Vikes Sweep Over Winnipeg Gets Them In

 

 

 

 

Grant Sitton’s shooting propels Vikes to a sweep over Winnipeg. photo- Vikes Athletics

at Victoria 79  Winnipeg 78 –  A massive win for the Vikes, who avoid a tiebreaker scenario for the final spot.  They look to be 11th, with their 9-11 record, while Winnipeg are either 7th or 8th, awaiting the Bears-Horns Sunday game. Grant Sitton, on his Senior Night, lights it up for 27 points/ 12 rebounds for Victoria, and his 5 points in the final 30 seconds snatches victory for the home side, who trailed by 4.  Sean Tarver led the Ws with 23 points, while Narcisse Ambanza added 19, and Denzel Lynch-Blair 18.   Box Score    

at #7  Alberta  97  Lethbridge 86 –  The 2 Alberta rivals warmed up cautiously in the opening 10 minutes , then hit the ‘Go button’ with the Bears winning the last 3 stanzas by an 81-75 count. Geoff Pippus is hot for Alberta, with 24 points and 5/8 from deep, to go with 5 rebs/ 4 steals. Mamadou Gueye tallied 19 pts/ 7 rebs, as Alberta (14-5) is 1 win away from claiming the top seed for playoffs. Lethbridge (12-7) shoots it well, but hits 3 fewer treys, and 14/20 from the line vs 26/29 for the home side. Dejon Burdeaux has a big scoring night for the Pronghorns, with 35 points/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals .  UL are looking like 6th place finishers on the play-off seeding, regardless of their  result tomorrow against U of A.   Box Score          2nd game, Sun at 7 pm

at Manitoba  71  Mt Royal  68  –  In the 2nd close win in a  Bisons sweep, the home team hits 10 treys on 18 tries, and snares 46 rebounds vs 35 for the Cougars.  Down by 9 at the half, MRU won the 2nd, but couldn’t quite catch Manitoba.  Mt. Royal falls just short of a play-off spot, with their 8-12 record tying them for 12th with Thompson Rivers.  On the 2nd tie-breaker (since the 2 teams did not play each other), TRU come out on top with a split vs Manitoba back in November ; they were equal in results with other common opponents.  Justus Alleyn leads Manitoba with 20 pts/ 8 rebs, while MRU have 4 in double figures with both Josh Ross (15 pts/ 10 rebs) and Brett Layton (15 pts/ 12 boards) with a double-double again tonight.    Box Score  

at Regina 79  Thompson Rivers 74 –  Closer tonight for the Wolf Pack, but Regina (9-11) comes from behind in the 4th quarter to nab the sweep, and claim a play-off spot.  TRU (8-12) are in as well, but go back to B.C. after their 4th straight loss. Brian Ofori pours in 22 for the Cougars, and grabs 8 boards;  rookie guard, Johneil Johnson has 17 and 7 rebs.  Volodymyr Iegorov scores 16 for the ‘Pack, and adds 12 rebounds.   Box Score  

Calgary’s Dallas Karch enjoys a strong game on his Senior Night.  photo- UVic Athletics

at #6 Calgary 95  MacEwan 87  – It’s another free-wheeling affair, as the Griffs work hard trying, in vain, to nab a post-season berth, as the 2nd half, in particular, was played at high speed. Thomas Cooper posted 32 points for Calgary, and had 10 rebounds on a very successful Senior Night. Jhony Verrone was solid again for the Dinos, scoring 20 pts/ 8 rebs.  Thadius Gálvez was his elusive best for GMU, hitting 30 pts, and had 6 boards, while Denzel James  totalled 19 pts/ 8 rebs/ 3 assts.  The Dinos can finish 1st or 2nd in the play-off seeding, depending on the result of Sunday’s Alberta-Lethbridge game.  Box Score 

#9 Saskatchewan 77  at UNBC 57  –  The Huskies leave no doubt at the half, with a 37-16 spread, and their defense stifling the Timberwolves’ attack. U of S look set in either 2nd or 3rd seed for the play-offs.  Saskatchewan hits 53% from the floor, with Trevor Severinski the top man with 20 points on 6/10 from 3 point range.  Sam Zhang, in his final game for the ‘Wolves, is their leading scorer with 18 points/ 5 rebs.  Box Score  

#2 UBC 104  at  Trinity Western 72 –  Even without an injured Conor Morgan in the

UBC’s Conor Morgan sits out with a leg injury. photo- UBC Athletics

line-up tonight, the Thunderbirds (19-1) are too much for the Spartans (3-17) in the final game of the  regular season. 5 ‘Birds in double figures, with Jordan Jensen-Whyte cashing 23 pts / 8 rebs/ 4 assists, and Isaiah Familia adding 20 points/ 11 rebounds. TWU have Pogos Trunyan with 21 points on 5/11 from outside, but the next highest was Tea Mayberry’s 10 points.  UBC finishes 4th in the final Ratings Percentage Index, based on strength of schedule.  Box Score  

