Fear of the RPI


Manitoba is #1 Seed ?!     …     Blame the RPI


If the play-offs were decided today …

Of course, we can’t do this, with some teams having only 8 games completed, and some with 10, with many more left to play. What we do see are 3 teams which are separating themselves from ‘the masses’. Alberta, UBC, and Calgary are looking like the 3 likely top seeds come late February.  But wait !  If they are at the top of the standings after the 20 game schedule is in the books, are they the top 3 seeds for play-offs?

Not necessarily.  With this ‘imbalanced’ 17 team League, with big differences in schedules, it was decided that a ‘balancing effect’ was needed to seed the 12 play-off qualifiers on the basis of the quality of their opposition.  We present the RPI.  A measure combining each team’s winning % (1/4), the winning %s of their 10 opponents (1/2), and the winning %s of the opponents of those opponents (1/4).

We have the current RPI ratings ( provided by our  cis hoops  stats guru, Martin Timmerman.)  Open the above link, and you get a more complete look at the RPI rating system.    Today  we would get  1. Manitoba, 2.Alberta, 3. Calgary, 4.UBC  in the bye spots.  Then,     5. TRU, 6. Winnipeg, 7. Lethbridge, 8.Saskatchewan, 9. UNBC, 10. Mt. Royal, 11. Regina, and 12. Fraser Valley.

“The top 12 teams based on winning percentage will earn post-season berths, with playoff ranking based on each team’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI) from the regular season. RPI will be used in order to account for the various strengths of schedule.”  (So say the League ‘regs’) “The top four teams based on RPI will receive a bye in the first week of the playoffs.”


Bisons tough schedule boosts their RPI

The startling ‘Manitoba Effect’, due to the winning records of their very strong opponents in the 1st semester, will largely balance itself off in the upcoming 2nd half.  But there will, undoubtedly, be some consternation when the RPI re-shuffles play-off positions. A ‘top 4 team’ losing out on a 1st round bye would be pleading injustice.

But this is what you get when you adopt an ‘All-17 team League’.  Schools had options to break into 2 Divisions, but voted for the 17 .  Ergo … the whimsical effect of the RPI.


Overtime –


  • From the OUA, we note the rise of one of their newest school’s, Nipissing Lakers, whose weekend road sweep at Waterloo and Laurier brought them to 3-5 in league play.  Here is the story from canhoops.ca and ‘Junkie’, Mark Wacyck, Ottawa-based ‘super-blogger’.
  • Fraser Valley Coach Adam Friesen, after the Cascades’ road win Saturday at Brandon, “We’ve been struggling, and the guys, to their credit, have really worked, stuck together, kept grinding and figured out a way to have some success,” Friesen said. “I’m glad they were able to get a win heading into the Christmas break.”  From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics.

Bears Thump Griffs for 10th Straight



Alberta leaves no doubt in the ‘Battle of Edmonton’         

Mamadou Gueye and the Golden Bears go to 10-0 with a win at MacEwan.

Mamadou Gueye and the Golden Bears go to 10-0 with a win at MacEwan.

#9  Alberta 100   MacEwan 78  –  The Bears (10-0) run the table in semester 1, and for the 2nd straight game they dominate the Griffins in their Edmonton Derby. Mamadou Gueye with 24 pts and Brody Clarke 22, led the scoring, and they had 7 and 8 rebounds respectively. Austin Waddoups was outstanding for the GBs again, with 14 pts/ 3/4 from 3/ 9 rebs/5 assists.  U of A are 50% from the floor to 40% for Mac.  Thadius Galvez posted 23 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals for the Griffs, who fall to 3-7.   Box Score   

Manitoba 79   at  Winnipeg 78  –  Right down to the wire at UW Saturday, as the Bisons come back for the sweep after being 19 down at the half and 7 after 3/4s.  After Winnipeg’s Sean Tarver hits a trey to tie it at 78, the Herd’s Joey Nitychoruk gets fouled at the buzzer, and he hits the winning free throw. Manitoba (4-6) claims the ‘City Title’ as they shoot  52% on the night, and a 35-24 rebound edge gives them the extra chances. Keith Omoerah has 21 pts/ 11 rebs for UM, while AJ Basi adds 19 points.  5 Wesmen in double figures , led by 14 from Sean Tarver, but they fall to 6-4.    Box Score  

UFV 76 at Brandon 65 –  A good bounce -back for the Cascades (3-5), who get a big road win behind a solid 21 point/ 8 rebs/ 5 asst/ 3 steal game from 5th year guard, Manny Dulay.  Off the UFV bench, Andrew Morris kicks in with 16 pts.  Brandon (3-7) give up 20 turnovers, and hit only 39% from the floor, after such a good shooting game on Friday.  Girece Kazumba is tops for the ‘Cats with 16 pts, and Earl Thompson Jr gets the 14 pt/ 13 reb double-double.  Box Score  

Thomas Cooper's 32 points drives the Dinos to a win over MRU.

Thomas Cooper’s 32 points drives the Dinos to a win over MRU.  photo  David Moll – UC

at #3 Calgary 109  Mt. Royal  92 –   and a track meet broke out.  Free-wheeling in both directions.  Calgary ‘slows the pace’ in the 2nd half, scoring just 52 points,5 less than in the opening 20. MRU hit 10 treys, but UC were good on 11/23 (48%) from outside, and 53% on all field goal attempts.  The Cougs scored 50 in the final 20 minutes and lost ground.  Not the ‘lock-down  defensive style’ featured in this one.  UC (7-1) takes the Crowchild Classic, led by 32 points/ 10 rebounds from Thomas Cooper, and David Kapinga’s  stellar effort with 15 pts/ 5 rebs/ 9 asst/ 3 steals.  Mt. Royal (4-4) got 17 apiece from guards Derek Wolf and Ryan Cunningham.                     Box Score 

at Regina 83  Saskatchewan 74  –  Which Regina team tonight ?  Well, it was the more efficient offensive, the more hard-working defensive squad.  The Cougars (5-3) enjoy a 180 degree turnaround, and get a split with their Saskatchewan rivals. Alex Igual pours in 25 pts and claims 7 rebounds to lead, and Brian Ofori tallies 19 pts/ 10 rebounds for his double. The Huskies (5-3) are the cold shooting team Saturday, as they go 35% FG, but stay in touch with good rebounding and 21/29 free throws. Shane Osayande is their high scorer with 21 pts/ 9 boards. Box Score  

Lethbridge 100 at Trinity Western 84 –  (This Box Score is delayed … The Pronghorns (6-4) are winners, in any case.  UL get the sweep behind 34 points from Elliott Sentance, who posts a career high 34 points.  Mike Pierzchala adds 23 pts. Pogos Trunyan notches 29 points for the Spartans (2-8) in the loss.

