Who Goes, Who Stays for Next Fall?

 

 

 

 An Early Look at Canada West Rosters

We’ve just caught our breath after a long 2nd semester haul to the 7th straight coronation of the Carleton Ravens as U-Sports Champions.  It was a sobering experience for our 3 Canada West teams, as they all drop their round 1 games.  So it is literally ‘back-to-the-drawing-board’ for the 17 schools West of Ontario.

We start with a peek at the  players these teams will lose from rosters from the past season, key returnees, and a number of announced additions and expected jumps from the red-shirt list

Alberta –  2017 Canada West champs … the Bears lose big Brett Roughead, with no word on any other changes from this year’s 14-6 squad.  They return almost their whole roster, including all-stars Brody Clarke, Austin Waddoups, play-off ace, Mamadou Gueye, and CW rookie team, Andre Kelly. Coach Barnaby Craddock will  certainly have a contender again next season.

Lucas Mannes (tsf-TWU), a sharp-shooting guard, joins the Dinos this Fall.

Calgary –  The Dinos (16-4) win their last 2 of the year, over Manitoba and Saint Marys to finish 5th at Nationals, but four key seniors, Thomas Cooper, Jasdeep Gill, Mitch Ligertwood, and Dallas Karch, will be missed.  Coach Dan Vanhooren does, however, feel good about his returning core, with David Kapinga, Jhony Verrone, Mambi Diawara, and Max Eisle at guard.  Forwards are led by Lars Schleuter, Connor Foreman, and Jeff Rodehutskors.  Both 6-6 fwd Sasha Pojuzina (Regina), and 6-1 guard, Jake Nielson (Cochrane) should move in off the red-shirt list, and guard Andrew Milner is a high school signee from Nova Scotia’s U-17 champions. Lucas Mannes, an 18 ppg guard, transfers from Trinity Western.

Shane Osayande returns for the Huskies with his power game.

Saskatchewan – The Huskies  are 14-6 this year, get to the Final 4, but lose to Alberta and Calgary there.  They will miss their solid post man, Matt Forbes, and his 3 point shooting partner, Trevor Severinski.  U of S has the high-octane duo of forward, Shane Osayande, and guard, Alex Unruh, as 5th year leaders in the Fall. Coach Barry Rawlyk will have a strong returning group with veterans, Jaylan Morgan, Lawrence Moore, Mack Burns, and Joseph Barker.  A healthy return for speedy guard, Chan De Ciman, would be a big plus as well.

Manitoba –  A huge push in the 2nd semester, to a 12-8 record,  lifts the Herd to the Final 4, where they qualify for their 1st Nationals in many seasons.  They bid adieu to 4 rotation players including starters AJ Basi, and Brett Jewell, along with point man Ilarion Bonhomme, and Jonathan Alexander.  The Bisons returnees are solid, led by starters Justus Alleyn, a Canada West all-star, and the 2 way hotshot, Keith Omoerah. Coach Kirby Schepp also revels in the depth from forwards James Wagner and Malik Irwin.  He has announced the signing of local high school star, 6-6 Wyatt Tait  ( Oak Park)

Conor Morgan enters his 5th year for UBC this Fall.                 photo- UBC Athletics

UBC Thunderbirds – After a banner 19-1 regular season, UBC suffered a dispiriting 2-0 sweep to Manitoba in play-offs. We expect the T-Birds to rebound as a typically strong contender, but graduating Jordan Jensen-Whyte, Will Ondrik, and Harpreet Randhawa will significantly change the mix. They red-shirted Jauquin Bennett-Boire, an impact lead guard, who came from a ‘partial’ rookie season at Saskatchewan. Coach Kevin Hanson boasts a deep returnee roster, with CW 2017 Player of the Year, Conor Morgan, into his 5th year along with guards, Phil Jalalpoor,  A.J. Holloway, and post man Luka Zaharijevic.  Patrick Simon is another experienced veteran on the front line, and young guards Taylor Browne, Isaiah Familia, Izaihah Ugoalah will step up. Coach Hanson has announced the signing of Cam Morris, a 6-6 forward from St. Thomas More Collegiate (Burnaby).

 Lethbridge – 5th year guard Will Hickey is leaving and  2nd year wing, Scott Mazutinec will depart on a Mission for his church. The ‘Horns were 13-7 and will be hoping to improve on that for 2017-18, with Kyle Peterson, transfer (UVic) combo guard, returning for his 3rd year, after finishing his church mission.  Dejon Burdeaux will be a 5th year leader, with Michael Pierzchala, Elliott Sentance, and Zac Overwater adding offensive punch.   6-6 wing, Mark Rodehutskors, should help, coming off the red-shirt list, and UL likely adds another Australian post man.

Winnipeg – Coming off a 12-8 record in 2016-17, the relatively young Wesmen lose  Jamar Farley to graduation, but boast all-rookie team member, Narcisse Ambanza, and CW all-star Denzel Lynch-Blair.  Sean Tarver is a high scoring wing man, and William Sesay, a talented all-round contributor.  Up front, the Ws return big post man, Ryan Oirbans, along with 6-7 Billy Yaworsky Coach Mike Raimbault has had good luck in recruiting local talent and a few top players from the East in his tenure at UW.

The Cascades’ Nav Bains and Wesmen’s Ryan Oirbans will do battle again next season.

Fraser Valley – Coach Adam Friesen will be looking to re-tool his offense, as the Cascades graduate both scoring guards, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon.  There is, however a ton of talent in ‘The Valley’ and the Lower Mainland, and Friesen has established his program largely with locals. He has announced the signing of Harsimran Bhullar of Panorama Ridge HS , Surrey, B.C.  UFV returns a good core of veterans in Navjot Bains, Denver Sparks-Guest, and Anthony Gilchrist.

Brandon – The Bobcats late season run to 9-11 was one of the good stories in Canada West this Winter, and Coach Gil Cheung will be working hard at building on that momentum. They have some key players graduating this Spring, including scorer-rebounder Earl Thompson Jr, shooter Chris Stanhope, Denham Buchanan, and Esmat Atem. The ‘Cats do have some young talent in guards Tyvon Cooper, a CW all-star,  and Pookie Saunders. John Paul will be a 5th year leader up front, along with rookie Kobyn Jopp, and Tyler Anderson.

2017 Rookie of the Year, Scott Kellum, will lead the Vikes next season.

Victoria –  The Vikes lose their go-to scorer, Grant Sitton, and Coach Craig Beaucamp has wasted no time trying to improve on their 9-11 League mark.  Scott Kellum, a headsy guard from Washington state, is the 2017 Canada West Rookie of the Year, and a solid building block. Vlad Zasmolin (Calgary-Churchill)  could be a ‘sleeper’ off the red-shirt list, and UVic returns several young rotation players in Jake Newman, J.J. Hamel- Carey, and Taylor Montgomery-Stinson.  We understand that TRU’s impressive rookie, 6-1 guard Trent Monkman, will be a red-shirt with the Vikes this Fall.  Coach Beaucamp was busy early, and has signed 6-7 Hunter Hughes from Surrey (Southridge), Andrew Goertzen, a 6-8 fwd from Walnut Grove (Langley), 6-11 Eric Hegadoran from Lambrick Park, Victoria, 6-2 Jaden Touchie, Victoria, Oak Bay, and 6-3 guard Aaron Tesfegiorgis, from Calgary – Notre Dame.  Very busy.

More team reports up-coming  _________________________________________________________________________

 

Overtime – 

 

Top 10 Showdown in Saskatoon This Week

 

Huskies host Bears, with top Canada West seed at stake

#7 Alberta (12-4)   at   #9 Saskatchewan  (11-5)   –  This is our ‘Feature Series’ this week , as 2 of Canada West’s 4 Top 10 teams clash in Saskatoon.  This can swing the top 4 seeds for playoff purposes, with Alberta and Saskatchewan both having a shot at hosting the Final 4, if things break the right way.  A sweep for either team is huge.

