Tune in 8 p.m. tonight, there will be a live blog of the Toronto-Ottawa OUA East men's basketball semi-final.

The liveblog can also be accessed at Out of Left Field. The game is on Rogers 22 in the Ottawa region and available at Streaming Sports Network Canada.

Canada went coast-to-coast in its 3-1 win over China in the gold medal game at the Universiade in Harbn.

McGill's Cathy Chartrand scored the first goal, York's Courtney Unruh, a B.C. native who plays at an OUA school scored the second. An Albertan, Rayanne Reeve (from Calgary, but goes to school in Edmonton at the U of A), scored the third-period clincher. The middle of the country was represented too, since Manitoba's Stacey Corfield was in goal. Laurier's Andrea Bevan had two assists, so that accounts for Ontario outside of Toronto.

Congrats to the Canadian coaches and players.
For anyone who didn't see it in the theatre, Campus Chatter has commentary up on the Canada West men's basketball awards,

MVP (and Mike Moser Trophy finalist) — Trinity Western F Jacob Doerksen (). The only 20-and-10 player in the country presents a very good argument for the national player-of-the-year award. UBC's Chris Dyck (14.0 ppg) ultimately didn't have the big stats thanks to being in a share-the-ball offence. Doerksen and Windsor's Greg Surmacz, the OUA West nominee, present solid cases for the national award.

Rookie of the year — Fraser Valley G Sam Freeman (Burnaby, B.C.) Averaged 13.2 points in 23 minutes, which is efficient by any standard, not just that of a first-year player.

Top defender — Simon Fraser G Frank Bradley (Bedford Heights, Ohio). Not too shabby for the former walk-on.

Ken Shields Award nominee — UBC guard Chris Dyck (Winnipeg). The Can West press release makes note of Dyck notes that his good works include working with Athletes in Action as a coach at camps, an AIDS awareness program called Hoops for Hope and organizing bible study meetings.

Coach of the yearKevin Hanson, UBC. The Thunderbirds are 25-2 in Canada West play, so this was an easy call.

First all-star team — Doerksen, F, TWU; Dany Charlery, G, Brandon (Montreal); Showron Glover, G, Saskatchewan (Fresno, Calif.); Ross Bekkering, F, Calgary (Taber, Alta.); Greg Wallis, F, Simon Fraser (Victoria).

Second all-star team — Dyck, G, UBC; Josh Whyte, F, UBC (Calgary); Henry Bekkering, F, Calgary (Taber, Alta.); Mitch Gudgeon, F, UVic (Victoria); Kris Heshka, C-F, Regina (Gorlitz, Sask.).
The CIS announced the men's volleyball All-Canadians and other award winners tonight. Here's the list, with some analysis to follow.


Player of the year: Joel Schmuland, Alberta Golden Bears

Rookie of the year: Chris Voth, Manitoba Bisons

Libero of the year: Nicolas Quirion, Laval Rouge et Or

Coach of the year: Terry Danyluk, Alberta Golden Bears

Dale Iwanoczko Award (outstanding student-athlete): Alan Ahow, Winnipeg Wesmen

First Team (name, school, hometown)

Emmanuel André-Morin, Montreal, Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac,Que.
Steve Gotch, UBC, Okotoks, Alta,
Steven Kung, Toronto, Toronto,Ont.
Thierry Lavigne, Laval, Rockland, Ont.
Sander Ratsep, Dalhousie, London, Ont.
Paul Sanderson, Brandon, Melbourne, Australia
Joel Schmuland, Alberta, Calgary, Alta.

Second Team

Max Burt, Dalhousie, Gander, Nfld.
Chaim Schalk, Trinity Western, Red Deer, Alta.
Olivier Faucher, Laval, Plessisville, Que.
Jeremy Groenveld, McMaster, Welland, Ont.
Omar Langford, Calgary, Toronto, Ont. Eric Simon, Western, London, Ont.
Joren Zeeman, Queen’s, Cambridge,Ont.

All-Rookie Team
Josh Boruck, Thompson Rivers, Revelstoke, B.C.
Scott Hickman, Memorial, St. John’s, Nlfd.
Christopher Hoag, Calgary, Sherbrooke, Que.
Kenny Oshima, Montreal, Bruxelles, Belgium
Winston Rosser, Guelph, Whitby, Ont.
Samuel Schachter, Wilfrid Laurier, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Chris Voth, Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.

This seems like a pretty good list. Canada West has more players than any other conference, but they're probably actually somewhat underrepresented given their success at the nationals. The conference [myself, Queen's Journal] has won 36 of the 42 national championships held in men's volleyball and has swept the medals for the past seven years and taken the championship trophy home for the last 14 years. There are some signs (myself, Queen's Journal, bottom of the article) that their dominance may be on the wane, given that the fierce competition among a wide group of Canada West teams is often cited as a factor in their success. We're starting to see more parity in the other conferences, and that perhaps could lead to a team from another conference making a run at this coming weekend's nationals. Still, Canada West teams hold four of the eight berths (three for sweeping last year's medals plus U of A's host berth), so the odds are that they'll extend the streak to 15.

On the specific player front, it was nice to see Steven Kung selected as a first-team all-star; he plays for a team that doesn't get a lot of national attention, but his stats have always been very good. Joren Zeeman of Queen's is a good choice for the second-team; he played a large role in the Gaels' run to the OUA finals. He was named the CIS rookie of the year last year and improved considerably this year, so that's worthy of note; he'll be one to watch down the road. Player of the Year Joel Schmuland is a very impressive player and played a large role in Alberta's championship last season; it will be interesting to see how he performs on his home court this year. Terry Danyluk is a tremendous coach, but it's interesting that he was selected this year; often, the Coach of the Year is given to whoever created the largest turnaround, and Danyluk's squad started the season as defending champions. Still, they went 20-0 through the regular season and playoffs in the fierce competition of Canada West, which is an incredibly impressive coaching feat. It's easy for a dominant team to let their foot off the gas and suffer a loss here or there; an undefeated record really shows that the coach has kept his players motivated and has them in perfect sync. To me, that shows that Danyluk was a deserving choice, even if he wasn't necessarily a conventional one.

(Interestingly, Dave Preston of McMaster earned the coaching award last year after an undefeated run through the OUA regular season and playoffs. However, Mac's run was a bit more surprising, as they'd lost in the OUA finals to Queen's in the previous year.)

One last brief point on this. Many schools are going budget-conscious at the moment and deciding to only fly first-team All-Canadian players to the awards ceremony at the nationals, ignoring the second-team players. This makes sense in a sport like football, where the first-team lists alone can be massive (for instance, Queen's had six first-team all-Canadian football players this year). In volleyball and similar sports, though, there really aren't a lot of players honoured as All-Canadians, so a second-team honour is much more significant in my mind. I know it's a tough economic climate for many athletic departments, but it would be nice to see the second-team all-Canadians honoured by their schools as well.
There are not enough hours in the day to track every football team's recruiting. Still, Saint Mary's snagged a couple offensive linemen out of CEGEP:
"The Saint Mary’s Huskies football team is attempting to end a recruiting drought in Quebec by nabbing a pair of offensive line partners from Vanier College.

"Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah said he thinks he’s closing in on a commitment from six-foot-four, 280-pound Randy White and six-foot-two, 275-pound Guillaume Gagnier, who played side-by-side in CEGEP. — Halifax Herald
Short answer: You-know-who is still the first to belly up to the bar.

Anyhow, Canada will have its answer to Rivals. Schools such as Guelph are coming around to this idea people actually want to know who's coming in (the Gryphons will introduce their '09 recruiting class on Saturday.) Meantime, there is Canadian Football Recruiting Database and the message boards.
If you pay attention to our RPI, the results in yesterday's QSSF semi-finals were not surprising. However, there was a slight upset in terms of the standings when the underdog UQAM Citadins beat the Bishop's Gaiters. Despite finishing 3rd in the Quebec conference, UQAM has been in the top-5 of the RPI the last two weeks.

UQAM 60 @ Bishop's 44
UQAM had a seven point lead at halftime, and really pulled away by winning the third quarter 18-9. The biggest thing for UQAM was limiting the production of Bishop's first team all-star Katy Germain. Germain averaged just over 11 points per game over the regular season, but only had one point in the semi-final in 21 minutes. UQAM had production from Irline Noel who led both teams with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Michelle Bellemare had 12 points.

Concordia 65 @ Laval 74
Marie-Michelle Genois had 20 points, including 14 in the first quarter to lead the Rouge et Or to the victory. Concordia double- and triple-teamed Genois in the paint following the first quarter, but that opened up the corners to Elise Jobin who had 19 on 3/7 from long-range.
Concordia, who had comeback from a 17 point deficit to win in overtime the last time they played Laval in Quebec City couldn't come back from a 18 point deficit in the third quarter. They cut the gap to 7 before eventually falling by 9.
QSSF first-team all-star Krystle Douglas led all scorers with 24 points. Felon Harris had 12 off the bench for the Stingers.

