By SooToday.com Staff
Friday, February 04, 2011
Algoma University Thunderbirds earn national ranking
Big wins over Humber and Sheridan propel men to number 13 in the nation
SAULT STE. MARIE - (February 4) - The Algoma University Thunderbirds Men's Basketball team enters this weekend's matchups with the Lambton Lions and the St. Clair Saints with a bit more recognition than they're used to.
The men rode weekend wins over the previously undefeated Humber Hawks and the Sheridan Bruins to a number 13 ranking in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA), the first national ranking in the team's history.
They also moved up from 8th to 4th in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) provincial rankings.
Humber slid from second in the nation to fifth, and Sheridan dropped two spots nationally, from tenth to twelfth.
"We were a better team than our record showed at the break," said Thomas Cory, head coach, of his team's performance in the first half of the season. "We lost three close games at home early in the season...we could have just as easily been 7 and 2, but instead we were 4 and 5. It's nice to see that our hard work has paid off."
Cory admits that the return to the lineup of 6'10" forward Tylor Hynd, and the addition of 6'8" guard DJ Wright have both helped.
"Tylor is a force at the low post, and many teams we face have no answer for his size and scoring ability. DJ has been terrific for us, bringing the ball up the floor, shooting from outside, and taking on a positive leadership role both on- and off-court. The bottom line, though, is that as a team we're playing better basketball all around."
The Thunderbirds are looking forward to adding to the wins column and moving further up the rankings this weekend, but are being careful not to look too far ahead towards the OCAA Championships, which they will host here at the Essar Centre in March.
"There's a lot of basketball to be played between now and then," says Cory. "If we play the way we can, we think we've got the ability to make a good run here at home in March."
But there are no guarantees that the Thunderbirds will even be in the tournament, as the OCAA does not provide a bye for the host team.
"The competition is pretty good," Cory says. "And after last weekend, we're not going to be underdogs for long. We'll have to earn our spot."
About Algoma University
Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in psychology, computer science, business administration, fine arts, community economic and social development, and biology in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton and Timmins.
As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture.
Algoma University has launched is Essential Elements Campaign to expand its campus and offer more scholarships and awards to students.
To learn more about Algoma University, visit www.algomau.ca.