AUS 2016-17 Pre-Season Forecast

CIS/U-Sport Final 8 returns to historical home of Halifax this March for the first of two consecutive years.  Dalhousie Tigers are this season’s hosts and will garner the automatic bid with Acadia hosting next season with similar consideration as hosts.  Sources indicate that if Dalhousie happens to win the AUS tournament, the finalist will assume the conference’s automatic bid.

For tonight, here are my picks for AUS final conference standings, pre-season all-AUS and all-freshman teams as well as a quick look at the top “pure” three point shooters in the conference.  Action begins this Thursday as Saint Mary’s travels to Acadia in Wolfville; the team’s will meet again Saturday in Halifax at SMU.   Several other pair of games through the weekend including St. FX at UPEI for a pair; Cape Breton at Dalhousie for two and UNB at Memorial (Saturday/Sunday).

#1 Dalhousie (7-2 vs. CIS in pre-season)… Depth at virtually all positions, a commitment to defending and, most importantly, experience – four fifth-year seniors in the rotation – make the Tigers strong favorites to win the AUS regular season pennant and obtain a first-round bye in the AUS tournament.  Tigers feature a former AUS Defensive Player-of-the-Year Ritchie Kanza-Mata, AUS tournament MVP Kashrell Lawrence and one of the top freshmen in Canada in 6’6″ Alex Carson.  Tigers ordinarily go 9-10 deep and hope to get a boost with the return after Christmas of energy guard 6’2″ Cedric Sanogo.    Dal & Acadia host the U-Sport Final 8 in March.

#2 Saint Mary’s (6-1)… Another veteran-laden group that can play fast, press and push tempo with their array of athletic guards and wings.  Huskies had a tremendous pre-season, capturing Eric Garland Memorial tournament at UNB and St. FX Invitational despite not having 6’8″ Osman Barrie in the lineup.  Top newcomer 6’2″ Kordeiro James is next in line for conference honors as a higher-end wing.

#3 St. FX (4-5)… Putting X at #3 in the conference after missing the AUS tournament the past two seasons could be optimistic however X-Men return a core of starters – all in their 4th and 5th seasons – most of who have played together since they were freshmen.  Experience is usually under-rated and, led by 6’7″ 1st team all-star candidate Kevin Bercy, come off an injury-plagued season, X-Men’s first five are as formidable as any in the conference.  6’2″ sophomore Tristan Ross has been a revelation off the bench, helping X address their perimeter shooting woes, a major area of concern the past two seasons.  Maybe most important of all according to long-time Head Coach Steve Konchalski is a fresher locker-room culture that has allowed X to compete in virtually all games this season.

#4 UNB (1-3)… Varsity Reds return defending 6’0″ AUS POY and 1st team All-Canadian Javon Masters plus 6’2″ perimeter stretching shooting wing Jesse Kendall both key starters but who both struggled with injuries in the pre-season – Masters getting into only 2 games (averaged 30 ppg) while Kendall just started practicing again while dealing with a torn quad muscle.  Reds are working through the transition of at least 7 potential new rotation players and while the newcomers bring significant elements of athleticism and size, the challenge for Head Coach Brent Baker will be finding the best way to dole out time to this new, deeper talent-laden lineup.  This could be a very, very good team in February and March – Masters is motivated to try to win his first-ever AUS tournament game this season – but there may be some growing pains along the way.

#5 Acadia (1-5)… Axemen have another in a string of higher-end AUS big men in 6’9″ lefty Erik Nissen plus 5th year 6’5″ stretch 4/wing Kyle Arsenault as the core of their senior class.  6’3″ Ben Miller, touted by some including me as a future AUS 1st team all-star and POY candidate, has not yet broken to that level although showing flashes – Miller is certainly willing to take the big shot – he hit another last week against Dal extending the game into OT.  6’0″ Nick DePalma is arguably the best pure distance shooter in the conference when left alone and 6’1″ Holland College transfer Trevon Grant, defending ACAC Player-of-the-Year and 1st team CCAA All-Canadian brings experience to the backcourt.   6’7″ Jerome Mugabi has a chance to be a top freshmen but has been foul-prone in the pre-season as he adjusts to the size, speed and physicality of the conference.  A definite tournament team but does Acadia have enough to win 3 games in 3 days… possibly.

