These 7 Teams Look to Move Up in Canada West

 

 

Brandon Tull will be a senior leader for the Regina Cougars.      photo – Arthur Ward

 Regina – The Cougars go 9-11 and are good at their best, but are troubled by injuries in the 2nd semester.  Coach Steve Burrows will enter his 5th year at the helm, and faces the task of ‘renewing’ a roster which loses 3 veteran mainstays.  Travis Sylvestre, Stephen Shields, and Matt Augustine graduate, and more size will be crucial in the recruiting project.  The Cougs have dependable vets returning in Brandon Tull, Alex Igual, and Brian Ofori.  Burrows looks to the younger Hillis bothers, Ben and Samuel, and rookie star, Johneil Johnson to pick up some of the slack.  An infusion of talent, especially in the bigs, will be necessary if UR is to move up.

Thompson Rivers –   Coach Scott Clark loses a ‘franchise player’ in import forward, Volodymyr Iegorov, who graduates this Spring.  Clark could anticipate that challenge, but the veteran bench boss also has his rookie stand-out, Trent Monkman,  transferring to Victoria. The Wolf Pack, 8-12,  have been a play-off team in recent years, and Clark has worked successfully to develop his young talent. This coming season will test his resolve once more.  The Orange returnees include import guard, Derek Rhodes, strong forward, Luke Morris, guard, Michael Rouault, and scrappy point man, Madhu McConnell.  TRU will also be looking for some size in the recruiting process, and certainly more depth for this young group.

MRU’s import star, Josh Ross,  returns for his 5th year        Photo – Cougars Athletics

Mt. Royal –  The ‘Blue Cougars’ face a familiar challenge, as Coach Marc Dobell sees 2 big post men, Brett Layton, and Ray Goff leaving the roster along with 5th year guard, Derek Wolf .  Layton is wanting to start Law School, and Goff has had very tough nagging leg injuries, and is graduating early next year.  MRU does return guards Glen Yang, Noah Lewis, and Craig Martin along with import  scoring leader, Josh Ross, Ryan Cunningham, and forward, Nick Tancon.  Coach Dobell is waiting to announce his signees, and has not quite finished the process.  We do understand that L.J. Hegwood is looking to transfer in from SAIT, and that McNally HS (Calgary) star, 6-7 Diew Moses, may be headed to the Cougars as well.

MacEwan –  There will be significant change with the Griffins, as they say goodbye to Denzel James, Thomas Jereniuk, Cole Aikens, Keith Gerdes, and Tyler Wise as 5th year grads.  Thadius Galvez, their outstanding lead guard, is also on the move, and Coach Eric Magdanz is left with a major recruiting task.  Returnees Ryan Coleman, Harrison Lane, Adonis Montfort -Palomino, Ali Raza, and Atlas St. Paul-Butler will be counted on next Fall. The Griffs have younger players like British import, Jake Notice, along with 3rd year guard,  Tarik Scott, coming off an injury rehab, and a local red-shirt freshman, Deonte Doslov-Doctor.  Recent signees include Lincoln Anderson, a 6-3 guard from Cardston, AB, who comes off a 2 year Mormon  church mission, and 6-8, Ben Niles, from Kamloops (Valleyview Sr Sec).  Coach Magdanz is also excited about Dustin Gatski  (Westlock, AB), a 6-4 transfer after  1 year of Junior College in Wyoming, and Moreau Amadou  a 6-4 wing from   Sir Winston Churchill, Calgary.

Marcus MacKay will carry a big scoring load for the Timberwolves.

UNBC –  Starting last season at 4-4 last Fall, The T’Wolves struggled through 12 straight losses to finish at 4-16, well out of play-off contention.  They lose their slick guard, Rhys Elliot, along with Elliott Rowe, and Sam Zhang to graduation. Coach Todd Jordan will be looking to add some size and more punch to his roster this Spring and Summer.  The UNBC returnees should include big shooting guard, Marcus MacKay, lead guard, James Agyeman, Vaggelis Loukas, an active forward, and Anthony Hokanson, who is a skilled wing man.   Adam Pahl, a  6-6 wing from Okotoks (Foothills HS) , AB was announced in January, and he comes with high hopes.  Volodymyr Pluzhnikov, is a ‘tough-minded’ guard coming off the red-shirt list, and Jordan has a few more prospects he hopes to sign in the next few weeks.  “We need to get bigger, and to make big improvements in our rebounding”, says the 5th year Head man.

Trinity Western –  The Spartans, 3-17 last season, do not graduate any 5th years, and Coach Aaron Muhic suggests that his returnee list should include all of his current roster players. We have mentioned veteran guard, Tyus Allen, who is rehabbing his injured knee, but who will not be ready until at least the Fall of 2018.  The Spartans will return  import guard, Pogos Trunyan, their high scorer (15 ppg), along with 6-10 post Patrick Vandervelden (13 ppg/7.2 rebs), and Vartan Tanielian, a 12 ppg scorer at wing. Among his younger contributors will be guards Max Viitala, and Josiah Meppelink.  TWU have not announced any new signees or transfers.

UBC-Okanagan –  After an 8-12 record in 2015-16, the Heat cooled off to just 2-18 last season.  Coach Peter Guarasci, in his 5th year, loses guard Mitch Goodwin to graduation.  But, he also has 7 other roster players (Cam Friesen, Randy Jernidier, Ryan Morck, Austin Penrose, Buster Truss, David Manshreck, and Davide Ciancio) who will not return, which obviouly leaves a daunting task of recuiting this Spring. Aldrich Berrios, his high-scoring (17.6 ppg) guard is back for his 4th year, along with back-court rookies, Matt Lafontaine, and Tristan Matthews.  Noma Obeseki, an athletic small forward,  will be entering his 3rd year.  Owen Keyes, a 6’9” Kelowna Sr Sec. stand-out has already signed, and looks like a strong prospect. Jake Stokker, Penticton Sr. Sec  is another big man signee , details in this story from Kelowna Capital News 

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Overtime –

  • Mason Foreman, a 6-7 forward from Winnipeg, who most recently attended Athlete Institute Prep just outside Toronto, has signed with the Calgary Dinos for next Fall.  Mason’s father is Jeff Foreman, who was a 3-time CIS All-Canadian with the Winnipeg Wesmen (Great Plains Athletic Conference)  in 1992, ’93, and ’94. ( In 1994, Jeff was CIS Player of the Year, and he was also a member of the Canadian national team.)
  •  UVic will, later this week, induct two former basketball stars into their Vikes Hall of Fame. Spencer McKay , was a dominating post man for Vikes teams of the late 1980s – early 1990s, and Carol Turney-Loos, was a key to their 1980 National title.   More details in this Oak Bay News article   

Who Goes, Who Stays for Next Fall?

 

 

 

 An Early Look at Canada West Rosters

We’ve just caught our breath after a long 2nd semester haul to the 7th straight coronation of the Carleton Ravens as U-Sports Champions.  It was a sobering experience for our 3 Canada West teams, as they all drop their round 1 games.  So it is literally ‘back-to-the-drawing-board’ for the 17 schools West of Ontario.

