Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Nov. 13, 14, 15 Weekend Preview

CANADA WEST: The first full week of play in CW has some tremendous matchups, especially on Friday night with all ranked teams plus other hovering around the Top 10 meeting head-to-head. This week sees the maximum number of Prairie/Pacific (so glad they're calling them that) interlocking games plus a single inter-city matchup in Winnipeg. Friday's top matchup may be #7 Saskatchewan (2-0) at #2 UBC (1-0) which pits two Moser Trophy candidates as 6'2" Josh Whyte of the T-Birds and 5'11" Showron Glover of the Huskies square off. T-Birds love to run and as all know are defending with much more purpose. Glover loves to gamble defensively and is one of the best pure scorers in the CIS. Fifth-year 6'8" Troy Gottselig is a steady presence up front for the Huskies with UBC's 6'6" Brent Malish and 6'5" Kyle Watson countering up front for UBC. 6'5" Kamar Burke is a big, athletic wing who can create matchup problems. UBC Preview article Also, Fraser Valley (2-0) visits #3 Calgary (4-0) (see more in Wayne Thomas's preview below). Alberta (4-0) is at UVic (0-1) for the second time this season (Alberta won by 16 in Vic's first game of the pre-season) in a matchup of two perennial Top 10 teams. In the first game between the two, the Vikes gave up an un-Vic-like 79 points.
Other Friday games
8 PM Mountain/10 PM Eastern Thompson Rivers (0-2) at Lethbridge (1-3) The Horns look to build on their win over Regina last Saturday. TRU Athletic Director Ken Olynyk is a former Horns coach who had major success in Lethbridge.
8 PM Central/9 PM Eastern Trinity Western (0-1) at Brandon (1-3) The Cats are off to a very slow start but 6'3" Dany Charlery, despite an early season injury, appears back at mid-season, Moser-candidate form. The Spartans come off an embarrasing loss two weeks ago at UBC and went 1-2 on their NCAA Division 1 trip through the state of Utah.
8 PM Central/9 PM Eastern Simon Fraser (1-0) at Regina (1-1) The Clan is on the verge of a Top 10 ranking after winning on the road at UVic a couple of weeks ago while the Cougars play their regular season home opener.

Saturday's Games
8PM Central/9 PM Eastern Winnipeg (0-4) at Manitoba (1-3) The first regular season meeting between the two intra-city rivals after the Bisons defeated the Wesmen in the Duckworth Challenge, which kicked off the pre-season for both teams in early October.
Saskatchewan at UVic
Alberta at UBC
Trinity Western at Regina
Thompson Rivers at Calgary
Simon Fraser at Brandon
Fraser Valley at Lethbridge

Note there is plenty of live coverage of Canada West games throughout the weekend via the Internet. Click here for the entire schedule and access to watching/listening/following live stats for Canada West games.

As promised, Wayne Thomas's Fraser Valley at Calgary preview... Sam Freeman and Zeon Gray are ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ kind of guys. Between them, they average 42 points per game for the 2-0 Univ. of Fraser Valley Cascades, and are # 1 and 2 in Canada West in 3 pt.shots made per game ... 4.5 for the ‘Z - Man’, and 4.0 for Freeman. They have taken 41% of their team’s shots, and most are from way out there. Freeman, last year’s Canada West Rookie of the Year, is scoring at 20 ppg, but Gray, a 3rd year transfer originally from Los Angeles via Whatcom College , Bellingham, WA, is leading his new team at 22 ppg., and he appears to be the new ‘go-to’ option on the perimeter. 3rd year forward Kyle Grewal is one of the keys for Coach Barnaby Craddock, who sees the 6’6” forward as a player who is ready to take his game to another level. One of the challenges for UFV against Calgary and some other big squads will be to battle on the inside, and Grewal has help there in the form of Jasper Moedt, a 6’7” post from Abbotsford, who leads the Green in rebounding with 9 rpg. Moedt is one of 8 local players suiting up for the Cascades, with 3 imports, Gray, James Elliot,a 6’8” post from Australia, and Craig Bauslaugh, a 3rd year guard from Ontario completing the playing roster. With 2 road wins at Thompson Rivers, Fraser Valley is off to a good start in the Pacific Division, and they hope to grab at least one win this weekend at either Lethbridge or Calgary. The Dinos also won their only 2 road games, in convincing fashion, over Manitoba Bisons last weekend. Calgary went 4-0 for the two Winnipeg schools after having dispensed with the Winnipeg Wesmen in their home opening series in Calgary. The 3rd ranked Dinos ride the scoring and rebounding of one of the tallest front lines in the country ... 6’8” Ross Bekkering, 6’6” Rob Sihota, and 6’9” Tyler Fidler. These three stand-outs
account for 57% of Calgary’s offensive output, with 14.5 - 16.8 - and 20.3 ppg, respectively, and they grab over 1/2 of the team’s rebounds, with Bekkering leading Canada West at 11.5 rpg. Jamie McLeod, a wily 5th year guard, and Jarred Ogunbemi-Jackson, a quick 1st year point man, are proving to be a good combination in the back-court, and both are among the leaders in Canada West assists ... McLeod is #1 with 9 apg, and ‘O-J’ is 9th at 4.3. Fidler, the inside outside scorer and playmaker, is averaging 4.5 assists as well. Coach Dan Vanhooren is getting good
minutes (16/ game) in the post from Dustin Reding, a converted wing-man, who competes well on the boards, while still looking for his 3 pt. opportunities. The first guard off the bench is the high energy Terrence Blake , a 3rd year transfer from Edmonton, whose quickness at the defensive end, and ability to score have him making an impact already. Two other 1st year players are getting their chances to perform as well, and Andrew McGuinness, an outstanding long-range shooter, and Dan Tilleman, a versatile 6’5” wing from Phoenix, AZ are looking to contribute more as the season wears on. Calgary and Fraser Valley play on Friday night at ‘The Jack’ at 8:00 pm, then on Saturday, the Dinos welcome Thompson Rivers, 0-2, to town, while the Cascades head down to Lethbridge to play the Pronghorns, who sit at 1-3.