#6 UPEI (0-3)… Scoring the ball is rarely an issue with the Panthers as several weapons including 6’2″ 2nd team All-Canadian Tyler Scott but will miss 6’6″ Brad States, who transferred to Holland College.  6’7″ Dut Dut will now be the feature forward likely drawing the opponent’s best post defender.  Panthers have a strong stable of fourth and fifth year players however will do without sixth-man extraordinaire Lorenzo Parker who continues to rehab after his ugly knee injury sustained during last season’s AUS tournament and sparkplug Jake Kendrick, both out until at least Christmas.  Panthers however are young at the lead guard spot with 6’2″ Shavon Gayle and 5’10” Amin Suleman and this team will take time to get acclimated.  One of the most explosive teams in the conference and very difficult to beat in Charlottetown, Panthers will take that next step when they can start to win on the road.  To wit, UPEI is an AUS best 43-6 at home over the past 5 seasons but only 2-5 in the AUS tournament during that same time period.

#7 Cape Breton (0-7)... Although the early season record may indicate otherwise, Capers appear to be making solid progress each game, adjusting to new Coach David Petroziello who has made a renewed commitment to defending and rebounding; playing time is likely to be increasingly tied to the ability of his troops to do those two things first.  6’6″ Kenny Jean-Louis continues to push a triple-double most nights although from a pure scoring perspective had a sluggish pre-season.  6’0″ Jack MacAulay continues to gain confidence beyond simply his ability to be a knock-down three-point shooter.  6’3″ Seth Amoah is a slasher and new pg 6’2″ Nico Brauner appears to be the future foundation at the point although the German import his battled injury in the pre-season.

#8 Memorial (1-5)… 6’9″ Vasilije Curcic is one of the better players in the conference and the key to any success the rebuilding Sea-hawks have.  5’11” 4th year point guard Davion Parnsalu had at least two 30+ point games including an OT win at SMU but consistency has been an issue as he enters his fourth season.  6’2″ Daniel Gordon begins his second season after transferring from the OCAA/CCAA however beyond that this is a very young, inexperienced team.  6’4″ Corner Brook, NFLD native Nathan Barker has a chance to be one of the better freshmen in the conference and a piece to build a future around.

Pre-season All-AUS Team

FIRST TEAM:  Javon Masters, UNB; Tyler Scott, UPEI; Kevin Bercy, St. FX; Ritchie Kanza-Mata, Dalhousie; Brian Rouse, Saint Mary’s

SECOND TEAM:  Kash Lawrence, Dalhousie; Erik Nissen, Acadia; Vasilije Curcic, Memorial; Kenny Jean-Louis, Cape Breton; Marquis Clayton, Saint Mary’s

HONORABLE MENTION:  Sven Stammberger, Dalhousie, Ben Miller, Kyle Arsenault, Acadia; Theon Reefer, Saint Mary’s; Jesse Kendall, UNB; Akil Charles, St. FX.


Top Freshmen

6’6″ Alex Carson, Dalhousie (Lower Sackville, NS)… one of the top freshmen in the country who could challenge for all-AUS honors as a first-year player

6’2″ Kordeiro James, Saint Mary’s (Vaughan, Vaughan H.S.)… instant rotation player who adds perimeter shooting to Huskies

6’1″ Justin Andrew, St. FX (Hamilton, ON/Hill Academy)…  smooth shooting guard with range well beyond the arc


6’5″ Tyrell Leotaud, UNB (Ajax, ON)… Averaging about 20 mpg in the pre-season with range beyond 3 point line

6’4″ Nathan Barker, Memorial (Corner Brook, NFLD)… Solid, all-round three/four man that MUN can build around

Top 3 Point Shooters:  Nick DePalma, Acadia; Jack MacAulay, Cape Breton; Tristen Ross, St. FX; Lorenzo Parker, UPEI.



