Women’s basketball will be given its time to shine
The Cougars women’s basketball team has been chosen to be the hosts of the 2018 CIS National Championships. This is the third time in the past ten years that they have had the honour of being the hosts, which is out of the ordinary, but really is a testament to how good this team is and how good the program under Dave Taylor has been over the past years.
Taylor holds an amazing 150-44 record in his time as head coach since 2006, and has proved that his team deserves to be in the tournament. What this means for the school is an opportunity to be showcased and promoted through the televising of the tournament. Taylor and his coaching staff have proved to be able to consistently bring in players every year that can step in and replace the players who leave every year, and with the tournament being three years away, there is sure to be lots of turnover in the roster until then. The fact that by 2018 the Cougars will lose most of their team and all of their current leaders didn’t seem to worry Dave in the slightest when asked if there was more emphasis put on recruiting in the years before they host a national championship.
“Not really”, he said, quick to the point. “Every year, our goal is to be one of the top teams in country and hopefully have chance to win.”
However, losing all five starters in the next two years will still be a big blow to the team, and it does make Dave focus a little bit more on the roster management side of things.
What being chosen as the hosts means for the team is that they get an automatic berth into the Final 8, regardless of how the season goes. This brings up a common concern with these types of tournaments: what if the team isn’t good that year and thus doesn’t deserve to be there?
This is more of a hypothetical, seeing as how nothing in the past ten years leads me to believe that they won’t be good enough to compete there, but losing most of their players does set them up with the potential of not being as good as they are, or can be. In my opinion, if you get chosen as a host, it means you have earned the right to be there based on your past play so. In that sense, I do think its a good thing that teams that are hosting get a chance in the tournament even if they struggled that season, but only to a point. It was a few years ago in Saskatoon for the Memorial Cup that the Blades were so bad, there were rumours of them being stripped of the Memorial Cup, but that never happened and the Blades actually played some pretty good hockey against the best teams in the country. My point is, once you’re there, anyone can put up some good games and compete, but I still think teams should be held accountable for being competitive in the season as well. There should be no mailing it in just because you know there are no worries about making it. Furthermore, I think there should be a definitive line where, if you are under it by the halfway point, you lose your chance to host, just to keep it fair, because there is nothing worse than seeing a team that absolutely doesn’t belong playing in a tournament. When one team gets outclassed every game and that team is the host team, it is embarrassing and probably just as embarrassing as being stripped of the chance altogether. For this reason, I think the CIS should have strict rules in place as a benchmark for being a host team to ensure the best quality games possible.