Monday, 31 January 2011

Canada West Update from Wayne Thomas

Wayne covers the playoff possibilities in Canada West on his excellent blog; also check out his 30th January entry which covers Saturday night's action in Canada West.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Weekend Recap

Was out and about for much of the weekend but managed to watch a few games.  Here's a quick look at what happened this weekend across the country:

AUS  X-Men lose at UNB this afternoon  The V-Reds ralled from being down by as many as 10 in the second quarter, primed by a tremendous 15 assist/2 turnover effort from 5'11" Andrew Wright and a huge effort on the glass in the second half when they outrebounded St. FX by 14 to grab a 94-82 win this afternoon and a split of the weekend series at home.  X had all kinds of difficulties keeping 6'5" Alex Desroches (19 points/11 rebounds) off the offensive glass and the V-Reds shot the ball extremely well going 11-22 from beyond the arc today and 22-44 from 3 for the weekend.  But Wright was the difference today, making strong decisions and he tied the school record for assists in a game.  Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw had 25 for X but shot only 7 for 24 as the X-Men played without 6'3" fifth-year forward Dwayne Johnson, out with a seperated shoulder and lost 6'5" Chad Warren early in the game to a hand injury the extent of which is not known.  X travels to Dal next Saturday night for a four point game which will go a long way in deciding second place in the AUS.  The Tigers solidified their position with a pair of easy victories over visiting MUN this weekend.  First place has long been decided as only a complete collapse would drop Cape Breton Capers from the lead.  Capers knocked off UPEI in Charlottetown this afternoon by 9 but had leads as large as 20 in the game.  Panthers got an upset win on Friday over Acadia which could help propel them back into the AUS tournament race.

AUS Standings
Cape Breton 14-1 34 pts.
X 10-4 20 pts.
Dal 8-5 20 pts.
SMU 6-9 18 pts.
Acadia 4-8 12 pts.
UNB 6-7 12 pts.
PEI 4-10 8 pts.
MUN 3-11 8 pts.

Quebec  Gaiters capture first win   Bishop's rarely trailed, building leads as large as 14 before holding off a Citadins run that got it to 4 with just over 2 minutes to play.  But 6'7" Tim Hunter hit a clutch 3, his fourth of the game and Bishop's was not threatened thereafter, winning by 10 78-68.  Hunter finished with 22 points while UQAM's 6'7" freshman Vincent Lanctot-Fortier led all scorers with 26 points and added 7 boards for the Citadins (4-6).  Earlier in the weekend, Laval built up leads as large as 14 before holding off McGill by 6 in Ste. Foy while Concordia held on to beat Bishop's on Thursday. 

Laval 8-2
Concordia 7-4
McGill 6-4
UQAM 4-6
Bishop's 1-10

Bishop's victory keeps their faint playoff hopes alive although UQAM owns the season series (the teams do not meet again in the regular season).  Bishop's must win at least 4 of their final 5 games of the season (at Laval, McGill home and home back to back, Laval at home then at Concordia) and hope UQAM loses all their games.  UQAM's magic number to clinch the final Q playoff spot is 2 (any combination of Citadins victories and/or Bishop's losses totalling 2 and UQAM clinches).

OUA East  With Glizic back, Blues maintain grip on 2nd place   6'6" Drazen Glizic's return to health this week was a key contributor to Toronto's 3-0 week, which included a pair of tight, exciting games highlighted by the overtime win at Ryerson on Wednesday.  The Blues took advantage of a listless York Lions team that struggled mightily against the Blues zone to win by 13 on Friday and then Toronto came from behind and overcame a combined 56 points from the Pasquale brothers to hold off Laurentian by 3.  Glizic continues to contribute his steady, experienced play around the rim while 6'5" Alex Hill had a pair of solid games on the weekend.  Also noteable from the weekend was Queen's dropping decisively a pair of games in Ottawa by 30 to the Gee-Gees and the next night at Carleton when Gaels trailed 40-14 at the half.  The only mystery is whether or not the Gaels can put any pressure on Laurentian for the sixth and final playoff spot. 

OUA East Standings
Carleton 17-0
Toronto 12-5
Ottawa 8-9
York 8-9
Ryerson 7-10
Laurentian 6-11
Queen's 3-14
RMC 0-17

The Gaels finish their season with their final 5 games in Kingston, hosting Toronto and Ryerson next weekend then Laurentian and York with the season-ending RMC game hopefully meaningful by that point.  Laurentian hosts Ottawa and Carleton next weekend, goes to Kingston and then finishes at York.  With Laurentian's remaining game at RMC, Queen's will need to win 4 of their final 5 games at a minimum plus the tie-breaker and hope the Vees lose all of their other games to have any kind of chance at the playoffs.  Laurentian's magic number is 3:  any combination of Laurentian wins and Queen's losses totalling 3 and Vees are in.  One of Laurentian's games is at RMC so Gaels have a steep road to climb.

OUA West   Thunderwolves widen gap in top spot   Showing again how difficult it is to beat Lakehead at home, the Windsor Lancers gave up first place with a pair of losses in Thunder Bay.  Both games differed as, in game one, Lakehead had a 16 point lead with about 4 minutes remaining before the Lancers, led by 6'2" Enrico DeLoretto came roaring back but T-Wolves clinched it on the foul line. In Game Two, the Lancers came out with more purpose, grabbing an early 10 point lead however as has been the case for numerous games in the last two seasons, Lakehead dominated the second half, save for a Windsor run that got it back to one, before T-Wolves pulled away late for the important sweep.   Home sweep home from TBnewswatch    In other action, Waterloo Warriors shook off a pair of mediocre efforts to hammer Western while the spunky Guelph Gryphons knocked off Mac at Mac, again highlighting the tremendous job Gryphs coach Chris O'Rourke has done with his injury-riddled lineup.  The Gryphs need more wins to push for a playoff spot but many wondered if Guelph would play any meaningful games in February which will now be the case thanks mainly to one of O'Rourke's best coaching efforts of his career.  In a very exciting encounter at Laurier, the Hawks grabbed a five point overtime win over improving Brock.  The Badgers got a regular-season best performance out of 6'1" veteran point guard Andrew Kraus, a necessary contribution if the young Badgers are to advance deep into the playoffs.  At this point, the team on the precipice is the Western Mustangs, just 2-6 after the holidays however the 'Stangs play five of their final six regular season games at home in Alumni Hall.

OUA West Standings
Lakehead  13-3
Laurier      11-5
Windsor    11-5
Brock         8-8
McMaster 8-8
Waterloo   7-9
Western    7-9
Guelph      6-10

Brock at Western... must win for Mustangs?
Guelph at Windsor... Gryphs can't fall too far behind 6th
McMaster at Laurier... Marauders won first meeting in Hamilton

Lakehead at Waterloo (Fri/Sat night)... T-Wolves can virtually clinch a first round bye with a sweep
Laurier at Windsor... Will go a long way to determine who gets first round playoff bye
McMaster at Brock... Mac won first game at home; first round home playoff game at stake ?
Guelph at Western... Loser likely to not make playoffs ?

We will have more on Canada West shortly.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Warriors Put Together a Team Win

Six players scored in double figures as the Waterloo Warriors led from start to finish to defeat the Western Mustangs 93-72.

The Mustangs were unable to find the basket in the opening period as Waterloo opened the game with a 19-1 run. Western shot 10% in the quarter and Waterloo maintained control of the ball with no turnovers.
In the second quarter, Western recovered to play even, but were not able to put much dent in the lead. At half time, Waterloo was leading 44-29.

Waterloo put on a shooting display in the third quarter, putting up 30 points on 67% shooting including 6 of 9 from the three point line. After three, the Warriors were up 27 points.

For the game, Waterloo shot 49% compared to 38% for Western. Waterloo also had the rebounding edge 45-33.

The six Warriors hitting for double figures were led by Cam McIntyre with 18 points. Brendan Smith put up a career high 16 points. Alan Goodhoofd and Tim Rossy contributed 15 each, with Wayne Bridge adding 14
and Jordan Hannah hitting for 13 points. Alan Goodhoofd also grabbed 13 rebounds.

For Western, Marcus Barnett led the team with 18 points, including 5 of 6 from the three point line.

With the game results, Waterloo and Western are tied for sixth place in the OUA West with 7-9 records.

Next game for Waterloo is Friday, February 4 when the Warriors host the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Game time is 8:00pm at the PAC.

Spartans dominate Huskies; TRU upsets Dinos

The feature matchup in Canada West play last night was essentially over late in the second quarter as the hometown Trinity Western Spartans exploded to a 17 point lead with a 59 point first half, holding 6'1" Rejean Chabot in check and coasted to an 11 point win over Saskatchewan 102-91.  TWU had 7 players in double figures offsetting a 42 point effort from Jamelle Barrett, with most of those coming in the second half.  Watching the end of the first half, the Spartans played with an urgency and emotion that displayed their wide array of offensive talent.

Trinity Western Saskatchewan Box Score

In other key games, Regina outlasted Fraser Valley in double overtime, hurting the Cascades playoff asperations, although Cascades still hold the final playoff spot ahead of Calgary, which was upset by Thompson Rivers.  Manitoba hammered Lethbridge, solidifying their hold on a playoff spot. Kevin Oliver article in Winnipeg Sun  Also, Ron Rauch of Victoria Times-Colonist on UVic's win over Brandon.

As always, Wayne Thomas has the entire Canada West recap in his latest edition of Dinos Hoops News

Also, Wayne Kondro's article on last night's Ottawa win over Queen's

Canada West Standings
Trinity Western 17-2
UBC 16-2
Saskatchewan 13-4
Alberta 13-6
Regina 11-6
Victoria 12-7
Manitoba 8-9
Fraser Valley 6-11
Calgary 5-12
Lethbridge 5-14
Brandon 4-13
Thompson Rivers 4-15
Winnipeg 2-15

Friday, 28 January 2011

Friday Night Summary

QUBL  Laval 72, McGill 66  Rouge et Or's athleticism was too much for the Redmen tonight as 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux had 15 and 6'6" Etienne Labrecque added 16 to give Laval some first-place cushion.  6'3" Simon Bibeau, 6'1" Olivier Bouchard and 6'8" Greg Gause combined to go 4 for 28 for the Redmen.

OUA East  Toronto 71, York 58  The Blues avenged a 14 point loss to the Lions two weeks ago with a sterling defensive effort, timely shooting and only 5 turnovers all evening.  Toronto's zone generally stymied the Lions, who went 6-20 from downtown (5 for 11 for 5'10" David Tyndale).  6'5" Alex Hill hit back-to-back 3's mid way through the third quarter to allow the Blues to grab a 9 point lead which they never relinquished.  6'1" Justin Holmes hit several big 3's and led Toronto with 19 points while steady 6'6" Drazen Glizic appears all the way back from an injured ankle, getting 16 points.  Toronto had a tough time with dynamic 6'10" Dejan Kravic, who had 21 points and 15 rebounds but the Blues zone, transition "d", excellent offensive decision making and ability to take care of the ball were enough.  At 11-5, the Blues are comfortably in second place in the East.