This sets up a very interesting Quebec final. In the final two games of the regular season, UQAM defeated Laval in both games. You can expect them to be confident going into the final for a place at Nationals at stake.
Here are our latest wild guesses and hunches on the Final 8 seeding. The picks from last Thursday are here.

Richard Zussman
is in this week and has bucked the Carleton-UBC 1-2 trend. Those two teams and Calgary are in everyone's top four. The debates seem to be whether to slot Cape Breton over Trinity as the wild card entry, whether or not Concordia should be higher than sixth, and where to put Western and St. Francis Xavier.

The rest are pretty consistent: only nine teams show up across five ballots.

J. Book:
  1. Carleton (host)
  2. UBC (Can West #1)
  3. Concordia (Quebec #1)
  4. Calgary (Can West #2)
  5. Western (OUA)
  6. Ottawa (OUA)
  7. St. Francis Xavier (AUS #1)
  8. Cape Breton (wild card)
A. Bucholtz
  1. Carleton (OUA champion/host)
  2. UBC (CanWest champion)
  3. St. Francis Xavier (Atlantic champion)
  4. Calgary (Canada West finalist)
  5. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  6. Concordia (Québec champion)
  7. Western (OUA finalist)
  8. Trinity Western (wild card)
R. Pettapiece:
  1. Carleton (OUA/host)
  2. UBC (Canada West champion)
  3. Calgary (Canada West No. 2)
  4. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  5. St. Francis Xavier (AUS champion)
  6. Western (OUA No. 2)
  7. Concordia (Québec champion)
  8. Cape Breton (wild card)
N. Sager
  1. Carleton (OUA champion)
  2. UBC (Canada West champion)
  3. Western (OUA West)
  4. Calgary (Canada West automatic)
  5. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  6. St. Francis Xavier (Atlantic champion)
  7. Concordia (Québec champion)
  8. Trinity Western (wild card)
R. Zussman:
  1. Carleton (host/OUA champs)
  2. Calgary (Can West champs)
  3. UBC (Can West auto)
  4. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  5. St. FX (Atlantic champs)
  6. Western (OUA runner up)
  7. Concordia (Quebec champs)
  8. Trinity Western (wild card)
The first round of the OUA men's playoffs went tonight: the No. 3 seeds won and the #4 seeds lost. On the women's side, Ottawa and Windsor won their division finals.

Laurier 48 @ McMaster 56
A pair of double-doubles by Marko Gacic (12 points, 15 boards) and Mouctar Diaby (15, 11) paced the Marauders. As many rebounds as those players got, the rest of the team nearly matched as they grabbed 50 to Laurier's 30.

Tough night for Laurier: lost by 8; Jesse MacDonald and Kale Harrison combined to shoot 6-for-26. Throw in a 3-of-11 by Matthew Buckley, one of two Hawks to hit 10 on the night, and that's a lot of points they didn't get.

Waterloo 71 @ Guelph 63
It got a little close near the end, but Waterloo had a ten-point lead at many points in the fourth quarter and that's tough to come back from when there are six minutes left. Dan White had 25 of those 71; those came on 15 shots, whereas Duncan Milne's 23 came on 20 shots. Some of those 20 could have been blocked by Matt Hayes, who had three on the night.

It was surprising that, with 40 seconds left and down by four,, the Gryphs let the Warriors run off half the remaining game time instead of fouling. Better minds can analyze their last-minute decisions, but from the stands, that seemed strange, and it wasn't helped by their decision to try an alley-oop about ten seconds later. (Big Man on Campus has more.)

Queen's 48 @ Toronto 63
Only one Gael hit double digits (Robert Shaw with 12) as U of T won rather convincingly, it would appear. 11 points and 15 boards for Nick Snow; 14 and 11 for Ahmed Nazmi. The Varsity Blues meet Ottawa in the OUA semi-final for the third straight season.

York 71 @ Ryerson 69

Someone who attended this one needs to do it justice. Lions point guard Tut Ruach (22 points) got the first word and last word in as he helped bring the Lions after being down six points going into the fourth quarter.

Ruach, who led York to the OUA East title and the then-Final 10 in 2006, hit the go-ahead jumper with 18 seconds go and after Ryerson coughed up the ball off the inbounds pass (near as one can establish), made the clinching free throws. He scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, which also included a steal and subsequent jumper which sparked an 11-0 run to start the quarter, forcing Ryerson to empty its tanks.

Twenty-five points from Boris Bakovic (and 11 rebounds) added to Joseph Imbrogno's 14 and 17, combined with 15 more points from Ryan McNeilly would, you'd think, be enough for Ryerson. Four blocks from York's Stephan Hayes presumably swung things back towards the Lions' side, and maybe the minutes logged by those three Rams (40, 37, and 39 respectively) had something to do with it too, as they had to empty their tanks in the fourth after coughing up the lead.

We have Waterloo at Western, McMaster at Windsor, Toronto at Ottawa, and York at Carleton in Saturday's division semi-finals.

East final; Ottawa, 68, Toronto 55:
The Gee-Gees have traversed from turmoil to triumph (too many words starting with T), qualifying for the Final 8 one season after four veterans quite the team early in the season, hastening a coaching change at the end of the season.

Allison Forbes and Kelly Weir (who said Weir might be good for an outlier performance?) each had 14 points for Ottawa. The Gee-Gees, as they have most of the season under first-year coach Andy Sparks, played tough D (32.8% shooting and just 21 second-half points for Toronto) and were 24-of-27 at the foul line, including 10-of-11 by Forbes.

West final; No. 2 Windsor 82, No. 8 Western 61: A 23-point night from Dranadia Roc and 21 from Alisa Wulff (on 5-of-6 shooting) accounted for most of the damage for the Lancers, who had this one put away after three quarters.

Amanda Anderson, one of six Mustangs in her fourth year of eligibility (Bess Lennox, the OUA rebounding champ, is done), had 28 points.
No doubt you heard already that a Canadian teacher, Mark Alessio, was shot and killed in Madagascar on Monday in what's being called a bungled robbery attempt. Alessio played four seasons of then-CIAU basketball, at Queen's and McGill. From the press release:
"Alessio attended Queen’s from 1984 to 1989 and graduated with an honours degree in Psychology in 1989. He was a part of the Queen’s Junior Varsity squad before joining the Queen’s varsity team for three seasons from 1986 to 1989. He was a teammate and personal friend of actor Tom Cavanagh.

"Alessio also played an additional season with McGill in 1990-91 while pursuing his post-graduate degree.

" 'Mark was a tremendous teammate and a truly incredible individual,' said Bruce Caughill, who played two season with Alessio at Queen’s. “He was a free spirit and more committed than anyone I have ever met to living life on his own terms. We will miss him and cherish the memories we have of him.'

" 'It's always disheartening to hear about the loss of life, especially when closely connected to our basketball community,' said Queen’s men's basketball coach Rob Smart. 'Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends in this trying period.' "
It is unspeakable. In a small country such as Canada (population-wise) and among the small fraternity of university sports devotees, chances are we're only a few degrees of separation from someone who knew Mark Alessio. Here's hoping they can get through the next few days and weeks as well as can be hoped.

(Small world: Alessio's last year at Queen's, 1988-89, was my first as a Golden Gaels fan. My 11, going on 12-year-old interest was piqued part by Jock Climie, who set a national receiving record that fall and partly by my mom going back that year to finish her history degree. Her first class, a Monday night history lecture, was taught by campus legend Geoffrey S. Smith, a long-time supporter of Queen's basketball. No word of a lie, I'm reading one of Dr. Smith's books currently.

Cross-posted to Out of Left Field.)
The women's basketball awards are out for Canada West, the dominant conference of the sport, and to nobody's surprise, Kayla Dykstra was named conference MVP.

Dykstra led the West in scoring, rebounding, and shooting. At least one ranking had her at the top of the country. Any questions?

Pressing commitments leave little time for more involved discussion of the award winners. I will briefly note that the Coach of the Year was Lisa Thomaidis at the University of Saskatchewan, and that the conference's nominee for the Sylvia Sweeney Award (commitment to athletics, academics, and community involvement) is Courtney Gerwing of the SFU Clan, referred to as a "fantastic citizen" by Clan coach Bruce Langford.

The four other first-team all-stars are Robyn Buna and Laurelle Weigl from Simon Fraser (who were also ranked in the conference's top five), the Huskies' Kim Tulloch, and Regina's Jessica Lynch. Except for Dykstra, all four will be in action in Burnaby this weekend at the Canada West Final Four: the University of Alberta is the fourth team participating and all four will make it to nationals due to Regina's status as the host team.

A complete list of winners is available from the Canada West website.
Calgary Dinos goalies Nathan Deobald and Jeff Weber each got to practise with the NHL's Flames on Monday, and Weber made some memories. More to the point, Jarome Iginla made one for him, ringing a shot off his mask and drawing blood:
" 'That's something I'll probably remember the rest of my life,' Weber said.

" 'He apologized, too. It's something I can brag about.

