Some of the top-ranked senior basketball teams in the province will fill the St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) gymnasium on November 1 and 2 for the annual SMCS Basketball Tip-Off Classic, a senior basketball pre-season exhibition series.
For the last 20 years, this competitive tune-up has attracted some of the stronger teams in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) competition.
"The rankings are not out yet, but it is safe to say that the teams in the Classic would be ranked in the top-25 in the province this year,” says Jeff Zownir, SMCS Blue Raiders basketball coach.
Despite the pre-season nature of the Classic, the results may still play a role in ranking teams for the OFSAA provincial championship in March 2020. Joining the Blue Raiders on the SMCS Paul Dignan Court this year will be Oakwood (Toronto), St. Francis Xavier (Mississauga), and Jean Vanier (Milton).
For the SMCS Blue Raiders, who have traditionally fared well in this early-bird competition, the coaches regard the Tip-Off Classic as a great pre-season test.
“The Classic is a series of two exhibition games for each team, not your traditional championship-style tournament,” says Zownir. “The focus is to get game action against good competition so you can gauge where your team is at, and what areas you may need to work on moving forward.”
“We have had a lot of success, particularly because the team has always worked diligently in preparing for this tip-off date to start the season,” says Zownir. “Skill development, conditioning, offensive and defensive system implementation are all areas that need to be addressed prior to playing our first game. We are working to ensure that the players go into the first game prepared.”
The full schedule for the SMCS Basketball Tip-Off Classic can be found here.