The Huskies have home court, and have won 6 of 8 in this 2nd half of the schedule, while the Bears have dropped 4 of their 6.   The Dogs’ big men, Shane Osayande (18.2 ppg/ 10.6 rebs) and Matt Forbes ( 15.3 ppg/ 8.6 rebs)  will be a major hurdle for the GBs’ Brody Clarke (15.3 ppg, 7.7 rebs) and Mamadou Gueye (16.1 ppg/ 6.4 rebs).  Coach Craddock will ‘change it up’ with 7-2, Brett Roughead, a 10-12 minute man who can mix it up in the paint.

Saskatchewan’s 5th year post man, Matt Forbes        –  photo  GetMyPhoto.ca

Austin Waddoups, the Bears’ outside shooting ace (48% / 14 ppg) and floor general, will get lots of attention from Sask’s guard corps of Lawrence Moore, Chan De Ciman (if he’s healthy), and Alex Unruh.  Alberta has shot the ball better from the floor this season, and they will need Clarke and Gueye to be productive.  Both defenses have shown they can win games by keeping teams in the high 60s or low 70s;  the question is, can they take away the other’s best players?  We see this as a split, and a sweep would be big news, and likely launch the winner into the top of the RPI list.   These big games go at 8 pm Central both nights.

 

 

 

Other games, which we will preview Thursday …

Lethbridge has this week as a bye

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The Top 10 remains the same in the top 3, with Carleton, Ottawa, and UBC looking sharp this past weekend.  The Brock Badgers climb from 6th to 4th with a win over previously unbeaten Ryerson, and Calgary, who blow a 20 pt. lead Saturday to un-ranked Regina, fall to 6th.

Both the OUA and Canada West have 4 spots in the table, while McGill is the lone Quebec representative, and the AUS has #10 Dalhousie.   Those 2 Leagues don’t seem to have the dominant powers, and their championships may be more uncertain. We note the support for Saint Mary’s Huskies who are winning some tough games in the Atlantic, and a nudge for Manitoba, with their 8 straight in Canada West.

 

 

Top 2 Teams Meet in Vancouver

 

 

Canada West  leaders square – off  in Vancouver this weekend

West-Coast showdown for old rivals UBC – Alberta

The UBC Thunderbirds (9-1) have ‘lured’ the 11-1 Alberta Golden Bears into War Memorial Gym for a top – 2  showdown this weekend.  Both teams have visions of claiming the top spot, and a sweep by either would be tremendous.

These teams both score very well, and shoot it around 46% from the field. The Bears are the bigger threats from 3 pt. range, with Austin Waddoups, Geoff Pippus, and Ivan Ikomey all in the top 5 long range snipers in CW.  U of A also has an exceptional rebounding team, and the T’Birds will see the board battle as a focus for this match-up.  The Bears own a 5 – 3 edge over the ‘Birds in games played over the past 3 seasons.

Who to look for?        UBCConor Morgan – CW top scorer @ 25.3 ppg ,  Jordan Jensen-Whyte, 5th year guard, 13.3 ppg, who is a big game performer, and 5th year defensive stopper, Will Ondrik (10.6 ppg), who’s shooting 49% FG.

Alberta –    Austin Waddoups is a feisty, confident lead guard who’s over 50% from anywhere on the floor!  Brody Clarke is a skilled big man, scoring 15 ppg/ 7.5 rebs. and Mamadou Gueye averages 16 ppg/ 7 boards.

The 6th man comparison is intriguing, with former T-Bird, Geoff Pippus, a big scoring threat for the Bears, and young Taylor Browne giving UBC a spark in his 19 mins/game.   We have to call it a toss-up, and expect a split in 2 very tight games.  A sweep either way is a likely ‘game-changer’ for a League finish.

 

‘Horns and Huskies in a swing series at Lethbridge

‘Bridge Town sees renewal of heated Prairie feud

Here are 2 teams looking to contend, and the 8-4 Pronghorns want to use home floor to distance themselves from Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, and Regina. But either in Saskatoon or S. Alberta, over the last 4 seasons Saskatchewan and Lethbridge have split their annual 2 game set evenly.

The ‘Horns ‘king-pin’ is 4th year import guard, Dejon Burdeaux (Oakland, CA), a 2-way leader who shoots 53% from the floor, scores 15 ppg, shares 4.5 assists, grabs 5.5 rebounds, and steals it 3.7 times a game.  UL’s other weapons include import guard, Elliott Sentance, a premier scorer (19.6 ppg, 3rd in CW), who claims 7.3 rebs/game, and Zac Overwater, a 6-8 wing (13.2 ppg) from Lethbridge.

The Sled Dogs (6-4) respond with a powerful inside game, led by the dynamic Shane Osayande, a 6-6, 4th year forward (Toronto), who averages a double of  19 points and 11 rebounds.  A healthy Matt Forbes (12 ppg/8 rebs), a  5th year bruiser, helps the Huskies with their team  +10 rebound margin, and is upping his scoring totals. Speedy guards, Alex Unruh Saskatoon), and Chan De Ciman (Regina) get perimeter help from Jaylan Morgan, a 6-5 swingman, and 6-3 import addition Lawrence Moore.

Why would we expect anything but a split here?  Two good teams, rounding into form will make for a dynamite series in the ‘Bridge Town’.

 

More Canada West action –

Two Winnipeg teams on the road this week –

Denzel Lynch Blair leads the Wesmen against TRU

> The 8-4 Winnipeg Wesmen, led by guards Denzel Lynch-BlairWilliam Sesay, and Sean Tarver head to Kamloops to play the TRU Wolf Pack (6-6).  The ‘Pack have an 8-2 record over the Wesmen in games since 2008.  Thompson Rivers big men Volodymyr Iegorov and Luke Morris will challenge the Ws, and we feel a split may be in the cards.

>  Closer to home base, the Manitoba Bisons (4-6) start their 2nd half at the Regina Cougars (6-4), with the Herd anxious to fulfill the promise of a veteran team coming off a big Wesmen Classic win.  Alex Igual and the Cougars will have to be at their best against Keith Omoerah and the Bisons.

>  Mt. Royal Cougars (5-5) fly to Prince George, BC to face the UNBC Timberwolves (4-8), and MRU are looking to bounce back from a home loss to Brandon.  This series will feature ‘Wolves shooters Rhys Elliott and Marcus MacKay against Cougars forwards Brett Layton and Josh Ross. Neither team will be satisfied with anything but a sweep.

Bobcats shooting guard, Tyvon Cooper

> Victoria Vikes  (3-7) at UBC-O Heat (2-10) –  UVic’s backs are against the wall.  Any play-off hopes for Grant Sitton and the Vikes cannot allow under-dog heroics from the Heat guard pair of Mitch Goodwin and Aldrich Berrios.

>  Another Prairie match-up has the 4-8 Brandon Bobcats at home against the veteran 3-9 MacEwan Griffins.  Brandon is showing new life, with 2nd year guard, ‘Pookie’ Saunders stepping up to complement high scorer Tyvon Cooper and stellar forward, Earl Thompson Jr.  The Griffs’ Thadius Galvez, Denzel James, and 5th year forward, Keith Gerdes will keep it interesting.

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Scores from the East –

Ontario –  at #10 McMaster 85 Laurier 54, at Windsor 85  Western Ont. 78

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Overtime –

  • UFV’s Adam Friesen, on his team’s focus going into their road series at #5 U. Calgary.  “We know we’re facing a really good team, but we hope to come in excited and loose,” Friesen said. “This is going to be a great opportunity to test ourselves and get better. We want to see if we can compete for all 40 minutes harder than we ever have this season, because if we don’t, it’s going to be a long night.” (From Dan Kinvig – UFV Athletics)
  • Conor Morgan video –  5th year star looks to lift T-Birds … from high school prodigy to pro prospect for UBC’s outstanding 6-9 forward.

