Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sunday Recap

Western 83 UQAM 74   The Mustangs (5-0 vs. CIS teams) kept the Citadins winless in what was described as a physical affair with numerous fouls.  Western got tremendous performances from Ryan Barbeau 16pts 4 rbs 7 assts 4 stls, Adam Jespersen 16 pts 17 rbs. 4 assts 2 stls, Andy Wedemire 21pts 5 rbs, freshman Peter Scholtes 11 pts and Marcus Barnett 14 pts 5 rbs

The game was reasonably tight throughout as the Mustangs tried to deal with UQAM's constant full court pressure.  Western took their largest lead of the game at 13 with about 4 minutes remaining and then clinched the game on the foul line.

"We didn't play well but did enough to get the win. We will need to be better this week as league play begins. " Said Western Head Coach Bradley Campbell.

York 91, Bishop's 67  The Lions built an early 24-10 lead and cruised to an easy win against the winless Gaiters.  York built their largest lead at 70-42 after three quarters as 4 of 5 Lions starters finished in double figures.  5'11" Oriene Green led Bishop's with 16 points while 6'8" freshman center Mike Andrews and 6'1" sophomore guard Onnex Blackwood each finished with 12 points.

Vermont 68, Concordia 56  The Stingers stayed in the game until midway through the second half, down only 4 with 9 minutes remaining before an 8-1 run by the Catamounts put the game away.  Concordia hit 7 of 10 threes at one stretch to keep themselves in it. 

Vermont took a 32-31 lead into halftime as all 13 Catamounts that dressed saw action in the opening 20 minutes of play. UVM led by as many as six in the opening stanza at 21-15 with 8:45 to go in the frame.  The Catamounts were on top 30-25 before Concordia netted six straight to take a one-point advantage with just over a minute to play in the first. 

Vermont opened the second half by scoring eight straight to extend its lead to 40-31 later led 51-47 with 9:04 to go when it used a 7-1 run to extend its lead to 58-48.  6'5" James Clark finished with 18 points for Concordia (14 in the first half), while 6'2" Decee Krah added 17 as the Stingers shot only 34.6 percent from the floor in the second half and committed 20 turnovers in the game.

Box Score

Capers split pair in the U.S.

Cape Breton Capers took a two game tour of U.S. colleges this weekend, coming up with an overtime victory over Husson College, an NCAA Division III team from Bangor, ME, on Friday night before losing yesterday afternoon 72-57 to Maine Black Bears, an NCAA Division 1 team in the America East conference, where current Caper Paris Carter was an All-Freshman team selection a few years ago with University of Hartford.  Carter and fellow American Jimmy Dorsey had 15 points apiece to lead Cape Breton yesterday in Orono, Maine  Box Score

Article from Bangor Daily News

Utah State 93, Laval 51

Laval kept it reasonable in the first half but went into halftime down 19 before the Aggies clamped down defensively in the second half.  6'4" Jerome Turcotte had 15 of his 17 points in the first half while 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux led Laval with 19 including 12 in the first half.

Laval meets Weber State on Monday night.

Box Score

X captures their own tournament

Monty Mosher of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald summarizes X's victory as 6'0" Charlie Spurr put on a show from downtown and was named tournament MVP in last night's 98-84 win over Saint Mary's.  UNB defeated UPEI 79-75 in the consolation final.

The St. Francis Xavier X-Men men’s basketball team captured its own invitational tournament with a 98-84 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies Saturday night at Oland Centre.

St. F.X. has only one loss in the pre-season.

X-Men guard Charlie Spurr made five consecutive three-pointers for his 15 points and earned tournament MVP. He had eight three-pointers on Friday against UPEI.

Read More

Alberta 87, Thompson Rivers 60

The Golden Bears jumped out to a 50-31 halftime lead behind their young high-quality core led by 6'8" sophomore guard Jordan Baker with 22 points and 14 rebounds including 10 on the defensive end.  The Bears were able to dominate the glass (51-32) and get out in transition (54% shooting in the first half).  The WolfPack shot only 32% on the game.

6'4" fourth-year transfer Daniel Ferguson added 15 points for Alberta (2-0), while 6'10" second-year center Rob Dewar contributed 15 points.  Flashy, athletic guard 6'2" Kenny Otieno chipped in with 12.
“Probably for the first time this season we didn’t not bring a pretty good effort,” said TRU coach Scott Clark as quoted on Thompson Rivers athletic site. “ We were handed our hat, it was as simple as that.”

The WolfPack was led by their 6'2" import guard Justin Riggins (Altanta, GA) who had 20 points in 34 minutes on the floor.  Simon Fraser transfer guard Kevin Pribilsky had 14 points.

The WolfPack entertain the Trinity Western Spartans in their next action. The Spartans are at the Tournament Capital Center on November 5 th and 6 th. Alberta goes home to host UBC.

Box Score

Birds sweep Spartans

Howard Tsumura of the Vancouver Province details UBC's two game sweep in Langley against the previously-unbeaten Trinity Western Spartans.

The UBC Thunderbirds have passed a big test in the early stages of the Canada West men's basketball season.

Saddled with opening their season against the two teams picked as their toughest competition in the conference, the Birds completed a two-game weekend sweep of the Trinity Western Spartans with a 90-77 win Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
Read more

Victoria 78, Saskatchewan 67

The Vikes had a much better overall defensive team effort and coach Craig Beaucamp shook up the starting lineup, bringing usual starter 6'4" Ryan MacKinnon off the bench and MacKinnon answered the bell with a team-leading 16-point performance, including 7-for-7 from the stripe.  Victoria got 34 points from their bench in the win.

Making the most of their first starts of the season, Pierce Anderson and Jeff Spoor chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Zac Andrus contributed eight points, and seeing his first serious stretch of court time, Reece Pribilisky dished out five assists.

Jamelle Barrett led the home team in scoring with 29 points, but was the lone bright spot in the Huskies lineup that struggled offensively, going only 2 for 17 overall from downtown, shooting only 38% in the second half and turning it over 22 times including 9 by Barrett.  The loss spoiled Saskatchewan's Ring Night ceremony honouring last season's CIS national champions.

Box Score

Regina 76, Brandon 75

6'1" Jeff Lukomski knocked down a pair of free throws with 22 seconds remaining to give the Cougars the lead for good and Regina withstood a last second attempt at a game-winning shot by Brandon's Kyle Vince to eek out a one-point win at home and sweep the weekend series. 

The Bobcats rallied from 8 down with just over 2 minutes remaining, taking the lead on an O'Brien Wallace basket with 34 seconds remaining at 75-74.  Wallace, who led all scorers with 36 points on 12-20 shooting and added 7 rebounds, had 7 points in the 9-0 Brandon run that gave them their last lead in a game that saw the lead change hands several times in the fourth quarter.  Paul Gareau had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Regina (2-0).

Stats Package

Calgary 99, Lethbridge 70

The Dinos rebounded from last night's upset loss to hammer the Horns as 6'9" Tyler Fidler had a 21-point/11-rebound double double and Calgary shot 11-25 from downtown including a 4 for 7 effort from Andrew McGuiness, who had a game-high 22 points, one of 5 Dinos in double figures.

Lethbridge, which trailed by 16 at halftime after giving up 50 first half points, was hurt by 23 turnovers and 30 fouls called against them.  Randy Davis had 16 to lead Lethbridge.

Stats Package

Manitoba 83, Fraser Valley 80

6'3" Joel Freisen's attempt at a game-tying three came up short and the Bisons continued their early season winning ways with their second consecutive road win in Abbotsford.  More to come...

UBC 92, Trinity Western 77

The T-Birds again did a tremendous job defending and came up with a comfortable win in Langley.  I was able to catch the final 5 minutes of the game and was especially impressed with 6'1" fifth-year point guard Alex Murphy and his ability to get to where he wanted to on the floor and either finish or find guys.  The capper was Murphy driving by 6'0" Tristan Smith and finding a cutting 6'3" Doug Plumb along the baseline, who finished with a thunderous two-handed slam that restored a 15 point lead.  TWU is loaded with athletes including 6'7" lefty Kyle Coston, who had a late-game slam but the focus of their offense is (should be) 6'6" Jacob Doerksen and his array of moves inside but also with the ability to be effective on the perimeter, either shooting 3's or getting open and driving, which he did late in the game, taking a feed and slamming home a dunk.  More to come...

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Dalhousie 86, Guelph 62

The Gryphs fall to 0-3 during their tour of the AUS while the Tigers break a two-game slide.

Windsor 78, UQAM 68

The Lancers built leads as large as 25 points in the second half before giving up 29 fourth-quarter points in garbage time as Windsor handed UQAM another loss.

Toronto 84, McGill 72

The Blues pulled away in the final 5 minutes using their patented zone "d" and another strong effort by their bench to defeat the Redmen in downtown Toronto.  After 6'3 freshman Simon Bibeau knocked down a 3 with 4 minutes remaining in the game to make it a 3 point game at 72-69, Varsity switched to a 2/3 zone and McGill missed their final 5 three pointers of the game to allow Varsity to build the lead back up to double digits, primarily on the foul line.

Toronto got strong efforts inside from 6'7" veteran Drazen Glisic (17 points) and 6'6" Andrew Wasik (15 points/7 rebounds).  But the bench was key tonight for Toronto as reserve guard Arun Kumar came off the bench to knock down 3 3's in the second quarter that erased an early 9 point McGill lead.  6'3" Ben Garvin was also instrumental off the bench, having his second consecutive solid effort with a pair of 3's as part of his 17 point effort. 

As has been the case for much of the season, McGill was led by their very good freshman Bibeau, who had a game-high 24 points.  The Redmen hurt themselves by shooting only 3 for 17 from downtown and turning it over 21 times.  McGill goes 1-1 on their tour of Toronto while the Blues have now won 4 consecutive games and finish the pre-season at a solid 5-2. 

