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Old 02-07-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
Durbansandshark
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Today being Canada Day here in North America. I think this will be a perfect time for me to launch a new thread regarding the epicenter city of Canada, especially English Canada, that is without a doubt also the epicenter of Canadian basketball for decades. Where the best and deepest Canadian basketball talent hail from. Where that city enjoys the NBA with two franchises in its history (Huskies in 1945, Raptors since 1995) and its current one since 1995. Where it has THREE CIS schools with a basketball program all playing in the OUA.

This is where we will talk about the Toronto Raptors, of course. We can talk about the Toronto-area NBL Canada teams from the western side of the GTA like the Brampton A's and the Mississauga (formerly Oshawa) Power, though those will still get plenty of mention on the ABA/PBL/NBL Canada thread. All discussions about Canadian College Hoops will remain there, unless that can be expanded if it involves York, Ryerson, and Toronto. There will be profiles into several Toronto players. We can include the Toronto-based CCAA schools from Humbert and Seneca. Very possible we'll tap into Toronto's surprising basketball history like with the obscure Toronto Tornadoes from the CBA and the 1994 FIBA World Basketball Championships that it co-hosted with nearby Hamilton. Among many things.

As already mentioned here on these boards, now is perhaps the greatest time for Toronto basketball in its history. We are witnessing a basketball boom in Canada with the Ontario capital city of Toronto definitely at the forefront with its rich, diverse, and multicultural population. We have recently witnessed several players from Toronto get drafted into the NBA in the last few years like #1 picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, Corey Joseph, Tyler Ennis, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Nicholson, and Nik Stauskas. This wave plans to raise Canadian basketball to new heights and it's exciting to see this young crop succeed!

To start off things, I'll post this great Eric Kosteen's National Post article reporting the rise of Toronto basketball since Phil Dixon became a highly-regarded recruit from there since 1988 becoming the epicenter of Canadian basketball actually before then. Just after Bennett became the Cavs #1 draft pick last year overall. Things became more accessible for basketball starting then and having better opportunities since:
http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/10/12/176655/
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:28 AM   #2
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Great move Toronto, in bringing back Kyle Lowry with a 4-year $44mil contract. He's strong and fast as a guard. Will make Toronto better next season with another Atlantic Division title and a deeper playoff run:
http://www.thestar.com/sports/basket...le_lowry.html#

And bringing back Patrick Patterson too:
http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptor...patterson.html
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #3
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yeah, those moves and the ATL trade are going some way to making up for what seems like an odd draft day. your thoughts on bruno durban?
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesuc jexus View Post
yeah, those moves and the ATL trade are going some way to making up for what seems like an odd draft day. your thoughts on bruno durban?
You know, I haven't thought all that much of the young Brazilian. Toronto certainly would need someone in the frontcourt to take pressure off Jonas Valenncinius. But Bruno's such a raw unknown to me, more so arguably than Capela and Saric, I need more time to learn about him. Plus, he's younger--a teenager.

Hope he won't be another Rafael Aruajo.
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Old 22-07-2014, 11:21 AM   #5
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Did say the Toronto area-based NBL Canada teams with the Brampton A's and the Mississauga Power will get plenty of mention here. Brampton was one of the best teams in the league this past season, really well for an expansion team. Mississauga barely made the playoffs for its debut in it (including its start in Oshawa for two seasons), but with Montreal dropped out for now everyone in the Central Division advanced.

Fanside SI blog for Toronto, Tip of the Tower, has Ryan Greco doing his part to help sports fans uncover hidden gems like NBL Canada and Brampton and Mississauga with great atmosphere at the A's Powerade Centre home whenever the A's and the Power get together there for fun, affordable high-energy pro basketball.
http://tipofthetower.com/2014/07/21/...o-sports-gems/
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Old 17-08-2014, 01:05 AM   #6
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Raptors release their 2014-15 NBA regular season schedule as part of its second We The North campaign and in their defense of their Atlantic Division title. They'll be on ESPN, TNT, and NBATV around 8 times during the season, with NBATV being its most frequent place. In Canada, all 82 games will be shown live on the TSN and Rogers Sportsnet channels:
http://www.nba.com/raptors/schedule

If you haven't been following NBL Canada in the past three seasons, you should. I largely do it there on the ABA and PBL thread. But, with two franchises based in the GTA, NBL Canada released its own 2014-15 schedule earlier than the NBA did. On the western part of Toronto, the Brampton A's and the Mississauga Power engage in another showdown as the rivals, seemingly separated by the Lester B. Pearson International Airport with Brampton the northernmost city of the two. Both face off at Brampton's Powerade Centre on November 1 and later again at Mississauga's Hershey Centre 12 days later as the Power's Annual School Day Game at 11am Canada/US EST (10am Canada/US CST) as the first two of eight regular season games for those two.
http://www.mississauga.com/sports-st...-a-s-showdown/
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Old 24-08-2014, 03:55 AM   #8
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Tip Of The Tower ranks all 5 of the Toronto Raptors GMs from Isiah Thomas to Masai Ujiri. I thought Ujiri would be a bit higher than he is here...
http://tipofthetower.com/2014/08/19/...s-ranking-gms/
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Old 28-08-2014, 05:06 AM   #9
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At least Andrew and Anthony will still be reasonably close to the Canadian border (Manitoba, in this case) even while riding down the iconic giant Minnesota State Fair slide being in the Twin Cities:
http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/news...ves-state-fair
http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/gall...-photo-gallery

