2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –
Alberta Golden Bears
’15-‘16 – Lost to Calgary 1/4 Finals 10 wins 10 losses (Pioneer)
5th year – Brett Roughead, 7-1 fwd, Coleman, AB. … 4th year – Mamadou Gueye, 6-6 fwd, Quebec City. Lyndon Annetts, 6-6 wing, Beaumont, AB … 3rd year – Sheldon Pittman, 6-5 wing, Calgary … 2nd years – Brody Clarke, 6-8 fwd, Toronto. Ivan Ikomey, 6-1 guard, Calgary. Jonah Weyessa, 6-0 guard, Calgary … 1st year (redshirts) – Joel Lutz, 6-7 fwd, 1st, Cardston, AB (Cardston HS). Cole Knudsen, 6-7 fwd, 1st, Barrhead, AB (Barrhead HS).
New faces – Geoff Pippus, 6-5 wing, 4th, Vancouver (tsf UBC). Austin Waddoups, 6-2 guard, 3rd year, American Fork , UT (Salt Lake CC). Andre Kelly, 6-2 guard, 1st, Mississauga, ON (The Rock School, FL). Sam Newman, 6-3 guard, 1st, Ipswich, England .
Coach Barnaby Craddock, in his 5th year at the helm at U of A, is the only coach in CIS basketball history to lead three separate programs to the National Championship Tournament. With Brandon, Fraser Valley, and Alberta for a total of 12 CIS seasons, the former UL Pronghorn star has never lost an opening round game at the Final 8.
Craddock’s credentials are impressive, and his coaching acumen will be tested this year, with a big roster turnover for the Bears. 5 veterans are gone, and 4 ‘true freshmen’ or ‘redshirt freshmen’ are now preparing for the new season. The Green and Gold do however, have their big ‘1-2 punch ‘ up front, with Canada West all-star, Mamadou Gueye (18.4 ppg/ 7.5 rebs) and last year’s Rookie of the Year, Brody Clarke (12 ppg/ 6.3 rebs). They add a pair of 6-7 redshirts from last year in Cole Knudsen and Joel Lutz, who are better prepared to give relief minutes for Gueye and Clarke.
Brett Roughead is the only 5th year, and the big man will again be counted on for rebounding and interior defense. Perimeter wing men, Lyndon Annetts and Sheldon Pittman will be expected to provide steadier performances with another year under their belts.
Austin Waddoups was a ‘6th man’ for the 2016 National Junior College champs at Salt Lake CC. He averaged 8 ppg, and showed great ball handling skill, with a 2.63 assist /turnover ratio. Andre Kelly, the son of Brandon Bobcats 2 time All-Canadian, Jude Kelly, went to a U.S. prep school, but chose to return to Canada. He is a good shooter, who looks primed to break into the regular rotation. Geoff Pippus, now a graduate student, can be a ‘depth player, having averaged 7 ppg in his last full season at UBC.
Schedule – Nov-Dec … Brandon, at UNBC, TRU , at Manitoba, h-h with MacEwan Jan-Feb … h-h with Calgary, at UBC, Fraser Valley, bye, at Saskatchewan, Lethbridge
Prediction – Must have depth behind all-stars. Race for the play-offs.
Canada West pre-season games this week –
Thursday – Calgary Cup – Windsor at Calgary, Regina at Mt. Royal … Lakehead at Brandon
Friday – Manitoba Bisons Tournament – Laurier vs Manitoba, Lakehead vs Winnipeg, and Regina at Calgary, Windsor at Mt. Royal
Saturday – Seattle Blue Angels at Trinity Western , Calgary at Mt. Royal, Regina vs Windsor … Lakehead at Manitoba, Winnipeg vs Laurier
Sunday – Laurier at Brandon
In Eastern Canada –
Starting on Thursday, St. FX plays at Brock, Ryerson, and McMaster . Dalhousie has games at York, Ryerson, and McMaster. On Saturday/Sunday Concordia hosts Brock, Cape Breton and Nipissing in the Stingers Tournoi in Montreal.
- Mike Hansen, Lethbridge Head Coach, has waited for surgical relief for hip problems, and recently got the call to have the operation. ( It’s not like you’d tell them, “No, I’ll wait until next Spring, thanks.” ) So, not the best time, but Hansen felt he had to take the offered date. He expects to be absent from the ‘Horns pre-season activities for the next few weeks. We wish him well, and hope he is able to return after a good recovery period.