We start with a peek at the  players these teams will lose from rosters from the past season, key returnees, and a number of announced additions and expected jumps from the red-shirt list

Alberta –  2017 Canada West champs … the Bears lose big Brett Roughead, with no word on any other changes from this year’s 14-6 squad.  They return almost their whole roster, including all-stars Brody Clarke, Austin Waddoups, play-off ace, Mamadou Gueye, and CW rookie team, Andre Kelly. Coach Barnaby Craddock will  certainly have a contender again next season.

Lucas Mannes (tsf-TWU), a sharp-shooting guard, joins the Dinos this Fall.

Calgary –  The Dinos (16-4) win their last 2 of the year, over Manitoba and Saint Marys to finish 5th at Nationals, but four key seniors, Thomas Cooper, Jasdeep Gill, Mitch Ligertwood, and Dallas Karch, will be missed.  Coach Dan Vanhooren does, however, feel good about his returning core, with David Kapinga, Jhony Verrone, Mambi Diawara, and Max Eisle at guard.  Forwards are led by Lars Schleuter, Connor Foreman, and Jeff Rodehutskors.  Both 6-6 fwd Sasha Pojuzina (Regina), and 6-1 guard, Jake Nielson (Cochrane) should move in off the red-shirt list, and guard Andrew Milner is a high school signee from Nova Scotia’s U-17 champions. Lucas Mannes, an 18 ppg guard, transfers from Trinity Western.

Shane Osayande returns for the Huskies with his power game.

Saskatchewan – The Huskies  are 14-6 this year, get to the Final 4, but lose to Alberta and Calgary there.  They will miss their solid post man, Matt Forbes, and his 3 point shooting partner, Trevor Severinski.  U of S has the high-octane duo of forward, Shane Osayande, and guard, Alex Unruh, as 5th year leaders in the Fall. Coach Barry Rawlyk will have a strong returning group with veterans, Jaylan Morgan, Lawrence Moore, Mack Burns, and Joseph Barker.  A healthy return for speedy guard, Chan De Ciman, would be a big plus as well.

Manitoba –  A huge push in the 2nd semester, to a 12-8 record,  lifts the Herd to the Final 4, where they qualify for their 1st Nationals in many seasons.  They bid adieu to 4 rotation players including starters AJ Basi, and Brett Jewell, along with point man Ilarion Bonhomme, and Jonathan Alexander.  The Bisons returnees are solid, led by starters Justus Alleyn, a Canada West all-star, and the 2 way hotshot, Keith Omoerah. Coach Kirby Schepp also revels in the depth from forwards James Wagner and Malik Irwin.  He has announced the signing of local high school star, 6-6 Wyatt Tait  ( Oak Park)

Conor Morgan enters his 5th year for UBC this Fall.                 photo- UBC Athletics

UBC Thunderbirds – After a banner 19-1 regular season, UBC suffered a dispiriting 2-0 sweep to Manitoba in play-offs. We expect the T-Birds to rebound as a typically strong contender, but graduating Jordan Jensen-Whyte, Will Ondrik, and Harpreet Randhawa will significantly change the mix. They red-shirted Jauquin Bennett-Boire, an impact lead guard, who came from a ‘partial’ rookie season at Saskatchewan. Coach Kevin Hanson boasts a deep returnee roster, with CW 2017 Player of the Year, Conor Morgan, into his 5th year along with guards, Phil Jalalpoor,  A.J. Holloway, and post man Luka Zaharijevic.  Patrick Simon is another experienced veteran on the front line, and young guards Taylor Browne, Isaiah Familia, Izaihah Ugoalah will step up. Coach Hanson has announced the signing of Cam Morris, a 6-6 forward from St. Thomas More Collegiate (Burnaby).

 Lethbridge – 5th year guard Will Hickey is leaving and  2nd year wing, Scott Mazutinec will depart on a Mission for his church. The ‘Horns were 13-7 and will be hoping to improve on that for 2017-18, with Kyle Peterson, transfer (UVic) combo guard, returning for his 3rd year, after finishing his church mission.  Dejon Burdeaux will be a 5th year leader, with Michael Pierzchala, Elliott Sentance, and Zac Overwater adding offensive punch.   6-6 wing, Mark Rodehutskors, should help, coming off the red-shirt list, and UL likely adds another Australian post man.

Winnipeg – Coming off a 12-8 record in 2016-17, the relatively young Wesmen lose  Jamar Farley to graduation, but boast all-rookie team member, Narcisse Ambanza, and CW all-star Denzel Lynch-Blair.  Sean Tarver is a high scoring wing man, and William Sesay, a talented all-round contributor.  Up front, the Ws return big post man, Ryan Oirbans, along with 6-7 Billy Yaworsky Coach Mike Raimbault has had good luck in recruiting local talent and a few top players from the East in his tenure at UW.

The Cascades’ Nav Bains and Wesmen’s Ryan Oirbans will do battle again next season.

Fraser Valley – Coach Adam Friesen will be looking to re-tool his offense, as the Cascades graduate both scoring guards, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon.  There is, however a ton of talent in ‘The Valley’ and the Lower Mainland, and Friesen has established his program largely with locals. He has announced the signing of Harsimran Bhullar of Panorama Ridge HS , Surrey, B.C.  UFV returns a good core of veterans in Navjot Bains, Denver Sparks-Guest, and Anthony Gilchrist.

Brandon – The Bobcats late season run to 9-11 was one of the good stories in Canada West this Winter, and Coach Gil Cheung will be working hard at building on that momentum. They have some key players graduating this Spring, including scorer-rebounder Earl Thompson Jr, shooter Chris Stanhope, Denham Buchanan, and Esmat Atem. The ‘Cats do have some young talent in guards Tyvon Cooper, a CW all-star,  and Pookie Saunders. John Paul will be a 5th year leader up front, along with rookie Kobyn Jopp, and Tyler Anderson.

2017 Rookie of the Year, Scott Kellum, will lead the Vikes next season.

Victoria –  The Vikes lose their go-to scorer, Grant Sitton, and Coach Craig Beaucamp has wasted no time trying to improve on their 9-11 League mark.  Scott Kellum, a headsy guard from Washington state, is the 2017 Canada West Rookie of the Year, and a solid building block. Vlad Zasmolin (Calgary-Churchill)  could be a ‘sleeper’ off the red-shirt list, and UVic returns several young rotation players in Jake Newman, J.J. Hamel- Carey, and Taylor Montgomery-Stinson.  We understand that TRU’s impressive rookie, 6-1 guard Trent Monkman, will be a red-shirt with the Vikes this Fall.  Coach Beaucamp was busy early, and has signed 6-7 Hunter Hughes from Surrey (Southridge), Andrew Goertzen, a 6-8 fwd from Walnut Grove (Langley), 6-11 Eric Hegadoran from Lambrick Park, Victoria, 6-2 Jaden Touchie, Victoria, Oak Bay, and 6-3 guard Aaron Tesfegiorgis, from Calgary – Notre Dame.  Very busy.

More team reports up-coming  _________________________________________________________________________

 

Overtime – 

 

Ravens Triumph to Reach 7 Straight Titles

 

Kaza Kajami-Keane pilots the Ravens to a 7th straight U-Sports title              (photo – Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

#2  Carleton Ravens 78   #1  Ryerson  Rams  69  –  The Ravens win their 7th straight U-Sports National Championship, the 2nd team, after the 1980-’86 Victoria Vikes,  to ever accomplish that amazing feat.  Carleton also have an unprecedented 13 titles in 15 seasons from their 1st championship in 2003.