 

 

 

Spotlight on UBC and Saskatchewan

 

Thunderbirds will be tested in road series in Saskatoon

 This opening week of play in January is a mammoth one for our projected top 3

Jordan Jensen-Whyte of UBC - photo

Jordan Jensen-Whyte is a veteran floor leader for UBC. photo- Thunderbirds Athletics

teams.  We’ve previewed the Calgary-Alberta match-up, and now we take a look at the T-Birds and Huskies (Friday and Saturday in Saskatoon).  UBC is 8-0, and, if they get 2 wins this weekend, they may be the odds-on favourites to get the coveted #1 seed at year’s end.  They have home court vs Alberta, then they will be heavily favoured in the last 4 series.

 No, you say?  Too early?  Well, the ‘Birds are 9-1 vs the Sled Dogs over the past 5 seasons, and have these factors going for them this week –  UBC have a 30 point average winning margin in 8 games. The ‘Birds are one of the top shooting teams @ 46% from the floor vs the 2nd worst 38.6% of the Huskies.  UBC goes 10 deep in most games, while Saskatchewan have been 7 to 7.5 so far.  The Thunderbirds boast the talents of 6-9 wing, Conor Morgan, who averages 25 ppg and leads Canada West with a 61.5% FG average. They have the battle-hardened Jordan Jensen-Whyte (14 ppg/ 6.5 rebs/ 3.5 asst) who is hitting 50% of his shots.  2nd year guard, Taylor Browne is starting to show his exceptional talent with 46% from 3 point range and 48% overall FGs.

On the other hand, U of S has home court, and they have the indomitable Shane Osayande.  The 6-6 forward averages a double-double of 20 ppg and a League-leading 11.6 rebs.  The Huskies have a dominant rebounding margin to go with the League’s top defensive numbers, thusfar.  Guards, Chan De Ciman, Alex Unruh, and Jaylan Morgan are all scoring in double figures, and are all playing valuable minutes on the perimeter.  We expect UBC to win at least 1 of the 2, but Saskatchewan will be up for this at home series against old rivals.

Victoria at Thompson Rivers –  This is the other series needing deeper scrutiny.  The

photo, Jeff Tubbs, TRU

TRU point man, Jeff Tubbs – photo TRU Athletics

‘Pack (5-5) are riding a 6 game win streak, including 2 vs NAIA schools last week in California.  UVic have lost 8 of 10 since the start of League play, with 2 losses at the Wesmen Classic last week.  The once pre-eminent Vikes defensive squad have given up 84 ppg in League play. Victoria at 2-6 in Canada West, simply put, need to get it back on the rails quickly.

TRU are ‘re-building’ after a dream season in 2015-16.  They do still have the stellar work of 6-7 Volodymyr Iegorov, their 5th year all-star forward, who averages 18.6 ppg/ 9 rebounds/ 4 assists.  Forwards Luke Morris and Joe Davis have been complimenting Iegorov.  Import Derek Rhodes, and locals Mike Rouault and Jeff Tubbs have been contributors on the perimeter.   This is a big opportunity at home for Coach Scott Clark and his Wolves, and a critical ‘must have’ for UVic.  Something has to give.

UNBC at Lethbridge –  The Timberwolves  (4-6) desperately need the services of Vaggelis Loukas, their top forward on the season.  Loukas was nursing an injury last weekend, but his 11 ppg and 8 rebounds can add so much. Rhys Elliott ( 19 ppg/ 54% from the floor) is having another outstanding year at the guard spot, and 4th year Marcus MacKay (13.5 ppg) is becoming a bigger factor every game out.  But, we’re in Lethbridge this week, and the ‘Horns are tough at home.  We see lead guard, Dejon Burdeaux, causing UNBC real headaches, along with big Zac Overwater and shooters Elliott Sentance and Mike Pierzchala.   ‘Horns will be hoping to sweep here, and the T’Wolves will need an exceptional team effort.

Brandon at Mt. Royal –  The Cougars (4-4) have had post man, Brett Layton, on the shelf as he struggles with a ‘wonky’ (medical term) ankle.  Obviously he makes a big difference with his rebounding and scoring.  Josh Ross, Derek Wolf and company will want to get back on track after 3 losses in the Dalhousie tournament last week.  Brandon (3-7) was less than impressive  in 3 losses in the Wesmen Classic.  They have the always tough Earl Thompson Jr., but are so inconsistent as a group.  Cougars will be too much with Layton back in action.

Trinity Western at Winnipeg – The Wesmen were not at their best in their 50th Classic, but Denzel Lynch-Blair, William Sesay, and Ryan Oirbans will have big motivation to make this a 2- win weekend.  TWU are making some progress, but the loss of Tyus Allen at the lead guard spot puts them in a difficult spot.  Winnipeg to sweep.

Regina at UBC-Okanagan –  The Green Cougars are not the most predictable team in Canada West.  They’ve won 5 and lost 3.  Beaten Saskatchewan, MacEwan, and Victoria, but twice they lose by 20 and win by 10?!?  What’s up with that?  UBC-O (1-9) is at home, and they are in great need of a win.  This is looking very much like an ‘upset special’ in Kelowna.

Vijay Dhillon can shoot the deep ball for UFV.

MacEwan at Fraser Valley –  The 3-5 Cascades host the 3-7 Griffins in a match-up where we see very little to choose.  UFV Coach Adam Friesen had his troops down in California for 3 games (3 decisive losses),  but he says, “ … it was great to get the group back on the court and get up and down the floor. We got a lot of people a lot of playing time, and we’re ready to get back into league play.”   Veteran guards are the strength of both teams – Thadius Galvez and Denzel James for Mac,  and Manny Dulay with Vijay Dhillon for the Cascades.  The teams split in Edmonton last seaon, and we foresee the same result this time around.

All these game are broadcast on Canada West TV  

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Overtime – 

photo- Shane Osayande

The U of S Huskies Shane Osayande is the League’s top rebounder.

  • Canada West’s top rebounders – Shane Osayande, Sask – 11.6, Josh Ross, MRU – 10, Brett Layton, MRU- 9.3, Volodymyr Iegorov, TRU- 9, Matt Forbes, Sask – 8.9, Keith Omoerah, Man – 8.6, William Sesay, Wpg – 7.8, Earl Thompson Jr, Bran – 7.6
  • The physical part of refereeing has become so important, with a faster pace of play using a 24 second clock.  Why then, do we not see a concerted effort on the part of the officials associations to move out some of the older officials and move in more young refs?
  • Name the only team in Canada West to be playing without an import player.  It’s not UBC-O , with their Randy Jernidier from Guadaloupe.  It’s not Manitoba, who have Ilarion Bonhomme from Washington, DC (even though he’s been here so long, we should be a ‘naturalized Canadian’.)   No, it’s the Saskatchewan Huskies, who have, in the recent past, had at least 1 key player from South of the border, but are now ‘all-Canadian’.

 

Huskies Cage Cougars

 

 

Big rebounding edge gives the Huskies a lift

Shane Osayande leads the Huskies in their win at Regina Friday.

