‘The Ball Goes Up ….’

 

 Fall Pre-Season Games on Tap This Week

Teams have been busy with their early Fall work-outs, and pre-season games are getting underway starting this weekend.  Laurentian and Algoma start things off this Friday in Sudbury, while Alberta has an Alumni game on Saturday.  UBC-O hosts Vancouver Island , a strong B.C. College League team, also on Saturday in Kelowna.  Laval, Cape Breton, Saskatchewan, York, Nipissing, and Western Ontario also have CCAA opponents lined up over the next 10-12 days.

Coach Peter Guarasci and the Heat are busy in September.

UBC-O travel to Ontario next week, where the Heat will play McMaster, Toronto, and Western Ont. Also beginning the last weekend in September will be UVic’s annual Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament.  The Vikes once again welcome the National Champion Carleton Ravens, along with Concordia Stingers and the Guelph Gryphons.  Winnipeg Wesmen continue their tradition of playing a pair of games in Thunder Bay vs Lakehead on September 28 and 29.

Other games that get our interest …  Memorial visits Brock, McMaster, and York on the 29th-Oct 1. The Eric Garland Tournament at U. New Brunswick has Saint Marys, Cape Breton, and UQAM.

 

NCAA vs U-Sports : 45 – 25

6-8 Eddie Ekiyor and the Carleton Ravens look like championship contenders , even in August.

In 70 games played this past August – early September between U-Sports

In 70 games played this past August – early September between U-Sports schools and NCAA squads, the edge goes to the Americans by a 45 – 25 count.

Overall,  Carleton owned a 9-2 record over NCAA competition, including wins over Alabama, Vanderbilt,  and Northeastern.  McGill, who won all 3 on a trip to the Caribbean,  was just 1-4 in later home games, and had an overall 4-6 mark. Windsor won both their NCAA games in August, then went to The Netherlands and swept a 3 game series against club-pro teams there. Ottawa Gee-Gees were 3-1 with visiting U.S. schools, with their lone loss to Alabama by an 81-71 score.

Out West, it was Alberta with a 1-1 record against Montana State, as they clipped the ‘Cats  97-72 in their 2nd try in Calgary.  UBC took a ‘modified line-up’ (minus Coach Hanson and ace forward, Conor Morgan, among others) to Costa Rica, and lost 3 straight to Texas -El Paso once and 2 to a strong Nevada-Reno Wolf Pack team.   Full details of these results are available on the fine  U-Sports Hoops web-site , which is so well edited by Martin Timmerman in Waterloo.

 

Keith Omoerah is off to play pro in Norway. Photo – Bisons Sports

Overtime –

  • One of a very strong group of graduates leaving the Manitoba Bisons is wing man, Keith Omoerah, who has signed a pro contract with Baerum in Norway.  Omoerah, Amarjit Basi, Ilarion Bonhomme, Brett Jewell, and Jonathan Alexander take a lot of skill and experience away from the U of M roster.   More on Omoerah’s move to Europe in this Bisons Athletics release.

  •  Raptors Train at UVic … In what has become a tradition, the Toronto Raptors will hold training camp in British Columbia for the 4th straight year. UVic’s CARSA Gym will be the site from Sept. 26-29.  While practices will be closed to the public, fans will get a chance to see an   intra-squad game  on Thursday, Sept. 28. Tickets for this intra-squad game “ … were available online and in person at the CARSA membership services counter and were in incredibly high demand,” read the news release from Vikes Athletics as of last Friday.  Actually, the on-line and in- person ticket rush was over in less than 1/2 hour! Sell-out!  There are some standing room seats available closer to game time.

    Canadian Kyle Wiltjer will be one of the new faces in the Toronto line-up this season.

    This is a great tradition by the Raps, who have , in recent years, also had pre-season NBA games in various cities across Canada.  Unfortunately, Victoria will be the only Canadian venue this season.  Toronto has early October games in Honolulu, Portland, Toronto, and Chicago.  More Raptors info

 

 

Calgary vs Saint Marys in Consolation Final

 

 

 

Cooper leads hot Dinos shooting in win over Manitoba

Thomas Cooper drops 30 points as Calgary  beats Manitoba        (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

 Consolation, game  1 – Calgary Dinos  92   Manitoba Bisons  84 –  Fast and loose.  That is a reasonable description of the 1st half of the Dinos-Bisons reprise in Friday night consolation play.  Both teams over 50% from the floor, and both teams with 10+ turnovers.  The Canada West ‘cousins’  trade offensive bursts of 7-12 point runs.

The dust clears with he Dinos up 43 – 42, and this one may get into the 90s before it’s done. And, yes, UC goes up by 13 mid-way in the 3rd, but a buzzer beating 3 by Manitoba’s Keith Omoerah closes it to 4.

The Dinos fight off the Herd in the final frame, with continued hot shooting (54% for the game), while Manitoba (50% on FG, and 47% from 3)  get a late surge which falls just short. Thomas Cooper tallying 30 points / 11 rebounds, 3 asst/ 3 steals , and David Kapinga contributes 18 pts/ 3 asst/ 2 steals.  6-7, 4th year, Connor Foreman, has a nice game off the bench, scoring 12 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, as the Dinos score 49 in the 2nd half..