Ottawa 71, Queen's 41  Just like Wednesday night vs. Carleton, the Gee-Gees erupted early but tonight they continued to extend, basically clinching a playoff spot by smacking the Golden Gaels.  Ottawa led 42-14 at halftime and got 18 from 6'6" Warren Ward and 14 and 10 for 6'9" Louis Gauthier.

Ryerson 84, Laurentian 70  The Rams got a comfortable win over the reeling Voyageurs who tonight played without 6'6" Mike Hull, out with a back injury.

OUA West   Lakehead 73, Windsor 65  The Wolves had double digit leads and got another nice effort from 6'1" Jamie Searle in taking the first of two vs. the Lancers in Sudbury.  6'3" Isaac Kuon had 19 points but shot only 6-25. 

Much thanks to the U of T athletic department for the use of their stellar computing facilities and the solid refreshments.

UPEI 64 Acadia 53

Terrance brown had 19 points and 8 rebounds and started the second half with an ally oop and 1 as the panthers upset the axemen. Manock lual had 17 and 8 for UPEI and Owen klassen led acadia with 14 and 12
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

On the road this weekend

Hope to have reports throughout but will be in gyms this weekend with limited access to a computer. Enjoy the games.
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Concordia 90, Bishop's 86

The Stingers took the lead for good midway through the first quarter, extended to as much as 14 and then held off a couple of late Gaiters runs to keep Bishop' winless and grab a solid road win.  6'5" James Clark had probably his most consistent offensive effort of the second half with 23 points and 5 rebounds and was instrumental in the early 18-3 run that gave Concordia an 11 point first quarter lead.  Fellow fourth-year senior 6'2" Decee Krah (17 points 3-5 3's) clinched the game with 3 with 2 minutes left to stretch Stingers lead back to 6 and they were never seriously threatened.

The Gaiters got a strong performance from 6'2" Onnex Blackwood with 23 points and 6 rebounds.  Blackwood was the catalyst in getting Bishop's back to within 2 at 78-76 with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining with a nice "and 1" and earlier had keyed a run to get the game back to 1 at 29-28 in the second quarter.  But the Stingers withstood every Gaiter run to move to 7-4 on the season.

6'7" third-year forward Kafil Eyitayo had 11 points and 8 rebounds including 4 points during the mid-first quarter run that gave Concordia some breathing room while 6'2" Kyle Desmarais also had 16 in the win.

The Gaiters had 4 players in double figures but shot just 2-14 from beyond the arc in a game in which the teams were whistled for a combined 52 fouls.

Box Score

Thursday, 27 January 2011

QUBL Matchup on tonight's CIS docket

The reeling Concordia Stingers, losers of 3 of their last 5, hope to push back toward the top of the Quebec league as they visit winless Bishop's in Lennoxville tonight at 8 PM in a game that can be seen on SSN Canada.  Stingers 6'2" guard Kyle Desmarais has led the Stingers in scoring in 9 of the 10 league games to date and had 24 points the last time these teams met a couple of weeks ago, a five point victory for Concordia.  The Stingers defeated Bishop's by 9 in their last meeting in Lennoxville before the holidays.  6'3" Evens Laroche has struggled with ankle injuries for the past 2-3 weeks and his health is critical to the depth of the Stingers.  Bishop's plays their first game in about 2 weeks and only their fourth after the holidays, their last game being the 5 point loss at Concordia.  6'2" sophomore Onnex Blackwood leads the Gaiters in scoring at 13.3 ppg while 6'7" lefty third-year forward Tim Hunter averages 13.0 ppg and is a legitimate three point threat for Bishop's.

Western article on win over Laurier

Morris Dalla Costa in the London Free Press on the Mustangs big win over Laurier at home last night, just their second win in 7 starts after the holidays.

Mustangs make statement

Martin Timmerman's Report on Waterloo / Mac

The Waterloo Warriors battled the McMaster Marauders all night long, but came out on the short end of a 93-90 score as McMaster won a key OUA West Division matchup. In a game with 9 lead changes and 6 ties, it was a Scott Laws long three with the shot clock running down that put McMaster up 90-88 and the lead for good. Waterloo rebounded a missed free throw with 9 seconds on the clock, but a long three from Cam McIntyre missed the mark.

For a game where both teams reached the 90 point mark it had a slow start. McMaster held the early lead at 6-2 after 5:30 of play as both teams struggled to score early. After a number of short runs, McMaster held the lead after a quarter of play. Early in the second, McMaster jumped to a 13 point lead, the largest margin of the night. Two times outs by Waterloo turned the tide as Waterloo had a 23-5 run through the second quarter and went into the half with a six point lead at 44-38.

The second half saw Waterloo gradually increase the margin to 10 points, until McMaster went on an 8-0 run to make it a two point game. For the last 13 minutes the largest margin was five points, with most of the time three or less.

Mike Wright made the most of filling in as a starter for the sick Luke Kieswetter. Wright hit for a career best 18 points and added 8 assists. Tim Rossy had his second big game in a row with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Cam McIntyre added 18 points.

For McMaster Kenan Etale led all scorers with 26 points. Scott Laws provided 23 points.

With the loss Waterloo falls to 6-9 on the season and is in seventh place in the OUA West. McMaster improves to 8-7 and a tie for fourth with Brock.

Next game for Waterloo is Sat Jan 29 when the Warriors host the Western Mustangs. It is Fantastic Alumni, Staff, Faculty, Retiree Day at Waterloo. Game time for the Warriors is 3:00pm at the PAC.

Last Night's articles recap

Wayne Kondro of Ottawa Citizen on last night's Capital Hoops Classic which drew 7,565 fans to Scotiabank Place  Ravens find a way plus Ottawa Sun's Aedan Helmer Clean sweep for Ravens also Metro News-Ottawa with pictures from the game

Monty Mosher of Halifax Chronicle-Herald  Furious Rally Saves X - erase 8 point deficit in final 67 seconds

Rob Massey from Guelph Mercury  Gryphs offense lets down in latest loss and St. Catharines Standard article Badgers bounce Gryphons

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Other OUA Action

McMaster 93, Waterloo 90  In a game of runs in which both teams were not at full strength, the Marauders got a career high 26 points from Kenan Etale and 23 from Scott Laws to defeat the turnover-prone Warriors in Waterloo.  Despite committing 23 turnovers, the Warriors had a 12 point lead early in the third quarter after spotting Mac a 12 point lead.   6'3" Tim Rossy turned in another sparkling performance for Waterloo, matching his career-high of 23 points set just this past Saturday against Guelph while 6'3" Cam McIntyre, still playing hurt as observers had a simple time deducing, and 6'1" guard Mike Wright each had 18 for Waterloo.  Mac was again without 6'8" Scott Brittain and 6'3" Victor Raso.

Western 82, Laurier 79  6'5" Matt Buckley had a chance to tie the game with 1.5 seconds remaining after getting fouled on 3 and made the first two before missing the 3rd as the Mustangs, behind another strong performance from 6'5" Andy Wedemire, survived at home, gaining a split in their back-to-back with the Golden Hawks.  Box Score

Brock 76, Guelph 66  Mike Cruickshand had 22 points and the Badgers pulled away in the second half to gain a foothold in the playoff race and send the hometown Gryphs into a series of must-win games.  Box Score

Toronto 82, Ryerson 80 Overtime  In a wild, exciting affair with several twists and turns, the Varsity Blues got a late banked 3 by Justin Holmes with 20 seconds remaining to pull out a road win at Ryerson.  The Blues rallied from an early 4 point deficit in the overtime and survived 6'6" Andrew Wasik fouling out in the extra frame as Holmes and Arun Kumar combined to go 10 for 19 from beyond the arc with Holmes finishing with 22.  Kumar was instrumental early as he hit a buzzer-beating heave from his own foul line at the end of the first quarter and then beat the second quarter buzzer with another 3 into halftime.  The Blues appeared to have the game in hand up 16 in the third quarter before the Rams sparked it up from downtown - Ryerson face a zone for virtually the entire game and were not fazed, going 12 for 26 from beyond the arc and grabbing countless offensive rebounds with the strength and athletism on full display.  The Blues tied the game in regulation after Wasik scored inside with 7.4 seconds left.  Toronto welcomed back 6'6" Drazen Glizic who went 1 for 9 but did grab 11 rebounds.  The Rams continue to show that they are an up-and-coming young team capable of beating almost anyone in the conference.  Tremendously exciting and wild game - one of many to come in this growing rivalry.

Carleton 78, Ottawa 65

The Ravens came back to dominate after falling behind by 19 early in the second quarter and won going away before about 7,000 fans at Scotiabank Place (my estimate).  6'6" Tyson Hinz and 6'7" Aaron Chapman keyed an 18-0 Ravens run in a six minute stretch of the second quarter and then 6'5" Cole Hobin, saddled with two early fouls, scored 7 consecutive points and locked down 6'6" Warren Ward as Carleton took control midway through the third.

Ottawa came out on fire as Ward scored the first 7 Gee-Gees points and 10 overall in the first quarter.  More importantly Hobin had two early fouls and had to go to the bench.  Ottawa shot lights out and led 28-9 with about 2 minutes gone in the second before the Ravens went into lock-down mode defensively, guarding the ball, limiting Ottawa to one shot and generally not giving the Gee-Gees any reasonable looks - Ottawa did not score for a 7 minute stretch before 6'6" freshman Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue had a put back late in the first half.  The Gee-Gees had jumped out to their lead with tremendous ball defense and a stellar job cleaning up the defensive glass but became vulnerable to transition scores once their shots stopped dropping.  And when transition wasn't there, things usually flowed through Hinz, who usually delivered in another strong, workmanlike performance.

The teams traded baskets early in the third before Hobin caught fire, getting to the rim, then feeding Hinz underneath, then knocking down a 3 and culminated his game-changing flurry with a steal and finish.  The lead was double digits before the teams started trading baskets through much of the fourth.  Carleton's largest lead was 18.  Ward finished with 22 points, with his final 10 coming after the game was decided.  Hinz had 25 and 10 while Hobin added 14 and Chapman 12 for Carleton.

