Long Road for 1st Round Play-off Teams

 

 

 4  Competitive Series in 1st Round of Playoffs

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

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

Here are the match-ups –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Overtime –

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

 

 

The 2 Hottest Teams in Canada West

 

 

 

Thunderbirds and Bisons both on a roll in League play 

5th year defensive stopper, Will Ondrik and his T’Birds teammates move to 15-1 on the season.   photo – Richard Lam  ,  UBC Athletics

The 2 hottest teams in Canada West continued to reel off the wins this past weekend. The UBC Thunderbirds, as expected, swept their 2 game set with the Brandon Bobcats in Vancouver, and the ‘Birds are now 7 wins in a row, 2nd only to the Manitoba Bisons in winning streaks, with the Herd up to 8.  Manitoba got a scare on Friday at home against the UNBC T’Wolves , but pulled it out, and won more easily on Saturday.

But, in this ‘Year of the RPI Monster’, both teams lost ground in the ‘order of finish’ race.  Last week the T’Birds stood at .6559 , but dropped .109, still in the top spot for the moment.  The Herd, after their 2 wins, fell 149 points from last week’s .5842.  (I guess you just play your best, and let the chips fall …. ).  UBC looks to be destined for the 3rd or 4th play-off seed, even at 19-1, while Manitoba are likely 5th in the RPI ordered seeding list.

Both these teams will be ‘tough outs’ in the post-season , and may be good picks for the Final Four.  Our best guess for the hosts may be either the Alberta Golden Bears or the Saskatchewan Huskies, who seem to rise to the top spot as we try various guesses for the results of remaining League games.  The Dogs and GBs meet in saskatoon this coming weekend to decide the issue.

Who else is going well?  The Lethbridge Pronghorns have won 4 straight, and locked up a play-off spot, and have a bye week to marshal their forces before their final week’s appointment vs the Bears in Edmonton.

 

15 League All-Stars will be tough to decide

Shane Osayande, Huskies          photo – Huskies Athletics

Coaches across Canada West are nominating top players for all-star consideration at season’s end.  They have 15 players to select, and we thought we’d look at an expanded number of possible candidates.

Keith Omoerah, Justus Alleyn of Manitoba  … Denzel Lynch-Blair- Winnipeg … Earl Thompson Jr – Brandon … Brandon Tull – Regina … Shane Osayande, Matt Forbes – Saskatchewan … Dejon Burdeaux, Elliott Sentance – Lethbridge … Brett Layton, Josh Ross – Mt. Royal  …  Thomas Cooper, David Kapinga – Calgary … Brody Clarke, Austin Waddoups, Mamadou Gueye, Alberta … Thadius Galvez – MacEwan … Rhys Elliott – UNBC … Volodymyr Iegorov – Thompson Rivers …  Aldrich Berrios – UBC-Okanagan … Patrick Vandervelden – Trinity Western … Manny Dulay – Fraser Valley … Conor Morgan , Jordan Jensen-Whyte – UBC … Grant Sitton – Victoria

So, there are 25 of the best.  We know we could form a play-off team with 10 who we left off this list, but this is a pretty good crop from which to select.

Top 10 Rookies –

Scott Kellum, UVic import guard

Narcisse Ambanza – Wesmen,   James Wagner – Bisons,  Johneil Johnson –  Reg. Cougars,  Max Eisle – Dinos, Scott Kellum –  Vikes,  Brett Warren  – Pronghorns, Craig Martin- MRU Cougars, Trent Monkman – Wolf Pack, Isaiah Familia – T’Birds, Matt Lafontaine – Heat

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92 Years of Refereeing Experience

Richard Schear (L) and Art Unsworth (R) team up at a recent high school tourney .

Richard Schear, who lives in Redcliff, AB, began officiating basketball (and, eventually, football) after he had completed his Education degree at University. The 72 year old has been active as a ref now for 48 years, while his taller, much younger side-kick, the irrepressible Art Unsworth, has been a ‘zebra’ for 44 years.  Schear explains why he enjoys officiating …  First, the camaraderie  with the other officials.  Second, it forces him to keep in good physical shape.  Third, being a referee in high school sports, gives Richard a chance to  interact with the youth of today.  “By and large those young people who play high school sports are great kids, they will be the leaders of tomorrow,” says Schear.  Unsworth, a farmer-rancher near Maple Creek, SK, has 2 sons,  Clint (6-10) and Chris (6-8) who both graduated from U. Saskatchewan, having won a Canada West and CIS Championship with the Huskies in 2010.

As well as cheering his boys through high school (Medicine Hat, AB)  and university ball, Art, has been a mentor for many young refs in the latter part of his career. We congratulate these two fine gentlemen on their amazing contribution to the game over the years.