Gee-Gees pound McGill by 30

Ottawa (6-1) 73, McGill (6-2) 43… Gee-Gees held McGill to just 22 first-half points, using a switching “d” and tremendous on-the-ball coverage and then surged to leads larger than 30 in an emphatic pounding of the Redmen as the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament concluded in Ottawa this afternoon.  Ottawa dominated McGill in all facets of the game, locking up Redmen key scoring threats and Gee-Gees shot an emphatic 53% from the floor in capturing the defacto tournament championship with a 3-0 record.  6’3″ Caleb Agada set the tone early with lock-down “d” on 6’1″ Jenning Leung who was coming off a 7-8 effort from 3 against Toronto; Sunday afternoon Leung finished just 2-10 from the floor for 7 points.  Ottawa’s front line dominated with 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles leading 10 different Gee-Gees who scored with 11 points while 6’7″ Brody Maracle added 9 points, 8 rebounds, both in limited action.  Meanwhile, Redmen’s veteran trio of 6’9″ Noah Daoust, 6’7″ Francois Bourque and 6’6″ Michael Peterkin finished 2 for 11 from the floor with just 6 points combined.  Ottawa held McGill to just 28% shooting overall including just 7 second-half field goals overall.  6’1″ freshman guard Kendrick Jolin, who has improved steadily throughout the pre-season, was the lone bright spot for McGill, making all 4 of his 3’s and finishing with 15 points.  This was a good, old-fashioned pounding that avenged Ottawa’s loss to McGill last season at the Donohue.  The nine-game, three-day, RSEQ vs. OUA event ended with RSEQ winning 5 and OUA winning 4.

In other games, Concordia held Waterloo to just 32% shooting overall and just 3 for 11 from downtown after halftime to build a double digit second half lead and win 75-66 over the Warriors.  6’6″ Olivier Simon came off the bench to lead 4 Stingers in double digits with 11 points while prized 6’8″ NCAA Division 1 transfer Malcolm Henderson had arguably his most productive effort as a Stinger with 8 points and led all rebounders with 15 boards.  6’4″ freshman Justin Hardy continued his sterling overall work with 14 points and 4 boards to lead Waterloo… In the day’s first game, Bishop’s Gaiters overcame a 38 point effort from 6’5″ Devin Johnson, coming back to nip U of T Varsity Blues 78-76.  Promising 6’5″ sophomore Nick Harvey flashed his strong potential with the best set of numbers in his career:  17 points and 19 rebounds while fellow 6’5″ forward David Belanger added another 20 points and 8 rebounds.  Bishop’s also got solid perimeter efforts from veteran Jona Bermillo with 18 points as well as freshman Joany Thadal who again opened things up from the perimeter, finishing 5 of 7 from three point land for 15 points.

Fraser Valley (1-1) 74, Laurier (4-5) 71… 6’1″ fifth-year shooting guard Vijay Dhillon, playing with a face mask to protect a broken nose, had seven of his game-high 21 points in the last three minutes of regulation as the Cascades held off the Golden Hawks in Abbotsford in the final tune-up for both teams prior to the start of next week’s regular season.  Dhillon finished with a game-high 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, and his 6’3″ fifth-year backcourt mate Manny Dulay chipped in with 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Other offensive contributors for the Cascades included 6’5″ third-year forward Andrew Morris (10 points), 6’6″  fourth-year forward Nav Bains (nine points) and 6’9″ fourth-year center Matt Cooley (eight points).  6’1″ freshman guard Tevaun Kokko led Laurier with 19 points while veteran 6’6″ center Matt Chesson added 18 for the Hawks.