St. FX 93, Saint Mary's 92

6'5" Jeremy Dunn's 3 with 5 seconds remaining culminated a game-ending 6-0 X run in the final minute to lift the X-Men to a dramatic one-point victory over the Huskies at the Tower in Halifax.  In an exciting affair in which both teams flashed their athleticism, Saint Mary's jumped out to an early 29-16 lead as the game featured 4 early dunks and got the crowd into things almost from the beginning.  Dunn was instrumental in getting the game back to within 5 by halftime but the Huskies took off on an 11-1 run in the first 3 minutes of the second half to lead by 15 again and held an 8 point leading heading to the fourth.  The X-Men then went to a zone and after getting the game back to 9, X had a 14-7 run to get it to 2 with 2 minutes left.  But Joey Haywood got going again, setting up the 5 point lead with a minute left before Dunn became a hero.  More in tomorrow's posts.

Wednesday Previews and other articles

Capital Hoops Classic preview from Wayne Kondro in the Ottawa Citizen  also uOttawa press release plus University President's throw down the gauntlet

AUS Basketball looking to shine one more time  Chris Cochrane in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Also, Badgers continue home dominance from Brock Press on Saturday's Badgers win plus Bernie Puchalski's article in St. Catharines Standard

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Plenty of CIS Action on Wednesday Night

StFX at Saint Mary's 8:00 PM AST  Historically one of the top rivalries in the CIS, X have won 8 of the past 10 meetings between the 2 teams since the Huskies dramatic victory in the AUS semi-finals in 2007-08.  6'1" Joey Haywood has scored 40+ points in 3 of the past 6 games for Saint Mary's and averages a CIS-leading 29.1 ppg.  X-Men have an explosive guard of their own in 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw who enters the final 6 or so weeks of his career trying to replicate his dominating play from his POY season in '09-'10.  X's depth is an advantage but both teams can play up tempo so expect an exciting, high scoring affair at the Tower.
OUA West
Brock at Guelph 8:00 PM EST  Coach Chris O'Rourke has done an incredible job with his Gryphons this season given all the injuries to key players Guelph has had to deal with.  Saturday's come-from-behind win at Waterloo was case in point as Guelph finished the game with 3 non-descript freshman and a bottom-of-the-rotation sophomore on the floor with 5'11" Mike Petrella, who has accepted the load offensively and has delivered.  Brock comes off a dramatic, character-building win at home against Windsor and hopes to get 6'6" Mark Gibson back soon from an ankle injury.  Guelph needs this victory desperately to remain in the OUA West playoff race.

Laurier at Western 8:00 PM EST  A rematch of Saturday's Golden Hawks victory over the 'Stangs in Waterloo as Laurier tries to deal with 6'5" Andy Wedemire, who had 29.  Laurier tried to pull away a couple of times but the resilient Mustangs were able to come back twice in the fourth quarter but could not finish it off.  The Hawks made their runs when they had success on the offensive glass and got open looks in transition.  Laurier looks to keep pace with Lakehead and Windsor atop the standings while Western needs a victory to keep ahead of others in the playoff race.

McMaster at Waterloo 8:00 PM EST  The Warriors and Marauders last met in an OUA West quarter-final playoff game last March with Waterloo upsetting Mac in Hamilton.  Marauders are beat up entering this one without 6'8" Taylor Black, 6'3" Victor Raso, who it was recently revealed was playing with a broken toe before he rolled his ankle and, likely, 6'8" Scott Brittain.  Warriors could not close against Guelph at home on Saturday as both big guys 6'6" Alan Goodhoofd and 6'7" Brendan Smith battled foul trouble all night but Waterloo did get a career game out of 6'3" Tim Rossy with 23 points.
OUA East
Toronto at Ryerson 8:00 PM EST   The emerging Rams have played small-ball recently to a great degree of success, especially defensively.  Ryerson wants to run, press and get to the rim so Blues will have to convert quickly in defensive transition and limit Rye's ability to drive the paint.  Toronto hopes to have 6'6" Drazen Glizic, a key piece of their rotation, back after he missed both games this past weekend with an ankle injury.  This game should offer an interesting contrast in styles at Kerr Hall in downtown Toronto.

Ottawa vs. Carleton at Scotiabank Place "Capital Hoops Classic" 8:00 PM EST  This game lacks the headline status of past Capital Hoops Classics which ordinarily featured #1 or #2 Carleton against an Ottawa Gee-Gees team regularly in the Top 5.  Still, Gee-Gees 6'6" Warren Ward is an explosive scorer and as Laurier's 6'5" Kale Harrison proved earlier in the year, if Ravens are not there mentally, guys can go off.  Expect 6'5" Cole Hobin to draw the assignment of guard Ward while 6'9" Louis Gauthier is the most experienced and arguably best offensively-skilled post player in the game so Ottawa has some weapons.  Still, Carleton is deeper and can match Ottawa's athleticism in the back court with 5'10" Willy Manigat, 6'2" Phil Scrubb and 5'10" Mike Kenny and has several players who have played numerous games in this type of environment.  Ottawa has been riding 6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe at the point for major minutes recently.  But the biggest question will be how Ottawa deals with multi-talented matchup nightmare 6'6" Tyson Hinz.  The big stage with several thousand screaming rival fans has a way of punctuating this cross-town rivalry and bringing out some of the most exciting basketball of the season.

Wayne Thomas Canada West Report

Rich Get Richer  by Wayne Thomas

Blackberry CIS Coaches Top 10 for 25 Jan 2011

Somehow, Cape Breton which leads the AUS by at least two games and has defeated St. FX twice including last Wednesday in Antigonish, remains ranked below the X-Men in this week's poll.  Laval, despite a 20 point blowout loss at home to UQAM, remains in the Top 10 at #8 while OUA West teams Lakehead and Laurier enter the Top 10.  Concordia, Dalhousie and Toronto drop out of the Top 10 this week.

Lots of CIS action tomorrow night (Wednesday) as there are the normal 3 OUA West games, Capital Hoops Classic in Ottawa between Carleton and the Gee-Gees, Toronto Varsity Blues visiting Ryerson in downtown Toronto and St. FX X-Men visiting the Tower in Halifax to tangle with Saint Mary's.

2010-11 Men's Basketball Top 10

January 25, 2011 - previous ranking ( )

1. Carleton (1)
2. UBC (2)
3. Saskatchewan (3)
4. Trinity Western (5)
5. StFX (4)
6. Cape Breton (8)
7. Windsor (7)
8. Laval (6)
9. Lakehead (NR)
10. Wilfrid Laurier (NR)

Monday, 24 January 2011 Top 10 for 24 January 2011

Except for the top 4 spots which remain the same, there were more changes this week than in at least 3-4 of the previous polls as Cape Breton and Lakehead move up and Laurier re-enters my Top 10.  The Capers established themselves as the clear favorite for the AUS regular season crown by sweeping X, the latest win a double OT affair in Antigonish this past Wednesday in front of 2,000+ fans, most of whom were clad in white, making for a tremendous atmosphere for CIS basketball.  Capers then swept Dalhousie at home and are unlikely to be challenged in first.  The OUA West became much tighter at the top with now any of 3 teams capable of winning the regular season pennant:  Windsor at Lakehead twice this weekend will bring further clarity to this (or muddy the waters even further).  Quebec is tighter as Laval has hit a bit of a rough patch with three teams still within striking distance of first place, which the Rouge et Or continue to hold.  No changes out west with Saskatchewan at Trinity Western for a pair this weekend likely deciding how the Top 3 will finish.

#1 Carleton (21-0, 14-0) (LW: #1)  The Ravens made short work of one of arguably only two OUA East teams that reasonably have a chance at knocking them off, going on a 29-2 run in the second quarter to dominate York.  uOttawa Gee-Gees might beg to differ with that assessment and they get their shot at the Ravens this Wednesday night at the annual Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place in Kanata.  Ravens then host RMC and Queen's on the weekend at the Raven's Nest before playing 4 of their final 5 on the road.

#2 UBC (19-2, 16-2) (LW: #2)  The T-Birds left little doubt from the opening tips this weekend at Brandon that there would be no let down, hammering the Bobcats who are now virtually eliminated from the post-season.  UBC, idle this weekend, should benefit from this weekend's TWU/Saskatchewan games as the Birds own the tie-breaker with both so any result is ok although a split would be optimal for UBC.  UBC does have a tough trip into Regina the following week where it is always difficult to play.

#3 Trinity Western (17-2, 16-2) (LW: #3)  Came off a bye week and got All-Canadian performances in both games at Calgary from 6'7" Jacob Doerksen against an undermanned Dinos squad missing injured point guard Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson.  This weekend's matchup with Saskatchewan at home in Langley will go a long way to justifying this #3 ranking.

#4 Saskatchewan (20-3, 13-3) (LW: #4)  Another pair of explosive offensive performances from the exciting Huskies, led by their pair of illustrious guards 6'1" Rejean Chabot and 5'11" Jamelle Barrett.  Huskies at Spartans will be a contrast in styles as TWU plays through their bigs much more and the ability of Spartans guards to defend the ball, especially Chabot who uses his body so well getting to the rim, will likely be the key to these games.

#5 Cape Breton (14-6, 13-1) (LW: #7)   A clutch finish after blowing a big lead that they had rallied to after being down double digits at St. FX last Wednesday justifies this climb into the Top 5. Capers then went on to twice handle Dal Tigers, probably the third best team in the AUS, relatively easily at home on the weekend, drawing good distance between CBU and the rest of the pack in the AUS. Capers go to UPEI on the weekend and appear poised to grab #1 seed at the AUS tournament at the Halifax Metro Center in March.

#6 St. FX (19-4, 8-3) (LW: #5)   X had at least two opportunities to put Cape Breton away this past Wednesday, initially building a 19 point first-half lead before the Capers came back and then at least a couple of occasions late in regulation and in the overtimes when they had leads they could not hold.  X has a rivalry game Wednesday night at Saint Mary's and then travels to improved UNB for a pair of weekend games in the Pit.

#7 Windsor (13-5, 11-3) (LW: #6)  The Lancers dropped back to the top part of the pack with a disappointing loss at Brock on Saturday during which they could muster only 6 points for the entire fourth quarter and did not score for probably the final 4 minutes of the game, giving up the final 8 points of the game to lose one which got away.  Windsor continues to show some inconsistencies that in part may be a function of a still-young but potentially down-the-road-dominant point guard/post combination.  However, Saturday's loss was a lost opportunity for 6'3" Isaac Kuon to put his stamp on this season.  Two more chances come up this weekend as the Lancers visit Thunder Bay to meet Lakehead, currently tied with Windsor for first place in the division.

