Saturday, 10 July 2010

Toronto, McGill Updates

Most CIS observers have likely already heard about the transfer back home of 6'4" Alex Hill, a Toronto native who starred at Eastern Commerce H.S. before accepting a scholarship at Cornell of the Ivy League. Hill played one season for the Big Red in 2008-09, appearing in 12 games and averaged 2.7 points in only 3.8 minutes per game. Hill sat out all of last season before returning home in the spring and commiting to Mike Katz's U of T Varsity Blues, where he is expected to lead the program in the coming years. Hill's father Sam Hill is a Varsity alumnus and was a high school star at Toronto Jarvis Collegiate in the early 1980's, leading the Bulldogs to OFSAA "AAA" in 1982 before moving on to a stellar career with the Blues under Brian Heaney. Alex is a big guard who can shoot the ball and under the tutlage of Katz and his staff promises to develop into the type of solid decision maker that has characterized Blues backcourt in the Katz era. Katz is likely facing a major rebuilding season in '10-'11 what with the graduation of stalward guards 6'2" Nick Magalas and 6'1" Rob Paris plus front court contributors 6'7" Nick Snow and 6'4" Patrick Sewell. To help rebuild his back court, the Blues will also bring in a young guard 6'0" Matt Saval, a high IQ, tough point out of Hamilton Brebeuf where he was a Hamilton City All-Star the past two seasons. The Blues continue to recruit for the coming season and may have other announcements in the coming weeks... Newly appointed McGill Redmen Head Coach David DeAveiro hit the ground running with his program, starting with the appointment of Assistant Coach John Dangelas, who moves on from his 13 year career as Head Coach of Champlain CEGEP where he coached numerous future NCAA D1 and CIS players. The Redmen must replace a pair of 4th year seniors from their rotation: 6'4" Pawel Herra, who graduated from his four-year undergraduate program and likely will also not have back 6'4" Quebec Player-of-the-Year Matthew Thornhill, who also graduated. McGill does welcome back 5'11" point Olivier Bouchard, last season's QSSF Rookie-of-the-Year, who is a pass-first lead guard. 6'4" Michael White is also back as is 6'7" Nic Langley from B.C. who just finished a stint with Canada's Jr. National team. To augment his roster, DeAveiro brings in a nice stable of recruits, led by 6'3" Simon Bibeau, arguably the top graduating player in Quebec to remain in the CIS. 6'4" Kyle Bernard also will return to the Redmen after sitting out the past two seasons. Bernard, originally from John Abbott College, played his first season of CIS eligibility in 2007-08 with McGill and is a big, athletic wing that will allow the Redmen to be more aggressive defensively. McGill also gets a bruising, tough forward in 6'6" 230 lbs. Cody Mazza-Anthony from Hamilton Bishop Ryan, who was also well-schooled fundamentally in the Blessed Sacrament club system. Expect Mazza-Anthony's style of play to bring back memories of another strong and skilled Hamilton-area big man, 6'5" Chad Wozny, who starred for the Redmen in the mid 1990's. DeAveiro brings in another big athletic guard in 6'4" Karim Sy-Morrisette, a local Montreal product from Dawson College Blues where he won a CCAA National championship under Coach Wayne Yearwood and was among the league leaders in steals. The Redmen also found more talent in Quebec CEGEP ranks, bringing in the two catalysts from Brebeuf CEGEP Dynamiques back-to-back "AA" CEGEP championship teams: 6'7" Charles Alexandre-Lacroix, the MVP of the Provincial championships in last season who should compete for significant time up front as a freshman; and 6'4" wing guard Simon Bouchard, who played on the Quebec Provincial team and is the son of former Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard. Both are excellent students with Alexandre-Lacroix already enrolled in McGill's School of Medicine directly out of CEGEP. Expect at least one or two more announcements in the coming weeks as DeAveiro and Dangelas continue to build their roster. The Redmen will also play a pair of NCAA Division 1 schools in early November on the road at Rutgers Scarlett Knights (Big East from Piscataway, NJ) and Robert Morris Colonials (Moon Township, PA - just outside Pittsburgh), defending Northeast Conference champions who dropped a tight, three-point game to Villanova Wildcats in the first round of this past NCAA tournament. McGill will also be in Ottawa over the Labour Day weekend to play another Big East side, Cincinnati Bearcats in a game to be played at Carleton's Raven's Nest.

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