Shane Osayande leads the Huskies in their win at Regina Friday.  photo – Huskies Athletics

Saskatchewan 77  at Regina  53 –  Saskatchewan (5-2) gets game 1 in the Prairie battle in Regina, but the prettiest thing about this one were the Huskies rebound stats.  Chan De Ciman was ‘slacking off’ with just 6 boards, with the other 4 starters at 9, 9,10, and 10, while Emmanuel Akintunde scoops a team high 11 in his 17 minutes off the bench.  68 boards for the ‘Dogs vs 38 for the Cougars.  With the 25% FG shooting from Regina (4-3), and a cool 34% from the winners there were a ton available.  Shane Osayande leads U of S with 22 pts/ 10 boards, and Matt Forbes counts 20 pts/9 rebs.   Brandon Tull is a lone Cougar in double figurees with 12 points.     Box Score   

br-bobcats-copy

 at Brandon 101  Fraser Valley  84  –  The Bobcats hit the century mark for the first time this season, as they pile up 54 in the 2nd half.  Brandon  shoots 49% from the field, with 12/26 (46%) from 3 point range in the game. The ‘Cats, now 3-6, forced 18 Cascades turnovers, and had all 5 starters score 12 pts+. Earl Thompson Jr. had another good outing for BU, hitting 26 pts/ 13 rebounds, while Chris Stanhope scored 18, and Tyvon Cooper had 17.  UFV (2-5) shot only 33% on the night;  their top man was Denver Sparks- Guest, who came off the bench for 21 points.     Box Score  

Lethbridge 89 at Trinity Western 81 –  Lethbridge come back after trailing early, and they go to 5-4, while Trinity drops to 2-7.  Mike Pierzchala and Zac Overwater both score 24 for the ‘Horns, while Vartan Tanielian leads the Spartans with 21. Box Score

 

  Thompson Rivers  87  at UNBC 81  –  Playing without their top offensive threat, an injured Rhys Elliot, the Timberwolves got an amazing 39 point team effort in the 4th quarter, but couldn’t make up for the 69-42 deficit after 3/4s.  The Wolf Pack shot a surgical 55% from the floor, led by Volodymyr Iegorov’s 23 points/ 5 rebs/ 6 assts. UNBC get 22 points from import Austin Chandler, but shoot just 36% themselves. They rally in the late stages with 12 treys (vs 5 for TRU) and 25/30 from the line. The ‘Pack improve to 4-5, now tied with the T’Wolves.  Box Score 

at  #2 UBC  100  UBC- Okanagan  64 –  The Thunderbirds (7-0) finished in a punishing 53-32 fashion, as the visiting Heat (1-8) hung in to as close as 14 points late in the 3rd quarter,  but were overwhelmed.  UBC’s  Conor Morgan takes over the Canada West scoring lead with a 34 point night, and Jordan Jensen-Whyte adds 20 pts/ 5 steals. Mitch Goodwin led UBC-O with 15 pts, and Aldrich Berrios tallied 9 pts/ 7 boards.  Key stats –  29 Heat turnovers vs 12 for the ‘Birds, and  33/41 free throws for the home side against  16/22 for UBC.   Box Score 


 

Other U-Spots games Friday

 Quebec-  Concordia  72  at UQAM 65

 Carleton Coach, Dave Smart, in the huddle with his Ravens, during their game with Brock tonight .

Carleton Coach, Dave Smart, in the huddle with his Ravens, during their game with Brock tonight .   photo –  Ron Wuotila for Canada West Hoops

Ontario –  at  #1 Carleton 80  #5 Brock 68,  at #4  Ottawa 79  #7  McMaster 59,  Algoma 76  at York 73 , Nipissing 83  at Waterloo  78,  at  Laurier 81 Laurentian 75


 

Overtime –

  • Why do coaches develop ‘eye-tics’ and other nervous afflictions?  Well, one reason may be the Canada West playoff tie-breaking system.  This process takes place after all League games are done in February, but is cause for concern even now.  Here are the first 3 criteria . 1. Win/Loss record in head to head competition. 2. Win/Loss record versus common opponents. 3. Each team’s RPI ranking.  We are not likely to go beyond this RPI, but we may well get to it.  The Rating % Index is a complicated formula to judge a team based on their winning percentage, that of their League opponents, and of their  opponents’  opponents .   At present here are some RPIs … Manitoba 3W-6L – .6042 RPI = 3rd in Canada West  ?!  …   Regina 4W-3L – .4218 RPI  = 14th in the CW RPI !!  More to come.  Oh … #1 Carleton Ravens are 9-0 vs all CIS opponents, and 9th in the National RPI ranking.
  • Our continuing thanks and appreciation for the amazing work done by Martin Timmerman (Waterloo, ON) on his web-site   cishoops.ca  .  Schedules, results, team information, league standings across the country, and an absolute wealth of statistics, records, and salient facts about Canadian University Basketball. ( Martin, you ‘Da Dog’ !)
  • Is the 3 point shot ‘ruining the game’  or making it more exciting ? Let’s
    MRU's Josh Ross fires a deep one for 3 points !

    MRU’s Josh Ross fires a deep one for 3 points !    photo-  MRU Athletics

    look at some stats and recent results …  9-0 Alberta are the leading 3 point shooting team in Canada West @ 43.9% , then Calgary (6-1) @39.9%, but UBC (6-0) are 13th in the League @30% from outside the arc!  The 4-2 Saskatchewan Huskies just 29.8%, which is well below the UBC-O Heat (1-7), who shoot 35.1% on 3s. In Thursday’s Calgary win (87-83) at Mt. Royal, the Dinos were 50.8% from the floor, but 3/17 (17.6%) from 3 pt range.  The smaller Cougars (especially after their 6-8 post man, Brett Layton was injured early on) used the 3 point shot as a primary focus of their attack.  MRU were only 37% from the floor, but, of those 70 shots, 31 were from outside, and they made 12 for 38.7% and 36 very valuable points!  (And the fans seemed pretty excited ….)

 

 

Bears Survive Wolf Pack Comeback

 

 

‘Pack Hangs Tough Without Head Coach

Ivan Ikomey lights it up from outside for Alberta, as he scores 25 pts vs TRU.

Ivan Ikomey lights it up from outside for Alberta, as he scores 25 pts vs TRU.

at Alberta  82  Thompson Rivers 79  –  A hard-fought game, as the Wolf Pack score 28 in the final frame, and come within 2 points at the 2 minute mark. Brody Clarke’s late pair of inside hoops are just enough to secure the win, as Voldymyr Iegorov’s 3 point  attempt  to tie misses in the last 5 seconds. Alberta gets a career game from Ivan Ikomey off the bench, as he cashes an amazing 7/8 from beyond  the arc.   A power outage causes some time-clock malfunction/ confusion, and TRU Coach Scott Clark is agitated enough to get tossed with 2 quick Ts near the start of the 2nd quarter.   Box Score   Bears –  Ivan Ikomey  25 pts/ 5 rebs, Mamadou Gueye  19 points/ 4 asst   Wolf Pack – Luke Morris  20 pts/ 7 rebs , Voldymyr Iegorov 14 pts/ 13 rebs/ 5 asst,    Joe Davis 18 pts/ 5 rebs

 at Winnipeg  73   Lethbridge  58 –   The Wesmen completely outplay the visiting ‘Horns, and carry a 15+ lead for most of the game.  7 Winnipeg treys to just 1 for Lethbridge made it very tough for the ‘Horns to stay in touch.  The home side lost their focus in the 2nd half, or the score may have been far worse.  4 Wesmen in double figures, as they shoot 45% from the floor, and force 22 Lethbridge turnovers. Box Score     Wesmen – Sean Tarver 14 pts/ 4 steals, Narcisse Ambanza 14 pts, Billy Yaworsky 13 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals  Pronghorns –  Elliott Sentance 21 pts/ 8 rebs/ 4 steals, Dejon Burdeaux 13 pts/ 6 assists

at Saskatchewan 95 Brandon 60 –    It was 49-22 at the break, and things didn’t improve for the Bobcats in the final 20. Saskatchewan was easily better, shooting 49% to 34% for BU, and the ‘Dogs won the rebounding 43-26.  No contest.  Box Score  Huskies – Shane Osayande 21 pts/9 rebs/4 blks, Jaylan Morgan 18 pts/ 4 rebs/ 3 asst, Chan De Ciman 17 pts/ 6 boards/3 steals  Bobcats – Kobyn Jopp 12 pts/ 2 blks, Tyvon Cooper 10 pts/ 5 rebs

Victoria 89 at MacEwan 79  OT –  Victoria start and end impressively as they fight off a determined home team.  An 18 point OT period slays the Griffins, who caught and passed UVic with a 23-8 2nd quarter.  Turnovers and fouls were all the difference, with Mac committing 20 errors to just 6 for the Vikes, and Victoria scoring 31/38 from the line to Mac’s 17-21.   Box Score    Vikes –  Grant Sitton 21 points/ 4 asst, Wayne Tucker Jr 21 pts/ 3 steals . Griffins – Thadius Galvez 25 pts/ 9 rebs/ 3 asst, Denzel James 16 pts/ 6 rebs

UBC needs all 35 of Conor Morgan's points to turn back a hard-charging Herd.