#8 Lakehead (16-9, 11-3) (LW: #10) Sweeping a pair at Mac and moving into a tie for first justifies the Wolves moving up. Game one was a classic in which 6'2" Jamie Searle put on a shooting clinic, especially in the fourth quarter. Saturday's game was billed as easier given that 6'3" Victor Raso and 6'8" Scott Brittain were not in Mac's lineup but Lakehead showed their depth as Searle was not a factor and they pulled out a late-game win. Wolves host Windsor for two in Thunder Bay this weekend.

#9 Laurier (13-7, 10-4) (LW: NR) Golden Hawks did not play particularly well in either of their games this week but still took two victories, showing they can play through rough patches, especially against Western on Saturday when one of their achilles heels was revealed: defending quick, mobile post players as 6'5" Andy Wedemire lit up Laurier for 29. The Hawks look to deal with Wedemire this coming Wednesday in the return encounter in London before hosting Brock on Saturday. Freshman Jamar Forde continues to provide impactful minutes in a complementary fashion for Laurier.

#10 Laval (13-6, 7-2) (LW: #8)   The most difficult pick for this week's Top 10 as Rouge et Or were blown out at home against UQAM and have hit a rough spot but the body of work in the Q gives them a fleeting nod.  Laval would benefit from the return of top freshman 6'5" Hugues Ryan who has missed the past 3 games and the return to top form of 6'4" Jerome Turcotte who is playing with a stiff neck.  Laval hosts McGill again on Friday night after escaping with a one-point victory two weeks ago also at home.  Obviously, this is a must-win if Rouge et Or hold any hope of staying in the Top 10.

In summary, going across the country, with Dalhousie sinking and Saint Mary's losing to UNB, only 2 AUS teams deserve reasonable merit (X and CBU); many can argue that Laval in the Top 10 is a stretch and they certainly have to prove they belong; OUA East only one team (Carleton) deserves a ranking.  McMaster had a chance to move up but lost twice, leaving only 3 teams worthy in the OUA West.  In Canada West, apart from the Big 3, Alberta (13-7, 12-6) is the most reasonable with Vic (12-9, 11-7) on the fringe.  Regina (11-9, 10-6) get their chance weekend after next when UBC comes to town for a pair.

Weekend Thoughts

Queen's Gaels responded from Friday night's listless second half performance against Ryerson with a resurgent effort against the second-place Toronto Varsity Blues.  By all accounts, the Gaels got after it on the defensive end and got a solid offensive performance from 6'2" Dan Bannister, who had 25 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, leading the third quarter run during which Gaels scored 34 points and extended to a 20+ lead, silencing one of the largest crowds of the season in Toronto.  The Gaels still have a significant challenge to qualifying for the OUA East playoff but the good news is that, with 7 games remaining on their schedule, Queen's plays their final 5 games of the regular season at home after a pair in Ottawa against the Gee-Gees (Friday) and Carleton (Saturday).  Realistically, with 3 teams each with 6 wins ahead of the Gaels presently and each of those teams having RMC still on the schedule, Queen's must get to 8 wins to be comfortable.  Thus, Queen's needs to go 5-2 down the stretch which includes that game at undefeated Carleton.  A victory over Ottawa then on Friday is virtually must-win... As for the Varsity Blues, last night's loss illustrates how sensitive the Blues relatively-thin roster is to injury as 6'6" Drazen Glizic did not play after injuring his ankle during the week at practice.  Further complicating matters for the Blues was the early foul trouble that 6'6" Andrew Wasik experienced.  The lack of impactful post play allow Gaels to push out on the perimeter more aggressively and the result was a combined 8 for 32 shooting effort from 6'5" Alex Hill, 5'11" Justin Holmes and 6'0" Arun Kumar, Varsity's top 3 outside threats.  Toronto, just 3-4 in their past 7 leagues games, hopes to have Glizic back in the lineup on Wednesday for the first of two games against downtown Toronto rivals Ryerson Rams at Kerr Hall... In Quebec, the McGill Redmen have won 3 of their last 4 games including consecutive road wins this past weekend to move into second place in the conference.  Not much was expected of the Redmen this season what with the losses to graduation of QUBL Player-of-the-Year 6'4" Matt Thornhill and 6'5" three-point shooter Paul Herra.  But 6'3" freshman Simon Bibeau has matured into McGill's team leader with much of the offense running through him and 6'0" sophomore guard Olivier Bouchard's role has been altered slightly to emphasize his outside shooting abilities more.  Inside the Redmen have a pair of workmanlike posts, in 6'8" Greg Gause, who has progressed steadily to a point where he is drawing the occasional double down and 6'7" Tristan Tremblay, a workhorse who may be the most competitive player on the Redmen.  Gritty 6'3" Winn Clark finds a way to get his, especially attacking the offensive glass and usually shows strong decision making abilities and versatile 6'4" Karim Sy-Morissette can play anywhere from the point to the big forward spots.  6'5" fifth-year forward Michael White appears to be poised to complete his fifth and final season in fine fashion as McGill's only upperclassmen on the current roster.  Redmen hope to have 6'7" Nick Langley back from a back injury soon having welcomed back 6'4" Kyle Bernard recently, although Bernard continues to play his way back into shape and thus the rotation.  This is group in which player's roles are clearly defined and accepted, especially defensively as McGill gives up under 70 ppg and holds teams to 40% shooting.  Redmen will be tested in their next 2 games:  back-to-back home-and-home with first place Laval Rouge et Or... Going in the other direction currently are the Concordia Stingers, losers of 3 of their past 5 games and currently without 6'3" Evens Laroche, who reinjured his ankle in Friday's loss to McGill.  The Stingers strong start to the season was aided by some strong perimeter shooting which appears to have deserted them during the past 5 games, when they have shot just 25% from beyond the arc; throw out a 9 for 20 effort in their most recent win over Bishop's and the Stingers shoot just 19% from beyond the arc during this recent cold streak.  Concordia visits Lennoxville on Thursday night for a date with the winless Bishop's Gaiters... Not much has changed in Canada West over the past few weeks as the contenders, playoff teams and non-playoff teams are basically categorized with the exception of the final playoff spot which could come down to the last weekend.  Both Alberta Golden Bears and Victoria Vikes are starting to gain the consistency of teams in the mix for a CW Final Four appearance.  Expect these two improving groups to meet in the first round of the playoffs.  Top 3 teams UBC, Trinity Western and Saskatchewan continue to dominate lesser opposition with this weekend's Spartans vs. Huskies matchups in Langley providing an early indicator of how the upper elite stack up out west.  Regina's pair of wins in Winnipeg solidify their hold on a playoff spot.  Manitoba has slumped recently and will battle Fraser Valley and Calgary for the final two spots in the first round of the CW playoffs.  Lethbridge, Brandon, Winnipeg and Thompson Rivers will need miracles to qualify.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

AUS Today: Cape Breton sweeps Dal

Cape Breton 71, Dalhousie 62  The Capers jumped out to another early lead led by 6'1" Jimmy Dorsey, who started on fire especially from the perimeter and then held off a stronger Tiger charge than on Saturday night but were still able to sweep the weekend series and maintain a stranglehold on first place in the AUS.  Dorsey finished with 19 points while 6'3" Paris Carter had 17.  5'11" Tremaine Fraser made a couple of early 3's for the Capers to set a strong tone.  6'1" Simon Farine had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Dal which also got 14 points and 15 boards from 6'9" Joe Schow, who had a strong battle with Capers 6'8" Scott Jaspers-Fayer.

UNB 95, Saint Mary's 81 (4)  One night after getting pounded in Antigonish, the V-Reds rebounded with what could be a season-turning 14 point win at the Tower in Halifax, abruptly ending the Huskies streak of 4 wins in their past 5 games.  UNB won for only the second time in their past 8 games as they prepare to host St. FX twice next weekend.  Saint Mary's prepares for Wednesday's home date against St. FX also.

UPEI 101 Memorial 75 (2)   Panthers gain a split of their weekend series in St. John's.

Spartans complete sweep: Wayne Thomas CW Roundup

Wayne does his usual tremendous job at summarizing Canada West action from Saturday night

Spartans complete sweep


Brian Decker of McMaster's Sil on last night's Lakehead win over Mac

Wayne Kondro of Ottawa Citizen on Ravens romp over York

AUS roundup from Monty Mosher of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald  Carter shines as Capers beat Tigers  plus T.J. Colello in the Cape Breton Post  Capers/Tigers Preview

Saturday, 22 January 2011

AUS Tonight: Capers edge Dal

Cape Breton 89, Dalhousie 84 (2)   The Capers came out firing, grabbing an early 11 point lead on the heels of 11 first-half 3's to take control for much of the game before the Tigers were able to make a late run which came up short in Sydney.  The two teams meet again tomorrow at 3 PM AT on CAPERS TV.

Memorial 101, UPEI 83 (2)  The Sea-hawks take game one in St. John's in the two-game battle of the cellar dwellers in the AUS.  Teams meet again tomorrow afternoon at 1 PM AT.

St. FX 98, UNB 56 (2)  X dominates the V-Reds in Antigonish.  UNB travels to Halifax to face Saint Mary's tomorrow afternoon at the Tower.

OUA East Tonight

Carleton 84, York 52   The Ravens finished the first half on a ridiculous 29-2 run including 8 consecutive 3's, to lead 46-21 at the half, breaking open what was a reasonably tight game for the first 12 or so minutes and Carleton coasted to remain undefeated.  York held early leads as large as 6 in the midst of a 1 for 9 Carleton start from the floor plus 2 for 6 from the free throw line.  However, the Ravens began completely dominating York defensively, creating turnovers, shot clock violations and giving up few if any easy looks during the run and scoring at will, negating any York transition opportunities.  Carleton's fortunes turned with the entry into the game of veteran guards 5'11" Willy Manigat and 5'10" Mike Kenny.  Manigat injected his energy and ability to get into the lane and Kenny, who has battled injuries for two seasons, showed that he will be a factor as his career winds down, also getting into the lane and knocking open 3's down.  The Lions tried to quell the run with some doubles on the ball on the perimeter but that simply played into the Ravens hands as superior floor spacing and ball movement resulted in wide open 3's for the Ravens.  The game was never in doubt in the second half although York did come out with some effort in the third quarter as all 12 Ravens who dressed hit the scoresheet.  Carleton prepares for Wednesday's Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place against cross-town rival Ottawa Gee-Gees, who are in tough tonight against Laurentian at home.

Ryerson 81, RMC 43  Ryerson led 42-13 at the half.

Queen's 80, Toronto 66  The Gaels kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a character win at Toronto in which they simply played harder and made several big shots in upsetting second-place Varsity Blues.  Toronto played without starting 6'6" forward Drazen Glizic who was injured in practice this past week.  Toronto's other 6'6" forward Andrew Wasik was in foul trouble all evening and the Blues shot just 30% in losing their fifth of the season.

