Tuesday, 31 August 2010

France 68, Canada 63

Another valiant effort by the Canadian group in a game which ended on what many feel was a questionable decision by Denham Brown attacking the rim down 3 with only seconds remaining.  One theory (mine) is that Denham thought there was more time on the clock than there was and wanted to take a layup and then foul quickly.  However, his shot was blocked and Canada's fate was sealed.

Coach Leo Rautins group continues to play hard and play together and have been in every game; unfortunately Canada has been unable to find that player who can make the big shot when it is most needed.  Today, Canada had 4 wide-open looks at 3's to tie the game with about 1 minute remaining and could not get a shot to drop.  This particular group unfortunately lacks the quality depth needed when playing deeper top opponents, especially with how condensed the schedule is. 

Canada played without 6'5" Andy Rautins who was in street clothes and the available minutes may have been the catalyst for the coming out party of 6'9" Kelly Olynyk who played with the poise and confidence of an international veteran.  Olynyk scored in several different ways including a blow by take from the wing, a baseline drive and power layup over Boris Diau, a pair of threes including an ice-water-in-the-viens shot right in a French defender's eye.  He also got his hands on several rebounds at both ends and was not overmatched guarding the more athletic French wings.  He played with the swagger of a player who had no doubt he should be there - a great sign for a 19 year old.  Congratulations to Olynyk, who is the son of former U of T Varsity Blues and Lethbridge Pronghorn Head Coach Ken Olynyk, the current AD at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

Canada's two bigs 6'9" Levon Kendall and 6'10" Joel Anthony were effective as Kendall knocked down a couple of early perimeter jumpers and worked hard inside while Anthony was effective swatting and altering shots on the defensive end.  Brown continues to look to share the ball and play within the context of the offense but occasionally reverts back to breaking things off early - still it is very apparent that he is doing his very best to do what is best for this team, which is a credit to his maturation as a player and the mentoring he has received over the years with Canada Basketball.  6'1" Jermaine Anderson needs to play virtually all 40 minutes for this team to flourish and unfortunately for him, fatigue can set in, especially as the tournament progresses - most of Canada's late misses from downtown were front-rimmed.

Canada's two CIS players, both from Carleton Ravens, contributed to the game as 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp started and played alot, doing his thing defending, rebounding and usually keeping the ball moving on the offensive side (one of Canada's issues in my opinion is that some players can hold the ball a little too long especially when teammates make open ball cuts, usually leading to one-on-one or ball screen action late in the shot clock).  6'4" Ryan Bell made a mid-range jumper in the second half on a nice find by Doornekamp to keep Canada in the game however he turned the ball over on several occasions and unfortunately did not look comfortable when trying to start the offense.

Canada is now 0-3 and needs to defeat New Zealand to potentially move into a three-way tie for fourth spot but with the Tall Blacks dominating win over Lebanon today Canada needs a margin of victory near 40 over New Zealand to be in the discussion for any tie breaker.  Of course, with a win over Tall Blacks and an upset over Spain on the final day of preliminary play, Canada could get in without the tie breaker.  (Doug Smith has more in his article - link below).

Canada gets New Zealand tomorrow.

Doug Smith's article in the Toronto Star

Globe & Mail Canadian Press article

Toronto Sun article

National Post article

Excellent Mike Ganter article on Canada Basketball's progress to date

Doornekamp digs deep (Mike Ganter article on Aaron battling injuries)

Monday, 30 August 2010

New Zealand Team Preview

After several years and a 2002 FIBA World Championship Final Four appearance under Tab Baldwin , the Tall Blacks enter FIBA 2010 led by Head Coach Nenad Vucinic as a veteran-laden but very undersized squad.  Offensively, New Zealand is led by former Wisconsin Badger great 6'4" Kirk Penney, who was at it again during Tall Blacks recent preparation games, going off for 42 points in 104-103 overtime thriller against the host Slovenia in a match where 4 Tall Black players fouled out and the Slovenians, led by several NBAers, shot 42 free throws.  Penny is a strong guard/wing who can create for himself, knock down 3's and find people.  Stopping him can be the key to defeating New Zealand.

As usual New Zealand will be massively under-sized, with the inexperienced 7'1" Alex Pledger (Belmont Abbey College, NCAA Division II) their only genuine big man.  6'6" veteran Pero Cameron is a burly, strong but very undersized post player who knows his way around the paint but lacks the explosiveness and athleticism to have an impact over 40 minutes - he is also 36 years old.  After that, 6'8" Craig Bradshaw (Winthrop), who was MVP of the Big South Conference championships in his senior year and also played in the Turkish Euroleague club Efes Pilsen, a top European club, provides some perimeter-oriented play as a 3/4.  6'4" Mika Vukona is yet another undersized post who has been starting for the Tall Blacks and brings rebounding and finishing ability.  Complementing Penney in the back court is 6'4" Phill Jones, the all-time leading scorer in the New Zealand pro league and a five-time league MVP.  6'2" Lindsay Tait should get ample opportunity to run the show at the point for the Tall Blacks.  6'6" Tom Abercrombie played part of one season (2007-08) at Washington State in the Pac-10 before returning home to play and has had several double digit scoring efforts recently.

Tall Blacks went 3-6 during their recent prep games including victories against heavyweights Russia and Slovenia and very close losses to Croatia and Serbia. But they were also blown away by Turkey and had a disappointing defeat against Jordan in their final buildup game.  New Zealand faces Lithuania and then Spain in their first two games which should provide a litmus test for how well they stack up.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Maine 87, Laval 80

The Black Bears took the game over using a 20-0 second quarter run, which included a scorching 5 for 5 from downtown during that stretch, to take a big lead into halftime and then held off a late Rouge et Or rally that got the game back to within 4 with under a minute to play as Maine finished off their tour of Canada with a perfect 5-0 record.

Laval led by 2 at 28-26 after a high scoring first quarter but the Bears turned up the "d" and made shots to hold Rouge et Or to only 8 second quarter points to lead by 21 at the break.  Laval shot only 8 for 35 from downtown but was able to stay in the game by attacking the rim and getting to the foul line (24 for 29 from the stripe).  Laval made a game of it late but the comeback was thwarted by a late Maine three-pointer that just beat the shot clock. 

6'4" Jerome Turcotte led Laval with 21 pts/8 rebs in 28 minutes while 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux had 19 pts (including a perfect 10/10 FT) in 26 minutes.  6'5" Etienne Labrecque added 12 pts/9 rebs in 26 minutes.

Lithuania comes back to beat Canada

Canada blew a 17 point lead with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third by giving up a 24-3 run and then Jermaine Anderson missed a three at the buzzer to send the Canadians to 0-2 in the tournament and in need of two wins in their final 3 games of the preliminary round against France, New Zealand and Spain. 

Canada blows lead, loses to Lithuania (Doug Smith's Toronto Star article)

Canada in trouble at World's (Mike Ganter's article in Toronto Sun)

Associated Press article

Articles from the Weekend: Carleton, Ali Mahmoud

Ravens' big guns fall silent:  Black Bears 73, Ravens 62 (Wayne Kondro, Ottawa Citizen)

Call it déjà voodoo.

Perhaps someone somewhere is sticking pins in straw doll Carleton Ravens, particularly big guns Cole Hobin, Elliot Thompson and Mike Kenny, of whom so much is expected this season.

...Read more

Hoop dream comes full circle (Martin Cleary, Ottawa Citizen)

Ottawa's Ali Mahmoud came to basketball almost by accident 15 years ago. Today, he's playing for Lebanon's team in a key world championship game against Canada. Martin Cleary tells his unlikely story.
...Read more


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Maine defeats Carleton by 11

The Ravens were down by as many as 18 on a couple of occasions, losing to a veteran NCAA D1 team forecasted to win their conference this season.
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Lebanon 81 Canada 71

An inability to find offense from more than a couple of players and poor work on the defensive glass, especially after missed free throws contributed to Canada's disappointing 10 point loss to lebanon on the opening day of play in group D of the 2010 FIBA world championships in turkey. Andy rautins played with a knee brace but his shooting kept Canada in the game until he was forced to the bench with 4 fouls. Canada led by 6 at 52 46 early in the 3rd on b2b 3 pointers by jevohn shepherd but Canada could not score consistently after that as lebanon outscored Canadians 27 13 to lead by 8 late. Canada got it to 5 but could come no closer. Canada meets luthuania tomorrow.
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Doornekamp, Bell among Canada's 12 man roster for FIBA Worlds

Congratulations to CIS alumni 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp and 6'4" Ryan Bell for being named to Canada's twelve man roster for the 2010 FIBA World Championships which for Canada begin tomorrow against Lebanon (TSN2 11:30 AM ET).  Doornekamp, who completed his first season as a professional in Italy, is firmly in Canada's rotation, having been elevated to a starting role in three of the most recent games during Canada's pre-tournament games (Doornekamp sat out the final game of the recent Efes Pilsen World Cup in Turkey, Canada's final tuneup match - as a precaution with an injury).  Expect Doornekamp to play 18-24 minutes a game as a 3/4 man, who can knock down open 3's, rebound, distribute and add mental toughness.  Recall that Canada may not have even qualified for the Worlds had Doornekamp not knocked down a pair of late 3's in Canada's final qualification game last summer in Greece when the Canadians made a late run to defeat Dominican Republic.  Doornekamp has added significant bulk to his frame and looks to be much more athletic and certainly stronger as his professional career evolves.  Bell was likely in a battle with Tyler Kepkey to earn the twelfth spot on this roster and will be counted on to spell starting point guard Jermaine Anderson.  Kepkey did sustain an injury during the lead up to the tournament; newspaper articles alluded to an anonymous Canadian who was hurt but with an undisclosed injury.  Bell is a big guard who can defend and take care of the ball; offensively, he has range, albeit inconsistent, beyond the three point line however has rarely produced significant offensive numbers during his tenure with the National team.  Also part of Canada's delegation in Turkey is Ryerson Rams Head Coach Roy Rana, an advanced scout for the club, who spent the past week or so in parts of Europe scouting Canada's upcoming opponents.

