Tuesday, 23 November 2010

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).

No comments: