Thursday, 31 March 2011

Latest Jim Thomas Report

It was great to catch up with Jim at the successful Wilson Cup Final Four in Hamilton earlier this month and we are glad he continues to add his thoughts on Canadian university, college and high school basketball on a periodic basis.  His latest piece, a great read as always, can be found here

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jim Thomas might be a decent name dropper (though he always gets the recruiting info well after Barry Hayes has it) but he is certainly a world class whiner, except if it's something out of Hamilton.

The poor baby is upset that Carleton is a dominant program. Here's a straw Jim; suck it up. Somehow I doubt he would be writing this is it was his beloved McMaster team that had won 7 titles in 9 years. Applaud the excellence and then move on, Jim.

He's also a little out of date on his recruiting news. L'Africain likely to go to Western, eh? Only two days after L'Africain announced he was going to the Ottawa GeeGees.

Oh, and speaking of schools in Ottawa, if Thomas is tired of Carleton winning all the time then he is going to choke on his cornflakes when Carleton's recruiting class is announced. If he still thinks that Mac has the best class after it's announced then someone is going to need to scrape the Mac colours painted directly onto this pupils. (On the other hand, he could simply go and read Barry's updates since he's been telling people for a while about Carleton's killer recruiting class for 2011-12.)

Anonymous said...

Jim Thomas leads off his latest "report" with this little gem...

"Ho hum! Another Carleton Ravens win at the nationals in Halifax. Their seventh title in the past nine years. While I think every CIS fan in the country admires the excellence of the Ravens program, I think many fans are tired of their dominance year after year. They are like the New York Yankees of CIS basketball either lauded by their supporters in the Capital Region or barely tolerated by fans in the rest of the country. The question for the other forty-four CIS programs in the country is what does it take to compete on a level playing field with the Raven program? Better minds than mine will need to come up with that answer."

Well now...a rather peevish Mr. Thomas judging by that commentary, n'est-ce pas?
Don't know what prompted that sort of churlishness from him, as he usually is quite gracious when referencing Carleton's men's program.
But as one who has been to nationals in Halifax for seven of eight tournaments since 2001, I have noticed a change in attitude among the local AUS fans.
In the first few years Carleton was there, they were viewed with some admiration, albeit grudgingly, as the program won its first couple of titles.
As the Ravens added three more, the locals seemed resigned to it, hoping that somehow this run Carleton was on would end.
After five titles in a row, the resentment was already there.
The last straw, I believe, was when the tournament was wrestled away from Halifax for three years.
Carleton won it five years in a row, hosted it for three more, and when the tournament returned 'home to where it belongs', the Ravens made it six for six in Hali....I know that was more than at least some fans could take.
I watched the championship game with a row of Spartan supporters in front of me and the row behind me made up of local AUS fans.
All but one of them were far from neutral...the local people were rooting for TWU because of the ABC factor...Anybody But Carleton.
As the game's final outcome was long decided before the end, the fan sitting directly behind me got up and left after three quarters grumbling "Stupid Carleton are gonna win again!".
Normally such a reaction would be rather amusing, but I was taken aback by the bitterness that was obvious in the man's voice.
Unfortunately, when a program becomes very successful, the detractors often grow as numerous as the admirers or even outstrip them.
It seems the Ravens have reached that plateau.

critic said...

I don't understand those remarks at all.
Should Carleton apologize for being very good for a long time?
Should Raven supporters feel guilt for having it so good this past decade?
What does he mean by "barely tolerated by fans in the rest of the country"?
I think Mr. Thomas may be speaking for himself on that one.
Carleton isn't the only dynasty currently in the CIS.
There's McGill in women's hockey, UNB in men's hockey and Laval in football.
Windsor may well be the next dynasty in women's basketball, picking up the torch from the departed Simon Fraser program.
Personally, I feel nothing but admiration for programs that remain championship caliber year after year.
If you resent the Lavals and Carletons of the CIS, then that's your problem, sir.
if the playing isn't level, it's only because people like Dave Smart and UNB hockey coach Gardiner MacDougall work relentlessly to make their respective programs the best in the country.
Good old fashioned hard work makes the difference and they need not apologize for that.
These dominant programs raise the bar.
And it is clear there are ambitious young coaches who are working hard to achieve that level of success.
Scott Morrison of Lakehead is one.
His team was the worst in the country just a few years ago.
Today they are Wilson Cup champs, with greater ambitions still on the horizon.
That's how you topple dynasties...work relentlessly to become as good or better.

trekcter66 said...

What's with all the hate? How do you know when Jim Thomas provides his info and when it gets posted? You'e way over the top about his comments. If you read some of his older posts he is always respectful of Smart and the Carelton program.

Anonymous said...

No one in Hamilton gives Jim much credence as well. He went on a tirade in his column after his beloved Joe Raso was fired and vowed to boycott the Mac games. Yet there he was, in the stands this past season. I am a firm believer that if you put yourself out there in media print and want to be taken seriously, you must be an unbiased observer. This sadly is just a gossip column based on a very small pool of sources. I will go to Barry Hayes for reliable information and impartial commentary.

