Wesmen, Horns Both Move On


Wesmen up the pace, and run past UFV

Winnipeg’s Narcisse Ambanza attacks UFV’s Vijay Dhillon     photo – Kelly Morton, Wesmen Athletics

at Winnipeg  84 Fraser Valley   59 –  With a dominant 2nd half effort, the Ws took this 3rd and deciding game through defensive opportunism and offensive transition.  After a bit of a slow start, where they are down 34-30 at the half, the Wesmen lit the fire in the 3rd.   Denzel Lynch-Blair, their 3rd year guard scoring 10 pts, and rookie Narcisse Ambanza 8 pts in the frame.  That 18 point Winnipeg lead became 20, then 25 as the home team finished with authority.

Fraser Valley gave the Wesmen a tough go in game 1 and 2, slowing down the UW attack, and using their own 3 point shooting to advantage.  In this deciding game, it was Winnipeg dictating the pace. “We were able to get out in transition in the 2nd half”, said Head Coach Mike Raimbault following the win. “They slowed us down at times, and Adam (Friesen, UFV Coach) did a good job with his guys .  We finished better today when we created those chances.”

On the game it was Ambanza tallying 22 points, many off the break, and Lynch -Blair   adding 19 points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 steals.  The Ws get another ‘blue collar’ effort from William Sesay, who had 10 points and secured 12 rebounds.  Winnipeg out-shot a rattled UFV squad 49% to 32% from the floor, and had an exceptional ‘ball control’ game with just 7 turnovers.

Fraser Valley  had just 2 players in double figures, as Manny Dulay scored 11 and Mark Johnson 10.  The 3 point attack just wasn’t there for the visitors, with Dulay, playing his last game for the Cascades, getting lots of extra attention from Winnipeg defenders.  Box  Score      …     The Wesmen will skip over to Saskatchewan next week to meet the #2 seeded Huskies in a best of 3 quarter-final.


Dejon Burdeaux carries the Pronghorns to a sweep of UVic.  photo – ‘Horns Athletics

at Lethbridge 94  Victoria  85 –  For 3/4s it was Victoria with a 7 point spread, as they had at the half.   The Vikes were much more solid than on Friday, and their defense had held the ‘Horns in check.

But Lethbridge cranked it up at both ends in the final 10 minutes, pouring in 33 points to close out the series.  When called upon, Dejon Burdeaux has found a way to get Lethbridge on top, and tonight he did that in spades.  His 34 points came from tough drives to the hoop,  off steals, and at the foul line.  The 4th year guard from Oakland, CA  is constantly in the centre of the action, as 6 steals and 12 rebounds would attest. He created scores for teammates, but did much of the heavy-lifting on his own.  Zac Overwater was also key for the ‘Horns with 14 pts/ 8 rebs/ 3 assists.  Team rebounding  (UL 47 – UVic 29) created extra chances for the home side, and they cashed 29/39 from the line, as well as going 43% from 3 point range.

The Vikes also shot well from the stripe at 21/23, but ran out of offense when the ‘Horns clamped down in the 4th.   Grant Sitton scored 23 points in his last game for the Vikes, adding 7 rebounds.  His scoring total was matched by a strong game from Hassan Abdullahi, who hit  8/9 from the floor, including 5/5 from 3 point range. Box  Score        Lethbridge qualifies for the quarter-finals, and will meet # 3 Alberta beginning next Thursday night in Edmonton.


TRU’s Voldymyr Iegorov posts a big double-double to pace the ‘Pack past Brandon in game 2.

Thompson Rivers 96   at Brandon 64  –   That’s 95+ for the ‘Pack on consecutive nights, and Coach Scott  Clark’s call for defense gets results, as his Wolves force a game 3 on Sunday.  Brandon cannot mount a steady offense, and the shots would not fall for the home side.  TRU hit 48% from the floor to a mere 33% for the ‘Cats.   A real team effort from the visitors, with 11 Wolves hitting the scoresheet, and tremendous team rebounding edge of 54-39 over BU.

The Wolf Pack force a 3rd game  with great long-ball shooting at 12/22 from 3, led by the 3 apiece from Luke Morris and Derek Rhodes.  Meanwhile their all-star 5th year forward, Voldymyr Iegorov scores 20 points, grabs 15 rebounds and makes 3 steals.  Rhodes leads all scorers with 21 pts, and Joe Davis, the 2nd year forward from Kamloops continues his smart play, hitting 6/7 from the floor for 14 points/ 4 rebs.

Brandon got 13 points/ 6 rebs/ 6 assts from Earl Thompson Jr. , and are now challenged to get their offense back on track, and halt the TRU scoring going the other way.  Box  Score          …      Game 3 goes at 3 pm Central on Sunday.



In the East –  Saturday 

Atlantic – at #10 Dalhousie 75  Acadia 63   Both Dalhousie and UNB have clinched the top 2 seeds  in the AUS tournament at Halifax. There are still games left next week in the AUS regular season.

Quebec – McGill 89  Bishops 71  … the Redmen have clinched 1st in the RSEQ, but there are league games remaining to be played next week.

Ontario – at #1 Carleton 100 Toronto 36,  #5 Ryerson 94 at #3 Ottawa 88 , #4 Brock 91  Windsor 69, Western  95  McMaster 89,  at Guelph 76 Waterloo 74,  at Algoma 88  Nipissing 87, W. Laurier 78  at Lakehead  75

These are the final OUA League games.  The top 4 seeds (by RPI ratings)  , with a bye until the quarter-finals are 1 Carleton  2 Ottawa  3 Ryerson  4 Brock   The 1st round of play-offs are as follows –  #9 McMaster at #8 Windsor ,    #12 Lakehead at #5 Toronto,  #11 Queen’s at #6 Nipissing #10 Laurier at #7 Laurentian … games are Weds, Feb 22.



Overtime –

  • In Canada West Women’s play-offs –   UBC 76  UNBC  55 – a sweep for the T’Birds. Fraser Valley 61  Calgary 59 – the series goes to a 3rd game at 5 pm Pacific Sunday.   Victoria 68  MacEwan 60–  UVic wins the series 2-0,  Trinity Western 67  Brandon 60 – TWU wins the series 2-1.