OUA WEEKEND PREVIEW Another pair of tremendous Friday night games on tap in the OUA as #9 Toronto (1-1) faces #4 McMaster (2-0) in Hamilton and #6 Windsor (2-0) faces #1 Carleton (2-0) at the Raven's Nest in Ottawa. Former Marauder and OUA West all-star Ben Katz, now on the coaching staff with his father at U of T, returns to Mac to face the undefeated Marauders who get probably their toughest test of the season thus far. The Blues were without 6'8" Nick Snow for last Saturday's game against Waterloo and with the recent flu epidemic (yours truly is getting wacked as well), it is not certain whether Snow will be available on Friday for the Blues... The Lancers get their crack at the Ravens who return to Ottawa for their regular season home opener. Also on Friday night, an interesting matchup in Thunder Bay as a pair of teams not originally viewed as top contenders, Ryerson Rams (2-0) and Lakehead Thunderwolves (2-0), meet in a battle of undefeated teams. Rye defeated both Waterloo and Laurier at home last weekend for rookie coach Roy Rana's first two career victories against CIS teams while Lakehead got a buzzer-beating shot to edge Queen's last Friday. In Toronto, the Guelph Gryphons (0-2) hope to have some of their injured back and ready as they face York Lions (0-2) in North York while Brock (1-1) travels to Sudbury to face Laurentian (0-2).
Other OUA interlocking games on Friday:
8:00 pm Western (2-0) at Ottawa (1-1)
8:00 pm RMC (0-2) at Laurier (1-1)
8:00 pm Queen's (0-2) at Waterloo (1-1)
Saturday's OUA Interlocking games
3:00 pm Queen's at Laurier
8:00 pm Windsor at Ottawa
8:00 pm Ryerson at McMaster
8:00 pm Toronto at Lakehead
8:00 pm RMC at Waterloo
8:00 pm Guelph at Laurentian
8:00 pm Brock at York
Note that Western's game at Carleton will be played Sunday afternoon, which in my opinion is a tremendous idea, giving both teams another night to prepare mentally and physically from Friday games. My opinion where practical this type of scheduling will only make games more competitive and of higher quality.
Sunday afternoon
3:00 pm Western vs. Carleton

QSSF After the league kicked off their season last Sunday afternoon with Laval going into Montreal and using a big second half run to defeat McGill, all five "Q" teams are in action this weekend, beginning Friday night with a pair of games in Montreal as Bishop's visits Concordia and McGill (0-1) playing at UQAM. On Saturday, Concordia goes across town to face McGill while UQAM makes the trip east after their Friday night game to face Laval. Also plenty of media coverage for these games, check the QSSF site for access to watching these games.

AUS... The schedule is relatively light this weekend in the AUS with both Top 10 teams Cape Breton and St. FX idle all weekend. In the only four point game on tap, UPEI (0-1) visits Acadia (2-0) on Friday night. A pair of doubleheaders are also scheduled, with all 4 games in Halifax, as UNB (0-2) visits Saint Mary's (1-1) (Friday and Stuarday night) while #5 Dal Tigers (1-0) host Memorial (0-2) for Saturday night and Sunday afternoon (3 PM) affairs at DalPlex.

As always, SSN Canada has a full slate of games available for viewing.

I'm am ailing and am travelling to Southern Ontario this weekend (parents 49th anniversary). Hope to get out to some games down there however updates will be sparse. Enjoy the games.

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