Canada In the Final Stretch


Then and Now - Jay Triano, former playing star in the '70s-'80s, and now the Coach of the current National team

Then and Now – Jay Triano, former playing star in the ’70s-’80s, and now the Coach of the current National team


Team Make-up Reflects Big Changes

In 1980, Canada’s National Team finished 2nd in the Tournament of the Americas, and qualified for the Olympic Games in Moscow.  Political decisions made by Western countries, notably Canada and the U.S., prevented these athletes from participating in those Games.

On that Canadian Team ?

Tom Bishop (Calgary Dinos), Reni Dolcetti (UVic Vikes), Varouj Gurunlian (Laurentian Voyageurs), Howard Kelsey (Oklahoma St., Principia Coll.), Perry Mirkovich (Lethbridge Pronghorns), Ross Quackenbush (Saint Marys Huskies) , Romel Raffin (Calgary Dinos), Leo Rautins (Syracuse U.), Martin Riley (Manitoba Bisons), Doc Ryan (St. FX X-Men), Jay Triano (Simon Fraser Clan), Jim Zoet (Lakehead Thunderwolves) , Coach: Jack Donohue

NBS Rookie star, Andrew Wiggins headlines the Canada line-up.

NBS Rookie star, Andrew Wiggins headlines the Canada line-up.

Times have changed, and now we have another Canadian Team poised to play for a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, if they can win a semi-final game in Mexico City later this week. The players on this team include just 2 CIS grads, guard Phil Scrubb and forward, Aaron Doornekamp, both from Carleton U. 9 of the the other 10 players have NBA contracts.  How times have changed !

Canada has been on a 5-0 tear since losing their opening group game to Argentina in the FIBA Americas Tournament.  They face Mexico tonight (7:30 – TSN)  , and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday (1:30 pm – TSN) to finish round 2, and need at least 1 win to guarantee a spot in the Semi-Finals. The 2 Semi-Finals winners will qualify for Olympic berths.  Go Canada !



Overtime – 

  • Robbie Sihota signs with Hungarian League team -“I am excited to be joining a great organization in Budapest,” said Sihota. “I am looking forward to a new challenge in Hungary and a successful season.”Sihota joins a MAFC Budapest team that is looking to improve on a 6-24 record in last year’s regular season.“Robbie is the type of forward I love to have on my team,” said Stefan Timbus, MAFC Budapest Head Coach. “He is a hard worker on the defensive end, a good rebounder, and a solid scorer inside and out.”  More details from Slan Sports.


Can Canada Qualify ?



Phil Scrubb, from Vancouver and Carleton U., will play for Canada in Mexico City.

Phil Scrubb, from Vancouver and Carleton U., will play for Canada in Mexico City at the FIBA America’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

FIBA Americas – Canada’s Shot

Canada’s National team, complete with 2 former CIS stars, Phil Scrubb and Aaron Doornekamp, both from the Carleton Ravens, tips off on Tuesday in Mexico City against perennial S. American power, Argentina in game 1 of their quest to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.


The Canadians, with 9 NBA players on their roster, including 6-8, Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves), 6-3 point man, Corey Joseph (Toronto Raptors), and 7-0 Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics), were 4-0 in the Tuto Marchand Cup ‘warm-up’ competition in Puerto Rico last week, and expectations are high for their chances of securing one of the two qualifying berths for the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro next year.

The 10 teams in Mexico City play 8 games each in a 9 day span, with 4 semi-finalists emerging.  Canada will need to win one of those semi-finals  in order to guarantee an Olympic spot; the last time they qualified was for the 2000 Games in Sydney, Aus.   All Canadian basketball fans wish the team well in this attempt.

There is a good feature article by David Ebner in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, highlighting the growth of Basketball, particularly in the Greater Toronto area.  For the scheduled television coverage of the FIBA Americas Tournament on TSN you can click here. 


‘Horns in Australia

Brandon Brine travels back home to Australia with his UL teammates.

Brandon Brine travels back home to Australia with his UL teammates.

The U. Lethbridge Pronghorns, under Coach Mike Hansen, are currently in Melbourne, Australia and getting an early start on their Fall training camp.  Where else ?!  Without talking with Coach Hansen , we can only assume the ‘Horns made that long and costly jaunt to a.) build a better recruiting bridge to a rich source of young basketball talent, b.) give a nod to  5th year star Brandon Brine, an Aussie national, c.) lure more recruits with the promise of future exotic travel with the ‘Horns, d.) escape the choking smokey air which has invaded S. Alberta over the past week !

