CIS holiday basketball action at Dalplex
Katya Sodamin - December 19, 2012
Dalhousie University is pleased to host the 22nd annual Rod Shoveller Memorial Tournament at Dalplex from December 29-31. The prestigious high-level CIS basketball tournament honours the memory of Rod Shoveller, a great contributor to the sport of basketball in Nova Scotia. Competing for the 2012 title are AUS teams Acadia, Cape Breton, Saint Mary’s, defending Shoveller champion St. FX, and the host Dalhousie. Also looking for a shot at the title are out of town challengers Algoma, Laurentian and Laval. The competition will be fierce this year, with the teams looking for a mid-season boost that will drive them forward to league playoffs in 2013. Here’s a look at the 2012 competitors:
The 2011-12 AUS champions, the Acadia Axemen returned their entire roster this season. Leading the squad is AUS All-star Owen Klassen and AUS All-Star and championship MVP Anthony Sears along with current team leading scorers Jonathan Tull (19.0 ppg) and Anthony Ashe (15.7 ppg). Following a 6-1 exhibition record, the Axemen remain undefeated after six regular season games. Trailing the AUS first place Capers by two points in the standings, the CIS No. 2 ranked Axemen hope to have some of their roster return from injury at the Shoveller Tournament.
Sault St. Marie, Ont.
The Algoma University Thunderbirds started the 2012-13 season strong with a No. 1 ranking in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). They ended the first half of the season with a record of 7-3, good enough for fourth place in the Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association (OCAA) West. Led by reigning CCAA Player of the Year Jovain Wilson (20.0 ppg) and OCAA West Division All-Rookie team member Reynaldo Carnakie (15.0 ppg), the Thunderbirds are currently ranked the best defensive team in the OCAA, holding their opponents to 59 points or less per game. This will be the team’s first appearance at the CIS level as they prepare to join the league in the 2013-14 season.
Cape Breton Capers
It's been a great start to the 2012-13 season for the Cape Breton Capers. With new head coach Matt Skinn at the helm, the Capers are off to a 7-0 record in AUS conference play and sit at No. 4 in the CIS rankings. Fifth-year guard Jimmy Dorsey leads the AUS in scoring (25.4 ppg) and has been the driving force behind the team’s record. The reigning AUS MVP, Dorsey is also averaging a league-best 4.4 steals per game and is second in assists (4.3 pg). Freshman Shaquille Keith has made an immediate impact on the AUS and is the top rookie scorer (16.6 ppg), while second-year Meshack Lufile (14.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg) has also enjoyed a fine start to his second season with CBU.
The Laurentian Voyageurs are currently sporting a 5-3 record after a very strong first half of the season. After dropping the first game of the season, the men reeled off five straight wins including an upset of then CIS No. 5 ranked Windsor. A tough final weekend saw their record fall to 5-3, good enough for 5th spot in the very competitive OUA East. The Voyageurs boast three players in the top 20 of OUA scoring with reigning CIS scoring leader Manny Pasquale (17.6 ppg) leading the way, followed by Alex Ratté (17.0 ppg) and Georges Serresse (14.1 ppg).
Laval Rouge et Or
It was a tough start for le rouge et or, who lost their first two games of the year by a heavy margin. Since then, Laval has won two out of three, and seems to have found their rhythm. A trio of young players are leading the charge for this year’s team. Sophomore team leaders Thibaud Dezutter (13.6 ppg, 8.0 rgp) and Boris Hadzimuratovic (12.2 ppg and 7.8 rpg) have proven key on the court this fall while first-year Karl Demers-Bélanger (13.4 ppg) is coming up big as the starting point guard.
St. Francis Xavier X-Men
The X-Men currently sit in third place in the AUS conference with a 4-3 record. As the two-time defending Shoveller champions, the have won six Shoveller titles in the past 11 years and eight overall. The X-Men are led by fifth-year forward Jeremy Dunn and third-year guard Terry Thomas, a 2012 CIS All-Canadian. Dunn is currently second in AUS scoring (20.1 ppg), while Thomas is third in AUS scoring (19.6 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (7.7 rpg). Also leading the lineup is forward Shane Coupland and guards Tyrell Vernon and Will Donkoh.
Saint Mary’s Huskies
The Huskies will look to start the second term of AUS action looking to recapture a winning formula that saw them go 6-3 in preseason exhibition action. First year head coach Jonah Taussig began conference play with two home victories over the Memorial Seahawks, but his Huskies dropped their last five games to finish the first term for a final record of 2-5, good for AUS sixth place. Veterans Harry Ezenibe (15 ppg, 12 rpg) and Riley Halpin (15 ppg, 6 rpg) have led the way while newcomer Kevin Thomas has become a powerful presence in his first season. Highly ballyhooed recruit Jordan Lee joined Saint Mary’s in late November and did not disappoint with a 28 point, 6 steal performance in his debut versus the Dalhousie Tigers.
Led by 11-year head coach John Campbell, the Tigers men’s basketball squad faced a rough start to their season with three losses before their first victory over the X-Men. The young team battled hard to end the first half on a positive note with an overtime win against Saint Mary’s, but fell short by one point in their last game versus UPEI. Fourth-year Simon Marr (14.2 ppg) and first-year Devon Stedman (7.2 rpg) led the Tigers on the court this fall. Going into the second half of the season the black and gold will look to remain strong and build on the momentum from the fall.
Shoveller Tournament Schedule
Saturday, December 29
1pm – G1 CBU vs. SMU
3pm – G2 StFX vs. Laurentian
6pm – G3 DAL vs. Algoma
8pm – G4 ACA vs. Laval
Sunday, December 30
1pm – G5 LG1 vs. LG2
3pm – G6 LG3 vs. LG4
6pm – G7 WG1 vs. WG2
8pm – G8 WG3 vs.WG4
Monday, December 31
11am – Consolation final
1pm – Bronze medal game
3pm – Championship game
All games will be available live online at http://live.streamit.ca/?player=48
Game and tournament passes are available for purchase at the Dalplex Customer Service Centre, by calling 902-494-3375, or at the game.