Bears Hang Up a Big W at Saskatchewan



Bears outside shooting shocks the Huskies on Friday in Saskatoon

Mamadou Gueye and the Golden Bears claim a huge road W in Saskatoon. photo – U of A Athletics

 # 7  Alberta 80 at # 9 Saskatchewan 67 –  The Bears engage their top weapon, the 3 pt shot, with 13/27 – 48% from outside, and pull away in the closing minutes fo the big road win.  Alberta defense limited the Huskies to 38% from the floor, and the visitor’s sharp ball-handling gave them a 4-14 advantage in the turnover column.  6 points was as close as U of S got in the final frame, and Mamadou  Gueye’s 2 treys in the last 2 minutes iced the cake, and Alberta moves to 13-4.

The Bears get 22 pts from import guard, Austin Waddoups, as he cashes 4/6 from beyond the arc, and  Gueye finishes with 21 and 5 boards.  The Huskies (11-6) have 4 starters in double figures, with a 12 point/13 rebound game from Shane Osayande, and 16 pts/ 8 boards by Matt Forbes before he left with 5 fouls late in the 4th.  Box Score     8 pm Central again on Saturday

at Brandon 79  Manitoba  68 –   The Bobcats (8-11) poke a stick in the Bisons’ spokes,

Tyvon Cooper scores 21 as Brandon derails Manitoba in game 1.  Photo –   Bobcats Athletics

with some aggressive team defense and shut-out rebounding.  Manitoba can hit just 30% from the floor in dropping their 1st game in the last 9 League efforts.  Tyvon Cooper shines for the ‘Cats in this upset , with 21 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 steals, and he gets lots of help.  Big men, John Paul (12 pts/ 13 boards) and Earl Thompson Jr  (13 pts/ 10 rebs), both record handy double-doubles, and Pookie Saunders deals out 8 helpers.  The frustrated Herd (10-7) have Ilarion Bonhomme, the ex-Brandon point man, collect 14 points/ 6 rebs/ 7 assists as their top man.  Keith Omoerah totals 13 pts/ 11 rebs for his double, but there’s not enough offense on the night for the visitors.   Box Score    7 pm  Central  on Saturday



at  Winnipeg 102  Regina 93 –  Regina (7-10) looked like their hot shooting would get them a road win, but their defense allows 57 points in the 2nd half to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.  It’s ‘very rare’ to shoot 58.5% from the floor (50% from 3 !) and manage to lose.  20 turnovers, and a +10 for the Ws from the foul line certainly aided the charging home side. Winnipeg (11-6) have 6 players in double digits, with Sean Tarver the leader, scoring 21, Denzel Lynch-Blair 18, and big Ryan Oirbans recording a double of 14 pts/ 10 assists/ 8 rebs.  The Cougars get 25 points/ 5 rebs/ 4 assts from the explosive Brian Ofori, and both Brandon Tull and Alex Igual drop 21 pts for the visitors.    Box Score         7 pm  Central on Saturday

# 6 Calgary 84 at Thompson Rivers 76 –  A 21-11 final frame gets Calgary to the road win, after they trail for most of the opening 30 minutes.  The Dinos overtake the Wolves despite a decided 3 point shooting edge for TRU (10-5), but Calgary makes more trips to the line (25/34 vs 14/18) .  The Dinos move up to 13-4, while the ‘Pack fall to 8-9, after a closely contested match.  Thomas Cooper helped UC finish strong, as he collects 22 pts/ 11 rebounds, and got help from Mambi Diawara, who was good for 14 pts.  4 TRU players hit double figures, with Derek Rhodes cashing 16 pts, and Volodymyr Iegorov scoring 14 plus 10 rebs/ 9 assts.  Box Score          7 pm Pacific  again Saturday


at  MacEwan 74   UBC-Okanagan  62  –   A big 2nd quarter gets the Griffins a clear lead, and they are even from there for their 7th win vs 11 losses on the season. GMU out-shoots (47% to 35%) and out-rebounds (43-33) the visiting Heat, who are now 2-15. Denzel James leads Mac with 15 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 assts, while forward Ryan Coleman is off the bench for 14 pts/ 8 boards, and Keith Gerdes chips in with 13 pts/ 8 rebs. Both Austin Penrose (7 rebs) and Aldrich Berrios tally 16 points apiece for UBC-O.  Box Score                 7 pm Mountain  on Saturday

 at  Mt. Royal 96  Trinity Western 66 –  The Cougars open up a 51-30 half-time lead, and cruise to their 8th win, with 5 players hitting double figures.  TWU have offensive troubles stemming from 27 big turnovers, and they shoot only 3/5 free throws vs 19/25 for the home side.  Josh Ross paces MRU with his 16 pts/ 8 rebs/ 6 assts, while Brett Layton adds 14 pts/ 8 boards.  Max Vitala tallies 18 pts for Trinity, as they are now 2-15.  Box Score               6 pm Mountain on Saturday

Manny Dulay leads UFV to a come-from-behind win photo- UFV Athletics

at Fraser Valley 87 Victoria 83 –  A somewhat unexpected offensive explosion in Abbotsford, as the Vikes (7-10)  post 33 points to grab a 73-65 lead at the 3/4 mark, only to see the Cascades win the 4th by a 22-10 count for the come-back victory.  Manny Dulay’s 36 points for UFV (8-9) continue a personal hot streak, but none hotter than Friday.  Dulay splashes 8/11 from 3 pt range and adds 7 assists, while Andrew Morris helps with 14 pts.  as Fraser Valley shoots 51% from the floor.  The Vikes are 50% from outside on 14/28, but their offense stalls out in the 4th.  Grant Sitton scores 26 for the visitors on 4/8 from beyond the arc, and he adds 9 rebounds/ 5 assts.  Box Score        7 pm  Pacific  on Saturday


 at   UBC 123  UNBC 75  –  Up 56-37 at the break, the T’Birds top that with 67 points in the final 20 minutes to post a most lop-sided win.  Cruel and unusual ….  Conor Morgan pours in 36 pts for UBC, with 13 rebounds, while Taylor Browne notches 20 pts off the bench, as the Thunderbirds shoot 67% from the field.  UNBC  has 14 pts/ 5 assts/ 4 steals from James Agyeman Box Score              7 pm  Pacific on Saturday


Lethbridge has the bye this week


Scores from the East –

Atlantic -at #10 Dalhousie 88 Memorial  63, at UPEI 92  UNB 77 , St. FX 85 at Saint Marys 83, at Acadia 101 Cape Breton  88

