Ryerson and Carleton Aiming for Rematch

 

Ryerson and Carleton favoured to meet in Championship Final

Can any other team de-rail the favoured Rams – Ravens ?

Final 8  – Round 1 Previews – Thursday games (Atlantic Time)

12 Noon …   #2 Carleton Ravens  vs #7 Calgary Dinos 

The Ravens are aiming at winning their 7th straight National title, and they beat Calgary 101-79 last March in that 6th consecutive triumph.  Coach Dave Smart is the master at preparing his team for this 4 day event, and the Ravens, who are 27-1 against U-Sports teams this season are a daunting foe.

Kaza Kajami-Keane is the catalyst for Carleton’s offense. photo – Ottawa Citizen

Carleton are led by the OUA Player of the Year, Connor Wood, a 6-4, 5th year shooting guard, who pulls the trigger on the long ball as well as anyone in this field.  His back-court partner, Kaza Kajami-Keane, is a powerful, quick play-maker, who scores nearly 15 ppg, but is really the floor leader. The Ravens power in the post will be a huge plus again this Final 8 Tournament, with Eddie Ekiyor, a 6-8 rookie, teaming up with 6-7 Ryan Ejim, a 5th year vet who was so strong in the paint in last year’s win. As back-up, CU has 6-11, Cameron Smyth, a 4th year from Charles Tupper in Vancouver.  They are big, and can overwhelm  most teams.

Calgary were 24-5 vs all Canadian universities, are the ‘wildcard’ pick, and the 3rd Canada West team in the 8 team draw. The Dinos are a fast-paced attacking team, with 5th year wing man Thomas Cooper their scoring leader at 23 ppg.  Cooper will hope to have better luck against the Ravens defenders  in this re-match with Carleton, after he and the Dinos were thwarted in the 2016 Final.

UC  have had a run of injuries late in the season, which has depleted their very deep roster.  Lars Schleuter, a 6-7 wing man with a dangerous 3 point shot, has been out with a high-ankle sprain.  Also on the shelf was Dallas Karch, a 5th year, 6-7 forward, whose size and athleticism has been a big boost for UC.  Jasdeep Gill, another 5th year wing with the ability to score, has had ankle / leg issues, and is a ‘possible’ for Thursday’s game.

David Kapinga, the speedy 3rd year UC point man, can shoot the 3, and put pressure on opposing ball-handlers.  Jhony Verrone, a muscular 6-0, 4th year combo guard from Montreal is proving his worth as a versatile defender.  Mitch Ligertwood is a 6-6, hard-nosed, 4th year  post man, who should be the key guy inside in this smaller Dinos line-up.

Anytime Carleton plays, they are the favourites.  Eastern experts suggest this could be their best team yet. That says a lot about anyone else’s chances, but their lone loss did take place last Saturday.  Calgary a distinct long-shot in this Tournament opener.     Watch on U-Sports TV 1     9 am Mountain

 

2:00 pm  … #3 McGill Redmen   vs  #6  Manitoba Bisons

The Redmen have been dominant in the 5 member RSEQ in recent seasons, as they return to the Nationals for the 5th straight time.  Coached by Quebec Coach of the Year, David DeAveiro, the Redmen are a solid defensive club, with an experienced line-up, even without any 5th year seniors. 

McGill’s  top scorers are guards Jenning Leung (14.5 ppg) , a 6-4, 4th year shooter, who is a native of the Philippines, and 6-2, 4th year, Dale Ogundokun (12.7 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 3.5 assists).  Ogundokun, a Hamilton, ON high school star, was honoured as the Quebec Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

Up front the Redmen have 3rd year, 6-8 Noah Daoust, and 6-6 Michael Peterkin, but may be missing their top big man, 4th year, Francois Bourque, a rugged rebounder/scorer/defender who has missed 3 games with an undisclosed injury.

Manitoba have reached this National Tournament for the 1st time in over 30 years, and their seniors are ‘jacked’ with the prospect of competing on this ‘big stage’. Says 4th year  shooting guard , A.J. Basi “Our goal was to get to Halifax at first.  This is like our last week together so we want to make the most of it and we’re all focused on that first game on Thursday against McGill.” (From Global News – Russ Hobson).

Manitoba’s high scoring guard, Justus Alleyn photo – UM Athletics

Basi (13.6 ppg) is one of their key scorers, with his 3 point acumen, and he can be a ball-hawk on defense.  The Herd has a powerful leader in 6-5, 4th year Keith Omoerah, who scores 13.2 ppg, grabs 8.7 rebs and can defend inside and out. Ilarion Bonhomme, a quick, 5-10 import (Washington, DC) point man triggers the Bisons break, and 6-3 Justus Alleyn, is their top scorer at 17.5 ppg, and shooting over 40% from 3 point range.

The Bisons and Redmen should make for a fascinating match-up … McGill with their defense, and Manitoba a quick-strike offense.  This may go down to the wire, if UM can get the hot shooting in a big arena .    (12 noon Central time) 

 

6:00 pm  …   #1  Ryerson Rams  vs  #8  Saint Marys Huskies –  On the surface, this 1-8 match-up suggests a Ryerson win, but the ‘home team’ Huskies will want to have a say before we fill in our semi-final bracket !

Adika Peter- McNeilly is a force for the OUA champion , Ryerson      photo – Rams Athletics

For the 2nd straight season, the Rams are champions of the OUA, having beaten Carleton (86-79) on the Ravens’ home court this time around.  Coach Roy Rana has a team ‘on a roll’, having won 7 of their last 8 and are 22-4 vs U-Sports teams this season.  Ryerson has a pressing, running, and 3 point shooting attack, paced by Adika Peter-McNeilly, a 6-3, 5th year guard, who is the high scorer, but also a quick and headsy defender.  His ‘right-hand man’ is 6-5, 4th year wing, Ammanuel Diressa, who is the #1 disruptor on the defensive end, but also scores in bunches.

The Rams are deep in talent, with 6-8 Adam Voll a big body inside, and 6-6 , Juwon Grannum, a 5th year rebounder, who contributes as well to the 40% + 3 point shooting for the team. Guards Myles Charvis, a former rookie sensation at Waterloo, and quick point man, Roshane Roberts, keep the pressure  coming on defense.

Saint Marys have a history in this National Tournament, having 4 titles to their credit, and have a knack for answering the bell at the Atlantic Tournament, making many Nationals Final 8s.  This year’s squad had a 23-10 U-Sports record, but had limited play outside the Maritimes.

Their core group are led by 5-9 point man, Marquis Clayton, one of 6 Huskies in their 5th year.  Clayton scores 19 ppg, and keys their defense. Theon Reefer, a 6-6, 5th year swing-man, has the quickness to make an impact at both ends, and Brian Rouse, a 6-4 guard, is a tough match-up with his size and scoring touch.  The Huskies have size and experience with 6-8, 5th year post, Achuil Lual, and 6-6, 3rd year, Kingston, ON product, Brent Martindale.