Prior to the game, Coach Dave Smart was talking up the strength of the opposing Ryerson Rams  and suggesting that his Ravens would be hard-pressed to stay with the 2 -time OUA champions.  But, as they have for so many years, Carleton came out with a purpose, and they flew to an 11 point lead at the half, as the Rams could manage only 30% from the field.

The lead swells to 24 for the defending champs by the mid-point in the 3rd period, despite the rare cold-shooting afternoon from Canadian University Player of the Year, Connor Wood.  A noted 3-point assassin, in his 5th and final season, Wood can only sink 1 of 8 FG attempts, and is 0/7 from outside. 

Ryerson rallies for the next 13 minutes, and their quick hands create some discomfort for the Ravens’ guards. Closing to within 6 points with 1:30 left in the 4th, the Rams are halted by Wood’s lone basket and subsequent and-one free throw at the 20 second mark.

Three Carleton scorers do hit double figures, with 5th year forward Ryan Ejim pacing them with 19 pts/ 9 rebs. 5th year point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane controls play for much of the game, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while 6th man guard, Emmanuel Owootoah, scored all of his 12 points on 4 of 7 from 3 point range.

The Rams just did not shoot the ball well enough to win.  They are 35% from the floor, and 65% from the line.  Their 2nd half rally came from too far back, and they fall short at the finish. Adika Peter-McNeilly is the game’s high scorer with 23 points, and post man Adam Voll contributes 12 points / 9 rebounds.  Ammannuel Diressa fights some early frustration, and chips in with 11 points / 7 boards.

This is an historic win for Coach Smart and the Ravens, who prove once again, that they are the team to beat for the foreseeable future.   Box Score  

 

Tigers use their defense and free throws to win the bronze

 #5 Dalhousie Tigers  69  #3 McGill Redmen 63  –  You shoot 37% from the floor, and the opponent hits 50%. They hit 8 treys, and you only 2 !  Trouble, yes?  Well, not in this case.  Dalhousie forces 21 McGill turnovers, and the Tigers  binge on 27/37 free throws  vs 9/13 for the Redmen.

Quirky scoring summary … 2 Dal starters, Jarred Reid and Ritchie Kanza Mata, count all their points from the foul line. 8 of 9 for Reid and 9/11 from Kanza Mata.  The Tigers get 20 points/ 5 rebs from Sven Stammberger, and Jordan Aquino-Serjue hits 10 points off the bench.

McGill spread the scoring, with 3 in double digits, led by 17 from the dependable Jenning Leung, as he cashes 4 of 6 attempts from 3. Francois Bourque scores 14 and adds 9 boards, while Dale Ogundokun tallies 13 points/ 4 rebs/ 3 assists.

Dal wins the bronze, and were just one shot away from their shot at a championship in Saturday’s semi.  McGill is going home empty-handed, despite some very solid play.        Box Score   

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Overtime –

  • Neil Murphy, a senior researcher for CW Hoops, reminds us that these 2 finalists, Carleton and Ryerson feature a totally home-grown roster.  Unlike most teams in Canada West, neither the Rams nor the Ravens have any import players in their line-up, which is a testimony to the depth of talent in Ontario, we would suggest.
  • The Ravens graduate Wood, Kaza Kajami-Keane, Ryan Ejim, and Joe Rocca.

    Ryan Ejim has been a big force inside for the Ravens.

    Will those losses mean that the Carleton run is at an end?   Probably not … they usually attract top talent every year, and they still have a strong returning group.  Ryerson say good-bye to Adika Peter-McNeilly, while Dalhousie is going to miss Kashrell Lawrence, Ritchie Kanza-Mata, Jarred Reid, and Ryan Stroud. McGill has no 5th year players, but a couple of their 4th years may move on.  Calgary graduates Thomas Cooper, Jasdeep Gill, Dallas Karch, and 4th year, Mitch Ligertwood. Saint Marys loses starters Marquis Clayton, Brian Rouse, Achuil Lual, and Theon Reefer. (There’s a recruiting challenge!). Manitoba has 4 key players departing – A.J Basi, Ilarion Bonhomme, Jonathan Alexander, and Brett Jewell. Alberta graduates their 7-1 post man, Brett Roughead .

  •  The Women’s Finals 8 from Victoria Sunday –   Championship – McGill 66  Laval 55 – the 1st for McGill.            Bronze –      Carleton 53 Queens  43 

Rams Challenge Ravens in All- OUA National Final

 

 

Ravens chasing 7 straight, after their defense stops the Redmen

Ravens Connor Wood to the hoop vs McGill  – (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

#2  Carleton Ravens 74    #3 McGill Redmen  58 –  The Ravens stay on track as they chase their 7th straight National crown.  CU get out to a 17 point lead at the break, and hold steady in the 2nd half. Again, their offensive rebounding gives them a big edge (14-7), and their ball-handling is 100% better (only 9 TOs) than it was in their 1st round win against Calgary.

The Black Birds’ 3 point shooters weren’t hot as a team, but Connor Wood had his usual sharp eye, cashing 4/7 from outside, as he led the scoring with 20 pts plus 5 rebounds. Kaza Kajami-Keane, who, along with Wood, hardly left the floor,  had a serious impact at both ends, with 16 points/ 5 rebounds/ 7 assts/ 3 steals.  Eddie Ekiyor and Emmanuel Owootoah hit 10 points each, with Ekiyor adding 6 rebounds.

The Redmen threw their vaunted defense at Carleton, led by the three-some of Dale Ogundokun, Jenning Leung, and Michael Peterkin, and except for the 25 points surrendered in the 2nd quarter, they were solid.   Foul shooting let the Reds down, as they hit just  61% on 14/23 attempts, while the defending champions score 15/19 – 79% at their end.

It was the Ravens defense that made the big statement, limiting McGill shooters to 37.5% FG, with Leung the MU high man at 13 points, largely on his fine 4/9 from 3 point range.  Ogundokun  toiled for a full 38 minutes  for his 10 pts/ 7 rebounds/ 5 assists.

Carleton will play Ryerson, the team to whom they lost the recent OUA title game, in the U-Sports Final on Sunday at 1 pm.   Ryerson meets Dalhousie for the bronze at 10:30.

Box Score  

 

Rams survive a ‘back-yard brawl’ in win over Dalhousie

Ryerson’s  Adika Peter-McNeilly  shoots over McGill’s  Warren Liang                                        (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

#1  Ryerson  Rams 59  #5 Dalhousie Tigers 58 –  This was a tense nail-biter of a contest, with neither team able to operate a consistently efficient attack vs the other’s defense.  A total of 41 turnovers, and  36-37% shooting  reduced the ‘marks for artistic impression’.  This was more of a ‘back-alley brawl, with one star from each team being assessed the magic 5 fouls.

In fact, it may have been Richie  Kanza  Mata’s  5th with 3:10 remaining that took away a necessary key for the Tigers.  Ammanuel Diressa drew his 5th for the Rams, but not until the final seconds.

