CUSN Men’s Basketball Top 10 – January 29th, 2018
In conjunction with Martin Timmerman over at usportshoops.ca, CUSN’s poll voters consists of 13 media members scattered throughout the four conferences of differing ages and affiliations. The panel members are (with Twitter handles if applicable):
1. Jordan Henry – @Jor_Henry
2. Mitch Robson – @_mitchrobson
3. Spencer Murdock – @SpencerMurdock
4. Ryan Sura – @RyanSura18
5. Mark Wacyk – @cishoops
6. Mike Still – @mikestill94
7. Neate Sager – @n8sager
8. Satbir Singh – @SatbirSingh_
9. Brian Swane – @BrianSwane
10. Allan April – @allan_april
11. Martin Timmerman – @martintimmerman
12. Julian McKenzie – @jkamckenzie
Here’s your Power Rankings for this week:
#1 – Carleton Ravens (24-0 Overall, 18-0 OUA)
Last Week’s Ranking: #1
Past Week Results: 97-53 W @ Toronto, 84-61 W @ Ryerson
What else is there to really say about the Ravens at this point? After absolutely mollywhopping the Varsity Blues after a 26-2 1st quarter which led to cruise control for the rest of the night, Carleton came out Saturday night and dominated the Ryerson Rams after taking a 7-5 lead early in the first and never relinquishing their advantage. While some who follow the sport thought Ryerson could be a challenger to the Ravens once again this year due to their athleticism and ability to put points on the board, the Rams were totally outclasses on their home court and Carleton looks like they’re well on their way to another national title.
Somehow this Ravens team might even be better than last year’s senior-laden group, as they dominate in the areas that mark the pillars of Carleton basketball: Knocking down open threes, dominating the defensive glass, and out hustling the opponent for second chance opportunities.
Munis Tutu is doing a superb job taking over for Kaza Kajami-Keane running point, Eddie Ekiyor has taken the next step in his development as the most dominant big man in the country, Yasiin Joseph is already better than Connor Wood ever was, and the supporting cast remains oh so annoying on defence, it’s going to take a heck of a lot of luck for anyone to take this team out.
#2 – Alberta Golden Bears (21-1 Overall, 17-1 Canada West)
Last Week Ranking: #2
Past Week Results: 74-56 W vs. MacEwan, 91-61 W vs. MacEwan
Completing the local home and home sweep over the Griffins of MacEwan this weekend, Alberta kept their romping ways over the second tier of Canada West going.
Without any scheduled conference games against UBC this year, the only real test these Golden Bears have had was against Calgary in a home and home at the beginning of the month, which they passed with flying colours. Should they emerge from the conference and earn a Final 8 bid come March, they might be the field’s best chance to upset the Ravens. They matchup well with the Ravens, as Brody Clarke can bang with Ekiyor down low, Austin Waddoups is a steady hand at point, Mamadou Gueye has the ability to go for 30 on any night, and the supporting cast can shoot the ball well.
The Golden Bears also happen to be the most fun team in the country on social media and even have a lovable Duke fan in Geoff Pippus. They are the heroes we need.
#3 – Brock Badgers
Last Week Ranking: #3
Past Week Results: 93-80 W vs. Guelph, 101-58 W vs. Waterloo
The Badgers continued their sleepy second half of the season by disposing of another two OUA West foes this week, but got the juices flowing in a little postgame dustup between everyone’s favourite OUA villain Cassidy Ryan and Guelph reserve Yamin Mareault-Dibanda:
Godsman Kwakwah with the Nuggets era Carmelo Anthony swing and run away is unquestionably the highlight. Brock shouldn’t be tested again until the crossover round of the playoffs, but will be on #UpsetAlert against Laurier in Waterloo this weekend.
#4 – Laurentian Voyageurs (19-2 Overall, 15-2 OUA)
Last Week Ranking: #6
Past Week Results: 89-69 W @ Queen’s, 89-80 W @ York
The Kadre Gray show kept rolling this past weekend, as he nearly triple-doubled in both road wins as Laurentian continues to prove to people that this team is for real, and wants to break into that upper echelon of nationally recognized programs.
5th year senior Nelson Yengue has also taken his game to a new level playing Robin to Gray’s Batman, as the Cameroon native has upped his scoring from 11.2 PPG last season to 16.2 PPG this year, on over 50% from the field.
#5 – Calgary Dinos (19-5 Overall, 14-4 Canada West)
Last Week Ranking: #4
Past Week Results: 91-89 OT L @ Lethbridge, 97-71 W vs. Lethbridge
Calgary drops one spot this week, as their road struggles with teams in the top four of the conference continued, dropping the front end of a home and home in overtime at Lethbridge before evening up with a drubbing of the Pronghorns at the Jack on Saturday as Jhonny Verrone and Conor Foreman were able to celebrate a win on their Senior Night (as was play-by-play man Lucas Meyer).
