Weekend Sweeps Move Teams Up

 

 

Love the Sweep !   Teams on the rise …

The UBC Thunderbirds made the biggest ‘statement’ of the Canada West season with their 102-76 battering of the Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday in Vancouver.  Their 2 game sweep of the Bruins puts the ‘Birds at 11-1 with building confidence in the quality of their depth and determination as a potential CW champion. UBC is not just Conor Morgan, but have the gritty leader, Jordan Jensen-Whyte, and another 5th year stand-out in 6-7 Will Ondrik.  As their ‘supporting cast’ deliver performances like those of Luka Zaharajevic, Taylor Browne, and A.J. Holloway vs the ‘GBs’, we see the T-Birds as the favourites to host the Final 4 in early March.

The Saskatchewan Huskies (8-4) won 2 ‘bonus RPI’ games at Lethbridge this past weekend, and are looking more like a top 4 contender with their deeper playing roster. Since his arrival after semester 1, import guard Lawrence Moore (3rd yr, 6-3, Chicago) has averaged 14 ppg and 4.8 assists.  Jaylan Morgan (3rd, 6-5, Toronto) is stepping up his game, and, when he returns from injury, Chan De Ciman will add to the mix.  Then, of course, the Green and White have the formidable post pair of Shane Osayande (18.7 ppg/ 11 rebs) and Matt Forbes (13.3 ppg/ 8.3 rebs).

The Calgary Dinos (10-2) get a weekend home sweep over Fraser Valley, one a 106-68 blow-out, but the 2nd a somewhat shaky 92-87 last minute win.  UC will have to sort out the consistency of their effort as they welcome the aforementioned ‘Sled Dogs’ to town this Friday and Saturday. This is the feature match-up this week in Canada West. Can Thomas Cooper get back to his prolific scoring ways?  Can the Dinos defend the Huskies bigs?  Can Calgary use their vaunted depth to turn aside the advancing Prairie power?

Bisons guard, Justus Alleyn

The Manitoba Bisons (6-6) have started on their hopeful drive to 10-0 leap up the standings in this 2nd semester.  They brush aside the fading Regina Cougars (6-6) with 2 convincing road wins behind veterans Justus Alleyn and Keith Omoerah.  A trip this week to Trinity Western is unlikely to slow the rumbling Herd, who have plans to keep climbing the League table.

The Victoria Vikes (5-7) return home with fresh hope after 2 wins at UBC-O, the 1st Vikes sweep of the season.  Their challenge this week will be to defend home court against a tougher opponent, the Lethbridge Pronghorns (8-6). Can rookie Scott Kellum match the ‘Horn’s main man, Dejon Burdeaux?  UVic has little wriggle room as they vie for a playoff spot, but UL will be wanting to turn things around after 2 home losses.

Josh Ross has been a catalyst for the Cougars attack

The Mt. Royal Cougars get a pair of road victories at UNBC to move to 7-5, and their forward duo of Josh Ross and Brett Layton are giving the Cougs reason for optimism. Uo next for this under-rated former college power?  Oh,just  a home court visit from the mighty Thunderbirds !  MRU will step on Kenyon Court as decided underdogs, with UBC rolling more troops off their bench .Win one of these, and the Cougars will draw even more lavish praise.

 

 

5th Year players on a final tour  …

Many of these 5th year players across the 17-team Canada West will be very familiar to faithful fans.  Most with skills we’ve come to appreciate, some who’ve made a big play to beat our home team, and some who’ve captured accolades, trophies, and championships.  A tribute is in order to these 5th years, the great majority of whom will be finishing off a degree and moving on to a very different phase of their lives.

Here’s a list of these 5th year players … give them a hand as they play in your gym for what may well be the last time.

Alberta – Brett Roughead … Brandon –  Earl Thompson Jr, Denham Buchanan, Chris Stanhope, Esmat Atem … Calgary Dinos – Jasdeep Gill, Thomas Cooper, Dallas Karch … Fraser Valley – Manny Dulay, Vijay Dhillon … Lethbridge – Will Hickey … MacEwan – Denzel James, Keith Gerdes, Thomas Jereniuk, Cole Aikens … Mt. Royal – Derek Wolf … Regina – Aaron McGowan, Travis Sylvestre, Stephen Shields, Matthew Augustine … Saskatchewan –  Matthew Forbes, Trevor Severinski … Thompson Rivers – Volodymyr Iegorov … UBC – Jordan Jensen-Whyte , Will Ondrik … UBC-O – Mitch Goodwin …  UNBC – Rhys Elliot, Elliot Rowe, Sam Zhang … Victoria – Grant Sitton … Winnipeg – Jamar Farley

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Scores from the East  on Sunday –

Atlantic – at UNB 93 Memorial 79,  at Saint Marys 75 # 8 Dalhousie  71 …one more season in the AUS where we see the teams in the 6 team League run hot and cold from one weekend to the next.  Memorial Seahawks were flying high last week at 7-3 atop the standings, but lose 2 at UNB.  UPEI move from 2-7 to 4-7 with last second wins at St. FX and Cape Breton (the only predictable team left).   So, despite their loss to their  ‘down the street’ rival Saint Marys, the Dal Tigers lead at 7-3, with X and UNB 7-4, and Memorial now 4th at 7-5.  On any given night ….

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The big game in U-Sports this week is Tuesday’s first matchup of the season at U. Ottawa’s Montpetit Hall  between the twin 9-0 ‘Bytown Bullies’, the #1 Carleton Ravens and #2 Ottawa Gee-Gees.  The ‘Ponies’ swept this series last year, but, as they do, the Blackbirds came on at playoff time to claim yet another CIS Championship.  Many of the faces are the same, with Connor Wood and Kaza Kajami-Keane guiding the ravens, and Caleb Agada still powering Ottawa.  New faces include big Eddie Ekiyor for Carleton and Adam Presutti a key transfer from McMaster, now in Gee-Gees colours for his final season.   Fans can watch live on OUA-TV  (8 pm Eastern)  TUESDAY –  RAVENS vs GEE-GEES

Here are the Divisional standings in the 17 team OUA, where they also use RPI to seed their season -end Wilson Cup play-offs.

