Brandon Returns, Recruits Top Talent

 

 

Graduation leaves gaps for Bobcats, but recruiting may have filled them

Brandon Coach, Gil Cheung

Gil Cheung, enters his 8th year as the Head Coach of a team he once captained to a pair of National Championship Finals.  His 9-11 ‘Cats made the playoffs last season, and  he says, “We’re anxious to get into competition; lot’s of work to do, but we ‘have some pieces’ and we hope to move forward.”

Canada West all-star guard, Tyvon Cooper

Forward it may well be, despite the loss of Earl Thompson Jr, Chris Stanhope, Esmat Atem, and Denham Buchanan.  Back to juice the offense is team high scorer (18.4 ppg), import guard, Tyvon Cooper (NY), and forward John Paul (St. Lucia), a 6-11 inside force, who is a good candidate to average a double-double.

 

Pookie Saunders (Calgary), an emerging talent as a combo guard, returns for his 3rd year, and Troy Grant (Brampton, ON) , a 6-3 transfer from Thompson Rivers, will add depth. Grant’s childhood buddy from the GTA, Josh Bell, is a 3rd year guard, who will also be in the playing rotation, expected to up his scoring totals.

Cheung has added scoring, defense, and quickness in 2-time Junior College All-American, Jonathan Range (Harlem, NY), a 6-6 wing, and Jaleel Webb (Montreal), a 6-3 guard who transfers from Concordia.

The training camp has produced some nagging hurts, and the Bobcats will be ‘short-handed’ for some of their pre-season action.  Look for the ‘Cats to stay in the play-off picture in this ‘season of change’ in much of Canada West.

The Mathematicians Take Over !

 

 

What just happened ?      

Calgary Dinos Coach, Dan Vanhooren

 UBC wins big 2 nights running, and are 17-1 … their RPI index, however, falls from .6450 to         .6172.  Tragique ! 

Saskatchewan and Alberta split their big series, and they both drop slightly.  Calgary wins 2 on the road against a pretty good TRU team, and the Dinos tumble to 4th spot, as the RPI dips by 72 points.   Ugh !

Manitoba loses both games at Brandon, but remains (forever, apparently) in 5th.  Winnipeg wins 2 at home, and go to 6th, up 62 points.  Nice !  Lethbridge was just sitting around , watching the heavy snowfall, and go up a few points, and into 7th.

Brandon made the biggest news, in many ways.  Coach Gil Cheung and his boys come from 3-7 at the Christmas break, to win 6 games and grab a play-off spot at 9-11.  This includes a group of 10 players back from a team that went 1-19 in the previous season.  Well-done, lads .

 

Fraser Valley got the sweep over UVic, and have vaulted themselves into the post-season, while putting the Vikes’ chances in jeopardy.  Victoria comes home to play Winnipeg, and need 2 wins to guarantee a spot, and 1 to have any chance.  MRU,  Regina, Victoria, and MacEwan  are all in dire need of at least that 1 win.  Then the mathematicians take over.

 

What we think we know – 

Martin Timmerman, ‘The man, the myth, the legend’ !

Thanks to Martin Timmerman’s  U-Sports  RPI ‘what-if’ tool for all of this ‘clarity’ in examining the possibilities.  Alberta, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and UBC will be the top 4 seeds.  But not necessarily in that order.  The Huskies or Dinos could be #1, but Alberta has the inside track, especially if they sweep Lethbridge up in Edmonton this week.  The (presumably) 19-1 UBC T’Birds will not be the top seed.

Manitoba will be the 5th seed.  (Even losing 2 to MRU)

From here it gets ‘somewhat jumbled’, as each series is factored in.   Lethbridge can be 6th – 8th, Winnipeg from 6th to 9th.  Brandon are in, with 9 wins, and can be 7th to 9th.

Despite a strong possibility of finishing at 11-9, the UFV Cascades are likely to be 9-10-11-12, but they look to be a lock for the post-season.

That leaves Thompson Rivers  (7th to out !) , Mt Royal, Regina, Victoria, and MacEwan hanging not only by the results of their own games, but of all the other series.  A foreseeable scenario has 2 or more of these teams tied for the final play-off spot(s).  If this is the case, we get the Canada West tie-breakers in play.

CW Tie-breaking rules –          Two Teams Tied:

1. Win/Loss record in head to head competition.

2. Win/Loss record versus common opponents.

3. Each teams RPI ranking.

There are others, but the RPI should sort it out, if necessary.

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).

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Jamar Farley is hot for the Wesmen on Saturday –  photo – Kelly Morton

5 Top Performers from Last Weekend –

Manny Dulay’s 36 point night on Friday for UFV vs Victoria

Conor Morgan matches that on Friday for UBC vs UNBC

Brandon’s Earl Thompson  Jr 40 pts/22 rebs  and  John Paul  30 pts/ 27 boards, as the ‘Cats take a pair from Manitoba

Thadius Galvez hits for 25 pts/ 8 rebs in Senior Night win over UBC-O

Jamar Farley also has a big Senior Night with 22 pts with 6 treys vs Regina

 

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Overtime – 

  • Fraser Valley’s high scoring senior guard , Manny Dulay after the weekend’s wins over UVic, “Usually seniors would be like, ‘OK, it’s my night to shine,’ but I took the approach of, ‘I want to focus on the win,’” Dulay said. “I felt like I had to move the ball because I knew they were going to be extra-aggressive on me, and guys started stepping up – from Denver (Sparks-Guest) to Andrew (Morris) to Mark (Johnson) to Vijay (Dhillon). It was a whole different game from yesterday. Guys were ready to shoot, guys were ready to attack. It was amazing to see.”  From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
  • This is serious ….

