Thursday, 23 December 2010

Ryerson National Invitational Tournament Preview

Part of the make over plans Ryerson Rams coach Roy Rana has for turning around the fortunes of his fledgling program include hosting this eight-team event that has been rekindled after a few years - this event has had a history of being one of the top Holiday tournaments in Canada.  With CIS Top 10 team Toronto Varsity Blues and Walsh College, one of the top NAIA programs in the U.S. headlining the participants, the field is strong for the rebirth of this GTA Holiday tradition.  The tournament format features a classic first round, semi-final, championship game format over three days.  Expect some athletic, up tempo excitement at Kerr Hall in downtown Toronto.

2010 Ryerson University National Invitational Tournament Bracket

Tuesday, December 28
Game 1: 1:00 p.m. Toronto vs. Mohawk  A tremendous first-half unexpectedly put the Blues on the radar as arguably the most pleasant surprise in the CIS, over-achieving with a relatively inexperienced core group that has been strengthened with great play from their pair of fourth-year forwards 6'6" Drazen Glizic and 6'6" Andrew Wasik, both of who have rapidly matured in their evolution from support to front line rotation players, plus stellar offensive performances from 6'5" Alex Hill.  But the real difference in U of T's success has been the strong overall guard play from fifth-year senior (but first-year starter) 6'1" Anthony DeGiorgio.  The Mountaineers (10-4 overall, 6-3 in OCAA West) feature four former CIS players in 6'0" Aminu Bello (17.1 ppg), 5'9" Jermaine DeCosta (11.9 ppg), 6'4" Nick Fadayel (11.6 ppg) - all three former McMaster Marauders and 6'5" Alex Reis (6.8 ppg - played last season at Brock).  Size is likely to be an issue with Mohawk in this game but expect the Mountaineers experience and athleticism in the backcourt to test the more deliberate Blues.
Game 2: 3:00 p.m. York vs. Walsh  One of the top NAIA teams in the U.S., the Walsh (Ohio) Cavaliers have only 3 losses - all to NCAA Division 1 teams (Ohio U. by 14; Ohio State by 46 and Wednesday night to West Virginia 86-63).  The Cavs have won all ten NAIA games including 3-0 in league play highlighted by a two point win at Daemen College, which just defeated both U of T Blues and Laurier at home in their Can-Am tournament.  6'3" Jeremy Shardo (18 ppg) and 6'0" Lamar Skeeter (16.2 ppg including season-high 29), a pair of senior guards who can score lead the way for Walsh, which also brings some size in 6'9" sophomore Kenny Kornowski and 6'7" junior Ron Kinney.  The Walsh front line should be a nice matchup for Lions pair of athletic, talented posts 6'10" Dejan Kravic and 6'11" Stefan Haynes.  Key to Lions success will be how well 5'10" David Tyndale scores and gets teammates involved.  6'5" Ostap Chioly is a streaky scorer who can carry his team offensively when making shots.
Game 3: 5:30 p.m. Waterloo vs. New Brunswick  An interesting matchup between a pair of teams in the middle of the pack of their respective conferences, both featuring a strong offensive talent on the wing with Warriors 6'3" Cam McIntyre (42 points in Waterloo's final game of the first half against Ryerson) and 6'3" freshman Will McPhee, one of two Australian imports at UNB.
Game 4: 7:30 p.m. Ryerson vs. Algoma  The host Rams hope to be back at full strength after working through a series of first-half injuries as they face Algoma Thunderbirds (4-5 OCAA West), coached by Thomas Cory who has guided Algoma to the OCAA Final Four the past two seasons.  A pair of former CIS stars are also on the Thunderbirds staff:  Robbie Green, former CIS Rookie-of-the-Year at UVic and later on one of Carleton Ravens national championship teams, plus former Ottawa Gee-Gee Winston Ivey (circa late 80's, early 90's).  6'4" fourth-year forward Patrick Murray, third in the OCAA at 18.9 ppg, leads the T-Birds offensively, highlighted by a season-high 37 points in a recent home loss to Fanshawe.  The host Rams (2-6 in league play) are led by a CIS Freshman of the Year candidate in 6'0" guard Jahmal Jones and hope to have back 6'7" freshman center Bjorn Michaelsen, who missed all but one possession of the first half of the regular season.

Wednesday, December 29
Game 5: 1:00 p.m. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6: 3:00 p.m. Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 7: 5:30 p.m. Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Game 8: 7:30 p.m. Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

Thursday, December 30
Game 9: 11:30 a.m. Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6
Game 10: 1:30 p.m. Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 11: 4:00 p.m. Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 - 3rd Place
Game 12: 6:00 p.m. Winner Game 7 vs. Winner 8 - Championship

Tournament Preview from Ryerson Sports

No comments: