Wesmen and Griffins Want ‘In’

 

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Winnipeg Wesmen and MacEwan Griffins

The two Prairie schools we preview today have a similar status in their respective communities.   The University of Winnipeg and MacEwan University are the younger, smaller ‘cousins’ to the big guy across town.  U. Manitoba boasts 25,000+ undergraduate students vs about 10,000 for UW, and the U. Alberta casts even a bigger shadow in Edmonton, with 28,000 to MacEwan’s 11,000. Despite their ‘2nd fiddle profile’, their basketball teams want in to the Canada West playoffs again this coming season.

The Wesmen are ‘chasing the recent success’ of the neighbouring Bisons, and, similarly, the Griffins are ‘newbies’ who don’t have the same CIS tradition as the Alberta Golden Bears up on the South side.  When the Griffs host the W’s in late January in Edmonton, both teams hope they are in the midst of a playoff chase.

Winnipeg  Wesmen
’15-’16 Lost 1st Round playoff  to Regina      10 wins  10 losses

Denzel Lynch-Blair (L) and Ryan Oirbans (R) - return to lead the Wesmen.

Denzel Lynch-Blair (L) and Ryan Oirbans (R) – return to lead the Wesmen.    photos-  UW- Kelly Morton        UC – David Moll

Returnees –  5th year – 6-3, Jamar Farley … 4th years – 6-10 Ryan Oirbans, 6-6 Nate Johnson … 3rd years – 6-4 Denzel Lynch-Blair, 6-4, Marcello Kambola, 5-8 Denzel Soliven, 6-6 Kahlil Lakay … 2nd year – 6-3, Will Sesay … 1st year (redshirt) 6-7 Franki Tocci
New faces – Billy Yaworsky, 2nd, 6-7 fwd, Winnipeg (Tsf, Lakehead), Narcisse Ambanza, 1st year, 6-2 guard, Toronto (E. Commerce), Josh Gandier, 1st, 6-3 guard, Winnipeg,  Louis Makot, 1st, 6-4 guard, Winnipeg, Sean Tarver, 3rd, 6-4 wing, Baltimore, MD, Roan Van Erd, 3rd, 6-5 guard, Winnipeg, Noah Simpson, 1st, 6-7 fwd, Winnipeg.

With a mostly inexperienced squad last season, Coach Mike Raimbault’s Ws squeezed into the last play-off spot, and lost a 3 game set in round 1 at Regina.  “We probably went as far as we should have”, says the 7th year Winnipeg coach.

This season’s team is still fairly young, but have some experience back at key spots.  Raimbault suggests, “We should shoot it better, and we’ll have more effective back-court leadership as the guys are 2nd and 3rd year with some more game experience.”  W wesmen

Denzel Lynch-Blair (17.5 ppg, 4 assts) was a Canada West all-star, and Will Sesay (10 ppg, 7 rebs) got the nod on the all-rookie team, while Jamar  Farley (10.3 ppg) and Marcello Kambola (8 ppg) promise to be positive contributors again.

With the exception of the  big post, Ryan Oirbans (8.6 ppg, 8 rebs), and newcomer Billy Yaworsky, who can hit from 3 point range, this UW team is on the small side.  They make up for that with exceptional team quickness, and a pressing, full-court defensive plan which saw them chart 10.2 steals/game, 2nd in CW.

The big challenges will be to improve on their 16th best rebounding margin, and 14th best field goal percentage, the combination of is usually death for the won-lost record!  Coach Raimbault tells us, “We’re looking for more inside scoring with Ryan (Oirbans) putting in some good work in the summer, and we think the rest of the guys will step-up their offensive games.”

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – vs UNBC, at Saskatchewan, vs Lethbridge, h/h vs Brandon, h/h vs Manitoba  …  Jan/Feb –  vs Trinity Western, at Thompson Rivers, at MacEwan, vs Regina, at Victoria.    Prediction –  Contending for a play-off spot


MacEwan Griffins
’15-’16 – Lost to Alberta in playoff round 1           10 wins    10 losses

Thadius Galvez (L) and Denzel James (R) will be key for the Griffs.

Thadius Galvez (L) and Denzel James (R) will be key for the Griffs.

Returnees – 5th years –  6-3  Denzel James, 6-7  Keith Gerdes, 5-10  Thomas Jereniuk, 6-8  Cole Aikens  … 4th years –  6-2 Thadius Galvez, 6-6 Ryan Coleman … 3rd years – 6-6 Harrison Lane,  6-3 Tarik Scott , 6-0 Deonte Dosov-Doctor … 2nd yr. – 6-6 Atlas St. Paul -Butler … Redshirt 1st years – 6-2 Malik Mate,  6-6 Michael Burnham
New faces – 5th year, 6-6 fwd, Tyler Wise, St. Albert (tsf Red Deer Coll.), 2nd yr, 5-9 guard, Adonis Monfort-Palomino, Calgary (tsf U. Calgary), 2nd yr. 6-5 wing, Ali Raza, Calgary (tsf St. Mary’s U. Coll) … 1st years – 6-3 wing, Jake Notice, Bath, England (Bristol Flyers), 6-4 wing, Thomas Laxdal, St. Albert (Paul Kane), 6-0 guard, Tre Ross, Sherwood Park (Strathcona Christian)

unknownThe Griffins made the playoffs in their 2nd year of Canada West play, and Coach Eric Magdanz returns 7 of his top 9 rotation players this time around. Two key losses were  Ryan May, a steady forward, and Chris Mooney, a skilled wing man.  But the scoring and rebounding of vets Denzel James (14 ppg/5.2 rebs) and Thadius Galvez (13.5 ppg/4 rebs) are a good starting point. Add in the toughness and dependability of equally experienced forwards Keith Gerdes (9.2 ppg), and Ryan Coleman (9 ppg), and Mac may snag a post-season berth once again.

Harrison Lane was a playoff stalwart last Spring, and he should provide defensive leadership.  UC transfer Adonis Monfort-Palomino, a pass-first point man, will “help  get the ball up the floor, and into the right hands”, says coach Magdanz. Ali Raza, another transfer and Calgary high school grad (Crescent Heights), has been showing well in early work-outs, along with Tyler Wise, a rebounding big man, who returns to MacEwan from Red Deer.

Where experience, determined defense, and capable shooting are pluses for the Maroon, they will need to improve their team rebounding if they are to be a factor in next February’s playoff picture.

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Lethbridge, vs Regina, vs Victoria, at Mt. Royal, h/h vs Alberta … Jan/Feb –  at Fraser Valley, at Brandon, vs Winnipeg, vs UBC-Okanagan, at Calgary.     Prediction – In the mix for a playoff slot


 Overtime –

  • This week we have CIS teams ‘testing the water’ against CCAA Fr Valleysquads;  as UFV coach Adam Friesen said, “Our guys are happy to play against people who aren’t their teammates, and it’s a great opportunity for our young guys to get some game action.”   UQAM vs CGEP Thetford, Algoma hosting Fleming, Canadore, and Sault Colleges, and Friesen’s Cascades squad plays Capilano College Thursday  at Sardis Sr. Sec. (Chilliwack), then the Seattle Mountaineers on Saturday at UFV.
  • Next weekend sees some interesting inter-regional tournament  play –  The Victoria Vikes have their Guy Vetrie Invitational (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1), with McMaster, McGill, and Regina making it an interesting mix on the Island.  Carleton are the ‘big birds’ in Acadia’s tournament, along with the Axemen, St. FX, and Laval … UNB hosts Maine – Ft. Kent, Bishops, and  Saint Mary’s …  Nipissing are at home to Algoma, Laurentian, and Laurier. Also,  Winnipeg will visit Lakehead, and Queen’s and Ottawa are in Montreal to play Concordia and UQAM.

