Friday, February 19, 2010

Basketball: OUA West Playoff Picture and Potential All-Star Selections

This weekend is the final slate of regular-season games in the OUA West. Most of the playoff picture has been set, but there is still some to be determined. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s games and what they potentially mean for the playoffs, followed by my All-Star choices for the season.

On the women’s side, Windsor and Western have locked up the #1 and #2 seeds, and a first round playoff bye. Laurier is stuck in 6th place and can’t move, but the spots 3rd through 5th are still to be determined. McMaster has a 2 point lead over Brock and Lakehead, so a win over Windsor on Saturday would clinch third place for the Marauders. A Lakehead sweep of Western could tie the Thunderwolves with the Marauders, but Mac would win out on the tiebreaker (1-1 record, +3 point differential).

In all likelihood, Windsor beats McMaster, and Brock beats Guelph to set up a tie between those two teams, which Brock would win on the tiebreaker (1-1, +7 point differential). A Lakehead sweep would vault them into 3rd place, with Brock 4th and Mac 5th. A Western sweep would have Brock in 3rd, Mac in 4th, and Lakehead in 5th. And a Lakehead-Western split would set up a three-way tie, and then let the math begin!

So, in essence, more than anything, Laurier want Western to sweep the Thunderwolves on the weekend. The last thing the Golden Hawks want is a mid-week flight to Thunder Bay for a playoff game. Keep in mind that those latter scenarios are based on Windsor (19-1) beating McMaster (13-8), but that’s anything but a sure thing. Remember that the Marauders are the only team to beat Windsor all season, and they can do it again.

On the men’s side, Lakehead and Windsor have locked up the #1 and #2 seeds, but since they are currently tied, this weekend’s games will determine who finishes 1st and who finishes 2nd. Can the Thunderwolves go wire-to-wire, or will the Lancers steal it at the buzzer, as they did in Guelph on Wednesday night? McMaster and Western are locked into 3rd and 4th place, respectively, and know they will play Waterloo and Laurier, but they don’t know which one yet. Saturday’s Waterloo-Laurier game will determine the #5 and #6 seeds. With both teams tied with a 9-11 record, the formula is quite simple, the winner will play Western in London, and the loser will travel to Hamilton for a playoff date with the Marauders.

With Lakehead playing two games and Windsor only playing one game, a number of different situations could arise, but keep this in mind: if Lakehead and Windsor are tied at the end of Saturday, Windsor will win the tiebreaker (1-1 record, +20 point differential).

Now that I’ve covered all of the playoff implications that lie with this weekend’s games, I wanted to give my choices for this season’s All-Star teams and major award winners. I will preface my selections by saying that I ‘loosely’ chose by position, and by that I mean that while I may not have followed the traditional PG-G-G-F-C formula, I chose a team where the players on the All-Star team could logically be started together on the floor at the same time and slotted into those positions. There were a couple of borderline picks that almost made my women’s and men’s All-Star teams, and while I did not pick a second team, I did list them as honourable mentions. I’m sure this will elicit a lot of conversation in the Comments section, and I look forward to your opinions and/or alternate selections.

OUA West Women’s All Stars

Taylor Smith - McMaster
Amanda Anderson - Western
Tasia McKenna – Lakehead
Renata Adamczyk – Laurier
Jessica Clemencon – Windsor

MVP – Amanda Anderson

Rookie of the Year – Jessica Clemencon

Coach of the Year – Chantal Vallée – Windsor

Honourable Mentions (Katelyn Leddy – Western, Jasmine Douglas – Guelph, Shavaun Reaney - Windsor)



OUA West Men’s All-Stars

Isaac Kuon – Windsor
Clinton Springer-Williams – Brock
Jay Mott – Guelph
Keenan Jeppesen – McMaster
Andrew Wedemire – Western

MVP – Keenan Jeppesen

Rookie of the Year – Clinton Springer-Williams

Coach of the Year – Scott Morrison – Lakehead

Honourable Mentions (Ryan Barbeau – Western, Jamie Searle – Lakehead, Jesse McDonald – Laurier)



