Hopefully, most/all were able to find this new site after blog.com mysteriously stopped working as the message “504 Gateway Time-out” is embedded in my brain. I made the strategic business decision 🙂 to move to wordpress which appears much more reliable so thanks for your patience. In the mean time, after a 72+ hour absence, the old site seems to also work but any new posts will be published here.
My take on the latest CIS Top 10 including games up to and including Sunday, 22nd November 2015.
#1 McGill (10-1, 3-0) (LW #2)… Redmen were dominant at home against Concordia, stifling the Stingers defensively and running their offense with general precision. Two nights later against a rested UQAM team playing at home, McGill again locked down defensively against an improving Citadins team, bouyed by the return of 6’10” 260 lbs. Rudolphe Joly, a legit 5 man who will create issues for teams. McGill can go 11 deep and their first 9 are collectively as good as any team in the country. Redmen have given up less than 60 ppg in winning their first 3 – their win at Ottawa and their only loss – at Ryerson by 3, their 3rd game in less than 48 hours against a fresh Rams squad solidifies their #1 ranking in my opinion. Next game is in two weekends at home vs. Laval (Redmen are idle next weekend).
#2 Ottawa (13-1, 5-0) (LW #4)… The Gee-Gees move to #2 after hammering Algoma while Carleton struggled until very late to put away the Thunderbirds. Ottawa welcomed back 6’6″ MacKenzie Morrison to the lineup on Saturday after the sophomore suffered a shoulder injury in August against Baylor. The athletic Morrison should see time as the 8th or 9th man in this strong rotation.
#3 Carleton (10-1, 5-0) (LW #3)… Ravens struggled to put Algoma away, leading by only 5 points with 5 minutes left in the fourth. 6’2″ Kaza Keene remains the underlying key. Both Carleton and Ottawa have tough, important home dates next weekend, hosting #8 Western and Windsor (Honorable Mention).
#4 Brock (10-1, 3-1) (LW#1)… Badgers gave up a comfortable lead on Saturday night in Kingston trying to close out a second consecutive win on the road but could not get it done, losing to Queen’s by 6. Brock was whistled for 23 fouls against 12 for the hometown Gaels including taking 9 of the 10 fouls called in the pivotal fourth quarter. Brock hosts Lakehead for a pair of games next weekend including the Saturday game at the new Meridian Center in St. Catharines where a crowd of 2,500+ is expected.
#5 Ryerson (8-2, 4-1) (LW #5)… Rams welcomed back 6’5″ Aaron Best in time for Wednesday’s loss at Windsor during which their 3 point shooting deserted them. Ryerson rebounded to shoot 15 for 27 from three-point land and 60% from the floor overall to hammer Western on Saturday afternoon. 6’9″ J.P. Kambola missed both games – he was hurt early in Rams win over Mac about 10 days ago. Rams remain a dangerous, potentially-explosive team. In another of the head-scratching scheduling quirks, neither Ryerson or Toronto play another league game until the New Year.
#6 Calgary (10-3, 4-2) (LW #9)… Even though Dinos split on the road – losing Friday in overtime before handing UVic their first Canada West regular season loss of the season on Saturday, their early-season performance allows them to move up in my opinion. American Thomas Cooper and Calgary native and U.S. prep school transfer David Kapinga – who missed the pair of road games last weekend at Manitoba – lead the way but this team can go 8 or 9 deep and have played two tough opponent on the road. Calgary gets #7 UBC at home for a pair next weekend before a single game at home vs. Alberta on December 5th completes the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule.
#7 UBC (8-2, 5-1) (LW #10)… The Birds took care of business winning a pair of road games in Saskatoon against a depleted Huskies lineup. But at 5-1 the Birds are tied for first in Canada West Pioneer? Division. 6’8″ Connor Morgan’s game-tying 3 with 2 seconds left in regulation tied Saturday’s game and another 3 by Morgan gave T-Birds the lead for good in OT. UBC is at #6 Calgary next weekend to complete the first half.
#8 Western (8-2, 3-2) (LW #8)... Mustangs rebounded this afternoon with a dominant home win against U of T after the sizzling #5 Ryerson Rams shot 60% including 15-27 from 3 on Friday night right in Alumni Hall against what had been a strong Western defensive team. Those who doubt whether or not Western should be a consistent, legitimate Top 10 team this season get an opportunity for some stronger evidence as the Mustangs travel to #2 Ottawa and #3 Carleton this coming weekend.
#9 UPEI (10-4, 4-0) (LW NR) Panthers are the only undefeated team in the AUS and come off a pair of convincing wins at home vs. Cape Breton. Friday’s win came without the services of Atlantic Canada’s top offensive talent in 6’3″ Tyler Scott who came back off the flu to score 33 points on Saturday as Panthers completed the sweep. What hurts the Panthers in my mind are losses to Western (down by as many as 22 points late in that game) and the neutral-court loss to Laval, although Scott was also unavailable for Rouge et Or and a pre-season OT loss to Saint Mary’s. Panthers also lost by 12 at Concordia. But definitely a team that can score in bunches and a favorite out east, deserving of a Top 10 ranking at this point in the season.
#10 Concordia (9-4, 2-1) (LW: #7) Stingers rarely threatened at McGill on Thursday night but this is a deeper, more organized group with talent 1 through 4 spots and after their strong pre-season – one of only a few teams that took to the road to challenge top competition – a spot in the Top 10 remains reasonable in my opinion. Concordia hosts Bishop’s next Saturday afternoon at the Beehive to complete the first half. Strong deliberation whether or not Mac, after their strong weekend (see below) should have been in this spot.
McMaster (8-3, 4-2) (LW HM)… After a tumultuous last couple of weeks, the Marauders authored a pair of solid road wins in tough places, defending when needed and taking advantage of their smallish lineup to play in transition. 6’4″ Rohan Boney returned for both games although was noticeably affected by a left knee injury while 6’3″ Aaron Redpath had his best game of the season at Queen’s with 20 points. 6’7″ Connor Gilmore remains out while 6’2″ Adam Presutti will not return this season after a concussion injury sidelined him. McMaster hosts arch-rival Guelph on Saturday afternoon at 3 PM to close out the first half of their OUA regular season.
Dalhousie (8-3, 4-2) (LW #6)… Extremely disappointing week for the Tigers who did not show up in their mid-week showdown with Saint Mary’s and then struggled before almost coming back at Acadia. While Tigers were without 6’5″ William Yengue, this group should be deep enough and defend/rebound well enough to overcome his loss.
Windsor (7-4, 4-1) (LW NR)… Lancers big win over #5 Ryerson at home during which Windsor slowed down Rye’s transition game and 3 point shooting merits some consideration despite 4 losses. Windsor also got it done late despite being on the ropes on Saturday afternoon against a valiant U of T team. Observers will get a better look at how deserving this mention is next weekend as the Lancers travel to Ottawa for games against #3 Carleton and #2 uOttawa Gee-Gees.
Others considered: Thompson Rivers (6-1, 5-1) LW HM, Lethbridge (7-2, 3-1) LW HM, Victoria (7-5, 5-1).