Dinos and Bisons on a Collision Course

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Our season previews start with a pair of teams who both figure to make a hard run at the March 2017 Canada West Final 4.  Despite being early in Fall camp, both the Calgary Dinos  and the Manitoba Bisons will be looking ahead to their meeting in Calgary for the opening weekend of play in November.

Calgary Dinos
– 2016 Canada West champions   – 17 wins  3 losses

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-05-27-am

5th year stalwarts, Dallas Karch (L) and Jasdeep Gill (R) will be primed for a big 5th year with the hometown Dinos.

Returnees – 5th years – 6-5,Thomas Cooper, 6-7, Dallas Karch, 6-5, Jasdeep Gill … 4th years- 6-0, Jhony Verrone, 6-7, Mitch Ligertwood, 6-6, Connor Foreman, 6-7, Sunvir Johal … 3rd years – 5-11, David Kapinga, 6-7, Lars Schleuter,        6-7, Matt Ellis.
New faces – Mambi Diawara, 4th yr, 6-5 wing, Montreal (Lamar State C.C. TX) , Aloysius Calaghan, 4th yr, 6-0 guard, Calgary (MRU), Max Eisle, 1st yr, 6-4 guard, Ulm, Germany, Jeff Rodehutskors, 1st yr, 6-8 fwd, Chestermere, AB, Sasha Pojuzina, 1st yr, 6-6 wing, Regina, Jake Neilsen, 1st yr, 6-3 guard, Cochrane, AB, Ethan Scott, 1st yr, 6-2 guard, Vancouver, (Orangeville Prep, ON)

blk dinos copyThe Dinos went all the way to the CIS Final last March, where they lost decisively to the mighty Carleton Ravens. The temptation is to focus on how you can return to the Final 8 next Spring and win the ‘Cup’ next time.  But, that was then … this is now.

This Fall U. Calgary appears deep, experienced, big, with good team quickness.  But, even in their opening series of the ’16-’17 season on November 4/5, the Dinos face a formidable foe in the Manitoba Bisons. Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “We’re excited about this group of guys”, but knows it is a long road through a rugged League schedule.

UC returns 71.8 ppg in scoring, lead by last year’s top CW sniper, Thomas Cooper, (25.8), and tall wing man,Lars Schleuter (12.5).  The explosive quickness of David Kapinga and Jhony Verrone lead the back-court defense, and both are opportunistic scorers. That guard experience and the growing confidence of forwards Matt Ellis and Mitch Ligertwood should make up for the loss of Josh Owen-Thomas and Matt Letkeman, last year’s senior leaders.

Both Jadeep Gill and Dallas Karch are veteran players with size and toughness, with Gill a big offensive threat, and Karch with his speed and quick jumping ability. Connor Foreman will provide post depth, as will rookie, Jeff Rodehutskors, an extremely athletic big man.
Newcomers Max Eisle, a lead guard with experience in the German League, and Mambi Diawara, a dynamic wing transfer from his Texas JUCO, will be in the playing rotation. Sasha Pojuzina is a high school recruit with size and skill.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – vs Manitoba, at Victoria, home/home with Lethbridge, h/h with Mt. Royal …  Jan/Feb – h/h with Alberta, vs Fraser Valley, vs Saskatchewan, at Regina, at Thompson Rivers, vs MacEwan.             Prediction –  Top 3 team


Manitoba Bisons
’15-’16 – Lost to Calgary and UBC in CW Final 4        – 15 wins 5 losses

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

Returnees – 5th years –   5-11, Amarjit (AJ) Basi, 6-0, Ilarion Bonhomme, 6-6, Jonathan Alexander , 6-7, Brett Jewell … 4th years –  6-5, Keith Omoerah,   6-3, Justus Alleyn, 6-5, Malik Irwin, 6-4, Keenan Benarroch , 6-5, Joey Nitychoruk  … 3rd year-  6-7, Osahon Eghosa … 1st years (after red-shirting), 6-5, Dharmjit Dhillon ,  6-6, Raj Sidhu , 6-0 Keiran Zziwa
New faces –  (all 1st years) James Wagner, 6 – 7 fwd, John Taylor (Winnipeg) , Zach Giesbrecht, 6-1 guard, John Taylor, Cam O’Hara,  6-7 forward, St. Paul’s HS (Winnipeg), Joel Adu Quaye, 6-6 forward, St. Paul’s  (Winnipeg), David Mugugu, 6-5 forward , Kildonan-East Collegiate (Winnipeg).

Manitoba copyThe Bisons were right on the cusp last season, but just missed a trip to Nationals with 2 losses  in the Final 4.  They graduated their top rebounder, Wyatt Anders, but still have size with Jonathan Alexander, Brett Jewell, Keith Omoerah, and Osahon Eghosa.  (Eghosa suffered through salmonella poisoning in a trip to the U.S. this summer, and will be working his way back to ‘match fitness’ this Fall.) Adding 6-7 rookie, James Wagner, who played on the Canada U-18s this past summer, has  Coach Kirby Schepp exclaiming, “He may be our top recruit in the recent history of our program !”.

Canada West all-star, Omoerah (13 ppg), Justus Alleyn (15.6 ppg), and Amarjit Basi  (18 ppg) were offensive leaders last season, and the veteran import point man, Ilarion Bonhomme, a former Brandon Bobcat, has proven to be a great addition.

Joey Nitychoruk is a ‘high-energy’ player, who transferred last year from Lakehead, and Schepp expects him to be a solid contributor. A slow start last year may have given the Herd a tougher road at play-off time, but, with so much experience returning, we can expect them to be more ready for this campaign. They had better be, because they have one of the toughest front-end schedules before the Holiday break!

One very impressive stat is that 15 of their 18 roster players are Winnipeg high school products; an amazing pool of home-grown talent! “We are very proud of our ‘Manitoba content’ on our roster”, says Schepp.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Calgary, vs Thompson Rivers, at UBC, vs Alberta, h/h with Winnipeg … Jan/Feb – at Regina, at Trinity Western, vs UNBC, at Brandon, vs Mt. Royal                            Prediction – Top 5 team


New Schedule ‘Not Universally Popular’

What is the RPI, and why will it bother us?  Learn more as we examine the shiny new schedule which Canada West has rolled out for the coming season.  No more ‘Pioneers’ and ‘Explorers’, as we’re all one big, happy, 17- team Canada West League now!  (Actually there may be the odd coach here or there who is a smidge shy of happy.)    Because … there are a few oddities to the new format –

The 'tricky math' of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.

The ‘tricky math’ of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.  But it is apples vs oranges in this set-up.