 

UBC boss Kevin Hanson

Overtime –

  • UBC Coach Kevin Hanson, after his T-Birds’ thrashing of Aberta on Saturday, “The way our three leaders (Morgan, Jensen-Whyte, Ondrik) started the game, they brought so much confidence,” began Hanson. “And they just seemed to transfer that energy to the rest of the team. It was free-flowing energy and when our bench came in, they just carried on with no fear of failure.” From Howard Tsumura, The Province
  • TRU’s rookie, Trent Monkman, on his more significant role in helping the Wolves to a home win on Saturday over Winnipeg, “It was a bit of a special one. It was a big game for us — we were coming off a loss — and it felt good to have a bit of an impact,” the native of Smithers said. “It feels good that the coaches are trusting me a little bit to get in there and show what I can do.” From an Adam Williams story in Kamloops the Week    

 

 

Imposing UBC Takes Over Top Spot

 

‘Birds  Dominate 2nd game over the Bears

Conor Morgan is big for the ‘Birds as they bomb the Bears.

at #3 UBC Thunderbirds 102  #6 Alberta Golden Bears  76 –  The Thunderbirds soar in this one, and Alberta are left in their wake, with UBC hitting the long ball, and creating far more scoring chances .   UBC takes over top spot in Canada West at 11-1, as Conor Morgan scores 22 pts/ 10 rebounds for the home side, with AJ Holloway rising up for 16 pts in support.  The T’Birds were an impressive 25/27 from the foul line, and U of A almost as sharp, at 21/24 . Mamadou Gueye had a game-high 24 pts for Alberta (11-3), Brody Clarke totalled 19 pts/ 7 rebounds, and Austin Waddoups hit 18 pts on 4/6 from 3 point range.   Box Score  

 Saskatchewan Huskies 86  at Lethbridge Pronghorns 82   –  The Huskies climb

Jaylan Morgan has a big night as his Huskies sweep at Lethbridge

over the ‘Horns with a weekend sweep, and now sit in 5th spot at 8-4, while UL drop to 8-6 .  Jaylan Morgan has a strong game for U of S, with 24 points/ 9 rebounds, and he has plenty of help from back-court mate Lawrence Moore (20 pts/ 5 rebs/ 4 asst).  Saskatchewan’s forwards Shane Osayande (17 pts/ 14 rebs) and Matt Forbes (15 pts/ 8 boards) were too much for the ‘Horns. The ‘Dogs shot 49% FG to 37% for the home squad. Dejon Burdeaux was tops for Lethbridge with 24 points/ 6 assists, while Mike Pierzchala hit 4/7 from outside for 17 points.    Box Score

at TRU Wolf Pack 91 Winnipeg Wesmen 86 –  A big 28 point final quarter lifts the ‘Pack to their 7th win vs 7 losses. Big Volodymyr Iegorov carries the heavy luggage for TRU, with 26 points and 16 rebounds, while Derek Rhodes chips in with 19 points on 4/8 from outside the arc.  TRU have a 17/21 night from the foul line vs just 3/9 for Winnipeg, who fall to 9-5. Three Wesmen score 18 pts apiece, including Narcisse Ambanza, who adds 9 rebs,  and Sean Tarver, 8 boards.  Box Score  

 Manitoba Bisons  84  at Regina Cougars  75 –  A valuable sweep for the Herd, as they dominate this game for much of the middle half, before Regina has a mini-run. Again tonight, it’s Justus Alleyn who leads the Bisons (6-6) scoring with 22 pts/ 6 rebs, and Keith Omoerah comes up with a 16 point game in support.  The Cougars (6-6) have Travis Sylvestre with 17 pts, and Brian Ofori with a double of 11 pts/ 10 boards.   Box Score 

Mt. Royal Cougars 72   at  UNBC Timberwolves 69  –   Josh Ross tallies 26 points / 15 rebounds to pace the Cougars (7-5) to a 2nd road win of the weekend, as they win a tense battle down the stretch. MRU’s Brett Layton also contributes a double -double of 13 pts/ 10 rebounds.  The T’Wolves commit a few costly turnovers in their final 10 possessions, and fail to finish in a heated 4th quarter.  Rhys Elliott tops the ‘Wolves with his 22 points/ 4 assists, but UNBC (4-10) shoot just 38% as a team, and are buried 45-21 on the boards.   Box Score   

Victoria Vikes  75 at UBC-O Heat 65  –   The Vikes (5-7) run to a 23-4 lead after 10 minutes, and that pretty well decides the issue. UVic’s Grant Sitton scores 24 points, with 3/6 from outside, and Justin Kinnear does some hard work for his 18 pts/ 10 rebound double.  Victoria score 18/29 from the line against only 5 of 8 for the Heat. Aldrich Berrios leads Okanagan (2-12) scorers with 23 pts/ 3 steals, and Ryan Morck is 5/5 from the floor for 11 points.   Box Score   

GMU’s Thadius Galvez

MacEwan Griffins 98  at Brandon Bobcats 86  –  The Griffs’ Adonis Montfort-Palomino tacks up 15 points in the opening half, staking GMU to a 48-38 lead. Mac built on that lead in the 3rd, as Brandon couldn’t ever get any sustained momentum.  Veteran guards, Thadius Galvez (22 pts/ 9 assists/ 5 steals ) and Denzel James (16 pts/ 6 rebs) carried the Griffins through a 50 point 2nd half, as the Edmonton crew earn their 4th win.  Montfort-Palomino finishes his night with 17 pts/ 6 assists.  Brandon (5-9) got yeoman service from Earl Thompson Jr, with his 31 points and 8 rebounds, while Tyvon Cooper scores 18 plus 3 steals.  Box Score  

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Scores from the East  on Saturday – 

Atlantic – at UNB 81 Memorial 74, UPEI  95 at St. FX 94

Quebec – at #9 McGill 71 UQAM 49 , at Bishops 84  at Laval 69

Ontario – at #1 Carleton 99 Laurentian 52,  at #2 Ottawa 72 Nipissing  56,  #10 McMaster 73  at Guelph 72 , Toronto 75 at Queens 71 ,  #7 Brock 71 at Lakehead  69  , #4 Ryerson 69 at York 52,  at Western Ont. 90 Windsor 65 , Algoma  77 at Waterloo  68

