Weekend Thoughts

One of the better early-season stories in the country is being authored by McMaster Marauders, left for also-rans in the wake of an exodus of talent from graduation and defections.  Mac’s opponents in this early season have had to deal with a group that is playing with a chip on their shoulder, which has translated into playing as hard as any Mac group in recent memory.  The level of intensity was evident on the very first night of their season, a win over McGill in Victoria where Marauders dominated the glass, got to virtually every loose ball first and sacrificed their bodies for charges.  We’ve already alluded to the great guard play Marauders are getting now that 6’2″ David McCulloch is the main (only?) option and 6’7″ Connor Gilmore has matured into a third-year leader who can knock shots down consistently.  But Mac’s so-called role players, not as highly touted and getting more minutes, who are helping including 6’3″ Elliot Ormond who was instrumental in the Dal win yesterday.  6’8″ Matt Quiring and 6’4″ Lazar Kojovic are also flourishing with their new-found playing time while 6’4″ Rohan Boney appears poised for an all-star season in his fifth and final season.  With quality wins against the Redmen and previously-undefeated Dalhousie, Mac is playing like a Top 10 team this early season – it is early but the level of competitiveness which Marauders are currently playing at definitely bears attention.  Marauders host Mohawk College at home on Wednesday night and then are off until a week from Thursday when Mac has a three-game tour of Montreal, first at Concordia and then two games at the McGill Redbird Classic against Laurentian and UBC-Okanagen.  Marauders chose not to play their third game of the tournament which would have been scheduled for Sunday against the host Redmen… UPEI Panthers kicked off their season this past weekend in Charlottetown over at Holland College with a pair of wins, first vs. ACAA program Mount Allison Mounties in a game that was tight to the end with Panthers prevailing 95-89.  The next day, Panthers hammered Sainte-Foy (CÉGEP) 107-78.  For comparison purposes, the host Holland College Hurricanes defeated Mount A. 101-72 and Sainte-Foy 111-48.  Panthers rookie 6’6″ forward Nathan Anderson (Bahamas) did not play after hurting his knee in a pre-tournament scrimmage last Saturday.  Panthers, who lost 6’6″ all-conference forward Bradley States (transfer to Holland College) from last season’s AUS finalist team, return all-conference guard Tyler Scott among others and welcome transfers 6’5″ Mark Matheson (UNB), 6’2″ Vishal Banipal (ex-CBU) and explosive 5’11” guard Shavon Gayle (transfer Owens CC).  UPEI gets Dalhousie in the first round of their Mickey Place tournament this week to kick-off the CIS pre-season portion of their schedule… Here is a video of the dramatic banked-in three by Windsor’s 6’2″ Micqueel Martin that gave the Lancers a one-point win at MacEwan over the weekend


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