> Schools don’t play the same teams.  You see, each school has 4 designated ‘traditional rivals’, who they play every year … 8 games … then they play 6 of the remaining 12 teams … 12 games  = 20
> So we miss 6 teams each year , but get them the following year.
> Who makes the playoffs ?  “ The top 12 teams based on winning percentage at the conclusion of league play … “
> How do we break ties ?  Well, here are the first 4 tie breakers in the manual –  when Two Teams are Tied:
1. Win/Loss record in head to head competition.
2. Win/Loss record versus common opponents.
3. Each teams RPI ranking.
4. Points difference in head to head competition between the tied teams.
Three or More Teams Tied:
Use the same procedure as a two‐teams tied. Once one team has been separated from the tied group, go back to step one with the remaining tied team(s).
> How are the playoff teams ranked ? “The top 12 teams are then ranked 1 to 12 based on each team’s RPI standing in order to account for the various strength of schedules faced by each team.”  Er-ah ?!  (The OUA people may get this, but we Westerners are scratching our heads !)
> What is the RPI ?  “ Each team’s RPI is based on the following formula: = 25% team winning percentage (WP) adjusted for home and away wins (1.2 for an away win and 0.8 for a home win), 50% opponents’ average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents’ opponent’s average winning percentage (OOWP) .  O-h-h-h-h-h-h … now it’s clear.  (Actually, could either Tyler from Winnipeg or Martin from Waterloo give us a formula for this ?  As always, we need math help !)


 

Overtime –

  •  Ex-Calgary Dino, Robbie Sihota, has signed a new one-year
    Robbie Sihota

    Robbie Sihota

    contract with MAFC Budapest of the Hungarian A Division. Last season the 6-6 forward, who heads into his 7th year as a pro, scored 18.5 points per game (3rd in league) and snared 9.3 rebounds per game (4th).
    Sihota had previously played in the Dutch League, Switzerland, Germany, and in Edmonton of the IBL.

  • Brandon Brine, the Lethbridge Pronghorns’ 5th year Canada West all-star last year signed a pro deal with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos in Spain. The 6-7 Aussie will be missed by UL, but is expected to be one of the top players for his club in Miraflores.
  • The powerhouse Carleton Ravens landed another big recruit in August in 6-9, Eddie Ekiyor of Ottawa,  This was a late switch  for the widely recruited Canada Basketball team member, who had originally signed with Xavier (Cincinnati), an NCAA Div 1 school.
  • It was great to hear Coach Marc Dobell answer his office phone at Mt. Royal University;  the personable 13 year coach of the Cougars returns to Fall practice after some time away recovering from a heart attack.  We wish him well, not only with his team, but in a full recovery health wise .

Fall Camps Opening – More Signings

Summer into Fall as Classes and Pre-Season Practice Begin

Jasdeep Gill and his Calgary Dinos, defending Canada West champions, are among many schools Fall camp this week.

Jasdeep Gill and his Calgary Dinos, defending Canada West champions, are among many schools starting Fall camp this week.                        Photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

Canada West teams are seeing all their roster players returning to campus.  Academic classes, and the full Fall basketball training period  are getting underway.  The CIS differs greatly from region to region, with many Ontario and Quebec schools just having completed games vs U.S. schools who toured North of the border.

Only UBC, Trinity Western, and Victoria played an NCAA opponent on the West Coast, as UNC-Charlotte went 3-0 in beating the ‘Birds 89-71, the Spartans 95-58, and the Vikes by a 92-73 count.  That’s in interesting contrast to the full-on schedule for schools like Carleton, Ottawa, UQAM, McGill, Concordia, and Toronto.,

Attention grabbers from NCAA summer action –   Carleton continues to Carleton Rstand-out with their 5-0 record, including a 100-75 pasting of Wichita State.  Dave Smart returns to the bench, and it may well be more of the same, the Ravens, then the rest of the CIS. ….  Ottawa goes 4-1, although their slate in Costa Rica doesn’t feature many ‘power teams’.  (Frankly, this summer saw fewer top U.S. squads overall than in past years. Maybe they were getting nervous about losing games in Canada?)  … Concordia is 3-2 … Toronto 80 UNLV 79 . Really ?  … while McMaster travels to Taiwan and wins 5 games in a tournament including over Cal Poly -Pomona.

We now await the mid to late September games with alumni, CGEP, and CCAA opponents, then CIS early pre-season tournies.    UVic’s Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament on Sept. 29-30, UNB’s Eric Garland on the 30th, Oct 1-2, and in Wolfeville, NS on the same dates, the Stu Aberdeen for Acadia.


Late Signings Bolster Brandon and TRUtyvon c

Brandon Coach Gil Cheung has added 3 exciting prospects to his roster just last week. From Middletown, New York  Tyvon Cooper is a 3rd year import transfer from  Orange County Community College, NY.  Cooper was a National Junior College All-American . The 6-0 guard was 4th in the nation in scoring at 23.7 ppg, leading his team in scoring, rebounds, and steals.  He is a strong 3 point shooter, and promises to recharge the BU attack.

Two other recent signees for the ‘Cats are Mohammad Sohaib Sultan of Montreal and Girece Kazumba from Toronto. Sultan, a 5-11 guard transfers from  Vanier College  where he was a Quebec League All-Star . Kazumba, a 6-2 guard,  played with Vermillion Community College , Minnesota.

Cheung has now added 6 new faces for this year’s version of the Bobcats, including  Josh Bell of Mississauga, Ont. and two high school grads,  Kobyn Jopp of Calgary,  and Brandon (Crocus Plains)  Riley Schaus.

Scott Clark at TRU has been extra busy on the recruiting front, as he lands 22 TRU 'Packyear old point guard Jonathan Layne of Toronto via  Bismarck State College  (North Dakota).  This is just following TRU announcing another import, Derek Rhodes (6’5” guard, Sacramento City College.)

7 other WolfPack recruits for the ’16-’17 team are  Ryan Miller (6’6” forward, Kamloops,  Trent Monkman (6’2”, guard, Smithers, BC, Noah Kaefer (6’4”, forward, Courtenay, BC ), Madhu McConnell (6’0” guard, Victoria, -Oak Bay), Jass Singh (6’0” guard, Abbotsford- WJ Mouat), Jordan Komarniski (6’0”, guard, Kamloops,  South Kamloops ), and Maalik Hazzies (6’9”, forward, Sacramento, CA,  American River College .  (From Larry Read, TRU Sports Information).

More Canada West Recruiting News –

Mambi Diawara, 6-5 wing, from Montreal signs with Calgary

Mambi Diawara, 6-5 wing  from Montreal signs with Calgary Dinos

  • The Calgary Dinos add 3rd year Montreal native Mambi Diawara, who  played two years at Lamar State (Texas). The 6-5 wing man will certainly be a potential rotation player. UC also signed 6-5 high school Regina high school star Sasha Pojuzina, and  Ethan Scott, a 6-4 guard from Orangeville, Ontario .
  • Victoria Coach Craig Beaucamp has recently signed Mindy Minhas, a ‘blue-chip’ talent from Vancouver’s Winston Churchill. Minhas was to attend UBC last year, but had some academic hurdles.  The Vikes already corralled  Noah Charles, a 6-5 forward from Duncan, BC Cowichan Sec.,  6-6 Jake Newman from White Rock Christian via Lafayette College (PA), Wayne Tucker, a 6-1 import from Oakland, CA,  6-1 Scott Kellam, Issaquah HS, WA, and 6-5  Vladislav Zasmolin, from Sir W. Churchill HS, Calgary.
  • Saskatchewan Huskies inked a pair of Saskatoon high school stars – Addison Dewar, 6-3 guard from Marion Graham Collegiate and Emmanuel Akintunde, 6-1, from St. Joseph High School.  More details in this Star-Phoenix story.