UBC needs all 35 of Conor Morgan’s points to turn back a hard-charging Herd.

at UBC 96  Manitoba 89 –  UBC is ‘romping’ with a 46-30 lead at half-time, but, not so fast!  The Herd come back with 59 points in the 2nd half to throw a scare into the home squad.  Manitoba come to within 4 twice in the last quarter, but the ‘Birds steady themselves in the waning minutes.  Box Score  T’Birds – Conor Morgan 35 pts/ 11 rebs, Will Ondrik and Taylor Browne 14 pts each    Bisons – Ilarion Bonhomme 31 pts/ 7 rebs/ 5 asst, Keith Omoerah 18 pts/ 8 rebs

Mt. Royal 93 at UBC-O 74  –  The Cougars are in ‘go mode’ from start to finish, and a 47-31 half-time spread is all they need for the road win. The forward pair of Josh Ross and Brett Layton are just too much for the Heat, as they divide 50 pts evenly, and grab 22 rebounds as a pair. 51% shooting for MRU vs 39% for UBC-O tells much of the tale.    Box Score     Cougars –  Josh Ross 25 pts/ 9 rebs/ 3 asst, Brett Layton 25 pts/ 22 rebs       Heat – Mitch Goodwin  25 pts/ 4 rebs, Aldrich Berrios 15 pts/ 6 asst

 at UNBC 80  Trinity Western 71 –  The 3 point shot is a deadly weapon, and 13 treys by the T’Wolves to just 3 for Trinity put the ‘W’ in the UNBC column.  TWU took a run in the 3rd quarter to close it to a 2 point game, but the ‘Wolves are better down the stretch.   Box Score     Timberwolves –  Rhys Elliot 22 pts/ 4 rebs/ 4 asst, Elliot Rowe 18 pts/ 5 rebounds   Spartans  –  Patrick Vandervelden 20 pts/ 9 rebs, Tyus Allen 13 pts/ 7 rebs/ 5 asst/ 3 steals.

 


 More CIS scores on Friday –

Ontario –  #1 Carleton 93 at Algoma 65 , at Queens 80   Laurier 68, Western Ont. 53 at Lakehead 51, at #9 Ryerson 84 Nipissing 64, at Toronto 97 Laurentian 87, at York 83  Waterloo 78

Quebec – at Laval 74  Bishops 64

Atlantic – UNB 83 at #10  St. Marys 79 ,   at Acadia 107 UPEI 93


 

Overtime –

  • Kudos to Carleton Coach Dave Smart, who was awarded the honour, ‘Order of Ottawa’  on Thursday night in the capitol. The man who is the answer to the oft-asked question, “Why is Carleton just so much better than everyone  else ?’  Whose Ravens have won 12 CIS titles, and who may well go on winning for as long as Smart continues to coach.
  • Quite the line for Acadia’s  Nick De Palma in the Axemen win over PEI in Wolfeville tonight!  How is 11/17 including 10/15 from 3 point range, for 32 points.  Acadia pounded the   Panthers with the heavy artillery fire as the Lumbermen go 18/38 from beyond the arc.  ‘Raining 3s’.

 

Dinos ‘D’ Dusts Vikes

 

 

Dinos Speed Kills the Vikes

Thomas Cooper scores 30 in a big Dinos win in Victoria.

Thomas Cooper scores 30 in a big Dinos win in Victoria.       photo-  David Moll, UC

Calgary 101 at Victoria 75 –  The Dinos’ team speed and defensive pressure wore -down the Vikes, as the visitors went on scoring runs triggered by team D . A 15-2 run to finish the half pushes Calgary’s margin to 19, as their defense creates opportunities. Scoring inside and out, the Dinos (2-1) get a ‘quiet’ 30 points from Thomas Cooper as he hits 4/7 from 3.  Every Dino save the injured Matt Ellis hits the scoresheet, as they shoot 51% from the floor.  The Vikes are beaten 9-19 in turnovers, and 25-35 on the boards, as they drop to 1-2. Wayne Tucker Jr with 19 points and Scott Kellum with 18 are UVic’s top scorers.  Box Score   

at Brandon 82   UBC-O 69   –  The ‘Cats (1-2) shoot out the lights at 56% from the floor, led by 22 from import guard, Tyvon Cooper,  Earl Thompson claimed 13 rebounds to go with 9 points. A reasonably loose affair with 31 turnovers by the winners and a mere 24 from the losing Heat.  Okanagan  (1-2) shot just 32%, and had Aldrich Berrios as their top scorer with 22 plus 8 rebounds.  Box Score  

at Manitoba 90   Thompson Rivers  68  –  A slow start for the Herd, but they get rumbling in the 2nd half for 52 points, as TRU goes icy cold (8 pts) in the 4th. Keith Omoerah scores 20/ 5 rebs/ 4 asst/ 3 steals to lead the way for the 2-1 Bisons. 4 other Manitoba  players in double figures.  The ‘Pack (0-3) get 19 points from Luke Morris and 18 by Volodymyr Iegorov, but commit 23 turnovers to just 10 from UM.     Box Score

Chan De Ciman leads the Huskies over previously unbeaten Winnipeg.

Chan De Ciman leads the Huskies over previously unbeaten Winnipeg.

  at Saskatchewan 76  Winnipeg 68 –  Winnipeg (2-1) finish strong, with a 29 point final  frame, but the Huskies cruise to their 2nd win vs 1 loss.  The foul line is good to Saskatchewan as they gobble up 16/23 vs only 5/5 for the visitors.  U of S hits just 36% from the floor, but are helped by 21 UW turnovers.  Chan De Ciman rings up 21 points for the home side, while Shane Osayande posts a double of 18 points/ 12 rebounds.  Narcisse Ambanza, the Ws rookie guard , is the game high man with 23 points. Box Score

at MacEwan 88  Regina  84  –  The Griffs (2-1) enjoy home court, and hold off a late charge from Regina (1-2), with Thadius Galvez and Adonis Monfort -Palomino cashing clutch free-throws in the last 20 seconds. Ryan Coleman is off the bench with 21 points to lead Mac scoring, as 4 others also post double figures, including Denzel james with 14 / 7 rebs/ 7 asst/ 6 blocks! Alex Igual has a game -high 23 for the Cougars including 5/9 from 3.   Box Score     

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Trinity W.  90  at Fraser Valley  82  OT –  Surprise !  Trinity (2-1) comes out firing (48% FG) against a defensive – minded Cascades (1-2) team , and they gut out an OT win in Abbotsford.  Pogos Trunyan is top Spartan with 20 points, while Max Vitala with 18/ 6 rebounds is one of 4 other TWU players in double figures.  UFV get 28 points/ 13 rebounds from forward, Mark Johnson, and 17 pts/ 12 assists from Manny Dulay.  Box Score    

 

Alberta 78 at UNBC 69 –  UNBC plays the Bears tough, but Alberta (3-0) shoots 50% from the floor, with 19 points/ 7 rebounds from Austin Waddoups.  Brody Clarke adds 16 pts/ 9 boards, as U of A out-rebounds the T’Wolves 44-31. Rhys Elliott is the game’s high scorer for the Timberwolves (0-3)  with 21 points. Box Score   

Sat. –  Mt. Royal travels to Lethbridge for game 2.

