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.

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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.)

 

 

Who ‘Won’ the Fall Season ?

Import guard, Dean Richey, is a great addition for TWU. photo- Spartans Athletics

Import guard, Dean Richey, is a great addition for TWU.                       photo- Spartans Athletics

The ‘Fall Season’ is in the books –  with the Canada West regular season getting underway this Friday, Nov. 6.  Here are the Saturday results, followed by a review of what our 17 teams have done this Fall.

Saturday Games-

Cougars Grab Road Win Over Spartans –

Mt. Royal  65  at Trinity Western 58 – the Cougars get a road win in Langley with a workmanlike defensive effort, which stifles the TWU attack for much of the game. Neither team shoots it well as Mount Royal is 33% and Trinity 30% from the floor. Leading the way for Mt. Royal is James Lefebvre with 17 points and Derek Wolf adds 10 points and eight rebounds; the game high scorer is Dean Richey for the Spartans with 21 points and 9 rebounds.   Box Score

at UBC   117  Evergreen State 76 – for the 2nd night running the T-Birds use their size to great effect, as they dominate the inside against the visiting GeoDucks. In his best performance for UBC, 2nd year post, Luka Zaharijevic scores 21 points on 10 of 12 shooting, while Conor Morgan tallies 20 points and 10 rebounds, with three other ‘Birds in double figures. UBC shot 57% from the floor and controlled the boards with 54 rebounds versus just 29 for ESU. Box Score

Josh Wolfram and his TRU 'mates are perfect in the pre-season.

Josh Wolfram and his TRU ‘mates are perfect in the pre-season.        photo – TRU Athletics

at Lethbridge 89 Montana-Western 83-  the Horns turn the tables on their visitors after a cool start, but a strong, 55 point second half in Lethbridge on Halloween night. Both Dejon Burdeaux  and Rob Olsen scored 21 points for Lethbridge, with Burdeaux adding 6 assists and 6 rebounds.    Box Score

In Kirkland, WA … TRU Wolf Pack  74  North West U. Eagles  72  – the ‘Pack win a road game with clutch free throws from Reese Pribilsky in the last seconds, as he completes a 16 point/10 assist game. TRU also get 17 points from Josh Wolfram and 16 from Volodymyr Iegorov  claim their 6th win in 7 preseason games.  Box Score  

in LaGrande , Oregon …  Coll. of Idaho 88  Victoria 59  –  Lots about the ‘Yotes , as there is no box score.  Justin Kinnear leads UVic with 17 points.  That’s   Recap


 

Fall Season – complete results (games are vs CIS or U.S. teams)

No one wins any League points or Championship Cups in the Fall, but you get a sense of how the teams might compete.  In the Pioneer, Saskatchewan, Calgary, UBC had strong showings … Lethbridge looked good, at times, as did Winnipeg … As for the Explorers – both Fraser Valley and Thompson Rivers continue to impress in the ‘Big 6’.

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The Dinos looked good in October, now we wait for Canada West League play !

Pioneer Division Teams – 

Alberta – 2-5     Wins over Guelph, UNBC …  Losses to Ottawa, Memorial (NL), Calgary, Mt. Royal, Queen’s

Brandon- 2-3    Wins Over  MacEwan, Dakota-Bott….  Losses to Brock, Manitoba, Winnipeg

Calgary – 6-1   Wins Over Saskatchewan, Mt. Royal (2), Alberta, Regina, Cape Breton …Loss to  St. FX

Lethbridge – 6-3  Wins Over  UBC-O, Montana-Western (2), MacEwan, Queen’s, UNBC …Losses to UBC-O, Rocky Mtn. Coll, Mont-West.

Manitoba – 1-5 Win over Brandon … Losses to Lakehead (2), MacEwan, Brock, Fraser Valley

Regina – 3-5  Wins Ove Miles C.C., Dawson CC, Acadia… Losses to Windsor, Concordia, Saskatchewan, UPEI, Calgary

Saskatchewan – 6-2   Wins Over Fraser Valley, Carleton, Victoria, Mt. Royal, Windsor, Regina … Losses to Calgary, Concordia,

Trinity Western – 1-5      Win Over Evergreen State … Losses to Seattle Mtnrs, Fraser Valley (2), Thompson R, Mt. Royal

UBC –   5-2  Wins over Guelph, Memorial, Simon Fraser, Mt. Royal, Evergreen St  … Losses to Seattle Mtnrs, Ottawa

Victoria – 2-6     Wins Over Fraser Valley, Guelph … Losses to Carleton, Saskatchewan, Brock, McMaster, E. Oregon, Coll. of Idaho

Winnipeg – 4-3     Wins over … Lakehead, UNBC, MacEwan, Brandon …  Losses to Lakehead, Brock, Fraser Valley,

Explorer Division Teams-

Is this the year for the Wolves to howl ?

Is this the year for the Wolves to howl ?

Fraser Valley –  5-3  Wins over Seattle Mountaineers, Winnipeg, Trinity W (2), Manitoba … Losses to Victoria, Saskatchewan, Carleton

MacEwan – 1-4  Win over Manitoba  … Losses to Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Brandon, Queen’s

Mt. Royal – 2-4   Wins Over Alberta, Trinity W….Losses to Saskatchewan, Calgary (2), UBC,

Thompson Rivers – 4-0  Wins Over U. Great Falls, Trinity W, Simon Fraser, NW Univ. (WA)

UBC-Okanagan -2-2  Wins Over Trinity W,  Lethbridge …Losses to U. Great Falls, Lethbridge

UNBC – 1-3    Win Over Guelph … Losses to Memorial, Ottawa, Alberta

New Schedule Awaits in 2016

Cda West

Canada West Basketball Announces Future Format Change

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

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

Canada West League  President, Ian Reade

Canada West League President, Ian Reade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Effective Leadership is an Elusive Target

8 - member admin. committee for athletics at UBC.

8 – member admin. committee for athletics at UBC.

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

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

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

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

 

Recent Recruiting News –

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

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

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

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