The Bisons are led by Keith Omoerah’s 15 pts/ 9 boards/ 5 helpers, as he is one of 4 in double figures in scoring for UM. Justus Alleyn is 3/4 from outside, and hits 17 pts/ 4 assists. This was the final game for Manitoba’s 4 seniors, A.J. Basi, Bonhomme, Brett Jewell, and Jonathan Alexander.     Box Score     Calgary will play Saint Marys  in the Consolation Final on Saturday at 8:00 pm Atlantic time, again on   U-Sports TV1   

The Saint Marys bench erupts , as the Huskies win in OT            (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

 Consolation, game 2 –  Saint Marys  98  Alberta  93   OT  –  The Bears catch and pass Saint Marys early in the 4th quarter, in a game that was truly back- and- forth. The Huskies are down 5 with 35 seconds left in regulation, but 2 free throws then a final seconds trey from guard, Marquis Clayton,  gets them to overtime.  SMU make the home crowd happy, winning the extra 5 minute session, with 2 more outside bombs from Clayton pivotal in the win.

The coaches tweak their rotations, and subs are in and out regularly.  Two big advantages for the Huskies are the 6 to 18 turnover chart, and their beating Alberta at their own 3 point shooting game … 14/34 – 41%  vs  9/25 – 36% for the Bears.

Clayton leads the SMU charge with his 24 points/ 6 rebs/ 6 assists , highlighted by his 6/9 from 3 point range. Theon Reefer kicks in with 20 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 assists, while post man Achuil Lual has an impact with his 11 pts/ 7 rebs.

The Bears share their scoring , with 6 in double figures, led by 20 from Mamadou Gueye, who also grabs 7 boards.  Big Brett Roughead, the lone 5th year senior, plays 29 minutes, and scores 15 points and snares 15 rebounds, leading U of A’s dominant 58-33 edge in that department. Import guard, Austin Waddoups, scores 19 with 7 rebounds, while Geoff Pippus posts a double of 12 points/ 10 rebounds.    Box Score  

SMU will face Calgary in the 8:00 pm Consolation Final on Saturday.

 

Final 8 in Halifax …   Schedule for Saturday –

1 p.m. Atlantic      Semifinal 1     #2 Carleton Ravens  vs  #3 McGill Redmen  (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

3:30 p.m. Semifinal 2      #1 Ryerson Rams  vs  #5  Dalhousie Tigers  (Sportsnet 360/SN Now)

8:00 pm  Consolation Final – #7 Calgary vs #8 Saint Marys

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Overtime –

Mitchell Wood, younger brother to Ravens’ ace, Connor Wood.   photo – Carleton Athletics

  • Brotherly ‘love’from the Carleton Ravens’  Wood brothers,  “He (younger brother Mitchell) had to survive in the driveway somehow, so he had to be tough,” quips Connor, who majors in psychology. “I always liked to get to the rim more than shoot,” Mitchell concurs. “I was going to get bullied either way, so I had to come hard or just not come out [of the house] at all.”  From David Whitfield, Ravens ‘resident scribe’. 
  • Manitoba Coach, Kirby Schepp, with some classy comments following the game with Calgary tonight, “We have tremendous respect for Calgary and their coaches and program,” said Schepp. “And while there’s a rivalry – we’ve played a lot in the last couple years – it’s a good rivalry, a healthy rivalry. We can complete at a high level and it’s fun competing like that.”  From U-Sports – Halifax
  • U-Sports Women’s Tournament Consolation scores –  from Victoria54

          Saskatchewan 65 Cape Breton 51,      Victoria  78  Regina  64

  •  The Women’s schedule on Saturday – 

2 pm Pacific – Laval  vs Queens in semi #1

4 pm        –  McGill vs Carleton in semi #2

7 pm  –  Saskatchewan   vs Regina

 

Long Road for 1st Round Play-off Teams

 

 

 4  Competitive Series in 1st Round of Playoffs

              … Thursday start for ‘Play-in’ series’ in Canada West

As the top 4 seeds, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and UBC rest-up, heal, and prepare, there is no slow-down for the 8 teams heading into the ‘Play-in’ series this weekend.  Games start at Manitoba and Winnipeg on Thursday night in two of the best of 3 sets, with Brandon and Lethbridge hosting series’ to begin on Friday.

Here are the match-ups –

Keith Omoerah contributes to the Bisons offense in many ways.      Photo – J. Miller, UM Sports

#12 Regina Cougars at # 5 Manitoba Bisons –  If we look at the past history between these teams, we might be tempted to call this a lock for the Herd.  Manitoba has beaten Regina in 15 of the most recent 16 meetings, including a January sweep at Regina (84-75, and 93-81).  But the Bisons have not been as convincing over the past month, with a couple of losses at Brandon, then close calls with UNBC, and both nights last weekend against Mt. Royal. Regina comes off a solid weekend at home, where they swept the TRU Wolf Pack.

The Cougars and Bisons are both laden with experience;  Regina features guards Alex Igual (14.7 ppg/ 4.6 rebs/ 3.3 assts), Brandon Tull (13.5 ppg/ 4.5 rebs) and rookie, Johneil Johnson (12.2 ppg/ 3.7 rebs). Forwards, Brian Ofori (13 ppg/ 6.3 rebs) and  Travis Sylvestre (9 ppg/ 3.6 rebs) have played well of late.

