Hoops: Checking out Quebec

Only five teams, so this should be relatively easy:
  1. Oh, brother: The reigning champion Concordia Stingers, led by brothers Damian and Dwayne Buckley in the backcourt, probably get the benefit of the doubt in pre-season prognostications, although that might be ignorance on this end. Concordia is ranked No. 3 in the country
  2. Red alert: Either the Laval Rouge et Or or McGill Redmen will likely be the biggest roadblock to Concordia getting back to nationals. Veteran coach Jacques Paiement's Rouge et Or boast one of the country's most dominant players in J.P. Morin, who had the single-game scoring high at two different tournaments the Rouge et Or attended.

    McGill is coming off a 9-20 season, but coach Craig Norman, who gave RMC some winning moments in hoops a few years back, looks like he might do it again at a bigger school with a bigger budget and more recruiting clout. The Redmen turned heads by winning their home tourney for the first time since 2000. Senior Sean Anthony gives them a high-scoring guard.
  3. Changing face: Back in the summer, globesports.com's Michael Grange penned a profile of the Philadelphia 76ers' Samuel Dalembert that touched on "the 'other' Montreal — increasingly urban, poor, and black." There is a lot of hoops talent in Montreal, plus players can develop their games at a CEGEP, but like in Toronto, most players only have eyes for the NCAA. The hope would be that UQAM, whose lineup includes four players born outside Canada and the U.S., might change that in due time; with more scholarship money coming available and Quebec's relatively inexpensive tuition, it's doable.

    The CIS has never seen a top team from an urban school, save for Ryerson in the late '90s and then only briefly.
  4. Let's see Senior Nicholas: The Bishop's Gaiters are not the power they once were, but guard Junior Nicholas can score in bunches.
  5. Con U and everyone else? Outside of the Stingers, Quebec didn't have a team in the top third of the final RPI rankings last season. Concordia, as the No. 1 seed, was then upset by Saint Mary's in the first round of the Final 8, so if you want to be selective with the facts, it's reasonable to wonder about the conference's strength relative to the rest of the country.
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