“It was nice to see Vijay get into a rhythm,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “He’s been battling injuries for a while now, so he hasn’t seen much court time. But to see him get into some game rhythm at the end of this one bodes well going into league play.”

It was the non-conference finale for both teams – the Cascades open the Canada West regular season next weekend at home against the Saskatchewan Huskies, while the Waterloo, Ont.-based Golden Hawks host the Ryerson Rams next Saturday in their Ontario University Athletics (OUA) opener.

The Cascades’ offence was ultra-efficient in the second half, though – the hosts shot a scorching 68.2 per cent from the field the rest of the way. UFV led 62-58 with seven minutes to play, but Laurier responded with a 7-0 run. Three points from Nav Bains drew the Cascades even, and Dhillon took over in the final three minutes, swishing a tie-breaking triple, a long two-point jumper, and two free throws.  Laurier’s Owen Coulthard had a shot to tie it at the buzzer, but his contested effort over two Cascades defenders came up empty.

The game marked a return to action for UFV 6’6″ third-year forward Mark Johnson, who missed the vast majority of the 2015-16 campaign after undergoing knee surgery. The Palm Springs, Calif. product registered two points, four rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes.

McGill at uOttawa highlights Sunday’s U-Sport men’s schedule

Noon ET  – Bishop’s (2-5) vs. Toronto (2-2) (Donohue Tournament at uOttawa)… Both have lost the first two of their games this weekend as Gaiters especially deal with the loss of 6’5″ Abdul Kamane (ankle).  Former Laurentian teammates John Campbell (Toronto) and Rod Gilpin (Bishop’s) meet in this final non-conference tune-up with Bishop’s expected to keep 6’5″ post David Belanger busy with touches inside while Blues rely on 6’5″ Devin Johnson, 6’5″ Manny Sahota and 6’2″ newcomer Reilly Reid.

1 PM ET – UQAM at Castleton (VT.) NCAA DIII… Citadins hung in for the first 30 minutes of their game last night against Vermont Catamounts before a 39-14 run in the final 10 minutes made the result look worse than it was.  6’4″ Christian Kadima led the way for UQAM with 14 points.

2 PM ET – Waterloo (2-2) vs. Concordia (5-4) (Donohue Tournament at uOttawa)… Stingers watched uOttawa take off on a 17-1 run in the second half in their loss last night while maturing Warriors had an OT win over Bishop’s.  Both teams are 1-1 in the Donohue tournament thus far.

4 PM ET – #8 McGill (6-1) at #7 uOttawa (5-1) (Donohue Tournament at uOttawa)… Feature game of the day in a rematch of last season’s Donohue championship which turned out to be a preview of two teams that reached the CIS Final 8.  Gee-Gees play a much different style this season but this weekend have added 6’2″ Adam Presutti who provides needed experience and dynamic play from the point.  Expect a match-up with Redmen freshman Kendrick Jolin.  But the battle up-front between 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles/6’7″ Brody Maracle and 6’7″ Francois Bourque/6’9″ Noah Daoust could be the most interesting.  Redmen are waiting for last season’s version of 6’2″ Dele Ogundokun to emerge; today’s match-up with 6’3″ Caleb Agada should be telling while 6’1″ Jenning Leung comes off a 7-8 effort from 3 and is showing how productive he can be as a pure two given the development of Jolin.  Should be one of the better games of the CIS pre-season.

6 PM ET / 3 PM local – Laurier (4-4) at Fraser Valley (0-1)… Cascades have only other CIS pre-season game on the docket, losing by 12 at home to Lethbridge two weeks ago.  Golden Hawks come off a 10 point win over UNBC Timberwolves during which Laurier almost gave up a 22 point lead but held on.

Late Scores: UBC dominates Lakehead

UBC (6-0) 107, Lakehead (2-5) 75… The Thunderbirds grabbed control of the game with a dominant 15-0 run beginning midway through the first quarter and rolled to the easy win over Lakehead in Vancouver.  UBC never trailed as 6’9″ Conor Morgan had 23 points and 9 rebounds while 6’5″ Will Ondrik had 17 and Phil Jalalpoor added 14.  Darnell Curtin led Lakehead with 15 points.