6'5" Andy Rautins was named to the twelve man roster and the club hopes that his knee will be ready to take the pounding of playing almost daily during the preliminary round.  Rautins, a second round pick of the New York Knicks in the recent NBA draft, represents Canada's best perimeter threat and a healthy Rautins will allow his father, coach Leo Rautins, some flexibility in terms of running his offenses.  Here is the entire roster:

#4 Jermaine Anderson, Guard, 6’2, Toronto, ON;  Triumph (Russia)
#5 Kelly Olynyk, Forward, 6'11", Kamloops, BC; Gonzaga University (NCAA)
#6 Ryan Bell, Guard, 6'4", Ottawa, ON; Honka (Finland)
#7 Jermaine Bucknor, Forward, 6’7, Edmonton, AB; Clermont (France)
#8 Denham Brown, Guard, 6’5, Toronto, ON; Prokom (Poland)
#9 Olu Famutimi, Forward, 6’6, Toronto, ON; Oyak Renault (Turkey)
#10 Andy Rautins, Guard, 6’5, Syracuse, NY, New York Knicks (NBA)
#11 Aaron Doornekamp, Forward, 6’7, Odessa, ON; Caserta (Italy)
#12 Rob Sacre, Centre, 7’0, Vancouver, BC, Gonzaga University (NCAA)
#13 Jevohn Shepherd, Forward, 6’6, Toronto, ON; Osnabrueck (Germany)
#14 Levon Kendall, Forward, 6’10, Vancouver, BC; Obradorio (Spain)
#15 Joel Anthony, Centre, 6’9, Montreal, QC, Miami Heat (NBA)

Press Release from Canada Basketball


(Toronto, Ontario) Canada Basketball unveiled the official roster for the 2010 edition of the “Road Warriors” Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) that will compete at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Men from August 28 – September 12 in Turkey.
“I like this group a lot,” said Leo Rautins, Head Coach for the Senior Men’s National Team. “The team chemistry has been very good, and their work ethic and attitude has been extremely positive. The only thing that has been of concern is our health. After a great start to our season, we got hit hard with the injury and sickness bugs but we are trying hard to recover in time for the main event. We have to come out and play with as much energy and cohesion as we can.”
This year’s Road Warriors roster includes eight returnees from 2009 that have helped Canada qualify for the World Championship at the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, including Canadian NBA stars Joel Anthony (Montreal, Que.) of the Miami Heat and Andy Rautins (Syracuse, NY.) of the New York Knicks.
Among the other national team veterans on this year’s roster are long-time starters, Jermaine Anderson (Toronto, Ont.) and Levon Kendall (Vancouver, B.C.). Returning back to the squad are Denham Brown (Toronto, Ont.) and Jevohn Shepherd (Toronto, Ont.), both of whom have lead the team in scoring during various exhibition games this summer. The Road Warriors also feature fresh new faces in Robert Sacre (Vancouver, B.C.) and 19-year old Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, B.C.), both former Junior Men’s National Team stars and current members of NCAA’s Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Rautins added, “We have different objectives when you put a team together: One is to put together the best team you can to win; two is to build chemistry and balance positions, and three is to follow our plan for the long-term development of our elite program. To be able to bring two players into the mix like Kelly and Robert, who can be a part of our program for the next 10 years, is a huge asset for Canada Basketball. Seeing them play for the Road Warriors is an inspiration for other young players who dream to play for the senior team.”
The format for the FIBA World Championship is as follows: top four teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the round of 16 and play to advance to the quarter-final round. Games in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals are scheduled to be held from September 8-12 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Canada is assigned to Group D, along with Lebanon, Lithuania, France, New Zealand and Spain.
“In our group we have five tough games,” Rautins commented. “Every game is going to be a grind. As I’ve said going into this, there will be little or no margin of error for our team, and now in light of what has happened, that has become even more of a reality.”

Parrish continues to raise Canada Basketball's profile

Congratulations to Wayne Parrish and Canada Basketball for adding a very high profile partner to their organization with the announcement of a deal with Bell Canada.  Parrish continues to build positive relationships with key stakeholders, elevating the profile and value of Canada Basketball.  Another tremendous milestone for basketball in Canada thanks to Wayne Parrish and team.  See below for today's Media Release.

Bell and Canada Basketball announce three-year partnership to tip off 2010 FIBA World Championships

Canada Basketball's first Corporate National Partner to fund national teams as well as youth development programs

August 27, 2010, Istanbul, Turkey and Toronto – Bell and Canada Basketball today announced – on the eve of the FIBA World Championship – a three-year partnership in which Bell will proudly support the Canadian team and Canada Basketball’s national programming efforts.

As part of the announcement, Canada Basketball unveiled a new official team jersey featuring logos from Canada Basketball and Bell.

"Bell is very pleased to play a role in the development of basketball across Canada. We're proud to be present on the national team's jersey's at the FIBA championships in Turkey this month and look forward to unveiling other elements of our partnership in coming months,” said Loring Phinney, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Bell.

“We have been working hard as an organization to reach the point where we could attract a corporate national partner of the calibre and commitment of Bell,” said Wayne Parrish, Executive Director and CEO of Canada Basketball. “This is a tremendous opportunity and one on which we and Bell will be building significantly in the months and years ahead.”

The partnership is part of Bell’s continued commitment to fostering amateur sport and Canadian success at the international level. The addition of Canada Basketball to Bell's roster of National Sport Organizations (NSOs) continues Bell's support of amateur and Olympic athletes.

Starting tomorrow, the Canadian team joins 23 other countries at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey, taking place across four cities: Ankara, Kayseri, Izmir and Istanbul.

Canada gets closer to finalizing roster

Doug Smith of the Toronto Star provides a look at the FIBA World Championships which begin tomorrow including a wrap up of the conference call held by NBA commissioner David Stern on the tournament.

Lesser hoop starts will shine bright at worlds

The Star's look at Group D

Mike Ganter's article in the Toronto Sun talks to the roster decisions Canada's coaching and management staff must make.  Reserve forward/center Kyle Landry was officially scratched from the roster yesterday and the article alludes to probably one more anonymous tournament-threatening injury over and above Andy Rautins' knee.  We hope to have the official roster from Canada Basketball later today.  

Schedule taken toll on Canadian squad

Pro Basketball News look at Groups C & D including a synopsis of Canada (this particular writer picks the Canadians to finish in sixth place in the six team group)

Maine pulls away from UQAM, SDSU hammers Wesmen again

The Citadins had it to within 2 with about 5 minutes remaining in the third before Maine went on a 12-3 run and later stretched the lead to as many as 15

Maine 79, UQAM 64

The Jackrabbits led by 25 at the half and pushed the lead to over 40 in defeating Winnipeg Wesmen for the second time this week

South Dakota State 94, Winnipeg 52

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Canada dealing with injuries

A couple of articles in today's major national newspapers both focus on the health of Canada's roster as Leo Rautins' side prepares for their first game of the FIBA Worlds on Saturday against Lebanon...  Toronto's 6'5" small forward Denham Brown was identified by Sports Illustrated as Top 10 Players-to-watch at the championship.  Brown's game has matured in the last several years, beginning with the end of his first stint with the national team a few years ago when he began a concerted effort to share the ball offensively, create for others and rebound - not simply look for his offense early.  Here's hoping this new improved approach turns him into one of Canada's leaders and finally propels the Bathurst Heights/Connecticut grad to a look in the League... No word yet on the availability of 6'5" guard Andy Rautins although we should know in the next 24-36 hours as rosters must be finalized prior to the first game of the tournament and the 12 named players are the 12 that teams must get through the tournament with.  6'5" Jermaine Bucknor, 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp and 5'11" Tyler Kepkay all missed some time during the pre-tournament games with nagging injuries but are expected to be ready to play.  Kepkay and 6'4" Ryan Bell are likely vying for one of the final roster spots at backup point guard behind 6'1" Jermaine "Rock" Anderson, who Canada will likely need to rely on for 30-35 minutes per game when it matters.

Injuries take toll on Canada's hoops team (National Post)

Canada limping to World Championships (Globe & Mail)

Injury-riddled Canadians rest up for Worlds

Bearcats prepare for Canada Trip

Coach Mick Cronin has some nice words for his opponents as Cincinnati prepares to play McGill, Carleton (at Scotiabank Place) and uOttawa on Labour Day weekend.

Cronin's Cats return to practice

Butch Jones and the UC football team aren’t the only Bearcats in the midst of preseason preparation. Mick Cronin and the Cincinnati men’s basketball team are beginning practice early this season as a foreign tour north approaches.

The NCAA allows teams to take one preseason foreign tour every four years, so this season Cronin will take his Bearcats on a three-game trip to Ottawa, Canada.

The Bearcats returned to the practice court in Fifth Third Arena Friday, Aug. 20, for the first of 10 practices before the team spends a weekend in Ottawa.

