8-10', but tenacious inside ... 7.7 ppg ... can't believe he doesn't play more (18 min.) for this team.

We can whittle this group of 8 (none of Alberta, SFU, Manitoba, or the entire G-PAC have any rookies approaching these, in our humble opinion) down to the top 3 for discussion ... Van Gaalen, McKinnon, and Fidler. Pondering this choice, let's assume we were the GM of a team in this league and we had our choice of any of these three outstanding young players ... who would we choose as our #1 guy ? You, me, the average fan with half an eye for talent, and surely, every coach in the league would jump all over ... TYLER FIDLER ! So many skills, an x-factor player, solid stats across the board, despite a tendency to throw the odd ill-considered pass. This Calgary Dino from Western Canada HS in Calgary stayed at home, when he had offers from NCAA Div. 1, and Coach Dan Vanhooren is delighted he did.

Scoring Spree Nets Bekkering Athlete of the Week Honours from Wayne Thomas of Dino News... Henry Bekkering struck for a combined 72 points and 18 rebounds in Calgary Dinos victories over the visiting Fraser Valley Cascades (90-76) and the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack (117-100) last weekend, and for this he was chosen as the Canada West Male Athlete of the Week. Henry is now averaging 20.7 points per game in league play, moving him into 3rd place in the scoring list behind Andrew Spagrud of Saskatchewan (22.2) and Erfan Najaspour of Winnipeg (22.1). Trinity Western Forfeits Games The CIS announced Monday that the Trinity Western Spartans would forfeit three games they had won this season because they had played an ineligible player in those games. Trinity Western discovered they had made an administrative error, and reported to CIS officials they had played transfer Lucas Goltz, Comox, B.C., who had previously played at Royal Military College. Although Goltz had sat out the required one year after transferring, he did not complete the requisite number of credits to make him eligible. As a result of the ruling by the CIS, the Spartans drop to 3-17 in Canada West standings, with Fraser Valley (10-10), Thompson Rivers (3-17), and Lethbridge (2-16) now given credit for an extra win each.... A quick look at the Pacific standings tells us this change puts Fraser Valley back into a tie with Simon Fraser for the 3rd playoff spot, but the Cascades have a much tougher finishing slate than the Clan.... New Media Poll for CIS Hoops In an attempt to drum up more talk around CIS Basketball, writers from media outlets across most of Canada, with leadership from Mark Wacyk of http://www.cishoops.ca, have started to publish a Media Poll of CIS Rankings. Pollsters include media from Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Halifax, and many others in the East. Let's hope other media are added in the future ... some may not have been contacted, and, in some cities, the media does a good job of ignoring CIS Sport. Mea Culpa ! Apologies to Brennan Jarrett of the Saskatchewan Huskies, and one of our candidates for Rookie of the Year in Canada West. As basketball guru David Wells, Lethbridge reminds us, Jarrett had an unfortunate bout with cancer in the fall, and has been inactive in Canada West play since December. Prior to that time, Jarrett was performing well for the Huskies, and it is hoped he will make a complete recovery and resume play next season. Notes ...
> Andrew Spagrud, 5th year, U of S Huskies, is chasing the all-time Canada West scoring record of former Dinos star, Richard Bohne. Bohne tallied 2,171 points, and Spagrud is 62 points back going into the weekend. As a footnote, Bohne's record was set over a 4 year span, and with a 20 game schedule. Some would argue the record should be on average points per game, and we won't get into the whole date of inception of the three point line (see Karl Tilleman !). The bottom line, really, is that Spagrud is a fabulous competitor, who we've been fortunate to see in Canada West, and his durability and skill have allowed him to challenge the all-time points record.
> An article last week referred to CIS grads who are playing pro in Europe ... some additions ...
Chris Wright - Calgary Dinos - at BBV Hagen, in Germany. Averaging 19 pts. and 10 rebs.
Chris Harris - Calgary Dinos - also at BBV Hagen ... 9 pts. and 8 rebs. web site http://www.bbv-hagen-fans.de
James Hudson - Alberta Golden Bears - at Recklinghausen Citybasket, Germany ... 28 pts., 5 rebs., 4 assists
There must be a list of CIS grads playing pro around the world ... Wellsie, you're usually up to that challenge !
> Biggest games in Canada West this week ?
Alberta and Saskatchewan at UBC and Victoria ... wildcard implications
Brandon at Regina ... Winnipeg at Calgary and Lethbridge ... G-PAC playoff positions