Overtime –  

Coach Steve Burrows         photo –  Regina Leader-Post

  • Regina Cougars head coach Steve Burrows on his team’s effort in topping the Calgary Dinos on Saturday,  “I wish I could say it was something I said or did, but these guys stuck together and they kept on working at it and kept on going,” Burrows said. “A couple of things went our way and we made some shots. It was just that whole thing of believing and trying to stick with what we were doing.”  From a Regina Leader-Post article by Rob Vanstone 
  • Huskies Coach, Barry Rawlyk, celebrated his 100th and 101st Canada West conference wins as head  man for the U of S  team with a two-game sweep at home over the Mount Royal  Cougars. Rawlyk spent the majority of his long coaching career as a high school coach, before taking over at U. Saskatchewan in 2010.  The leading active coach, in his 17th year at UBC is Kevin Hanson with 270 wins in Canada West play.  2nd is Calgary’s Dan Vanhooren, who, over the same 17 years has 201.  3rd – UVic’s Craig Beaucamp with 191 in 13 seasons. 4th – TRU’s Scott Clark, in his 17th year has 179. 5th – Barnaby Craddock of Alberta has 153 in his 12 years at 3 different schools.
  • Derek Wolf plays his final home game at MRU on Saturday.         photo – MRU Athletics

     This , of course, is the time of year for ‘Senior Nights’, as senior players finish their eligibility, and most also finish a degree. The  MRU Cougars graduating players, Brett Layton and Derek Wolf, will be honoured on Saturday night between the 4 pm Women’s game and the 6 pm Men’s contest.  TRU’s big man, Volodymyr Iegorov, plays his last home game this Saturday for the Wolf Pack, and 6 other schools will recognize the accomplishments of their senior grads this weekend.  UFV –  Manny Dulay, and Vijay Dhillon, Winnipeg – Jamar Farley, Brandon – Earl Thompson Jr, Chris Stanhope, Denham Buchanan, and Esmat Atem, MacEwan-  Denzel James, Keith Gerdes, and Thomas Jereniuk,   Saskatchewan – Matt Forbes, and Trevor Severinski,  UBC – Jordan Jensen-Whyte, and Will Ondrik.

 

T-Birds and Dinos Pulling Away

 

Top two teams pulling away from the field with wins in Calgary

Dinos Thomas Cooper with a 3 -way gem in a winning effort over Saskatchewan                                   photo – David Moll – UC Athletics

at  Calgary Dinos 82   Saskatchewan Huskies  69  –  In a fairly scrappy game, the teams went to the line a total of 56 times, and there were ice packs and bandages on the bench and after the tussle.  The Dinos defense limited Saskatchewan to just 37% from the floor vs 47 % for UC.  Thomas Cooper played an inspired game for Calgary, with his 23 points/ 14 rebounds/ 7 assists, as he lays it all out at crunch time.  Shane Osayande was top man for the Huskies with 23 pts/  7 rebs, while Matt Forbes fought hard for his 18 pts/ 7 boards.  Calgary climbs to 11-2, while the Dogs drop to 8-5.   Box Score     The  2nd game is 7 pm Saturday

 UBC Thunderbirds  81  at  Mt. Royal Cougars 60  –  Up by 9 at the break, the T-Birds padded their lead by another 13 with a dominating 3rd quarter. UBC (12-1) shoots 49% to only 31% for the over-matched Cougars. Conor Morgan leads the ‘Birds with 24 points/ 7 rebs, and the rest of the team in in single digits. Brett Layton shines for the Cougars (7-6) with a double of 19 pts/ 10 boards, and Derek Wolf adds 13 points.  Box Score   It’s an early 6 pm tip on  for the Saturday contest.

logo UFVFraser Valley  73   Alberta Golden Bears 71 –  In the night’s only big upset, it’s he UFV version of the ‘Splash Bros.” , Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon with 9 treys between them, including Dhillon’s ‘dagger’ 3 with 45 seconds left. Dulay scores 20, and Dhillon cashes 14 as the Cascades gut out a road win to advance to 6-7.  The Bears (11-4) shoot just 35% from the floor, one of their coldest games of the year, and they are in it late through their 16/22 from the foul line vs 5/6 for the visitors. Mamadou Gueye is the U of A leader with 24 points/ 7 rebounds, while Brody Clarke hits 18 pts/ 9 rebounds/ 4 assists.  Box Score     It’s 7 pm Sat. for game 2

Lethbridge Pronghorns  76  at   Victoria Vikes 58 –  Two hot quarters do the trick for

Elliott Sentance enjoys 6th man success in ‘Horns win at UVic         photo – UL Athletics

the visiting Pronghorns, as they go a combined 47-27 in the 1st and 3rd.  The Vikes are as cold as they can be at 24% from the floor, while Lethbridge manages 43% , including 9/18 from 3 point range. Elliott Sentance plays the 6th man role to  perfection for the ‘Horns, with 22 points in 18 minutes off the bench, going 4/5 from deep.  Zac Overwater scores 15 in a similar role as a sub for the visitors as Coach Mike Hansen rolls his whole line-up at UVic.   Grant Sitton’s 18 points and 12  rebounds pace the Vikes, and Scott Kellum scores 15, including 4/5 from 3 point territory.  Box Score    7 pm Saturday

at Brandon Bobcats 95 Regina Cougars 91  –  This was a very well played game by both teams, and a couple of extra finishes off turnovers salted it away for the ‘Cats. Brandon (6-9)  scores 55 in a wild 2nd half, including the winning 5 points straight in the final minute.  Regina (6-7)  has several chances to close the gap, but gets nothing to drop at the end.  30 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists for a career effort by the Bobcats Tyvon Cooper, with Chris Stanhope pouring in 26 pts on 10/13 and 5/6 from outside.  Both teams are over 40% from 3 point range. Regina has 5 starters in double digits , led by the 19 with 9 boards by Alex Igual, and a tidy 10 points/ 8 boards from Samuel Hillis.   Box Score    7 pm Saturday for game 2.