" 'I'm just happy I made the save.' "
Iginla blast draws blood; But practice fill-in thrilled to have big story to tell (Randy Sportak, Sun Media)
Those who want to keep up with how Canada is faring at the 2009 Universiade should check out Harbin 2009.

Among the CIS athletes who are competing for their country, Moncton forward Mariève Provost and Regina goalie Brant Hilton have each written entries.
Big Man on Campus has early word on the OUA West men's basketball awards:

Player of the year — Windsor C Greg Surmacz (Peterborough, Ont.). The big man has averaged 19.7 points and 7.6 boards for the Lancers despite constant double-teaming all season. He has a strong case for the Mike Moser Trophy, but it would help his cause if Windsor can qualify for the Final 8.

Coach of the year — Western's Brad Campbell. It's the second in two years for the Ottawa native, who has piloted the Mustangs and their up-tempo offence to a 19-3 conference record.

First team — Surmacz, C, Windsor; Keenan Jeppesen, F, Western (Stoney Creek, Ont.); Kiraan Posey, F, Lakehead (Baltimore, Md.); Kale Harrison, F, Laurier (Stratford, Ont.); Bradley Smith, F, Western (Innisfil, Ont.)

There is no true guard, let alone a point guard, on the squad. Brad Rootes' and Ryan Steer's graduations left a bit of a void in the division.

Second teamMouctar Diaby, C, McMaster (Hamilton, Ont.); Owen White, F, Brock (Port Hope, Ont.); Isaac Kuon, F-G, Windsor (Mississauga); Jesse MacDonald, G, Laurier (Brantford, Ont.); Nick Pankerichan, Guelph (Hamilton, Ont.).

Guelph C Duncan Milne (13.0 points, 6.6 rebounds) probably warranted a long look, but Diaby (11.6, 8.6) gives the third-place team in the division an all-star. Waterloo is the only team not represented.
The OUA East women's basketball awards were announced this morning:

Player of the year — Toronto G Alaine Hutton (Hamilton). The senior guard is a main reason why U of T is poised to make its second Final 8 trip in four years; Hutton has averaged 17.8 points for Varsity, which plays Ottawa in a game to go to nationals tomorrow night.

Joy Bellinger Award of MeritAmanda McConnell, F, Laurentian (Regina, Sask.). McConnell, who lost her mom to breast cancer four years ago, was integral in a number of fundraising efforts for cancer treatment and research at the Sudbury school.

Coach of the year — Ottawa's Andy Sparks. The proof is in the record; Sparks made Ashbury College a provincial girls powerhouse and has carried that over to Ottawa, which has thrown off the yoke of last season's 3-19 catastrophe and gone 15-7 this season. A lot of credit goes to his staff, including assistants such as Mario Gaetano and Moriah Trowell, the former all-Canadian who was one of the veterans who left the Gee-Gees in 2007-08.

Defender of the yearTanya Perry, G, Carleton (Barrie, Ont.) Ask anyone who watched a Ravens game this season; she was all over the court.

Rookie of the yearAbby Edmison, F, RMC (Carleton Place, Ont.) Edmison avergaged 7.0 points and 6.5 rebounds for a Paladins team which snapped its 128-game losing streak this season.

First teamNicki Schutz, F, Toronto (Toronto); Ines Jelic, F, Carleton (London, Ont.); Hutton, G, Toronto; Laura MacCallum, G, York (Paris, Ont.); Brittany Moore, G, Queen's (Hannon, Ont.).

A little bit of trivia: The school scoring record which MacCallum now holds was previously held by Nastassia Subban, older sister of Montreal Canadiens prospect P.K. Subban.

Second team — Perry, G, Carleton; Emilie Morasse, G, Ottawa (Quebec City); Darrah Bumstead, F, Laurentian (New Hamburg, Ont.); Jenny Hobbs, G, Ryerson (Burlington); Sharlene Harding, F, RMC (Brampton, Ont.).

Rookie team — Edmison, F, RMC; Alyson Bush, G, Carleton (Ottawa); Emily Perras , G, York (Lindsay, Ont.); Kendall MacLeod, F, Carleton (Brockville, Ont.); Angela Tilk, F, Ryerson (Welland, Ont.).

All eight teams were represented, thanks to the rookie Edmison and the 34-year-old grad student, Harding.
Tomorrow night in Quebec City, the Concordia Stingers (5-11, #28 RPI) will take on the Quebec regular season champion Laval Rouge et Or (11-5, #12 RPI).

On the surface, it looks like a mismatch and people will already be penciling Laval in for a conference final date against the winner of Bishop's (10-6, #15 RPI) and UQAM (9-7, #5 RPI). However, a closer look shows that Laval is struggling. The Rouge et Or are 3-3 in their last six games after an 8-2 start. They lost both games against UQAM this past weekend, swept two games against McGill and split two games against Concordia.

The Stingers went into Quebec City and rallied from a 15 point deficit to beat Laval 76-70 in overtime on Feb. 7. On the next afternoon, Concordia rallied from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to tie the game before a questionable blocking foul with five seconds left allowed two free throws for Laval, who won the game by one. Laval won the previous two meetings by scores of 76-54 and 66-59.

The other semi-final is an interesting matchup between Bishop's and UQAM. Despite being in the RPI's top-10 for the last few weeks, UQAM is the visiting team, finishing a game behind the Gaiters.

The season series between the two teams is tied at 2 a piece with the home team winning each game. Bishop's won by scores of 55-36 and 57-50. UQAM won by scores of 82-67 and 57-50.

Bishop's was 4-0 vs Concordia, 2-2 vs UQAM, 2-2 vs Laval and 2-2 vs McGill
UQAM was 3-1 vs Concordia, 2-2 vs Bishop's, 2-2 vs Laval and 2-2 vs McGill

The women's all-star teams and award winners were announced as well. McGill had two major award winners despite not making the playoffs - you have to think the results would have been different had super rookie Anneth Him-Lazarenko been healthy for the final four games against Laval and Concordia. Him-Lazarenko was not only named conference rookie of the year, but was named to the 1st all star team.

Men's basketball
The men's matchups are the exact same as the four games in the Quebec conference last week.

McGill (5-11, #19 RPI) will meet Concordia (12-4, #5 RPI) while Laval (10-6, #27 RPI) will host UQAM (8-8, #24 RPI).

Except for Concordia, the Quebec conference is flipped when you compare RPI to conference standings. It should make for some interesting matchups.

McGill has played two very tough games at the Concordia Gym. They shocked the Stingers 93-82 at Concordia in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated and last week lost 83-73 one day after taking the Stingers to overtime at McGill. The Stingers won the other game between the two teams 82-69 to take the season series 3-1. McGill, actually had more players named to the QSSF All-Star teams (3- Sean Anthony, 1st team; Michael White and Moustafa El Zanaty, 2nd team) than Concordia (2- Damian Buckley, 1st team; Jamal Gallier, 2nd team). Buckley was the unanimous choice for MVP, Gallier won defensive player of the year.

As for Laval and UQAM, the season series was tied two a piece. Laval won both games this past weekend, however, 81-77 and 80-76. It will be interesting to see which team comes out on top. UQAM has beat Laval in Quebec City - 83-81 back on December 5.

Related: QSSF women's basketball awards
QSSF men's basketball awards
Here's the latest update in The CIS Blog Top 10 (rankings explained here) for men's and women's basketball and hockey. This might be the final update of the year, since most regular-season play is now complete.

1. Carleton (30-1), .603
2. UBC (28-2), .596
3. Ottawa (29-4), .577
4. Western (22-6), .567
5. Concordia (17-4), .564
6. Calgary (23-6), .555
7. Windsor (19-8), .553
8. Victoria (20-9), .552
t-9. StFX (24-6), .545
t-9. Trinity Western (20-9), .545

1. Simon Fraser (29-1), .599
2. Windsor (30-2), .585
3. Alberta (32-7), .575
4. Saskatchewan (23-7), .567
5. UQAM (15-7), .549
6. Regina (27-8), .548
7. Western (22-7), .547
8. Toronto (23-9), .543
9. Victoria (19-9), .541
10. StFX (16-7), .540

t-1. UNB, .559
t-1. Laurier, .559
3. Saint Mary's, .552
4. Alberta, .539
5. Acadia, .536
t-6. Western, .533
t-6. Moncton, .533
8. Lakehead, .532
9. Waterloo, .527
10. UQTR, .521

WOMEN'S HOCKEY (no pre-season results)
1. Laurier, .575
2. Alberta, .557
3. Moncton, .554
4. McGill, .539
5. Manitoba, .538
6. Guelph, .537
7. StFX, .533
t-8. St. Thomas, .518
t-8. Ottawa, .518
10. Toronto, .516
It's not this author's game, but a hat-tip is due Russ Paddock for guiding the Brandon Bobcats to the men's volleyball nationals in the just the program's fourth season of existence.