Peter Peter Yannopoulos provides a recap of Laval/UQAM from last Friday night: Possible Preview of QSSF Final You could feel the buzz in the air during warmup's at Uqam's gymnasium on Friday night, when two of the hottest's teams in Quebec faced off against each other. In a game that was extremely physical and very heated at times, Laval pulled off a hard fought 78-71 win on the road. Laval came into the game slightly hobbled, with starting shooting guard, JF Beaulieu-Mahieux, not in uniform for the Rouge et Or in what team officials called it a groin injury. But Laval didn't miss him at all in the 1st half, as they came out blazing, with a 57-34 at half time lead, shooting a remarkable 9-13 from downtown. Starting in place of Beaulieu-Mahieux, was Marc-Andre Lefevre, and it seemed as though Uqam wasn't really aware of him, as he went 4/4 from 3 point range in the 1st half, finishing with 18pts in 35 mins for the game. The Rouge et Or were feeling great as they came out for the 2nd half, but Uqam had different ideas. The Citadins defense was atrocious in the opening half, allowing Laval to run all their sets with ease, and finishing with wide open looks or easy layups. To start the 2nd half, Uqam created 2 quick turnovers, and that set the pace to what turned out to be a tough battle right until the final buzzer. Uqam's transition offense started to click, which led to easy scores and started to frustrate Laval. JP Morin (19pts 7 rebs in 30mins) picked up his 3rd and 4th fouls early in the 3rd quarter was forced to sit, and now suddenly every shot that was going in for Laval in the 1st half, was bouncing off the rim in the 2nd half. Uqam outscored Laval 27-10 in the 3rd quarter and now we had ourselves a ball game. The key part of the turnaround in my opinion, was the defensive strategy implemented by coach Hrycak in the 2nd half, having the strong and physical 6-2 Arthaud Plesius defend Laval's 5-9 rookie PG Xavier Baribeau. In the 1st half, Baribeau had 9 assists and 0 turnovers, but in the 2nd half, with Plesius banging him and pressing him full court, Baribeau had 4 TOs and only had 2 assists, as Uqam other 4 defenders stayed with their men, and Baribeau was forced to put up wild shots that clinged off the rim. Baribeau finshed with 4pts(on 1-11 shooting), 11 assists and 4 TOs in 40 mins. As he got frustrated, so did JF Turcotte, who had veteran Mario Joseph is in face all night. After driving to the basket and not getting a call he thougt he deserved, Turcotte yelled at official Pierre Marion(something you never do, especially as a rookie), and was instantly given a technical foul. However he came back strong after that, and hit a dagger 3 pointer down the stretch and Turcotte finished with 18pts, 9 rebs and 6 assists in 39mins. Uqam cut the lead to 4 points with 3 mins to go, but their inability to hit free throws the whole game cost them a chance at victory. Uqam shot a dreadful 9/24 from the charity stripe for 37.5%. Laval on the other hand was 12/15 for 80%. Sam Johnson led Uqam with 22 pts, but was unable to get any good looks down the stretch. Uqam got a strong game from Joseph Antagana (7pts 12rebs but 1/7 FTs) and from veteran Kevin Boucher (14pts, 7rebs). Jules Diagne had 9pts and 2rebs in 19mins but seemed to be hurt during the game, riding the bike on the sidelines when he was off. Laval ended picking up a tough win on the road, but Uqam showed that their athleticism and toughness can give Laval problems. Having a strong defender on Baribeau gets him rattled and off his game. Stay on the shooters and make him take shots, and that takes the ball away from Morin. And when Morin and Turcotte do get the ball, you cant let them go to their right, you must force them left. As for Uqam, as much as Mario Joseph has done a solid job running the point for them this season, Coach Hrycak must make opposing defenders pay when guarding him, by posting him up, closer to the basket where his power and strenght can lead to easy scores and more importantly fouls. During the last 5 mins of the game, Uqam's motion offense did not get the ball to the team's scorers. Sam Johnson did not touch the ball and several ill-advised shots cost Uqam a chance for the win. Laval showed character, winning without one of their starters, and has proved to everyone now that they are clearly the team to beat in the QSSF. After a horrid 0-5 start to the season, Uqam has started to put it together, and if they can improve their shot selection, pre-scouting defensive assisgments and free throw shooting, dont be surprised to see both these teams in the QSSF final in March.

Peter Yannopoulos
Yanno Basketball Consulting

NABCC Weekly Top 10 for 29 January 2008

MEN'S BASKETBALL
(regular season record) / (votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Carleton (16-0) / 516 votes / (1)
2. Brandon (16-2) / 470 / (3)
3. Calgary (15-3) / 414 / (4)
4. Acadia (12-2) / 388 / (2)
5. UBC (15-4) / 315 / (6)
6. Ottawa (13-3) / 308 / (5)
7. Toronto (13-3) / 260 / (7)
8. Brock (10-5) / 190 / (9)
9. Cape Breton (11-3) / 180 / (10)
10. Windsor (11-4) / 134 / (NR)

First-place votes: Carleton (43).

Other teams receiving votes: Laval (62), Concordia (53), Alberta (15), Western Ontario (5), Guelph (4).

Inaugural CISHOOPS.CA Top 10 Media Poll Released this morning

cishoops.ca Media Poll – January 29

Results of the first cishoops.ca Media Poll conducted January 27-28. There are a maximum 252 points in the poll. Points are awarded in descending order - 12 for first, 11 for second, etc. - depending upon placement. (First place votes bracketed). For a list of voters, see List of Voters

Rank Team Points

1. Carleton (21) 252
2. Brandon 223
3. Calgary 205
4. Acadia 160
5. Toronto 148
6. Ottawa 146
7. U.B.C. 128
8. Cape Breton 119
9. Windsor 92
10. Laval 59

Others receiving votes: Brock 49; Alberta 27; Victoria 15; St. Francis Xavier 7; Concordia 7; and Saskatchewan 1.

*********************************************************************************

No surprise. The five-time defending Canadian Interuniversity Sport champ Carleton Ravens are the unanimous pick as the nation’s top basketball team in the inaugural cishoops.ca Media Poll.

The Ravens, (22-0) against CIS competition, sport a glittering (16-0) record in Ontario University Athletics East Division play heading into tonight’s (Tuesday's) game against the Royal Military College Paladins.

Beyond the Ravens, though, there was little consensus among the 21 nation-wide voters about which team poses the greatest threat to Carleton’s hegemony in this so-called “season of parity.”

Three different squads – Brandon, Calgary and Acadia - garnered second-choice votes. The OUA East and Canada West combined to snare six of the top 10 spots, confirming the widespread perception that two conferences are a notch above their counterparts.

The Bobcats, (21-6) overall and (16-2) in Canada West Plains Division play, were selected for second, edging the Dinosaurs, who are (19-5) overall and (15-3) in Canada West Central Division play. The Axemen, who sit atop the Atlantic University Sport Nelson Division standings at (12-2) and are (18-5) overall, were pegged for fourth.

A pair of OUA East squads, Toronto and Ottawa, finished fifth and sixth respectively, in the poll. Knotted at (13-3) in the standings, they’re in a dogfight for second place and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Varsity Blues are (22-6) overall, while the Gee-Gees are (19-6).

