Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Catching Up

There continues to be growth in the area of using the You Tube and other mediums to communicate video highlights from around the country.  Here are some from this past weekend in what is by no means a comprehensive list.  If we get some time, there is also the possibility of a periodic CISHoops.ca podcast thanks to a very thoughtful and competent member of the CIS basketball community; stay tuned - the offer has been made and it's up to me to do it.

Lakehead at Ottawa (Friday night) highlights

Windsor 68, Queen's 54 highlights   Lien Philip post-game comments

Windsor RMC highlights   Tyrone Bramble post game comments

Rookie interim Head Coach Brad Rootes enjoyed a 5-3 start to league play as the Brock Badgers look to return to the post-season.  While 6'2" Mike Cruickshank has had a number of strong offensive performances and 6'6" Mark Gibson had a tremendous 22 point, 11 rebound effort in the recent win against York and also was the hero down the stretch in the road win at Ottawa, the Badgers would likely not be in their current position without 6'1" point guard Andrew Kraus, who has been a mature leader keeping the young Badgers together and has sparked the offense most nights.  Brock has not been shy throwing up threes, throwing up a conference-leading 246 treys in 8 games (~31 threes attempted per game) - they rank 6th in 3FG percentage at 36.2%.  However, this past Friday night's victory over the Lions showed that Kraus can step up to the challenge defensively as the fifth-year veteran held York's high scoring guard 5'10" David Tyndale to just 12 points including a meaningless threes in the final minute of play.  Kraus may be one of the most valuable players to his team in the country.  Speaking of Tyndale, his tremendous first-half efforts included a career-high 33 points in the loss to Windsor, 29 against Laurier, 28 including a key bucket down the stretch in the win against Waterloo and the game-winning shot with under 2 seconds remaining in the home win against Western.  In the friendly confines of Tait MacKenzie Gym, the third-year guard averaged 26 ppg in the first half including 57% shooting (40 for 71 including 11-22 50% from three-point land).  However, on the road, Tyndale has been below average, going only 13-41 from the floor including 3-15 from 3 with 8 assists against 16 turnovers in his first three games away from home before coming alive with a blistering 5 for 5 shooting effort from downtown as York finished the first half with a road win at Guelph this past Saturday.  Tyndale's ability to carry his best offensive games into opposing gyms and improve his assist-to-turnover ratio (23 assists against 32 turnovers) will go a long way in determining if the Lions can push for an upper echelon finish in the OUA East and if Tyndale can vie for all-conference status as far as individual honours go.  Lions 6'10" Dejan Kravic is quickly showing that he is one of the best young big men in the entire country, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 55% as a sophomore and adding 3 blocks per game.  As Kravic improves his shot selection at key points in games and learns to better take advantage of his size and skills by drawing fouls (only 15 free throw attempts in 8 league games), expect him to vie for All-Canadian status before all is said and done.  The Lions have a chance to improve their road ways as they visit Sudbury this weekend in one of two OUA East regular season games this week (Queen's at RMC goes Thursday night in Kingston).  Ottawa Gee-Gees had a disappointing first half with only 2 league wins in 8 starts which included at least 3 last minute or overtime losses (Brock, at Western, Lakehead) and a solid effort into the final minutes at 7-1 Windsor.  Ottawa had to deal with a hamstring injury to 6'6" Warren Ward that kept him out of two games entirely and another in which he was removed after just 1 minute.  Of more concern is the sudden loss to a mysterious illness of 6'3" starting point guard Luc Minani, who did not play the past 2 weekends after experiencing severe chest pains and shortness of breath on the eve of Ottawa's trip to Windsor and Western.  Minani, a long, big guard who plays with an edge and was starting to gain confidence as a leader and decision-maker, spent time in the hospital and his status for the remainder of the season as of today is uncertain - we hope to have news on Minani's health later this week and please join me in wishing Luc a speedy recovery.  Less important is that his loss hurts the Gee-Gees at the all-important point guard spot where Minani and 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe made up one of the better one-two lead guard combinations in the conference.  Ottawa's 6'3" shooting guard Johnny Berhane (16 ppg) has emerged as a conference Rookie-of-the-Year candidate as the Gee-Gees most consistent perimeter threat and 6'9" fifth-year post Louis Gauthier (14.5 ppg/8.2 rpg) is proving that last season was no fluke after getting copious amounts of layups courtesy of First Team All-Canadian Josh Gibson-Bascombe; Gauthier is a top flight OUA East post player along with Varsity Blues pair of 6'6" Andrew Wasik and 6'7" Drazen Glizic and York's 6'10" sophomore Dejan Kravic, who is emerging as one of the more gifted offensive big men in the country.  Ottawa will play in the UQAM tournament in Montreal between Christmas and New Year's... Wayne Thomas recently provided his comprehensive view on Calgary Dinos (4-6) who suffered through an injury-riddled first half capped by the loss of 6'9" Tyler Fidler to an ankle injury in practice just prior to their final two games of the first half at Regina.  Recall that 5'10" sophomore point guard Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson also had an ankle injury severe enough to keep him out of all of the Dinos 10 Canada West games in the first half of the season.  Fidler, who leads Canada West in rebounding, tried to go in the Friday game but was obviously limited, as the Dinos lost 88-70. On Saturday, Calgary, dressing only 9 players, went down even harder, with Fidler unable to answer the bell, and Regina poured it on for an 80-58 victory.  In the absence of Ogungbemi-Jackson, the Dinos turned over lead guard duties to the combination of 6'0" fourth-year SAIT transfer Keenan Milburn and 5'10" Andy Rochon, neither of whom played with the team in 2009-10.  However, Rochon may be the latest Dino to miss time as the heady guard from Chicago will likely undergo surgery over the holidays to deal with a recurring shoulder problem and his status for the second half of the season is uncertain.  Milburn had some tremendous shooting efforts from the three point line in the first half of the season.  The Dinos saw a pair of freshman mature into solid rotation ready players beginning with scrappy 6'7" Matt Letkeman (Abbotsford Yale) who has shown a willingness to crash and bang with more experienced post opponents.  His 14 point and 11 rebound effort this past Saturday against Regina's experienced front line of 6'7" Kris Heshka and 6'7" Paul Gareau is likely an indication of big things to come.  6'4" Phil Labongo, the slashing wing man from Winnipeg’s Dakota HS, has not shied away either, and he has the nose for competition, with a scoring touch and the physical ability to compete right away.  Expect Labongo and fellow Winnipeg high school grad Ogungbemi-Jackson to form the basis of an athletic, talented back court for the Dinos for several years to come.  With Alberta, UBC, Trinity Western and Saskatchewan on the slate for the second half, the Dinos will need to be at full strength to continue to battle for a playoff spot.  The Dinos will travel to California just prior to New Year’s in a series of non-league games and hope to have Ogungbemi-Jackson back and have Fidler at his best...  Lethbridge Pronghorns (3-9) finished up a tough, injury-riddled first half with a pair of lopsided losses at #2 UBC, playing without the services of 5'10" Zack Humphrey (knee) and 6'2" Julian Spear Chief-Morris (knee).  Without a true point guard in the lineup, teams that can bring consistent pressure like the T-Birds can wreak havoc and the Horns turned it over 53 times over the two games in Vancouver.  6'1" Quinn Van Gaalen, who has also battled through ankle injuries in the first half, unfortunately suffered a knee injury in the second UBC game and is out indefinitely - Van Gaalen leads the nation in free throw shooting at 94%.  The Horns travel state side for 3 games after Christmas... Much was made on this site of the poor (by his standards) defensive weekend 6'5" Cole Hobin had when the Carleton Ravens visited Waterloo earlier this season for a pair of games against the Warriors and Laurier Golden Hawks, as 6'5" Kale Harrison had 39 points against Carleton.  Hobin clearly refocused and this past Saturday led what Ravens Coach Dave Smart deemed his team's best overall defensive effort of the season in holding an explosive Lakehead team to under 50 points.  Hobin returned his lock-down ways defensively, holding Thunderwolves 6'1" sharpshooter Jamie Searle to just 5 points while 6'2" Venzal Russell had only 7 and shot only 3 for 14.

Hope to have more in the coming days.

Back after short hiatus

Some have noticed that we've not posted for a few days... was away for a family celebration and decided to focus (almost) entirely on wishing my parents well for renewing their vows after 50 years of marriage.  One thing about 80 somethings:  they usually are not plugged in - and guess what ?  they seem to live ok without it somehow. 

Still, the Blackberry was humming periodically and got to speak to numerous folks over the course of the past few days so there's plenty to write.  Steadily getting out from under a bunch of work at the day job and hoping we can come back with some worthwhile information in the next day or so. 

For those showing concern for my health, much appreciated; it's all good and for those anxious for more information, stay tuned and thanks for the patience.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Articles from across the country

Nice article summarizing Varsity Blues most recent successful weekend and offering clues (Blues Clues ? for those of you with young children) on the early-season success of arguably the CIS surprise success story thus far  U of T's win by committee approach paying dividends

Windsor Lance campus newspaper summarized the Lancers weekend vs. Ottawa teams

Mac's Silhouette provides a piece on men's basketball  Trip to Ottawa awaits Marauders

Howard Tsumura with a nice piece on UBC's top point guard tandem of Josh Whyte and Alex Murphy  plus Vancover Sun comes up large with a UBC review and weekend preview written by Elliott Pap

Monty Mosher of Halifax Chronicle-Herald on last night's Capers victory over St. FX  also a piece on Tuesday's Saint Mary's victory Dalhousie, their first win of the AUS season.  Also an excellent, comprehensive piece in the Daily Gleaner on the upcoming big weekend for UNB Varsity Reds.

