HAMILTON,ON–Debate stirs up regularly at North Pole Hoops; whether over player rankings, the country’s best teams or predictions on tournament outcomes…and the list goes on. Multiple perspectives often bring us to a conclusive statement that begets discussion among basketball fans in Canada.
Silver Fox Prediction
Today, the formulated hypothesis is that St. Francis (St. Catherines, ON) will win the long lasting and prestigious Silver Fox Championship going on in Hamilton this weekend. Many factors came into play when taking this position, but the biggest is that the St. Francis Phoenix have arguably the best Canadian prospect from the 2017 class, Abu Kigab.
Kigab is an eleventh grader that has been in our database since entering high school. His stock has risen tremendously since then, as he has grown in height and is developing into a two guard that can score in a variety of ways and create for teammates.
The prediction of St. Francis taking it all is not entirely based off of the fact that they have Abu, actually it’s far from it, but a huge factor indeed.
Coaching, check. Accountability, check. High IQ, check. Unselfish play, check.
The intangibles checked off above give them a large advantage coming into the tournament because asides from number #1 ranked St. Michael’s (Toronto, ON) there are no other teams that encompass those traits.
To add, there is a host of talented players including; Cele Kasamba, Lucas Olsthoorn and a few other pieces who play within their roles and execute often.
While Kigab has been receiving NCAA attention, as well as being looked at by the National Team Program he takes the humble approach and says that his team has everything to do with his recent success.
This is the type of player we have before us and this is the type of team opponents will run into at Silver Fox.
Hamilton Rival – MacNab Edges Out Cathedral
In the opening game of the tournament last night between MacNab and Cathedral, it went down to the final minute before MacNab walked away with a 75-70 win.
Cathedral’s full court pressure in the second half kept them within seven points and forced their city rival to cough up the pill on several occasions.
Cathedral guard Kareem Collins did everything in his power to try and get the W. He had 29 points and 5 steals in this contest. Collins has been carrying Cathedral in every tournament and has has done so while playing through nagging injuries.
The fire power on MacNab proved to be too much for their city rival. The MacNab Lions have many pieces that can space out the floor and launch three balls with great accuracy.
Justin Andrews and Sam Jenkins are two of the sharp shooters for the Lions. They finished with 10 and 20 points respectively, with other smaller contributions from Antoine Vernon, Khaleem Bennett and Shai Alexander.
With big man Brandon Kenyon adjusting to the speed of senior level basketball this is a team that is going to be most dangerous next season. Sure, they’ll make a strong push this season based off of guard play and scoring options, but it won’t compare to the product that the Lions will have on the floor during the 2015-2016 campaign.
Brebeuf Knocks Out Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi looked to be in trouble from the first quarter. They lost to Brebeuf 65-43.
Brebeuf’s ball movement gave them opens looks and the sniper Jan Fatardo took advantage of Corpus Christi’s slow rotations on defense. Fatardo went 5-6 from the three point line.
Brebeuf guard Mike Hamilton was all over the boards and got his hands in the passing lanes for steals. His fourth quarter was particularly the strongest, pouring in 12 points and totaling for 18.
Plain and simple, Corpus Christi’s star Simi Shittu does not receive enough touches. The biggest problem for Corpus Christi right now is that their offense is stagnant and their guards try to do too much off the dribble.
In last night’s loss to Brebeuf they were very inefficient and turned it over a bunch. With an option like Shittu on the floor, he needs to touch the ball on every possession which will attract secondary defense to slide and help, then creating opportunities for teammates.