That planned 68,000sq ft Raptors CNE Exhibition Place practice facility that turned contentous with the location and funding from the Ford brothers looks like it's going to be a reality. Thanks to the Toronto City Council:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toront...ncil-1.2746164
http://globalnews.ca/news/1522425/ra...ll-tournament/
http://www.blogto.com/sports_play/20...ill_look_like/
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:15 AM   #10
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Toronto Raptors unviels its new basketball court at the Air Canada Centre for the upcoming season on Twitter. I like it a lot--with We The North incorporated along it. However, those 3D baseline signages below the net are now gone and could have been kept. Court's a bit similiar to NBL Canada's Brampton A's home basketball court at the Powerade Centre on the west side of Toronto, if you ever seen that on NBL Canada webstreams.
https://twitter.com/Raptors/status/509444929324457984

Toronto has two representatives right now in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup--I still call it the FIBA World Basketball Championship--All Star DeMar DeRozan dons the red, white, and blue of Team USA Basketball with his big man teammate Jonas Valanciunas playing for basketball-mad Lithuania as its leading scorer and rebounder. And those two will face off in the semis!

Brampton A's acquire former York University Lions All-Canadian David Tynsdale, hailing from rival neighbor Mississauga, making him Brampton's third CIS player in its 2 years of existence it signed in the club's commitment to get plenty iof quality Canadian talent and not just to fill up the required 4 Canadians per roster.
http://bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/1000...-as-new-signee

Days later it brings in another top Canadian talent in Richard Amardi who played at Oregon. A 6'9" player with athleticism and PG skills to further boosts Brampton's 3-point shooting and attempts, which led NBL Canada last season.
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...anadian-player

And it makes its own history within NBL Canada by hiring the league's own full-time female assistant coach in naming Jacki Tipping into Dave Magley's coaching staff:
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...ssistant-coach

Brampton's ticket info at the Powerade Centre:
http://www.bramptonas.ca/14515/tickets

How did its southern NBL Canada rivals the Mississauga Power did with its own draft selection? Well, it aimed for players to keep and better point guard quality and depth in addition with size after Toronto native Alex Johnson, first ever Canadian selected overall at #1 last year, for new coach Kyle Julius with the four picks as the league-worst NBL Canada team last season with the first pick in the just-completed 2014 NBL Canada Draft at 10-30. The Power's first pick is NAIA champ and tournament MVP Jordan Weidler from Indiana Wesleyan:
http://www.mississauga.com/sports-st...through-draft/

I did Brampton's ticket info. Here's Mississauga's:
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/seasontickets
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/flex-packs
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/grouptickets
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/regtickets

Some bits about the three Toronto area OUA basketball schools. Ryerson is currently the best Toronto-based men's basketball program in OUA and CIS with Roy Rana as the Rams head coach, leading it to being a top 10 team playing in the legendary Maple Leaf Gardens. Just needs to get over the hump in the OUA Wilson Cup tournament. Will get to do so this season with the CIS Final 8 being hosted by Ryerson with an automatic bid. York Lions tend to be mediocre, barely into the playoffs in the OUA East standings finishing with a game below .500 at 11-12. And lost in the opening round to Laurentian in a 86-85 heartbreaker. It got six new players, so there will be need time to gel together. The York Lions women fared a little better under Nick Pangos' 29th season at the helm, seeing his daughter Kayla graduate among the three seniors like leading scorer Kitchener's Nadia Qahwash. It too barely made it to the OUA playoffs but with barely above .500 record and lost up in Ottawa. Toronto, arguably the most multicultural teams, had a poor 2013-14 campaign at 4-18 that saw a 10-game losing streak at the middle of the season and then finish with a 6-game winning streak to end the season with no postseason play. The Toronto Varsity Blues women turned things after starting 1-6 and eventually making the OUA playoffs at 13-11 and beating crosscity downtown rivals Ryerson before falling to eventual OUA Final Four team Queen's in the quarterfinals.
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Old 16-09-2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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Been thinking about this lately since and even before starting this Toronto (aka We The North) thread. And I'm thinking about the local female ballers. I think they're more the fundamental version of the male, hard-to-define prototypical Toronto basketball players. With Canadian women's team getting unprecedented and more attention than ever despite being often obscured on the sidelines overall in non-Olympic and maybe World Championship years. The depth is better now than ever. My educated impression is, though there's rapidly-growing depth in women's basketball, Toronto is not quite yet the fertile go-to national epicenter for Canadian women's basketball talent like the men are. Canadian women's basketball talent is, based on the origins of the national team players senior and junior, more nationally spread out across (though Quebec still has lots of catching up to do), which is actually a good thing. Never mind that Ontario still leads the way overall. Ottawa, Hamilton, and maybe the Atlantic Canada cities like Halifax and Saint John have very fertile women's basketball grassroots that now translates into CIS successes in Carleton, Ottawa, McMaster, Cape Breton, and St. Mary's. Presently, Toronto's CIS programs lack enough quality, much less dominance to challenge the elite teams in OUA ball. Vancouver is getting there a little bit. Prairies are getting strong in recent years as an outlet away from the brutal winters there with Edmonton, the spiritual home of Canadian women's basketball thanks to the famed Edmonton Grads, now rejuvenating itself with the Canadian women's team recently holding training camp there. Calgary is being put back on the map after the famed 1989 CIS Dinos champs, back when the squad captured fromt page headlines, with Damian Jennings coaching the team now at the Jack Simpson Gym. Even Saskatchewan with its top Canada West programs in the Saskatchewan Huskies and Regina Cougars.