Manitoba have a strong, veteran group, with Justus Alleyn their top scorer at 17.4 ppg/3.6 rebs, and the all-around play of Keith Omoerah (13.2 ppg/ 8.7 rebs).  AJ Basi (13.3 ppg) and Ilarion Bonhomme are dangerous back-court threats.  James Wagner, a big rookie can give the Bisons a boost inside, along with veteran post, Brett Jewell .  The question remains, ‘Which team can pull together and win 2 games this weekend?’  The home court favours Manitoba, and UBC awaits the winner .  (Central) 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (if a 3rd game is necessary)

Winnipeg’s William Sesay will be a key factor vs Fraser Valley.

#10  Fraser Valley Cascades at #7  Winnipeg Wesmen –  This is the other Thursday start, and we have two guard – oriented teams facing off after both just had road trip weekends.  The Cascades have the quick turnaround from a bus-trip up and back on the icy, snow-packed Coquihalla Highway to Kelowna last weekend.  Wash the uniforms, pack the bags, attend a brief 2 days of classes, and off they go to Winnipeg.  The Wesmen come off a 2 loss weekend in Victoria, and somehow have to ‘right the ship’ , and win the home series vs a UFV squad that has won 4 straight to finish the season.

5th year Cascades back-court shooters, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon against  Winnipeg’s Denzel Lynch-Blair, Sean Tarver, and rookie,  Narcisse Ambanza. The much improved Fraser Valley post man, Nav Bains, battling with the Ws’ big Aussie import, Ryan Oirbans.  Talented complimentary players like the Wesmen’s William Sesay and Jamar Farley  vs Fraser Valley’s Denver Sparks-Guest, Mark Johnson, and Andrew Morris.

The Cascades have won 5 of the past 7 meetings, but the Wesmen have home court.  This is looking like a 3 game series.  Note the different game times (Central) –  Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 3 pm, and Sat. , if necessary, again at 3 pm.  The Saskatchewan Huskies will host the winner in the quarter-finals. 

UVic’s Grant Sitton will be a focus for ‘Horns defenders this weekend.        photo – UVic Athletics

#11 Victoria Vikes at #6 Lethbridge Pronghorns –  Prior to last weekend’s play, the Vikes were literally hanging by a thread, and needing a home sweep of a good Winnipeg team to make the post-season.  They got that sweep, and now are in S. Alberta to face the ‘Horns, who own 2 League wins over the Vikes in January at Victoria.

The Pronghorns are the clear favourites with their guard leader, Dejon Burdeaux (17.1 ppg/ 5.4 rebs/ 4,5 asst/ 3.6 steals) , taking the team on his back, and leading them to key wins.  3 of Burdeaux’s main ‘wing men’ are the sharp-shooting British import, Elliott Sentance (17.6 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 40% from 3 pt),  Mike Pierzchala (11 ppg/ 6 rebs), a threat to ‘run the table’, and 6-8 Zac Overwater (11.6 ppg/ 4.3 rebs.

The Vikes have leaned very heavily on 6-8 Grant Sitton, who’s surely a Canada West all-star, with his 20 ppg/ 6.8 rebs/ and 1.2 steals.  UVic’s only other double digit scorer is rookie import guard Scott Kellum (13.2 ppg), who hits 44% from 3 pt range, and chalks -up 2.4 asst per game.  Justin Kinnear is close to 10 ppg at forward, and he will need help from  Jake Newman and Hassan Abdullahi on the glass, if the Vikes are to stay with the ‘Horns.

We like Lethbridge as the home team here;  Victoria will have to make another jump forward if they hope to get the wins.  Game times are (Mountain) 7 pm on both Friday and Saturday, and 3 pm for a Sunday game, if it’s needed.  The winner here travels to Edmonton to play the Bears in the quarter-finals.

#9 Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack   at  #8  Brandon Bobcats –  The Bobcats host their 1st play-off series since 2009 in the old gym  ( SI Director Matt Packwood tells us).  This is the 1st one in their new ‘Healthy Living Centre’.  These teams have only played 9 times, ever, with the most recent a BU home win over TRU in January of 2014, so we can’t rely on trends!

We will watch a compelling battle of the big men, as the ‘Pack bring 5th year, 6-7  import, Volodymyr Iegorov, along with 6-5 Luke Morris, and 6-5 Joe Davis, who are all double digit scorers , with Iegorov among the League’s top rebounders at 9.1 rpg. Brandon responds with high-scoring Earl Thompson Jr (16.2 ppg/ 8.6 rebs), 6-5 Chris Stanhope, and a surging giant in 6-11 John Paul from St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean.  Brandon’s guards are led by shooter, Tyvon Cooper, while TRU has wing man, Michael Rouault, and import guard, Derek Rhodes.

There will be some new-found excitement surrounding this Bobcats team at home, and, if they can limit their turnovers and continue their improved shooting, they may pull this off.  The ‘Pack played in the CW Final last year, and this young team are looking to take another crack at it.  Only improved guard play and team defense will get them to the next round.  It may take 3 games to sort this out.  Winner goes to Calgary to face the Dinos in quarter-finals. 

