Decisive Wins in All 5 Pioneer Games


Calgary Streak to an Even Dozen – 1st Place !blk dinos copy

at #4 Calgary 95  Regina 79  –  It’s like a repeating film loop or a recurring nightmare for the Cougars, who, as they had on Thursday, sped to a 1st quarter lead (tonight 28-19) , then saw the Dinos storm back to a 5 point 1/2 time advantage. Again on Friday, the Division  leaders keep pulling away, with 49 points in the last 20 minutes, as they win their 12th straight game. Thomas Cooper adds a 30 point night for a 72 point weekend total, and has 6 rebounds/ 3 asst/ 3 steals. David Kapinga is a thorn in the ‘Cats paw once again with his 10 points, 5 asst, and 4 steals, as UC forces the visitors into 20 turnovers. Alex Igual hits 5/9 from 3 point range to lead Regina scorers with 19, plus 5 rebounds.  Calgary clinches 1st in the Pioneer at 16-3, while Regina drops to 10-8 going into the final week of League play.    Box Score

Brandon Brine leads 'Horns to a nice road win at Winnipeg.

Brandon Brine leads ‘Horns to a nice road win at Winnipeg.

Lethbridge 78 at Winnipeg  52 –  No contest tonight in Winnipeg as the Pronghorns (10-7)  hit 50% from the floor to just 37% for UW, and Lethbridge wins the rebounding 40-30 in out-scoring their hosts in every quarter. Brandon Brine rings up 25 for Lethbridge with 4 rebs/4 asst, while Chris Maughan scores 14, and Zac Overwater 10 plus 7 rebounds.  Winnipeg (9-8)  gets 13 points/ 5 rebounds/ 5 assists from William Sesay, and 11 points / 6 boards from Marcello Kambola. No Denzel Lynch-Blair for the Wesmen tonight ?  Box Score

at Saskatchewan  80  Alberta 52 – The Huskies (7-10) still cling to a faint hope of  a playoff chance  as they thump the visiting  Golden Bears (9-9) behind the 27 points of rookie guard, Chan DeCiman,  while senior guard, Evan Ostertag, and big Trevor Severinski score 12 points each.  The Dogs are up 63-33 after 3/4s, and it’s game over, as Sask strike for 16/34 from 3 point range vs 5/21 for the Bears.  15 points and 7 boards from Alberta’s Brody Clarke, the only U of A player in double figures.   Box Score

#7  UBC 85 at Brandon 67 –  The T-Birds dominate, with a hot (54% ) shooting night, and they hold the ‘Cats to just 36%. 5 ‘Birds in double figures, as Jordan Jensen-Whyte hits 17 ppoints, 8 rebs/ 5 asst/ 2 steals, and David Wagner scores 18 to go with 6 reb/ 3 asst.  Chris Stanhope has a 20 point game for Brandon, while Earl Thompson Jr. hits 14 plus grabbing 8 boards.  UBC goes  to 13-4, while Brandon is at 1-16.  Box Score
Manitoba  101 at Trinity Western 67 –  Blow-out, as the 3rd place Herd rumble for 70 points in the 2nd half in shooting 57% vs the Spartans 34% from the floor.  Justus Alleyn scores 20 points/ 7 reb/ 3 asst/ 3 steals, and Keith Omoerah adds 10 boards / 9 points / 7 assists/ 2 steals for UM , who are now 14-5.  TWU has 21 points/ 5 reb/ 3 asst from Lucas Mannes , as they fall to 1-16. Box Score


Griffins Road Win Gives Them a Share of 3rd

MacEwan  66 at UBC-Okanagan  59 –  Little things make the difference for the visiting Griffins … they force 19 Heat turnovers, hit 16 / 23 from the line vs 12/15 for UBC-O, and grab a couple of extra rebounds.  From 1-0 in  the first minute of the opening quarter, Mac leads all night, as they respond to every small run made by the home side.  It is, indeed, Denzel James (15 points/ 5 rebounds) and Thadius Galvez (12 points), who lead MacEwan to this key road win, as they are now tied for 3rd at 8-9 on the season. Okanagan gets 16 from Cam Servatius off the bench, and 14 from Mitch Goodwin, but could never really threaten the visitors in this one.   Box Score

UFV's Kevon Parchment rains on TRU for 33 points in Cascades' home win.