All this has me wondering about when will Toronto eventually get a WNBA representative. In some ways, it's surprising that Toronto still doesn't after 17+ years of the WNBA's existence. This would typify the WNBA is more than ready to branch out of the US, if it happens. Several years ago, you may remember in my early days here on these threads a prospective Canadian WNBA owner had talks with the league about placing a team there. Interest was there. But something apparently happened since to make it fall through or get quietly euthanized. Possibly couldn't get a lease agreement with a venue--and there are plenty to choose from in the GTA. But perhaps it was preferred that the prospective Toronto WNBA franchise call home in Toronto proper like the Air Canada Centre. Or, more likely, he came to realize the interest wasn't that great and quietly dropped it.

I don't think Toronto will join the WNBA right away, despite being viewed as a cool, progressive city. I think it will be several years before that. WNBA must prove to be stable enough before a new round of expansion and growth. Judging from a few of the boards I see when the subject of Toronto and WNBA gets brought up, many posters (many males) are apathetic or disinterested since women's basketball isn't their thing of personal interest because it's "boring" for its apparent lack of athleticism and lack sex appeal in not having attractive, talented players. Sure it's completely different but holds its own appeals. There are a smaller camp of those who would go and give their daughters, if they're playing youth basketball access to high-quality women's pro ball in Canada and a feeling of empowerment. Many young Canadian women's players lack a proper domestic outlet to continue their game at the professional level unless they head overseas like Germany, France, or Sweden after CIS ball or the NCAA. Women's basketball obviously is a completely differently game that's more fundamental and nuanced than the men's game, even when there's some athleticism. Phoenix is a great example of this. Chances are, however, there won't be a lot of Canadians if any on the proposed Toronto WNBA roster, maybe one or two partly because of the need to maintain a top level of competitive play and for that intangible entertainment value to attract some guys much. And most guys STILL won't watch it even when being tactful to its presence. Also, summers in Toronto can be precious things, and there's a lot to do in those months all over the GTA.

Actually the Toronto summer pro sports calendar could get crowded with Blue Jays baseball, MLS' Toronto FC, and CFL's Argonauts and if Toronto WNBA gets added. Also, where would the team play? If Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment owned the franchise, it would play at the Air Canada Centre (with capacity-reducing drapery) with some summer dates to fill and maybe a few home games at the more-intimate Ricoh Coliseum at the CNE, home of the Toronto Marlies with a more favo(u)rable capacity. If the team is not affiliated with MLSE, those two will be out unless a lease can be agreed upon--and that may ultimately prove difficult. Might play at the Mattany Athletic Center at Maple Leaf Gardens that Ryerson University uses or the aforementioned Powerade Centre at Brampton or the Hershey Centre in Mississauga (maybe want to keep in it in Toronto). Games can be seen on a combo of TSN, Rogers Sportsnet, and NBA TV Canada on TV. Team must be marketed right while attracting the multiculturalism the city prides itself on and the local girls and boys grassroots basketball and LGBT community that'll flock to as part of the support audiences that won't be as widespread like the Raptors are. So in a short answer, no for now. But Toronto might be ultimately promising down the road.
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Old 25-09-2014, 11:05 AM   #12
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Here's a March 8, 2008 Canoe Canada article reporting Norm Freeman's and his fellow investors/owners' interest in bringing the WNBA to Toronto by 2009. Freeman aimed at placing the prospective Toronto franchise either at the Ricoh Coliseum or the Hershey Centre.
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Basketball...53036-sun.html

Correct me if I'm wrong, I think the WNBA franchise value nowdays is around US$17 million. When the WNBA was created, its primary purpose obviously was to give American women's basketball stars an outlet to domestically play and build the professional level there too, to say nothing of their Canadian counterparts who always had to go outside of Canada's border to play professionally. So Toronto was never an option even with Toronto Raptors very young in its existence. If Toronto eventually and finally gets a WNBA franchise, don't expect a lot of Canadians on the roster. Two at best, realistically, because whoever will coach them will tend to have an American bias with the tremendous depth my nation has in it. Though there will be some non-American and non-Canadian foreigners. Unless that is Canada's women's basketball boom and success with WNBA/EuroLeague Women-quality causes many pro scouts worldwide to take notice. WNBA could use more Canadians in it. But it's about WNBA-quality level of talent.

