NPH CIS Team Previews: Guelph Gryphons

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Is this the season that proves that the previous two have been worth it for the Guelph Gryphons?

Guelph Gryphons

Head coach: Chris O’Rourke 4204_guelph_gryphons-primary-2011

Record in 2014: 8-11 (Third in OUA Central division)

Playoffs: OUA preliminary round

Points scored per game: 72.9

Points allowed per game: 75.1

Key players: Daniel Dooley, Andrew Grant, Drew Walford, Taylor Boers

Key losses: Trevor Thompson, Michel Clark

Schedule breakdown:

The Guelph Gryphons play in as egalitarian a division as there is in Ontario: the McMaster Marauders have excelled, but the three other OUA Central teams are relatively equal. “Hopefully we continue on this upswing,” head coach Chris O’Rourke tells NPH. “Top to bottom, this is a very strong division. It’s a grind.” The month of February will be the actual grind: Guelph will play eight games down the stretch after a calm month of January. The division doesn’t have the same disparity of a division like, say, the OUA East, and O’Rourke believes any advantage counts—for example, the new deal with Rogers  TV Cable 20. “It’s important to have that community support and to be on community television,” he says. “It’s a better looking product than it’s ever been.”

Key games: at Lakehead Thunderwolves, Nov. 6 and 7

                     at Brock, Jan. 27; VS Brock, Feb. 27

CBG’s take: headshot_2_Dooley_Daniel

Head coach Chris O’Rourke hopes this season is when the previous two will prove to have been worth it: the Guelph Gryphons “have been rebuilding,” he concedes, and the core enters its third season. “It’s been trial by fire,” he says. “We made a commitment to play them as rookies and have them learn the hard way.”

Though you never stop to learn, O’Rourke hopes that his players can managed to turn these teachings into lessons that translate into an improvement in Guelph’s record. He says the early signs have been positive. “We can see the difference in the culture, in the attitude, in the maturity of these young guys,” he says. “We had a tremendous summer of working out together, training together, watching film together.”

Now, they need to improve their consistency together. Point guard Daniel Dooley will need to get the engine humming. “Defensively, he’s making the progress that we want,” O’Rourke says. “He’s certainly our key as far as the point guard who distributes and makes other guys better.”

With a possible defensive anchor in Kingslee D’Silva, the versatility of Andrew Grant and the shooting touch of Taylor Boers, Guelph has the roster to meet its goal. “Hosting a home playoff game,” O’Rourke says, “and winning it would be a huge step forward for us.”

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