Up by 10 early in the 2nd quarter, Dal found themselves fighting desperately in the final frame, on the short end of a 56-50 count at the 4:30 mark. Diressa hits a pair of free throws for Ryerson to make it 59-56 with just under a minute on the clock. Sven Stammberger hit 2 freebies for Dalhousie, but that was all the scoring, as Kashrell Lawrence’s 3 point attempt for the Dal win bounces off with 3 seconds left.

Filip Vujadinovic, a 3rd year, 6-7 forward from Burlington, ON, had 16 points/ 5 rebs as 6th man for the OUA champs.  He got help from Diressa , who hit 15 pts/ 3 rebs/ 2 steals, and Adika Peter-McNeilly, with his 13 pts/ 7 rebs/ 3 steals.

The Tigers could not complete this one critical come-back to reach the gold medal game, with only 5 points off their bench.  Lawrence tallied 16 pts/ 8 rebs/ 3 steals, and Jarred Reid chipped in with 13 pts/ 8 rebs/3 steals .       Box Score     

Ryerson get a crack at Carleton again in the all-OUA  National Final, while the Tigers meet McGill for the bronze. Sunday: bronze-medal game, 10:30 a.m.; gold-medal game, 1 p.m.

The Championship Final will be on Sportsnet One, with the Bronze Medal contest available via webcast on U-Spots TV1

 

Consolation Final – Calgary Dinos 96  Saint Marys Huskies 65 –   ‘Playing possum’ ?  We’re not sure, but the Dinos go down 38 – 34 in a not atypically slow 1st half, and then … 62 in the final 20 minutes?!  Nice half-time ‘refresher’ !  There are 39 turnovers in this somewhat predictable ‘YMCA’ Classic .

This one turns into a blow-out in the 3rd , with Calgary on their way to 58.5% shooting from the field, vs 32% for the Huskies. UC are 8/15 – 53% from 3 vs 21% for SMU. Thomas Cooper has another fine effort with 28 points in his final game for Calgary, adding 8 rebs/ 4 assists/ 4 steals. Mambi Diawara is sharp again with 15 pts/ 6 assts/ 4 steals, and Connor Foreman follows up a good one on Friday with 14 points in 16 minutes here.

For SMU, it’s Marquis Clayton the leader with 18 pts/ 6 rebs, then Will Flander scoring 9 with 7 boards and 3 steals, and Achuil Lual scoring 10 pts/ 5 rebs .   Box Score   

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Overtime –

  •  The Women’s Finals 8 from Victoria  Saturday – 

Semi #1   Laval 78 vs Queens  67 

Semi #2      McGill 66 vs Carleton 60 

 Consolation Final  –      Regina 79    Saskatchewan  76

  • On Sunday –     bronze medal game  at 10 am (Pacific)  on  U-Sports TV1 Championship at 1 pm   on   Sportsnet 360 TV

Calgary vs Saint Marys in Consolation Final

 

 

 

Cooper leads hot Dinos shooting in win over Manitoba

Thomas Cooper drops 30 points as Calgary  beats Manitoba        (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

 Consolation, game  1 – Calgary Dinos  92   Manitoba Bisons  84 –  Fast and loose.  That is a reasonable description of the 1st half of the Dinos-Bisons reprise in Friday night consolation play.  Both teams over 50% from the floor, and both teams with 10+ turnovers.  The Canada West ‘cousins’  trade offensive bursts of 7-12 point runs.

The dust clears with he Dinos up 43 – 42, and this one may get into the 90s before it’s done. And, yes, UC goes up by 13 mid-way in the 3rd, but a buzzer beating 3 by Manitoba’s Keith Omoerah closes it to 4.

The Dinos fight off the Herd in the final frame, with continued hot shooting (54% for the game), while Manitoba (50% on FG, and 47% from 3)  get a late surge which falls just short. Thomas Cooper tallying 30 points / 11 rebounds, 3 asst/ 3 steals , and David Kapinga contributes 18 pts/ 3 asst/ 2 steals.  6-7, 4th year, Connor Foreman, has a nice game off the bench, scoring 12 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, as the Dinos score 49 in the 2nd half..

The Bisons are led by Keith Omoerah’s 15 pts/ 9 boards/ 5 helpers, as he is one of 4 in double figures in scoring for UM. Justus Alleyn is 3/4 from outside, and hits 17 pts/ 4 assists. This was the final game for Manitoba’s 4 seniors, A.J. Basi, Bonhomme, Brett Jewell, and Jonathan Alexander.     Box Score     Calgary will play Saint Marys  in the Consolation Final on Saturday at 8:00 pm Atlantic time, again on   U-Sports TV1   

The Saint Marys bench erupts , as the Huskies win in OT            (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

 Consolation, game 2 –  Saint Marys  98  Alberta  93   OT  –  The Bears catch and pass Saint Marys early in the 4th quarter, in a game that was truly back- and- forth. The Huskies are down 5 with 35 seconds left in regulation, but 2 free throws then a final seconds trey from guard, Marquis Clayton,  gets them to overtime.  SMU make the home crowd happy, winning the extra 5 minute session, with 2 more outside bombs from Clayton pivotal in the win.

The coaches tweak their rotations, and subs are in and out regularly.  Two big advantages for the Huskies are the 6 to 18 turnover chart, and their beating Alberta at their own 3 point shooting game … 14/34 – 41%  vs  9/25 – 36% for the Bears.

Clayton leads the SMU charge with his 24 points/ 6 rebs/ 6 assists , highlighted by his 6/9 from 3 point range. Theon Reefer kicks in with 20 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 assists, while post man Achuil Lual has an impact with his 11 pts/ 7 rebs.

The Bears share their scoring , with 6 in double figures, led by 20 from Mamadou Gueye, who also grabs 7 boards.  Big Brett Roughead, the lone 5th year senior, plays 29 minutes, and scores 15 points and snares 15 rebounds, leading U of A’s dominant 58-33 edge in that department. Import guard, Austin Waddoups, scores 19 with 7 rebounds, while Geoff Pippus posts a double of 12 points/ 10 rebounds.    Box Score  

SMU will face Calgary in the 8:00 pm Consolation Final on Saturday.

 

Final 8 in Halifax …   Schedule for Saturday –

1 p.m. Atlantic      Semifinal 1     #2 Carleton Ravens  vs  #3 McGill Redmen  (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

3:30 p.m. Semifinal 2      #1 Ryerson Rams  vs  #5  Dalhousie Tigers  (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

8:00 pm  Consolation Final – #7 Calgary vs #8 Saint Marys

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Overtime –

Mitchell Wood, younger brother to Ravens’ ace, Connor Wood.   photo – Carleton Athletics

  • Brotherly ‘love’from the Carleton Ravens’  Wood brothers,  “He (younger brother Mitchell) had to survive in the driveway somehow, so he had to be tough,” quips Connor, who majors in psychology. “I always liked to get to the rim more than shoot,” Mitchell concurs. “I was going to get bullied either way, so I had to come hard or just not come out [of the house] at all.”  From David Whitfield, Ravens ‘resident scribe’. 
  • Manitoba Coach, Kirby Schepp, with some classy comments following the game with Calgary tonight, “We have tremendous respect for Calgary and their coaches and program,” said Schepp. “And while there’s a rivalry – we’ve played a lot in the last couple years – it’s a good rivalry, a healthy rivalry. We can complete at a high level and it’s fun competing like that.”  From U-Sports – Halifax
  • U-Sports Women’s Tournament Consolation scores –  from Victoria54

          Saskatchewan 65 Cape Breton 51,      Victoria  78  Regina  64

  •  The Women’s schedule on Saturday – 

2 pm Pacific – Laval  vs Queens in semi #1

4 pm        –  McGill vs Carleton in semi #2

7 pm  –  Saskatchewan   vs Regina

 

Tigers Nip Bears in the Final Seconds

 

 

Lawrence carries Dal into the semi-finals with his clutch hoop

Dalhousie’s Kashrell Lawrence was the 1st round’s top story, with his 28 points vs Alberta

 #5 Dalhousie 67   #4  Alberta  65 – This feature game has so many stories, not the least of which is the foul problem for Bears ace, Mamadou Gueye.   The hero of the Canada West Final 4 sits with 7 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, having amassed 3 fouls.   But the real hero on the night will be the local legend, Kashrell Lawrence, who saves his best for last.

