Basketball: Praise lavished on Final 8 by a top Toronto hoops chronicler

It was noted over the weekend Doug Smith, the lead basketball writer from the Toronto Star, was at the CIS Final 8, which is a coup. He talked in pretty glowing terms about the Canadian game:
"There is no doubt the depth of talent is increasing every year and spreading from coast to coast. Gone are the days when the University of Victoria takes seven titles in seven seasons, or when the Carleton Ravens could claim six in seven years. There is a level of parity in the game now perhaps unprecedented.

" ... There may not have been a legitimate senior national team prospect among the eight teams here but that doesn't mean in a deepening talent pool there won't be.

" 'We've had some talks here this weekend with the CIS coaches and we want it to continue to grow," said (Canadian national) men's team coach Leo Rautins.

" 'Obviously, the best thing for Canada Basketball is the CIS gets bigger, deeper, stronger; because of the fact we don't have a pro league in this country, the CIS becomes that kind of model."
Smith noted it didn't matter there were about 5,000 people at Scotiabank Place for the final, the passion was evident. He also noted on his blog:
"I also think we need to write more about these kids and the programs and the teams. A one-off appearance was a good thing, I have to do a better job next season of doing more, there are lots of good stories out there that need to be told. Not game stories, per se, but stories about the people who play the game and the issues they face.

"The thing I hear often when I suggest things like that – and this is from readers as much as it is from people in our industry – is that people don’t care.

"Well, how do we know?

"Do they not care because we don’t tell them? If we gave them more stories, would they care? It’s a chicken and egg thing in some regards and maybe it’s time we take the initiative and simply do it and see how everyone reacts."
Huskies have reason to howl; Saskatchewan's first men's basketball title comes amid period of great growth for CIS (Doug Smith, Toronto Star)
Lots of CIS stuff because it was a fun weekend (Doug Smith's Toronto Raptors Blog)
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  1. Agreed Mr Smith great article, the puck heads in canada think they own the media and can let hockey control the airwaves, this is b.s. because plenty of great canadian basketball talent in canada, and basketball is growing at a rapid rate in canada and its time people in canada recognize it and give the canadians playing this game in the NCAA, CIS, CCAA, Etc.. more media air time, they deserve it and a guy like mike linklater playing for saskatchewan was a great story and you cant tell me a guy like that would be a feel good story for canadians, hope to see an influx of canadians make the NBA, like tristan thompson, cory joseph, myck kabongo, olu ashaolu, kris joseph, andy rautins, rob sacre, manny arop, bol kong, junior cadougan, andrew nicholson, the list could go on....

  2. A Raven Maniac3/25/2010 12:06 am

    "Gone are the days when the Victoria Vikings takes seven titles in seven seasons,
    or the Carleton Ravens could claim six in seven years.
    There is a level of parity in the game now perhaps unprecedented"

    I'm not to sure I would agree with that statement.
    First of all, Carleton won all those titles very recently,the last in 2009.
    You mean to tell me all of a sudden in 2010 we have "parity"?
    As far as I am concerned, there always was parity or competitiveness in the CIS,
    even when Carleton was winning all those championships.
    Just because Carleton won a lot this past decade, doesn't mean they cakewalked.
    Look at the results, starting in 2003, Carleton's first title.
    The Ravens survived OT against an unheralded UPEI team, and squeezed out 3 point wins over Laval and Guelph.
    The next year was even tighter, 2 point wins over UNB and Calgary
    and a nervy 4 point win over X that wasn't decided till the last minute.
    In 2005, the Ravens got their "easiest" win because they blew out Concordia,
    but not before a gut wrenching win over X in the semis.
    2006 saw Carleton actually in the underdog role as they weren't expected to win
    without Doornekamp but somehow, they did.
    And 2007 looked like a waltz as the Ravens breezed to wins over Acadia and Ottawa, but the final against Brandon was a pitch battle.
    The only difference from those five years to the last three is that the Ravens
    actually lost a couple of close games most people have come to expect them to win.
    Apart from the results at nationals, the seasons have gone pretty the same as they
    have for the last decade.
    Mr. Smith may think there is more parity now, but I believe there is no
    more or less parity than before.
    It might simply be a case of law of averages catching up to Carleton.
    After winning so many close ones, they had to lose one or two sooner or later.

  3. It is probably more the law of averages -- and Mr. Smart has said, "People forget how close some of the games have been."

    You're right, though, that doesn't mean there's more parity. The way I put is we might not see another big multi-title run like with Ken Shields at UVic in the 1980s or Smart's 2000s Ravens. So many good teams, plus if the 17-team regional format comes in, that will change dynamics.