UFV’s Kevon Parchment rains on TRU for 33 points in Cascades’ home win.

at Fraser Valley 82          #9 Thompson Rivers 79 –  Here’s a game where foul shooting is the difference;  UFV hits 83% on 20/24 from the line vs 13/21 (62%) for TRU.  Not only was Kevon Parchment back in the Cascades line-up, but he produces a clutch 33 point night in the big match-up, and he chips in with 14 rebounds, and 4 assists. Vijay Dhillon scores 17 for Fraser Valley, as they get to 11-6, in 2nd place, while TRU remain on top in the Explorer with a 14-3 mark.  Reese Pribilsky is the top man for the ‘Pack with 21 points / 6 assists, while Luke Morris totals 18 points / 9 boards.   Box Score

Mt. Royal 76 at UNBC 75  –   MRU trail the whole game, but storm back in the 4th quarter , winning it on 9 points in the final 45 seconds, including a pair of Derek Wolfe free throws with 1 second left. The veteran guard, Wolfe,  has 14 on the night, but the Cougars high man is rookie Brett Layton who pots 18 points and adds 14 big rebounds. James Lefebvre continues his run of good ’ball for Mt. Royal with 17 points / 6 rebounds, as the Cougs move up to 7-10.  UNBC (3-14) has 31 points from their shooting guard , Rhys Elliott, and 18 by Marcus MacKay.  Box Score

 Other CIS Scores Friday –
Atlantic – at #10 Dalhousie 76 Cape Breton 74 ,  at Saint Marys 97 Acadia 92
Quebec – Bishop’s 83 UQAM  75
Ontario – at #6 McMaster 96   #2 Ottawa 90 , #3 Carleton 90 at #5 Brock 65,  at Queen’s 99 Western 90,   Algoma 62 at Toronto 57, Windsor 86 at York 85  OT, Lakehead 84 at Waterloo 64 , at Laurier 102 Guelph 91


Overtime –   

  • Belated congratulations to the UC Dinos Women’s team, who play an amazing back-and-forth game vs #3 Regina on Friday.  Behind 25 points from post, Kelsey Lund, and 18 from veteran point, Kristie Shields, Calgary hangs in against the very well-drilled Regina team, who got 24 points, mostly inside, from Alyssia Kajati . They go to OT, and the Dinos young stars, Anmol Mattu and Brianna Ghali fuel a 24-12 UC outburst for the win. This was the Cougars’ second loss of the season as their record falls to 15-2 while the Dinos climb to 14-4.  >>> On to Friday, and the Cougars avenge the loss, as they top Calgary 83-71. 
  • What’s the state of officiating across the CIS ?  Do things differ from one region  to another, and how are referees trained to improve their game-time performance?  And, how do referees’ associations and the various levels of basketball across Canada moving to assess and increase the quality and consistency of reffing in the Canadian game?  Writer Wayne Kondro suggests one obvious idea, “Given that Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment pockets millions annually from the sale of Toronto Raptors paraphernalia and tickets in Canada, and has a vested interest in the long-term development of the game here in the North, what if some of us stopped schlepping to Toronto to attend games and buy those fabulous “We the North” T-shirts unless and until Canada’s team opens its coffers for grassroots initiatives aimed at the greater objective of elevating and developing the game in the country, including a fund to improve officiating?  More details in Condor’s piece in CIS Sport.

Showdowns Feature Prairie Teams



Prairie Rivalries  are Focus This Week

Brandon Brine's and the 'Horns are up against Lars Schleuter and the Dinos in Calgary this week.

Brandon Brine and the ‘Horns are up against Lars Schleuter and the Dinos in Calgary this week.

