Gaels gain comfortable win over Northwood

Queen’s 76, Northwood (NCAA D2) 57… In another sign that Head Coach Steph Barrie and program have turned the corner toward legitimate contention for a deeper playoff run, the Gaels raced out to a 24-7 lead and cruised to an easy win against the Timberwolves, an NCAA Division 2 team from Michigan that up until this afternoon was undefeated against CIS and OCAA teams.  Gaels went 2-0 in their pair of games vs. NCAA competition, also knocking off Morgan State Bears, an NCAA D1 team about a week ago.

The visiting Wolves came off a 20 point win last night in Kingston against Barry Smith‘s St. Lawrence Vikings and Gaels took advantage of the quick turnaround, getting 20 points from 6’6″ Tanner Graham, who has a chance at all-OUA honors this season.  6’5″ Jesse Graham and 6’4″ sophomore Vincent Wood added 14 apiece for Queen’s, which went with a rotation of just 7 players.  Gaels played without injured regulars 6’3″ Suhkpreet Singh and 6’10” Mike Shoveller and also did not have prized 6’3″ York U. transfer Richard Iheadindu, who is away on a family trip and due back in September.  Queen’s also will welcome an OCAA transfer from Canadore College, 6’3″ lefty combo guard Isse Ibrahim, originally from Toronto’s Don Mills Collegiate who averaged 14 ppg for the Panthers last season and was an OCAA all-rookie pick in his freshman season.  Ibrahim was not available today but is expected to find time at both guard spots.

Queen’s got a strong offensive performance from diminutive guard Sammy Ayisi, who had 13 points in the win and continues to improve as a rising OUA point guard.  The NCAA games have also fortified the growing role of 6’5″ wing Harry Range, originally from Kanata via Kiski Prep and the smooth shooting big guard again made his minutes count with 7 points and 6 boards – expect Range to have an immediate impact in the Gaels rotation going forward.

Coach Barrie was satisfied with his team’s effort given it is August and was impressed with the manner in which his group worked through the scout, as, thanks to the Western staff led by Brad Campbell, Queen’s was able to prepare for this tough opponent with some tape from Sunday’s game in London.

Queen’s will play their annual game against the SLC Vikings and also host the annual Frank Tindall tournament in mid October with a strong field including uOttawa Gee-Gees, Alberta Golden Bears and Memorial Sea-hawks.


Brock, McMaster win abroad

Behind 27 points from veteran Ryan Bennett and 16 from sophomore Tyler Brown, the Brock Badgers avenged a come-from-behind loss to UC-Davis with a 76-74 win over the Aggies yesterday in Costa Rica.  The win was the first for Brock on their tour of the Central America country as the Badgers prepare to return home to Canada.  Meanwhile fellow OUA program McMaster Marauders completed a five game tour of Taiwan going undefeated.  Marauders captured the tournament championship at the 2016 BLIA Cup tournament, defeating USA’s Cal Poly Pomona University (NCAA Division II) 69-58 in the tournament’s championship game.  McMaster guard David McCulloch was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while forward Connor Gilmore was selected a member of the All-Tournament team.  The tournament final was attended by 5,000 fans at the Kaohsiung Arena.

August 16,           65-62 win over University of Tsukuba (Japan)
August 18,           94-53 win over Hsing Wu University  (Taiwan)
August 19,           93-70 win over University of Santo Tomas (Philippines)
August 20,           108-81 semi-final win over Huaqiao University (China)
August 21,           69-58 championship win over Cal Poly Pomona (USA).

Marauders won the tournament without the services of 6’0″ guard Trevon McNeil who we are told has left the program.  Mac also lost to graduation three other rotation regulars including 6’4″ Leon Alexander, 6’4″ Aaron Redpath and 6’5″ Troy Joseph from last season’s group that lost at home to the Windsor Lancers in the OUA quarter-finals.

Northwood pulls away in 4th to defeat Western

Northwood 79, Western 64… The Timberwolves, a strong NCAA D2 program from Michigan, rode a game-deciding 26-5 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to an easy win late Sunday afternoon at Alumni Hall in London.  Western rallied from an early double digit deficit to grab a 52-51 lead on a bucket by 6’3″ Jedson Tavernier, a rising third year wing, but Northwood finished the quarter on a 7-1 run and then jumped out to a 19-4 rally to lead by 20 late in the fourth.  6’9″ redshirt freshman Alex Otzyv led the way with 15 points and 5 boards for the Mustangs while LeMoyne College transfer Eriq Jenkins added 10 points and 4 rebounds.  Mustangs are featuring numerous newcomers to their lineup which graduated at least 5 top-of-the-rotation guys from last season including 6’3″ Greg Morrow, 6’5″ Peter Scholtes, 6’3″ Tom Filgiano, 6’4″ Anthony Spiridis and reserve 6’1″ Elliott Dooley.  According to their Twitter site, Western will welcome back 6’4″ Cam Morris, who sat out last season after surgery – Morris did play in today’s game as did several other newcomers for the young Mustangs.