Thompson Rivers 92 at UNBC 80 – A most valuable road sweep for the Wolf Pack, who go to 5-5 on the season.  TRU ring up 59 points in the 2nd half to erase a 7 point deficit. The trio of Volodymyr Iegorov (23 pts/ 12 rebs/ 7 asst), Luke Morris (22 pts/ 11 boards), and Derek Rhodes (23 pts/ 6 rebs) drive the Orange attack .  UNBC (4-6) cannot keep the pace in the end, but they get a good effort from Anthony Hokanson off the bench with 19 points.    Box Score 

at UBC 96    UBC-Okanagan 49 –  Another smothering win by the T’Birds (8-0) over Okanagan (1-9), as the home side hits 56% from the floor.  Conor Morgan again leads, with 21 pts, and Taylor Browne tallies 17 pts in as many minutes off the bench.  The Heat hit just 26% for the game, with their high scorer, Aldrich Berrios scoring 18 pts.  Box Score  


More U-Sports Games Saturday –

OUA –  #1 Carleton  81  MacEwan 67,  #4 Ottawa 90  Brock 63,   #7 Ryerson 84  Windsor 64, Queen’s 85  Algoma 77, Nipissing 66 Laurier 65, Guelph 87  York 65,  Laurentian 70  Waterloo 61


Overtime –

  • The results of games played between the former Pioneer Division schools  and the former Explorer Division teams as of tonight –  27-9  Pioneer.

Huskies Cage Cougars



Big rebounding edge gives the Huskies a lift

Shane Osayande leads the Huskies in their win at Regina Friday.

Shane Osayande leads the Huskies in their win at Regina Friday.  photo – Huskies Athletics

Saskatchewan 77  at Regina  53 –  Saskatchewan (5-2) gets game 1 in the Prairie battle in Regina, but the prettiest thing about this one were the Huskies rebound stats.  Chan De Ciman was ‘slacking off’ with just 6 boards, with the other 4 starters at 9, 9,10, and 10, while Emmanuel Akintunde scoops a team high 11 in his 17 minutes off the bench.  68 boards for the ‘Dogs vs 38 for the Cougars.  With the 25% FG shooting from Regina (4-3), and a cool 34% from the winners there were a ton available.  Shane Osayande leads U of S with 22 pts/ 10 boards, and Matt Forbes counts 20 pts/9 rebs.   Brandon Tull is a lone Cougar in double figurees with 12 points.     Box Score   


 at Brandon 101  Fraser Valley  84  –  The Bobcats hit the century mark for the first time this season, as they pile up 54 in the 2nd half.  Brandon  shoots 49% from the field, with 12/26 (46%) from 3 point range in the game. The ‘Cats, now 3-6, forced 18 Cascades turnovers, and had all 5 starters score 12 pts+. Earl Thompson Jr. had another good outing for BU, hitting 26 pts/ 13 rebounds, while Chris Stanhope scored 18, and Tyvon Cooper had 17.  UFV (2-5) shot only 33% on the night;  their top man was Denver Sparks- Guest, who came off the bench for 21 points.     Box Score  

Lethbridge 89 at Trinity Western 81 –  Lethbridge come back after trailing early, and they go to 5-4, while Trinity drops to 2-7.  Mike Pierzchala and Zac Overwater both score 24 for the ‘Horns, while Vartan Tanielian leads the Spartans with 21. Box Score


  Thompson Rivers  87  at UNBC 81  –  Playing without their top offensive threat, an injured Rhys Elliot, the Timberwolves got an amazing 39 point team effort in the 4th quarter, but couldn’t make up for the 69-42 deficit after 3/4s.  The Wolf Pack shot a surgical 55% from the floor, led by Volodymyr Iegorov’s 23 points/ 5 rebs/ 6 assts. UNBC get 22 points from import Austin Chandler, but shoot just 36% themselves. They rally in the late stages with 12 treys (vs 5 for TRU) and 25/30 from the line. The ‘Pack improve to 4-5, now tied with the T’Wolves.  Box Score 

at  #2 UBC  100  UBC- Okanagan  64 –  The Thunderbirds (7-0) finished in a punishing 53-32 fashion, as the visiting Heat (1-8) hung in to as close as 14 points late in the 3rd quarter,  but were overwhelmed.  UBC’s  Conor Morgan takes over the Canada West scoring lead with a 34 point night, and Jordan Jensen-Whyte adds 20 pts/ 5 steals. Mitch Goodwin led UBC-O with 15 pts, and Aldrich Berrios tallied 9 pts/ 7 boards.  Key stats –  29 Heat turnovers vs 12 for the ‘Birds, and  33/41 free throws for the home side against  16/22 for UBC.   Box Score 


Other U-Spots games Friday

 Quebec-  Concordia  72  at UQAM 65

 Carleton Coach, Dave Smart, in the huddle with his Ravens, during their game with Brock tonight .

