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PREVIEW 2013 CIS men’s basketball championship

Tuesday March 5, 2013

OTTAWA (CIS) –  The CIS Final Eight, hosted by Carleton, gets underway Friday at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa and culminates Sunday at 3:30 p.m. with the gold-medal final, live on The Score Television Network.

Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mbkb/index

The Score also has live coverage of Saturday’s semifinals starting at 5:30 p.m. All 11 games from the single-elimination competition (televised or non-televised) will also be webcast live at www.CIS-SIC.tv, while Rogers TV Ottawa will broadcast Friday’s fourth quarter-final locally at 8 p.m.

Ticket information for Gee-Gees fans is available on the ticket page.

Joining the 2012-13 OUA champion Ravens in the nation’s capital will be the No. 2 Cape Breton Capers (AUS champions), No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA finalists), No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds (CWUAA champions), No. 5 Acadia Axemen (AUS finalists & wilcard), No. 6 McGill Redmen (RSEQ champions), No. 7 Lakehead Thunderwolves (OUA bronze medallists) and No. 8 Victoria Vikes (CWUAA finalists).

Carleton opens its defence of the W.P. McGee Trophy Friday at 8 p.m. against Victoria. The other first-round match-ups include Cape Breton vs. Lakehead in the opener at noon, Ottawa vs. McGill at 2:15 p.m., as well as UBC vs. Acadia at 6 p.m.

The Ottawa-McGill match-up offers one of the best storylines of the 2013 championship as Redmen sideline boss Dave DeAveiro returns to the nation’s capital to face a program he dedicated 19 years of his life to as a player (5), assistant (5) and head coach (9).

Three years after DeAveiro’s departure for Montreal, it looks as though both programs are in great hands. The Redmen are about to make their first appearance at nationals after a 32-year hiatus (1979), while new Ottawa mentor James Derouin guided the Gee-Gees to their first Wilson Cup OUA final in 20 seasons last weekend.

The teams met in Montreal in non-conference action back on October 21 with the RSEQ champions prevailing 85-64. McGill’s second-ranked defence (62.9 ppg) will need another solid effort on Friday against the likes of Johnny Berhanemeskel (18.9) and Warren Ward (17.8), the second and fourth best scorers at this week’s competition.

“Every single player on this team can see the opportunity that they have in front of them but with Warren [Ward] being in his last season, there is that extra sense of urgency to win now.  He has been such a tremendous asset to this program,” said Derouin. “Being able to execute game plans and re-focus on the task at hand in very little time is the biggest challenge at the national championship because you have to play three games in three days. However, it gets even more difficult because you could be playing teams that you have not played all season. That is when the true mental strength of a team becomes evident.”

“We’re going to be in tough against some good teams but our kids have been very resilient all season long and this will just be another test for them,” said DeAveiro. “It’s a very tough match-up in our first round against Ottawa. They are playing some very good basketball of late, challenging Carleton in their last three meetings, so we’re probably playing the hottest team in the country in the first round. And with the tournament being in their own backyard, they will definitely have a home-court advantage.”

Despite three defeats in as many head-to-head meetings with top-seeded Carleton this season, the Gee-Gees gave the Ravens all they could handle in each contest, losing by five and four points in league play, including a memorable triple-overtime affair, and by three in last Saturday’s OUA final.

The tournament host Ravens were a logical choice for the No. 1 seed following another superb season that saw them finish atop the OUA East standings with a 19-1 record, add three wins in three outings in the playoffs en route to the Wilson Cup title, and compile an overall mark of 25-1 against CIS schools.

That overall record includes a dominating 87-63 non-conference win over first-round opponent Victoria back on October 20 at UVIC’s Invitational.

Leading the way once again this season for the defending champs is Philip Scrubb, who was named CIS player of the year and national championship MVP a year ago. The junior guard from Richmond, B.C., finished sixth in OUA scoring in league play with a team-high 18.6 points per game and is once again the conference nominee for the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy.

Older brother Thomas, a third-year forward is the Ontario finalist for CIS defensive-MVP honours, while senior forward Tyson Hinz from Ottawa, himself a former CIS player of the year, was voted a first-team OUA all-star for the third straight campaign.

The trio was a major reason why the Ravens were the top scoring (91.0 points per game) and number one defensive team (61.6) in the country in the regular season.

“We are happy with how the team has performed considering the loss of talent and leadership that we had entering this season,” said five-time CIS coach of the year Dave Smart, who saw seniors Willy Manigat, Cole Hobin and Elliot Thompson graduate following last year’s triumph in Halifax. “We need to maintain that level to be successful this weekend.”