Alberta wins the 1st quarter, with Lyndon Annetts starting quickly, but the Tigers take the ball inside in the 2nd frame, led by the solid form of Lawrence, who has 14 points at the break, tying U of A’s Annetts.

The 2nd half is a frantic slug-fest, as Alberta clings to a tenuous lead, and  Gueye comes back in to turn things around with 10 points in the 3rd quarter.  The Bears are up 3, but Dal are known as the ‘Come-back Cats’, and they did not disappoint. The amazing Lawrence, has a ‘monster game’ with 28 points, 10 rebounds,  and 4 big steals.  After Richie Kaza-Mata ties it for the Tigers on a 14 ft jumper,  the Bears get nothing, and, sure enough, Lawrence cuts to the hoop with 2 seconds left to bank in the winner at the low angle.

The fans go wild, as, for the 2nd week in a row, Dalhousie turn a last minute deficit into a winning celebration. Kanza-Mata tallies 16 pts/ 5 assists, and big Sven Stammberger is one of many Dal defenders who turn up the heat , and force 22 Alberta turnovers, which proves decisive.

Gueye leads the Bears with 18 points/ 6 rebs, while Annetts finishes with the 14 he had at half-time.  Brody Clarke manages just 8 points’ 8 rebs, as he gets extra attention for Tigers defenders.   Box Score 

Dalhousie will play the #1 seed, Ryerson in the 2nd semi-final on Saturday; Alberta were the last of the 3 Canada West teams relegated to the consolation side today.  The Bears take on Saint Marys Friday at 5 pm Mountain time (8 pm – Atlantic)

Ryerson rides Ammanuel Diressa to a win over Saint Marys     (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

#1 Ryerson 79  #8 Saint Marys 70  –  The opening quarter was a quiet one for the Huskies, but the home side came back with 25 points in the 2nd stanza to trail by just 4 at the break.  Ammanuel Diressa scored 16 points in that opening 20 minutes for the Rams, and they looked the more confident club.

But Saint Marys would not roll-over, and they continued to respond to every Ryerson surge with one of their own. The Maroon closed it 1 in both the 3rd and 4th quarters, but never took the lead. After Theon Reefer made it 68-69 with 2 free throws for SMU at the 2:46 mark, 6 straight points by Adika Peter-McNeilly staked the Rams to a 7 point advantage, and that was the ball game.

Diressa, the 6-5, 4th year wing man from Toronto, collected 24 points to lead both teams, as well as adding 7 rebounds and 4 assists.  Peter-McNeilly scored 17 pts/ 7 rebs as Ryerson hit 7 treys to just 4 for the Huskies.

SMU gave it a real run in the 4th quarter, but could not make the big play when the chips were on the line. 5 Huskies were in double figures, led by 14 points/ 15 rebounds from Achuil Lual, and 17 points / 11 boards by Reefer.       Box Score  

Ryerson will play home-town favourites, Dalhousie,  in the 2nd  semi-final on Saturday, and Saint Marys go to the consolation side for a game with Alberta  at 8 pm on Friday.

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   Overtime –

  • 3 Canada West referees in the Ryerson-Saint Marys contest tonightRiley Kerrison and Michael Weiland from Calgary, and Neil Donnelly from Regina.
  • Great Halifax crowd for the Dal-Alberta game, as the numbers grow through the local teams playing back-to-back on the nights draw. The atmosphere has to be a big plus for those Atlantic teams.  (Attendance announced as 6,500)
  •  In First Round Games from the Women’s Nationals in Victoria – 

Queens 60  Cape Breton 51 Laval 69 Saskatchewan 59 –   the defending champions go down. Later games …  McGill 72   Regina 62,  Carleton 77  Victoria 66

Go to U-Sports – Women’s Basketball     for results and schedule.

 

2017 Women’s Individual Awards  – 

Nan Copp Award (Player of the Year): Danielle Boiago, McMaster 

Defensive Player of the Year: Antoinette Miller, Winnipeg

Kathy Shields Award (Rookie of the Year): Kyanna Giles, Regina

Peter Ennis Award (Coach of the Year): Dave Wilson, Queen’s

Sylvia Sweeney Award ( Academics & Community service): Katie Ross, Acadia

Tracy MacLeod Award (Courage overcoming adversity): Vanessa Pickard, McMaster

 

 

 

 

Ravens Rebounders, McGill Defense Win Early games

 

 

Offensive boards and 30 point edge off 3s propel Ravens to win

Carleton’s  Connor Wood  makes it a tough shot for the Dinos’ David Kapinga         (photo: Trevor MacMillan)

#2  Carleton 85  #7  Calgary 69 –   The Ravens go up 10 at the half on a run and pitch trey byEmmanuel Owootoah  at the buzzer.  Calgary had played hard at the defensive end, causing 12 turnovers, and slowing-down the Carleton drive, kick, and hit the 3 offense.  Still, the Black Birds were on top having made 7 treys in the opening 20 minutes, and that is deadly for any defense.  With the big rebounding edge for Ravens, Calgary gives up too many extra chances.

Calgary hangs in for much of the 2nd half, and, brings the score within 5 points in both the 3rd and 4th frames.  But, with  about 6 minutes left, the Ravens go on an 11— 0 run to boost it to 16.  There are 5 Carleton players in double figures, as they shoot 47% as a team vs 42% for the Dinos.  The big difference  came from outside shooting, as the Ravens hit 14/35 for 42 pts against UC’s 4/14 for only 12. That’s a tough gap to fill ….

Rebounding by  Carleton did wear down the Dinos, with the final count 48-24, including 17 offensive boards for the defending champs. Carleton had 16 points each from guards Connor Wood, Emmannuel Owootoah, and Kaza Kajami-Keane, with Keane adding 9 assists .  Eddie Eyikor scored 10 plus 7 boards, while big Cameron Smyth cashed 10 and grabbed 9 off the glass.

Thomas Cooper scored 17 for Calgary, plus 6 rebs/ 4 assts, with Mambi Diawara close behind , scoring 15 pts/ 4 asst/ 3 steals.  A brave effort by the Dinos, but the size, rebounding, and shooting of Carleton wins the opener in the 2017 Nationals.   Box Score 

Carleton will play in one semi final vs McGill on Saturday, while Calgary goes Friday at 3 pm Mountain  in the consolation bracket against familiar foe, the Manitoba Bisons.