Carleton Coach, Dave Smart, in the huddle with his Ravens, during their game with Brock tonight .   photo –  Ron Wuotila for Canada West Hoops

Ontario –  at  #1 Carleton 80  #5 Brock 68,  at #4  Ottawa 79  #7  McMaster 59,  Algoma 76  at York 73 , Nipissing 83  at Waterloo  78,  at  Laurier 81 Laurentian 75


Overtime –

  • Why do coaches develop ‘eye-tics’ and other nervous afflictions?  Well, one reason may be the Canada West playoff tie-breaking system.  This process takes place after all League games are done in February, but is cause for concern even now.  Here are the first 3 criteria . 1. Win/Loss record in head to head competition. 2. Win/Loss record versus common opponents. 3. Each team’s RPI ranking.  We are not likely to go beyond this RPI, but we may well get to it.  The Rating % Index is a complicated formula to judge a team based on their winning percentage, that of their League opponents, and of their  opponents’  opponents .   At present here are some RPIs … Manitoba 3W-6L – .6042 RPI = 3rd in Canada West  ?!  …   Regina 4W-3L – .4218 RPI  = 14th in the CW RPI !!  More to come.  Oh … #1 Carleton Ravens are 9-0 vs all CIS opponents, and 9th in the National RPI ranking.
  • Our continuing thanks and appreciation for the amazing work done by Martin Timmerman (Waterloo, ON) on his web-site   cishoops.ca  .  Schedules, results, team information, league standings across the country, and an absolute wealth of statistics, records, and salient facts about Canadian University Basketball. ( Martin, you ‘Da Dog’ !)
  • Is the 3 point shot ‘ruining the game’  or making it more exciting ? Let’s
    MRU's Josh Ross fires a deep one for 3 points !

    MRU’s Josh Ross fires a deep one for 3 points !    photo-  MRU Athletics

    look at some stats and recent results …  9-0 Alberta are the leading 3 point shooting team in Canada West @ 43.9% , then Calgary (6-1) @39.9%, but UBC (6-0) are 13th in the League @30% from outside the arc!  The 4-2 Saskatchewan Huskies just 29.8%, which is well below the UBC-O Heat (1-7), who shoot 35.1% on 3s. In Thursday’s Calgary win (87-83) at Mt. Royal, the Dinos were 50.8% from the floor, but 3/17 (17.6%) from 3 pt range.  The smaller Cougars (especially after their 6-8 post man, Brett Layton was injured early on) used the 3 point shot as a primary focus of their attack.  MRU were only 37% from the floor, but, of those 70 shots, 31 were from outside, and they made 12 for 38.7% and 36 very valuable points!  (And the fans seemed pretty excited ….)



 Bisons and Bears in Blow-outs


Bisons bury the Wesmen in game 1

Keith Omoerah leads a Bisons stampede over Winnipeg Thursday.

Keith Omoerah leads a Bisons stampede over Winnipeg Thursday.

at Manitoba 91  Winnipeg 60 –   There’s nothing like a cross-town showdown to get the juices flowing, and the Bisons responded to the challenge from the Wesmen on Thursday night at UM.  Keith Omoerah scored 21 pts and claimed 12 boards to lead the way, as the Herd ran rough-shod over the Ws, with a 56-29 pasting in the 2nd half. 51% FG shooting, 20 Winnipeg turnovers, and a cool shooting night for UW led to a Bisons runaway.  Rookie Narcisse Ambanza (Toronto) had 17 for the Wesmen, and Ryan Oirbans scored an 11 point/ 10 rebound double.  Going into Saturday’s return match at Winnipeg, the records are 3-6 for Manitoba and 6-3 for Winnipeg.  Box Score

at Alberta 90  MacEwan 68 –  The Bears are now 9-0 atop Canada West as they smacked the Griffins through 3/4s , establishing a 72-53 lead.  Alberta were hot from the floor at 52.5%, with a scorching 68% (15/22) from 3 pt range.  Geoff Pippus led the Bruins with 20 points on 6/8 from the outside, and Austin Waddoups tallied 17 points, including 4/5 from 3 pt range.  Denzel James and Thadius Galvez were high scores for Mac with 12 apiece.  MacEwan ( 3-6) has the return bout back at their North Edmonton Gym, but they will be hard-pressed to slow down this Bears team on their current run.   Box Score  

David Kapinga led a Dinos charge in the 4th for a UC win at MRU.

David Kapinga led a Dinos charge in the 4th for a UC win at MRU.

Calgary 87  at Mt. Royal 83 –  The Dinos got all they bargained for and more, as MRU struck with 12 treys to just 3 for the visiting UC.  The 51% FG average for Calgary included a bushel full of lay-ups and pull-ups, while it was the long bomb doing all the damage for the Cougs.  Mt. Royal led for much of the way … 43-38 at the half, and they had it tied late into the 4th quarter. 9 points by Calgary’s David Kapinga in that final frame, and 7 from Thomas Cooper led to a UC surge and the win.  The Cougars lost their all-star forward, Brett Layton to an ankle sprain in the 1st quarter, but that seemed to galvanize the squad, and they played an inspired game. Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross erupted for 34 points including 8/13 from outside, while Calgary got 27pts/ 6 rebs from Cooper, and 15 pts/ 6 rebs/ 4 asst by Kapinga.  The Cougars slide to 4-3, while Calgary is now 6-1, with the return game at UC on Saturday.    Box Score 


Overtime –

Wolf Pack Coach, Scott Clark

Wolf Pack Coach, Scott Clark

  • TRU Coach Scott Clark gives kudos to the atmosphere at UNBC for their games at the Northern Sport Centre, The Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre is the favorite visiting gym of most of the WolfPack players. They like the atmosphere there.  Clark praises UNBC for their ability to cultivate a basketball culture in Prince George. “ They draw quite well. There is a life to the crowd.  They have a captive audience there. They have done a good job in their community and my hat goes off to them.  That experience is what university athletics should be. Guys—whether it here at TRU or if they go on the road—they appreciate that.”


TWU's Tyus Allen will be out indefinitely with a knee injury.

TWU’s Tyus Allen will be out indefinitely with a knee injury.

