Hoops: The OUA West

Five storylines from the OUA West (which admittedly, is less well known to me than the OUA East):
  1. Win city: Having three fifth-year seniors starting in point guard Ryan Steer, wing Kevin Kloostra and forward Greg Allin, along with with a fourth-year big, rebounding machine Greg Surmacz, suggests the No. 2 Windsor Lancers were built to win this year.
  2. Ready to Brock: The Badgers, who beat a NCAA D-1 school on its own floor, should be a challenger, along with Guelph, Laurier and Western. Fifth-year point guard Brad Rootes has the handle and they have added Rohan Steen, who can light it up from outside. Steen started at Brock, then played the past two seasons at York, whom he helped reach the Final 8 in 2006.
  3. Look who's back: The Western Mustangs were a .500 team last season, but have been bolstered by a trio of NCAA transfers, including 6-foot-6 Keenan Jeppesen who once finished No. 2 in the Ivy League in scoring when he played at Brown. (Jeppesen eventually left after Penn declined to let him transfer there so he could play for the coach he'd had at Brown.) Brad Smith and Andrew Wedemire give the 'Stangs most of their scoring punch; they can run and gun a bit.
  4. Open the throttle: Guelph, coming off a 12-10 record in the conference, plans to play more up-tempo with the shorter 24-second clock. Coach Chris O'Rourke's team has been poking around the cishoops.ca Top 10 the past couple weeks. Guard Nick Pankerichan is a 20-points-per-night type of player.
  5. Frosh start at Mac: The Marauders are so young coach Joe Raso has to hold naptime in the middle of practice; they face a steep learning curve after losing five seniors off last season's team. They have a sophomore point guard, Jermaine DeCosta, who missed time since he plays football too, and his backup, Tyrell Vernon, is a freshman. There are a lot of first- and second-years, albeit talented ones, playing major minutes, such as guard Aminu Bello and posts Geoff McLaughlin and Mouctar Diaby.

(Much obliged to cishoops.ca for doing such a good job of keeping us all informed, which got a mention at globesports.com today.)

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