We assume that the Lethbridge players will all be back on campus for the September 9 school start.  Our man in ‘L.A.’ points out that the ‘warm weather junket’ over the Christmas Holiday break will be to the Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg. (About 60 C colder ….)


‘Tweaking’, ‘Strengthening’, ‘Major-renovation’

There are years where some Canada West teams are fortunate enough to be tinkering with a few line-up changes in order to stay very competitive in the standings. This past Spring and early Summer, however, have seen more than the usual number of changes, as key players graduate (or just leave for other reasons), and their spots need to be covered-off.

Alberta, for example, are without stalwarts Ken Otieno and Joel Friesen, who completed

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson's 20 ppg, floor leadership, rebounding, and assists will be tough to replace for UC

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson’s 20 ppg, floor leadership, rebounding, and assists will be tough to replace for UC.

their 5 years last March. So we see Coach Barnaby Craddock adding 5 recruits, including 5-9 point man Colby Jackson from Las Vegas and 6-2 guard D’Wan Williams from Toronto.  Calgary will be without the graduated All-Canadian, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, but signed another Winnipeg high school ‘phenom‘ in Torrez McCoy, a 6-0 QB on the court, who will compete for minutes at the point as a rookie.

But many more CW coaches have been faced with the more difficult assignment  of

Huskies Ben Baker was Canada West Defensive Player of the Year ... and he could score !

Huskies Ben Baker was Canada West Defensive Player of the Year … and he could score !

making more extensive changes in order to bolster their rosters. Saskatchewan lost Ben Baker, Dadrian Collins, Mike Scott, Andrew Henry, and Conner Burns, so Coach Barry Rawlyk adds import guard and California Junior College star Shawn Lathan , San Diego  among others. UBC, who will be the host team for the CIS Nationals next March, are trying to fill major gaps left with the absence of Tommy Nixon, Tonner Jackson, Brylle Kamen, and Andrew McGuinness. Coach Kevin Hanson has been successful in landing 6-3 guard Taylor Browne  from Surrey, BC, 6-8  Patrick Simon (Port Coquitlam), a transfer from Simon Fraser, and several other solid looking prospects.

The Manitoba Bisons had 3 players graduate; Stephan Walton, Wyatt Anders , and Amir Ali were all key team members, and Coach Kirby Schepp also saw the need for more roster changes. We see the results of some hard recruiting work in the addition of 7 new faces for the Herd …  2 imports – former Brandon CW Rookie of the Year, point guard Ilarion Bonhomme of Washington, DC, and 6-6  forward Raheem Tyner  from Minneapolis, who transfers from Iowa Western Jr. College. Others include 6-6 fwd Joey Nitychoruk, a Winnipeg native, who transfers from Lakehead, a pair of 6-5 Winnipeg high school grads in  Dharmjit Dhillon and Raj Sidhu.  UM also signed guard Saajan Arora from Cambridge, ON, and 6-9 post, Osahon Eghosa  from Ajax, ON who played at Colorado Northwestern Jr. College.

Wholesale changes in Brandon this Fall.

Wholesale changes in Brandon this Fall.

But the champions of the off-season ‘Reno Competition’ have to be the Brandon Bobcats and Coach Gil Chueng, who return just 4 players from their 2-18 squad of 2014-15, D.J. Jordan, Earl Thompson Jr., Ryan Hawley and Denham Buchanan.  Coach Chueng says that we will see 10 new roster players including several red-shirts and 5 new signings including 6-11 post John Paul, a Saint Lucia import, 6-3 shooting guard, Chris Stanhope , a transfer from Fanshawe College in Toronto,  and 6-7 fwd Tyler Anderson  from Langley, BC’s Walnut Grove HS.

Both Fraser Valley and MacEwan signed 6 new players, as both teams graduated significant contributors from their teams last Spring.  This may be the most active roster-turnover recruiting period in the last 10 years in Canada West .  We will have more details as we get into training camps in the next couple of weeks.


Simple Answer, It’s the Coach !


Ravens' Coach Dave Smart, in a typical pose.  A sense of urgency, and a drive for perfection.