The Ravens’ road to the final won’t be an easy one on the bottom side of the draw with Victoria, and then potentially conference champions UBC or Acadia, standing in their way.

While the Vikes are seeded eighth for the national competition, they had an outstanding second half of the season on their way to the Canada West silver medal, winning nine of their last 10 league contests, including a pair of victories over UBC to close out conference play (91-86, 74-71). After racking up three more wins to open the playoffs, Victoria once again gave the Thunderbirds all they could handle in the Canada West final before dropping a 72-69 decision.

Interestingly enough, UVic is the school that is currently tied with Carleton for most W.P. Trophy titles. The Vikes, however, have been stuck at eight since 1997. They came close to adding to their tally in their last appearance, in 2006, but lost 73-67 to the Ravens in the championship match.

“We are happy to still be playing at this time of the year. Qualifying was one of the goals we had at the beginning of the year and now we have accomplished that goal,” said Craig Beaucamp, the Canada West coach of the year. “We knew to win a national championship this year we were probably going to have to face Carleton along the way. To be honest, we think that our best chance to beat Carleton is in the first game rather than the third game. With their depth and experience, they will just get better throughout the tournament.

“UBC is the conference champion and if they plan to move ahead, they might get Carleton in the second game, so I am actually happy we get the Ravens in the first round. It gives us a chance to prepare during the week as opposed to the short turnaround time. I honestly believe Carleton gets better each game, as these tournaments wear on.”

UBC and Acadia will meet in the opening round of the Final Eight for the second time in three years. In 2011, the T-Birds cruised to a 96-77 victory.

If one team is battle tested going into this week’s tourney, it’s UBC. After dropping a pair of close decision to Victoria to close out league play, the T-Birds went the distance against Alberta in their best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series, then overcame a 13-point deficit to down Fraser Valley in the semis, before escaping with a three-point win over UVic in the title game.

Before missing last year’s nationals, UBC had made six straight appearances, including back-to-back trips to the final in 2009 and 2010.

“We are very excited about having the opportunity to play in the Final Eight once again,” said 13-year bench boss Kevin Hanson, whose troops were the only team to dethrone Carleton atop the national rankings this year, for one week back in November. “Our games over the past few weeks have been real battles so we are well prepared for what will take place this week. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

Acadia was a favourite to repeat as AUS champion before the start of the campaign with the entire 2011-12 roster returning this year. But the Axemen had to survive an injury-plagued season that saw all-Canadian forward Owen Klassen, AUS all-star guard Anthony Sears, sophomore post Rhys Larry and two-sport standout Sean Stoqua being sidelined at one point or another.

Acadia handed Cape Breton its only loss of the regular season on February 16, a lopsided 73-49 decision, but the Capers had the last laugh in last Sunday’s AUS final, winning 83-75.

“When the season began we had one goal, a common goal for many teams, to win a CIS title,” said fifth-year head coach Stephen Baur. “There have been numerous hurdles for us this season that we think has us battled tested for the big stage.”

The other side of the bracket features four teams looking for their first-ever McGee Trophy championship in Cape Breton, Ottawa, McGill and Lakehead. Of the group, only Lakehead has reached the CIS final in the past, way back in 1977 and 1973.

First-year head coach Matt Skinn, who until last year was at the helm of StFX’s women’s program, had an immediate impact on the Capers, who return to the Final Eight after a two-year absence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when a new coach can count on an athlete as gifted as fifth-year guard Jimmy Dorsey, who recently repeated as AUS MVP after averaging 20.8 points a game in league play, which makes him the top scorer at this week’s tourney.

Cape Breton’s opponent for Friday’s quarter-finals, the Thunderwolves, hope the fourth time is a charm as they have been eliminated in the first round each of the past three years. Two-time OUA defensive MVP Greg Carter and the nation’s sixth-ranked defence will have to be at their best against Dorsey and the country’s number three offence if Lakehead hopes to finally get back to the CIS semis.

“I am excited for our graduating seniors to get the opportunity to go for number one - a fitting way to end their careers at Lakehead. Especially since our first appearance on the national stage occurred in this building back in 2010,” said head coach Scott Morrison. “At that time we were a bunch of wide-eyed kids. This weekend we need to be men if we want to advance for the first time to round two. Cape Breton is a formidable team with excellent coaching and one of this era’s top players in Jimmy Dorsey. We will be underdogs for sure but I know our guys will come out fighting to extend their season one more time.”