Anonymous said...

treckter66...
What's with all the hate?"
LOL...nobody hates on Thomas...it's just that hardly anybody (maybe you)takes what he says very seriously.
His "reports" are mainly opinion pieces, which is ok but he presents them as gospel truth.
And if you want to find out just how off base and late his recruiting news is, then just read his reports and then compare it to Barry Hayes...Hayes usually has info out days even weeks in advance of Thomas.
Thomas is a well meaning guy, but he isn't the b-ball guru he seems to think he is.
That's not to say he doesn't ever get his facts straight...it's just that when he does. it's usually common knowledge by then

Anonymous said...

trekcter66 said...

"What's with all the hate? How do you know when Jim Thomas provides his info and when it gets posted? You'e way over the top about his comments. If you read some of his older posts he is always respectful of Smart and the Carelton program."

---------

If he was always respectful then he wouldn't have written the tripe at the beginning of his most recent column. I have read his older posts and it seems that he is getting crankier as those posts get older.

I know that Jim Thomas provided his info about L'Africain in an article posted after he had signed with the Gee-Gees.

If he's actually writing them well in advance and then not bothering to make updates when his article is out of date before it's even posted then that's his own fault.

Everyone who is even partially plugged in to the high school scene knows that Thomas is yesterday's man and that his so-called scouting service is regularly trumped by Barry Hayes' Hoopstars Canada.

If you think I'm over the top in my criticism of Jim Thomas, then you definitely aren't plugged into the GTA/Golden Horseshoe high school scene. He is getting a lot worse from many others with even more experience than me.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like his comments, write your own column and maybe someone will let you post it

trekcter66 said...

Why do you guys care so much that you have to rip on the guy?

Anonymous said...

...And why do you care so much you feel compelled to defend him, trekkie?
I think ol' Jimbo knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote that little diatribe.
He wanted to stir the pot a little, which is fine by me.
You can be as nice and polite and non controversial as you want and nobody will criticize you for it...but nobody will read you, either.
The trouble with nice guys is they are bland as porridge....BORING!
By jabbing a finger in the beehive, he was obviously vying for a little attention and, by golly, it worked, didn't it?
I can't remember a Thomas report getting so much reaction...certainly not here.

prizby said...

i was surprised that Lafricain went to Ottawa considering Steve Nash's tweet in February:

http://twitter.com/#!/SteveNash/status/41568684384325632

critic said...

Laurentian's program has pretty much been in the doldrums ever since Peter Campbell left.
So it was no surprise to me L'Africain passed LU by.
Swords has yet to prove himself a winner and last season's nosedive didn't help matters.
I guess L'Africain opted for the school with the better recent track record.

Anonymous said...

I might be missing something, but I didn't find Jim's comments all that inflammatory. I believe technology and the times might be passing him by, but does he not garner any respect for his many years of dedication to the game we all supposedly love? Everything he says about Carleton is fairly valid: fans respect their acccomplishments, but are tiring of their dominance, then he challenges other programs to figure out how to compete with them. What is the issue with these comments?

Anonymous said...

Sad to see someone criticizing a team for continued excellence. He should get used to it, the Ravens will be better than ever next year. Try covering Hinz inside whne he is another year older and better - maybe he will dish off to 6'11" Ben Felix or flip it out to one of four fifth year seniors shooting darts from the 3 point line.

Anonymous said...

If the internet had existed back in the 80's, it would have been interesting to see what people would have said about Victoria's overwhelming dominance for the better part of a decade.
I'm sure there would have been cries of "break up the Vikes!".
Eventually, the Victoria dynasty ended and Shields departed after 13 seasons.
Smart has been at Carleton now for 12 years and has already matched Ken Shields in national titles won.
But the Ravens appear to be even stronger going into next year and Smart is poised to break Shields' personal mark by winning an 8th title in 13 seasons.
But that's not the half of it.
At 45, Smart is still in his prime in his profession, and could conceivably be at Carleton for another decade and beyond.
Given his career win/loss percentage, his final CIS stats could be truly staggering.

prizby said...

Critic-I won't argue LU's record, but I would point out that it was only a 6 point loss on the road for LU in the playoffs to Ottawa...is that what you would consider "much better". From what I read Lafricain was interested in Sports Management and last time I checked, Laurentian was the only school in Canada that offered such a degree as a commerce major. I also thought LU's style of play (free shooting from beyond the arc) was suited to Lafricain's style although I guess Ottawa is a bit like that after watching Berhanemeskel light it up for most of the season.

Anonymous said...

Prizby...
One close game does not define a program one way or the other.
And BTW, I didn't say Ottawa was "much better"...I said Ottawa had the "better recent track record" as in the last seven years or so, which is indisputably true.
The Gee Gees, despite a rebuilding transitional year, managed to overcome a mediocre 11-11 regular season to make the Wilson Cup tournament and came within a botched play of going to the final.
LU were 6-5 at one point but tumbled so badly they almost missed the post season entirely.
But if you want to know why L'Africain chose Ottawa over LU, read the article Mark provided on him in his recent post, entitled "Loyola's L'Africain headed to Gee Gees".

Critic.