Ottawa 87, Laurentian 84  The Gee-Gees used a late 7-0 run to take the lead for the first time since early in the game, overcoming a 7 point deficit to steal one at home.  6'2" Jacob Gibson-Bascombe, who coach James Derouin has given the point guard reigns to, started the game-deciding run with a three and later 6'9" Louis Gauthier gave Ottawa the lead for good with a pair of free throws.  When 6'3" Chris Anderson later scored 5 straight points, the Gee-Gees led by 3 and were on their way.  6'6" Mike Hull had a big game inside for Laurentian, which played hard and usually outworked the Gee-Gees on the glass but Ottawa made big plays and big shots down the stretch when it counted to grab the victory.

Lakehead 81, McMaster 77  The T-Wolves broke a late tie at 72 and went on to sweep the undermanned Marauders in Hamilton behind 24 points from 6'2" Venzal Russell.  Mac played without 6'8" Taylor Black, 6'8" Scott Brittain and 6'3" Victor Raso but received a valiant effort from 6'5" Cam Michaud and 6'5" Scott Laws among others.  Last night's hero for Lakehead, 6'2" Jamie Searle, fouled out early in the fourth quarter and was not a factor.

OUA East Standings
Carleton 14-0
Toronto 9-5
York 7-8
Ryerson 6-8
Ottawa 6-8
Laurentian 6-9
Queen's 3-12
RMC 0-15

McGill 82, UQAM 70 in Overtime

The Redmen came all the way back from a 13 point second half deficit to take the lead in regulation before giving up a late 3 that tied the game but then completely dominated the extra session to move into sole possession of second place in QUBL with a strong win at UQAM.  McGill's pair of young guards 6'0" Olivier Bouchard and 6'3" Simon Bibeau (25 points) were instrumental in the comeback win as Bouchard made at least 4 tough 3's down the stretch of regulation and overtime and Bibeau orchestrated the offense, making many of the key decisions.  McGill stymied the Citadins defensively, especially inside where a swarming post "d" made things difficult for UQAM down the stretch.
The Redmen trailed 55-42 early in the fourth, but used full court pressure and several clutch shots from Bouchard to finally take the lead with just over 3 minutes to go on a lay-in by 6'3" Winn Clark after Bibeau found him on a back-door cut.  The game see-sawed from there and another Bouchard 3 with under 2 minutes to go gave McGill a three point lead.  Later Bibeau was fouled on a strong take with 37 seconds remaining, making both free throws for another 3 point lead.  UQAM looked for the game-tying 3 and finally got 6'2" lefty Franz St.Cyr open and he made no mistake, tying the game and sending the partisan crowd into a frenzy.  Bouchard's last second attempt from the elbow came up short and the teams went to the extra frame tied at 68.

McGill never trailed in the overtime, holding UQAM to only 2 free throw makes over the final 5 extra minutes and took the lead for good on a left handed baby hook from 6'7" Tristan Tremblay inside on the first possession of overtime.  Bibeau then took over, making a tough elbow jumper and later feeding Bouchard with a 30 foot pass on the break which the diminutive guard finished nicely and McGill was never threatened thereafter.  Bouchard put the exclamation mark on the game with a 3 from the left corner, giving the Redmen a 79-69 lead and capping an 11-1 run.

QUBL Standings
Laval 7-2
McGill 6-3
Concordia 6-4
UQAM 4-5
Bishop's 0-9

Brock 62, Windsor 60

6'6" Jordan Johnson's lay-in with 2.7 seconds left gave the Badgers an unlikely comeback win over the Lancers in St. Catharines.  Johnson took a fine entry pass from 6'1" Andrew Kraus and finished to give Brock their first lead since early in the game.  Brock scored the final 9 points of the game highlighted by a game-tying free throw from Kraus as the Lancers went cold in the face of strong Badger "d".

After Kraus tied the game by going 1-2 from the line with 24 seconds remaining, the Lancers committed a back-court violation, giving Brock the ball back and with the clock winding down, Kraus found Johnson ducking in about 2 feet from the rim and the scrappy forward faked and then laid the ball in.  Windsor had one final opportunity but 6'7" Andre Smyth's desperation 3 came off the back iron and Brock became the first team from the bottom 4 of the OUA West to defeat a top 4 team all season.

Brock again played with 6'6" Mark Gibson, who missed his fourth consecutive game with an ankle injury and there is no known timetable for his return.

OUA West Today

Laurier 75, Western 67  The Hawks almost blew a 16 point lead, twice holding off Mustang fourth-quarter runs that got it back to a one possession game and survived a sterling 29 point effort from 6'6" Andrew Wedemire to maintain their push toward second place.  Laurier grabbed their largest lead late in the third quarter however the Mustangs made a big 11-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter aided by a pair of scores from 5'11" Ryan Barbeau and 4 points from Wedemire to bring the deficit back to within 4 at 60-56 with 4 minutes remaining.  But 6'5" Kale Harrison (20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) and 6'6" Maxwell Allin (14 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists) keyed a run of their own to reestablish a 10 point lead.  Still, the 'Stangs got it back to 3 with 27 seconds left, using a 7-0 run that included 5 more points from Wedemire before Laurier clinched it on the line.

The Hawks had pulled into a first quarter double digit lead off a 14-4 run late in the frame led by 5 points each from Allin and 6'3" Jamar Forde, each of who hit a three during the run. Forde gives the explosive Golden Hawks another dimension in the lineup with his blend of athleticism and energy and has been seeing more meaningful time in Coach Peter Campbell's lineup. Both teams defended the ball and the paint very well in the second quarter with Wedemire doing his best to keep the 'Stangs in the game with most of his 10 first-half points in the quarter but Laurier still led by 9 at 39-30.

Laurier then had a 7-2 run off start of second half, primarily from dominating the "o" glass however both team's defenses began to dominate, creating turnovers with generally questionable shot selection and decision making resulting in a sluggish quarter although the Hawks did lead by 13 entering the fourth.
Western welcomed 6'7" Adam Jespersen back into the lineup after he missed time with a wrist injury but are still without 6'6" veteran Garrett Olexiuk.

Guelph 87, Waterloo 80   The scrappy Gryphs put themselves back in the playoff hunt with a huge road win despite giving up a third quarter lead and a subsequent furious Waterloo comeback attempt.  But led by 5'11" Mike Petrella, who had 32 points this afternoon after putting up 37 on the Warriors in the previous meeting, and several others who made big shots at key times, the Gryphs had a huge fourth quarter run to build leads as large as 10 and then were solid at the free throw line to sweep the season series over the Warriors.  The young Gryphs did allow Waterloo to get it back to 4 and the ball with 13 seconds left after a series of turnovers and poor decisions fouling but a Warrior turnover on the in-bounds play sealed the Warriors fate.

With Guelph up 7 early in the third quarter on a bucket by 6'2" Dan McCarthy, the listless Warriors woke up, using a 12-0 run led by 6'3" Tim Rossy, who had 16 of his 24 points after the break, to grab a 52-47 lead and it appeared Guelph would wilt.  But Guelph was equal to it, with a 25-12 run to establish their largest lead at 10 and with a plethora of freshmen and sophomores on the floor, held on.

A 10-2 Gryphons run midway through the second quarter, led by the dynamic Petrella, gave the Gryphs a 3 point lead which they maintained into halftime.  Warriors were plagued by foul trouble to both starting bigs as 6'6" Alan Goodhoofd and 6'7" Brendan Smith both went to the bench with a pair of fouls.  Both ended up fouling out as did Guelph's leader offensively 6'2" Dan McCarthy.  6'3" Cam McIntyre added 18 for the Warriors, who drop to 6-8 while the Gryphs push up to 5-9 knowing they own the season series against Waterloo.  Guelph is now just one game behind Waterloo and Western with 6-7 Brock playing Windsor today.

Marauders fight injury bug

More on last night's Lakehead/Mac game from Brian Decker of the Sil, Mac's campus newspaper

After winning their first four OUA West games in January with significant contributions from several new faces, it appeared that McMaster Marauders under rookie Head Coach Amos Connolly were turning corner back into the program's perennial spot at/near the top of the OUA West.  The last week has unfortunately not been kind to Mac, beginning with injuries last week to 6'8" freshman sensation Taylor Black, who remains sidelined with shoulder and arm injuries.  More bad news emerged from last night's tight two point loss to Lakehead after 6'8" Scott Brittain sustained another knock to the head when he fell akwardly after a ball tie-up with Thunderwolves 6'6" Yoosrie Salhia.  Both players got their hands on the ball until a jump ball was called; during the battle, Salhia let go of the ball and Brittain fell back, initially on his buttocks but then continue his fall, ending with the back of his head hitting the floor.  Brittain got up under his own power and was at the bench when the game ended; his status for tonight's game is uncertain - the Marauders have been justifiably cautious with Brittain given his history of concussions/head injuries.  Also, early in the fourth quarter, 6'3" soph wing/guard Victor Raso turned his ankle and did not return.  The scrappy Raso who is a 25+ minute regular in the Marauder lineup injured his other ankle earlier in the year, missing time and it appears he may miss as long as a week with this newest ankle injury.  On a more positive note, the Marauders this week announced the commitment of one of the better high school players in Ontario in two-time Ontario Provincial team member Brett Saunders, a 6'7" forward out of Stoney Creek, who has had his share of injuries during his career but remains a blue chip prospect.

Canada West Friday by Wayne Thomas

The usual comprehensive look at Canada West on Wayne's

Spartans Treys too much for Dinos

It doesn’t seem fair that a player with Jacob Doerksen’s post skills and rebounding prowess can come out and shoot 5/7 from 3 point range. The 5th year Trinity Western star, a former CIS Player of the Year (2009), led his team with 26 points as the Spartans beat the Calgary Dinos 96-87 and kept pace with UBC at 15-2 , tied for 1st in Canada West.

...Read More

Saturday's CIS Action

Plenty of interesting games across the country today and tonight.  Check SSN Canada and CIS program websites for coverage which continues to span wider with video and/or live stats.

OUA West
Western at Laurier 3:00 PM EST   The first of back-to-backs between these two teams which will meet again Wednesday night in London.  Western has been without 6'8" Adam Jespersen and 6'6" Garrett Olexiuk missed 'Stangs loss on Wednesday at Windsor.  Laurier's strength is their size and front three so Mustangs will have to get it done with strong guard play.  Hawks need a victory at home to keep pace with Lakehead in the battle for second place after T-Wolves last seconds win at Mac last night.  First meeting of the season between the Mustangs and Laurier.

