What do blue skies, last-second dunks and trips to China have in common? They're all part of this week's men's hoops top-10 update, of course. Here's how the best teams in the nation fared this past week.
#1 Carleton Ravens (1st in RPI):
Pulled away from Queen's after a spirited effort by the Gaels, then worked hard in a practice scrimmage, er, won by 81 over RMC. Is there a more efficient scorer in the CIS than Tyson Hinz right now? He's averaging 37.2 points per 40 minutes in 2011 (a 40.0 minus his 12-point, 19-minute anomaly/breather versus RMC), while getting to the line with striking regularity and using incredibly few possessions to do it.
Next week: host Laurentian and York
#2 UBC Thunderbirds (3rd in RPI):
If Josh Whyte scores 0 points in a game, does anyone think the T-Birds can win? Apparently yes, as they proved in beating Calgary 74-63 on Friday despite shooting 34 per cent for the game. They also beat the Dinos 91-82 on Saturday thanks to a strong fourth quarter surge to close out the game. You can read about it in a fine Vancouver newspaper here.
Next week: at Brandon for two
#3 Saskatchewan Huskies (13th in RPI):
Jamelle Barrett and Rejean Chabot scored a bazillion points and the Huskies won two games. In other news, the sky remains blue with occasional clouds. Actually, the two combined for 115 points over two games, beating Manitoba 89-80 and 121-88.
Next week: host TRU for two
#4 St. Francis Xavier X-Men (4th in RPI):
Got to keep a nice little bit of momentum going by winning their eight and ninth in a row (including the Shoveller Tournament) after beating Memorial 113-61 and 109-73, the latter of which saw Terry Thomas score 25 points in just 22 minutes. Whether they can carry that momentum into next week's contest with Cape Breton will a go a long way into determining if this really is a top-5 CIS team.
Next week: host CBU and UNB
#5 Trinity Western Spartans (5th in RPI):
Bye week. However, Jacob Doerksen still managed to score 26 points and grab 11 rebounds.
Next week: at Calgary for two
#6 Windsor Lancers (t-7th in RPI):
Pulled away from a scrappy Waterloo team to avoid losing two in a row. They beat the Warriors 73-61 thanks to the usual 25 from Isaac Kuon, but lost a thriller on Wednesday 83-81 to McMaster after Mac's Scott Brittain's amazing steal-and-dunk final play.
Next week: at home against Western, travel to Brock
#7 Concordia Stingers (9th in RPI):
Needed a furious finish to beat McGill 70-64, and then snuck by a pretty brutal Bishop's team 86-81 thanks to yet another sterling performance by Kyle Desmarais (24 points on 10-14 shooting).
Next week: host McGill
#8 Laval Rouge et Or (14th in RPI):
Whooped Bishop's 83-63 a night before (barely) surviving a crazy finish by McGill, who missed numerous chances in the final seconds to win in an 85-84 barnburner.
Rouge et Or coach Jacques Paiement, Jr. wasn't happy with his squad's finish, saying after the game "I would have liked to get it over with when we were up by 10 but we made bad decisions and they played well."
Next week: host UQAM
#9 Toronto Varsity Blues (t-7th in RPI):
Got beat by the young York Lions, letting them shoot 53 per cent in an 88-74 loss on Friday. They did well to respond with a 94-82 win over Laurentian, travelling to Sudbury and winning in a pretty tough gym. Still, with some other OUA and AUS teams nipping at their heels, it's going to be tough to stay inside the top-10 losing to anyone whose coach isn't Dave Smart.
Next week: host RMC and Queen's
#10 Cape Breton Capers (2nd in RPI):
Beat Acadia 72-63 and 99-83 and are now 2nd in the RPI. This is a dangerous dark horse team, I tells ya. Meanwhile, we get some details on the Capers' sweet holiday trip to China in this article from Monty Mosher.
Next week: host Dal for two