Ravens’ Coach Dave Smart, in a typical pose. A sense of urgency, and a drive for perfection.

Why Does Carleton Keep on Winning ?

They have a Coach who is unlike any other in the CIS.  That’s the simple, and maybe the best explanation.  Dave Smart is driven, very well informed in coaching theory and practice, organized to the nth degree, and, most significantly, exacting in his quest for mistake-free play from his Ravens team.

Carleton's 'other Scrubb brother' was announced as the Ravens' Athlete of the Year!

Carleton’s ‘other Scrubb brother’, Thomas,  was announced as the Ravens’ Athlete of the Year!            photo- Ravens Athletics

Coach Smart develops players;  Thomas Scrubb, notably, was not a finished product when he arrived at the CU campus in Ottawa. The Vancouver-trained Scrubb was not, in contrast to his younger brother Phil, a starter and an all-star right out of the wrapper as a freshman. He played 10 mins/game, and averaged 3 pts/ 2 rebs.  But, like so many players Smart and his staff have ‘coached-up’ , Thomas became one the CIS’ very best.  Thomas was just awarded the Athlete of the Year at Carleton for 2014-15.


That’s the secret.  Carleton works year-round at getting their players developing the skills, both mental and physical.  There are no excuses, no let-up, and no time when your performance can be less than properly executed.  They are, indeed, losing some exceptional performers in the two Scrubbs, as well as shooting guard Victor Raso, but to expect the Ravens to slide too far down in the OUA or CIS power grid would be a mistake. They still have the Chief and Commander!

That may seem simple, but, obviously, Dave Smart does it differently and better than any of his coaching counter-parts.  And now, he also has the luxury of being able to choose the top talent from across the country.  Already this Spring, the Ravens have signed Ryan Ejim, a 6-6 transfer from York, who averaged 23 mins/ 14 ppg/ and 8 rebounds , Stanley Mayambo, a 6-2 point man from Fredericton, NB, William Kohler, a 6-9 forward from Winnipeg.  Our guess would be , that if Coach Smart is still at the helm, these guys may play for one of the future Carleton teams to lift the CIS Championship trophy.

For an interesting discussion of the state of affairs in the CIS read more  in this Ottawa Citizen article by Gord Holder.


More CIS Recruiting News –

In Canada West –

Alberta –  Cole Knudsen 6-7  Fwd from Barrhead, AB

Calgary – Torrez McKoy 6 -0 guard,  Grande Pointe, MB/MBCI

Mt. Royal – Nate Wall, 6-6 wing, Okotoks, AB,  Holy Trinity ;  Tyis Yellowhorn, 6-4 guard, Plikani Nation, Chestermere, AB

MacEwan – Chris Mooney, 6-3 point, Ottawa, transfer from NAIT

Winnipeg – Will Sesay, 6-3 guard, Winnipeg, Oak Park HS; Kieran McGrath, 6-4 fwd, Winnipeg, Glenlawn

Regina – Stephen Shields, 6-7 fwd, Brandon, tsf (volleyball) Keyano College

Saskatchewan – Devin Wittow, 6-6 fwd, Leduc HS, AB

UNBC – Anthony Hokanson,  6-4 wing, Vancouver, Kitsilano Sr.

Thompson R. – Jeff Tubbs, 6-2 point, Kelowna, Mt. Boucherie

UBC – Roger Milne, 6-8 fwd, Winnipeg, Oak Park HS; Taylor Browne, 6-3 guard, Surrey, B.C., Holy Cross; also, our ‘correspondent on the W. Coast’, Ice Man, reminds us tha 6-7 will Ondrik will suit up for the ‘Birds, afe

Victoria – Jason Scully, 6-5 fwd, Victoria, St. Michael’s;  Josh Charles, 6-5 fwd, Duncan, B.C., Cowichan Sr.