If the team plays home game at Mississauga's Hershey Centre or Brampton's Powerade Centre, it can center itself into a couple of those more multicultural and basketball-loving areas of Toronto, especially at the grassroots level for girls. Ricoh Coliseum is more centralized very close to downtown Toronto and still accessible. But it still must market across Toronto nonetheless into various communities. Not quite mainstream pro sports by Toronto's standards as that city likes to see itself as Canada's US extension outpost. But there's surely room for it there.

Toronto obviously is very much an important place for a deep well of young women's basketball talent in many ways. But as I told you last time so is Hamilton, Ottawa, London, Guelph, Kitchener, Windsor, Niagara-St. Cathrines, and Kingston in Ontario, so it's more spread out across the nation. Sure Canada can use its own women's basketball crossover superstars like its American counterparts still seem to need to for mainstream attention. Not necessarily play in Canada's WNBA team, though it could help.
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Old 27-09-2014, 06:38 AM   #13
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Mississauga Power with a new coach, new lineup (with a few familiar faces), new culture, and new attitude going into its fourth NBL Canada season. When Mississauga finishes a league-worst 11-33, the only way for them is up and build:
http://northpolehoops.com/2014/09/24.../#.VCXMc_ldXTo
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Old 30-09-2014, 11:34 AM   #14
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On the Toronto Raptors' Facebook page, there are photos confirming a new We The North intro video for the upcoming season being filmed across the Toronto. Look for it!
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:51 AM   #15
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Brampton A's welcomes the return of NBL Canada's Defensive Player of The Year Cavell Johnson and Melvin Council:
http://bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/1000...ns-with-the-as
http://bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/1000...turning-player

Brampton also signs all three of its 2014 NBL Canada draft picks--Dylan Brewer, Yvan Raymond, and Rashad Chase:
http://www.oursportscentral.com/serv...es/?id=4877543

Brent Jennings, its first-ever draft pick from last year returns too
http://www.oursportscentral.com/serv...es/?id=4878802

Mississauga Power once again sent its Power Development Team to China this summer for the Atlas Tournament across four northern Chinese cities (Yining, Karamay, Dushanzi, and
Anshan). It faced the Chinese B team, Lithuania, and the NBDL All-Stars. The PDT was competitive, even when it mostly lost. Got 3 wins out of the 7 games they played. Its players are promising young Canadians, mostly from CIS universities. Recaps can read here:
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/news/100102/pdt-update-1
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/news/100103/pdt-update-2
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/pdt

Brampton's and Mississauga's attendance performances have at their homes in the Powerade Centre and Hershey Centre, respectively, last season in NBL Canada was disappointing with both averaging around less than 1000 fans per home game each. Both cities on the west side of Toronto's GTA have strong grassroots basketball communities with its multicultural populations more embracing of basketball. Canadians, like Americans, embrace elite level competitions. Attracting Canadian basketball fans and corporations to minor league sports like NBL Canada is a challenge. Its first years are neglible due to unfamiliarity in their midsts with their promotion as both pursue building fan bases. Toronto likes to see itself as an elite city with elite teams, "a hard market for things that aren't top-tier...in a market with a lot of clutter" Agree with suggestions of hooking up with local CIS, CFL, CHL, and OHL teams staffs who know and how to market in those areas and seeking regional companies as sponsors. Maybe even get them as part-owners. Funny though, Mississauga is home to many top Canadian corporations/divisions.
http://www.thestar.com/business/2014..._partners.html

Toronto Raptors endured its Media Day before the preseason. We'll get to that soon.
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Old 22-10-2014, 04:56 AM   #16
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Mississauga Power now have fast-rising Chinese sports apparel and footwear company Peak (Tony Parker, Kyle Lowry)--or rather its Canadian division--as its official athletic outfitter this season with new jerseys this season instead of Moneyball. The Power also hooks up with BioSteel as its official energy drink:
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/p/1451...dian-companies

Mississauga also is playing a 3-game series of free intrasquad games at the high schools of former students now Power players. Last one is October 24th at NBL Canada All-Star Tut Rauch's Father Michael Goetz Secondary School in Mississauga. Tyrell Vernon's and Alex Johnson's high schools already were hosts this month:
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/news/1...trasquad-games