  • With all the ‘foo-fa-rah’ about the final RPI seedings, we thought we’d  point out that ‘everybody has problems’.  A shout-out to our golf buddies who are renting places on Vancouver Island, so they can escape the winter and play a few rounds in January, February, and March.   ‘What’s with the snow on our golf course !’  Talk about hard-ship !

 

 

Huskies Hot – Hands Earn Road Win

 

Furious Dinos rally falls just short

Matt Forbes leads the Huskies to a big win in Calgary     photo – Huskies Athletics

Saskatchewan Huskies 83  at  #5 Calgary Dinos  81 –  It was a cake-walk in progress for the visiting Huskies for the first 30 minutes (70-51). U of S were on their way to burying 10/20 from 3 point range, led by 5 from import guard, Lawrence Moore, who had 21 pts on the night.  The ‘Dogs were out-working Calgary on the boards, getting loose balls and hitting their open shots (53% from the floor).  But UC (11-3) launched an improbable 4th quarter come-back fuelled by the 25 points/ 11 rebounds from Thomas Cooper, treys from David Kapinga (16 pts) and  Mambi Diawara (13). Cutting the lead to 2 with seconds left after forcing 21 Huskies turnovers for the game, a tying shot attempt rimmed out.  Saskatchewan moves up to 9-5, with 22 pts/ 8 boards from big Matt Forbes and a double of 16 pts/ 10 rebs from Shane Osayande.      Box Score   

 #3 UBC Thunderbirds 88  at  Mt. Royal Cougars 79 –  After Mt. Royal cut their lead to 6 after 3/4s, the Thunderbirds steadied in the final frame to claim their 13th win vs just 1 loss. 51 first half points for the vistors staked them to a solid lead, as UBC shoots 52% from the floor and 19/22 (86%) from the line tonight.  The Cougars get just 8/11 free throws, and that spelled a big difference in the result. Conor Morgan with 24 points/ 7 rebs and Jordan Jensen-Whyte 19 pts/ 7 rebs/ 6 assts led the ‘Birds’ attack.  MRU        ( 7-7) got a big game from Brett Layton, as he counts 31 pts/ 8 rebs; he got help from Derek Wolf with 16 and Ryan Cunningham’s 15 points.   Box Score  

at #6 Alberta Golden Bears  95 Fraser Valley  78  –  Up by 6 at the break, Alberta pulls away with 52 in the 2nd half, as 6 Bears tally 11 pts or better. Brody Clarke counts a double of 11 pts/ 12 boards, while Mamadou Gueye is high man for U of A with 18 pts, and Dwan Williams 13 pts/ 9 rebs. Alberta (12-4) has a 16/19  vs 4/9 free throw advantage, but UFV uses the long-ball effectively again, with 14/26 for 54% from 3. Manny Dulay has a huge game for the Cascades (6-8) with 27 pts on 8/10 from outside, and Denver Sparks-Guest tosses in 18 points in support.   Box Score  

Lethbridge Pronghorns 94 at   Victoria Vikes 81  –  Up by 5 at the half, the Vikes give up 54 points in the 2nd to absorb their 9th loss vs 5 wins. The ‘Horns (10-6) shoot a red-hot 61% from the floor, as Dejon Burdeaux is high with 25 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 asst, and Elliott Sentance has 15 pts including 4/4 from outside. Grant Sitton has another big offensivee night for Vic with 32 points, as he goes 4/8 from 3 pt range, and adds 10 rebounds for his double. Justin Kinnear chips in with 15 pts/4 rebs, but his Vikes are fading from the playoff picture.    Box Score  

at Brandon Bobcats 95  Regina Cougars 85 –  This one started slowly, with the ‘Cats

Coach Gil Cheung has his Bobcats tracking a play-off berth

up 38-30 after 20 minutes, then someone threw gasoline on the fire!   It was 57-55 Brandon in the 2nd half as it turned into a fire-works show. The ‘Bobcats shoot 53% from the floor, and Coach Gil Cheung’s crew claim their 2nd series sweep of the Canada West season, and are now 7-9, with Regina dropping to 6-8 .  BU’s big men, Earl Thompson Jr (25 pts/10 rebs) and John Paul (13 pts/11 boards) both registered doubles.  The ‘Cats shooting ace, Tyvon Cooper shone again, with 25 points.  Regina got 22 points from Brandon Tull, and 15 from Carter Millar off the bench, but the Cougars lose their 5th straight.  Box Score 

Manitoba Bisons 115 at Trinity Western Spartans 91  –  No holds barred in this tilt, as the ‘goalies are pulled in favour of an extra 3 point shooter’ on both sides. The Bisons (8-6) light it up with 56% from the floor, and they amass 64 points in the 2 middle frames.  Ilarion Bonhomme (5th year import guard) scores 24, with 6 rebs/ 7 assts, while AJ Basi adds 21 points.  Trinity has 6 players in double digits, with 17 pts/ 6 rebs from Vartan Tanielian;  the Spartans (2-12) hit only 37.5% from the floor, however.   Box Score

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In the East on Saturday –  

AUS – Saint Marys 102  Cape Breton 72  , UNB 66  at #9 Dalhousie 63 , at Memorial 86         St. FX 83