  • We get an update on Tyus Allen, Trinity Western’s lead guard, who had played so well in recent outings.  Near the end of last Saturday’s close loss to Regina, Allen, who had put up 13 pts, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, went down with a knee injury, which is a repeat of past troubles there. A TWU source suggests that, “It doesn’t look good at this point.  Tyus worked so hard to get back after sitting out last season.  This is very disappointing for the young man.”



  • Coach Clark also points out some of the stresses on student athletes as we approach semester exams, “ This last weekend is tough on the student athletes. Exams are coming up. They have been playing for a long time. I hope that we play good basketball. It usually winds up that it isn’t the prettiest basketball at this time of year. Mental and physical fatigue tend to catch up with them at this point.  From Larry Read, TRU Athletics.



Huskies in Regina for ‘Provincial Title’



Saskatchewan and Regina Rivalry Highlights  Friday Action

Regina's Alex Igual leads the Cougars against provincial rival Saskatchewan .

Regina’s Alex Igual leads the Cougars against provincial rival Saskatchewan .

 Saskatchewan at Regina – The two Canada West teams from ‘The Land of the Living Skies’  are both at 4-2 in League play to date.  The Huskies make the trip South for 2 games in the Cougars Den with the provincial ‘championship’ on the line. The Huskies’ dominating forward, Shane Osayande (20 ppg/ 12.3 rebs), leads the ‘Dogs, while guard, Alex Igual (15.3 ppg/ 46% from 3 point range) tops a quartet of back-court scorers for the Cougs.  Big   +11 to -1   rebounding edge to the Huskies, while the Cougars have shot the ball better –  44% to 40%  FG, 33%-30%  from 3 .  Our Call –  Saskatchewan defense and rebounding gets them a split on the road.  (Both Friday and Saturday games go at 8 pm local time)

Fraser Valley at Brandon – The Cascades (2-4) make the long trip to SE Manitoba with an urgent need to turn things around . The Bobcats  get a pair of home dates as they try to improve from a 2-6 tie for 13th spot.  Manny Dulay, a 5th year guard, leads UFV scoring at 15.3 ppg, but the team offense is not clicking so far (71 ppg) .  Brandon  suffers from the same malady at 69 ppg scored, and they’ve  allowed 79 ppg to Fraser Valley’s 73.  Our Call-  Home court should give the ‘Cats a lift, but UFV is bound to up their scoring. Toss-up.  (Friday at 8 pm, Sat. at 7pm)

Thompson Rivers at UNBC –  Who are the ‘Alpha-Wolves’?  Last season it was TRU, but UNBC (4-4) have won 4 straight as they finish off the 1st half at home. Neither team has been offensively impressive, with TRU fighting through the tougher early schedule, however.  The ‘Pack (3-5) have Volodymyr Iegorov and Luke Morris up front, while UNBC look to guards Rhys Elliot and Marcus MacKay.  Our Call-  The Orange to get at least a split.  (8 pm Friday – 7pm Saturday)

Tyus Allen and his Spartans host Lethbridge this weekend.

Tyus Allen and his Spartans host Lethbridge this weekend.   photo – Trinity Western Athletics

Lethbridge at Trinity Western – The Spartans (2-6) host the Pronghorns (4-4) in the on-campus Enarson Gym this week.  TWU has a better offensive flow this season, but their 88.5 ppg allowed defensively is the League’s worst.  Lethbridge can score, but they are hit and miss, with a tendency to turn it over  too often.  Guard play will be the key here … Dejon Burdeaux, Elliott Sentance, and Mike Pierzchala for the ‘Horns may have the edge over Tyus Allen, Pogos Trunyan and company.  Our Call-  Lethbridge with a chance at 2 wins, but Trinity more comfortable in their ‘home gym’.   (Friday and Saturday at 7 pm)

UBC-O  at UBC –   The younger cousins visit Point Grey, and this is easily the week’s biggest ‘mismatch’.  UBC (6-0) is a tough out for the anyone, but especially for the 1-7 Heat.  Defense first for Okanagan, and maybe Jordan Jensen-Whyte and his T’Birds ‘mates will have a final weekend let-down.  Our Call –  That is unlikely  … the Thunderbirds by a wide margin.  (8 pm Friday – 7pm Saturday)


Thursday games in Canada West – all at 8 pm local time on  Canada West TV )

Winnipeg at Manitoba ,  Calgary at Mt. Royal,  MacEwan at Alberta

Victoria Vikes have the bye this week.

 CIS Scores Wednesday –

In the OUA –  Windsor 86  at Toronto 84 ,  at #6  Ryerson 105  Western Ont. 76


Carleton are on top as they and #3 Ottawa host #5 Brock and #7 McMaster in some intriguing OUA league games this weekend. UBC and Calgary are also steady at #2 and 3, as Canada West finishes pre-Christmas games.  #6 Ryerson hosts Windsor on Saturday.  #8 McGill are done RSEQ play until January.  Alberta gains just 1 spot at #9 despite an 8-0 record in Canada West, as they finish with a home and home series in Edmonton vs MacEwan. #10 Dalhousie drops 3 spots from 7th, after a loss to Saint Mary’s.




Bears, Dinos, Wesmen Riding High



Wesmen have a higher perch than Bisons    

William Sesay, Wesmen guard.

William Sesay, Wesmen guard.

At 6-2 for the season, the Winnipeg Wesmen, under 7th year Coach Mike Raimbault, enter this last week of the opening half of League play 4th in the standings. Their opponents in the weekend’s “Duckworth Challenge’, the Manitoba Bisons have a very different view.

The Herd are wallowing in a last place tie at 2-6, and are certainly the more desperate team in the series.   This all-Winnipeg showdown may be just what the Herd need to get their confidence on the rise.  A home and home sweep could send them off to the break with  a much  more positive outlook. They are, however, facing a Wesmen squad who are playing very well.  