But it will lose its best-ever player (going back to its Oshawa days) with Morgan Findlay now heading to the Saudi Premier League's Al-Hillal:
http://www.powerbasketball.ca/p/1451...premier-league

TyShawn Edmundson, Daniel Johnson, Brampton's leading scorer last season Cedric Moodie, Flenard Whitfield all sign with the Brampton A's. Many of them return to it and strengthen the A's:
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...te-season-pick
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...-athletic-wing
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...ar-with-the-as
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...leading-scorer

The A's coaching staff could very well be the best one in NBL Canada wit not just Brendon Maloney and Jacki Tipping already there. Now the well-experienced assistant Paul Mokeski and Sheldon Cassimy join and deepen it further.
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...ience-to-bench
http://www.bramptonas.ca/p/14513/nr/...coaching-staff

Sights from the Toronto Raptors' open practice yesterday!
http://www.nba.com/raptors/gallery/openpractice-102014

I certainly believe this new University of Toronto venue has got to instantly be the among the best, if not the best, CIS gym out there with all over seating:
http://www.varsityblues.ca/news/2014...px?path=mbball
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Old 25-10-2014, 07:50 AM   #17
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Looking back at the Raptors' first season back in 1995 with the National Post when it called the canaverous SkyDome home with those purple unis and that red raptor on it, packing the place filling it with around 33,000+ and winning Canadian basketball fans' hearts along the way. Lots of strangeness along the way:
http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/...f-strangeness/

Days ago I discovered there also another Toronto pro basketball team in the area, albeit a semipro one, that surely ranks below the Raptors, even NBL Canada's Brampton A's and Mississauga Power, and the OUA's York, Ryerson, and Toronto. It's called Toronto 3D currently playing a partial schedule this season in the International Basketball Association, all against the Schenectady Legends starting next month, as the first and only Canadian team in this league, meaning they only play road games this season with no home games. If they did, it likely be a rec center or a high school. The unusually-named 3D stands for "determination, dedication, and discipline". It just completed its first season in the NBBL and won that league by going 10-0, a first. Also gets involved in the MegaCity ProAm. So there you go:
http://www.toronto3dball.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Toronto3D

The Toronto Raptors should have no problems defending their Atlantic Division title and therefore make the playoffs again this season, considering that they come from the weakest division in the NBA. I strongly felt Toronto was going to advance at least to the Eastern Conference semifinals in what has been one of the best seasons ever; seems as though Toronto has captured the local (and by extension Canadian) public's attention in a way not seen since Vinsanity. What stopped it really was the playoff experience of Brooklyn's vets Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Derren Williams, and Andrei Kirilenko Now the trick is building upon that and sustaining it for the postseason and succeed.

Much of the core from last season's repping the now-famous #WeTheNorth as the sole Canadian franchise in the NBA returns with a solid mix of guards and big men. I think they'll advance this around in the second season. Toronto may not quite possess a superstar but they are a very good team. May have one in All-Star DeMar DeRozan, whom reminds one NBA scout on Sports Illustrated of a smaller Paul George, if he can develop a three-point shot now that he's the go-to guy down the stretch with the Rudy Gay trade opening things for him. Kyle Lowry may have endured a contract year where he succeed beyond expectations, prompting him to earn that $44 million payday. But Lowry is an elite PG with maturity, can absorb hits deep in the paint and score, and works his body well defensively to prevent opposing penetration ,that was previously questioned for his attitude and can he run the floor.

Greivis Vasquez is a quality backup guard with steady long-range shooting. As for head coach Dwayne Casey, he finally has his breakthrough season and is actually one of the best defensive minds. His teams really work on their defense and it shows. The Raptors spend lots of time being aggressive against pick and rolls and utilizing crisp rotations. Things didn't work out for him in the Twin Cities as Timberwolves coach, but I'm glad he's doing his thing up in Toronto. One defensive player he likes is Amir Johnson, who makes an impact with his D, something he cherishes. Patrick Patterson can be counted on for plug-in 4 shooting.

One key player that must improve this season is Jonas Valanciunas, who can score around the basket but nothing 12 feet and beyond. The Lithuanian 7-footer got summer running technique training with University of Oregon strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe and low-post footwork improvement from none other than Hakeem Olajuwon. Valanciunas' scoring can be improved from 11.3 ppg but Toronto would much rather like him take a greater defensive presence, where Toronto needs him the most. He wasn't agile or nimble enough to intimidate penetrators. In fact, his second season ended badly--with only 3 points and 7 rebounds against Brooklyn in Game 7 at home. Never mind he held up opponents to just 38.1% in post-up shooting chances. Overall though, Valanciunas' last season shows the promise to subsequently become one of the best centers in the NBA, and he and his team are eager for the big jump.