Thursday in Quebec  … at Concordia 68 Laval 54,  at #8 McGill 79  Bishops 62

In the OUA … #1 Carleton 74 # 3 Ottawa 61, at Toronto 79 York 58, at #5 Ryerson  70 Queens 59 ,  at Laurentian 73   Lakehead 67,  Western 79 at Algoma 67, at Nipissing 79  Guelph 69


Overtime –

  • Congratulations to Howard Tsumura, long-time Vancouver Province columnist and blogger, on his new website  ‘Varsity Letters’ . http://varsityletters.ca    This impressive site continues Howard’s amazing coverage of school sports, from high school to university.  He provides thoughtful profiles on individual athletes,  covers the progress of teams, leagues, and championships, with a very keen focus on British Columbia specifically.  It is great to see this popular writer continuing to  lead the way in covering so many amateur sports and athletes.
  • UVic vs UFV coaches’ thoughts going in to a pivotal weekend series,  “We know they can score and they have had some very good results in the second half of the year, knocking off Alberta and playing Calgary really tough,” Vikes Coach Craig Beaucamp said of the Cascades. “We are going to have our hands full, we have to play well on the defensive side of the ball for sure.”    The Cascades head man, Adam Friesen says, “UVic tries to grind it out and games like that come down to a possession here or there. Whoever wins the battles in the paint gives themselves a better chance to win.”   (From a story by   MARIO ANNICCHIARICO in the Victoria  TIMES COLONIST.)

‘Upon Further Review’ … Not UBC


UBC, ‘upon further review’ of the baffling RPI rankings, is not #1 in Canada West

As a legendary Canada West coach used to say, “Assumption is the mother of all ****-ups!”   This is certainly the case with our careless deduction regarding final play-off seedings for Canada West.  Trusting (gullible) souls that we are, we reason that a 19-1 record will give a team a better spot than a 16-4.  Well, not so fast!

In the mysterious world of the RPI, we wrongly assumed that ‘things would eventually ‘balance out’ over the season.  But no ….  There is, in fact, no logical scenario for wins and losses over the final weeks where UBC can finish at #1.  Using the brilliant Canada West Playoff  what-if planning tool , as devised by the incredible Dr. Martin Timmerman as part of his amazing  U-Sports Hoops web-site, we can plot these possibilities.  Go to the site.  Follow the link.  Feed in your game by game predictions, then hit the ‘Press this button to see the overall ….” , and Shazzam !  You get the final RPI ratings using your guesses.

Are the T-Birds on top of the RPI stats, even when they win-out, and have a clear best of 19-1?   No.    Redo it, with some other results;  maybe someone will sweep, or another pair will split.  Do it many times over (using common sense picks, however).  UBC is not #1 in any case we’ve tried.   UBC Coach Kevin Hanson doesn’t want to focus on this, as he says, ” … there are 3 weekends left to play. We all knew the RPI rule was being used with the intent to help balance an unbalanced schedule.  I will reserve to comment until the rest of the league games are completed.”   The #2 ranked team in U-Sports Canada rankings will not, it appears now, have the inside track at hosting the Canada West Final 4.

We have to move on, and talk about the week’s schedule.  If you want to look ahead to play-off probabilities, you can use the ‘Shazam ‘  planning tool at U-Sportshoops.


The Ravens knocked their Ottawa cousins down a notch, and UBC are back at #2.  Ryerson are unbeaten in OUA action, and will be pointing to their game at McMaster, then on to Brock later in the week. Calgary goes on the road to Regina, and will be ‘circling the wagons’ to try and maintain their clean slate of away wins. A move by the Saskatchewan Huskies into the #9 spot, as they are tougher as the season progresses.  Neither McGill nor Dalhousie demonstrate total confidence in their Quebec and Atlantic races.  Threats to their position from Concordia, Laval in the RSEQ and UNB, Saint Marys, St. FX in the AUS.These are both play-off questions.


Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28

UNBC   at Manitoba –  The Timberwolves are clearly the underdogs against the surging Bisons.  UNBC will be scratching to add scoring, and to slow down Justus Alleyn, AJ Basi, Keith Omoerah and the rest of the Herd.   8 pm Central on Fri, the 6 pm Sat.


#5 Calgary  at  Regina  –  The Dinos, with their more vigorous and ‘all-in’ defensive effort should frustrate the sputtering Cougars. Calgary will be looking for efficient offense, and more cohesion from their 12 man rotation. Regina is at home, and need a win to help with playoff hopes.  8 pm Central both games.

Josh Ross and the Cougars face a tough task at U of S.

Mount Royal   at  #9 Saskatchewan –  Nobody said it would be easy, and MRU, after 2 losses to UBC, are now at Saskatchewan, the only team to have a win over the Thunderbirds.  Tough indeed.  Brett Layton and Josh Ross will have their hands full with Shane Osayande and Matt Forbes.      8 pm Central for both.

Winnipeg  at MacEwan  –  Is Winnipeg for real?  They are ‘under the radar’, even at 9-5.  Some say ‘easy schedule’, but the Wesmen face road games against an experienced and under-rated Mac crew. Not a runaway here for Ryan Oirbans, Sean Tarver against  Adonis Monfort- Palomino, Keith Gerdes and company.    8 pm Mountain on  Fri, 7 pm Sat

UBC-Okanagan  at  Lethbridge  –  The Pronghorns are motivated by play-off possibilities, while the Heat have to be content to play ‘spoiler’ here.  Dejon Burdeaux and Elliott Sentance vs Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin  is an interesting match-up.      Games are Friday at 8 pm Mountain, and Sat at 7 pm .

