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  #61  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 12:42 AM
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We have great coaches here (according to Triano)
And here's one who started in the AUS

Canadian coach turning heads in NBA circles
Donnovan Bennett Sportsnet.ca July 16 2015

Scott Morrison is not supposed to be here, in a room filled with Hall of Famers and millionaire athletes. Morrison is supposed to be watching them from home, not making Las Vegas his residence for the next two weeks while they watch him. Yet, somehow, Morrison beat the odds. That’s because he didn’t believe that a kid from Morell, PEI isn’t supposed to amount to much in the game of basketball.

Morrison is currently coaching the NBA Developmental League select team at the NBA’s Summer League. It’s an honour that was bestowed on him as a reward for being named the NBADL’s Coach of the Year. For Morrison it’s been a long road but quick ascension. And it’s no coincidence he’s showcasing his talents in Vegas, because Morrison has been betting on himself for years.

After a playing career at UPEI that saw him hit an AUS-record 220 three pointers in his career, the coaching bug that had been passed on by his father, himself a long-time coach at UPEI, bit Morrison.

In 2002 Morrison took over coaching duties with the Dalhousie Tigers women’s team. His dad, George, was a fine coach at UPEI in his own right, leading the Panthers to three conference titles in the 1980s. Morrison could have been fine just to follow his father’s legacy but instead he followed his heart and ventured to Thunder Bay to turn around the Lakehead program. With little money, exposure, and talent in the local area it wasn’t an attractive job to start. When he was hired, Lakehead was the worst team in the country. When he left they had reached four consecutive national tournaments, all while building a basketball culture that made “the thunder dome” one of the toughest places to play in he country.

Yet desperate for professional development he bet on himself again and took a sabbatical from his job at Lakehead to help out with D-League’s Maine Red Claws, an affiliate of the Boston Celtics. He assumed it would lead to a pro opportunity in the future and that he’d head back to Lakehead better for the experience. As fate would have it, the existing coach, Mike Taylor, was fired and Morrison’s all-hands-on-deck attitude led management to believe he was the right man to trust with the Celtics future prospects.

In just his first year in the NBADL, Morrison led the Red Claws to the best record in their conference and earned a coaching spot in the league’s all-star game, which takes place in conjunction with the NBA all-star game.

Despite all the success, Morrison knows he hasn’t hit the jackpot yet. “Although I’m close to the NBA,” he says, “I still feel I’m far away and have a lot to learn. It’s just that under dog mentality that I get from the Island. But I do ask myself ‘Why not?’ Work hard and shoot for the stars”.

His aspirations in the game are large, stating that his two goals are to coach in the NBA, and for Canada at the Olympics. “Even when I’m working with the junior national team, I get a sense of pride when I pull that maple leaf on my chest. It means as much to me— if not more— than anything I’m doing [at Summer League]. In fact everything I’m doing here I’m trying to represent Canada.”

With the Red Claws last season, Morrison commanded the respect of NBA-level talent like Canadian Dwight Powell and Celtics 2014 first-round pick James Young. Here at Summer League he’s getting it from former 2nd overall pick Hasheem Thabeet and Taylor Griffin, brother of Blake, and a former standout at Oklahoma. Despite his passport and distinct Island accent, the affable Morrison’s communicates with his players effectively thanks to his passion and dry, self-deprecating wit.

After the NBADL season wraps Morrison heads to Boston, taking up a desk among the organizations’ analytics staff, helping out where he can with scouting. There is no offseason for the maniacal preparer. “Every year I want to study something,” says Morrison. “Whether its paint touches, to three’s and how they are created, to how best to defend the pick and roll. Every year I want to dial down and really study something.”

Although he didn’t have Steve Nash to look to like this generation’s great players did, he had have Jay Triano. It was a figure Morrison could point to and ask himself “If him, why not me?” at the sight of Triano on an NBA bench. The goal is to get NBA evaluators to themselves the same question. Why not Morrison?