A close 2nd (60-63) to the AUS champs, Dalhousie, Saint Marys pose a threat to Ryerson if they can get their offense on track against the Rams’ press.  This game will be at a very high pace, and turnovers could kill that Huskies attack. Ryerson should prevail, but Saint Marys know this court very well.

 

8:00 pm …   #4 Alberta Golden Bears  vs #5 Dalhousie Tigers –  Two League champions tip-off in the feature game of the night on Thursday, and aggressive defense is a calling card for both teams.

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye has been a play-off stand-out for the Bears this season.

The Bears are playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time, with an impressive weekend of play in capturing their 12th Canada West  title with convincing wins over Saskatchewan 83-70, and Manitoba 92-73.  They are among the League leaders in points allowed at 74 ppg, and they shoot a CW best 40.6% from 3 point range.

Their forward combo of 4th year Mamadou Gueye, a 6-6 Quebec native, and 2nd year Brody Clarke, a 6-7  Toronto product gives them inside scoring and leads a strong rebounding team effort.  Clarke, the son of former Canada national team star, Norm Clarke ,  will require extra attention from Dal defenders in the paint.  Gueye saved his best games for the Canada West Final 4, and he is a threat from anywhere with his offensive explosiveness.

Austin Waddoups, a 6-2 import guard (Utah)  has been a major addition, and he controls the pace as a point man, but also hits the timely trey on a regular basis. Coach Barnaby Craddock utilizes guards Dwan Williams (6-2, 2nd year, Toronto)   and  6-5 , 4th year, import shooter, Geoff Pippus as complimentary weapons, and both can score when needed.  7-1 Brett Roughead is in his 5th year, and can make things tough on the interior.

Dalhousie will have big local support, and count on their veteran core of senior vets Kashrell Lawrence, Richie Kanza Mata, and Sven Stammberger to lead the way.  The Tigers return to this Final 8 for the 2nd straight season, with a 25-10 record, and wins over Ryerson and Brock earlier this year.

Lawrence,  a 5th year, and only 6-2, is a muscular dynamo up front, and galvanizes teammates and Dal fans with his rugged play on the boards, and in scoring against bigger opponents. Kanza Mata was voted the AUS Defensive Player of the Year, but he can also score from an offense that led the Atlantic League in FG% at almost 47%.

Last season’s U-Sports Rookie of the Year, 6-0 Jordan Aquino-Serjue, is a valuable 6th man off the bench, and 5th year guard, 6-3 Jared Reid, is a solid wing man with a nice offensive game.  In reserve, the Tigers have a pair of big posts in 6-7 Ryall Stroud (tsf Queen’s), and 6-10 import, Sascha Kappos (Miami, FL) .

This promises to be an entertaining finale for Thursday’s card, and picking a winner here may be tough.  Both teams will aim to make life difficult with physical defense, and the ability of the scorers on both squads to break free will be paramount.   This is a 5 pm Mountain tip-off.

Remember, you can   Watch on U-Sports TV 1

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Overtime –

Dave Smart, Carleton, is Canada’s winningest coach

  • Coaching records (U-Sports overall) for the 8 Head coaches in this tournament –    Dave Smart, Carleton – 520-46 (.919) … Roy Rana, Ryerson – 139-69 (.668)  … Dave De Aveiro, Ottawa / McGill – 341-183 (.651) … Jonah Taussig, Saint Marys – 99-67 (.596) … Barnaby Craddock – Brandon, UFV, Alberta – 221-151 (.594) … Rick Plato, Dalhousie – 76-53 (.589) … Dan Vanhooren, Calgary – 304-213 (.588) … Kirby Schepp, Manitoba – 112-124 (.475)
  • This National Championship Final 8 Tournament returns to Halifax for the first time since 2012.  The event will have been played in this venue a total of 30 times in the 44 years since competition began back in 1963.

 

 

Bisons and Bears Contest Canada West Title Game

 

 

 

Bisons Beat Dinos With 3 point Accuracy

A.J. Basi leads Manitoba into the Canada West Final

 Manitoba 74  Calgary  72 –  Manitoba continues their amazing path through the 2nd half of the Canada West schedule, then beats first UBC, then tonight, Calgary, to earn a shot at a Canada West title.  And, the Herd will travel to Halifax to  compete in their 1st U-Sport Nationals in over 30 years. Coach Kirby Schepp’s squad did it with the 3 point shot for much of the game, as they hit 11/19 (58%) to Calgary’s 3/23.

The Dinos got close through  the Bisons’ 25 turnovers, but their cold shooting (39% to 47% for UM) wouldn’t allow them to convert 21 more FG attempts into a win. 4 Manitoba players hit double figures, led by the 19 points of A.J. Basi, who, along with Keith Omoerah (17 points/ 14 rebounds) were both 4/5 from outside the arc. Ilarion Bonhomme scored 13 and had 6 rebounds, and his speed gave Calgary defenders problems.

Calgary missed 2 shots in the final 5 seconds, and never quite caught the Herd in the dying minutes. Thomas Cooper had 17 points/ 7 rebs for UC, but Bisons defenders allowed him just 6/24 from the floor, and he was blanked on all 6 of his 3 point attempts.  David Kapinga had 13 pts/ 3 steals, and Jasdeep Gill counted 12 for the Dinos.  UC must now win the 3rd place game at 3 pm Saturday vs Saskatchewan, and hope for a wildcard berth into Nationals.     Box Score  

 

Alberta 83  Saskatchewan 70 –  The Bears win every period from the Huskies, as they swarm the 2 U of S big men, and deny good looks to Huskies’ shooters. Alberta shot the ball well,  at 46%, with Mamadou Gueye  weaving a masterpiece with his dominating

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye scorches U of S with his 30 points

play. The explosive 4th year forward struck for 30 points/ 8 boards, and had everything from 2 treys,  to an alley -oop dunk, then cleaned up inside with some timely rebound hoops in the 2nd half.

Austin Waddoups scored 20 for the GBs, and he controlled the pace, adding 4 assists. Despite losing all-star post man, Brody Clarke,  to fouls early in the 4th frame, Alberta managed to limit Saskatchewan’s inside game. Shane Osayande had just 10 pts / 9 rebounds for the Dogs before he too fouled out near the end.  Lawrence Moore had 19 for U of S, mostly on slick drives to the hoop, but he hit just 2/9 from the outside, and his team was 9/38 from deep range (24%) to Alberta’s 12/30 (40%).  Big Matt Forbes was one of a pair of Huskies at 11 points and he added 8 rebounds, but he was frustrated by the double -team coming from the Alberta defense.

