Thursday, March 06, 2008

CIS CORNER: JAYHAWKS COMING NORTH

Notes on our teams of interest from The 613...

BASKETBALL

The Lawrence Journal-World reported today that "it looks as if" the  Kansas Jayhawks, a potential Final Four team, will make the trip north for the NCAA weekend to "likely play two games Saturday, Aug. 30, and one on Aug. 31, both in Ottawa, Ontario. KU likely will play Carleton University and a yet-to-be-determined foe in a day/night doubleheader on Aug. 30. Carleton’s Ravens Nest seats 1,400 fans. (We had this on The CIS Blog a while back, but with less details.)

The Jayhawks then would meet Ottawa University on Aug. 31 at Ottawa’s 1,000-seat Montpetit Hall."

As for the OUA East awards, no doubt there was a good debate over going with Ottawa big man Dax Dessurealt over Carleton guard Ryan Bell for defensive player of the year. Bell is the division's Ken Shields nominee (all-around good player and good person) and Ravens teammate Aaron Doornekamp is officially the Mike Moser nominee.

Doornekamp will be be up against two other players with Ottawa region ties — Acadia's Leonel Saintil and Laval's J.P. Morin — for the national award.

The Gee-Gees' Josh Gibson-Bascombe and Ravens' Stu Turnbull are the first-team guards; Queen's Mitch Leger and Simon Mitchell along with graduating Gee-Gee Sean Peter made the second team.

The Gaels' Jon Ogden was rookie of the year, with teammate Travis Mitchell and Carleton's Elliot Thompson also making the all-rookie team.

(Tyler, any problem with that?)

HOCKEY

Spoken like a true Queen'sman: A press release comes out that Golden Gaels hockey coach Brett Gibson has been named the OUA East coach of the year and, no word of a lie, first reaction was, "Whew, tough call."

Gibson guided the Gaels to a first-place finish -- but in a weak division -- and helped the Gaels keep their chins up despite not having a true home arena, practising and playing games in three different rinks, two of them nowhere near the campus. That's admirable. Fred Parker steering Carleton to a playoff berth their first time out, that was pretty good too.

Of course, Gibson had one benefit over Parker: Goalie Ryan Gibb, who was named the East's MVP. Who knows where Queen's ends up without him.

The Enterprise-ing one, Brady Olsen, was named the conference's most sportsmanlike player. Gaels goalie Ryan Gibb was an obvious first-team all-star selection (Mathieu Poitras of McGill probably won't be worrying too much about it while he's getting ready for the nationals). Carleton forward Jared Cipparone and Ottawa goalie Riley Whitlock were all-rookie selections.

FOOTBALL

Did everyone see that the Gee-Gees' two best defensive linemen, Tyler Dawe and Dan Kennedy, are both invited to the CFL evaluation camp? Quarterback Josh Sacobie and McGill slotback Erik Galas, who's from the city, were also invited.

Queen's Mike Giffin, who'd probably need to switch to fullback at the CFL level, is also invited.

21 comments:

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Nice to see Giffin get a shot. I don't think he's quite CFL-ready yet, but if he comes back for another season of experience, he could possibly make the jump afterwards. Given the propensity towards power backs at the moment (see Joe Smith, B.C. Lions), he might not even have to switch to fullback: he's similarly built to both Smith and Jesse Lumsden. Also, the Gaels placed two guys on CFL rosters last week : O-lineman Cody Kennedy signed with the Calgary Stampeders, while D-lineman Kevin Scott signed with Saskatchewan and will be going to camp with Rob Bagg and Ryan Freeman. The funny thing is Scott is apparently only 6'2 and 222, according to the team website : not sure if that will be be big enough for the CFL, where most of the D-line guys are closer to 300.

sager said...

There's a few OUA linebackers (or as they'd be known in Can West, "big safeties,") who are hoping Professor Giff goes pro.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

I'm sure they are: he's likely due for a big year otherwise. There's a lot of Tricolour supporters hoping he sticks around though.

Tyler King said...

Sooo... neither of you two going to mention that Gibb was also named most valuable player?

It's kind of a big deal...

sager said...

(Snotty voice) You're kind of a big deal. You have many leather-bound books and your apartment smells of rich mahogany... you're good friends with Merlin Olsen. He drops by once in a while.

Yeah, it's up there... Gibb was MVP, for anyone who, you know, didn't read it on the OUA website. Heh-heh-heh.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

I think Gibb's a pretty solid choice for OUA East MVP. He might have had a case for overall OUA MVP (which Lakehead goalie Chris Whitley won) if he'd played more games early on. Gibb led CIS with a .929 save percentage, but Whitley was close behind with a
.925 mark and had a better GAA
(2.05 to 2.86, likely due to the strength of his team). Nice to see Gibson get the coaching award too: he's done a pretty good job of turning the Gaels into a solid program in my mind.

Tyler King said...

Why on earth would he have had an edge over Whitley if he'd played more games early on? He played more games than Whitley.

sager said...

Fight! Fight! Fight!