 

________________________________________________________________________

Overtime –

  • UBC Coach, Kevin Hanson, with comments about the RPI system, whereby his 19-1 T-Birds finished as the  4th play-off seed,  “Overall, it’s frustrating but we have known that it’s been coming for a few weeks,” said Hanson.   “It is out of our control and we’re not whining about it. Our players are long over the shock. We are getting prepped to play whomever is put in front of us.  (From  Howard Tsumura’s ‘Varsity Letters’ blog  )
  • In that same ‘Varsity Letters’ posting from last weekend, Hanson reports that Conor Morgan has an ankle injury, but is expected to be ‘shooting by the end of the week.’  Guard Phil Jalalpoor is also getting treatment for an ankle injury. UBC has a bye as a top 4 team this week, and will be at home vs the winner of the Manitoba – Regina series Feb . 23-25.

 

 

Dinos and Bisons on a Collision Course

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Our season previews start with a pair of teams who both figure to make a hard run at the March 2017 Canada West Final 4.  Despite being early in Fall camp, both the Calgary Dinos  and the Manitoba Bisons will be looking ahead to their meeting in Calgary for the opening weekend of play in November.

Calgary Dinos
– 2016 Canada West champions   – 17 wins  3 losses

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-05-27-am

5th year stalwarts, Dallas Karch (L) and Jasdeep Gill (R) will be primed for a big 5th year with the hometown Dinos.

Returnees – 5th years – 6-5,Thomas Cooper, 6-7, Dallas Karch, 6-5, Jasdeep Gill … 4th years- 6-0, Jhony Verrone, 6-7, Mitch Ligertwood, 6-6, Connor Foreman, 6-7, Sunvir Johal … 3rd years – 5-11, David Kapinga, 6-7, Lars Schleuter,        6-7, Matt Ellis.
New faces – Mambi Diawara, 4th yr, 6-5 wing, Montreal (Lamar State C.C. TX) , Aloysius Calaghan, 4th yr, 6-0 guard, Calgary (MRU), Max Eisle, 1st yr, 6-4 guard, Ulm, Germany, Jeff Rodehutskors, 1st yr, 6-8 fwd, Chestermere, AB, Sasha Pojuzina, 1st yr, 6-6 wing, Regina, Jake Neilsen, 1st yr, 6-3 guard, Cochrane, AB, Ethan Scott, 1st yr, 6-2 guard, Vancouver, (Orangeville Prep, ON)

blk dinos copyThe Dinos went all the way to the CIS Final last March, where they lost decisively to the mighty Carleton Ravens. The temptation is to focus on how you can return to the Final 8 next Spring and win the ‘Cup’ next time.  But, that was then … this is now.

This Fall U. Calgary appears deep, experienced, big, with good team quickness.  But, even in their opening series of the ’16-’17 season on November 4/5, the Dinos face a formidable foe in the Manitoba Bisons. Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “We’re excited about this group of guys”, but knows it is a long road through a rugged League schedule.

UC returns 71.8 ppg in scoring, lead by last year’s top CW sniper, Thomas Cooper, (25.8), and tall wing man,Lars Schleuter (12.5).  The explosive quickness of David Kapinga and Jhony Verrone lead the back-court defense, and both are opportunistic scorers. That guard experience and the growing confidence of forwards Matt Ellis and Mitch Ligertwood should make up for the loss of Josh Owen-Thomas and Matt Letkeman, last year’s senior leaders.

Both Jadeep Gill and Dallas Karch are veteran players with size and toughness, with Gill a big offensive threat, and Karch with his speed and quick jumping ability. Connor Foreman will provide post depth, as will rookie, Jeff Rodehutskors, an extremely athletic big man.
Newcomers Max Eisle, a lead guard with experience in the German League, and Mambi Diawara, a dynamic wing transfer from his Texas JUCO, will be in the playing rotation. Sasha Pojuzina is a high school recruit with size and skill.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – vs Manitoba, at Victoria, home/home with Lethbridge, h/h with Mt. Royal …  Jan/Feb – h/h with Alberta, vs Fraser Valley, vs Saskatchewan, at Regina, at Thompson Rivers, vs MacEwan.             Prediction –  Top 3 team


Manitoba Bisons
’15-’16 – Lost to Calgary and UBC in CW Final 4        – 15 wins 5 losses

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

Returnees – 5th years –   5-11, Amarjit (AJ) Basi, 6-0, Ilarion Bonhomme, 6-6, Jonathan Alexander , 6-7, Brett Jewell … 4th years –  6-5, Keith Omoerah,   6-3, Justus Alleyn, 6-5, Malik Irwin, 6-4, Keenan Benarroch , 6-5, Joey Nitychoruk  … 3rd year-  6-7, Osahon Eghosa … 1st years (after red-shirting), 6-5, Dharmjit Dhillon ,  6-6, Raj Sidhu , 6-0 Keiran Zziwa
New faces –  (all 1st years) James Wagner, 6 – 7 fwd, John Taylor (Winnipeg) , Zach Giesbrecht, 6-1 guard, John Taylor, Cam O’Hara,  6-7 forward, St. Paul’s HS (Winnipeg), Joel Adu Quaye, 6-6 forward, St. Paul’s  (Winnipeg), David Mugugu, 6-5 forward , Kildonan-East Collegiate (Winnipeg).