The Bears will play Manitoba for the Canada West championship on Saturday at 8 pm.  They will join Manitoba as the 2 CW teams qualifying on Friday for the Nationals in Halifax next week.    Box Score   

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In the East –    

The Ontario Wilson Cup Semis   #1 Carleton 89  #4 Brock  64,  #2 Ryerson 76  #3 Ottawa 75   Final and 3rd place game Saturday

Atlantic Tournament   Quarter-Finals –  Acadia 73  Memorial 65, and  St. Mary’s 80 St. FX  79 .    Semis on Saturday  #10 Dalhousie vs Acadia ,  UNB vs St. Mary’s  on Saturday (6:30 and 8:30)    The championship final is Sunday at 4:30.

Quebec –  Semi-Finals … McGill 59  Laval 48,  UQAM 81 Concordia  71    The Quebec Final goes Saturday.

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Overtime –

  • Saskatchewan and Regina will play a ‘Provincial Final’ for the Canada West Women’s title on Saturday.  In Friday’s semis in Saskatoon, it was the Huskies over Alberta  72 – 62, and Regina beating Winnipeg 81-70.
  • Injuries added up tonight, with Jaylan Morgan making a strong effort for the Huskies, but he was favouring his injured leg late in the game.  Calgary’s 5th year forward, Dallas Karch, took a bad fall, banging his head, and did not return for the remainder.
  •  Teams already qualifying for the Nationals, which are March 9-12 in Halifax  –  Host, Dalhousie … OUA reps, Carleton and Ryerson, Canada West reps Alberta and Manitoba.  Still to come – the AUS camp, the Quebec champs, and a wild-card team.

Final 4 ‘Wide Open’ – Friday Semi-Finals

 

 

Berths in U-Sports Nationals Up for Grabs

One win away.  For the 4 teams in this week’s Final 4, their clearest focus may well be the one major step they have to take to get to the National Championship tournament in Halifax on March 9-12.   Win Friday, and you’re in.

This makes for as intense a game as they will have played all year.  The host Calgary Dinos won last year’s Canada West Final, and went on to reach the championship game vs Carleton last March in Vancouver.  The largely veteran Dinos are aiming for a repeat appearance, but will have a real tussle with the Manitoba Bisons. The Herd have not played in a National Final 8 Championship since 1985, and they are aching to seize this opportunity.

Both Alberta and Saskatchewan have had fairly recent runs to a Nationals Tournament, with Alberta in 2014 and Saskatchewan in both 2014 and 2015.  The Bears and Huskies split their regular season series in Saskatoon in early February, and their Friday tip-off at 3 pm will continue a fierce rivalry .

5th year Huskies forward, Trevor Severinski, hopes to find some magic against the Golden Bears                  Photo – Huskies Athletics

# 9 Saskatchewan Huskies  vs #8  Alberta Golden Bears –  Saskatchewan are worried about the Bears’ ability to put up points, and Alberta’s staff will be devising strategies to defend the post combo of Shayne Osayande and Matt Forbes.  The 3 point shot could obviously be a difference maker, as it has been for Canada West’s best long-range shooting team, U of A,  much of the regular season.

The Bears’ Mamadou Gueye shoots 41.5% from 3 point range, and he’s the 5th best of the GB’s shooters from outside the arc ! (Gueye is 12th in CW, and, of course, he has a few other skills to bring to the party.)  Austin Waddoups 46.8%, Andre Kelly 44.7%, Geoff Pippus 42.6%, and Ivan Ikomey 42.2%.  Hot.  And the Bears still have the inside threat of all-star post man, Brody Clarke.

The Huskies Osayande can take over a game.  He’s a walking, leaping, shot-blocking, double-double.  And his muscular ‘mate,  Forbes, has that 5th year zeal as he steps on the stage for one of his last performances. The ‘Dogs may live and die with the 2 -way games of their guard corps, Lawrence Moore, Jaylan Morgan, and Alex Unruh.  Getting Morgan back is vital to their cause, as is the rejuvenation of the offensive threat posed by ‘small forward’, Trevor Severinski.  This 5th year shooter has found his shooting eye at just the right time.

This is a ‘street fight’ kind of game, which we see as a toss-up.  Shake hands and go to a neutral corner.   It’s a matinee game time of 3 pm .   Canada West TV

Calgary’s Mitch Ligertwood should be a key figure vs the Bisons.                   Photo- David Moll – UC Athletics

#5 Calgary Dinos  vs  Manitoba Bisons –  The Bisons come off a 2 game road sweep of the previously 25-1 UBC Thunderbirds.  They should be on a ‘Wanted Poster’ !  Armed and dangerous !  The 4 pillars of this team, Ilarion Bonhomme, A.J. Basi, Keith Omoerah, and Justus Alleyn averaged 33.5 minutes apiece, and tallied 88% of the Herd’s points in Vancouver.

Bonhomme is most dangerous as a penetrator, and Alleyn has been their ‘drop dead’ scorer for most of the season.  Omoerah is a multi-faceted weapon, with his rebounding, scoring, and leadership.  Basi has been a streaky shooter, but has a knack at crunch time.  The Dinos will know that they can’t give him too much free room.  Off the bench Coach Kirby Schepp utilizes veterans Malik Irwin and Joey Nitychoruk along with all-rookie forward  James Wagner.

Calgary will be playing a variety of ‘small ball’, very likely.  Mitch Ligertwood had a strong series in the post against TRU, and he has the experience from last year’s Final 4 to inspire his efforts.  The ‘overall team effort’ is the key factor, according to Coach Dan Vanhooren, and he looks to the defensive skills of perimeter  players led by ultra-quick David Kapinga,  shooting guard Thomas Cooper, and his side-kicks, the gritty Jhony Verrone, the spidery, energetic, Mambi Diawara, and skilled rookie, Max Eisle.

Veterans Dallas Karch and Jasdeep Gill are 5th year players who are wanting to go out as winners, and they have both shown an ability to make an impact.  This match-up produced a split on the season’s opening weekend at UC;  we should expect a rousing affair, and quite possibly a ‘down-to-the-wire’ finish.           8 pm on Canada West TV

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In the East –    

Carleton’s Connor Wood, OUA Player of the Year.
photo – Ottawa Citizen

The Ontario Wilson Cup Final 4 has  #1 Carleton vs  #4 Brock at 4:50 Eastern time , and #3 Ottawa vs #2 Ryerson  7:50  from Carleton U. in Ottawa   Both on  OUA TV   The OUA Final and 3rd place game are the next afternoon.   For more detail, check in with Mark Wacyk’s comprehensive  CANhoops.ca  blog, with great OUA coverage.

Atlantic  –   The festive annual tradition of the Atlantic Tournament at the Halifax Scotia Bank Centre will tip-off on Friday with the two Quarter-Finals –  Acadia vs  Memorial  at 6:30  Atlantic time , and  St. Mary’s vs  St. FX  at 8:30.  Both of these games are available live on AUS TV    .   Friday’s winners will play the 2 top seeds , UNB and Dalhousie on Saturday (6:30 and 8:30)  with the championship final going Sunday at 4:30.   Dalhousie will be the host team for the U-Sports Nationals.