Elsewhere –

We note …   Zach Usherwood, 5-11 guard, Coquitlam, B.C. , who played at Thompson Rivers, is transferring to UPEI … that 6-6, Stefan Grujic, Regina, Leboldus (#1 ranked HS team in Saskatchewan) signed at York U.  … the brothers Cam and Ben Redl, both 6-7, from Yorkton, SK, transfer to New Brunswick


Overtime –

  •   The latest signing for the Winnipeg Wesmen lives just down the way from the UW campus, but Will Sesay, recently voted as Manitoba’s 2015 HS Player of the year,  went to high school at Oak Park, a 1 hour bus ride away.  More on Sesay, who is the younger brother of Junior Sesay, who plays at UVic, in this Winnipeg Sun article by Kirk Penton.
  •   UVic Coach Craig Beaucamp,  noting the power in Ontario basketball, and the  difficulties in matching that for Canada West schools, “We have a challenge in Canada West by the number of teams we have now [17] and getting the quality [players] needed to field [strong teams],” noted Beaucamp. –   “The OUA [Ontario conference] is deep and athletic,” said Beaucamp.  “It definitely had most of the strength in the country this year. But never mind the CIS, most of the Canadians going south [to the U.S. collegiate NCAA] are also from Ontario.”  From a Victoria Times-Colonist article by Cleve Dheenshaw.
  • Editors note –  Recruiting is even more critical than fans can imagine.  Carleton’s top 2 players, Phil and Tommy Scrubb, played for their Dad, Lloyd Scrubb, at Vancouver College, B.C.  Lloyd played for Ken Shields at U. Victoria , and won 3 CIS titles with the Vikes.  Losing the top players in their own home area is gut-wrenching for coaches, there in B.C., or anywhere else across the country.  It is literally the life-blood of their program leaking away … a bit of a dramatic image there, but oh so true.
  • A close observer of OUA basketball, our correspondent ‘Maravich’ suggests, ” 
    Ravens as bullies ….

    Ravens as bullies ….

    Truthfully, as great as the Scrubbs have been (and they’ve been magnificent) they really have taken the fun out of CIS basketball. Carleton’s average winning margin the last five championship’s is 28.7 points. During the Oz Jeanty 5 year run it was 7 points. Hopefully with their graduation the Ravens will become somewhat vulnerable.
    Because winning lots of championships is great for Carleton, it has been killing interest in the CIS for years. ”   (Editor’s note – Yeah Ravens, for the sake of all the rest of the poor wretches in the CIS, knock it off, would you!)

  • In Europe –  We get a disappointing report that former Dinos star, Ross Bekkering,
    Janelle Bekkering, playing for Alberta U-17s before Gonzaga, before Europe.

    Janelle Bekkering, playing for Alberta U-17s before Gonzaga, before Europe.

    who is in his 5th year in The Netherlands, has sustained a hand injury which may keep him out of the imminent NBL playoffs.  Meanwhile, his younger sister  Janelle is preparing for play-offs with Cavigal team in Nice, France.  Not surprisingly, ‘Super-Dad’, Simon Bekkering , will be traveling to Nice this Spring ! More CIS athletes every year are going overseas to play pro basketball.  In the semi-pro ranks, Coach Eddie Richardson tells us that the Calgary Crush of the ABA are in Seattle this weekend, in the opening round of League playoffs.  The Crush have a line-up full of CIS grads, including UC’s Tyler Fidler, Ottawa’s Jermaine Campbell,  Christian Upshaw, St. FX, John Riad, Calgary, and Dom Coward, Lethbridge.



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.


Carleton – Ottawa in CIS Final


Phil Scrubb was hot again, as Carleton beats Victoria for a shot at 5 straight CIS Championships.

Phil Scrubb was hot again (29 points) , as Carleton beats Victoria for a shot at 5 straight CIS Championships.    Photo – Greg Campbell



 Championship Semifinal # 1 –  Carleton 83  Victoria 74  –   The result was not unexpected, but the Vistoria Vikes could be excused for taking some satisfaction in how they played in coming back in the 4th quarter after falling behind by 27 points early in the 3rd quarter.  The Vikes were 40-22 from that point on, as their shots started to fall, and they had far more luck against the Ravens defense.

Rebounding totals had Carleton way out front 46-30, and that hurt the Vikes, plus the defending champs hit 46% from the floor/ 44% from 12 made 3s.  The Ravens had 29 pts, 8 rebs/ 13 assists from Phil Scrubb, as the Vancouver native, in his 5th year, has had 2 stellar games in trying to help his team to a 5th straight CIS title.  Victoria got a great effort from point man, Marcus Tibbs, who scored 27 points and added 9 assists, while Chris McLaughlin scored 14 plus grabbing 10 rebounds, and Reiner Theil went 4/5 from 3 point range for 16 points.