Brandon is seeded No. 4 in Edmonton this week, not too shabby for such a young program. Paddock, the former Manitoba Bisons star who also played for Canada's 1992 Olympic team, cast his net far and wide for talent, relying heavily on Australian Paul Sanderson, the team's leading scorer. Another Aussie, Luke Reynolds, comes off the bench, but by and large the Bobcats' core group is Westman players, products of a vibrant volleyball culture throughout Manitoba. Brandon also made the nationals after losing one of their best players, Maverick Hatch, to a national beach volleyball program.

Streaming Sports Network Canada will webcast both the bronze and gold-medal games on Sunday from Edmonton.
  1. Carleton — Round 2 of the Canal War, which Carleton won tonight behind double-doubles from Kevin McCleery (27 points, 13 rebounds) and Stu Turnbull (22 & 11), might have been more about the mind games.

    Carleton won with Aaron Doornekamp sitting out with an injured foot, which lends itself to speculation the Ravens could rest him until the Ravens absolutely need him. Ottawa, which had a 24-14 third quarter to turn a halftime deficit into a three-point lead after three, can point to the fact Josh Wright (15 points, but on 5-of-18 shooting) was a touch off with his shooting.
  2. UBC — Swept the Pac-D final against Trinity Western, 83-80 and 80-64 (UBC finished Game 2 on a 19-4 run; it was still a one-possession game as late as the 3:40 mark).

    The T-Birds will face Brandon in the Canada West Final Four semi-final on Friday.

    The line to present player-of-the-year arguments for Chris Dyck forms to the left, but don't ignore fifth-year big man Bryson Kool, who had a huge fourth-quarter dunk among his 14 points Saturday and made a lot of great plays down the stretch in Game 1.

    Saturday, Kool's dunk with 3:36 left, off a Josh Whyte feed, helped nail it down for UBC. Dyck (44 points in the two games, including 23 in the second half of Game 1 on Friday) stuck the dagger with a 3-ball a minute later.

    Dyck also hit a game-tying shot, coming out of a timeout with 8:17 left, to choke off a Spartans rally. The better team won this series, but Trinity Western hung in despite the suspension to coach Scott Allen.
  3. Ottawa — Combo guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe had 19 points for Ottawa, who will likely get Toronto in the OUA East semi-final for the third straight season, this time at home after winning on the Varsity Blues floor last season.

    Frosh forward Warren "World" Ward played just nine minutes on Saturday, which is a noodle-scratcher (not in a negative or second-guessing way, just that he's got a lot of talent).

    Ottawa did put over on Carleton on the parquet Saturday. The women's hoops Gee-Gees, behind a 12-point, six-assist afternoon from point guard Allison Forbes, beat Carleton 56-49 in the OUA East semi-final Saturday. The team which went 3-19 in the OUA last season is one win from nationals; they'll play either Ryerson or Toronto next weekend.
  4. St. Francis Xavier — A funny thing happened to X on its way clinching the AUS regular-season title: They were upset 80-79 at home Sunday by Dalhousie, led by the Northern connection, as Simon Farine scored 28 points and his one-time high school teammate Yannick Walcott chipped in 11. Josh Beattie, a second-year guard and Halifax-area player, added 17, including 3-of-4 on threes.

    X had 30 points from Tyler Richards and 28 from Christian Upshaw.

    It was the biggest win Dal's had in a while and it puts the seedings for the AUS Final 6 into a flux. The Cape Breton-St. FX game Thursday in Antigonish (their first meeting since the Garry Gallimore incident) is now for first place.

    The Dal-SMU game on Saturday at The Tower will be for the 3 and 4 seed; winner gets Acadia in the quarter-final, loser gets UPEI, neither team is a humpty.

    Friday, Richards scored 27 points in a 100-75 win over Acadia, the fourth time X has hit the century mark in Atlantic play (along with just about as many games in the 95-99 range).
  5. Western — Point guard Matt Curtis dished off for 11 assists and Keenan Jeppesen had 22 points in a 74-71 win Saturday over Brock, which gave the Mustangs a 19-3 record and knocked Brock out of the playoffs.
  6. Calgary — Swept Alberta, 91-85 and 82-78, and will likely be the No. 2 seed at the Canada West final four. The Dinos had a balanced scoring effort Saturday, led by Ross Bekkering's 18 points.

    There will be time to say it in further detail later,, but thanks again to Alberta coach Don Horwood for his wonderful service to the university game.

    The Bekkering boys combined for 55 points Friday. Ross Bekeering had 29 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 12-of-14, while Henry Bekkering added 26, including three triples.
  7. Concordia — The Stingers swept McGill (94-89 in overtime at home, 83-73 on the road), with Evens Laroche putting up 19 in the return game as Con U had six men in double figures.

    Both matchups in the Q this week are essentially dress rehearsals for the division semi-finals. The Redmen, who got 54 points from Moustafa El Zanaty over the two games, played Concordia tough. The Q has four solid teams, for sure.

    The other series pits Laval vs. UQAM. The Rouge et Or beat the Citadins by near-identical scores, 81-77 and 80-76. Laval shot an effective 60% in UQAM's gym Friday, with wing Étienne Labrecque scoring 24 on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.

  8. Windsor — The Lancers had the power of 3 working in their season finale, an 81-65 win over Laurier, as big man Greg Surmacz (the OUA West player of the year, according to the BMoC), matchup problem Isaac Kuon and point guard Corey Boswell combined for 52 points, with none scoring more than 20.
  9. Trinity Western — The Spartans' showing vs. UBC probably buttresses their argument for a Final 8 wild-card berth; they're hands-down the choice to be the fourth team in the Canada West conference tournament next weekened with the 'Birds, Dinos and Regina-Brandon winner.

    Jacob Doerksen gutted out a 16-point, eight-rebound effort on Saturday. Somehow, Trinity Western, which got 22% shooting from all players not named Doerksen, kept in the hunt for three-plus quarters.

    Fifth-year forward Jamie Vaughan (23 and 11 in 27 minutes) had a big night in Game 1, when Doerksen scored just nine points.

  10. Cape Breton — Swept Memorial (80-73 and 85-68) to clinch second place in the Atlantic.
    The Capers have one game left, a four-pointer vs. St. FX next Thursday, but the X-Men will have top spot wrapped up if they win on Sunday.

    The Capers' Central Ontario contigent came through big. Scott Jaspers-Fayer, a Guelph native, had 18 points and 12 rebounds on Saturday. Lasario Burrows, a 6-foot-6 left-hander who previously played at Georgian College in Barrie, had 18 points and nine rebounds in just 21 minutes Friday.
Beyond the Top 10:
  • Vancouver native Eric Holm (18 points in 24 minutes) helped vault the Brandon Bobcats into a Can West semi-final vs. his hometown UBC Thunderbirds. Holm and veteran Dany Charlery (23 points) led Brandon to a 78-76 win over Regina Saturday in the last Great Plains division game ever (it's the end of an era).

    Five of seven Brandon-Regina games this season went down to the final possession, as Leader-Post sportswriter Tim Switzer noted while covering off the Cougars' perspective at Campus Chatter.

    Brandon guard Tarik Tokar made 6-of-8 threes, scoring 20 points in the Bobcats' series-tying 89-70 win over Regina on Saturday. The night before, he was 0-for-8 and the Cougars won in in overtime.

    Tokar also hit the sick beyond NBA length, buzzer-beating three two weeks which ultimately decided home-court advantage for this series. Regina was that close.
  • Guelph, which was 3-8 in the OUA in January, will be hosting a home playoff game next week. Duncan Milne and Dan McCarthy each had 15 points in the 73-54 win over Lakehead Saturday which wrapped up fourth spot in the OUA West. The Gryphons are half-dangerous, even if that is not represented in the all-star selections.

    The Gryphons will host Waterloo in 4 vs. 5 quarter-final. McMaster hosts Laurier in the 3-6 game next week.

It's a quiet week, since four Top 5 ties are enjoying first-round byes and Alberta has one-third of its roster a continent away playing in the Universiade in China
  1. UNB — Will play Acadia in a best-of-5 AUS semi-final; winner qualifies for the University Cup.
  2. Alberta — Beat Lethbridge twice (5-4 shootout, 2-1) to wrap up the regular season and cut the Pronghorns out of third place (although as the fourth-place team, Lethbridge draws a UBC team which didn't get in until the final weekend).

  3. Laurier — Will play Lakehead in an OUA conference semi-final.
  4. Saint Mary's — Will play Moncton in a best-of-5 AUS semi-final; winner qualifies for the University Cup.
  5. Trois-Rivieres — Will play Carleton in the second round of the playoffs; UQTR will start on the road and have Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) at home. Both East first-round series went the distance.
  6. Western — Forward Aaron Snow scored the first and last Mustangs goals in their series-deciding 4-1 win over Guelph, on top of his OT winner in Game 1, putting Western into a second-round series vs. York.

    Each of the first two games went to overtime, with the victors also having to tie late in regulation. Zach Lillie, scored both goals in Guelph's 2-1 win Saturday.

    Both games have been cliffhangers; Western scored twice inside of the three-minute mark in its eventual 4-3 overtime win in Game 1. In that one, Yashar Farmanara, who seems to have been around a lot of big Mustangs goals, forced OT with a goal with 10 seconds left.