Quebec –   Top seeded McGill will host the RSEQ Tournament in Montreal starting Friday as well  – The Redmen meet  4 seed, Laval, in one game, and Concordia plays UQAM in an all-Montreal affair in the other semi.  The Quebec Final goes Saturday.

 

Overtime –

  • There is some heated discussion surrounding the one ‘At-Large or ‘Wild-card’ spot in the March 9-12,  U-Sports Final 8 Nationals  to be awarded by a Coaches Committee after play this Sunday.  We wrongly suggested that Canada West has a rule that only Final 4 teams can be considered.  Apparently not, so UBC is able to receive consideration, despite having lost 2 straight to Manitoba in CW Quarter-Finals.  Who knows how this will go?  The results this weekend will be a big factor, of course.  It seems to suggest in the U-Sports Final 8 Selection Criteria  that teams advancing further down the play-off trail be placed in a category 1 ‘cluster’ of teams for consideration.  This is one of the sections which lends more subjectivity to the exercise.
  •  Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren, on his feelings about 4th year guard, David Kapinga’s absence from the CW all-star list.   “Vanhooren was pleased with Kapinga’s performance, calling him an “unrecognized all-star.”  “It’s a shame that a player with that level of talent doesn’t get recognized by our league in that fashion,” he said. “I think that he’s clearly one of the better players in the league and he showed that in the fourth quarter (in last Friday’s win over TRU) . He’s an all-star in my mind.”   From a story in UC’s student newspaper, The Gauntlet. 
  • Forward Lars Schleuter is side-lined for the Dinos

  • Two significant absences last week as their teams qualified for the  Final 4  were  Jaylan Morgan of Saskatchewan  and Lars Schleuter of Calgary.   Huskies Coach Barry Rawlyk suggests, “ He’s worked hard to recover, and made significant progress, so  we are expecting Morgan to be back in the line-up for the Semi-Final Friday vs Alberta.”  Schleuter, however, doesn’t expect to be in action this week for the Dinos, and he said “It’s tough to watch from the sidelines, but I have confidence in my teammates this week”.

 

 

 

Dinos Dust Cascades in 2nd half Barrage

 

63 point blitz pushes Dinos to a dominant home win

Dallas Karch and the Calgary Dinos buried the UFV Cascades on Thursday.

Calgary  106  Fraser Valley  68 – A 43-37 game at the half turned into the rout for the Dinos, who tallied 63 points in the 2nd half, UC  out-shot the Cascades 49% to 336% from the floor, and hit 25/34 free throws to just 5/11for the visitors. The 24 UFV turnovers gave the potent Dinos offense more than enough chances .

Calgary goes 10 deep with 4 players in double figures.  Thomas Cooper scored 19 points, with 13 rebounds, and both Mambi Diawara and Dallas Karch hit 15 points. Point guards David Kapinga and Max Eisle paved the track with 5 and 4 assists respectively.  Fraser Valley cashed 13/32 shots from outside, with 15 points from Denver Sparks-Guest leading the way off the bench.   Box Score 

Calgary moves up to 9-2 for the season, and Fraser Valley drops to 5-6.  The teams play again on Friday at 8 pm.

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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 –

TRU rookie point man, Madhu McConnell

  • The TRU Wolf Pack, over the Holiday period, lost the services of 2nd year and former all-rookie guard, Jeff Tubbs.  “It is not ideal that now you are trying to figure out player rotations,” Clark said about the situation.  Madhu McConnell (1st year, Victoria, BC) looks to be the player stepping up in the rotation.  Coach Scott Clark says, “ Madhu has seen an increase in playing time and he has responded.”   From Larry Read, TRU Athletics
  • The UC Women (8-3) came back strong in the 2nd half for a 69-59 win over UFV (7-4).  The home team trailed by 3 at the half, but scored 33 points in a hectic 3rd stanza to pull away.
  • You can tell it’s a big point spread in the game when Canada West TV broadcasters Lucas Meyer and John Tramble ‘drift off the dock’ with a thorough discussion of favourite movies and tastiest meals!  Focus boys, focus ….

Bears and Dinos Renew ‘Hostilities’ 

 

 

‘Most-improved’ Bears host rival Dinos in pivotal series

Alberta’s stand-out forward,  Mamadou Gueye     –  photo –  U of A Athletics

The League-leading Alberta Golden Bears are in their den on Thursday to tip-off the 2nd half of the Canada West season against the arch-rival Calgary Dinos.  This is truly a pivotal series, featuring  Top 10 teams for whom this as a ‘war of attrition’ (No prisoners, no niceties, no mutual – admiration).  Both teams have designs on a top rung play-off seed, but a sweep may be necessary here for either to accomplish that task. The Dinos, on their way to home court for last season’s Final 4, won both ends of this ‘traditional’  home and home last year.  UC also eliminated Alberta 2 straight in the playoff quarter-finals last March.

But the #8 ranked Bears, the most improved team in CW,  have everyone’s attention with their unblemished record. Their stingy defense combined with hot shooting stats (#2 in FG%, #1 in 3 pt%) now make them a formidable foe. The addition of 3rd year import guard, Austin Waddoups (15 ppg/4 rebs/ 3.5 asst) , has given them another dimension on offense, with his 55% outside shooting, and slashing moves to the hoop. U of A still has the duo of Brody Clarke and Mamadou Gueye up front, both scoring 15 ppg+ and claiming 7.5 and 7 rebs / game respectively.  4th year UBC transfer, Geoff Pippus, and 2nd year wing, Ivan Ikomey (Calgary-McNally) are 2 more 50% + shooters from 3 point range.  The Bears spread the scoring, rebound as a team, and feature a ‘hybrid defense’ which forces tough shots from opponents.

Calgary is the highest scoring team in Canada West, and want to play at a ‘break-neck pace’.  The Dinos lean heavily on the touch of League scoring leader, Thomas Cooper (25.6 ppg,  6 rebs), the 5th year wing from Chattanooga, TN.  Cooper has fellow 6-5 wing, Mambi Diawara (14 ppg, 6 rebs) creating more space, and two-way spark-plug , David Kapinga (10 ppg/4.9 asst/ 2 steals) making big plays.  Depth is Calgary’s calling card, with 6-8 Lars Schleuter a big 3 point threat along with 6-7 Dallas Karch, and Kapinga.  UC’s 4- man post rotation, led by 6-7 Connor Foreman and 6-7 Matt Ellis, will battle for inside control.  Much on the line, even at this mid-point in the schedule. Who gets hot, and who can slow down the opposition scorers?  Who can finish at ‘crunch time’ ?