The Vikes head to a 3rd place game on  Sunday at 12:00 noon Eastern vs  the hosts, Ryerson Rams, while Carleton has Ottawa in the 3:00 pm Final.  Box Score


Championship Semifinal # 2:   Ottawa  84  Ryerson 75  –   In an exciting and see-

Ottawa heads to another championship game with Carleton.

Ottawa heads to another championship game with Carleton.

saw affair in a jammed Mattamy Centre, the Gee-Gees  make a strong 2nd half comeback for a berth in the Championship Final. It was 45-36 Rams at the half, but the Ponies erupted for 48 in the 2nd as Ryerson went cold. A 25-12 3rd quarter set the Rams back on their heels, and the Gee-Gees finsihed strong after Ryerson made a late run.

It was a strong game from Vikas Gill with 18 points / 5 rebs, and a big 2nd half for CIS MVP, Johnny Berhanemeskel ( 20 points/ 4 rebs/ 3 assts)  which put Ottawa over the top. The Gee-Gees hit 22/37 free throws to 11/15 for the Rams, and that spelled the eventual difference in this one. Adika Peter-McNeilly was tops for Ryerson with 17 points, and Jordan Gauthier scored 14.  Ryerson’s all-star guard  Jahmal Jones (2 pts)  could not get anything going, and that hurt the Rams’ attack.  So it’s 3rd/4th for the home team, and another All-Ottawa fInal, as the Gee-Gees get a crack at ending Carleton’s stranglehold on the Cup.   Box Score


Dadrian Collins  (27 points) leads Saskatchewan to a 5th place win over Windsor.

Dadrian Collins (29 points) leads Saskatchewan to a 5th place win over Windsor.

5th-place game –  Saskatchewan 99  Windsor 94 –  Putting a tough 1st round loss behind them,  Saskatchewan  got the flow going on offense, and, led by 29 points from Dadrian Collins they won their 2nd straight in the 5th place game victory over the Windsor Lancers.  A nice 32 point explosion in the 2nd quarter staked the Huskies to a 46-34 edge at the  break, which they surrendered to a furious 34 point Windsor response in the 3rd.  Free throws were big in the win, as the Dogs hit 23/29 vs 17/25 for the Lancers.  Ben Baker finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists in his final game for the U of S. The Lancers were paced by 21 from Khalid Abdel-Gabar and 18 plus 10 rebounds by Rotimi Osuntola.  Box Score


Sunday, March 15 – the 3rd Place game  goes at 11:30 and the Championship Final at 3 pm  (Eastern time) both are on TV  – Sportsnet 360 & ONE / and on streaming video, which is pay per view ?   (So why not watch TV ?)



In the Friday, March 13 – Consolation Semis

Big 32 point game for Evan Ostertag as the Huskies move on to the Consolation final.

Big 32 point game for Evan Ostertag as the Huskies move on to the Consolation final.              photo – U of S Athletics

 game 5 – Saskatchewan 90 Dalhousie  79  –  Evan Ostertag hit for 32 points. 4 assts/ 4 steals, leading the Dogs, who shot 52% from the floor, and doubled Dal 49-25 on the boards.  dadrian Collins matched Ostertag’s 5/11 from 3 pt range, as he scored 21 for the Huskies.    Sven Stammberger was magic for Dalhousie, as the 2nd year post was 13/16, 5/6 from 3, and 34 points. U of S plays Windsor on Saturday ‘s  Consolation Final for 5th place.   Box Score

 game 6 –  Windsor  91  Bishop’s  80  –  Both teams were near 50% from the floor, as offense seemed more fun at this stage!  6 Lancers in double figures, with Alex Campbell and Rotini Osuntola hitting 13 each. Bishop’s had a 29 point/ 8 rebound effort from big Mike Andrews.  Box Score 