McGill’s Jenning Leung takes it to the rim against Manitoba      (photo credit: Trevor MacMillan)

#3 McGill  63  #6 Manitoba  53 –  McGill couldn’t have asked for more in terms of the run of play in this offensively-challenged contest .  The Bisons come out looking a little tight, as the McGill defense chokes down Manitoba’s early offensive thrusts.  McGill gets a bigger share of the ball, and convert free throws and a pair of late-on-the-clock treys for a 5 point margin after 20 minutes.

Manitoba picks up their game late in that 2nd quarter, and look more comfortable at the scoring end for a bit. However, the Bisons ball handlers / shooters are ‘off their game’ for the most part. The Redmen win while shooting just 37% from the floor, and 11 for 22 from the foul line!  Just too many sloppy decisions by the Herd.

Manitoba cannot get their break going, and take an uncharacteristically low 8 attempts from 3, and hit just 2.  McGill is only 6/28 from deep, but still come out ahead in that department. Veteran Redmen,  guard Jenning Leung (13 pts) and post work-horse Francois Bourque (13 pts/ 14 rebs/ 4 steals) provide the leadership needed to steer the Reds into the semi-finals.

The Bisons get 13 points apiece from Keith Omoerah (9 rebs/ 4 asst/ 3 steals) and A.J. Basi, who added 3 steals.  Usually productive efforts from other starters were absent, and we can only blame the big stage, and, of course, a rugged McGill defense. Box Score

McGill advance to Saturday’s semi-final against the Carleton Ravens, while Manitoba get to play their Canada West rivals, the Calgary Dinos on Friday at 6 pm Atlantic in the consolation round.

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Overtime –

  • Kirby Schepp, Manitoba Coach, in a wonderful story in the Winnipeg Sun on the Bisons Ilarion Bonhomme , “In my 25 years coaching, I don’t know if there’s anybody ahead of him in terms of the quality of kid and the person he is  …. He treats everyone from the kid wiping the floor, to the secretary, to his teammates with incredible respect. I see the way he is around kids, around my kids, he’s just awesome.”  
  • The All-Canadian Awards ‘Gala’  was night in Halifax, and Connor Wood, a  5th year guard from the Carleton Ravens, was named the 2017 U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.  He is the 8th Carleton player so honoured over the past 17 seasons.  Wood shot over 50% from the floor and from the 3 point line, averaging 19 ppg.
  • Other U SPORTS award winners –   Ottawa wing man, Caleb Agada, is the Defensive Player of the Year, while Laurentian guard, Kadre Gray, accepted the Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy  as Rookie of the Year.  Carleton’s Dave Smart won his 8th Stu Aberdeen Memorial Trophy  as Coach of the Year, and Dalhousie forward Kashrell Lawrence, won the Ken Shields Award for Academics and Community Service. 
  • 2017  All-Canadians –   1st Team –

Connor Wood , Carleton , 5th year, Guelph, ON

Conor Morgan,  UBC,  4th , Victoria, B.C.

Adika Peter-McNeilly ,  Ryerson ,  5th , Scarborough, ON

Kevin Bercy ,  St Francis Xavier,   4th,  Kanata, ON

Thomas Cooper,  Calgary,  5th,  Chattanooga, TN

 2nd Team –

Kaza Kajami-Keane,   Carleton ,5th, Ajax, ON

Dele Ogundokun, McGill , 4th , Hamilton, ON

Javon Masters,  UNB , 4th, Kitchener, Ont.

Caleb Agada,  Ottawa ,  5th,  Burlington, ON

Shane Osayande,  Saskatchewan ,  4th ,  Toronto, ON

 All-Rookie Team         

Kadre Gray                Laurentian       Toronto, ON

Eddie Ekiyor              Carleton           Ottawa, ON

Scott Kellum              Victoria            Issaquah, WA

Jamaal Potopsingh    UNB               Brampton, ON

Kendrick Jolin            McGill              Pte. Claire, PQ

Ryerson and Carleton Aiming for Rematch

 

Ryerson and Carleton favoured to meet in Championship Final

Can any other team de-rail the favoured Rams – Ravens ?

Final 8  – Round 1 Previews – Thursday games (Atlantic Time)

12 Noon …   #2 Carleton Ravens  vs #7 Calgary Dinos 

The Ravens are aiming at winning their 7th straight National title, and they beat Calgary 101-79 last March in that 6th consecutive triumph.  Coach Dave Smart is the master at preparing his team for this 4 day event, and the Ravens, who are 27-1 against U-Sports teams this season are a daunting foe.

Kaza Kajami-Keane is the catalyst for Carleton’s offense. photo – Ottawa Citizen

Carleton are led by the OUA Player of the Year, Connor Wood, a 6-4, 5th year shooting guard, who pulls the trigger on the long ball as well as anyone in this field.  His back-court partner, Kaza Kajami-Keane, is a powerful, quick play-maker, who scores nearly 15 ppg, but is really the floor leader. The Ravens power in the post will be a huge plus again this Final 8 Tournament, with Eddie Ekiyor, a 6-8 rookie, teaming up with 6-7 Ryan Ejim, a 5th year vet who was so strong in the paint in last year’s win. As back-up, CU has 6-11, Cameron Smyth, a 4th year from Charles Tupper in Vancouver.  They are big, and can overwhelm  most teams.

Calgary were 24-5 vs all Canadian universities, are the ‘wildcard’ pick, and the 3rd Canada West team in the 8 team draw. The Dinos are a fast-paced attacking team, with 5th year wing man Thomas Cooper their scoring leader at 23 ppg.  Cooper will hope to have better luck against the Ravens defenders  in this re-match with Carleton, after he and the Dinos were thwarted in the 2016 Final.

UC  have had a run of injuries late in the season, which has depleted their very deep roster.  Lars Schleuter, a 6-7 wing man with a dangerous 3 point shot, has been out with a high-ankle sprain.  Also on the shelf was Dallas Karch, a 5th year, 6-7 forward, whose size and athleticism has been a big boost for UC.  Jasdeep Gill, another 5th year wing with the ability to score, has had ankle / leg issues, and is a ‘possible’ for Thursday’s game.

David Kapinga, the speedy 3rd year UC point man, can shoot the 3, and put pressure on opposing ball-handlers.  Jhony Verrone, a muscular 6-0, 4th year combo guard from Montreal is proving his worth as a versatile defender.  Mitch Ligertwood is a 6-6, hard-nosed, 4th year  post man, who should be the key guy inside in this smaller Dinos line-up.

Anytime Carleton plays, they are the favourites.  Eastern experts suggest this could be their best team yet. That says a lot about anyone else’s chances, but their lone loss did take place last Saturday.  Calgary a distinct long-shot in this Tournament opener.     Watch on U-Sports TV 1     9 am Mountain

 

2:00 pm  … #3 McGill Redmen   vs  #6  Manitoba Bisons

The Redmen have been dominant in the 5 member RSEQ in recent seasons, as they return to the Nationals for the 5th straight time.  Coached by Quebec Coach of the Year, David DeAveiro, the Redmen are a solid defensive club, with an experienced line-up, even without any 5th year seniors. 