5th year forward, Volodymyr Iegorov , TRU ace

Thompson Rivers at Fraser Valley –  This is the ‘Feature Series of the Week’, and one with so many possibilities.  Old foes dating back to College League days, these two schools have both had success in Canada West .  UFV’s guard play (Manny Dulay, Vijay Dhillon)  make them slim home favourites.  But can the Cascades handle rebounder/scorers Volodymyr Iegorov and Michael Rouault off the Wolf Pack?   Fri – 8 pm and Sat – 7pm Pacific

Brandon   at    #2  UBC  –  Just when the Bobcats were building some momentum, they fly to the Coast for a most demanding test against the League -leaders.  UBC’s Conor Morgan vs Brandon’s Earl Thompson Jr.  Tyvon Cooper for the ‘Cats and Jordan jensen-Whyte of the ‘Birds.  Too much firepower from the Thunderbirds, you would think.     These games are 7 pm Pacific both Friday / Saturday

Trinity Western  at Victoria –  Two ‘must-haves’ for the Vikes.  Grant Sitton welcomes more help;  he has Scott Kellum, Justin Kinnear, now who else will step up?  TWU have a new spirit in their ‘team under construction’.  If their guards can compete, their big men can give UVic some trouble.     Friday at 8 pm Pacific, and Saturday at 7 pm.

Alberta gets the bye this week.



Overtime –        

  • Canada West corrected their RPI calculations (which, admittedly, can be very tricky), and the Manitoba Bisons are at .5872, the 5th highest in the League.  That makes more sense, since they won 2 games.  Teams can drop, if they play a lower-ranking opponent, as the Herd did with TWU.  The Manitoba drop first reported as .4964, however, seemed far too great. MRU was also corrected to .4964 (not .4704 as originally posted).
  •  If teams are tied for the final playoff spot, the tie breakers will be – 1. Results between the 2 teams  2.  Record vs common opponents 3. RPI rating Once the 12 teams for play-offs have been decided, they will be seeded 1-12 by their RPI ranking.
  • UFV Coach Adam Friesen with his thoughts about TRU this week.  ““We know they’re going to be hard-nosed, they’re going to be tough inside, and they’re going to be throwing a bunch of different defences at us to try to throw us off,” UFV bench boss Adam Friesen said. “Volodymyr Iegorov is one of the best players in our league, if not the country, so we’ve got our hands full with him.”   From Adam Kinvig  , Fraser Valley Athletics
  • From the OUA tonight – #4  Ryerson 99 at McMaster 77



Bears and T’Birds Fight Back


Canada West Leaders gain road splits in feature match-ups


Alberta’s Austin Waddoups buries the winner against Calgary

# 8 Alberta  81  #3 Calgary 80 – The Bears (11-1) win a real ‘nail-biter’ courtesy of the 8 key points from speedy guard, Austin Waddoups , in the final 3 minutes.  His 3 foul shots , then a natural 3 point play set the table for a tense final minute, as Brody Clarke hits free throws to give the changing lead back to Alberta.  After a Thomas Cooper dunk off a steal, Calgary  goes back ahead at 19 secs.  A leaning jumper by Waddoups finds the mark with 6 secs remaining, and that’s the winner. The Bears win the rebound (39-27) and  FG%  (47%- 43.5%) battle , but Calgary forces 28 U of A turnovers to keep it close.  Mamadou Gueye has a much better night than he did Thursday, with his 22 points/ 5 boards, while Waddoups hits 19 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 assts.

The Dinos (8-2) spread the scoring, as Jasdeep Gill hits 4/5 from 3 point range for 14 points in just 17 minutes.  Cooper is held to only 14, which is 10+ below his average.  This is an intense match-up, and Alberta responds to Thurday’s disappointment with a gritty team effort in Calgary to get the series split. Box Score  

UBC’s Conor Morgan goes for 30 points in win at Saskatchewan

# 2  UBC  83  Saskatchewan 74   –   Conor Morgan’s 30 point night sparked the T’Bird attack, as they get a big road split with a much sharper offensive display on Saturday.  Now at 9-1, UBC established a 12 point lead at the break, and pulled away in the 3rd, as they hit 46% FG to 40% for the Huskies (6-4). Taylor Browne came off the bench for the Thunderbirds to score 11 points/ 6 rebounds. U of S gets 20 pts/ 8 rebs from Shane Osayande, and 16 points each from Alex Unruh and Matt Forbes.    Box Score   

at Winnipeg 84 Trinity Western 80  –  The  Wesmen (8-4) may have been caught ‘counting their chickens’ on Saturday, and the underdog Spartans (2-10) gave them a real run. The visitors hung in right down to the final minutes, but went cold on offense just at the crucial time.  Winnipeg hit 3 more 3s, hit 3 more foul shots, and committed  9 fewer turnovers to win a close one.  William Sesay shone for the Ws, with 21 points/ 7 rebs/ 4 steals, and Denzel Lynch-Blair was tough, with 19 pts/ 8 rebs/ 6 assists for UW.   Max Vitala played another strong game for Trinity with 24 points/ 5 rebs, and Patrick Vandervelden had a career night with 20 points and 18 big rebounds.  Box Score    

Earl Thompson Jr. leads the Bobcats to a road win at MRU

Brandon 86  at Mt. Royal  80 –  The Bobcats (4-8)  got a road win after Friday’s close -call, as they shot 51% from the floor.  All 5 Brandon starters were in double figures, with 13 points/ 16 rebounds from the relentless Earl Thompson Jr.  MRU’s Brett Layton scored 18 and snared 17 boards, while Josh Ross hit 18 points/ 7 rebs/ 5 asst.  This one hurts for the Cougars on their home floor, as they drop  to 5-5.      Box Score   

Lethbridge 76 UNBC  63 –  The  Pronghorns (8-4) get the sweep with a 45-33 2nd half surge.  UL benefit from 20/24 from the line compared to just 7/9 for the visiting T’Wolves, who can only manage 36% from the floor.    Dejon Burdeaux leads Lethbridge once more, with 20 pts/ 6 rebs/ 3 assts, with Elliott Sentance chipping in with 15 points and 10 boards.    UNBC’s top scorer, Austin Chandler, has a game-high 21 plus 5 rebounds/ 3 blocks.  The Timberwolves fall to 4-8.      Box Score  

at Thompson Rivers  78  Victoria  71   –   The ‘Pack roar out to a 23-8 lead after 10 minutes, and move to 6-6 as they never lose control of this one. TRU shoot a hot 53% from the floor as Volodymyr Iegorov scores 20, Joe Davis 19, and Derek Rhodes 17.  The Wolves deploy just 7 players for all but 2 minutes, and they dominate UVic on the glass (39-23) .  Scott Kellum leads the Vikes (3-7) with 15 points/ 5 assts, and Grant Sitton has 12 pts/ 6 rebs/ 4 assts/ 4 steals.      Box Score   

at UBC-Okanagan 79  Regina  70 –   The  Heat match the Cougars down the stretch, and are full marks for just their 2nd win of the CW season.  UBC-O shoots 49% from the field. led by  Aldrich Berrios’ 21 points, and 18 from his ‘wing-man’  Mitch Goodwin.   Johneil Johnson comes off the Regina bench for 23 points, as they fall to 6-4.    Box Score  