 

MRU Cougars Coach Suffers Heart Attack

 

 

Dobell Taking Time to Recover

Marc Dobell coaching a Cougars game last season.

Marc Dobell coaching a Cougars game last season.         photo – W. Thomas,                 Canada West Hoops

We were surprised to hear that our friend Marc Dobell, the long-time Head Coach of the Mt. Royal Cougars, had suffered a heart attack last Thursday, July 28.  Marc shared his experience in a detailed note to friends, team members and supporters today, and he expressed his wishes for the near future, “I look forward to seeing you all down the road to recovery and into the basketball and school season.  I also look forward to being back with the team soon!  In the meantime I  have great immediate support with my family, assistant coaches (Ty (McVicar), Rich (Foggo) and Hidesh (Bhardwaj)- they will be taking the reigns for the next couple of weeks).”

Dobell described the heart attack as having delivered a “serious blow to the heart”, but “ Current prognosis is I should get to a near full recovery, although I have lost some functionality in the heart. “

 Coach Dobell led the Cougars into CIS competition in the 2012-13 season after he had established Mt. Royal as one of the perennial powers in Canadian Colleges play.  He won a CCAA title with MRU in 2009, a Silver medal in 2012, and another National championship while coaching NAIT in 2003.

Coach Dobell’s episode is such a surprise, but a reminder that life is unpredictable, and we would be wise to enjoy it, and appreciate our friendships on a daily basis. We, along with so many colleagues, friends, and people in the basketball community wish Marc the very best in his recovery.  We hope to see him back on the bench this Fall, with a good health outlook.


 

Respect for a Southern Alberta High School Legend

Jim Whitelaw photo- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Jim Whitelaw                                                           photo- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Jim Whitelaw, an outstanding basketball and football coach during his teaching career at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI) from 1951-1979, died last week in Lethbridge.  A driving force in the establishment of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association, Mr. Whitelaw was considered one Alberta’s very top coaches in both sports as he directed the Rams to many championships over his tenure.

The LCI basketball teams won provincial titles in 1958, ’60, ’61, ’65 and ’79 with the football teams capturing 19 Southern Alberta championships, with five undefeated seasons in the 1950s and early ‘60s.images
His teams displayed the determination, poise, and discipline which Coach Whitelaw had as the foundation of his coaching philosophy.  He was a demanding task-master, and had confidence in his coaching system, and transferred that confidence to his players. He was a multiple winner of coach of the year honours in both football and basketball in the very competitive Southern Alberta League.  He was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

In the summer months Jim’s game was golf, and in that too, he was extremely competitive in winning  two Southern Alberta Open Golf Championships, a City of Lethbridge Open Championship, and winning a spot on the Alberta Senior Men’s team in 1982.

Certainly, those who played for him, and those who coached with him and against him, had the utmost respect for the tireless efforts Coach Whitelaw made on behalf of the youth of Lethbridge, and for basketball and football in Alberta. He leaves a tremendous legacy, in the tradition of the LCI Rams, and through his many grads, including current U of L Women’s coach Dave Adams, and former Stampeders football great, Jim Furlong.

Many more details in this terrific article from Dylan Purcell in the Lethbridge Herald. 


 

Overtime –

  • NCAA squads are beginning to cross the Canadian border to play games against CIS teams, with most games in Eastern Canada .  The only games for Canada West teams are with UNC-Charlotte, who will play 3 B.C. schools in mid-August.
    •  Charlotte at UBC on Aug 11, at Trinity Western on Aug 12, and at Victoria on Aug 15.
  • The other games starting Friday include Stetson Univ (FL) at McGill, Carleton, Concordia … Wichita State at UQAM, Carleton, McGill,  … Charleston Southern vs Windsor and Toronto … Arkansas- Pine Bluff at Laval, UQAM, Carleton, McGill … Morgan St. at Concordia … Florida A&M at UQAM, Laval, McGill, Concordia …  Other visitors will be Fairleigh Dickenson, Northwestern St., Buffalo, Northwood, and St. Thomas Aquinas

Busy Summer for CIS Hoops Players

 

 

‘Off-season’ is a Big Misnomer for Canada West Athletes

There was a day (in the previous century) when ‘CIAU’ players used to work summer jobs, or, if they were lucky, play golf, drop by the gym, or out-door court, and do some shooting or get in a pick-up game.  Today’s CIS athletes, for the most part, are more intensely engaged in training, teaching camps, playing summer games, and involved in full-on practice sessions.

David Kapinga , UC Dinos 3rd year point man.

David Kapinga , UC Dinos 3rd year point man.  photo- David Moll UC Athletics

In a conversation with Calgary Dinos point guard David Kapinga, we get a sense of the schedule many of today’s student athletes face in the ‘off-season’. “ It’s intense”, says the former Calgary high school star. “We’re here to start UC summer camps for junior high kids at around 8 am, and we go through 4:00 pm.  We’ll shoot at noon, and then shoot and scrimmage after 4.  We will do a physical training / weights session after that, and we’re not done until after 8 pm.  I’m bagged after a week of camps, and we have 3 weeks”,  says Kapinga.

The Dinos have chosen not to host NCAA teams in August, as they had done for many recent summers, however, several B.C schools will be geared up to play U.S. teams again this August.

Other teams will meet for a summer team camp, and, like UBC, may make an overseas trip for returning players.  The whole T-Birds squad will be facing NCAA  competition some time in August, and that means getting enough practice hours to be game-ready. No longer the standard 2nd week of September start;  it’s an 11 month team exercise for most very competitive programs.  These guys (and gals) earn their scholarships !


Mid-summer news briefs from Canada West –

  • Former Bears star, Jordan Baker, has signed a contract to play in Japan next season.  He moves from the Portuguese League, where he was the team’s leading scorer for Galitos -Tiey.  Details in this Edmonton Journal article.
  • The Winnipeg Wesmen add Winnipeg school stand-out , 6-4 guard, Josh Gandier of John Taylor Collegiate.  Coach Mike Raimbault also lands  a pair of  Junior College stars ; 6-5 wing, Sean Tarver (Baltimore, MD) UW news release     Home-grown forward,  6-7 Billy Yaworski,  returns home after 1 year in U.S.  Wesmen News
  • Thompson Rivers adds 6-9 import, Malik Hazziez, from Sacramento, CA.  A 12 point / 10 rebound performer at  American River College  (Sacramento) will be going into his 3rd year of eligibility this Fall.  More in this Kamloops This Week article.
  • Manitoba’s Coach Kirby Schepp coached the Team Canada  U-18s,
    Bison's Kirby Schepp with Canada Basketball Manager and NBA legend , Steve Nash - photo from The Winnipeg Sun

    Bison’s Kirby Schepp with Canada Basketball Manager and NBA legend , Steve Nash – photo from The Winnipeg Sun

    and a key Bisons’ recruit, James Wagner, was a member of that team, as they made it to the finals of the FIBA America’s tourney in Chile, but lost a 99-84 decision to the U.S.

