Spartans or Bobcats to ‘spoil perfect record’ –
Feature Series – Brandon at Trinity Western – Heartlessly we refer to this as ‘The Battle of the Titans’; two teams who are having very disappointing and frustrating seasons. Don’t forget that you have very talented players on both teams, and they dedicate a great deal of time and effort to their sport. Let’s hope the games are well-played and competitive ! Lucas Mannes, Vartan Tanielian, and TWU? Go Spartans ! Or will it be D.J Jordan, Earl Thompson Jr. and Brandon? Go Bobcats !
Alberta (7-6) at Lethbridge (7-5) – Two teams in the heat of the playoff battle, who would both love to sweep, but know the odds are on a split. If the Bears get Sebastian Denault back on the court, their size / power may be a big factor, with Brody Clarke starting to put his stamp on every game. Alberta could use 1 more perimeter shooter to hit shots (couldn’t we all) against the zone defensive schemes of U of L. The ‘Horns have been leaning heavily on their 2 mainstays, Brandon Brine and Rob Olsen; they may need wider contributions, should either star have an off-night.
UBC (10-4) at Victoria (7-7) – This, in past seasons would have been the ‘big show’, but for the rival Thunderbirds’ first visit to the new CARSA Centre, it lacks that drama, with the Vikes floundering in the middle stages of this season. UBC comes with the ‘eye of the hunters’, as they chase the UC Dinos for top spot in the Pioneer, while UVic are fighting for their playoff lives. The Vikes want to set themselves back on course, after dropping 7 of 10 games in the last 5 League weekend series’. Which headline is more likely? “Conor Morgan comes home to lead the ‘Birds to victory”? Or “Vikes Rally, and Upset T-Bird Rivals” ?
Regina (8-4) at Manitoba (9-5) – Two top teams coming off big wins last Saturday (Regina at UBC, Manitoba at Lethbridge), and the home court is a reassuring sight for the Herd. The Bisons have won 10 of the past 11 games against the Cougars, and both teams may as strong as they’ve been for at least the past 5 – 6 seasons. Keith Omoerah, A.J. Basi, Wyatt Anders, and Justus Alleyn have been stellar for UM, but Regina’s Tull brothers, Alex Igual, Aaron McGowan, and Travis Sylvestre will try to use their momentum to get at least a split.
Saskatchewan (4-8) at Winnipeg (7-5) – With rumours of some discord in the Huskies camp surrounding rookie guard, Jacquin Bennett-Boire, Saskatchewan faces the Wesmen in Winnipeg. U of S may have their role reduced to ‘spoilers’, just as UW appears to be solidifying their game, and seeking a playoff berth. Jelane Pryce, Denzel Lynch-Blair, and big rebounder, Ryan Oirbans have been coming on strong, as the Wesmen play the first of 6 straight home games. The ‘Dogs will look to big man, Shane Osayande, and guards, Evan Ostertag and Chan DeCiman to lead them back on the winning track.
Calgary is on a bye week in the Pioneer, and the entire 6-team Explorer Division are taking a mid-winter break.
Ryerson Rams- the New # 1
For the first time since November of 2012, a team other than Carleton or Ottawa is in the #1 slot of the Coaches Top 10 poll ! The Ryerson Rams, who beat both the Ravens and Gee-Gees last week in Toronto jumped ahead of their OUA rivals. McMaster jumps over Brock, while McGill loses 3 spots, with 2 losses, and Calgary climbs to # 6 with their 8th straight win.
> Note – the CIS Nationals wildcard spot will go to an OUA team – done!
CIS Scores –
Cape Breton 100 St. FX 86 – a sweep of the home and home series for the Capers, with this return match delayed by last week’s big storm.
- UBC, of course, are the host school (and team) for the March 17-20 CIS Nationals, and their prospects for winning are discussed in this article by Olamide Olaniyan in the campus newspaper, The Ubyssey .
- MRU Coach , Marc Dobell, mirroring the thoughts of most Explorer
teams getting this week off, “It is good. We are banged up. We were playing without one player tonight (last Saturday at TRU). A fifth-year player (James Lefebvre, forward) who would have made a big difference for us. He is going to get a chance to recover along with another guy who played limited minutes tonight because he is sore. It is a good time for us to heal some of our nicks and wounds and start focusing in on the last three weekends.” From TRU Athletics – Larry Read.
- Senior Nights honouring the ‘graduating’ 5th year players across the League are cropping as early as next weekend … Feb. 5/6/7, and through the last regular season games on Feb. 20. Good reason to get to the gym and see the games live; if you’re alum, you can pay special attention to the young men who will be joining your elite group !