Winnipeg –  Denzel Lynch-Blair – 16.3 ppg / 5.8 rebs/ 4.6 asst/ 2.3 steals, Sean Tarver –  14.6 ppg/ 39.6% from 3, 5 rebs/ 1.9 steals, Narcisse Ambanza – 11.4 ppg/ 59% FG, 3 rebs/ 2.1 asst, Wiliam Sesay – 11 ppg/ 43% from 3/ 8.5 rebs/ 4 assts, Ryan Oirbans – 8.5 ppg/ 6.9 rebs/ 2.6 blocks


Manitoba –   Keith Omoerah  15 ppg/8 rebs/ 2.5 asst/ 2.3 steals,  Justus Alleyn  15.8 ppg/ 3 rebs/ 2 asst, AJ Basi    13.5 ppg/ 3 rebs/ 2.3 steals, Ilarion Bonhomme  12 ppg/ 4.5 rebs/ 3.5 asst , Our call –  The Bisons will be up for this series, but Winnipeg should get at least a split.  (Thursday at UM – 8 pm, Saturday at  Wpg 7 pm)


Dinos invade Cougar territory ‘on a roll’ 

Mitch Ligertwood, Dinos forward.

Mitch Ligertwood, Dinos forward.         photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

The Cougars are sitting at 4-2, and have some great talent in their first five, but their assignment is a daunting task.  In the 5-1 Dinos they face the CW leaders in points/ game, FG%,  3 pt%, and steals per game.  Calgary rolls over a playing line-up that consistently involves all 12 players. 

But the Cougs played them tough back in October, and they may catch UC in an ‘overconfident’ phase, with all their 25 and 30 point wins ‘pumping their tires’.


Mt. Royal –  Josh Ross 18.7 ppg/ 10.8 rebs/ 3.3 asst/ 1.5 steals, Brett Layton  17.3 ppg/ 10.5 rebs/ 2.5 blocks,  Derek Wolf  12.3 ppg/ 3 rebs/ 2.3 asst, Glen Yang  12.3 ppg/ 2.5 rebs/ 2.2 asst

Calgary –   Thomas Cooper  24.3 ppg/ 5.3 rebs/ 2.7 asst/ 2.3 steals,  Mambi Diawara  15.2 ppg/ 6.3 rebs/ 2 asst/ 2.2 steals, Lars Schleuter  12 ppg/ 47% from 3/ 3 rebs, David Kapinga  9.5 ppg/ 57% FG/  3.3 rebs/ 4.3 asst/ 2.2 steals,    Our call –  Dinos wear down the Cougars starters  (Thursday at MRU at 8 pm, Sat at UC at 7 pm)


League leaders have so many pluses in Edmonton clash

Alberta's Mamadou Gueye

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye      photo-  U of A Athletics

The Golden Bears are 8-0 and appear to be improving week after week.  They are 

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-2-21-51-pmnow a deeper and more confident crew.  As much as we admire the way the Griffins have battled their way to their 3-5 record thus far, this series for bragging rights ‘Along the N. Saskatchewan’  seems almost pre-determined.  Advantage Bears with shooters like Austin Waddoups (14.8 ppg/ 49% FG/ 52% from 3), and forwards as efficient as Mamadou Gueye (14.3 ppg/ 7.4 rebs) and Brody Clarke (14.8 ppg/ 7.1 rebs).  A big hurdle for Thadius Galvez, Denzel James and the Mac squad, who give up 15 + ppg more than U of A.    Our Call – a decisive Bears sweep .  (Thursday at     U of A at 8 pm,  Sat at MacEwan at 2 pm)


Overtime –

UBC' Conor Morgan

UBC’ Conor Morgan

  • In his summer job as a bartender, UBC’s Conor Morgan accidentally sliced a couple of fingers on his shooting (Rt) hand.  But, as T’Birds’ Coach Kevin Hanson says in this Vancouver Sun article from  Howard Tsumura  Morgan’s drive to improve his game in the summer has been paying dividends.  Despite the injury, which still leaves some numbness in the hand, Morgan is tearing up Canada West opponents on a weekly basis, for the 6-0 T’Birds. 



Morgan Has a Huge Weekend



UBC’s Conor Morgan leads our ‘Stars of the Week’ list in Canada West

Player of the Week - UBC's Conor Morgan

Player of the Week – UBC’s Conor Morgan

Conor Morgan – UBC …  The Thunderbirds ‘Big Bird’ brings the pain to the Vikes in his home -town on Friday, then at War Memorial in Vancouver on Sunday.  60 Pts,  17 rebounds,  5 assists 4 steals is a big-time weekend!

Denzel Lynch-Blair – Winnipeg … The shooting guard helps the Ws to a pair of wins over Brandon with his 48 pts, 16 rebounds , 5 assts, and 5 steals.

Tyvon Cooper – Brandon … He came in with a rep as a big scorer, and he’s very consistent for the ‘Cats as a passer as well. Two game totals of 47 points, 9 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 steals.

Grant Sitton – Victoria … continues to be the mainstay for his Vikes.  They come close to knocking off the T’Birds in Vancouver on Sunday. 40 pts, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals in the 2 rivalry games.

Volodymyr Iegorov – Thompson Rivers … The big man scores 42 points, grabs 22 rebounds, and has 8 assists in the ‘Pack sweep of the Okanagan Heat.

Earl Thompson Jr. – Brandon … 43 points, 16 rebounds in the 2 game set with Winnipeg, with a big double-double on Thursday.

More outstanding players from Week 5 … Keith Omoerah – Manitoba … The wing man records a pair of double-doubles, as he totals 28 pts/ 20 rebounds in 2 tough home losses to the Bears.   Josh Ross – Mt. Royal  38 pts/ 22 rebs … Brody Clarke – Alberta  33 points 15 rebounds …  Thomas Cooper – Calgary  36 pts/ 11 rebounds/ 5 asst/ 7 steals …  Tyler Wise – MacEwan  27 pts/ 11 boards Saturday win over MRU … Aldrich Berrios with 27 points/ 9 rebs for UBC-O in the tight loss … Austin Waddoups – Alberta … The import guard shoots out the lights in Friday’s win at Manitoba, 31 pts/ 3 assists.