Excellent article in the Gateway, U of A's campus newspaper on Daniel Ferguson who has helped ignite Alberta's offense with his slick perimeter shooting

Darren Zary of Saskatoon Star-Phoenix sets up December for Saskatchewan Huskie fans including a rather chilling set of comments from Jamelle Barrett

RMC Update

Team Previews... I have received several notes requesting team previews be completed and admittedly I was unable to complete all of them this season.  Hopefully the teams that don't have an official preview post (difficult to substantiate a "preview" at this late stage in my mind) have/will receive more coverage in the game reports and weekend updates.  Today we take a quick look at RMC Paladins, who return three fourth-year veterans in 6'9 Nick Cooke, 6'7 Simon Dakin and 5'10 Gavin Viray-Cox.  Historically, Cadets have been tremendous students who complete their degrees in four years and rarely do the Paladins get players for a fifth year.  Others returning players to the Paladins lineup include 2nd yr 6'1 Jon Wilson, 3rd yr 6'0 James Byun.  RMC's top recruit is 6'2 Connor Duke from Dartmouth, NS.  Recruiting remains the biggest challenge with only 150 available spaces for 1st yr recruits and 1500 applicants annually for those spots.  Another significant challenge when attempting to put together a basketball roster is the Colleges' application deadline of January 15, 2011.  Still, coach Scott James remains optimistic with already 12 potential recruits having applied for next season, dramatically more than the previous two years combined.  Here's hoping that the Paladins can have a series of successful recruiting classes to upgrade their talent level to the days of Kevin Dulude and former coach Craig Norman, the most successful coach in RMC basketball history.

Help support UBC campus radio

A message from Wilson Wong of CiTR-FM , UBC's campus radio station.
Sorry to bother you but I was wondering if you could help me spread the word to your many readers.
Our station is trying to fundraise $30,000.
And with just two days to go, we're only about $16,000.
I was wondering if you could mention the final couple of days of our
"Fundrive," on your blogs.
Our station does about 100 games live on radio and the web each CIS season covering UBC Thunderbirds games.
And the more money we raise, the more resources we can tap into for equipment upgrades and travel to cover CIS playoff games...
There is a link for people to donate online: http://www.citr.ca/donate
I appreciate all times you've posted good things about our station...and I hope you can do it once more.

Weekend Preview

As we enter the final full weekend of league play prior to the exam/holiday break, all conferences are beginning to settle with some scattered surprises based on the pre-season prognostications.  The rest of this week has games scheduled tonight through Sunday as the nation gets set to watch Lethbridge at UBC. 

Coverage from this site will be spotty for the remainder of the weekend but we should have periodic updates, the usual weekend recap on Sunday and the second-to-last Top 10 of 2010. 

Here's a look at the key games in each conference this coming weekend.

Canada West
(Games Friday and Saturday except Lethbridge / UBC)

Victoria at Alberta 8:00 PM MST  Best matchup of the weekend with two teams having aspirations of hosting a first round playoff series and these two games in the end should go a long way in determining whether either of these clubs will figure into that discussion.  The Bears are more explosive offensively but expect the Vikes to be prepared for the multiple action Alberta runs to free up 6'4" Daniel Ferguson.  Finding a proper matchup for 6'8" Jordan Baker will be challenging for Victoria but then again most teams have that issue.  Key to the weekend for Vic will be the health/availability of Jeff Cullen, who did not start in either game against Regina last weekend and played less than 20 minutes in both.

Lethbridge at UBC  (Thursday and Friday night at 8 PM PT/11 PM ET)  The injury-riddled 'Horns come off a pair of encouraging road wins in Kamloops against TRU.  UBC is deeper and more athletic however 6'5" Randy Davis is fashioning a breakthrough season, averaging over 17 ppg while 6'3" Danhue Lawrence remains steady and has the athleticism to match T-Birds guards.  6'3" Doug Plumb has been a solid rotation guy for the Birds.
Calgary at Regina 8:00 PM CST   After 4 lopsided losses on the road, the Cougars return home where they are much more difficult to play.  Regina needs more consistent efforts from 6'1" fifth-year shooting guard Jeff Lukomski and 6'7" Kris Heshka, one of the better post players in CW during his career, averages only 11 points and 6.4 rebounds, well below numbers expected; however, Heshka has battled foul trouble, fouling out of 4 games already this season.  The Dinos hope to string together two strong efforts over 1 weekend.

Brandon at Manitoba 8:00 PM CST  Both teams have made strides since last season's disappointments and this should be an intriguing matchup with plenty of athleticism and three point shooting.  The Bisons had what amounts to a bad loss two Saturday's ago against Thompson Rivers at home, which could come back to haunt them in February when playoff spots are determined.

Trinity Western at Winnipeg 8:00 PM CST   The Wesmen will look to tighten up defensively against the explosive Spartans, who will have a decisive advantage in the paint.  Winnipeg's O'Brien Wallace continues to deliver instant offense off the bench for the Wesmen.

Thompson Rivers at UFV (Friday 8:00 PM PST; Saturday 7:00 PM)  Expect alot of threes to be thrown up between these B.C. rivals with 7'2" Greg Stewart inside potentially being the difference maker at both ends, depending upon what matchup WolfPack coach Scott Clark can find for his towering center defensively against Fraser Valley which likes to keep the paint area clean with its smaller lineup.
McGill at Concordia 6:00 PM EST   The Redmen were able to hold off a charging Bishop's Gaiters team last weekend to remain undefeated.  The ability to shoot the ball consistently from the perimeter has not been there arguably all season for the Redmen.  The Stingers come back after a bye week with a game at home where they perennially have been very tough.

Bishop's at UQAM 8:00 PM EST  These teams met two weeks ago in Lennoxville and the Citadins owned the glass, especially on the offensive end in pulling away in the second half for a comfortable win.

UQAM at McGill 8:00 PM EST  Redmen's front line will be tested with the tenacious Citadins offensive rebounding abilities.  McGill's "d" has been solid all throughout the pre-season and into their first two league games - UQAM will have to make perimeter shots.  Citadins will test McGill's pair of point guards in Olivier Bouchard and Karim Sy-Morrisette.  Game should prove to be a contrast in styles with McGill's ability to convert defensively and control the tempo a key.

Concordia at Bishop's 8:00 PM EST   First meeting of the season between these two teams.

Dalhousie at UNB 8:00 PM AST   The V-Reds get an opportunity to enter the discussion as a potential Top 4 teams in the conference, hosting the Tigers who were handed their first loss in conference play Tuesday night at Saint Mary's.  5'10" Andrew Wright will have his hands full with 6'1" Simon Farine, who was excellent in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's set back, scoring 13 points including knocking down 3 3's.  6'5" Alex DesRoches and 6'7" Lonzell Lowe vs. 6'9" Joe Schow and 6'7" Sandy Viet is an intriguing matchp of big men.

Saint Mary's at Memorial 8:00 PM AST   The first of two on the weekend as the Sea-hawks look to break into the win column against SMU which came up with a their first in a virtual "must win" on Tuesday at home against Dal.

Acadia at UNB 8:00 PM AST   The second of two huge opportunities for UNB to push ahead (we'll stop with this thought now).

StFX at UPEI 8:00 PM AST  X tries to bounce back after two consecutive losses and a shot to the swagger that helps generate the energy that this group thrives on.  The Panthers got their first win of the season last weekend vs. UNB in comfortable fashion.

Saint Mary's at Memorial 1:00 PM AST  The teams complete their two game series in St. John's.

StFX at UPEI 4:00 PM AST  The teams complete their two game series in Charlottetown.

Final Weekend of the OUA Interlock
York at Brock 8:00 PM EST  This game could see about 250 points scored given the explosiveness and the green light most guys on both teams enjoy.  Don't expect any shot clock violations.

Windsor at Queen's 8:00 PM EST  Lancers look to cap their best season ever against OUA East teams.  While the Gaels have had trouble scoring as a team, 6'2" Dan Bannister has been spectacular of late.

Ryerson at Laurier 8:00 PM EST  Another matchup of two high-scoring teams in which the Golden Hawks have the decided edge inside however the Hawks must find a matchup defensively for Rams 6'0" freshman Jahmal Jones.

Western at RMC 8:00 PM EST

Laurentian at Guelph 8:00 PM EST  The Voyageurs are just getting their team back to full strength as Manny Pasquale gets a full week of practice after overcoming mono and Isaiah Pasquale tries to replicate his career-best effort against Laurier last week.  Guelph looks to find the proper rotation to compensate for the loss of Kareem Malcolm for the season.

McMaster at Carleton 8:00 PM EST  6'8" Scott Brittain has not played for the Marauders for the past 3 games and Mac is being cautious given Brittain's history with concussions however if he is ever needed, it would be in this game where he would present the Ravens with a difficult matchup problem.

Toronto at Waterloo 8:00 PM EST   Two teams which run text book sets and are arguably the two most surprising teams in the OUA with the Blues deservedly in the Top 10 despite pre-season forecasts that had them possibly fighting for a playoff spot.

Lakehead at Ottawa 8:00 PM EST   Rematch of last season's OUA Third Place game in which the Thunderwolves came back with a strong second-half defensive effort and their usual three-point barrage. 

Toronto at Laurier 2:00 PM EST  Last season's overtime win by the Blues in Toronto over the Hawks was one of the most exciting games of the season.
Windsor at RMC 3:00 PM EST
Laurentian at Brock 8:00 PM EST  The Vees have more balance to their offense however their still may be 80 threes attempted in this game.
York at Guelph 8:00 PM EST  Expect the Gryphs to try to control the tempo and lock down the Lions defensively with York in contrast looking to push and get shots up.
Ryerson at Waterloo 8:00 PM EST  The teams met earlier this season at the Naismith with Rye pulling out the victory over a Warrior group which is much improved since then.
McMaster at Ottawa 8:00 PM EST  Likely a must-win situation for the Gee-Gees at home, a night after the Marauders get #1 Carleton.
Western at Queen's 8:00 PM EST  While on paper the Mustangs appear to have more overall talent, expect the spunky Gaels, especially at home, to compete in this one.
Lakehead at Carleton 8:00 PM EST  Probably the best matchup of the weekend in the OUA with two teams that competed in last season's CIS Final 8.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Cape Breton 95, St. FX 79

The Capers pulled away midway through the third quarter, building leads as large as 19 to run away from the X-Men before a large crowd at the Sullivan Center in Sydney.  6'3" Paris Carter was the offensive hero for the Capers, scoring 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half and also did a wonderful job on X's 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw defensively, holding the defending AUS POY to only 4 of 16 shooting.  Upshaw was back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday's X loss to Dalhousie for violating team rules by missing an academic commitment and finished tonight with only 12 points including zero for 6 from downtown.  

6'5" Phil Nkrumah had 21 points and 10 rebounds and 6'2" Jimmy Dorsey added 18, the only two other CBU players in double figures as the Capers led by only three late in the third but then scored the final 9 points of the quarter to lead by 12 before icing the game early in the fourth with a second barrage of 3's.  Cape Breton had taken a 29-20 lead after one on the heels of 7 3's in the first quarter alone.