Manitoba copyThe Bisons were right on the cusp last season, but just missed a trip to Nationals with 2 losses  in the Final 4.  They graduated their top rebounder, Wyatt Anders, but still have size with Jonathan Alexander, Brett Jewell, Keith Omoerah, and Osahon Eghosa.  (Eghosa suffered through salmonella poisoning in a trip to the U.S. this summer, and will be working his way back to ‘match fitness’ this Fall.) Adding 6-7 rookie, James Wagner, who played on the Canada U-18s this past summer, has  Coach Kirby Schepp exclaiming, “He may be our top recruit in the recent history of our program !”.

Canada West all-star, Omoerah (13 ppg), Justus Alleyn (15.6 ppg), and Amarjit Basi  (18 ppg) were offensive leaders last season, and the veteran import point man, Ilarion Bonhomme, a former Brandon Bobcat, has proven to be a great addition.

Joey Nitychoruk is a ‘high-energy’ player, who transferred last year from Lakehead, and Schepp expects him to be a solid contributor. A slow start last year may have given the Herd a tougher road at play-off time, but, with so much experience returning, we can expect them to be more ready for this campaign. They had better be, because they have one of the toughest front-end schedules before the Holiday break!

One very impressive stat is that 15 of their 18 roster players are Winnipeg high school products; an amazing pool of home-grown talent! “We are very proud of our ‘Manitoba content’ on our roster”, says Schepp.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Calgary, vs Thompson Rivers, at UBC, vs Alberta, h/h with Winnipeg … Jan/Feb – at Regina, at Trinity Western, vs UNBC, at Brandon, vs Mt. Royal                            Prediction – Top 5 team


New Schedule ‘Not Universally Popular’

What is the RPI, and why will it bother us?  Learn more as we examine the shiny new schedule which Canada West has rolled out for the coming season.  No more ‘Pioneers’ and ‘Explorers’, as we’re all one big, happy, 17- team Canada West League now!  (Actually there may be the odd coach here or there who is a smidge shy of happy.)    Because … there are a few oddities to the new format –

The 'tricky math' of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.

The ‘tricky math’ of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.  But it is apples vs oranges in this set-up.

> Schools don’t play the same teams.  You see, each school has 4 designated ‘traditional rivals’, who they play every year … 8 games … then they play 6 of the remaining 12 teams … 12 games  = 20
> So we miss 6 teams each year , but get them the following year.
> Who makes the playoffs ?  “ The top 12 teams based on winning percentage at the conclusion of league play … “
> How do we break ties ?  Well, here are the first 4 tie breakers in the manual –  when Two Teams are Tied:
1. Win/Loss record in head to head competition.
2. Win/Loss record versus common opponents.
3. Each teams RPI ranking.
4. Points difference in head to head competition between the tied teams.
Three or More Teams Tied:
Use the same procedure as a two‐teams tied. Once one team has been separated from the tied group, go back to step one with the remaining tied team(s).
> How are the playoff teams ranked ? “The top 12 teams are then ranked 1 to 12 based on each team’s RPI standing in order to account for the various strength of schedules faced by each team.”  Er-ah ?!  (The OUA people may get this, but we Westerners are scratching our heads !)
> What is the RPI ?  “ Each team’s RPI is based on the following formula: = 25% team winning percentage (WP) adjusted for home and away wins (1.2 for an away win and 0.8 for a home win), 50% opponents’ average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents’ opponent’s average winning percentage (OOWP) .  O-h-h-h-h-h-h … now it’s clear.  (Actually, could either Tyler from Winnipeg or Martin from Waterloo give us a formula for this ?  As always, we need math help !)


 

Overtime –

  •  Ex-Calgary Dino, Robbie Sihota, has signed a new one-year
    Robbie Sihota

    Robbie Sihota

    contract with MAFC Budapest of the Hungarian A Division. Last season the 6-6 forward, who heads into his 7th year as a pro, scored 18.5 points per game (3rd in league) and snared 9.3 rebounds per game (4th).
    Sihota had previously played in the Dutch League, Switzerland, Germany, and in Edmonton of the IBL.

  • Brandon Brine, the Lethbridge Pronghorns’ 5th year Canada West all-star last year signed a pro deal with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos in Spain. The 6-7 Aussie will be missed by UL, but is expected to be one of the top players for his club in Miraflores.
  • The powerhouse Carleton Ravens landed another big recruit in August in 6-9, Eddie Ekiyor of Ottawa,  This was a late switch  for the widely recruited Canada Basketball team member, who had originally signed with Xavier (Cincinnati), an NCAA Div 1 school.
  • It was great to hear Coach Marc Dobell answer his office phone at Mt. Royal University;  the personable 13 year coach of the Cougars returns to Fall practice after some time away recovering from a heart attack.  We wish him well, not only with his team, but in a full recovery health wise .

Regina and Manitoba Get Road Wins

 

 

A.J. Basi leads the Manitoba Bisons to a key road victory at Lethbridge.