A couple of quick comments on my selections to head you off at the pass. I know I picked no players from the Lakehead men’s team, who has led the OUA West for the entire season. But my point is that they have done it as a team, with no real standout performances. If I could pick the team as an All-Star, I would. And yes, I picked Jay Mott as a first team All-Star from a last place team. I would argue that no player in the OUA West was more vital to their team than Mott was to the Gryphons this season. While the Gryphons only had 5 wins, they had 11 other winnable games, almost all of which were due to Mott’s performance on the court. Also, I think Shavaun Reaney is the top guard in the league not named Smith, Anderson, or McKenna. I couldn’t justify 3 point guards on the All-Star team.

The MVP, Rookies of the Year, and Coach of the Year awards (on both sides) are all no-brainers to me, and keep in mind that I do NOT subscribe to the belief that first place team = Coach of the Year. But Windsor’s dominance warrants a second straight win for Chantal Vallée, and Lakehead’s surprise surge into a top team in this division gives the award to Scott Morrison. I’d love to hear arguments for any other MVP, ROTY, or COTY choices.

30 comments:

  1. To note: in the event of the aforementioned 3-way tie on the women's, Lakehead would finish 3rd, Brock 4th, and Mac 5th. (confirmed by the OUA)

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  2. two things; one, the winner of the laurier-waterloo game goes to western while the loser goes to mac and two, all-star teams should be picked by position to guarantee that there is equity across the board since this is supposed to be a "team."

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  3. is there a defensive player of the year award?

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  4. There's a national defensive player of the year, so yes.

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  5. Yes, I had the matchups transposed. Thanks for pointing it out...original post is corrected.

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  6. No Cam MacIntyre?

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  7. I think you pretty well nailed as far as your all star selections

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  8. Cam MacIntyre has been inconsistent on an inconsistent team, but other than scoring, I don't see him do much on the court. His defense is sometimes non-existent.

    Great shooter, and possibly a 2nd team all-star. But arguably not the best 'player' on his team.

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  9. any explanation as to why Kale Harrison's numbers dropped of so much this year...I was really expecting big things from him.

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  10. Kale is on a stronger team than in years past and he has not had to carry he team as much

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  11. CSW is the shining light on his team because they well suck! Who else is even in double figures for his team? For me being the best player on a bad team is not enough to warrant all star status or all league recognition no matter what your year is. Take him off the all star team, (maybe second team at best) and give the ROY award to Max Allin. I think McDonald deserves more all star status than CSW.

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  12. Mott had 41 today... thanks for saying hello when everyone else is saying goodbye. He had an ok career and will go down as the leader of the first Gryphs team to miss the playoffs in many, many years.

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  13. Honestly, did Windsor win first place or did Lakehead just piss it away?
    That loss to Guelph at home really was a killer.

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  14. lakehead sort of pissed it away with a 1 point loss at home to western on friday...

    any insite as to eastern allstars?

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  15. Jay Mott can not be a first team allstar on a last place team. dont care what his numbers were. what numbers dont show is the players defensive play and that is the reason the guelph is in last place because their LEADER doesnt lead by example on the defensive end when the game is on the line.

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  16. Anonymous 2:11,

    I couldn't disagree more. You're clearly not watching the same games I was. I can't give a lot of (or any, really) credibility to anonymous haters who base their comments on an apparent personal bias instead of fact.

    I could list examples, like Mott standing in and taking a charge (not called, and a good non-call) last Wednesday on the game-winning basket by Nigel Johnson-Tyghter, but I don't give much credibility to the above statement.

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  17. Last time I looked, basketball is played with five men on the floor per team.
    Why Anon 2:11 continues to single out Jay Mott (I'm pretty sure this
    guy has posted before) puzzles me to no end.
    Did Guelph underachieve this year?
    Absolutely.
    Does the lion's share of the blame lie on Mott's shoulders?
    Absolutely not.
    To single out one individual player for blame is unfair.
    There are a lot of factors that contributed to Guelph's downfall this season.
    But don't use Mott as a convenient scapegoat.

