By Sean Fitz-Gerald
For almost seven months, the Ryerson men’s basketball team has been fighting to be noticed.
As they head to the national championship tournament in Halifax this weekend to play number one ranked Alberta, the team’s anonymity may be its biggest advantage.
Ryerson head coach Terry Haggerty said his team may benefit from it loss to Western last weekend because other teams won’t take the Rams seriously. “Can you imagine Alberta as the number one seed and thinking, ‘who are these guys?’” Haggerty said after Monday’s practice.
“As much as I hated losing that Wilson Cup, let them think we’re shitty,” he said.
Ryerson, the eighth and final seed in the tournament, will play the Golden Bears at 12 p.m. in the Halifax Metro Centre on Friday.
“I think the neutral crowd will jump on our side for two reasons. One is that we’re underdogs,” Haggerty said. “And two is that we’re not boring.”
OUA East rookie of the year Ben Gorham said that the loss to Western won’t distract the team from playing well in the Nova Scotia.
“I think we learned a lot from the Western loss,” he said. “We were on cloud nine from the two other wins [at York] and I felt like we got our butts kicked.”
“I think all eight teams at nationals are going to be as good as Western, so we’re gonna have to go down there and play well,” the first-year business student said.
Gorham wasn’t the showman he normally is against Western. Flu-like symptoms left him gasping for air and coughing like a chain-smoker.
Gorham and centre Sasha Ivankovic — who also had a nasty cough — are expected to be healthy for this weekend.
The Rams leave for the East Coast Wednesday.