A.J. Basi leads the Manitoba Bisons to a key road victory at Lethbridge.

Manitoba 102  at  Lethbridge   94 –  All offense, all the time, as the Bisons hand Lethbridge their first  home loss this season, and move up to 9-5, while the ‘Horns are back at 7-5.  The Herd share the scoring, with 6 in double figures, led by 21 from A.J Basi , who hits 4 trays, has 4 assists, 3 steals. Big game for Brett Jewell on the inside, as UM shreds the Pronghorn zone; Jewell has 19 and 4 boards, while Keith Omoerah gives the Bisons a double of 17 points/ 11 rebounds.  Lethbridge got close in the final minutes, with Rob Olsen cashing a pair of treys, but they can’t capitalize, as they have 15 turnovers (not that bad …), but Manitoba just 6 !  Olsen finishes with 25 points/ 8 assists, while both Brandon Brine (13 rebounds) and Zac Overwater score 20 in support.   Box Score

   Regina  83  at  # 8 UBC  79 –  Never say never !  The Cougars (8-4) play a gem of a game in one of the toughest gyms for visiting teams in Canada West!  Credit to the composure of Regina down the stretch; after they lose a 12 point lead with 4 minutes remaining, they battle back with a score by Aaron McGowan and clutch free throws from Jonathan Tull.  UBC (10-4) looked to have the momentum, but some reserve toughness by U of R turned the tables. Tull was the top scorer for Regina with 23, with Brandon Tull and Alex Igual adding 14, and McGowan 13.  Conor Morgan was the game-high scorer with 29 for the Thunderbirds, as he also counts 6 rebs/ 3 steals/ 3 blocks. Phil Jalalpoor chips in with 16 with 4/8 from 3 point range.  Box Score

# 7 Calgary 119   at Trinity Western  75 –   Free-wheeling by the visiting Dinos (12-3), who pour all the troops onto the floor for double digit minutes, and score 33-30-30 in successive stanzas, shooting 56% for the game. TWU (0-12) has the very short bench, and runs out of steam pretty quickly, as Calgary shows no let-up.  Thomas Cooper scores 28 points / 5 boards, and, off the bench, Mitch Ligertwood and Jasdeep Gill each tally 14 points, with Gilladding 6 boards/ 3 assists. Trinity gets 20 points from Kelvin Smithand 14 by Lucas Mannes.  Box Score

 at  Winnipeg 77  Victoria  64 –  The Wesmen (7-5) take a huge leap into the midst of the playoff fray with this 2nd win over the Vikes, and Victoria is slipping out of that group, as they suffer their 7th loss in 9 games. This was a game that turned on streaks of scoring, and Winnipeg came back from 31-23 down near the end of the 1st half to roar past the Vikes with a 17-2 run.  Jelane Pryce was the top scorer again for the Ws, with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. Denzel Lynch-Blair counted 19 pts/ 5 assists, and Jamar Farley contributes 18 points including 3/6 from 3 point range.  The Vikes (7-7) made it close into the middle of the 4th quarter, but untimely  turnovers and missed shots (39%) sealed their fate; Reiner Theil had 15 points, Brandon Dunlop 14, 5 rebs, 4 assts, and Jordan Charles 13 points.   Box Score

Alberta 68  at Brandon 54 –   Solid 2nd half defense for Alberta, and they get the sweep, moving to 7-6, while the ‘Cats are now 0-12.  The Bears shut down the Brandon offense, and BU hits a measly 29% from the floor compared to 41% for U of A, who also control the boards 50-34. Mamadou Gueye continues his fine play with 18 points/ 7 rebounds to lead Alberta, followed by 17 from lead guard, Colby Jackson, who also had 6 assists, and Brody Clarke with a double of 12 points / 10 rebounds. The scoring really dried up for the Bobcats in the final 3/4s, as only Chris Stanhope (11) and Earl Thompson (10) were in double figures.   Box Score

Saskatchewan has the bye this week.


Wolf Pack Pulling Away in the Explorer Race

Luke Morris is one of many weapons in the TRU arsenal, with 20 points vs MRU Saturday.

Luke Morris is one of many weapons in the TRU arsenal, with 20 points vs MRU Saturday.

 at #9 Thompson Rivers 81  Mt. Royal 62 –   A show of force tonight for the leaders, as they establish a 43-23 lead at the break, and finish off the sweep to now be at 12-2 and well clear of the Explorer field. A much looser game tonight with 43 total turnovers, as TRU cashes 19/22 (86%) free throws, and wins the rebound battle 51-35. The Cougars lose their zip tonight, and hit only 35% from the floor, and fall back to 5-9. Josh Wolfram frames a nifty 19 point / 13 rebound double to lead the Orange, with Luke Morris having a good night as well, with 20 points and 5 rebs. MRU gets 24 points from a rapidly improving Glen Yang from his guard spot, and Derek Wolf adds 15 points / 4 assists / 2 steals.   Box Score