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Overtime –

  • UFV Coach, Adam Friesen, after their strong performance in a close loss (92-87) at Calgary on Friday,  “The things we’ve been trying to get through to the group all year is, you need to help the players beside you – you have to play together. Calgary, with their athleticism, makes you pay when you hold the basketball, and the guys realized we had to move without the ball and keep the ball moving to have success. Tonight we did that as well as we have all season, and we found some really good shots.”
  • Dinos star wing man, Thomas Cooper, has seen his scoring totals drop in the last several games.  Despite this, he has so many other things to bring to the table.  He is a strong rebounder and he makes some great passes leading to teammates’ hoops.  In the final minutes, it is often Cooper who, as he did on Friday, scores a clutch basket or free throw.  Calgary needs his senior leadership if they are to contend for another Canada West title.
  • CW Women’s scores on Saturday –  Saskatchewan 88  Lethbridge 53 ,  Regina 92  Manitoba 59 ,  Winnipeg 88 TRU 65,  Alberta 60  UBC 57,  UNBC 64  MRU 57,  Victoria 75  UBC-O 52,  Brandon 61  MacEwan 53,

 

T’Birds Draw First Blood vs Bears

 

 

Jensen-Whyte sparks UBC rally in the 4th quarter

Jordan Jensen-Whyte’s 25 points leads UBC to a game 1 win over Alberta.                                 photo – The Ubyssey

at UBC Thunderbirds 78 Alberta Golden Bears 68 –  The ‘Birds (10-1) came from behind in the 4th quarter, with a 27-15 advantage, sparked by 13 from Jordan Jensen-Whyte in that 10 minute span. The Bears (11-2) played the Thunderbirds even through much of the game, but foul trouble hampers their efforts near the finish. Jensen-Whyte, with 25 points and Conor Morgan 24/ 6 rebs were a strong combo for UBC.   Brody Clarke had 16 pts and Austin Waddoups 14 for Alberta.  Box Score 

 Saskatchewan Huskies 89  at Lethbridge Pronghorns 83 – The Huskies (7-4) come

Matt Forbes’ 24 pts leads the Huskies to a big road win over Lethbridge

back strongly with 33 points in the final frame to take a big road win. The inside combo of Matt Forbes (24 pts / 10 rebs) and Shane Osayande (17 pts/ 8 boards/ 5 asst) led the way for the ‘Dogs.  Lethbridge got a great effort from import guard, Elliot Sentance, who tallied 29 points/ 8 rebs/ 5 asst.  For the 3rd straight game since the Holidays, Saskatchewan are without guard, Chan De Ciman, but newcomer, Lawrence Moore, an import guard, hits 21 points/ 5 rebs/ 6 assts in the 6th man role.  Box Score  

Calgary Dinos  92   Fraser Valley Cascades 87 –  On the heels of a 38 point win on Thursday, the Dinos may have taken the Cascades a bit too casually.  UFV (5-7) came out firing, with Manny Dulay and Denver Sparks-Guest hitting 3 treys each.  It was a 1 point game with 30 seconds left, after Mark Johnson made a 2nd free-throw for Fraser Valley.  Thomas Cooper calmed a tense Calgary contingent with 4 free throws of his own to close out the game, taking UC to a 10 -2 mark.  David Kapinga scored 16 and had 4 steals, while Jasdeep Gill hit 15 points/ 5 rebs for the home team. Dulay totalled 18 pts/ 7 boards, and Anthony Gilchrist had 14 pts for the visitors.    Box Score  

 Manitoba Bisons 93  at Regina Cougars  81 – There were 102 points scored in the 2nd half, with the visiting Bisons cashing 52 to nail the road win. The Herd shoot 53% from the floor and 50% (12/24 from 3) with 21 pts by Justus Alleyn, including 5/7 deep makes. AJ Basi adds 19 points, while Ilarion Bonhomme has a clutch 12 points/ 9 rebs/ 9 asst for Manitoba (5-6) .  The Cougars were relatively cold at 37.5 %  FG, and scored 6 fewer 3 pt shots.  They get 16 points from Brandon Tull, and 13 plus 8 rebounds by Alex Igual.         Box Score 

Winnipeg Wesmen  80   Thompson Rivers  Wolf Pack 64 –  The visiting Wesmen (9-4) use their superior experience and depth at the guard spot to close out the Wolves with a 45 point 2nd half. Narcisse Ambanza and Sean Tarver with 20 points each, do the bulk of the damage, shooting 14/20 between the pair.  Volodymyr Iegorov scores 19 pts/ 8 rebs,  Luke Morris 17 pts, and Michael Rouault has 8 points and 15 rebounds for TRU (6-7).  Box Score  

Mt. Royal Cougars 78 at  UNBC Timberwolves 64 – Mt. Royal (6-5)  uses a strong 4thlogo Mt. Royal Cougars quarter to seal the deal against the stubborn T’Wolves. Josh Ross is a powerhouse for the Cougars, with his 19 pts /16   boards/ and 6 assts, as the team shoots 53% from the floor.  Brett Layton added 20 pts/ 5 rebs, while Derek Wolf scores 14 plus 8 boards.  UNBC are out-rebounded 41-30, and shoot 38% FG, and take their 9th loss vs 4 wins.  The ‘Wolves get 12 from James Agyeman. Box Score 

Victoria Vikes 81  at UBC-O Heat 46  –  The Vikes (4-7) shut down the Heat offense, as the home side shoot just 27% from the floor, while UVic deposits 51% of theirs. Rookie guard, Scott Kellum comes to play, with 28 points, his season high, along with 7 rebounds. UBC-O (2-11)  get 13 points from Buzz Truss, but their high-scoring guard duo of Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin can only manage 8 apiece.   Box Score 

 at Brandon Bobcats77   MacEwan Griffins  74 –   After the Griffins had played with a slim lead for much of the final 6 minutes, it was 4 straight points from Tyvon Cooper winning it for the ‘Cats. With the score tied, Cooper’s 3 point shot was good with 7 seconds left, and BU gets a 2nd win in a row, moving to 5-8 on the season. Earl Thompson Jr scored 27 points/ 8 rebs/ 4 asst, while Cooper notched 22 pts/ 5 asst/ 4 steals.  For the Griffs, it was 17 apiece for Denzel James (9 rebs) and Thadius Galvez (5 asst)       Box Score 