Who’s the best ‘6th Man’ in Canada West this season ?



Calgary Dinos ace 6th Man, Jhony Verrone.

Calgary Dinos ace 6th Man, Jhony Verrone.               photo – Canada West Hoops

These players do not regularly start games.  They come in for energy, to change the pace, to defend a hot opponent, or to give relief to the lead guard, the post in early foul trouble, or a shooter who is cold on the night.  We look at the ability to score coming off the bench like Johneil Johnson, defend like Jhony Verrone,  rebound like Michael Rouault and Tyler Wise, and handle the ball as smartly as, well, Verrone.

The 6th man knows he’s getting in, but sometimes not exactly when that will be.  He knows his time off the bench may be limited, and that his efficiency on the court is very important if his team is to thrive.  Less than half-way through the schedule, we’ve picked our top 5 ‘relievers’, but all on our list are doing a great job for his team.

1. Jhony Verrone – Dinos,  2. Michael Rouault –  Wolf Pack,  3. Max Viitala – Spartans,  4. Narcisse Ambanza – Wesmen,  5. Johneil Johnson – Green Cougars.


Prairie City Rivals Tip-off Thursday

There are three cross-town rivalries in Canada West (we count Langley and Abbotsford as separate ‘kingdoms’).  In this final week of League play prior to the exam break and the Christmas Holidays, schools involved in all three of these ‘City Wars’ are poised for battle.

Mt. Royal vs Calgary in the Crowchild Classic are one of three Prairie 'City Wars' on tap for Thursday night.

Mt. Royal vs Calgary in the Crowchild Classic are one of three Prairie ‘City Wars’ on tap for Thursday night.

The longest -standing  of these is Winnipeg – Manitoba in the ‘Duckworth Challenge’, with Calgary – Mt. Royal (Crowchild Classic)  and MacEwan – Alberta  (‘ North – South Games’ ?)  relative late-comers.  All 3 games are at 8 pm local time on Thursday , with the Women’s games at 6 pm.

Thursday –  Wesmen at Bisons ,  Dinos at Cougars,  Griffins at Bears                      Saturday – Bisons at Wesmen, Cougars at Dinos , Bears at Griffins



T’Birds – Vikes to Overtime



Morgan leads T’Birds to overtime win over Vikes

Conor Morgan's career high 37 pts takes UBC to their Sunday win over Victoria.

Conor Morgan’s career high 37 pts takes UBC to their Sunday win over Victoria.


at   #2  UBC 93 Victoria  89   OT  – This was a Sunday afternoon battle to relish, with the Vikes giving all they had on the return game at UBC.  UVic led 49-38 at the half, and has the ‘Birds on the ropes, however, UBC turned it around with a big 3rd quarter. Trailing  by 4 with under a minute left,  the Vikes got 2 free throws, then Grant Sitton made a big shot at 7 seconds to force overtime  at 79-79.  In the extra session, it was UBC’s Conor Morgan taking charge, as he counted 11 points and snatched the sweep for the home side.  Morgan was a one man wrecking crew for the ‘Birds, with a huge double- double.   UBC hit 10 treys to 7 for the Vikes, and UVic turned it over 19 times to UBC’s 14.  The T’Birds went 21/37 at the line vs 16/24 for the visitors.  Thunderbirds –  Conor Morgan  37 pts/ 11 rebs/ 4 asst, Phil Jalalpoor  12 pts/ 7 rebs.   Vikes –  Grant Sitton 24 pts/ 9 rebs/ 3 steals, Wayne Tucker Jr. 14 pts/ 6 rebs/ 6 asst , 4 other Vikes in double figures.   Box Score




 Overtime –

  • TRU Head Coach Scott Clark on the fine efforts of 2nd year forward, Joe Davis (Kamloops-Westsyde),  “I’m not surprised. He had a good summer. He is a workman type guy. He comes to practice every day hard. Your performance is going to mirror the effort you put in at practice.”  From Larry Read, TRU Athletics
  • In Charlottetown on Sunday, it was UPEI getting a split , with a 79-65 win over Memorial.
  • We have a final weekend of games in Canada West beginning Thursday.  Most are, again, traditional or regional rivalry series.  We start Thursday with Calgary at Mt. Royal, Winnipeg at Manitoba, and MacEwan at Alberta.  Other series starting on Friday are Saskatchewan at Regina, Thompson Rivers at UNBC, UBC-O at UBC, and UFV at Brandon.

Calgary Hammers ‘Horns in 2nd half


Dinos Defense Stifles ‘Horns

Dallas Karch and his Calgary teammates had a 2nd half feast on Saturday.

Dallas Karch and his Calgary teammates had a 2nd half feast on Saturday.

 at #3 Calgary 91  Lethbridge 59  –  It was 35-33 in a halting opening 20 minutes, but Calgary came alive again in the 2nd half, scoring 56 points.  The Dinos defense  smothered UL offensive efforts in the 2nd half, as they count just 26. A home and home sweep for the 5-1  Dinos, while the ‘Horns fall to 4-4, as the visitors commit 24 turnovers and shoot just 31% from the floor.  Calgary are 52% FG including 8/20 from 3.    Dinos – Thomas Cooper 17 pts/ 6 rebs/ 4 steals, Mambi Diawara 15 pts/ 4 rebs/ 3 asst, Jhony Verrone 14 pts/ 2 asst/ 2 steals   Pronghorns – Dejon Burdeaux  11 pts/ r rebs/ 3 asst, Zac Overwater 9 pts/ 8 rebs  Box Score  


#10 Alberta 72  at Manitoba 64   –  In a defensive tussle, the Bears, now at 8-0 for the season, finish off the sweep in Manitoba with a solid 4th quarter. Alberta hold the host Bisons (2-6) to 34% field goal shooting, and win the rebounding   51-41.     Bears – Brody Clarke 15 pts/ 8 rebs, Mamadou Gueye 11 pts/ 8 rebs      Bisons – Justus Alleyn 17 pts, Keith Omoerah 10 pts/ 10 rebs/ 4 asst, AJ Basi 15 pts/ 3 steals.  Box Score  

Marcus MacKay rings up 26 pts in the T'Wolves win at UFV

Marcus MacKay rings up 26 pts in the T’Wolves win at UFV Saturday.