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Canada West Schedule – Jan. 5-7

To refresh your memory –

 

 

 

 

There are several other intriguing match-ups in this opening weekend for 2017.  The 8-0 UBC Thunderbirds fly out to Saskatoon to play the 5-3 Saskatchewan Huskies … the UVic Vikes (2-6) are at Kamloops to play the 5-5 TRU Wolf Pack … UNBC (4-6), fresh off a solid Holiday tournament in Montreal are in Lethbridge to challenge the 6-4 Pronghorns.

Thursday, Jan 5  –

#3  Calgary Dinos at   #8 Alberta Golden Bears

Friday, Jan 6 –  

#2 UBC  at Saskatchewan , Trinity Western at Winnipeg, UNBC at Lethbridge Pronghorns,

Brandon at Mt. Royal, Victoria at Thompson Rivers, Regina at UBC-O,

MacEwan at Fraser Valley

Saturday, Jan 7 – 

Bears at Dinos, T’Birds at Huskies, Vikes at Wolf Pack, T’Wolves at’Horns

Bobcats at MRU,  Spartans at Wesmen, R. Cougars at Heat, Griffins at Cascades

 

Overtime – 

  •  This is a rivalry … from the days of taking the old ‘Day-Liner’ train from downtown Calgary  to downtown Edmonton.  The ‘60s saw Gary Smith vs Skip Morgan, and Bears vet Barry Mitchelson threatening a skinny Dinos rookie  to “stay out of the key”.  Calgary’s Tom Bishop and Alberta’s Doug Baker ‘firing at will’, and Ted Hellard banging with Dave Holland in the 70s!  U of A Coach, Don Horwood, matching wits with Dinos boss, Gary Howard, for so many seasons.  Play-off series drama in 2003 with Alberta coming back at home in game 3, then the next year, the Dinos do the same in Calgary on their way to a Canada West title.  More to come ….
  • Classes don’t get start again for these schools until Januray 9.  “There’s some pluses and minuses”, says Dinos Assistant, Matt Skinn. “The guys kind of feel a bit like a pro team, with the ‘Holiday schedule’.”
  • The Thursday game at the Saville Centre in S. Edmonton starts at 8 pm, with live coverage on Canada West TV The return bout is Saturday at 7 pm at the Jack Simpson Gym at UC.

Dinos and Bisons on a Collision Course

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


New Schedule ‘Not Universally Popular’

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

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

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

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


 

Overtime –

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

    Robbie Sihota

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

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

Manitoba and Regina Get Huge Wins

Bisons in OT over Wesmen and Regina Catches Vikes in the 2nd half

 Manitoba copyManitoba 82 at Winnipeg 74  OT  –   Down by 7 at the half and 5 at the 3/4 mark, the Bisons take the lead half-way through the final stanza, but Winnipeg fights back to get it to extra time.  12-4 Herd in that session as they get the sweep with a win at UW to advance to 13-5, and now solidly in 3rd spot.  Keith Omoerah has a stellar performance with 22 points and 16 rebounds, helping UM control the glass by a 57-41 count. Both Justus Alleyn and A. J. Basi cash 15 points for Manitoba who matched a somewhat cold shooting night from Winnipeg, both  hitting just 37.5% from the floor.  The Wesmen (9-7) have James Farlay with 17 points, and William Sesay scoring 9 and grabbing 11 boards. Box Score

 Regina  91   Victoria 82  –  The Vikes were better on Saturday in Regina, taking a 4 point half-time lead, but the Cougars win the 2nd half 49-36 to get a critical sweep, as they are in 4th at 10-6.  UVic, last year’s League champs may be outside the play-off picture, as they drop their 6th straight to fall to 7-11. Jonathan Tull comes up big for U of R once more, with his 24 points/ 6 boards / 4 steals, and he got help from 16 points / 8 rebounds / 5 assists by 6th-man Aaron McGowan. Victoria had balanced scoring, with 5 in double digits, led by 15/ 5 reb/ 4 asst from Grant Sitton, and 10 points / 11 boards by Reiner Theil. Box Score

Lars Schleuter's late trey catapults Dinos to Saturday win.

Lars Schleuter’s late trey catapults Dinos to Saturday win.

at  #5 Calgary 88  Lethbridge  84 –  A 20 point Dinos lead at the break was erased by agame Lethbridge squad, who made a massive comeback, hitting 52 points in the final 20 minutes. Calgary was reeling, and stuck on offense, as the ‘Horns switched to Man-D, and confused the UC attackers. It was tied at 79 with 3 minutes left, and UL had all the momentum; a Thomas Cooper free throw and Lars Schleuter’s 3 point shot put Calgary back in front, and they held on with hoops from David Kapinga and Cooper, and a big blocked shot from Dallas Karch.  UC goes 10 in a row and are in 1st spot at 14-3, while the Pronghorns fade to 9-7.  Cooper led all scorers with 27, plus 5 boards and 10 assists, while Schleuter finished with 18 including 6/9 from 3 point range. For UL, it was Brandon Brine scoring 19 and 7 rebounds, with Rob Olsen adding 18 points.  Box Score

at Alberta  83  Trinity Western 60 –  With a smothering defensive game, the Bears never trail in this home win, moving them to 9-8 on the season. Mamadou Gueye continues his hot play for the weekend, with 27 points / 7 reb/ 5 assists, and Brody Clarke adds 16 points/ 3 asst / 3 steals. TWU shoots only 36% to 47% for the U of A; Kelvin Smith is the lone Spartan in double figures with 11 points.    Box Score

 at Saskatchewan 81   Brandon 61   –  The Huskies looked like a refreshed team, as they get great scoring from a lengthened bench corps, led by 22 from guard Alex Unruh, and big man, Trevor Severinski, with 14. The U of S out-shot (46% to 40%) and out-rebounded (43-35) the Bobcats, taking control with a 51-24 edge in the sandwich sessions. Brandon’s D. J. Jordan hit 18 points / 6 reb and Earl Thompson had 15 points, but the ‘Cats go to a dismal 1-15 while the Huskies are now 6-10.    Box Score


Okanagan Get a Clutch Home Win over UFV

Mitch Goodwin leads Okanagan to a huge home win over Fraser Valley.

Mitch Goodwin leads Okanagan to a huge home win over Fraser Valley.

at UBC-Okanagan 68  Fraser Valley   65 –   The Heat (8-8) help their play-off cause with a clutch win courtesy of 3 points from Randall Mosca in the final seconds. This is a toughly contested game with many lead changes throughout, as Mitch Goodwin tallies 24 points for UBC-O, adding 5 reb / 5 asst. UFV cost themselves with 18 turnovers; Manny Dulay hits 24 points for the Cascades (10-6) including 5/10 from beyond the arc, and Nate Brown contributes 19 points / 7 boards.  Box Score 
at Thompson Rivers  70  UNBC 56 –   The Wolf Pack lead all the way; they are just too much for the T-Wolves in out-shooting the visitors 45% to 31% from the floor, and 44 rebounds vs 30 for UNBC. Albert Medrano scores 14 to lead TRU (14-2), while Josh Wolfram has 12 rebounds and 8 points. UNBC (3-13) gets 14 points and 5 rebounds from Saje Gosal.  Box Score

Denzel James scores 30 to propel his Griffs to a big win at Mt.Royal.