    Western lost by four goals to York the first time they met this season and won the second game in OT.
  7. Moncton — The Aigles Bleu scored three in the final period, including Ian Mathieu-Girard's winner with 7:14 left, to put away UPEI with a 4-3 win on Sunday.

    UPEI extended the series with a 3-1 win Friday thanks largely to goalie Wayne Savage who stopped 32-of-33 shots, bouncing back after he got the hook in the series opener (which might have been more of a mercy pull, considering his team was getting outshot).

  8. Saskatchewan — Huskies forward Casey Lee had four points in the Huskies' sweep of Regina (4-3 and 4-0).
  9. Waterloo — The Warriors are done for the season being swept by Lakehead, 5-4 in OT and 6-2. Sean Roche, a top-end forward, was scratched from Game 2 after being injured early in Game 1 overtime.

    Pier Pelletier made 56 saves in the series opener. That was the high point of the series for Waterloo.
  10. Lakehead — The Thunderwolves have won four straight, over Western and Waterloo. They took it to Waterloo in that 6-2 win, with Kris Hogg applying the hammer with a first-period shortie with opened a 2-0 lead and goal 3:57 into the second.

    The Thunderwolves play Laurier.
    Lakehead is in the University Cup no matter what since they're hosting. Does anyone know what happens on the off-chance the Thunderwolves win the OUA West?
Beyond the Top 10:
  • Let the record show UBC got the last playoff spot in the country by sweeping Calgary to cop the last Canada West berth.

    UBC scored only 59 goals in a 28-game season, but somehow eked out 11 wins. This weekend was nice turnout for a team which was thumped 10-1 by Calgary at the start of the season.
  • McGill, which presumably moves back into the Top 10 now that Waterloo's done for the year, shaded Ottawa 2-1 in the decider of its series on Sunday. Alexandre Picard-Hooper was the big scorer for the Redmen, who peppered Ottawa goalie Riley Whitlock
    (who made 46 saves in the Gee-Gees' Game 2 win) throughout the series.

    Toronto and McGill meet this week.
Throughout the year, in our Top 10 trackers, we often kept track of the top Game Scores from each week. Now that the regular season is over (for the women, at least), we can look at who the top offensive performers were. The next two paragraphs provide the details.

Game Score is a simple stat meant to weigh a player's contributions. It's back-of-the-envelope, but more sophisticated metrics aren't really possible with the limited CIS stats we have available. It produces a number sort of similar to points per game--for example, when Kobe Bryant went off on the Raptors for 81 points he got a Game Score of 63.5 (it would have been higher had he not missed 18 shots, but that's just being picky). Chris Bosh has averaged about a 17.6 this year; LeBron James is at about 24.3. CIS averages will be smaller because it's a lower-scoring game.

The average game score for each player is adjusted based on his or her conference's average game score and on the RPI of the teams he or she played against. This (hopefully) controls for a tough schedule and puts the performance in league context. Ideally, we would adjust based on each team's defensive quality rather than RPI, but again, there's only so much sophistication we can do.

So we'll start with the women's results today; the men will follow once all their regular-season games are complete.

Top 10 adjusted Game Scores, 2008-2009
1. 15.6 Kayla Dykstra, Victoria (23 games played)
2. 11.6 Bess Lennox, Western (22)
3. 10.9 Kelsey Hodgson, Cape Breton (18)
4. 10.9 Anneth Him-Lazarenko, McGill (12)
5. 10.4 Renata Adamczyk, Laurier (22)
6. 10.3 Marie-Michelle Genois, Laval (16)
7. 10.1 Alisa Wulff, Windsor (22)
8. 10.1 Laurelle Weigl, Simon Fraser (23)
9. 9.7 Amanda Sharpe, UNB (19)
10. 9.6 Leanne Evans, UBC (22)

Kayla Dykstra would get my MVP vote, if I had one. She was one of the few players who did well offensively against the SFU Clan: in her worst game against them, she still had 18 points. She has two of the top six single-game performances of the year: a 27.5 on Feb. 6 and a 27.2 on Jan. 24. (Sure, those came against UFV and TRU, but nobody else torched those teams for more points than Dykstra did in those games.) She's top-3 nationwide in rebounds per game and #1 in field-goal percentage. And her 15.6 is pretty far ahead of second-place Bess Lennox, who set her team's single-season rebounding record (270 in 22 games this year; 13.7 per 35 minutes).

Anneth Him-Lazarenko, who was in the midst of "the best rookie campaign by a McGill player in 16 years" (according to Earl Zuckerman), shows up in fourth place here. For those who weren't following the 5-11 Martlets that closely, Him-Lazarenko played just 12 games because she "suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament" at the end of January. (I know what two-and-a-half of those words mean, but all four together sound painful.)

Also worth noting is that Alisa Wulff, former Spartan (of the East Lansing variety), was seventh nation-wide and third-highest in Ontario; and Kelsey Hodgson is in third after her great season (she was nearly 50% from beyond the arc).

Because the boxscores for some games are empty, some players are missing games. This problem doesn't affect much, even for SMU, who had four empty boxscores during their home games when I grabbed all the data.

Top 5 in each conference:

Canada West
15.6 Kayla Dykstra, Victoria (23)
10.1 Laurelle Weigl, Simon Fraser (23)
9.6 Leanne Evans, UBC (22)
9.0 Robyn Buna, Simon Fraser (23)
8.3 Jana Spindler, Saskatchewan (21)

11.6 Bess Lennox, Western (22)
10.4 Renata Adamczyk, Laurier (22)
10.1 Alisa Wulff, Windsor (22)
9.2 Darrah Bumstead, Laurentian (22)
8.1 Tara Kinnear, Toronto (21)

10.9 Kelsey Hodgson, Cape Breton (18)
9.7 Amanda Sharpe, UNB (19)
9.0 Victoria Thistle, Memorial (20)
6.8 Laurie Girdwood, Dalhousie (20)
6.5 Kari Everett, Cape Breton (17)

10.9 Anneth Him-Lazarenko, McGill (12)
10.3 Marie-Michelle Genois, Laval (16)
8.3 Nathifa Weekes, McGill (16)
6.5 Elyse Jobin, Laval (16)
5.9 Jessy Roy, Bishop's (16)

As is the case with anything statistical around here, I don't claim this is the final word. It simply provides an opportunity for discussion and some recognition for players who might otherwise be overlooked. So, discuss away!
Here's a look at what the top teams are looking forward to this week. Saskatchewan-Alberta was the series to watch, though SFU and UBC is always notable. Next week, it's Western-Windsor and Ottawa-Toronto in the OUA division finals.
  1. Simon Fraser (1): Howard Tsumura from The Province was in Burnaby for Friday's Game 1 of the Pac-D finals. And it was a pretty good one: 62-58 for the Clan, with a tie at 58 with 15 seconds to go. UBC led 26-24 at the half; they slowed SFU down and extinguished their shooting: 27% for the Clan in the first half. Laurelle Weigl led with 16.

    Game 2 was a lot more Clan-Clan-Clan, as they won by 26. Every SFU starter had 10 or more points as they scored 84 to UBC's 58. Weigl, Lisa Tindle, and Courtney Gerwing all had 14 (Gerwing recovering from her 2-20 night on Friday).

  2. Windsor (2): Laurier beat Lakehead on Wednesday, so it was Hawks-Lancers on Saturday. Laurier kept it closer than expected, down by just five with two minutes to go, but the Lancers pulled away and won 78-67.

  3. Saskatchewan (4): The Huskies lost, 67-46, at home in the first of the best-of-three against Alberta. Nobody on the U of S had more than 10 points, possibly because the team shot 27% (and 3 of 18 from long range). Four players on the Pandas had more than 10: Ashley Wigg grabbed 15, albeit on 4-of-13 shooting. This was not the kind of game the Huskies wanted to play. Maybe Game 2 was, however, as they won 73-64. Amy Prokop and Kim Tulloch each had 13.

    They have their "Game 7" today: 4 pm local, 6 pm ET at the U of A U of S. (Which is in Saskatoon. Not Edmonton.) And I didn't learn a thing from the first two semi-blowout games, because Alberta won this one by 19. Just 33% shooting for the U of S in that one.

  4. Alberta (5): See Saskatchewan, above. Wigg also had 15 in the second game, but again shot just 5-14. The Pandas shot 29% on Saturday, but 39% on Sunday as they won the series. Kristin Jarock had 13 in 22 minutes.

  5. UQAM (NR): The Citadins and Rouge et Or are probably too high in the RPI, since the coaches haven't ranked either team. They play each other this Friday-Saturday in their last scheduled regular-season games. UQAM took the first 74-55: a double-double (16 and 10) for Irline Noël and 18 for Karine Boudrias. Boudrais added 23 more when UQAM won again on Saturday.

  6. Memorial (6): Chad Lucas previewed the AUS playoffs and gave MUN a 100% chance of securing a first-round bye and their weekend opponents CBU a 38% chance. Friday night, the Capers pulled out a win (73-67) despite Brittany Dalton's 21 points and 11 rebounds. Kelsey Hodgson shot 4-of-19, but still led the Capers with 19 (and 11 boards).