6'5" Jeremy Dunn bounced back from a lacklustre performance against Dal on Saturday with 19 points (4-6 3's) and 9 boards, getting particular praise from Capers coach Jim Charters, to lead five X-Men in double figures.  6'9" Alberto Rodriquez added 15 for St. FX while sharpshooting 6'0" guard Charlie Spurr (14 points) got loose for three of his four 3's in the first half when X was able to cut a 9 point first quarter disadvantage down to only 5 at the half at 43-38.  5'9" Will Silver put forth his usual workmanlike effort, putting pressure on the d getting into the lane and had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.  X also had 6'4" Dwayne Johnson in the lineup for the second time as he recovers from a concussion sustained on Oct. 28th against Guelph.

The Capers, who improved to 7-0 on the season and handed X their second consecutive loss, went 28-40 from the free throw line and also got a tremendous effort off the bench from 6'5" Al Aliovic, now the sixth man, who hit a pair of threes and added a dunk.

X coach Steve Konchalski was impressed with the Capers, commenting "Cape Breton took it to us tonight.  They are a much better team than what they showed in the pre-season", but also lamented the early season momentum that his team appears to have lost.  "We are not playing with the energy and enthusiasm of earlier this season and we need to get that back to be successful."

Both teams shortened their benches for this high-energy, top level affair as the Capers basically went only seven deep with Dorsey, Carter, Nkrumah, Scott Jaspers-Fayer, Tremaine Fraser, Aliovic and Tavon Nelson, who showed he can contribute in these types of games.  The X-Men played 10 guys however only 7 played more than 10 minutes.

X travels to the island to play at UPEI for a pair of games this weekend.

See also T.J. Colello's article in the Cape Breton Post

Cape Breton / X Tonight in Sydney

The Cape Breton Post sets the stage for tonight's showdown between the two arch rivals.  This is the only regular season game between these two teams in Sydney this season and the teams don't meet again until the new year.  GAME IS BEING WEBCAST LIVE on Capers TV .  No word on the availability of X's Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw for tonight's game.  The game begins at 8 PM Atlantic Time; 7 PM Eastern time and 4 PM Pacific.  A Capers win should put them back in the Top 10 discussion while X attempts to bounce back from a lacklustre offensive effort this past weekend in the loss to Dal.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Saint Mary's 92, Dalhousie 86

6'1" Joey King Handles Haywood knocked down the go-ahead three with just under one minute to play and the Huskies tightened up defensively down the stretch, finishing the game on a 12-2 run to win their first of the AUS regular season before a large, vocal crowd at the Tower.  Haywood had his difficulties getting free against the solid "d" of 6'2" Stephen Lopez but when it mattered, 6'4" Torey Fassett drove the land, drew help and kicked out to Haywood, who made no mistake. 

The Tigers looked to have the game in hand on the strength of 13 fourth-quarter points from 6'1" Simon Farine, who hit three 3's in the final frame and after 6'9" Joe Schow hit a pair of free throws to give Dalhousie an 84-80 lead with just over 2 minutes to play, it appeared the Tigers may scratch out a road win.  However, Fassett hit a pair of free throws and then 6'3" Demitri Harris gave the Huskies the lead with a clutch 3 from the corner with 1:20 remaining.  But Farine answered with a baseline drive and Dal had it's last lead, setting up Haywood's dramatics.

The Huskies looked like they had taken control of the game with a 14-7 run midway through the third quarter which featured four 3's including back-to-back bombs from 6'7" Simon Marr and Haywood.  When 6'3" Demitri Harris culminated the run with a three of his own, SMU had their largest lead at 60-50.  But 6'1" Peter Leighton came alive after a slow start, hitting a pair of threes in a quarter-ending 10-3 run that cut the gap to just 3 after three and when Lopez hit a pull-up, culminating a 13-4 run, Dal was back to within 1.  The lead changed hands several times until the final 2 minutes.

SMU had taken the lead midway through the second quarter with 3 consecutive threes, part of an 11-2 run that erased a 32-29 Tiger lead.  6'3" Demitri Harris hit back-to-back 3's and then Haywood knocked down a tough transition 3 to give SMU their largest lead at 40-34 and the Huskies went to halftime up 44-39.  The Tigers had finished the first quarter on a 6-1 led by a pair of strong takes to the rim by Farine to take a 24-20 lead.  The Huskies turned the ball over late and continually allowed Dal to get the ball deep into the paint either by the dribble drive or comfortable entry passes to Schow.

...More to come maybe.

Battle of Halifax tonight's only CIS game: Dalhousie at Saint Mary's

Haligonia Sports does a great job teeing up tonight's Tigers at Huskies battle at the Tower.  Billed as the battle between two of the top point guards in Canada, Simon Farine (Dal) vs. Joey King Handles Haywood (Saint Mary's), the game can be seen live via webcast beginning at 7 PM ET, 8 PM AT and 4 PM PT and every time zone in between.

Dal is undefeated at 3-0 and the Huskies are 0-4 however each loss, including 3 on the road, has been to a Top 5 AUS team (at Cape Breton twice, Acadia and at St. FX).

CISHoops.ca Top 10 for 23 November 2010

Some churn near the top however none at the very top as Carleton remains the only undefeated team vs. CIS competition this season.  Alberta's stay in the Top 10 was short-lived however the Bears remain on the periphery in my view, having got their first taste of a Top 10 team on the road in difficult conditions, an experience which should bode well come January and February for this talented group.  Dal Tigers make a re-appearance back into the Top 10 primarily on the heels of a nice road win at previously #2 St. FX.

#1 Carleton (13-0, 6-0) (LW #1)  Defense, rebounding, taking care of the ball and making free throws are a receipe for success on the road.  As per normal, Carleton outrebounded both Western and Windsor, held both to a combine 35% shooting and themselves made 30 of 34 free throws.  After some sluggish outings, 6'3" Elliott Thompson made 9 of 18 3's over the weekend and 6'2" Phil Scrubb continues his tremendous freshman season with a great effort against Western although he was only 2-11 vs. Windsor.  Lakehead vs. Carleton in Ottawa this weekend should be a dandy. 

#2 UBC (11-2, 8-2) (LW #3) A pair of workmanlike victories at home in which the Birds were rarely tested solidifies this ranking.  UBC showed the flexibility of their roster, employing a smallish lineup for much of the pair of weekend games as the minutes of bigs Graham Bath, Balraj Bains and Brent Malish were limited and still the Birds dominated.  Josh Whyte had over 20 in both games and Melvin Mayott had a strong shooting game in Friday's win.  UBC completes the first half of the season with a pair of home games against Lethbridge (3-7).  *Note these games go Thursday and Friday instead of the usual Friday and Saturday in Vancouver.

#3 Trinity Western (9-2, 8-2) (LW #4)  More consistent, safe point guard play may be a big reason why the Spartans have bounced back well from their only 2 losses of the season to UBC.  TWU was able to pull away down the stretch of both games against a solid Alberta team with contributions from several different players and on Saturday despite foul trouble for 6'6" Kyle Coston.  Jacob Doerksen had a big weekend.  Spartans complete their schedule this weekend with a pair of games in Winnipeg against the Wesmen (1-6) at the Duckworth Center.

#4 St. FX (9-2, 1-1) (LW #2) A spotty, even overall listless effort without Christian Upshaw on Saturday at home against Dal causes this drop. When teams can convert defensively and take X out of their sets, X can struggle, especially without Upshaw's ability to create at the end of possessions off the dribble. 6'9" Alberto Rodriquez remains a key - when he is able to stay on the floor without fouling, X can start their offense in the low post and good things usually happen. In what was a sloppy game in which both teams combined for 52 turnovers, including a remarkable 29 against the Tigers, X's inability to score consistently in the halfcourt led to their undoing. Wednesday night's showdown in Sydney against Cape Breton goes this Wednesday.

#5 Laval (8-2, 3-0) (LW #6)  Lights out shooting at home continues to be a theme for Rouge et Or however gutting out a win on the road at UQAM on Friday was all the more impressive given how badly Laval was outrebounded.  Good teams win those type of games and Laval did it by taking care of the ball reasonably well (only 16 turnovers against a team that had recently been forcing over 20 per game) and making their free throws (20 for 26 from the line).  6'4" Jerome Turcotte is beginning to live up to the potential he showed after entering the league as the CEGEP Player-of-the-Year in his graduating season.  Freshman Hugues Ryan is also giving coach Jacques Paiement solid minutes off the bench.  Laval is idle this coming weekend but completes the pre-holiday portion of their schedule with games in Montreal at McGill and at Concordia during the first weekend of December.

#6 Windsor (7-3, 5-1) (LW: #5) The Lancers had an opportunity to enter the discussion for a Top 3 ranking however simply could not score when it mattered at home against #1 Carleton.  Windsor also appeared to get caught up in the moment emotionally which can happen with a younger talented group.  6'7" veteran Andre Smyth was the glue-guy on the weekend, making big shots in the dramatic win against Ottawa and keeping Lancers close with more big makes against Carleton; Smyth went 8 for 13 from three point land on the weekend, with most shots coming in key situations.  Windsor looks to finish the first half at 7-1 with games in Kingston against Queen's and RMC.

#7 Saskatchewan (12-3, 7-3) (LW: #9)  With 90+ points in 8 of their 10 league games, this offensive juggernaut kept it up this past weekend with their third game of 100 or more points, a season-high 115 against Winnipeg.  The Huskies average over 10 steals per game, leading to many easy scores and play an up tempo game.  Saskatchewan's ability to take care of the ball in big spots against tougher opponents (Huskies force 17 turnovers per game but are also turning it over 17 times per game) will go a long way in determining whether or not Huskies can repeat as CW champions.  Sask is off this weekend, having completed the first half of their schedule and can now concentrate on the Green Riders quest for a Grey Cup.

#8 Concordia (6-1, 1-1) (LW #8)  DNP last week but have a pair of games this coming weekend including a home encounter with undefeated McGill at 6 PM on Friday.  6'2" Kyle Desmarais remains Stingers most talented player while 6'7" Zack Brisebois is a solid, tough freshman who fortifies Concordia's front line.  6'4" Evens Laroche, one of the Stingers go-to scorers last season as a paint area player, is adjusting to his role as more of a 3 man.  Concordia also travels to Bishop's on Saturday before completing their pre-holiday schedule next Saturday at home against Laval.