...Read More

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Maine 87, McGill 66

The game was much closer than the score indicated as the Redmen led by 1 with just under 6 minutes remaining in the game before 6'7" Waterloo native Murphy Burnatowski knocked down back-to-back 3's, the first with less than a second remaining on the shot clock, to propel the Black Bears to pull away and win by 21.  The Bears outscored McGill by 22 in the final 5 1/2 minutes with the Redmen missing several good looks during the game-deciding stretch. 

6'3" freshman Simon Bibeau had 20 points for McGill in 36 minutes of play in his first game at McGill.  6'1" Karim Sy-Morrissette, (Dawson College) another freshman, had 10 points and 6'7" Tristan Tremblay also had 10 as Coach Dave DeAveiro gave his younger players extensive looks.  McGill's talented forward 6'5" Michael White worked hard against a very tough and experienced Maine front line and was in foul trouble for much of the night.  Strong 6'3" guard Winn Clark played only 4 minutes before sustaining a hamstring injury while 6'4" Kyle Bernard was not available for tonight's game. 

All in all, an encouraging performance for the Redmen against a team that is favored to win their conference and make the NCAA tournament.  Maine again played without last season's leading scorer, 6'3" junior guard Gerald McLemore.  The Black Bears move across town in Montreal to meet UQAM tomorrow night at 7 PM before travelling to Ottawa to face Carleton Ravens Saturday at 1 PM.   

McGill Season Preview from Earl Zuckerman

FIBA World Championships: Group D Preview (Canada's Group)

A nice preview by Umar Ali of all six competing sides in Group D of the FIBA World Basketball championships which begin Saturday when Canada takes on Lebanon

Group D Preview

By Umar Ali, Contributing Editor; Toronto, Canada (Sports Network) -

Country: Canada
FIBA Ranking: 19

Head Coach: Leo Rautins

Key Players: Joel Anthony, Andy Rautins

Overview: It's been sometime since Canada has made an impact on the world stage and since the departure of Steve Nash from the national program, it's been a team in transition.

...Read More

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

South Dakota State 94, Manitoba 60

The Jackrabbits took the game over with a 16-3 run midway through the second quarter and then turned the game into a rout with a 22-9 flurry to lead by 26 in the third in capturing their second straight victory over a Winnipeg-based CIS team, defeating Manitoba Bisons.  Eric Garcia led Manitoba with 12 points, going 4-9 from three point land, part of an 8 for 28 effort by the Bisons from outside the arc.  Manitoba turned the ball over 26 times on the evening and did not take a single free throw all evening.  Sean Maxwell added 11 points for the Bisons, who trailed 50-37 early in the third quarter but gave up a big run to end the quarter and SDSU never looked back.  Touted 6'4" freshman Keith Omoerah had 2 points for Manitoba.  SDSU is off on Wednesday before resuming their series in Canada against Winnipeg Wesmen at the Duckworth Center.

Box Score

Maine 81, Bishop's 54

The Black Bears broke the game open with a 20-1 run to end the third quarter, holding the host Gaiters to only 32 points after 3 quarters to build leads as large as 30 points as Maine began their five-game tour of CIS schools in Lennoxville with a comfortable win. 

After trailing by 15 after the opening half, Bishop's had opened the second half on a 12-5 run highlighted by six points including a three by 6'8" incoming freshman Matt McLean (Ottawa Ashbury) and culminated by back-to-back threes by 6'0" Orien Green (12 points on 4-10 shooting from downtown) and 6'0" JUCO transfer Sean Monplaisir (8 points) to bring the game back to within 8 with 8 minutes remaining in the third.  But Bishop's could score only 1 point the remainder of the quarter, hurting themselves with 5 turnovers during the stretch and the game was never in doubt thereafter.

Burly 6'7" 250 lbs. senior center Sean McNally had 17 points and 9 rebounds for Maine, which shot 48% from the floor and went 23-31 from the foul line for the game.  Fellow 6'7" senior forward Troy Barnies added 10 while 6'6" senior swingman Malachi Peay from Brooklyn, NY added a 13 point, 10 rebound double-double for the Black Bears, who continue their tour of Canada on Wednesday night in Montreal against McGill, in Dave DeAveiro's Redmen coaching debut.

The Gaiters had difficulty scoring against the bigger, more experienced Black Bears as Bishop's got to the line only 8 times all night and shot only 32.8% for the game.  Bishop's stayed in the game with a 9-25 performance from beyond the arc while Maine went only 2-21 from downtown.

Box Score

Rana adds former Humber Assistant to Rams staff

from Jim McLarty Ryerson SID....

Ryerson Rams men's basketball coach Roy Rana has announced the addition of assistant Ajay Sharma to his coaching staff for the upcoming 2010-11 season.  Sharma spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach at Humber College. During that time, he helped lead the Hawks to four Ontario (OCAA) titles as well as a bronze medal at the 2009-10 Canadian championship (CCAA).

"We are very excited to add another quality coach to our staff," said Rana. "Ajay has been a winner at every level and is a technically sound coach with years of post secondary experience. He will be a key asset in the ongoing development of our program. I'm really looking forward to working with him."

Sharma also served as head coach of the Ontario U17 Development Team in 2008 and was associate coach for the bronze medal winning Team Ontario at the 2009 Canada Summer Games in Charlottetown, PEI. In 2009, he was a guest coach for Rana's Canadian Cadet Men's National Team. He was also a guest coach for the Indian Basketball Federation at its 2006 Commonwealth Games training camp.

Sharma has been head coach of Canada's Hoop Factory Elite team for the past two years. In 2009, the team became the first non-European squad to win the Victor Rho Milan International Basketball Tournament. The tournament is comprised of the top club teams at the 17-and-under division throughout Europe. At the 2010 event, Sharma led Hoop Factory Elite to a second place finish. He has also coached at the high school level for 10 years.

The Rams will open the pre-season on October 3 at Sheridan College. The team's OUA opener is November 5 against McMaster at Kerr Hall.

SDSU 105, Winnipeg 53

Wesmen fell behind 20-0 off the start of the game, kept it under 20 until early in the third and then completely ran out of gas in a 52 point loss to the Jackrabbits.  Winnipeg's crew of three new players with U.S. ties including 6'0" Kenny Perry (transfer from USF, originally expected to attend Western last season), 6'6" Benny Iko (transfer/Howard JuCo, originally from Maryland) and 6'6" Kelvin Smith (Los Angeles Price) led the way offensively.  The Wesmen have up to 11 new faces on their roster, looking to improve on a 1-19 record in CW play in 2009-10. 

Here is a Box Score

Story from Argus, SD newspaper

Monday, 23 August 2010

South Dakota State at Winnipeg LIVE! webcasting

Tonight's South Dakota State at Winnipeg Border Wars game from the Duckworth Center is available on live! webcasting via the Internet at no charge, beginning tonight at 8:30 PM CT/9:30 PM ET.

The Argus S.D. Leader provides a preview of the Jackrabbits four game set against the Wesmen (tonight and Thursday) and Manitoba Bisons (Tuesday and Friday).

South Dakota State Jackrabbits Canadian Tour Schedule (all times listed as Central time)
Today: SDSU vs. the University of Winnipeg, 8:30 p.m
Tuesday: SDSU at the University of Manitoba, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: SDSU at the University of Winnipeg, 8:30 p.m.
Friday: SDSU at the University of Manitoba, 7:30 p.m.

Maine prepares for Canada trip starting with Bishop's tomorrow night

The Bangor News reports on Black Bears trip to Canada which allows two Canadians to play at home.  Maine's first game is this coming Wednesday night at Bishop's and Gaiters coach Rod Gilpin has been getting his troops ready to play the veteran-laden Black Bears. 

Bishop's will not have their entire roster Wednesday night as Ryan Steele and Chris East are both still employed with summer jobs and are unavailable.  Also 6’10 freshman Mike Andrews, expected to compete for a starting stop up front, will miss tomorrow's game with an ankle sprain.  Second year post Pat Shier is also busy competing with the Gaiters varsity rugby team and will rejoin Bishop's in November.

Bishop's added another strong recruit to their already-deep class with late addition of 6'0" Sean Monplaisir, originally from Scarborough West Hill, where he graduated in 2007-08 and played for coach Wayne Dawkins.  Gilpin recruited Monplaisir hard two seasons ago however he chose to chase his NCAA dream.  His journey took him to Globe Institute of Technology in Lower Manhatten (New York), NY a U.S. JUCO, where he spent the past two seasons but has now transfered back and is quoted as being very happy to do so.  Gilpin describes Monplaisir as "a strong defender who rebounds well from the point guard position".  Expect him to allow Bishop's to be more aggressive on the perimeter and in the full court defensively and run in transition that much more.

Game time Tuesday night in Lennoxville is 7 PM at the Mitchell Gym.

Joseph status for Gophers Canadian Tour remains uncertain

6'3" guard Devoe Joseph from Pickering, ON, who had a tremendous sophomore season with the Golden Gophers but sustained an injury while playing with Canada's national program this summer, may not be available to Minnesota when they meet three top Canada West teams this coming weekend in British Columbia.  The Gophers will welcome back one of their top big men to the lineup however.

Mbakwe practices with Gophers, Joseph still out

Gophers junior forward Trevor Mbakwe practiced for the first time today since he was reinstated to the basketball program this month.

