Notes on our players and teams of interest from The 613...
- Final 8: There's plenty at The CIS Blog (and the cishoops.ca crew outdid themselves) on how the weekend in basketball went down.
Carleton will face Alberta (the last school other than the Ravens to win the national title) in the late quarter-final Friday, but you knew that already.
- Gee-Gees: If it hasn't been said enough, Ottawa coach Dave DeAveiro did a job this winter with a Gee-Gees team which could sometimes go madly off in all directions. The Toronto win in the OUA East semi-final, plus going down to the final shot against Carleton without Josh Gibson-Bascombe, that was something else.
Brock, which won the OUA play-in game 68-58 over the Gee-Gees to grab the next-to-last Final 8 berth, was just a little deeper and a little older. Any team which can hold Dax Dessureault to 4-for-17 from the field was meant to win.
Donnie Gibson, the Ernestown grad, had a breakout season with 11.8 points on 46% shooting, including 38% on threes, during the regular season. He was at the forefront of the late charge they made on Sunday.
- Ravens: A good companion to Andrew Duffy's feature in Sunday's Citizen on Ravens coach Dave Smart is the profile Chuck Klosterman did on Steve Nash in 2005. Smart's Ravens, in their own way, also boil basketball down to its purest form -- "consciously creat(ing) short-term sacrifice if that loss yields long-term social benefit to players ... From each his ability, to each his needs."
The feeling on this end with how Dave Smart coaches has always been, Why wouldn't you coach that way? His Carleton Ravens players seem to come in with their eyes wide open; they know what they're getting into.
It's important, as Nash pointed out in that article, not to "glorify the idea of playing basketball." That said, one analogy for what Carleton has done is that Smart takes young men who might be predisposed to becoming cutthroat capitalists, but who are open, even eager, to be share-the-ball, sprawl-on-the-floor socialists for four or five years. They also rebound really, really well.
(Much obliged to Andy Grabia from The Battle of Alberta for the link -- and sorry about the U of A Pandas hockey team. Laurier's got big hawks.)
- It would be remiss not to point out that a Kingston girl, Kaley Powers, scored the first goal last night to help point Laurier toward ending Alberta's two-year run as national champions with a 4-2 win in Ottawa.
All the Golden Hawks have to do to bring the national title back to the OUA is take down McGill, who's won their first two games via shutout. It's only just, since year after year the OUA only gets to send one team to nationals despite being the deepest league in the country for women's hockey.