 


More CIS scores –

 NW Christian 92 (NAIA)    at  UBC 80  – Conor Morgan’s 27 points are not enough in an OT loss in this non-league affair.   Box Score  

Atlantic –  Acadia 85 at Cape Breton 67, UNB 102  UPEI  87

Ontario –   at McMaster 82  Lakehead 76,  Windsor 76  at Nipissing 73 .                    at Laurentian 77  Western Ont. 73  ,   Ryerson  88 at Toronto 61  ,  at York  83  Queens 74  ,  at Laurier 71  Algoma 65


 

Overtime –

Danger zone ! Narrow area creating turnovers.

Danger zone ! Narrow area creating turnovers.

  •   New stat … how many times does a team lose the ball on the increasingly annoying ‘stepping / standing out of bounds in the ‘alleyway’ outside the 3 point line’, at the baseline.  Yes, that area where the arrow is pointing !   Just big enough to get your size 11 feet down for the 3 pt attempt, but not big enough for size 13? The careless turnovers in that zone are prompted by a) the desire to score the trey b) disciplining yourself to ‘spot up outside the 3 pt. line … “No long 2s, guys !” , and c) the very narrow pathway provided by the deep FIBA line.  Annoying, and costly, at times.

Key Clashes in Saskatoon, Victoria

 

Saskatchewan Hosts Winnipeg, and Calgary in Victoria for Key Series’

The Winnipeg Wesmen and guard, Jamar Farley, invade Saskatoon this week.

The Winnipeg Wesmen and guard, Jamar Farley, invade Saskatoon this week.

The Winnipeg Wesmen are hoping to carry the 7-0 momentum they have built this past month as they travel West to Saskatoon to face the Saskatchewan Huskies.  The Ws, in the minds of many CIS coaches are be facing their biggest test to date, and Coach Mike Raimbault and his charges hope to repeat their sweep of the U of S from last year.

The 1-1 Dinos are in Victoria to face the 1-1 Vikes, as two other squads with ‘big plans’ match-up on Ken and Kathy Shields Court at the Blue and Gold hued CARSA Centre.  It’s a test of the #4 ranked Dinos’ and the un-ranked Vikes’ ability to pull tgether after key line-up changes for both teams.  The match-ups in our ‘key clashes’ …

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan –  Despite their 7-0 record  this Fall, the Wesmen get no mention in the CIS Top 10 poll.  Last January they got a pair of home wins over these Huskies in Winnipeg, but this road series may prove a bit more rugged. The Ws have skill and depth at guard, with Denzel Lynch-Blair, William Sesay,  Jamar Farley, and import transfer, Sean Tarver.  It remains to be seen if Billy Yaworsky and Ryan Oirbans have enough help up front to hold off a bigger U of S squad.  The Huskies feature Shane Osayande, Trevor Severinski, and Matt Forbes , 6-5 Jaylan Morgan adding another weapon. The U of S guards have to hold their own, then the ‘Dogs may howl.  Our Call –  A split is in order, especially if Winnipeg’s full court defense can be effective.

 

The Vikes and Dinos go at it out on The Island this week.

The Vikes and Dinos go at it out on The Island this week. photo – UVic Athletics

Calgary at Victoria – Two traditionally competitive teams, both in search of a sweep this weekend.  The Dinos and the Vikes had 1 impressive win last week,  and 1 ‘not-so-much’!   Thomas Cooper is a deadly offensive threat for UC, and he has Lars Schleuter, a long range bomber, alongside. The guards are explosively quick.  David Kapinga, Jhony Verrone, and newcomers Max Eisle and Mambi Diawara can be suffocating at the defensive end. Victoria are leaning heavily on 5th year forward, Grant Sitton, for scoring, and he now has Wayne Tucker Jr. (tsf Olds College) and Jake Newman (tsf Lafayette U) for assistance.  There is new depth at the guard spot where  Scott Kellum, JJ Hamel-Carey, and Hassan Abdullahi may prove an effective combo. Our Call –  The best guess might be a split, having seen just that result for the past 2 seasons in League play.


The Original ‘Mad Viking’  … screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-55-23-pm

The Calgary Dinos, when they play on The Island this week, should be thankful that they will not be ‘greeted’ by the original ‘Mad Viking’ mascot.  Jim ‘Mother’ Hubbard prowled the court perimeter for Coach Ken Shields and his championship UVic teams of the ’80s.  This was not a rubber axe, and ‘Hubb’ was not a subtle fan!  Opposition players of the day couldn’t help but look over their shoulders to keep an eye on his menacing presence.

Coach Shields remembers ‘only a couple of occasions ‘ when ‘Hubb’ actually did any notable damage with his weapon! One of the great characters in Canada West history.

 


And, the remainder of the Canada West slate for week 2 –

Thurs –      Lethbridge at Mt. Royal –  This is the Cougars’ home opener, and they face a Pronghorns team that has 2 wins from last week.  U of L has some building confidence in 2 import lynch-pins, guard, Dejon Burdeaux, and wing man, Elliott Sentance. The ‘Horns seem to have all their ‘antelopes’ match-fit, and they may have the local talent to compliment the skills of Bordeaux and Sentance.  Zac Overwater and Mike Pierzchala, an LCI and Winston Churchill HS grad,  can be impact players in their own right. MRU were up and down in the pre-season, and there may be some depth concerns, especially on the forward line.  The addition of the multi-talented Josh Ross (tsf Vancouver Island U.) will help, and he should combine nicely with 2nd year all-star forward, Brett Layton.  Guards Derek Wolfe and Glen Yang will have to be sharp if the Cougars are to come out on top.  Our Call –  Lethbridge could sweep, we feel.  MRU will be fighting for a split.

Coach Gil Cheung and his Brandon Bobcats are home to the UBC-O Heat.

Coach Gil Cheung and his Brandon Bobcats are home to the UBC-O Heat.   photo – Brandon Athletics

Friday / Saturday –     UBC-O at Brandon  –  This is a true mystery.  Okanagan travels to Brandon so rarely ( well, actually just once … an 8 point loss in 2014).  The ‘Cats need these wins on home court.  The Heat have some chemistry building with Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin at guard, but they also need their big men, Ryan Morck and David Manshrek to battle the BU front line.  Those ‘Big ‘Cats’ are led by the strong efforts of Earl Thompson Jr., and the  improving  John Paul, a 6-11 ‘handful’.  Import guard Tyvon Cooper seems to be the scoring guard Brandon needs, as he averaged  17 ppg last week at Alberta.    Our Call –  Who feels comfortable down the stretch?  This is a toss-up on paper, but an edge to the home team.

Thompson Rivers at Manitoba –  The Wolf Pack have a tough task in facing the Herd out in ‘Ft. Garry’.  Manitoba has the fire-power that TRU lost to graduation.  The ‘Pack still have Volodymyr Iegorov, Micheal Rouault, and Jeff Tubbs, but they are a team in the -re-building process.  The Bisons are packed with talented veterans, like Keith Omoerah, AJ Basi, Justus Alleyn, Ilarion Bonhomme, and Jonathan Alexander.  At their best, the Herd will Stampede all over many Canada West teams.  Our Call – Two decisive Manitoba wins.

Regina at MacEwan –  This is a test for two teams with playoff potential. The Cougars have the ultimate ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ team so far.  They win by 20 vs UVic last Saturday, after dropping a 95-77 home opener to the Vikes on Friday. Brian Ofori has looked like a leader on their forward line, and they have 5th year vets Travis Sylvester and Stephen Shields in their top 9.  Guards Brandon Tull, Aaron McGowan, and Alex Igual get help from newcomer, import Johneil Johnson.  MacEwan, too, have a good core of vets, with Thadius Galvez and Denzel James, their backcourt strength.  Keith Gerdes and Harrison Lane head-up a ‘medium sized’ front court  in need of some scoring punch.   Our Call –  Regina wins at least one, but MacEwan is ‘sneakily competitive’, and may surprise us.