Manitoba Bisons 108  at Trinity Western Spartans  76 –   It was 57 – 29 Manitoba at the half, and the teams basically traded hoops for the 2nd half.  The Bisons (7-6) destroy the Trinity defense, shooting 59% from the floor, led by 20 points from Justus Alleyn.  Rookie forward James Wagner scores 18 for the Herd off the bench, and Joey Nitychoruk adds 16.  TWU’s Pogos Trunyan tallied a game high 24 points on 6/8 from beyond the arc.    Box Score             Game 2 is 7 pm Saturday

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In the East – 

AUS – Thurs. –  #9 Dalhousie 101 at Acadia  84 –  The Tigers are the AUS leaders, and they go to Wolfeville and play one of their better offensive games.  Dal plays at home vs  UNB on Saturday.            Friday –  Saint Marys 101 Cape Breton 70

Quebec –  On Thursday –   at Concordia 66   #7 McGill  56 –  Stingers avenge big 96-56 drubbing from the Redmen at McGill back in late November.  ‘The Beehive’ proves to be a friendlier venue as this Quebec League seems less predictable /  more competitive as we get deeper into the schedule.           Fri –  UQAM 70 Bishops 61

OUA – #1  Carleton 90  Guelph  54 , #2 Ottawa  89  Lakehead  60,  #8 Brock 77 Queens  63,  Windsor 89  Algoma 47, Nipissing 69  Laurentian 66, York 71  McMaster 68,

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Overtime – 

  • Canada West Women’s scores … Regina 77 Brandon 40, Mt. Royal 80  UBC 75 !!!  ,  Saskatchewan 62  Calgary 53 , Alberta 63  UFV  51, Trinity W 70 Manitoba 65,  Victoria  84  Lethbridge 59

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 ….)

 

 

‘Horns Earn Split at Winnipeg

 

 Sentance and Overwater  Lead Pronghorns’ to Win

Import wing, Elliott Sentance scores 25 pts to pace Lethbridge

Import wing, Elliott Sentance, scores 25 pts to pace Lethbridge Saturday in their close win at Winnipeg.

 Lethbridge 78  at Winnipeg  75 –  The Pronghorns find themselves behind by 10 after 1 quarter, but they chip away and win each of the remaining 3 frames.  It’s back and forth for the whole 2nd half, and a Lethbridge steal and break-away hoop for Zac Overwater with 1 minute left give UL the edge. Two 3 point chances for the Ws in the last 10 seconds fail to go, and Lethbridge gets the split.  Both teams sit at 4-2 in the tight Canada West standings.   Box Score    Wesmen – 4 in double figures … Sean Tarver 15 pts/ 5 rebs/ 4 steals, Denzel Lynch-Blair  10 pts/ 4 rebs/5 asst/4steals   Pronghorns –  Elliot Sentance 25 pts/ 7 rebounds/ 5/7 from 3 point range , Zac Overwater  23 pts/ 6 rebs/10 of16 FG

at Alberta  83   Thompson Rivers  52  –  The drama is out of this game early, as U of A is up 46-24 at the break. The Bears shoot 48% from the floor to 31% for TRU, with 12 Alberta treys to only 3 for the ‘Pack. Alberta is perfect at 6-0, while TRU slips to 1-5 on the season.   Box Score     Bears –   Mamadou Gueye  17 points/ 7 rebs/ 3 asst  Austin Waddoups 16 pts / 4 rebs/ 4 steals  Wolf Pack –   Voldymyr Iegorov 10 pts/ 5 rebs  Joe Davis 11 pts

hus-copyat Saskatchewan 79  Brandon 50  –  The Huskies hang another W up, in a game where neither team was too efficient at the offensive end.  U of S are 39% from the floor, and Brandon a very cold 30%.  With a 12 point lead at the half, Saskatchewan picked up the scoring pace with 43 pts in the final 20 minutes, as they pull away. 4 Huskies in double digits, and they score 10 treys to 3 for the ‘Cats, and 19-9 points at the foul line.          Box Score   Huskies – Shane Osayande 12 pts / 11 rebs pts/ / , Jaylan Morgan 19 points , Chan De Ciman 12 pts/ 8 rebs     Bobcats –  Chris Stanhope 11 pts/ 3 assists