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  18. Eastern all-stars? I'll take McCleery at centre, Leger and Bakovic as forwards, JGB and either Toronto's Rob Paris or Nick Magalas at the two-guard. I would prefer they consider Warren Ward as a guard. That's five teams represented; normally doesn't the first-place team get 2?

    Second team -- Ward and Tyson Hinz as forwards; maybe you take David Tyndale and Manny Pasquale to get York and Laurentian repped, and list one of the U of T guys, or maybe Donnie Gibson or Elliot Thompson as a guard. Tough choices.

    Outstanding player - JGB

    Top defender - Cole Hobin

    Rookie of the year - Tyson Hinz

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  19. There seems to be a debate about whether Jay Mott is to blame with Guelphs season. Rightly or wrongly, but yes, he does have to take a big part of the blame. That is one of the burdens that come with being "the man" on a bad team. All of these Guelph supporters want to make a case "Guelph lost all of these games by 4 points or less....if they only _____ they would have beat Carleton and the whole season woulda been different...." Bull crap. Every single team has lots of games where, if they only did something different then they would've won, putting them in a better position. It is that philosophy - if the ball bounced my way, they other guy got lucky, the reff's made some bad calls, so and so had a bad shooting game - it is exactly that philosophy that plagues schools like Guelph and makes sure that they will never ever win a championship. Places like Carleton and St FX - you never hear about would of's, and if's and other excuses from them - yet that's all I've heard this season from Guelph and I'm tired of it. There are no moral victories at this level. A loss by 20 a loss by 10 a loss by 1, at the end of the day it's a loss. And when a team loses a lot of close games, then the blame falls on the coach and the star player, in this case Chris O'rourke and Jay Mott. Jay did not step up big this season - they won 5 games and missed the playoffs!! Take Jay Mott off of this team for the whole season and I bet they still win at least 5 games, probably more.


    As for All stars give me

    West
    Kennan Jeppeson Mac
    Issac Kuhn (sp) Windsor
    Andy Weidemire Western
    Jamie Searle Lakehead
    Yoosie Sahri (sp) Lakehead

    East

    Kevin McCleary Carleton
    Mitch Leger Queens
    Boris Bakovic Ryerson
    Josh Gibson Ottawa
    Rob Paris Toronto

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  20. sager...ROY Tyson Hinz over Manny Pasquale? Tyson had a lot of quality players around him that would make the pass and force double teams to allow him to be open. Manny led many Laurentian comebacks and really showed his true potential when his brother went down with an injury and really became the dynameic scoring threat player.

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  21. Hinz started for a team going into the playoffs #1 in their conference.
    Manny was a starter on a team that missed the playoffs. I agree with Sager, Hinz is the ROY
    Winning should mean something in regards to individual awards. It's not enough to put up decent/good numbers on a bad team. Ask last years Boris Bakovic about that - arguably the most dominate player in the CIS last year, but didn't even get a sniff of All Canadian because his team stunk

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  22. Reggie, good point about Bagovic...reverse the roles? Does Tyson put up better numbers on a losing team? Does Manny score more or less on a winning team..having more open/less forced shots?

    The reason I say this is because I've watched Tyson in several games-in the games i saw, he was one of the highest scoring players (maybe i should watch more of his), but he didnt score making tough shots or anything, most of his shots were made when whoever was guarding him went to go double team McCleery or someone else and he had a lay up. I would watch Carleton and then check the stats and wonder how he would get so many points, he would do it very quietly.

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  23. I'm going to go back to Reggie's first point for a moment (back on topic since this was a post on the OUA West All-Stars.)

    Reggie, I see your point, and I agree that a loss is a loss, period. And I wasn't trying to make excuse for the Gryphons in my earlier posts. What I am saying is that they were much more competitive than their record would indicate.

    I disagree with you, however, in placing the blame on 'the man', as you referred to Jay Mott. I think you have to give some accountability to the coach, and the team's overall defense. It's unfair to place the blame squarely on one person's shoulders for 11 losses, regardless of the situation. WHen you say you blame the coach and the star player, I think that's unfair.

    Mott goes out and scores 33 points against Western...you blame him for that loss?