Overtime –

  •   Coach Roy Rana, Ryerson Rams, on his feelings about his team reaching the Nationals as the host. “ For myself, I have a vested interest in the tournament just as much as I have vested interest in our team performing. I want to see this be a real success for Toronto, it’s something I take great pride in. It’s a little taxing but I’m going to work hard on both ends. I’m not complaining. “  “This has been a very, very special season for this team. It’s a special, incredible group of young men that have matured nicely and I loved every minute of it. I’m glad that the vision I had, the possibilities, it’s finally come together.” From a story in North Pole Hoops by Ray Bala.
  •   Saskatchewan Coach, Barry Rawlyk, understandably disappointed after Thursday’s 1st round loss to Carleton,  “It’s very disappointing because I don’t think we put our best foot forward,” said Rawlyk. “Carleton’s a very strong team  … we didn’t do ourselves any favours.  Now we’ve got to reload and get prepared to play (Friday in the Consolation semi) and hopefully we play a little better.”  (Editor’s note … the Huskies did just taht with 2 wins and a 5th place finish … good season for Coach Rawlyk and his team).



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.


Visitors Sweep on the Prairies


Sweeps Are the Order of the Night in the Pioneer

The Bears' Ken Otieno is clutch in another close win over Winnipeg.

The Bears’ Ken Otieno is clutch in another close win over Winnipeg.

Alberta  63  at Winnipeg 62  –  So close, but no joy for the Wesmen, who get another late attempt by Mark McNee for a win, but this time it’s blocked, and Alberta gets a big sweep to move to 6-5.  Winnipeg slide to 5-5 with 2 frustrating home defeats, after they rally in the 3rd quarter for a 51-48 lead, but cool off in the 4th. . 4 starters in double figures for Alberta, led by 17 and 11 boards by Ken Otieno, and 18 points from Youssef Ouahrig including 4/6 treys. McNee’s 16 is tops for Winnipeg.   Box Score

Victoria 85  at Manitoba  55 –  We’re checking the Vikes-Bisons after finishing the Carleton-Ottawa game … 69-35  after 3 ?!  Grant Sitton hits 7 in a row?  Grant Sitton?  This is going to leave big skid-marks all over the Herd.  No prisoners by the dominating Vikes who sweep the series to go 8-2 for the season, and into 2nd spot in the Pioneer Division.  Chris McLaughlin leads UVic with 23 points / 9 rebounds, while Marcus Tibbs has a very impactful 15 pts/ 8 assists / 6 boards. The shell-shocked Bisons hit just 29% from the floor, and are more than 25 points under their scoring average. Andre Arruda has 11 and Wyatt Anders 10 for Manitoba. (8-4)   Box Score

# 10 Saskatchewan 90  at Brandon  82 –  The Huskies score 57 points in the 2nd half to earn the sweep, and are now 6-4, while the ‘Cats are deep in the cellar at 1-11. 23 points from Dadrian Collins,  22 from Mike Scott, 17 by Connor Burns , and 16 from Matt Forbes.  Kenonte Ramsay has a game-high 30 points for Brandon. 21 Saskatchewan turnovers hold the Bobcats in the game for 35 minutes. Box Score

UBC 91  at Lethbridge  69 –  The T-Birds are in in full flight, with 5 straight wins and counting, as they even their record at 5-5, while dropping the ‘Horns back to 5-7.  UBC hits 52% from the floor for the 2nd night running, as Tommy Nixon scores 21 and adds 9 rebounds.  He gets help from Tonner Jackson and Andrew McGuinness who notch 15 each.  Lethbridge cannot keep pace, with Jared Baker their best at 15 pts , but he has 6 turnovers. Box Score

Regina 96  at Trinity Western 81   –   A 56 point Regina bombing in the 2nd half buries TWU, who fall to 1-11. The Cougars, now 7-5, shoot 56% from the field, and are paced by 28 points from Jonathan Tull and 19 by Travis Sylvestre. The Spartans have a 7 point lead at the break, but can’t get control in a sloppy 2nd half for both squads. Kelvin Smith has 18 and Justin Bakuteka 16 for Trinity.  Box Score


Fraser Valley Still Unbeaten in the Explorer Division –

Big 30 point night from Dominique Brooks helps UFV past Mt. Royal on Saturday.

Big 30 point night from Dominique Brooks helps UFV past Mt. Royal on Saturday.