MacEwan 67  Victoria 63 –  The Griffs win a scrappy split with the Vikes, as Thadius Galvez and Harrison Lane make a pair of scoring drives to the hoop late in the contest.  31% from the floor for a struggling UVic offense, which could not take advantage of some FT misses by the home side in the last minute, as Justin Kinnear is the only Vice in double digits. Both teams are now 2-4 on the season.   Box Score   Griffins –  Galvez 19 pts /7 rebs, Keith Gerdes 13 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3/3 from 3 pt range   Vikes – Justin Kinnear 18 pts/ 13 rebounds

at UBC 75 Manitoba 72 –  The Bisons have a golden opportunity to get the win, but conjure up several ways to deny themselves the pleasure.  A lane violation on a missed UBC free throw opens the door for a series of dismaying Manitoba errors in the decisive last minute. 28/39 free throw efforts for the T-Birds keep them close, as does the 34% FG shooting from the Herd. The game suffers from excessive fouling, an ejection,  and 2 technical fouls to each team.  Low artistic impression.  Box Score     T’Birds – Conor Morgan  22 pts/ 7 rebs,  Jordan Jensen-Whyte 16 pts/ 6 rebs/ 3 steals  Bisons – AJ Basi 17 pts/ 5 rebs/ 9 steals , Justus Alleyn 15 pts, Keith Omoerah 13 pts/ 6 rebs/ 3 asst/ 3 steals

Josh Ross has a big night for Mt. Royal as the cougars sweep UBC-O

Josh Ross has a big night for Mt. Royal as the cougars sweep UBC-O

Mt. Royal 97 at UBC-O 68  – MRU finish off a red-hot offensive weekend with 54 second half points to add to a 43-21 lead at the break. Josh Ross, a 4th year transfer ( Vancouver Island U.) who was the CCAA player of the year in ’15-’16, posts a strong 28 point/ 10 rebound double.  The Cougars’ bench adds 33 points, including Chart Gill’s 3/3 from 3 point range.  MRU move to 3-1, while the Heat fall to 1-5.    Box Score   Cougars – Ross 28/ 10,  Brett Layton 13 pts/ 11 rebs/ 3 blocks   Heat – Mitch Goodwin 23 pts/ 7 rebs, Aldrich Berrios 16 pts/ 6 rebs/ 6 asst/ 3 steals

 

UNBC copy at UNBC 85  Trinity Western 70 –  The ‘Wolves hang up 33 points in the 3rd quarter to put this one out of reach. 11 treys by UNBC to 6 for TWU, and 22 Spartan turnovers create problems for the visitors.  Marcus MacKay is 6/12 from 3 pt range on his way to 26 points for the T’Wolves. The Timberwolves and Spartans are both now 2-4 in League play.   Box Score   Timberwolves –  Marcus MacKay 26 pts,  Vaggelis Loukas 19 pts/ 8 rebs, Rhys Elliot 18 pts/ 4 rebs/ 4 asst     Spartans –  Max Vitala 12 pts / 4 rebs, Peter Spanghei 11 pts


 More CIS scores on Saturday –

Ontario –  Ottawa 91 at Algoma 59 , at Queens 78  Waterloo 59,  Brock 86  Guelph 75,   at Windsor 83  Lakehead 69, at #9 Ryerson 98 Laurentian 61, at Toronto 86  Nipissing 74     Laurier 74  at York  67

Quebec – Concordia 77 UQAM 72 , at Laval 74  Bishops 64

Atlantic –  at Acadia 89  UNB 88 ,  St. Marys 93 UPEI 64 , Memorial 90  Cape Breton 69


 

Overtime –

3point-shootout-med

  •  The Fraser Valley Cascades are inviting high school basketball players to compete for the title of B.C.’s Best Three-Point Shooter. UFV Athletics will be holding three-point shooting contests at halftime  of their home games on Saturday, Nov. 26 vs. the UNBC Timberwolves. The male and female contest winners will receive a package of prizes featuring a game basketball from Skyline Athletics. From UFV Athletics , Dan Kinvig

Bobcats Bring Fresh Hope

 

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Brandon Bobcats

’15-‘16      No playoffs                  1 win  19 losses (Pioneer)

Returnees –   br-bobcats-copy-2

5th years – Denham Buchanan, 6-3 wing, Toronto.  Earl Thompson Jr., 6-5 fwd, Henderson, NV.  Chris Stanhope , 6-5 guard, Brampton, ON.   Esmat Atem, 6-9 fwd, Ottawa  … 4th year –  John Paul, 6-11 fwd, St. Lucia.  Baka Ngeleka, 6-1 guard, St. Hyacinthe, PQ … 2nd years –  Pookie Saunders, 6-1 guard, Calgary.  Mitch Marquis,  5-10 guard, Rockwood, ON.  Keneal James, 6-2 guard, Chateauguay, PQ.  Tyler Anderson, 6-7 fwd, Langley, BC.

