Wednesday, January 12, 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. 4 - St. Francis Xavier X-Men: Up to no. 4 from no. 5 after winning two games by a combined 61 points. It's a move sure to get attention from their many questioners. The X-men have been beaten by both of their main AUS rivals this year in Cape Breton and Dalhousie, yet have apparently impressed voters enough in their wins, as well as taking the Rod Shoveller tournament over the break to stay inside the top-5 all year. Personally, I'm one of those questioners, and I'll be more convinced when and if they can beat one of their quality opponents again. They'll get that chance on the 19th at home against Cape Breton.

No. 5 Trinity Western Spartans: Up from no. 7. They're 9th in the RPI and play in the same conference as two powerhouses, but I don't think this is a team people should be sleeping on. It's one thing to beat up on lowly teams as your All-Star forward fiends points and rebounds. It's another thing to do that consistently over the course of a year, as the Spartans have done all year. They've won 12 in a row now by an average of 22 points per game. I'm looking forward to them playing Saskatchewan on the 28th and 29th.

No. 6 Windsor Lancers: Up from no. 8. I think it's overdue for this team to be moving up in the top-10. Yes, they got thoroughly outclassed by Carleton in November, but it's looking like they're ready to pull away from the (pretty damn good) pack in the OUA West. The no. 6 spot now matches their RPI rank.


GOING DOWN:

No. 7 Concordia Stingers and no. 8 Laval Rouge et Or: They're separated by just 8 points in the coaches' poll, and rightly so after splitting their two meetings so far this year. They were no. 4 and 6, respectively, last week, but I think it's becoming apparent to the coaches that the OUA and Canada West are simply the best leagues right now.


CHECKING IN:

Noah Burshtein of the Ubyssey has a nice piece on Thunderbirds guard Nathan Yu, who is now coming off the bench, but just as always helping UBC win tons of basketball games.

If you haven't checked out Windsor coach Chris Oliver's twitter, it's one of the better OUA/CIS-related twitter accounts.


THE "FINEST HINZ" PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:
Carleton's Tyson Hinz against Toronto (29 points on 17 shots, 13 rebounds, four assists).

THE "NO-SMYLES" STAT LINE TO FORGET OF THE WEEK:
SMU's Antonio "I can't really see for" Myles against UPEI (0 for 2, four rebounds, four turnovers in 21 minutes before fouling out).


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4 comments:

  1. Brian - any thoughts on Laurentian's poor CIS vs. there higher than expectations in OUA play (already having reached as many OUA wins as they had last year, only half way through the OUA season)?

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  2. Laurentian's an interesting team. They seem to be hot and cold (see: 88-87 win over Laurier and losing to Waterloo by 16).

    As a basketball team, I think they play a great style - both the Pasquale brothers can really play, and Mike Hull is a versatile post with a nice game. I got to see them go down by 25 to McMaster, and then dominate the rest of the game to pull out a win.

    I think they're a good team that gets simply outmatched some nights, but is cohesive enough to stay competitive and win some games. Keep in mind I've only seen them a handful of times, however.

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  3. I got you and I completely agree. I watch them all the time.

    A couple of things I have noticed:

    Like you mentioned, after a big win, they seem to go cold. Just this past weekend, after throughly thumping Queen's (after Queen's had just beat them in Halifax), they started real slow against RMC and it was only 40-32 at halftime.

    The same thing happened against Waterloo, after they almost gave up a double digit lead to Laurier, they came out real dry (and you could see it in their warmups) against Waterloo when McIntyre I believe had his worst game (11 points) of the season too!!!

    They seem to have become a very tough team to beat at home. Both Western and Windsor needed strong fourth quarters to get away from the Voyageurs.

    I think where they struggle is playing in other people's gyms. They haven't had the best of performances and it has been noticable (start of Mac game, Lakehead, Brock, and first three quarters of Guelph before their fourth quarter outscored the previous 3)...incidently, most of their CIS matches have also been away from home.

    I think this weekend and a strong performance at home against Carleton and Ottawa at the beginning of February will make for some entertaining games.

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  4. One could hardly blame either Trinity or Sasky for looking ahead three weeks to their series. The Spartans have a bye followed by two at Calgary (36th in RPI); the Huskies go to Manitoba (32nd) and then host TRU (dead last).

    Good to see Lakehead get some votes, too - they're 12th in the poll.

    Largest RPI jump? Waterloo, up eight from 36 to 28. (Upset Brock, lost to #6 Laurier "on the road".)

    Largest fall was Manitoba, down six from 26 to 32. (Lost twice to #2 UBC at home.)

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