Quebec –  UQAM 98  Bishops 79 ,   at #7 McGill 63  Concordia  51

OUA –  #1  Carleton 96 Lakehead 58,  #2 Ottawa 85 Guelph 68 , #4  Ryerson 100  Waterloo 68,   #8 Brock 82 York 64 ,  #10 McMaster 87 Queens 75 ,  Algoma 79 Windsor 78 , Laurier 91 Toronto 80

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Overtime – 

  • Canada West Women’s scores on Saturday … Regina 75  Brandon 55 ,    UBC 87  Mt. Royal 59,  Saskatchewan  91  Calgary 70  , Alberta 56   UFV 53 , Trinity W 93 Manitoba 71 ,  Victoria 72  Lethbridge 61
  •  After their  big Friday road  win over Alberta ,  UFV head coach Adam Friesen said,  “We’ve been playing well in the second semester, and the guys are just playing with a confidence and belief and togetherness that makes us a challenging team – a team that you need to play well to beat,   “We were able to hit some really clutch shots down the stretch tonight to pull it out.”    Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics
  • Longest win streaks in Canada West Men’s  at this moment …  Manitoba 6, UBC 5, …  no one else more than 2.

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.

 

 

Sunday Wins For Huskies, Bobcats, Bears, Vikes

 

 

 

Huskies Offense Clicks into Gear Sunday –

 

At the UBC-O  Heat Tournament –  Saskatchewan 89  MacEwan  70-  The Huskies find their offensive rhythm against a competitive Mac team, which had won 2 straight to start proceedings in Kelowna.  U of S returns home next week for their own Tournament (Calgary, Algoma, Red Deer College).

 at UBC 101  Lethbridge   73 –  The T-Birds record a 2nd thorough beating of the touring Pronghorns, as their offence rolls freely. The ‘Birds hit 49% from he floor vs 36% for the ‘Horns, and the home team claims 47 rebounds against 34 for U of L. 25 turnovers by the visitors gave UBC more offensive chances. Big Luka Zaharijevic counted 24 points/ 8 rebounds inside, while Conor Morgan scored 21 points / 8 boards.  Lethbridge got 19 points/ 8 rebounds from British import, Elliott Sentance.  Box Score

 

 Brandon    69  at Valley City St. (ND)  67 – In their 3rd game in 3 nights, with last 2 on the road, Coach Gil Cheung’s Bobcats get win #1 of their busy pre-season.

In the East –

at the Carleton Ravens Tournament in Ottawa –   Carleton 80 Western Ontario 59  –  The Ravens go 3-0 in their House Laughton Invitational.  We are always surprised when a team can come within 20 points!   Victoria  70  Laval  61 –  This is a good road in for the Vikes, who have found a bit of a groove  defensively.  Laval is considered a contender in the Quebec League this season, and UVic wins 2 straight to finish the Carleton Tournament.

at the Queen’s Golden Gaels Tournament in Kingston –  Alberta  90 Memorial  64 –  The Golden Bears win 2 straight in Kingston, with a big margin over an out-matched Sea Hawks team.  UBC transfer, Geoff Pippus scores 16 on 6/9 FG shooting, going 4/4 from 3 point range. Rookie, Andre Kelly continues to impress with 15 points/ 4 rebs off the bench.  Bears hit 15/32 from outside.   Ottawa 64 Queens  60 –  The Gaels use home court to push the visiting Gee-Gees to the brink.  Ottawa wins the Tournament with a 3-0 record.  Box Score

 Ottawa 64 Queens  60 –  The Gaels use home court to push the visiting Gee-Gees to the brink.  Ottawa wins the Tournament with a 3-0 record.

at the Mickey Place Tourn. in CharlottetownDalhousie 70 Concordia 69 –  The Tigers continue to look like a favourite in the Atlantic, as they edge a strong Concordia team.  The Stingers give notice that they will contend in the Q. also  UPEI 87  Maine – Ft. Kent 78

 In other games in Ontario –Toronto 82  Carrloll U. (Illinois) 74,  Ryerson 98  Ashland U.(Ohio)   76


 

Bobcats Bring Fresh Hope

 

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Brandon Bobcats

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

Returnees –   br-bobcats-copy-2

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

New faces –

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

jordan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule –  

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

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

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


 

Overtime –

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

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

 

 

Fall Camps Opening – More Signings

Summer into Fall as Classes and Pre-Season Practice Begin

Jasdeep Gill and his Calgary Dinos, defending Canada West champions, are among many schools Fall camp this week.

Jasdeep Gill and his Calgary Dinos, defending Canada West champions, are among many schools starting Fall camp this week.                        Photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

Canada West teams are seeing all their roster players returning to campus.  Academic classes, and the full Fall basketball training period  are getting underway.  The CIS differs greatly from region to region, with many Ontario and Quebec schools just having completed games vs U.S. schools who toured North of the border.

Only UBC, Trinity Western, and Victoria played an NCAA opponent on the West Coast, as UNC-Charlotte went 3-0 in beating the ‘Birds 89-71, the Spartans 95-58, and the Vikes by a 92-73 count.  That’s in interesting contrast to the full-on schedule for schools like Carleton, Ottawa, UQAM, McGill, Concordia, and Toronto.,

Attention grabbers from NCAA summer action –   Carleton continues to Carleton Rstand-out with their 5-0 record, including a 100-75 pasting of Wichita State.  Dave Smart returns to the bench, and it may well be more of the same, the Ravens, then the rest of the CIS. ….  Ottawa goes 4-1, although their slate in Costa Rica doesn’t feature many ‘power teams’.  (Frankly, this summer saw fewer top U.S. squads overall than in past years. Maybe they were getting nervous about losing games in Canada?)  … Concordia is 3-2 … Toronto 80 UNLV 79 . Really ?  … while McMaster travels to Taiwan and wins 5 games in a tournament including over Cal Poly -Pomona.

