RPI available here. This post will be updated as results come in.
- Carleton (RPI #2, SRS +26.6 entering the weekend): W 98-55 at Guelph (28th, -1.9), W 88-85 at Lakehead (7th, +13.5).
Looks like one night after an all-time classic at B.C. Place, we missed another in the Thunderdome in the first game between Lakehead and Carleton since the OUA final. (Don't feel so bad: the Ottawa Citizen apparently missed it too.) They scored a combined 56 points in the fourth quarter, with very few missed shots from either side down the stretch. Dave Smart was likely not happy that the 'Wolves got two possessions in the last 10 seconds to tie it with a three, thanks to a five-second violation, but there you go.
Before this weekend, the Ravens' opponents so far had been held to 33.0% shooting. Against everyone else, those teams have shot a far more respectable 44.6%. Though all this really proves is that the Carletons are better defenders than their OUA East colleagues, something we probably already knew. (The winter term portion of their schedule is going to feature a lot of garbage time.)
On Friday Guelph continued that trend, shooting 33% themselves in Carleton's 43-point win. The Ravens once again out-rebounded their opponents on the defensive glass alone. Tyson Hinz, Cole Hobin, and Phil Scrubb continued to average around 21 minutes in this one — obviously with a flight to a much tougher opponent in Thunder Bay awaiting them immediately, and an entire season still left to come eventually, there's no need to run them out for 30-35 minutes against the Westerns and Guelphs.
- St. F-X (RPI #1, SRS +15.3): W 78-81 vs. Dal (37th, -4.4).
Please note that in AUS men's basketball, a win over Dalhousie is worth 0 points. (I like that joke so much, I'm leaving it in all weekend.) Terry Thomas led the way: 24 points on 8/19 shooting, and 11 rebounds, four offensive. Like Lakehead/Carleton, this was a one-shot game right until the end, with Dal missing their own three-point attempt at the end following a pair of Ellis French frees that extended the X lead and Jeremy Dunn's jumper that gave it to them for good with less than 30 seconds to go.
- Lakehead (RPI #7, SRS +13.5): W 78-72 vs. Ottawa (17th, +7.8), L 85-88 vs. Carleton (2nd, +26.6).
We had three undefeated teams before last night and with two of them playing each other, we were guaranteed at least one of them would lose; unfortunately for the Great Group of Dudes [Teammates], it was Lakehead. Moral victories: scoring 85 against and out-rebounding the Carletons. Joseph Jones scored 18 and might have more if he didn't miss 12 shots, seven of which were from long range.
Still not sure what to make of these Gee-Gees. They gave the GGOD[T]s a good run, outshooting if not outboarding or outscoring them. Five Thunderwolves hit double digits in the win. Lakehead found themselves holding off a late Ottawa charge (it was 43-30 at the half and 72-58 with four and a half left in the game), with Warren Ward missing two three-pointers in the last 71 seconds, disappointing himself and his MUBL owner.
- UBC (RPI #9, SRS +14.2): L 80-90 at Lethbridge (22nd, +2.4), L 85-92 at Calgary (41st, -5.9).
That didn't go well.
Wayne Thomas runs down the Dinos' win, giving credit to Tyler Fidler (the game's leading scorer with 25), Josh Wolfram (15 points, 4 rebounds), and Patrick Walker (six boards in 15 minutes off the bench and also "altered several UBC shots through the game").
As for Friday's game, 36 from Nathan Yu wasn't enough to offset 90 from various Pronghorns. "The story of the game was turnovers," according to Kevin Hanson. Hanson also pointed out that there are a lot of older transfers on this Lethbridge squad, quite a few of whom we will be following this year. This win alone will help the 'Horns greatly in the RPI, as they're already up from 22nd to 8th following Thursday and Friday's results. Of course, it is early.
By the time March rolls around, we may have forgotten about this weekend. Four total losses isn't a death sentence for a team hoping to make the Final 8 by any means.
- Saskatchewan (RPI #5, SRS +13.1): W 104-95 (OT) vs. UFV (14th, +9.7), W 98-73 vs. TWU (8th, -4.3).
Needed overtime to beat UFV. But they had Jamelle Barrett back to help them beat UFV, and 30 on 10/18 shooting will do that. Michael Lieffers contributed a typical Lieffers night: 16 points, 13 rebounds, a couple of blocks. The next night, it was much less in doubt against the mostly-Kyle Coston-less Spartans, who lost by 25. Coston had two fouls by the five-minute mark, three by the end of the first quarter, and played just 14 minutes total after sitting the entire fourth with Saskatchewan up 74-55. 23 from Barrett and 20 from Peter Lomuro paced the Huskies.
