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

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.

 

 

Gee Gees Capture Shoveller Title

 

 

  Ottawa win in Halifax … primed for OUA action

Caleb Agada is a the top player for Ottawa in their win at the Shoveller.

#4 Ottawa Gee Gees 78 Saint Marys  Huskies 69 –  Caleb Agada posts yet another double-double, as his 25 pts/ 12 boards lead the Gee Gees to the tournament title.  Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles has another strong game with a double of 12 points/ 10 rebs. Brian Rouse scored 19 to pace Saint Marys, while Theon Reefer scored 15 plus grabbing 14 rebounds.  Now 16-3 overall in U-Sport competition, UO are starting to look like prime contenders for an OUA and National crown.  With a line-up bolstered by 5th year McMaster transfer, Adam Presutti,  they win their 14th straight.  Resuming league play next week, Ottawa will be prepping for their mid-January showdown with the #1 Carleton Ravens.  Box Score   

  #10 Dalhousie   76  St. FX  71 – (  3rd place game) The Tigers take down AUS rival  X-Men, as Jarred Reid counts a game-high 25 points, while Kashrell Lawrence had 17 points, eight rebounds.  Cameron Walker led the St. FX scorers with 20. Box Score

 Acadia Axemen  89  Mt. Royal Cougars  75 –  (7th place game)  Not the deepest team in the country, MRU cannot be at top form without forward, Brett Layton, who sat this one out with an ankle sprain.  The Axemen out-shoot the Cougars 42% to 36% from the field, and use a big 20/29 to 9/15 free throw edge to distance themselves. Kyle Arsenault scores 29 pts and Erik Nissen 20 pts/ 9 rebs to lead Acadia.  Josh Ross responds with a double of 15 pts/ 11 boards for Mt. Royal, while guards Glen Yang and Craig Martin tally 12 pts each.  Box Score   

UPEI  Panthers  96  Queens Golden Gaels 86   – (5th place game)

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Classique Olga Hrycak at UQAM, Montreal –

Memorial Seahawks 79 UNBC  Timberwolves 70 –  Up 3 at the half, then tied after 30 minutes, the T’Wolves cannot hold back the Seahawks in the 4th.  Memorial scores 30 points to claim the tournament title at 3-0, while UNBC finishes 2nd at 2-1.  23 points for MUN from MVP, Vasilije Curcic, the 6-9 Serbian big man, and 19 by Davion Parnsalu.  The ‘Wolves  get 21 from tournamentt all-star , Rhys Elliott and 22 from wing man, Marcus MacKay.  Again without forward, Vaggelis Loukas, UNBC hang tough for most of the way, but fade in the final minutes.  (again, thanks to UNBC Coach Todd Jordan for texting us the stats )

 Guelph Gryphons 85  UQAM  Citadins  84

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 Vanguard U. (CA) 89  Saskatchewan 72 –  Shane Osayande tops the Huskies with 22 points.

Hope International (CA) 82  MacEwan   56 –  MacEwan is ‘not the same team’ that beat Vanguard last night.  Hope recovers from a loss to Saskatchewan.

______________________________

Overtime –

  • Happy New Year to you all !  Safe travels to all the teams still on the road back home.  And good luck as the League play starts up again this coming week .

Manitoba Returns to Wesmen Final

 

Bears vs Bisons for the 50th Wesmen Classic title

 

Bisons Keith Omoerah has a big night in their win over Winnipeg     photo- Bisons Athletics

Manitoba 60  Winnipeg 55 –  (Semi #1)  With the basket a thimble to many teammates and opponents in the City war, the Bisons Keith Omoerah scores 17 points and snares 25 rebounds for a winning double-double.  Amarjit Basi collected 14 points/ 6 rebounds to help the Herd, who win shooting just 26.5% from the floor.   This was, however, better than the 25.5 % from the home side, with  William Sesay scoring just 10 pts as high man for the Wesmen to go with 8 rebounds.  Manitoba benefits from 19/22 shooting from the line vs 9/14 for UW. Box Score 

#8 Alberta 82  Victoria  76 – (Semi #2) The Bears’ win the 4th quarter 28-20 and grab the game largely through the efforts of their ‘Big 3’.  Mamadou Gueye led with 21pts, and Austin Waddoups  scored 19 points including  5 treys plus 6 asst. Brody Clarke had a big double of  18 pts/11 boards. Grant Sitton and Wayne Tucker Jr scored  15 points apiece for the Vikes, who were out-shot 44% to 40% from the floor.  UVic played well in the 3rd quarter to come from behind to take a 2 point lead into the final 10, but Alberta were hot to finish.   Box Score  

 

Lakehead’s Bacarius Dinkins posts a double-double.