Denzel James scores 30 to propel his Griffs to a big win at Mt.Royal.

 MacEwan 78  at Mt. Royal   73 –   The Griffins (7-9)  bounce back for a crucial split on the road vs MRU, as the visitors make a 28-15 outburst in the 2nd quarter stand-up for the win. Mac outshoots the Cougars 48% to 39% from the floor, and make 18/24 free throws to 12/23 for the Cougs (6-10).  MacEwan gets a big 30 point game from Denzel James (6 reb), plus 16 points / 6 boards / 5 asst from Chris Mooney. Mt. Royal are paced by 20 points / 8 reb from James Lefebvre, and 12 points / 12 boards by Brett Layton. Box Score


More  CIS Scores  on Saturday –  
Quebec – #6 McGill 74 at UQAM  60   , Concordia 64   at  Bishop’s  61
Atlantic – at St. FX  96  UPEI  90  , at Saint Marys  86 UNB 77  ,  at Acadia 87  Cape Breton 79, #10 Dalhousie 83 at Memorial 78
Ontario –   at Toronto 79 Laurier 60  , at Windsor 93 Nipissing 71 , Guelph 102  at York 98, at Algoma 81  Waterloo 68  , at Western 61 Laurentian 50   , at Queen’s 80  Lakehead 72


Overtime –   

  • A.J. Basi, with an example of why the local rivalry is inevitably the more intense; after the Manitoba Bison’s game 1 win over Winnipeg on Friday,  “It feels good,” Basi said. “Just in general, beating the Wesmen, we don’t really like those guys. There’s always a rivalry there. On top of that we won the Duckworth Challenge, and we’re one step closer to clinching a home playoff series.”  From the Winnipeg Sun – Kirk Penton.
  • UNBC Coach Todd Jordan, on his team’s effort in Friday’s loss at  TRU, despite their injury problems taking away firepower and depth, “I don’t think the score reflected the effort we put in today” explains … Jordan. “ I was happy with our guys. We had a really weak second quarter that put us in a tough spot. We are pretty banged up and injured and have a lot of young guys seeing lots of minutes.”  From a story in News Kamloops.
  • Just in case you missed it yesterday …
    A celebration of the  Life and Accomplishment  of famed  Alberta Colleges coach, Phil Allen, will be held at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton on Wednesday, February 17  at 10:00 am in the main gymnasium. There will be a reception to follow. Players, Alumni, Colleagues, Family and Friends are all welcome. Please RSVP or contact the family directly – joelallenx@gmail.com

Dinos Top ‘Horns in Firefight

 

Round 1 to Calgary in a high-scoring affair –

Thomas Cooper's 24 points led the UC Dinos to a key win over UL on Friday.

Thomas Cooper’s 24 points led the UC Dinos to a key win over UL on Friday. photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

at  #5 Calgary 101  Lethbridge 91 –  As advertised, it was an offensive show on Friday in Calgary, as the 5th -ranked Dinos solved the UL zone in the 4th quarter, after seeing a 17 point – 2nd quarter lead disappear in the 3rd.  Again rolling over his line-up, with 10 players at 10 minutes +, Dinos Coach Dan Vanhooren got good guard play from both Torrez McCoy and David Kapinga at the top of the attack. 5 UC players in double figures, led by the ever-reliable Thomas Cooper with 24 plus 7 rebounds/ 3 assts. Lars Schleuter (17 pts/6 reb)) and both Matt Letkeman and Dallas Karch with 14 points,  pushed the attack, while Matt Ellis claimed 8 boards in just 13 minutes. UL got 21 apiece from Brandon Brine (8 reb) and Dejon Burdeaux, but Burdeaux’s foul trouble hampered the ‘Horns down the stretch.  Calgary is now 13-3, and Lethbridge in a 9-6 log-jam in the middle of the playoff pack.  Box Score

Bisons get game one of the Red River Rivalry on Friday at home.

Ilarion Bonhomme and the Bisons get game one of the Red River Rivalry on Friday at home.  photo – Manitoba Athletics

at  Manitoba 79 Winnipeg 65 –  The Bisons (12-5) opened with a rush, taking a 27 -14 lead after 10 minutes, and held the Wesmen to 36% from the floor to get a big intra-city win at UM tonight. Manitoba hit 47% FG against the tough UW defense, as A.J. Basi did his thing, hitting 23 points with 6/13 from outside, and Keith Omoerah helped with his 17 pts / 9 rebs/ 5 asst. The Wesmen (9-6) got 20 points from Denzel Lynch-Blair, and some good rebounding by Ryan Oirbans (12) and William Sesay (11), but were ineffective at the offensive end in the 2nd half when they needed a rally.  Box Score

Just for our two visiting B.C. schools in the Pioneer Division (UVic in Regina, and TWU at Alberta), we’ve ordered up a virtual ‘heat wave’ in Saskatchewan and Alberta –   Regina +2, and Edmonton +3 ! Shorts weather out here boys ! Did it help the Vikes and Spartans on Friday ?    A-h-h … No ! )

 Regina  85  Victoria 73 –  The Cougars (9-6)  had the hot hand at 49% from the floor as Jonathan Tull played the lead role with 23 points / 6 rebs/ 4 assts/ 2 steals, and ‘little brother’ Brandon cashed 16 points / 4 assists . The home side controlled the boards (44- 35) , with 6th man, guard Aaron McGowan, grabbing 7, and Stephen Shields 6.  10 Regina 3-pointers vs 4 for UVic really put a stamp on it. The Vikes (7-10) had 17 from Mack Roth and 16 by Jordan Charles, but went down 58- 31 at the half to take any drama out of the contest, as they lose their 5th straight.  Box Score

at Alberta  78 Trinity Western  58  –  A stingy Bears defense chokes off the Spartans offense (29% FG) , and the home team uses a 30 point 2nd quarter to stake themselves to a 49-27 lead at the break.  Mamadou Gueye has a stellar effort with 28 points and 8 rebounds for U of A (8-8), and Brody Clarke chips in 17 points / 5 boards.  Kelvin Smith had 15 points for TWU (1-14), who were out-rebounded 52-37.  Box Score
 at Saskatchewan  77 Brandon  76 –  The Huskies carve out a win, despite 4 missed free throws with seconds left, giving the ‘Cats a shot to win … but, no.  U of S led throughout, but never put it away, as Brandon came to within 1 on several occasions .  D.J. Jordan scored 33 points for BU, with 4 of the Bobcats 10 treys (vs only 3 for the Dogs). Saskatchewan had 4 players in double figures, led by 5th year guard, Evan Ostertag with 15, and Shayne Osayande with 13 plus 6 boards. Earl Thompson Jr. hit 20 points / 8 rebounds for Brandon, but they fall to 1-14, while U of S goes to 5-10.  Box Score


Fraser Valley Out-shoots Heat in Kelowna

Nate Brown and the UFV Cascades take a road win over UBC-O.

