The Royal Military College of Canada has announced that its men's and women's basketball programs will no longer compete in OUA play:

RMCC has created a new competitive club program, and will shift the taekwondo and running teams from the varsity program to this new umbrella. Like varsity teams, competitive clubs will represent RMCC and compete at a high performance level outside of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) leagues. In addition to taekwondo and running, there will be five other competitive clubs: rowing, sailing, swimming, military skills and women’s rugby.

Moving forward, both the men’s and women’s basketball will no longer be played at the varsity level. Men’s and women’s basketball will solely be played at the intramural level.

“The Royal Military College of Canada is a founding member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport and will continue to be an active member in the league,” said Darren Cates, RMCC Athletic Director. “We are confident the changes being made will strike the right balance for the College and will allow us to better allocate our resources to the benefit of all officer and naval cadets.”
-- RMC Athletics release

It's not the first school to realign programs and won't be the last, but as we've seen over the years, basketball has been one of the least successful sports at RMC and across the country. At the time of that post last year, RMC's two basketball programs had exactly ten times as many losses as wins (32-320), and their combined record was even worse when you remove the Kevin Dulude years: 2-240, or a microscopic .008 winning percentage.

Those win-loss totals don't include the two most recent years, but they don't help RMC's case. Our rankings say the men's basketball team was twice as bad as the second-worst CIS team last year (-34.4 SRS; second-worst was -17.1), and three times as bad in 2010-11 (-32.4 vs -10.6). They haven't won a game since November 2006. The women are also far below the CIS average, if not quite the worst by the numbers, at -24.3 and -27.8 the last two years.

I think we'd all agree that RMC faces unique challenges with its athletic programs, but the majority simply aren't competitive. Decisions like this one, while unpleasant for those who lose a spot on an OUA team (the intramural level, of course, does not compare), are likely inevitable in a league where wins and losses do matter. If you're going to realign some of your programs out of the OUA, it makes perfect sense for the ones with streaks of multiple winless seasons to be first on the list.

And who knows, maybe this allows them to provide more resources to a more successful team, then reconsider their basketball situation down the road.

Anyway, this is probably better for the other basketball programs in the OUA, overall, since there wasn't much to be gained from playing RMC in recent years. It looks like the 2012-13 schedule will go ahead with one fewer team: a 20-game schedule for the OUA East and 21 for the OUA West. (It would be interesting to see how RMC's absence would affect rankings such as the RPI, especially between teams in different conferences, and a future post will look at exactly that.)
The complete first-round voting results are below. Among the higher seeds that were upset: Landon Squires, Manson Morningstar, and Owynn Lahnalampi in a close one.

The bracket for Round 2 will be available shortly.

1. Ilarion Bonhomme 18 (58%)
8. Tamber Tisdale 13 (41%)

1. Landon Squires 9 (28%)
8. Fily Mamady Diallo 23 (71%)

1. Rosie Schlagintweit 24 (68%)
8. Johnny Berhanemeskel 11 (31%)

1. Kraymer Barnstable 27 (84%)
8. Keegan Ezekiel 5 (15%)

2. Jagger Nast 23 (92%)
7. Bianca Cordileone 2 (8%)

2. Klaus Figueiredo 17 (70%)
7. Te'Jour Riley 7 (29%)

2. Owynn Lahnalampi 12 (46%)
7. Hugo Curley 14 (53%)

2. Lucas Bloodoff 16 (53%)
7. Tatiana Rafter 14 (46%)

3. Manson Morningstar 19 (35%)
6. Greg Niemantsverdriet 35 (64%)

3. Matt Tipoff 25 (60%)
6. M'Toulin Asquith 16 (39%)

3. Shlomo Swan-Azman 21 (46%)
6. Kwasi Kwajah 24 (53%)

3. Ryan Gottschalk 17 (47%)
6. Ian Greedy 19 (52%)

4. Tshing Kasamba 38 (61%)
5. Dimitrios Seymour 24 (38%)

4. Eddy Dane Medi 50 (60%)
5. Murdock MacLellan 32 (39%)

4. Cesar Joe Fleurant 17 (27%)
5. Chika Chiekwe 44 (72%)

4. Erika Thunder 56 (66%)
5. Onnex Blackwood 28 (33%)

This is part 2. Part 1, focusing on nine women's CCAA players, is here. Today we look at three men's players.

(There were no players from the ACAC who made the cut this year, nor the ACAA.)

Rob Gagliardi
6-2 guard, 2nd year, Durham College
Per Game
Per 40

Not surprising that a NEDA grad and former U19 national team member is first on the list, is it?

Gagliardi, now 22, committed to Canisius for the 2009-10 season but did not play, coming back north of the border (well, west) and ending up with Durham College in Oshawa (he's from neighbouring Whitby).

And in 2011-12, he led Ontario in scoring and steals, nearly shooting an effective 58% while clearly driving the Lords' offence. I'd like to say the guy made an all-star team but apparently he didn't even snag a second-team OCAA East spot (not enough games played?). He also didn't make the rookie team although he should be eligible; according to Durham this was his first year of eligibility.

Richard Townsend-Gant
6-5 forward, 4th year, Vancouver Island University
Per Game
Per 40

It's a good thing I waited a few weeks to run this piece, because about a month ago, friend of the blog Ray Bala noted that Townsend-Gant was listed as an early entrant into the 2012 NBA draft, to be held on June 28, and he did much of the legwork on filling in some biographical details on the Portland, Oregon native, who played for Coffeyville Community College in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference for two years before transferring to VIU.

Townsend-Gant does not appear to have played anywhere in 2010-11, and his published statistics with CCC don't include minutes played, meaning we're left with per-game and shooting-percentage numbers for his early days. As for his Canadian numbers, his usage rate at VIU was even higher than Gagliardi's at Durham, and correspondingly his numbers were a little bit lower. He did grab over a fifth of all rebounds while he was on the floor, one of only four players to do that in the CCAA this year in 400 minutes or more, and certainly there aren't many other bigs knocking down 20 threes on the year (he was 20/68, or 29%).

Overall he profiles as an above-average player (projected CIS PER of 16.6) but a) he has only two years remaining, not up to four, and b) there is a fairly significant gap between Gagliardi and the other names on this list. Or, for that matter, between him and some underclassmen already in CIS who would have better (if not good) arguments, NBA draft-wise.

Anyway, as Can Ball Ray says, it's very unlikely the guy gets anywhere with the NBA this year, "but I'm definitely not rooting against him. Long live the longshot!"

Khalid Abdel-Gabar
6-2 guard, 4th year, Sheridan College
Per Game
Per 40

And here's someone who did make an OCAA all-star team. 2011-12 was his third year, and we don't have numbers for anything OCAA-related before that.

A 15.6 projected PER is not world-beating, but it's worth noting he put up 20 points on a Final 8 team in December, albeit on 9/22 shooting, and even if the Rams' release calls him "Khalud Abdel".(He's also been called "Khalid Abdel-Gabal" by the Ottawa Citizen. Names are hard, you guys.) Here's that game against Ryerson, which he and the Bruins lost, though they did beat Guelph and Waterloo at that tournament.
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