Lakehead 67  Brandon 47 –  This low-scoring affair has the T’Wolves pulling away in the 3rd quarter, with 25 points.  The ‘Cats are sluggish, and reply with just 22 for the entire 2nd half.  Bacarius Dinkins logs a double of 13 pts/ 10 rebounds for the ‘Wolves, and Mor Menashe scores 16.  Three Bobcats with 6 apiece, as the team shoots 30% from the floor. Box Score

Regina 78  Algoma  74 –  This game is a real see-saw, as Algoma, despite shooting just 31% for the game, is up 3 after 3/4s.  Regina comes back in a contest which saw 25 lead changes.  the Cougars are 50% from the field, but are forced to the wall by the T’Birds hitting 14 of 40 from 3 point range vs 7/21 for UR. Alex Igual does it all for Regina with 20 pts/ 10 rebs/ 8 assts. , while Brian Ofori adds 15 pts/ 6 boards.  Algoma have Sean Clendenning and Callum White with 12 pts apiece.   Box Score 

_____________________________________________________

UNBC shocks Citadins in UQAM Tournament opener …. Classique Olga Hrycak at UQAM, Montreal 

Vaggelis Loukas has a big role in the T’Wolves win at UQAM

UNBC  Timberwolves 86   UQAM  Citadins 80  –  A shocker for the home team, as the under-rated T’Wolves fight back from 10 down in the opening quarter, and score 49 in the final 20 to snatch the opening day win. Shooting a sizzling 53% from the floor, and cashing 22/32 free throw attempts, UNBC overcame a 26 -21 turnover fest, and 45-30 rebounding deficit.  For the ‘Wolves Rhys Elliott struck for 27 points on 9/13, while Vaggelis Loukas had a terrific game himself, with 17 points and 12 big rebounds.  Charles Miller scored 22 for the Citadins, and Ibrahim Sylla posted a double of 13 pts/ 10 rebounds.   Box Score 

In the 2nd game at UQAM …  Memorial Seahawks 77  Guelph Gryphons 66

______________________________________________

Shoveller Memorial in Halifax –

#10 Dalhousie  Tigers 85  Mt. Royal Cougars 67 –  The Tigers come out firing, and dominate the Cougars from the opening tip. 4 Dal shooters reach double digits, with 18 pts/ 7 rebs from Kashrell Lawrence, and the same by Jarred Reid. The Tigers are 52.5% from the floor vs MRU’s 45.6%, and the home side hit 13 treys to 9 for the Cougars.  Derek Wolf scores 22 points on 9/15 for MRU, and Josh Ross has 14 plus 11 boards.  An obviously hobbled Brett Layton played limited minutes for the Cougars, scoring 6 points/ 4 rebounds.  Box Score 

#4 Ottawa Gee Gees 102 UPEI  Panthers 88 

St. FX X-Men 84 Acadia Axemen  69

Saint Marys 89  Queens Golden Gaels 86  OT

________________________________________

 

#3  Calgary  81 at Rocky Mountain College  72- The Battlin’ Bears could not match the visiting Dinos tonight as Thomas Cooper led UC with a double of 19 points/ 10 rebounds.  He got plenty of help with 11 players scoring for Calgary, including 18 by Mambi Diawara, who nailed 4 big free throws in the last minute. Calgary shot 47% from the floor to 43% for Rocky, and the Dinos 16/22 from the foul line were key to the win.  Calgary finishes this trip South with a game against the highly regarded Montana-Western Bulldogs on Friday.

at  Phoenix JC  75  #2 UBC  73  

  Thompson Rivers 97  West Coast Baptist  94 

also –  Rochester Coll. (MI)  95 Waterloo 71 ,  UNB 97 Holland Coll. 91

 

 

Overtime –

  • Here are the latest NAIA (smaller schools) National rankings for some of these schools in action against Canada West squads this Holiday season .  #9 Arizona -Christian , #11 Hope International (CA) , #16 Carroll College (MT) , #23  Montana St.

    Julian Spearchief-Morris plans to turn pro … at Law.

    -Northern , #24  Vanguard U. (CA) .  Also receiving votes – Montana-Western.

  • Our man, Dave Wells reports from the Lethbridge-  MtSt-N  game last night, where he spotted  …  “ Julian Spearchief-Morris, a grad of LCI and the U of L (after a brief fling at UVic)  is midway through his Harvard Law Degree studies. “  As Dave says, Julian was always a strong student, and could have played in the Ivy League, perhaps.  The Pronghorns program is pretty proud to hold him up as an example of the benefits of the CIS – U-Sport.

Carleton Dumps Dinos With the Deep Ball

 

The ‘Mighty Ravens’ still rule supreme in CIS basketball ! 

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photo – Ben Nelms

  Carleton 101  Calgary 79   –   The Ravens bombed the Calgary Dinos defense with a barrage of treys, and ruled the boards at both ends to give themselves a nice 26-14 lead after a quarter. It never really got closer after that, and any brief Calgary threat was usually answered with another deflating 3 ball. A bit of simple math … 16 x 3 = 48 … 7 x 3 = 21  (do we see where this is going ? )  That’s a 27 point gap, and way too big a chasm to cross with what the Dinos had going on offense.Carleton R

This is not a new story at this time of the year.  Actually (in jest), Carleton is slipping; last March they beat their arch-rival, Ottawa, by a 93-46 count !  This does not make tonight’s result taste any better to Calgary, the Canada  West champions. This game snaps an 18 game Calgary win streak, and crushes a dream any school has of winning a National title.