Box Score

Ryerson 92, Bishop's 55

Scoring the first 15 points of the game and then taking a 27 point lead into halftime, the Rams were able to play their entire bench for long stretches in dominating the winless Gaiter in downtown Toronto.  6'0" freshman point guard Jamahl Jones was outstanding for the Rams with 20 points and 5 assists while another freshman, 6'3" swingman Jordan Gauthier also added 20 in the win.  6'2" Ola Adegboruwa contributed 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals, authoring another dominating all-round performance.

Bishop's meets York Lions tomorrow afternoon in North York.

Ottawa 79 Acadia 64

6'6" Warren Ward had 25 of his 29 points after halftime, including 12 in a 5 1/2 minute stretch bridging the third and fourth quarters during a game-deciding 18-0 Ottawa run, and the Gee Gees rallied from 13 down to win in Wolfville. 

The Axemen were on fire especially in the second quarter when Anthony Sears (18 points to lead the Axemen) got going and Acadia shot 50% from the floor including 5-9 from 3 in the first half to lead by 13.  Sears' 3 with 4 minutes remaining in the half gave Acadia their largest lead at 36-20.  The Gee-Gees finally tied the game at 51 in the third quarter on a three pointer by 6'2" freshman Johnny Berhane (17 points), who again was instrumental in Ottawa's offensive success, knocking down his other 2 3's during the big 18-0 run. 

Acadia shot just 20% in the second half including 2-15 3's while Ottawa shot 56% including 7-12 from downtown, primarily off Ward penetration and easy lay-ins off steals and turnovers. 

Ward added 5 assists and 4 steals for Ottawa while 6'8" Owen Klassen had 14 points before fouling out and 6'6" Justin Boutilier had 12 points and 6 rebounds. 

Ottawa finishes their tour of the AUS at 2-1 and are now 5-2 overall vs. CIS teams.  Acadia takes their first loss of the season at home.

Box Score

Warriors Close Exhibition Season with Win

Warriors Close Exhibition Season with Win (with thanks to Martin Timmerman)

The Waterloo Warriors closed out their fall exhibition schedule with a 74-56 win over the visiting Fanshawe Falcons on Saturday afternoon at the PAC. It was a 32 point third quarter that broke open a close game and let Waterloo cruise to a win.

Fifth year senior Alan Goodhoofd had a career best 24 points in leading the Warriors in scoring. Alan added 12 rebounds to lead Waterloo to a rebounding advantage over the Falcons.

The first half saw both teams struggle on the offensive end, with Waterloo shooting just 34%, but Fanshawe even lower at 27%. Waterloo was up just two at the half 23-21. Coming out of the locker room at half time, the Warriors were more focused, taking care of the ball and hitting their shots instead of watching them rim out. In the second half, Waterloo hit for 56%, while Fanshawe continued to struggle with 30% shooting.

The Falcons had just two players in double figures, with Jesse Duguay hitting for 11 points and Jordan Dixon adding 10. For Waterloo, Brendan Smith added 13 points, while freshman Andrew Melbourne had his first double digit game, providing 12 points.

The Warriors open the OUA season on Friday, November 5 when they visit Kingston and the RMC Paladins. Game time is 8:00 pm.

Regina Preview from local Leader-Post newspaper

Ian Hamilton of the Leader-Post provides a comprehensive look at the Cougars with quotes from Coach James Hillis and an update on the young season

Cougars much different than last season's squad
The University of Regina Cougars begin the 2010-11 men's basketball season as a top-10 team — in their conference.

The Cougars finished 10th in a poll of the 13 Canada West coaches, behind the likes of the UBC Thunderbirds, Saskatchewan Huskies and Trinity Western Spartans. Ironically, the four former GPAC teams — the Cougars, Manitoba Bisons, Brandon Bobcats and Winnipeg Wesmen — finished 10th through 13th in the voting, respectively

It's on... UPEI is in the Movember Challenge as well

Actually, coach Matt Davies advises that his Panthers have been actively raising funds for this worthy cause since last week.  Three teams in... 39 to go.  I can see this moving quickly...  

Winning program gets a free one season subscription to plus other great perks.

Ryerson Rams Preview

Most teams that need to replace their program's all-time leading scorer in 6'7" Boris Bakovic, a veteran 6'10" big in Joey Imbrogno and a solid decision-making guard Josh Budd would regard the following year as one devoted to rebuilding.  Ultra-hard working Ryerson Coach Roy Rana will have none of that talk however, bringing in arguably the deepest and highest potential recruiting class in the CIS which already has yielded at least three or four 30+ minute per game starters and other rotation-ready reserves.  Rana has an urgency to his actions with a low tolerance for pushing off success into the future.  If not right away, Ryerson looks at winning very soon as a very reasonable objective.

If forming the foundation of long-term winning starts with the presence of a strong, high IQ point guard, then Rye is very comfortable with 6'0" freshman Jahmal Jones, maybe the most heavily recruited pg in Ontario by CIS teams.  The starter from Day One, Jones brings athleticism, competitiveness and leadership to arguably the most important position for a young team on the floor. 

Ryerson's best overall player in the pre-season thus far has been 6'2" newcomer Ola Adegboruwa, originally from Toronto Emery before spending a couple of seasons at U.S. junior college.  Adegboruwa, who has an infecitous competitive drive that has cast him as a team leader already, will have the ball in his hands alot offensively given his willingness and ability to make strong decisions.  Adegboruwa has the skills to slash to the rim, get out in transition and distribute when necessary; expect him to fill stats sheets and likely author a triple/double or two along the way this season.  The third newcomer is a freshman out of Quebec, 6'7" Bjorn Michaelsen, a solid and steady post presence who finishes and provides a paint-area defensive presence.  All three newcomers have logged 30+ minutes per game as starters in Rana's lineup.

A pair of holdovers from the past several years enter their senior seasons, ready to provide experience and a knowledge of the league, beginning with steady 6'3" fifth-year wing Ryan McNeilly, who has the experience and temperment to assume the leadership role for assimilating the new players into the program.  McNeilly comes off a 12 ppg/30 mpg season in '09-'10 and will be primarily looked upon to defend and knock shots down; he had a career-high 29 points vs. Humber.  Fellow senior 6'4" Luke Staniscia is strong and athletic and provides perimeter scoring to open up the lane offensively.

A fourth newcomer who has started in the early season and should be a 25+ minute per game guy is 6'3" freshman Jordan Gauthier from Windsor, a deceptive athlete who can slash to the rim and is a strong finisher.  Gauthier had 24 points in 35 minutes a couple of weeks ago against Winnipeg at the Concordia tournament.  Also in the mix on the perimeter is 6'7" Jelane Pryce, another freshman from Barrie, ON, who has what Rana calls an "enormous upside" given his oozing athletic ability.  Pryce is transitioning into a full time perimeter player from being a high school 5 and thus far is defending well.

A great, heartwarming story is the rapid development of 6'8" sophomore Matt Lapointe, who is still only 18 years old and is firmly in the rotation up front.  Most gratifying is the fact that Lapointe, from Burlington M.M. Robinson, has overcome a hearing disability (he is legally deaf) to flourish at the CIS level as a solid post player.

6'6" third-year wing Kris Montague should be in the mix providing depth up front however he is currently out indefinitely with a back injury.  6'3" fifth-year wing/forward Steve Williams is also in the mix while a regular from last season 6'0" Richardo Dunkley, is battling a foot injury and his status for the season remains uncertain.

The Rams have shown in the pre-season that they can play with good teams and as this group learns to play together should be firmly in the mix for a playoff spot in the OUA East if not fighting to host a home playoff game.  Ryerson finishes their pre-season schedule tonight, hosting Bishop's at Kerr Hall.

Ryerson 86, Humber 67

The Rams went into Humber's gym and, after the game was tied at halftime, dominated the Hawks in the second half behind what is believed to be a career-high game for 6'3" fifth-year wing Ryan McNeilly, who had 29 points.  6'2" Ola Adegboruwa had a near triple double with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists while point guard Jahmal Jones chipped in with 9 assists in what coach Roy Rana described as "a solid display for the freshman PG".

Ryerson hosts Bishop's tonight in their final tuneup before beginning the OUA interlock portion of their regular season next weekend.

Great Initiative to raise funds for Prostate Cancer

I have always been a strong proponent of athletic programs taking a leadership role in charitable causes and Coach John Campbell of the Dalhousie Tigers is doing this by leading a fundraising effort for Prostate Cancer Research and treatment.

Coach Campbell and team are issuing a challenge to the rest of the CIS programs to match and exceed Dal's fundraising totals.  Coach Scott Morrison and the Lakehead Thunderwolves have taken up Dal's challenge; hopefully the first of many programs to do so.

Here is the note from John:

The Dalhousie Men's Basketball team is participating in Movember - a fundraising activity for Prostrate Cancer Research and treatment. Our team is Dalhousie Basketball. We would also like to challenge other
teams at Dalhousie as well as around the CIS to match our fundraising totals.

If you would like to join our team please follow the link below and help us raise money! If you would rather sponsor a member of our team you can do it online at the same site.

Oliver thinks Lancers could be 'special'

Mary Caton of the Windsor Star serves up a comprehensive preview of the Windsor Lancers including comments on the departure of 6'11" Mike Luby and reasons why many think the Lancers will be a Top 10 team and a favorite to capture their second consecutive OUA West crown.

Oliver thinks Lancers can be special

The University of Windsor Lan-cers are ready to turn the page on an unsettling pre-season in CIS men's basketball.
They close out their exhibition schedule tonight at the St. Denis Centre when they host the UQAM Citadins at 7 p.m.
"Let's just say we've had a really disruptive pre-season," Lan-cers coach Chris Oliver said.