The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, who sit atop the Canada West Pacific Division with a (15-4) record and are (17-4) overall, were pegged for seventh.

AUS Nelson Division leader Cape Breton, (11-3) in league play and (17-6) overall, was picked for eighth, while OUA West Division leader Windsor was ninth. The Lancers, (11-4) in league play and (15-5) overall, are riding a six-game winning streak.

Rounding out the top 10 is the nation’s hottest unit, Laval. The (15-8) Rouge et Or have ripped off eight consecutive wins and are in sole possession of first place in the Quebec Student Sport Federation standings with a (9-2) record.

...Wayne Kondro,
cishoops.ca Top 10 Poll Administrator

-30-

Current Voting Members: CISHOOPS.CA Media Poll

As of 7 February 2008, the following 22 members of the media vote in the CISHOOPS.CA Men's Basketball Media Poll:

Arash Madani, The Score
Alex Tourigny, RDS
Barry Hayes, Hoopstars Canada
Chad Lucas, Halifax Chronicle-Herald
Chris O'Leary, Edmonton Journal
Chris Kallan, Halifax Daily News
Claude Scilley, Kingston Whig-Standard
Dale Stevens, mlb.com & Canadian University Basketball Discussion List
Dave Larkins, Brandon Sun
David Leeder, Globe & Mail
Greg Layson, Guelph Mercury
Howard Tsumura, Vancouver Province
James Mirtle, Globe & Mail
Ken Welch, CHCH-TV Hamilton
Kevin Mitchell, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
Mark Wacyk, CISHOOPS.CA
Martin Comtois, Le Droit
Neate Sager, Ottawa Sun
Ron Rauch, Victoria Times-Colonist
Tim Micallef, The Score
Tim Switzer, Regina Leader-Post
Wayne Kondro, Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday's Preview: Ottawa at Queen's + New Links

Two games tonight, both in the OUA East, most important being Queen's hosting Ottawa in Kingston in the first of two games between the teams. Clearly, the top 4 teams in the OUA East currently are Carleton, Toronto, Ottawa and Queen's and finishing 2nd or 3rd avoids a potential semi-final matchup with Carleton. With 2 victories against Queen's and a home win against Ottawa, the Varsity Blues have the upper hand in the battle for second spot going forward. Tonight's game in Kingston is critical for the Gaels if they have any hope of finishing in the Top 3. The Gaels and Gee-Gees split a pair of regular season games last season, winning on each other's home floor. Queen's stable of solid freshmen have been tremendous in support of 6'6" Mitch Leger, a sophomore and 6'3" Simon Mitchell, a senior. Both Leger and Mitchell are having all-conference seasons. For the Gee-Gees, when 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe is in top form, they are tough to beat while 6'3" Kingston-area native Donnie Gibson had a breakout game on a big stage against Carleton on Saturday night. Expect a tight game in the sixties and hopefully a big crowd at the Bartlett Gym.

8:00 pm Ottawa (19-6, 13-3) at Queen's (16-9, 10-6)

8:00 pm Carleton (22-0, 16-0) at RMC (0-23, 0-16)


Ken Murray talks to the Scrum about his Brock Badgers and also makes some predictions as to which team can potentially knock off #1 Carleton Scrum Podcast #8

Chad Lucas comments on the new CISHOOPS.CA Media Poll

Video from Capital Hoops Classic

Some video clips that have made their way onto YouTube from Saturday's game

Glitzy player introductions

Ryan Bell's late, game-clinching three seals Carleton's win.