#9 Toronto (10-3, 5-1) (LW: #10) A pair of decisive wins at home put the Blues firmly in second place in the OUA East and the play of their two veteran big men 6'6" Drazen Glizic and 6'6" Andrew Wasik has been very steady. As well, 6'1" fifth-year pg Anthony DeGiorgio has been solid. Finally, an emerging star is developing in 6'5" Alex Hill, a lefty with a nice stroke who can also get to the rim, who sits sixth in OUA scoring at 18.3 ppg.  The Blues have a pair of challenging games this coming weekend in Kitchener/Waterloo as they face the improving Warriors on Friday night before completing the first semester against the tough Laurier Golden Hawks at 3 PM on Saturday.

#10 Dalhousie (7-2, 3-0) (LW: NR)  Tigers remained undefeated in the AUS with a solid road win at X in which their half-court "d" was reminiscent of their run to the AUS championship two seasons ago.  Defensively, Dal gets a lift every time 6'2" Stephen Lopez is on the floor and their bigs are also very underrated from a positioning standpoint defensively.  Apart from 6'1" Peter Leighton, Dal struggled from the perimeter and was able to beat X despite 29 turnovers as 6'1" Simon Farine was ordinary while playing with an eye injury.  Tigers have the first of several Halifax rival games with Saint Mary's tonight at the Tower.

Others considered:   Lakehead (7-5, 5-1), Alberta (6-4, 5-3) (LW: #7), Cape Breton (7-5, 6-0).


Also released today was the CIS Top 10 coaches poll, as follows:
(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Carleton (6-0) / 504 pts (42) / (1)  * Ravens received all 42 first-place votes
2. UBC (8-2) / 461 / (3) ** T-Birds received 41 of 42 second-place votes
3. Laval (3-0) / 393 / (4)
4. StFX (1-1) / 388 / (2)
5. Saskatchewan (7-3) / 353 / (5)
6. Concordia (1-1) / 283 / (6)
7. Trinity Western (8-2) / 275 / (7)
8. Windsor (5-1) / 182 / (8)
9. Toronto (5-1) / 161 / (10)
10. Dalhousie (3-0) / 105 / (NR)

Other teams receiving votes: Western Ontario (87), Lakehead (54), Cape Breton (13).

Monday, 22 November 2010

Canadian Basketball in Kenya

Nice to hear from former Bishop's Gaiter Warren Newberry (circa late 1980's, early 1990's) regarding a trip he and his family are taking to Nairobi, Kenya in the middle of December.  Newberry, also a former three-time OCAA Coach-of-the-Year with Algonquin Thunder, plans to weave basketball and charity into his trip by organizing and running a basketball clinic for girls aged 10-13 in the Kibera slum, generally regarded as Africa's largest slum.

Warren is asking the CIS basketball community for assistance in making his clinic as beneficial to the children of Kibera as possible by considering donations of:

- deflated rubber basketballs
- t-shirts and/or uniforms
- any other donations that could make his clinic most impactful

As Warren puts it:  "It would be cool to have kids running around Kenya with CIS schools t-shirts".  Newberry also notes that "there may be some media coverage...not sure if you get ESPN-Kenya."

For those wishing to assist Warren in this very worthwhile undertaking, please email him at  warren@renewhomes.ca   Warren is offering to arrange transportation of any items donated to Kenya also.

Good luck to Warren and his family and we look forward to getting an update on how the clinic went.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Thoughts from the Weekend

AUS:  The feature matchup this weekend was the battle of a pair of unbeatens in Antigonish and the Dal Tigers made a strong case for reinstatement in the Top 10 with a nice road victory over St. FX.  Although the X-Men were hampered by the absence of Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw from the lineup, Dal did a tremendous job defensively, converting very well to reduce X's transition opportunities, doing a great job taking X out of their halfcourt stuff and most importantly taking care of the ball except for a couple of stretches.  X never really got out to run and use their athleticism for any long period of the game and Dal survived the first 5-6 minutes, which this season the X-Men have dominated in most games.  X ran into foul trouble early also as 6'9" Alberto Rodriquez and 6'5" Jeremy Dunn had to sit for long stretches in the first half, allowing Dal's forward combination of 6'9" Joe Schow and 6'7" Sandy Viet to be more comfortable and both delivered reasonably well.  Dal's 6'1" fifth-year guard Simon Farine struggled in stretches with his shooting and decision-making but gutted out much of the game despite suffering from an eye injury.  X got a solid effort from rising 6'5" freshman Terry Thomas, who energized their press, creating some deflections and turnovers and was in the middle of their final run that almost brought the game back by knocking down a couple of medium-range "j's".  There are a pair of tremendous AUS matchups mid-week as Tuesday the Tigers visit Saint Mary's at the Tower and then Wednesday the X-Men travelling to Sydney to meet Cape Breton Capers, quickly putting themselves back into the discussion for a Top 10 spot and AUS first-round bye.  With both games likely available on Webcast and the only CIS games on those nights, it is a good time for fans across the country to check out the AUS's top 4 teams this week.

Quebec... Nice to see Laval Rouge et Or program front and center with the Movember charitable activity for raising prostate cancer awareness.  Last night in Ste. Foy, the entire Paiement family participated in a fundraiser during Laval's game with Bishop's as Coach Paiement Sr's oldest daughter and his wife were in charge of an information stand and collected donations from the crowd.  Of course, Coach Paiement Sr. was also in attendance helping to spread the good word about this great effort.  On the floor Coach Paiement Jr. doned his mustache and watched as his Rouge et Or humbled the visiting Bishop's Gaiters, leading by 50 after 3 quarters.  Laval welcomed back 6'6" Etienne Labrecque back into the lineup after he missed much of last weekend with a severe tailbone injury.  But last night, Laval's defense was on display, generating numerous easy transition scores.  5'9" Xavier Baribeau also recovered from a cold shooting night in Montreal on Friday and continues to shoot lights out at the PEPS.  But 6'4" Jerome Turcotte has been the story for Laval in the early season as he is quickly becoming Rouge et Or best overall player.  As well, 6'5" freshman Hugues Ryan quickly is establishing himself as one of the top newcomers in the Q.  Laval travels to Montreal next Saturday night to face McGill with the Redmen first having to face Concordia next Friday night at 6 PM.

OUA... Guelph Gryphons are likely to be without star 6'0" guard Kareem Malcolm for the rest of this season after Malcolm sustained a severe elbow injury while driving to the lane against Toronto last night.  As Malcolm drove into the lane and was getting to the rim, Blues 6'6" Andrew Wasik came over from the weak side with Malcolm coming down hard on his elbow after the ensuing collision, on which Wasik was charged with a foul.  The injury to Malcolm is a huge blow to the Gryphons as the third-year transfer guard from Sheridan had been arguably Guelph's most consistent offensive player thus far this season... The Blues are quietly getting a strong season from 6'1" fifth-year point guard Anthony DeGiorgio.  Thought to be an area of concern prior to the start of the year, point guard has been a stable position for Toronto as the diminutive Oakwood Baron product has been solid, generally taking care of the ball well - with some exceptions - making shots when it matters and leading as a fifth-year guy.  The importance of players who have been in a system for four to five years cannot be understated and as the Blues only graduating player this season, DeGiorgio has taken his first season as a full-time starter by the horns and is the underlying reason why the Blues are 5-1 and in the Top 10 rather unexpectedly... After heavy losses due to graduation and a non-descript group of returnees, the Waterloo Warriors are the early-season surprise of the OUA, especially after this weekend's strong showing at York and at Laurentian.  Friday, the Warriors were in the game until late and Saturday in Sudbury Waterloo dismantled a listless Voyageurs group.  After missing much of last season with injuries, Toronto native and Eastern Commerce grad Wayne Bridge is beginning to come into his own in the backcourt and there is veteran talent and leadership in 6'8" Alan Goodhoofd, 6'3" Cam McIntyre and 6'1" Luke Kieswetter, a fifth-year point guard.  Goodhoofd has underrated offensive skills and athleticism while McIntyre has the potential to singlehandidly keep his team in games with his perimeter shooting although he has yet to establish strong consistency to this point in his career.  Another emerging impact player inside for the Warriors is 6'7" third-year post Brendan Smith (Kamloops, B.C.), who has seen his minutes increase as he provides a tremendous defensive presence in the paint - he had 5 blocks in Friday's game at York including a couple on York's 6'10" Dejan Kravic - and adds to the growing athleticism on the Warriors roster which also includes Bridge, a strong, rebounding guard and 6'1" Andrew Melbourne from Scarborough Mother Teresa who should see his time begin to increase also.  All in all, this weekend showed that Waterloo should be a much better group than many including me believed they would be this season... Western Mustangs were dealt a blow this week when Ryan Barbeau sustained an injury to his shoulder and did not play in either game this past weekend.  Barbeau was the key to the Mustangs early undefeated start however the 'Stangs were dealt a pair of lopsided losses at home the past two weekends and had to scramble with a last second tip-in to defeat Ottawa in overtime on Saturday.  No word on how long Barbeau will be out but the tough combo guard from Belleville is a key to Western's success going forward.

Canada West...  After 4 weeks of play, the new-look 13 team conference is beginning to parse out the favorites from the playoff contenders and teams that may already be looking toward next season.  Those who believed that UBC, Trinity Western and Saskatchewan would dominate at the top have thus far been validated with Alberta Golden Bears missing a "golden" opportunity to get involved in the top-tier discussion this past weekend.  While the Bears were in both games until the fourth quarter with Trinity in Langley this weekend, Spartans were able to pull away down the stretch of both games and last season's maligned starter Daniel Horner was one reason that TWU was successful.  The Spartans have eased the load on Horner, who now comes off the bench to spell starter Tristain Smith but Horner still is playing 17-20 minutes per game and the lessened load has allowed him to relax.  He went 3-6 from downtown on Saturday including several big makes, showing that TWU's point guard position has two solid leads.  Back to Alberta, the Bears look like a playoff team and will get their chance to shake off this past weekend when they host another likely playoff team in Victoria.  The other three CW playoff spots are likely to be hotly contested among, in no particular order, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Manitoba, Brandon and Regina, although the Cougars have been smacked four straight games away from home.  Currently, Thompson Rivers, Lethbridge and Winnipeg, which has been giving up points at an alarming rate, are beginning to look to build for next season.  But there is plenty of ball remaining as we move into the final weekend before the first semester exam / Holiday break.