We now await the mid to late September games with alumni, CGEP, and CCAA opponents, then CIS early pre-season tournies.    UVic’s Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament on Sept. 29-30, UNB’s Eric Garland on the 30th, Oct 1-2, and in Wolfeville, NS on the same dates, the Stu Aberdeen for Acadia.


Late Signings Bolster Brandon and TRUtyvon c

Brandon Coach Gil Cheung has added 3 exciting prospects to his roster just last week. From Middletown, New York  Tyvon Cooper is a 3rd year import transfer from  Orange County Community College, NY.  Cooper was a National Junior College All-American . The 6-0 guard was 4th in the nation in scoring at 23.7 ppg, leading his team in scoring, rebounds, and steals.  He is a strong 3 point shooter, and promises to recharge the BU attack.

Two other recent signees for the ‘Cats are Mohammad Sohaib Sultan of Montreal and Girece Kazumba from Toronto. Sultan, a 5-11 guard transfers from  Vanier College  where he was a Quebec League All-Star . Kazumba, a 6-2 guard,  played with Vermillion Community College , Minnesota.

Cheung has now added 6 new faces for this year’s version of the Bobcats, including  Josh Bell of Mississauga, Ont. and two high school grads,  Kobyn Jopp of Calgary,  and Brandon (Crocus Plains)  Riley Schaus.

Scott Clark at TRU has been extra busy on the recruiting front, as he lands 22 TRU 'Packyear old point guard Jonathan Layne of Toronto via  Bismarck State College  (North Dakota).  This is just following TRU announcing another import, Derek Rhodes (6’5” guard, Sacramento City College.)

7 other WolfPack recruits for the ’16-’17 team are  Ryan Miller (6’6” forward, Kamloops,  Trent Monkman (6’2”, guard, Smithers, BC, Noah Kaefer (6’4”, forward, Courtenay, BC ), Madhu McConnell (6’0” guard, Victoria, -Oak Bay), Jass Singh (6’0” guard, Abbotsford- WJ Mouat), Jordan Komarniski (6’0”, guard, Kamloops,  South Kamloops ), and Maalik Hazzies (6’9”, forward, Sacramento, CA,  American River College .  (From Larry Read, TRU Sports Information).

More Canada West Recruiting News –

Mambi Diawara, 6-5 wing, from Montreal signs with Calgary

Mambi Diawara, 6-5 wing  from Montreal signs with Calgary Dinos

  • The Calgary Dinos add 3rd year Montreal native Mambi Diawara, who  played two years at Lamar State (Texas). The 6-5 wing man will certainly be a potential rotation player. UC also signed 6-5 high school Regina high school star Sasha Pojuzina, and  Ethan Scott, a 6-4 guard from Orangeville, Ontario .
  • Victoria Coach Craig Beaucamp has recently signed Mindy Minhas, a ‘blue-chip’ talent from Vancouver’s Winston Churchill. Minhas was to attend UBC last year, but had some academic hurdles.  The Vikes already corralled  Noah Charles, a 6-5 forward from Duncan, BC Cowichan Sec.,  6-6 Jake Newman from White Rock Christian via Lafayette College (PA), Wayne Tucker, a 6-1 import from Oakland, CA,  6-1 Scott Kellam, Issaquah HS, WA, and 6-5  Vladislav Zasmolin, from Sir W. Churchill HS, Calgary.
  • Saskatchewan Huskies inked a pair of Saskatoon high school stars – Addison Dewar, 6-3 guard from Marion Graham Collegiate and Emmanuel Akintunde, 6-1, from St. Joseph High School.  More details in this Star-Phoenix story.

 

New CW Schedule Creates Inequity

 

Canada West Rolls the Dice With a Complicated Schedule Switch   
The Canada West schedule has undergone a major shift for the up-coming cwest2016-17 season, with many hours of consideration by Athletic Directors and League personnel before trashing the Pioneer – Explorer format of recent years in favour of a new 17 team loop featuring a ‘modified and unbalanced’ slate. As we reported last year, Canada West President, Ian Reade (U of Alberta, Athletic Director) lauded the changes,  “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.”

In trying to accommodate (or create anew) ‘regional rivalries’ the League has each school playing  4 geographically proximate rivals every season, then 6 of the remaining 12 schools every 2nd year.

