Step Up For Canadian Team

 

 

Universiade Team Needs Our Support

Connor Wood, Carleton Ravens’ National Player of the Year for 2016-17.       photo – Ottawa Sun

Like most fans, my assumption was that the ‘U-Sports all-star team’ headed for the 29th Universiade FISU Games in Taiwan in August would be funded and organized  by Canada Basketball.  This, unfortunately, is not the case.  The majority of the funding is coming from the players, their universities, or the basketball program within those athletic departments.

Head Coach Kevin Hanson (UBC) and his assistants, Dan Vanhooren (Calgary), and Jacques Paiment Jr. (Laval) are having to ‘scramble ‘ to pull this whole thing together.  Fortunately, they have some contacts for some sponsorship ideas, as all 3 are pretty veteran U-Sports coaches.  “Some of the ‘extras’ to make this experience special for the players is really left to the coaches”, says the Dinos’ Vanhooren. “It also really helps that we are able to train down in Indiana with Purdue University being very generous with the great facility, and some other assistance.”

This still leaves the matter of costs for the players, and this is where you fans can give this team a big boost!  Do you think we can raise $10,000 or more?  Let’s see if our readers can be ‘part of the team ‘ !   Send a contribution to Coach Kevin Hanson   kevin.hanson@ubc.ca .

The team roster includes  Justus Alleyn – Manitoba, Kevin Bercy – St. FX, Mambi Diawara -Calgary, Jordan Jensen-Whyte- UBC,  Kaza Kajami-Keane- Carleton,  David   Kapinga- Calgary , Alexandre Leclerc- Laval, Javon Masters- UNB, Conor Morgan- UBC, Erik Nissen – Acadia,  Connor Wood- Carleton, Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles, Ottawa.  

These young men will represent Canadian University Basketball  … let’s step up for them! This is a big deal for these top U-Sports players.  Just read this story on Justus Alleyn of the Manitoba Bisons in The Manitoban.

 

Overtime –

Lisa Robertson to head -up the University of Regina Athletics . photo – Dinos Athletics

  •  Lisa Robertson, a former U. Calgary basketball star (then Lisa Bacigalupi), and a long-time Dinos Athletic Department member, is the new Director of Sport, Community Engagement & Athlete Development at the University of Regina.  Robertson has most recently spent 2 years as the Associate Director of Sponsorship and Events at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.   More details in this story from UR Athletics.

 

 

 

Top 10 Teams in Canada ?

 

We know the #1 team in the Top 10 !

 OK, right off the top, let’s agree … Carleton is, indeed, #1 in the Top 10 !   Just ask their latest victims, the #2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, who fell with an 81-40 thud on their home floor at Montpetit Hall on Tuesday!  But how do we (or the U-Sports coaches) measure the top teams after the seemingly unassailable Ravens?

Connor Wood and his Carleton Ravens top the U-Sports rankings.   photo – Valerie Wutti

(* – a decisive win/loss ,  UR – un-ranked team)

Top 10 team records –

Carleton (16-0) – beat  Brock, McMaster, Ottawa*   (have beaten un-ranked CW, AUS, RSEQ teams)

Ottawa (18-2) — beat Alberta, McGill*, McMaster*, Brock*, won the Shoveller tourney  lost to – UQAM (UR) ,  Carleton

UBC (18-1) – beat Alberta, split with Saskatchewan  … no other ranked teams, have beaten unranked OUA teams

Ryerson (13-2) – beat  no ranked teams … lost to Brock, Dalhousie

Calgary (15-2) – beat Saskatchewan, split with Alberta …  lost to  Manitoba (UR)

Alberta (18-6) – beat Calgary once, lost once.  … lost to – UBC twice  ( one *),  Ottawa, Regina (UR), Manitoba (UR)

McGill (12-4) –  no wins over ranked teams … lost to – McMaster, Ottawa *, UQAM (UR), Laval (UR)

Brock (11-5) –  beat Ryerson, McMaster … lost to –  Dalhousie, Carleton, Ottawa*, Nipissing (UR), Lakehead (UR)