Manny Dulay nails 7 of 9 from 3 pt range to help UFV to a sweep

at Fraser Valley  89   MacEwan  82  –  A very satisfying sweep for the Cascades, as they climb to 5-5 on the year, while Mac may be in dire straits at 3-9.  A season’s best 56% from the floor for UFV, as Manny Dulay lights it up with 7/9 from outside the arc, finishing with 23 pts./ 5 steals.  Vijay Dhillon of the Cascades drains 4/5 long ones of his own for 19 points.  Keith Gerdes comes up big for the Griffins with 25 points, including 7/12 from 3 pt range.   Box Score 


In the Atlantic – at St. FX 85  UNB  66 ,  #10 Dalhousie 90 at UPEI 86 , Saint Marys  70 at Memorial  93

In Quebec –    UQAM 68  at Concordia  67

In Ontario – #1 Carleton 101  Waterloo  60 , at #5 Ryerson 98 Guelph 76,at   Laurentian 95 #9 McMaster 87 ,  at Nipissing 69  # 6 Brock  66,  #4 Ottawa 87  Laurier 58   , Windsor 78  Queens 77  ,  at Western Ont. 81 York  71,  Toronto 74  Lakehead 64



Overtime –

  •  There are also some highlight jams in Canada West action this and every season.  Who has the top ‘flush’ of  the season ?  Maybe it’s the UFV Cascades Nav Bains in this Friday win over MacEwan !  Coach Adam Friesen liked it, as he tells us in this article by UFV’s Dan Kinvig. “Nav’s dunk is one of those things that he’ll probably remember for a long time, and it got the crowd and the team pumped up,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said afterward.
  • Canada West Women’s scores on Saturday –  Calgary 60 Alberta 57, Saskatchewan 73 UBC 69,  Regina 80 UBC-O 60, Trinity W. 72  Winnipeg 68, Fraser V. 59  MacEwan 55,   Brandon 92 Mt. Royal 85, Lethbridge 73  UNBC 69, Victoria 80 Thompson R 70

Calgary Surrenders Lead in Final Minutes



Hot 2nd half garners win for the Knights

team photo-Lars Schleuter

Lars Schleuter scores 18 , but UC drops a game to Warner-Pacific

 Warner-Pacific Knights 93  Calgary Dinos  86  – The Dinos 2nd game down in Chandler, AZ  was looking good at the half.  Calgary takes a 46-36 half-time lead as Lars Schleuter is hot from the outside.  The 2nd half is a different story, as the Knights charge back with 57 points, and the Dinos cool off with  40.

Most of the damage is done in mid-frame with a 12-1 run from W-P, then again with a 24-10 blitz as they approach 2 minutes.  Calgary get 23 points/ 5 rebs/ 6 assts from  Thomas Cooper, and 18 points  by Schleuter.  Jhony Verrone counted 13 points / 3 assists.   Warner-Pacific hit 28/40 free throws vs Calgary’s 13/19.  Box Score 


Overtime –

Dave Smart, Carleton, (L), with an incredible winning record in U-Sports.                                           Kevin Hanson, UBC, (Rt) who tops Canada West coaches.

  •  The 15 winningest active coaches   (5 yrs +)  in U Sports (CIS) –  1.  Dave Smart, Carleton – 504 wins – 45 losses = .918  … in 17 years !   2. James Derouin, Ottawa – 173-52 = .769 … 7 yrs   3. Kevin Hanson, UBC – 390-141 = .734  in 17 years   4. Barry Rawlyk, Saskatchewan – 148-60 = .712  in 7 years   5. Amos Connelly, McMaster – 128-59 = .684  in 7 years   6. Steve Konchalski, St. FX – 628-308 = .670  in 42 years!   7. Roy Rana, Ryerson – 126-67 = .653 in 7 years  8. Dave DeAveiro, McGill  (Ottawa) – 329-181 = .645  in 16 years  9. Craig Beaucamp, Victoria – 266-156 = .630  in 14 years   10. Chris Oliver, Windsor (Queens) – 242-154 = .611 in 14 years    11. Adam Friesen, Fraser Valley – 77-49 = .611  in 5 years   12. Barnaby Craddock, Alberta (Brandon, UFV) – 211-143 = .596  in 12 years   13. Jonah Taussig, Saint Marys – 86-61 = .585  in 5 years   14. Dan Vanhooren, Calgary – 292-209 = .583  in 17 years     15. Mike Raimbault, Winnipeg (Brandon) – 126-105 = .545  in 8 years.



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.

Calgary Shooters on the Mark

Dinos Offense Much More Confident in Saturday Win

David Kaoinga's 2-way effort leads the way in a Dinos win.

David Kaoinga’s 2-way effort leads the way in a Dinos win.

at Calgary 102   Manitoba  77 –  Night and day for the Dinos, as they came out far more aggressively, and with more pace to their offense.  All 5 Calgary starters are in double figures, led by David Kapinga’s 21 pts/ 7 assists/ 3 steals.  Mambi Diawara scored 19 plus 8 rebs/ 3 steals, and Thomas Cooper a double of 18 points/ 10 rebounds. UC shot 55% from the floor, with 10/19 from beyond the arc. Manitoba trailed throughout, with a decided fall-off on their offensive efficiency from Friday. Justus Allen played well again, with 23 points.      Box Score

UBC 78  Thompson Rivers  67 –    The T’Birds get the sweep, but in a much tighter game than Friday’s. UBC wiped out a 6 point half-time deficit with a 30-13 burst in the 3rd. Conor Morgan had 22 pts/ 8 rebs for the visitors, and Jordan Jensen-Whyte added 17 pts/ 11 boards. UBC beat the ‘Wolf Pack 50-30 on the boards. TRU got 20 pts from Derek Rhodes and 18 by Volodymyr Iegorov.   Box Score