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Scores from the East – 

Ontario – at #1 Carleton 102 Nipissing  59,  at #2 Ottawa 92 Laurentian 77, Laurier 87  at Guelph 80, #4 Ryerson 101 at Queens 77 , at Lakehead 75  #7 Brock 64 , at York 79  Toronto 68 , at Waterloo 69 Algoma 64

Atlantic – at Acadia 90 Saint Marys 82, UPEI 90  at Cape Breton 81

Quebec – #9 McGill 90 at UQAM 59, Bishops 64  at Laval 58

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Overtime –

  • Wayne Tucker Jr,  the 4th year UVic guard from Oakland, CA,  left the team after discussions with Head Coach Craig Beaucamp in early January.  Tucker, who was the Alberta Colleges Player of the Year in 2015-16 at Olds College, led the CCAA in scoring with 29 ppg.  Through the 8 Vikes Canada West games in the 1st semester, Tucker was scoring 15 ppg.  “The team and the program wish Wayne the best moving forward and are turning their attention to the rest of the Canada West season”,  said Beaucamp.
  • In Canada West Women’s play –  UFV roars back from a 14 point half-time deficit to get the split with Calgary, registering a 69-60 win in game 2.  Other scores – Regina 93 Manitoba 44, Brandon 71 MacEwan 44, Saskatchewan 75  Lethbridge 63, Victoria 78  UBC-O 67, Winnipeg 73  TRU 49, UNBC 70 Mt. Royal 48, UBC 71 Alberta 64.

Top 2 Teams Meet in Vancouver

 

 

Canada West  leaders square – off  in Vancouver this weekend

West-Coast showdown for old rivals UBC – Alberta

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

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

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

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

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

 

‘Horns and Huskies in a swing series at Lethbridge

‘Bridge Town sees renewal of heated Prairie feud

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

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

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

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

 

More Canada West action –

Two Winnipeg teams on the road this week –

Denzel Lynch Blair leads the Wesmen against TRU

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

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

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

Bobcats shooting guard, Tyvon Cooper

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

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

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Scores from the East –

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

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Overtime –

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

 

 

 

Spotlight on UBC and Saskatchewan

 

Thunderbirds will be tested in road series in Saskatoon

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

Jordan Jensen-Whyte of UBC - photo

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

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

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

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

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

photo, Jeff Tubbs, TRU

TRU point man, Jeff Tubbs – photo TRU Athletics

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vijay Dhillon can shoot the deep ball for UFV.

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

All these game are broadcast on Canada West TV  

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Overtime – 

photo- Shane Osayande

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

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

 

Bears, Dinos, Wesmen Riding High

 

THURSDAY –  CITY GAMES IN THE PRAIRIES –

Wesmen have a higher perch than Bisons    

William Sesay, Wesmen guard.

William Sesay, Wesmen guard.

At 6-2 for the season, the Winnipeg Wesmen, under 7th year Coach Mike Raimbault, enter this last week of the opening half of League play 4th in the standings. Their opponents in the weekend’s “Duckworth Challenge’, the Manitoba Bisons have a very different view.

The Herd are wallowing in a last place tie at 2-6, and are certainly the more desperate team in the series.   This all-Winnipeg showdown may be just what the Herd need to get their confidence on the rise.  A home and home sweep could send them off to the break with  a much  more positive outlook. They are, however, facing a Wesmen squad who are playing very well.  

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Winnipeg –  Denzel Lynch-Blair – 16.3 ppg / 5.8 rebs/ 4.6 asst/ 2.3 steals, Sean Tarver –  14.6 ppg/ 39.6% from 3, 5 rebs/ 1.9 steals, Narcisse Ambanza – 11.4 ppg/ 59% FG, 3 rebs/ 2.1 asst, Wiliam Sesay – 11 ppg/ 43% from 3/ 8.5 rebs/ 4 assts, Ryan Oirbans – 8.5 ppg/ 6.9 rebs/ 2.6 blocks

 

Manitoba –   Keith Omoerah  15 ppg/8 rebs/ 2.5 asst/ 2.3 steals,  Justus Alleyn  15.8 ppg/ 3 rebs/ 2 asst, AJ Basi    13.5 ppg/ 3 rebs/ 2.3 steals, Ilarion Bonhomme  12 ppg/ 4.5 rebs/ 3.5 asst , Our call –  The Bisons will be up for this series, but Winnipeg should get at least a split.  (Thursday at UM – 8 pm, Saturday at  Wpg 7 pm)

 

Dinos invade Cougar territory ‘on a roll’ 

Mitch Ligertwood, Dinos forward.

Mitch Ligertwood, Dinos forward.         photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

The Cougars are sitting at 4-2, and have some great talent in their first five, but their assignment is a daunting task.  In the 5-1 Dinos they face the CW leaders in points/ game, FG%,  3 pt%, and steals per game.  Calgary rolls over a playing line-up that consistently involves all 12 players. 

But the Cougs played them tough back in October, and they may catch UC in an ‘overconfident’ phase, with all their 25 and 30 point wins ‘pumping their tires’.