The first week in February for Canada West sees the two most telling series tipping off in Manitoba and Southern Alberta.  Four teams who sit at 9-5 or better in the Pioneer Division duke it out this Friday and Saturday, with playoff slots on the line.  The difference in winning 2, splitting, or dropping both can mean in or out, home court, or a very different playoff draw.  We also have Mt. Royal hosting MacEwan with neither team having the luxury of absorbing a loss if they are to get a decent shot at a playoff slot from the Explorer Division.
Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.07.20 AM Lethbridge (9-5) at  Calgary (12- 3)  –  The Dinos have home court and are coming off a bye week, while the ‘Horns are fresh from last week’s pummelling of the Golden Bears.  Both teams appear to be at full strength, with Calgary having had a chance at recovering from ‘small hurts’, and Lethbridge seeing the return to form of import guard, Dejon Burdeaux, who is such a key for them.
Both teams have depth, with the Dinos featuring a dominant scorer, Thomas Cooper (tops in Canada West at 24.7 ppg) and Lars Schleuter at 11.5 ppg , while the ‘Horns have 3 in double figures – Brandon Brine (18.2 ppg) , Rob Olsen (15.1), and Burdeaux (13.8).
We  expect a high-scoring affair, with both teams near the top of the ppg average in the League.  Calgary’s challenge will be  to crack the Pronghorns zone / press defense, and the ‘Horns’ to get their offense rolling with their running style against the quick UC guards.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.17.43 AMWinnipeg (9-5)  vs  Manitoba (11-5)  (Home and home series – at Manitoba Friday, and Winnipeg on Saturday)  –  These cross-town rivals are both peaking for this match-up, with the Wesmen winning 7 of the latest 9 games they’ve played.  The Bisons would appear to be the deeper team, with the more explosive offense, but they have been without Ilarion Bonhomme, who is so valuable off the bench at the point, and 5th year post, Wyatt Anders saw limited action last weekend.  Winnipeg will need a huge team effort on the boards, and to capitalize on their opportunistic defense, if they are to slow down the Bisons attack.  A lower-scoring game might be to Winnipeg’s liking, while A.J. Basi and his Manitoba teammates like a more wide open style. ‘At least a split’ … this goes through both coaches minds, we can be sure !

Also in the Pioneer Division –

Jonathan Tull will try and help his UR Cougars fend off the Vikes.

Jonathan Tull will try and help his UR Cougars fend off the Vikes.

Victoria (7-9)  Regina (8-6) – This is a ‘survival series’ for both the Vikes and Cougars, as they’re  coming off disappointing 2-loss weekends, and are now wanting to get a place in the top 7 for playoffs.  UVic has a tough road assignment, as last year’s Canada West champs looked particularly shaken vs UBC in their 2 blow-out losses. Veterans like Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop, and Mack Roth will need to get their troops ready, or they will be out before they know it.
Regina will need offensive production from Jonathan Tull, and a better series from big Will Tallman;  big men Stephen Shields and ‘Pops’ Ndiaye could be a handful for the smaller Vikes.

Brandon (1-13)  at Saskatchewan (4-10) –  Neither of these teams are playoff bound, but will still want to finish up their season on positive notes.  The Huskies may be particularly motivated by home court, and by wanting 5th year Saskatoon star, Evan Ostertag, to get some more satisfaction as his career winds down.
One very nteresting match-up – Huskies Chan DeCiman (Regina) vs Bobcats ‘Pookie’ Saunders (Calgary) … two rookies who are playing well.

Trinity Western (1-13)  at Alberta (7-8) –  Even with their 2 ugly losses at Lethbridge, the Bears can still get things on track for a playoff berth, starting with a good home stand against the Spartans. Alberta really has been most unlucky with injuries, and can only hope they have starters back healthy this week.  Brody Clarke is a key for U of A, if he is 100%, and Colby Jackson is needed at the point.  TWU have a win, and can use more defensive consistency as they try and take it on the road.


TRU at home and ‘sitting pretty’ in the Explorer

Colin Plumb and his T-Wolves 'mates will be sorely tested at TRU.

Colin Plumb and his T-Wolves ‘mates will be sorely tested at TRU.

With a ‘death-grip’ on the #2 seed in the Canada West playoffs, the TRU Wolf Pack are trying to tune up their game, and be ready to take the steps necessary to reach the Final 4, then the CIS Nationals in Vancouver.  Not unreachable goals, but like every team in the competition, it’s one step at a time (We can hear Coach Scott Clark, even as we write this).
UNBC (3-11) at Thompson Rivers  (12-2) –  This is a high hurdle for the struggling Timberwolves, with an away series against a stacked TRU roster. UNBC has Rhys Elliot, but even he, at 18 ppg, has suffered with the loss of 5th year lead guard, Billy Cheng, out with injury.  Colin Plumb has played well on the forward line, but he faces a killer trio in Josh Wolfram, Volodymyr Iegorov, and Luke Morris.  This should be two routine wins for the ‘Pack as they stay ahead of the other 5 chasers.


Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 2.07.42 PMFraser Valley  (9-5)  at UBC-Okanagan (7-7) –  UFV Coach Adam Friesen will be looking for some indication of playoff readiness from his experienced group, led by all-star, Kevon Parchment, and shooting guard Vijay Dhillon.  One question is, “Can Fraser Valley get players back in the rotation” ?  They’ve had only  7 or 8 players available, and that has hurt.  UBC-O are the challengers here, and will have a home crowd to help their cause.  Big match-up – the Heat’s Aldrich Berrios at the point going up against the taller and more seasoned Manny Dulay of UFV.  If Okanagan is to catch the Cascades for 2nd, they will need a sweep here we think, and Fraser Valley is likely too tough for that to happen.