    Memorial lost Saturday as well, and that combined with Dal's loss vaults the Capers into first place. I think. Lucas said of Memorial, "The only way they’ll finish second is if Dal loses one of their last two games and the Capers sweep them with a total point differential of more than five," and that's what happened, so I think it's CBU-MUN in first and second.

  7. Laval (NR): See UQAM, above. Karine Bibeau led with 13 in their Friday loss; Sandrine Ducruc grabbed 10 rebounds to tie for the game-high with Noël. Saturday they lost by three, but Elyse Jobin had 16. Looks like they host Concordia on Wednesday in the playoffs.

  8. Western (12): Faced the Marauders on Saturday (after Mac's 72-69 win over Guelph on Wednesday) and won 69-61. (An 8-point margin after a 9-point predicted margin. Interesting.) Amanda Anderson: 22 points; Bess Lennox: 11 with 13 rebounds. It'll be Western at Windsor on Wednesday for the West division title.

  9. Regina (3): Beat the University of Winnipeg 64-45 on Thursday in Game 1 of possibly-three-but-probably-two. Tim Switzer called it a yawner. The top Cougars, in his words: "Brittany Read filled in more than admirably for an injured Chelsea Cassano with 18 points and 11 boards. Jessica Lynch added 13 points and 11 rebounds." Game 2 was Friday and that one probably wasn't a yawner: the Wesmen were down three in the dying seconds, couldn't get a three-point shot up, and settled for two with only 0.2 seconds remaining. The game ended on that score, 60 to 59 for Regina, and the Cougars are advancing to the conference final. Cassano had 13 off the bench in the second game.

  10. Toronto (NR): Knocked off Ryerson on Saturday, 78-69. (Let the record show that the 12-point prediction was not far off.) 22 points and 17 boards for Tara Kinnear on 8-of-12 shooting led the Blues, but Nicki Schutz had 20 and 15 of her own. It'll be Ottawa at Toronto Wednesday night for the OUA East title.

    The game's leading scorer with 23 was actually Ryerson's Lisa Goldring, yet another M.M. Robinson graduate who's done more athletically than I ever will.
Also in the CIS Top 10: Winnipeg (13th in RPI), UBC (15), Dalhousie (11), UVic (11). Winnipeg was eliminated by the U of R, UBC was eliminated by SFU, and the Vikes also have nothing to do for the next little while. Dal beat SMU on Wednesday 80-51 (Laurie Girdwood grabbing 17 rebounds) and lost to X on Sunday, 57-54. 20 points and 12 boards for Jenna Kaye wasn't enough; the other Tigers shot 21% from the floor.
Kiraan Posey set the OUA West scoring record, but he's mostly going to be remembered for a single digit.
"With about 2:25 remaining in a game Guelph won 73-54, Posey picked up his fifth personal foul and then flipped out — and flipped off the referees. All three of them.

"While stalking all three across and around Lakehead's defensive halfcourt, Posey made sure he established eye contact and ear shot with officials Rich Stellick, Mike Zason and Vern Bovell and then gave each the one-finger salute — with each hand, mind you — and dropped the infamous F-bomb on all of them. For good measure, he he stood on the sideline and reiterated his point for all to see and many to hear.

"And, after the game, he continued his verbal assault on Stellick as the crew chief tried to leave the gym." — Big Man on Campus
That's regrettable to say the least, but one particular incident, good or bad, should never form your impression of a person. One can only assume Posey had some pent-up frustration over finishing his university career in a nothing game for a Lakehead team which struggled this season, especially since, as Greg notes, he had Guelph guard Dan McCarthy inside his shirt all night. The frustration evidently got the better of him.

It's not clear what repercussions there are for a player who finished his eligibility.

How Do You Want To Be Remembered? (Big Man on Campus)
Western D-lineman Vaughn Martin might want to stay on the purple path instead of a primrose one.

Martin's only played two seasons at Western, so ... he's declaring for the NFL draft, really?

There is no nice way to avoid pointing this out: Martin's agent is an ex-teammate barred from the CIS for doping and belongs to a firm whose head, Hadley Engelhard, has been disciplined by the NFL Players Association for, among other things, changing the fee he was charging a player without telling him.
"Matt Baxter, the Canadian director of operations of Enter-Sports Management of Atlanta, the firm that is representing Martin, said Martin has drawn a lot of interest south of the border.

" 'We've scheduled two pro days in March and 24 of 32 teams have asked for films,' he said. 'Houston Texans and New York Jets came up to measure his height and weight.' " — London Free Press
Martin does not appear to really be on the radar of NFL scouts that much. It is also a long way from having teams ask to see film or showing up to watch him run and lift weights, to ending up in a NFL team's training camp. The Minnesota Vikings, for instance, say they will interview 350 players before they select eight or 10 of them at the draft in April.

Meantime, there is the fact Martin has retained the services of a firm run by Engelhard, whom former NFL coach Dick Vermeil once dubbed, "Engeldork," for his tendency to have his clients, especially rookies, engage in prolonged holdouts. (Vermeil cointed it after an Engelhard client and Kansas City Chiefs draft bust, Ryan Sims, held out, came to camp out of shape, got injured, never made up the lost time.)

There is no intent to throw dirt on Vaughn Martin's quest to play pro football. The NFL will make room for someone who meets their mental and physical specs, but it's valid to point out that just 15 minutes of Googling can raise questions about his advisers.

Mustang joins NFL mix (London Free Press)
It's absolutely crazy that all four of us, independent of each other, slotted the same team into the 4 seed. Here's our first go, for purposes of comparison. Jared Book has added his voice to the echo chamber:

J. Book:
  1. Carleton (OUA champion/Host)
  2. UBC (Canada West)
  3. Western (OUA West)
  4. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  5. St. FX (Atlantic)
  6. Concordia (Québec)
  7. Calgary (Canada West)
  8. Cape Breton (Wild card)
A. Bucholtz:
  1. Carleton (OUA champion/host)
  2. UBC (Canada West champion)
  3. St. Francis Xavier (Atlantic champion)
  4. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  5. Calgary (Canada West)
  6. Western (OUA West)
  7. Concordia (Québec champion)
  8. Trinity Western (wild card)
R. Pettapiece:
  1. Carleton (OUA/host)
  2. UBC (Canada West champion)
  3. Calgary (Canada West No. 2)
  4. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  5. St. Francis Xavier (Atlantic champion)
  6. Western (OUA No. 2)
  7. Concordia (Québec champion)
  8. Trinity Western (wild card)
N. Sager:
  1. Carleton (OUA champion)
  2. UBC (Canada West champion)
  3. St. Francis Xavier (Atlantic champion)
  4. Ottawa (OUA third place)
  5. Calgary (Canada West automatic)
  6. Western (OUA West)
  7. Concordia (Québec champion)
  8. Trinity Western (wild card)
The possibility of four OUA teams getting in should not be dismissed. Windsor is certainly capable of winning the OUA West and the loser of an Ottawa-Western OUA play-in game would have a strong wild-card argument, barring an upset in the Atlantic, Can West or the Q.
Lakehead at Guelph, which has playoff implications, goes on the weekend. The Gryphons control their own destination; two wins at:
  • Western 90, Windsor 76 — It had no effect on the standings, but Western, led by 24 points from Keenan Jeppesen and 22 from Bradley Smith (in just 24 minutes), carved up Windsor to the tune of an effective 57% shooting percentage. They might have won by more, but had 18 bricked free throws, half a dozen each from their top two scorers. That could just be a blip. Mustangs coach Brad Campbell basically went down to a seven-player rotation.

    Nigel Johnson-Tyghter had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lancers, while Greg Surmacz (16 on 5-of-18 shooting) had an off-night.
  • Waterloo 78, Laurier 69 — Warriors guard David Burnett hit for 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting, a bit of an outlier performance. The Warriors have nine OUA wins; there's still the mathematical possibility of a crazy three-way tie that could put them out of the playoffs. They could also could conceivably get the fourth spot if they beat McMaster, Guelph splits with Lakehead and Laurier loses.

    Speaking of the Golden Hawks, they've dropped two straight and have not locked up a playoff spot; they might end up backing in. Kale Harrison (2-of-10) and Jesse MacDonald (3-of-10) were off on the same night, which can't happen. Matthew Buckley (18 points, eight boards in 24 minutes) picked up some of the slack, and accounted for half the Hawks' 13 free-throw attempts.
  • McMaster 72, Brock 55 — Mac's big body underneath, Mouctar Daiby, had 25 points and 14 rebounds to help Mac dominate the final 20 minutes after the game was tied at halftime. Mac got 19 points from Tyrell Vernon, who presumably had a lot to do with Brock guard Didi Mukendi's 1-for-7 shooting night.

    McMaster was 0-for-16 on three-pointers. They're athletic, and have players who get to the rim, but are next-to-last in the OUA in three-pointers made and in free-throw percentage, according to the official stats.