We said the Ravens were champions until they lost in this event: they come back and do this for the 6th straight year, and for the 12th time in 14 years.  Astounding, brilliant, dynastic, and so frustrating for any team running into this powerhouse in the CIS Nationals. You are not happy unless you win your final game, and that, in a way, is lamentable.

Gavin Resch hits 6/12 treys, Connor Wood 5/12, Tajinder Lall 2/2, Cameron Smythe 2/4 … carpet bombing, and most discouraging for Calgary defenders. 49% from the floor is Carleton, and 44% from 3 point range … Calgary hits  39% from the floor, and 25 % from outside.

Resch totals 18 points, Wood has 22 / 4 rebs/ 4 asst, and the quick and powerful Kaza Kajami-Keane finishes with 15 points/ 10 big assists/ 3 steals.  Big men Guillaume Boucard (12 points/ 10 boards/ 2 blocks) and Ryan Ejim (12 points / 6 boards/ 4 blocks ) made the Dinos face a defensive wall they could not scale, and the two converted on inside sorties by the Blackbirds.

Calgary’s Thomas Cooper had a lot of floor time (in a fall-down/knock-down way), and seemed slower and slower getting back up in the late going. He finishes with 25 hard-earned points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 assists, but was hounded by white – jersied  defenders at every turn. David Kapinga scored 15, and Lars Schleuter scored 9 and added 9 boards.

Two championship teams played in the CIS Final on Sunday at the Mitchell Centre on the UBC campus. Carleton takes the National title once more, and with it the familiar crown of CIS domination.  Calgary holds the Canada West trophy, but will be asking questions of themselves until they get back to action next Fall.   Box Score 

 

Ryerson  85  Dalhousie 75  –  In this 3rd place game, the Rams looked like making short work of things, going out front 20-11 after 1, then 45-30 at the half. Led by their 2 most potent scorers, Aaron Best and Adika Peter-McNeilly, who went on a 2nd quarter run, Ryerson was threatening a runaway.
But , as they have done for many games this season, the Tigers came back with a vengeance, and closed the gap to 4 with a minute and a half left . Jarred Reid’s 3 point shot made it 78-81, but the Rams steadied themselves with 4 straight free throws to close it out.
The #1 OUA team got very even scoring, with 4 starters in double figures, led by 15 from Jean – Victor Mukama, who added 6 rebounds / 2 blocks.  Best was next with 14 to go with 6 rebounds, and 3 steals , and Peter-McNeilly scored 13 / 8 rebounds/ 3 assts.
Dalhousie, the AUS champions were led by the 19 points from their all-star, Kashrell Lawrence , and he had 8 rebounds and 2 steals. 5 other Tigers scored in double figures, with 13 each by Jordan Aquino-Serjue and Sven Stammberger.
Ryerson shot 49% from the floor to just 32.5% for Dalhousie, and that was really the difference in the end.      Box Score


 

Overtime –

  • Carleton’s interim Coach, Rob Smart, on the winning culture this program has developed,  ”We really try to foster a culture of healthy competitiveness where it’s OK to want to fight, it’s OK to want to battle every single day and prove yourself,” said Smart, Dave’s nephew. “It doesn’t mean you’re some kind of egomaniac it just means that for those two hours you compete and it’s the most fun thing to do.”  From CBC.ca Sports
  •  The announced attendance was 4300 approximately, and certainly this crowd and those for much of the week were disappointing to veteran observers, and, we would guess, to the UBC organizers.

Carleton vs Calgary for the CIS Title

 

Jasdeep Gill provides the clutch hoops as Calgary defeats #1 Ryerson

 photo - Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

Calgary’s Jasdeep Gill drives against Ryerson’s  Juwon Grannum in Saturday’s 2nd semi-final . photo – Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

 

 Calgary 98  Ryerson 87  – The Calgary Dinos have now beaten the Quebec and OUA Champions to earn their shot in the CIS Final against the Carleton Ravens, the 5 time defending champs (11 in 13 seasons). Not an easy path, but Calgary has found a way, and they ride a wave of momentum built up over 18 straight victories.
Up 47-38 at the break, the Dinos saw Ryerson fight back to within 5 in the 3rd quarter, then, up steps 4th year wing man, Jasdeep Gill, hitting a pair of treys 25 seconds apart to restore a double digit margin. Gill hits a 4th quarter 3 to halt another Rams rally, then converts a 3 point play off a layup near the 3 minute mark, to give Calgary the breathing room once more. Free throws from David Kapinga and Thomas Cooper finished off the Ontario champs, as the Dinos now look at getting past the Ravens for their first-ever National title.
Cooper has 30 points / 11 rebounds and Kapinga totals 26 points/ 6 boards/ 6 assists to drive the offense to the momentus win.  But it was Gill, cheered on by his personal 24 member ‘entourage’ / family, who seemed to come to the fore at those times when his team most needed him; 23 points , including 4/7 from outside/ 4 rebounds.
Ryerson get 22 points/ 8 rebs/ 4 asst from Adika Peter-McNeilly, 20 points by Ammanuel Diressa, and 15 points / 10 rebounds/ 3 blocks from big Kadeem Green.
Calgary hits 12/25 attempts from beyond the arc to just 6/39 by the Rams.  Ryerson stays in touch much of the way with 27/32 free throws vs 20/32 by Calgary.  UC plays Carleton in the 5:30 Championship final, while Ryerson are in the 3 pm bronze medal game against the Dalhousie Tigers.   Box Score

