Men's hoops Top 10: Long night for Lancers; T-Birds vanquish UVic

  1. Carleton (1) — The Ravens won by seven at Waterloo Saturday, despite the Warriors shooting a very solid 48% and keeping Stu Turnbull in check (2-for-18; he got his 11 of his 15 points on the foul line).

    Mike Kenny (23 points on 7-of-9 from three-point range) and Kevin McCleery (16 points, 12 rebounds) were the main cogs on offence. McCleery's spot-up shooting from about 15-16 feet out has given Carleton another wrinkle on offence, particularly the ability to go to a high-low game or open some space for their wings.

    The Ravens did it again to another top scorer in Friday's 78-55 win over Laurier. The Golden Hawks' Kale Harrison, a legit 20-point scorer, was held to four points on 2-of-9 shooting, which is testament to Carleton's adaptability, and their wing defenders such as Turnbull and Rob Saunders.

    An odd aspect of Carleton's game this season: They're struggling at the foul line (13th in the OUA), after being top four in the conference the past two seasons and top four in the country the two seasons previous.
  2. UBC (2) — One could read Friday's 72-65 win over UVic as a character win for the Thunderbirds (11-1 in Canada West). Josh Whyte had a solid night against his old team with 14 points, game-high seven assists and six rebounds, and was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, while Blain Labranche was instant offence with 11 points in 19 minutes.
  3. St. Francis Xavier (7) — Guards Tyler Richards (26 points) and Christian Upshaw (20) helped the Atlantic's best team hit a hundred vs. UPEI in 20-point win Saturday.

    X held off Saint Mary's 76-71 in a Thursday night game, with Ottawa native Dwayne Johnson recording a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double. They look like best team down East, but it's early.
  4. Calgary (8) — Has a two-game trip to Carroll College in Montana next weekend.
  5. Windsor (5) — Queen's big man Mitch Leger sank a game-deciding three in the closing seconds, giving Queen's an upset 61-59 win and sticking Windsor with its second straight weekend split on the road. Queen's is not the biggest team around, but they outrebounded the Lancers by 14 and cashed in when player-of-the-year shortlister Greg Surmacz clanked some free throws down the stretch. This will probably get covered off at Out of Left Field since it's Queen's-centric, but it's a big, big win for coach Rob Smart's young team.

    Since Chris Oliver took over the Lancers, they've always had troubles with his former team. Queen's lost by 10 and 11 points in games at Windsor, and took the Lancers to overtime in a game in Kingston in '06-07.

    Windsor frosh point guard Ellis Ffrench, a much ballyhooed recruit, got his first minutes of the OUA season on Friday and ended up scoring 13 points in 10 minutes in that 114-40 laugher vs. RMC.
  6. Ottawa (6) -- Won twice this weekend to finish the first half tied with Carleton for the OUA's best record. They should change places with Windsor in the polls and in the R.P. RPI, whom they have beaten this seaso.

    Dax Dessureault (27 points, 11 rebounds) and lead guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe (26 and 12) carried the freight vs. Laurier in a 79-71 win on Saturday.

    In case you're wondering, the West went 34-30 in the cross-over games, but that includes eight wins over RMC that should almost be set aise.
  7. UVic (3) -- As noted, lost by seven to UBC on Friday. Putting up 30 three-point shots is not going to get it done, but they probably don't need that pointed out.
  8. Concordia -- Shooting guard Damian Buckley's 25 points carried the Stingers past Bishop's 59-51 Saturday, as it proved tougher for them in the second game after 102-61 rout on Friday.
  9. Dalhousie -- Has the bye in the Atlantic this week; back at it Jan. 8 vs. Acadia.
  10. Western -- The Mustangs, thanks to Windsor's loss, is alone atop the OUA West. The hot hand of Alex Brzozowicz (19 points, including 5-of-10 on threes) and some tough defence (26 turnovers) enabled the 'Stangs to beat Queen's 72-57 on Friday.

    Sophomore guard Ryan Barbeau, with 15 points in 25 minutes, had a nice homecoming to Eastern Ontario. They hung a hundred on RMC, don't worry.
Among the ARVers
  • McGill (4th in RPI) was swept by Laval (100-90 at home, 98-81 on the road). It shouldn't have come as a shock, given as Jacques Paiement's Rouge et Or had the 10th-best RPI coming into the week.
  • Brock has now lost four straight after losses to Ryerson (85-66) and Toronto (88-64). The young Badgers will probably be better off in the long run for nights like those — learning experience, eh. It was only a nine-point spread through three quarters against Ryerson, which was an improvement on being down 30 at that point vs. U of T.
  • U of T (9th in RPI), who is going to heard from in the OUA East come January, had a big night from Ahmed Nazdi (26 points, 16 rebounds) in Saturday's 12-point win over Guelph. They had six double-figure scorers Friday vs. Brock.
  • Waterloo, behind Cam McIntyre's 29 points — the first big scorer in a while who's been able to get his against Carleton — played the Ravens tough. That will help their rep, although you can't be too happy to lose at home.
  • Regina's Top 10 buzz ebbed just a bit with a split at Brandon, both two-point games. The Cougars won 86-84 Saturday after a last-second 91-89 loss in the first game. Stevens Marcellin dropped in the game-winning layup for the Bobcats with three seconds left, moments after a game-tying three.
  • The mere fact the Saint Mary's played St. FX tough on Thursday (X won 76-71) means they're going to have to be watched closely in January. Huskies coach Ross Quackenbush can coach the hell out of teams.
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  1. Carleton/Waterloo last night was probably the best game I've seen the Warriors play. They were tied at 41 at one point and it was actually really close until the foulfest at the end. Turnbull was 5/6 or 7/8 from the line in the last few minutes of the game and that iced it.

    You could tell they were keyed up for the #1 team, but that heightened play only got them so far. I think they can keep up with the Ravens offensively; defense is another question entirely. (Mainly because Doornekamp and McCleery are gigantic. Especially Doornekamp.) It's hard to keep close when you only get 20% of your own rebounds.

    McIntyre did have 29 points, but it should have been about 24. He got away with a flagrant foul in the fourth, bodychecking Mike Kenny to the ground. I'm not sure how they missed the call, since Kenny was all by himself, bringing the ball across half court, but they did. Kenny took a while to get up.

  2. An odd aspect of Carleton's game this season: They're struggling at the foul line (13th in the OUA)

    Does that explain why Waterloo fouled them so much, way more than you expect to see at the end of a close game? I hope that wasn't the Warriors' official fourth-quarter strategy, as anyone can tell that "13th in the OUA" is not really Carleton's place.

  3. What is up with the Windsor Lancers in general and Ellis Ffrench in particular?
    After handily beating Carleton in their home opener, Windsor has been merely a .500 team, if you discount the game against hopeless RMC.
    Of the three league losses Windsor has suffered so far, none is more shocking than the loss to Laurentian.
    If not for RMC, the Voyageurs would be the worst team in the OUA, and are among the very worst in the country.
    Yet they dropped 30 first quarter points on the Lancers en route to an upset victory.
    I know its a long bus ride from Windsor to Sudbury but come on...the Lancers had no business losing to that team.
    Ellis Ffrench, the guy who drives my spell check crazy, is apparently a forgotten man in Windsor...or forgotten by Chris Oliver, that is.
    He played ten minutes against RMC and scored 13 points...then again so could just about anybody.
    Why he isn't playing is a question many people are asking, without a satisfactory explanation so far.