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Mt. Royal –  Josh Ross 18.7 ppg/ 10.8 rebs/ 3.3 asst/ 1.5 steals, Brett Layton  17.3 ppg/ 10.5 rebs/ 2.5 blocks,  Derek Wolf  12.3 ppg/ 3 rebs/ 2.3 asst, Glen Yang  12.3 ppg/ 2.5 rebs/ 2.2 asst

Calgary –   Thomas Cooper  24.3 ppg/ 5.3 rebs/ 2.7 asst/ 2.3 steals,  Mambi Diawara  15.2 ppg/ 6.3 rebs/ 2 asst/ 2.2 steals, Lars Schleuter  12 ppg/ 47% from 3/ 3 rebs, David Kapinga  9.5 ppg/ 57% FG/  3.3 rebs/ 4.3 asst/ 2.2 steals,    Our call –  Dinos wear down the Cougars starters  (Thursday at MRU at 8 pm, Sat at UC at 7 pm)

 

League leaders have so many pluses in Edmonton clash

Alberta's Mamadou Gueye

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye      photo-  U of A Athletics

The Golden Bears are 8-0 and appear to be improving week after week.  They are 

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-2-21-51-pmnow a deeper and more confident crew.  As much as we admire the way the Griffins have battled their way to their 3-5 record thus far, this series for bragging rights ‘Along the N. Saskatchewan’  seems almost pre-determined.  Advantage Bears with shooters like Austin Waddoups (14.8 ppg/ 49% FG/ 52% from 3), and forwards as efficient as Mamadou Gueye (14.3 ppg/ 7.4 rebs) and Brody Clarke (14.8 ppg/ 7.1 rebs).  A big hurdle for Thadius Galvez, Denzel James and the Mac squad, who give up 15 + ppg more than U of A.    Our Call – a decisive Bears sweep .  (Thursday at     U of A at 8 pm,  Sat at MacEwan at 2 pm)


 

Overtime –

UBC' Conor Morgan

UBC’ Conor Morgan

  • In his summer job as a bartender, UBC’s Conor Morgan accidentally sliced a couple of fingers on his shooting (Rt) hand.  But, as T’Birds’ Coach Kevin Hanson says in this Vancouver Sun article from  Howard Tsumura  Morgan’s drive to improve his game in the summer has been paying dividends.  Despite the injury, which still leaves some numbness in the hand, Morgan is tearing up Canada West opponents on a weekly basis, for the 6-0 T’Birds. 

 

 

Bears Hold on for 7th Win

 

 

 Waddoups on fire for GBs in tight finish at Manitoba

Austin Waddoups' big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

Austin Waddoups’ big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

#10 Alberta 88  at Manitoba  85 –  The Bears (7-0) remain unbeaten with a road win, as they dodge multiple Manitoba attempts to tie it up in the final 30 seconds. Alberta are 53% from the floor and the Herd are right there at 52%.  The visitors, however, cash 10 treys on 18 tries to just 5/18 for the Bisons, and that proves decisive.  This is a tough blow for Manitoba, who drop to 2-5 despite having 5 players in double figures.  The UM defense had no answer for Alberta’s Austin Waddoups , who led all scorers with 31 points, including 6/9 from the outside.     Bears – Waddoups 31 pts/ 3 assists, Brody Clarke 18 pts/ 7 rebs   Bisons  Keith Omoerah 18 pts/ 10 rebs, Justus Alleyn 17 pts/ 6 rebs, James Wagner 16 pts/ 5 boards.   Box Score  

Winnipeg 87  at Brandon 81  –  Winnipeg (6-2) roars back from a 10 point deficit after 3/4s, with a 27-11 final 10 minutes.  The Bobcats were looking good on the home court, and shot 46% from the floor, led by strong games from both Tyvon Cooper and John Paul.  The Ws took advantage of 25 free throws (making 18) to just 7/14  for Brandon, and the ‘Cats turned it over 18 times to only 12 for UW.   Wesmen-  Denzel Lynch- Blair  29 pts/ 10 rebs, William Sesay 21 pts/ 9 rebs   Bobcats – Tyvon Cooper 20 pts/ 5 rebs/ 5 asst, John Paul  20 pts/ 13 boards.  Box Score   

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.    photo – MacEwan Athletics

  MacEwan  93  at Mt. Royal  75 –  Just 24 hours, but there’s a 42 point swing in favour of the visitors from Thursday’s MRU win.  Mac (3-5) looked like the team with more zip, as their whole line-up worked hard for this road victory.  Denzel James, Thadius Galvez, and Tyler Wise led the charge in a 55 point 2nd half for the Griffs. MRU cooled off tonight, shooting 42% FG, and were out-rebounded 49-36 by a more aggressive MacEwan squad.    Griffins- Tyler Wise 27 pts/ 11 rebs, Denzel James 26 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 asst, Thadius Galvez 16 pts/ 5 rebs  Cougars – Josh Ross 26 pts/ 8 rebs, Brett Layton 12 pts/10 boards.   Box Score  

 

Regina 107  at Trinity Western 74  – It was 54-24 at the half. Turn out the lights at the Langley Events Centre … game!  TWU did come back in the 2nd half with 50 points, but they also surrendered another 53 to the insatiable Cougars. 51% FG shooting including 15/33  from outside for the visitors. Regina, who had 7 players in double figures,  moves up to 3-2, while Trinity drops to 2-5 on the season.   Cougars  – Johneil Johnson  16 pts, Alex Igual 15 pts, Ramiro Martinez  14 pts  Spartans – Vartan Tanielien 23 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst, Patrick Vandervelden 17 pts/ 8 rebs      Box Score 

at Thompson Rivers 78   UBC-O 75 –  Playing at home, the ‘Pack are behind to their Okanagan rivals by as much as 12 points early in the final frame. Behind the timely scoring of Derek Rhodes and Michael Rouault, TRU (2-5) nips the Heat (1-6) at the wire, however.      Wolf Pack –  Derek Rhodes 25 pts/ 4 asst, Volodymyr Iegorov 20 pts/ 9 rebs/ 6 asst   Heat –  Aldrich Berrios 227 pts/ 9 rebs, Buzz Truss 16 pts.  Box Score  

 

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UNBC 66 at Fraser Valley  63 –   Trailing by 8 at the half, the T’Wolves (3-4) play a sharp 3rd quarter to snatch a 3 point lead then fight back in the last 2 minutes after UFV (2-3) takes a slim lead.  In a break-out game, transfer guard  James Agyeman (Laurier) is the game high scorer from his point spot for the Wolves. UNBC shoots only 31% from the floor, but hit more FTs and more 3 pt shots to take the W.    Timberwolves  – James Agyeman 22 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 asst, Vaggelis Loukas 7 pts/ 8 rebs  Cascades    Vijay Dhillon 13 pts  Box Score 