McGill’s  top scorers are guards Jenning Leung (14.5 ppg) , a 6-4, 4th year shooter, who is a native of the Philippines, and 6-2, 4th year, Dale Ogundokun (12.7 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 3.5 assists).  Ogundokun, a Hamilton, ON high school star, was honoured as the Quebec Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

Up front the Redmen have 3rd year, 6-8 Noah Daoust, and 6-6 Michael Peterkin, but may be missing their top big man, 4th year, Francois Bourque, a rugged rebounder/scorer/defender who has missed 3 games with an undisclosed injury.

Manitoba have reached this National Tournament for the 1st time in over 30 years, and their seniors are ‘jacked’ with the prospect of competing on this ‘big stage’. Says 4th year  shooting guard , A.J. Basi “Our goal was to get to Halifax at first.  This is like our last week together so we want to make the most of it and we’re all focused on that first game on Thursday against McGill.” (From Global News – Russ Hobson).

Manitoba’s high scoring guard, Justus Alleyn photo – UM Athletics

Basi (13.6 ppg) is one of their key scorers, with his 3 point acumen, and he can be a ball-hawk on defense.  The Herd has a powerful leader in 6-5, 4th year Keith Omoerah, who scores 13.2 ppg, grabs 8.7 rebs and can defend inside and out. Ilarion Bonhomme, a quick, 5-10 import (Washington, DC) point man triggers the Bisons break, and 6-3 Justus Alleyn, is their top scorer at 17.5 ppg, and shooting over 40% from 3 point range.

The Bisons and Redmen should make for a fascinating match-up … McGill with their defense, and Manitoba a quick-strike offense.  This may go down to the wire, if UM can get the hot shooting in a big arena .    (12 noon Central time) 

 

6:00 pm  …   #1  Ryerson Rams  vs  #8  Saint Marys Huskies –  On the surface, this 1-8 match-up suggests a Ryerson win, but the ‘home team’ Huskies will want to have a say before we fill in our semi-final bracket !

Adika Peter- McNeilly is a force for the OUA champion , Ryerson      photo – Rams Athletics

For the 2nd straight season, the Rams are champions of the OUA, having beaten Carleton (86-79) on the Ravens’ home court this time around.  Coach Roy Rana has a team ‘on a roll’, having won 7 of their last 8 and are 22-4 vs U-Sports teams this season.  Ryerson has a pressing, running, and 3 point shooting attack, paced by Adika Peter-McNeilly, a 6-3, 5th year guard, who is the high scorer, but also a quick and headsy defender.  His ‘right-hand man’ is 6-5, 4th year wing, Ammanuel Diressa, who is the #1 disruptor on the defensive end, but also scores in bunches.

The Rams are deep in talent, with 6-8 Adam Voll a big body inside, and 6-6 , Juwon Grannum, a 5th year rebounder, who contributes as well to the 40% + 3 point shooting for the team. Guards Myles Charvis, a former rookie sensation at Waterloo, and quick point man, Roshane Roberts, keep the pressure  coming on defense.

Saint Marys have a history in this National Tournament, having 4 titles to their credit, and have a knack for answering the bell at the Atlantic Tournament, making many Nationals Final 8s.  This year’s squad had a 23-10 U-Sports record, but had limited play outside the Maritimes.

Their core group are led by 5-9 point man, Marquis Clayton, one of 6 Huskies in their 5th year.  Clayton scores 19 ppg, and keys their defense. Theon Reefer, a 6-6, 5th year swing-man, has the quickness to make an impact at both ends, and Brian Rouse, a 6-4 guard, is a tough match-up with his size and scoring touch.  The Huskies have size and experience with 6-8, 5th year post, Achuil Lual, and 6-6, 3rd year, Kingston, ON product, Brent Martindale.

A close 2nd (60-63) to the AUS champs, Dalhousie, Saint Marys pose a threat to Ryerson if they can get their offense on track against the Rams’ press.  This game will be at a very high pace, and turnovers could kill that Huskies attack. Ryerson should prevail, but Saint Marys know this court very well.

 

8:00 pm …   #4 Alberta Golden Bears  vs #5 Dalhousie Tigers –  Two League champions tip-off in the feature game of the night on Thursday, and aggressive defense is a calling card for both teams.

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye has been a play-off stand-out for the Bears this season.

The Bears are playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time, with an impressive weekend of play in capturing their 12th Canada West  title with convincing wins over Saskatchewan 83-70, and Manitoba 92-73.  They are among the League leaders in points allowed at 74 ppg, and they shoot a CW best 40.6% from 3 point range.

Their forward combo of 4th year Mamadou Gueye, a 6-6 Quebec native, and 2nd year Brody Clarke, a 6-7  Toronto product gives them inside scoring and leads a strong rebounding team effort.  Clarke, the son of former Canada national team star, Norm Clarke ,  will require extra attention from Dal defenders in the paint.  Gueye saved his best games for the Canada West Final 4, and he is a threat from anywhere with his offensive explosiveness.

Austin Waddoups, a 6-2 import guard (Utah)  has been a major addition, and he controls the pace as a point man, but also hits the timely trey on a regular basis. Coach Barnaby Craddock utilizes guards Dwan Williams (6-2, 2nd year, Toronto)   and  6-5 , 4th year, import shooter, Geoff Pippus as complimentary weapons, and both can score when needed.  7-1 Brett Roughead is in his 5th year, and can make things tough on the interior.

Dalhousie will have big local support, and count on their veteran core of senior vets Kashrell Lawrence, Richie Kanza Mata, and Sven Stammberger to lead the way.  The Tigers return to this Final 8 for the 2nd straight season, with a 25-10 record, and wins over Ryerson and Brock earlier this year.

Lawrence,  a 5th year, and only 6-2, is a muscular dynamo up front, and galvanizes teammates and Dal fans with his rugged play on the boards, and in scoring against bigger opponents. Kanza Mata was voted the AUS Defensive Player of the Year, but he can also score from an offense that led the Atlantic League in FG% at almost 47%.

Last season’s U-Sports Rookie of the Year, 6-0 Jordan Aquino-Serjue, is a valuable 6th man off the bench, and 5th year guard, 6-3 Jared Reid, is a solid wing man with a nice offensive game.  In reserve, the Tigers have a pair of big posts in 6-7 Ryall Stroud (tsf Queen’s), and 6-10 import, Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) .

This promises to be an entertaining finale for Thursday’s card, and picking a winner here may be tough.  Both teams will aim to make life difficult with physical defense, and the ability of the scorers on both squads to break free will be paramount.   This is a 5 pm Mountain tip-off.

Remember, you can   Watch on U-Sports TV 1

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Overtime –

Dave Smart, Carleton, is Canada’s winningest coach

  • Coaching records (U-Sports overall) for the 8 Head coaches in this tournament –    Dave Smart, Carleton – 520-46 (.919) … Roy Rana, Ryerson – 139-69 (.668)  … Dave De Aveiro, Ottawa / McGill – 341-183 (.651) … Jonah Taussig, Saint Marys – 99-67 (.596) … Barnaby Craddock – Brandon, UFV, Alberta – 221-151 (.594) … Rick Plato, Dalhousie – 76-53 (.589) … Dan Vanhooren, Calgary – 304-213 (.588) … Kirby Schepp, Manitoba – 112-124 (.475)
  • This National Championship Final 8 Tournament returns to Halifax for the first time since 2012.  The event will have been played in this venue a total of 30 times in the 44 years since competition began back in 1963.