Which is what makes summer league so unique: Not only is it a proving ground for the players, but the coaches are being scouted and evaluated, too. And so far Morrison has impressed; his group of D-League select players enter the 24-team tournament as a six-seed.

All Morrison wants is a chance. He gambled to get here, and it’s paid off. Yet it’s the dues he paid during him time in Morel, Halifax, and Thunder Bay that are getting him paid now. His story offers a stark reminder that in the dog eat dog world of pros sports the smart play is betting on yourself. With the amount of heads he’s turning at the Las Vegas summer league Morrison is already getting a return on his investment.

“Success breeds success,” Morrison says. “Canada has great coaches—not just great players. As the players have success people down south will start to wonder who are training these guys. As guys like me have success hopefully I can help inspire the guys coming up behind me. If we keep knocking on the door we can break it down together”.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 1:37 AM
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Your point about Toronto support for the Raptors is well taken also. Although they're drawing well, I don't believe that there's any great groundswell of support, any more than that Torontonians suddenly became great baseball fans last fall. A winning team in an American league is simply the place to be, and the Raptors are winning.
You don't have a clue what you're talking about. Toronto has turned into a second-tier basketball talent factory (first tier being New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, North Carolina and Florida, obviously) in the last decade because of the groundswell of Raptor fandom created by the presence of Vince Carter back in the last decade. Basketball is legitimately part of Toronto's DNA now.

And you can't blame people in the city for getting excited about the Raptors. Toronto has had no championships since 1993, and before that it was 1967. People are starved for some sporting success. Sure, the fondest wish would be for the Leafs to do something, anything, but, well...

And you can't blame people for getting excited about something that's so close to being the best in the world, which is what the Raptors are now. They are now the fourth best basketball team in the world, and two of their players are actually from the city (though one of them is pretty much a bust, and doesn't play).

Who wouldn't be ecstatic about that?

Right now Philadelphia has the worst team in the league, and the crowds are abysmal, but nobody is saying that Philadelphia isn't a basketball hotbed. That's where Kyle Lowry grew up, after all.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 2:14 AM
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Originally Posted by elly63 View Post
Listen to the interview above with Dave Smart as he schools Bob McCown who has his head so far up American ass that he is woefully uninformed of what is actually happening here and in the USA.

Bob McCown has a dual citizenship and was born in the USA.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 3:37 AM
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Bob McCown has a dual citizenship and was born in the USA.
I happened upon his show the other night in the car when I tuned into an Ottawa sports radio station. I could have swore it was an American show and actually thought it was until he said ''Good night from Toronto".

It's not the only one like this of course.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 3:39 AM
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Bob McCown has a dual citizenship and was born in the USA.
Yes, I know, but he grew up in Scarborough (born in Cleveland) I used to be a regular listener until the Rogers influence took over.

He has on the same American guests all the time, who mean what to us? What the hell do writers for the Boston Globe and USA Today have to contribute to a supposedly Canadian talk show?

Another guy said it best. Why do we have this middleman telling us about American sports when we can go right to the source ie Jim Rome.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 3:40 AM
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Yes, I know, but he grew up in Scarborough (born in Cleveland) I used to be a regular listener until the Rogers influence took over.

He has on the same American guests all the time, who mean what to us? What the hell do writers for the Boston Globe and USA Today have to contribute to a supposedly Canadian talk show?

Another guy said it best. Why do we have this middleman telling us about American sports when we can go right to the source ie Jim Rome.
That other guy was me!
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 3:46 AM
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You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Toronto has had no championships since 1993, and before that it was 1967.
For the non poseurs amongst us: Argos 96/97/2004/2012. You know the mickey mouse bush league that has top ten average game attendance of any league in the world and 3 times higher TV ratings for regular season games as the Raptors. You know the league the wannabes deny, that one.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 3:47 AM
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That other guy was me!
Well, it was a friggin' brilliant observation.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 4:03 AM
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For the record, I don't have any issue at all with them giving the Raptors, TFC or Blue Jays coverage. Heck, I don't have an issue with NFL or NCAA coverage either.