Wayne Thomas Canada West Saturday Recap

Offense Lights Up in Dinos Saturday Win

Dinos 92 Brandon 77... The eerily consistent pattern continues for the Calgary Dinos, who, 24 hours after dropping their 4th straight Friday game of the Canada West season, turned around and unleashed formerly dormant offensive power to post a 92-77 win over the visiting Brandon Bobcats.  Propelled by 30-19 domination in both the 2nd and 4th quarters, Calgary pulled clear of the ‘Cats to even their season’s record to 4-4, with Brandon falling to 3-5. Tyler Fidler was the king-pin in the Dinos 4th Saturday victory, with 24 points and 17 big rebounds, and, just for good measure, he fouled out. Keenan Milburn really stepped it up offensively with 23 points, and 3 other Dinos were in double figures ... Phil Labongo - 12, Andrew McGuinness -12, and Dustin Reding - 10.

Brandon had 29 points from Wallace O’Brien, and 18 from Kyle Vince, but they were outshot 45% to 36% from the floor by Calgary, who also had a 9/20 to 6/25 edge from the 3 pt. line. Calgary attacked inside effectively, and had a huge 25/35 vs. 11/13 free throw advantage over the Bobcats.

The win kept Calgary in the middle of the Canada West League standings at 4-4, and tied for 7th spot with the Regina Cougars, who they play next weekend in Regina in the final weekend of games before the exam break.

Other Canada West results for Saturday, November 20 ...

at Trinity W. 89 Alberta 78 ... the Spartans (8-2) used a long bench and even scoring to complete the sweep against the Bears (5-3), as Jacob Doerksen scored 25 and grabbed 6 boards, and Daniel Horner scored 11. Alberta, who were outshot 48% to 41% from the floor, were led by Daniel Ferguson with a game - high 27 points.

Lethbridge 85 at Thompson Rivers 81 ... the ‘Horns (3-7) swept the Wolfpack (1-9) in 2 big road wins on the weekend. Randy Davis had a big night Saturday with 28 pts., with Danhue Lawrence adding 17 and 7 boards, and Nico Kovac had 11 and 8 for the ‘Horns. Greg Stewart used his 7’2” frame to score 29 pts., claim 15 rebounds, and swat 6 blocks for the struggling Wolfpack .

at Saskatchewan 115 Winnipeg 63 ... in a replay of the Friday game Saskatchewan, now 7-3, pounded the visiting Wesmen, as Rejean Chabot scored 36, with much help from Jamelle Barrett who recorded 13 assists while scoring 18 of his own. The ‘Dogs’ shot an incredible 68% from the floor, and Winnipeg could manage only 33% against a swarming U of S defense, as Kenny Perry scored 15 for the visitors, who drop to 1-6.

at Victoria 85 Regina 55 ... in their most dominant performance of the season Victoria (6-4) out-shot the Cougars 50 % to 34%, and claimed 41 of 70 boards, in out-pacing Regina 26-14 in both the 2nd and 4th quarters. Ryan McKinnon with 22 and Mike Berg with 18 led the Vikes, while Sterling Nostedt had 17 for the Cougs (4-4).

at UBC 96 Fraser Valley 82 ... the ‘Birds were relentless in completing the sweep against their Lower Mainland rivals, with Josh Whyte the leader, scoring 20 points. Melvyn Mayott had 16, and both Jordan Yu and Doug Plumb hitting for 13 for UBC (8-2). The Cascades (2-6) played a reasonable game against a very tough opponent, shooting 48% to UBC’s 52%. Zeon Gray had 26 points in the loss.

Notes ...  In other CIS games ... Laval beat Quebec- Montreal (UQAM) 72-71 in a battle of the QSSF’s top 2 teams. Cape Breton, after getting over some early season injuries, is looking up to their promise in the Atlantic League, at 6-0 after having beaten Acadia 83-71, and 84-81 in a pair of games. Dal ambushed St. FX 59-56, and UPEI gave UNB their 1st loss at 89-69. In the OUA ... some of the key games ... Carleton 91-66 over Western, who are , obviously not close, then the Ravens prevailed 78-59 over Windsor, the best in the West. Toronto 96 Brock 86, Windsor 84 Ottawa 81.

Dinos fan Derek Ryder was not impressed with the UC web coverage on Saturday, telling us “ ... there was no audio at all. Live Stats jammed twice ... The video feed rarely showed the scoreboard, so while I know we lost, I don't know the final score (it was not shown on the video feed at the end).”

Congrats to the Football Dinos who beat St. Mary’s Huskies of Halifax 35-8 at a bone-chilling McMahon Stadium on Saturday to advance to the Vanier Cup next Saturday at Laval, PQ against the hometown Laval Rouge et Or, who topped the Western Mustangs 12-11 in the other semi.

Cape Breton 84, Acadia 80

Despite a tremendous 7 for 11 effort from downtown by Acadia's 6'2" Anthony Sears (game-high 28 points), the Capers remain undefeated by holding off the Axemen in Wolfville.  Cape Breton appeared to have the game well in hand, leading 64-51 with about 4 minutes remaining in the third.  But Acadia finished the quarter on a 14-6 run and the game was tight the rest of the way.  6'2" Jimmy Dorsey had 20 for the Capers, who hurt themselves by shooting only 16 for 33 (under 50%) from the free-throw line.

Laval 101, Bishop's 54

Laval led 82-33 after three quarters in completely dominating the Gaiters who came off an emotional loss at home on Friday in which they had a chance to win their first game of the season but could not convert on a last-second shot.  Laval had 5 guys in double figures and forced 28 Bishop's turnovers for the easy win to remain undefeated in the Q. 

Box Score and Play-by-Play

Canada West Recap

UBC 96, Fraser Valley 82  The Birds jumped out to leads as high as 20 in the first quarter and cruised to the easy victory, going 12 for 25 from downtown, led by a 4 for 6 effort from reserve 6'4" swingman Melvyn Mayott.  6'2" Josh Whyte again led the way with 20 points for UBC.  After trailing by 19 at the half, Fraser Valley shot over 50% in the second half including 10 for 17 from 3 in the final two quarters.  5'10" Zeon Gray had 26 points to lead all scorers including 5-6 3's, most in the second half.  Gray also had 6 turnovers in the game as the Cascades scored only 9 first quarter points and shot only 38% in the first half.  Box Score

Trinity Western 89, Alberta 78  6'6" Jacob Doerksen had 25 points before fouling out and the Spartans swept the showdown weekend series in Langley.  Just like Friday night, the Bears were solidily in the game through three quarters, getting the lead to one on numerous occasions but never being able to regain the lead after TWU took it for good on a jumper by 6'1" Tristain Smith early in the second quarter gave the Spartans a 23-22 lead.  Alberta had forged their largest lead at 22-18 on the heels of an 11-1 run led by 6'4" Daniel Ferguson, who led all scorers with 27 points including 4-10 3's.  Alberta made their final run to within 1 midway through the third quarter after 6'7" Kyle Coston picked up his 3rd and 4th fouls within 1 minute.  Coston played only 15 minutes before fouling out.  Still, 6'6" Tyrell Mara was solid and his dunk early in teh fourth quarter gave Trinity their largest lead at 73-64 to that point.  TWU extended to leads as large as 11 and closed out the Bears comfortably in the fourth.  6'0" fifth-year guard C.G. Morrison returned to the starting lineup in place of 6'4" Todd Bergen-Henengouwen for Alberta and went 4 for 5 from downtown, part of his 18 point effort while Bears standout wing 6'8" Jordan Baker was held in check offensively with only 9 points and 8 defensive rebounds.  TWU got a lift off the bench from backup pg Daniel Horner, who hit 3 3's, part of his 11 point effort while sharing time at the point with Smith, who had a tidy line of 9 points, 6 assists as against only 1 turnover in 23 minutes.  Box Score

Saskatchewan 115, Winnipeg 63  The Huskies shot 64% for the game and had 64 points at halftime and 96 after three quarters in spanking the Wesmen.  Rejean Chabot had 21 of his game-high 36 in the first half while Jamelle Barrett had 18, Nolan Brudehl with 16, Michael Lieffers with 13 and Chris Unsworth at 11. Lieffers had a game-high 10 rebounds.  Box Score

Calgary 92, Brandon 77   The Dinos pulled away in the fourth quarter behind another dominant effort from 6'9" Tyler Fidler, who finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds while transfer Keenan Milburn added a CIS career-high 23 points.  O'Brien Wallace again led the way for Brandon with 29 points in 26 minutes.  The teams split their weekend series.  Box Score

Victoria 85, Regina 55  The Vikes pulled away from a first quarter 12-12 with a dominant second quarter and then ran away in the second half as Ryan MacKinnon had 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting for Victoria with post Mike Berg knotching a season high with 18 points and Pierce Anderson came off the bench to score 12.  Box Score

Lethbridge 85, Thompson Rivers 81 Both teams shortened their bench dramatically and the Horns got a tremendous performance from 6'5" Randy Davis with 28 points including 4-9 3's while 7'2" Greg Stewart had by far his most dominant effort with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 6 blocks.  The WolfPack's hot outside shooting, such a big part of their only win of the season last weekend in Manitoba, was less effective as they went only 8 for 27 from downtown.  Box Score

Saturday, 20 November 2010

OUA Tonight

Carleton 78, Windsor 59  The Ravens tightened up defensively in the final 3 quarters, holding the Lancers to only 27 points in a 26 minute span until late in the fourth to win the battle of the lone remaining undefeated teams in the OUA at Windsor.  The Lancers were on fire from three point land in the first quarter, led by 6'7" Andre Smyth (14 points 4-7 3's), forging leads as large as 7 but the Ravens took off on 14-0 run to bridge the first and second quarters including a pair of 3's from Phil Scrubb and Elliott Thompson.  But the Lancers had one more run left as down 7 at 37-30 after a three by Mike Kenny, Windsor finished the half on a 7-0 run highlighted by another 3 from lefty Smyth to tie the game at 37.  But Windsor could muster only 14 points in the first 14 minutes of the fourth and Carleton took their largest lead at 66-51 with 6 minutes left in the game.  The Lancers hurt themselves with 3 technical fouls to Coach Chris Oliver in the first half and then Monty Hardware and Enrico DeLoretto in the second half of a hotly-contested, emotionally-charged game that the Ravens were able to ultimately win comfortably.

McMaster 101, RMC 39  The Paladins had 19 points at halftime and were down 29 as Mac improves to 3-3 in advance of a pair of games in the Nation's capital next weekend.

