Tuesday, 11 January 2011

CISHoops.ca Top 10 11 Jan 2011

The top six were relatively straightforward picks this week as all those teams from last week won, with TWU sweeping a very good UVic club on the road and only Sask being pushed in one game at Brandon.  Cape Breton's loss at Dal was followed by a decent come-back, especially not playing without 6'7" lefty Scott Jaspers-Fayer, an integral part of their success.  Spots 8, 9 and 10 were most challenging for me this week and there are good arguments for several alternative scenarios to mine.

#1 Carleton (17-0, 10-0) (LW #1)  Ravens comfortably defeated a game but in the end less deep and less talented Varsity Blues group on Saturday to remain undefeated.  Carleton travels to Queen's and RMC this weekend.  19-0, 12-0.

#2 UBC (15-2, 12-2) (LW #2)  Manitoba pushed the T-Birds in both games this weekend in Winnipeg however depth and talent won over in both instances.  UBC hosts Calgary Dinos, in the thick of the playoff race, this weekend.

#3 Trinity Western (15-2, 14-2) (LW #3)  The two wins on the road at Vic justify the Spartans being ranked ahead of everyone else except the Big 2.  TWU is idle this week.

#4 Windsor (11-3, 9-1) (LW #4)  Some feel this is too chubby of a ranking however Windsor has been dominant even on the road although Wednesday's game at McMaster, which is an entirely different team with 6'8" Scott Brittain on the floor, will be a test.  Also, Saturday at Waterloo.

#5 Saskatchewan (16-3, 5-2) (LW #5)  The lack of true guard depth on this team is a true concern as one injury or one bad foul situation in a tight game could swing the tide.  Still, a very formidable team that travels to Manitoba this weekend with Bisons hosting their second consecutive weekend vs. Top 5 team.

#6 St. FX (16-3, 5-2) (LW #6)  X-Men are back to their pressing, running and athletic game and are playing to the same levels of the pre-season when it appeared they were a Top 3 team.  Host Memorial for a pair of games in Antigonish this weekend before their showdown at home next Wednesday night vs. Cape Breton.

#7 Cape Breton (9-6, 8-1) (LW #7)  Whispers that the trip to China slowed down the Capers over the weekend should not mask the fact that Dal was dominant in the Saturday game.  CBU trailed for much of Sunday's game and appeared to be on the brink of being swept when Capers 2/3 zone stimied the Tigers and Tremaine Fraser went to work offensively.  CBU needs 30+ minutes per night out of a healthy 6'7" Scott Jaspers-Fayer to reclaim their AUS crown.  Host Acadia for a pair of games on the weekend before the game at X next Wednesday.

#8 Lakehead (13-8, 8-2) (LW NR)  Tight loss to Saskatchewan over the holidays at the Wesmen Classic followed by this weekend's pair of wins at Guelph tells me they are back, especially with the renewed contributions from 6'6" Yoosrie Salhia, who is apparently back from off season surgery.  Salhia was a focal point last season when the Wolves got back to the Nationals.  Lakehead is back to stopping teams in the fourth quarter when it matters, another key trait of last season's success.  Will be tested at home this weekend with a pair of games against Laurier Golden Hawks.

#9 Laval (11-5, 5-1) (LW NR)  Decisive win at home over Concordia puts Rouge et Or back into the Top 10.  Win shows how important 6'4" Jerome Turcotte is to Rouge et Or and how his absence hurt them at the Shoveller.  At Bishop's Friday and then host McGill on Sunday.

#10 Toronto (13-5, 7-3) (LW #10)  It was a toss up between the Blues and the two teams listed as honourable mention this week however in the end punishing them for a road loss to the nation's #1 and undefeated team was a bit much, especially given losses by other teams below them.  Anything less than a sweep this weekend at York and at Laurentian and this ranking is tenuous. 

HM:  Concordia (12-3, 5-2) (LW #8) Probably a bit harsh knocking them entirely out of the Top 10.  Stingers are at McGill on Thursday and then host Bishop's Saturday.

Laurier (10-6, 7-3) (LW #9)  Loss to Mac hurt and likely exposed their lack of a true point guard given all the turnovers but emphatic rebound at home against Waterloo shows Golden Hawks are very capable.  They'll get their chance this weekend with two games at Lakehead.

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