Lakehead's basketball programs will touch down in our nation's capital this weekend for games against Ottawa (Friday) and Carleton (Saturday).
The last time Lakehead played the Gee Gees was in the OUA playoff third place game, in which the Thunderwolves shocked Ottawa in their home gym to win and move on to the big dance at the CIS Final 8. Ottawa no doubt has not forgotten and will be gunning to reclaim their home court. Although the Gee Gees have lost All Star Josh Gibson-Bascombe to graduation, they have re-loaded with newcomers Johnny Berhanemeskel and Luc Minani who have been putting up good numbers so far this season. Returning studs Warren Ward and Jacob Gibson-Bascombe are significant threats, as Gibson-Bascombe shoots well from the perimeter, and Ward can score in bunches (29 points against LU in their last match up). One notable performance in the last Ottawa-LU game was that of LU's Anthony MacIntosh, an Ottawa native, but who is out for the season this year due to injury. Fellow Ottawa native and LU's starting point guard, Greg Carter (OUA west defensive player of the year), will be looking to have another successful homecoming on the court.
For Saturday's matchup against Carleton, Lakehead is looking to take the battle to the Ravens' home court. LU was victorious over Carleton last year in the Thunderdome, and hopes to knock off the OUA East's top team, as the Ravens presently sit at 6-0 this season. The Ravens' Elliot Thompson and Mike Kenny provide veteran leadership and consistent scoring. Cole Hobin and Tyson Hinz anchor the 3-4 spot and can defend and score in a number of ways. Newcomer Philip Scrubb is one of the top freshmen in the country and has led Carleton in scoring a number of games. It will be essential for LU to play great team defense, as Carleton possesses many scoring threats and presents a balanced scoring attack. Both LU and Carleton are currently among the leaders in protecting the ball this season, as the two teams have committed among the fewest turnovers in the country.
Coach Scott Morrison welcomes the challenge in this weekend trip that will be the biggest so far this season:
"We hope to have a first semester 'peak' heading into our toughest back-to-back yet this season. Ottawa is a well-rounded team that has suffered much in terms of injuries and tough luck. They look to be 100% and thus capable of beating any team in the country. Carleton is already the best team in the CIS and come more prepared to play than any team in history. It should be obvious to all involved how important our four days of practice will be this week."
Fans not able to make it to Ottawa for the games can catch the action on the SSN Network,www.ssncanada.ca