Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Each Tuesday, we'll take a look at the CIS men's hoops rankings and analyze the movement of the nation's best teams.

(Official CIS rankings; RPI standings)

MOVING UP:

No. 6 Laval Rouge et Or: Up from no. 8. Laval benefits from a pair of stumbles by Windsor and Concordia, and by crushing a Bishop's team that nearly toppled Concordia. They're now two spots ahead of division rivals Concordia, but until one of those teams beats each other badly enough or away from their home court, it's too early to consider either a real favourite in the QUBL this winter.

No. 8 Cape Breton Capers: Up from no. 10. This is a team that's gone 11-6 with the toughest-ranked schedule in the country and looked pretty strong against its division rivals. The fact that they won two games this weekend is pretty impressive considering coach Jim Charters said they wouldn't be "ready to play", having barely practiced while recovering from their holiday trip to China. Also, Philip Nkrumah hit a half court shot. Those are cool, right?

T-No. 10 Dalhousie Tigers: Back in the top-10 for the first time in '11 after beating UPEI to improve to 12-5 on the campaign. Well get a pretty good sense of whether they're from real when they head to Sydney for a pair of contests with the Capers.


GOING DOWN:

No. 7 Windsor Lancers: I got my first live look at the 2010-11 Lancers last week, and even though they lost, I was pretty impressed with their speed. When Enrico Di Loreto and Josh Collins nail down how to run coach Chris Oliver's offence, they're going to be nightmares to cover. Still, they'll need to cut down on silly mistakes and get the ball in Isaac Kuon's hands as much as possible if they want to challenge Carleton this year.

No. 9 Concordia Stingers: A bit of a shaky weekend for the Stingers, as they not only fell to McGill and barely beat Bishop's, but lost Evens Laroche to an ankle injury. We'll see how Kyle Desmarais can rescue them out of this one.

T-No. 10 Toronto Varsity Blues: The Blues play a pretty deliberate, half-court style. So when the York Lions shot 53% in beating Toronto 88-74 this weekend, it was always going to be tough to put up enough points on the board to stay with them.


CHECKING IN:

Lost in Toronto's pretty solid season thus far is the fact that they were a pretty big question mark at the start of the year. Despite their loss to York last week, they've looked like they're ahead of the Ryerson-York-Laurentian-Queen's mess below them. Daniel Tsokos of the Varsity takes a look at their mildly successful season thus far here.

This is a few days old and if you read here, you've probably already seen it, but Howard Tsumura has a nice piece on UBC guard Alex Murphy's fifth-year blossoming here.

Speaking of those Thunderbirds, Noah Burnstein of the Ubyssey checks in with them here. T-Birds coach Kevin Hanson on Josh Whyte's scoreless performance against Calgary: "Fifth-year guys aren't going to get shut out two nights in a row." Um, especially when they're Josh freaking Whyte.

Erika Stark profiled recent Ravens recruit Justin Shaver in the Charlatan a few days ago.


THE "MAXIMUM" PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:
Laurier's Max Allin with an all-around game against Lakehead (8 for 12, 21 pts, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals in a signature91-82 win over Lakehead). Yes, I know Guelph's Dan Petrella went for 37 and a bunch of other dudes went off this week, but Allin is the floor general of that Golden Hawk team and led them to a very impressive win at the Thunderdome.


THE "FERRERO DESROCHES" LINE TO FORGET OF THE WEEK:
UNB's Alex Desroches in a 65-63 home loss to Saint Mary's (32 min, 2 of 12, five turnovers)


THE UPPER DECK TOP 10
  1. Carleton - The one and one unbeaten.
  2. UBC - For now, holding the dogs (and Spartans) at the door.
  3. Saskatchewan - Rejean Chabot and Jamelle Barrett > Showron Glover and Mike Linklater? Could be.
  4. Trinity Western - They've won a bazillion in a row.
  5. Windsor - Show me a tougher conference than the OUA West.
  6. St. FX - The top dogs out east, at least for the time being.
  7. Cape Breton - They've had toughest schedule so far and are still right in the thick of it.
  8. Laval - Best in the Q has to be good for something, right?
  9. Laurier - They dominated Lakehead by 26 for seven quarters before succumbing to fatigue and a big comeback by the Thunderwolves in the second night of a back-to-back.
  10. Lakehead - I get the feeling nobody wants to play this team. I think it's because they're athletic, well-coached and all around damn good.


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