 

  • Fraser Valley lands Anthony Gilchrist, a 6-4 guard from College of the Desert, CA
  • The Saskatchewan Huskies sign 6-4 wing, Jaylan Morgan, Brampton, ON, Unknownwho comes to the Huskies from Williston St College, ND
  • Okanagan Heat have added Tristan Matthews, a 6-4 guard from Sentinal Sr Sec., West Vancouver
  • UBC adds  Harry Liu, a 6-3 guard from Sir Winston Churchill, Vancouver
  • UNBC gets a local star in Tyrell Laing, a 5-10 guard from Prince George.
  • Victoria continues to sign members of the Charles family !  This summer, it’s Noah Charles, a 6-5 forward from Duncan’s Cowichan Sec. A more circuitous route brings 6-6 Jake Newman back to B.C. to play for the Vikes.  The White Rock Christian grad played 2 years at Lafayette College, PA, then red-shirting last year at Carleton.

New CW Schedule Creates Inequity

 

Canada West Rolls the Dice With a Complicated Schedule Switch   
The Canada West schedule has undergone a major shift for the up-coming cwest2016-17 season, with many hours of consideration by Athletic Directors and League personnel before trashing the Pioneer – Explorer format of recent years in favour of a new 17 team loop featuring a ‘modified and unbalanced’ slate. As we reported last year, Canada West President, Ian Reade (U of Alberta, Athletic Director) lauded the changes,  “We were able to go through a collective problem- solving process to get to a format, and come together on this one. This allows us to guarantee that traditional and geographic opponents will have the opportunity to play each other annually, while eliminating the perception of having two tiers within the conference.”

In trying to accommodate (or create anew) ‘regional rivalries’ the League has each school playing  4 geographically proximate rivals every season, then 6 of the remaining 12 schools every 2nd year.

ANNUAL OPPONENTS BY SCHOOL –
Alberta – Calgary, Lethbridge, MacEwan, Saskatchewan
Brandon – Regina, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Winnipeg
UBC – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Trinity Western, Victoria
UBC-Okanagan – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Victoria
Calgary – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Saskatchewan
Fraser Valley – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Lethbridge – Alberta, Calgary, MacEwan, Mount Royal
MacEwan – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Winnipeg  … Winnipeg?
Manitoba  – Brandon, Mount Royal, Regina, Winnipeg  … Mt. Royal?
Mount Royal – Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, MacEwan
UNBC – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Regina – Brandon, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg
Saskatchewan – Alberta, Brandon, Calgary, Regina
Thompson Rivers – UBC-Okanagan, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Trinity Western – UBC, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Victoria – UBC, UBC-Okanagan, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Winnipeg – Brandon, MacEwan, Manitoba, Regina

And here are the opponents for each team for the ’16-’17 season …

Victoria – at Reg2, Cal2, Mac2, UBC1/1, at TRU2, at Okan2, Leth2, TWU2, at UFV2, Wpg2
UBC – at TRU2, Man2, Vic1/1, Okan2, at Sask2,  Alb2, at MRU2, Bran2, UNBC2, at TWU2
Fraser V – Sask2, TWU1/1, UNBC2, at Bran2, Mac2, at Cal2, at Alb2, TRU2, Vic2, at Okan2
Trinity W- at Okan2, UFV1/1, at UNBC2, Reg2, Leth2, at Wpg2, Man2, at Vic2, at MRU2, UBC2
Okanagan- TWU2, at Bran2, MRU2,  at TRU2, at UBC2, Reg2, Vic2, at Leth2, at Mac2, UFV2
T. Rivers- UBC2, at Man2, at Alb2, Okan, at UNBC2, Vic2, Wpg2, at UFV2, Cal2, at Reg2
UNBC – at Wpg2, Alb2, TWU2, at UFV2, TRU2, at Leth2, MRU2, at Man2, at UBC2, Sask2
Alberta – Bran2, at UNBC2, TRU2, at Man2, Mac1/1, Cal1/1, at UBC2, UFV2, at Sask2, Leth2
MacEwan- at Leth2, Reg2, Vic2, at MRU2, Alb1/1, at UFV2, at Bran2, Wpg2, Okan2, at Cal2
Calgary – Man2, at Vic2, Leth1/1, MRU1/1, Alb1/1, UFV2, Sask2, at Reg2, at TRU2, Mac2
Mt. Royal- Leth1/1, at Okan2, Mac2, Cal1/1, Bran2,at UNBC2, UBC2, at Sask2, TWU2, at Man2
Lethbridge – Mac2, MRU1/1, at Wpg2, Cal1/1, at TWU, UNBC2, Sask2, at Vic2, Okan2, at Alb2
Regina – Vic2, at Mac2, at TWU2, Sask2, at Okan2, Man2, at Bran2, at Wpg2, Cal2, TRU2
Saskatchewan – at UFV2, Wpg2, Bran2, at Reg2, UBC2, Leth2, at Cal2, MRU2, Alb2, at UNBC2
Brandon – at Alb2, Okan2, at Sask2, Wpg1/1, UFV2, at MRU2, Mac2, Reg2, at UBC2, Man2
Manitoba – at Cal2, TRU2, at UBC2, Alb2, Wpg 1/1, at Reg2, at TWU2, UNBC2, at Bran2, MRU2
Winnipeg – UNBC2, at Sask2, Leth2, Bran1/1, Man1/1, TWU2, at TRU2, at Mac2, Reg2, at Vic2

Schools clearly choose whether or not to engage in the ‘home and home’ format with regional rivals … some do and some don’t.  The Dinos have 3 such 1 and 1 series, while Winnipeg, Lethbridge, MRU, and Alberta are playing 2 reciprocals each.  But seemingly obvious chances to play the home and home are passed up by Saskatchewan-Regina, UBC-O – TRU, Brandon-Manitoba, and Trinity W-UBC.

UBC T-Bird

T-Birds lead the list of ‘power teams’ in CW.

Vs ‘Traditional Powers’ ( in 1985-86, Lethbridge had the temerity to win Canada West, and Brandon won in 2001-02 … since 1986 we have UBC with 9 titles, Victoria with 8, Alberta has 7,  Calgary has won 4, and Saskatchewan 1)  We include the Huskies as a power team because of their recent record in League play and presence in the playoffs.

Where is the balance when  Winnipeg has just Sask and Victoria to face, while both UBC-O and TWU have only UBC and UVic,  and the Vikes are slated vs just Calgary and UBC? Meanwhile, Lethbridge has to contend with all of Calgary, Sask, Victoria, UBC, and Alberta, and TRU gets Alberta, Calgary, UBC, and UVic

No games between … Calgary – UBC, UVic – Sask, or UVic -Alberta … Manitoba misses UVic, Lethbridge, and Saskatchewan.   UBC doesn’t play Fraser Valley? Little wonder that virtually every Canada West coach has registered disdain for the unbalanced schedule.  But, the League officials point out that every other year you will play the teams you missed the previous year.

So every 2nd year, for example, Calgary will play UBC, Trinity W., Winnipeg, Brandon, UNBC, and Okanagan (non-regional ), with the following year dropping those and getting UVic, UFV, Manitoba, Regina, and Thompson R.  As someone pointed out … “So we get home games every 4 years vs UVic and UBC, who are both traditionally big spectator draws?  Terrific !”