Nate Brown and the UFV Cascades take a road win over UBC-O.

Fraser Valley  81  at UBC-Okanagan 65 –  Still with Canada West’s shallowest bench (8 players) , the Cascades play a solid team game. Led by 18 points from Nate Brown (8/11) plus 14 points / 8 rebounds by Kevon Parchment,  UFV hits 55% from the floor as they climb to 10-5.  UBC-O (7-8) cannot do better than 35% from the field, and, despite several mini-runs in the middle frames, they could not challenge in the 4th. 12 points / 8 rebounds from Mitch Goodwin and 13 points each from Aldrich Berrios and Cameron Friesen were Okanagan’s best.  Box Score

 

at Thompson Rivers  87  UNBC 70 –  A slow (13-24 ) start didn’t faze the ‘Pack, as they rang up 31 in next ten minutes and pulled away for a comfortable win in the 2nd half.  52% shooting for TRU (13-2) against 32% for UNBC spells big trouble for the visitors, as Josh Wolfram scores 25 plus 8 rebounds, and Volodymyr Iegorov notches 21 and 10 rebounds to lead the way. Marcus MacKay finds the range for 27 points for the T’Wolves, with an amazing 9/15 from 3 point range; this is not enough, however, to prevent UNBC from dropping to a Division low 3-12.  Box Score

Glen Yang has a big night for MRU as they beat MacEwan on Friday.

Glen Yang has a big night for MRU as they beat MacEwan on Friday.                          photo-  MRU Athletics

 at Mt. Royal 83  MacEwan  74 –  The first game of this crucial set goes to the Cougars as they ride the 26 points from Glen Yang, who converted all 12 of his free throws.  The fouls were a big factor in the outcome, as Mac had 28 to 15 for MRU; that translated into 24 points for the home team to just 7 for the Griffs. The Cougars’ James Lefebvre, with 16 points/ 5 reb, and Brett Layton 12 points / 10 boards also figured prominently for Mt. Royal, who are now 6-9 and tied with the Griffins.   MacEwan got 18 points from Denzel James and 12 points / 11 boards from Chris Mooney, but 22 big turnovers  resulted in 25 Mt Royal points, spelling doom for Mac.   Box Score

 

 


 

More  CIS Scores   –  
Thurs  …  Quebec –  UQAM  82  McGill  78  , Concordia  72  Bishop’s 53
Friday … Atlantic – at St. FX 88  UPEI  85 (ouch!)  , UNB 107  at Saint Marys 97 ,                                  at Acadia 76 Cape Breton 73
Ontario –  at # 1 Ryerson 105 Laurier 82, at #2 Ottawa 78  #3 Carleton 72 ,     # 4 Brock 77 at Toronto 71 , at Windsor 82 Laurentian 62 , Lakehead 78 at York 63, at Algoma 96  Waterloo 68 ,  at Western 75 Nipissing 43 , at Queen’s 93 Guelph 81


 

Overtime –   

  • Manitoba wing man, Keith Omoerah,  on the excitement around the home and home series with Winnipeg, “Every time you play your hometown rival it’s your toughness (that matters),” Omoerah said. “The playbook kind of goes out the window a little bit. It’s just who’s going to play the hardest that weekend. Whoever plays the hardest usually comes out with the victory.”   From the Winnipeg Sun – Kirk Penton.
  • A celebration of the  Life and Accomplishment  of famed  Alberta Colleges coach, Phil Allen, will be held at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton on Wednesday, February 17  at 10:00 am in the main gymnasium. There will be a reception to follow. Players, Alumni, Colleagues, Family and Friends are all welcome. Please RSVP or contact the family directly – joelallenx@gmail.com

Pronghorns Bomb Bisons

 

Big shooting night for Olsen and Brine to lead Lethbridge

'Horns sharp-shooter, Rob Olsen bombs away vs Manitoba

‘Horns sharp-shooter, Rob Olsen bombs away vs Manitoba

at  Lethbridge  96 Manitoba  74 –  The Pronghorns win every quarter, and control this game at both ends, as they edge up to 7-4 on the season, close now to Manitoba’s 8-5. The deadly duo of Rob Olsen and Brandon Brine drives Lethbridge, as they hang one on the stunned Herd . 30 points on 13/17 for Olsen, and 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks for Brine, as the ‘Horns shoot 51% and out – rebound the Bisons 47-38. Justus Alleyn hit 9/18 for Manitoba on the way to 21 points, and Keith Omoerah scored 13, but U of M hit only 37% from the floor. Box Score

 

 

at # 8 UBC  78   Regina 57  –  Regina was willing, and, through much of the 2nd

 Punishing UBC defense wins a big one at home.

Punishing UBC defense wins a big one at home.

quarter, able to compete with the physical style of the T-Birds at both ends of the floor. But as the 1st half wore on, it was the foul total that climbed instead of points on the scoreboard for the visitors, and they go to the break down 41-34.

It wa UBC’s vigorous 2nd half defense that limited the Cougars to 31% field goal shooting, with UR stalwarts like Jonathan Tull (1/8), Brandon Tull (3/12), Aaron McGowan (1/8), and Will Tallman (0/4) not getting the good chances or the finish. The ‘Birds move on to 10-3 with a decisive team lock-down of Regina.

Conor Morgan was big for the Thunderbirds  in scoring 22 points including 3 treys and a couple of emphatic dunks plus 10 rebounds. He had guard, Jordan Jensen-Whyte, adding 18 points and 6 rebounds, as he and big post man, Patrick Simon, (17 pts) combined for 12/14 free throws, in attack mode in this key game. Regina were led by13 points from import guard, Alex Igual, and 12 off the bench by forward Brian Ofori. The Cougars, who fall to 7-4 , were seriously out-rebounded by UBC 52-32, and it may not be good news for new post man Rawane Ndiaye, who plays just 4 minutes, and collects 4 fouls and only 2 points/ 0 boards.  Box Score

 

A great 39 point game from Lucas Mannes for TWU, but still no wins!

A great 39 point game from Lucas Mannes for TWU, but still no wins!

