Coming off a lacklustre defeat at the hands of Windsor at St. Denis Center on Wednesday night, #5 Ryerson Rams have another stern test tonight in London facing #8 Western Mustangs and their emerging All-Canadian candidate Greg Morrow. Under interim Head Coach Patrick Tatham, the Rams are playing faster and emphasizing the 3 ball aggressively in the early going.
Ryerson welcomed back 6’5″ lefty all-conference wing Aaron Best on Wednesday which should help their perimeter shooting. Best came off the bench to play 24 minutes and knocked down a pair of 3’s as part of his 12 point, 6 rebound performance but did turn it over 6 times, part of 23 Ryerson turnovers – likely a consequence of trying to play so fast.
It will also be interesting to see who Tatham uses on the slick, strong Morrow, an able scorer in the low post as well as facing up – my guess is that long, athletic 6’7″ Jean-Victor Mukama will get ample possessions guarding Morrow. A recent story in the “Eyeopener”, Ryerson’s student newspaper, described Mukama’s classic practice battles with Bruno Caboclo, Toronto Raptors first-round pick from 2014; let’s see how those experiences might translate vs. the Mustangs star.
McMaster Marauders and Brock Badgers each travel to play a pair of inter-division games against two potentially-difficult opponents in York and Queen’s. Marauders hope to have 6’7″ Connor Gilmore, who injured an ankle about 10 days ago, back in the lineup but will do without 6’2″ fifth-year guard Adam Presutti who will not play the remainder of this season due to a concussion. Mac also has had to play without star post 6’4″ Rohan Boney recently. Mac is at Queen’s tonight while Brock travel to Tait McKenzie Gym to face York Lions in a game that features a plethora of explosive athletes. Note that York’s oft-injured 6’5″ Daniel Tulloch missed the Lions thrilling OT win at Laurentian last Saturday night in Sudbury. In that game, exciting 6’3″ guard Shane Reader authored a 28-point, 10-rebound, 9-steal and 9-turnover stat line. Reader is likely to put a ton of pressure on Brock’s younger set of guards; recall that 5’11” freshman Tyler Brown (Hamilton Cardinal Newman) has taken the bulk of the minutes at the point for Brock as third-year guard Nolan MacKenzie battles an ankle injury.
Key games in Canada West include UBC at Saskatchewan and Calgary at UVic where the Vikes are bouncing back strong from a tough start in the pre-season, flashing their normal tough “d”.