University of Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi lifted Mbakwe's suspension Aug. 12 after Mbakwe agreed to a pretrial intervention program that, on completion, will result in felony assault charges against him in Miami being dropped. Mbakwe was suspended for the 2009-10 season pending the outcome of the case.

...Read More

This article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune claims that Joseph will not be available for the trip

Lebanon defeats Canada on final day of Efes Pilsen Cup

Despite 20 points including 6-10 shooting from downtown from 6'5" Olu Famutimi, Canada was defeated 88-76 by Lebanon.  U.S.-born Lebanese-American 6'10" Jackson Vroman had 17 points and 7 rebounds to lead Lebanon.  6'5" Denham Brown added 9 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in 30 minutes for Canada.

The two sides meet again, this time for keeps, on Saturday as the FIBA 2010 World Basketball championships commence. 

Canada got to within 4 at 61-57 in the third quarter but a 10-3 Lebanon run restored a double digit lead and Canada could not get the game back to less than 8.  Canada again played without 6'5" Andy Rautins (status for World Championships unknown), but were also without 6'0" Tyler Kepkay (injured vs. Turkey), 6'6" Jermaine Bucknor and 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp (both precautionary measures) for today's match.  All three are expected to be ready for Saturday while no official word on whether Rautins will be ready.


CANADA (76): Jermaine Anderson 7 (3 asist), Ryan Bell 1 (3 asist), Denham Brown 9 (9 ribaund- 7 asist), Olu Famutimi 20 (4 ribaund), Rob Sacre 6 (2 ribaund), Jevohn Shepherd 6 (3 ribaund), Levon Kendall 9 (6 ribaund- 3 asist), Joel Anthony 6 (4 ribaund), Kelly Olynyk 12 (3 ribaund)
LEBANON (88): Jean Abdel-nour 6 (2 ribaund), Jackson Vroman 17 (7 ribaund- 4 asist), Ali Mahmoud 5 (3 ribaund- 3 asist), Rony Fahed 8 (4 ribaund- 7 asist), Elias Rustom 12 (1 ribaund), Elie Estephan 1, Ali Kanaan 2 (1 ribaund- 1 asist), Rodrigue Akl (1 asist), Ali Fakhredine 2 (2 ribaund- 2 asist), Matthew Freije 16 (8 ribaund- 2 asist), Ghaleb Reda 4, Fadi El Khatib 15 (4 ribaund- 3 asist)

Brandon loses Kraus, adds U.S. Big Man

The loss of pg Andrew Kraus has left newly-appointed Brandon Head Coach Gil Cheung scrambling to find a point guard  .  However the Cats announced the arrival of a blue chip forward from California:  6'8" Isaiah James from San Jose City College a two-time Coast South conference MVP with tremendous athleticism  Isaiah "Fox" James YouTube video from San Jose CC career

6'8" Isaiah James from California commits to Brandon

Brandon University men’s basketball coach Gil Cheung has added his second recruit for the 2010-2011season. Isaiah James, a 6’8” forward from San Jose, California, will hit the court for the Bobcats this fall.
“Isaiah fills our biggest need on and off the court. He is an extremely active scorer, rebounder and shot blocker, who will be able to anchor our pressure on the defensive end,” said Cheung. “He is also a great fit for us in the classroom as he comes to us with a 3.2GPA and is a leader with great character as well. I know he will be a fan favorite with his style of play. He is a high-flyer and is able to finish above the rim.”

...Read More

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Turks slam Canada 84-53

Turkey scored the first 9 points of the game, led 17-6 midway through the first quarter and by 17 at the half on the way to an easy victory against Canada on the second day of the Efes Pilsen World Cup in Turkey.  The Turks had 4 players in double figures and extended their lead to as much as 37 in the second half against a Canadian side that could must only 33 points by the end of the third quarter.  Turkey got 9 points from 6'10" ex-Toronto Raptor Hedo Turkoglu and played without 6'7" Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan İlyasova, who is expected to play in the FIBA World Championships.  6'11" Mehmet Okur of the Utah Jazz will unfortunately miss the tournament for Turkey as he recovers from injury but should be ready to begin the NBA season in October.  6'9" Kelly Olynyk led Canada (0-2 in the tournament, 1-4 in Europe, 4-4 overall in pre-tournament games) with 9 points.  6'7" Aaron Doornekamp had 10 rebounds for Canada.

Box Score

Canada meets Lebanon tomorrow as the tournament closes.

TÜRKEY (84): Cenk Akyol 11 (3 ribaund- 1 asist), Sinan Güler 1 (3 asist), Ömer Aşık 14 (6 ribaund), Ömer Onan 17 (2 asist), Semih Erden 8 (3 ribaund- 3 asist), Kerem Tunçeri 5 (1 ribaund- 3 asist), Oğuz Savaş 12 (8 ribaund- 2 asist), Kerem Gönlüm 5 (5 ribaund- 1 asist), Ender Arslan 2 (3 asist), Barış Ermiş (2 asist), Hidayet Türkoğlu 9 (7 ribaund- 2 asist), Cevher Özer (1 ribaund)

CANADA (53): Jermaine Anderson 2 (3 ribaund- 3 asist) , Tyler Kepkay (2 ribaund- 1 asist), Ryan Bell 4 (1 ribaund), Denham Brown 4 (3 ribaund- 4 asist) Olu Famutimi 7 (4 ribaund- 1 asist), Aaron Doormekamp 5 (10 ribaund- 1 asist) Rob Sacre 7 (5 ribaund), Jevohn Shepherd 5 (2 ribaund), Joel Anthony 6 (5 ribaund), Kelly Olynyk 9 (1 ribaund), Kyle Landry 4

1.PERİYOT: 28-13

2. PERİYOT: 17-15

3. PERİYOT: 23-5

4. PERİYOT: 16-20

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Delfino's 26 carries Argentines past Canada

Ex-Raptor Carlos Delfino scored 26 points and Argentina pulled away for a 79-64 win in the first round of Efes Pilsen World Cup in Turkey.  Canada led by 6 at halftime and trailed by only 2 after three quarters but Argentina, led by Delfino, 6'10" Luis Scola and 6'7" Andreas Nocioni pulled away for the comfortable win.  Jevohn Shepherd and Denham Brown led Canada offensively on the day that Canada found out for certain that they would be without Matt Bonner for the tournament who was denied quick citizenship.  Canada meets the host Turks, with another ex-Raptor Hedo Turkoglu, tomorrow on Day 2 of this warm-up tournament.

Lebanon Preview

Canada meets Lebanon twice this week, beginning on the third day of the upcoming Efes Pilsen World Cup tournament in Turkey (Monday).  The Lebanese recently captured 2010 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup in Beirut, confirming their ticket for 2011 FIBA Asia Men's Championships - this tournament determines which teams will represent Asia at the 2012 London Olympics.  The Stankovic Cup was also a nice tune-up for the worlds.  The Lebanese have steadily improved their overall talent and with American-bred coach Tab Baldwin, who put New Zealand on the basketball map with a semi-final finishes at the 2002 World Championships, at the helm, expect Lebanon to continue to improve.

Although most agree that ex-NBAer 6'11" Rony Seikaly is the greatest Lebanese player ever, many feel 6'6" Fadi al-Khatib a tremendous offensive player is Lebanon's greatest modern-day player.  al-Khatib established himself at the 2006 Worlds, averaging 18.8 ppg and is now fit after suffering through a season of injuries.  He was Lebanon's most consistent scoring threat at the Stankovic Cup.    

Complementing al-Khatib inside is 6'10" Jackson Vroman, a Lebanese-American from California who playe at Iowa State and was a 2nd round pick of the Chicago Bulls in 2004.  He played a couple of seasons in the NBA with Phoenix and the Hornets before being involved in a blockbuster trade that involved Jimmy Jackson.  Since then, he has played in Europe and should test Canada's Joel Anthony and Co. inside for Lebanon.  6'1" Rony Fahed a veteran of the Lebanese leagues is one of Lebanon's top 3 point shooters and scored 23 points in the Stankovic Cup championship game. 

Lebanon also features a pair of Lebanese-Canadians, the previously-mentioned Ali Mahmoud, who played at Ottawa St. Patrick's H.S. and then one season with CIS Ottawa Gee-Gees where he was an OUA East All-Freshman team selection.  6'9" Ali Kanaan, who just graduated from UMass-Lowell, an NCAA Division II program, where he averaged 8.0 ppg/3.9 rpg in 22 mpg as a senior last season also has significant ties to Canada.  Kanaan was born in Lebanon but grew up in Montreal, playing his CEGEP basketball at Montmorency, where he was Quebec playoff MVP in his final season. 

Although not selected for the Lebanese National team for the coming World championships, expect 6'7" Ahmad Ibrahim, a 16 year old talent who currently attends Patterson High School in Texas and is rated as a 4 star recruit by Rivals.com and has received several NCAA D1 offers already, to make an impact on his national team before all is said and done.

Given these teams will play twice in a week, expect Monday's game to be little more than a pick-up game/tune-up as both teams will likely save their best for the opening day of the World Championships next Saturday.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Hot off the wire ! TSN2 to broadcast all Canadian FIBA World Championship games

This issue had been up in the air for a while however chalk up another milestone for Wayne Parrish as Canada Basketball announced moments ago that TSN2 will feature all Team Canada games at the FIBA 2010 World Championships.  Coverage begins on Saturday, August 28th with Canada vs. Lebanon at 11:30 AM ET live from Turkey.