...Read More

Laurier 92, UQAM 65

Taking the lead for good with about 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter and leading by as many as 37, the Golden Hawks won their second consecutive with 5 players in double figures. The Hawks forced 22 Citadins turnovers in handing UQAM their fourth consecutive loss against CIS teams.  6'5" Conor Meschino had 14 to lead the way while 6'5" Matthew Buckley added 13.  6'6" freshman Patrick Donnelly, 5'11" frosh Nathan Thompson and steady third-year wing Sharif Wanas all dropped ten points for the Hawks.  6'5" Kale Harrison knocked down 3 3's for his nine points.  Lefty Athuad Plesius led all scorers with twenty-one points, and 6'4" Eric Cote-Kougnima added 10 points for UQAM (0-4), which travels to Windsor tonight to face the Lancers and finishes their tour of OUA West schools with a match against Western Mustangs on Sunday afternoon.

X Nike Tournament

St. FX 98, UPEI 81  6'0" Charlie Spurr hit 8 of 13 3's for all of his 24 points to lead the X-Men to victory against the Panthers.  X welcomed back 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw into the lineup.  Box Score    X-Men Basketball invitation info

Saint Mary's hammered UNB 88-52 in the opener, setting up tonight's SMU/X championship final available on SSN Canada at 7 PM ET/8 PM AT.

Canada West Recap

Saskatchewan 95 Victoria 81  Video Recap  Rejean Chabot led the Huskies with 24 points and Michael Lieffers and Jamelle Barrett added 22 points apiece to lift the Huskies to a comfortable win on national championship celebration night in Saskatoon.  Lieffers earned a double-double with his 10 rebounds and was a perfect 11-11 from the floor.  Huskie starters scored 88 of their 95 points including Nolan Brudehl and Duncan Jones.  Aside from Brudehl’s 2-8 shooting, the starters were an astounding 68% from the floor (32-47).  Marco Dolecetti and Zac Andrus were the only Vikes in double figures with 20 and 10 points respectively.  Box Score 

Manitoba 72, UFV 71 6'6" Richard Reimer had 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bisons to the road victory against the Cascades.  Box Score

Alberta 66, TRU 57  6'4" newcomer Daniel Ferguson had 22 points in his CW debut and the Bears held the hometown WolfPack to only 25 second-half points to lead Alberta.  6'8" Jordan Baker chipped in with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Alberta while SFU transfer Chas Kok had 23 to lead TRU, who remain winless.  Box Score

Regina 103 Brandon 77  Fifth-year post Kris Heshka scored 23 points and added 11 rebounds to lead the University of Regina’s men’s basketball team to a 103-77 win over the Brandon Bobcats in Regina.  A 12-0 run over a 3 minute span in the third quarter iced the game after the Cougars had taken a 14 point halftime lead.  Heshka was 7-for-12 from the field and hit nine of his 15 free throws. Seven of his 11 rebounds came on the offensive glass. Marek Downarowicz also had a double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds.  Isaiah James, Donovan Gayle, and O’Brian Wallace all had 10 points for Brandon (2-1), while Kyrie Coleman scored seven and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Box Score

UBC 91, Trinity Western 69

In front of a record crowd of over 1,700 fans at TWU's new gym in Langley, 6'2" Josh Whyte took the game over immediately, leading the Birds to a 19-5 start, garnering leads as large as 18 points in the first quarter and UBC cruised to an easy win over the Spartans.  Reminiscent of their early-season visit last year to Vancouver, Trinity Western turned the ball over 34 times on the game, setting up numerous easy breakaway layups for the Birds.

Whyte had 12 of his 23 points in the first half and, although the Spartans did cut the lead to 9 late in the second quarter on back-to-back 3's by Tristain Smith and Tyrell Mara, UBC coasted into halftime up 10 and then iced the game early in the third, using a 15-0 run led by Whyte and 6'5" Kamar Burke to grab a 63-35 lead and the game was decided for all intents and purposes.

6'6" Jacob Doerksen led the Spartans with 23 points on the night while 6'3" Calvin Westbrook, with 14 points, and Tyrell Mara, with 11 points were the only other players to hit double digits for TWU.  T-Birds had four other players get 10 or more points in Burke (18 points), Nathan Yu (13 points), Brent Malish (12 points) and Doug Plumb (10 points).

Lethbridge 80, Calgary 79

6'4" Randy Davis knocked down a three from the right wing as the clock expired, lifting the Horns to a dramatic victory over the Dinos in Calgary.  The shot offset a furious Dinos rally that brought Calgary back from a 20 point halftime deficit to lead for the first time with under a minute to play.  Lethbridge had built the big lead as Calgary found out what life is like not having 6'9" Tyler Fidler on the floor, who had picked up 2 early fouls in the 1st half and had to sit.  The game was played in front of 1,304 fans in Calgary.

Davis finished with 19 points to lead Lethbridge while 6'3" Danhue Lawrence, seemingly entrusted with much of the decision-making on the offensive end for the Horns, had 16 points and set up the game winning three after the Dinos had made 1-2 at the line with 7 seconds left.  Fidler led all scorers with 21 points in just 27 minutes.

Fidler led the steady comeback by scoring from everywhere, including a perfect 7/7 from the line, and Calgary cut the margin in half at 64-54 by 3 quarters.  6'7" freshman Matt Letkeman (13 points, with 9/12 free throws, 7 rebounds), who also sat with foul trouble, was also instrumental in the comeback as with the score 77-73, and 35 seconds left, Calgary stole an inbounds pass, and Letkeman knocked down 2 free throws.  Fidler then stole the ball near centre on the next possession and scored a driving "and 1" lay-up with his subsequent free throw giving the Dinos an improbable 78-77  lead with only 14 seconds.  The Horns then missed an attempt at a tie and Letkeman was fouled on the rebound, hitting 1-2 free throws for a two point margin and just 7 seconds remaining, setting up the Horns final possession for the winning shot by the clutch Davis.

Calgary's 6'8" Youri Anissovets, 3rd year post, notched 12 points, and his aggressive play was a real spark for the Dinos rally.
Both teams shot 38 % on the night, but Lethbridge was 7/20 from 3 point land compared to Calgary’s 3/19. The rebounding was even at 45, and Calgary was 22/26 from the line (85%, with the ‘Horns at 63% on 19/30. Calgary is now 1-2 on the season.

The teams go at it again Saturday night at 8 pm in Calgary.

Brigham Young 101, Laval 55

In a game played before 8,583 fans in Provo, UT, the pre-season nationally-ranked Cougars grabbed a 20 point lead and cruised to victory against visiting Laval.  5'10" J.P. Renaud has 13 points on 3-7 3's to lead 3 Rouge et Or in double figures.  Box Score   Laval meets Utah State tonight.

Game Report

Friday, 29 October 2010

McGill 74, York 72

6'9" Greg Gause hit a hook shot that bounced around the rim before falling in to give the Redmen the lead for good with about 2 minutes remaining and McGill held off a furious Lions rally that brought the game back from a 14 point deficit for a big win in North York.  5'11" third-year guard David Tyndale led the Lions rally with 17 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as York tied it but could not get over the hump. 

6'3" freshman Simon Bibeau led McGill with 24 points but likely the best Redmen on the floor this night was another freshman, 6'4" guard Karim Sy-Morrissett who had 18 points and 5 rebounds and a strong second half effort.  Gause finished with 8 points and 2 rebounds.

The Redmen used a strong defensive effort to take a 39-25 lead into halftime before Tyndale went to work on the perimeter and York's talented stable of big guys led by 6'10" Dejan Kravic and 6'10" Stefan Haynes dominated the glass.  But the Redmen gutted out a road win on their way to tomorrow night's meeting in downtown Toronto against the Varsity Blues.  York meets Bishop's tomorrow night.

Rhode Island 89, Concordia 50

The Stingers hung around for the first 8 minutes or so, taking their last lead at 12-10 on a 3 by 6'3" Decee Krah, who made three 3's in the first half and getting to within 2 at 16-14 after a transition lay-up by 6'7" freshman Zack Brisebois.  But the Rams then scored the next 15 points and finished the half on a 32-11 run to lead by 23 and then cruised to the easy win.  6'4" Evens Laroche had 13 to lead the Stingers while Krah finished with 12 for Concordia, which turned it over 22 times and shot just 32.2% for the game.

Box Score

Toronto 96, Bishop's 89

The Blues dealt with Bishop's game-long full court pressure very well for the most part, building an 18 point lead into the early stages of the fourth quarter before holding off a nice Gaiters come back that got it to 5 but no closer to win their non-conference home opener in Toronto.  The game was eloquently described as a "foul fest", likely a consequence of pressing basketball but entertaining nonetheless.

6'3" newcomer Sean Nichol came alive for Toronto with 28 points and 7 rebounds including a 4 for 7 effort from beyond the arc.  6'1" guard Justin Holmes added 17 for the Blues including 3-6 3's, part of a 12 for 27 effort from downtown and 50% shooting effort from the field overall.  Another newcomer to the Toronto lineup, 6'5" Alex Hill, had a tidy 16 point effort including a resounding two-handed slam in traffic in the first half.

Slick 5'10" guard Oriene Green returned to the GTA and led Bishop's with 21 points while fellow Toronto native Onnex Blackwood added 13 for the winless Gaiters who travel to North York tomorrow evening to meet York Lions.  Blues coach Mike Katz renews his coaching rivalry with Dave DeAveiro when McGill Redmen visit Toronto, also tomorrow night.

Acadia 72, Guelph 61

A 23-4 run bridging the third and fourth quarters broke a tie and 6'8" Owen Klassen had a 16 point, 12 rebound double double to lead the Axemen to their second win in a week over the Gryphs.  Recall last week that Klassen knocked in a buzzer-beating 3 in Guelph to cap a wild Axemen come back.  5'11" Kareem Malcolm was again a one-man offensive show for the Gryphs with 27 points while adding 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals plus 4-7 from downtown.

With Guelph up 5 at the half off a tremendous defensive performance, Acadia tied the score at 36 midway through the third and then broke the game open in a 6 minute stretch as 7 different Axemen contributed to the game-breaking run including 5 by Klassen and 5 by 6'6" Justin Boutilier (13 points, 8 rebounds).  Guard Tyler Lutton had 18 points in 36 minutes for Acadia.

