The OUA West CIS/U Sports Men’s Basketball “Road to the Final 8” kicks off tonight with two quarter-final games. Below is a preview of the #6 Guelph Gryphons and #3 Laurier Golden Hawks.
#6 Guelph Gryphons – (OUA West 8-14, Playoffs 0-0, Overall 9-21)
#3 Laurier Golden Hawks – (OUA West 16-6, Playoffs 0-0, Overall 25-10)
Laurier Golden Hawks 2-0, W @ Guelph, 97-91, W 100-69
How They Stack-Up
The Guelph Gryphons come into the critical playoff game in the midst of an eight-game losing slump, their longest of the year dating back to January 21. Laurier a Top 5 team for most of the year hasn’t disappointed much with the exception of their current funk, a three-game skid.
BasketballBuzz CIS/U Sports Top 25 Weekly Power Rankings
NR, NR, NR, NR, NR, 19, 23, 20, 20, NR, NR, NR, NR, NR
Laurier Golden Hawks
10, 8, 8, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 5, 9, 14, 14
Guelph Gryphons – Toronto Blues, Laurentian Voyageurs
Laurier Golden Hawks – Concordia Stingers, Cape Breton Capers, UBC Thunderbirds, Lakehead Thunderwolves, Windsor Lancers
Keys To Victory
Guelph Gryphons – The Gryphons will need to shoot the ball better from the outside to keep up with the high scoring (89.2 ppg, 2nd in the country) and trigger happy Golden Hawks offense. In order for the losing skid to come to an end somebody from the bench will need to step-up to provide that extra scoring bunch and compliment their three key players Kareem Malcolm, Daniel McCarthy and Zac Angus.
Laurier Golden Hawks – How about some defense? The Golden Hawks gave-up the most points to the winless RMC Paladins, allowing 72 points to a team that barely cracks the 40 point mark on most nights. They’ve allowed their last three opponents to put up nearly 90 points resulting in their drop from the Top 10.
Guelph Gryphons – Kareem Malcom (18.4) and Daniel McCarthy (17.5) rank amongst the leading back-court duos in the country and are responsible for almost half of Guelph’s total offensive production.
Laurier Golden Hawks – Kale Harrison has been sensational in his final-year with the Golden Hawks program and is averaging 23 points a night over his last five contests.
*OUA (Ontario University Association)
*NR – Not Ranked