Guelph at Waterloo 3:00 PM EST  Warriors look to avenge a loss a couple of weeks ago at Guelph and themselves broke off a three game losing skid with a win at Brock on Wednesday.  The return of high-scoring wing Cam McIntyre and the continual development of 6'5" forward Alan Goodhoofd has helped Waterloo.  Guelph continues to scrap but has trouble scoring and would benefit offensively from the return of 6'4" Jonathan Moscatelli, out with a wrist injury.
Windsor at Brock 4:00 PM EST   Brock is just 1-4 vs. OUA West teams and has not won on the road after the holidays.  Lancers hope to extend their grip on first place as 6'3" Isaac Kuon continues to push for POY status in the conference.  Badgers need to get more out of slumping 6'1" fifth-year guard Andrew Kraus.
Lakehead at McMaster 8:00 PM EST  Marauders look to gain a split from the weekend series and put themselves back into consideration for second place which is a fleeting goal currently.
Dalhousie at Cape Breton 8:00 PM AST   Feature games of the AUS weekend as two Top 10 teams meet in Sydney.  Tigers may be the strongest overall defensive team in the conference but have struggled to score in key spots of big games.  Capers had a come-from-behind win at X on Wednesday that had numerous twists and turns.  The teams split a pair of games in early January at DalPlex.
UPEI at Memorial 8:00 PM AST   Two currently non-playoff teams meet in St. John's for the first of two on the weekend.
UNB at StFX 8:00 PM AST   V-Reds get another chance to push into the discussion as AUS contenders as they visit Antigonish to meet X-Men coming off an emotionally-draining 2 OT loss at home to Cape Breton on Wednesday.

McGill at UQAM 7:00 PM EST   Both teams come off important road wins that have tightened up QUBL standings as the Citadins appear to be turning things around with their relentless athleticism and physicality, especially on the offensive glass.  McGill is quickly becoming arguably the top overall defensive team in the Q.  Expect contrasting styles at UQAM tonight with the Redmen's patient offensive sets and lock-down team "d" vs. a Citadins group that wants to run, get to the rim and attack the glass.

OUA East
Queen's at Toronto 8:00 PM EST
  For all intents and purposes, the Gaels playoff lives are on the line tonight in Toronto.  Blues want to maintain some distance between themselves and improving York for second place in the division.
RMC at Ryerson 8:00 PM EST  Ryerson have won 3 in a row and have sights set on a first round home playoff game at a minimum.
Laurentian at Ottawa 8:00 PM EST  Both teams come off disappointing losses and the Gee-Gees desperately need this home win to maintain reasonable thoughts of hosting a first round playoff game.
York at Carleton 8:00 PM EST  Always an entertaining affair between teams with contrasting styles.  The still-young Lions are maturing group that seem to usually test the undefeated Ravens.

Canada West
Regina at Winnipeg 8:00 PM CST
UBC at Brandon 8:00 PM CST
Thompson Rivers at Saskatchewan 8:00 PM CST
Trinity Western at Calgary 8:00 PM MST 
Manitoba at Alberta 8:00 PM MST 
Lethbridge at Victoria 7:00 PM PST 

Articles from last night

Monty Mosher from Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Saint Mary's win:  Fassett leads resurgent Huskies

Wayne Kondro on York's come-from-behind win at Ottawa

Canada West Recap

UBC 15-2 .882 W11

TWU 15-2 .882 W13
Saskatchewan 12-3 .800 W9
Alberta 11-6 .647 W2
Regina 9-6 .600 W1
Victoria 10-7 .588 W3
Manitoba 7-8 .467 L5
UFV 6-10 .375 L1
Calgary 5-10 .333 L4
Lethbridge 5-12 .294 L1
Brandon 4-11 .267 L5
TRU 3-14 .176 L1
Winnipeg 2-13 .133 L3

Late Scores:
Trinity Western 96 Calgary 87  Spartans led by as many as 31 in the third quarter before the Dinos made it respectible.  6'9" Tyler Fidler hurt his ankle late in the game and his status for the return match tonight is uncertain.  Spartans finished 14-27 from 3 with 6'6" Jacob Doerksen leading the way with 26 points in 27 minutes in front of 889 fans in Calgary.  Box Score

Victoria 68 Lethbridge 53  6'4" Ryan MacKinnon had a big fourth quarter as the Vikes pulled away in the final 10 minutes after leading by just 2 after three quarters.  6'3" Danhue Lawrence had 17 to lead Lethbridge in front of 750 fans.  Box Score
Alberta 97 Manitoba 67  The Bears took control in the first half and dominated the Bisons with a well-balanced effort despite 26 points including 8 threes from 6'7" Sean Maxwell.  The reeling Bisons have lost 5 in a row and are rapidly moving toward a battle with Calgary and Fraser Valley for the final two playoff spots in Canada West. Box Score

Friday, 21 January 2011

Early Canada West Action

UBC 101, Brandon 42  The T-Birds jumped out to a 20-4 lead, taking advantage of 10 first-quarter turnovers by the hometown 'Cats and then had a 14-2 run to start the second quarter to ultimately lead 52-13 at halftime.  6'2" Josh Whyte had 13 of his 19 points in the first half while 6'3" Doug Plumb contributed a three and a dunk among his 10 first-half points as UBC dominated, all but eliminating the Bobcats from CW playoff contention.

Regina 83, Winnipeg 80  An important road win at the Duckworth Center for the Cougars as 6'7" Paul Gareau led all scorers with 28 points and 10 boards while 6'7" Kris Heshka added 14 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out.  Kelvin Smith led Winnipeg with 23.

Saskatchewan 101, Thompson Rivers 76

Trinity Western 52, Calgary 35 Halftime  6'7" Jacob Doerksen went 5 for 6 from three point land in the first half, scoring 18 points, part of a 10-14 effort from downtown by the Spartans.

good night

UQAM 93, Laval 73

The Citadins dominated the third quarter, outscoring the hosts by 20 to make the QUBL picture even more interesting one through four.  As is usually the case when UQAM is right, the Citadins dominated the offensive glass with numerous putbacks and got out running.  Laval grabbed an early 14-3 lead but were outscored by 31 until the end of the third quarter from that point onward.  Eric Cote led QAM with 21 points and 9 rebounds and J. Memette added 18 points.  Etienne Labrecque led Laval with 18 points and added 7 rebounds.

McGill is at UQAM tomorrow night in Montreal in the only other QUBL game this weekend.

Saint Mary's 96, Acadia 80

The Axemen held 6'1" Joey Haywood in reasonable check but could not deal with 6'4" Torey Fassett who had 29 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Huskies to an important home victory at the Tower in Halifax.  6'6" Owen Klassen continued his dominating offensive performances, going off for 35 points while 6'3" Anthony Sears played through an injury sustained last weekend and finished with 24 for Acadia, which again played without 6'6" starting forward Justin Boutilier.  Saint Mary's got on the glass for 20 offensive rebounds and shot 54% for the game using a series of transition runouts to get easy scores at the other end.  Huskies jumped out to a nice lead in the second but Acadia got it back to 3 on a couple of occasions before Saint Mary's pulled away in the fourth.

Acadia next plays a week from tonight at UPEI while the Huskies host UNB this coming Sunday afternoon.

Rest of OUA East action

Ryerson 89, Queen's 50  The Rams broke open a reasonably tight game with a late third quarter run, then scored the first 9 points of the fourth, finishing the game on 17-3 run (33-6 in the fourth quarter) to hammer the visiting Gaels, putting Queen's playoff hopes in peril.  6'1" Jahmal Jones had a nice game with 25 points including 10 in the fourth quarter for Rye while 6'5" Luke Staniscia had a solid 4th quarter, especially during the early pull away run, finishing with 19.  Queen's scored only 14 points in the second half.

Carleton 111, Laurentian 63  6'5" Tyson Hinz led six Ravens in double figures with 18 points as Carleton dominated the Voyageurs at the Raven's Nest to remain undefeated.  Laurentian's loss drops the Vees to 4th place, one game behind York and just 1/2 game ahead of Ottawa and Ryerson.  Laurentian faces the Gee-Gees tomorrow night at Montpetit Hall.

Toronto 117, RMC 44

In the Ottawa game, Warren Ward led all scorers with 23 points on 9-22 shooting while 6'10" Stefan Haynes continues to shine in the second half of his fifth and final season with 22 points/6 rebounds, leading York's come-from-behind win.

OUA East Standings
Carleton 13-0
Toronto 9-4
York 7-7
Laurentian 6-8
Ottawa 5-8
Ryerson 5-8
Queen's 2-12
RMC 0-14

Lakehead 78, McMaster 76

6'6" Yoosrie Salhia's "and 1" with 10 seconds remaining at the very end of the shot clock lifted the Wolves to an important road win, handing McMaster their first loss against OUA West competition.  Salhia's score broke a 72-72, erasing a McMaster comeback but the Marauders had one more chance as Salhia missed the ensuing free throw after being fouled by Matt Willusz.  Later, 6'5" Scott Laws missed 2 free throws with 2 seconds remaining that could have tied the game for Mac.

The Marauders trailed by 8 early in the fourth after a conventional 3 point play by 6'2" Jamie Searle, who led all scorers with 29 points including 13 in the fourth quarter when he went head-to-head with 6'0" freshman Kyle Giedriatis from the 3 point line, with Giedriatis shooting Mac back in the game with 3 straight bombs from downtown but Searle was equal to it with a pair of 3's between the freshman's run and Searle culminated his tremendous evening with a jumper that gave Lakehead a 4 point lead with just over a minute to play.  But Jordan Tew and Laws made back to back scores, with Laws (team-high 19 points) tying it with 34 seconds left, setting up Salhia's heroics.

The teams meet again tomorrow night in Hamilton.

York 73, Ottawa 68

The Lions engineered a big fourth quarter comeback, finally taking the lead in the final 2 minutes and then hanging on as 6'6" Warren Ward's off-balance attempt at a 3 with about 2 seconds remaining slammed off the glass.  Earlier, with the Gee-Gees down 2, Ward drove the lane, sliced between 2 defenders but missed and David Tydale rebounded with 8 seconds left and was fouled.  Tyndale then made 1 of 2 at the foul line to give Ottawa one last chance at a tie but Ward could not convert.  York moves into third place in the OUA East with Laurentian down 30 late at Carleton while the Gee-Gees drop to 5-8.

McGill 67, Concordia 65

The Redmen made it two in a row over the Stingers by holding off a late charge that had a controversial ending.  With McGill up 2 and the ball, Redmen threw the ball away and the Stingers recovered, setting up a last second shot opportunity.  However, according to multiple observers, with deafening noise in the gym, the clock expired without Concordia getting a shot off but the teams kept playing for at least 1-2 more seconds during which time 6'2" Kyle Desmarais drew a foul.  After the referees huddled, Desmarais was awarded two free throws with zeros showing on the clock.  Unfortunately for the Stingers, his first shot missed and the Redmen survived.  McGill led by 5 in an ugly first half filled with turnovers (30 in all including 18 by the Stingers).  Later the Redmen extended their lead to 13 midway through the fourth quarter and appeared to have the game well in hand.  But the Stingers made a late charge, helped by several McGill misses at the foul line, setting up the wild finish that pushes McGill (5-3) into a virtual tie for second with the Stingers (6-4).  We hope to have more on this game soon.