Carleton returns to final as Ejim leads the way

 Carleton's Mitchell Wood guards Dalhousie's Sven Stammberger in the 1st semi final at the CIS nationals in vancouver on Saturday. photo- Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

Carleton’s Mitchell Wood guards Dalhousie’s Sven Stammberger in the 1st semi final at the CIS Nationals in Vancouver on Saturday.              photo- Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

Carleton 76 Dalhousie  66 – The Ravens will try and defend their championship for a 6th straight title vs Calgary on Sunday night.  Dropping out of the #1 spot in the CIS Top 10 this season, and this year playing without the explosive offensive power of the Scrubb bothers, as in past seasons, CU has once more  shown their competitive edge on the CIS’ biggest stage.

Carleton out-played the smaller Dalhousie crew, with 46% shooting from the floor vs just 35% for the Tigers, and by grabbing 41 rebounds to 37 for Dal. Carleton defensive efforts thwarted Dalhousie efforts to close the gap, as shooters were denied, and drive lanes closed off.  The size of CU delivered 7 blocked shots, and made the Tigers settle for rushed or low percentage attempts.

Dalhousie did force 21 Carleton turnovers and 19 Tigers points, but never the run necessary to put a significant dent in the CU lead. The Ravens were led by the all-round play of Ryan Ejim, who had 20 points/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst/ 2 steals, and 18 points on 4/9 from outside by Conner Wood. Dal got 18 points / 5 rebs from Kashrell Lawrence, and 16 points by Aquino-Serjue Jordan.  Ritchie Kanza-Mata goes for 10 points/7 rebounds/  6 assists.   Box Score

 

UBC Takes 5th with win over Ottawa

UBC's Taylor Browne takes it to the hoop vs Ottawa in Saturday's 5th place game. photo - Rich Lam - UBC Athletics

UBC’s Taylor Browne takes it to the hoop vs Ottawa in Saturday’s 5th place game.            photo – Rich Lam – UBC Athletics

 UBC 93  Ottawa 76 –   The T-Birds capture the Consolation final by finishing strong in this free-scoring affair;  48 second half points allowed the home team to pull away, and dispense with the drama the ‘Birds had suffered in their first 2 tournament games. ‘Red-hot’ is the only description for the UBC attack, as they rip-it for 68% from the floor, and 20/23 free throws.

Ottawa, without their CIS Player of the Year, Mike L’Africain, (ill, injured?), played a solid game, but could not match the pace and sharp-shooting of the hosts.  In this battle of 3rd – place Conference teams, the Thunderbirds came with all guns blazing, and all 5 starters score in double figures.  The Gee-Gees subbed more frequently, and may have played with less urgency.

UBC gets 25 points from 6-9 Conor Morgan plus 8 rebounds; guard Phil Jalapoor , with 19 points / 6 assists, and wing man, Will Ondrik, with 16 on 6/7 plus 6 boards, were big factors in the win. The Gee-Gees have Caleb Agada and Matt Plunkett with 18 apiece, with Agada contributing 4 assists. Plunkett  cashed 6/10 from beyond the arc for all of his scoring.    Box Score


Overtime –

  •  Graduating 5th year all-star, Josh Wolfram on his feelings towards his TRU teammates ,    “ They have put in their best every single day. We go at it every day and every guy comes out of the dressing room with their head held high. It is a really great team. I will remember everything from going to the Final 8 to the little things that the guys who don’t play much to Reese, Vlad and myself who play 37 minutes a game. There is something special about each and every guy.” (Ed. Note – Well put, young man !) From Larry Read , TRU Athletics.
  • School Spirit !  5 members of the Dinos Women’s Basketball team leave school Friday, jump in a car, and make the 14 hour trip to Vancouver to support the Men in the Saturday semi-final  !  IMG_0250 (back) L-R  Anmol Mattu, Kristie Sheils, Emma Nieuwenhuizen ..                front – Freya Szmidt, Brianna Ghali, with UC Athletic Director Christine Stapleton.   

CIS Final 8 Tips Off Thursday !

 

Connor Wood and the Carleton Ravens still have 'The Cup' until someone wrestles it away ! photo - Ravens Athletics

Connor Wood and the Carleton Ravens still have ‘The Cup’ until someone wrestles it away ! photo – Valerie Wutti, Ravens Athletics

1 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #1 –  Ravens on the way to another championship ?