New faces –

Josh Bell, 6-3 guard, 2nd year, Mississauga, ON (tsf Lakehead U.) .  Tyvon Cooper, 6-0 guard, 3rd year, Middletown, NY  (Orange County CC, NY).  Girece Kazumba, 6-3 guard, 3rd, Toronto (Vermillion College) . Kobyn Jopp, 6-8 fwd, 1st year, Calgary (Churchill HS).   Riley Schaus, 6-1 guard,  Red-shirt, Brandon (Crocus Plains)

jordan

Earl Thompson Jr. will be in the of the action for Brandon in his senior year.   photo – BU Athletics

 As a key player on Brandon championship teams, Gil Cheung would like nothing better than to return the Bobcats to a winning program.  But, in the last 5  seasons BU has a disheartening record of only 22 wins against 82 losses.  The roster loses veterans DJ Jordan (17 ppg) and Troy Grant (11 ppg), as new faces come in bringing fresh hope in the new season.

There are experienced returnees, including 6 players in their 4th or 5th years of eligibility. Earl  Thompson Jr. is a strong rebounder (8 rpg  ) and able scorer ( 16.5 ppg ), and big guard, Chris Stanhope,  is emerging as an offensivee threat  ( 9.2 ppg/ 4 rebounds)  .  2nd year guard, Pookie Saunders , has the quickness, and 6-11 post man, John Paul (5 ppg/ 6.2 rebs), the potential as an interior defender and rebounder.  Is there, however, the on-court leadership to give  the Blue and Gold the late – game confidence to win more close decisions?

Two Toronto – area guards, Josh Bell and Grieve Kazumba are recruits who may provide that catalyst.  Both have some success at the CIS and College level.   Multi-talented import , Tyvon Cooper, may be the lead guard so essential in coordinating an efficient attack.  Cooper was the 4th leading scorer (24 ppg) in the U.S. Jr. Colleges last year 1st year forward, Kobyn Jopp, has the size, but may have to be eased into the rotation as the year goes on.

“We are very optimistic for the upcoming season with a nice mix of new student athletes and returning some key parts as well, says Cheung. “ We have 7 pre-season games, and will use them to find rotations, build chemistry, and get some feedback.”

In the opening half of the season, Brandon faces 4 teams which have a recent history of  playoff success, and they face Okanagan, a squad which may be on it’s way up into competitive form.  Defense may be a big key for the ‘Cats in these first semester contests, at least until they get enough time to develop some offensive chemistry and flow.

Schedule –  

Nov-Dec … at Alberta, UBC-O, at Saskatchewan , h/h Winnipeg,  Fraser Valley

Jan-Feb … at Mt. Royal,  MacEwan,  Regina,  at UBC,  Manitoba

Prediction –  It looks lie an uphill climb for the ‘Cats


 

Overtime –

kelly-olynyk-heroes-among-us-celtics-hub

  •   The “Kelly Olynyk Basketball Academy”, a developmental basketball program for boys and girls from kindergarten to grade 7, started last week in Kamloops.  The South Kamloops Sr. Secondary grad and Boston Celtics star contributed financially to the new start-up, which is being run at the Tournament Capital Centre and the  old TRU Gym.  “It is an amazing feeling to be able to give back to the City of Kamloops and their youth,” says Olynyk.  TRU head coach Scott Clark said,   “ … house leagues and youth programs were a big part of my development as a basketball player and individual. I am excited for these kids to be able to grow; learn and develop their skills the same way I did, with a love for the game. ”          (From Larry Read, TRU Wolf Pack Athletics)
  • In a late result from The Ubyssey , last Friday, the T-Birds beat the Seattle Mountaineers 87-66. 5th year forward, Conor Morgan, was 10/17 from the floor plus 11 rebounds , while returnees, AJ Holloway, Phil Jalalapoor, and rookie Isaiah Familia  looked good in the back-court.  UBC hosts the Lethbridge Pronghorns in pre-season action  this Friday, the 14th, and Sunday, the 16th at War Memorial.
  • Scores from last Sunday in the CIS –   Laurier 101 at Brandon 76McMaster 76  Dalhousie 70,  Nipissing  87 Cape Breton 66, Brock 95  Concordia 78

 

 

Regina and Manitoba Get Road Wins

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saskatchewan has the bye this week.


Wolf Pack Pulling Away in the Explorer Race

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

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

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

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

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


 

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


Overtime –   

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

Vikes – Huskies in Feature Series

 

CW … Series of the Week –

Likes Brandon Dunlop drives against Huskies' Chan De Ciman (#1) and Trevor Severinski (#13) in October U of S win.

Vikes Brandon Dunlop drives against Huskies’ Chan De Ciman (#1) and Trevor Severinski (#13) in October U of S win.          photo – UVic Athletics

#9 Saskatchewan Huskies (1-1) at  Victoria Vikes (2-0) – The Victoria Vikes

Mack Roth , Vikes

Mack Roth , Vikes

are having yet another ‘Official Home Opener’ for the their bright new, yellow -themed CARSA Centre, as the Saskatchewan Huskies return for this week’s League series. Fans will remember the October opening for the Guy Vetrie Tournament, when the Sled Dogs won 3 games over ‘heavy-weights’, Fraser Valley, Carleton, and the Vikes … that one was 95-72 !