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  … Winnipeg?
Manitoba  – Brandon, Mount Royal, Regina, Winnipeg  … Mt. Royal?
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

And here are the opponents for each team for the ’16-’17 season …

Victoria – at Reg2, Cal2, Mac2, UBC1/1, at TRU2, at Okan2, Leth2, TWU2, at UFV2, Wpg2
UBC – at TRU2, Man2, Vic1/1, Okan2, at Sask2,  Alb2, at MRU2, Bran2, UNBC2, at TWU2
Fraser V – Sask2, TWU1/1, UNBC2, at Bran2, Mac2, at Cal2, at Alb2, TRU2, Vic2, at Okan2
Trinity W- at Okan2, UFV1/1, at UNBC2, Reg2, Leth2, at Wpg2, Man2, at Vic2, at MRU2, UBC2
Okanagan- TWU2, at Bran2, MRU2,  at TRU2, at UBC2, Reg2, Vic2, at Leth2, at Mac2, UFV2
T. Rivers- UBC2, at Man2, at Alb2, Okan, at UNBC2, Vic2, Wpg2, at UFV2, Cal2, at Reg2
UNBC – at Wpg2, Alb2, TWU2, at UFV2, TRU2, at Leth2, MRU2, at Man2, at UBC2, Sask2
Alberta – Bran2, at UNBC2, TRU2, at Man2, Mac1/1, Cal1/1, at UBC2, UFV2, at Sask2, Leth2
MacEwan- at Leth2, Reg2, Vic2, at MRU2, Alb1/1, at UFV2, at Bran2, Wpg2, Okan2, at Cal2
Calgary – Man2, at Vic2, Leth1/1, MRU1/1, Alb1/1, UFV2, Sask2, at Reg2, at TRU2, Mac2
Mt. Royal- Leth1/1, at Okan2, Mac2, Cal1/1, Bran2,at UNBC2, UBC2, at Sask2, TWU2, at Man2
Lethbridge – Mac2, MRU1/1, at Wpg2, Cal1/1, at TWU, UNBC2, Sask2, at Vic2, Okan2, at Alb2
Regina – Vic2, at Mac2, at TWU2, Sask2, at Okan2, Man2, at Bran2, at Wpg2, Cal2, TRU2
Saskatchewan – at UFV2, Wpg2, Bran2, at Reg2, UBC2, Leth2, at Cal2, MRU2, Alb2, at UNBC2
Brandon – at Alb2, Okan2, at Sask2, Wpg1/1, UFV2, at MRU2, Mac2, Reg2, at UBC2, Man2
Manitoba – at Cal2, TRU2, at UBC2, Alb2, Wpg 1/1, at Reg2, at TWU2, UNBC2, at Bran2, MRU2
Winnipeg – UNBC2, at Sask2, Leth2, Bran1/1, Man1/1, TWU2, at TRU2, at Mac2, Reg2, at Vic2

Schools clearly choose whether or not to engage in the ‘home and home’ format with regional rivals … some do and some don’t.  The Dinos have 3 such 1 and 1 series, while Winnipeg, Lethbridge, MRU, and Alberta are playing 2 reciprocals each.  But seemingly obvious chances to play the home and home are passed up by Saskatchewan-Regina, UBC-O – TRU, Brandon-Manitoba, and Trinity W-UBC.

UBC T-Bird

T-Birds lead the list of ‘power teams’ in CW.

Vs ‘Traditional Powers’ ( in 1985-86, Lethbridge had the temerity to win Canada West, and Brandon won in 2001-02 … since 1986 we have UBC with 9 titles, Victoria with 8, Alberta has 7,  Calgary has won 4, and Saskatchewan 1)  We include the Huskies as a power team because of their recent record in League play and presence in the playoffs.

Where is the balance when  Winnipeg has just Sask and Victoria to face, while both UBC-O and TWU have only UBC and UVic,  and the Vikes are slated vs just Calgary and UBC? Meanwhile, Lethbridge has to contend with all of Calgary, Sask, Victoria, UBC, and Alberta, and TRU gets Alberta, Calgary, UBC, and UVic

No games between … Calgary – UBC, UVic – Sask, or UVic -Alberta … Manitoba misses UVic, Lethbridge, and Saskatchewan.   UBC doesn’t play Fraser Valley? Little wonder that virtually every Canada West coach has registered disdain for the unbalanced schedule.  But, the League officials point out that every other year you will play the teams you missed the previous year.

So every 2nd year, for example, Calgary will play UBC, Trinity W., Winnipeg, Brandon, UNBC, and Okanagan (non-regional ), with the following year dropping those and getting UVic, UFV, Manitoba, Regina, and Thompson R.  As someone pointed out … “So we get home games every 4 years vs UVic and UBC, who are both traditionally big spectator draws?  Terrific !”

The one saving grace, if you want to look at the big slate of play-off games, is that 12 of the 17 teams get into the post-season merry-go-round.  Of course, if you’re 13 or 14, you may be unhappy, and certainly number 5 and 6 will have a beef in missing a 1st round bye if they deem their schedule tougher than that of the ‘favoured 4’.

Comment is welcomed ….

Overtime –

  • The CIS Men’s Basketball Final 8 returns to it’s ‘traditional site’ in
    TRU's Josh Wolfram

    TRU’s Josh Wolfram signs pro contract in the Swedish League.

    Halifax for the next 2 seasons (March ’17 and March ’18), with bids being entertained in the coming years. The Women’s Tournament will be in the West for the next couple of years, with Victoria hosting in March ’17 and Regina in March ’18.

  • TRU’s graduating All-star, Josh Wolfram has signed a pro contract to play in Sweden this coming Fall/Winter.  The 6-10 forward, was among the leaders in both scoring and rebounding for the Wolf Pack,  Canada West Silver-medalists in his senior season.  Josh has signed a guaranteed contract with Umea Basket of the Swedish League. More details in this News Kamloops article. 
  • Riley Schaus, the top prospect out of the Brandon City League,  has signed to play for the home-town Bobcats under Coach Gil Cheung. Cheung likes the 6-1 Crocus Plains HS star for his ‘fine-shooting, and great determination’.  (Name another Crocus Plains star who became a CW All-star back in the 1990s.)
  • Adonis Montfort-Palomino, ex-Dinos, who was originally slated to go to Cape Breton this Fall, has decided, probably due to the coaching change with Matt Skinn moving to Calgary, that he will play at MacEwan.  Closer to home, friends, and likely more familiarity with the program.
  • Some other notable signings … 6-3 guard, Andre Kelly (Mississauga, ON) to Alberta, Regina lands Johneil Johnson, a 6-0 guard from Nova Scotia, UBC adds Aussie import, 6-5 swingman, Jerome Thompson, plus Isaiah Familia a 6-2 guard from Windsor, ON.