Laurier 100, York 94  6'5" Kale Harrison had 25 points and the Golden Hawks used their size well, taking advantage of some favorable matchups to handle the Lions in North York.  6'6" Max Allin, who Laurier Coach Peter Campbell has used to start his offense as a point forward, took advantage of his matchup with 5'11" David Tyndale late in the game and 6'6" Pat Donnelly was able to use his perimeter skills to take 6'10" Stefan Haynes off the dribble as the explosive Hawks won the shootout.  But Laurier had few answers for York's talented 6'10" Dejan Kravic (28 points), who continues to display his array of face-up and back-to-the-basket skills.  Laurier had leads as large as 15 and York got it back to within 4 but could not get all the way back.  Tyndale added 25 for York.

Toronto 86, Guelph 70  The Varsity Blues established an early double digit lead and kept it for much of the game as 6'5" Alex Hill had 27 points including 5-8 3's.  The Gryphs lost starting guard Kareem Malcolm to an injury early in the first quarter but the Blues had comfortable leads throughout to win at home.  The Gryphs hurt themselves by going only 7 for 16 from the foul line and shot only 38% from the floor.

Waterloo 87, Laurentian 71

Western 76, Ottawa 71 in OVERTIME  6'6" Warren Ward was back in the Ottawa lineup and had 20 points but it was not enough as All-Canadian Andy Wedemire had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Mustangs.  The Mustangs got a tip-in at the buzzer to force the overtime and Gee-Gees coach James Derouin was assessed two technicals in the ball game.

Lakehead 78, Queen's 47  Another sterling defensive effort by the Wolves as they held the Gaels to only 31 points after three quarters in their second consecutive route over the weekend.

Ryerson 108, Brock 105 in OVERTIME  In a wild shootout during which the team's combined for over 150 field goal attempts, the Rams, behind 29 points and 13 rebounds from underrated freshman Jordan Gauthier, held off the Badgers who shot 55% of their shots from behind the arc, going 18 for 44 from dowtown.  Brock outscored the Rams 64-50 in the second half alone to force the overtime.

AUS Tonight

Dalhousie 59, St. FX  56   5'9" Will Silver's runner came off at the buzzer and the Tigers survived at X.  Dal looked to have the game in hand up 5 with 20 seconds remaining when 6'9" Alberto Rodriquez hit a pair of free throws to bring it to 3.  On the ensuing possession, X stole the ball and had 6'0" Charlie Spurr wide open on the left baseline with a great look at a 3 but it came off.  Still, X got the ball on the ensuing rebound scrum, setting up Silver's attempt which came off. 

Dal had comfortable leads for most of the first 25 minutes or so, withstanding a 15-9 X run that got a 10 point halftime deficit to 4 but then Juleous Grant scored the final 5 points of the third quarter including a 30 foot heave at the buzzer to give Dal a nine point lead at 50-41 after 3.  An 18 footer by 6'7" Sandy Viet, who had a solid game, gave Dal a 57-47 lead with 5 minutes remaining but back-to-back jumpers by energizing 6'5" freshman Terry Thomas got X back to within 3 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.  Dal was able to continue their solid half-court "d" to get the big road win.

The Tigers completely controlled the tempo in the first half, jumping out to leads as high as 14, save for about a two minute stretch late in the second quarter after coach Steve Konchalski took a "t" and X had a mini 8-3 run culminated in a breakaway slam by Thomas and then a transition layup by Will Silver to bring the game back to 32-22 by halftime.  X shot just 9 for 29 in the half.  X-Men played without 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw but Dal made it a half-court game by taking X out of their offense despite X's desire to push the tempo with their pressure and transition.  Both Alberto Rodriquez and Jeremy Dunn picked up two fouls relatively early and played sparingly in the half.  Dal's 6'0" Peter Leighton knocked down a pair of threes and the Tigers front court combo of Viet and 6'9" Joe Schow was very effective, especially in the first half.  Viet's pair of free throws and a one/two effort after Konchalski's T capped a 17-6 run that gave the Tigers their largest lead at 28-14 before the X-Men were ignited by Thomas's athleticism.

UPEI 89, UNB 69  The Panthers dominated from the beginning, taking a 23 point halftime lead before cruising to split their weekend series in what was described as a very physical game.

Saturday's CIS Preview


Dalhousie at StFX 8:00 PM AST

Cape Breton at Acadia 8:00 PM AST

Bishop's at Laval 8:00 PM EST 

OUA Interlock
Laurier at York 8:00 PM EST 

Brock at Ryerson 8:00 PM EST

Guelph at Toronto 8:00 PM EST

Queen's at Lakehead 8:00 PM EST

Carleton at Windsor 8:00 PM EST

Waterloo at Laurentian 8:00 PM EST

Ottawa at Western 8:00 PM EST

RMC at McMaster 8:00 PM EST

Canada West
Winnipeg at Saskatchewan 8:00 PM CST

Brandon at Calgary 8:00 PM MST

Alberta at Trinity Western 7:00 PM PST

Regina at Victoria 7:00 PM PST

Lethbridge at Thompson Rivers 7:00 PM PST 

UFV at UBC 8:00 PM PST

Black's buzzer beater lifts Mac over Queen's

From this morning's Hamilton Spectator...

Marauders win in last second   A basket at the buzzer by rookie Taylor Black lifted the McMaster Marauders to a 69-67 victory over the Queen’s Gaels in an Ontario University Athletics men’s basketball game Friday.  Mac’s Victor Raso inbounded a lob pass from behind the basket with 0.8 of a second remaining. Black tipped it with one hand on the alley-oop off the glass and in to send the crowd into a frenzy.  Timothy Boyle’s three-point shot with 11.5 seconds left had tied the score at 67-67.  Cam Michaud was the top scorer for McMaster with 17 points. Black and Kenan Etale both had 12.

“Victor made a perfect read,” McMaster coach Amos Connolly said. “And Taylor obviously had a perfect finish. “Our team needed this. We’ve squandered some leads. It’s nice to catch a break.”

For Queen’s Dan Bannister tossed in a game-high 28 points.

The win was the second straight for Mac after three losses to open conference play.

The Marauders take on the winless Royal Military College Paladins Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Burridge Gym.

Canada West: Spartans pull away in 4th for victory over Alberta

Trinity Western 96, Alberta 83  6'7" Kyle Coston had 28 points and 8 rebounds while 6'6" Jacob Doerksen added 23 points and 6 rebounds as the Spartans used an 18-2 fourth quarter run to pull away and defeat the visiting Golden Bears.  The Bears made their final run early in the fourth after 6'4" Daniel Ferguson (16 points on 4-13 shooting) knocked in back-to-back 3's to bring Alberta back to within 5 at 75-70 with 8 minutes remaining, but Coston, Doerksen and 6'3" Calvin Westbrook (19 points) took over and within 5 minutes, TWU had their largest lead of the night at 93-72. 

Trinity shot 60% from the floor for the game as a team including 10-21 from downtown and took advantage of a Bears group that seemed to settle for jump shots in the critical early fourth-quarter stretch that decided the game.  Earlier, a three by 6'8" Jordan Baker (25 points, 9 rebounds) had tied the score at 50 with 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter but TWU took off on an 11-3 run to end the quarter as 6'6" Tonner Jackson had 6 of his 14 points in the run including a buzzer beating and 1 to give TWU a 9 point lead after three.

The Bears were in the game throughout the first half, taking their largest lead at 27-24 after a 15-5 run during which Baker had 8 points including a 3.  The Bears took their last lead on a Kenny Otieno steal and dunk with 2 minutes remaining and the teams went to halftime knoted at 40.  The teams meet again this evening.  Box Score

Saskatchewan 99, Winnipeg 48  The Huskies finished the first quarter on an 11-0 run then scored 17 of the first 20 points of the second - a 28-3 run in all - to hammer the Wesmen in Saskatoon.  The Huskies led by over 50 at one point and got 27 points from 6'1" fifth-year guard Rejean Chabot and another 21 from Jamelle Barrett.  6'6" Nolan Brudehl added a 16 point, 11 rebound double-double.  Box Score

UBC 84 Fraser Valley 68  The T-Birds outscored the Cascades 21-0 in transition and used their depth to gain a 30-9 advantage in bench scoring in pulling away to win in Vancouver.  6'2" Josh Whyte had 21 points and UBC was able to hold off UFV despite 12 3's from the Cascades who were led by Joel Freisen's 21 points.  Box Score

Victoria 97, Regina 69  The Vikes went 15 for 28 from the three point line and hammered the Cougars in front of 1,100 fans in Victoria.  6'5" Marco Dolcetti had 18 to lead the Vikes including 4-6 3's while Jeff Spoor came off the bench to go 4-5 from downtown, adding 15 points.  Vic led by 17 at halftime.  Box Score

Brandon 77, Calgary 70  O'Brien Wallace and Kyle Vince each hit big 3's in the final minute and a half of the game as the Bobcats pulled away in the waning moments for a key road win in Calgary.  Brandon won despite a terrible 12 for 26 effort at the foul line, getting double figure scoring from 5 players.  6'9" Tyler Fidler led the way for Calgary with 10 points and 15 rebounds but the Dinos hurt themselves with 28 turnovers on the night.    Box Score

Lethbridge 68, Thompson Rivers 65  Derek Waldner's layup with about 1 minute remaining gave the Horns the lead for good as the injury-riddled Lethbridge team came away with a gut-check road win in Kamloops.  After Connor Agnew drained a three pointer to put the WolfPack up 65-63, Lethbridge’s Wes Chapman scored to tie the game, setting up Waldner's dramatic game winner.  Waldner led the Horns with 18 points and 16 rebounds while Randy Davis added 15 points, with Danhue Lawrence chipping in with 10 points.  TRU was led by third-year guard Kevin Pribilsky who had 17 points in 36 minutes while fourth year forward Chas Kok with 15 points and 10 boards.  Box Score

Laval 72, UQAM 71

6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux shook off a mediocre night with a pair of clutch free throws with just 6 seconds remaining as Laval escaped with a victory over the Citadins.  Laval rarely led in a game in which UQAM dominated the glass and seemed to control the tempo.  6'4" Jerome Turcotte continues his breakthrough season with 27 points and 9 rebounds while 6'4" freshman Hughes Ryan had several big buckets down the stretch for Laval.  No further statistics are available as of yet.