Friday's CIS Action

AUS Tonight
Acadia at Saint Mary's 8 PM AT 2 point game  Joey King Handles Haywood continues to be the individual story of the CIS season with multiple 40+ point games punctuated by his 37 point second half effort this past Tuesday vs. Dalhousie.  Axemen lost 6'3" guard Anthony Sears to an injury last weekend in Cape Breton and his status for tonight's game is uncertain.  This game may be a preview of the first round of the AUS tournament in March.

AUS Standings
Cape Breton 11-1  30 pts.
Dalhousie 6-3  20 pts.
StFX 7-3  18 pts.
Saint Mary's 5-7 16 pts.
Acadia 4-6 12 pts.
UNB 4-5 8 pts.
Memorial 2-8  6 pts.
UPEI 2-8 6 pts.

McGill at Concordia 6:00 PM EST  Teams meet again after Redmen won at home over Stingers just over a week ago as McGill kept 6'2" Kyle Desmarais in relative check.  Stingers lost 6'3" Evens Laroche to an ankle injury in the first half of that game and the athletic wing missed Concordia's following game against Bishop's.  McGill hopes to have 6'3" Kyle Bernard back closer to full strength.  This game will help determine which team is likely to host a first-round playoff game.  After this game, Concordia has just 6 league games remaining.

UQAM at Laval 8:00 PM EST  Rouge et Or clinches playoff spot with win while Citadins need to defeat a higher-placed team to have any hope of hosting a first round playoff game.  Laval has been without impressive 6'5" Hugues Ryan, who has missed the past 3 games with a hamstring injury and is doubtful for this weekend.

QUBL Standings
Laval 7-1
Concordia 6-3
McGill 4-3 
UQAM 3-4 
Bishop's 0-9

OUA East
York at Ottawa 8:00 PM EST  Plenty of athleticism in this game as the Lions can run and when right make things difficult defensively for teams overplaying the passing lane and guarding the ball.  Ottawa's Johnny Berhane is making a strong case for all-rookie honours.  Look for the battle inside between York's pair of 6'10" posts Dejan Kravic and Stefan Haynes and Ottawa's underrated Louis Gauthier.  The ability of Gee-Gees guards to control 5'10" David Tyndale will also be key.
Queen's at Ryerson 8:00 PM EST   The Gaels are already playing for their playoff lives and a loss on the road at improving Ryerson puts them 4 games back in the loss column with only 8 games remaining and games at Toronto, at Carleton and at Ottawa still looming.  Ryerson had two character-building road wins at Laurentian and at York last week and are poised to enter the discussion for a home playoff game.

Laurentian at Carleton 8:00 PM EST  Voyageurs coach Shawn Swords returns to his hometown where he starred at Woodroffe H.S. and played club basketball for Dave Smart in the late 80's/early 90's.  Laurentian continues to improve however this unit may not have the quality depth to stay with the undefeated and CIS #1 Ravens, especially at Carleton.
RMC at Toronto 8:00 PM EST

OUA East Standings
Carleton 12-0 
Toronto 8-4
Laurentian 6-7 
York 6-7 
Ottawa 5-7 
Ryerson 4-8 
Queen's 2-11 
RMC 0-13

OUA West
Lakehead at McMaster 8:00 PM EST  Two of the top 4 teams in the OUA West meet for a pair of games in Hamilton with both teams flashing aggressive "d" that looks to create easy scores.  The T-Wolves had a comeback for the ages last week at home against Laurier and need to shot the ball well to succeed.

Canada West   Weekend Preview by Wayne Thomas
Regina at Winnipeg 8:00 PM CST
UBC at Brandon 8:00 PM CST
Thompson Rivers at Saskatchewan 8:00 PM CST
Trinity Western at Calgary 8:00 PM MST 
Manitoba at Alberta 8:00 PM MST 
Lethbridge at Victoria 8:00 PM PST

Canada West Standings
UBC 14-2 .875 W10
TWU 14-2 .875 W12
Saskatchewan 11-3 .786 W8
Alberta 10-6 .625 W1
Regina 8-6 .571 L1
Victoria 9-7 .563 W2
Manitoba 7-7 .500 L4
UFV 6-10 .375 L1
Calgary 5-9 .357 L3
Lethbridge 5-11 .313 W2
Brandon 4-10 .286 L4
TRU 3-13 .188 W1
Winnipeg 2-12

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Calgary / TWU Preview

Dinos look to upset Spartans

The Trinity Western Spartans are gunning for a Canada West title with a line-up studded with a quintet of 5th year players, and a pair of key 4th years. The Spartans are 14-2 in Canada West, and ranked # 5 in the CIS.

Jacob Doerksen, their 6’7” post man and leading scorer (22.6 ppg), was the Canada West rookie of the year in 2005-06 as a Victoria Vike, but transferred to TWU and won the CIS outstanding player award in 2008-09, when his Spartans were beaten by the Dinos in the Canada West semi - final 96-65. He and his teammates like Calgary native, Lance Verhoeff, a 5th year, 6’8” grad of Calgary Christian, think this is their year.

...Read More

Vernon lands in Antigonish

Hamilton, ON native 6'2" Tyrell Vernon, who spent his first 3 seasons with his hometown McMaster Marauders before announcing his intention to transfer this past summer, recently committed to attending St. FX and will suit up for the X-Men beginning next season.  Vernon, who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining, is Coach Steve Konchalski's first recruit for the 2011-12 season.  X-Men have plenty of time available next season as there are at least 5 top-of-the-rotation players in this season's group in their fifth season of eligibility including 5'10" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw, 5'9" Will Silver, 6'9" Alberto Rodriquez, 6'0" Charlie Spurr and 6'3" Dwayne Johnson.  Also, 6'4" Chad Warren is in his fourth season and he is likely to graduate from his program and may or may not be returning.  X have several good young players in the lineup led by 6'5" third year forward Jeremy Dunn (starter) and promising young players 6'5" Terry Thomas and 6'3" Jordan Clarke however given such a big roster turnover for next season, expect Vernon to get big minutes and be counted on for veteran leadership as X retools.

Stories on CBU's win and others

Cape Breton Post article on CBU's double OT victory

Hamilton Spectator article on 6'8" freshman Taylor Black's injuries sustained in Mac's win over Brock

In front of 1,878, Lancers star wing Isaac Kuon improved his case for POY honours with a clutch performance against Western as Mary Caton reports in the Windsor Star

Guelph Mercury on Gryphs gritty loss at Laurier last night

St. Catharines Standard on Brock's loss to Waterloo last night

Article on the U of T Varsity Blues from the school's campus newspaper

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix on Huskies upcoming home weekend

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

OUA West

Windsor 77, Western 72  6'3" Isaac Kuon again led the way for Windsor with 28 points as the Lancers survived some late 3 point heroics from the Mustangs to maintain their lead atop the OUA West.  Ryan Barbeau had 23 for the Mustangs.

Laurier 87, Guelph 75  6'5" Kale Harrison had 27 of his game-high 38 points after halftime including 15 in the fourth quarter alone as the Golden Hawks maintained their strangle-hold on third place in the West with a victory over the gritty Gryphs.  Early it appeared Laurier would run Guelph out of the gym as the Hawks scored the final 16 points of the first quarter, holding the Gryphs to only 5 points in the opening ten minutes to lead by 17 after one.  Later the Hawks built leads as large as 19 early in the second but 6'2" Dan McCarthy keyed a 19-7 Guelph run that got the game back to within 7 by halftime.  Guelph hung around for much of the second half, getting it as close as 4 on a couple of occasions but Laurier pulled away as Harrison took over offensively.

Waterloo 86, Brock 77  6'3" Cam McIntyre returned to the Warriors lineup and keyed a big road win with 23 points and 7 assists and underrated 6'6" forward Alan Goodhoofd added 21 as Waterloo used a big third quarter to win in St. Catharines.  6'2" Mike Cruickshank had 20 to lead Brock.

Windsor 11-2 (4-1 vs. OUA West)
Lakehead 9-3 (3-1 vs. OUA West)
Laurier 9-4 (3-2 vs. OUA West)
McMaster 7-5 (4-0 vs. OUA West)
Brock 6-7 (1-4 vs. OUA West)
Waterloo 6-7 (2-3 vs. OUA West)
Western 6-7 (1-4 vs. OUA West)
Guelph 4-9 (1-4 vs. OUA West)
NOTE:  Top 4 teams in OUA West:  Windsor, Lakehead, Laurier and McMaster have not lost to any of the bottom 4 teams in the division

January 22, 2011
3:00 pm Guelph at Waterloo
3:00 pm Western at Laurier
4:00 pm Windsor at Brock
8:00 pm Lakehead at McMaster (Friday and Saturday)


Cape Breton 101, St. FX 98 in Two Overtimes

In a wild finish in Antigonish, a three by 6'3" Paris Carter gave the Capers the lead for good with about 2 minutes remaining in the second overtime and CBU survived three X attempts at a game-tying 3 in the final seconds to sweep the season series.  X had finished regulation on a 15-2 run in the final 3 minutes of the fourth quarter and then appeared to take over in the first overtime, leading by 5 late before the Capers came back.  Earlier, X had blown an 18 point lead built up with a dominating first half.  X had the tempo and crowd in their favour in the first half and it appeared X-Men were on their way.  However, the Capers took over in the third quarter and later, up 4 early in the fourth, stretched their lead late, taking advantage of some poor X shot selection and big makes by Carter to stretch the lead to 13 very late.  But Charlie Spurr and Jeremy Dunn hit back-to-back 3's to actually give X the lead in regulation before Scott Jaspers-Fayer hit a pair of free throws to re-tie the game, setting up the two OTs.

Canada West Weekend Preview from Wayne Thomas

A Weekend of sweeps in Canada West ???

The slate of games leads us to predict sweeps in most, if not all, of the 6 series on tap this coming weekend in Canada West. There are no major match-ups to get jacked about ... no clash of top teams, but, rather, we have some pretty clear favourites, who will have to get ambushed by some inspired play by the underdog, if there is to be an upset.

...Read More

Wednesday's Games

Cape Breton at StFX 8:00 PM AST on SSN Canada... AUS schedule has these teams meeting only twice this season during the regular season and X looks to avenge a double digit loss to the Capers, who have lost only once in AUS play this season at Dal.