Western (2-5) , Laurentian (1-4)… The Mustangs began the second half on an 11-2 run which they quickly extended to 34-11 to lead by 22, erasing a two point halftime deficit to pull away from the Voyageurs.  6’1″ Eriq Jenkins led the way with 15 points and 7 rebounds while 6’6″ Cam Morris and 6’1″ Omar Shiddo added 11 each as Western turned up the pressure defensively in the second half to gain the comfortable win.

Victoria (5-3) 77, Mount Royal (1-5) 75… Vikes almost squandered a 20-point second half lead but held on behind 6’7″ Grant Sitton‘s 31 points including 5-7 3’s.  Victoria was up 14 early in the fourth but Cougars got it down to 1 with the ball and under 15 seconds to play but turned it over and Victoria clinched it on the foul line.  Canada West All-Star 6’6″ Brett Layton had 19 points and 15 rebounds for MRU which played without star 6’4″ Josh Ross, last season’s CCAA Player-of-the-Year at VIU who didn’t make the trip due to some family obligations.  Ross averaged 15.7 ppg at NJCAA D1 in his final Juco season in the U.S.

Laurier (4-4) 71, UNBC (1-3) 61… 6’1″ Owen Coulthard had 14 points as the Golden Hawks evened their record at 1-1 at the UBC Invitational.  Marcus MacKay had 17 to lead all scorers for UNBC.  Coulthard’s 3 early in the fourth got the lead to 12 but UNBC fought back to get it to 2 with a 9-0 run but Coulthard then knocked down another 3 and fed freshman guard Matt Minutillo for another 3 and Hawks were never seriously threatened thereafter.  Laurier nearly blew an early third quarter 22 point lead built on the strength of a 22-2 run bridging halftime.


Cold second half sinks hometown Pronghorns

Carroll College 93, Lethbridge 67...  Again with thanks to our Southern Alberta correspondent… NAIA Division 1 Carroll College of Helena, Montana, were down 40-38 at the half in Lethbridge Saturday. They outscored the hosts by a measly 36-9 margin in the third quarter and cruised home.  Carroll finished the two-day event 2-0, while Lethbridge was 1-1.  Elliott Sentance led Lethbridge with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Cam Fischer added 10 markers for the homeboys.  Although it will obviously read as an excuse, four Lethbridge players, who would normally play around 100 minutes cumulatively, were held out with minor (hopefully for U of L’s sake) ailments. The crew consisted of Dejon Burdeaux and Mike Pierzchala who played Friday in a win over Regina, plus Zac Overwater and Will Hickey who sat out the entire weekend. This writer has no idea what the Carroll roster situation was compared to optimum.

Lethbridge host Grant MacEwan next Friday and Saturday to being Canada West regular season action.

Ofori’s last second jumper lifts Regina over Golden Bears

Regina (4-8) 74, Alberta (5-2) 72… With thanks to our Hemingway-esque Southern Alberta correspondent… Seemingly spring-loaded 6’6″ (or so the roster says) Regina Cougar leaper Brian Ofori used a 15-foot jump shot that tickled the twine with .8 seconds as a lethal weapon Saturday in a game played in Lethbridge.

It was obvious from the start both teams were very intent on earning a win after dropping Friday contests (Regina lost to Lethbridge, and Alberta went down to NAIA DI Carroll College from Helena, Montana.) Regina used all of their regulars with the exception of burly post 6’7″ Stephen Shields who remained in dry dock with a nick. Alberta had every player on their roster ready for action, including 6’2 Toronto products Dwan Williams and 6’8″ Brody Clarke, who nursed injuries Friday.

Even though the benches were full the rotation players received the vast majority of the playing time for both sides.