#2 Carleton Ravens (OUA finalists) – The Ravens are  CIS champs for 11 of the past 15 years !  As such, there are many expert observers who suggest they are the team to beat again, here in Vancouver.  They lost a tight one to Ryerson, but that was at the Rams’ Carleton RMattamy Centre, and, if they were to see each other again in Sunday’s final this week, it’s on a neutral floor.
Meanwhile, they face another strong team in TRU, and it’s almost home turf for the ‘Pack, playing only a few hours drive from Kamloops.  With Interim Coach Rob Smart Jr. going 10 deep regularly, CU has experience, size, and the offensive pace and defensive intensity to take charge of a game very quickly.

Kaza Kajami-Keane is their floor leader at 6-1, and he’s a dynamic 2-way player, and a 1st team OUA all-star.
Guillaume Boucard, a 6-5 swing man, is  2nd team all-OUA, and 14.6 ppg / 5.5 rebs.
6-2 Gavin Resch, a senior leader, is a sharp-shooting guard,  with 10 ppg/ 45% from 3 pt range , while 4th year, Connor Wood is a big  6-4 guard, who has found  his shooting range of late, and can hit the open trey.
Carleton doesn’t figure to lose in the opening round, and should be considered a serious threat to ring up their 6th straight CIS title.

#7  Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack (Canada West finalists) – The Orange are breathing the rarified air this March, with their 1st appearance in a Canada West Final 4 and a trip to Nationals in their home province.  So, do they just ‘enjoy the trip’, or are they strong enough to stay with a team like the Ravens?

Coach Scott Clark had a veteran team, then added the muscular Ukrainian, Volodymyr TRU 'PackIegorov, to an already impressive set of forwards. Clark believes in this team, and has them playing extremely well, with a League record of 16-4, and win over UBC in  last week’s  CW Final 4. The Wolves are big, they shoot it well, and they have great court leadership from 5th year guard, Reese Pribilsky, and 6-11 ‘small-forward’ Josh Wolfram.

6-6 Gerard Gore has shown that he is ready to step up and fight it out inside with bigger opponents, and Iegorov has the size and strength to rebound and defend, but also the shooting touch from any range.
TRU will also need ‘best games’ from the likes of 6-5 Luke Morris and 6-2 rookie guard, Jeff Tubbs, if they are to keep it close.  Not an impossibility, but betting against the ‘Blackbirds’ is a ‘bum’s game’.


Unknown

Mike L’Africain, U. Ottawa’s OUA Player of the Year

3 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #2 –  Gee-Gees have the experience and the star-power

#3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (Wildcard team, 3rd in OUA) – The Gee-Gees have been vying with Carleton for Ottawa, OUA, and CIS honours for a few years now, and they’ve come up just short on many notable occasions. Coach James Derouin has one of the more experienced teams here, and will try and get the Ponies over that last hurdle with some outstanding seniors. Mike L’Africain was chosen the OUA player of the year,  can trigger a potent offense, and will hit the big shot.Ott G-Gs
Caleb Agada, the Gee-Gees’ all-Canadian forward,  missed 3-4 wks with an ankle injury, but has returned to form, and gives OU a cagey, tough, talented 2-way presence inside.  Agada is the top defender for Ottawa and the OUA defensive player of the year.
6-8, 4th year forward, Nathan McCarthy,  and 6-7, 2nd year, Brody Maracle   are ‘solid low post contributors’ (according to our Ottawa expert!) . Matt Plunkett is a 6-6 shooting wing man, who compliments L’Africain.

All three OUA teams are possible winners in this 2016 Final 8 Tourney, and they couldn’t be blamed for looking ahead to facing each other. Ottawa and Carleton, as they’ve done so many times recently, are on a collision course, with wins in the Q-finals, and we would flip a coin for that one.  But let’s give Dalhousie their due as AUS Champs, and don’t overlook them as a respectable opponent for the G-Gs.

Dalhousie Tigers (Atlantic Champions) – Dalhousie (according to our inside source in the Atlantic ) is a  … “tough,  quick, physical , and relentless squad. Nothing seems to phase them, and they seem to have been winning every close game in the AUS over the last season and a half .” Dal Tigers

Their Coach, Rick Plato, the AUS Coach of the Year, is in his 3rd season,  and took the Tigers to the Nationals  last year.  He was a CCAA Coach at Mount Saint Vincent for 25 years,  prior to joining Dal.

The Tigers change their defensive stripes throughout the game, with changeable alignments “ … including   3-2 and 2-3 zone,  full court 2-2-1 pressure , and a ‘kamakazie’ , denying, switching and trapping man defense they employ to disrupt and create turnovers in crunch -time.

Key players –  “ #22,  Kash Lawrence  is the  back to back AUS Tournament MVP , at 6’3”, he plays in the  paint with the shoulders of Dwight Howard ; he’s a great rebounder and finisher and tough as nails.”
“ #11 – Ritchie Kanza-Mata –  First Team AUS All Star,  and 2015 AUS Defensive Player of the Year; he  organizes his team and leads their pressure defense.”

“#7 – Sven Stammberger –  He is the most – improved player in the AUS this season, for sure;  had a 42 point game this year, and is their best 3 point threat from the ‘small-forward spot. “

“#12 – Jordan Acquino-Serjue, was the CEGEP MVP in 2015, and is AUS Rookie of the Year  this season. He is a solid defender and a  good pull- up jump shooter.”