Rookie post Brett Layton has been an offensive leader for the MRU Cougars.

Rookie post Brett Layton has been an offensive leader for the MRU Cougars.

MacEwan (6-8)  at Mt. Royal (5-9) –  Well, we know the Cougars need  both these games to have a reasonable shot at a playoff berth, and MacEwan is really in the same boat, as they look up at UBC-O ahead of them. This should be a close set of games, with MRU’s aggressive defense, and play of 2nd year guard Glen Yang, and 1st year post man, Brett Layton giving them a real boost.  Mac responds with guards Thadius Galvez and Denzel James, their 2 high scorers and floor leaders.  The Griffs have more experience, but road wins are hard to come by; the pressure is on both teams to secure a sweep … something has to give !


 Wednesday CIS Scores   –  
at # 1 Ryerson  104  # 5  Brock   79 –  The Rams are decimating their OUA challengers in the past several weeks, and further justifying their top ranking.



Berrios Brilliance for Heat !

Aldrich Berrios and his Okanagan Heat have won 3 straight in the Explorer.

Aldrich Berrios and his Okanagan Heat have won 3 straight in the Explorer.                photo –  UBC-O Athletics

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The hottest team in the Explorer Division ?  The UBC-Okanagan Heat, of course!  3 straight wins, while all around them get mixed or disappointing results. The Heat take 2 at home against the MRU Cougars, as they come together for 2 of the more complete team efforts of their short CIS history. Well done, Coach Guarasci and players … keep it going.

Nice wins from McEwan Griffins at TRU on Saturday, and for UNBC Timberwolves at home on Friday vs the UFV Cascades.  In fact, the T’Wolves gave the Trees all they wanted in the 74-72 Saturday game as well.  These ‘upset’ wins add a nice level of interest in the Explorer Division.

The two leaders, the Cascades and the TRU WolfPack will use those losses as a reality check, and come back motivated to keep getting better … and they’re already very good teams.


Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 1.39.01 PM

In the Pioneer Division, we have the West Coast ‘power teams’ tied at the top, as the  UVic Vikes split with the Calgary Dinos, while the UBC Thunderbirds pull off a miraculous Saturday OT win to sweep the battered Saskatchewan Huskies.  No more undefeated teams, but we have both the  Brandon Bobcats and TWU Spartans remaining winless, and desperate to bring a ‘sliver of hope’ this week.

The UBC T-Birds, with Jordan Jensen-Whyte leading the way, have won 5 straight, and sit tied for first in the Pioneer.

The UBC T-Birds, with Jordan Jensen-Whyte leading the way, have won 5 straight, and sit tied for first in the Pioneer.      photo- UBC Athletics

UBC are the hot commodity now, with 5 wins after dropping their home opener to Alberta; the ‘Birds are starting to look like a team ready to host the CIS Nationals in March, which they will, of course. Manitoba Bisons built some momentum, and left no doubt with 2 wins at home over the Alberta Golden Bears, who were close on Saturday , but sit in unfamiliar territory, in 8th at 2-4.

It’s a mad chase behind the top 2, with Calgary, Manitoba, the Regina Cougars, and Lethbridge Pronghorns all jostling for position, with the Winnipeg Wesmen back on track after 2 wins this week.  We have to believe that Alberta and Saskatchewan will come back with so many games to play.


Prime-Time Performers !

 Rhys Elliott of the UNBC Timberwolves, has another strong weekend. photo UBC - Rich Lam

Rhys Elliott of the UNBC Timberwolves, has another strong weekend. photo UBC – Rich Lam

Many of our outstanding players from week 3 shone most brightly in those tension -packed minutes and seconds where close games are decided. Take the big shot, and make it count!

Aldrich Berrios –  UBC-O Heat …  In their Saturday win over Mt. Royal (UBC-O’s 3rd straight, a team record in Canada West play) , the 5-11 dynamo from Vancouver hit a long-range shot to tie it with 1 second left. Then, after a Cougars’ turnover, and in one of the most memorable ‘you-tube’ sequences – Hard to believe … sudden victory!   … 44 points for the weekend, and he’s the driving force for the Heat.