Guelph again played without 4 regulars including 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli.

Box Score

Ottawa 72, Dalhousie 69

In a dramatic finish, 6'3" Algonquin transfer Luke Minani's steal and subsequent lay-in with about 35 seconds remaining gave the Gee-Gees the lead for good and 6'6" Warren Ward then clinched it with a pair of free throws to lead uOttawa at Dalplex in Halifax.  6'1" Simon Farine's open look from the baseline on the final possession would have tied it for the Tigers, but like last week's last-second shot against Laurier, the shot came off and Ottawa escaped with the upset win.

The Gee-Gees came back from a six point halftime deficit and appeared to have the game in control up 4 with three minutes left in the fourth when Ottawa's 6'9" Louis Gauthier was whistled for a foul on a Farine drive into the lane.  Gauthier disputed the decision and was assessed a "T".  Three free throws and a lay-up by 6'9" Joe Schow on the ensuing possession gave Dal the lead back.  The game see-sawed back and forth until the final lead change on Minani's big steal near half court and break away lay-up. 

Schow was very effective for Dal, leading the Tigers with 14 points and 5 rebounds while fellow forward 6'7" Sandy Viet added 11 points, 7 rebounds.  6'4" freshman Alex Arthur added 10 points in 13 minutes off the bench for the Tigers with all his scoring in the first half.  6'3" guard Juleous Grant struggled for Dal, going 1-8 from the floor for 5 points and 2 rebounds in 26 minutes. 

Minani, a long, big guard from Orleans, ON, led the Gee-Gees with 19 points, 3 assists and 2 turnovers in 38 effective minutes, having to shoulder the load at the point with the absence of 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe (strep throat).  Gauthier also had a strong effort up front with 19 points and 9 rebounds.  Ottawa's 6'2" freshman Johnny Berhane again was effective off the bench with two huge 3's down stretch and 14 points overall.

Ward, who lit up Saint Mary's on Thursday for 37 points, and the rest of the Gee-Gees were completely taken out of their sets in the first half, as Tigers "d" held them to 30 points.  But Ward, who finished with a very effecient 14 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists, then took over in the second half, consistently putting on pressure on Dal's "d" off the dribble, usually drawing help and then finding open teammates with good decisions.

Dal hosts Guelph tomorrow night while Ottawa moves over to Wolfville to face Acadia.

Canada West Live Game Coverage

Canada West continues their great job of making their product available for viewing across the country as all six games tonight and tomorrow are available live on web casts.  Great work by the conference to ensure CIS fans can watch games live.

10 PM ET/8 PM MT
Victoria (1-1) at Saskatchewan (1-1)  Live Video
Lethbridge (0-2) at Calgary (1-1) Live Video
Brandon (2-0) at Regina (0-0) Live Video

11 PM ET/8 PM PT 
Manitoba (1-0) at Fraser Valley (0-0)  Live Video
Alberta (0-0) at Thompson Rivers (0-2)  Live Video
UBC (1-1) at Trinity Western (2-0)  Live Video

Canada West articles previewing the weekend

Howard Tsumura from the Vancouver Province previews UFV vs. Manitoba highlighting the Cascades excellent trio of guards

Howard also provides some perspective on UBC at Trinity Western showdown with some strong commentary from coach Scott Allen.  UBC will be without Head Coach Kevin Hanson this weekend who is home with his ailing father.  Lead Assistant Randy Nohr will take over.  We extend our best wishes to Kevin and family...  Gary Kingston of the Vancouver Sun has a nice feature on Spartans guard Tristain Smith.

Ron Rauch of Victoria Times-Colonist provides his Vikes at Saskatchewan Huskies preview  while Darren Zary of Saskatoon Star-Phoenix tees up Saskatchewan's national title celebration ceremony this evening plus the game.

Kristen Odland of Calgary Herald with Calgary/Lethbridge preview

Mark Hunter of the Kamloops News provides a comprehensive TRU preview for tonight  WolfPack men know Rome wasn't built in a day     also  Thompson Rivers / Alberta preview

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Saint Mary's 89, Ottawa 88

6'6" Warren Ward's attempt at a buzzer beating shot for the win came off and the Huskies rallied from 16 points down midway through the third quarter to edge the Gee-Gees.  Ward led all scorers with 37 points, putting on a first half show with 25 points before halftime while Saint Mary's 6'1" all-AUS guard Joey Haywood was virtually impossible for Ottawa to handle, scoring 32 points on 10-18 shooting for the hosts. 

The game went back and forth in the final minutes with the Huskies taking a four-point lead late after a conventional three point play by 6'8" third year forward Simon Marr with just over a minute remaining.  After Ward knocked down a three on the next possession to bring the game back to 1, Ottawa forced a tie-up and with the arrow in their favor, took possession.  After a timeout, the Gee-Gees ran an isolation play for Ward and his shot was on-line but back rimmed, allowing the Huskies to remain undefeated at home.

The Gee-Gees played without 6'2" point guard Jacob Gibson-Bascombe who did not make the trip due to a strep throat illness and had to deal with losing three players to fouls including their other point guard 6'3" Luke Minani plus 6'0" veteran Jimmy Seymour.  Ottawa broke a 41-41 halftime tie by dominating the paint in the third quarter as 6'9" Louis Gauthier (13 points/8 rebounds) and 6'6" Nemanja Baletic (10 points/ 2 rebounds) exposed SMU bigs defensively.  With the Gee-Gees up 16, Huskies coach Ross Quackenbush went with a smaller, guard-oriented lineup and through a combination of Haywood finding his rhythm, attacking the offensive glass, forcing turnovers and points from the foul line, SMU had the game back to even by midway through the fourth.

Saint Mary's was able to have their way on the offensive glass with 20 second-chances and took advantage of Ottawa's inability to take care of the ball via pressure to force 20 turnovers.  6'5" Howard C.C. transfer Torey Fassett had 16 points and 8 rebounds while Marr scored 9 of his 12 points including consecutive 3's down the stretch at the key juncture of the game.

Saint Mary's now travels to Antigonish for the St. FX NIKE Classic where they will face UNB Varsity Reds for the second time this season, looking to avenge a tight loss last weekend at Laval's Rouge et Or Classic.  The Gee-Gees meet Dalhousie Tigers at DalPlex tomorrow night before finishing their three-game tour of AUS schools in Wolfville on Saturday night at Acadia.

UBC Thunderbirds Preview

One of the most successful programs in the CIS over the past decade with well-regarded Head Coach Kevin Hanson, the T-Birds have come very close to a National championship on now numerous occasions and look to this season to finally get over the hump to get the hard-working Hanson a CIS crown after winning national championships at Langara College at the CCAA level.  UBC has at least nine solid rotation players and several youngsters waiting in the wings to take the reigns after this veteran group composed primarily of fourth and fifth year guys moves on.

Much of UBC's success will hinge on the offensive play of 6'2" defending Moser Award winner Josh Whyte, a slick lefty who smoothly goes by defenders under control, has a nice mid-range game and will knock down 3's if his defender sags off.  Whyte should spend much more time running off screens and looking to score now that 6'1" Alex Murphy, the fifth-year point guard has deservedly been given the reigns running the show full time.  Murphy is an experienced penetrator who continues to improve his decision making at key points.  6'1" Nathan Yu, the author of several big shooting games last season including numerous big shots at key times, provides virtually no offensive drop-off off the bench.  Long, lanky 6'5" Melvin Mayott is another perimeter threat who can defend and get to the rim in transition.

The arrival of stud 6'3" wing Doug Plumb, a strong, athletic scorer with hops and offensive skills, gives UBC another perimeter scoring threat to complement Whyte, again taking some of the pressure off the Moser winner.  Plumb spent a couple of seasons in Division 2 in the States and then part of one season at UFV in '08-'09 and has already been instrumental in multiple UBC wins in the early season with several big scoring games.

Despite not having a dominant pure big man and a general lack of size up front, UBC's forwards are all very good led by 6'7" Brent Malish, a big 3/4 who steps out beyond the three point line and is scrappy around the rim.  In his fifth year, expect Malish to give the 'Birds the same kind of leadership that graduated forward Kyle Watson provided in his senior years.  6'5" Graham Bath is a bit of an undersized five man but very strong and skilled with a penchant for not backing down despite usually dealing with size disadvantages with his matchups.  Last seasons' Nationals became a coming out party of sorts for 6'5" Kamar Burke, the transfer from TRU, who complements the gritty Bath and Malish with his length, quick hops and transition skills.  Burke does his best work on the offensive glass and at the back end of the break.  Underrated 6'9" veteran Balraj Bains brings a strong knowledge of UBC's system, especially with rotations on the defensive end and gets after every rebound at both ends.

Also in the mix is emerging star 6'6" freshman Tommy Nixon, who can play anywhere from the 2 spot through the 4 and will get time in the rotation.  Nixon and 6'7" Mike Lewandowski, another freshman, form the foundation of the T-Birds next generation of stars.  But there is plenty of unfinished work to do this season with a rotation consisting of 9 fourth and fifth year guys (including 3 fifth-years) poised to finally deliver a National championship after back-to-back National championship final game appearances. 

UBC has a chance to assert their hold on the top ranking in Canada West and maybe the country with a pair of games this Friday and Saturday in Langley against highly-touted Trinity Western Spartans in their new gym where likely 2,000+ fanatics should make the environment hostile and fun.

St. FX 96, Guelph 82

The X-Men had a decisive run in the third quarter, rebuilding a double digit lead and went on to a comfortable defeat of the Gryphs in a neutral site game played at the Tower in Halifax at Saint Mary's.  Both teams played without key rotation players as Guelph was without 4 regulars and the X-Men missed two including 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw.  The X/Guelph game was the first of an OUA / AUS doubleheader this evening with uOttawa Gee-Gees taking on host Saint Mary's Huskies in the nightcap.