But … this is now.  UVic is 2-0, and ‘finding a different way to get things done on the court’.  A shaky pre-season brought some doubt, but Mack Roth, Reiner Theil, and Grant Sitton are hoping to lead a quick resurgence for the defending Canada West champs.  They, like the Huskies, will be playing a more guard-oriented game, even though both teams pride themselves in getting the ball into the paint.  It’s just not your classic back to the hoop , Chris McLaughlin – type attack.

  • Key Huskies –  Evan Ostertag, Jauquin Bennett -Boire, Shawn Lathan, Trevor Severinski
  • Key Vikes –  Grant Sitton, Brandon Dunlop, Mack Roth, Reiner Theil.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 5.20.34 PM

One notable match-up is the grizzled  5th year vet, point man Brandon Dunlop (left, above), in his 3rd ‘Tour of Duty’ on the Viking ship, going up against ‘raw rookie’, Jauquin Bennett-Boire (right), the Huskies QB on offense. JB-B is more likely to be a scoring threat, but Dunlop is a cagey and tireless worker, who will give all he has for a Vikes win in both these games.

Dinos rookie guard, Torrez McCoy, returns to Winnipeg with the Dinos.

Dinos rookie guard, Torrez McCoy, returns to Winnipeg with the Dinos.  photo – David Moll – UC

#6 Calgary Dinos (2-0) at Manitoba Bisons (1-1) – Home-opener for the Bisons, who have big dreams, but they’ve dropped 5 of their past 6 meetings with the Dinos, and need to find a way to control the diverse Calgary attack.  The trio  of Wyatt Anders on the boards (#1 in CW at 12.5 rpg), AJ Basi (21 ppg) with the deep treys, and point guard Justus Alleyn (4.5 assts, 9 ppg) are central to the Bisons game plan.  Calgary has a 10-11 deep rotation, led by 4th year import wing, Thomas Cooper, averaging a double/double of 25 ppg/10 rebounds. Dallas Karch (11 ppg, 5 rebs) and Lars Schleuter (10 ppg/ 4.5 rebs) are a pair of 6-7 forwards who got off to a good start in week 1.  Both these games should be nip and tuck, and won in the final few minutes.

Winnipeg Wesmen (0-2) at Alberta Golden Bears (1-1) –  Second prize for the Ws is another weekend in Sunny Alberta !  Tough scheduling start for the Wesmen, who need a bigger dose of offensive flow against a Bears team intent on leading with their aggressive defense. UW’s Jelane Pryce is expected to produce 15+ ppg, and needs a better shooting performance this week. Jamar Farlay (14.5 ppg) looks to be a big cog in the offense, but the Wesmen need more ‘hands on deck’. Alberta are good at home, and had Mamadou Gueye, Sebastian Denault, and 1st year import guard, Colby Jackson, score in double figures vs UBC last week.

Brandon Brine leads the Pronghorns into their home opener vs Brandon.

Brandon Brine leads the Pronghorns into their home opener vs Brandon.

Brandon Bobcats (0-2)  at Lethbridge Pronghorns (0-0) – Opening night for the ‘Horns, who have one of the longer returnee lists in the League.  Guards, Jared Baker, and Rob Olsen, along with forward, Brandon Brine, are ‘prime-time players’, and import guard Dejon Burdeaux (Fresno CC) is a potent back-court addition for U of L . For the revamped Bobcats, DJ Jordan scored19 ppg in Brandon’s 2 losses vs Regina last weekend, and he  gets help from Chris Stanhope (17 ppg) and Earl Thompson Jr., a beast on the boards (10 rpg) who scored 11 ppg .

Trinity Western Spartans (0-2) at UBC Thunderbirds (1-1) – Trinity may encounter  a flock of angry T-Birds this week, after UBC dropped their home opener to Alberta last Friday. Conor Morgan, David Wagner, and Jordan Jensen -Whyte and company figure to do some damage to a TWU squad trying to establish some team cohesion;  Dean Richey (import guard, Spokane, WA) looks like a leader, and Kelvin Smith has the tools; team shooting and rebounding need to pick up.  We note the Spartans improved turnover ratio, as new Coach Aaron Muhic works for a more efficient style.

The 2-0 Regina Cougars get the bye this week.


 

Explorer Division – 

Nate Brown is a strong presence inside for the Cascades.

Nate Brown is a strong presence inside for the Cascades.

MacEwan Griffins (1-1) at  Fraser Valley Cascades  (2-0) –  Another test for the defending Division champions, as they host a veteran-laden Mac team.  UFV may not overwhelm, but they get the job done, with their experience and toughness. Mark Johnson (3rd year tsf from Coll. of the Desert, Palm Springs, CA), is obviously a great addition, and he joins battle-tested vets, like Kevon Parchment and Nate Brown to form another strong Cascades squad. The Griffins will have to earn everything they get; Denzel James and newcomer Thadius Galvez look like a dynamic pair for the Griffs.

5th year guard, Reese Pribilsky, leads a potent 'Pack attack.

