Basketball: OUA Recap - Western takes a step back

Perry King is a community journalist based in Toronto. A former sports editor at the University of Toronto's Varsity newspaper, Perry is currently an editor for Gleaner Community Press. He'll be covering OUA men's basketball for us, and he can be followed on Twitter @kingperry.

With the OUA hoops season now underway, the play of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Windsor Lancers will affect the forthcoming CIS men’s basketball Top Ten poll Tuesday.

While ninth-ranked Windsor and the top-ranked Carleton Ravens won this weekend in confident fashion, the seventh-ranked Western Mustangs went 1–1, blown out 92-64 by Mike Katz’s Blues on Nov. 13. Blues forwards dominated the Mustangs in the game. Alex Hill scored 25 points, and Drazen Glisic recorded 19 points and 10 rebounds. The spanking—where the Mustangs shot 29.2 per cent and turned it over 24 times—came a day after Western trounced the lowly Ryerson Rams 88–57 on their home turf in London, ON.

The Mustangs, with 246 points and six first-place votes, are ranked seventh by the coaches’ poll—as of Nov. 9—but may drop from the rankings with their 2–2 record. Teams like Toronto (3–1), and Canada West and AUS division leaders Alberta (5–1) and Dalhousie (2–0) are chomping at the bit to replace them.

Toronto is on the outside looking in of the Top Ten, with 54 points from the Nov. 9 coaches poll. If they get the votes, the Blues could crack the CIS Top Ten for the first time since the 2007-2008 season. The strongest argument against ranking the Blues is that they also went 1–1 this weekend, losing to Windsor, 81–69. The Lancers built off of a 28–11 first quarter to capture the win. Enrico Di Loreto lead the squad with 23 points in 31 minutes. Recent performance versus overall record could be a sticking point for coaches as they cast votes this week.

The ninth-ranked Lancers may benefit from Western’s sorry luck, and could place higher in the rankings this week. They defeated the Blues on Nov. 12, and squeaked out an 87-82 victory against Ryerson the next day.

Meanwhile, Carleton and Windsor are now the only undefeated squads in OUA play this season. The unanimously top ranked Ravens clawed out two victories this weekend against Laurier and Waterloo, 88–80 and 94–78.
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