Tuesday, 16 November 2010

CISHoops.ca Top 10 as of 16 November 2010

A little bit more clarity, at least at/near the top of the rankings this weekend although it is much too early to shed the "parity" theme as of yet.

#1 Carleton (11-0, 4-0) (LW #1)  While the Ravens won both road games, Carleton uncharacteristically had two big individual scoring efforts against, highlighted by 6'5" Kale Harrison's 39 points on Friday in a game that was tied with 5 minutes to go at Laurier.  Saturday night, 6'3" Cam McIntyre went off for 27; very uncharacteristic for the Ravens and their top notch lock-down defense.  The gradual improvement in health of 5'11" Mike Kenny and the resulting impact on Carleton's "o" was on display this weekend but coach Dave Smart cannot be satisfied with his group's overall defensive effort this weekend.  Ravens will be severely tested this coming weekend with a pair of road games at Windsor (OUA Wilson Cup rematch) and at Western.

#2 St. FX (9-1, 1-0) (LW #2)  X was idle this weekend but will jump right back into the teeth of their AUS schedule as they host Dal next Saturday night and then tangle with Cape Breton a week from Wednesday.  The X-Men have what most would consider a softer regular season schedule, playing more games against UPEI, UNB and Memorial and fewer against more highly touted Cape Breton, Acadia, Dal and SMU.

#3 UBC (9-2, 6-2) (LW #4)  Two comfortable wins against an improving Winnipeg Wesmen side in which the offense dominated and virtually everyone hit the scoresheet reinforces T-Birds ranking at/near the top of the CIS.  Two tremendous efforts by 6'5" Kamar Burke are encouraging; Burke has the athleticism and talent to bring it every night and continues to look for the consistency that would put him in All-Canadian discussions.  UBC gets Fraser Valley next weekend giving Burke and fellow big men Graham Bath and others an opportunity to go to work against the injury-riddled Cascades front line.

#4 Trinity Western (7-2, 6-2) (LW #5) Two more hammerings at home this past weekend against the Regina Cougars pushes the Spartans a little higher this week with their only two losses to UBC at home, both in decisive fashion still giving the naysays the ammunition to question this high ranking.  Much will be settled next weekend with this week's new #7 Alberta Golden Bears visiting Langley this coming weekend, which sets up as one of the biggest CW matchups remaining on the schedule.  Expect the Spartans to have the edge in the front court but how TWU deals with 6'8" Jordan Baker and 6'4" Daniel Ferguson should decide these matchups.

#5 Windsor (6-2, 4-0) (LW: #7)  Even without 6'3" Isaac Kuon, who was off to a tremendous start before suffering what appears to be a high ankle sprain during practice last week, the Lancers had a comfortable win against the resurgent Toronto Varsity Blues and then held off the improving Ryerson Rams as fifth-year senior Monty Hardware went to work late in the game with a big 3 and seven consecutive points to keep the Lancers undefeated in league play.  Windsor's youngsters including 6'7" Liam Philip, 6'0" Josh Collins and 6'1" Enrico DeLoretto (all sophomores) continue to mature rapidly and each were instrumental in the Ryerson win but this team needs their All-Canadian Kuon back quickly as a OUA Wilson Cup rematch with #1 Carleton Ravens looms this coming Saturday night in Windsor.

#6 Laval (6-2, 1-0) (LW #10)  A very impressive home win against Concordia without Christian Trottier and only a few minutes out of 6'6" Etienne Labrecque helps their ranking.  Laval's only two losses were to #1 Carleton, in which they led for more than half the game, and a very improved UNB team which Rouge et Or uncharacteristically shot the ball poorly.  Labrecque's health is key in the short-term as he battles a tail bone injury.  Friday night's game at UQAM against the resurgent defending "Q" champs will be telling.  Quietly, 6'4" Jerome Turcotte is starting to put together a strong, consistent season (21 pts/9 rbs against the Stingers).

#7 Alberta (6-2, 5-1) (LW: #8)  The sign of a maturing program is the ability to win on the road and the Golden Bears are now 4-0 away from Edmonton after sweeping a pair in Brandon.  6'4" Daniel Ferguson already rates as arguably the best newcomer in the country, leading Canada West in scoring at 25.2 ppg while shooting 55% from three point land (2nd in the conference).  6'8" Jordan Baker turned in what will likely be many dramatic performances, scoring 13 points in the final 6 minutes of the fourth quarter in Saturday night's win at Brandon.  Alberta's final four games of the first half of their CW schedule at Trinity Western and at home against UVic will be a challenge.

#8 Concordia (6-1, 1-1) (LW #3) Concordia lost their season opener at Laval even with Rouge et Or essentially missing two starters but did rally in the second half to win at UQAM, which appeared to implode amid an array of technical and intentional fouls.  6'2" Kyle Demarais is one of the top newcomers in the CIS however Concordia will go as far as their contributions up front from 6'5" James Clark and others will take them.  Stingers are off until one week from Friday when they host McGill in their league home opener.
#9 Saskatchewan (10-3, 5-3) (LW: #9)  Two impressive wins at Lethbridge keeps the Huskies in the Top 10 and their guard combo of Jamelle Barrett and Rejean Chabot continues to impress.  Saskatchewan completes the first half of their Canada West schedule with a pair of home games against Winnipeg in Saskatoon this coming weekend.

#10 Toronto (8-3, 3-1) (LW:  NR)  So much for regarding this as a rebuilding season for the hot-shooting Blues who continue to show that if you defend, rebound and make shots, virtually any game is winnable.  Saturday night's thrashing of Western in which they neutralized All-Canadian Andy Wedemire, forcing him into 5 turnovers with various double teams (part of 24 Western turnovers overall) is another example of how well prepared this team usually is.  The group of unheralded guards continues to make 3's in bunches and if 6'5" Alex Hill can continue to grow as a creator/decision-maker, Varsity will have a consistent, talented go-to scorer to build around for several years to come.

Others considered:  Dalhousie (6-2, 2-0), Western (7-2, 2-2) (LW #6), Laurier (6-4, 3-1)

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