5th year guard, Reese Pribilsky, leads a potent ‘Pack attack.  – photo – TRU

Thompson R. WolfPack (2-0) at Mt. Royal Cougars (1-1) –  The ‘Pack come in with an 8-0 record over the pre-season and opening week.  Josh Wolfram, Reese Pribilsky, and  Vololodymyr Iegorov are a ‘wrecking crew’ on offense.  The Cougars respond with new-found size and scoring by 1st year post Brett Layton, a 6-8 returned Mormon missionary, who retained and refined some of his hoops skills last summer. James Lefebvre and Derek Wolfe are seniors that MRU will rely on, if they are to get a win vs the ‘Pack.

UNBC Timberwolves (0-2)  at UBC-Okanagan Heat (0-2) –  Here are 2 teams looking for their first victory of the young season.  Both coaches see these as ‘winnable games’, and a split is a necessity, even on this 2nd weekend. The T-Wolves ride the scoring touch of Aussie guard, Rhys Elliot, and an increasingly confident Billy Cheng, who scored 32 in the first of 2 strong team efforts against TRU last week. Okanagan also came to play on the road at Fraser Valley, and they showed more offensive depth, with Dean Johnston, Mitch Goodwin, Aldrich Berrios, and newcomer, Randall Mosca all averaging double figures.


 

Overtime –

Volodymyr Iegorov, TRU's new 'secret weapon' !

Volodymyr Iegorov, TRU’s new ‘secret weapon’ !  photo – TRU Athletics

  • TRU’s Coach Scott Clark appreciates the impact that  Vololodymyr Iegorov  the 6-7, 3rd year  forward, from Donetsk, Ukraine is making on his WolfPack team.  “He scores in a variety of ways, “ Clark explains. “He doesn’t score in your face. He got to the line, he scores in transition. He scores a three or two. He got a couple from the post some from the back cut. He is like a ‘silent assassin.’ He is a good player and that is the way good players go about their business.”  (From News Kamloops ).  Iegorov scored 29 ppg on opening weekend, and he is a huge addition, playing beside TRU’s other ace big man, Josh Wolfram.
  • You are Thompson Rivers, at 8-0 vs CIS and U.S. Colleges, but do you get even a sniff from the CIS Top 10 voters ?  Ah-h-h, NO!  Why you say? Well, it’s obvious that the Canada West Explorer Division is considered a ‘B League’ .  Any team in the Explorer, even the consistently competitive Fraser Valley Cascades, are passed over by this perception. These teams may have to live with that until 2016-17, when Canada West again merges the teams into one almost unfathomable 17 team League.

Bisons Beat Buzzer

 

Pioneer Division –

AJ Lifts the Herd to Big Opening Night Win in Saskatoon !

The dagger ... from Manitoba's AJ Basi

The dagger … from Manitoba’s AJ Basi

  Manitoba Bisons  91  at   #7 Saskatchewan Huskies  88 – AJ Basi-i-i-i-i, for 3 ! At the buzzer … Bisons win ! The Huskies came back to even it up, after trailing by 8 at 4:40 of the 4th quarter, but Basi drains the trey, breaking the home team’s hearts.  AJ leads the Herd with 22 pts, while Wyatt Anders (15 pts/10 boards), and Ilarion Bonhomme (15 pts/4 rebs) also are big in the win.  U of S has Evan Ostertag with 23, and Shawn Lathan scoring 19.  Well played game … Sask. 47% from the floor, but UM is 51%.       Box Score 

 

Regina Cougars 104 at Brandon Bobcats 75 –  The Cougars tame the smaller ‘Cats with a relentless offense, hitting 14/29 attempts from 3, and 48% from the floor. 4 Regina starters in double figures, led by Brandon Tull with 21 and brother Jonathan notching 19 and 10 rebounds … Alex Igual double with 12 pts/14 rebounds.  Brandon has Chris Stanhope scoring 23, but they hit 12 fewer free throws, and turn it over 25 times.  Box Score

 

Plain Logo1at  #9 Calgary Dinos 87   Winnipeg Wesmen  67 – 5 Dinos in double figures, with Thomas Cooper totalling 24 plus 12 rebounds; Calgary grabs 56 boards to Winnipeg’s 46, as neither team shoots it very well. The Ws commit 22 turnovers to 13 for UC; Jamar Farley is the high scorer for the Wesmen at 20 pts, and Ryan Oirbans has 12 pts/10 boards.  Box Score

Victoria Vikes 82 at Trinity Western Spartans 71 – The Vikes come out hot, connecting on 53% from the floor, led by the 24 pos of Grant Sitton, and 20 by Mack Roth.  Reiner Theill scores 11 and has 10 rebs. TWU is just 38% on their FG shooting … Dean Richey scores 22 and Lucas Mannes 17.  Box Score  

Bears 3 copy

 Alberta Golden Bears – 79  at  #10 UBC Thunderbirds 74 –  Bears shock UBC in Vancouver, as Mamadou Gueye scores 17, and Sheldon Pittman 16  off the bench(hitting 4/6 from 3 pt range). UA hits 12 treys to just 5 for the Birds.  Jordan Jensen Whyte hits 21 for UBC to lead all scorers.  Box Score  