Badgers give up late lead, drop first of two to UC-Davis

UC-Davis 68, Brock 65… Leading until the final minutes, the Badgers made what Head Coach Charles Kissi described as “some offensive execution mistakes”, especially with under a minute to go in a tight loss to the Aggies, a Big West conference member.  Brock again was without 6’6″ Dani Elgadi, 6’5″ Johneil Simpson and key transfers 6’4″ Mo Ismail and 6’7″ Cassidy Ryan.  Brock generally defended well are were led in scoring by 6’6″ freshman Daniel Cayer, a power forward and 54th ranked player in the class of 2016 (as rated by NPH) from Montreal John Abbott, another notable newcomer to the Brock lineup this coming season, who had 17 points and 5 rebounds.  Veteran shooting guard Ryan Bennett added 15 in the loss.  The teams are scheduled to meet again tomorrow in Costa Rica.

Guelph fights back but drop contest to UB

Buffalo 84, Guelph 76…  The Gryphons got a 22 point deficit down to six but could not come any closer in dropping an 8 point game to the Bulls, the defending Mid-American conference champions and NCAA tournament participants.  Head Coach Chris O’Rourke for a second straight game worked with three 5-player rotations regularly.  Fourth year point guard Daniel Dooley had 19 points and was three of six from beyond. Incoming rookie point guard Jordan Sobot (Burlington Nelson) who attended prep school in Indiana prior to joining the Gryphs, also impressed as he racked up 12 points in 13 minutes of floor time, including a couple of three pointers.  UB was scheduled to play at York this afternoon at 12:30 PM ET.

Dominant 3rd quarter run leads McGill over D1 Knights

McGill 76, Fairleigh Dickinson 69… Redmen used a 20-2 early third quarter run to pull away from the NCAA D1 Knights, the defending Northeast conference champions from last season.  Redmen made five threes during the game-deciding stretch including a pair by sophomore Isaiah Cummins who is working well with impact freshman Greg Trahan, and helping the Redmen to feel much more confident about their point guard depth.  Cummins, who comes off an injury-plagued freshman season, was tried at the point for parts of last season however it appears his move to the “2” is now solid; yesterday, his slashing and improving perimeter “j” was on display playing the wing.  Still, the veteran trio of 6’8″ Francois Bourque (5 of his 9 points in the run + 11 rebounds), 6’1″ Jenning Leung (16 points including 4 3’s) and 6’8″ Noah Daoust (4-6 3’s, 12 points and 5 assists) provided much of the push as the Redmen comfortably handled an NCAA tournament participant that is returning virtually their entire team (McGill was again without 6’2″ Dele Ogundokun and 6’5″ Michael Peterkin).  Redmen jumped out to an early 9 point lead but the Knight clawed back to even by halftime and then scored the first 4 points of the third.  But strong perimeter “d” and deft shooting help McGill build a gap that remained comfortable virtually throughout – Redmen led by 15 with 7 minutes left.  McGill went a collective 14 for 37 from 3 against just 3-17 for FDU and Redmen had 14 offensive rebounds in what amounted to another strong showing by an RSEQ program vs. NCAA.


Weekend NCAA vs. CIS Action

A lighter schedule of games this coming weekend with two games on Saturday and 3 on Sunday beginning at 3 PM ET tomorrow as Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, the defending Northeast Conference champions out of Hackinsack, New Jersey travel to Montreal to meet RSEQ champions McGill Redmen.  FDU makes a short visit with just one other game against a non-CIS opponent.

Guelph Gryphons play one of their few remaining games at the historic and legendary Mitchell Athletic Center prior to moving into their brand new facility later this year, hosting Buffalo Bulls on Saturday at 7 PM.  The Gryphs lost a tight one to Northwestern State earlier this week, using all 15 players who dressed relatively equally.  UB are the defending MAC conference champions, defeating Akron Zips in the conference tournament championship last March before losing by 7 to ACC’s Miami Hurricanes by 7.

On Sunday, the Bulls move to North York to face York Lions for 12:30 PM ET start at Tait McKenzie while Western Mustangs host Northwood University Timberwolves, an NCAA Division 2 program that plays in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in Michigan.  Western, which has added numerous new faces to a team which lost meaningful talent to graduation, dropped a 17 point game earlier to Drury, a perennial D2 powerhouse earlier this month.  Also on Sunday in Costa Rica, Brock Badgers are scheduled to play the first of their two games against UC-Davis Aggies, an NCAA Division 1 program from the Big West conference.

