This Week we found out the OUA has two tiers, The Big 3 (Carleton, Ottawa, Ryerson) & everybody else. To the rankings!
This post was updated following Carleton’s big win over Ottawa in the “Bytown Battle” on Tuesday, January 17th.
17. Algoma Thunderbirds (3-8, 10-15 Overall)
Thomas Cory and the T-Birds plummet down the rankings to the bottom spot this week. Although they earned the split in Waterloo this weekend against the Warriors, they managed to shoot just a combined 30% and blew a 22 point lead in the Saturday loss.
16. Waterloo Warriors (2-9, 6-16 Overall)
This was Nedim Hodzic’s breakout back-to-back performance that Justin Gunter has been waiting for. The freshman feasted for his hometown Warriors, dropping a line of 23 points and 12 rebounds in the loss on Friday and besting that on Saturday, scoring 22 points and grabbing 18 boards in the comeback win.
15. Guelph Gryphons (3-7, 7-14 Overall)
The Gryphs went 0-2 in their opening weekend at the beautiful and brand new athletic centre as they lost the opener to Laurier on Friday and dropped a one point thriller to Mac on Saturday night after a questionable foul call with just .3 remaining. Guelph will need to shore up their work on the defensive glass moving forward, as they were throughly outworked both games at that end.
14. Nipissing Lakers (4-8, 8-13 Overall)
Tough weekend for the Lakers, as they weren’t able to top 60 points in either game against the Ottawa squads. They did hang around against the Gee-Gees thanks in large part to a double-double from Justin Shaver. The big fella is now averaging 14 and 8 on 56% from the field this season and has been a fantastic veteran addition by Coach Cheng.
13. Laurentian Voyageurs (4-8, 5-12 Overall)
The Voyageurs were also beaten down on the Ottawa swing, but the continued high level play of David Aromolaran is certainly of note. Aromolaran’s gunning at the two spot has been a perfect compliment to Kadre Gray’s game as the facilitator and he’s scored in double figures on over 50% from the floor in three of Laurentian’s four games to open up 2017. Look for him to continue his hot shooting ways against Nipissing this Friday in a game that will decide third in the OUA North.
12. Laurier Golden Hawks (6-7, 10-13 Overall)
After getting the wheels blown off in a 30 point loss at Mac on Wednesday evening, Justin Serresse’s Golden Hawks rebounded well in their seven point road win at Guelph. Tevaun Kokko returned to form opening up the Gryphs new athletic centre in style, dropping 23 points on 8-14 from the floor and 4-8 from beyond the arc. Kokko would likely be a frontrunner for OUA ROY any other season (Kadre Gray is just on another level this year) as he’s now averaging 18.5 PPG with a shooting percentage slash line of 41/40/76 as well as grabbing four boards a night and swiping just under two steals a game.
11. York Lions (3-7, 4-18 Overall)
The Lions turned the Tait-McKenzie into a defensive fortress this weekend, as they held the 3rd and 4th best shooting teams in the OUA to under 40% from the field in an upset win over Toronto on Friday and a gritty loss to the undefeated Rams on Saturday night. Brandon Ramirez continued his strong play in the win, scoring 19 points, and Nidun Chandrakumar played all 40 minutes on triple-double watch, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists. We’ll get to see if this improved defence was a blip on the radar or a new trend for the Lions, as they travel to McMaster and Brock this weekend.
10. Western Mustangs (3-9, 7-16 Overall)
Rivalry week breathed life back into the Mustangs season, as they fought hard in a road loss Wednesday but caught fire and rolled all over the Windsor Lancers in London during a 90-65 romp on Saturday afternoon to earn the split. The ‘Stangs shot a wild 53% (15-28) from downtown in the home win while holding the Lancers to just 22% (7-31) from three point land in a game that was over at halftime. Unfortunately for Western, they don’t play again until the 27th in a home date with the Gee-Gees. To have a chance in that one, they’ll need the shooting to carry over.
9. Lakehead Thunderwolves (3-8, 7-15 Overall)
Big rise for the T-Wolves this week as they knocked off the Brock Badgers at the Thunderdome on Friday, and nearly completed the weekend sweep but blew a huge 2nd half lead (more on that in the Brock blurb) on Saturday night. While the shooting struggles continued as they have yet to shoot 40% from the floor, Coach Manny Furtado shook up the starting lineup, moving Nick Burke into the starting lineup while shifting Henry Tan to the bench to add scoring punch to the 2nd unit. The move paid major dividends in the win, as Tan dropped 21 points in 27 minutes on 7-15 from the field. Israeli native Mor Menashe also continues to round into form, as he averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists over the two games. Lakehead goes on the Ottawa swing this weekend.