Randall Mosca – UBC-O Heat…   “Wiry, sinewy” are a couple of descriptors for this 3rd-year transfer from St. Mary’s Univ. Coll., Calgary. He is a slim, intense, fearless ‘gunslinger’, with a reputation for liking almost any shot he sees.  This is a dangerous man … a ‘streaky scorer’, well yes!  1 point in the Heat’s Friday win, but on Saturday, he’s ‘feeling it’ – 31 points on 10/16 and 8/8 free throws.  Take that!

Conor Morgan – UBC T-Birds … (From ‘Head Office’ – ‘THE’ University of British Columbia)  Morgan, a Junior Team Canada player back in 2013 (beside Andrew Wiggins),  plays with an edge. He will ‘mix it up’, old school.  He’s right in his element vs the scrappy Sled Dogs in Saskatoon, and his trey with 7 seconds left (taking it to OT) breaks the hearts of U of S faithful on Saturday.  31 pts/15 rebs in the UBC sweep, with 11 points in the 4th Q and OT on Saturday.

Rhys Elliot – UNBC Timberwolves  … The ‘Aussie Assassin ‘, ‘Cool-Hand Rhys’ … is as consistent a scorer as we have in Canada West. He leads the T’Wolves to an 81-74 win over favoured UFV on Friday, and almost another Saturday in PG.  47 points/ 6 rebs/4 asst/3 steals.  He and his mates may use this past weekend as  a springboard to more success.

Chan De Ciman – Saskatchewan Huskies … In the midst of some consternation in the Huskies kennel, this speedy rookie stands out in one of the top freshman classes in recent memory.  The Regina high school product has game!  He can play at both ends of the floor, with his quickness and composure, despite his youth.  47 points/ 10 boards/ assists in 2 games vs UBC, including a 37 point star-burst performance on Saturday.

Oh and what about …  

Brett Layton is a big interior presence for Mt. Royal.

Brett Layton is a big interior presence for Mt. Royal.  photo – MRU Athletics

Thomas Cooper – Calgary Dinos, who still leads CW scoring 25 ppg, and had 43 pts/ 15 rebs in a weekend at UVic .  Keith Omoerah – Manitoba Bisons, the ‘back to the Herd’, budding star, with 41 points/14 assts/6 steals in the Buffs’ sweep of Alberta.  Jordan Jensen-Whyte – UBC Thunderbirds, who is looking very sharp in his ‘shooting guard’ role, and hit 40 points/14 reb/8 assts., as the catalyst on offense vs the Huskies. Kevon Parchment – UFV Cascades, who fills the leadership role with his stellar play every week, it seems. 41 points/ 17 boards this week vs UNBC.  Brett Layton – Mt. Royal Cougars, is a bright spot in this gloomy stretch for MRU.  The 6-8 former Morman missionary hangs up 43 points/ 23 rebounds vs UBC-O.



Overtime –

  • MacEwan coach, Eric Magdanz, after the Griffins’ win at TRU on GriffinsHome copySaturday,  “They (TRU’s Volodymyr Iegorov, Josh Wolfram, and Reese Pribilsky) are great players,” Magdanz said when asked if they did anything special to curtail the 3 ‘Pack stars.  “Likely the best three players on any team in the country . We knew we had to pay special attention to them. We had to make sure where our help was at all time. What I thought we did well today was talking behind them so whoever was guarding them was confident they knew where they could get help knowing they had a whole team behind them.”  (From the Kamloops News).
  • Are you a stats person … all about the numbers Follow this link to Canada West Basketball, to get the lists, percentages, averages, minutes, points, assists, rebounds, steals ….


Saskatchewan and Regina Previews


Saskatchewan Huskies, Coach Barry Rawlyk, 6th year

Huskies big man, Matt Forbes

Huskies big man, Matt Forbes

The Huskies, without big men, Matt Forbes and Shane Osayande, have  won 4 of 5 CIS pre-season games to date, including a win over all 3 of UVic, Carleton, and Fraser Valley at the Vikes Tournament.  That suggests to us that, despite some key player losses, U of S will again be one of the top contenders in Canada West.

 Evan Ostertag may be the CW 6th Man of this sesaon, with his scoring touch heading for a 15 ppg+ level, and added experience gives Trevor Severinski a brighter green light to launch his outside shot.  Forbes, when healthy, is a beast inside, and Osayande shows the potential to give  a big assist as a strong defender and a tough rebounder.

