SYDNEY, NS–While the perennial power, Carleton Ravens remain undefeated (15-0) and UBC, (16-2) Trinity Western, (16-2) Saskatchewan (13-3) all flirt with CANWEST supremacy; something special could be brewing on the opposite end of the nation.
Located in the far East, awaits a worthy AUS power known as the Cape Breton Capers. This unit possesses all the components of a championship team: leadership, talent, depth and ambition.
“We’re a veteran team; our goals are to finish first place in the AUS and repeat as AUS champions,” Cape Breton Head Coach, Jim Charters explained, without hesitation.
CBU opened the 2010-2011 season winning six straight to enter the Christmas break undefeated. (6-0)
However, following the holidays, Charters’ unit hit a minor speed bump, suffering a tough loss to Dalhousie 93-79. To their defence, the team had practically just landed from a strenous trip in Beijing, China where they competed in three exhibition games, returning to limited practice time.
Starting 6’4 senior shooting guard, Paris Carter admits the group was temporarily playing out of rhythm and had entered the second term a little sluggish.
Coach Charters echoed similar sentiments, “We hadn’t practiced in six weeks, we expected not play our best at that point.”
“We just needed more practice time in order to get into rhythm due to tough travel schedule.”
Following the Caper’s only loss of the season, they have bounced back strong collecting three vital victories over Dalhousie, and in dramatic fashion, defeating conference rival St. FX in double overtime!
“We’ve been hot…no question about it and it’s encouraging. All credit to the guys, but at the same time we have to continue getting into the gym and working,” professed Charters.
This team plays an intense brand of basketball, forcing opponents into distress, causing turnovers at a high rate. CBU currently ranks third in the nation in steals, (10.9) while filling the basket effortlessly, scoring 87.2 PPG, good for eighth in the CIS.
“We want teams to be concerned with our fast break and uptempo style of play,” stated Charters.
Led by the vibrant trio of Jimmy Dorsey, Paris Carter and Phillip Nkrumah, the Capers will look to run on every opportunity that presents itself, making them a tough team to keep up with.
“We want to make teams pay when forcing up bad shots”
Playing in a relatively strong conference, (AUS) the Capers have been matched up with worthy competition all season long and seem to be ready for what non-conference teams have to offer.
“We’re just like the Miami Heat, when we get our flow. no one can stop us,” Paris Carter colourfully stated.
CBU has come a long way in terms of development and while they are definitely not the “Heatles,” the squad is ready for anything the CIS has to throw up at nationals. (hosted in Nova Scotia)
If they are able to qualify for the CIS Final 8, it will be a special event, playing in front of the home crowd.
“We are so pumped up, it’s going to be crazy in Hali,” said Carter.
Could it be a fairy tail ending for the home team? Will the Capers ride their hot streak and punch a ticket to the big dance?
We shall see.
Follow Tariq Sbiet on Twitter: @Tsbiet
Photo Courtesy: Caper Times/WGO