# 9 Fraser Valley  89  Mt. Royal 72  –  UFV  (10-0) produces one of their top offensive games of the season, hitting 50% from the floor, and winning their 24th straight League game. The Cascades get 30 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists from Dominique Brooks, plus 28 points from Nate Brown.  MRU (4-6) gets 13 each from James Lefebvre and Deng Awak. Box Score

at MacEwan  87  UNBC  89   –  After tying the opening 20 minutes, it’s an offensive explosion, with the visting T’Wolves seizing the win with a 52-50 edge in the 2nd half. Import guard, Rhys Elliot, scores 25 points to spark UNBC (4-6) , and  Devin McMurtry adds 14 pts / 10 rebounds.  29 pts from Lee Danderfer and 24 from Denzel James, plus team FG% of 53% isn’t enough for Mac (4-6). Box Score

 at Thompson Rivers  88    UBC-O  53  –  For the 2nd straight night, the ‘Pack (6-4)  feast on  their visitors, as they blitz UBC-O 33-7 in the 3rd frame. Brett Rouault again leads TRU with 18, and Brett Parker adds 16.  The Heat (2-8) commit 24 costly turnovers; Austin Penrose is their high man with 11.  Box Score


Top Teams Do Battle in the OUA

#2  Gee-Gees  68   # 1 Ravens 66 –    A floating, step-through 12 footer by Johnny  Berhanemeskel with 5 seconds left proved the winner, as Thomas Scrubb’s attempt to tie for the Ravens on a contested 6 footer rang off the front iron.  So we will have a new # 1 on Tuesday in the CIS Top 10.  Carleton made a big 4th quarter turnaround to put the game in  doubt, after Ottawa looked in control after 3. The Gee-Gees got 21 from Johnny Berhanemeskel and 17 pts / 10 rebs. by Caleb Agada.  The Ravens had Phil Scrubb lead the late come-back and tally 26 pts for the game.  Thomas Scrubb scored 15 and grabbed 13 boards for Carleton.  Box Score

# 3 Ryerson  98  # 4 McMaster  78 –  Because we know they’re going to play as the host of the CIS Final 8, and we see the way they finish off the #4 McMaster Marauders with 32 points in the final frame, we lift the Rams to the exclusive ‘Top 3’.  That’s 3 teams that have separated themselves from the trailing pack.  62% from 3 point range will increase your point spread, and Aaron Best’s 6/7 from deep gets him to 30 points.  The Rams shoot 52% from the floor to 43% for Mac.  Aaron Redpath is the high man for Mcmaster with 20.  Box Score


More CIS Scores Saturday – 

# 8 UNB 107  Saint Marys 76 , UPEI  94   Dalhousie  89,  Cape Breton  Memorial,         Acadia 77 St. FX 67

McGill 62  Bishops  59

Guelph 74  Laurier 56  ,  Laurentian  85 Queen’s  76  ,  York 76 Nipissing  47,

Waterloo 73   Algoma 70 ,  Lakehead  86  Brock 79


Overtime –

  • From our man in L.A., the redoubtable David Wells … the Pronghorns added 6-7 post, Alexi Frigon, who returns to the ‘Horns after time away.  He fills a spot in the rotation left open by the season-ending injury to 2nd year forward, Tyson McIntyre, who had knee surgery in mid-December. Lethbridge  ( 5-7) has now lost 5 straight in Canada West play. Also DW tells us, from a UBC source, Brylle Kamen has been out with an arm issue, but after a ‘clean-up procedure’ the 6-7 post man should be back for the T-Birds.
  • You know your basketball team is mired in the cellar, when the legendary Bobcats Coach (now Canada West TV colour man), Jerry Hemmings,  and the BU play-by-play guy start  discussing the relative win-loss records of the Brandon – UBC Women’s Volleyball Teams.  Guys ! Please !  Stay focused … do I remember you two talking about the Annual Western Manitoba Curling Playdowns during a game time-out last winter.  Stop yourselves.



Top 2 CIS Teams Square-Off


Ottawa senior guard, Johnny Berhanemeskel, will draw extra attention from Carleton defenders.

Ottawa senior guard, Johnny Berhanemeskel, will draw extra attention from Carleton defenders in Saturday’s showdown between the #1 and # 2 teams in the CIS.


Gee-Gees Host Ravens in Cross-Town Heavyweight Match

Carleton and  Ottawa meet this Saturday night at Monpetit Hall, the home court for the #1 and 2Gee-Gees, which seats around 800 fans, so will be a very intimate theatre for this ‘Game of the Year – Part 1”. The familiar surroundings should help the ‘Ponies’, but how do the hosts decide which 25 Ravens fans get admission ?  The Ravens hold the CIS title, having beaten Ottawa 79-67 in last March’s final.  The Gee-Gees did claim the OUA title, with a 78-77 win the week prior to the Final 8, but haven’t beaten Carleton in a regular season game since there was ice skating on the Rideau Canal.

