After ranking fourth in the country for the first six weeks of the season, Brock Men’s Basketball has moved up to number three in the CIS rankings after an eventful basketball weekend.
The biggest changes in the rankings this season came last week when the Ottawa Gee-Gee’s were moved from number one in the country to number three. The Gee-Gee’s had been ranked number one for the first five weeks of the season and at the start of week six they had a 7-0 record.
However, the members behind the voting decided to move the Gee-Gee’s down to number three ahead of week six in favour of the Carleton Ravens (moving from number two to number one), and the McGill Redmen (moving from number three to number two).
Through all this, Brock stayed at number four and the Ryerson Rams have been stuck at number five. The Badgers and Rams are the only two teams in the CIS to stay ranked in the same position all season. But with the events that took place this weekend the Badgers have finally seen some change.
It started with the battle of Ottawa, when the Gee-Gee’s and Ravens played in their first match-up of the season at Carleton on Saturday. For many years the Gee-Gee’s have been riding in the shadow of the Ravens – who have won 11 of the last 13 CIS championships. In the last two CIS finals, the Ravens have edged out the Gee-Gee’s.
But with a 75-73 win this past weekend over the Ravens, the Gee-Gee’s are answering the question many CIS basketball fans have been asking: Is this the year of the Gee-Gee’s? There’s still ways to go for that question to be answered, but the Gee-Gee’s have given a brief answer.
The win allowed the Gee-Gee’s to move back to number one in the country for week seven of the season. The Ravens have fallen to number two.
In terms of how the Badgers moved up from four to three: it was due in fact to the Redmen picking up their first loss of the season. McGill had appeared on the national rankings after picking up impressive wins during the preseason over OUA teams. They beat the number one ranked Gee-Gee’s, the McMaster Marauders, the York Lions (twice), and fell three points shy of beating the Rams.
Through the first six weeks of the season the Redmen were 4-0 in RESQ divisional play. They had a point differential of +16.5 over the course of their first four wins. Their toughest win came at home versus Laval, when the Redmen pulled out a two point win.
This past week McGill and Laval met again for a home-and-home for their second and third meetings of the season. In their home game the Redmen pulled out an 11 point win, however, on Saturday at Laval the Redmen dropped their first game of the season by 21 points.
That blowout loss for the Redmen opened the door for the Badgers to finally make a move in the CIS rankings, which had them moved to number three for week seven of the season.
Over the weekend, the Badgers picked up wins over Laurier 91-67 and Waterloo 81-69, and improved to an 8-1 record on the season – their only loss coming from Queen’s.
Over the course of the first nine games the Badgers rank 16th in the CIS in point per game at 81.9 (fifth in the OUA). Defensively, the Badgers rank eighth in the country in points allowed at 70.7 – they only trail Carleton and Ottawa in the OUA in that category.
The Badgers have been led by forward Dani Elgadi (recently named OUA player of the week), who has had eight double-doubles in the first eight of nine games for Brock. Elgadi ranks fifth in the country in points per game at 22.9 on 53 per cent shooting. He’s also number one in the country in rebounds per game at 12.2.
Last year’s CIS Rookie of the Year, Johneil Simpson also continues to be a huge asset for the Badgers. Simpson is averaging 17.2 points on 44.8 per cent shooting, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
This is the first time the Badgers have hit 20 wins in a season since their 2008 CIS championship season, where they won 29 games. They currently have a record of 21-4 (including exhibition games). The most wins in school history came in 1991-92 when the Badgers won 31 games.
It’ll be tough for the Badgers to reach 31 wins this season with only 10 games left in the OUA. Included in the 10 games are home games versus Carleton and Ottawa, which will come in three weeks’ time.
For now, the third ranked Badgers will prepare for their home game versus Western on January 20. Then will return to action a week later versus divisional rival Guelph.