Dalhousie (16-6) – beat Ryerson, Brock  … lost to – McMaster, Windsor (UR), 3 to Saint Marys (UR), UNB (UR)

McMaster ( 14-5) – beat McGill, Dalhousie … lost to –  2 to Brock, Ottawa*, Carleton, Laurentian (UR)

Saskatchewan (11-5) – beat UBC … lost to – Calgary, Fraser Valley (UR), Winnipeg (UR), Regina (UR), UBC

Saint Marys – (14-7) – beat Dalhousie 3 times … lost to – 2 to Acadia (UR), Dalhousie*, UNB (UR), St FX (UR), Ottawa, Memorial (UR),

We have to take a lot for granted in some cases, because there is limited inter-regional play.  We’re still convinced we need more games between ‘top teams’, if the rankings are to be ‘validated’.The rankings do, however, seem to reflect a reasonable list, with all Leagues represented.

 

Scores from the East   –    Day-time game draws big interest in Ontario

Waterloo  79  Laurier  71 –  This was a rare day-time game at Laurier on Wednesday.  A ‘Local Derby’ as they say in Britain. What a great idea to engage more students, who must become a bigger part of the ‘Hoops nation’ in U-Sports if it’s to realize the tremendous potential for the game.   Story here in Mark Wacyck’s  CANhoops.ca  Blog , which covers all of Canadian University Basketball

 

Canada West Series this Weekend –  (All games Friday and Saturday nights)

All games on Canada West TV  …    MacEwan, TRU , UBC-O, UNBC, and Winnipeg are all on a bye this week. 

 

 

So Impressive, So Overwhelming !

 

The Scrubb brothers (Phil, L, Thomas, R)  and their Carleton teammates celebrate their 2015 CIS Championship

The Scrubb brothers (Phil, L, Thomas, R) and their Carleton teammates celebrate their 2015 CIS Championship

 

Carleton Reign Supreme – 5th Straight Championship

 Carleton  93   Ottawa  46 –  As we all watch the Carleton Ravens systematically and emphatically dismantle the Ottawa Gee-Gees, we realize just how thoroughly this Ravens team dominates Canadian University basketball.  As a fan of the Gee-Gees, or any other team hoping to compete with and defeat Carleton, you are both dismayed and maybe even disgusted with ‘your boys’.

Your hopes are dashed, your team flailing away ineffectively, with that look in their eyes telling us they know they are not going to escape the avalanche. If you were the Nipissing Lakers, then maybe you’re happy just to be there in the OUA, and rub shoulders with the perennial champions in your League . But, on Sunday, in the National Final, we have the ambitious, ascendant Ottawa team, with the 2015 CIS Player of the Year, Johnny Berhanemeskel, and guided by James Derouin, the Coach of the Year.  Ottawa had one of the 2 wins by a CIS team over the Ravens this year, and, in a pre-tournament poll, were favoured by about 60% of respondents to win this Championship, and stop the Carleton string of 4 straight wins.

Phil Scrubb's 28 points led the Ravens  past a stunned Ottawa team.

Phil Scrubb’s 28 points led the Ravens past a stunned Ottawa team.

Well, not so fast, Ottawa !  The Ravens laid waste to Saskatchewan in round 1 –  then dispatched Victoria, who were actually within just 9 points in the Semi-final.  It was suggested by the announcing crew, among others, that Carleton may not have appreciated the ‘early coronation of the Pretenders’, with the laying – on of hardware to the rival coach and star at Wednesday’s CIS Awards.  5th year Ravens’ guard, Phil Scrubb, who was the POY in the 3 previous seasons, and Dave Smart, the many -time National Coach of the Year had, in concert with the rest of the Carleton team, prepared themselves for this much anticipated all-Ottawa match-up as only they can.

From the outset, it was Carleton on the front foot, first to the ball, making the right pass, hitting the shots, and making life generally unpleasant for Ottawa with their swarming, suffocating defense.  Berhanemeskel, who had played so well in similar circumstances last season and this, had no room to operate, and he was 1/7 from the floor late in the opening 20 minutes (1/10 at the end … 8 points). Meanwhile, Phil Scrubb were scoring inside and out, with 16 at the half. It looked bleak for the Ponies and their hopeful but relatively subdued fans.

