Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Around the Country: AUS Update

Defending AUS champion Dalhousie Tigers make their 2009 pre-season debut this Thursday night at Guelph with some new faces which should shore up their depth on the wings and at the five spot especially. Expect the Tigers, when required, to be able to play from inside/out with 6'9" fifth-year Calgary transfer Joe Schow who could begin to demand some double teams in the low block, a luxury coach John Campbell hasn't had arguably ever at Dal. Another prized recruit 6'3" Marcus Wong, who helped Pickering win a pair of "AAAA" OFSAA titles earlier this decade is a strong and physical slasher who should benefit from playing off star guard Simon Farine. Farine is likely to log major minutes, especially with the early September departure of recruit 5'11" guard Chris Owor (Texas) who noblely returned home to care for his mother. The addition of Wong becomes even more important with the news that 6'2" Stephen Lopez, another Pickering product, will undergo exploratory knee surgery shortly and is out indefinitely. Thursday will also see the debut of 6'5" William Yengue, originally from Cameroon via a couple of top U.S. Prep schools. Finally, Dal believes they have found a couple of diamonds-in-the-rough in 6'6" Chris Hunt, a freshman from Sault Ste. Marie who can shoot the ball plus 6'9" Tim Coote, a second-year Nova Scotia native who continues to improve almost daily... Acadia Axemen make their CIS season debut at the Naismith tournament at Waterloo and the young group will immediately have an opportunity to find out where they stand, facing a pair of veteran-laden teams in Toronto and the host Warriors. Acadia had a second consecutive strong recruiting class and the roster is filled with first and second year players including blue-chip sophomores 6'3" Casey Fox and 6'5" Justin Boutillier plus three top freshmen including 6'6" Owen Klassen, a power forward from Kingston, ON; 6'4" combination guard Anthony Sears, who scored over 1,100 points as a high school senior (~30 ppg) and a hidden gem in 6'5" French import Jonathan Kamba. Undersized post Alex Triakov is the veteran leader of this group which is likely to play exciting, up tempo basketball... UPEI travels to the Nation's Capital to compete in the House-Laughton Classic with the host Ravens, Saskatchewan and Bishop's and Panthers top two recruits 6'5" Matt Fennell and 6'1" guard Terrence Brown make their debuts when UPEI takes on Saskatchewan at 6 PM on Friday night. UPEI Panther Basketball Blog does their usual stellar job at teeing up the Panthers weekend. Cape Breton is idle this weekend before kicking off their CIS season next weekend in Ottawa at the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament at uOttawa.... St. FX Invitational is a two-day, four-team all-AUS event in Antigonish featuring St. Mary's Huskies facing UNB Varsity Reds in the first game on Friday night followed by Memorial against the host X-Men, winners of the Eric Garland tournament last weekend. X continues to fight the injury bug with projected starters 6'5" Terrence Taylor and 6'3" Dwayne Johnson out indefinitely and nagging injuries to 6'0" Charlie Spurr, 6'2" William Donkoh and 5'9" Will Silver. Of the latter three, nothing is definite but expect Silver's injury to potentially be longer lasting than both Spurr and Donkoh. St. Mary's opens their CIS pre-season on Friday and will debut 6'5" Demetre Harris, a transfer from Capilano College in B.C. who has already opened some eyes in the pre-season with his athleticism and talent. UNB may be the most improved team thus far in the early season, garnering praise from several observers who witnessed last weekend's Garland tournament during which the V-Reds went 2-1 including a close loss to X on Saturday in which they were in the game to the end. UNB's veterans are one year more experience and more familiar with coach Brent Baker's system while the bench has much more quality depth led by exciting 6'3" freshman guard Gamachu Ibrahim. The Reds would like to get another shot at X which could happen if both teams win (or both teams lose) on Friday night... We have remiss in not featuring more on Memorial on this site and hope to have that rectified in the coming days. The Seahawks won a tournament in Northern New Brunswick a couple of weeks ago which involved Atlantic Canada college teams and their game vs. X on Friday is their first against CIS competition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did Klassen shrink since he left the Kingston area? Last time I saw him, he was well on his way to 6'10".