UBC-Okanagan 78 at  UNBC 64 – Down by 7 at the half, the Heat put the defensive clamps on the home town T’Wolves, and blow by in the 3rd quarter. Now 7-7 on the season, Okanagan has some breathing room in 3rd spot. Guards Mitch Goodwin (25 points/ 4 rebs), and Aldrich Berrios (23 points / 4 boards/ 7 assists) provide the sharp point to the UBC-O attack, as the visitors are a hot 53% from the field, including 9/18 shots from beyond the arc. UNBC gets 17 from Elliot Rowe, but really hit a rough patch this weekend, and slide to 3-11.   Box Score

  at  MacEwan  74  Fraser Valley  54 –   Whoa cheval !   This is a big surprise; not a Griffs win, but 20 points?  And 54 for UFV ?  Every quarter, it’s Mac taking control, and the Cascades having no rhythm at all; a good indicator is the rebound total – Mac 51 UFV 34.  Illness, injury for Fraser Valley, maybe, as they are just 7 on the sheet. A 22 point night for Keith Gerdes of the Griffins, and he has help from Denzel James, who charts 15 points/ 6 rebs/ 4 steals, and Ryan Coleman off the bench for 13 points/ 4 boards.  Kevon Parchment with a 15 point / 12 rebound double for UFV, along with 12 points and 11 rebounds by Navjot Bains.   Box Score


 

CIS Scores on Saturday –
 Atlantic-  Dalhousie 79 at UPEI   78  … big road win for Dal over the AUS leaders.
Quebec – Concordia 68 at  # 4 McGill 57 – big change in the Q, as the Stingers get a home and home sweep over the  Redmen.  Bishops 77 at  Laval 73
Ontario –   at #5 Ryerson  #1 Ottawa   #2 Carleton 89 at Toronto  65,  at  # 6 McMaster 77  Western 61,   Laurier 97 at Laurentian 68 ,  at Nipissing 68 Waterloo   65 ,  Lakehead  73 at Algoma 65 , Queen’s 62 at York 59


Overtime –   

  • From our correspondent in L.A., David Wells, we learn that the absence of Dejon Burdeaux for U of L is due to a leg injury, and even after trying warm-up, the ‘Horns import guard could not answer the bell.  Manitoba was also short a lead guard, as veteran transfer (Brandon) Ilarion Bonhomme, who has been so valuable coming off the bench this season, was not dressed due to an ankle issue.
  • What do you do if you’re trapped  in the Atlanta, GA  airport overnight by extreme weather ?  Well, if you’re former Calgary Dinos  star Greg Hess (now living in Houston, TX) , you check out our Canada West Hoops web site for the latest news from Friday games. Nice to hear from Greg, whose aggressive style was part of Calgary’s Canada West championship success in 1976 along with teammates like Tom Bishop, Ted Hellard, Ken Rucker, Mike Santiago, Pat Lee, Phil Christie,  and Ian MacKay.

10 ‘X-Factor’ Players in Canada West

 

 

10  X-Factor Players to Watch This Week –

Saskatchewan's 2nd year forward, Mack Burns. photo - Huskies Athletics

Saskatchewan’s 2nd year forward, Mack Burns.                      photo – Huskies Athletics

The leading scorers and rebounders have their names bandied about each and every week, but it is very often left to some lesser known team members to step up at opportune times, and make the difference.  Games turn on things like ‘points off the bench’, or a timely hoop, or key defensive play from a substitute.  Who are the ‘X-factor’ players we might see make the plays that turn a game around ?

Randall Mosca, UBC-O

Randall Mosca, UBC-O

> Brett Jewell, Manitoba –  A  6-7, 4th year forward, who is starting to assert himself on the inside for the Herd.  Averaging 7 ppg/2.8 rebounds, his numbers will likely go up as his self-belief increases week by week.
> Mack Burns, Saskatchewan – The 6-6, 2nd year forward from  Regina is showing flashes of his older brother, Connor, who was a rugged rebounding forward at U. Regina, then U of S.  Mack shoots it well, at 47% FG, and averages 6 points and 6.4 rebounds a game.
> Chris Maughn, Lethbridge  –  Averaging 7.3 ppg and 4.4 rebs, he shoots 54% from the floor. The 6-9, 3rd year post, can provide a lift in the heavy traffic zones, where the Pronghorns aren’t as deep as they may wish.
> David Kapinga, Calgary –  This 5-11 guard, who played his Jr. High and started HS in  Calgary,  uses his quickness to put max pressure on opponents ball handlers. His acceleration gets him into the lane on offense, as he tallies 8 ppg/ 3 rebounds.
>  Patrick Simon, UBC – The 6-8, 240 lb , 2nd year from Port Coquitlam, scores 7.2 ppg plus 5 rebounds in just under 20 minutes a game.  He has a nose for the ball, and the size to bump effectively on the inside.
>  Reiner Theil, Victoria –  This veteran does the ‘blue-collar’ work so essential to a team’s success.  He uses his 6-5 muscle to grab 7.5 rebounds a game, and can score from outside with a smooth 3 point stroke. The 5th year captain is a defensive stopper, and has the experience to lead his team.