The tilt was tied 18-18 after 10 minutes. Bears were on top 43-30 at the intermission and 58-46 following three quarters, but Regina found the range late and celebrated the triumph uproariously for a non regular season affair.

Final stats seemed a big sketchy (especially for Alberta after inserting new players into the computer system), but there could be little doubt three impact Cougar performers were 6’4″ Spanish guard Alex Igual, 6’1″ high-flying Nova Scotia product Johneil Johnson and Montreal’s (by way of UPEI) Ofori. Regina shot poorly against the Bears man-to-man defence in the first half, but improved markedly down the stretch especially against zone. Starters included Igual, Ofori, 6’1 guard Aaron McGowan, 6’4″ wing Brandon Tull and 6’4″ 4-man Travis Sylvestre.  Ofori is almost certainly not the listed 6’6″, but there must be few bouncier posts in U Sports.

Four starters were significant offensive contributors for Alberta including 6’2″ Salt Lake City Community College transfer 1 Austin Wauddups (who started his post-secondary career at NCAA DI Southern Utah, after returning from a Mormon mission), 6’6″ Mamadou Gueye (who this wag feels has a comparable style game to Demar DeRozen), 6’8″ Brody Clarke and 6’5″ wing Geoff Pippus (a UBC transfer.) Andre Kelly, a 6’2″ wing from Hamilton/Florida prep school, didn’t start, but showed some solid solid flashes.

Regina hosts UVic in a two game Canada West regular season opening set next weekend, while Alberta entertains Brandon for a pair.

Presutti, Gee-Gees “d” sinks Stingers

Ottawa (5-1) 74, Concordia (5-4) 68… 6’3″ Caleb Agada had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists and keyed the game-deciding 17-1 run bridging the third and fourth quarters as the Gee-Gees moved to 2-0 in the Donohue with a solid second-half pull-away win over a stingy, never-quit Stingers side.  With the score tied at 50, the Gee-Gees scored the final 6 points of the third, buoyed by the strong defensive work of Agada on the perimeter – he added 6 steals -plus strong defensive rebounding that limited the normally active Stinger “o” board work to just 11 for the game.  Ottawa forced 23 Concordia turnovers and held Stingers to just 11-34 shooting after halftime.  Gee-Gees are a different team with 6’2″ Adam Presutti on the floor – he sat down early in the first half with 2 fouls, reappearing briefly late in the second quarter but it was not until Presutti (15 points including 3-4 3’s and 4 assists) and Agada got going that Ottawa was able to pull away.  Ottawa led by as many as 16 but could never put the final nail in the resilient Stinger coffin as 6’7″ Olivier Simon had all of his 8 points after halftime and 6’1″ Nicky Noble, who was held without a field goal until the fourth quarter knocked down a pair of 3’s to get Stingers back to double digits but the game was rarely in doubt after the big run, led by a pair of Oakville Loyola boys:  Caleb Agada and Adam Presutti.  Ten different Stingers scored led by 6’5″ T.J. Umar who had all 11 of his in the first half.  Concordia gets Waterloo tomorrow at 2 PM ET followed by another potential classic in #7 Gee-Gees and #8 McGill Redmen at 4 PM ET.