Monday, January 28, 2008

TWU Spartans forfeit wins

TWU ATHLETICS ANNOUNCES ERROR TO CIS

- Spartans volunteer to give back three Canada West Conference Wins

LANGLEY, British Columbia - Trinity Western University Director of Athletics Murray Hall recently announced that after discovering an inadvertent administrative error and having their compassionate appeal denied by the CIS, the Spartans Men’s Basketball team will be giving back three wins earned this past fall while competing in Canada West Conference play. After a comprehensive internal review it was determined by TWU Athletics that the Spartans’ Men's Basketball team used an ineligible student-athlete in three of their four wins last fall. The wins came over the University of Lethbridge (103-88), Thompson Rivers University (88-84), and University College of the Fraser Valley (81-76). Late last week, after having applied to the CIS for a compassionate appeal that would allow the player to play out the season, Hall was notified that the appeal had been denied. "Once it was determined we felt it was important that we act quickly in the best interest of everyone involved, including the schools we defeated while using an ineligible player. It was the only thing we could do - to admit we had made an error and apologize. We played an ineligible student-athlete and we do not deserve those wins,” cited Hall. Trinity Western University apologized for this error and voluntarily asked Canada West to have three of their wins reversed to losses and the wins be adjusted to give the University of Lethbridge, Thompson Rivers University and the University College of the Fraser Valley a win instead of their current loss. Says Marg McGregor Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), "The decision by Trinity Western University to voluntarily default the games in advance of the CIS discipline process running its course is much appreciated. By being proactive, TWU has eliminated the confusion and uncertainty that would have developed while a time-consuming discipline process unfolded during the play-off stretch. This is helpful to other universities in the league to know the impact on win-loss standings sooner rather than later as the play-offs approach.” “Trinity Western University has been a solid and respected member of CIS since they began competing in the league in 1999. Their staff have contributed to the leadership of CIS by serving on the Board of Directors, as Presidents of Coaches Associations, and by being awarded the hosting rights to three CIS National Championships," continues McGregor. Fourth year forward Lucas Goltz (Comox, B.C.) used a year of CIS eligibility at Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), with his last game playing for RMC Paladins being October 27, 2006. TWU’s men’s basketball coaching staff and athletics administrative staff believed that Goltz would be eligible to participate for the Spartans 365 days later according to CIS regulation 40.10.5.4.2 which states: A student-athlete, who transfers from one CIS member institution to another member institution, must not participate for a period of one year in the recognized sport of CIS in which such athlete participated at the previous CIS institution in order to be eligible for CIS participation. Goltz played his first game for TWU November 2, 2007. He satisfied the "one year sit-out" rule. An inadvertent administrative error was made in Spartan Athletics not recognizing that Goltz did not complete enough semester hours to be eligible. He met part of the criteria but not the full criteria and in the absence of some documents and an oversight by the Department he was played ineligibly. Goltz will be eligible to participate next year for the Spartans after he successfully completes two semesters of courses at Trinity Western. Once Spartan Athletics found out that there were questions surrounding Goltz’s eligibility, Hall initiated a review and concurrently notified both Canadian Interuniversity Sport and Canada West that TWU had perhaps used an ineligible transfer student-athlete. “As soon as we discovered there might be an issue we stopped Lucas from participating in any further games and later determined that he was indeed an ineligible player,” stated Hall. “We have not yet heard from the Canada West Conference, but we are assuming that the reversal of three wins will knock us out of any playoff berth the men’s basketball team has been contesting for,” said Hall. In addition to voluntarily conceding the games TWU will be making a full self-disclosure report to both the CIS and Canada West, after which TWU Athletics may face further sanctions. "It has been a tough go on the men’s basketball team this year. I have been deeply impressed with the stability and maturity these young student-athletes have shown in pulling together, remaining focused on their academics and basketball. The men's basketball program will prevail in the end – for many this has been a character-developing year,” commented Hall. As official members of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the Spartans compete in six sports in the Canada West division of the CIS: Men's and Women's Soccer, Basketball and Volleyball. In the 2006-2007 season the Spartans sent four teams to the CIS national championships earning a silver medal in men's soccer and a bronze medal in men's volleyball as well as earning three Canada West championships - men's volleyball and men's and women's soccer. TWU's Josh Howatson also earned the school's first ever BLG award for CIS Male Athlete of the Year. In eight years as members of the CIS the Spartans have won two national titles (women's soccer in 2004 and men's volleyball in 2006), seven CIS championship medals and six Canada West championships. TWU will be hosting the 2008 CIS Women’s Soccer Championships, the 2009 CIS Men’s Soccer Championships and the 2011 CIS Men’s Volleyball Championships.

For more information, visit TWU's Official Athletics site at gospartans.ca.

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C. is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 15 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology and leadership, and offers interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Biblical Studies, Biotechnology and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

Canada Basketball re-launches Web Site

I had a nice chat with George Giantsopoulos from Canada Basketball earlier today, who confirmed what Dave Wells from Lethbridge had alerted us to last week: Canada Basketball has a glitzy, nice web site, completely revamped and claiming to be "Your #1 Source for all things basketball in Canada". To my knowledge this is the first major initiative completed under the management of Wayne Parrish, who entered his post as Executive Director of Canada's governing body of basketball with a reputation as a New Media specialist. At first glance, the site has dramatically more creative appeal than its predecesor with slick fonts, appealing colour schemes and easy to navigate sub-menus in a nice spot on the site. The site also promises to take advantage of video technology with Access Hoops TV. Many of the links contain useful information including a comprehensive look at Canadians playing abroad and photos and links summarizing Canada's summer. As well, Giantsopoulos was gracious enough to promise to include a link to cishoops.ca on the site and for that I am grateful. All in all, this is a solid first-step in creating more profile and promoting Canada Basketball effectively. I urge you to visit the newly re-launched Canada Basketball and have a look for yourself.

Articles from the weekend

Larry Moko's report in the Hamilton Spectator as Mac overpowers Waterloo

James Mirtle points to an unfortunate problem with CIS record-keeping in this morning's Globe & Mail Huskies' record-breaking feats being kept undercover

Santana, Berry star as Axemen hammer X-Men in this morning's Halifax Chronicle-Herald plus Matthew Wuest's piece in the Halifax Daily News Axemen make X pay

Greg Layson's piece in the Guelph Mercury on Saturday's Brock win over Guelph Bad start, bad finish

Dave Larkins of the Brandon Sun provides his weekly Canada West Totem Poll

Clint Walper from Saskatoon Star-Phoenix has a piece on Saturday's Huskie win Lovelace goes on three spree

Gaels rookie nets season high Article in Kingston Whig-Standard

Badgers complete sweep of Gryphons article in St. Catharines Standard by Michael McClymont

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Launch of CISHOOPS.CA Media Poll

As alluded to over the past week or so, here is an announcement on the new CIS Men's Basketball Media Poll we are launching this evening...

With the primary objectives of increasing the profile of CIS men's basketball across the country and providing an alternative to other polls and computer generated rankings, I am pleased to announce the official launch of the CISHOOPS.CA Media Poll, supported by a team of over 20 members of the Canadian sports media from coast-to-coast. The inaugural poll will be published this coming Tuesday, January 29th, 2008.

Thanks to the tremendous work of Dr. Neil Foshay, Computer Science Professor at St. Francis Xavier University, voters will be able to cast their ballots on-line using a user-friendly, web-based routine. Votes will be dissemenated instanteously and available for publishing by our erstwhile volunteer adminstrator: Wayne Kondro, Ottawa Citizen CIS basketball writer. To bring immediate profile to the poll, CanWest Global news services has agreed to pick up the weekly poll, with other outlets expected to soon follow.

Much thanks to the tireless work and creativity of Neil and team in Antigonish and Wayne in Ottawa to make the Media Poll a reality.

To ensure an objective poll and bring legitimacy consistent with prevailing industry standards, the poll members will be restricted to affiliation with Canadian media outlets. We will publish a list of voters and voting guidelines shortly.

We are all excited to bring this writer's poll to reality and expect that together we will help CIS men's basketball continue to grow in stature and profile.