 

Explorer Division –

 Mt. Royal Cougars  74 at MacEwan Griffins  62 – The Cougars’ defense holds the home team Griffs to just 38 pts after 3/4s, and cruise to the big win. It is a wild affair, with a ‘hot potato’ demonstration of 31 turnovers by MRU and 26 from Mac!  Derek Wolf leads the Cougs with 22 pos, and James Lefebvre has 16 and 8 boards. Thaddeus Galvez is tops for MacEwan with 12 pts.  Box Score

at Fraser Valley Cascades 79   UBC-O Heat 67  –  The Heat hang in there, but UFV wears them down, shooting 43% to 38% for the visitors, and the Cascades hit 20 free throws to 13 for UBC-O. Kevon Parchment (19 pts) is one of 4 UFV players in double figures, with Mark Johnson hitting 15 and grabbing 10 rebs. Aldrich Berrios has 14 pts for Okanagan.     Box Score

Thompson Rivers WolfPack 94 at UNBC Timberwolves  89 – The ‘Pack hit a sizzling 67% from the floor, including 10/17 from outsicde.   But, the T’Wolves, who surrendered a 10 point lead after 1 frame (27-17),  fought back tenaciously (51% from the floor themselves), closing to within 1 points at 50-49, early in the 3rd. TRU steadied, and 46 points in the 2nd half gave them the win, behind Volodymyr Iegorov’s 29 pts/ 4 rebounds, and 21pts/4 asst/3 steals by Reese Pribilsky. UNBC has point man,Billy Cheng, with a career best 32 points/ 5 asst., plus Rhys Elliot scoring 29 and adding 7 rebounds. Box Score

 


 

Other CIS Scores –

OUA Weds.- #4  Brock 83 at McMaster 75,  #6  Western 90 Waterloo 69, #5 Ryerson 85 Toronto 84, Windsor 88 Laurier 77

Friday Scores –  UPEI 102 St. FX  71, Acadia  82 Cape Breton  77, Dalhousie 68  UNB  63, at  #1 Ottawa 91 Nipissing 49, at #2 Carleton 93 Laurentian 48, #4  Brock 63 at Algoma 57, at  Lakehead 65 Guelph 64


 

 

Dinos Canada West TV – Tops in the League   

Ned Boznak, left, Lucas Meyer, right

Ned Boznak, left, Lucas Meyer, right

As Canada West TV moves a pay-per-view model across the League, we are more aware of qualitative differences from one broadcast spot to another.  The Calgary Dinos are lucky to have the fine production work of Ned Bosnak’s Maverick MediaWorks Inc., and, for the 5th year running, the play by play acumen of professional broadcaster, Lucas Meyer.   We asked Meyer how he might prepare for a home weekend of broadcasting both the Women’s and Men’s games –

  •   “It really starts the weekend before where I’m piling through team stats, personal stats, game stories of both the Dinos and their opponents from the previous weekend and before. I’m also refreshing on individual backstories and getting immersed in team, CIS, CanWest and other sites.”
  • “Then I submit our preview to Dinos athletics early in the week and I’m … re-reading those stats and notes through the week. “
  • “The day of the game, I write out all the key information that I feel is necessary to have at my fingertips …  you never how a game is going to go and what nugget you’ll use ….
  • “I get in at the gym an hour before, chat with Ned about what we want to do, do our pre-recorded preview for both the women and men that plays in-house before the game, open up about 10 tabs on my laptop and then I’m reading my notes right until we go to air. “

 

Overtime –

 Reiner Theil provides leadership for the Vikes.

Reiner Theil provides leadership for the Vikes.

  • UVic Coach Craig Beaucamp and 5th year captain, Reiner Theill, on the Vikes’ plans for this season, “Like anything in sports, you can’t replace certain types of players, you find different ways to do what you do,” said Beaucamp, who is entering his 13th season at the helm and hoping to lead the Vikes to a fourth-straight appearance at CIS nationals.  “We won the conference last year. There are a lot of new guys, but the expectation is the same,” said Theil, a team captain. “We definitely want to get back to playoffs and make a hard push toward nationals.” From the Victoria Times-Colonist. 
  • The Saskatchewan Huskies have serious injury issues … It was announced earlier this week that Matt Forbes, their top post player, is gone for the season with his broken foot,  and 3rd-year forward Shane Osayande is still rehabbing a bad ankle injury from last season and he likely won’t see action until after Christmas.  (from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix).  It’s definitely, ‘small-ball time’ for the Huskies!
  • Fraser Valley Coach Adam Friesen, on his 2015-16 team,  “We’re a talented group,” said Friesen, whose team finished first in the Pioneer Division last season with a 17-3 record and went on to earn the Canada West bronze medal. “We have some guys being put in different roles, but I think we’re a deeper team than last year, and also more versatile.  It’s yet to be determined whether we can be better than last year’s team ….”   (From UFV  Athletics, Dan Kinvig.)