    Brock (18 points from Joel Whitty) can nab the final playoff spot if it beats Western Saturday (unlikely) and if Laurier loses at Windsor. There's

    In the event of a bunch of teams ending up 9-13, here are the season series splits:
    Brock: Swept by Guelph, +2 vs. Laurier, -2 vs. Waterloo
    Guelph: Swept Brock, +5 vs. Laurier, swept Waterloo
    Laurier: -2 vs. Brock, -5 Guelph +25 vs. Waterloo
    Waterloo: +2 vs. Brock, lost twice to Guelph, -25 vs. Laurier
There are rumblings from B.C. that the University of Victoria has filed a formal complaint after Trinity Western used an ineligible player in their 2-1 first-round playoff series win over the Vikes. The rule violation may cause TWU to forfeit the playoff series.

Some background is in order. The Canada West rules and regulations for men's basketball stipulate that playoff rosters "are frozen at 12 players for a play-off series." The Spartans, ranked 9th nationwide in the latest CIS poll and 8th in the latest RPI rankings, dressed 12 players in the first game last Thursday, and all 12 played. So far, so good.

Game 2 is where the fun starts. On Friday, Trinity dressed a new (13th) player among its 12 for that game. (See the list of names in the boxscores for Thursday and Friday.) This 13th player was not allowed to dress, under the rule quoted above, and was therefore ineligible to play in the three-game series.

A formal complaint has been made, sources say, with this ineligibility in mind. TWU head coach Scott Allen has apparently appealed that complaint and an official ruling is yet to come.

Now comes the speculation. Assuming the protest is upheld, what's the potential punishment?

There is recent precedent for requiring teams to forfeit games because of ineligible player use. Our Andrew Bucholtz wrote about this very issue back in October after the York men's soccer term forfeited four games in which Toronto FC's Andrea Lombardo appeared. Granted, using a professional player is a little more extreme than simply using another student-athlete when the original one is injured.

Although it's a relatively minor violation, it's difficult to see how Trinity can escape this one. The 12-player rule is right there in the regulations and you can bet that UVic will argue for a forfeit as strongly as they can. The games can't be easily replayed, after all.

More to come on this one.

UPDATE (8:55 pm ET): Looks like it's just a two-game suspension and some kind of a fine for Scott Allen. CTV in Vancouver is expected to address this briefly tonight.

ANOTHER UPDATE (9:16): Make that a $1000 fine, according to the media release.
Periodically, we'll try to do a bullet-point list of the comings and goings among the Canadian university grads in the CFL, team by team and update accordingly. Feel free to shoot us an e-mail at oolf.writers(at)gmail.com if you see one.

  • B.C. — The Lions have some bigger fish to fry, apparently. They have already re-signed a Canadian receiver, Paris Jackson (what, you didn't know he was Canadian?).
  • Calgary Signed P Mike Renaud (Concordia), replacing another former Stinger, Burke Dales.
  • Edmonton — Signed Lumsden on Feb. 17 as their possible featured running back and added fullback/special teamer Graeme Bell (Saskatchewan).

    Signed S Scott Gordon (Ottawa) away from Saskatchewan and added G Kyle Koch (McMaster) from the Blue Bombers. .
  • Saskatchewan — None yet, since they already landed SB Jason Clermont (Regina) to go along with SB Andy Fantuz (Western) and WR Rob Bagg (Queen's).

    O-lineman Joe McGrath, one of Moose Jaw's favourite sons, is coming home. McGrath played for the Miami Hurricanes.
  • Hamilton — Feb. 17: Signed DE Matt Kirk (Queen's), a four-year CFL veteran.

    (Feb. 16: LT Alexandre Gauthier (Laval) is coming to the Hammer. It looks like he was a bit of a fallback since the Toronto Argonauts signed the top free agent offensive lineman, Rob Murphy, out from under the Tiger-Cats.
  • Montreal — None yet.
  • Toronto — Signed veteran C Dominic Picard (Laval), joining Murphy on their rebuilt offensive line.
  • Winnipeg Signed veteran T Steve Morley (Saint Mary's).

    Talks apparently broke off with free-agent P Burke Dales, who has expressed a wish to take one last shot at the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts did cut their punter, Hunter Smith, and they have been receptive to Canadian-based talent, just sayin'.
This fits in somehow:
  • One name to have on the radar screen is wide receiver Johnny Forzani, a Calgary native who played junior football last season and is now playing for the Washington State Cougars in the Pac 10 (he's the son of Hall of Famer Tom Forzani).

    The younger Forzani played basketball for Douglas College when it won the CCAA national title a couple years ago. He never played high school football, but showed enough with the Calgary Colts last season to get Washington State (which could use any help it can get) to give him a scholarship. People in Calgary probably know of him, but it seemed worth passing along.
This is huge news in Edmonton. The Canadian Press has learned that the Edmonton Eskimos are the big winners in the Jesse Lumsden sweepstakes. The former Hec Creighton winner was born here in Edmonton and his dad Neil was a star for the Eskimos. Lumsden is expected to replace running back AJ Harris as the starting tailback. As a former radio commentator at CFRC in Kingston I have vivid and awful memories of Lumdsen. First when he returned a kick for a touchdown on the last play on the game in Kingston during the 2003 season and second when he broke the record for most ever rushing yards in a career - this time in Hamilton, again against Queen's.
Here's the latest update in The CIS Blog Top 10 (rankings explained here) for men's and women's basketball and hockey.

Some notes:
  • #1 teams: Carleton, SFU, UNB, Wilfrid Laurier.
  • Playoff games are included for basketball teams out west.
  • U of T and Laval are the newest members of the women's basketball top 10. The Wesmen dropped down.
  • There was some good back-and-forth in the comments last week about how much RPI means for some of these sports.

1. Carleton (29-1) .603
2. UBC (26-2) .597
3. Ottawa (28-4) .582
t-4. Western (20-6) .563
t-4. Concordia (15-4) .563
t-6. Windsor (18-7) .556
t-6. Calgary (21-6) .556
8. Trinity Western (20-7) .551
9. Victoria (20-9) .549
10. StFX (23-5) .545

1. Simon Fraser (27-1) .604
2. Windsor (29-2) .587
3. Saskatchewan (22-5) .581
4. Alberta (30-6) .579
5. UQAM (13-7) .556
6. Memorial (18-6) .551
7. Laval (15-7) .547
8. Western (21-7) .544
9. Regina (25-8) .543
10. Toronto (22-9) .541

1. UNB, .558
2. Laurier, .557
3. Saint Mary's, .550
4. Alberta, .540
5. Waterloo, .534
t-6. Western, .533
t-6. Acadia, .533
8. Moncton, .532
9. Lakehead, .529
10. StFX, .526

WOMEN'S HOCKEY (no pre-season results)
1. Laurier, .576
2. Alberta, .558
3. Moncton, .554
4. StFX, .544
5. McGill, .541
6. Manitoba, .538
7. Guelph, .532
8. Toronto, .522
9. York, .517
10. St. Thomas, .515
The sentiment that UBC has a formidable team is certainly valid, but did the author forget where the Final 8 is being held is less than four weeks' time?
"Whatever the outcome of these talks, (UBC coach Kevin) Hanson has continued to recruit a bevy of stars, but this season -- perhaps for the first time in recent memory -- all this talent is threatening to meld into a unit capable of hacking through the horror of Halifax." — Vancouver Province
Hey, it happens; everyone goofs up (probably none more than me).

'Birds putting it all together (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province)
Men's basketball
clinched first place in the QUBL this weekend thanks to their second straight home-and-home sweep, this week against Bishop's. The Stingers got off to a slow start in the second game at Bishop's, but used a 30-5 third quarter to come back from a 45-24 deficit at halftime. The two losses end Bishop's season as they will miss the playoffs. Bishop's have no games remaining and are tied with McGill who own the tiebreaker.
Laval swept their home-and-home series against McGill. That sets up a very interesting home-and-home series with UQAM next weekend. The two teams are tied in the standings and are fighting for home court advantage in their semi-final matchup. The season series is tied which plays into Laval's hands in the case of a tie. Laval holds the advantage in points for and in points differential. Concordia plays a home-and-home with McGill in a weekend of playoff previews.

Women's basketball
and McGill did nothing to separate themselves in the battle for the final playoff spot, as they both got swept by Bishop's and Laval respectively.
Laval's sweep meant they clinched first place, while Bishop's two wins mean they clinched home court in their semi final matchup.
Concordia now has to beat McGill twice next weekend to make the playoffs. Laval and UQAM are going through the motions in their final matchup, although McGill can finish third if Laval beats UQAM handily in their two games and McGill sweeps Concordia.

Women's hockey
The playoff matchups in the Montreal-Ottawa conference are set after a weekend that saw McGill beat Ottawa and Carleton by unconvincing 4-2 scores (compared to the rest of their season). In the win against Carleton on Sunday, Ann-Sophie Bettez tied the Quebec record with her 22nd goal. She already has the record for assists (28) and points (50) in only 16 games.
Ottawa and Carleton both beat Concordia this weekend 4-2 and 3-2 in a shootout respectively.
In the first round of the playoffs - in three weeks - Ottawa will play Carleton and McGill will play Concordia.