The Dinos will need to cutdown on their turnover tendencies, and see an uptick in their three point shooting if they want to return to the Final 8, as Alberta, UBC and Lethbridge all have potential to finish on top of them in the standings.
#6 – UBC Thunderbirds (20-3 Overall, 15-3 Canada West)
Last Week Ranking: #7
Past Week Results: 73-47, 84-63 W’s @ UBC-Okanagan
Not much to takeaway from the T-Birds this weekend, as they beat up on little brother UBC-O in Kelowna.
Kevin Hanson’s crew once again has a ton of depth and a POY candidate in Conor Morgan, but as has been the story for the Birds over the past few seasons, avoiding upset early on in the playoffs will be the measure of success for his club this season.
#7 – Dalhousie Tigers (21-4 Overall, 11-3 AUS)
Last Week Ranking: #5
Past Week Results: 95-80 W @ St.FX, 91-64 L vs. St. FX
It was an odd week for the Tigers and those who follow AUS basketball, as they took care of business in Antigonish on Tuesday night before getting spanked at the Dal Plex on Friday by those very same X-Men.
Sven Stammberger was the only Tiger to show up in that one, as Cedric Sanogo and Jordan Aquino-Serjue were held scoreless while the team shot just 21% from three point land.
Dalhousie still controls their own destiny in terms of winning the AUS regular-season crown, but the loss to X makes the matchup between them and our #8 team in a few weeks a blockbuster of a two game series.
#8 – Acadia Axemen (16-7 Overall, 12-2 AUS)
Last Week Ranking: #10
Past Week Results: 89-65, 79-65 W’s @ Memorial
Acadia has arguably been the strongest team in the AUS since conference play began, as the only losses are to UNB on the road and a two point loss to St. FX at the Scotiabank Centre in late November. They’re currently riding high off a six game win streak, and are building towards a deep playoff run and have sights set on winning the AUS title to qualify for Nationals – not just sneaking in on the host auto-bid.
#9 Ottawa Gee-Gees (20-6 Overall, 13-5 OUA)
Last Week Ranking: #9
Past Week Results: 95-92 OT L @ Ryerson, 84-75 W @ Toronto
In one of the games of the year in the OUA, the Gee-Gees fell in overtime after Manny Diressa hit an absolutely bonkers three pointer to put the game into the extra set:
Even though they took the loss at Mattamy, Brody Maracle basically scored at will against the Rams and Calvin Epistola took over for multiple stretches of the game. Nobody will want to see this team come playoff time in the OUA.
T- #10 – McGill Redmen (13-4 Overall, 8-2 RSEQ)
Last Week Ranking: #8
Past Week Results: 86-81 L @ Bishop’s, 108-57 W vs. Bishop’s
The Redmen started out the week by taking a hilarious loss at Bishop’s, and Dave DeAveiro must of pulled out quite the punishment as they absolutely dismantled the Gaiters in the return leg of the home and home, winning by 51 points, which was the biggest RSEQ win for the program since a 94-39 whipping of the Gaiters on January 14th 1977. Huzzah!
T- #10 – Ryerson Rams (13-8 Overall, 12-6 OUA)
Last Week: Unranked
Past Week Results: 95-92 OT W vs. Ottawa, 84-61 L vs. Carleton
Manny Diressa is undoubtedly a top three player in the country right now, and will have to stay as hot as he’s been if this team wants to go on a deep playoff run and not see their streak of Final 8 berths come to an end. While the supporting cast has been up and down, Diressa is leading the OUA in scoring and has dropped point totals of 32, 50 and 41 scattered throughout his last six games.
With Manny playing like Allen Iverson in 01 with the Sixers, the Rams may not be able to take out the Ravens, but a chance to make some noise on the national stage remains a possibility.
Other Teams Receiving Votes:
Lethbridge Pronghorns (16-8 Overall, 12-6 Canada West)
Past Week Results: 91-89 OT W vs. Calgary, 97-71 L @ Calgary
The Horns have a chance to be this year’s Manitoba and make a magical run to the Final 8, as Zac Overwater has shown he can be an A1 scorer while Dejon Burdeaux has been sidelined. If Burdeaux is back come playoff time, nobody in that top tier will want to see the ‘Horns come the second and third round.
UNB Varsity Reds (20-5 Overall, 12-3 AUS)
Past Week Results: 104-96, 94-85 W’s vs. SMU
UNB was able to sweep the the Huskies at home, but the weekend belonged to Javon Masters, as he exploded for 39 points on Friday night to establish himself as the new all-time leading scorer in U SPORTS history, passing former Ryerson Ram and Calgary Dino Boris Bakovic with now 2296 points and counting in 90 regular season games played.
With the record chase now in the rearview mirror, Masters will set his sights on finally making a run at the AUS tournament and getting the Reds into the Final 8 – one of the few things he has yet to accomplish in the program.