Yes, Coach Barry Rawlyk landed yet another San Diego-area recruit in wing man Shawn Lathan, but perhaps more tellingly, he snatched the impressive point man, Jauquin Bennett-Boire, away from B.C., and coaxed the lightening -quick Chan DeCiman up from Regina. These are 2 great rookie additions, and Devin Wittow out of Alberta also looks sharp.

The ‘Dogs host their Graham Construction – Huskie Invitational this coming weekend, with Regina, Windsor,  and Concordia providing an intriguing mix of teams. Rawlyk has a .75% winning record in Canada West and CIS competition, and he may guide the Huskies into another playoff run this time around.


Alex Unruh           G      5-10,  3rd year,  Saskatoon

Evan Ostertag      G       6-1,    5th,     Saskatoon

Jonathan Karwacki  G    6-0,    3rd,      Saskatoon

Joseph Barker          F     6-7,    2nd,     Saskatoon

Matthew Forbes        F     6-6,     5th,     Regina Beach

Shane Osayande       F     6-6,     3rd,     Toronto

Trevor Severinski        F     6-6,     4th,      Pitt Meadows, BC

Mack Burns                F    6-6,       3rd,      Regina

New Faces – 

Devin Wittow             F     6-6,      1st,       Leduc, AB

Chan DeCiman          G    6-2,       1st,      Regina

Shawn Lathan             W   6-4,        2nd,     San Diego, CA (tsf S’Western Jr. Coll. )

Davis Humbert            G     6-2,        1st,      Saskatoon

Jauquin Bennett-Boire  G   6-2,        1st,       Abbotsford, BC

Reid Thuringer             G    6-2,         1st,     Warman, SK


Regina Cougars – Coach Steve Burrows, 3rd year

Regina copy

There are rumblings around the West that imply the Cougars may be more vicious predators in the 2015-16 campaign. Coach Burrows is typically reluctant to predict great things … “We are trying to build a winning culture and attitude … one day at a time.”  Well Coach, it should be easier with a healthy Alex Igual, the flashy import guard, and a solid returnee group led by the high-octane brothers Brandon and Jonathan Tull, shooter Travis Sylvestre, and big men Jeremy Zver and Will Tallman.

 Brandon Tull will be a leader for U of R

Brandon Tull will be a leader for U of R

Coach Burrows said, “Both Stephen Shields and Gurkirat Kular have the skills to give us a little more useful depth.  But we won’t get Ndiaye until after Christmas … he is finishing his degree in Tennessee.”

Regina has the size, the experience, and, maybe now with Igual, the offensive consistency to take a determined run at the post-season.

This group was not that far away last year, and, as the Coach points out, “We’ve added a few more pieces to help us win the games that may have slipped through our hands in past years.” An early indication will be how they fare against some pretty good teams at the U of S Tournament this weekend. The ‘Green Cougars’ also travel to Nova Scotia in  a couple of weeks to play in the Cape Breton U. Classic.

Returnees –

Travis Sylvestre  6-4   F,       4th,    Regina

Will Tallman       6-8     F,      5th,    Regina

Brandon Tull     6-4    G,     3rd,    Ajax, ON

Jonathan Tull    6-4     G      5th,    Ajax

Matt Augustine 6-0     G      5th,    Toronto  (* injured)

Alex Igual          6-4       G,    4th      Barcelona, Spain

Jeremy Zver      6-5        F,     5th     Regina

Brian Ofori         6-5        F,     3th,    Montreal

Mike Malecha      6-2       G,    3th,   Regina

Zach Mihalicz      6-8        P,     2th     Parker, Colorado

Brandon Buttazoni 6-0     G,    3th,     Regina


Stephen Shields     6-7      P,     4th,    Brandon, MB  ( tsf Brandon )

Kolton Bellamy       6-6      F,     1st,     Regina

Rawane Ndiaye       6-10    P,     2nd,   Bronx, NY (tsf Tennessee )

Gurkirat Kular           6-4      G,    1st,    Surrey, BC ( tsf Simon Fraser )

