Thursday, March 10, 2011

With the tipoff of the Men's Final 8 just a few short hours away, we'll take a look at how the storylines are shaping up in the fishwraps and blogospheres of the CIS hoops scene, as well as assess the national awards handed out in Halifax this morning.

For a full preview of each team's Final 8 chances, check out Rob's post here and the at-a-glance sheet here.


Stories and previews:

Carleton's the Charlatan has a look at each of the teams taking part here, here and here.

UBC coach Kevin Hanson has an interesting strategy to deal with an undersized lineup: make it even smaller (the Ubyssey)

Concordia guard Decee Krah says his team did to Laval what they do "all the time." (the Link)

Mark Wacyk has as comprehensive a preview of the first round as you will find anywhere (CIShoops.ca)

Scott Morrison and Lakehead are trying to figure out how to deal with Trinity Western's major size advantage (Lakehead Basketball)

Wayne Thomas points out, among other things, that Carleton has won the previous five championships played at the Halifax Metro Centre (Dinos Hoops News)

Morrison and the Thunderwolves were happy to be in Ottawa last year; They're all business this time around in Halifax (TBNewsWatch)

I was wondering why Yoosrie Salhia was on my flight today. Apparently, he stayed back an extra day because he was sick. If I come down with a cold, I'm blaming you, Salhia. Also, this is a nice piece on the journeys of Thunderwolves Jamie Searle and Andrew Hackner. (TBNewsWatch)

A key to Saskatchewan's season (which is fully reviewed here) has been ignoring last year's success (Saskatoon Star Phoenix)

Two former teammates will face off in the tournament's first round (Star Phoenix)

Once again, UBC gets creative when dealing with its lack of size (the Vancouver Sun)

Understandably, the Axemen are happy to be where they are (Kings County Register)

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The CIS awards were handed out this morning, with one major surprise among them: the selection of Carleton forward Tyson Hinz as the Player of the Year.

Most in the CIS community believed the award would go to Jamelle Barrett, the sublimely skilled Saskatchewan Huskies guard who led the nation in assists and was second in scoring.

It's also a big surprise because of Hinz' youth. At 19 years old, he's one of the youngest winners ever.

The logic behind Hinz' award has to go along the lines of him being the best player on the best team, or at least the most consistent one. After all, he helped a Carleton team that was projected to fall below its usually high standards go undefeated until the Wilson Cup Championship game.

When I looked at the best players of each conference, I didn't consider choosing Hinz as Player of the Year, and not because I don't agree with the best-player-on-best-team logic. In fact, I chose Josh Whyte for exactly that reason (and received some fairly-reasoned disagreements for it).

I thought Whyte was more important as a senior leader and facilitator than Hinz, who is the benefactor of a system that gives him plenty of scoring chances. And I thought Whyte's case stacked up well against Barrett, with both making a very fair case to take the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy.

I'm sure all three will be making their cases this weekend as to whether the decision was fair or not.

By the way, Wacyk has it nailed about Johnny Berhanemeskel being left off the CIS All-Rookie team. Not to be an Ontario-centric buffoon, but you could probably make a case for Laurier's Pat Donnelly to be on there as well.


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