X had comfortable leads throughout the first half but Guelph rallied late behind the strong play of 5'11" Kareem Malcolm, a long, smooth scoring point guard who led a 12-4 run late in the second quarter that cut X's lead to just one at halftime at 41-40.  Malcolm had 23 of his game-high 30 points in the first half as X had a tough time dealing with his array of offensive skills.  6'5" Jeremy Dunn was the catalyst for X, especially at key points in the game, making big shots and getting into the lane.  Dunn led X with 19 points and 9 rebounds while 5'9" point guard Will Silver, 6'3" Jordan Clarke and 5'10" Ellis Ffrench exposed a mounting concern for Guelph coach Chris O'Rourke, namely an inability to control the dribble.  Silver had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists while Clarke came alive in the second half, finishing with 16.  5'10" Charlie Spurr knocked down 3 3's as part of his 13 point effort and 6'9" Alberto Rodriquez finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Both teams were missing their top, veteran scorers as X was without Upshaw, in street clothes tonight after sustaining a blow to the head in the first half of Sunday's loss at the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament vs. U of T Varsity Blues and will be reassessed tomorrow in advance of X's NIKE tournament first round game against UPEI.  X's flashy 6'5" freshman Terry Thomas also missed this evening's affair.  For Guelph, 6'4" fourth-year wing Jonathan Moscatelli did not make the trip with the Gryphons after tweaking his knee against Humber last week.  Remember that Moscatelli has had a long history of knee injuries through which many had thought he had finally fought through so the Gryphs will be cautious with him.  Also emerging 6'8" center John Brutto didn't make the trip out east while nursing a back injury.  6'5" Sharif Wiredu also missed the trip while dealing with concussion symptoms sustained against Guelph Phoenix men's team this past weekend.  6'8" Kevin Cameron, firmly in the rotation up front, will also not be available all weekend due to a family wedding commitment.

The undermanned Gryphs got a nice performance from gritty 5'11" guard Mike Patrella and got strong work up front from 6'5" Jerald Greenidge who had some bad luck around the rim but was active.  6'2" Dan McCarthy had 14 for Guelph, which got it back to 6 with the ball with 4 1/2 minutes left but couldn't get any closer and the deeper, strong X-Men dominated the glass when it counted.

Guelph now travels to Wolfville for a rematch against Acadia, looking to avenge a disappointing loss at home last weekend in which the Gryphs led by 6 late but could not hold on.

Final Weekend of Pre-Season Play

Canada West enters Week Two of their regular season and we've already had a great preview put together by Wayne Thomas at DinosHoopsNews that tees up the weekend out west.  The regular season is still more than one week away from kicking off in the rest of the country and as per normal the final weekend of October features the last of the pre-season tournaments and exhibitions.  As well, there are five teams (Carleton, Laval, McGill, Cape Breton and Concordia) that will travel state side to play NCAA Division 1 teams in their home gyms. 

The final pre-season tournament on the docket will be hosted by St. FX in Antigonish and thanks to the numerous readers who pointed out my mistake that X indeed only allowed 76 points last Sunday (not 96 as I reported); there will be much less pressure on the X-Men to shed the undeserved "poor defensive team" tag my report alluded to - in fact judging by what I saw over the weekend here in Ottawa, X will be just fine defending.  Thanks to all who wrote in identifying the rather obvious mistake - now on to the challenge of being less liberal in adding inches to many players heights. 

The X-Men host the NIKE Classic in Antigonish starting Friday with 4 teams from the AUS (hosts X, Saint Mary's, UNB and UPEI) tangling in a two-day, four-game affair with championship and consolation games slated for Saturday.  But prior to that, X is in Halifax for a great doubleheader treat for the fans in Atlantic Canada as a pair of OUA vs. AUS games take place tonight at the Tower at Saint Mary's with X facing Guelph at 6 PM and Ottawa taking on Saint Mary's at 8 PM.  Both X-Men and Huskies then travel up the highway to Antigonish while Guelph and Ottawa remain in and around Halifax, cross-crossing on Friday and Saturday to face Acadia and Dalhousie.  Other AUS teams in action include Cape Breton, on a tour of the U.S. while Memorial has no games scheduled to our knowledge.
St. FX Nike Classic Tournament
Friday Oct. 29th  UNB vs. Saint Mary's 6 PM AT; UPEI at St. FX 8 PM AT
Saturday Oct. 30th  losers play at 6 PM AT; championship final 8 PM AT
All games shown live on Streaming Sports Network

Exhibition Games:
Thurs. Oct 28 OUA/AUS Doubleheader at the Tower at Saint Mary's in Halifax
6 PM AT Guelph vs St. FX 
8 PM AT Ottawa at Saint Mary's.

In other games this weekend, members of the QSSF are busy with UQAM, Bishop's and McGill take a tour of Southern Ontario for various games over the weekend (see details below).  The Redmen play a pair of games in Toronto against York and the Varsity Blues before going to the U.S. to meet Rutgers and Robert Morris.  Laval plays three games in Utah, all against D1 opponents beginning Friday night at Brigham Young.  UQAM looks to improve on a difficult weekend in Ottawa in which shot selection and defense hurt them for the most part but with big guards, solid young big men and great athletes, expect coach Olga Hrycak to fix the issues and get the Citadins back to competing for the Q crown.  Bishop's makes a trip to the GTA where several roster members played high school and will get a chance to play in front of friends and family while McGill has an ambitous extended weekend, playing Friday and Saturday in Toronto and then Monday in New Jersey and Tuesday in Pittsburgh.  Concordia also plays a pair of D1 teams.

Perennial OUA East champions Carleton Ravens play at scrimmage at UB against the Bulls in Buffalo on Saturday and then go into Cincinnati for a second meeting with the Bearcats who won comfortably over the Ravens on Labour Day Saturday at Scotiabank Place.  All three Toronto teams have games around the GTA with one of the highlights being another encounter between Mike Katz at U of T and his former assistant at Humber College Dave DeAveiro, now at McGill.  Ryerson has a pair of games one at Humber College and then hosting Bishop's.  Queen's, Laurentian and RMC are off this weekend preparing for the first week of OUA interlocking play next weekend (first weekend in November).

Most OUA West teams are preparing for the start of regular season play with games this weekend with Guelph in Atlantic Canada for three games beginning tonight.  Windsor and Western both host UQAM in their final tuneups while Laurier also hosts the Citadins on Friday night before hosting their annual alumni game on Saturday.  Lakehead, which was idle last weekend after their trecherous six game road trip in Atlantic Canada, will look to stay in game shape with a scrimmage against Vermillion C.C. in Ely, Minnesota on Sunday. Vermillion is the alma mater of new 'Wolve Venzal Russell. Waterloo hosts Fanshawe College on Saturday at home; Fanshawe was soundly defeated earlier this season by Laurier Golden Hawks.  Brock is idle this weekend.  Speaking of the Lancers, the CIS has ruled that 6'10" center Ryan Wood (Sandwich S.S./LaSalle, ON), who spent two seasons at University of District Columbia, an NCAA D2 school (redshirted his first season, 5.2 ppg in '08-09) will be eligible.  Thus expect both Wood and 6'0" guard Troy Barnes (transfer from Lakeland College 16.3 ppg in '09-10) to join the Lancers in January which will give Windsor even more of a deep bench.  The Lancers also announced that 6'11" Mike Luby is no longer on the Windsor roster, deciding instead to focus on his family.

Fri Oct 29
7 PM AT Guelph at Acadia
7 PM AT Ottawa at Dalhousie
7 PM ET Bishop's at Toronto 
7 PM ET Ryerson at Humber OCAA (Toronto Rexdale Campus) 
8 PM ET UQAM at Laurier  Live on HawkCast
8 PM ET McGill at York 
Sat Oct. 30
4 PM ET Fanshawe College at Waterloo 
7 PM AT Ottawa at Acadia 
7 PM AT Guelph at Dalhousie 
7 PM ET McGill at Toronto 
7 PM ET UQAM at Windsor 
8 PM ET Bishop's at Ryerson 
Sun. Oct 31
2 PM ET Bishop's at York 
2 PM ET UQAM at Western 

CIS Teams playing at NCAA Division 1
Fri. Oct. 29
7 PM ET Concordia at Rhode Island  Gametracker/Video
10 PM ET Laval at Brigham Young (#24 in AP polls)  Preview/Gametracker/Video
Sat. Oct. 30
1 PM Concordia at Vermont 1 PM
Carleton at Buffalo (scrimmage)
10 PM ET Laval at Utah State Game notes including TV/Internet coverage
3 PM ET Cape Breton at Maine  Maine article
Mon. Nov. 1
7 PM ETCarleton at Cincinnati
7:30 PM ET McGill at Rutgers (New Brunswick, NJ)
10 PM ET Laval at Weber State
Tues.Nov. 2
7:30 PM McGill at Robert Morris (Pittsburgh, PA)

Articles of note

Young Dinos face 'growing pains'  Injuries sideline point guard

By Kristen Odland, Calgary Herald

This was not the way Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson intended to start the season.

But on crutches and dealing with a high ankle sprain is how the second-year University of Calgary point guard will be watching this weekend's pair of home opening games against the University of Lethbridge at the Jack Simpson Gym (Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.).

Read more
Lukewarm tune-up weekend for Badgers

John Matisz from the Brock Press summarizes the Badgers recent weekend
Sudbury Star has some well-deserved accolades for Peter Campbell and his recent induction into the Laurentian Sports Hall of Fame

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Trinity Western Spartans Preview

One of the more highly-touted teams in recent memory with a roster full of top talent, the Spartans flashed some of their promise in this past Friday's first CW regular season game at Lethbridge, dominating the first quarter to jump out to a 28 point lead before cruising.  Things were a bit tighter Saturday until about mid-way through the third quarter against a Horns team that made the playoffs last season (but lost their top player in Jeff Price) but this year's high ranking appears to be more justified given last season's titanic disappointment of not making the playoffs.