The Tigers have had the ‘magic’ for the past 2 years in the Atlantic, but can they carry that into this tough match-up with an Ottawa team that was top-ranked going into the season last Fall, and who still look like contenders for the Championship here in March ?


 

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, Canada West's Most Outstanding Player photo- David Moll, UC

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, Canada West’s Most Outstanding Player photo- David Moll, UC

 

6 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #3 –  Two League champs with contrasting styles

#5 McGill Redmen  (Quebec League Champions) – Both Coach Dave Deaveiro, Cadet National Team Head Coach,  and RSEQ Coach of the Year, and some of his team have had experience in this Tournament. The Redmen played in the Final 8 in 2013 and 2014.
McGill is one of the best defensive teams in the country, employing a ‘grind- it- out’  style, McGill Redwith switching defences being a main weapon.  Our Eastern scout tells us , “ They’ll  do whatever they can to make opponents feel uncomfortable, including a 2-2-1 (full-court press) back to match-up 2-3 zone or man.”  Coach Deaveiro says, “It’s probably the deepest team I’ve had at McGill and probably the most athletic team, so we’re able to do a few things we haven’t done in the past.  It gives you some options for doing things, so you’re not as predictable.”
Key players –  #23, 6-4, 5th year, Vincent Dufort – RSEQ 1st Team All Star, “ … he’s their ‘point forward’, and can do everything.”  – 10ppg, 8rpg, 2nd on the team in assists – Team MVP !
#4 – Jenning Leung, 6-1, 3rd year – the point guard is the leading scorer , at 12 ppg, a solid 3pt. shooter.
#3 – Dele Ogundokun, 6-2, – RSEQ Defensive Player of the Year, he scores 10.5 ppg
#21 – Tychon Carter-Newman, a 6-3 guard, in his 5th year – A former Laurentian University stand out , he’s a strong presence on the wing.
#12 – Noah Daoust, 6-7, 230 – “Originally committed to the USA now a super-sub – 6’9″ and their best 3 point shooter – He finishes most games and is an X-factor for McGill.”

#4  Calgary Dinos  (Canada West Champions) –  Having won their last 16 CIS games, the Dinos have a lot  of momentum and confidence entering this Tournament.  Calgary has not played McGill, but had losses to Ottawa and UNB at Christmas, while the Redmen beat the Ponies and the Reds in October.

That lapse in time has seen Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren solidify a substitution pattern Dinos14which has the Dinos going 10-11-12 deep in every game, with more players taking on significant roles week after week. UC has a ‘starting 5’  of  point, David Kapinga, combo guard, Josh Owen-Thomas, swing-man, Thomas Cooper, forward, Lars Schleuter, and post man Matt Letkeman.
From there, it’s a steady flow off the bench for, combo guard, Johnny Verrone,  guard/forward Jasdeep Gill, rookie guard, Torrez McKoy, forward, Dallas Karch, and post men, Mitch Ligertwood, Matt Ellis, and Connor Foreman.
Key players –  The 4th year import transfer, Cooper, leaps up, with his Canada West best scoring – 25.8 ppg, to go with 7.5 rebounds, and several timely assists each game. Schleuter , the Canada West Rookie of the Year in 2015, is a 3 point sniper (44.2%) who scores 12.5 ppg, and has become a solid defender inside, and an aggressive rebounder.   Kapinga, who grew up in Calgary then moved to Kentucky for part go high school, ‘walked-on’ last Fall, and has been a prime factor in the Dinos run, with his quickness and strength.
Calgary can score in bunches , and will test the vaunted McGill defense.  Two League champs teeing off, and we expect a very close, hard-fought quarter-final.


 

 

5th year wing man, Aaron Best, is a driving force for the OUA champion, Rams.

5th year wing man, Aaron Best, is a driving force for the OUA champion, Rams.                         photo – Ryerson Athletics

8 pm (Pacific)  Quarter-final #4 –  Can the host T-Birds knock off #1 Rams?

UBC Thunderbirds (Host, 16-4 in Canada West regular season) – The T-Birds last held this Tournament in 1972, when they won the Championship under Coach Peter Mullins, at War Memorial Gym.  In the 4 team event, the ‘Birds beat Acadia 87-80 in the final.  More recently, they have appeared in 2013, 2011, and lost in the Final in both 2010 (Saskatchewan), and 2009 (Carleton).  (You could say Coach Kevin Hanson is hungry for a title, after having knocked loudly on the door!)  UBC will be tough at home, although this is a ‘new arena’ setting, and not their cozy old War Memorial.UBC T-Bird
Key Players –  Jordan Jensen-Whyte is a 4th year wing man, who has ‘bulked-up’ from his days at the point. Leads ‘Birds scorers at 15 ppg (3.1 assts) with his attack -the -hoop style.
6-8, Conor Morgan, is a potential game breaker, who can score from anywhere … 14.8 ppg, he leads the rebounding at 7.3 rpg.
6-4 point man, Phil Jalalpoor, has stepped in this season and is the leading 3 point shooter (42.1%), and very efficient in running the offense.
6-8 post man, David Wagner, is a potent inside scorer, averaging 12.5 ppg / 5.5 rebs
The Thunderbirds key will be to make it a ‘ground game’ vs the speedier Rams, and to control the boards, allowing their attack to dictate the pace.

