Basketball: OUA West Wednesday Preview

This week's quick glance at the mid-week matchups in the OUA West for February 10:


McMaster (11-7) vs. Western (14-4)

This is an exciting matchup for a number of reasons. First and foremost, because this game features the two best guards in the conference in Taylor Smith and Amanda Anderson. While the Western Mustangs have essentially locked up 2nd place and a first round playoff bye, the battle for 3rd and 4th place, and a home playoff date, is a race between McMaster, Brock, and Lakehead, all of whom are currently tied for 3rd at 11-7. With Brock and Lakehead playing 2 games against each other this weekend, any results will see one or both of those teams moving up, so this is a HUGE game for the Marauders.

Mac has lost 2 of their last 3 games, including a loss to Waterloo, but they beat the Mustangs by 5 points the last time these teams met. Western looked sloppy for some of their game against Guelph on the weekend, so Coach Stephan Barrie will be looking for his team to play a full 40 minutes instead of cruising for a quarter like we saw on Saturday. With Western essentially locked in to 2nd place, they really don’t have as much motivation as the Marauders do…BUT…keep in mind that the Mustangs are on the road for their final 3 games, so this will be Senior Night for Anderson and Lauren Parkes. Couple that with the fact that Katelyn Leddy has been unstoppable lately, and I can’t see the Mustangs losing this one.

Remaining (Mac): vs. Guelph, vs. Waterloo, @ Windsor
Remaining (UWO): @ Waterloo, @ Lakehead, @ Lakehead

Windsor (17-1) vs Waterloo (4-14)

Waterloo upset Mac a week ago at the PAC, primarily behind a big game from senior guard Reanne Holden, who scored 18 points. While the Warriors have proven that they are capable of the big upset, the #3 ranked Lancers be a little too much for them to handle. With the size of the Windsor frontcourt, and the ability of Jessica Clemencon to score almost at will (16.76 PPG), the Warriors game plan of rotating Laura Becotte and Erin Button through the post will likely not be enough, and UW coach Tyler Slipp will probably need them both on the court at the same time for most of the game if the Warriors want to compete. Windsor should win this one by double digits.

Remaining (Win): @ Laurier, @ Guelph, vs. McMaster
Remaining (UW): vs. Western, @ McMaster, vs. WLU

Guelph (2-16) vs Laurier (7-11)

To say that the Gryphons have had a tough season would be putting it mildly. With a roster of only 11 players, a pre-season injury to Ali Dzikowski took her out of the lineup for the entire year. Then an injury to Laura Rajnak sidelined her for possibly the rest of the season, and with rookie sensation Samantha De Jong on the sidelines since before Christmas with a bout of mono and a knee injury, the Gryphons have only been dressing 8 players for recent games. Considering that only 3 players on the team have more than 1 year of OUA experience, and they have 3 tough games left on the schedule, things are not looking good for the Gryphons. The Golden Hawks win at home.

Remaining (UG): @ McMaster, vs. Windsor, @ Brock
Remaining (WLU): vs. Windsor, vs. Brock, @ Waterloo


McMaster (12-6) vs. Western (10-8)

These two teams played each other on January 23rd, and the Marauders destroyed the Mustangs by a score of 93-64. Since that game, Western has won 3 of 4 games, and Mac has gone a perfect 4-0, winning games by 7, 30, 19, and 20 points. This is the marquee matchup of the week, by far. While the Mustangs will be looking for revenge on their home floor, as well as sending off senior Andrew Wedemire for what may be his final home game, this Marauder team seems unstoppable.

It seems like a weekend sweep at the hands of the Lakehead Thunderwolves (that capped a 4-game losing streak), coupled with the constant cries of media-types (myself included) that the Marauders were overrated, has awoken a slumbering giant that no one in the OUA West is capable of solving. Joe Raso’s team sent a message to the league with a 30-point drubbing of Waterloo that they have their eyes on the top of the OUA West, and with a closing game at Windsor, one of those playoff byes may be on the line.

And Keenan Jeppesen is as hot as he’s been all season, coming off of a triple-double in his last game. A Triple-Double! When was the last time someone in this league had a triple-double? It will be interesting to see how he performs on his old court, Alumni Hall. I expect a Mac win to keep the train rolling.

Remaining (Mac): vs. Guelph, vs. Waterloo, @ Windsor
Remaining (UWO): @ Waterloo, @ Lakehead, @ Lakehead

Windsor (13-5) vs Waterloo (8-10)

After starting out strong and finding themselves alone in 3rd place in the West, the Warriors have fallen from grace with 5 straight losses, including a humiliating 30-point defeat to the McMaster Marauders on their home floor for Autograph Day. Now, sitting tied for 5th/6th place and holding on to the final playoff spot, the Warriors need to show that they can back on track and be the team that beat this same Lancers team in Windsor 3 weeks ago. With a tough schedule in the final 3 games, the Warriors will need big games from Cam McIntyre and Matt Hayes to come out on top in this one.

The Lancers are feeling pressure from the surging Marauders, who trail them by only 2 points. Will that pressure and a long road trip affect them? Must be interesting to be Chris Oliver, watching Joe Raso, who Oliver served as an assistant to at Mac, chasing him…and right on his tail. While the Warriors have the head-to-head edge and the home floor advantage, it’s tough to pick a team on a 5-game losing streak, and I’ll have to go with the Lancers in this one.