Waterloo (2-2) 96, Bishop’s (2-5) 92 in Overtime… Warriors had a character win that is sure to accelerate their maturation, coming back from a 20 point first-half deficit to force the extra frame and getting key plays down the stretch from their freshman to defeat an injury-riddled Gaiters group who tonight played without reigning RSEQ Rookie-of-the-Year Abdul Kamane who had his ankle propped up and wrapped after injuring it last night.  In a game that had 48 fouls and 67 free throws, Waterloo stormed back and took the lead at 80-79 after 6’1″ freshman Simon Petrov coolly knocked down a pair of free throws with just 5.2 seconds remaining in regulation.  Gaiters came out of timeout and got the ball in to 6’0″ guard Jona Bermillo who attacked the rim and was fouled, but made just 1-2 freebees, sending the game to OT.  6’5″ Nedim Hodzic then sliced his way to the rim and fellow freshman 6’4″ Justin Hardy swished a clutch 3 from the right wing and later drove and fed Hodzic for a lay-in allowing Warriors to pull away and grab the important win for Coach Justin Gunter and team.  6’5″ David Belanger was an immovable force inside for Bishop’s with 24 points on 11-13 shooting – he gave the Gaiters a late lead but later fouled out on a questionable call.  Earlier fellow 6’5″ forward Nick Harvey fouled out with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.  Bermillo led the way with 23 and 8 rebounds while 6’1″ freshman guard Joany Thadal added 14, making 3 3’s in the first half to help Bishop’s build their lead.  6’1″ Jon Ravenhorst and fellow 5th year senior 6’6″ Mike Pereira each had 22 for Waterloo, while Hodzic finished with 18 and 7 and Hardy, with another stellar stat-sheet stuffing game scoring 12 points, adding 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.  Bishop’s, which get U of T Varsity Blues tomorrow afternoon, turned it over 25 times.  Waterloo faces Concordia as the three-day, six-team, nine-game event draws to a close.  Thus far, the conference standings are RSEQ 3, OUA 3.

Redmen break to early lead, hold off Varsity Blues

#8 McGill (6-1) 72, Toronto (2-2) 67… 6’1″ Jenning Leung went a sizzling 7 for 8 from three point land, finishing with 28 points as the Redmen built leads larger than 20 and held off a determined Varsity Blues comeback in a game somewhat-marred by some late, physical play ostensibly created by an in-ability of the officials to navigate through the physicality inside from both teams.  Redmen continued their fine efforts defending after last night’s second-half lock-down against Waterloo, limited Toronto to just 43 points through three-quarters but the fourth quarter saw a parade to the free throw line – Blues went 13 for 17 from the stripe and got back to within reasonable striking distance despite shooting just 5 for 17 from the floor.  Toronto dropped a 15-point deficit with just over 4 minutes to play down to 5 with under a minute but Redmen held on, holding Blues to just 31.7% shooting overall.  6’7″ Francois Bourque was a beast inside with 18 points and 8 rebounds shooting 6 for 9 from the floor, while 6’5″ Michael Peterkin again was active and effectively with 5 points and 11 rebounds including 5 on the offensive glass.  McGill shot 11 for 22 from three.  6’5″ Devin Johnson had 22 points to the lead the Blues including 10-14 from the line while 6’5″ Manny Sahota added 17 before fouling out.  Redmen, 2-0 in the tournament, meet uOttawa Gee-Gees tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM while Blues meet Bishop’s at Noon.  Tonight’s feature game has the Gee-Gees hosting Concordia Stingers at 8 PM.  For those keeping score in this nine-game RSEQ vs. OUA tournament, after four games, RSEQ leads 3-1.


Presutti scorching in Gee-Gees debut

After sitting out for a full year, 6’2″ Adam Presutti‘s debut as an Ottawa Gee-Gee was memorable as the Oakville native and McMaster transfer finished 5 for 8 from downtown, part of a 14 for 29 collective effort by Ottawa beyond the stripe in a convincing 89-56 win over Bishop’s as the first day of the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament in Ottawa continued.  Presutti led all scorers with 17 points, adding 5 rebounds and 4 assists in just 24 minutes in a solid effort.  The Gee-Gees stifled Bishop’s back court, holding Gaiters to just 18 first-half points in what was an easy win.  6’6″ Matt Plunkett, always an able defender and in past seasons a spark-plug coming off the bench for Ottawa, continues to adjust to his starting role and, more importantly, how the Gee-Gees will play offensively.  With the addition of Presutti, Plunkett now has a veteran guard to play off that complements their formidable inside game featuring 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles and 6’7″ Brody Maracle.  Plunkett had his best shooting effort of the pre-season going 4-6 from 3 and finishing with 14 points.  Pierre Charles and Maracle combined to go 6-10 from the field and 6’3″ Caleb Agada had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in just 21 minutes as Ottawa emptied their bench early.  Bishop’s got three 3’s and 11 points from 6’1″ freshman Joany Castor Thadal and played without 6’11” Jonah Fogg.  Gaiters also await the debut of their touted 6’1″ guard Kevin Davis, a native of Baltimore who has a knee injury and is projected to be out of the lineup until Christmas.