8 NBA players this season, still under the winding-down preseason mode, hail from the Greater Toronto Area--Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota), Andrew Nicholson (Orlando), Anthony Bennett (Minnesota), Nik Stauskas (Sacramento), Dwight Powell (Boston), Corey Joesph (San Antonio), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), and Tyler Ennis (Phoenix). That has to be a NBA record for the city at once. Maybe soon that number could swell to include Myck Kabongo, Junior Cadougan, Melvin Ejim, and Javohn Sheppard. Nine if you include Minnesota's Brady Heslip from Burlington, Ontario, a small city actually more closely alligned with nearby Hamilton making that and GTA the Golden Horseshoe.
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Old 29-10-2014, 11:20 AM   #18
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All 82 Toronto Raptors games will be all live and in HD across Canada, all produced by NBA TV Canada. TSN will televize 47 Raptors games including the season opener tomorrow at the Air Canada Centre against the Atlanta Hawks, the first two matchups against LeBron James and Cleveland, and later Brooklyn, San Antonio, and Minnesota with Toronto's Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett; Rogers Sportsnet family of channels will cover 35 Raptors regular season games, (broadcasting 13 games on Sportsnet, eight on Sportsnet ONE and 14 games on Sportsnet 360). Sportsnet ONE will air a full schedule of NBA U.S. regular season contests, the broadcast rights to select NBA playoff games, as well as feature programming on NBA Action.

On the radio side TSN Radio 1050 and Sportsnet Radio FAN 590 will divide the Raptors games in Toronto and all over Canada:
http://www.nba.com/raptors/press-rel...chedule-102814

Get ready for Maple Leaf Square outside of the Air Canada Centre to be rocking again and packed with fans starting tomorrow night! Rain or shine!
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Old 30-10-2014, 10:16 AM   #19
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Great day for Toronto (and Canadian overall) hoops fans with the Raptors kicking off the 2014-15 NBA season with Atlanta at home, a game that will shown live on TSN2/3/4/5 with a OKC vs. Portland as the second half of its NBA doubleheader bill. Excitement's in the air for them. #WeTheNorth rises again! The Air Canada Centre is filled to the brim with those sporting those white We The North T-shirts that are free and were placed on the seats. Maple Leaf Square outside is now packed as I write this. Both are as loud as ever and ready to rock. Toronto's CN Tower and its City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square decked in red and purple for tonight. All bringing Canada together in basketball Drake's definitely there courtside too right now as its global ambassador. Ready to build on that eliminated-too-soon postseason at this time of a basketball boom in Canada--and Toronto is definitely its epicenter. Man, I wish I was living in Toronto right now...

Along with celebrating its 20 years of history like with donning of the purple jerseys again, look for improved in-game experience like a new C$1.5 million ACC projection system
http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptor...t_the_acc.html

I predict 50 wins this season for Toronto, another Atlantic Division title, and at least a EC semifinal appearance.

Huffington Post Canada's Arti Patel presents 15 reasons why the Toronto Raptors are worth watching this season:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/10...=Canada+Living

In case you're wondering since Canada is your bilingual Commonwealth cousins (English majority, French minority mostly in Quebec and New Brunswick), there's no regular French-language Raptors coverage. There should be though. even on TSN's French sisters network RDS' family or its Quebecor rivals TVA Sports. Hockey dominates those two at this time of the year
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:01 AM   #20
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With now that are just into November, basketball season is only just starting in various levels and leagues with the Toronto Raptors and the NBA acting as the basketball anchor there with NBL Canada teams in Brampton and Mississauga starting tonight, the three OUA Toronto-area schools Ryerson, York, and Toronto, and Toronto's OCAA schools (Humbert College and Seneca College), among them, ready to kick off with all this going on within the next couple weeks, including this one.

You gotta love the fervent passion and love Toronto and by extension Canada now loves the Toronto Raptors as Canada's NBA team. And it's back, both inside and outside the Air Canada Centre with Maple Leaf Square with more packed to watch. Toronto Raptors celebrate and kick off their 20th anniversary celebrations as well as the return of the now-famous brilliant #WeTheNorth campaign on their home court with their new court projections and player/coach introductions during their season opener win against the Atlanta Hawks Thursday night. Toronto looks to build from their playoff season and go deeper. Shown live on TSN
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2KHnhXraX0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13njO8ggWDQ

Same court projection but from more of courtside area and minus the player intros:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If0mhfsoBuw

Toronto Raptors' new We The North 2014-15 promo with the Raptors players reciting the lines from a local outdoor court rapper and global ambassador Drake narrated from the playoff video. It makes it likes Canada, not just Toronto, is tight-knit and loyal with the Raptors since it's now Canada's NBA team. I heard this #WeTheNorth marketing campaign is inspired by Game Of Thrones:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP7JQ6eFi6E

NBL Canada has a couple of teams based in the Toronto area and is surely not a threat to the TYoronto Raptors and the NBA. Nor does it want to be. NBL Canada kicks off their new and still-pivotal fourth season tonight, with among those games scheduled, with the Brampton A's and Mississauga Power renewing their exciting Peel Region rivalry for the second straight season as they face off at Brampton's Powerade Centre home. In fact, tonight the Toronto Raptors meanwhile are down in Orlando on a road trip while that's going, so Brampton-Mississauga is the only pro basketball taste scheduled in the Toronto area tonight. If you're up for some pro basketball and happen to live in Toronto right now, I recommend that you head out to the Powerade Centre tonight (as will hopefully Mississauga's Hershey Centre soon) and see these teams in action. The on-court quality is pretty high. And affordable. Here's hoping the Powerade Centre gets filled up more this season starting tonight than it was for very much of last season.