#2 UBC 82   at Victoria  69 –   The T’Birds move on to 5-0 with a win in Victoria, as they establish their 13 point margin after 3/4s and hold steady from there. UBC wins with a rebounding (37-30) and a turnover (7-13) advantage over the Vikes.  UVic (2-5) shot the same 49% as the Thunderbirds, but could not make any headway on the scoreboard.  Thunderbirds – Conor Morgan 23 pts/ 6 rebs, Jordan Jensen-Whyte 20 pts/ 5 rebs  Vikes –   Wayne Tucker Jr. 21 pts/ 4 rebs, Grant Sitton 16 pts/ 111 rebs/ 3 blks   Box Score 

 


Friday scores from the East –

Quebec … Laval 80  at UQAM  71

Ontario … #1 Carleton 79  at Nipissing 59 , #4 Ottawa 74 at Laurentian 59 , #8 Ryerson 111 at  Algoma 61 , Queens 76 at  Lakehead 75


 

 

Overtime –

jaylan_morgan-j1d37476-copy

  •   Saskatchewan’s 3rd year wing man, Jaylan Morgan (Brampton, ON), on his experience in his 1st season with the Huskies. – “I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ve been put in this position for a reason and i’m going to take full advantage of it and help this team win as many games as possible,” Morgan said.  From a Global News story by Ryan Flaherty. 
  • Before Friday’s game in Victoria, the Vikes had won 8 of the past 11 meetings between these long-time rivals. Before their Friday game in Winnipeg, the Bears had a 9-5 record over the Bisons since 2010.
  • We are amazed and impressed by the timely ‘return to duty’ by both Lethbridge coach, Mike Hansen, after having had hip surgery only just about a month ago, and of MRU coach, Marc Dobell, who is back on the bench following a summer ‘heart episode’.  We know their teams appreciate their coaches’ presence, and their passion for the game.  We wish you both the best as you manage your recovery.
  • Marquee rebounding combos …  Both twosomes average 20+ rebounds/ game Saskatchewan’s Shane Osayande (12.3) and Matt Forbes (8.8) … Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross (10.6) and Brett Layton (9.4) .
  • We’re impressed with the play of UC transfer, Adonis Monfort-Palomino, for the MacEwan Griffins.  He brings solid defense, energy, and a dependable lead guard presence at his new school.

Regional Rivalries for Week 5

 

 

Traditional rivals make for heated skirmishes !

Years past - Henry and Ross Bekkering share a big win over Lethbridge.

Years past – Henry and Ross Bekkering share a big win over Lethbridge.

‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ … that’s the cynical way of looking at things, but, when you get right down to it, who do you most enjoy beating?  Yes, of course, your natural rival.  We do remember that time in Lethbridge, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg !  That’s what makes a weekend like this just that little bit more compelling, and excruciatingly intense.  These games are for bragging rights, playoff spots, recruiting traction … you name it.  Revenge.  You realize their fans used to steal stuff out of our medical kit, throw foreign objects into our bench !!  Or how about over-heating our locker-room?  Or putting us in a meeting room about a half-mile from the gym ?!  Did we mention the referees  …  we better not get started there.  This is no regular game ….This week we have –

Thursday  games –                * Local times

Dejon Burdeaux is a driving force for the Pronghorns.

Dejon Burdeaux is a driving force for the Pronghorns.  photo – U of L

Calgary (3-1) at Lethbridge (4-2)  (hostility)  8 pm –  The fans in L.A. spare no emotion in their disdain for  the ‘Big City Boys’ from Calgary.  Even ‘Horns coach, Mike Hansen, who played at UL when Canada West was a 6 team loop, says he remembers how “Calgary eliminated us from the playoffs in my 5th year”.  Games won and lost are etched in the memory of players and fans from both programs.

The ‘Horns are a younger team, with far less depth, but, at 4-2, they have performed very well in most games this Fall.  Key stat – Lethbridge is 5-1 at home vs Calgary over the past 6 League meetings. Calgary coach, Dan Vanhooren, in his 17th season at UC, played at Alberta and has seen many intense battles between the Dinos and the Pronghorns. “We need to play hard, and we know they’ll be aiming to do the same. These are always big games when we go to Lethbridge, or they come here”, says Vanhooren.       Our call –  Will home court be as decisive a factor this time around?  This may be the Dinos’ year for a sweep.

Brandon (2-4) at Winnipeg (4-2)  (long memories) –  8 pm … Rivals dating back to the days of the Great Plains Conference, the Bobcats and Wesmen  have each had their years of domination.  The Ws prevailed in the 1970s, then Jerry Hemmings ‘Cats ruled the Plains in the 1980s and 1990s. (Brandon had a 60-8 record over Winnipeg in those years, and BU Coach Gil Cheung was team captain for 2 championship teams ).  Recently, it has been the Wesmen with the upper hand … UW Coach Mike Raimbault was the Brandon Coach back in 2007-08, and he went 20-2 in Canada West.  Key stat – Since taking over at Winnipeg in 2010, his teams are 16-2 vs Brandon.         Our Call – The Wesmen are clear favourites, with an improved offensive attack, a strong team defense (4th in CW at 73 ppg against).  The Bobcats have a defense that has limited opponents to a 37.8% average from the floor, but they need more at the offensive end to match UW.

dwolfmru-copy

Mt. Royal guard, Derek Wolf

MacEwan (2-4)  at Mt. Royal   (3-1) (‘all- Explorer  rivals’) –       8 pm … Here are 2 former college teams, who got to play each other 4 times a year as they competed in the 6 team Explorer Division of Canada West the last 2 seasons.  The Griffins are  “… solid at the perimeter”, says MRU coach Marc Dobell. “Thadius Galvez (19.5 ppg), Denzel James  and Adonis (Monfort-Palomino) are playing well,  and we have to defend well to contain them.”

The Cougars have veteran, Derek Wolf, and 3rd year Glen Yang, both 3 point threats. MRU’s big plus will be the forward duo of Josh Ross (18.5 ppg/ 10.8 rebs) and Brett Layton (17 ppg/11 boards).                Our call –  Home court is an edge for Mt. Royal.  The Griffs will struggle to contain the Cougar big men.