Look for the first CISHOOPS.CA Top 10 Media Poll on Tuesday on this site and likely Wednesday in the print press across Canada.

Weekend Thoughts

CAPITAL HOOPS CLASSIC... Although the game overall was not as exciting as recent Carleton/Ottawa matchups in the Nation's Capital, there was a big-time atmosphere in the arena from the beginning with the glitzy player introductions (fire and smoke bombs), television lighting, shiny floor and plenty of pagentry as Raven fans wore red while Gee-Gee fans dressed in white. The large number of students and their associated theatrics including body paint and carrying on gave the arena the feel that the game was big time. Dan Carle from uOttawa, which technically were the home team for this game, and David Kent from Carleton both helped make the media feel very comfortable and some big names were in the building including the Score's Tim Micallef and Lisa Bowes. Micallef, who made the trip from Toronto as a prelude to the Score's coverage of the CIS Nationals in March, has been a strong supporter of CIS sports throughout the years and he continues to be a strong adovcate of improved coverage, spending much time keeping current on the games. The crowd of about 9,100 was about 600 below last season's total and speculation on why the event could not build on the numbers from last year includes day of the game (Saturday vs. Tuesday); high school and minor basketball teams usually have weekend tournaments, making Tuesday seemingly more appealing from that perspective. Apparently, the walk-up crowd was below what is usual for the Ottawa market and did not track last year's numbers for the Classic. It was a very pleasant winter weekend in Ottawa and many likely went away to enjoy the good weather instead of staying around town - ski slopes in the area for instance saw much more traffic than normal. uOttawa, the "home" team for last night's game, had earlier this week estimated an attendance of about 12,000 fans and while intentions at the working level were no doubt noble, uOttawa Sports Services reputation with hosting events, marketing and generally paying attention to detail at an executive level on these matters is poor, the diligent contributions of Dan Carle, who did a great job, notwithstanding. Come March, when Carleton reassumes fully responsibility for managing the Nationals, expect stronger crowds, more marketing/promotion and the chasm between the Athletic Department leadership at Carleton, led by the bright, personable and energetic Jennifer Brenning, and uOttawa to widen even further.

TOP PERFORMANCES THIS WEEKEND: Calgary's 6'6" Henry Bekkering had a dream weekend offensively, going off for 38 points and 10 rebounds in the Dinos home win against UCFV on Friday and then following up on Saturday with 34 points and 8 rebounds in just 25 minutes against Thompson Rivers... Lakehead's 6'4" Kiraan Posey went off for 43 points at Windsor on Saturday night but the T-Wolves lost by 29... Toronto Varsity Blues 6'2" wing Rob Paris, who battled injuries through his first three seasons in the Big Smoke, has come alive and many OUA East coaches have sung the praises of the smooth-shooting threat from St. Catharines, ON. Paris had back-to-back games this weekend scoring 19 first-half points both at Laurentian and at York. Against the Vees, Paris finished with a league season-high of 29 points... 5'9" Erfan Nasajpour broke out of a mini-slump with 31 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists as Winnipeg salvaged one game in a weekend set at home against Regina... See more below, but once again 6'7" J.P. Morin had a strong weekend for Laval with 34 points and 15 rebounds which included a spectacular second-half stat line against McGill on Saturday... 6'4" point guard Ryan Bell went 6 for 8 from downtown as Carleton outlasted a very good Queen's Golden Gaels team on Friday and then on Saturday Bell hit the game-clinching three with the shot clock winding down and 30 seconds remaining to allow the Ravens to capture the Capital Hoops Classic. Bell also did his underrated but usual stellar job defending, locking down Gee-Gees 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe... 6'1 Simon Farine of Dal had 27 points and 9 rebounds in Friday's win at UPEI while the Panthers 6'3" Andrew Black had back-to-back double doubles against the Tigers in the weekend series swept by Dal in Charlottetown.