Cougars Welcome ‘Pops’ to Regina

 

‘Pops’ Takes it On the Road to Regina

Rawane ‘Pops’ Ndiaye has had an eventful last few weeks;  the 25 year old former University of Tennessee player finished his requirements for a Psychology degree from UT in mid-December, and, late in the month, traveled to Phoenix, AZ to meet his new teammates and coaches with the Regina Cougars, who played 3 games just prior to New Years.

Rawane 'Pops' Ndiaye has starting workouts with the Regina Cougars this week.

Rawane ‘Pops’ Ndiaye has starting workouts with the Regina Cougars this week.

The young man returned to his family home in Raleigh, North Carolina, to pack his things for his trip to, hopefully, a new chapter in his basketball and academic life in Regina, Saskatchewan. Feeling he needs his car to get around in his new town, ‘Pops’ decides to drive from N.C. to Southern Saskatchewan.  Cougars teammate, Brian Ofori, obviously with the right team attitude and adventuresome spirit, volunteers to fly to Raleigh from Phoenix, and accompany ‘Pops’ on the highway journey North.  They pull into Regina on January 4, and Ndiaye is practicing with the team, and getting classes organized this week.

Coach Steve Burrows is counting on ‘Pops’ to “ adapt to a new team, a new group of guys, and a new style of play.”  Burrows says, “He is a great young man; very friendly, confident, and a knowledgeble, and capable player.”  “It’s certainly a risk to bring in someone in January, and we’ll have to see how he progresses (Ndiaye was forced to quit at Tennessee after an ACL knee injury in 2014; UR is hoping he can return to playing form).  But, as Coach Burrows says, “‘Pops’ didn’t get any shorter when he crossed the border!”  He’s 6-10, 270, with skills and the experience of playing in the NCAA Tournament.

With the benefit of a home date this Saturday and Sunday vs Trinity Western, then a bye week following, the big man will get some time to become acclimatized to his new surroundings. Rawane will, everything going as it should, play in his 1st game as a Regina Cougar on February 2 in Vancouver against the UBC Thunderbirds.

Now, about the block heater for his car ….


Cda West

Canada West Resumes Play This Week –

After a month-long hiatus, Canada West teams will re-engage in regular season games this week. There may be some rust this early in January, but most squads played in tournaments, exhibition games, scrimmages, and/or team practices over that Holiday break.

 

Series of the week – Pioneer Division –

Can UBC's Jordan Jensen-Whyte drive the T-Birds to wins over the visting UL Pronghorns?

Can UBC’s Jordan Jensen-Whyte drive the T-Birds to wins over the visiting UL Pronghorns?      photo – UBC Athletics

Lethbridge Pronghorns 5-1 vs UBC Thunderbirds 6-2 – The ‘Horns start their onerous 2nd semester schedule ‘in the belly of the beast’, at venerable War Memorial Gym on Point Grey, where they are they are 0-12 since the turn of the century.  But, there is fresh hope for ’Horns Nation’, as they shoot it well, rebound it consistently, apply defensive pressure, and have a deep bench.  On the flip side, they are troubled by turnovers, and give up more treys than they make. Brandon Brine up front and Dejon Burdeaux in the back-court are 2 very valuable imports. Local 2nd year wing man,  6-7 Zac Overwater is stepping up his game, and becoming a force on offense.
The Thunderbirds are reputed to have the deepest well of talent in the League, and may be tough to beat, at their very best;  but Coach Kevin Hanson has had moments where he hasn’t been totally convinced.  Conor Morgan can be all-star material on one night ( the 6-9 wing man scored 34 vs Hope Int’l last week in California), then not so much the next.  David Wagner inside and Jordan Jensen-Whyte on the perimeter have been the driving forces for the ‘Birds.  Home court will be big this week, and UBC figures to sweep if they win the  rebounding, and can slow down the U of L attack.

Games Spread from Thursday to Sunday this week –

Thursday –

Winnipeg 3-5  at Brandon 0-6  in game 1 of their home and home –  The Bobcats quite clearly are desperate for a win, but they’re 1-10 vs the Wesmen in the past several years. Winnipeg haven’t yet found their rhythm yet, however, and Brandon’s Earl Thompson Jr., with his tireless rebounding, and the shooting of D.J. Jordan may get the ‘Cats off the schneid.

Friday –

Jasdeep Gill, 4th year wing, and his UC Dinos teammates face the U of S Huskies in Calgary this weekend.

Jasdeep Gill, 4th year wing, and his UC Dinos teammates face the U of S Huskies in Calgary this weekend.                        photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

Saskatchewan 3-5 at Calgary 6-3 – The Huskies are 9-2 over the Dinos in the past 4 seasons, and Calgary has to find the key to beating a scrappy Saskatchewan team that may be under-manned in the post. Both teams are blessed with talented and quick guards, with Thomas Cooper of Calgary leading Canada West scorers (26.7 ppg), and The Dogs scoring more by committee, with Evan Ostertag (15.9 ppg), Chan DeCiman (14.5), and Jacquin Bennett-Boire (13.3).  Rebounding will be key, along with the ability to get more shared scoring by the Dinos.

