Friday, November 14, 2008

Campus Corner: Stinson joins hoops Gaels

I learned this morning that football tight end Scott Stinson (famed not only for his size and great receiving numbers, but also for being one of the few athletes to crack the front page of the Journal, even in less than ideal circumstances) has officially joined the men's basketball team. There had been some rumours floating around about this earlier, but it's confirmed now: he's on the official roster and may play as early as their weekend games against Brock and Guelph.

This might work out well for the team. One of the big problems so far has been their lack of depth in the frontcourt positions; in fact, as I pointed out in my story on last weekend's games, a lot of their success came when they went to a three-guard lineup. Especially with Jon Ogden not playing (he played in the pre-season, but isn't with the team at the moment), there aren't a lot of frontcourt options on this team, and Stinson's addition should significantly help with that.

These Gaels are renowned for their speed and their outside shooting, but their main presence down low at the moment is Mitch Leger, who's better as a power forward or a small forward than a centre. Rookie Bernard Burgessen and second-year centre Patrick Beswick have shown potential, and Rob Shaw brings veteran experience, but they can't play all the time, and Stinson should be able to eat some minutes. Moreover, he's got a ton of size; he's listed as 6'6'', 250 pounds in the football media guide, but personal observations (and that aforementioned OUA roster) suggest he's at least 6'7''. More impressive still is his weight; Burgessen and Beswick (the only other 6'7'' guys on the roster) are tall, but pretty stringy, and Shaw isn't much bulkier. With his size and athleticism, Stinson should be able to make an impact.

Another point of interest is that this isn't a new game for Stinson; the aforementioned football media guide notes that he was a member of the 2003 national bronze-medal basketball team at Humber College. He also played basketball, soccer, Ultimate and rugby at Chippewa High School in North Bay in addition to football, so he's obviously got a fair bit of all-around athleticism. It will be interesting to watch and see how he does, but the feeling from this end is that he might just be a big addition to this team. Good for him for taking a risk and trying this out; it would have been much easier to rest on the laurels he earned with the football team.

Neate has more at Out of Left Field, including a look at other crossover athletes in CIS history. Oddly enough, there have been several at Queen's in recent years: Billy Burke played football and hockey until this year, when he decided to focus more on hockey, and Teddi Firmi quit women's basketball to return to rugby this year.

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