Friday, 19 November 2010

AUS Tonight

UNB 88 UPEI 75   UNB remained undefeated as they win in Charlottetown.  Excellent game report from UPEI Basketball blog
Cape Breton 83 Acadia 71  The Capers came away with a big road win to go 5-0 on the young season.  No further details.

Quebec Summary

McGill 59, Bishop's 58  The Gaiters staged a exciting fourth-quarter rally but came up short at home as 6'0" Oriene Green missed a jumper on the final possession which would have given Bishop's their first lead since late in the first quarter.  The Redmen took the lead for good with an 8-0 run to end the first quarter and then led 40-22 midway through the third quarter.  Shortly thereafter, Bishop's coach Rod Gilpin switched to a 1-3-1 zone and the Redmen could not make shots as they went 1 for 13 from 3 point land in the second half but held on for the win.  Onnex Blackwood was instrumental in the Bishop's drive to try to take the lead, scoring 8 of his 13 points in the fourth and Jeremy Leonard-Smith returned from injury to knock down a pair of threes in the run but Bishop's could not get over the hump.  Olivier Bouchard led McGill with 12 points while Michael White and Winn Clark added 11 apiece.  Redmen freshman Simon Bibeau battled fouls all night before finally picking up his fifth in the fourth quarter and did not reach double figures, missing several shots against the zone.

Laval 72, UQAM 71  Rouge et Or trailed for much of the game in Montreal but pulled out the victory to reamin undefeated in advance of tomorrow's game at home against winless Bishop's.

OUA Summary

York 79, Waterloo 76  In a see-saw affair in which no team took leads larger than 5 points in the second half, the Lions took the lead for good with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining on an open 18 footer by 6'10" Stefan Haynes and then held the Warriors to just one basket the rest of the way to move to 2-3 on the season.  After the Warriors took their final lead at 74-73 on a free throw by Andrew Melbourne, Haynes was left wide open and he made no mistake from just inside the bowl.  Later 5'11" David Tyndale came off a high ball screen and got to the rim giving the Lions a 3 point lead.  But the real story was York's ability to hold Waterloo to only a foul line "j" by Alan Goodhofd.  The first half was lacklustre, filled with whistles and no flow however the teams were allowed to play in the second half and the result was many transition opportunities for both teams and an exciting, entertaining finish for what was a very large, boisterous crowd.  Waterloo (2-3) travels to Sudbury to face Laurentian while the Lions welcome Laurier Golden Hawks.

Windsor 84, Ottawa 81  The Lancers pulled away in the final minutes, led by a resurgent Enrico DeLoretto and a tremendous shooting display from 6'7" Andre Smyth.  With the score tied at 77 and about 2 minutes remaining, the Lancers got a take to the rim from DeLoretto, who shook off a horrible start.  Ottawa held tough without 6'6" Warren Ward (hamstring) and 6'3" Luke Minani, finishing the first quarter on a 7-0 run to lead by 4 and then were up 3 at 44-41 midway through the third.  The score was tied at 58 early in the fourth on a Nemanja Baletic put back for Ottawa but the Lancers took the lead as DeLoretto made a free throw and Josh Collins made a nice run in the lane.  But the spunky Gee-Gees hung tough until late. 

Laurentian 88, Laurier 87  The Voyageurs held off a furious Golden Hawk rally to record their second win of the season behind 32 points from guard Isaiah Pasquale.  Laurentian led 77-64 with about 6 minutes remaining and appeared to be coasting to a comfortable win but 6'5" Kale Harrison (23 points), who battled foul trouble and 6'6" Max Allin (22 points) got it going but could not overcome a tremendous effort by Pasquale, who 21 points after halftime, many in the third quarter when he went off.  Laurentian took the lead for good with an 11-3 run to end the first half and held a double digit leads in the second half.

Toronto 96, Brock 86  The Badgers had no answers inside for 6'7" Andrew Wasik as the burly post scored 25 points and added 8 rebounds while fellow post 6'6" Drazen Glizic added 22 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists as the two combined to go 18 for 26 from the floor.  Brock stayed in the game on the heels of an 18 for 42 effort from downtown but still Toronto led by 17 in the third quarter and kept the game in double digits throughout the second half before a large, boisterous crowd in Toronto.  The Blues broke out to an early 12 point lead but an 8-0 Brock run which included 3's from Cedric Kasango (14 points, 4-6 3's) and Mike Cruikshank (17 points 5-10 3's) brought it to 4 at 40-36, forcing a Blues timeout.  But Toronto scored the next 6 points to go up 10 again late in the second quarter.  Wasik and Glizic then took turns working inside with Glizic the author of some fine feeds inside as the Blues moved to 4-1 on the season.

Carleton 91, Western 66  The Ravens broke the game open early in the second quarter with a 15-2 run after the Mustangs held tough for about a quarter and then dominated from there, outrebounding the Mustangs 36-22 and got a combined 11 for 22 effort from dowtown from 6'2" freshman sensation Phil Scrubb (game-high 26 points) and 6'3" Elliott Thompson (18 points) to hammer the Mustangs, who absorbed their second consecutive lopsided loss at home.  Carleton led by 11 early in the second quarter extended to 23 on a fast break layin by Willy Manigat, who led Carelton with 6 assists, midway through the third quarter and coasted to the easy win.

Lakehead 75, RMC 41  The Wolves allowed only 20 points after three quarters, building a 41 point lead to hammer the Paladins in Thunder Bay.

Guelph 90, Ryerson 77  6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli had 30 including 5-7 3's while 5'11" Kareem Malcolm added 19 as the Gryphs built up a 23 point lead after three quarters to thrash the Rams in Toronto.  Moscatelli and Malcolm combined to go 8 for 13 from beyond the arc, part of a 12-22 effort by the Gryphs from 3.  6'5" Gerald Greenidge had a solid effort with 8 points and 16 rebounds as Guelph handily outrebounded the Rams.  6'3" Ryan McNeilly returned from injury with 17 points to lead Ryerson.

McMaster 69, Queen's 67  The Marauders overcame a 28 point effort from Gaels 6'2" guard Dan Bannister to hold off Queen's in Hamilton, forcing 30 Gales turnovers.  Mac got 17 from fourth year forward Cam Michaud, back after an illness sidelined him last weekend.

Final Tidbits to get you ready for tonight

UPEI Panther TV  has tonight's UNB at UPEI game beginning at 8 PM AT/ 7 PM ET.  See game preview here.  There are several players in this game with Eastern time zone roots.  The other AUS game tonight between Cape Breton and Acadia is also avaiable via Streaming Sports Network.  Incidentally, The road game at Acadia previously scheduled for Saturday, November 13th has been rescheduled for Thursday, December 2nd with tip times at 6:00 and 8:00 pm in Wolfville, NS. 

Laurentian Coach Shawn Swords has entered the latest edition of his weekly commentary on the Laurentian Men's Basketball blog.

Western honours Doug Hayes during Saturday's Game vs. Ottawa

Those who knew Doug would understand how much a night like this would mean to him if he were still with us.  Please support this great event.

For anyone wishing to donate to the Doug and Lauretta Hayes Scholarship fund, please visit:


Doug Hayes to be honoured at basketball fundraiser against Ottawa

Nov. 20: Doug Hayes Tribute Night, Ottawa vs. Western, 5 & 7 p.m.

By Andrew Simpson

LONDON, Ont. - When the Western Mustangs men and women's basketball teams host Ottawa on Nov. 20 the game will be about more than just basketball, it will be about honouring a man who helped build the basketball programs at Western.

That weekend the Mustangs and their fans will honour Doug Hayes with an appreciation night for all of the countless contributions, both tangible and intangible, he made to students, the program and the school during his time with Western. The official tribute will take place at 7 p.m.

Funds will be collected to be donated to the Doug and Lauretta Hayes Scholarship Fund at the game that evening or donations can be made online.

Hayes was a long time coach with the Mustangs, first as an assistant with the football team and then becoming head coach of the women's basketball team. He led them to three straight Ontario championships, the only three in their history.

Hayes then became coach of the men's basketball program for 17 years, ending his coaching career with back-to-back Wilson Cups as Ontario champions. He shifted his focus from coaching to devote his time for administration as the men's athletic co-ordinator and chairperson of intercollegiate athletics.

The entire time he was coaching he was still teaching a full course load in Kinesiology and continued to volunteer in the classroom for over a decade after his retirement as Professor Emeritus.

Hayes cannot be quantified purely by the multiple championships and accomplishments during his time with Western. His contribution extends much deeper than that making lasting personal connections with his students, peers and athletes.

When I asked friends and colleagues of Doug about what qualities would best define him, the answers were uniform in that he had a zest for life and a love for helping others.

"The thing I remember most about Doug was his joy for living," friend and colleague Earl Noble reminisced. "This was evident in his humour, his long-held friendships and his love of family."

"In everything he did from coaching to teaching to friendship, Doug always went the extra mile."

Craig Boydell, former basketball coach at Western and friend of Doug's, reiterated these points.

"Doug brought his special humour, warmth, balanced perspective and sense of celebration to everything he touched," Boydell said. "He could command and direct, but he also listened and facilitated. He was driven to achieve in some very competitive arenas, but he was comfortable in his own skin and helped others around him be comfortable in theirs."

Director of Sports and Recreation Services for the Mustangs, Therese Quigley, had the unique honour of being both taught by Doug and then later as a colleague. She remembers Doug's outstanding qualities and how he may be gone but is most certainly not forgotten.

"We will miss Doug, he was a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor to so many of us," Quigley said. "But he taught us well and his legacy will live on through the lives of so many that he touched in his career."

Join us at Alumni hall on Nov. 20 as the Western Mustangs' family and fans celebrate Doug Hayes' life and career as the Mustangs host the Ottawa Gee-Gees in OUA basketball action. The women will tip-off at 5 p.m. with the tribute to Hayes taking place at 7 p.m. before the men's game gets underway.

Tickets can be purchased at www.westernmustangs.ca and student admission is free with their Student ID card.

Friday's CIS Preview

AUS  Tonight's pair of games are the first of two game weekend series in Wolfville and Charlottetown.  Probably the most noteable matchup in the AUS goes Saturday night in Antigonish when Dal Tigers visit #2 St. FX X-Men at 8 PM.  Saint Mary's and Memorial are idle this weekend.