8. Queen’s Gaels (6-4, 12-11 Overall)
The Gaels looked simply overmatched on their home floor against their divisional rivals Ryerson and Toronto this weekend. The defence broke down in the 2nd half against the Rams, giving up 58 points and on Saturday night the offence was the culprit, only managing one 20+ point quarter against the Varsity Blues. We chatted with Bill Miklas on the CUSN Basketball Pod about their struggles earlier this week. The Gaels will get another chance to prove themselves this weekend, as they will go on the Southern Ontario swing at Mac and Brock.
7. Brock Badgers (6-4, 14-9 Overall)
After a disappointing loss on Friday night and down by as much as 28 in the midst of Saturday night’s game in Thunder Bay, Brock’s hopes and dreams of having a resume worthy of an at-large selection for the Final 8 (or even a division championship) seemed all but over. With that certainly in the back of their minds, the Badgers put on a furious comeback, outscoring the T-Wolves 48-22 in the 2nd half and sneaking away with the 71-69 win on two free throws from Michael Asemota. Johneil Simpson’s 18 points on 7-11 off the bench led the Badgers while Dani Elgadi out battled Bacarius Dinkins in the post for a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds. Brock will look to get rolling again with home dates this weekend against Queen’s and York.
6. Windsor Lancers (7-5, 16-9 Overall)
Windsor split the home and home with the Western Mustangs as mentioned earlier, and looked solid if unspectacular in the home win while just not being able to buy a bucket in the 90-65 beating at Alumni Hall. We’ll get a better read on their trend depending on how good they look in the Sault against Algoma for two games this weekend.
5. Toronto Varsity Blues (8-4, 14-11 Overall)
The Blues shook off their first bad loss of the season at York on Friday to pick up the important win in Kingston on Saturday and lock themselves into that 2 seed in the OUA East. All five starters scored in double figures, and it looks like John Campbell has finally assembled the roster of shooters around perennial All-Star Devin Johnson to make this team dangerous offensively. Although to be able to make a deep playoff run they will need more contributions from the veterans on the bench.
4. McMaster Marauders (6-5, 21-5 Overall)
Obviously the Marauders read these power rankings this week and vaulted themselves back into the top four with two wins. Most interesting week in the OUA goes to forward Matt Quiring, who dropped 20 points on a perfect 10-10 from the floor against Laurier on Wednesday, while only playing 12 minutes without taking a shot in the win against Guelph on Saturday. They will need to beat Queen’s at the Burridge Gym this weekend to hold this spot.
3. Ryerson Rams (11-0, 16-3 Overall)
The Rams kept it rolling to remain undefeated in conference play with a blowout win in Kingston breaking the 100 point plateau once again, and grinding out a win in North York despite a terrible first half shooting the ball. Recognition is deserved for 5th year senior Juwon Grannum, who managed his first career double-double against the Gaels with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Rams have a road game against the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday afternoon.
2. Ottawa Gee-Gees (9-1, 21-4 Overall)
Wow. That was a certified #BEATEMDOWN by the Ravens as ESPN’s Bomani Jones would say. Whether it was a sign of things to come in future matchups or just an abysmal shooting night, (Ottawa made just 12 field goals on 56 attempts for a putrid 21.4% shooting percentage) the Gee-Gees were just totally overwhelmed and outplayed. The dominant duo of Caleb Agada and Jean Emmanuel Pierre-Charles were a combined 6-25 from the field and the shooters Matt Plunkett and Adam Presutti only managed one three pointer between the two of them. The 18 turnovers were the real problem, and they’ll need to commit less than 10 turnovers at Capital Hoops if they want a chance at a win.
1. Carleton Ravens (10-0, 22-2 Overall)
Now that was the signature performance I’ve been waiting for from the Ravens this season before moving them up to the top spot. Connor Wood did Connor Wood things, scoring 19 points on an array of off balance jumpers and slicing cuts to the hoop. Eddie Ekiyor dominated the Gee-Gees frontline and looked every bit the D1 prospect that was heralded as a recruit at Xavier. The defence from the entire cast was suffocating in transition, and they dominated the offensive glass to the tune of 14 second chance points while holding Ottawa to 0. Carleton is back to their juggernaut status, and will remain the unquestioned #1 until they’re taken down. If they’re taken down.