Sam Hillis                  6-3       G,    1st,     Regina


Overtime –

  • The Doug Mitchell Sports Centre at UBC has a new basketball court, in preparation for the 2016 CIS Final 8 Tournament. Story in The Ubyssey. The floor was ‘christened’ on Oct. 2 as UBC hosted their Fall Invitational Tournament.
  • Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (Dinos) and Jordan Baker (G. Bears) are both starting for Galitos-Tiey in the Portuguese Pro League.  We are having no luck getting a translated page, but will keep trying.
  • Howard Kelsey, Canada Basketball, encourages a look at the new National Team Alumni website –
  •  Scores from last week –  Calgary 93 Saskatchewan 81,  Brock 103 Brandon 86, Sask. 69 Mt. Royal 62, Calgary 76 Alberta 64, Brock 81 Winnipeg 52, MacEwan 65 Manitoba 64, Mt. Royal 53 Alberta 50,  UFV 90 Trinity W. 81, Winnipeg 75 MacEwan 66, Brock 79 Manitoba 75, UFV 77  TWU 68, Brandon 114 MacEwan 107.
  • Saskatchewan vs Concordia, and Regina takes on Windsor to tip off the Graham Construction Tournament in Saskatoon on Thursday.  The Stingers won 3 straight at their own Dore Tournament last week, and Windsor may be a Top 10 team again this year in CIS.

New Schedule Awaits in 2016

Cda West

Canada West Basketball Announces Future Format Change

The Canada West Board of Governors has a new format planned for basketball scheduling / league alignment starting in the 2016-17 season.  With the 11 Pioneer and 6 Explorer format entering it’s 2nd and final season this coming Fall, the League appears to have found reasons to make a wholesale change.

There was dissatisfaction with the separation of ‘newer’ schools, and the exclusion of these teams from a wider playing schedule.  The Athletic Directors, faced with the 17 team landscape and all the travel ramifications, have been grappling with any number of

Canada West League  President, Ian Reade

Canada West League President, Ian Reade

proposed changes, but have found it very tough to find an equitable, workable, and cost-considerate scheduling plan.

“The majority of members wanted a different format, so we spent six months going through a lot of options for schedules,” Canada West President Ian Reade (U of Alberta, Athletic Director) said. “We were able to go through a collective problem- solving process to get to a format, and come together on this one. This allows us to guarantee that traditional and geographic opponents will have the opportunity to play each other annually, while eliminating the perception of having two tiers within the conference.”

Reaction was generally positive around the League, with these comments from UVic’s Craig Beaucamp reflecting a common theme, “There are myriad options for a conference this size, and this was the best of them,” said Beaucamp. “It’s not perfect. But you can’t be balanced with so many teams spread from B.C. to Manitoba, so you have to be creative. There’s a lot of give and take in maintaining the traditional rivalries while trying to rotate in all the other teams.” (From the Victoria Times-Colonist.)

The 2016 -17 scheduling ‘proposal’ is a bit of a challenge to describe in simple terms –

  • It does bring all 17 schools together in one League.
  • It does not, however, have every school playing every other school in every season (This is a cost / travel time decision). Rather, each school will have 4 ‘traditional’ rivals, who they will meet each season – 2 games each = 8;  they also play 6 of the remaining 12 schools in that season – 2 games x 6 = 12.  So, a 20 game regular schedule.  (In the following year, you play the same ‘Annual Opponents’, then play the other 6 schools of the remaining 12.
  • There are a few ‘oddities’ when we look at several of these schools’ ‘traditional opponents –  Mt. Royal has Manitoba and MacEwan ?  MacEwan gets Lethbridge and Winnipeg ?  (But everybody needs dance partners … so there they are !)

Alberta – Calgary, Lethbridge, MacEwan, Saskatchewan
Brandon – Regina, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Winnipeg
UBC – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Trinity Western, Victoria
UBC-Okanagan – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Victoria
Calgary – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Saskatchewan
Fraser Valley – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Lethbridge – Alberta, Calgary, MacEwan, Mount Royal
MacEwan – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Winnipeg
Manitoba  – Brandon, Mount Royal, Regina, Winnipeg
Mount Royal – Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, MacEwan
UNBC – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Regina – Brandon, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg
Saskatchewan – Alberta, Brandon, Calgary, Regina
Thompson Rivers – UBC-Okanagan, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Trinity Western – UBC, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria
Victoria – UBC, UBC-Okanagan, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western
Winnipeg – Brandon, MacEwan, Manitoba, Regina