The one saving grace, if you want to look at the big slate of play-off games, is that 12 of the 17 teams get into the post-season merry-go-round.  Of course, if you’re 13 or 14, you may be unhappy, and certainly number 5 and 6 will have a beef in missing a 1st round bye if they deem their schedule tougher than that of the ‘favoured 4’.

Comment is welcomed ….

Overtime –

  • The CIS Men’s Basketball Final 8 returns to it’s ‘traditional site’ in
    TRU's Josh Wolfram

    TRU’s Josh Wolfram signs pro contract in the Swedish League.

    Halifax for the next 2 seasons (March ’17 and March ’18), with bids being entertained in the coming years. The Women’s Tournament will be in the West for the next couple of years, with Victoria hosting in March ’17 and Regina in March ’18.

  • TRU’s graduating All-star, Josh Wolfram has signed a pro contract to play in Sweden this coming Fall/Winter.  The 6-10 forward, was among the leaders in both scoring and rebounding for the Wolf Pack,  Canada West Silver-medalists in his senior season.  Josh has signed a guaranteed contract with Umea Basket of the Swedish League. More details in this News Kamloops article. 
  • Riley Schaus, the top prospect out of the Brandon City League,  has signed to play for the home-town Bobcats under Coach Gil Cheung. Cheung likes the 6-1 Crocus Plains HS star for his ‘fine-shooting, and great determination’.  (Name another Crocus Plains star who became a CW All-star back in the 1990s.)
  • Adonis Montfort-Palomino, ex-Dinos, who was originally slated to go to Cape Breton this Fall, has decided, probably due to the coaching change with Matt Skinn moving to Calgary, that he will play at MacEwan.  Closer to home, friends, and likely more familiarity with the program.
  • Some other notable signings … 6-3 guard, Andre Kelly (Mississauga, ON) to Alberta, Regina lands Johneil Johnson, a 6-0 guard from Nova Scotia, UBC adds Aussie import, 6-5 swingman, Jerome Thompson, plus Isaiah Familia a 6-2 guard from Windsor, ON.

Skinn is a Big Plus for Dinos

Dinos Benefit From Coach’s Life-changing Decision

Your dream job was to be a Head Coach in CIS Basketball, and, if you’re Matt Skinn, you got to do that as a young man, first at St. FX, where you turned some heads by taking a 4-16 team from the previous year, and posting a 16-4 record in your 1st season (2008-09).  “I’m very proud of what we accomplished at X”, said Skinn. “We had a strong winning record for several seasons, and had recruited the future CIS Rookie of the Year (Vanessa Pickard) before I took the CBU Men’s job.”

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach.

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach. Photo – Halifax Chronicle-Herald

You moved to the Cape Breton Capers in 2012; this was your alma mater, where you were an AUS all-star forward in the early 2000s.  For 4 years, you guided the Capers, and won an AUS title in 2013.  “I was so excited to be at CBU as the Head Coach, and I felt that we were establishing a 1st-class program”, Skinn suggests. “I loved coaching at my old school.”

So, now you give that up?  You move back to Calgary and UC, where you had been an Assistant Coach working under Dan Vanhooren prior to your ‘Maritimes Adventure’?  You’re back as a UC Assistant for the best reason possible: to be with your fiancé !  Karmen Brown, who grew up in Calgary, met Matt when they were both prominent figures in the Basketball scene in Nova Scotia (Karmen a player at CBU), and, and after her graduation, they got together in Sydney for the final years of Matt’s coaching for the Capers.

When Karmen returned to Calgary, and was successful in landing a position with the Calgary Police Service, Matt had a decision to make. Give up his head coaching job with the Capers, or stay in Nova Scotia?  Being a pretty smart guy, Matt chose  S. Alberta and living with Karmen. He returns as an Assistant Coach with Coach V and the Dinos … more details in this story from Ben Matchett, UC Asst. Athletic Director. 

Calgary is very fortunate to regain the passion and experience that Coach Skinn brings to the table; it’s not often you get a guy with his resume as your Assistant Coach.  With his full-time status, Matt will be able to have an immediate positive impact for this already strong Dinos program. His ability to work with and relate to student athletes, his solid grasp of recruiting, and his strategic sense for the CIS game will pay dividends for UC.  Welcome back Matt !


MRU lands a pair of ‘blue-chip recruits’ !

6-4 import swinman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

6-4 import swingman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

Coach Marc Dobell must be feeling just a little more confident of his Cougars’  immediate future after having signed 2 impressive looking American imports last week. It’s not hard to understand how he became aware of Josh Ross, 6-4, 4th year wing man from Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, B.C.).  Ross was named the Canadian Colleges Player of the Year back in March, and has been a stellar scorer / rebounder for the Mariners, as the Island crew dominated the B.C. League.  “Josh is a 3-4 player, who can impact a game in many ways”, says MRU Coach Marc Dobell.

Ross, from Burlington, Iowa, will have 2 years to help Mt. Royal move up the pecking order in Canada West, and he joins a core group which includes returnees Canada West Rookie of the Year, Brett Layton (6-8, Calgary), 5th year shooting guard, Derek Wolfe, and 6-2 point guard, Glen Yang (2nd year, Calgary).

A high school recruit from Dallas, TX, Craig Martin, is described by his high school coach, Patrick Washington (Woodrow Wilson HS) as, “ … easy to coach and has a great basketball IQ.”   In a program which amassed an amazing 110 wins vs just 18 losses during Martin’s 4 years at Wilson, the combo guard stood out for his exceptional ball handling and his team-leading defensive skills.  “We think Craig will be a very good player for us”, says Coach Dobell. “Coach Washington, who has a son playing football for U. Regina, obviously supported the young man’s decision to come to Calgary for school, and play for the Cougars.”

A 3rd recruit added last week is 2nd year transfer Nick Tancon, a 6-7 forward from Comox , B.C., who played for 1 season at Trinity Western.  On his signing by the Spartans in the Spring of 2014, Tancon was lauded by then TWU Coach Scott Allen as one of B.C.’s best all-round players, and he impressed Canada West observers in his rookie season at Langley.  Tancon will add valuable size and depth on the Cougars front line.  Dobell suggests, “Nick will be working to get in game shape after having had surgery on his foot and ankle last Winter.  We expect him to be a key contributor for us in the future.”


 

‘Horns Cast Wide Net .. and come up with prize catches !'hornd

In a major re-tooling for the U of L, following the graduation of key seniors, Brandon Brine, Jared Baker, and Rob Olsen, who combined for over 40 ppg, 16.2 rebounds,  8.2 assists, the Pronghorns added 7 new players for the 2016-17 roster. Losing those 3 veteran leaders, who each logged near 29 minutes per game last year, means the ‘Horns will be getting an infusion of youth.

The headliners have to be 6-8 forward DeAngelo Ashley (3rd year transfer, Fresno City College, CA), and 6-6 Australian import, Michael D’Agostino, an 18 year old who played in the Aussie ‘V League’, a men’s league a rung below their top  level.

Daniel Lybbert is a Canadian who attended high school in the U.S,, coming to Lethbridge from Scottsdale, AZ Prep.  Lybbert is a ‘tremendous shooter’, according to Coach Hansen, and his senior year stats from Scottsdale back up that assertion : he averaged 14 ppg, and shot over 50% from 3 point range!