Ravens land Top 100 prospect Ekiyor

In what can easily be considered as a watershed moment in CIS men’s basketball, 6’9″ Eddie Ekiyor, one of the top high school recruits in his class whether rated by ESPN, 24×7, Verbals commits or several others and previously committed to NCAA Division 1 Xavier, has decided to de-commit from the Musketeers and return home to his native Ottawa to suit up for the Carleton Ravens.  Ekiyor is in school, eligible immediately and presumably can suit up for the Ravens two remaining games against U.S. competition next Sunday (August 28th) and Monday August 29th against St. Thomas Aquinas, a top 5 NCAA Division II school in Sparkill, New York.  Ekiyor already has a rich background playing for Canada Basketball and representing our country in international basketball events, most recently at the “Basketball without Borders” camp where he teamed with fellow Canadians Jamal Murray, first round pick of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets this past June, and touted 6’6″ Justin Jackson who has committed to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Runnin’ Rebels in time for next season.

The addition of Ekiyor provides the Ravens with a physically imposing paint area presence that CIS fans have not likely seen possibly ever – the closest big man recruiting coup in the CIS that comes to mind is 6’9″ Eric Hammond (Scarborough Cedarbrae), who turned down numerous NCAA Division 1 scholarship offers to attend Guelph in the mid-1980’s and was a game changer in the post from Day One.  Ekiyor is potentially more impactful than any big entering the CIS given the plethora of international experience.  While Ekiyor has elite physical abilities and has shown strong potential as a rim protector and with parts of a complete offensive package, the ability for CIS coaches to work with their athletes on a daily basis without restriction no doubt played a role in Ekiyor turning to Carleton.

Ekiyor has a still-raw back-to-the-basket game and in general could improve immensely as a scorer.  Defensively, the Ravens will have even more flexibility guarding the ball screen – it is not difficult to imagine Coach Dave Smart switching some screens in the same manner than Tyronn Lue did with Tristan Thompson during this past NBA playoff (and also Team Canada in the Philippines).  While this makes the Ravens even more ridiculous in terms of the depth, talent, experience and quality, bigger picture:  if Ekiyor develops his skill set to become NBA ready, the ability for CIS programs to spend as much time as required as opposed to the restrictions imposed by NCAA will have a poster child that can be levered with numerous other Canadian athletes who today see only one path to basketball prosperity:  going south.


Fairleigh Dickinson Knights make quick visit to Montreal this weekend

In what will likely be one of the quickest visits to Canada by an NCAA Division 1 team ever, the defending Northeast conference champions and NCAA Division 1 tournament participants Fairleigh Dickinson Knights from Hillsdale, New Jersey (just north of Newark and New York City), will play only one game against a CIS opponent, this coming Saturday afternoon at 3 PM against McGill Redmen at Love Competition Hall.  Knights also play Brookwood Elite at Brebeuf College on Sunday.

The 2015-16 Knights won 18 games, a 10-win improvement over the previous year, and earned the #2 seed in the NEC Tournament by finishing second in the regular season standings.

The Knights defeated Saint Francis U in the quarterfinals and Mount St. Mary’s in the semifinals before going on the road to defeat top-seeded Wagner in the NEC Championship Game.

FDU was placed in the NCAA Tournament’s East Regional as a #16 seed, traveling to Dayton, Ohio to play in the First Four against fellow #16 Florida Gulf Coast.

The NEC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth were the first for FDU in 11 years.  The Knights last championship and NCAA appearance came in 2005.

Stay up-to-date with the Knights on their visit to Montreal by following and through social media @FDUKnights.

Dosado’s 28 lead Stingers over Florida A&M

Concordia 70, Florida A&M 68…  Brandon transfer and Montreal native Mikee Dosado had 16 of his game-high 28 points after the intermission as the Stingers knocked off their second consecutive NCAA Division 1 team with a two-point win over the Rattlers, who complete their tour of Quebec with a 1-3 record.  Stingers won despite making just 3 of 20 three-point shots – all by Dosado who also went a perfect 7 for 7 from two-point range and added 4 assists – primarily by holding the Rattlers to just 36% shooting.  The teams combined for 45 turnovers including Concordia’s freshman sensation 6’7″ Olivier Simon, who threatened a peculiar triple-double with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 8 turnovers.  Another Stinger freshman 6’1″ Henderson Charles had 7 points and 6 rebounds but made just 1 of his 6 second-half free throws, part of an 11-20 effort by Concordia from the charity stripe after halftime.  The young Stingers overcame an early 9 point deficit to move to 2-1 this summer in advance of a pair of games against highly-touted NCAA Division 2 side St. Thomas Aquinas next week.