There was no word, literally, on the reasons for Barrett's absence from the Lethbridge games last week, but Cam solved the mystery. The official word from the U of S's Nicole Betker is that Barrett is day-to-day. (Though, really, aren't we all?)
- Victoria (RPI #3, SRS +5.8): W 75-63 at Calgary (41st, -5.9), W 90-59 at Lethbridge (22nd, +2.4).
Outscored the Dinos 24-7 in the second, and that was enough. Won despite shooting 38% to Calgary's 42% because they grabbed half the offensive rebounds and 25 of the 30 on Calgary's side. Leading the Dinos in rebounds is ... nobody. They officially* do not have a team leader in rebounds. (*Not actually official.) Ryan MacKinnon led the winners with 15, though Tyler Fidler scored 22 and Andrew McGuinness managed 15 of his own on nine shots.
The Vikes then got their first blowout of the season against Lethbridge, who were down 24 at the half. Will this be enough to put them ahead of UBC in the top 10?
- Alberta (RPI #4, SRS +10.1): W 87-77 vs. TWU (8th, -4.3), W 79-57 vs. UFV (14th, +9.7).
This will be the end of the TWU side in the RPI top 10, one would think. Alberta had a 13-point lead at the half Friday but it wasn't that much of a laugher: if more than three of Trinity's 13 three-pointers drop then we have a different game here. Daniel Ferguson scored 26. Jordan Baker may not mind being considered a careless shooter (5/13 from the field, 6/12 from the line) so long as the big red number on the scoreboard is greater than the other team's big red number.
And then Alberta dominated UFV. Not much to say about that one, considering it was the Bears' worst shooting performance of the season to date. I will say that in 24 years, I have never thought to verbify in the way the U of A did in this headline, and I can't say I regret it.
- UFV (RPI #14, SRS +9.7): L 95-104 (OT) at Saskatchewan (5th, +13.1), L 57-79 at Alberta (4th, +10.1).
Fraser Valley, or as the Friday night boxscore calls them, "University of Fraise", may not quite be at the level of the top Canada West teams just yet (they let the Huskies shoot nearly 60%), as they'll need to play Alberta close like they did against Saskatchewan. Not winning either game on this road trip makes it hard to keep them up there. Alberta held them to 35% shooting. Against Sasky, Joel Friesen — or is that Fraise-n? — scored 29 as part of a top-heavy lineup the Cascades ran out there.
And this has to be the worst road trip in CIS, no? You could argue that an eastern or northern Ontario school that has to go south Friday and up to Lakehead Saturday has it worse, but flying to Saskatoon, driving (presumably) to Edmonton, and flying back to B.C.? That's up there. The coach agrees with me.
- Laurier (RPI #12, SRS +9.7): W 98-77 vs. Laurentian (32nd, -3.9), W 102-62 vs. York (43rd, -13.2).
Fun fact: in two of the last three years, the Hawks have played the toughest or second-toughest schedule in all of CIS. They won't get any help in that category this week, though. When a team doesn't schedule any preseason games, you kind of expect them to be 40-something in RPI.
Laurentian didn't put up much of a fight Friday, down 21 at the half. Kale Harrison once again led the way with 30 points on just 19 shots — if only we could all go 14 for 19 every night. After seeing Laurier top 100 again on Saturday, one wonders if York had communication problems and went to the football stadium instead. (15 for 26 on three-point attempts?) Kyle Enright hit a personal best with 21, also known as a Kaleing.
- Windsor (RPI #21, SRS +3.4): W 83-66 at Ryerson (35th, -7.4), L 81-86 at Toronto (24th, +2.8).
Surprised they're still in the top 10, or as one Windsor newspaper would put it, the 10 top.
In what seems to be the consistent theme this week, the Lancers won comfortably against Rye, though they didn't stop Jahmal Jones (6/10, 18 points, six assists) the same way Lakehead did last week (4/8, 8, and 0). Not coincidentally, the Rams were much closer in this one, but not really that close at all. Of note in this one for the Lancers, their own Jahmal, Jahmal McQueen, who was the third-leading scorer on both sides despite playing less than one-third of the game. In a very small number of opportunities so far he's Windsor's second-best percentage shooter (48.5%) after Enrico Diloreto.
Against Toronto, the Lancers had less success, shooting worse than they did vs. Carleton. The five-point loss was a 72-52 deficit after three as they outscored U of T more than 2 to 1 in the garbage-time fourth quarter; Cam will be by soon to explain score effects to whoever wrote this lede. Windsor had just seven players see significant minutes, though. Injuries?
And now time for This Week In @Chris__Oliver: "Many forms of talent, not just athleticism. Skill is a talent. Decision making is a talent. Toughness is a talent. Energy is a talent."