Friday  games –  

Bisons' Keith Omoerah drives against Alberta. Photo by Jeff Miller Bison Sports

Bisons’ Keith Omoerah drives against Alberta.            Photo by Jeff Miller Bison Sports

Alberta (6-0)  at Manitoba (2-4)  (Original 6)  –  8 pm ..  Manitoba Coach Kirby Schepp can be excused for feeling ‘battle fatigue’, with a tough early schedule – at Calgary, TRU, at UBC, Alberta, Winnipeg.  The Bears are “ … an Original 6 opponent,” says Schepp. “They are unbeaten, and we will need to be at our best at home this week.”  The Bisons have allowed 83 ppg, while Alberta just 64 ppg. (*We recognize the schedule at least partially dictates this stat), and that is ‘advantage Bears’.  Manitoba have great perimeter depth, while U of A boast the dangerous front-line of Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke.         Our Call – A split is very likely.  The Herd must protect home court, and Alberta are winning with defense.

UBC-O (1-5) at Thompson Rivers (1-5) ( Okanagan Family Feud) –  7  pm ..With both teams looking for a pair of wins to get them back closer to contention, this will be hard-fought.  TRU have faced 3 tough opponents in UBC, at Manitoba, and at Alberta, and they match-up better against UBC-O. The Wolf Pack’s Luke Morris and Volodymyr Iegorov  will get special attention from Okanagan’s David Manshrek and other forwards.      Our Call –  The ‘Pack to secure 2 wins on home turf.

UNBC (2-4)  at Fraser Valley  (2-2) ( ‘CCAA Battle’) – 8 pm ..  History lesson … These schools both won Canadian Colleges Nationals … UNBC in 2010, and UFV in 2004.  This is now, however, and the Cascades are at home with a strong back-court, led by seniors Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon. The Timberwolves counter with Aussie import Rhys Elliot, and 6-4, Marcus MacKay (Terrace, BC). Key stat –  The ‘Wolves are 0-6 in Abbotsford, since joining Canada West in 2012.                Our Call – This may be the year.  UFV the favourites, but not overwhelmingly.

Vikes Grant Sitton and 'Birds Will Ondrik

Vikes Grant Sitton and ‘Birds Will Ondrik

UBC (4-0)  at Victoria (2-4)  (Ferry Fracas – old enemies) – 8 pm .. “I can still hear the Vikes Macot (‘Mother Hubbard’) yelling in my ear when we played them back in the ‘80s”, says UBC Coach, and former T-Birds star, Kevin Hanson.  UBC’s  high scoring wing man, Conor Morgan grew up just a stone’s throw from the UVic campus, and UBC assistant coach, Spencer MacKay, was a 5-time Canada West all-star, and UVic’s all-time leading scorer. The Vikes have won 14 League titles, and UBC 10,  but the T-Birds have 4 since 2007, while UVic’s last is 2006.

This year’s version has UBC as a big favourite, with Morgan, Jordan Jensen-Whyte and  company near the top of all team scoring stats, while the Vikes are struggling there, and with an unusually porous defense.   Our Call –  UBC gets 2 wins.

 8 pm ..Regina (2-2) at Trinity Western (2-4)  7 pm ( The Huskies were busy ? )  The mercurial Green Cougars are one of the more baffling teams, but their veteran guards led by Alex Igual, Brandon Tull,  and Aaron McGowan will give the Spartans all that they can handle. Tyus Allen, import Pogos Trunyan , and leading scorer, Vartan Tanielien, will need help from their supporting cast if TWU is to win at home.               Our Call – Regina the favourites, but Trinity with a chance at a split.

Winnipeg at Brandon- 8 pm ,  MacEwan at Mt. Royal- 8 pm

Saturday  games-  Alberta at Manitoba – 6 pm,  Lethbridge at Calgary – 7 pm, UBC-O at Thompson Rivers – 8 pm,  UNBC at Fraser Valley – 7 pm,  Regina at Trinity Western – 8 pm

Sunday –   Victoria at UBC – 2 pm


CIS Top 10 This Week –         screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-3-13-47-pm


 

Overtime –

  • Anonymous coaches’ comments, re: The Schedule … ‘Tough to swallow when you see some of our competitors will play none of these top teams for entire year.’  And another, “Just looking at some of these ridiculous schedules.  XXXXX doesn’t have anybody tough at all.”     (There are big differences between schools)
  • Other CIS (soon to be U-Sports) games on Wednesday –  at #6 McMaster  Guelph, Laurier at Western Ont, at Windsor  Waterloo,  St. FX at Cape Breton
  • Results of games played to date between ‘Pioneer teams’  and ‘Explorer teams’ … 17 Pioneer wins  –  5  Explorer wins.

 

 

Bears Survive Wolf Pack Comeback

 

 

‘Pack Hangs Tough Without Head Coach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 More CIS scores on Friday –

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

Quebec – at Laval 74  Bishops 64

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


 

Overtime –

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

 

Wesmen, Pronghorns Highlight Week 3

 

Week 3 –  Pronghorns Go to Winnipeg, Two 3-1 Teams Tussle

Denzel Lynch-Blair and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.

William Sesay and his Wesmen teammates host the Lethbridge Pronghorns this week.    photo –    UW Athletics

Lethbridge (3-1) at Winnipeg Wesmen (3-1)  –  Here are two teams perched near the top, and a sweep for either would be a major coup.  The Wesmen are quick, aggressive on defense.  They are shooting the ball well (45% FG) and scoring more from 3 point range (10.3 per game) than in the past. The Ws also are +6 on their rebounding. Import guard Sean Tarver (15.8 ppg) has added offensive depth to the Winnipeg attack.  ’15-’16 all-star, Denzel Lynch Blair (15.5 ppg) has now expanded his game, and there are 5 more Wesmen who are contributing 8 ppg or more.

Lethbridge, like the Wesmen, are scoring just over 80 ppg, but not as much from outside.  They are also a +6 rebounding team, and the ‘Horns defense has been sharp at limiting the opponents 3 pt FG% (29%, which is 2nd in CW).  U of L have 4 scorers averaging double figures … Elliott Sentance with 18.8 ppg, Dejon Burdeaux at 17 ppg, Zac Overwater 14.8, and Mike Pierzchala 12.5.  Our call – In a tight match-up, UW has the home court.