Remaining (Win): @ Laurier, @ Guelph, vs. McMaster
Remaining (UW): vs. Western, @ McMaster, vs. WLU

Guelph (5-13) vs Laurier (7-11)

I’m going to forego a traditional analysis of this matchup to instead talk about the disappointment that has been the Gryphons’ season. In the future, when teams need a model of a team unable to finish close games, they will use the 2009-2010 Guelph Gryphons as a model. The Gryphons sit at 5-13 on the season, but look at the following losses:

75-74 loss to Carleton
82-80 loss to Laurentian
79-74 loss to Ryerson
64-61 loss to Toronto
68-65 loss to Western
65-61 loss to Lakehead
57-56 loss to Brock

That’s EIGHT losses by 5 points or less. And that’s not even including overtime losses to Lakehead and McMaster. That’s ten winnable games for this Gryphons team out of their 13 losses.

Remember that this is the team that beat St. FX (currently ranked #2) and Dalhousie (currently ranked #11) in the pre-season, as well as NCAA Division I Tennessee-Chattanooga (currently 13-12).

This is a good team. A good team that just can’t finish games. And a good team that will miss the playoffs, although they will win this game on the road at Laurier.

Remaining (UG): @ McMaster, vs. Windsor, @ Brock
Remaining (WLU): vs. Windsor, vs. Brock, @ Waterloo
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  1. My picks for this evening.

    Windsor 67 @ Waterloo 63
    Payback time for the Lancers. I see Windsor beating the Warriors in a close, defensive struggle.

    Mac 78 @ UWO 81
    Mac's winning streak comes to an end. This is a huge game for placing. A Mac win positions them for a run at first or second.

    Guelph 73 @ WLU 69
    Yes, the Gryphs are better than their record. They'll finally win a close one.

  2. Guelph shows how deep the OUA west is . For a team not making play-offs they are not an easy win. If they played in the AUS they would be one of the top teams . X &CB have had a pretty easy time of it and it's the main reason they are ranked in top 5.

  3. Surrrre...Guelph would be #1 in the AUS...suurre...

    They would be #5 at best....

  4. the reason why guelph can finish games if because they focus on too much on parts of the game they cant control (like reffing) instead of playing the game and getting it done

    with a player like jay mott who still is putting up huge numbers imagine what he could do if he stopped complaining about every bump and bruise he receives on the floor/every injury he the leader of his team he could be unstoppable

    they base thier type of play on being physical and rough and sometimes even dirty instead of basing it off the talent of their roster

    basically their record says it all, when it comes down to the last four mins, other teams want it more then they do

  5. Anon 3:59...

    So are you are you saying in so many words if Jay Mott stopped
    being such a pussy and grew a pair Guelph would win a lot more?

  6. First of all, let's keep the tone in check here, and at the risk of a Wednesday preview post turning into the Pros and Cons of a Last Place Team, let me respond:

    I'm not going to talk about what Guelph, or any other team would do in a different division. Apples and Oranges.

    To Anon 3:59 (still don't get why everyone is afraid to use a name), your comment makes no sense. Especially if you have watched Guelph basketball.

    The Gryphons are not a team that is generally on the refs all night, like other teams. (Their fans, however, are another story) Nor is their play physical and rough. Are you perhaps basing your comments on PAST Gryphons teams.

    To single out Jay Mott is ludicrous. Are you saying that if Jay Mott stopped complaining to the refs, he would be doing more for this team. Scoring 33 points on Saturday wasn't enough? Jay Mott is definitely pulling his weight on this team...are you saying he needs to do MORE, and that would be the difference? Come on.

    And while the 'other teams want it more' argument is convenient and sounds nice, it doesn't hold any water. Nobody ever won a game because of how bad they wanted it, the other teams beat Guelph because they scored more points. Period.

  7. I agree with the comment on wanting it more...that translates into effort on those 50/50 loose balls and rebounds and with the will and determination to get stops on defense.
    But as for tonights games, there is huge effect on both the top and bottom of the standings.

    Every team playing tonight needs to win, i agree that guelph is out of the playoffs with remaining games against windsor and mac.

    The games have huge playoff implications, western could loose the remaining 4 games and finish 6th or win them and finish in the top 3.
    Mac still have their sights set on a first round bye and Windsor is currently in 2nd only 1 game out of first. All remaining teams need the win just to hold their playoff position or move up.

    SSN games will be surfing between them and the UNC and Duke game tonight.
    Should be fun

  8. Cantankerous2/10/2010 10:56 pm

    McMaster loses 92-86 to Western but the big story of this game might be Keenan Jeppeson.
    Jeppeson logged 4 minutes, had one missed shot, 2 rebounds and no points.
    A player like him playing just 4 minutes makes no sense.
    He had to be either hurt, sick or got tossed.
    Anybody knows what happened?

  9. He hurt. Came back to the bench with his leg wrapped. Mac actually played alright without him. I figured that UWO would crush Mac, but it never happened.

    Windsor wins a big one in Waterloo. From my calculations, Windsor can't finish less than 3rd. If Windsor wins 2/3, they can't finish less than matter what happens versus Mac.

  10. Played alright without him?
    Dude, they LOST a crucial game.
    Mac gave up 92 points and Wedemire and Harder lit them up.
    Not having to deal with Jeppeson was a huge break for the Mustangs.
    When Western played at Mac on Jan 23 they got crushed by 29 points.
    If Jeppeson was in the lineup and played his typical game, Mac probably wins no problem.
    This is a major development for the marauders.
    If Keenan can't go in the next few games, they're screwed.

  11. You know who else is screwed by this injury? Everyone not named Neate in the MUBL. (Way to beat him 8-0 like we needed, Lund!)

  12. Dude....I agree with you...without Jeppeson, Mac should have been crushed by Western. The Stangs were at home playing against a Mac team that lost their star player. The Mac men made it close..but still lost.