What I do have an issue with though is when they give zero coverage to Canadian stuff, or relegate it to a passing mention at the end of a sportscast.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 4:06 AM
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More Canadian basketball history from the NFB

Shooting Stars
Allan Stein, 1987, 49 min 33s

This documentary uses frequent dramatic re-enactments to trace the tale of the Edmonton Grads women's basketball team, which was formed in 1915 and disbanded in 1940. During that time, the team was Canadian Champion (1922-1940), North American Champion (1923-1940), and World Champion (1924-1940). Their phenomenal record of 502 wins and 20 losses remains unrivalled by any team in any sport. Shooting Stars is a thorough historical look at female athletes in an era when sports were a man’s game.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 4:14 AM
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I just learned tonight while reading this thread that my metro area has two of the top three university basketball teams in the country.

Yet I've never heard of this until now and every time I listen to Ottawa sports radio stations if they talk college hoops (either local shows or national shows out of Toronto) I am always hearing about Villanova or Texas or whatever.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 4:38 AM
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Is Canadian university basketball better than it used to be? When I got into hoops back in the 1980s it wasn't any good. Nobody I knew who liked hoops watched anything other than NBA or NCAA ball, because there was no point.

But if it is actually getting better, then it's a shame that the sports shows aren't covering them. I don't watch sports commentary or news, so I don't what's going on with this. Can anyone share a link to a Canadian sports broadcast showing that Canadian university basketball gets shortchanged?
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 4:39 AM
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Looking at CIS attendance figures for proof of Toronto being a "real" basketball city doesn't make any sense. College sports are simply not a big part of the culture here.

I think a better barometer would be participation rates in the sport, particularly amongst those who play it competitively at the high school level. Would anyone have any numbers for that?
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 4:43 AM
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Originally Posted by elly63 View Post
For the non poseurs amongst us: Argos 96/97/2004/2012. You know the mickey mouse bush league that has top ten average game attendance of any league in the world and 3 times higher TV ratings for regular season games as the Raptors. You know the league the wannabes deny, that one.
Seriously? Heh heh, I honestly had no idea. But we've gone through this on this thread a hundred times, and it is what it is: the Argos championships don't resonate in the same way.

I find it hard to believe that that the Argos have higher TV ratings than the Raptors. Where are the numbers?

Edit: I see they do when it comes to individual games. Obviously not cumulative overall, as the CFL plays what, 12 or 16 games? So you can't compare that to 82 NBA games in a season. But still, yeah, the Argos did indeed get higher TV ratings than the Raptors did in this link:

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh...202016791.html

1. NHL, Canucks-Leafs/Avs-Habs/Jets-Preds, Saturday, CBC-Sportsnet: 1,990,000
2. CFL, Argonauts at Tiger-Cats, Sunday, TSN: 865,000
3. CFL, Lions at Stampeders, Sunday, TSN: 836,000
4. NHL, Oilers at Kings, Saturday, CBC: 705,000
5. NHL, Maple Leafs at Rangers, Sunday, Sportsnet: 677,000
6. NFL, Dolphins-Eagles/Lions-Pack/Saints-Skins, Sunday, CTV: 642,000
7. NFL, Pats-Giants/Chiefs-Broncos, Sunday, CTV: 574,000
8. Curling, Grand Slam National women's quarters, Saturday, Sportsnet: 412,000
9. NFL, Cardinals at Seahawks, Sunday, TSN: 393,000 (NBC audience not measured)
10. Curling, Grand Slam National men's final, Sunday, CBC: 363,000
11. Curling, Grand Slam National women's final, Sunday, Sportsnet: 338,000
12. Figure Skating, ISU Grand Prix, Saturday, CBC: 296,000
13. Curling, Grand Slam National semifinals, Saturday, Sportsnet: 282,000
14. Curling, Grand Slam National, men's quarters, Saturday, CBC: 262,000
15. NBA, Pelicans at Raptors, Friday, TSN: 231,000