Note:  Canada Basketball advises that TSN2 will be picking up the FIBA feed for play-by-play and colour commentary.

TSN2’s broadcast schedule for the 2010 FIBA World Championship
Saturday, Aug. 28 – Canada vs. Lebanon at 11:30 a.m. ET
Sunday, Aug. 29 – Canada vs. Lithuania at 9 a.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 31 – Canada vs. France at 11:30 a.m. ET
Wednesday, Sept. 1 – Canada vs. New Zealand at 9 a.m. ET
Thursday, Sept. 2 – Canada vs. Spain at 9 a.m. ET
Additional games to be confirmed.

“The FIBA World Championship is one of the premiere international basketball events featuring many of the world’s best players,”
"We are thrilled that TSN2 will have all of the action from Team Canada as it looks to put its mark on the international stage."

Stewart Johnston, Vice-President, Programming, TSN.

"Following on the heels of our recent domestic series, this is a major step as we continue to build the profile of Canada Basketball, our national teams and the international game across the country,"  "Canada has a strong and vibrant basketball community, and we couldn't be more delighted than to have TSN2 recognize that with a multi-year commitment to broadcast our major championships. Now, basketball fans from coast to coast can experience the passion, pride and excitement of international basketball starting with the biggest global basketball events of 2010 – the FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP and the FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN."
Wayne Parrish, Executive Director and CEO, Canada Basketball.

Efes Pilson World Cup starts today

Article from an English-written Turkish newspaper

Efes Pilson World Cup starts today

Turkey is competing in the Efes Pilsen World Cup, its final preparatory tournament before the FIBA 2010 World Basketball Championship.

Ankara will host the ninth edition of the Efes Pilsen World Cup, which will feature matches between Argentina, Canada, Lebanon and Turkey, starting Saturday. All matches of the three-day tournament will be played in the Ankara Sports Hall, which will also host Group C matches for the World Basketball Championship.

...Read More

Greece and Serbia go at it.... literally

Thanks to Fatih Akser for sending along this clip of a pretty wild scrap between Greece and Serbia yesterday on the final day of Acropolis tournament.

Nenad Krstic released from jail after brawl

Greeks, Serbs brawl in Athens

Canada looks to get healthy

Canada gets set to meet FIBA #1 Argentina this coming Saturday at the Efes Pilsen tournament in Turkey, the final tuneup tournament (3 games in 3 days) prior to the start of the FIBA World championships later this month.  Canada also will tangle with the host Turks who feature former Toronto Raptor Hedo Turkoglu as well as emerging 6'10" Ersan Ilyasova, who was a solid rotation guy with Milwaukee Bucks this past season, averaging over 10 ppg.

Follow Efes Pilsen World Cup 9 beginning with Argentina/Canada, which begins at 12:30 PM ET on Saturday via this tournament live stats & statistics link

Canada's Motto:  Get Healthy (Globe & Mail article by Michael Grange)

Coach Leo Rautins just wants his Canadian men’s national basketball team to be in good health when they reach the world championship in Turkey at the end of the month.
Topping the list of concerns is his son, Andy Rautins, a New York Knicks draft pick and the national team’s leading scorer last summer. He is sidelined with pain in his surgically repaired left knee, in which he tore his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Canada at the Tournament of the Americas in 2007. Rautins tweaked the knee in the second of two games against France in Toronto last week, and did not play in a subsequent tournament in Greece.

...Read More

Also, BC newspaper North Shore outlook profiles Tyler Kepkay and Robert Sacre

Cincinnati Bearcats prepare for Canadian Trip

This is the second trip for a Mick Cronin-coached team to Eastern Ontario as he previously brought up his final Murray State Racers team several years ago before accepting the Cincinnati job.  Cronin, a Cincinnati native, worked on the coaching staff of Louisville Cardinals under Rick Pitino and later under Bob Huggins in Cincinnati before accepting the Racers job.  He calls the Cincinnati position his "dream job".

Last season, the Bearcats had a nice run deep into the Big East tournament before losing their first-round NCAA tournament game against Dayton Racers.  Cincinnati visits Ottawa during the Labour Day weekend to face McGill Redmen (Friday night at Carleton), Carleton Ravens (Saturday at Scotiabank Place 6 PM) and Sunday at uOttawa Gee-Gees.

Canadian Crossover (from gobearcats.com)

UC Basketball prepares for Canada (Cincinnat Enquirer)

Still no Rashad Bishop in Bearcats camp  also  ESPN Article

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Slovenia 86, Canada 71 on Day 3 of Acropolis Tournament

Slovenia scored the final 6 points of the first half to take a double digit lead into halftime and then went on an 8-0 run late in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 19 in dropping Canada (1-2) on the third and final day of play at the Acropolis Tournament in Athens, one of two European tournaments the Canadians are participating in as a tune-up for the FIBA World Championships in Turkey which begin in about one week.

Slovenia's 6'1" guard Jaka Lakovic went 5-6 from downtown (including a perfect 3-3 in the first half) to lead all scorers with 19 points while smooth-shooting 6'10" NBA veteran Bostjan Nachbar, now with Efes Pilsen in Turkey, added 11 points.  6'10" Uros Slokar, originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors, had a big first half, scoring all of his 10 points before playing sparingly in the second half.  Slovenia also features 6'4" point guard Goran Dragic (4 points, 24 minutes) who had a breakthrough season, especially in the playoffs as Steve Nash's backup with the Phoenix Suns,  and 7'1" Primoz Brezec (6 points, 12 minutes) another ex-Raptor and NBA veteran who most recently played with Milwaukee.

Slovenia extended a late 5 point lead to 11 by halftime at 43-32 as Slokar knocked down both his 3's and Lakovic had his three threes in the first half, part of a 6-10 Slovenia effort from beyond the arc in the opening frame.  Slovenia finished 11-20 from downtown overall.

6'5" Jevohn Shepherd had 13 points for Canada including several late in the game when Slovenia had their bench in the game while 6'10" Joel Anthony added 11 points, all early when it was still a game.  Canada shot just 15-51 from two point land including a 1-11 effort from inside the arc from 6'5" Denham Brown.  Canada will finish fourth in this tournament.

Canada was again hampered by the unavailability of 6'5" Andy Rautins, who did not play at all in this tournament, and 6'5" Olu Famutimi, who played just 7 minutes against Greece, did not play yesterday and had only 14 minutes today.  This leaves the Canadian lineup as 6'1" Jermaine Anderson at the point (backed up by 5'11" Tyler Kepkay and 6'4" Ryan Bell), wings Famutimi, 6'5" Jermaine Bucknor, 6'5" Denham Brown, 6'5" Jevohn Shepherd, 6'7" swingmen Aaron Doornekamp and 6'10" Kelly Olynyk and bigs 6'11" Joel Anthony, 6'10" Levon Kendall and 7'0" Robert Sacre.

Canada now travels to Turkey to participate in the Efes Pilsen tournament, the final tune-up for the FIBA World Championships also in Turkey.  At Efes Pilsen event, which begins on Saturday, Canada faces (in order) #1 Argentina, #18 Turkey and #24 Lebanon.  Lebanon features ex-Ottawa Gee-Gees guard Ali Mahmoud, a regular in the Lebanese rotation.

Box Score

Current Tournament Standings:
Greece 2-0
Serbia 1-1 (-3 in games vs. Canada and Slovenia)
Slovenia 1-2 (+14 in games vs. Canada and Serbia)
Canada 1-2 (-11 in games vs. Serbia and Slovenia)

Canada Basketball Media Release


August 19, 2010

(Athens, Greece) Canada's Senior Men concluded their trip to Greece with a 71-86 loss to Slovenia in their final game of the Arcopolis-Eurobank Tournament. Toronto native Jevohn Shepherd led the Canadians in scoring with 13 points. Montreal native Joel Anthony added 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

The Canadian Senior Men's National team (SMNT) will now travel to Turkey for the Efes Pilsen Cup Tournament from August 21-23 in Ankara, Turkey. Team Canada will face off against Argentina, Turkey and Lebanon for their final preparation for the FIBA World Championship.

Canada's opening match against Argentina tips off Saturday, August 21 at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) and game summaries will be posted on http://www.basketball.ca

Game Details:
Basketball.ca – game report link

Head Coach Leo Rautins Quotes:

"Tonight was a great example of how you need come focused every night with the right energy level and trust each other on the court," said Leo Rautins, Head Coach of SMNT.

"We need to refocus now and use this experience in Greece to help us as we head into the Efes Pilsen Cup and face strong competition in Argentina, Turkey and Lebanon," added Rautins. "Our goal is to use these games to prepare our team to peak as the World Championships begin on August 28th.

Top Scorer Jevohn Shepherd Quote:

"Tonight we didn't play a full 40 minutes and didn't match their aggression which cost us in the end," said Shepherd. "Now we have a few practices and three games left to make the adjustments before heading into the World Championship."

