- Carleton (2) — Recorded wins Ottawa (87-72) in the Capital Hoops Classic and over York (104-82) and Laurentian (107-56) in the weekend games. Carleton averaged 101.4 points in eight OUA East wins this month. There's no easy way to check when was the last time a team averaged a "century club" for a whole month.
Second-year wing Elliot Thompson had 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds vs. Laurentian. He also hooped 17, including five three-pointers, vs. York, as he continued to grow into a larger role in Carleton's offence. Those of who watched the Capital Hoops Classic might have wondered at the sight of frosh forward Kyle Smendziuk playing eight first-half minutes, but he ended up chipping 12 vs. Laurentian.
Shooting guard Stu Turnbull had 23 points, include five three-pointers, vs. York, so apparently he wasn't too shaken up after landing on his left shoulder following a hard foul from Ottawa's Josh Gibson-Bascombe two nights earlier.
The Ravens have their own Barry Bonds/Jeff Kent debate going on, which is a nice problem to have. Aaron Doornekamp is their best player, butTurnbull, in light of his 29-point, seven-rebound, four-assist night Wednesday (see our liveblog), might be their MVP.
- Ottawa (6) — Beat Laurentian (88-52) and York (111-76) by large margins in the wake of a teeth-gnashing loss to Carleton.
Point guard Josh Wright has moved into the starting lineup; he had 15 and 25-point games on the weekend. U of O coach Dave DeAveiro also became the winningest coach in the program's history, with 167 victories.
On Wednesday vs. Carleton,, the Gee-Gees had a case of the Mondays. Ottawa, which got 18 points apiece for a foul-plagued Gibson-Bascombe and Wright kept fighting the current all night, but could not get over the hump. It was a five-point game going into the fourth quarter, which speaks remarkably well for them considering both JGB and their best big, Dax Dessureault (13 points, nine rebounds) were on their way to fouling out.
The next installment of the Canal clash is Feb. 21 at the Gee-Gees gym, but with a 15-point margin, they're going to have trouble getting a tiebreaker vs. the Ravens for the playoffs. The upshot is they looked like a Final 8 team for long stretches tonight and, hey, they know the gym.
- UBC (1) — The Thunderbirds, led by Josh Whyte (27 points, eight rebounds, six assists, including 10 fourth-quarter points) and Chris Dyck (24 points, including 12 consecutive during a big run in the third), beat Calgary 91-76 on Saturday, with authority.
Dyck bounced back well after going without a basket in B.C.'s walkover (87-32) vs. Lethbridge on Friday. It was as if, as the CITR announcers noted, he saved all his good shots for Saturday. Centre Balraj Bains, before he fouled out with 2:17 left in the third quarter (UBC had 27 fouls), also had a big tip-in and a dunk during that period. Guard Alex Murphy also hit some big shots.
- St. Francis Xavier (5) — Beat UNB 97-71 on Saturday to end up .500 for the week after Wednesday's controversial 90-86 loss at Cape Breton.
X has some big concerns defensively. Wednesday, Capers combo forward Phil Nkrumah, went off for 39 points and 18 rebounds, along with four steals and four assists.
Nkrumah's the kind of player who seems to be popping up all over the country, 6-foot-4 or -5, too physical for most small forwards and too quick for most power forwards. It seems like the coaches just decided to let him and X's Christian Upshaw, who had 38 points, go 1-on-1.
Wednesday's game was a four-pointer in the AUS standings, so the Capers moved into second place with 26 points, with a game in hand on Saint Mary's.
X assistant coach Garry Gallimore has received a four-game suspension from the school for the incident at Cape Breton last week. The feeling here is that CBU should face sanctions for not protecting the coach and the X-Men players.
- Calgary (t-11) — Split vs. a pair of ranked teams, losing 91-76 to UBC on Saturday after beating UVic 86-81 in a possible Canada West Final Four semi-final preview.
Henry Bekkering had 29 points against the Thunderbirds. Tyler Fidler, though, went scoreless in the first half, and had a quiet night despite throwing down what the UBC play-by-play guys called "the dunk of the year" at the War Memorial Gym.
Against UVic, Calgary got by thanks to Ross Bekkering's 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Point guard Jamie McLeod also chipped in 11 points and more importantly, had just one turnover. Both games had whistle-happy officiating. UVic stalwarts Tyler Hass (18 points) and Ryan McKinnon (11) each fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
- UVic (3) — Beat Lethbridge 72-54 after losing to Calgary.
TheVikes can pretty much set their sights on trying to beat Trinity Western in a best-of-3 division semi-final. Both teams will likely finish 17-6, with the Spartans getting second place by dint of winning the season series.
- Western (t-7) — The Mustangs maintained their hold on the OUA West after wins over Guelph (70-59) on Saturday and Brock (80-76) three nights earlier. The BMoC should have more at some pont about the Guelph game.
Mustangs swingman Bradley Smith had 24 points vs. Guelph, to follow up on a 20-point, 11-rebound night against Brock. (Is there a better player in the division?)
Smith and Colin LaForme (12 and 12) each had double-doubles vs. Brock.
- Windsor (t-7) — They're alive and kicking, having pulled out a 79-72 win over Waterloo (Greg Surmacz had 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals) to break even this week.
Wednesday, Windsor had 24 turnovers in a 71-57 road loss at Guelph, despite Isaac Kuon hooping 20 points.
Windsor has McMaster and Brock at home and then to a two-game trip to Lakehead. Their remaining schedule sets up well, notwithstanding the travel.
- Concordia (t-11) — Idle. The Stingers have a bye before a home-and-home vs. Laval on Feb. 6-7.
- Trinity Western (4) — The higher you climb, the more you expose, in a matter of speaking. The Spartans split with Simon Fraser, losing 92-74 at home Friday after winning 73-72 one night earlier on Jacob Doerksen's buzzer-beating tip-in.
SFU point guard Sean Burke evidently was back to full health, making 6-of-7 threes on his way to 24 points and helping the Clan shoot an effective 57% from the floor.
The upshot, though, is that it does not hurt TWU (apologies, some stuff isn't so clear at 3 a.m.). They control their destination for the playoffs, since they have to win at Manitoba and Winnipeg to clinch second place. They have also won 12-of-13 despite Doerksen being limited by a sprained ankle.
The former UVic star had just six points Friday, but his effort Thursday was something else. Doerksen scored only 11 points, but had 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals, each team highs.
Point guard Louis Hurd had a huge week for Trinity Western, totalling 55 points across two nights, including 13-of-20 on threes. There's good coverage of TWU at Little Man on Campus.
- Congratulations are due to Ryerson power forward Boris Bakovic for becoming the all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,343 points in just three seasons.
Greg Layson has a post up at Big Man on Campus about the lack of attention paid to Bakovic's feat in the Toronto media.
- It must have felt like the old days at Mitchell Gym after the night guard Junior Nicholas and the Bishop's Gaiters had Saturday in an 88-77 win over Laval. Nicholas' all-around night (24 points, nine boards, seven assists) helped Bishop's, which had one of the loudest gyms in Canada back when the Gaiters were a national power a decade ago, knock off the defending Québec champions.
Each team in the Q has either five or six wins. It's fun to watch, but not easy to predict.