Coach Scott Allen has some redshirts who might start in other programs however expect TWU to play nine guys when it really matters, starting this weekend with a pair of home games in Langley against UBC Thunderbirds.  While positions 3 through 5 offer as strong a foundation as any in the CIS, Spartans addressed a very large issue with 5'11" Tristan Smith, who sat out last season after transfering from Fraser Valley.  The California native is a strong but streaky perimeter shooter and can shoulder a high-minutes (35+ per game) load if required.  He sees the floor well and distributes but can take chances with his decisions.  Smith's ability to stay out of foul trouble and remain healthy will be the underlying key to TWU's season.  6'3" freshman Eli Mara is the main backup and like virtually all first-year guys, consistency will be an issue but Mara is a big guard who gives Allen some alternatives.

Spartans basically have three starters on the wings although Allen will likely start only two in any one game beginning with 6'6" Tyrell Mara, now in his second season with the Spartans after transfering from Portland State (NCAA D1).  Mara is a glue-type player who can defend, rebound and lead and is also an able scorer out beyond the three point line.  One of the more highly-touted arrivals in the CIS this season is 6'8" Kyle Coston, an American and Portland State teammate of Mara's who was a regular starter with the Vikings two seasons ago before transfering and sitting out last season.  Coston has traditional three man skills including the ability to knock down 3's.  6'4" Calvin Westbrook, a D2 transfer who started regularly last season is another in a fine array of wing talent at the Spartans disposal.

Up front, the Spartans return '08-'09 Moser Award winner 6'6" Jacob Doerksen who has already had a well-honoured CIS career, beginning with his national freshman-of-the-year award while with UVic Vikes.  Doerksen has tremendous paint-area skills and a nose for the ball around the rim as a scorer and rebounder.  Spartans will likely play through Doerksen and his ability to get the ball and draw double teams should determine how easily other guys get open looks and ultimately the determining factor when Spartans are right.  6'7" Tonner Jackson offers a well-regarded skill set off the bench at the 4 spot.

At the five spot, the Spartans look primarily for defense, rebounding and a complementary player who doesn't necessarily have to look for his and with 6'8" Lance Verhoeff  and 6'8" Clint Wickham (6'8"), Spartans get a pair of bigs who fit that mould and are interchangeable at that spot.  The Spartans can move Doerksen over to the 4 spot when wanting to play with Smith, Westbrook, T. Mara and Coston on the floor in a more perimeter-oriented lineup.

Regardless, this 9-strong lineup presents matchup problems and with their athleticism, size and energy are very difficult to keep off the offensive glass.  Keeping Smith at the point healthy and out of foul trouble will be important although 6'0" Dan Hoerner is also back and experienced and Eli Mara is a very promising player.  Ensuring there are enough shots to go around and that this group is committed to stopping teams together are other challenges coach Allen faces.  However, it would be very surprising not to see this team remain in the CIS Top 5 all season and compete for a CW championship.

This weekend's pair of home games against UBC Thunderbirds provides the ultimate early season litmus test.

Wayne Thomas's Canada West Preview

Always great to get Wayne's unique insights on Canada West and this weekend's slate of games from his Dinos Hoops News site  Wayne also has some notes; as an added bonus we also get CW Power rankings (linked to CIS Blog - see after Wayne's piece)

Canada West - Week 2   There will be a full slate of games in Canada West this coming weekend, with 12 teams playing their 2 game series, all of them on Friday and Saturday nights, while Winnipeg gets the bye. In only the 2nd week of the season, we will see 2 of the CIS’ top teams squaring off in their only meeting until playoffs, as UBC, who split with a strong Saskatchewan at home last weekend, take the short trip to Langley to play Trinity Western. Too bad the schedulers didn’t save this series for later in the campaign, but it is hard to predict far in advance.

The Match-ups ...  UBC at Trinity Western ... the Spartans, with 2 decisive road wins (116-79 and 98-82) , unloaded on Lethbridge last week, and hope to use home court to come out on top vs. the T-Birds. UBC has had the upper hand in this series, and have the experienced depth, with a tradition of winning, plus, they have Josh Whyte. Size could give TWU the edge, with Doerksen, Coston, and Verhoeff, but UBC is physical, and quick. Prediction ... a split.

Lethbridge at Calgary ... despite losing 2 games at home, the ‘Horns look like they can compete with all but the top 2 or 3 teams, and, at this stage, Calgary is not consistent enough to be in that category. Tyler Fidler will have to have a big weekend in order for the Dinos to win, and the point tandem of Keenan Milburn and Andy Rochon will have to be sharp in running the offense. Prediction ... a split.

Alberta at Thompson Rivers ... the Bears should be a ‘upwardly-mobile’ team with 2009-’10 Rookie of the Year, Jordan Baker, and the addition of CG Morrison, and Daniel Ferguson. TRU was unlucky not to get a split at Brandon, and their own line-up is strengthened by Chas Kok and Kevin Pribilsky, from SFU. Prediction ... a split

Brandon at Regina ... tough one to call, with Brandon gaining some confidence, despite the new roster, and new coach, going into Regina, where the Cougars have a good home court advantage. No Jeff Lukomski for Regina (football injury) yet, so shooting maybe suspect, but Kris Heshka will be a force in the middle. Prediction ... a split.

Manitoba at Fraser Valley ... the Bisons lit it up (108-88) in a loosely played win over Winnipeg, in their 1st installment of the ‘Battle of Winnipeg’. Sean Maxwell and Eric Garcia lead a willing bunch of gunslingers, but the Cascades will play them tough in Abbotsford. Look for Sam Freeman, Zeon Gray, and company to prevail. Prediction ... 2 wins for UFV.

Victoria at Saskatchewan ... the Vikes got a split at home vs. the very young Dinos, and didn’t look good on offense, despite their ‘motion game’. Mike Berg and Pierce Anderson better have their chin straps on for Michael Leiffers, Chris Unsworth and the crew. Jamelle Barrett will test the UVic defense. Prediction ... 2 wins for the Huskies.

Notes ... Sonja Johnson, UC Athletics Events Coordinator, reports there will be no box office on Friday. The first 3,000 people through the door will be admitted and there will be no charge (thanks to Ranger for their sponsorship of the game). Anyone who has already purchased a ticket will be provided a voucher for a complimentary game anytime during the regular season (and granted free admission on Friday)! ... Raymond’s Jimmy Ralph, the Comets’ football QB and basketball high scorer, is such an exceptional athlete, that he is being recruited for 3 sports. Baseball, which he has played at the international level for Canada, would likely see him go to a U.S. college. Meanwhile, basketball and football coaches in the CIS, including Calgary, are pursuing Ralph, with the Dinos floating the possibility of him being a dual -sport athlete. Good recruiting, perhaps, as the kid might be swayed, if he can continue to play both, but you wonder how realistic that task is, with the seasons conflicting as they do... Ken Olynyk, the TRU Athletic Director, and former U of L and U. of Toronto coach, visited Lethbridge last weekend watching his daughter, Jesse, play in the Canada West Rugby final for Victoria (they lost to Lethbridge). Olynyk’s son, Kelly, is a 6'11, 2nd year wing man, at Gonzaga in Spokane. Dave Wells tells us ... Kelly loved playing for Canada, and coach Leo Rautins, in Europe this summer, despite his weight falling to 222 by the end of his tour ("13 hotels in 60 days"). The young Kamloops product will likely play at 240 for the ‘Zags’, and be in their top 6 along with fellow Canadian, Manny Arop, from Edmonton.

Justin McElroy, a contributor to the excellent CIS Blog, offers the first of hopefully many Canada West Power Rankings

UNB Varsity Reds Preview

With much thanks to Greg Maillet who contributed the bulk of this article.

Coach Brent Baker enters his third season at the helm of the Varsity Reds and has built his team with young players, choosing patience over quick fixes and UNB is already starting to reap the rewards as the Reds already have some high profile wins on the early season at Laval and over Cape Breton and Saint Mary's, three teams ranked much higher in most observer's minds. 

Baker is known as an excellent teacher of the game and is creative with his defensive schemes, using a combination of full court pressure, pressure man and multiple zone defenses.  But ultimately, Baker plans to build a winner with a foundation of keeping teams from getting to the rim and rebounding, as he intimated in a April 2010 newspaper article: “We're a little bit of interior defence and rebounding away from being a playoff team.” 

To that end, this season likely depends on the continued development of Baker’s three bigs including 6'7" Lonzel Lowe, 3rd year post with excellent strength who is learning to compete for the big rebound and stay out of foul trouble.  Lowe can be an effective finisher down low and is becoming more confident in his ability to finish around the rim.  As his mental game develops, Lowe has the potential to become a beast inside.  Joining Lowe up front is 6'10" Australian import Michael Suffield, by way of Lee Academy in Maine, a former Australian Rules Football player who could develop into the inside presence on defense that UNB sorely needs.  Suffield has a good mid-range jumper, but must develop a consistent inside game and adapt to the size and athleticism of AUS basketball.  Baker hopes Lowe and Suffield develop into a formidable high low combination with Lowe low and Suffield in the high post.  6'6" Colin Adams, a second-year post from Peterborough ON should provide added interior rebounding off the bench as his body continues to adapt to the CIS level.

Probably UNB's best overall player is 6'4" Alex DesRoches, a smooth swingman from Dieppe, NB who knocks down the open midrange jumper, moves without the ball and consistently gets after it on the defensive glass. On many nights, he is UNB’s best all-around player, and led the team in most statistical categories last year. DesRoches is the one guy that Baker can consistently count on to go after defensive rebounds even though he could benefit from getting stronger physically.

On the perimeter, V-Reds rely primarily on 6'0" Daniel Quirion, a 2nd year shooting guard from Moncton who has the athleticism to be an effective scorer, especially in transition and from beyond the arc.  Like many young players, Quirion is learning to bring the same level of intensity to defense that he brings to transition O.

