Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sunday Musings

It is great to see CIS basketball begin to embrace the new media with tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs providing coaches, players, alumni and fans with an opportunity to communicate information, opinions and thoughts about CIS sports. Apart from the official university web sites across the country which are getting better and the official CIS site, which basically hasn't changed formats for several years, over the past few years there have been a handful of alumni/fan driven sites most prominent of which come to mind are (complements of the Blue and White X-press Booster club ,, queensbasketball dinosbasketball Recently, Brandon has introduced a site on Facebook and Western has an alumni blog, Mustangs Backcourt Club Blog. Also, alwaysoua site is an alternative to OUA official site. We have highlighted UPEI Panther blog several times as well. These sites provide specific details on programs and as they grow should provide more and more impetus for the mainstream sports fan to follow CIS sports. It is easier than one might believe to get one of these started (even I got one going !). As more of these grassroots sites come on board, the CIS basketball ecosystem grows, hopefully to a position of greater prominence on the Canadian sporting landscape.

More on the best 7 footer to ever play in the CIS from our "wishes-to-remain anonymous" Western correspondent who chimes in with his vote for Port Perry, ON's own Jim Zoet, who played at Lakehead, followed by a nice tangent onto the 1980 National team:

To me, the best I ever saw was Jim Zoet (pronounced "Zoot"). He returned from Kent State in 1976-77 and I think I saw Zoet live in eight games that year (including the nationals. They lost the final to Acadia.) I was amazed he was a refugee from the MAC. Of course, he got a lot better after his Lakehead days too. I so wish the 1980 Olympic team that qualifed would have had a chance to go (Boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics over USSR's entry into Afgahnistan kept Canada away). The qualifying tournament regular starters: Martin Riley, Varouj Gurunlian/Jay Triano, Leo Rautins, Romel Raffin, Jim Zoet. Triano was fifth guard. Gurunlian got hurt in the qualifier. Triano jumped over Doc Ryan and Howard Kelsey into the starting line-up. And never looked back. The non starters: Kelsey, Ryan, Perry Mirkovich, Tom Bishop, Ross Quackenbush, Rene Dolcetti. (Steve Atkin was hurt. He may well have joined the team for the Olympics had they gone...). Not a bad squad at all. And nine played at least some of their career in the CIS. Ten if you count Simon Fraser re Jay. Eleven if you count Simon Fraser re Atkin. Only Rautins and Kelsey played exclusively in the States (and Kelsey only played part of his career in DI.) Six (or seven, or eight re Simon Fraser with Triano/Atkin) played all of their university ball in the CIS.

Well done by UNB to play their Eric Garland tournament at the Galen Center, their hockey facility that seats about 4,000, with a portable floor. Hopefully the tournament will draw and it will make financial sense for the Reds to play more games in that building... Get well wishes go out to former Acadia Head Coach Ian MacMillian, who recently underwent gall bladder surgery and is in the process of recovering at his home in Windsor, N.S. MacMillian led the Acadia Axemen, with All-Canadian Ted Upshaw, to the CIAU championship game in 1981 before falling to UVic before an overflow crowd of over 6,000 at the Waterloo PAC, which at that time was the gold standard for an on-campus facility with the band playing, plenty of atmosphere and, for the biggest events, overflow crowds. The last big event I can remember that drew sell-out crowds at Waterloo was in 1992 during Dave Picton's freshman season when the Quebec teams were part of the OUA East and the Wilson Cup was a four-team tournament and Brock, which went on to win their first National championship, played Guelph I believe in what was an electric atmosphere... This coming week marks the first full slate of pre-season games beginning on Wednesday night when Laurier Golden Hawks visit Fanshawe College in London. Thursday night Douglas College goes to Trinity Western and then several games are slated for Friday including Laval meeting the Ottawa Gee-Gees at Heritage College in Gatineau (formerly Hull), Quebec, Fraser Valley visiting Columbia Bible College and Simon Fraser hosting University of Vancouver Island. Laval continues on to Kingston along with Concordia to play RMC and Queen's. Old friends John Dore and Barry Smith also hook up as the Stingers will also play St. Lawrence College. The weekend highlight may be the University of Toronto Varsity Blues matchup against Sheridan College in Oakville on Saturday night, which should be a treat for GTA fans. Enjoy the games.


Martin said...

Keep up the fantastic work. I rely on your blog for in-depth CIS news and analysis. I have been reading your blog since 2008 and your coverage is unparalleled. Thanks and keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mark, your point about improving the quality of b-ball websites touches a nerve with me.
While some CIS schools have good sites, too many are mediocre or downright awful.
The biggest complaints I have about them is that they aren't easily legible because of poor graphic design and some take forever to get up and running for the new season.
For example, I don't like the Carleton website for a number of reasons.
The white letters to on black background is considerably more difficult to read than the traditional black letters on white background.
Secondly, it took what seemed like an eternity for the GO Ravens site to publish the upcoming 2009-10 schedule.
By comparison, Ottawa had their sked and the Jack Donahue lineup published weeks before Carleton.
Only in the last week or two did Carleton publish their House-Laughton tournament lineup, even though it was known for many weeks.
Also, after Carleton changed its site, useful and interesting archive information that was in the old site has for some reason been eliminated.
Information such as the career records of all the head coaches in Raven history, for example.
But it's not only certain school's websites that leave me cold.
The CIS own website leaves a lot to be desired.
Thank god for Bob Adams, because the CIS basketball site for some inexplicable reason does not carry scores from exhibition and non conference games.
The site is, at long last, getting a long overdue makeover.
But the CIS dropped the ball on that.
Really, since the athletic season ends in April, the CIS had from then until August to install a new site.
Unbelievably, it is still not ready for the new season.
Hopefully, once it is finished it will be worth the wait.