What happened was that No. 1 UBC and No. 3 Concordia each lost. The Thunderbirds' three-point loss to Regina was on the road. The guess here is Carleton goes back to No. 1 next week.
The two ranked teams in Quebec had a rougher Saturday than the two NHL teams in Ontario, as like the Stingers, No. 9 McGill both lost the back end of home-and-home series.
- UBC (2) — Well, what happened in that 76-73 loss to Regina on Saturday? Moser Award shortlister Chris Dyck's stuff wasn't falling (3-for-16), they got beat up on the boards (minus-6 rebounding margin, with Regina's Jamal Campbell ripping down 12 rebounds) and the Cougars shot an ungodly 52 per cent. Regina Leader-Post scribe Tim Switzer called it one of the best basketball games he has ever seen.
Regina also outrebounded UVic on Friday. They are 3-3 despite a brutal early sked.
UBC also spotted Brandon a big lead early Friday, but won going away 87-74 with Bryson Kool going 10-for-10 from the field on his way to a 21-point, 10-rebound night. This whole weekend raises questions about how well UBC travels.
The T-Birds won't have to worry about for a couple wees. They have Simon Fraser and UVic the next two weeks to close out the pre-Christmas portion of the Canada West schedule.
- Carleton (1) — Four Ravens were in double figures in each win this weekend, over McMaster (74-49) Saturday and Lakehead (78-57) on Friday.
CU's big long-term question is their second team. There was a point with about 4:35 left in the fourth quarter when coach Dave Smart, up by 28, saw something he didn't like from the second-teamers and put all five starters back in the game. It was good coaching (especially since Rob Saunders hit back-to-back threes over the following minute and a bit before the starting five sat down again).
Friday, Thunderwolves freshman point guard Greg Carter had a game-high 20 points in his first university game in his hometown; Carter led St. Patrick's High School to the OFSAA AAA gold medal last winter and is already getting some OUA West rookie of the year buzz. Between
- Concordia (3) — The Stingers had a 31-point quarter on defence in their 75-60 loss Saturday to UQAM (which shot 55%), and that's not fitting of the No. 3 team in the nation (or the No. 30 team). It could have just been off-night. Damian Buckley went off for 50 points in the two games vs. the Citadins; he was the only one who had his stroke Saturday. Take away his shooting and Concordia shot 30 per cent.
- Windsor (4) — The big man, Greg Surmacz, totalled 42 points and 18 rebounds in home wins over Ryerson (74-67) and U of T (78-58). The Lancers had the ball on a string Friday in their 78-58 win over Toronto — 19 assists on 30 baskets and no player received credit for more than four.
- St. Francis Xavier (6) — Have a Sunday afternoon game at No. 10 Dalhousie; Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw had a 17-point, 14-rebound double-double in Friday's 96-78 romp over UNB to start their weekend.
- Calgary (7) — The scores were lower than normal for the Dinos but they handled Lethbridge decently enough (64-49, 86-52 in the second game).
- UVic (5) — The Vikes spread the scoring around in wins over Brandon (89-68) and Regina (81-75). In the latter game, they scored close to 90 points with only two players in double figures. They also had a 42-25 edge on rebounds after being minus-10 Friday.
- Ottawa (9) — Won twice at home; Josh Gibson-Bascombe had 22 points, 11 rebounds and dropped five assists in the 80-67 win over Lakehead. Ottawa's five starters scored all but two of the points; the only backup to score, Nemanja Baletic, left the game after being poked in the eye. Here is hoping that he is OK.
Dax Dessureault had 21 points in Friday's 82-71 win over McMaster. About half of those points came on dunks as he and Mac's Mouctar Diaby went toe-to-toe much of the night.
- McGill (10) — The Bishop's Gaiters scored the last 10 points of the game to beat the Redmen 72-70 Saturday in Lennoxville. The Redmen hit a hundred (103-91) in the first game in Montreal, but Craig Norman felt his team "came out flat" so perhaps a letdown could have been anticipated. The star scorer Sean Anthony has a scratched cornea (McGill Athletics) and shot 6-of-18 (he was 10-of-15 Friday, but .333 and .667 do not add up to a thousand).
Moustafa El Zanaty, one of McGill's scoring stars, got ejected in the second quarter after getting his second intentional foul. Give full credit to the Gaiters for capitalizing in his absence. (Thanks to Bishop's SID John Edwards for the update -- it wasn't clear from the summary why El Zanaty played only 16 minutes.)
- Dalhousie (8) — Beat a good Cape Breton team by 11 points (74-63) on Friday. Their game against St. FX on Sunday is a good litmus test.
- Western's Top 10 hopes took a hit Friday with an 82-77 home loss to Ryerson ... Boris Bakovic went off for 30 points and Western big man Colin LaForme was a no-factor (no points in 13 minutes), while point guard Matt Curtis didn't have his shot. The 'Stangs bounced back to beat No. 14 U of T Saturday. The Mustangs can hurt teams in a lot of ways.
- No. 12 Brock is emerging as a nice little story in the OUA West, as noted up top. Their strength-of-sked is not too all-fired great, but they are 8-0 vs. Canadian foes this season with a virtual entire lineup of freshman and sophomores, including the rookie backcourt with Jordan Whitty running the point and Didi Mukendi at the 2-guard. Each of them had 18 points Saturday in a 74-65 over Queen's, which is pretty young itself but might also be the toughest CIS teams the Badgers have seen.
One should be excited for Brock, which lost six key cogs off the national championship team, but maybe temper the excitement about Brock. They are at Carleton and Ottawa next week.
Tell you this much: Between Mukendi, Whitty, Mac's Cam Michaud and Greg Carter at Lakehead, the OUA West all-rookie team is almost full.
- Cape Breton lost by 11 to Dal, as noted.
- Howard Tsumura of the Vancouver Province gave a good survey a couple weeks ago of the new-look Fraser Valley Cascades, who picked up 17 points in this week's poll, making them the de facto No. 15 team in the country. Barnaby Craddock, the ex-Brandon coach, looks like he has something at UFV (not UFCV), especially with the two rookie guards, Gurhote Jhaj and Sam Freeman.
The newer teams in the Interior, of course, have to get by UBC or UVic to ever have an impact nationally. Of course, that obstacle might remove itself...