MRU Cougars' Glen Yang

MRU Cougars’ Glen Yang

> Glen Yang, Mt. Royal –  The 2nd year guard from Calgary has a steady, all-round game, with the potential to raise his scoring numbers. He scores 9.5 ppg/ 3.5 assists/ 2.5 rebounds, and has the quickness to be a good perimeter defender.
> Gerard Gore, Thompson Rivers – This  6-5 wing from Antigua is a veteran player who flies ‘under the radar’  as a forward on this team.  But his 4.5 rebounds, and 5.5 ppg, while shooting 50% from the floor give an indication of his ability to contribute at key times.
> Randall Mosca, Okanagan –  A straight-up ‘gunslinger’, the slender 5-11, Mosca, a Calgary product, may average 10.4 ppg, but may go for 25 when he is on a roll.  On a team which has some challenge scoring-wise on occasion , the 3rd year guard can be ‘instant offense’.
> Tyler Anderson, Brandon –  This rookie forward is ‘learning on the job’, and he has made great progress according to his Coach Gil Cheung. The 6-7 Langley, B.C. native,  shoots 52% FG, scores 5 ppg/3 rebounds in 14 minutes a game .


 6  Games on the Prairies this week –  Canada West League Schedule

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 7.19.07 AMFeature Match-up –  UBC  (8-2)  at Manitoba  (7-3) –  The Bisons get a chance to take on the Division leading T-Birds in Winnipeg in  a match-up of the League’s 2 highest scoring teams.   The Bisons big men look poised to do battle with a strong group of T-Birds’ forwards.  Anders-Alexander-Jewell-Omoerah  vs  Wagner-Morgan-Simon-Ondrik.  Heavy-weights!

 

 Lethbridge  (5-3)  at Saskatchewan  (3-7) – The Huskies are not comfortable with their current record, and they need to get wins to jump back into the pack.  This is a pivotal series for both teams, and may be one that would be too close to call.  The ‘Dogs and ‘Horns are 3-3 over their last 6 games, having split 3 series in a row.

Victoria  (6-4)   Alberta  (4-5) –  Two traditional contenders in Canada West, the Bears and the Vikes are in a mass of teams gathered in a big scrum from 5th to 9th place.  Vic won all 4 games between these two teams last year, in regular season then the 1st round of the playoffs.  This is another ‘pick-em’ affair, with home court a U of A advantage, and the GB’s post depth a challenge for the Vikes.

Lars Schleuter, Calgary Dinos sharp-shooting 2nd year wing man. photo - David Moll, UC Athletics

Lars Schleuter, Calgary Dinos sharp-shooting 2nd year wing man.                                                    photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

Calgary  (8-3)   Brandon (0-8) – The last 11 meetings between the Bobcats and the Dinos have Calgary with a slim 6-5 advantage.  This is a prototypical ‘trap series’, with the Dinos among the leaders, and Brandon having their struggles to date.  Every road game, every game, period, is a big one in Canada West.

Thompson Rivers  (8-2)  at  MacEwan (5-5) –  One of the ‘Pack’s 2 League losses was in Kamloops at the claws of the Griffins, and TRU will be looking for some retribution in Edmonton this week.  The Explorer leaders are coming of their other loss, last weekend in Kelowna to the other 3rd place team, UBC-O.  Mac on a 3 game win streak.

Mitch Goodwin, Okanagan's veteran guard.

Mitch Goodwin, Okanagan’s veteran guard.             photo –  Greystoke- for UBC-O Athletics

at Mt Royal (3-7)   UBC- Okanagan (5-5) –  Home floor for MRU, in a battle of hopefuls for the 3rd playoff spot;  the Heat swept the Cougars in their November League games in Kelowna.  The MRU post men can be a load, as UFV discovered last week, but UBC-O have some increased confidence led by Berrios and Goodwin.  Expect low scoring, defensive clashes .

In B.C. –  at Fraser Valley (6-4)  UNBC (3-7) – the lone series West of the Rockies this weekend, and the Cascades and T’Wolves split their November set in Prince George.  UFV hopes to have a longer bench with guys recovering from illness and injury.  The ‘Wolves have never won in Abbotsford, and need to break this 3 game slide.

>  Regina, Winnipeg, and Trinity Western all get a bye this week. <


 
Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 5.11.42 PMA Scramble in the OUA ?

With every passing week, it appears more likely that the weekly rankings will be one of the ways in which a 3rd Ontario team gets selected to the CIS Nationals.   The wildcard spot won’t put 4 Canada West teams in play, and neither Quebec nor the Atlantic have had enough juice in this coaches’ poll to get more than one representative.  Ergo ….

 


CIS Scores from Wednesday  –
Ontario –  McMaster 93 at Waterloo 66 , at Ryerson 104 York 69 , Brock 91 at Laurier 67


 

Overtime –

Coach Eric Magdanz, MacEwan Griffins

Coach Eric Magdanz, MacEwan Griffins

  • Coach Eric Magdanz, MacEwan Griffins,  whose team is tied for 3rd spot in the Explorer Division, “ We think we can hang-in there with some of the ‘strong teams’.  We’ve been a bit slow in coming together, with some roster changes this season, then a few injuries.  I really feel the Wesmen (Holiday) Tournament allowed us to gel as a team, and we had a good weekend at UNBC.  This League, both our Division and the Pioneer, are so tight, and you have to be ready every series”, says Magdanz.   (The Griffs beat Manitoba in the fall, beat Brandon at Christmas, and had close losses to both Acadia and Lethbridge.