Discover who will be Meghan McPeak's new Brampton A's broadcast colo(u)r analyst partner for this new 2014-15 NBL Canada season. The two got a friendly wager going on for tonight's game:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfjaLD_7Yzo

Audman's NBL Canada Brampton A's 2014-15 season preview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAO4eOFLHVU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYkRaj4-iXE

Audman's NBL Canada Mississauga Power 2014-15 season preview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-NStPAbzr4

There's a new blog about NBL Canada called NBLCNET that premiered in early October where we can get some NBL Canada info! I'm glad that we got it now in time for the season to start because we need more access for league info from leadup to the start of the season to the eventually champs hoisting the trophy.

NBLCNET's Brampton A's 2014-15 preview
http://nblcnet.blogspot.ca/2014/10/2...m-preview.html

The Brampton-Mississauga NBL Canada rivalry is only two years old now with both teams continuing putting up stakes in their respective areas in building an increasingly fierce rivalry while cultivating their brand awareness in with both teams and areas being so close to each other in the potential for Central Division supremacy. Their arenas are 10km from each other. Both have strong ownerships and equal passion for their teams and multicultural fan bases through their respective youth groups, basketball camps, and community outreaches with great appetites for basketball. Right now, Brampton dominates with a 6-1 series lead:
http://nblcnet.blogspot.ca/2014/10/n...ton-as-vs.html

Wednesday sees OUA ball makes its 2014-15 season debut as Ryerson Rams plays one of the two games that night against Waterloo on the road. Next Friday, OUA basketball really starts to kick off that includes two of the Toronto area schools head off on the road with the Ryerson heads off to face the Wilfried Laurier Golden Hawks, and the Toronto Varsity Blues over at the Waterloo Warriors. The following Saturday night sees the York Lions also start its season on the road by heading to Thunder Bay going to face the Lakehead as Toronto faces Wifried Laurier Thunderwolves. All are men's and women's games.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:37 AM   #21
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I really don't think Mississauga native Sim Bhullar should've turned pro early after coming out of New Mexico St. last season. He's not mobile enough despite his 7-4 frame. In fact, it would've been better if he shed some pounds for better mobility and conditioning. I worry that he might end up like Hamed Haddadi. Even with Sacramento picking him up, I instantly knew he wasn't going to make the final roster because he couldn't cope with the speed and athleticism NBA level offers right away. There's a reason why he got only 19 seconds of play in Vancouver for Sacramento against the Raptors. After he gets some seasoning in Reno, perhaps he'll eventually break through:
http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptor...ty_of_nba.html
http://tipofthetower.com/2014/10/24/...ramento-kings/

In case you missed it, here's the full event replay of the Peel Region NBL Canada season opener battle at Brampton's Powerade Centre between the Brampton A's and the Mississauga Power that the Power won:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1wQMcJHNK4

Long before the likes of Wiggins, Stauskas, Bennett, Thompson, the Josephs, Nicholson, Brown, etc., there was Toronto's first notable local basketball prodigy, the OG Phil Dixon, a legend who paved their way:
http://basketballbuzz.ca/business/ph...tball-prodigy/
http://northpolehoops.com/2014/05/18.../#.VFl9RKPnbct

Interesting idea
http://tipofthetower.com/2014/10/14/...-raptors-team/

Raptors Florida swing was mixed--a win over Orlando Saturday night but lost a tough one to a more talented and championship-experienced Miami team. As I write this, Toronto is back at home facing OKC.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:11 AM   #22
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The Brampton A's travel to Windsor to help open the NBL Canada defending champions Windsor Express' home opener tonight as the Express collect their championship rings and raise their championship banner at the WFCU Centre. But the A's would like to spoil all that with hopes of getting their first win of the season. The following Sunday they travel to London and face the always talented London Lightning at the Budweiser Gardens--and the fans who constantly pack the arena.

Mississauga Power open their home schedule and get their first home win this season at the Hershey Centre tomorrow when the 2x NBL Canada champs London Lightning came to the Peel Region.