 Manitoba 6-2 at Victoria  5-3 – In the last 4 seasons, the Vikes are 6-1 over Manitoba, and home court helps UVic here; the  Bisons are as good as they’ve been for many years, however, and they are on a bit of a roll.  Victoria must find a way to gel on offense, and depend on aggressive D to curb the prolific scoring of the Herd (85 ppg).

 And, in the Explorer Division –

Aldrich Berrios leads the Okanagan Heat in a home series vs the TRU 'Pack. photo - Greystoke Photography for UBC-O

2nd year point guard, Aldrich Berrios, leads the Okanagan Heat in a home series vs the 1st place TRU Wolf Pack.                                   photo – Grestoke Photography for UBC-O Athletics

Thompson Rivers  7-1 at UBC-Okanagan 4-4 – The Wolf Pack won 3 of 4 games last season, and they look stronger this time around with Josh Wolfram joined by Ukrainian import, Volodymyr Iegorov, in a heavyweight 1-2 punch in the front court.  Okanagan has improved over past seasons as well, with Heat point man Aldrich Berrios set to give TRU’s Reese Pribilsky a tussle.

Mt. Royal 2-6 at Fraser Valley 5-3 – The Cascades have beaten MRU 4 of the last 5 times they’ve met, and they will not want to give up any more ground to the Wolf Pack in the race for top spot. Kevon Parchment is relentless for UFV, and Vijay Dhillon is now a go-to shooter.  The Cougars need big men James Lefebvre and Brett Layton to win the war inside if they are to stay close.

MacEwan 3-5 at UNBC 3-5 –  The Timberwolves won 3 of 4 from Mac in the Griffins opening season in Canada West, and in the friendly confines of the Northern Sports Centre, the Wolves are hard to handle.  Guards Rhys Elliott and Billy Cheng lead UNBC, so Denzel James and Thadius Galvez will have to respond for the Griffs.

Saturday – 

Trinity Western 0-8 at Regina 5-3 –  The Cougars have won 3 of the last 4 vs the Spartans, and, with the home court advantage, there is little reason that should change this week. Jonathan Tull and company should give the Trinity defense a real test, and TWU has allowed 86 ppg, while scoring just 68 ppg.

Brandon travels to Winnipeg for game 2, Saskatchewan at Calgary, TRU at UBC-O, MRU at UFV, Manitoba at UVic, Mac at UNBC, and Lethbridge at UBC.

Sunday –  Trinity W. at Regina


Overtime –

  • Gil Cheung, Brandon Coach, on leadership (by Robin Wark in the Westman Journal) , “They always say that you can choose your captains, but you can’t choose your leaders,” While captains are chosen for leadership roles, other players often emerge as important leaders as well. For example, Cheung said that first-year player Tyler Anderson has led this season. The 6-foot-7 forward from Langley, B.C. has done so by putting in the extra work, competing, and being one of the team’s hardest workers”, his coach explained.
  • The Calgary Dinos , as one of the fortunate hosts for the Bell NBA All Star NBASplashChallenge, may sell-out Saturday’s Dinos-Huskies  game! The NBA Challenge  is crossing the country as part of the 65th NBA All-Star celebrations to be held in Toronto on Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre.   On Saturday, January 9, at the Jack Simpson Gym starting at 12 noon, any local b’baller 14 or over can compete (no charge to enter) in skills competitions, 3 point shooting, and/or a dunk contest. Top performers will advance to UC – U of S game time competition for various prizes, including a trip to the game in Toronto and a chance to compete with other winners from across Canada. More details at the Go Dinos website.
  •  Positive comments from  “Pops’  Ndiaye, the 6-10 U. Tennessee transfer,  upon his arrival in Regina for the  Cougars 2nd half of their season in Canada West. “The guys are really friendly, so we’re just kind of building our relationship and getting to know each other,” said Ndiaye,  “Hopefully I’ll be a good fit for them.” From a story in the Regina Leader-Post by Ian Hamilton.

 

Bisons and Bobcats Previews

 

Manitoba Bisons, Coach – Kirby Schepp, 7th  yearManitoba copy

The Bisons may have lost flashy point guard Stephan Walton, but they won an appeal for another year’s eligibility for 6-8 post man, Wyatt Anders.  So, back in the line-up comes the big bonus of a double-digit rebounder !

Coach Kirby Schepp is excited at the return of Keith Omoerah, who he describes as “one of, if not the best athlete I’ve ever coached”.  A key recruit is former Brandon point man Ilarion Bonhomme who  joins the hot shooting AJ Basi, and the

 Wyatt Anders is a surprise returnee for Manitoba.

Wyatt Anders is a surprise returnee for Manitoba after an eligibility appeal..

explosive Justus Alleyn in a very strong back-court. The swing- man Omerah will help the Bison’s other two experienced big men, Jonathan Alexander and Brett Jewell, on the forward line.

Coach Schepp has also been pleased with the skill and savvy of rookie wingman Dharmjit Dhillon, yet another fine Winnipeg high school grad ready to make his mark in Canada West.  Manitoba has been in and out as a playoff team, and the Herd are 0-4 in early October games, but when League play starts, we suspect they will be a very tough out with the addition of Anders and the incorporation of Bonhomme. The Bisons still have  Brandon and Fraser Valley on the 23/24 of October.