Setting the table at the point is experienced fifth-year 5'10" guard Andy Wright, who previously played three years at Bishop's.  Wright is a good penetrator and passer who also has deep range on his jumper as is effective defensively on the press.  Wright came home to complete his career in New Brunswick and provide Baker with a veteran decision-maker on the floor for his maturing group.  Also in the mix at the point is 6'0" third-year combo guard Antwann Parks from Queens NY, currently recovering from a knee injury but when healthy gives more penetration and scoring abilities.  Also firmly in the rotation at the off guard spot is 6'0" Dustin Anthony, a strong combo guard from North Bay, ON who is an excellent shooter in the screen and roll game.

Others in the mix off the bench include 6'3" William McFee from Northbridge Australia, perhaps UNB’s most intriguing player:  a very strong, physical swingman.  As he learns the CIS game, McFee could provide the perimeter defense and rebounding that UNB needs to become a playoff team. Gets to the rim and to the line offensively and is a tough kid who in one weekend grew on at least one observer, at a minimum because he goes after every rebound hard.  Also, 6'5" forward Jordan Irvine from Woodstock High in NB, a strong swing man who can hit the three and rebound with bigs.  Irvine should develop into a solid CIS player once he begins to understand the nuances of team defensive play that usually plagues most freshmen.

The Reds play very hard for the most part and are a group that he been together for a couple of seasons with a veteran point guard and improving front court play.  Expect them to push for a spot in the AUS tournament and possibly work towards a top 4 finish.

Monday, 25 October 2010 Top 10 for October 25th, 2010

Another weekend in which there were a number of upsets and the ranks of the unbeatens was whittled down to four teams.  Several previously-touted teams were knocked back into reality (or the guy who ranked them high has ranking issues) and fewer teams emerged as possible Top 10 and honourable mention replacements.  Truth be told, upon initial review, I could think of only 9 teams which were legitimate Top 10's and that could be a stretch.  Thus far, beyond a handful of strong National championship contenders, parity reigns so expect the Top 10 to have a lot of churn early and possibly all season long. 

#1 Carleton (7-0) (LW #2)   Try as one might to find reasons not to rank the Ravens at the top given the loss of an All-Canadian and the comparative inexperience of the roster, this is the right spot for them at this time of the year.  Every win has been in double digits and they have only trailed for a total of about 10 minutes through 7 games, coming back from a 12 point deficit yesterday at Laval, a very tough place to play.  6'3" Phil Scrubb is an emerging star, 5'11" fifth-year guard Mike Kenny has barely played (he will be a factor before all is said and done) and 5'10" Willy Manigat is improving every day.  The Ravens are deep, play hard, rebound, defend, yada, yada, yada and have already defeated Windsor, Victoria and Laval on the road.  They deserve to be #1 right now.  Carleton plays a pair of U.S. Division 1 teams this coming week in the U.S.

#2 Saskatchewan (6-1) (LW #3)  After a 30 point blowout loss to UBC on Friday, many were questioning the wisdom of having the Huskies in the Top 10 however a tremendous comeback win on Saturday when it appeared they would be swept reinvigorated the voting community.  Sask could just as easily been 3rd with UBC 2nd however we'll give the Huskies the benefit of the doubt with a road win.  This ranking will again be tested this coming weekend when the Huskies entertain Victoria Vikes for a pair of games.

#3 UBC (6-1) (LW #1)  As mentioned above, Birds could easily be one spot higher and have an opportunity to reassert themselves against TWU on the weekend.  UBC has a deep, experienced back court and can throw several looks at teams defensively; last season's blow out win early was predicated on pressuring Spartans guards.  UBC's front line will be tested however.

#4 Trinity Western (3-0) (LW #9) The Spartans pair of dominating wins at Lethbridge have provided a larger sample set of the potential this team has. TWU have arguably the most raw talent of any team in Canada with 4 former D1 or D2 starters in the lineup and now have a point guard who can play big minutes, score and distribute. TWU dominated Lethbridge on Friday and most of Saturday and showed that good guard play can make a tremendous difference. The front line of 6'6" Jacob Doerksen, 6'6" Tyrell Mara and 6'6" Kyle Coston could turn out to be one of the more formidable combinations up front in recent memory. The Spartans get an opportunity to show the country that this lofty ranking is deserved and also avenge last season's lopsided loss in October to UBC when they host the T-Birds this weekend at home.

#5 Concordia (5-0) (LW #7)  Brian Sipe would be very proud of the Stingers with their growing propensity for dramatic, come-from-behind victories and while the Stingers are still a work-in-progress, especially up front, Concordia does have a premier decision-making guard in Kyle Desmarais and a veteran scorer in Decee Krah.  The Stingers can push the tempo with their deep set of athletes coming off the bench and have already defeated Laurier (twice - who defeated Dalhousie) and McMaster among their wins.  The Stingers meet Rhode Island and Vermont next week in games vs. NCAA D1 teams in the U.S. and then get ready to start their QSSF season in mid-November.

#6 Western (4-0) (LW #10)  In the backcourt as a scorer and decision-maker, 6'2" Ryan Barbeau has become the leader of this talented group that includes All-Canadian 6'6" Andrew Wedemire and D1 transfer 6'8" Adam Jespersen.  The recruiting class garnered 6'4" big guard Quinn Henderson and blue chip 6'5" forward Peter Scholtes.  Plenty of talent and numerous perimeter threats that will get even more room to knock shots down when 6'6" Garrett Olexiuk returns from injury, likely very soon.  Western hosts UQAM on Sunday in their final pre-season game before the interlock portion of the OUA regular season begins.

#7 St. FX (5-1) (LW #4) X looked like a Top 3 team in authoring dominating wins on the first two nights of the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament in Ottawa but were slowed to a fast crawl by their standards against Toronto and their zone defense.  The loss of 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw for the entire second half of Sunday's game, which came after a late Saturday game, hurt a bit however the Blues were able to score 77 points against the vaunted X "d", exposing some weaknesses.  Still a very good team however Sunday's loss removes that virtually unbeatable/Top 3 tag for now.  X gets Guelph this Thursday night in a game to be played at Saint Mary's in Halifax and then hosts the X Nike Classic in Antigonish.

#8 Dalhousie (3-1) (LW #6)  The loss to Laurier and their formidable front line seemed to expose some depth issues the Tigers may have up front as coach John Campbell had little more to turn to especially with 6'6" Jason Wang still out with his wrist injury.  6'1" Simon Farine continues to flash Moser-like form but needs more consistency from his newcomers in the backcourt.  The Tigers have Top 5 talent in their first 5 or 6 and will go as far as their defense and development of newcomers takes them.  Dal hosts Ottawa U. and Guelph this weekend at home.

#9 Laval (5-2) (#5)  A team that is showing that the three ball/perimeter shooting is key, the Rouge et Or had Carleton by 12 on Sunday and made 9 consecutive 3's against Saint Mary's on Saturday yet were defeated by an improving UNB team on Friday when their "d" and shooting let them down.  6'6" Etienne Labrecque helps inside but this is another perimeter-oriented team that will succeed if they make shots.  Laval has 3 Division 1 games in Utah in the coming week.

#10 Calgary (3-2) (LW N/R)  Several candidates for this spot however the Dinos losses have been to Saskatchewan (albeit by 40) and to Vic.  Saturday's come-from-behind win in the second game against the Vikes showed that 6'9" Tyler Fidler has the ability to carry his team, especially as the Dinos wait for 6'1" sophomore point guard Jarred Jackson to return from an ankle injury.  Calgary hosts Lethbridge this weekend for a pair of games.

Also considered:  Acadia (4-1).

Articles from the weekend

Ottawa Citizen article on yesterday's final day of the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament at uOttawa

Victoria Times-Colonist article on Saturday's Calgary comeback win over Victoria

St. Catharines Standard article on Brock Badgers guard Joel Whitty who has fought back from concussions

An interview with UNB Head Coach Brent Baker in the Brunswickan, UNB campus newspaper

Sunday, 24 October 2010

McGill 79, Queen's 67

6'3" freshman Simon Bibeau scored 29 points to lead the Redmen to their second victory of the weekend against a Queen's Gaels team that dressed only 9 healthy players.  McGill finishes second at 2-1 after Western clinched the tournament championship earlier today with a 19 point win against UPEI.  Bibeau and McGill's 6'4" freshman guard Karim Sy-Morissette were named to the tournament all-star team as were Tim Boyle of Queen's, Jonathan Cooper of UPEI and Andrew Wedemire of Western.  Mustangs 6'2" fourth-year point guard Ryan Barbeau was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

Acadia 74, Brock 63

Niagara Falls native 6'6" Justin Boutilier had 14 points and 9 rebounds while 6'3" Anthony Sears added 19 to lead the Axemen to a win in St. Catharines, enabling Acadia to leave Southern Ontario with a 2-1 record this weekend.  Acadia led by 8 at the half and then exploded to an 18 point lead after three quarters to record the comfortable win.  6'6" Mark Gibson had 14 points to lead Brock, which shot only 36% for the game against a very efficient 47% for the Axemen including 7 for 13 from downtown.  Stats

Carleton 99, Laval 81

Of the many fine guard combinations we have talked about thus far this early season, one rather unlikely pair is emerging on the Carleton Ravens as 6'3" freshman Phil Scrubb and 5'11" fourth-year Willy Manigat showed this afternoon in Quebec City.  Scrubb, who is quickly establishing himself as one of Canada's top freshman, dominated this afternoon's action, exploding for 34 points including 23 in the second-half ,scoring in a variety of ways and leading the way during the key third quarter run that helped the Ravens pull away from a two point halftime deficit.  Manigat continues to find his way in Coach Dave Smart's offensive system and is becoming much more consistent with his jumper and more importantly decision-making.  The pair was instrumental in a 9-0 run that broke a 56-56 tie midway through the third and Carleton's defending and rebounding took over.  Scrubb knocked down 3 3's in the first 4 minutes of the third, many on fine looks from Manigat and Manigat added a couple of his own 3's.  Scrubb's fifth 3 of the half gave the Ravens their largest lead at 80-67 and Laval could come no closer.  Carleton now moves to 7-0 on the season vs. CIS teams and a likely #1 spot in the coming rankings.