Expect Presutti and the Gee-Gees to be more severely tested this evening in what is likely the most interesting CIS pre-season game of the day when Concordia Stingers and their guard depth meet Ottawa.  Bishop’s meets Waterloo at 6 PM ET in the game that will precede the feature matchup as the second day of the three day event continues at Montpetit Hall.


Saturday’s U-Sports Men’s Schedule

4 PM ET – #8 McGill (5-1) vs. Toronto (2-1) (Donohue Tournament in Ottawa)… Redmen come off a come-from-behind win over Waterloo during which they trailed by double digits in the second half.  Blues struggled with Concordia’s depth and aggressive play and hope to get a better offensive performance out of 6’5″ Devin Johnson.

5 PM ET – Alberta (5-1) vs. Regina (3-8) (Lethbridge Tournament)… Both teams lost their first-round games yesterday.

6 PM ET – Bishop’s (2-4) vs. Waterloo (1-2) (Donohue Tournament in Ottawa)… The young Warriors flashed their potential in the first half against McGill before their young back court wilted and Gaiters struggled to find consistency in their guard play last night vs. uOttawa.

6:30 PM ET /3:30 PM local – Trinity Western at Eastern Oregon NAIA (Quinn Classic at LaGrande, OR)

7 PM ET – Laurentian (1-3) at Western (1-5)… A pair of rebuilding teams meet in London for their final pre-season tuneup at Alumni Hall.

7 PM ET / 4 PM local – Mount Royal (1-4) at UVic (4-3)… Vikes won last night’s foul-filled affair and teams hope to shoot it better, especially Cougars who went just 1-13 from three in the first game.

7 PM ET – UQAM at Vermont Catamounts (NCAA Division 1)… Citadins face the team that most are predicting should finish first in America East in a game to be played in Burlington, VT.

7 PM ET – #1 Carleton at Providence Friars (NCAA Division 1)… The first of two official exhibition games that the Ravens will play against NCAA Division 1 teams this season.

7 PM ET / 5 PM local – Carroll College (NAIA) at Lethbridge (Lethbridge Tournament)… The de facto tournament championship tonight after 6’4″ Elliott Sentance went off for 39 points last night for the Pronghorns.

7 PM ET / 5 PM local – Winnipeg at Valley City State (North Dakota – NAIA)… Wesmen were soundly defeated 97-70 last night at Minnesota State-Moorehead, an NCAA Division 2 team.

8 PM ET – Concordia (5-3) at #7 uOttawa (4-1) (Donohue Tournament in Ottawa)… Feature game of the day with two very athletic and deep squads battling at the Donohue tournament.  Stingers are without usual starter 6’4″ Ken Beaulieu this weekend who remains home in Montreal.

8 PM ET / 5 PM local – Laurier (3-4) vs. UNBC (1-2) (UBC Tournament)… Timberwolves look to sweep a pair of games against OUA visitors in the first game at the UBC Invitational.  Golden Hawks were thrashed last night by host T-Birds, down by as many as 40.

10 PM ET / 7 PM local – Lakehead (2-4) at #4 UBC (5-0) (UBC Tournament)… Thunderwolves led for much of last night’s loss to UNBC and are now 0-2 on their tour of Vancouver.  UBC has two potential All-Canadians in 6’9″ Conor Morgan and 6’6″ Jordan Jensen-Whyte and have waltzed through five opponents in the pre-season.