#1 Ryerson Rams (OUA Champions) –  In winning the Ontario Wilson Cup for the 1st time in their history, the Rams beat an extremely deep field of competitors, including the 5 -time defending CIS champs, Carleton, in the final . With their gaudy 89.3 ppg scoring average (tops in the OUA), the Rams will happily engage UBC in an offensive fireworks display!  The Rams have won 16 of 17 games (Guelph ?!) since the holiday break, and have played a very tough schedule in doing that. Unknown
Coach Patrick Tatham, the Ontario Coach of the Year,  goes 10-11 deep, with 5 players averaging in double figures, and they limit opposition teams to a 37% FG average at the defensive end.
Aaron Best leads the Rams’ scoring at 17.8 ppg plus 7.4 rebounds, and is an OUA 1st team all-star
Anika Peter-McNeilly is a 6-3 guard, who scores 15 ppg / 5.5 rebs, and is also a 1st team OUA all-star.
Ammanuel Diressa – a tough, 6-4  competitor at the guard spot, he’s a 2nd team All-OUA … averaging 14.9 ppg, 5.3 rebs, 3 assists.
Kadeem Green , at 6-8, is a defensive stopper in the middle … 7 rebs and 2 blocks a game
Their confidence is way up there, and they are primed to go deep in this year’s Final 8 Tournament.


Overtime –

 

  • UBC Thunderbirds’ Head Coach, Kevin Hanson, on the impact of hosting the CIS Nationals at UBC,  “When you think about it, it’s absolutely amazing that the last time the event was held at UBC was over four decades ago,” said Hanson, whose team sat at No. 6 in the national rankings this week. “That is a phenomonal amount of time to pass when you are trying to build a brand for CIS basketball in this country.  So we have to share our love of basketball … and the Final 8 is a tournament that needs to be shared.”  Nice story from Howard Tsumura in The Province. 
  • Ryerson Rams star, Aaron Best, after they win the OUA championship for the 1st time in school history.  ”It’s big for the university, it’s big for all of us, it’s big for the alumni, the players who’ve played here, it’s a testament to all the work that everybody’s put in,” said Best standing on the court post-game with the OUA banner draped around him. “Just to see this come to Ryerson and to win it this way
    Ryerson Coach, Patrick Tatham

    Ryerson Coach, Patrick Tatham

    is a really good feeling.”  From the ‘Eh Game’ – Yahoo Sports 

  • J-u-u-u-s-t in case there’s any confusion as to the goals / expectations of the #1 ranked Ryerson Rams going into this week’s CIS Championship, here’s Coach Patrick Tatham’s take on it, “I think the guys want a different colour medal, something other than the bronze medal we got last year at CIS finals,” said the interim head coach “The guys are hungry and they’re definitely ready to go.”  From The Star, Toronto
  • Torrez McKoy , Dinos rookie point guard, on the experience of playing in Nationals early in his career, “Just getting the opportunity to play as a rookie is really special and I don’t take it for granted either,” said McKoy. “It’s awesome how we have a group of guys where everyone can come off the bench and contribute. We don’t just have six or seven guys deep; we usually have 10, 11 guys. It’s hard not to feel the pressure because it’s everyone’s first time. But after that first couple of minutes from the first game, it’ll be easy from there.”  From Rita Mingo, The Calgary Herald

Ravens Crush Huskies, Vikes Survive

 

 Ravens Fly High in Burying Saskatchewan

Phil Scrubb shows his All-Canadian form, with 31 pts vs Saskatchewan

Phil Scrubb shows his All-Canadian form, with 31 pts vs Saskatchewan

 game 1-   Carleton Ravens  90  Saskatchewan Huskies 50 –  The Carleton Ravens engage their vaunted defense, and the Huskies play like ‘Sled Dogs in the headlights’.  48-18 at the half, and the earth is already scorched around the U of S bench.  It’s tough if you’re Saskatchewan, because you get tighter and more frustrated as you watch yet another Phil Scrubb trey splash through the twine (The 5th year all-star guard is  6/8  from the outside after 20 minutes for 29 points).  72-39 at 3/4s, and it’s over the boards with the subs for Carleton, although Connor Wood remains and shows why he’s so highly regarded.

Carleton keep raining 3s, as U of S defenders aren’t on the ball, and the Huskies’ younger players enter the game, as time winds down on the pummeling. Phil Scrubb finishes with 31 points, with few minutes played in the 2nd half. “Shots just started falling”, says the Vancouver native in a succinct post-game interview. The Ravens hit 55% from the floor and 56% from long range, as Thomas Scrubb  adds 18 pts / 9 rebounds

The Huskies are a paltry 29% from the floor and 20% from 3 pt. range in the face of a withering Carleton defense; Ben Baker, with 11 pts/ 7 rebounds / 6 assists and Matt Forbes with 14 points/ 7 boards  give the most resistance for Saskatchewan, but it was  an un-nerving experience for the Canada West finalists, who now move on to a 2 pm consolation semi on Thursday.  Box Score

 

Vikes Survive Nervous Start Against Dalhousie 

 game 2 –  Victoria Vikes  58   Dalhousie Tigers  57 –  It was an exasperating 2nd

3rd year import, Grant Sitton, scores 19 off the bench to save UVic.