...More to come

Ottawa 80, UQAM 62

Ottawa drove out to a 10-0 lead off the start of the game on the way to a relatively easy win that, outside of a early third quarter Citadins run, was rarely in doubt.  After the Gee-Gees dominated the first half, taking a 44-26 halftime lead, the Citadins scored the first 10 points of third to bring the game back.  The game stayed reasonably close through the middle of the fourth when 6'6" Warren Ward took over, scoring 8 consecutive points including knocking down a pair of 3's and a lay-up and the result was not in doubt after that.  Ward finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds while 6'1" tournament all-star Johnny Berhame completed a very strong offensive weekend with two big 3's in the second half and 16 points overall.  Ottawa also got a nice performance from 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe who also had a pair of big 3's when it matterd.  6'3" Eric Cote-Kougnima had 14 points/6 rebounds for UQAM, posting up Ottawa's smaller guards

Tournament MVP:  Alberto Rodriquez, St. FX
All-Stars:  Johnny Berhane, Ottawa, Jeremy Dunn, St. FX, Drazen Glizic, Toronto, Nemanja Baletic, Ottawa.

UNB 77, Saint Mary's 76 OVERTIME

6'1" sophomore shooting guard Dan Quirion had 29 points to lead the way for the Varsity Reds, who finished 2-1 on the weekend.  Quirion was named a tournament all-star for his efforts.  Saint Mary's lost all three games this weekend.

Carleton and Laval tangle at 4 PM in a game available for viewing on Rouge et Or TV

Western captures Redbird Classic at McGill

The Mustangs remained unbeaten at 4-0, jumping out to a 40-17 halftime lead and going on to smack UPEI 87-69 this afternoon on the final day of the McGill Redbird Classic.  Western's fine 6'2" fourth-year guard Ryan Barbeau was named tournament MVP while 6'6" All-Canadian forward Andrew Wedemire secured a tournament all-star selection.  Barbeau finished with 28 points including 5 3's in this afternoon's victory while Wedemire had a 23 point/11 rebound double-double. 

"Ryan was outstanding today as he led our team.  Our defense continued to improve as the tournament went on."  commented Western Coach Brad Campbell.

McGill hosts winless Queen's in the tournament finale at 4 PM in downtown Montreal.

Toronto 77, St. FX 73 *Updated*

Playing with more energy and zeal, the Varsity Blues secured what has to be considered a significant upset by knocking off previously undefeated X this afternoon in the early game at the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament.  The Blues took care of the ball with only 11 turnovers on the afternoon, made free-throws (17-20) and rebounded with the longer, bigger X-Men (43-41 for X).  A 1-10 effort by X from beyond the arc in the second half sealed their fate as Toronto spent the entire game in a 2/3 zone.  X played the entire second half without Christian T-Bear Upshaw (see below) and three-point specialist 6'0" Charlie Spurr struggled, going only 2-8 from behind the arc.  X also hurt themselves with 20 turnovers.  6'5" Alex Hill had 17 points to lead Toronto while former X-Men forward Sean Nichol finished with 13 points for Toronto against his former team.

With the victory, the Blues (2-1 in the tournament) have a chance to claim the tournament title with a UQAM win over Ottawa later this afternoon.  An Ottawa win would put three teams at 2-1 and set up a tie-breaking formula which would result in X taking the tournament title.  Regardless, today's win is a tremendous achievement for the Blues, who lost 4 starters from last season's group coming into a year which most figured would be a rebuilding one.

The Blues zone worked to slow down the blistering pace that X established in their first two games this weekend.  Toronto was also able to run their disciplined sets well.  The X-Men got a scare in the first half when fifth-year All-Canadian Upshaw was dropped hard on a tough but legal screen in the front court by Toronto's burly 6'6" Andrew Wasik.  Upshaw was shaken up and returned briefly to knock down a couple of threes but then did not return at all for the second half.

Toronto was able to avert the big X run off the start of the game and trailed by only two at 39-37 at halftime.  The Blues grabbed the lead midway through the third quarter and extended to 8 with about 2 minutes left in the game.  6'9" Alberto Rodriquez had 14 points on 5-6 shooting for X while 6'5" Jeremy Dunn added 13 on only 5-16 shooting.  Toronto got a solid performance from fifth-year guard Anthony DeGiorgio with 12 points, 2 assists and zero turnovers in 36 minutes.

The Blues host Bishop's and McGill next weekend in Toronto while St. FX gets Guelph on Thursday (game to be played at Saint Mary's in Halifax) and then host their own Nike tournament in Antigonish.

Wayne Thomas's Canada West Saturday Recap

Click on Dinos Hoops News for the story and more ...

Calgary 83, Victoria 74  Trailing 43-32 at the half, and by as many as 15 in the 2nd, the Calgary Dinos dug in and counted 51 second half points, and stunned the home-standing Victoria Vikes by an 83-74 final on Saturday, earning a split in the weekend series. With nothing happening offensively in the 1st half, Calgary upped their work rate on the defensive end, with post man Youri Anissovets injecting some aggressive play, along with Andy Rochon, and 1st year post man, Matt Letkeman.

After having been thrashed on the boards by the Vikes on Friday, Calgary battled it out for a 42-29 edge in rebounding in game 2, led by 13 from an energized Tyler Fidler, who also blocked 3 shots, and scored 20 points, most in the 2nd half. Andrew McGuinness was in double figures again Saturday with 15 points, Phil Labongo, 1st year wing man, Winnipeg, scored 12, with some tough drives into the paint, and Dustin Reding notched 11.

The Dinos shot 51% on the night, with more scores in close in the 4th quarter, by Fidler, off the offensive glass, and Letkeman on short jumpers. Calgary was 25/33 (76%) at the line, with Fidler being 7/7, McGuinness, 7/8, and Labongo 6/8. Victoria shot 39% from the floor, including 8/22 from 3 point range, with most of those in the 1st half. At the free throw line the Vikes were 14/21 for 67%.

Victoria’s high scorer was Ryan McKinnon, with 16 points, but the reeling Vikes could manage only 10 in the 4th quarter, as Calgary would not be denied in the last 4 minutes. Both teams are 1-1 to start the Canada West season. Next weekend sees Calgary at home vs. the Lethbridge Pronghorns, while Victoria travels to Saskatchewan to play the Huskies.

Spartans and Bobcats Complete Sweeps in Saturday Action

Saskatchewan 97 at UBC 96 ... starting and finishing strong, the Huskies snatched a split with the ‘Birds behind 34 points from their import guard Jamelle Barrett, and 10/22 treys compared to 6/24 for UBC. Josh Whyte scored 23, and Brent Malish 18 for the T-Birds.

Trinity Western 98 at Lethbridge 82 ... the Spartans earned the sweep, with 31 points and 8 assists from Tristan Smith, a transfer guard from Fraser Valley. Tyrell Mara added 22 points, and was the game’s leading rebounder with 11. Zack Humphrey had 21 for U of L.

at Brandon 88 Thompson Rivers 80... the Bobcats, completing the sweep, scored 52 second half points, and 9/19 from 3 point range, led by Kyle Vince with 23, and O’Brien Wallace with 19. Kevin Pribilsky had 18, and Chas Kok 17 for the 0-2 Wolfpack.

Notes ... Trinity plays UBC next week (in Langley.) Dave Wells, our Southern Alberta observer, suggests it is ‘an unfortunate schedule, in that Sask-UBC and Trinity-UBC will be done for the season before Halloween!” Wellsie was impressed particularly with Tristan Smith for Trinity who can be ‘very tough if Smith can take care of the ball at the point.”

For a court dedicated to the excellence of UVic’s and the CIS’ finest coaches, Kathy and Ken Shields, the McKinnon Gym complex is one of the least comfortable facilities in Canada West. The days of bleacher seating really must be gone, and the sight lines are dreadful, with a 10 meter set-back for ‘front row’ bleacher seats. How about a little stewardship for an historically important facility ?

In attendance on Friday was former Alberta Coach Don Horwood, who is happy in retirement, and wanted to be remembered to his many supporters in Calgary, as he and his wife Jill returned to the Island, where Don was such a successful high school coach at Oak Bay.

Also seen in the stands in Victoria ... Ken Shields, who had just returned from meetings, speaking, and basketball clinic duties in Ottawa and Winnipeg ... Clyde Ogilvie, who played with Ken and this writer on Dinos teams in the ‘60s (old) ... man family members and friends of the B.C. players on the Dinos roster - Matt Letkeman, Josh Wolfram, Andrew McGuinness, and Keenan Milburn ... Former Dinos post man from the ‘80s-‘90s, Mark Loria, along with his son Finn ... loyal followers Sandy Debolt, Peter Mack, and, of course, Adam Kleitsch, who, with his new hirsute look, fit in rather nicely with the denizens of the Island .

Ross Bekkering’s Leiden squad beat Robbie Sihota’s Rotterdam team, 82-60 in Dutch League play on saturday. Sihota had 18 points and 8 boards in a losing cause as Rotterdam fell to 0-6. Ross had 13 points and 8 rebounds for the 2nd place, 4-1 Leiden.

Not exactly physical abuse ... on Friday night, Coach Dan Vanhooren secures a copy of the 3rd quarter stats summary, and, seeing the rebound totals, he tosses the stats sheet at his charges. Take that! Hardly the ‘kick the ball-rack’ technique of years long past from the fiery John Dewar ... much easier to retrieve the paper. More smiles Saturday, as the Dinos show a lot of grit in clawing back for a big win on the road, when they looked like they were going under for the 2nd night in a row.