AROUND THE CONFERENCES: The Calgary Dinos are comfortably in first place in the Canada West Central and with just 4 games remaining in the regular season are poised to capture the first-round bye in the Central Division playoffs and home court advantage for all games in the best-of-three Division championship. Remember that the Central Division champion will host the Canada West Final Four, with the semi-finals of that Final Four determining the two Canada West spots at the CIS Nationals. At this point, Alberta looks like they will finish second in the Central and are likely the current favorites for the Canada West Final Four wild card. However, the Bears would have to knock Saskatchewan in the Central semi's first. As well, assuming UVic and UBC again meet for the Pacific Division championship, the loser from that series also should have a case for Wild Card consideration. All the more reason why this weekend's games in Victoria and Vancouver are so important despite the lack of influence on the final regular season standings. Alberta (2nd in Central) and Saskatchewan (3rd in Central) visit UVic (2nd in Pacific) and UBC (1st in Pacific) for a pair of games each. These games should mean alot when the Canada West committee selects their wild card team for the Canada West Final Four in late February... Besides the undefeated #1 Carleton Ravens, the hottest team in Canada right now is Laval Rouge et Or, winners of their last 9 QSSF league games in a row, many by convincing scores. Despite battling injuries, the most recent to 6'3" defending CIS Rookie-of-the-Year J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux (groin), Laval has put it all together defensively and have for the most part rode the back of 6'7" J.P. Morin. As Laval Head Coach Jacques Paiement has indicated "J.P. is finally healthy and he is showing why he deserves to be an All-Canadian". Last night against McGill, Morin battled foul trouble but had this amazing second-half stat line: 11-17 FG 1-1 3ptFG 6-9 FT 29 points, 13 rebounds including 6 offensive. Paiement has also lauded the play of his freshman point guard 5'9" Xavier Baribeau, part of another great recruiting class for Laval. Morin and 6'1" Concordia do-everything guard Damian Buckley are the two best players in the "Q" by all accounts... The third longest current winning streak in Canada belongs to the resurgent Windsor Lancers, who have used a stifling defense and two of the better players in the country in 6'8" Greg Surmacz and 6'1" Ryan Steer, to push to the top of the OUA West, despite not having 6'5" Kevin Kloostra in the lineup for the past 5 games. Winning a road game at the St. Denis Center is tough at the best of times but in front of what again promise to be record playoff crowds it is prohibitively tough, as Carleton found out in last season's Wilson Cup. Windsor looks to have learned to win away from home and looks to be in the driver's seat for a first round bye and will battle Brock for first overall, with a victory in St. Catharines already under their belts... The battle for the all-important second and third spots in the OUA East will take shape further this week as Ottawa visits Queen's in Kingston on Tuesday night and then will host the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday in Ottawa. The importance of finishing above fourth place is paramount to avoid a possible OUA East semi-final playoff game at #1 Carleton; however, with the recent resurgence of the York Lions, winning a quarter-final playoff game is a must first. To reset the OUA East Nationals possibilities, if Carleton captures the OUA East playoff championship as expected currently, the finalist from the OUA East will battle the finalist from the OUA West at the home gym of the West team for the third official spot at the Nationals. Ontario could also get a fourth team at the Nationals by being selected as the lone National wild card. In the coming weeks, we will begin to focus in on possible Nationals wild card teams... Acadia came up with a convincing win at St. FX this afternoon, X's worst home loss since 1985, also to Acadia. As X-Men Coach Steve Konchalski notes however: "Our '85 team recovered from that terrible loss to defeat Acadia later in the season en route to the AUS title." No doubt Konchalski hopes that history will repeat itself this season. Acadia's imposing front line led by 6'5" Leonel Saintil, 6'4" Luckern Dieu and 6'8" Achual Lual pushed the X-Men around all afternoon inside and on the offensive glass while 6'1" Paolo Santana appears to be rounding back into form, as he continually took St. FX defenders off the dribble to create or score. The still-young X-Men have had some explosive efforts but consistency with this growing group is still an issue and in several instances this season, X has not been able to find the fortitude to turn games around when they feel them slipping. Still, with this great group of athletes led by 6'2" Tyler Richards in the back court and 6'8" Islam Luiz de Toledo up front, it is a formidable group capable of playing deep into March... After bringing in significant new talent, Saint Mary's was expected to have a deeper bench and more rotation flexibility than last season, when basically six players got hot at the right time and took the Huskies to the Final Four. Fast forward to present and Coach Ross Quackenbush has shorten his bench considerably, as yesterday's close loss at X attests when again only 6 players saw action. Despite the talents of 6'1" Shane Morrison and 6'5" Aaron Duncan, SMU will likely go only as far as 6'3" Mark McLaughlin will take them. McLaughlin and 6'0" point guard Mark Ross are veterans of AUS play and during last season's run to the Final Four handled and/or shot the ball the majority of the time. The key to SMU's resurgence down the stretch in my opinion is the play of the diminutive but extremely intelligent Ross as the floor leader and how the remainder of the group defers to him in tight spots to orchestrate the offense. We will aim to talk more about Cape Breton Capers, the surprise of the AUS thus far this season in a future post. The AUS tournament should be a dandy!

AUS Today: Axemen pound X in Antigonish; UNB sweeps MUN

Acadia (18-5, 12-2) 92, St. Francis Xavier (17-8, 8-4) 63 In a game that was basically over by halftime, the Axemen got a signature road win in Antigonish by dominating the X-Men before a packed house and handing X their worst home loss since 1985. Acadia dominated the glass including grabbing 19 offensive rebounds as 6'4" Sean Berry led the way with 18 points. More importantly, the Axemen got their first real stat-sheet-stuffing performance from last season's AUS Player-of-the-Year 6'1" Paolo Santana who had 16 points, 8 assists and 6 steals, igniting the Axemen attack. Coach Steve Konchalski was blunt in his assessment: "They just beat us up inside with physicality and Paolo was tremendous off the dribble." Acadia, already a contender without a healthy Santana in the lineup, will be that much more of a difficult team to face as Santana overcomes his season-long bout with an ankle injury. Acadia shot 55% this afternoon and went 9 for 17 from downtown in a dominating performance. Acadia had leads as large as 17 in the first half and held 6'8" Islam Luiz de Toledo to just 8 points and 2 boards as the center, who is most people's choice as the top freshman in the country, battled foul trouble all afternoon. In all, Acadia forced 25 X turnovers; 6'2" Tyler Richards had 24 to lead X. If there is one possible achilles heel with Acadia, it may be their overall free throw shooting as a team; today the score could have been worse but Acadia went only 11 for 22 from the stripe and is shooting below 59% as a team for the season, last in the AUS. The Axemen split their difficult weekend road trip and remain firmly in one of the two first-round bye spots in the AUS standings. Box Score

UNB (5-21, 2-12) 86, Memorial (1-21, 0-12) 65 FOUR POINT WIN The Reds swept the weekend series in a rare Sunday morning game which began at 11:30 AM Newfoundland time. Colin Swift had 19 for the Reds including 5-9 3's and added 7 assists while Grant Harvey led the Seahawks with 20 points and 9 rebounds. With their pair of four point wins, the Varsity Reds are now 6 points behind UPEI for the sixth and final spot in the AUS tournament.

More Articles from Last Night

Newest blog contributor Mel Magalas, long-time coach in the Burlington, ON area and father of present U of T Varsity Blues guards Nick and Seb Magalas gives readers a recap of last night's tight Blues win at York...