Men's hockey
has not looked good the past month, and their slump continued as they lost 6-5 to Concordia in overtime after having leads of 4-1 and 5-4. They will enjoy a bye in the first round and other than a 10-1 win over Carleton, have not looked good against Far East opponents lately.
In the OUA East Quarterfinals, McGill enjoys home-ice advantage against Ottawa and Concordia has home-ice over Carleton. Both matchups get underway on Wednesday, continue Friday and conclude (if necessary) on Sunday.
Canada West division semi-finals:

  • UBC defeats Victoria 2-0 (57-54, 64-62)

    This was a tough loss for the 5th-ranked Vikes. Saturday night, it was 62-62 with 0.4 seconds left on the game clock. UBC's Lia St. Pierre sunk two free throws at that time to score her 12th and 13th points of the quarter, 21 and 22 overall, and knock the University of Victoria out of the playoffs. Kayla Dykstra grabbed 13 points and rebounds on Friday, but it sounds like UBC shut her down enough. UBC plays SFU next (see below).

  • SFU defeats Trinity 2-0 (102-55, 77-64)

    Matteke Hutzler, who was featured in the Kingston Whig-Standard on Friday, led with 23 points that night. Robyn Buna had 19 and Kate Hole added 15 as SFU shot 54% to TWU's 29%. A less-extreme win came the next night, but Hutzler still had 22 points and Courtney Gerwing had 11 with 12 boards.

  • Alberta defeats Calgary 2-0 (81-57, 80-55)

    Two similar scores as the Pandas won both. They got 21 from Nicole Clarke on Friday as they won 81-57--the Dinos shot about 35% from the floor and just 68% from the line. Melanie Schlichter paced Alberta with 17 on Saturday in just 14 minutes.

  • Winnipeg defeats Manitoba 2-1 (82-66, 62-64, 62-61)

    This was the series of the week. Despite their better season record than Manitoba (13-9, 8-14), my computer told me the Wesmen were only favoured by about five points, and sure enough two of the games were very close. Caitlin Gooch was 5 of 7 from long range for 15 of her game-high 25 points on Thursday, a few of which were caught online between commercial breaks on The Office. Game 2 was a lot closer and went the other way: 64-62 for the Bisons. Double-double for Jessica Stromberg: 17 points, 13 boards.

    And then came Saturday night's Winnipeg win with virtually no time on the clock. 61-60 for Manitoba, inbound pass, Amy Odigan was fouled and sunk both to win it. The two teams combined for 26-of-27 free-throw shooting, which in Winnipeg's case helped offset their 35% shooting. 15 for Gooch and a double-double for Kaitlin Rempel.

The rest of the Top 10:

2. Windsor (2): A pair in Thunder Bay to finish off the season. They might play Lakehead in the playoffs, so taking notes might be a good idea. Iva Peklova (16 points, 11 rebounds), Alisa Wulff (13 and 8), and Dranadia Roc (15 points) led the way as usual and the Lancers won 72-60. The second game, more of the same if more defensive: 65-54, 25 from Wulff (albeit on 45% shooting).

t-3. Saskatchewan (4): The coaches didn't like that loss to Lethbridge and neither did the RPI: they're now tied with Alberta, whom they play the Pandas next week in the division final.

6. UQAM (NR): They get added to the Top 10 just in time for a bye week. Next week, Laval.

7. Memorial (7): Two against SMU this weekend, before a more difficult two against Cape Breton next week. Victoria Thistle picked up 35 over the weekend as Memorial won both.

9. Dalhousie (9): They have the reverse schedule of the Sea-Hawks: Capers on the road this week, Huskies at home next. They lost to Cape Breton on Saturday: 77-60, which isn't too much of an upset since CBU stood 14th in the RPI, and were outrebounded 38-25. 30 points for the Capers' Kelsey Hodgson paced the winners; 17 for Dal's Jenna Kaye. They won the second one, though, as seems to happen often: 88-66, 24 from Kelly Donald and 23 from Brianna Orr. Kaye was a basket short of a double-double.

t-10. Western (10): Safely ensconced in second-place-and-first-round-bye territory, the Mustangs took it to Mac on Wednesday, 56-38. Bess Lennox easily led both categories with 17 points and 16 rebounds and 11 more points came from Megan Lapointe in just 16 minutes. Another win came Saturday against Waterloo: 14 and 12 for Lennox this time.

t-10. Regina (3): Plays Winnipeg next week.
Wayne Thomas, a former high school coach and assistant with the Calgary Dinos, has generously who was a valued contributor to cishoops.ca, has generously provided a wrapup on the weekend's Canada West men's playoff games. There's a little overlap with the Top 10 tracker, but Wayne's observations are fresher and more first-hand, and he knows the players and teams out West very well.

Bears Halt Huskies

Alberta 63, Saskatchewan 54
... the Bears swept the Huskies 2 straight, and now advance to the Central Division final in Calgary next Friday against the No. 6 Dinos. Alberta out-shot Saskatchewan badly, once again ... 43% to only 36% from the floor, and 42% on 8/19 from 3 pt. range to 23% on 5/22 for the visitors. Scott Leigh had the hot hand for the Bears, scoring 25 points including 6/13 treys, and he was helped by 9 points and 7 rebounds from Justin Vanloo, and 8 pts. and 6 boards by C.G. Morrison. Showron Glover had 25 for the Huskies, but it wasn't enough for the green and white, who recorded only four assists to 11 for the Bears. Alberta now leads Saskatchewan 4-2 in their last six playoff series.

Trinity Edges Victoria in Another Thriller

Trinity Western 87, Victoria 85 ... fighting for their playoff lives, the Victoria Vikes gave the Spartans everything they had , but came up 2 pts. short in the 3rd and deciding game in their Pacific semifinal. Trailing by 54-32 at halftime, the Vikes scored 53 of their own in the second half, but could not hit enough shots to catch the Spartans, who were led by the 24 pt. and 19 rebound performance of Jacob Doerksen. The home team, which now goes on to play the #2 UBC T-Birds in Vancouver next weekend in the Pacific final, also had 18 from Louis Hurd, and 17 from Brian Banman in out-shooting the Vikes 48% to 39% on the night. Fouls shooting was a dominant feature of the game, as 56 fouls were called ... UVic had three players foul out, and Trinity two.

T-Birds Dispatch Clan

UBC 101, Simon Fraser 84 ... the No. 2 T-Birds continued their season long domination of their Burnaby rivals. Chris Dyck was the high scorer for UBC with 31, most coming on 7/10 shooting from three-point range ... Blain Labranche had 19, Bryson Kool 15 for the 'Birds, while Greg Wallis, SFU's outstanding post man, playing his last CIS game, scored 18 to lead the Clan. UBC was a combined 15/28 from 3 pt. range, and had 5 players in double figures in a very impressive offensive display ... they shot 48% from the field compared to 34 for the over-matched Clan. The two teams combined for only 13 total turnovers, and 39 assists in a well-played game.

Regina Wins Third Game

Regina 85, Winnipeg 74 ... the Regina Cougars out-rebounded the visiting Wesmen 55-32, and finished off a stubborn underdog Winnipeg team in Game 3 of the Great Plains semifinal. Kris Heshka bruised up the Wesmen with 28 point and 11 rebounds to lead Regina, and he was helped by 16 and 12 from Jordan McFarlen, and a game-high 15 boards from Jamal Williams. Winnipeg got 23 from Mike James and 17 from Nick Lother, who was not a threat from three-point range Saturday, after his 43-point game Friday in Winnipeg's win. The Cougars travel to Brandon next weekend to try and best their rivals, the Brandon Bobcats, who narrowly edged the Cougars for first spot and home court for the Great Plains Final.

(Winnipeg could be a dangerous team in a couple seasons.)

Notes ...
  • UBC was without Josh Whyte this weekend, as he suffered a sprained ankle ... Alex Murphy, 3rd year, last year's starter at the point, played 30 minutes on Friday and 29 Saturday, recording 9 assists in the two games. Brett Leversage, 4th year, who got big minutes in the playoffs last year, seems to be the odd man out this season. UBC was a red-hot 57% on Friday, and 48 % Saturday.
  • Alberta is shooting the ball well at playoff time. The perimeter shooting has sparkled for the Bears ... they were 52% on Friday, and 43% Saturday, and have four deep threats in Leigh, Morrison, Neb Aleksic, and Eric Casey.
  • Two player technical fouls were assessed Friday night at TWU, as the emotional atmosphere spilled over onto the court. The David E. in Langley is an oversized high school gym, was was packed and Victoria took a lot of heat. They went one better in Regina Friday, with the 3 T's, two to the the Cougars and 1 to Wesmen. Saskatchewan's Michael Lieffers and Alberta's Justin Vanloo traded T's on Saturday in Edmonton. Things get testy at playoff time.
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