Huh. Go figure. The Raptors can't even outdraw curling! That's actually cool, though, curling being an indigenous Canadian sport. I mean, I could never watch it myself, but I'm actually happy to see something homegrown doing so comparatively well.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 5:17 AM
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^I'm glad you're being reasonable about this and I know I come across as a jerk sometimes about this stuff, but you really have to hammer it home sometimes to get the truth out there. A lot of people are operating in a world of myth like we did in 1972 when we played the Russians and then they hammered the point in to us.

You say Canada basketball wasn't good in the 80's. Says who? You just weren't exposed to it. I saw the AUAA back then and they were mostly all good teams. Like isaidso, I was a Dal Tiger guy back then, the UVic Vikings could have played in MM easily.

Canadians want to see Canadians, I honestly don't know why we are being fed a steady stream of American sports unless it's to cater to a large area that is still buying into a myth from the 80s.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 5:19 AM
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/big curling fan here

Okay, I don't really follow it by tracking the who's who. I just watch it whenever I can. Tracking the who's who kills the fun in watching it.

Back to basketball.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 5:38 AM
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But if it is actually getting better, then it's a shame that the sports shows aren't covering them. I don't watch sports commentary or news, so I don't what's going on with this. Can anyone share a link to a Canadian sports broadcast showing that Canadian university basketball gets shortchanged?
It's kind of difficult to show a link to something that doesn't get covered at all, forget shortchanged. We've even got to the point that a loathsome company like Rogers will not cover (or worse denigrates) a property they don't own, thus denying its existence.

Remember this from two years ago: "in an exhibition game last August, the Carleton Ravens lost in overtime to the now number one ranked US college team Syracuse (who ironically have a Canadian youth NT freshman starting for them). In that same tournament the Ravens beat perennial MM team Wisconsin

That was the same Wisconsin team that lost by one point in the MM semi final. And for our folks still living the myth both NCAA teams played their best players.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 6:18 AM
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I don't watch sports commentary or news, so I don't what's going on with this.
You definitely aren't missing anything. As a former media guy I like the late Joe Frazier's take on radio. Before he came to Philadelphia he was from South Carolina and spoke their local dialect, he would pronounce the word radio as rude-e-o. I think that's about right today.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 8:08 AM
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I just learned tonight while reading this thread that my metro area has two of the top three university basketball teams in the country.

Yet I've never heard of this until now and every time I listen to Ottawa sports radio stations if they talk college hoops (either local shows or national shows out of Toronto) I am always hearing about Villanova or Texas or whatever.
Yes, and Carleton has been so for the last decade...and have beaten a number of NCAA majors in that time. Ottawa's star has risen more recently but CIS basketball is overall at a very high level. My Alma Mater (U of L) is knocking on the door of a top ten ranking for the first time in years.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2016, 8:14 AM
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^I'm glad you're being reasonable about this and I know I come across as a jerk sometimes about this stuff, but you really have to hammer it home sometimes to get the truth out there. A lot of people are operating in a world of myth like we did in 1972 when we played the Russians and then they hammered the point in to us.

You say Canada basketball wasn't good in the 80's. Says who? You just weren't exposed to it. I saw the AUAA back then and they were mostly all good teams. Like isaidso, I was a Dal Tiger guy back then, the UVic Vikings could have played in MM easily.

Canadians want to see Canadians, I honestly don't know why we are being fed a steady stream of American sports unless it's to cater to a large area that is still buying into a myth from the 80s.
Agreed, anyone who says Canadian basketball wasn't any good in the eighties either wasn't there or wasn't paying attention. UVic was an awesome program under Ken Shields (and so was the womens' team under his wife Kathy) and the 1983 Universiade should have been the breakthrough....but after Donahue left the program, it lost its way. There were a lot of stories around about the almost criminally incompetent Canada Basketball but I don't know how true they were.
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