2010 Efes Pilsen Cup Tournament Details

2010 FIBA World Championship Details

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sihota officially signs in Holland; Dino Preview

Again thanks to Wayne Thomas for insights into Robbie Sihota's signing in Holland, hooking on with Rotterdam Wanderers, where he will play against former teammates Ross and Henry Bekkering, who are on two other teams in the same league.  Rotterdam is in the south of Holland if my geography serves (spent some time there a long time ago) and is a port city that was modernized after taking it pretty good in WW II.  As our observant yet still-anonymous Canada West correspondent notes:   Henry's (GasTerra F.) and Ross's (ZZ Leiden) teams are the only Netherlands outfits listed in major European club competitions this season.  Here is the brief Eurobasket release

Sihota signing, Dinos update/preview from Wayne Thomas

Rootes first class scores several impact recruits

Press Release from Shawn Whiteley (Brock SID)

The start of Brad Rootes tenure at Brock got off to an inauspicous beginning with the transfer of last season's CIS Freshman of the Year Clinton Springer-Williams to Gannon, an NCAA Division II school in Erie, PA where he has accepted a full scholarship and will be eligible to play immediately.  Normally, losing your best scorer would result in a significant set back to the program, however with their most recent recruiting class, the Badgers appear to have offset the loss of a potential budding All-Canadian candidate. 

Highlighting the class is the return to Canada of 6'5" Tshing Kasamba, originally from St. Catharines St. Francis where he played for former Badger Pat Sullivan.  Kasamba spent the past two seasons at Chicago State, an NCAA Division 1 program in the Great West conference.  Although Kasamba started and was a key contributor in both his seasons in Chicago, the Cougars went through a coaching change and he has transfered back home but will have to sit out this season as a redshirt transfer.  Kasamba was one of the top high school players in Ontario in 2006-07 and '07-'08, leading his club to the OFSAA "AA" championship game in Perth in 2007.  Expect him to be an immediate impact player in the OUA when he is scheduled to suit up in 2011-12.

Rootes got some immediate help to his back court as Brandon transfer Andrew Kraus, a 6'1" fifth-year guard and 6'3" Cedric Kasongo, another in the long line of great players from Welland Notre Dame, committed after being courted by several CIS schools.  Ironically, Kraus, who has enrolled in graduate school so will be eligible immediately, faced off against Rootes the player when the two met for a CIS National championship three seasons ago in Ottawa with the Badgers taking their second National championship under Ken Murray.  Kraus, son of long-time Markham area coach George Kraus, brings instant veteran leadership to the most important position on the floor and should be a tremendous mentor for Brock's stable of young talent.  He is especially important given the uncertain status of incumbent 5'11" point guard Joel Whitty who has been dealing with the effects of several concussions.

Kasongo is a big guard who has excellent court vision and is a tremendous passer with both hands.  Kasongo joins former Notre Dame teammate Anto Raic, entering his sophomore season with the Badgers.  Expect Kasongo to grow into the key decision making role in the backcourt, working closely with Kraus and Whitty.

Brock also adds another in the long line of CIS players from St. Catharines Governor Simcoe with Jay Fast, the son of Brock/Niagara Region legend, former All-Canadian (early 80's) Doug Fast. The younger Fast was an All-Niagara selection the past two seasons with the Redcoats.

Even with the loss of Springer-Williams and 6'6" Andrew Cicuttini who left the team late last season, the Badgers return former CIS Rookie-of-the-Year 6'1" Didi Mukendi, Whitty, forwards 6'6" Mark Gibson and 6'8" Brian Nahimana plus Raic and athletic guard Mike Cruikshank among several others.  The talent remains in this program to make an impact at the upper echelons of the OUA West as the young group matures and Rootes makes what for some others has been a challenging transition from player to assistant coach to Head Coach.

To help ease the transition, Rootes has brought in a nice stable of coaches including Brian "Mugsy" Mulligan, another Niagara Falls native, plus Team Ontario U-15 mentor Craig Steel.  As well, the Badgers have retained the services of Chris Ward, who has ties to the N.B.A. as a fundamentals coach.  Ward will be with the team periodically for spurts during the season and his main responsibility is likely to teach individual skills.

Brock hosts a pair of Canada West teams:  Manitoba and Fraser Valley during the first full weekend in October and then travels to UPEI for the Mickey Place tournament and also hosts Acadia later in October.

Canada bounces back to beat Serbia

Recovering from an embarrasing loss yesterday, Canada showed resiliance to defeat Serbia 62-58 as 6'5" Denham Brown had maybe his best offensive performance in a Canadian uniform with 22 points.  Jevohn Shepherd added 12 while Carleton grad Aaron Doornekamp led all rebounders with 10.  Fellow CIS grad Ryan Bell also saw action, scoring 3 points while playing 15 minutes as the back up to point guard Jermaine Anderson.  The Canadians led by 8 going into the final quarter and overcame 20 turnovers.  Once again, 6'5" Andy Rautins was out of the Canadian lineup.

Serbia, who had defeated Slovenia 82-81 on the first day of the tournament, played without 6'11" NBA veteran Nenad Krstic.

Globe and Mail piece with quotes from Coach Leo Rautins and wing Denham Brown

Box Score

USA Today game report

Canada faces Slovenia tomorrow with a chance at second place in the tournament.

Fraser Valley wins again

Sam Freeman's steal and subsequent lay-in with 1:13 remaining in the game broke a tie and started a game-deciding 6-1 run to lift Barnaby Craddock's Cascades to a narrow 71-69 victory over Idaho State Bengals last night.  Freeman's dramatics broke the tenth and final tie of the game - he added another offensive rebound a lay-in later as Fraser Valley made it two in a row against NCAA Division 1 competition this month agfter a victory earlier over San Diego.  Cascades Joel Friesen had 15 of his game-high 23 points (including 4-8 shooting from downtown) in the second half while Freeman added 16 points and guard Sheldon Bjorgaard has 10 points, 8 assists (only 2 turnovers) and 4 rebounds.  The game was played using FIBA rules and it is unfortunate that the attached game commentary seems to focus on how the rules got in the way instead of crediting Fraser Valley.  The game vs. Fraser Valley is the only match vs. CIS competition for the Bengals although they will meet a pair of CCAA teams in the next couple of days.

Box Score

Rana continues Rye makeover

After starting his CIS coaching career late last summer with only weeks to prepare for the coming season, little was expected of Roy Rana's first Ryerson team.  However almost from the beginning the Rams displayed a discipline and grit that was the trademark of Rana's numerous OFSAA championship teams at Toronto's Eastern Commerce as Rana clearly put his stamp on the program clearly making his players accountable.  The result was a playoff appearance and a near-upset victory at Queen's which Rye had the game won until a late game meltdown.

Whispers had been circulating around the return of 6'7" Boris Bakovic to the Rams however Bakovic, who arguably had the greatest career of any Ryerson player in history, will pursue a professional career, likely overseas in Europe.  Rana is very pleased to welcome back 6'3" fifth-year senior Ryan McNeilly who should be the leader of this young but talented team.  McNeilly is a big guard who can rebound, shoot 3's and has steadily improved each and every year of his career. 

On the recruiting trail, Rana worked hard to continue to mould his group into one which can rely on their defense to create easy transition scores and generally play an athletic, up tempo game.  Rana significantly upgraded his group at the guard spots, beginning with the commitment of 6'1" combo guard Ola Adegboruwa, an experienced impact player who should log significant minutes immediately and be very comfortable pressuring the ball and running.  Adegboruwa played his high school basketball for legendary Toronto area coach Bob Maydo at Emery Collegiate, leading the Hillmen to OFSAA in 2004-05.  At Emery, Adegbourwa teamed with current Rye forward Steven Williams, entering his fifth and final season at Ryerson.  He then spent his first two seasons of post-secondary basketball at U.S. Juco (Lake Region State), most recently in 2007-08 when he averaged a team-high 16.6 ppg.  In what may turn out to be one of the more dynamic backcourts in the country before all is said and done, Ryerson brings in 6'0" Jahmal Jones (Mississauga S.S.), Hoopstars Canada #9 graduating point guard and a player Rana hopes he can give the reigns to from Day One.  Another solid, athletic wing, 6'3" shooting guard Jordon Gauthier (Windsor Herman) can score the ball and is another in the growing line of athletes who should allow the Rams to be more aggressive defensively. 

Ryerson continued the makeover on the front line with the addition of 6'7" Bjorn Michaelsen (Montreal, QC/Champlain-St. Lambert), a solid post player who has already spent time at a top CEGEP playing against top Quebec competition.  Complementing Michaelsen is 6'6" Jelano Pryce from Barrie, ON, a four man with an "intriguing skill set" according to Rana with the length to be a solid shot blocker inside but with a nice package of offensive skills facing the basket and in the paint.  6'8" Eric Hobson from Kanata All Saints will also push for time in the middle.

Ryerson welcomes six new players, all of whom should be impactful and push for rotation minutes.  The new-look Rams get going on Oct. 9th at home against Sheridan Bruins (OCAA) before heading on the road to tournaments in Montreal (Concordia NIKE Invitational) and Waterloo (Naismith).  Rams then host Humber and Bishop's on the Hallowe'en weekend before beginning their regular season. 

Ryerson will also host the 1st Annual National Invitational Tournament between Christmas and New Year's, welcoming Alberta Golden Bears, UNB Varsity Reds, Waterloo Warriors, Algoma College (OCAA), York Lions, Toronto Varsity Blues and NAIA finalists from a year ago Walsh College from Ohio.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Canada hammered in first game at Acropolis tournament

The host Greeks defeated a travel-weary Canadian side 123-49 at the indoor Olympic Stadium in Athens today as the three-day Greece Acropolis Basketball Tournament kicked off today.  Canada fell behind 27-6 against the hosts and never recovered against one of the top teams in the world.  Jevohn Shepherd had 12 for Canada while Denham Brown added 10.  Canada played without sharpshooting guard Andy Rautins.