Guelph at Laurier 8:00 PM EST   Golden Hawks come off a disappointing weekend during which they were poised to sweep at Lakehead but blew a big fourth quarter lead.  Laurier still has their eye on a first round playoff bye as they do own the tiebreaker with the T-Wolves.  Guelph remains injury-riddled but continues to play hard and welcomed back 6'2" Dan McCarthy on Saturday.  Hawk Vision on the Laurier web site should have this game live and the Hawks site also has live stats.

Western at Windsor 8:00 PM EST on SSN Canada   The Lancers have played 3 of their 4 games after the Holidays on the road and will welcome the friendly confines of the St. Denis Center.  The Mustangs have been inconsistent since a nice start to the season and were able to pull away late at Guelph on Saturday for a road win.  This is Western's opportunity to make a move back into the Top 4 of the OUA West where it is becoming clearer that a Top 4 and Bottom 4 exist.

Waterloo at Brock 8:00 PM EST   This game could have playoff implications in a few weeks as both teams are still in that fifth to eighth place area of the standings.  No word whether Waterloo will have Cam McIntyre back in the lineup.

Haywood explodes again leading Huskies over Tigers; CBU at X tonight

Another 40+ point effort by King Handles Haywood, scoring an amazing 37 points in the second half alone, leads Saint Mary's back into the discussion as an AUS contender. 

Monty Mosher's article in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Joey Haywood showed he was human in the first half Tuesday. What he did in the second half was from another planet.

...Read More
Also, Matthew Wuest from Metro Halifax has a piece on the game  Haywood catches fire against Tigers
Good piece on UPEI Panthers weekend victory over Saint Mary's from Charlottetown Guardian

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Blackberry CIS Coaches Top 10 for 18 Jan 2011

Taking some heat for the bottom part of my Top 10 and likely deservedly so however there are cases for a couple of other teams other than Lakehead to be at #10.  I guess this weekend's Lakehead at Mac pair of games will determine how accurate this was.

Here is the coaches poll:

(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Carleton (12-0) / 504 pts (42) / (1)
2. UBC (14-2) / 462 / (2)
3. Saskatchewan (11-3) / 415 / (3)
4. StFX (7-2) / 380 / (4)
5. Trinity Western (14-2) / 332 / (5)
6. Laval (7-1) / 276 / (8)
7. Windsor (10-2) / 248 / (6)
8. Cape Breton (10-1) / 226 / (10)
9. Concordia (6-3) / 156 / (7)
T10. Toronto (8-4) / 101 / (9)
T10. Dalhousie (6-2) / 101 / (NR)

Other teams receiving votes: Lakehead (31), Wilfrid Laurier (21).

Monday, 17 January 2011

Canada West Report from Wayne Thomas

Another comprehensive report on Canada West from Wayne Thomas, initially focusing on Calgary Dinos but also detailing playoff possibilities and updates for many other teams.

Mission Impossible For Dinos

The Canada West standings still reflect the dominance of 3 teams, with Alberta faltering with a split at Fraser Valley on the weekend. UBC dispensed with the Calgary Dinos, who played like cornered beasts in pushing the T-Birds in both games, especially on Saturday. By virtue of owning the tie-breaker by clobbering Trinity Western (91-69 and 90-77) in their series back in late October, UBC claims the top rung, while the Spartans, who are spotless since that mugging, sit 2nd.

...Read More

CIS Attendance

Canada West is, for this season anyway, without a doubt the only conference in the CIS that consistently announces attendance figures that are tracked.  AUS historically has been reasonable with this statistic however this season reporting has unfortunately been virtually non-existant (only 2 games all season reported attendance figures).  QUBL is even less consistent - this season only Bishop's has announced home attendance (high of 810 vs. Laval this past weekend) - even though we know that Laval has had at least one near-sellout of over 1,500 ? fans vs. Concordia.  However at least these conferences have the mechanism to track and report on attendance.  OUA has never to my knowledge ever tracked or announced attendance figures consistently and the only way one can get a high level view of how the teams which report (few and far between) are doing with attendance is to click on each individual game on the web site, an arduous task.  Within the OUA, attendance is historically been strong (1,000+ level) at Carleton, McMaster, Windsor, Waterloo, Brock, Guelph and Lakehead among others.  Unfortunately, to my knowledge, one cannot access a central data site that compiles and tracks OUA attendance.

Thanks to our still-anonymous Canada West correspondent who has kept my in-box full of very topical and well understood issues that I still have yet to develop into proper stories (they're coming), we get a good look at Canada West attendance and one may be surprised which program leads the entire conference (and very likely entire CIS) in attendance (top programs in BOLD).

Alberta 6 home dates:  2814 total = 469 per game (high of 921 vs. UBC; did not report 1 game)
Brandon 6 home dates: 1571 total = 262 per game
Calgary 6 home dates:  3579 total = 596 per game (high of 1,304 vs. Lethbridge Home Opener)
Fraser Valley 8 home dates:  1558 total = 195 per game
#1 Lethbridge 8 home dates:  7227 total = 903 per game
- 2 crowds of 1,028 vs. Sask & Brandon PLUS 5 other crowds of 800+
Manitoba 9 home dates:  4975 total = 553 per game (one crowd reported at 3,000 vs TRU misreported ??)
Regina 8 home dates:  4775 total = 597 per game (highs of 862 vs. Calgary; 823 vs. Thompson Rivers)
Saskatchewan 6 home dates:  3026 total = 504 per game (high of 912 vs. Victoria)
Thompson Rivers 8 home dates: 2420 total = 302 per game
#5 Trinity Western 8 home dates:  5022 total = 628 per game (High of 1,743 vs. UBC ** largest attendance at CW game this season)
#4 UBC 10 home dates:  6304 total = 630 per game (High of 1,186 vs. Sask; also 913 vs. Calgary)
#3 Victoria 8 home dates:  6200 total = 775 per game (High of 1,100 vs. Regina; 1,000 vs. Calgary)
#2 Winnipeg 7 home dates:  6084 total = 869 per game (3 crowds of greater than 1,000 including 1,498 vs. Manitoba; 1,357 vs. Trinity Western and 1,479 vs. Calgary; ** also did not report one game (goes down as zero attendance).

Note that according to the Canada West site, Lethbridge leads in attendance however had Winnipeg reported their first game of the season accurately, it would be likely that Winnipeg would have the top attendance (not reporting attendance goes down as zero attendance).

Tracking attendance accurately not only brings more validity to the CIS but for those programs who incent their staffs to grow attendance, it provides objectives to top and provides potential commercial partners with one more data point on how to value a commercial relationship. Top 10 for 17 January 2011

Not much change from last week's top 7 or 8 although Windsor's ranking suffers a bit with their dramatic loss at McMaster on Wednesday.  Toughest calls are at 9 and 10 although things likely would have been easier had Lakehead not pulled a rabbit out of hat with a tremendous comeback led by solid three point shooting but almost as importantly the strong ball defense of 5'10" Greg Carter keying several stops and putting the T-Wolves in a position to come from over 20 down to win at home and gain a split with Laurier.

#1 Carleton (19-0, 12-0) (LW: #1)  Ravens continue to roll even if their Friday night win at Queen's was less than a thing of beauty as Carleton pulled away in the second half of what was described as a "chippy" affair.  Carleton hosts Laurentian and York this coming weekend as we come up to the one year anniversary of Carleton's last OUA East loss (4 Feb 10 at York).  York at Carleton goes this coming Saturday night at 8 PM.

#2 UBC (17-2, 14-2) (LW: #2)  T-Birds were tested by a young, energized Calgary Dinos team, winning both despite a mediocre (by his standards) weekend for 6'2" Josh Whyte.  Dinos again were without 5'10" Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson who was injured in the first half of Friday's game.  T-Birds travel to Brandon next weekend where the Bobcats are reeling, losers of their last 4 in a row and 10 of their past 12 league games.

#3 Trinity Western (15-2, 14-2) (LW: #3)  Idle this past weekend, the Spartans travel to Calgary to face the depleted Dinos (status of Calgary's Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is unknown currently) for a pair before hosting now #4 Saskatchewan Huskies at home in Langley in two weeks.

#4 Saskatchewan (18-3, 11-3) (LW: #5)  Broke the school record for points in a game Saturday night at Manitoba as Huskies shot a ridiculous 51 free throws in a game in which 59 personal fouls were called (or 1 1/2 fouls per minute - virtually on almost every possession).  Huskies have won 8 in a row and continue to rely on their veteran guard tandem of Rejean Chabot and Jamelle Barrett with a nice crew of supporting bigs.  Host Thompson Rivers next weekend before the big 2 game set in Langley against #3 TWU in two weeks.

#5 St. FX (18-3, 7-2) (LW:  #6)  X continues to burn through mediocre AUS opponents, hammering MUN twice this weekend at home.  However, their return engagement with Cape Breton looms this Wednesday night at home in Antigonish as X-Men try to avenge a double digit loss before the Holidays to the Capers in Sydney.

#6 Windsor (12-4, 10-2) (LW: #4)  A tough loss at Mac when the Lancers had the ball with the game tied but turned it over on the in-bounds and watched 6'8" Scott Brittain dunk the game winner.  Lancers have played the majority of their games on the road and still have 3 of their next 4 away from the St. Denis Center, including a pair of games in Thunder Bay in two weeks against second place Lakehead.  Prior to that, Lancers host Western on Wednesday and then go to Brock next Saturday.

#7 Cape Breton (11-6, 10-1) (LW: #7)  A sweep of a solid Acadia team in which the Capers welcomed back 6'7" Scott Jaspers-Fayer, an integral part of their ongoing success up front, bodes well for CBU's rematch in Antigonish this coming Wednesday against arch-rival X.

#8 Laval (13-5, 7-1) (LW: #9)  Rouge et Or escaped with a one-point win over McGill at home on Sunday and more optimistic with the apparent return to offensive form of 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux who had 34 vs. Bishop's and then 25 vs. Redmen.  Laval hosts UQAM this coming Friday night.

#9 Dalhousie (12-5, 6-2) (LW: NR)   The talented Tigers strive for some consistency and got a nice road win at UPEI over the weekend.  Dal will be tested this week, hosting Saint Mary's on Tuesday night and travelling to Sydney on the weekend for a pair of games at #7 Cape Breton.

#10 Lakehead (14-9, 9-3) (LW: #8)  As mentioned, ranking the bottom portion of the Top 10 is a challenge especially with the T-Wolves on the verge of losing two straight to Laurier.  But their incredible comeback, using their staple of tough ball "d" and three-point shooting, gives them a slight edge over Laurier, who just as easily could be in this spot.