Manitoba (2-2) at UBC (2-0)-  Manitoba won a 66-64 home court decision vs the ‘Birds last January, but that is the only time in 21 games dating back to 2001. This season the Thunderbirds are #2 ranked and unbeaten in CIS play, while Manitoba are 4-5 overall and 2-2 in Canada West play.

The Thunderbirds have scored 87 ppg and given up 63.5 ppg; their rebound margin is +19 per game! Manitoba has a strong veteran core, with a couple of key additions this season.  The problem has been that they are not consistently producing a winning team effort.   Our call – Two wins at home by UBC.

Thompson Rivers (1-3)  at Alberta (4-0)-  We were surprised to see the ‘new-look’ Wolves  steal one at Manitoba; now can they engineer another road upset in Edmonton?  Big Volodymyr Iegorov (18.5 ppg) has able assistance from 5 others in the ‘Pack, as Luke Morris, Derek Rhodes, Joe Davis, Jeff Tubbs and Mike Rouault are all 8 ppg+.  But mediocre shooting numbers and near 20 turnovers a game limit their offensive efficiency.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 vs this week at U of A.

Mamadou Gueye leads the 4-0 Bears vs TRU this week at U of A.

Alberta have Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke scoring and rebounding up front, plus import guard  Austin Waddoups and transfer Geoff Pippus both shooting 50% from 3 point range.  The Bears score near 87 ppg and allow only 64 ppg to their opponents, while TRU almost exactly reverses those numbers.   Our call –  The GBs in their own den, get the sweep over the ‘Pack.

Victoria (1-3) at MacEwan(1-3) –  Home court was only good for a 4-6 mark last year for the Griffs, but they look deeper this season at the point, with Adonis Monfort-Palomino, with a 10-11 man rotation, and the game-in, game-out efforts of Thadius Galvez and Denzel James. Mac needs to improve on a -5 rebound margin, and to tighten up on a defense allowing 85 ppg.

The Vikes were not sharp against Calgary last week, and they need to find their most effective combos.  Scott Kellum is a good looking rookie point man, and import, college transfer, Wayne Tucker J,r can score.  Now, do we see the typical gritty Vikes defensive effort, or do they continue to struggle ?  88 ppg against will give someone heartburn !   Our call- A split is the most logical.

Mt. Royal (1-1) at UBC-O (1-3) –  It’s very early to make this cliched pronouncement, but here goes, regardless;  neither of these teams can feel good about a split this coming weekend.  The Cougars have had a a glimmer of superior play this Fall, but this is a series where 2 games in the W column are needed.

Okanagan are even more ‘needy’ for a home sweep with a 1-3 mark.  The match-ups … Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin at guard for the Heat vs Derek Wolfe and Glen Yang for the Cougars.  Ryan Morck and David Manshrek of UBC-O with a big task facing Brett Layton and Josh Ross of MRU.   Our call-  Edge to the Cougars.

Brandon (2-2)  at Saskatchewan (2-2) –   The Huskies are coming off a tough loss to Winnipeg on Saturday, and have been leaning heavily on their versatile post man, Shane Osayande, who boasts a 22.5 ppg and 15 rebs  stat line. Alex Unruh, at the point, is 13 ppg/ 3 assists, but the shooting % for the rest of the ‘Dogs’ pales in comparison.  Sask. is last in Canada West in team FG%  at 38% and in 3 pt% at 27.4%. The talent is there.  It’s time for the Huskies to play to their strengths.

The Bobcats come in with 2-2 record, already ahead of last season !  Import guard Tyvon Cooper a proven scorer from the Jr. College ranks in the U.S. is at 19.8 ppg, but needs others to step up in the scoring column.  They allow 70 ppg … pretty good!  But score just 70 ppg, and shoot only inconsistently from the floor, and 59.8% from the line, last in CW.  This is a potentially winning defense, but they need more  shared scoring.  Our call – The Huskies should sweep at home.

The T'Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

The T’Wolves scoring ace, Rhys Elliot will look to get win #1 for UNBC this week.

Trinity Western (2-2)  at UNBC  (0-4) –  The Timberwolves at home, and they will be campaigning for a pair of wins to get their pack moving forward.  Trinity is showing signs of life, and they are not just going to roll over, however.  Rhys Elliot shoots 52% from the floor for the T’wolves, and is 19.3 ppg; he just needs Marcus MacKay, Vaggelis Loukas, and a few others to pull harder on the ropes !

The Spartans have Vartan Tanielien (14 ppg), Pogos Trunyan (13 ppg), and 3 others at or near double figures. TWU needs to shoot it better as a team, and defend the trey more consistently.  Our call-  This may be another split , we suspect. 

All 3 of Calgary, Fraser Valley, and Regina get a bye this week.


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Little Change in Top 10 –

It’s early, and some of the top teams haven’t played a League game, so not much to report.

We still have 5 OUA teams crowding the rankings, with just 2 from Canada West, 1 from Quebec, and 2 from the Atlantic.

Carleton and Ottawa join the rest of Ontario for a full slate this week. McMaster and Brock meet tonight in the only Top 10 match-up.

 


 

Overtime –

  • “I was telling these guys before the game, I’m proud of them because so far they’ve been the toughest group I’ve had,” said Brandon Coach Gil Cheung, following his team’s win over UBC-O last weekend. “I can get on them, I can coach them tough and sometimes it’s tough love. Sometimes the truth is harder to say than blowing smoke up their butt, but they’ve responded and everyone has a role. They value their role and that’s the biggest thing that everyone values each other in that room.”   From the Brandon Sun story by Nathan Liewicki         
  • “Decades have passed since CBC covered something as populist as basketball, though hundreds of thousands of Canadians play the game and 49 university teams battle on the hardcourt. And while an estimated 12 million Canadians are involved in amateur sports in some fashion (whether as participants, coaches, administrators or referees), according to the sports gurus at CBC, they’re all primarily interested in watching wealthy people leap fences while seated on a horse.”  From a story by Wayne Kondro for CIS Sport / U-Sport.