Saskatchewan 78 at Fraser Valley 62 –  The Huskies found a way through the UFV defense on Saturday, and earned a split in the series. A dominating 30 points/ 18 rebound effort from big Shane Osayande was the big noise for the Dogs.  Fraser Valley shot just 36 % , and were out-rebounded 51-28 by U of S.  Manny Dulay counted 20 points/ 6 assists for the home side.    Box Score

at Lethbridge  90  MacEwan 88 –  The Pronghorns get 3 points from Zac Overwater in the final 12 seconds, to edge the Griffins for the 2 game sweep.  Mac had overcome an 8 point deficit in the middle of the final stanza, but couldn’t stay out front. Dejon Burdeaux led the ‘Horns with 27 pts/ 6 assts/ 4 steals, and Elliott Sentance chipped in with 24 points/ 5 rebs/ 4 steals. Both teams shot it very well, with MacEwan at 56% and Lethbridge 54%.  Thadius Galvez was, for the 2nd night running, the top Griff, with 23 pts/ 7 rebs/ 6 assists.       Box Score

at Alberta  83   Brandon 67  –  Bears hung up 37 points in the 3rd quarter, which spelled disaster for the Bobcats. All 12 of the GBs scored on the night, led by 14 pts/ 11 boards from Mamadou Gueye.  Brandon got 10 points  apiece from Chris Stanhope and Grieve Kazumba, as they shot just 35% as a team.   Box Score


at Regina  77  Victoria 57  –   The Cougars get a split by decisively turning the tables on the visiting Vikes. The Regina defense clogged up the Victoria attack, forcing 20 turnovers, and UR hit 42% from the floor to just 29% for UVic. 4 Cougs in double figures, with 17 points/ 9 rebounds from Brian Ofori. The Vikes had Grant Sitton with 15 pts/ 8 boards, and Justin Kinnear scoring 13 and grabbing 8 rebounds as well.     Box Score

at Winnipeg 84  UNBC 75 –  The Wesmen led by 9 after 1 quarter and basically kept that gap for the duration.  Despite the T’Wolves’ Rhys Elliott pouring in 34 points on 13/19 shooting, the Wesmen got the weekend sweep with a 40-28 rebound margin, and a beautiful 29 point / 11 rebound effort from import guard, Sean Tarver. Ryan Oirbans had 17 for UW, and Wm. Sesay 14 /9 boards.     Box Score

   Trinity Western 79   at UBC- Okanagan  74 –    Happy days for the Spartans, as they claim the road win, and hang up a confidence -boosting W.  A 51-36 opening 20 minutes gave Trinity just enough breathing room, as the Heat fought back in the 4th. Patrick Vandervelden’s 18 points paced TWU, and Tyus Allen added 15 pts/ 6 assts/ 5 rebs. UBC-O had Aldrich Berrios with 17 pts/ 7 rebs.     Box Score

More CIS Scores Saturday  –

  Atlantic League play  … at Saint Mary’s 97   Acadia 89 ,  at UPEI 93  St. FX 89,

at Dalhousie 88 Cape Breton 63, at Memorial 87 UNB 80

 Ontario UA –    Guelph 83   at Western Ont  81 , at Lakehead 65 Algoma 52 , at Waterloo  Toronto ,  Ryerson 88 at W. Laurier 54



Overtime –

  •   Name the Coach voted most sartorially splendid on this opening weekend ! Smart ... retro ... flashy ... confident. Dapper ! Who is this stylish bench boss!

Smart … retro … flashy … confident. Dapper ! Who is this stylish, edgy, bench boss? !    (photo –  ‘MK Shotz’)




  • UFV Head Coach Adam Friesen  on his expectations for his veteran guards, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon,  “We expect them to be leaders, really run the offence and provide more of the playmaking aspect to the game than they have in years past,”   Friesen said of the duo. “They allow us to space the floor well, and their ability to shoot the three makes our posts’ lives easier and allows some of our wings who prefer to penetrate to have larger lanes to slash into.”    From an article in ‘The News’ – Abbotsford.
  • TWU Coach Aaron Muhic, with some  positive thoughts about his re-building program,  “I think we’re going to be a better rebounding team with Matt (Hayashi) and Patrick (Vandervelden) getting more comfortable and Tee (Maeberry) with us,” Muhic said. “If we’re taking better shots, I feel like we can grow into a high-level rebounding team. The thing I’ve been impressed with is how the guys have embraced each moment. Whether it’s been a tight game or beating someone pretty good or losing by a bit of a margin, they’ve responded well. They know how to bind together when there’s adversity.”  From Mark Jantzen, Trinity Western Athletics.

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.

7 ‘Warriors’ Give It All !



The ‘Magnificent Seven’                                                                                             (talk about dating yourself with a movie title!)
These 7 players did it all for their teams  last weekend;  they are ‘stat-chart stuffers’ , with impressive numbers in several categories …

Josh Wolfram is a big reason that TRU sits on top of the Explorer Division.

Josh Wolfram is a big reason that TRU sits on top of the Explorer Division.

>  Josh Wolfram, Thompson Rivers –  ‘Wolfie’ racks up 40 points, 14  boards, 6 assists, and 5 blocked shots in the ‘Pack’s 2 game sweep in Edmonton.  Primo !
>  Kevon Parchment, Fraser Valley – His coach says he ‘takes it for granted’, but Adam Friesen, as he says so well in Overtime, is a huge fan of the unfaltering boost his Cascades get from this all-star shoe-in … 32 points/ 23 rebounds / 8 assists.
>  Thomas Cooper, Calgary – The 4th year wing-man looked a little weary at times on Friday/Saturday in Brandon, but came through in game 2  when he was most needed.  This guy shows up and is counted – 39 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists .
>  Brandon Brine, Lethbridge – Another guy who may be feeling the ‘small hurts’, as he bangs with the bigs every game. Brine, in his 5th year, gives the ‘Horns a chance every time out.  This week – 39 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 big blocks!
> Conor Morgan, UBC –  The multi-talented ‘small-forward’ has found a groove, and the ‘Birds are taking flight as a result.  In the big Manitoba series Conor stacks-up 36 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks.  Bueno !
> Reese Pribilsky, Thompson Rivers –  The Orange have 3 of these guys?  (Add-in V. Iegorov)  This 5th year guard just keeps coming at you!  Stuns the Griffins with 34 points, 12 boards, and 11 assists.
> Mamadou Gueye, Alberta –  The Bears lean very heavily on this Quebec CEGEP grad, who is shouldering so much of the offensive responsibility.  He registers 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists in U of A’s split with the Vikes.

