Hoops: Rantin' and Raven...

Like any "serious Canadian basketball fans" needs Carleton's Dave Smart to win an award to recognize his accomplishments and his abilities. The proof is in how hard his teams get after it on the court.

(There's a very good take up at cishoops.ca -- the point being, let's keep some perspective.)

Nevertheless, Jack Aubry, who's a seasoned political reporter, kind of lost his wits inveighing against Dave Smart not being up for CIS men's basketball coach of the year, even though the Carleton Ravens are 31-0. (The rest of us made our peace with this a couple weeks ago, when the OUA East award was announced.)
"... There's already been a bit of craziness off the court that has left serious Canadian basketball fans shaking their heads in wonderment."
Here on Planet Earth, those who follow university sports for more than two weeks out of the year (Final 8 and the week of the Vanier Cup) are numb to rather enigmatic award choices. Remember when the Hec Crighton went to a quarterback (McMaster's Ben Chapdelaine in 2001) with more interceptions than touchdown passes that season?

"... Dave Smart, the Johnny Wooden of Canadian basketball, will not be receiving the national coach of the year award for 2007-2008."

"I don't want to exaggerate, but in the world of awards, it's akin to denying Albert Einstein the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Or telling Wayne Gretzky that he wouldn't receive the Art Ross Trophy for scoring in 1985-86 even though he broke the NHL record for most points in one season with 215."

Hate to break it to him, but he exaggerated. Yes, it's silly to synch up OUA and CIS awards, since the two best coaches or the two of the best individual performers might play in the same conference (think Regina QB Teale Orban and UBC tailback Chris Ciezki in football two years ago). Sadly, the argument kind of gets lost in the wildly inaccurate analogies.

(The Nobel Prize is for accomplishments that have stood up to a test of time and the Art Ross Trophy is a straight stats award. If the coach-of-the-year award just went to the coach whose team won the most games, yeah, it would be a totally valid analogy.)

"There should be blood over this."
It's amateur sports, for pity's sake. It's the ultimate tribute to Carleton's coaches and players that Smart wasn't the OUA East coach of the year during an unbeaten season. (It went to Mike Katz of Toronto, which Aubry sideswipes as the "centre of the universities.")

The Ravens have reached that level where it almost seems redundant to honour them -- much like how Wooden didn't win NCAA coach-of-the-year honours during all 10 of his national championship seasons at UCLA (he won it only seven times).

Let's appreciate that instead of trying to conjour up injustices where there aren't any. Surely a veteran political reporter has the sufficient common sense.
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