Matt Hayashi and his TWU teammates will be up for their 'Valley Series' with UFV.

Matt Hayashi and his TWU teammates will be up for their ‘Valley Series’ with UFV.   Spartans Athletics

Trinity Western at Fraser Valley –  Flush with their Saturday win at UBC-O, the Spartans are set to challenge for ‘Kings of the Valley’ !  UFV have won all 6 games in the past 3 seasons, and will be a tough out for TWU.  The Cascades guard corps look best in this match-up, with Manny Dulay, Vijay Dhillon, and 6-4 transfer (College of the Desert) Anthony Gilchrist off the bench.  The Green start 3 forwards … Nav Bains, Andrew Morris, and Mark Johnson, and they are part of a pretty effective defensive unit. Trinity have bigger, but less mobile forwards in Patrick Vandervelden and Matt Hayashi.  There is  some developing strength in import, Pogos Trunyan, along with scoring wing, Vartan Tanielian, and lead guard, Tyus Allen.   Our Call –  Has TWU turned a corner?  We don’t have the ‘faith’ of their followers yet, but they will give UFV a good challenge this week.

Alberta at UNBC –  The Bears go on the road with their 2 opening wins from last week, and the T’Wolves will hope the friendly environs of the Northern Sports Centre in Prince George will give them an edge.  Alberta comes with the ‘golden duo’ of Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke at forward; this a severe challenge for the ‘Wolves’ Vaggelis Loukas and Anthony Hokanson. Rhys Elliot and Marcus MacKay give UNBC a pair of able scoring guards, who will have to out-play U of A’s new arrivals Austin Waddoups and Andre Kelly.  Our Call –  The Golden Bears have an edge here, and will be aiming for the sweep.  A top effort from the T’Wolves will be necessary for a win.

Saturday –  Mt. Royal travels to Lethbridge for game 2.

UBC has the bye this week.


screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-16-50-pm

UBC Climbs to 2nd in Week 2

The UBC Thunderbirds, looking strong in the early-going this season, were voted #2 in this week’s coaches’ poll for the CIS. Calgary, who dropped their opener to Manitoba, were demoted to the #4 slot.

There are 6 OUA teams in the 12 mentioned in the poll , including the ‘Mighty Ravens’ of Carleton at #1. The Alberta Golden Bears appear as an ‘honourable mention.

 


 

Overtime –

sask-camo

Trevor Severinski (L) and Chan De Ciman model the ‘camo gear’ the Huskies will wear to observe Remembrance Day.

  •   The Saskatchewan Huskies will be wearing special ‘camo’ game jerseys when they host Winnipeg this weekend,  in tribute to those Canadians who served / serve in the military.  Coach Barry Rawlyk says, “Remembrance Day is reserved in Canada for us to honour and remember those who bravely served and scarified for our great country,” said head coach Barry Rawlyk. “We also believe it is a time to express our appreciation to all of the men and women in uniform that courageously and unselfishly serve our nation.”  From U of S Athletics
  •   TRU Coach, Scott Clark, on the new scheduling format for Canada West  , “ …  there are not two teams in the conference that play the same schedule,” Clark said. “To call it a schedule, I think, is a misnomer, in that I believe we just play some games and at the end they’re going to compare everybody.  It’s no fault of whoever makes the schedule. It’s a 17-team conference — it’s monumental.  Really, you can’t [have a schedule] with 17 teams. But my opinion was always that the conference needs to be divided.”   From Kamloops This Week.
  • We have the first of several home and home series which are part of that somewhat disjointed League schedule this season.  Mt. Royal hosts Lethbridge on Thursday, then travel South for the return bout on Saturday, while the ‘Valley Neighbours’, Trinity Western and Fraser Valley exchange home courts on Friday/Saturday. This would seem like a great way to build on regional rivalries.

 

 

Previews – Saskatchewan, Fraser Valley

 

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

 Saskatchewan Huskies

’15-‘16      No playoffs                  8 win  12 losses (Pioneer)

hus-copy

Returnees –  5th years –  Matt Forbes, 6-6 fwd, Regina Beach. Trevor Severinski, 6-6 fwd, Pitt Meadows, BC. … 4th Year – Shane Osayande, 6-6 fwd, Toronto. Alex Unruh, 5-10 guard, Saskatoon.   … 3rd Years – Mack Burns, 6-6 fwd, Regina.  Joseph Barker, 6-6 fwd, Saskatoon.  … 2nd Years – Chan De Ciman, 6-2 guard, Regina. Dean Wittow, 6-7 fwd, Leduc, AB. Jonathan Halvorson, 6-3 guard, Regina. Reid Thuringer, 6-2 guard, Warman, SK.  … (after redshirt)  1st year – Davis Humbert, 6-2 guard, Saskatoon ( Aden Bowman).

New faces –   Jaylon Morgan, 6-5, 3rd year, Brampton, ON (Williston St., ND). Addison Dewar, 6-3 guard, 1st, Saskatoon (Marion Graham). Emmanuel Akintunde, 6-2 guard, 1st, Saskatoon (St. Joseph)

The Huskies would like to put the 2015-2016 season behind them, and they think they have the team to do that. Missing the playoffs has not been part of the Saskatchewan script for the last 10 years or so, and we expect the Green and White to be better this campaign.

Look for Mack Burns to be a bigger factor for U of S this season.

Look for Mack Burns to be a bigger factor for U of S this season.

The Huskies senior core of players has quickness, rebounding, and scoring ability led by their two big forwards, Matt Forbes and Shane Osayande.  Forbes is a ‘hammer and tongs’ physical force,  who was missed last season when he went down with injury.  Osayande has ‘pro-type’  physical abilities, and he averaged a double of 14 ppg / 10 rebounds, with more to come, we suspect.    Another big man, Trevor Severinski may repeat as the best three- point shooter in Canada West (47% last season), and he can guard a bigger opponent. Mack Burns is a versatile small forward, with a good shooting touch and  an aggressive style as a rebounder. Joseph Barker has also shown a good nose for the boards, and he will provide depth on the frontline.

At the guard spots, Coach Barry Rawlyck has the dynamic  Chan De Ciman (12.5 ppg as a rookie), who will combine with point man Alex Unruh (48% FG, 8 ppg), and newcomer Jaylon Morgan, a big shooting guard. After redshirting last season local Saskatoon product Davis Humbert may get a good look as a backup guard on the playing roster.

The ‘Sled Dogs’ may not be as deep as some of the other top teams, but their best players are very capable of winning enough games to get them in the top three or four. Injuries and other issues took their toll last season, and Saskatchewan will need some better fortune as they chase a championship this year.

Schedule –   Nov-Dec –  at Fraser Valley, Winnipeg, Brandon, at Regina  – 4 series

Jan-Feb –  UBC, at Lethbridge, at Calgary, Mt. Royal, Alberta, at UNBC – 6

Prediction –  Huskies will be better, and may make a mark at playoff time.

________________________________________________________

 

Fraser Valley Cascades

 ’15-‘16 –  Lost to Manitoba, 1/4 finals                  wins 12   losses 8  (Explorer)

Fr Valley

Returnees –   5th years –  Manny Dulay, 6-3 guard, Surrey.  Vijay Dhillon, 6-1 guard, Richmond. 4th year –  Navjot Bains, 6-6 fwd, Surrey.  3rd years – Mark Johnson, 6-6 fwd, Palm Springs, CA.  Matt Cooley, 6-9 fwd, Coquitlam, BC.