Varsity Blues “out roar” Lions. The crowd at the Tait McKenzie Centre seemed apprehensive and unusually quiet for last night's game between the York Lions and the Toronto Blues. In fact it was the Blues fans who contributed most of the noise and enthusiasm but even with that York proved difficult to handle. The Lions never did take the lead, but they tied the game twice in the fourth quarter before a killer steal late in the game by Blues Nick Magalas seemed to turn the tide and Toronto never looked back after that point. Nick Snow who seemed to have trouble penetrating the paint early in the game was instrumental in getting some key offensive rebounds late in the game and made some crucial outside shots earning him 12 points overall. Rob Paris picked up from where he left off the night before, in which he had 29 points against Laurentian. Paris hit for five threes helping him to earn a total of 23 points for the night. Nick Magalas once again contributed some speed and quickness to offset the feisty Lions and contributed 13 points for the evening. Perhaps the pleasant surprise for the Blues in last night's game was the contribution of rookie Drazen Glisic, who contributed four points but proved to be even more valuable with some excellent offensive rebounding. York Lions were once again led by Tut Ruach who played 40 minutes and contributed for 13 points overall. Other high scorers for York were Stefan Haynes with 14 points and Matt Terejko with 15 points. This is a building year for York but I wouldn’t want to meet them in the playoffs as they are coming together nicely and each game they play provides them with valuable playing minutes. The Blues appeared a bit sluggish last night but to their credit they were coming off a long bus ride from Sudbury having played Laurentian the night before. The Blues now get ready for a crucial road trip in Ottawa where a win over the Gee Gee’s will give them sole possession of second place and that all important home game advantage should both teams happen to meet in the sudden death semi-final playoff like they did last year.

Dinos Hit 15-3 In a Wide Open Affair from Wayne Thomas... Neither to point guard Jeff Price, nor to Head Coach Dan Vanhooren did Saturday's game with Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops feel like a win for the Calgary Dinos. In interviews following the game, all Price could offer was 'We played badly ...." Likewise, Coach Vanhooren proclaimed "We were ugly." The Dinos came out on the top end of an exploding scoreboard, 117-100, as neither team played many minutes of defense. The result, however, leaves Calgary at 15-3 in Canada West play this season, while TRU falls to a dismal 2-18, with two losses in Southern Alberta this weekend. For the second night running, Henry Bekkering was an efficient offensive threat for Calgary as he racked up 34 points to go with 38 from Friday's win over Fraser Valley. Tyler Fidler, Dinos impressive 6'8" freshman guard, was another bright light for the home team with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 big steals. Robbie Sihota's 11 rebounds and 14 points gave fans a glimpse of his return to form after recent sub-par outings. Thompson Rivers appreciated the 'shirts and skins' type of game that broke out tonight, as they matched the Dinos hoop for hoop in the 4th quarter, and closed to within 6 points. Cochrane HS grad Brent Traxel, in his 5th year of eligibility for the Wolfpack struck for 24 points including 5/6 from long range. Brian Smith, another 5th year man, notched 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. George Aramide with 17 and Kamar Burke-16 also hit double figures for the game 'Pack, who beat the Dinos 44-43 on the boards. Calgary shot 51 % from the floor and 26/32 free throws - 81%. TRU was 43% and 57% from the line, but stayed in the game with 10/21 from beyond the arc. Dinos Ross Bekkering sat this game out, as Coach Vanhooren chose to rest his big rebounding post man to allow his ankle to heal. Notes ...
> Late Friday - we waited for the UBC - Trinity score after all the rest were in ... reason? UBC 99 - at Trinity 90 OT This is not the kind of performance one would expect of the T-Birds, who were ranked ahead of the Dinos in a story by Howard Tsumura of the Vancouver Province.
THE PROVINCE'S CANADA WEST POWER RANKINGS ( going in to this weekend's games)
1. Brandon Bobcats (14-2) (2)
2. UBC Thunderbirds (13-4) (4)
3. Calgary Dinos (13-3) (1)
4. Victoria Vikes (12-5) (3)
5. Alberta Golden Bears (11-5) (6
> Saturday Night Scores ...
> In the big ... (attendance 10,000 +) MBNA Capital Hoops Classic played at the Scotia Centre in Ottawa tonight it was the #1 ranked and unbeaten Carleton Ravens 70- Ottawa Gee-Gees 66.
at Saskatchewan 74 - Alberta 52
Fraser Valley 85 - at Lethbridge 75
UBC 81 - at Trinity Western 58
at Simon Fraser 71 - Victoria 66
at Winnipeg 79 - Regina 54
Brandon 105 - at Manitoba 92