 

TEAM PROFILES

No. 1 Carleton Ravens

Head Coach: Dave Smart (14th season)

Regular season record: 19-1

Regular season standing: 1st OUA East

Playoff record: 3-0

Playoff finish: OUA champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 25-1

Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 6-0 (3-0 vs. Ottawa, 2-0 Lakehead, 1-0 Victoria)

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 1

Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (13 polls)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 14

Conference award winners (OUA East): Philip Scrubb (MVP), Thomas Scrubb (defensive MVP), Dave Smart (coach), Kevin Churchill (student athlete & community service)

Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Philip Scrubb (G), Tyson Hinz (F)

Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Thomas Scrubb (F)

Conference all-rookie team (OUA East): None

Season leader (points per game): Philip Scrubb (18.6)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Thomas Scrubb (7.4)

Season leader (assists per game): Philip Scrubb (3.4)

Team national ranking (offence): 1st (91.0)

Team national ranking (defence): 1st (61.6)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 16th

CIS championship all-time record: 30-10 (.750)

CIS championship best result: 8-time champions (2012, ‘11, ‘09, ‘07, ‘06, ‘05, ‘04, ‘03)

CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (champions)

CIS championship sequence: 11th straight appearance

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 0-0

No. 2 Cape Breton Capers

Head Coach: Matt Skinn (1st season)

Regular season record: 19-1

Regular season standing: 1st AUS

Playoff record: 2-0

Playoff finish: AUS champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 25-2

Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 4-1 vs. Acadia

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 2

Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (2 polls)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 14

Conference award winners: Jimmy Dorsey (MVP), Matt Skinn (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Jimmy Dorsey (G)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: AJ Geugjes (F)

Conference all-rookie team: Shaquille Keith (G)

Season leader (points per game): Jimmy Dorsey (20.8)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Sean McCormick (7.9)

Season leader (assists per game): Jimmy Dorsey (5.4)

Team national ranking (offence): 3rd (86.5)

Team national ranking (defence): 14th (72.8)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 5th

CIS championship all-time record: 7-4 (.636)

CIS championship best result: Semi-finalists (2006, 1995)

CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (5th place)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 2-year absence

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 0-0

No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees

Head Coach: James Derouin (3rd season)

Regular season record: 15-5

Regular season standing: 2nd OUA East

Playoff record: 2-1

Playoff finish: OUA finalists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 22-10

Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 1-4 (0-3 vs. Carleton, 0-1 McGill, 1-0 Lakehead)

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 3

Top 10 best ranking: No. 3 (1 poll)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 9

Conference award winners (OUA East): None

Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Warren Ward (F), Johnny Berhanemeskel (G)

Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): None

Conference all-rookie team (OUA East): Mehdi Tihani (G)

Season leader (points per game): Johnny Berhanemeskel (18.9)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Warren Ward (7.6)

Season leader (assists per game): Warren Ward (3.8)

Team national ranking (offence): 7th (83.2)

Team national ranking (defence): 11th (71.8)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 7th

CIS championship all-time record: 8-8 (.500)

CIS championship best result: Semi-finalists (2007, 1993)

CIS championship last appearance: 2009 (5th place)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 3-year absence

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 0-2

No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds

Head Coach: Kevin Hanson (13th season)

Regular season record: 18-4

Regular season standing: 1st Canada West Pacific

Playoff record: 4-1

Playoff finish: Canada West champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 28-5

Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 2-2 (1-0 vs. Lakehead, 1-2 Victoria)

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 4

Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (1 poll)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 14

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: Doug Plumb (G)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: None

Conference all-rookie team: No all-rookie team in Canada West

Season leader (points per game): Doug Plumb (15.8)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Brylle Kamen (10.4)

Season leader (assists per game): Doug Plumb (3.3)

Team national ranking (offence): 6th (84.3)

Team national ranking (defence): 13th (72.5)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 20th

CIS championship all-time record: 25-22 (.532)

CIS championship best result: 2-time champions (1972, 1970)

CIS championship last appearance: 2011 (bronze)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence (7th appearance in 8 years)

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 0-0

No. 5 Acadia Axemen

Head Coach: Stephen Baur (5th season)

Regular season record: 15-5

Regular season standing: 2nd AUS

Playoff record: 1-1

Playoff finish: AUS finalists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 21-7

Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 1-3 vs. Cape Breton

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 5

Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (3 polls)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 14

Conference award winners: Owen Klassen (defensive MVP)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Owen Klassen (F)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Anthony Ashe (G)

Conference all-rookie team: None

Season leader (points per game): Owen Klassen (16.3)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Owen Klassen (10.8)