New faces –   Andrew Morris, 6-5 fwd, 3rd, Burnaby, BC (tsf. U. Victoria) . Denver Sparks-Guest, 6-5 wing, 3rd year, Coquitlam (tsf from Simon Fraser). Anthony Gilchrist, 6-4 guard, 3rd, Cathedral City, CA  (College of the Desert). .  Sukhman Sandhu, 6-10 fwd, 1st, Surrey (Tamanawis). Riley Braich, 6-3 guard, 1st, Abbotsford (Yale Sr Sec). Daniel Adediran, 6-5 wing, 1st, Surrey (Pacific Academy )   Justin Dhillon, 6-3 guard, 1st, Richmond (HJ Cambie)

There are 7 newcomers in the playing roster for Coach Adam Friesen, going into his 5th year at UFV, which constitutes a big turnover.  The Cascades have had the most competitive program among the newer schools to Canada West, as Friesen has a 67% winning rate in Canada West League play.  This former hot-shooting, lefty guard (TWU) had the Cascades in the Final 4 in 3 of his first 4 years.

This is, however, the first year ‘AKP’ , after Kevon Parchment !  UFV will miss the splendid all-around play of their perennial all-star and ’15-’16 Defensive Player of the Year, who has graduated.  “Right now, we’re just learning we’re in the post-Kevon Parchment defensive life,” Friesen said earlier his Fall. “We have a lot of new faces, we have some growing pains that way, and we’re realizing we maybe got away with some stuff the last couple years because we’ve had Kevon.”

One of the Cascades top shooters, Vijay Dhillon

One of the Cascades top shooters, Vijay Dhillon, is a 5th year leader.

Among the 5 returnees, Coach Friesen can be confident in his pair of 5th year guards, Manny Dulay (11.6 ppg/2/7 asst) and Vijay Dhillon (15.6 ppg/2.5 asst), both of whom shot over 40% from 3 pt range last year.   Mark Johnson (12 ppg/5.7 rebs) , Navjot Bains (7.4 ppg/7.2 rebs), and Matt Cooley (6.7 ppg/6 rebs) provide a solid core on the forward line.

Friesen was extremely busy and very successful with his recruiting efforts this past Spring and Summer.  7 new faces ready to step up, and 6 red-shirts working to make the grade for future campaigns.  Wing man, Andrew Morris, who moves to Abbotsford from UVic, has been offensively sharp in pre-season play, with a 21 point, perfect shooting game against Lethbridge.  Denver Sparks-Guest should be a ‘first 8’ player, with his experience at Simon Fraser;  he is a big guard with the skills to make an impact.

Friesen has been impressed with the early showing of 2 local high school recruits, Riley Braich and Daniel Adediran.  Another rookie to watch is Sukhman Sandhu (Tamanawis, Surrey, BC), a post transfer returning after a red-shirt year in a California JC, who should develop into a solid CIS competitor.

It’s hard to predict how this team will come together, with the number of newcomers to be worked into the line-up.  UFV has the leaders with a history of big-game success, but it remains to see if there will be enough cohesion to play at a high level consistently.

 Schedule –  Nov-Dec. – Saskatchewan, home/home Trinity W, UNBC, at Brandon  – 4 series Jan-Feb – MacEwan, at Calgary, at Alberta, Thompson R., Victoria, at UBC-O – 6


 

 Overtime –    

  • Vicissitudes of the Canada West regular season schedule – Wilfred Laurier (Waterloo, ON)  will have played more games in both B.C. and Manitoba than will Saskatchewan, even after the conclusion of League play.   Neither Victoria nor UBC plays any games in Manitoba … Brandon has 1 series in B.C.
  • Mack Roth is one scorer the Vikes will have to replace.

    Mack Roth is one scorer the Vikes will have to replace.

    Three starters from Saskatchewan’s ’15-’16 team beginning last season are no longer with the team.  Evan Ostertag graduated, Shawn Lathan left, and Jauqin Bennett-Boire left school early in the New Year, and is now red-shirting at UBC. Lethbridge lost 3 starters to graduation/5th year-  Jared Baker, Brandon Brine, and Rob Olson … TWU lost 3, with  Lucas Mannes, Dean Richey  (very early), and Kelvin Smith (5th year grad) .  The biggest group of starters, however, are gone from the UVic Vikes.  Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop,  and Mack Roth graduated, while Jordan Charles is not playing this season.

  • All-stars or all-rookie team players returning –  UBC has 3, in Jordan Jensen-Whyte, Conor Morgan, and all-rookie, Taylor Browne. Alberta has Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke (R), Calgary has Thomas Cooper and Lars Schleuter, TRU with Volodymyr Iegorov, and Jeff Tubbs (R), and Winnipeg has Denzel Blair-Lynch, and William Sessay (R) .  ‘Single stars’ – Manitoba has Keith Omoerah, MacEwan – Denzel James, and  Saskatchewan – Chan De Ciman (R).

 

Play-Off Schedule … All-Stars

Play-off Schedule Highlights an ‘All- Alberta Bracket’

mooney copy

Chris Mooney and the MacEwan Griffins will host their ‘Older Neighbours’, the U of A Golden Bears, in a very compelling play-in series this weekend in the Alberta capitol.

The Canada West play-off schedule has been decided, and the stars aligned on the weekend, as teams fell into the exact order necessary for the Edmonton schools, Alberta Golden Bears and MacEwan Griffins, to meet in Round 1 of the Canada West play-offs.  And, the seedings also lead to that series winner traveling to Calgary on March 3 to play game one in the 1/4 Final against the #1 Calgary Dinos.

The Regina Cougars earned home court with their win over Saskatchewan on Saturday, and the UBC T-Birds get the 3rd seed with a sweep of Winnipeg. MacEwan secures the #8 seed by edging MRU for third in the Explorer.  Here’s the play-off draw –

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All – Stars and Most Outstanding Player –

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, is our Outstanding Player of 2015-16 photo- David Moll, UC

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, Canada West’s ‘ top player’               photo- David Moll, UC

Our pick as the Most Outstanding Player is Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos … top team, leading CW scorer, a strong rebounder, who can also pass and play defense. A clutch performer in so many games for the Dinos this season, he has decided many games with timely plays.

We have to pull our punches a bit on the All-Stars … here are 15 players who deserve the nod, and could or should be on one of two Canada West All-Star teams :
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Let’s also check in on the Women’s Play-off Picture –

Saskatchewan gets a decisive win at Regina on Saturday, earning a weekend split, the top spot in the Pioneer, and #1 seed for Canada West Play-offs.  Calgary beats Alberta, and knocks the Pandas back to 3rd spot, and the #4 seed.  MacEwan wins the Explorer Division, and gets the #2 seed for play-offs.  Here’s the Women’s Tournament info –Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 8.46.39 PM

 


Overtime –   

  • Some fine players finished up their CIS careers Saturday, with their teams missing the playoffs –  Evan Ostertag of Saskatchewan, James Lefebvre of Mt. Royal, Billy Cheng (injured) and Colin Plumb of UNBC, Kelvin Smith of Trinity Western, and Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop, and Mack Roth of Victoria.  Fine players, who will all earn their degrees (some a 2nd degree) this Spring, or in the very near future.  The best of what CIS Sport is all about.  Well done, gentlemen !
Brody Clarke, Bears, our Rookie of the Year.

Brody Clarke, Bears, our choice for CW Rookie of the Year.                                    photo – U of A Athletics

  • Correction !  Since the CW Rookie of the Year must be 21 yrs or younger, we have to eliminate Brett Layton from the Rookie team, but he is certainly in play for our All-Star selections.  So, our Rookie team is –  William Sesay, Winnipeg, Chan DeCiman, Saskatchewan, Torrez McKoy, Calgary, Colby Jackson, Alberta … and, our Rookie of the Year,  Brody Clarke, Alberta.
  • The game times are all over the map for the upcoming play-off series’ !  We will make sure to note these as we get closer to ‘game days’.  We’re all the way from 2 pm – 8 pm for tip-off (local times).  Each school has it’s own gym sched, preferred times, conflicts and the like.  No predictability at all.