Men's Basketball: Top 10 tracker: UFV makes a statement, X, UBC and Laurier fall

This week's schedules and results for the top 10 teams (RPI here, all numbers current through Sunday's games).

  1. Carleton (18-0 OUA, 24-0 CIS, RPI #4, SRS +24.5) — W 86-57 vs. Ottawa

    Phil Scrubb did his best Ben Johnson impression in a win over Ottawa, hitting eight threes and posting an overall delicious line of 30 points on 9/15 shooting with five rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.

    Even up 29 through three quarters (just under the pace for the Carletons' average margin of victory) against the Gee-Gees, Dave Smart still didn't let some of the scrubs (No, not the Scrubbs) take the floor until late in the fourth. I'd love to see how Justin Shaver and Guillaume Boucard would fare with some regular minutes. With the division locked up and a perfect record seemingly in the bag, maybe we'll get a taste in the near future.

  2. Lakehead (16-2 OUA, 24-2 CIS, RPI #6, SRS +12.0) — W 84-74 vs. Waterloo, W 84-72 vs. Waterloo

    These two wins against an overmatched Waterloo squad were, by coach Scott Morrison's own admission, "ugly." Maybe their heads got too big after they were interviewed by Glen Schiller in advance of the OUA Final Four a month from now.

    On the plus side, they got 26 points in just 18 minutes in a breakout game for guard Adam Johnson. Because if there's something Lakehead doesn't have enough of, it's speedy, crafty guards who can score a whole lot of points (oh wait, Joe Jones, Venzal Russell, Ben Johnson. Alright, then).

  3. UBC (12-4 CW, 18-5 CIS, RPI #9, SRS +10.7) — L 77-72 at UFV, L 94-83 at UFV

    Blew an 11-point lead after a quarter on Friday, then dug themselves a huge hole in the second half on Saturday.

    Nathan Yu was lights out for the T-Birds (51 points on 16/35 shooting for the two games), but as long as he's a primary scorer for UBC, they'll struggle to put points on the board. Other than Yu and maybe rookie Malcolm Williams, there aren't any guys who can set up their own shot for the T-Birds, and Yu's got to be a distributor as much as a scorer if they're going to win. 

  4. Saskatchewan (13-4 CW, 18-5 CIS, RPI #1, SRS +14.2) — W 91-61 at Winnipeg, W 95-74 at Winnipeg

    Two rout road wins over a scrappy Winnipeg team come thanks to a thorough domination of the glass: the Huskies outrebounded the Wesmen 97-53 over the weekend, with Michael Lieffers averaging 12 points and 14 rebounds in the two wins. 

  5. Laurier (15-3 OUA, 21-7 CIS, RPI #8, SRS +10.4) — W 79-77 at Windsor, L 92-82 vs. McMaster

    Coach Peter Campbell wasn't happy with the way his team looked on offence against the Marauders (and nor should he be), saying he and his team "didn't believe in ourselves" down the stretch, getting trigger-happy with shot selection as well as a little lazy defending the paint.

    One troubling sign: Max Allin and Kale Harrison both had 16 points at halftime, but the Hawks struggled to find them in good spots on the court in the second half. Long-armed McMaster defenders Satar Wahidi, Cam Michaud and Nathan McCarthy gave them fits off the ball, but Laurier's got to execute and find their big guns if they want to keep the offense chugging along.

    On the bright side, Matt Buckley continues to be an absolute horse in the paint (A horse playing basketball - imagine that!), grabbing 18 missed shots against Windsor. That win shouldn't be overlooked, with Windsor playing much better in the second semester, but the reality is Laurier had a chance to clearly separate themselves from everyone in the West except Lakehead and they faltered.

  6. StFX (10-4 AUS, 20-4 CIS, RPI #2, SRS +5.5) — L 67-66 at UNB, W 76-72 at UNB

    The mediocrity continues for what's supposed to be a national contender after falling to 5-4 in the new year. They're still No. 2 in RPI, but way down at No. 20 in SRS.

    In the loss, Jeremy Dunn and Terry Thomas combined for 41 points, but took 39 shots to do it.

    X managed to turn it around and shoot a respectable 45.8 per cent in their win, but one gets the feeling their stay in the top-5 is about to end.

  7. Victoria (13-3 CW, 13-5 CIS, RPI #10, SRS +10.9) — 

W 76-49 vs. UBC Okanagan, W 68-39 vs. OBC Okanagan

    Now sole owners of the Canada West Pacific division lead, the Vikes took advantage of their week off last week by holding the lowly UBC Okanagan offense to 88 points — that is, for the whole weekend. Ryan MacKinnon continues to be nothing if not solid, scoring 40 points on 14/24 shooting for the two games.

  8. UFV (12-5 CW, 16-5 CIS, RPI #7, SRS +8.2) — W 77-72 vs UBC, W 94-83 vs. UBC

    Two wins over the division leader? I think this qualifies as a statement weekend for the suddenly surging Cascades, who have now beaten the Thunderbirds and Vikes a combined three times this season. The Saturday win saw UFV shoot 53.1 per cent and outrebound UBC 44-30.

  9. Concordia (10-1 QUBL, 17-5 CIS, RPI #3, SRS +5.9) — W 80-59 vs. Laval, W 73-62 at UQAM

    Concordia seems to be doing fine despite being a little careless with the ball. They made 36 turnovers in two games and still walked away with two pretty easy victories. A little more care with the ball and the Stingers could really run away with their divis—oh, right.

  10. Alberta (12-6 CW, 14-7 CIS, RPI #5, SRS +8.2) — W 81-69 at Regina, W 89-60 at Regina

    Big performances from Jordan Baker and Daniel Ferguson earned the Bears two much-needed wins, bouncing back after a two-loss weekend to the Calgary Dinos. Baker averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Ferguson went for 26.5 points per contest on 60 per cent shooting. They'll need some more of that to make some noise come playoff time.
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