    I'm not a Gryphons honk, I'm really not. But let's be honest here...without Jay Mott, that's a worse team. And keep in mind he was injured for part of the season.

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  24. i think ryan barbeau is a super player.. should get more considerations

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  25. I have to agree. As I mentioned on our Waterloo-Laurier telecast on the weekend when I revealed my All-Stars, I really struggled with not including him on the list. He was the last cut.

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  26. Sean it's not all about scoring. Yes Mott scored 33 against Western. I watched that game, and he did a great job hitting open shots. Those were open shots that his team mates created for him. He does nothing to help his team on the defensive side of the ball, he doesn't make anyone better, he yells and whines at his team and the reff's....but he is a deadly open shooter. You've got to do more to be an all star. You can say it's unfair to blame the coach and the star player - but it's not about being fair. That is the standard that has been set in team sports for who knows how many years. If a team loses a lot of close games the blame will always fall on the coach and the star - that's just how it is.

    And Barbeau is a very good player, if the reff's didn't like Weidemire so much and put him on the line more than anyone else in the West, then Barbeau would be my pick as the Western all star

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  27. the problem with picking 5 players who one assumes can play the traditional positions of an all-star team (pg, sg, sm, pf, c) is that the players who may, in fact, be the best player at their position, get left out. case in point would be barbeau, who has the best numbers of any true point in the west and is the only one on the western team that can handle the ball against pressure; that is why he averages 35 minutes a game. rookies should be left off as they are going to get recognized anyway. i have seen every team in the west, except lakehead, a minimum of 4 times and here are my all-stars.

    c - nigel johnson-tyghter
    pf - andy wedemire
    sf - keenan jeppeson
    sg - isaac kuon
    pg - ryan barbeau

    c - yoosrie salhia
    pf - andre smyth
    sf - jay mott
    sg - kale harrison
    pg - jamie searle

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  28. Reggie, you said "He does nothing to help his team on the defensive side of the ball", and I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. If I had a vote, he gets an All-Star selection.

    Anonymous 2:16, I'm shocked that you didn't mention how you think Chris Oliver should win Coach of the Year. LOL. Windsor fan, I presume? Nigel-Johnson Tyghter on the First Team??? Come on! And THREE Lancers total? (including Andre Smyth, who wasn't even nominated by his team) Let's be real, please.

    And I have to say that I disagree with your point about rookies being left off "because they are going to get recognized anyways." All-Stars are All-Stars, regardless of the number of years that they've been in the league. In 2006-07 When Martin Ayaji was a first team All-Star, should he have been left off since he was going to win his 3rd straight Defensive Player of the Year Award?

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  29. sean; not a windsor fan at all but they are first after all and are arguable the toughest team to match up against in the west. i guess the play-offs will tell.....as far as the ayaji comparison is concerned, i don't understand the connection since the reference isn't to freshman. csw is one dimensional and that shouldn't, in my mind be enough. csw will be recognized in the oua and nationally for his scoring prowess. and there are more deserving upper year guys. and scott morrison will win coach of the year in the oua and in the cis

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  30. I don't see how you convince yourself CSW isn't ROY.

    He's third in the OUA in scoring, next OUA West rookie isn't even close. He's second rookie in rebounding, two boards a game from Allin.
    He's also shooting far better from the field, and doesn't have the luxury of a Harrison or McDonald on his team to steal attention, anyone watching this year has seen that Didi has struggled.

    Combine that with the head to head match-ups versus Laurier, especially the second last game of the season where he dropped 40 with 13 boards on 66% shooting, and that throws the Allin of CSW ROY comment right out the window.

    With an award like MVP, it's understandable to count in team success, because you're trying to define the player who is most valuable, the player whose team would suffer the most if that player was replaced with an average performer. But ROY has to be the straight up best rookie.

    (Even if you go by team success, Brock/Waterloo/Laurier were all fighting for those two playoff spots.)

    Those are the only two in contention for ROY in the West though.

    The All Star selection is close and I think you pass that to team success as a way to reward a program. CSW, understandably, not getting in there this year.

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