3rd year import, Grant Sitton, scores 19 off the bench to save UVic.  photo- Vikes Athletics

game, with a very passive  effort by the Vikes in the opening 20 minutes, and Dalhousie having some similar offensive jitters. The Tigers got strong play from their big man, Kashrell Lawrence, although his shakey foul shooting limits their scoring.  A  28-24 Dal lead at the half, after lots of subbing for the Vikes, with Hadyn Lejuene and Grant Sitton logging extra minutes. The angular Sitton cuts loose with a trey at the 3rd quarter buzzer to give the Vikes a 48-42 edge, after they get the juices flowing after the break.

This one always looked like it was going down to the wire, and, despite grabbing a 6 point lead with 40 seconds left, UVic manages to trail by 1, off a put-back by Dal’s Lawrence, and the clock was running out.  The ball goes inside to Chris McLaughlin, who had missed much of the 4th quarter with a bleeding knee, and he tries to go up, but is wrestled (step-over-toe-hold) to the floor by the Tigers’ Sven Stammberger.  An obvious intentional foul, which should have led to 2 shots and the ball … but, no … so Mclaughlin has to hit free throws to tie, then go up 1.

Dal's Kashrell Lawrence is the game high scorer, with 21 in a close loss.

Dal’s Kashrell Lawrence is the game high scorer, with 21 in a close loss.

The Tigers get a contested shot off at the end, but it falls short.  Vikes win, and will face the machine that is Carleton in one of Saturday’s semi-finals.

UVic shoots 40% to Dalhousie’s 35%  from the floor, and Sitton’s 3 treys get him to 19 points, which gets the Vikes a white-knuckle win. Marcus Tibbs had 16 pts/ 6 assists and hit 2 huge buckets down the stretch in the tense finish. Mclaughlin was held to 10 points, but grabbed 11 boards.  Dal had 21 points / 8 rebounds from Lawrence, and 14 pts/ 9 rebs by their young post, Stammberger, and the Tigers claimed 13 offensive rebounds, which kept them close at the end.  Box Score

 

 

 CIS Awards Reflect OUA Power

Ottawa's Johnny Berhanemeskel is the CIS Top Player for 2015

Ottawa’s Johnny Berhanemeskel is the CIS Top Player for 2015

The Ontario schools dominate the list of CIS award winners and All-Canadians, announced on Wednesday, much like they’ve owned the upper reaches of the Top 10 rankings for the whole season.  Johnny Berhanemeskel of Ottawa breaks the stranglehold of  Carleton’s Phil Scrubb on the Player of the Year trophy, but Thomas Scrubb keeps the family in silverware by repeating as Top Defensive Player.

Top Rookie, Top Coach as well. Chris McLaughlin, UVic, and Javon Masters of UNB join 3 OUA stars on the 1st All-Canadian Team. Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary and Tommy Nixon, UBC are 2 Canada West stars in their 5th year who get the 2nd Team honours.  Calgary’s Lars Schleuter, the CW Rookie of the Year, is a member of CIS All-Rookie team.

Here are the 2015 CIS AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS – 

Mike Moser Memorial Trophy (player of the year): Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa

Defensive player of the year: Thomas Scrubb, Carleton

Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy (rookie of the year): Johneil Simpson, Brock

Stuart Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (TIMEX coach of the year): James Derouin, Ottawa

Ken Shields Award ( academics & community service): Noel Moffatt, Memorial

All – Canadians – First Team

G Johnny Berhanemeskel Ottawa 5 Ottawa, Ont.

F Thomas Scrubb Carleton 5 Richmond, B.C.

F Chris McLaughlin Victoria 5 Oakville, Ont.

G Javon Masters UNB 2 Kitchener, Ont.

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is a 2nd Team All-Canadian

Dinos’ Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is a 2nd Team All-Canadian

G Philip Scrubb Carleton 5 Richmond, B.C.

All – Canadians -Second Team

G Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson Calgary 5 Winnipeg, Man.

G Jahmal Jones Ryerson 5 Mississauga, Ont.

G Tyler Scott UPEI 3 Halifax, N.S.

F Tommy Nixon UBC 5 Vancouver, B.C.

F François Bourque McGill 2 Terrebonne, Que.

CIS All-Rookie Team – 

Lars Schleuter, Calgary, is on the CIS All-Rookie Team

Lars Schleuter, Calgary, is on the CIS All-Rookie Team

G Johneil Simpson Brock 1 Toronto, Ont.

G Ben Miller Acadia 1 Winnipeg, Man.

G Lars Schlueter Calgary 1 Ulm, Germany

W Alexandre Leclerc Laval 1 Saguenay, Que.

W Luke Allin Wilfrid Laurier 1 Chatham, Ont.