In the other game, Serbia defeated Slovenia 82-81. Canada faces Serbia in a game that begins at 2 PM ET. In the photo below, Canadians Joel Anthony, Jevohn Shepherd and Kelly Olynyk battle for a rebound with an unidentified Greek player.

Kentucky 104, Windsor 75

The Cats built an 18 point halftime lead and coasted to the win in front of almost 2,000 fans this morning at the St. Denis Center.  Lancers were led by 5'11" guard Monty Hardware with 23 points, while 6'1" Isaac Kuon added 16 points and 7 assists.  6'8" sophomore Lien Phillip had another strong, promising game in the blocks for the Lancers as he finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds.

Game report from Windsor site

Louisville Courier-Journal game report

Golden Hawks add key scorer, look to secure backcourt

Coming off an encouraging playoff run that began with an upset victory at Western and culminating in an 8 point loss at eventual OUA West champions Windsor Lancers after being tied at halftime, Peter Campbell's Laurier Golden Hawks look to take the next step with the arrival of another in the growing, annual line of top newcomers:  6'6" Pat Donnelly, originally from Oakville, who spent last season at Procter Academy Prep in the US.  Donnelly joins former OUA West Rookie-of-the-Year 6'5" Kale Harrison, who last season joined the Hawks career 1,000 point club, and All-Freshman team choice 6'6" Max Allin to potentially form an imposing front line.  Campbell must find a replacement for graduated 2nd team OUA West all-star Jesse MacDonald, who was his toughest and best decision making back court player.  5'10" Travis Berry looks to evolve into that decision-maker, encouraged by his team-high 18 point effort in the playoff loss to Windsor.  Laurier also loses 6'8" shotblocking sensation Andrew Pennycook (graduated) and 6'5" Evan Schwantz, who will be on year-long academic exchange abroad.  Underrated, hard working 6'5" Matt Buckley will provide depth up front as will 6'5" Connor Meschino but the need for the back court to develop led by Berry and 6'1" Sharif Wanis will go a long way toward how well the Hawks progress.  Expect 6'3" freshman Jamar Forde 6’3” G/F (Mississauga, ON/St. Francis Xavier) to also be in the mix in the backcourt with his ability to defend and rebound.  Expect another freshman 6'3" Matt Blaha (Oakville St Thomas Aquinas) to stretch defenses with his long-range shooting - Blaha also has a shooter's mentality who will not lose confidence but does have room to work on his ball handling and ability to get to the rim.  The Hawks host UBC and UQAM in pre-season games at home and also host the Hawk Challenge with Concordia, Cape Breton their opponents (Mac is the fourth team).  Laurier also travels to Sudbury to participate in the Laurentian tournament where among their opponents will be Dalhousie, coached by Peter's son John Campbell.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Kentucky 96, Western 68

The Mustangs hung around for much of the first half, getting it to 5 at 38-33 on a three by 6'4" freshman Quinn Henderson (Dundas Parkside) but the 'Cats scored the final 6 points of the frame to lead by 11 and then broke the game open by creating numerous Mustang turnovers off full court pressure and then converting in transition.  6'8" Adam Jespersen made his Western debut memorable scoring 21 points and adding 9 rebounds - Jespersen appears to be a difference maker in the Mustangs lineup.  Mustangs lost the services of 6'5" OUA West First team all-star & Second team All-Canadian Andrew Wedemire early in the second half when he took a charge on Kentucky's star guard Brandon Knight in the lane, appearing to favour his hand and did not return.  Wedemire had an injury-plague career (mainly his knees) and showed last season that when healthy he is as crafty and quick as any post player in the nation.  The game was played before another packed house of 2,200 fans at the St. Denis Center in Windsor in what again was a pro-KU crowd.

The Cats finish their three-day, three-game tour of Canada with an 11 AM matchup against the Windsor Lancers tomorrow morning.

Cats whip 'Stangs (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Kentucky explodes in the second half to defeat Western  (Andy Watson - UWO SID)

Pronghorns Preview from Lethbridge Herald

Dylan Purcell from the Herald has a thorough piece on the 'Horns under second-year Head Coach Dave Adams with the key question being who will replace All-conference guard Jeff Price and at least two other graduating seniors in Robin Cooper and Remmington Stemler up front.  But replacing Price's minutes, scoring and, most importantly, decision-making capabilities, will determine whether the 'Horns can return to the Canada West playoffs after doing so impressively last season in Adams first season in the new millineum.

Pronghorns ready for transition (Lethbridge Herald)

Written by Dylan Purcell

Monday, August 16 2010, 6:21 PM
So, who’s going to replace Jeff Price?

That’s the question for University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s basketball coach Dave Adams.

He’s had to deliberate on the matter since Price announced he would not return for a second season with the team. Price was an invaluable member of the team last season, its on-court MVP, general, and leading scorer. But is the second team Canada West All-Star irreplaceable?

“Yes,” said Adams early last week, before his team embarked on a two-game set against the University of Northern Arizona in Calgary. The series wrapped up with a 83-62 loss Sunday. “He cannot be replaced by one player. We are not going to recruit a player who can replace what Jeff did for us last year.”

Even Nostradamus might consider that a dour prediction, but Adams said he’s not expecting one player to take Price’s place.

“I’m expecting all our players to replace Jeff Price.”

...Read More

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Kentucky runs away in second half to crush Windsor 95-62

Before a packed St. Denis Center and an electric atmosphere, the host Lancers did a great job of competing in the first half, taking a three point lead with about 6 minutes remaining in the opening frame before Kentucky's depth, athleticism and freshman sensation Brandon Knight all took over as the 'Cats hammered Windsor 95-62.

Windsor got solid performances early from 6'8" Liam Phillip and 6'7" Andre Smyth to stay close, culminating in a 9-1 Lancer run that gave the home side their largest lead of the night at 33-30.  But an 11-0 KU run allowed the 'Cats to hit halftime with a 43-35 lead as Knight led all scorers with 15 points and added 5 boards. 

The Lancers hung around for the first five minutes of the second half and when Smyth made a nice low-to-high feed to Phillip for an easy lay-in, forcing John Calipari to call a timeout, the Lancers were within striking distance at 54-41 with about 4 minutes gone in the second half.  But Kentucky's ability to guard the ball and cut off most passing lanes made it almost impossible for Windsor to get anything going to the rim and numerous turnovers led to easy run outs, allowing KU to go on a 28-6 run to seal the deal.  Knight finished with 31 points for Kentucky to lead all scorers.

Note that all KU games in Canada are available for free on the Internet (excellent quality tonight)

Northern Arizona 83, Lethbridge 62

The Jacks finish their tour at 4-1 with an easy win against the undermanned Horns, extending an 8 point first quarter lead into a 16 point lead at the half (41-25).  After trailing by over 20 in the third quarter, Lethbridge got the game back to within 14 at 58-44 but could get no closer. 

After playing with only 7 players against NAU earlier this week, Lethbridge welcomed back 6'7" sophomore Wes Chapman, who started the game, and 6'1" third-year shooting guard Quinn Van Gaalen but were still without newcomers Abner Kamps (eligibility paperwork not yet completed- but expected to be done so shortly) and Julian Spear-Chief Morris (injured).  Van Gaalen (11 points in 18 minutes) especially was a noticeable addition however the Lumberjacks were too much for the Horns on this day. 5'11" newcomer Zack Humphrey had 22 points including 6 for 16 from dowtown while 6'5" Randy Davis added 19 points.  6'3" Danhue Lawrence struggled, going 0-10 from the floor and finished with only 5 points.

Box Score

Also, as previously speculated by Wayne Thomas from dinoshoopsnews.com, we are being told that Calgary's Robbie Sihota signed a professional contract earlier this week in Holland.  Congratulations to Robbie Sihota, who brings to 3 the number of ex-Calgary Dinos playing in the Dutch League (along with Henry and Ross Bekkering).

FIBA World Championship Notes: Noah out; Spainish Roster, Greek Injuries

Likely old news to many but Joakim Noah has not been included on the French roster for the World Championships as he continues to negotiate a new contract with the Chicago Bulls. France is in Group D with Canada.

Bouroussis Out... Great blow for Greece as their starting C Ioannis Bouroussis got injured and will miss at least 10-15 days of training. The player suffered a fissure in the metacarpus during a training in Athens and although everyone feared that the player could even miss the World Championship the player himself ruled out such a case and will do his best to be ready on time. For the moment being Bouroussis will miss the Acropolis Cup (games vs Serbia, Slovenia, Canada) and the great friendly game against USA. Bouroussis is the second big man to get injured after Schortsianitis, something which might even secure a position in the 12-men squad for Panathinaikos' Ian Vouyoukas.

Greece dominates Love Cyprus tournament

The Spanish team is loaded with talent but is without Pau Gasol. Still, any squad with Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez, Jorge Garbajosa, Marc Gasol and Fran Vazquez is deep, talented, experienced and will be very tough to beat. Canada gets Spain in their final Group D matchup during the preliminary round of the World championships.

Argentina Update: Arg begins a warm-up series in Spain beginning today against the host Spainish and then Monday against Brazil. Argy recently announced their 12 man roster for the worlds as follows:
PG: Pablo Prigioni and Juan Pablo Cantero
SG: Carlos Delfino and Paolo Quinteros
SF: Andres Nocioni, Hernan Jasen and Federico Kammerichs
PF: Luis Scola and Leonardo Gutierrez
C: Fabricio Oberto, Juan Gutiérrez and Roman Gonzalez

Andres Nocioni is expected to play for the Argentinean team in the Efes Pilsen Tournament including when Argentina faces Canada on August 21st in another warm-up tournament.