 

 

Final 8 Nationals – Full Schedule

 

 

3 Canada West Teams Set for Play on Thursday

Alberta’s Brody Clarke and Calgary’s Connor Foreman and their teams are on the way to Halifax for Nationals, as are the CW finalists, Manitoba  Bisons.            photo – Bears Athletics

 

The Alberta Golden Bears face the Dalhousie Tigers  in the only battle of League champions on the first day of competition at the 2017 U-Sports Nationals.  The Tigers are the ‘home team’ here, and are coming off a big win against Saint Marys in Sunday’s Atlantic Final.   The Manitoba Bisons, seeded 6th, will meet the McGill Redmen, a repeat winner in Quebec, and a strong defensive unit, ranked #3.

The Calgary Dinos, the ‘wild-card team’ and #7 seed, have the challenge of meeting the 6-time defending champion, Carleton Ravens, to whom they lost 101-79 in last year’s final in Vancouver.   In the only game not involving a CW team, it will be #1 seed Ryerson Rams tipping off against the 2nd Halifax school, #8 Saint Marys Huskies.

We will have previews coming soon !

 

                 Tournament Schedule – Times are Atlantic Time 

    Wednesday, March 8 –  5:30 p.m.       U SPORTS  All-Canadian Awards

    Thursday, March 9

Noon   Quarter-final 1:        No.2 Carleton vs.  No.7   Calgary 

2 p.m. Quarter-final 2:        No.3 McGill     vs.  No.6   Manitoba 

6 p.m. Quarter-final 3:        No.1 Ryerson  vs.  No.8   Saint Mary’s 

8 p.m. Quarter-final 4:        No.4  Alberta   vs.  No.5   Dalhousie

First Round games are broadcast live on U-Sports TV.   ( Dinos game at 9 am Mountain, Bisons at 12 noon Central, and the Bears game at 5 pm Mountain … for those of you ‘time-zone challenged’)                

  Friday, March 10  (also on U-Sports TV)

6 p.m. Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2

8 p.m. Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4

 Saturday, March 11

1 p.m.       Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2  (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

3:30 p.m.  Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4  (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

8 p.m.    5th-place game

  Sunday, March 12

11:30 a.m.     Bronze               2:00 p.m.    Final     (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

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That Roar You Hear … Bisons Herd On the Move

We know at least a dozen or so Manitoba ‘Old Bisons’ who will be proud and excited for their Canada West finalist team, who return to the Nationals after a 30 year absence.  Many of these CIS Champions from the 1976 team have stayed involved with UM’s fortunes, and we congratulate their program for the progress made in the recent years.  Bisons teams from the 1970s made multiple trips to Nationals, and medaled on several occasions. 
Back Row: Dave Guss, Assistant Coach; Randy Kusano; Greg Daniels; Rick Watts; Martin Riley; Kevin Kelleher; Don Hunter, Coach. Middle Row: Brian Rumsey; Doug Freeth; Daryl Rumsey; Grant Watson; Ray McKall. Front Row: Russ Horbal; Ross Zilkey; Doug Slobodian.         Go Bisons !  

 

Who’s Won a National Title ?

If you’ve coached for the past 15 years in Canadian University ranks, and you’re not Dave Smart (Carleton), you can’t be blamed for being a bit frustrated.  After all, Coach Smart has not shared well with others !  His Ravens teams won in 12 of the past 14 years (Saskatchewan in 2010, Brock in 2008) .  So much for recent history.  How about these other 7 schools over the life of this  CIAU, CIS, U-Sports competition ?

Carleton – 12, Saint Marys – 4,  Alberta – 3, Manitoba – 1.   0  for  Dalhousie, McGill, Ryerson, and Calgary . 

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Overtime –

  • Each school and it’s fans are being assigned a ‘team pub’ in Halifax.  Luckily this student-filled community has no shortage of watering holes.  I guess they separate them so as to minimize any potential brawling by unruly parents!
  • The last time someone (Ryerson) came within 5 points of then unbeaten Carleton , the Ravens took it out on their next opponent, Toronto Varsity Blues, by a punishing 100-36 count.  So, they just lost the OUA Final to those same Rams. Beware ….
  • Perhaps a little too much hyperbole in discussions of the ‘At-Large ‘ selection  involving Calgary, Brock, and several other candidates.  Every region understandably has a bias towards their own team(s), and have less respect for those from other Leagues. But that ‘s why there is a process in place.  Calgary were the logical choice based on the criteria out-lined by U-Sports.  The various criteria did not produce a ‘virtual deadlock’, nor was anyone ‘out-right robbed’.  The choice is always tough, but each year we live with it, and we always have opportunity to ‘fine-tune’ the process.

 

  • Women’s Final 8 Seedings / brackets –  National Finals are to be played at U. Victoria … Thursday through Sunday –  March 9-12

#1 Carleton Ravens (OUA champs): 18-1 regular season / 3-0 playoffs) will play the 8th  seeded Victoria Vikes (host: 12-8 regular season / 3-2 playoffs)

#4 McGill Martlets (RSEQ champs: 9-7 regular season / 2-0 playoffs) face the    #5 Regina Cougars (Canada West finalists: 17-3 regular season / 3-1 playoffs)

In the bottom half of the draw –

 #3  Queen’s Gaels (OUA finalists: 18-1 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)                       #6  Cape Breton Capers (AUS champs: 13-7 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)

#2  Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West champs: 15-5 regular season / 4-1 playoffs)  vs # 7  Laval Rouge et Or (At-large berth: 14-2 regular season / 0-1 playoffs)                           Check the tournament schedule here. 

 

 

Final 8 Field Filled , Calgary Gets Wild-Card

 

 

Calgary Gets At-Large Nod, 3rd Canada West Team

The Calgary Dinos got the ‘At-Large’ berth in the coming week’s U-Sports Nationals, March 9 (Thurs) – March 12 (Sunday) in Halifax.  The Dinos join Alberta the Canada West champions, and the Finalists, the Manitoba Bisons, as Canada West has 3 teams in the tournament.

#7 Calgary will meet the defending champion, #2 Carleton Ravens in the opening round on Thursday.  On the same side of the draw, it will be Manitoba as the #6 seed up against McGill, the RSEQ champions, who are #3.  On the opposite side of the bracket we have #1 Ryerson, the OUA champs, playing #8 Saint Marys (hosts berth), and #4 Alberta matched up with #5 Dalhousie, the Atlantic champions.  Thursday games are 12 noon, 2 pm, 6 pm, and 8 pm,  with the team info and rest of the draw we’ll get to you later this week.

 

In Sunday’s  Atlantic Tournament Final –  #10 Dalhousie 63  vs  Saint Marys  60

 ____________________________________________________________________

Overtime –

  • This, as we might imagine is a quick turn-around for the traveling teams, who will aim to be in Halifax no later than Wednesday.  This is a test of endurance, organization, and health.  The athletes will be challenged by almost another full week away from classes, and coaches will be losing sleep as they prepare for a ‘new’ opponent  in most cases.
  • Seeding rules give priority to League Champions, Top 10 season averages, play-off placing, and past League performances in this event. Carleton are on a 6 year run as National Champions, and they bear Calgary 101-79 in last year’s final in Vancouver.