UNBC 76 at Fraser Valley 70 –  The T’Wolves (4-4) scoop a huge road win to complete the weekend sweep at UFV, as Marcus MacKay has a big night. UNBC out-shoots the Cascades 44% to 36% from the floor. The visitors score 42 points in the middle frames, then hold off a late run by UFV (2-4).     Timberwolves – Marcus MacKay 26 pts, Vaggelis Loukas with a double-double of 13 pts/ 14 rebounds.  Cascades – Manny Dulay 22 pts/ 2 steals, Anthony Gilchrist 11 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst  Box Score  


at Thompson Rivers  68 UBC-O  53 –  The home sweep for the ‘Pack (3-5) as they hand the Heat their 7th loss. Cold shooting night for UBC-O at 29% to 38.5% for TRU;  the Wolves grab 53 rebounds to 39 for UBC-O.    Wolf Pack – Volodymyr Iegorov 22 pts/ 14 rebs, Joe Davis  19 pts/ 8 rebs     Heat – Mitch Goodwin 19 pts/ 6 rebs      Box Score   

  Regina 100  at Trinity Western  94  –   TWU is up 11-0 after 4 mins … 27-19 at the quarter … down 48-46 at the half.  There are 13 lead changes, as the Cougars (4-2)  score 52 points in the final 20 minutes for the win, and the sweep.  The Spartans (2-6) hit 10/23 from 3 pt range and lose.  Tyus Allen for Trinity is close to a triple double.  Regina’s prize rookie, Johneil Johnson, and 4 other Cougars reach double digits.  A free- scoring affair ….    Cougars – Johneil Johnson 22 pts/ 9 rebs/5 steals, Aaron McGowan 19 pts/ 7 rebs/5 asst        Spartans – Pogos Trunyan 26 points/ 6 of 12 from 3,  Tyus Allen 13 pts/ 8 rebs/11 assists, Vartan Tanielien 18 pts            Box Score 

Sunday afternoon game (2 pm)  –     at   #2  UBC at Victoria

Saturday scores from the East –

Atlantic …  at UNB 80 #7 Dalhousie 67,  Memorial 85  at UPEI 82 ,  at St FX 91           St. Mary’s  81

Quebec …  #9 McGill 81 at Bishops 73

Ontario …  #1 Carleton   at  Laurentian   , #4 Ottawa 79  at Nipissing 63  ,  at #5 Brock 76       #6 McMaster 73,  Toronto 83 at  Algoma 70  ,   at  Lakehead 79  York 75,  at Waterloo 82 Western Ont 81 , Laurier 67 at Windsor 66


Overtime –

Brian Ofori was a key addition for Regina after starting at PEI.

Brian Ofori was a key addition for Regina after starting at PEI.

  • There are  20 players ‘active’ in Canada West play this season, who have transferred from another CIS school at one time.  Most notably     Ilarion Bonhomme – Manitoba 5th, (Brandon, 3 yrs) ,  Vijay Dhillon – Fraser Valley 5th, (Victoria, 2 yrs), Aaron McGowan – Regina 5th, (UFV , 2 yrs),  Luke Morris – TRU  4th, (UFV, 1 yr),   Brian Ofori – Regina  4th (UPEI, 3 yrs), Will Ondrik – UBC 5th (TRU, 3 yrs), Geoff Pippus – Alberta 4th( UBC, 3 yrs),  Chris Stanhope – Brandon 3rd (Cape Breton 1 yr), Derek Wolfe  – Mt. Royal  5th ( TRU  1 yr),  Billy Yaworsky – Winnipeg  2nd ( Victoria  1 yr)
  • We count  (at least) 32 who’ve played at / transferred from U.S. schools , including   Alberta – Austin Waddoups …  Brandon – Tyvon Cooper, Earl Thompson Jr., John Paul … Calgary – Thomas Cooper, Mambi Diawara …  Fraser Valley – Mark Johnson, Anthony Gilchrist … Lethbridge – Dejon Burdeaux, Daniel Lybbert, Elliott Sentance, DeAngelo Ashley … MacEwan – Thadius Galvez …  Manitoba – Ilarion Bonhomme … Mt. Royal – Josh Ross  … UBC-O – Randy Jernidier  …  Regina – Alex Igual, Ramiro Martinez, Kornel Tokolyi … Saskatchewan – Jaylan Morgan … Thompson Rivers – Derek Rhodes, Maalik Azziez …  Trinity W. –  Pogos Trunyan, Tee Mayberry … UBC – AJ Holloway, Phil Jalalpoor …  UNBC – Rhys Elliot, Austin Chandler … Victoria – Grant Sitton, Jake Newman, Wayne Tucker Jr … Winnipeg – Sean Tarver

Bears Hold on for 7th Win



 Waddoups on fire for GBs in tight finish at Manitoba

Austin Waddoups' big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

Austin Waddoups’ big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

#10 Alberta 88  at Manitoba  85 –  The Bears (7-0) remain unbeaten with a road win, as they dodge multiple Manitoba attempts to tie it up in the final 30 seconds. Alberta are 53% from the floor and the Herd are right there at 52%.  The visitors, however, cash 10 treys on 18 tries to just 5/18 for the Bisons, and that proves decisive.  This is a tough blow for Manitoba, who drop to 2-5 despite having 5 players in double figures.  The UM defense had no answer for Alberta’s Austin Waddoups , who led all scorers with 31 points, including 6/9 from the outside.     Bears – Waddoups 31 pts/ 3 assists, Brody Clarke 18 pts/ 7 rebs   Bisons  Keith Omoerah 18 pts/ 10 rebs, Justus Alleyn 17 pts/ 6 rebs, James Wagner 16 pts/ 5 boards.   Box Score  