# 1  Carleton –   Phil Scrubb – 17.6 ppg/5.6 asst, Thomas Scrubb – 18.8 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 4 asst., Connor Wood – 11 ppg / 3 asst

# 2  Ottawa – Johnny Berthanemeskel – 23 ppg/ 61% FG/ 4.8 asst, Caleb Agada – 16.4 ppg/ 8.5 rebs / 3.1 asst, Mike L’Africain – 11 ppg / 4.2 asst

From ‘Johnny B’, the Gee-Gees 5th year scoring ace,   “I think all of us wish we could play them on home court at least once every year, so taking advantage of our home court will be important,” said Berhanemeskel. “We haven’t played them in a while, team dynamics have changed on both sides so it will be key to prepare for those changes while maintaining our style.” (From CIS News)

Is there home court magic this time for Ottawa ?   watch on OUA TV … 7 pm Eastern.

(Carleton and Ottawa will play the return bout on Feb. 6 – The 9th Annual MNBA Capital Hoops Classic at the  Canadian Tire Centre.)


Other CIS match-ups this week –

Tuesday –  a big last second win for St. FX at home … X-Men 67  Cape Breton 66

Weds. in the OUA  / Quebec –  at # 4 McMaster  85   Laurier  75,   # 3 Ryerson  92 at Toronto 68  …  Laval  79 at UQ-Montreal 63

Thursday / Friday Games – Dalhousie at UPEI, Saint Marys at # 8 New Brunswick …  Bishops  at McGill,  UQ-Montreal  at Laval … Western at # 5 Windsor, Nipissing at Queens, Brock at Lakehead, Laurentian at York, Algoma at Waterloo

Saturday –

Dalhousie at UNB, Cape Breton at Memorial, St. FX at Acadia … McGill at Bishops … Laurier at Guelph, Laurentian at Queens, # 1 Carleton at  # 2 Ottawa, # 4 McMaster  at # 3 Ryerson, Brock at Lakehead, Nipissing at York, Algoma at Waterloo

Sunday – Cape Breton at Memorial


Overtime –

  •   Joe Scanlon, veteran Carleton Ravens chronicler, fills in some gaps for us about Saturday’s ‘Big Game’ – Apparently the tickets went on sale early in the season, and keen Ravens’ fans snapped them up on-line, so Carleton will have their supporters at Montpetit Hall. Over the break, Coach Dave Smart had his team , as is their custom, down in Florida for 2-a-day workouts and a few ‘scrimmages’ with local teams.     Carleton copy 2                                                           Joe tells us that Ottawa has now added Alex Ratte, a transfer shooting guard from Laurentian, to the active roster.  (“ … another three-point shooter on a team already packed with three point shooters”,  suggests Joe.) He points out that these squads may well face each other 4 times in the next 2 1/2 months – 2 OUA League games, Wilson Cup, and, maybe, in the CIS Final 8, again.  Scanlon, like many observers feels that these are the 2 best CIS teams, hands-down.  Being a ‘Blackbird fanatic’ as well as a prolific CU basketball writer, he also has understandable faith in Coach Smart’s ability to have his Ravens ready for the really big games.
  • Fraser Valley’s Sports Information guru, Dan Kinvig, reminds us that the 8-0 Cascades have a 22 game win streak in regular season Canada West play. Their last loss?  To this week’s visitors, the  Mt. Royal Cougars , 62-60  on November 15, 2013.
  • One of our faithful readers, the ‘Ice Man’ from B.C.,  points out that Douglas College, a top 10 CCAA team, beat UBC-O (57-53) in a game in Kelowna last week.  Then, the Heat turned around and waxed the Red Deer College Kings 92 – 61 later on the weekend. Here we go –  Coach Peter Guarasci’s 2-4 Heat beat MacEwan once and Mt. Royal once.  Well, in the Fall, Mt. Royal beat Alberta 67-48.  Alberta (4-5) have beaten Winnipeg (5-3), #6 Victoria (6-2) , then UVic  beats Alberta twice in League play … you know where this leads, yes?