- Carleton (7-1, 7th in RPI, +23.6 SRS) — Here is a list of games they have lost to CIS opponents in the Phil Scrubb Era: 71-67 at Windsor this weekend, and 77-62 vs. Lakehead in Hamilton in the 2011 OUA final. The list of games they have won is much, much longer.
After shooting 58% on two-point attempts last year (best in the country) their first two games have them at 4th-worst nationwide, with a 38% mark that only RMC "achieved" in '11-12. This won't continue. Will they get up to 58% again? Maybe. Maybe not. But there's no way their inside game is this poor in their next 18.
- UBC (10-0, 3rd in RPI, +16.0 SRS) — Will probably be number 1 this week after Carleton's loss. It's close enough at this point that either team "deserves" the top spot.
- Acadia (6-0, 8th in RPI, +7.2 SRS) — They should not be third. Yes, they were one of four (now three) undefeated teams, but once again our good friend, name of S.O. Schedule, is making an appearance: the Axemen have faced the 2nd-easiest schedule in CIS and not one of their opponents—not one!—is in the top half of the RPI. Nor was any of them in the top half last year except Calgary.
And it's not like they've dominated those opponents. Against UNB this weekend, they managed an ORtg of only 88.2.
- UFV (5-2, 15th in RPI, +12.2 SRS) — Please, nobody draft Kevon Parchment in the MUBL, okay guys? He wasn't on my list of CCAA players, for reasons I cannot figure out now, but if he has used just one year of eligibility then he really should have been. His line from last year at Lakeland College projects to a 23.4 PER in CIS, and so far he's doing even better than that. His Cascades got swept by UVic, however.
- Lakehead (9-4, 5th in RPI, +12.2 SRS) — Are probably tired of Ryerson at this point.
- McGill (8-0, 4th in RPI, +14.9 SRS) — This is a very good Redmen team, the best for as long as I've been pretending to know anything about CIS basketball. It's early, but here are the teams whose SRS was, like McGill's, +14 or better at this point in November of the last two years: Carleton (+23.3), Lakehead (+18.1), St. F-X (+16.3), and Alberta (+15.4) in 2011; and Carleton (+27.3), UBC (+18.4), St. F-X (+14.9), and Dalhousie (+14.1) in 2010. The only one who didn't make the Final 8 were the X-Men in '10-11.
- Saskatchewan (6-3, 14th in RPI, +3.8 SRS) — With the focus (understandably) on the Huskies' next American transfer, Stephon Lamar, who so far has a 21.2 PER and 56% true shooting percentage (and 40 points in one game vs. Regina last week), how about a hand for Matthew Forbes' first four games? He's at 33.8 and 71.4%. If the season ended today, he'd lead our PER-based player rankings. (Also, if the season ended today, we wouldn't have to go to Scotiabank Place. Think about it.) Their loss to Lethbridge yesterday featured the Pronghorns going a ridiculous 13/26 on threes, so it may not be as bad of a sign as a typical loss.
- Cape Breton (6-1, 8th in RPI, +7.2 SRS) — Sean McCormick, who transferred from Lethbridge College, was quietly effective in a pair of laughers over Memorial. And eight steals for Jimmy Dorsey on Saturday? Mercy. That'll help his MUBL owner. Apropos of nothing, there have been 14 games so far where a player has recorded five or more steals. Eight of them are against Memorial or UBC Okanagan. Might be a long year for those two schools.
- Windsor (4-1, 6th in RPI, +19.0 SRS) — No joke: they went from 33rd in last week's RPI to 6th in this one. That's what happens when you play just three preseason games against CIS opponents. And when you beat Carleton, the only team they now trail in SRS.
- Alberta (5-3, 10th in RPI, +1.4 SRS) — Fair to say they're struggling. Will need more efficient play from Jordan Baker if they want to be the pursuing instead of the pursued. All due respect to Brandon and Calgary (whom they split with this week), but it's not going to get easier in Canada West.
Men's basketball: Top 10 tracker: How to beat Carleton? Just make them shoot like RMC
The men's basketball season has started, or at least it's started for everyone who has been able to find referees who show up when they're supposed to, and we'll look at the top 10 teams here. Our team rankings are here.