The seminal moments of this deciding game came in the first 3-4 minutes of the 3rd quarter, with the analysts reaffirming the necessity for Ottawa to stand fast, to mount a come-back, and ‘chip away’ at the Ravens margin. Instead, it was Connor Wood, Victor Raso, and Guillaume Boucard, and then Thomas Scrubb who all poured in shot after shot as the lead swelled to 30 points (57-27) so swiftly that we were stunned by the onslaught.  The frustration for a crestfallen Ottawa team boils over as Coach Derouin makes an ignominious exit after a regrettable 2nd technical foul.  With his team shooting 25% from the floor, Moe Ismail, in 13 minutes off the bench, is the Gee-Gees high man with 10 points.  Box Score

Phil Scrubb scores 28/ 10 assists, Connor Wood, 21, and Thomas Scrubb,  20 pts/ 12 rebs/ 7 assists, with the team at 56% from the floor and 52% from 3 point range!  The Ravens celebration looks most familiar, as they raise the W.P. McGee Trophy for the 5th straight March, and the 12th time in the past 15 seasons.  They graduate star players again this year, as the Scrubb brothers join former Ravens pillars including Phil Larmand, Osvaldo Jeanty, and Tyson Hinz.  The constant, of course, is Dave Smart, surely now the widely acknowledged ‘Greatest Coach Ever’ in the history of Canadian University Basketball. Nobody matches his intensity, fervour, the depth of preparation, and the unabashed conviction of the way he wants his team to play the game.

For now, the Ravens rule the game like no team ever has.  Perhaps the question is not why can’t someone else build a program to compete, but maybe, when might Coach Smart be content with this dynasty, and move on to other challenges. (Not that we’re suggesting he should, or certainly that we might even prefer that he do that … the man is a beacon for excellence, and we are fortunate to have seen his genius in our generation.)

It’s not like James Derouin, Craig Beaucamp (UVic), Barry Rawlyk (Saskatchewan),  and all the other CIS coaches aren’t trying their utmost.  It’s just that Mount Carleton seems so high, and looks, at this point, so unassailable. Hail to the Ravens ! Champions that they are.

 

Rams Win 3rd Place Over Victoria 

Ryerson 82  Victoria 68 – Although the Ryerson Rams fell short in their quest to play for a National title on their home floor, they got some consolation from a solid win over the Victoria Vikes in the 3rd place game on Sunday.  Sparking a withering 2nd half assault by the home team,  Jahmal Jones comes back to hit the shots he was missing in the semi-final loss, as he scores 25 points/ 6 rebs/ 8 assists, and Adika Peter-McNeilly adds 21 points for the Rams.  In his last game for the Vikes, Chris McLaughlin, who is playing this tournament in his native S. Ontario, scores a 22 pt/ 14 rebound double.  Box Score.

 

Overtime – 

ubc copy

  • We note that UBC is already pumping up the interest for their hosting of next year’s Final 8 Tournament at the new Mitchell Centre on their campus in Vancouver.  The T-Birds will get a host’s berth in that tournament, and, you can be sure that Coach Kevin Hanson will be busy ‘reassembling’ his roster for the 2015-16 season, after he loses Tommy Nixon, Brylle Kamen, and Andrew McGuinness to graduation.
  • Calgary Dinos recruit, Torrez McKoy of MBCI in Winnipeg.

    Calgary Dinos recruit, Torrez McKoy of MBCI in Winnipeg.

  • The Calgary Dinos have signed Winnipeg high school player,  Torrez McKoy, a 6-0, ‘lead guard’ , from the Mennonite Bretheren Collegiate Institute.  McKoy was a 1st team all-star as his Manitoba Provincial Team won the Canadian Juvenile Championship  (U17) last summer.  Dinos fans will only hope he has nearly the impact on the program than did outgoing All-Canadian, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, another Winnipeg product.