Cape Breton (4-0) at Acadia (1-1) 8:00 PM AST  Two of the consensus top four teams in the AUS meet in Wolfville.  The Capers appear deeper than the Axemen however a pair of all-AUS candidates in 6'8" Owen Klassen and 6'6" Justin Boutilier give Acadia an opportunity to win each night.  The ability of 6'2" Anthony Sears and 6'0" Tyler Lutton to handle the expected pressure from CBU's guards will be the key.  Live Video

UNB (2-0) at UPEI (0-1) 8:00 PM AST  After a solid pre-season and a pair of wins over MUN, the V-Reds get an opportunity to show the nation whether or not they are ready to move into the AUS Top 4 discussion with a pair of road games at UPEI. 

Quebec  Only 3 games scheduled in the "Q" this weekend with Concordia idle.  After tonight's games, both Laval and Bishop's travel up to Ste. Foy for the only QUBL action scheduled for Saturday.

Laval (1-0) at UQAM (1-1) 8:00 PM EST  The first rematch of last season's QUBL championship game in which the Citadins pulled off the upset to advance to the Nationals.  UQAM may have a sizeable advantage inside, especially if Laval's 6'6" Etienne Labrecque can't go tonight as he deals with a tailbone injury sustained in the first quarter of last Friday's victory over Concordia.  Look for a game in the 80's or 90's in what usually is an energized basketball environment at UQAM.   Live Video

McGill (1-0) at Bishop's (0-2) 8:00 PM EST  In the second of a home-and-home, this time in Lennoxville, the Gaiters welcome back a couple of players from injury and hope to avoid the free throw shooting and rebounding troubles that have plagued them thus far this season.  The Redmen started slowly last Saturday night but used a 16-0 run bridging the second and third quarters to pull away from Bishop's in their QUBL league opener at home.  Live Video

OUA Interlock
Brock (3-1) at Toronto (3-1) 8:00 PM EST  The Blues propensity to play significant amounts of zone may playing into the hands of the ultra-confident group of shooters that Brock possesses.  Toronto's ability to patiently run their sets and run defenders into screens will be a contrast to the Badgers objective of pushing the tempo defensively.  Live Video

Waterloo (2-2) at York (1-3) 8:00 PM EST   The Lions can be very tough at home and Waterloo comes off a solid weekend at home with a victory over Ottawa and a good effort in a loss to #1 Carleton.  Live Video

RMC (0-4) at Lakehead (3-1) 8:00 PM EST 

Queen's (1-3) at McMaster (1-3) 8:00 PM EST  A pair of rookie coaches face off in Hamilton as Mac's Amos Connolly looks to build on his first OUA victory last weekend over York while the Gaels continue their four-game road trip led by 6'2" Dan Bannister, who appears to be back at full strength after a tremendous second half last weekend at Brock. 

Carleton (4-0) at Western (2-2) 8:00 PM EST  The Mustangs look to regroup after being thrashed at home against Toronto with #1 Ravens providing a challenging task.  Controlling Andy Wedemire will be a key for Carleton while Mustangs Ryan Barbeau was apparently injured during last Saturday's loss to the Blues.  6'5" Cole Hobin looks to bounce back defensively for Carleton.

Laurier (3-1) at Laurentian (1-3) 8:00 PM EST  Mentor (Peter Campbell) vs. Pupil (Shawn Swords) in Sudbury tonight at the Golden Hawks visit Sudbury.  The young Voyageurs front line will be tested by the deep, veteran Laurier set of forwards although Laurentian may have the overall advantage in the back court depending upon the health of the Pasquale brothers.  Live Video

Guelph (2-2) at Ryerson (1-3) 8:00 PM EST  It is rather early but consider this game as a "must win" for both teams with both teams battling through a series of injuries.

Ottawa (1-3) at Windsor (4-0) 8:00 PM EST   The undefeated Lancers welcome both Ottawa teams this weekend and the health of two key players:  Windsor's Isaac Kuon and Ottawa's Warren Ward, is likely to have significant impact on this game although the Lancers were tight in Kuon's absence last weekend.  It appears the Gee-Gees may not have 6'3" Luke Minani in the lineup this weekend meaning a greater opportunity for 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe to reassert himself as Ottawa's point guard this season after a season's absence.  Live Video

Canada West  Feature game in the Alberta at Trinity Western battle in Langley while #2 UBC welcomes the scrappy Cascades from Fraser Valley in what could be another good one given the large element of B.C. players squaring off.  Comprehensive game previews available here.  Follow this link to watch all six games tonight

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan 8:00 PM CST
Brandon at Calgary 8:00 PM MST
UFV at UBC 8:00 PM PST 
Alberta at Trinity Western 8:00 PM PST
Regina at Victoria 8:00 PM PST
Lethbridge at Thompson Rivers 8:00 PM PST

Also, Wayne Thomas's preview available here

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Thursday Notes

After sweeping Saint Mary's Huskies this past weekend in Sydney, Cape Breton Coach Jim Charters was quoted as saying that the Huskies were the "best 0-4 team in Canada".  That may very well be the case, but SMU Coach Ross Quackenbush is likely lamenting his overall team defence, which has yielded an average of 97 ppg thus far in AUS league play, allowing teams to shoot 44%.  The Huskies have also hurt themselves by shooting just 64% from the free throw, the lowest percentage in the AUS as a team.  6'1" Joey King Handles Haywood has played every minute of every game thus far for SMU averaging a league-high 28 points, while shooting 54% and getting to the foul line over 7 times per game thus far.  Haywood has a 13 assists/16 turnovers ratio unfortunately and has taken almost 30% of the shots for SMU.  Still, as is usually the case, expect Quackenbush to use the rest of the first half and the Shoveller Tournament over the Holidays to get his team ready for the stretch run, when SMU usually peaks into the AUS tournament.  The Huskies next game is an all-Halifax affair at home on Tuesday night against Dalhousie at the Tower... We haven't taken a detailed look at the top freshman in the AUS as of yet but Cape Breton's rookie guard Julian Smith has been solid in the Capers first four games, averaging 10 ppg in about 16 mpg while making 7 of his 13 three-point attempts.  Smith's numbers could be even better save for his struggles at the free throw line, where he shoots only 54%...  While the MUN Sea-hawks are 0-4, they led Cape Breton at halftime two weekends ago and were in the game until very late this past Sunday at UNB until 6'1" Antwan Parks hit a big 3 late in the game to keep the Sea-hawks winless.  MUN welcomed back arguably their top player in 6'2" Mike Helsby this past weekend after he missed the home opener weekend against Cape Breton (and much of the pre-season if memory serves).  Helsby had 10 points in 17 minutes on Saturday and then got a long run (29 minutes) vs. UNB on Sunday.  Expect MUN to be a tougher group when Helsby gets himself fit for 30+ minutes.  MUN is idle until the weekend after this, hosting Saint Mary's for a pair of four point games in St. John's... Speaking of UNB, the V-Reds are much improved, primarily due to a maturing backcourt led by 5'10" Andy Wright, who is a prototypical high IQ point guard who, when right, gets others involved and makes great decisions.  6'2" sophomore Dan Quirion from Moncton entered the AUS with a reputation as a long-range perimeter shooter and he continues to grow into one of the finer young shooters in the conference, thus far leading the Reds in scoring at 16.5 ppg.  The aforementioned Parks, an import from Queen's, NY, had been injured for the entire pre-season but has returned, coming off the bench and he was in the middle of the Reds win on Sunday in a big way, making the go-ahead-to-stay 3 and then making a key defensive play on the very next possession.  Another big key to the Reds is 6'8" Lonzel Lowe, a big body low post player who is strong and has a very nice stroke from the elbow.  Lowe has worked hard and is a presence inside but continues to be plagued by foul trouble in the early going, limiting the Brampton, ON native's minutes played to just 22 per game.  UNB travels to UPEI for a pair of games in Charlottetown this weekend... The injury bug has plagued Guelph Gryphons all season and did so again this past weekend as forward Kevin Cameron suffered a broken nose in Friday’s game against RMC.  According to Rob Massey's article in the Guelph Mercury, Cameron, the transfer from Windsor, is hoping to be able to get back in the lineup, possibly as early as next weekend when the Gryphs play at Ryerson Friday night and Toronto Saturday night.  The Gryphs already had forwards Sharieff Wiredu and Matthew Howlett, centre John Brutto and guard Drew Morris out with various injuries... As reported here earlier this week, the winless Bishop's Gaiters are getting two or three players back from injury and rugby and the new-look Gaiters need to address some gaping areas of concern to get on the winning track, beginning with rebounding.  The Gaiters have done a solid job of defending in spurts as witnessed in much of the first half of their game this past Saturday night at McGill (teams shoot only 42% from the field against Bishop's) however the Gaiters have allowed over 17 offensive rebounds per game in their two Q league matches and has been outrebounded by 10 boards per game.  Bishop's also has left numerous points at the free throw line as the Gaiters shoot just 46% as a group from the stripe; overall from the floor the Gaiters shoot only 33% as a team.  Bishop's hosts McGill on Friday and then travels to Ste. Foy to face Laval on Saturday in their next two games...  Concordia Stingers are already riding their exciting NCAA D1 transfer 6'2" Kyle Desmarais, who averaged 24 ppg in the Stingers 1-1 start last weekend while playing 36 minutes per game.  Concordia's star four man Evens Laroche was limited to only 26 mpg and 7.5 ppg with foul trouble in both games, giving 6'6" freshman Zack Brisebois more time in the rotation and the rookie responded with 4.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while himself battling fouls.  Brisebois also went only 1 for 6 from the line, an area in which he must improve if he wants more run... Although UQAM has a solid, high-potential pair of bigs in 6'4" Alex Bernard and 6'7" Vincent Lanctot-Fortier, who between them averaged 23 points and 16 rebounds over the Citadins 1-1 start, the stats show that coach Olga Hrycak's crew has a style very similar to previous UQAM teams.  To wit, the Citadins have grabbed 39 offensive rebounds in the 2 games and forced 52 opponents turnovers (26 per game).  Meanwhile, UQAM shoots only 26% from downtown and 51% from the foul line, figures that need to go up if the balance Citadins, who have 7 players scoring 7.5 ppg or more, are going to repeat as Quebec league champions... Brandon's O'Brien Wallace is making an early case for consideration as Canada's top sixth man, coming off the bench in each the Bobcats six games thus far to average 18.5 ppg while shooting 52% from downtown in just 24 minutes per game.  Hopefully more to come...