#1 Carleton (9-0, 3-0 – LW: #1)… By Carleton standards, this past weekend’s pair of road wins at Nipissing and at Laurentian were less than optimal as both games were tight at halftime. In Saturday’s game in Sudbury, Voyageurs led by 15 midway through the second quarter before Carleton blasted to a 22 point lead late in the third. 6’4″ Connor Wood continues his fine shooting and overall play and 6’2″ Kaza Keene is authoring a fine fifth and final season. Getting consistent effort and production from the remainder of the roster has been a bit of a recent challenge for coach Dave Smart. Carleton’s home opener is this Friday night when # 5 Brock Badgers visit the Raven’s Nest followed by Saturday vs.#7 McMaster Marauders.
#2 UBC (12-0, 6-0 – LW #2)… This afternoon’s sluggish win over UVic in OT notwithstanding, UBC has dominated opponents and remains undefeated against U-Sport competition. 6’9″ Conor Morgan keyed today’s win with 39 points including a pair of 3’s in OT (despite heavy shot-selection criticism from the UBC “color” guy) and won despite a very uncharacteristically tough offensive effort from 6’6″ Jordan Jensen-Whyte. T-Birds were also terrible from the foul line but found a way to win. UBC finishes the first half of the 16-17 schedule with a pair of home games against UBC-Okanagan (1-7).
#3 Ottawa (9-1, 3-0 – LW #3)… Two strong, decisive road wins this past weekend illustrate that Gee-Gees can win in multiple ways with their complementary array of roster talent. On Friday at Laurentian in what was a close affair for much of the first half, uOttawa dominated inside, getting game-deciding production from 6’9″ Jean Pierre-Charles and 6’7″ Brody Maracle. Last night at Nipissing, the perimeter scoring and fine all-round play of 6’3″ Caleb Agada was on display. Ottawa gets a chance to cement this ranking into the break by hosting #7 McMaster on Friday in 6’2″ Adam Presutti‘s first game against his former program and #5 Brock on Saturday in their first two regular season home games.
#4 Calgary (10-1, 5-1)… As our Southern Alberta correspondent shared, Dinos roster is dotted with talent, opining that much of Calgary’s bench could start on many Canada West teams. That depth and quality was on display this weekend as Dinos dominated Lethbridge, a team that some believed was on the verge of Top 10/honorable mention consideration. Dinos have another Thursday/Saturday home-and-home affair with cross-town opponent Mount Royal Cougars (4-2).
#5 Brock (9-1, 4-0)… A recent home-and-home sweep over QEW rival McMaster is encouraging – both games were decided in the final minute – however some inconsistent work on the defensive glass and concerns with decision-making and turnovers are areas that Badgers seek continued improvement. Brock’s young guards and their rebounding are likely to be tested this weekend in Ottawa in games against #1 Carleton and #3 Gee-Gees.
#6 Ryerson (7-2, 5-0)… Dominant regular season efforts – most games Rams have had leads of at least 30 at some point with no opponent closer than 20 points – show Rams are rapidly rounding into form. 6’4″ Ammanuel Diressa has the skill set and is beginning to produce like a 1st Team All-Canadian while 6’3″ Adika Peter-McNeilly consistently displays his high-end all-round skill set at both ends. With a deep, athletic roster that can play fast in transition and defensively or at a slow tempo, Ryerson is formidable. Rams close their calendar 2016 season with a pair of home games this week Wednesday vs. Western and Saturday vs. Windsor, who will have 6’7″ Luke Allin in the lineup after his transfer from Laurier.
#7 McMaster (11-2, 3-2)… Marauders appear to be as good as their perimeter shooting allows, having an opportunity yesterday to steal a win at Brock but missing 18 of 21 threes in the game. Depth beyond their big three of 6’2″ David McCulloch, 6’4″ Rohan Boney and 6’7″ Connor Gilmore remains uneven but 6’0″ Chris Thompson has had several important efforts off the bench. Mac will be tested Friday at #3 Ottawa and Saturday at #1 Carleton.
#8 Alberta (13-2, 8-0)… Golden Bears took a large step toward Canada West prominence with a pair of road wins at Manitoba this weekend against a Bison team that many in the pre-season were touting for a CW Final 4 appearance. 6’1″ Austin Waddoups had 31 points on 6-9 3’s in Friday’s game which Alberta led by double digits late. On Saturday, Bears took the lead for good early in the third and led by as many as 8 in the second half, clinching it on a Waddoups 3 with under 2 minutes to play. Alberta completes their calendar 2016 CW schedule with a pair of Thursday/Saturday home-and-home games against city rivals MacEwan (3-5), who comes off a split with Mount Royal this weekend.
#9 Dalhousie (12-4, 5-2)… With 4 losses including two in AUS play, Tigers ranking drops as coach Rick Plato deals with injuries to at least three regulars including 6’6″ Sven Stammberger (shoulder), 6’6″ impact freshman Alex Carson and 6’2″ Cedric Sanogo who many forget has been out all season but hopefully expected back in the new year. Dal was never really in Saturday’s loss at UNB and squeezed out a win at Acadia so getting to the break should allow this deep, quality roster to heal and overcome the injury bug .
#10 McGill (9-3, 3-1)… Once an area of ongoing concern, Redmen appear to have found their consistent, high-quality point guard with the recent emergence of 6’1″ Kendrick Jolin. The freshman found his stride late in McGill’s only league loss to UQAM a couple of weeks ago and took the next step yesterday with his 34 point effort at Bishop’s, rescuing the Redmen from a double digit loss. Combined with McGill’s dominant 40+ point win over Concordia, Redmen enter the break in a first-place tie with Laval, who they defeated. McGill’s only league loss came at UQAM without the services of 3 regulars.
Honorable Mention: Saskatchewan (8-3, 4-2), Winnipeg (11-2, 6-2).