Coming to Lethbridge from Ontario’s Ridley College, Brett Warren is a 5-11 point man from Newfoundland, who promises to be a great set-up man for the UL offense.  Mark Rodehutskors, at 6-6, a very young (16 yrs) grade 12 star at Chestermere High School, chose to take his own path to UL after his older brother Jeff had already signed at U Calgary. Mark is a red-shirt candidate, according to Coach Mike Hansen, but should develop into a significant contributor once he hits the playing roster.

Colton Gibb,  (LCI, Lethbridge) and Lincoln Anderson (Cardston, AB) are both former all-stars in the Southern Alberta High School circuit, and are returning from Mormon Missions.  The pair have the skills to crack the ‘Horns line-up, and will be closely followed by local fans.


 

Overtime –

  • Good luck to Katherine Adams, who was recently named the new
    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griggins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griffins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Head Coach of the Women’s team at MacEwan University in Edmonton.  Adams, a Calgary native,  has been coaching as an Assistant with the UC Dinos Women for the past 7 years, and, as a player, was a steady floor-leader at guard for some strong Dinos teams in her 5 year career.  Expect Adams to do a solid job with the Griffins, as she has had a most thorough ‘internship’ at various levels from Club, High School, Provincial competition, and with UC.

  • Trinity Western continues to re-work their young roster with the addition of Ben Reddy,  a 6- 3 guard,  from Lambrick Park Secondary (Victoria), who had an injury-shortened Grade 12,  playing only three games, where he averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game.  (From Mark Janzen – TWU Athletics). Another B.C. high school star has chosen Trinity Western; Daniel Stead, a 6-7 forward from Walnut Grove, Langley he coming Fall.  Details in this story from the Langley Times   

Busy Canada West Recruiting Scene

 Canada West Schools Announce New Recruits –  here’s the latest update on recent signings for Canada West teams this late Spring period.

Fraser Valley rivals, Jordyn Sekhorn (11) and Riley Braich (5) sign with UFV.

Fraser Valley rivals, Jordyn Sekhorn (11) and Riley Braich (5) sign with UFV.

  • Fraser Valley signs 2 more local high school stars for next season.  Fraser Valley friends and competitors, Riley Braich, a  6-3  guard  from Abbotsford (Yale)  and  Jordyn Sekhon a 6-5 wing from W.J. Mouat  of Abbotsford, are both headed for UFV, as Coach Adam Friesen re-builds after graduating Kevon Parchment More in this Abby News article. 
  • TRU Head coach Scott Clark signed 6-1 guard, Trent Monkman,  (Smithers, B.C.), who led his team to the 2A Provincials this March, and scored over 40 ppg in his senior season.  Details in this News Kamloops story.  6-6 forward, Ryan Miller,  of Valleyview Secondary  (Kamloops) will also join the Wolf Pack this Fall.

    Nigel Boyd, guard from London-Steveston, joins the TWU Spartans.

    Nigel Boyd, guard from London-Steveston, joins the TWU Spartans.

  • Trinity Western’s Coach, Aaron Muhic, has launched a youth movement … he signed 6-3 guard Nigel Boyd (Steveston-London, Richmond, B.C.)  .  Boyd was the top scorer on a team which reached the 3A Final in the B.C. High School Provincials.  Another new face for the Spartans is Justin Robinson, a 6-0 guard from Maple Ridge Christian, who averaged 29 ppg in his senior season.  Most recently, Trinity announced the signing of 2 more West coast high school stars – 6-7, Daniel Stead, (Langley, B.C., Walnut Grove), and 6-5 wing man, Aaron Paetkau (Parksville, B.C., Ballenas Secondary ).
  • Andre Kelly, a 6-3 guard from Mississauga, ON and The Rock High School, Gainesville, FL. has signed with the Alberta Golden Bears.  He is the son of former  Brandon Bobcats All Canadian, Jude Kelly.  Details from Matt Gutsch of U of A Sports
  • Another talented import guard from South of the border is headed to Saskatoon to join the U of S Huskies. Jalen White, a 6-1, 3rd year transfer (South Carolina State) will provide experience and leadership in an already strong back-court.

    Kelowna Owls star, Matt Lafontaine, stays home at UBC-O.

    Kelowna Owls star, Matt Lafontaine, stays home at UBC-O.

  • The Okanagan Heat welcome Kamloops high school star, Justin Melnychuk, a 6-4 guard from St. Ann’s Academy (Kamloops) More in this Kelowna Now storyCoach Peter Guarasci also adds Kelowna Owls guards, Matt Lafontaine (6-4), and Nav Sandhu (6-2), who were instrumental in helping the Owls win their 1st-ever BC 4A Provincial title this past year.

 

 

  • The Manitoba Bisons add hometown guard, Zach Giesbrecht  from Winnipeg’s John Taylor Collegiate –  Press release details from GoBisons

    Narcisse Ambanza is a big signing for the UW Wesmen.

    Narcisse Ambanza is a big signing for the UW Wesmen.

  • Winnipeg Wesmen Coach, Mike Raimbault, mines another nugget from the Toronto area talent pool, as he signs Narcisse Ambanza, a 6-3 combo guard from Eastern Commerce HS .  More in this UW press release 

 

 

 

 

Overtime –

New UBC Athletic Director, Giles Lepine

New UBC Athletic Director, Giles Lepine

Recruiting News – Critical Roster Building

 

 

Canada West Teams Busy With Recent Signings –

5th year seniors Wyatt Anders (Bisons) , Matt Letkeman , and Josh Owen -Thomas (Dinos) shown in recent playoff action, will leave opportuninties for new recruits at Manitoba and Calgary this Fall. photo - UM Athletics

5th year senior graduates,  Wyatt Anders (Bisons)  and Matt Letkeman   (Dinos)  , shown in recent playoff action, will leave opportunities for new recruits at Manitoba and Calgary this Fall.  photo – UM Athletics

Manitoba Coach, Kirby Schepp announced the signingof local Winnipeg high school stars, Cameron O’Hara, a 6-7 post man from St. Paul’s HS, and James Wagner, a 6-7 forward from John Taylor Collegiate, who talks about his move to the Bisons for next season,   in this Winnipeg Free Press article by Alana Trachenko .  

> The Fraser Valley Cascades add 3 ‘blue-chip’ recruits for the coming Fall. 

Daniel Adediran, Pacific Academy (Surrey), will suit up for UFV. - photo - Surrey Leader

Daniel Adediran, Pacific Academy (Surrey), will suit up for UFV. – photo – Surrey Leader

Andrew Morris, a B.C. College all-star with Capilano College transfers in, and high school stars, Daniel Adediran, Pacific Academy (Surrey)  and Sagar Dulay,  Tamanawis (Surrey).  More details in this story from Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
Trinity Western coach Aaron Muhic signed guard Josiah Meppelink (Langley), who joins the Spartans via Lynden, Wash. The 6-foot-3, 160-pound Meppelink, who moved from Langley to Lynden when he was 12 years old, averaged eight points, 10 assists and six rebounds per game this past season at Lynden Christian School. In his Grade 12 year, Meppelink was also named to the All-NWC (Northwest Conference) Second Team. From TWU Athletics

Calgary Dinos Coach, Dan Vanhooren, has already signed import guard, 6-4 Max Eisle from Ulm, Germany, and the intensely recruited Jeff Rodehutskers, an exceptionally talented 6-8 forward from Chestermere High School (Alberta).