Returnees –

Amarjit (AJ) Basi     5-11, G, 4th  year,   Winnipeg

Justus Alleyn    6-3, G, 3rd, Winnipeg

Malik Irwin    6-5, F, 3rd, Toronto

Amir Ali        6-3, G, 5th, Winnipeg

Keith Omoerah   6-5, W , 3rd,   Winnipeg

Jonathan Alexander     6-6, F, 4th, Toronto

Joseph Medrano      6-0, G, 1st,  Winnipeg

Brett Jewell     6-7, F, 4th, Winnipeg

Wyatt Anders     6-9, F, 5th, Winnipeg

New Bisons –

Ilarion Bonhomme II    6-0, Point, 4th year, (tsf Brandon) Winnipeg

Raj Sidhu   6-5 Wing, 1st, Winnipeg

Keiran Zziwa   5-10, G, 1st, Winnipeg

Saajan Arora    6-2, G,   1st,  Winnipeg

Dharmjit Dhillon    6-4, F, 1st, Winnipeg

Joey Nitychoruk     6-5, F,  4th, ( tsf-Lakehead) Winnipeg

Osahon Eghosa    6-7, F, 2nd,  (tsf/Colorado NW JrC) Ajax, ON

Keenan Benarroch    6-4, G, 4th,  (tsf U.Wpg)  Toronto


 

Brandon Bobcats, Coach – Gill Cheung, 6th year

Coach Gill Cheung played in 2 CIS championship finals as the Bobcats’ team captain, and he knows what it takes to succeed in Canada West; however, he’s had no play-off teams as Head Coach, and after a 2-18 season in ’14-’15, he has ‘rolled his roster’. With 11 new faces Cheung hopes he can stir up some winning chemistry this year.

“We are deeper than we have been, and the guys have come together fairly quickly considering we almost needed name tags at the start of training camp”, said Cheung.  The ‘Cats do return scorers D.J. Jordan and earl Thomas Jr., and Thomas led team rebounding last season.

D.J. Jordan is a reliable scorer for Brandon.

D.J. Jordan is a reliable scorer for Brandon.

But BU will have to have major contributions from “Two high school recruits – Aidan Saunders from Calgary and Tyler Anderson from B.C. – both have done a great job of adapting to the CIS level, and do not look like freshmen at all,” Cheung said.   (This from Robin Wark in the Westmen Journal)

Two Ontario College transfers  Chris Stanhope and Esmat Atem should give some size and experience as they settle in over the Fall. Returnee Denham Buchanan and transfer Troy Grant should be factors in the back-court. Brandon plays Winnipeg and Manitoba next week, then Dakota-Bottineau before starting League play at home vs Regina.

Returning ‘Cats –

D.J Jordan     G    6-2,  4th year,  Wichita Falls, TX

Ryan Hawley   G   6-3,   3rd,    Winnipeg

Denham Buchanan  G   6-3, 4th,   Toronto

Earl Thompson Jr.    G/F    6-5,  4th,   Henderson, NV

New Faces –

Troy Grant        G     6-3,  3rd,   Brampton, ON , tsf Thompson R.

Carnar Parkes       G   6-3, 3rd,   North York, ON, tsf Burlington (NY) Jr. Coll.

Chris Stanhope      F  6-5,  4th,   Brampton, ON,  tsf, Fanshawe Coll.

Esmat Atem          F   6-8,  4th,   Ottawa, tsf, Algonquin Coll.

Tyler Anderson      F    6-7, 1st,   Langley, BC (Walnut Grove)c

Aidan Saunders   G     6-1,  1st,    Calgary, AB (Manning)

Mitch Marquis     G   5-10,  1st , Rockwood, ON (St. James)

Keneal James      G  6-2,   1st,   Chateauguay, QC (J. Abbott Coll.)

Ben Ngeleka         G   6-1,    3rd,   St. Hyacinthe, QC

Christian Bera      G     6-2,    2nd,   Winnipeg


 

This Weekend’s Games – 

Thurs. Oct. 15 –  Windsor vs Regina, Sask. vs Concordia (both at U of S) … also, in the East – Cape Breton at McMaster

Fri. Oct. 16 – Mt.Royal at Calgary Dinos, Lethbridge at Montana-Western, at Sask. Tourney – Regina vs Concordia, Huskies vs Windsor, TRU Tourn. in Kamloops – UBC-Okanagan vs Trinity W., Thompson R. vs U. Great Falls .  In PEI – UNBC vs UPEI

East – Carleton-Acadia, Toronto -Bishop’s, Ottawa-UQAM, Queen’s-Cape. B., St. Mary’s-Dalhousie, St. FX-Mt.St.Vincent, Guelph-Memorial, Western-Mercyhurst (PN)

Sat. Oct.17 – Dinos at Mt. Royal , Regina-Sask., Windsor-Concordia, Lethbridge-Rocky Mtn. Coll.(MT), UBC-O vs Great Falls, TRU-TWU

East- McGill-York, Laurier-Memorial, Acadia-Bishop’s, Carleton-Toronto,UPEI-Maine, Ft. Kent, Ottawa – Cape Breton, Queen’s-UQAM


 

Overtime – 

  •   Regina Cougar, Ryan Csada, tells us … “we had a late addition in Aaron McGowan, who transferred in from Fraser Valley. He is eligible to play right away and will be a good back up point. “