My money's on Tyler, he's more likely to bribe the referee.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Well, I was thinking in terms of picking up some more wins and shutouts, which would have helped his case (assuming he played like he did in the rest of the season). He tied Whitley in shutouts and lost in wins, which isn't a huge number for goaltending stats, but it's something people probably look at. It also doesn't look as good for a goalie in MVP prospects if he can't clinch the number-one job (why Hasek and Osgood will not be MVPs, or even Vezina winners, this year, despite great numbers put up with the help of a solid defence). Consider last year's Whitley basically split time with Kyle Moir for Lakehead, so if Gibb had been the Gaels' clear number-one goalie (and maintained his excellent numbers in those extra games), I think that would have given him an edge in the overall MVP race. Say if he played five more games, won three and lost two while keeping GAA and save percentage consistent: all of a sudden, he now has a 14-9-0 record against Whitley's 15-0-0, and he's also clearly Queen's top goalie instead of choice 1A. If he gets another shutout in one of those extra games, that also helps his case. It might not have made enough of a difference, but there's a chance it could have. I don't blame Gibson for alternating goalies early on, though: they were playing at a similar level near the start of the season, and he was probably looking for one to get hot.

sager said...

Was it really a case of not having the No. 1 job? It sounded more like the coach wanted an open compeitition between Gibb and Morrison; Gibb ended up winning.

It was a fine pick, Gibb as East MVP. Off the top of my head, there wasn't any real dominant offensive player over the course of the whole 28 games.

Tyler King said...

Gibb was clearly the #1 splitting time with Morrison the entire time through.

How on earth can you imply it's a hinderance to split time with your backup when the winner started only 50%+1 of the team's games?

Him going 14-9 wouldn't make the situation any better when he's up against someone with only a marginally lower save percentage but a far better GAA and an undefeated record, I can guarantee that.

And, if you want to needlessly use three-digit records, Gibb is 11-6-1, and under your hypothetical would be 14-8-1, since he lost one game in a shootout. Not 14-9-0.

Journal said...

I'll take your word on Gibb's record: I took it from the OUA press release, and we all know how accurate those are. Obviously Whitley won despite splitting time, so you're right, you can win without starting more games: all I was saying was I felt Gibb would have had a better shot at taking the overall title from Whitley if he'd played more, as then it becomes a clear number one goalie versus someone who split time. Look at last year's Vezina finalists: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundqvist and Miikka Kiprusoff, all of whom played 70 or more games. In my mind at least, that shows that playing a clear majority of your team's games helps your candidacy for league awards. He likely still would have lost due to Whitley's undefeated record and better GAA, but I think it would have been closer. I'm happy to agree to disagree, though. Gibb is a great goalie and thoroughly deserves the OUA East MVP in any case.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Bah, sorry, forgot to switch accounts for that last one. Anyways, thoughts on basketball: nice to see Ogden win the Rookie of the Year. It was a bit disappointing that either Leger or Simon Mitchell didn't make the first all-star team, but at least they both got on the second one. Simon probably had the better case as he's a more well-rounded player, but JGB and Stu Turnbull are tough competition at the guard slots. Doornekamp should have a good shot at the overall player-of-the year title, as you nicely predicted a while back, Neate.

Tyler King said...

The Vezina and an MVP award are two completely different things. Gibb did not win as most oustanding goalie, he was supposed to have won as player most valuable to his team.

There`s no confusion as to what you`re proposing - that more games would`ve meant a better shot for Gibb. The only problem is that`s not true. Whitley went 15-0 and led the league in GAA - those two overrated stats shut Gibb out of the running.

By the way, I`m almost certain the NHL goalies you`re mentioning had to actually stop pucks to be Vezina contenders - starting more than 70 games is a coincidence, not a prerequisite.

And there`s the tricky bit that Gibb never would`ve started more games because the plan to split time had been clear for weeks before the season. Not to mention that by that logic Gibb should`ve had a better chance last year - Ryan Grinnell was nowhere near as good as Whitley, yet Gibb was still handily defeated despite playing every game. It`s just not a factor.

Big V said...

It should be noted that Kevin Scott rarely plays d-line for Queens. He is the Long Snapper and a damned good one to say the least.

So at 6'2, 222 hes a serious threat to get downfield and make the tackle.

Tyler said...

Agreed, esp. considering how crazy good the special teams coverage was last year.

Oh, and Neate, re:

"The Gaels' Jon Ogden was rookie of the year, with teammate Travis Mitchell and Carleton's Elliot Thompson.

(Tyler, any problem with that?)"

My only problem is that he wasn't rookie of the year with Mitchell and Thompson... I assume you mean the all-rookie team.

I didn't want to say anything but you did ask...

sager said...

Tyler,

Way to step right into the trap... it was done that way deliberately to see if you'd go for it. Fair play to you, sir.

Tyler said...

"You, Strawberry, hit a home run!"
"Okay, skip!"
"Hahaha! I told him to do that!"
"Brilliant strategy, sir."

sager said...

"Pitt the Elder!"
"Lord Palmerston!"

Tyler said...

I nominate that comment for non-sequitur of the year.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add to the first point about Kansas playing in Ottawa: I would suspect that Carleton might bring in temporary seating (as they sometimes do) to increase capacity to a little over 2,000 for the game.