Season leader (assists per game): Sean Stoqua (3.3)

Team national ranking (offence): 14th (79.4 ppg)

Team national ranking (defence): 5th (68.0 ppg)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 24th

CIS championship all-time record: 31-27 (.534)

CIS championship best result: 3-time champions (1977, 1971, 1965)

CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (5th place)

CIS championship sequence: 3rd straight appearance

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 2-2

No. 6 McGill Redmen

Head Coach: David DeAveiro (3rd season)

Regular season record: 11-5

Regular season standing: 1st RSEQ

Playoff record: 2-0

Playoff finish: RSEQ champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 21-7

Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 1-0 vs. Ottawa

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 10

Top 10 best ranking: No. 3 (1 poll)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 11

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: Simon Bibeau (G)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Aleksandar Mitrovic (C)

Conference all-rookie team: Christian McCue (G)

Season leader (points per game): Adrian Hynes-Guery (12.7)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Vincent Dufort (7.5)

Season leader (assists per game): Adrian Hynes-Guery (2.7)

Team national ranking (offence): 38th (67.6 ppg)

Team national ranking (defence): 2nd (62.9 ppg)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 4th

CIS championship all-time record: 1-6 (.143)

CIS championship best result: 4th place (1977, 1972)

CIS championship last appearance: 1979 (tied for 7th place)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 33-year absence

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 2-4

No. 7 Lakehead Thunderwolves

Head Coach: Scott Morrison (10th season)

Regular season record: 14-7

Regular season standing: 2nd OUA West

Playoff record: 2-1

Playoff finish: OUA bronze medallists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 26-11
Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 1-4 (0-2 vs. Carleton, 0-1 Ottawa, 0-1 UBC, 1-0 Victoria)

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 7

Top 10 best ranking: No. 5 (1 poll)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 8

Conference award winners (OUA West): Greg Carter (defensive MVP)

Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Yoosrie Salhia (F), Ryan Thomson (F)

Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): None

Conference all-rookie team (OUA West): Joe Hart (G)

Season leader (points per game): Ryan Thomson (14.4)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Yoosrie Salhia (10.4)

Season leader (assists per game): Greg Carter (4.0)

Team national ranking (offence): 16th (79.0 ppg)

Team national ranking (defence): 6th (68.5 ppg)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 6th

CIS championship all-time record: 5-7 (.417)

CIS championship best result: 2-time finalists (1977, 1973)

CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (tied for 7th place)

CIS championship sequence: 4th straight appearance

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 0-0

No. 8 Victoria Vikes

Head Coach: Craig Beaucamp (10th season)

Regular season record: 16-6

Regular season standing: 2nd Canada West Pacific

Playoff record: 3-1

Playoff finish: Canada West finalists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 21-10

Overall record vs. Final 8 teams: 2-3 (0-1 vs. Carleton, 2-1 UBC, 0-1 Lakehead)

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 26): No. 8

Top 10 best ranking: No. 8 (1 poll)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (14 polls): 2

Conference award winners: Craig Beaucamp (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars: None

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Terrell Evans (G/F)

Conference all-rookie team: No all-rookie team in Canada West

Season leader (points per game): Terrell Evans (16.7)

Season leader (rebounds per game): Chris McLaughlin (8.3)

Season leader (assists per game): Kyle Peterson (3.4)

Team national ranking (offence): 28th (74.4 ppg)

Team national ranking (defence): 7th (68.8 ppg)

CIS championship appearances (not including Regionals): 22nd

CIS championship all-time record: 36-17 (.679)

CIS championship best result: 8-time champions (1997, ‘86, ‘85, ‘84, ‘83, ‘82, ‘81, ‘80)

CIS championship last appearance: 2006 (finalists)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 6-year absence

CIS Regionals record (1983 to 1986): 8-0

 

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (all times EASTERN TIME)

Friday, March 8

12:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 7 Lakehead vs. No. 2 Cape Breton (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

14:15 Quarter-final #2: No. 6 McGill vs. No. 3 Ottawa (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 5 Acadia vs. No. 4 UBC (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 8 Victoria vs. No. 1 Carleton (ROGERS TV local / www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Saturday, March 9

12:00 Consolation #1: Loser QF #1 vs. Loser QF #2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

14:15 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

17:30 Semifinal #1: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2 (THE SCORE / www.CIS-SIC.tv)

20:15 Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4 (THE SCORE / www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Sunday, March 10

11:00 5th place (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

13:15 Bronze medal game (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

15:30 Championship final (THE SCORE / www.CIS-SIC.tv)

 

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 54 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on:

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