> We have to send out kudos to the Bobcats’ D.J. Jordan, who was the week’s high scorer, with 47 points against Calgary in 2 more losing games for BU.

Sweeps Abound in Last Week ’s Canada West Action

 Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 3.30.14 PM
The 1st and 2nd place teams, Thompson Rivers and Fraser Valley, both took care of business, with the Cascades taking 2 at home from UNBC, despite the continuing injury and illness troubles.  UFV gets big man, Nate Brown, back, but then lose Vijay Dhillon, their shooting guard.  TRU gets a pair at MacEwan, with the ‘Big 3’ of Josh Wolfram, Volodymyr Iegorov, and Reese Pribilsky doing the bulk of the damage.
This leaves the Wolf Pack 2 games clear in 1st place, and the Cascades firmly ensconced in 2nd, as their 8-4 is well clear of the 5-7 log-jam amongst Mt. Royal, UBC-O, and MacEwan. The Cougars’ 2 wins at home over Okanagan were the big news in the race for the final playoff slot, with 8 games left to play.

 Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 3.29.52 PM
The Calgary Dinos solidify their hold on top spot with 2 wins, as they pull out their 6th in a row on Saturday. But, as they have in the past, don’t do it without some drama, as they have to catch the winless Brandon Bobcats in the final 5 minutes.  UBC turn the tables on Manitoba on Saturday, and get a split in Winnipeg, and sit in 2nd place,  just a 1/2 game back of the Dinos. The Bisons  are next at 8-4, although Regina is 7-3, and ahead in the loss column, as they return to action this coming weekend.  Lethbridge came close to a sweep at Saskatoon, but the Huskies, playing without  rookie guard Jacquin Bennett-Boire, won a helter-skelter OT game on Saturday.  Victoria and Alberta split, and they sit on another ledge with Winnipeg and the Bears, right near the magic 7-8 place line.


Canada West Women’s Standings –

         Top 7- Pioneer 
         Sask          12-0 Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 3.33.48 PM    
         Alberta      10-1     
         Regina        9-1  
         Calgary       9-4     
         Brandon     5-5     
         UBC            6-6     
         Victoria       5-7

              Explorer –  Top 4Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 3.33.38 PM
MacEwan           9-3     
              Thompson R.       8-3     
              UBC Okanagan   8-3     
              Fraser Valley       7-5     



Overtime – 

Basketball loses a friend and a champion, as Phil Allen passes away on the weekend.

Basketball loses a friend and a champion, as Phil Allen passes away on the weekend.

  • Very sad news about Alberta Colleges Hall of Fame Coach Phil Allen, who died last weekend while holidaying with his family in Costa Rica. We knew Phil back in the late ‘70s, when he was coaching at Grant MacEwan, and then, of course, throughout his exceptional time as the Head Coach at SAIT. Between 1978 and 1996 Phil’s  teams won nine ACAC Championships, including an incredible seven straight between 1980 and 1986. The Trojans won 2 CCAA National Championships under his guidance, in 1981 and 1986.  Allen later was the Athletic Director at SAIT, then MacEwan, and was coach and  A.D. and Vice President at Lakeland College.  He was a builder, a teacher, and an enthusiastic promoter of basketball in Alberta.   (With information from the ACAC).
  • Here’s a coach who appreciates the value of a split on the road in Canada West.   “I’m happy we came out of here with one win, for sure. It was a big character win. Just look at the standings and you see how tight things are,” Vikes men’s coach Craig Beaucamp said after a Saturday tussle with Alberta –  More details in this Victoria Times-Colonist article.
  • Fraser Valley Coach, Adam Friesen, after Saturday’s 2nd weekend home win over UNBC,  lauding the consistent brilliance of 5th year star, Kevon Parchment, “I don’t even notice Kevon’s stat lines anymore,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s really unfortunate, because I may not see many of those after he’s gone for the rest of my coaching career. But they’ve become so routine, I almost glance over them when I look at the box score. He’s just phenomenal in all areas of the game for us.”    From UFV’s Sports Information Director, Dan Kinvig.
  • Just in case his troops get  ‘overly-celebratory’, Scott Clark,  TRU, tempers his post game remarks on Saturday , “Anytime you can go on the road and come away with a pair of victories then you have to be happy,” said Clark. “We are getting balanced scoring and it was nice to see Luke (Morris) come off the bench and get some points for us. But we can’t rest on what we did this weekend. We need to turn our attention to our next opponent.”  From CFJC, Kamloops.

Topsy-Turvy Pioneer Division


Burdeaux Drives Pronghorns Along Winning Path

Deion Burdeaux is a one-man gang for the surging Pronghorns. photo - UL Athletics

Dejon Burdeaux is a one-man gang for the surging Pronghorns.    photo – UL Athletics


Hot and Not … This Past Weekend –

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 1.46.11 PM

Lethbridge Pronghorns get everyone’s undivided attention with 2 emphatic 'hornd copydismemberments of the visiting Victoria Vikes in L.A. last Friday and Saturday.   Their ‘combo-zone’ defense upset the Vikes rhythm, and the ‘Run With the ‘Horns offense’ ruined UVic’s defensive stat-line as well. The caution here, of course, is that U of L has 14 games in January and February, but for now, ‘Horns Nation’ is all fired up !

The Manitoba Bisons are tied on top with UBC after winning 2 at Brandon, their 4th straight;  the Herd are pumped up about the emergence of a deeper, more experienced, and more ‘ready for prime-time’ line-up.  Justus Alleyn and Keith Omoerah aren’t the headliners, but they, along with stars, AJ Basi and Wyatt Anders give U of M a real shot.  Their schedule in the 2nd half is very rugged, so nothing for granted yet!

The UBC T-Birds are the biggest team in Canada West, right through their playing roster, and they can intimidate with that size and their veteran play.  Their split in Calgary gave them reason to celebrate Friday’s solid win, then grimace on Saturday after Calgary ran away from them late. Jordan-Jensen Whyte has played with great intensity, and David Wagner is strong inside.  Can they find the chemistry to get as cohesive as they would want as the season wears on?