  •   Questions class ?  Well, of course !  Playoffs –  The top 12 teams make the playoffs, with the top 4 teams getting a round 1 bye.  Round 1 is Best of 3 (12 at 5, 11 at 6, 10 at 7, 9 at 8) with winners traveling to play at one of the top 4 seeds in Round 2, also Best of 3.  The 3rd playoff week has the traditional Final Four at the highest remaining seed.
  • What about ‘strength of schedule’ – impertinent question !  “All teams are competitive … it all evens out … we wind up with the best 4 teams in the Final Four. “  More on this topic later, no doubt.
  • Quite frankly, this is a very good try at a very tough scheduling challenge.  It does mean that you may not see the ‘attractive, traditional powers’ every year (Just every 2nd year).  But it might mean that there will be a development of a more balanced competitive structure.  Who knows ?
  • Let’s use the Calgary Dinos as an example –  They play Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Lethbridge (long term traditional rivals) every year, as well as the cross-town (natural rivals) Mt. Royal Cougars every season.  So, in year 1 we get these teams either at UC or Away.  Then in year 1, let’s say, we play UBC, Fraser Valley, UBC-O, Regina, Winnipeg, Brandon (2 games, either home or away).   In Year 2, we have the Bears, ‘Horns, Huskies, Cougars … then UVic, Trinity, Thompson Rivers, UNBC, MacEwan, Manitoba.
  • As one keen observer points out, it means that the Dinos fans see each of the ‘other 12 schools’ just once every 4 years in the Dinos home gym … so UBC, UVic, Manitoba, Brandon, Regina, Winnipeg are very infrequent visitors.  But, things move along, and this format does ‘integrate’ the 17 schools in an orderly fashion.  Time will tell.


Effective Leadership is an Elusive Target

8 - member admin. committee for athletics at UBC.

8 – member admin. committee for athletics at UBC.

Two of Canada West’s largest schools, with a combined 54 sports offerings are struggling with   leadership within their Athletics programs.  The very capable and forward thinking Ron Wuotila recently resigned as the Athletic Director at U. Calgary following an ill-judged re-organization of the administrative model.  UBC, in the news for a year or more with their ‘review of Athletic Department prorities’, is trying to run their program with an 8-person committee.  Details of the UBC situation are discussed   in this Vancouver Province story by Tony Gallagher

For institutions which purport to develop leadership in so many fields, and whose top-administrators (Presidents, Provosts, Deans, Directors) are assumed to be the most gifted leaders available, we are seeing incredibly inept planning, consultation, and decision – making. Would it not seem reasonable to cultivate the support for proven and developing ‘bright lights’ in school athletic administration?  Why does UC undermine their Athletic Program by trying to make the role of their Director of Athletics subservient to people who are obviously not qualified or willing to provide such support.

How can a school like UBC consider abolishing football ( and other long-time sports) in the earlier stages of their review, then crank – up that program, with a huge influx of alumni cash, but leave their overall Sports administration to an unwieldy committee ?

As a UC alumnus, I cannot but question the top brass at the school as they let Ron Wuotila escape, with all of the positive work he did in the past couple of years.  Who holds these key leaders in the President’s upper admin accountable?  How many good people on faculty and staff across the University have been discouraged by that de-motivating type of mis-management?


Recent Recruiting News –

  •   Brandon Coach, Gil Cheung, signs 6-11 post man John Paul, a native of St. Lucia, who has played at 2 Jr. Colleges in the U.S.  The Bobcats also add Tyler Anderson, a 6-7 forward out of Walnut Grove H.S. , Langley, B.C.
  •   MacEwan adds Cole Akins, a 6-8 post, St. Albert, AB, who averaged 8 ppg at Augustana of the ACAC.
  •   Manitoba scooped up transfer Ilarion Bonhomme, the 5-11 point man from Washington, D.C. , a former Canada West Rookie of the Year (2012) for Brandon. He will play this season, as he did not play for the ‘Cats last year.

    Chan DeCiman, playing in the Saskatchewan  high school All-star game. (photo - Star-Phoenix)

    Chan DeCiman, playing in the Saskatchewan high school All-star game. (photo – Star-Phoenix)

  •   Regina adds size in the person of 6-10 post, Rawane Ndiaye , from NY, NY – he  transfers from U. Tennessee
  •   Saskatchewan is excited to announce the signing of Regina (LeBoldus) high school star, Chan DeCiman, a 6-2 point guard.
  •   Trinity Western’s new Coach, Aaron Muhic, inks a large point man, 6-5, 225 lb., Dean Richey, Spokane, WA, who averaged 18 ppg for Spokane Com. College las season.
  • UNBC’s Todd Jordan takes 2 players out of Golden, B.C. HS – 6-4 guard, Saje Gosal , and 6-3 wing,  Neal Randhawa
  • In addition to their 4 Vancouver Island high school players previously announced, the UVic Vikes have added 6-7 forward, Billy Yaworsky,  (Winnipeg), who  transfers from Skagit Valley Junior College, WA