# 7 Calgary 108  at Trinity Western 86 –  At the half, the Dinos lead by 5, but Trinity are in it through the 23 point explosion by guard Lucas Mannes. Calgary comes out running in the 3rd, and they rack-up 37 points to seize a 17 point lead, and spread the playing minutes around in the 4th. Thomas Cooper scores 23 and adds 7 rebounds and 3 assists, while Josh Owen-Thomas (16 pts), Lars Schleuter  (14 pts) , and Dallas Karch (13) combine for 10/17 from 3 point range.   Before fouling out in the 4th quarter, Mannes totals a game-high 39 points for TWU, as he hits 7/13 from way outside, and Vartan Tanielian is sharp from beyond the arc, at 5/9 for 17 points.  Calgary are now 11-3 , and Trinity, at the other end of the standings, 0-11 for the season.  Box Score

  at  Winnipeg 78  Victoria 70 –   Winning  their 5th of the last 7 games, the Wesmen hand the Vikes their 6th of their 8 most recent starts, and this is a game-changer for both teams. The Ws have their heads above water, at 6-5, while Victoria (7-6) is losing ground steadily since getting off to a good start in the Fall. UW wins tonight by establishing a 38-23 lead at the half, then coasting  in until a late trey by Uvic’s Jordan Charles gets the visitors to within 3.  But 5 straight Winnipeg free throws seals the deal, as Jelane Pryce flashes his ‘A’ game, with 24 points/ 9 rebounds to lead the way. Denzel Lynch -Blair added 19 and 5 assists / 4 steals, while William Sesay retrieved  12 boards to lead both teams.  Grant Sitton had a 12 point / 11 rebound double for Victoria, and Charles led UVic scorers with 16 plus 6 rebounds.  The Vikes shot 7/7 from the free throw line, but 13/17 gave the Wesmen an edge there. Box Score

Alberta  72  at Brandon 65 –  The Bears defense stifles the Brandon attack, as the home team shoots just 28% from the floor.    A 3rd quarter surge by  Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke, both of whom score 9 points in that frame, gives U of A an 11 point cushion, and BU could not catch up. Alberta evens their season’s mark to 6-6, as the red-shirt rookie, Clarke, has a huge 30 point effort, adding 6 boards, while Gueye scores 20, with 9 rebounds. Earl Thompson Jr. notches 28 points for the Bobcats, but that doesn’t prevent their 11th loss in as many Canada West League games.   Box Score

 

Saskatchewan has the bye this week.


 

Aldrich Berrios and the Okanagan Heat get a win at UNBC, and move to 3rd alone.

Aldrich Berrios and the Okanagan Heat get a win at UNBC, and move to 3rd alone.

UBC-Okanagan 72 at  UNBC 50 –  Okanagan builds their lead slowly, then fashion a 25-12   3rd quarter to guarantee the big win, as they move to 6-7 and sole possession of 3rd place.  The T’Wolves are just out of synch without their injured floor leader, Billy Cheng, and they connect on only 32% from the field for the night. Aldrich Berrios leads UBC-O with 20 points / 8 rebounds / and 7 assists, and Spencer Thomas impresses with a 10 point / 10 rebound double.  UNBC (3-10) have Colin Plumb with 15 points and 6 rebounds, and Marcus MacKay scoring 13. Box Score
 at #9 Thompson Rivers 85  Mt. Royal 79 –   The Wolf Pack simply out-shoot the Cougars in a very competitive game, and the Explorer leaders move to 11-2, while MRU drop back to 5-8.  Mt. Royal are strong on the boards, grabbing 48 to 30 for TRU, but 21 turnovers by the visitors give extra chances to the ‘Pack shooters. Thompson Rivers’ forward Josh Wolfram hits 27 and takes 6 boards, while Reese Pribilsky has 25 points, 4 assists, and 5 steals. The Cougars have 4 in double digits with 17 from Glen Yang and a 15 point / 10 rebound double from Brett Layton.  Box Score

Fraser Valley 80  at  MacEwan 77 –  UFV (9-4) get a valuable road win, narrowly  escaping from a spirited Griffins charge in the 4th quarter.  Thadius Galvez  cashes a 3 for Mac to get within 3, but 2 more long range chances miss for Galvez, and the Cascades survive. Kevon Parchment continues to tear it up for Fraser Valley, with a double of 20 points/ 12 rebounds, while Manny Dulay looks sharp with his 18 points and 7 assists. ( Vijay Dhillon is back for the Cascades, and his deft shooting will give a lift to their offensive production.)  Chris Mooney has another good outing for MacEwan (5-8), as he scores 17, plus 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals. Box Score


 

Western copy

Mustangs beat # 3 Brock in an impressive road game for Western.

CIS Scores –

Earlier this week …  Concordia upsets McGill 95-83 in overtime,  McMaster blasts Windsor 106 -74 in Hamilton.

Western surprises #3 Brock 72-61 right there in St. Catherines, ON, and the woes continue for St. FX, as they are beaten 84 – 75 by Acadia in Wolfeville, NS  .

 

Friday night scores –
 Atlantic- Acadia 82 at St. FX 74 , at Dalhousie 78 St Marys 73,  at UPEI  94 UNB  75
Quebec – Laval  75 at Bishops 68
Ontario –  The big game – #5 Ryerson 79  #2 Carleton  61 , as the Ravens lose their 2nd straight.   #1 Ottawa 87 at Toronto  61,   at Laurentian 77  Waterloo 70,  Laurier 73 at Nipissing 72


 

Overtime –   

  • TRU Head Coach Scott Clark, speaking of his sense of how the 10-2 Wolf Pack season has and will progress, ”I think we’re playing OK. We can and we will get better. The guys have done a great job. We’ve played four home games since Oct. 20 or something like that. To play at a pretty good level and be on the road for that length of time, that takes some toughness. I’m proud of that.”   From Adam Williams, Kamloops This Week.
  • Sheriff Abdur-Raheem is the headline NBA star, as UBC is the site for Saturday’s continuation of the NBA All-Star Challenge, the traveling promo event for the Toronto Raptors’ hosting of the Feb. 14 NBA All-Star game. At MacEwan U. in Edmonton, it’s former all-star guard, Jason Richardson, as the headliner for the N. Alberta event scheduled for the same Saturday, Jan. 23 date.  At half time of UBC-Regina and MacEwan-UFV, the NBA Challenge regional finals will be run, with winners going to Toron to four the National finals in the skills competitions.
  • Mike Hansen,  U of L Pronghorns Head Coach, prior to the UM series in Lethbridge, “This is a great group, these guys are really grinding, they’ve fought through a lot of adversity this season,” said Hansen. “We play six of 10 at home here and we’ve said all season we have to win our home games and this is a chance to do that.”  From the Lethbridge Herald
  • Winnipeg Coach Mike Raimbault isn’t one to look too far ahead in his W wesmenschedule, but he has commented positively on his team’s extended home-stand starting this week vs UVic.  Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre will be the welcome home base for the next 4 weekends for the Wesmen; “It’s kind of funny the way the schedule worked out,” says Raimbault, “but we’ll take it and run with it.”  The line-up of teams is tough (Victoria, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Lethbridge), but they’re all coming to downtown Winnipeg, and that is a bonus for the Ws.  The Wesmen do  finish at UBC on the final weekend of League play, so taking full advantage of home court is a must for their playoff hopes.

 

 

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.