The Calgary Dinos are also a team showing signs of inconsistency, but, at their best, they are right there near the top rung.  Lars Schleuter, when’s aggressive on the boards and with his outside shot, can help UC grow into a championship contender.  The guards, Torrez McKoy, David Kapinga, and the redoubtable Thomas Cooper, can ratchet up the pressure and offensive pace.

The Alberta Golden Bears, getting some encouraging lead guard play from Colby Jackson, got 2 home wins to begin a hopeful crawl back ‘into the mix’.  The Saskatchewan Huskies bring in a ‘relief shooter’, Jonathan Karwacki, to ‘steal’ the 2nd win over the TWU Spartans, and may have saved their season with it.

The Victoria Vikes have to be asking themselves lots of questions after as discouraging a weekend as they’ve had in several seasons.  Lethbridge exposed some weaknesses on both ends, and UVic will need to have their vets pull everyone together.  The break may be exactly what they may need;  the Vikes are a long way from done, and are sure to respond.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 1.45.55 PM

The Thompson Rivers WolfPack put themselves squarely in the role of  favourites in the Explorer, with as big a domination of the Fraser Valley Cascades as any team in recent memory.  The firepower increases, with Luke Morris asserting his role alongside Reese Pribilsky, Volodymyr Iegorov, and Josh Wolfram.  The ‘Pack look like a team headed for the Final 4 in Canada West , and maybe ….

The Fraser Valley Cascades will look forward to mid-February , when they get TRU in their own gym in Abbotsford.  They know they are not as bad as they may have felt after Saturday’s loss, and they’ll hope to get Nate Brown and Mark Johnson back for January games.

The 4 teams at .500 or below … Okanagan, Mac, Northern BC, and Mt. Royal … all had a ‘kiss your sister’ weekend.  Glass half- full or half-empty.  Let’s remember , third place is one definite playoff target, and 4th is nowhere.  Time left for everyone, but a couple of 2 -win weekends are a must for the Cougars, for example.

This week’s ‘Prime -Time Players’ –

Dejon Burdeaux has the 'Horns on the run !

Dejon Burdeaux has the ‘Horns on the run !

Dejon Burdeaux, Lethbridge –  is shooting 58.7 % from the floor, which would be solid for a post man, but it’s phenomenal, since he is a 6-0 guard !  He scores 15 ppg, as well as 3.8 assists and 3.8 steals; the  3rd year Oakland, CA import is a major ‘impact guy’ for this veteran ‘Horns team, at both ends of the court. Last weekend, in 2 home wins over Victoria, Burdeaux posted 44 points, 15 assists, 9 rebounds, and 9 steals … nicely done, young man!


Thomas Cooper, Calgary –  may be a permanent fixture on this weekly list of stand-outs, as he is consistently providing the Dinos with the scoring and rebounding he brings each night.How does 66 points and 17 rebounds sound for production from the 6-5 Chattanooga, TN native in Calgary’s split with UBC?  He continues to lead Canada West scorers – 27.5 ppg, and is 5th in rebounding at 8.8 rpg.

Mamadou Gueye, Alberta – this 6-7 wing man takes the Golden Bears on his back and carries them to a sweep over Regina, with his 57 points and 14 rebounds in the 2 game set.  There is lots of pressure on the Quebec native to give this young Bears team this type of leadership, and he appears to be up to the task!

James Lefebvre , Mt. Royal – the 5th year post man rallied his Cougars for a much-needled win over UNBC on Saturday, with his 24 point/10 rebound effort. He totals 37 points and 21 rebounds for the weekend, and MRU may still have life as he and fellow veteran, Derek Wolf, point them in the right direction.

Luke Morris, T. Rivers –  Yet another member leaps out from the ‘Pack !  Morris has his best career weekend, by far, as TRU whips up on rivals UFV to claim first in the Explorer. The 6-4 Mission, BC product totals 38 points and 25 rebounds, and gives the Wolves yet another weapon to take on the challengers.

And yet more notable performances –  Josh Wolfram, TRU, with 32 points and 27 rebounds against Fraser Valley … Rhys Elliott, UNBC,  just keeps on ticking along, with 2 more solid games (45 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) vs MRU … Kelvin Smith TWU, gets the Spartans tantalizingly close to their 1st win with his 29 point game on Saturday vs Saskatchewan … Thadius Galvez, MacEwan, is becoming the Griffs steadiest offensive threat, as he totals 37 points and 6 steals in a split vs UBC-O.


Sunday CIS Score   –

Atlantic –  Cape Breton 85 Memorial 65   …


Overtime –

Vijay Dhillon carries the scoring load for UFV.

Vijay Dhillon carries the scoring load for UFV.

  • UFV Coach, Adam Friesen,  after Friday’s game at TRU, with a ‘state of affairs’ and priorities for his Cascades, “We are really banged up,” said Friesen, alluding to injuries that have sidelined starters Nate Brown and Mark Johnson. “Vijay (Dhillon) is one of our few healthy bodies at the moment. He knew he had to come in here and be aggressive. He really stepped up and played well.” “We are going to have to find a way to clamp down on defence,” Friesen added. “Offensively things will always be tough for us currently. We need to find a way to get stops and limit rebounds.” From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
  • Veteran Victoria Times-Colonist Sportswriter, Cleve Dheenshaw, on the Vikes’ latest sojourn to Lethbridge,  “As a host, Lethbridge has earned a reputation over the years as being the Canada West basketball equivalent of old-school junior hockey Flin Flon or the NFL Raiders’ Black Hole in Oakland. In good years or bad for the Pronghorns, it’s always a challenge going in there for opposing teams. “
  • U of L Coach, Mike Hansen, after his ‘Horns took those 2 games from the Vikes, “The league has beaten each other up,” said Hansen. “Everybody is backed up in the middle. I think two points separate first to ninth and it’s important that we win at home. That was my message to the guys, this game will define who we want to be this year. Do we want to be a team that’s happy to be in the playoffs or that team that pushes to be in the upper echelon? I’m really proud of the guys.” From an article in the Lethbridge Herald by Dale Woodard       
  •  There are still 3 games to be played in Canada West this coming weekend.  The Winnipeg Wesmen meet the  green Cougars  in Regina, Friday/Saturday, Dec 4/5, and the Calgary Dinos host the Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday in the first of their home and home series. The 2nd game for UC and U of A is February 20 in Edmonton.