Mike Quigley's Laurier Golden Hawks Report... GOLDEN HAWKS ATTACK FIZZLES AGAINST WESTERN The Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks generally pride themselves in putting a good defensive effort on the floor which, in turn, will lead to offensive opportunities and a shot at winning each time they step on the floor. Unfortunately the good defense that they showed at Alumni Hall in London Saturday afternoon against the University of Western Ontario Mustangs was not enough as they fell 73-60. The loss drops the Hawks’ OUA record to 6-9 (10-15 overall) and 7th place in the OUA West. The Mustangs move up to 8-7 and the 4th spot. Holding the Mustangs to 23 points in the 1st half and 73 overall should have allowed the Hawks a shot at a win but a 28% shooting percentage from the floor (19.5% in the 1st half) and only 50% from the foul line shot the Hawks out of the game. The 1st quarter opened with neither team able to connect until the Hawks broke the ice with a basket 4 minutes into the game. The Mustangs hit 1 free throw shortly after that then took a 3-2 lead. The Hawks responded with a 3 to retake the lead and hang on to a 15-10 lead at the end of the 1st. Unfortunately for the Hawks, this lead could have been greater but a couple of Mustang blocks on easy shots had the Hawks slightly intimidated and several sure baskets were missed by tentative shooting. The 2nd quarter was a repeat of the 1st. Neither team was able to generate any consistent offense. The Hawks managed to score 5 points in the first 4 minutes of the quarter to hold a 20-12 lead but then were shut out until their final possession of the quarter.. Meanwhile, the Mustangs slowly cut into the lead finally tying the game with 1:50 to go and retaking the lead in their next possession. Western took a 23-22 lead into the dressing rooms at the half. During that 1st half the Hawks had a more than respectable 41 shots from the floor but shot just 19.5%. They were also out rebounded 27-18. The Hawks opened the 3rd quarter with a basket to retake the lead but the Mustangs tied in with a free throw on their next possession and retook in on the one that followed. The Golden Hawks maintained pace, tying the game but were unable to get ahead when the and-1 free throw was missed and their offensive rebound of the missed ended in a turnover. Both team finally found their offensive rhythm but the advantage was with the bigger, older Mustangs who opened up a 7 point lead. The Hawks battled back cut the lead to 1 with just over 2 minutes remaining in the quarter and then taking the lead 41-40 on their next possession. An open 3 gave the Mustangs the lead back but a Hawk basket allowed them to tie it again. Unfortunately, the Hawks were held scoreless over their final 4 possessions while the Mustangs knocked in 10 points including an and-1 3-pointer on the buzzer to give them a 53-43 lead at the end of 3. The Hawks traded baskets with the Mustang through the early part of the 4th quarter but they were never able to close the gap. A pair of back-to-back 3-pointers gave them a little life but that was erased when the Mustangs replied with a pair of their own. When both of Lauriers’s starting posts fouled out during the quarter, Western’s size advantage allowed them to continue dominating the rebounds. The Mustangs were able to outscore the Hawks 20-17 in the 4th quarter to take the game by a final score of 73-60. The Mustangs won the rebounding war 48-39 and held the Hawks to 28.4% from the floor for the game. The Golden Hawks were again led by potential ROY candidate Kale Harrison (wing, Stratford, ON) who scored nearly half the Hawk’s points, finishing with 29 (23 in the 2nd half) and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. No other Hawk finished in double figures in scoring although Jesse MacDonald (3rd yr, point guard, Brantford, ON) had 9 (all in the 1st half) to keep the Hawks in the game. Matthew Walker (4th yr, wing, Waterloo, ON) also pulled down 10 rebounds. The Mustangs were led by Bradley Smith (4th yr, F, Churchill, ON) who finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Matthew Curtis (4th yr, G, Hamilton, ON) added 13 points while transfer Colin LaForme (4th yr, F, Hamilton, ON) had a double-double - 12 points and a game high 14 rebounds. Alex Brzozowicz (3rd yr, G, Chicago, IL) added 10 points and had 4 blocked shots. The Hawks next contest will be Wednesday night when they travel to Guelph to take on the 9-6 University of Guelph Gryphons. Guelph won the first matchup 82-72 on a 4th quarter comeback. Tipoff for the game is 8:00 pm.

OUA West Standings
Windsor 11-4
Brock 10-5
Guelph 9-6
Western 8-7
Lakehead 7-9
McMaster 7-9
Laurier 6-9
Waterloo 4-12

SPARTANS VALIANT COMEBACK FALLS JUST SHORT LANGLEY, British Columbia – Daniel Demian (Coquitlam, B.C.) lay face down on the court in the first half, nose bleeding after taking an elbow to the face. This picture said it all as his Trinity Western University Spartans limped through one of the worst halves in school history, mustering just 13 points to trail the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds by 25 points. But like Demian, the Spartans got up and fought back, pulling to within seven points early in the fourth quarter, before the Thunderbirds pulled away to win 81-58 at TWU’s David E. Enarson Gymnasium. “The first half is something I haven’t been involved in a long, long time, maybe back to my days as a grade eight girls coach,” said TWU head coach Pat Lee. “Our defence was outstanding in the first half, but we just really struggled to make shots. In the whole half we only had two assists, which means we were doing too much ‘one pass and shoot’ and we just didn’t execute at all.” UBC led 20-9 after one quarter as the Spartans struggled to find their rhythm, and it just got worse in the second, as TWU scored just one field goal, a Jon Loewen jumper with 1:50 left in the half. The Spartans shot 15 percent, making just five of 32 shots, and converting only two of five free throws. UBC, on the other hand, had different players score, including forward Bryson Kool (Pitt Meadows, B.C.), who led all scorers at the half with nine points and four rebounds. The Spartans found their offence quickly in the third quarter, as jumpers and free throws started falling from everywhere. TWU scored 14 points, more than their entire first half output, in the first five minutes of the third quarter, and would go on to outscore UBC 30-14 in the frame to pull within nine at 52-43. Demian, bloody nose and all, helped the Spartan surge with two jumpers and a free throw. The Spartans shot 66 percent from the field and made six of eight three-point attempts in the quarter, half of them from rookie Matt Myers (Tumwater, Wash.). In the fourth TWU cut the UBC lead to just seven points on a Jason Keegstra (Vernon, B.C.) fast break tomahawk dunk, making it 53-46 with 8:34 remaining. But that’s where the Spartans rally would end, as Kyle Watson (Richmond, B.C.) went right back down court and calmly buried a three pointer to push the lead back to 10 points. Three Spartan post players would foul out soon after and from there it was all UBC, as they would outscore TWU 25-12 to win going away. The Spartans were led in scoring by three bench players as the high-flying Keegstra finished with 12 points, Lance Verhoeff (Calgary) notched 11 points and five boards, and Myers totaled nine points and four assists. For the T-Birds Watson was unconscious in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of his 16 in that quarter as he missed just one shot, and was four of five from three. Kool finished with 15 points, 11 boards, three assists and two blocks, and Blain LaBranche (Edmonton) poured in 10 points off the bench. The Spartans finish the season with three straight games against the Simon Fraser University Clan. The first meeting will be TWU’s last regular season home game on Friday, February 1, 2008 at 6 p.m. The Thunderbirds last homestand of the regular season is also next weekend, and it starts with a rare noon tip against the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Friday February 1, 2008.

-TW-