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Monday, January 13, 2014

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I think you have put way too much stock into a good but bot great Clarence team. #2 in wny is a spot for a team that has sectional finals potential. That is rarified air that a team like Clarence wont be ready for again this year. North and Jamestown are the class of the league and there are at least two NFL teams that are better than the Red Devils. Funk is tremendous and I know that they beat North but when the lights come on none of us expect them to be there without a ticket

They earned the stock I put into them by beating Will North, the team you say is better, at Will North. That's not to say North can't or won't be ahead of them by season's end, but for now, Clarence has to be ahead of them.

I couldn't disagree more about there being two NFL teams better. I don't think there are any even close right now. Clarence took care of NT earlier this year. Ken West, who owns a win over Lockport, just got beat by Sweet Home after barely getting past Cardinal O'Hara. Sweet Home lost earlier this year to Iroquois, who Clarence beat by nearly 40.

I think you're selling a one-loss Clarence team short. They have wins over NT, Amherst, & North and at this point, deserve their place in the poll.

Let me add that Clarence is far from a one-man show. Funk is obviously their guy, but this team is well rounded and has good chemistry. Bryan Jost is a very good guard, Emaure Williams is super athletic and flys all over the court for them, and Matt Sadowy is a capable player in the post. The biggest surprise from Clarence this season is the improved play of Elliott Case. He is probably the team's best defender, has added a nice jumper to his game, and has become a leader on the court for them. It sounds like you're basing your opinion of Clarence on last year's team, which was also very good. I think even with the losses of Tanner Schmit and Bobby Florio, the Red Devils are a better team now.

CC, had to read this blog when your tweet said you had a bold proclamation about this year's Canisius team. I thought you'd proclaim them odds on favorite for a state and/or federation title and perhaps that's what you're thinking. Based on what I've seen, read and discussed with others it seems extremely unlikely that they'll be seriously challenged before states.

Clarence at Buff St 2 of last 4 years. Making finals one of those times. Not sure what you mean Dr J. They have been solid the last 5 years. Go Devils.

From what I keep hearing, seems like the poll should be:

1) Canisius' starting 5
2) Canisius' second 5
3) other teams

Is that accurate?

Well let's see, the Crusaders' first five off the bench include:

Josh Huffman, TJ Wheatley, & Patrick MacDonald and you could probably include Andrew Heitzhaus in that mix.

Let's just say I think they would still be a top 10 large school even without their starting five.

I am on board with Red Devils Guest. What has North done? One trip to Buff State with Taplin and lost the semi final game. Jamestown, yes they are good.

This Canisius talk is absurd. Their bench while very good is their bench. The bench couldn't beat a team in the top ten. I have the greatest respect for their program and have been very impressed with their team but this is more than disrespectful to the rest of wny.

Sounds like you haven't seen Canisius play this year. If that is the case it is absurd for you to discuss them. If that is not the case I would like to hear when you saw them play, Doc!

It dont matter who gets ranked 2 b/c the gap between Canisius and every other large school is HUGE!! Besides East is the second best team and they a small school. Olean probably better than every other large school to.

Dr. J,
Why would it be absurd? Last year's "reserves" became the number one school this year. Last year's starters are on to bigger things. Two are playing Division I and two are Division III. Meanwhile the schools you bring up like North and Jamestown brought just about everyone back and sit outside of the top five.

I believe that writing off Sweet Home on the basis of Iroquois' 38 point loss to Clarence is a bit unfair to them. As you may recall, the game was something like 12-7 until Phil Bowen, the heart and soul of that team, received a very questionable 3rd foul towards the end of the 1st quarter. The problem with Iroquois, as is the case with many smaller ECIC teams, they just do not have the depth to match up when their starters are not playing well/get into foul trouble. With him on the bench for most of the 2nd, Clarence scored 34 points or something absurd in that quarter. Now this is not a slight on Clarence, as you mentioned they have a very fine team and most likely would have beaten Iroquois even if he had not been tagged with his third. My point is that Iroquois (who by beat the number 7 small school Fredonia by 12 to reach the finals) is not as terrible as you are seemingly making them out to be.

As Williamsville East’s victory over #3 Saint Mary’s indicate, this sort of rock paper scissors argumentation is very flawed. Does the fact that Williamsville East beat St Mary’s, who beat Clarence by 15, mean that Williamsville East is >15 points better than Clarence? I seriously doubt it.

Which brings me back to Sweet Home. Sweet Home is a very solid program, and has quality wins over programs such as Kenmore West and Williamsville East. They play extremely hard and have great depth. The fact that they lost by 2 off of a last second three by the afore mentioned Bowen (on the road at Iroquois) should not diminish their on court success.

While I realize that your post was more of a defense of Clarence’s ranking, which I believe to be justified, it did seem very snarky towards Sweet Home and the ECIC II in general. With outcomes such as Starpoint defeating Hamburg, Hamburg defeating Williamsville East, Williamsville East defeating Iroquois, Iroquois defeating Sweet Home, this entire division is turning into a very entertaining league. This division is really playing some pretty solid ball, and it should set up for a wild finish. But, as always, come sectionals, we will be able to gauge the true depth and talent in this league, or, conversely, will see if its all a mirage. While I realize that this division has been down for a while, don’t sleep on them. They may come to surprise some teams at Buffalo State.

