Hoops: Top 10 Tracker

What's up for the top teams (cishoops.ca and RPI rankings in brackets), updated after Saturday's games:

  1. Carleton (1, 1): Knowing Dave Smart's style, he'd say the 70-66 win over the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the Capital Hoops Classic was the next-best thing to a loss. The Ravens, now 15-0 in the OUA, evidently got exposed, but there's no exposure like the exposure that comes with a loss.

    The need for a night off from sports meant passing on the game, but as was the case back in the day, the Ernestown Eagles didn't need much help from a one-time backup-to-the-backup named Sager. Former Eagles Aaron Doornekamp (20 for the Ravens) and Donnie Gibson (19 for the Gee-Gees) were the game's top scorers. Stu Turnbull, whose dad Tom coached at the school for many years, was player of the game.

    Ryan Bell had 21 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting Friday in Carleton's 71-58 over Queen's. That's one of the closer contests between the Golden Gaels and Ravens in the past few years.
  2. Acadia (2, 12): Sunday's 92-63 thrashing of St. FX on Sunday is probably enough to keep the Axemen at No. 2 in the coaches' poll.
  3. Brandon (3, 4): No problems for BU, who got by Manitoba by double-digit margins in both games this weekend.
  4. Calgary (4, 2): Is it true that people who appreciate low-post scoring start salivating when they hear the words "Henry Bekkering?" Hank The Tank had 72 points, 18 rebounds over a weekend sweep of Fraser Valley and Thompson Rivers.
  5. Ottawa (7, 7): A close loss to Carleton on Saturday probably won't hurt the Gee-Gees' ranking terribly, although they will have a quick turnaround to play at Queen's on Tuesday. The Golden Gaels won in Ottawa last season.
  6. UBC (9, 8): The T-Birds got through a weekend series with Trinity Western were 112 fouls were called. A good inter-division matchup vs. Alberta awaits next Friday.
  7. U of T (6, 5): The real action for the Varsity Blues comes next weekend: Carleton on Friday, Ottawa on Saturday. York deserves a mention for playing the Blues tough in a 70-64 loss.
  8. Concordia (NR, 19): Now who's naive -- those who kept the Stingers in the top 10, or the gomer who thought he'd look prescient for calling a UQAM win? The Citadins won in a 96-75 blowout (17 points from sharpshooter Mario Joseph), meaning the Stingers will probably fall out of the top 10. There's still time left for them, however.

    Former Saskatchewan guard Levi Vann had 22 points in 28 minutes in Friday's 77-64 win over Bishop's.
  9. Brock (NR, 15): The Badgers head into their McMaster/Windsor road weekend on a high after a 96-70 rout of Guelph. They shot an absurd 36 free throws vs. the Gryphons and even more absurd, made 33. Mike Kemp scored 24 points on just 11 shots from the field.
  10. Cape Breton (5, 9): 66-53 over Acadia, what's the cliche? Chalk it up to a character win for the Capers.
  11. Windsor (8, 10): By process of elimination, the Lancers, who swept Lakehead will be back in the Top 10 in the coaches' poll. Point guard Ryan Steer was two steals shy of a triple-double on Friday.
  12. Alberta (10, 3): The Golden Bears got a split of a two-game series in Saskatchewan, which was enough to lock up second spot in the division. The Huskies will rue having star Andrew Spagrud miss six free throws in Friday's 79-75 loss.
  13. Laval (AC, 17): Big man J.P. Morin had a 34-point, 15-rebound night in Saturday's win over McGilll as the Rouge et Or opened a three-game lead over Concordia in the Quebec conference. Point guard Xavier Baribeau, never left the floor in either game all weekend.
  14. Guelph (NR, 14): The Gryphons might have to concern themselves more about staying ahead of Western for third in the OUA West than catching second-place Brock after Saturday's spanking in St. Catharines. They're a youngish team; maybe Guelph just needs time to mature.
  15. Saint Mary's (NR, 13): The Huskies lost 76-75 to St. FX, their second defeat against the X-Men in less than two weeks, but you haven't heard the last of them.

Teams in the top 15 in RPI who didn't get much support in the poll are St. Francis Xavier (sixth) and Victoria (11th). Mark Wacyk has the X-Men as an "also considered" team.

A couple other games to keep an eye on...

Western 84, McMaster 66:
The Mustangs' experience, plus a 25-point night from Brad Smith, was the first step in getting them to 8-7 in the OUA West. No one will want to face the Mustangs in the playoffs; they might even have an outside shot at winning the conference.

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