Men's Basketball: 2013 Outlook: Cape Breton Capers

The Cape Breton Capers, who open up their January schedule tonight, are next as we wrap up the AUS.

Record: 7-0 conference (1st, AUS), 12-2 overall, +4.9 SRS (12th in CIS)

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency (CIS Rank): 110.7 ORtg (3rd), 88.6 DRtg (5th)

First half highlights:
  • A non-conference win over a very good Ryerson team.
  • An undefeated conference record.
  • The outstanding play of guard Jimmy Dorsey.
First half recap: The Capers have cruised to a 7-0 conference record that's partially due to having just the 36th-toughest schedule in the country, but mostly thanks to a novel style of play and senior guard Jimmy Dorsey. His 25.4 points per game and PER of 34.7 are both second in the country, and he's remained efficient while shouldering a huge load. He's within shouting distance of a 50-40-90 season (46.5 FG%, 39.3 3PT%, 91.9 FT%) and making a surefire case for an All-Canadian nod.

What makes them good: The Capers run teams off the court, once again playing the country's fastest pace at 88.7 possessions per game. With a team full of very good athletes, that's translated into a very efficient offence at 110.7 points per 100 possessions, third best in the country behind Carleton and Saskatchewan. The breakneck pace has also proven effective defensively, as Cape Breton has forced a ton of turnovers and turned in a defensive rating of 88.6 points per 100 possessions. That means the Capers are one of just three teams (joining Carleton and Ryerson, who are kinda good) to have a top five offence and defence. In addition to Dorsey, rookie Shaquille Keith (16.6 PPG, 57 TS%) and Meshack Lufile (14.6 PPG, 59 eFG%, 33.1 PER) have benefited from the quick pace and filled up stat sheets all season. Lufile has been especially solid in helping CBU become great on the offensive glass, where they grab 42% of their own misses, third best in the country.

What they need to improve on: Like their AUS rival Acadia, Cape Breton will have to deal with the injury bug for the time being. Dorsey has a hand injury and will miss an undetermined number of games. While there's plenty of talent and athleticism to fill the void, losing the nation's second most productive player is a challenge that will test the mettle of a would-be Final 8 team. As well, the Capers could do themselves some good if they stop fouling so much, with teams visiting the charity stripe more than once per three shots, and shooting 74% from the line on top of that.

Goals/Outlooks/Scenarios: If both teams are 100%, the battle between Cape Breton and Acadia for the AUS title should be one of the closest nationwide. With a healthy Dorsey, this team is a legitimate threat at the Final 8.
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