Totally understand that last years second team is this years dominant team there is a huge difference. Last years starters were seasoned seniors and the bench was young kids. This year those young guys are the starters and the bench is actually older than the starters. While they are very good players to say that they alone are the 2nd best team without a doubt is disrespectful and it isn't even close to being accurate. I am not saying they aren't great players who are great pieces to their team.

It was meant as no slight to Sweet Home or Iroquois for that matter. There was no commentary or opinions given about any schools from a competitive ECIC II, just stating facts - the scores. If anything, I was trying to imply that a substantial Clarence victory over a quality team like Iroquois was impressive.

I was responding to what was a snarky remark when Dr. J said "North and Jamestown are the class of the league and there are at least two NFL teams that are better than the Red Devils." Obviously I disagreed with that opinion and tossed out a couple of scores to evidence a lack of basis for saying that. Your point about St. Mary's & Will East are well taken.


nobody ever said they alone were the 2nd best team without a doubt...now you just making stuff up. The question was asked and cc said they would be a top 10 team w/out starters. Read it again, its all in print above!

@Centercourt- Fair enough. I probably misinterpreted your statement of "Ken West, who owns a win over Lockport, just got beat by Sweet Home after barely getting past Cardinal O'Hara. Sweet Home lost earlier this year to Iroquois, who Clarence beat by nearly 40."

The funky placement of "after" threw me off a bit. I thought you were stating something to the effect of, "Sweet Home, who couldn't even beat O'Hara handily and lost to Iroquois, beat Ken West (Implying all three teams were not very good). After closer reading, now I see what you were saying. My mistake.

I have seen a number of Canisius games this year, as well as most of the other top teams in Section VI and the thing that truly sets Canisius apart are the two sophmores, Trueheart and Washington. Trueheart was at least a 15-20 point difference in both Saturday's game,and the game vs Olean and was a beast against Nazareth. He's been the best big man I've seen in the area (East's Tyson is the only one close).

@PJB How can you forget about Sam from Olean? I've played with him in AAU for the last 3-4 years, he is a great big man.

Any word on if Tyson will be playing this week against McKinley?

Apologize for any snarkiness. Clarence owns 2 Buff St appearances including win at NF in the playoffs, something no one else has. I am just waiting for them to take the next step. I have felt that losing Tanner hurt them enough to keep them from being in that top level of AA. It will be interesting and all of the AA playoffs should be exciting. Buffalo State should be more exciting than ever. Please accept my apology and I will remove the snarkiness from my thoughts

It's all good, led to some great conversation yesterday.

@East

I've seen Sam play a number of times and although he a very good player , the game against Canisius this year he was over matched by Trueheart's athleticism and was a non factor, the neutralization of Eckstrom by Trueheart was huge factor in the Canisius win. Having said that I did not see Sam on some of his better efforts this year (i.e. Kearney and Greece Athena)and I have seen him play much better in previous games. My point is not that Sam is not a very good player but rather that Trueheart is playing at an extremely high level.

CLARENCE player who flies under the radar is #34 Harroff...difference maker as most physical player on the team and a force in the paint. Had a huge game vs w.north and lancaster

Well, the mighty Canisius falls to a familiar foe to local teams in BK. Canisius has of course beaten Olean handily...Olean beat BK handily and now BK defeats Canisius in a fairly tight game. So, taking into account East's big win at AQ and Olean's loss at AQ, the question must be raised of who is the better team...East or Canisius?

Fortunately, we will have a good measuring stick with both teams playing McKinley this week.

I guess they should have let the Canisius second team play more and then they would have won the game. I love Canisius and North and Jamestown, Olean, McKinley etc. Point being I love all of the great teams, hard working kids and the game itself. BUT lets not put the best teams on such a pedestal. They are young men and they have great days and not so great days.

Canisius is in a league of their own. They get the top players in the area and from Canada. They should go to an independent schedule and maybe not be considered for WNY top ten. Publics and even privates around here cannot compete with a school where the best talent flocks to, no matter where they live. Recruiting or no recruiting. They are like a prep school. Rank them in the USA today top preps then.

Canisius has never even won a CHSAA state championship and they just lost at Bishop Kearney, the same place Olean won by 20. They finished in a tie for first place in the large school poll last season. While I hold the Crusaders in very high regard, we're not talking about '05 Niagara Falls.

Guest

I agree with CC, Canisius is a very good program, but they have what I would consider two elite players for this area (the two sophmores) and some good complimentary players around them, so I don't know that the "best talent flocks" there. There are plenty of other players in WNY that would be significant contributors at Canisius if they played there.I think Buffalo East at full strength would give them everything they could handle, unfortunately we will never know.

Canisius has struggled on a statewide basis in the playoffs in the past couple years and at BK this year. They were not even dominant in WNY play prior to two years ago.It's not like they have won the last 10 MMA Championships let alone State titles. To say that they would compete with the best Prep School teams or USA Today elite teams is not true. Elite Prep programs have at least a couple of top 100 talents in the country and 5-10 Division I kids on their rosters.

Confused as to why CHS thinks North and Jamestown brought everyone back… they both lost significant players.

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