 

Lethbridge Coach, Mike Hanson,  previously announced the signing of 6-4 guard, Scott Mazutinec, from Stirling HS in S. Alberta, and Mark Rodehutskers, the 6-4  younger brother of Jeff.  Mark, who was academically accelerated in grade school, will graduate from Chestermere HS this June as well.

 

UBC Head Coach, Kevin Hanson, has landed 2 highly sought-after high school athletes in Parker Simson, a 6-3 guard (and football prospect) from Kelowna Sr. Sec., and Izaiah Ugoalah, a 6-5 guard from Sir W. Churchill (Vancouver).

 

> UVic Coach, Craig Beaucamp, has been busy with 3 signees … transfer guard , Wayne Tucker, a 6-1 import from Oakland , CA  via Olds College (Alberta) … a 2nd import guard, 6-1 Scott Kellam, Issaquah HS, WA, and a 6-5 wing man, Vladislav Zasmolin, from Sir W. Churchill HS, Calgary.

> Regina Head Coach, Steve Burrows, is surely delighted with the fact that he has signed 3 local stars to play for his Cougars next Fall . 6-2 guards, Ben Hillis and Brayden Kuski, along with 6-4 forward, Carter Millar, all played at LeBoldus High School, Regina.   Details in this story from UR Athletics .

> In a 17 team CW League, it can be a big ask to ‘capture the Cup’.  If you don’t win your last game, do you have to see the season as a failure?  Well, obviously not !  There are many victories and moments to celebrate along the way, as this story from the UM ‘The Manitoban’ does so well .

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> The CIS announced their dates and venues for the next 2 years for the Final 8 National Tournament –  The Championships will be held back in Halifax in the the Spring of both 2017 (March 9-12) and 2018 (March 8-11).  This is a week earlier than it was this season.  We are back to traditional dates, and will not conflict with the First and Second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. (Smart move on the dates … not sure about a one year deal for UBC, but maybe the cost – risk is too high ?)

>  April, for most CIS coaches, is a time when they are either wrapping up their recruiting for the coming Fall season, or they’re still busy attempting to build or re-build their roster with ‘late signings’.  UBC T-Birds Football Coach, Blake Nill, a seasoned recruiting guru says, “You have to have made the initial contact with the student athlete probably in their grade 10 year or at least in their grade 11 year,” said Nill, as he explained the traditional timeline for athletics recruitment today. “ So you can get the process [started] and give it enough time to develop the relationship that you need.” More reflections on the recruiting process in this article by Olamide Olaniyan in The Ubyssey.

> We have a new source for CIS recruiting news from a favourite web-site – Martin Timmerman, who does such a great job with all things CIS Basketball at cishoops.ca has added an up-to-date recruiting info page, which was sorely needed, with the retirement of long-time ‘primo-source’ Barry Hayes.  Check out this recruiting page at CIS Hoops

Carleton Dumps Dinos With the Deep Ball

 

The ‘Mighty Ravens’ still rule supreme in CIS basketball ! 

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photo – Ben Nelms

  Carleton 101  Calgary 79   –   The Ravens bombed the Calgary Dinos defense with a barrage of treys, and ruled the boards at both ends to give themselves a nice 26-14 lead after a quarter. It never really got closer after that, and any brief Calgary threat was usually answered with another deflating 3 ball. A bit of simple math … 16 x 3 = 48 … 7 x 3 = 21  (do we see where this is going ? )  That’s a 27 point gap, and way too big a chasm to cross with what the Dinos had going on offense.Carleton R

This is not a new story at this time of the year.  Actually (in jest), Carleton is slipping; last March they beat their arch-rival, Ottawa, by a 93-46 count !  This does not make tonight’s result taste any better to Calgary, the Canada  West champions. This game snaps an 18 game Calgary win streak, and crushes a dream any school has of winning a National title.

We said the Ravens were champions until they lost in this event: they come back and do this for the 6th straight year, and for the 12th time in 14 years.  Astounding, brilliant, dynastic, and so frustrating for any team running into this powerhouse in the CIS Nationals. You are not happy unless you win your final game, and that, in a way, is lamentable.

Gavin Resch hits 6/12 treys, Connor Wood 5/12, Tajinder Lall 2/2, Cameron Smythe 2/4 … carpet bombing, and most discouraging for Calgary defenders. 49% from the floor is Carleton, and 44% from 3 point range … Calgary hits  39% from the floor, and 25 % from outside.

Resch totals 18 points, Wood has 22 / 4 rebs/ 4 asst, and the quick and powerful Kaza Kajami-Keane finishes with 15 points/ 10 big assists/ 3 steals.  Big men Guillaume Boucard (12 points/ 10 boards/ 2 blocks) and Ryan Ejim (12 points / 6 boards/ 4 blocks ) made the Dinos face a defensive wall they could not scale, and the two converted on inside sorties by the Blackbirds.

Calgary’s Thomas Cooper had a lot of floor time (in a fall-down/knock-down way), and seemed slower and slower getting back up in the late going. He finishes with 25 hard-earned points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 assists, but was hounded by white – jersied  defenders at every turn. David Kapinga scored 15, and Lars Schleuter scored 9 and added 9 boards.

Two championship teams played in the CIS Final on Sunday at the Mitchell Centre on the UBC campus. Carleton takes the National title once more, and with it the familiar crown of CIS domination.  Calgary holds the Canada West trophy, but will be asking questions of themselves until they get back to action next Fall.   Box Score 

 

Ryerson  85  Dalhousie 75  –  In this 3rd place game, the Rams looked like making short work of things, going out front 20-11 after 1, then 45-30 at the half. Led by their 2 most potent scorers, Aaron Best and Adika Peter-McNeilly, who went on a 2nd quarter run, Ryerson was threatening a runaway.
But , as they have done for many games this season, the Tigers came back with a vengeance, and closed the gap to 4 with a minute and a half left . Jarred Reid’s 3 point shot made it 78-81, but the Rams steadied themselves with 4 straight free throws to close it out.
The #1 OUA team got very even scoring, with 4 starters in double figures, led by 15 from Jean – Victor Mukama, who added 6 rebounds / 2 blocks.  Best was next with 14 to go with 6 rebounds, and 3 steals , and Peter-McNeilly scored 13 / 8 rebounds/ 3 assts.
Dalhousie, the AUS champions were led by the 19 points from their all-star, Kashrell Lawrence , and he had 8 rebounds and 2 steals. 5 other Tigers scored in double figures, with 13 each by Jordan Aquino-Serjue and Sven Stammberger.
Ryerson shot 49% from the floor to just 32.5% for Dalhousie, and that was really the difference in the end.      Box Score


 

Overtime –

  • Carleton’s interim Coach, Rob Smart, on the winning culture this program has developed,  ”We really try to foster a culture of healthy competitiveness where it’s OK to want to fight, it’s OK to want to battle every single day and prove yourself,” said Smart, Dave’s nephew. “It doesn’t mean you’re some kind of egomaniac it just means that for those two hours you compete and it’s the most fun thing to do.”  From CBC.ca Sports
  •  The announced attendance was 4300 approximately, and certainly this crowd and those for much of the week were disappointing to veteran observers, and, we would guess, to the UBC organizers.