Tuesday 28 September 2010

Windsor Lancers Preview

Winners of two of the past four OUA West championships, the Lancers program can now be comfortably referred to as a perennial Top 10 team under Head Coach Chris Oliver, who recommitted to Windsor over the summer after getting strong overtures to take over the reigns at his alma mater McMaster.  Oliver remained loyal to the university that has provided him the resources to succeed and looks for his Lancers to improve on last season's Final Eight quarter-final appearance in whch Windsor almost came all the way back from a large deficit to lose to eventual national champions Saskatchewan by 3. 

With three veteran fifth-year seniors returning supported by no other key players with more than one season of Lancer experience, consistency could be a challenge but there is as much raw talent with this group as any in the nation so expect another Top 10 ranking all season and a spot as the favorites for repeating in the OUA West.

The Lancers are again 6'3" Isaac Kuon's team and his blend of speed, ability to get to the rim and shoot 3's make him one of the pre-season favorites for OUA West Player-of-the-Year.  With Corey Boswell and Matt Handsor both graduated and John Woldu not returning, Kuon and fifth-year three-point shooter Monty Hardware are the veterans in a comparatively young backcourt.  Hardware has enjoyed a solid CIS career and should see more time in the rotation.  6'1" sophomore Josh Collins continued throughout his first season to mature as a young CIS point guard and as he gets stronger and improves his ability to consistently look for his offense, expect him to become a 30+ minute per game guy who makes the majority of important floor decisions for the Lancers.  Looking to backup Collins is 5'10" Tyrone Bramble who began a long hoops journey leaving Toronto early in his high school career and eight ? years later returns to Canada after dealing with some injuries to try to resuscitate his career with the Lancers.  Bramble was rated highly in high school by multiple U.S. recruiting services but a D1 scholarship never materialized and he has spent of one his season's of eligibility at a U.S. Junior College.

Windsor's underrated leader heads up the front court as 6'6" fifth-year lefty Andre Smyth, an excellent rebounder especially on the offensive glass, provides the veteran paint-area presence top teams require.  Smyth can step out and shoot 3's and also score inside.  He also is a strong defender inside and on the perimeter, quick enough to move his feet against more agile bigs.  Nagging injuries have somewhat affected 6'8" Lien Phillip but if the games against Kentucky are any indication, the slick forward has increased his strength and is much more confident with his offensive game.  Phillip, who played a good amount of five last season, should be able to slip over to his more-natural power forward/four spot with the arrival of 7'0" Mike Luby, another junior college transfer entering his second year.  Luby has the skill set to play significant minutes with Windsor immediately and provides a huge presence inside at both ends. 

The Lancers also have a pair of explosive wings who provide 20+ mpg-type depth in 6'1" Enrico Diloreto (2nd Year), who averaged 23 mpg last season and is a blend of strength and quickness who is fearless going to the rim.  6'5" Justin Wiltshire (10 mpg in his first Lancer season) continues to improve and will allow Oliver to play more aggressively on the defensive end.

Windsor also brings in local 6'8" Evan Matthews as a freshman as well as Diloreto's high school teammate from London Beal, 6'2" Troy Barnes, eligible in the second semester after transfering in from Lakeland Community College.

The Lancers have one tournament vs. CIS teams in the pre-season when they visit Ottawa to play in the House-Laughton tournament at Carleton where they will meet the hosts (in a rematch of last season's Wilson Cup), McGill Redmen and UVic Vikes.  Windsor also hosts UQAM at home in October as part of the CIS portion of their pre-season.


Anonymous said...

What happened to Jordan Henry?

Anonymous said...

Sitting out this year. Look out for Jameson Tipping next year. This kid is real good. A future All-Star.

Anonymous said...

Tyrone Bramble did verbal to Providence before not being cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse forcing his move to a juco. Josh Collins must have had a hell of an off-season to have Bramble backing him up. Bramble has always been an exciting player to watch, and one of the best PG's in Canada.