Argentina is in a Group A of 2010 FIBA World Championship starting on August 28 in Kayseri which also includes Australia, Angola, Germany, Jordan and Serbia.

Big Blue Madness: Kentucky at Windsor tonight

The madness that is Kentucky Big Blue basketball nation will be in full force tonight in Windsor as the Wildcats kick off their three game set at the St. Denis Center. Games will be televised live to 22 states and will be on numerous different radio networks (flagship station WHAS Louisville unfortunately cannot be accessed over the Internet by non-U.S. residents and only those with access to U.S. Fox Sports networks will be able to watch the games). Here are some game-day articles to chew on:

New-look Kentucky basketball team to debut in Canada (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Canada trip more about basketball for Wildcats (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Calipari says televising games is crazy (Danville Advocate-Messenger)

Kentucky in town for three exhibition games (Detroit Free Press)

Border Wars: CIS vs. NCAA Schedule

Thus far the CIS is 3-15 vs. NCAA Division 1 opponents with Fraser Valley (2-0) and Calgary taking wins last week vs. visitors.

Monday, August 9
San Diego 73, Thompson Rivers 64; Preview
Wednesday, Aug. 11
Northern Arizona 106, Lethbridge 72
Fraser Valley 73, San Diego 61
Thursday, Aug. 12
San Diego 91, UBC 83 OT at Richmond, B.C. (Oval) also game report
Friday, Aug. 13
New Mexico State 65, Carleton 53
Calgary 89, Northern Arizona 65
Saturday, Aug. 14
Northern Arizona 80, Calgary 63
Sunday, Aug. 15
Northern Arizona 83, Lethbridge 62
Kentucky 95, Windsor 62
Monday, August 16
Kentucky 96, Western 68
Tuesday, August 17
Kentucky 104, Windsor 75
Fraser Valley 71, Idaho State 69
Monday, August 23rd
South Dakota State 105, Winnipeg 53
Tuesday, August 24th
Maine 81, Bishop's 54
South Dakota State 94, Manitoba 60
Wednesday, August 25th
Maine 87, McGill 66
Thursday, August 26th
Maine 79, UQAM 64
South Dakota State 94, Winnipeg 52
Friday, August 27th
TBA South Dakota State at Manitoba
Saturday, August 28th
1 p.m. ET Maine at Carleton
Sunday, August 29th
1 p.m. ET Maine at Laval
Friday, September 3rd
8 p.m. ET Cincinnati vs. McGill (at Carleton)
Minnesota at Trinity Western
Saturday, September 4th
7 PM PT Minnesota at UBC
6 PM ET Cincinnati at Carleton (Scotiabank Place)
Sunday, September 5th
2 p.m. ET Cincinnati at Ottawa
3 p.m. PT Minnesota at Victoria

SUNDAY, August 15th UPDATE: Idaho State have altered their schedule for their Canada tour It appears that their August 20th game originally thought to be against Trinity Western Spartans will not be played. Instead Idaho State will have one game vs. CIS competition, Tuesday, August 17th at Fraser Valley (7 PM PT). The Bengals (7-22 overall, 4-12 in the Big Sky conference last season) return much of their lineup from last season and have only one senior on the roster.
Late note: Ray Bala of Can Ball Report fame provides an update on Day 2 of the Canadian National Development team camp in Toronto including how it's going for several CIS players at the camp.

Once again this summer through the Labour Day weekend, CIS schools will host a series of NCAA Division 1 teams at various sites across the country with the highlight probably being the visit by the mighty Kentucky Wildcats to Windsor to meet the Lancers and Western Mustangs. Given the proximity of Windsor to the state of Kentucky and the mystic-like love affair the Bluegrass state has with its college basketball team, expect KU fans to travel in droves and proudly wear their team's colours in the St. Denis Center, bringing more pagentry and atmosphere to the games. Another marquee program, Minnesota Golden Gophers (the first program that Leo Rautins played for in '79-'80 when, as a freshman, he was second in the Big Ten in assists to Magic Johnson) travel to B.C. to meet UBC and UVic among others. The Gophers have made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances under head coach Tubby Smith, who won a national title with Kentucky in 1998 and an Olympic gold medal in 2000. This past year, the Gophers (21-14) made a run to the Big Ten tournament championship before losing and then bowed out in the first round of the NCAA tournament versus Xavier. Minnesota's lineup features notable Canadian talent on the roster with Pickering's Devoe Joseph and Scarborough's Maurice Walker. Both alumni of Canada's junior national team, Joseph will enter his junior year with the Gophers, while Walker was one of Minnesota's prized off-season recruits. Mick Cronin's Cincinnat Bearcats travel to Ottawa to face McGill, the Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens in a game that will be played at Scotiabank Place. Other teams coming north include Northern Arizona (to Calgary) and Maine (Eastern Ontario). Noteably, AUS teams, despite efforts to do so over the years, have not been able to pull off scheduling these types of games - hopefully the AUS office will get behind their men's basketball programs and support efforts to do so, which would make for excellent viewing in the Basketball Capital of Canada, where fans definitely deserve to see these games and, based on past support of CIS basketball, would embrace them.

Here are the schedule of games as of July 15th, 2010 - with thanks to Martin Timmerman for some games I missed

Monday, August 9
6 p.m. PT San Diego at Thompson Rivers
Wednesday, Aug. 11
7 p.m. MT Lethbridge vs. Northern Arizona
San Diego at Fraser Valley
Thursday, Aug. 12
11 AM San Diego vs. UBC at Richmond, B.C. (Oval)
8 p.m. MT Concordia (CCAA) vs. Northern Arizona
Friday, Aug. 13
7 p.m. ET New Mexico State at Carleton
7 p.m. MT Calgary vs. Northern Arizona
Saturday, Aug. 14
7 p.m. MT Calgary vs. Northern Arizona
New Mexico State at McGill
Sunday, Aug. 15
10 a.m. MT Lethbridge vs. Northern Arizona
7 p.m. ET Windsor vs. Kentucky
Monday, August 16
6 p.m. ET Western vs. Kentucky (at Windsor)
Idaho State at Fraser Valley
Tuesday, August 17
11 a.m. ET Windsor vs. Kentucky
Friday, August 20th
7 PM PT Idaho State at Trinity Western
Monday, August 23rd
South Dakota State at Winnipeg
Tuesday, August 24th
Maine at Bishop's
South Dakota State at Manitoba
Wednesday, August 25th
Maine at McGill
Thursday, August 26th
7 p.m. Maine at UQAM
South Dakota State at Winnipeg
Friday, August 27th
South Dakota State at Manitoba
Saturday, August 28th
1 p.m. Maine at Carleton
Sunday, August 29th
Maine at Laval
Friday, September 3rd
Cincinnati at Ottawa
Minnesota at Trinity Western
Saturday, September 4th
7 PM PT Minnesota at UBC
6 PM ET Cincinnati at Carleton (Scotiabank Place)
Sunday, September 5th
3 p.m. PT Minnesota at Victoria
Cincinnati vs. McGill (at Carleton)

Northern Arizona 80, Calgary 63

Avenging a lopsided loss on Friday, the Lumberjacks broke the game open with an 18-3 run midway through the third quarter to lead by 21, holding Calgary to 32% shooting for the game. NAU shot 47 percent for the game and had a six point halftime lead. The Dinos made one final run in the fourth quarter, culminating in a three by 5'9" sophomore guard Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (13 points, 4 assists, 31 minutes) to get the game to 67-59 with just under 4 minutes to play and after a Lumberjack "one and done" Calgary had the ball down 8. However, a turnover followed by a foul put the Jacks on the line and NAU scored the next 8 points to seal the deal.

6'9" Tyler Fidler led all scorers with 20 points and added 10 rebounds but shot only 2 for 8 from downtown and turned it over 5 times as the Dinos gave away 18 turnovers. Calgary trailed by 10 early in the second quarter but the Dinos switched to a 2/3 zone which gave NAU some trouble and back to back 3's by Fidler and Ogungbemi-Jackson brought Calgary back to within 4, allowing for the close halftime score.

Calgary was without the services of 6'7" fourth-year forward Dustin Reding, who was attending a wedding. Fidler and Ogungbemi-Jackson appear to be the focal points of Coach Dan Vanhooren's offense, taking many of the good looks and will be very effective Canada West players. Calgary's nice pair of high school recruits 6'4" Philip Labongo (Winnipeg Dakota), the second consecutive season the Dinos have reached into Winnipeg for a top recruit, and 6'7" Matt Letkeman (Abbotsford Yale) both started and are expected to log significant minutes this season.

The Lumberjacks were able to limit the looks for sharpshooting 6'3" sophomore Andrew McGuinness (he still went 3-6 from downtown) and fellow sophomore 6'5" Dan Tilleman. 6'8" Youri Annisovets (originally from Toronto Vaughan Road via Missouri State U.) should be in the mix up front for Calgary and was productive last night (6 points, 4 rebounds in 14 minutes). Vanhooren also gave 6'11" Gregg Farineau some run and his development into a productive front court presence would give Calgary a strong alternative in the middle.

(With notes from our Alberta-based correspondent).

Game Report from Northern Arizona site plus Box Score

Dinos show youth in loss (Calgary Dinos official web site)