Quick turnaround for quarter-finals tip-offs
If you’re the TRU Wolf Pack, you will feel like visitors on your own campus, as you leave again on Wednesday for Calgary, your 3rd road destination in as many weeks. TRU were in Regina to finish League play, then last week a 3 game set in Brandon, finishing Sunday … Monday a.m. on the road to Winnipeg, connecting flight through Calgary, and finally home to Kamloops.
The Wolf Pack face the #1 seeded Dinos starting Thursday in Calgary, a team they lost to in the Canada West Final last March. Coach Scott Clark, speaking from the Calgary airport on Sunday afternoon, allowed, “This schedule is beyond our control, so we just deal with it. We are very proud of our young team, who responded very well to a tough atmosphere in Brandon, and fought off a very athletic Bobcats team. Now we’ll go back and rest, do laundry, and look at some film. We hope the guys will be just as fired up to face the Dinos, and we know it will be a challenge.”
The Manitoba Bisons were busy making last minute plane reservations as well, as the Herd head out to Vancouver to meet the UBC Thunderbirds. Manitoba Coach Kirby Schepp tells us, “It’s hard to arrange the flights . You don’t know if you have 2 or 3 games … we may have to wait until Monday to get back home. It’s expensive! Meanwhile UM is prepping to play what Schepp calls ” … the best team in our League right now.”
Lethbridge are chartering a bus to return to Edmonton, where they just finished League play against the same Alberta Golden Bears 2 weeks ago. Well, not exactly the same Bears; we’re pretty sure the starters for both teams will be more prominent in this 1/4 Final than in their last regular season encounter.
The Winnipeg Wesmen will also board a highway cruiser for their series in Saskatoon against the U of S Huskies. The Ws took 3 games to subdue the UFV Cascades, but looked sharp in the Saturday 84-59 clincher, as their deep perimeter talent ran away from Fraser Valley. Saskatchewan awaits with their vaunted pair of posts, and a deeper back-court than they’ve had in past seasons.
Our detailed series previews on Wednesday.
These are our choices, as we wait for the official list from the coaches voting. Our 1st teamers are the ‘game changers’, and are most consistent at putting their stamp on the game. Dejon Burdeaux does it all for the ‘Horns, while Thomas Cooper is a clutch scorer and rebounder for the Dinos. Volodymyr Iegorov is the engine for TRU, with all the skills to turn pro. UBC’s Conor Morgan won the scoring title, and is having an amazing season. Shane Osayande is a double-double almost every time he suits up for the Huskies.
Our 2nd team features U-Sports’ top 3 point shooter in Fraser Valley’s Manny Dulay, and the all-round value delivered by UBC vet, Jordan Jensen-Whyte. Canada West’s top defensive disruptor and leading 3 pt % shooter is Calgary’s David Kapinga, while Manitoba’s Keith Omoerah fills a stat sheet with points / rebounds / assists. Josh Ross arrived as a transfer to MRU after an All-Canadian College career, and he gave the Cougars scoring, passing, and great rebounding.
Our 3rd team has the incredible ‘cross-over king’ Thadius Galvez of the Griffins, along with the Wesmen’s dynamic scoring guard, Denzel Lynch-Blair. Grant Sitton stood tall for the Vikes during one of their tougher seasons, and Brandon Tull finished his career at Regina as a record setter for that school. Austin Waddoups is one of 3 Bears who could be on our list, but his energy, creativity, and timely scoring have launched Alberta to greater heights.
There are certainly others worthy of recognition, but we have 15. You may wish to mention more of your favourites. Feel free to share them with us. (All-rookies Wednesday)
- Former Lethbridge Pronghorns star, Julien Spear Chief – Morris was recently elected as the President of Harvard University’s Law School Legal Aid Bureau. This article from Harvard explains the significance of this election. Thanks to Manitoba Coach Kirby Schepp for passing this on to us.
- The Victoria Vikes made it to the CIS Nationals in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15, and were in the semi-finals in March of ’14 and ’15. But 2 straight years with a 9-11 League record, missing play-offs last year, then bowing out in round 1 this campaign has Vikes supporters ‘concerned’. 14 year Head Coach, Craig Beaucamp, who has a 70% winning average in Canada West play, and is a 5 – time CW Coach of the Year is determined to get UVic back on top. ““There are no quick fixes,” said Beaucamp. “It is going to take time. You can’t panic. You can’t just blow it up . Our current group has to get better. We have a good core and I like it, but we need help. We are small up front. To be honest, we need to add to the mix.” More on the Vikes’ plans this Times – Colonist article by Cleve Dheensaw