It was all Ryerson Rams on the road Wednesday night at Waterloo from start to finish with balanced scoring from both the men's and women's teams:
http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=209751181
http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=209751497
http://www.ryersonrams.ca/ViewArticl...CLID=209750454

With the Washington Wizards in town to start the Raptors home stand tonight, Toronto, seeking its sixth win this season so far, will bring out their inaugural purple dinosaur road jerseys (1995-1999) for the first time since May 4, 1999 as part of the 20th anniversary! Keeping it in the 1990s with Antonio Davis, Alvin Williams, and rapper Skee-Lo in the house
http://www.nba.com/raptors/press-rel...-nights-110614
http://www.nba.com/raptors/game-day-...wizards-110714

With a significantly depleted OKC squad, Toronto took advantage
http://www.nba.com/raptors/game-rap-...100-thunder-88

And came back over the Celtics in Boston with Kyle Lowry playing big:
http://www.nba.com/raptors/recap-110514
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Old 13-11-2014, 10:41 AM   #23
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Brampton A's are still seeking their first win of the season in NBL Canada. Last season at this time the A's in their debut season lost their first regular season but went on a 4-game winning streak that helped them lead the NBL Canada Central Division for a time. Mississauga is tops at the Central Division standings at 2-0.

The Raptors brought out their Rememberance Day/Canadian Forces unis on and beat Orlando 104-100 last night at the Air Canada Centre with now a league-best 7-1:
http://www.nba.com/raptors/raptors-come-back-beat-magic

Toronto wallops lowly, woeful, and still-winless Philadelphia for its 6th straight win at home 120-96:
http://www.nba.com/raptors/raptors-beat-sixers-home
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Old 15-11-2014, 06:37 AM   #24
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Bill Walton stopped by at Ryerson University's Mattany Athletic Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens to help promote the ticket sales for CIS Final 8 to be held there in March. Also acknowledged the CIS' important role in developing and deepening Canadian basketball talent:
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/b...121/story.html

Toronto loses to Chicago last night at home that saw Derrick Rose slip and pull his hamstring. Ended their winning streak. Was shown live on TNT.

Mississauga Power unleashes its juice on Brampton A's once again in NBL Canada at the Hershey Centre, still sending them now to 0-5. The Power are now 0-3.
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Old 25-11-2014, 11:48 AM   #25
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Guess who has the best record out East right now at 11-2?

Right now the Toronto Raptors return playing at home, where they're 8-1, with the Phoenix Suns at the Air Canada Centre with the game being shown on TSN2 and on Sportsnet Radio Fan590 in Canada. And it's going to be a nice, close one for the defending Atlantic Division champs. Two of my favo(u)rite NBA teams right now. Expect plenty of offense in this game. If this keeps up for Toronto seemingly enjoying its best season ever, Dwayne Casey should be strongly considered for NBA Coach of the Year.

Brampton A's finally got their first win of the 2014-15 NBL Canada season beating Saint John Mill Rats 136-100 Friday afternoon on their Stop Bullying Night at the Powerade Centre in front of many Peel Region schoolkids. Not only that, the A's have also won their second, shutting down the Mississauga Power 112-100.

After losing to Windsor on the road, the Mississauga Power won two straight on London and Saint John, both at their Hershey Centre home, before falling to the Brampton A's in another chapter of the Peel Region NBL Canada rivalry.

York Lions men's basketball team got their first road win of the OUA season when it beat the Guelph Gryphons on the road 93-85. But when they went to Hamilton however, #5 McMaster was too much for them and lost 97-62. The York Lions women struggled and lost in both games to those same schools last week, respectively, 75-43 and 56-41.

Toronto Varsity Blues took care of business on the newcomers Nipissing Lakers convincingly 72-59 in the official grand opening of their new Goldring Centre Friday. Only to be edged by the Laurentian Voyaguers 67-64 in the next game Saturday. Toronto's women enjoyed a weekend sweep at Goldring though, easily overpowering and imploding Nipissing 73-23 and sank Laurentian in a much more competitive game 63-53 to win their third straight.

The two OUA North Division visiting schools to Toronto, Nipissing and Laurentian, also made stops to #3 Ryerson in downtown Toronto. Roy Rana's Rams showed absolutely no mercy to the overmatched newcomers Lakers in their first-ever trip to Toronto as a basketball program that saw six Rams score in double figures at the Mattany Events Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens 103-51, eclipsing the century mark for the first time this season. And the Rams stayed undefeated at 6-0 after they took care of Laurentian 84-65 that saw Jamahl Jones score 34 points to lead everybody and Jordan Gauthier reached a milestone with six rebounds to make the 1000 points and 500 rebounds. Gauthier was just named OUA Player of the Week. The Ryerson Rams women also had a very easy basketball weekend with those two schools. Surely this Toronto trip is something the Nipissing women surely would like to forget as they build something, Ryerson handed them more beatings with a 81-27 rout in its largest margin of victory ever after coming out of Toronto a few streets away. Before that, Laurentian Voyaguers got dominated by Ryerson 79-41
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