Winnipeg 87  at Brandon 81  –  Winnipeg (6-2) roars back from a 10 point deficit after 3/4s, with a 27-11 final 10 minutes.  The Bobcats were looking good on the home court, and shot 46% from the floor, led by strong games from both Tyvon Cooper and John Paul.  The Ws took advantage of 25 free throws (making 18) to just 7/14  for Brandon, and the ‘Cats turned it over 18 times to only 12 for UW.   Wesmen-  Denzel Lynch- Blair  29 pts/ 10 rebs, William Sesay 21 pts/ 9 rebs   Bobcats – Tyvon Cooper 20 pts/ 5 rebs/ 5 asst, John Paul  20 pts/ 13 boards.  Box Score   

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.    photo – MacEwan Athletics

  MacEwan  93  at Mt. Royal  75 –  Just 24 hours, but there’s a 42 point swing in favour of the visitors from Thursday’s MRU win.  Mac (3-5) looked like the team with more zip, as their whole line-up worked hard for this road victory.  Denzel James, Thadius Galvez, and Tyler Wise led the charge in a 55 point 2nd half for the Griffs. MRU cooled off tonight, shooting 42% FG, and were out-rebounded 49-36 by a more aggressive MacEwan squad.    Griffins- Tyler Wise 27 pts/ 11 rebs, Denzel James 26 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 asst, Thadius Galvez 16 pts/ 5 rebs  Cougars – Josh Ross 26 pts/ 8 rebs, Brett Layton 12 pts/10 boards.   Box Score  


Regina 107  at Trinity Western 74  – It was 54-24 at the half. Turn out the lights at the Langley Events Centre … game!  TWU did come back in the 2nd half with 50 points, but they also surrendered another 53 to the insatiable Cougars. 51% FG shooting including 15/33  from outside for the visitors. Regina, who had 7 players in double figures,  moves up to 3-2, while Trinity drops to 2-5 on the season.   Cougars  – Johneil Johnson  16 pts, Alex Igual 15 pts, Ramiro Martinez  14 pts  Spartans – Vartan Tanielien 23 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst, Patrick Vandervelden 17 pts/ 8 rebs      Box Score 

at Thompson Rivers 78   UBC-O 75 –  Playing at home, the ‘Pack are behind to their Okanagan rivals by as much as 12 points early in the final frame. Behind the timely scoring of Derek Rhodes and Michael Rouault, TRU (2-5) nips the Heat (1-6) at the wire, however.      Wolf Pack –  Derek Rhodes 25 pts/ 4 asst, Volodymyr Iegorov 20 pts/ 9 rebs/ 6 asst   Heat –  Aldrich Berrios 227 pts/ 9 rebs, Buzz Truss 16 pts.  Box Score  



UNBC 66 at Fraser Valley  63 –   Trailing by 8 at the half, the T’Wolves (3-4) play a sharp 3rd quarter to snatch a 3 point lead then fight back in the last 2 minutes after UFV (2-3) takes a slim lead.  In a break-out game, transfer guard  James Agyeman (Laurier) is the game high scorer from his point spot for the Wolves. UNBC shoots only 31% from the floor, but hit more FTs and more 3 pt shots to take the W.    Timberwolves  – James Agyeman 22 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 asst, Vaggelis Loukas 7 pts/ 8 rebs  Cascades    Vijay Dhillon 13 pts  Box Score 

#2 UBC 82   at Victoria  69 –   The T’Birds move on to 5-0 with a win in Victoria, as they establish their 13 point margin after 3/4s and hold steady from there. UBC wins with a rebounding (37-30) and a turnover (7-13) advantage over the Vikes.  UVic (2-5) shot the same 49% as the Thunderbirds, but could not make any headway on the scoreboard.  Thunderbirds – Conor Morgan 23 pts/ 6 rebs, Jordan Jensen-Whyte 20 pts/ 5 rebs  Vikes –   Wayne Tucker Jr. 21 pts/ 4 rebs, Grant Sitton 16 pts/ 111 rebs/ 3 blks   Box Score 


Friday scores from the East –

Quebec … Laval 80  at UQAM  71

Ontario … #1 Carleton 79  at Nipissing 59 , #4 Ottawa 74 at Laurentian 59 , #8 Ryerson 111 at  Algoma 61 , Queens 76 at  Lakehead 75



Overtime –


  •   Saskatchewan’s 3rd year wing man, Jaylan Morgan (Brampton, ON), on his experience in his 1st season with the Huskies. – “I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ve been put in this position for a reason and i’m going to take full advantage of it and help this team win as many games as possible,” Morgan said.  From a Global News story by Ryan Flaherty. 
  • Before Friday’s game in Victoria, the Vikes had won 8 of the past 11 meetings between these long-time rivals. Before their Friday game in Winnipeg, the Bears had a 9-5 record over the Bisons since 2010.
  • We are amazed and impressed by the timely ‘return to duty’ by both Lethbridge coach, Mike Hansen, after having had hip surgery only just about a month ago, and of MRU coach, Marc Dobell, who is back on the bench following a summer ‘heart episode’.  We know their teams appreciate their coaches’ presence, and their passion for the game.  We wish you both the best as you manage your recovery.
  • Marquee rebounding combos …  Both twosomes average 20+ rebounds/ game Saskatchewan’s Shane Osayande (12.3) and Matt Forbes (8.8) … Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross (10.6) and Brett Layton (9.4) .
  • We’re impressed with the play of UC transfer, Adonis Monfort-Palomino, for the MacEwan Griffins.  He brings solid defense, energy, and a dependable lead guard presence at his new school.