Fraser Valley 85 at UBC-O  78 –  Tied after 3/4s, the Cascades win the 4th quarter and the game by 7 points, with 5th year guard, Vijay Dhillon, hitting clutch shots down the stretch. With the team shooting 54% from the floor, Andrew Morris led UFV with  14 points, with Dhillon and Manny Dulay both scoring 10.  Fraser Valley finish 11-9, and are bound for 10th place in the RPI table.  UBC-O finish their season at 2-18, as Aldrich Berrios leads all scorers with 24 points.   Box Score   

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In the East on Saturday  – 

Atlantic – at UNB 99 St. FX 86, at St. Marys 93 Acadia 90, at Memorial  106 UPEI 92

Quebec – Laval 70 at Bishops 68,  Concordia 63 at UQAM 52

Ontario –  #1 Carleton 114 at York 50,  Western Ont 88 at Laurier 65,  at Waterloo 84  Windsor 69, at Guelph 74  Lakehead  62,  #3 Ottawa  72 at  Queens50  , at McMaster 76 Algoma  61

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Canada West  play-off grid – Sunday

Buenos Noches !

 

 

 

 

Home Teams Win on the Prairies

 

 

Regina captures a key game over TRU in the play-off race 

All 3 home teams won their Friday games at Prairie venues, with the Regina Cougars solidifying a claim on a play-off spot.  Calgary has slim hopes for a most favourable RPI placement, while Manitoba barely slides by a competitive MRU side.

Brandon Tull leads Regina to a clutch home win on Friday.                               photo – UR Athletics

at Regina 81  Thompson Rivers 54 –  The Green Cougars come out very aggressively, and stifle the TRU offense, turning the Wolves over a devastating 25 times. Brandon Tull is finishing his 5th year in good fashion, with 20 pts/ 10 rebs as Regina climbs to 8-11, tied with the ‘Pack. TRU’s big men, Luke Morris (15 pts/ 13 boards) and Volodymyr Iegorov (11 pts/ 10 rebs) both register a double-double, but the Pack are only 28% as a team from the floor tonight.  Box Score  Sat  at 8 pm

 at Victoria 86 Winnipeg 78 –  The Vikes (8-11) put together a most impressive 2nd half,  scoring 56 points to pull away from the Wesmen, who had a 39-30 lead after the opening 20.  Cleaner ball-handling and better rebounding from Victoria make a difference , and the home side hit 48% from the floor, with 12 treys to 10 for UW.  The season-long scoring leader for UVic, Grant Sitton rolls along with 25 points, while Scott Kellum continues his sharp  rookie season with 21 pts/ 5 assts.  Winnipeg, who drop to 12-7, have Sean Tarver scoring 22 pts, and Narcisse Ambanza hits 19 pts/ 5 rebs.  Box Score   Sat  7 pm

Thomas Coopers’ 27 points helps Calgary down MacEwan.  photo – David Moll -UC

at #6 Calgary 101 MacEwan 74 –  It is slow to catch fire tonight, but the UC offense clicks for 59 points in the final 20 minutes,  as Dinos defenders harass Mac’s ball-handlers for 25 turnovers. Thomas Cooper leads Calgary (15-4) with 27 pts/ 6 rebs, while Mambi Diawara shines with his 18 points/ 8 rebs/ 6 steals, as UC hits 53% from the floor. The Griffs (7-12) get some sharp-shooting from their tall, slim forward, Keith Gerdes, as his 20 pts come mainly from 5/6 from beyond the arc. The slick swing-man, Thadius Galvez counts 18 points/ 6 rebs. , but the Griffins cannot match the Dinos torrid pace on Friday.    Box Score  Sat  7 pm

at Manitoba 72  Mt Royal 71 –  The Bisons escape by the tips of their horns, as MRU storms from behind in the 3rd quarter, and leads for much of the 4th.  A free throw from Justus Alleyn of the Herd, with no time left on the clock, decides the issue for UM.  Missed free throws cost the Cougars, as they are 9/22 from the stripe, and the visitors cannot take advantage of a 19-10 turnover advantage over their hosts. Alleyn has 16 for Manitoba (11-8), and Keith Omoerah posts a double of 12 pts/ 11 boards.  Brett Layton doubles for the Cougars, with 17 points/ 12 rebs, and Josh Ross adds 14 plus 9 rebs/ 4 asst  Box Score    Sat 6 pm

#9 Saskatchewan 89 at UNBC 59  –  The Huskies maul the over-matched T’Wolves, as U of S hits 53% from the floor, 12/28 from outside the 3 point arc, and pound the glass for a 36-17 rebound advantage. Import guard, Lawrence Moore has a good shooting night for Saskatchewan, going 7/9 from the floor, and he adds 6 assts/ 7 steals. Jaylan Morgan tosses in 18 points for the ‘Dogs, who move up to 13-6 on the season.  UNBC fall to 4-15, as their high scorer is Rhys Elliott with 18 points.    Box Score   Sat   7 pm

#2 UBC  87 at  Trinity Western  67 –  It’s a 2 point game at the half, but it’s 26-9 UBC  in the 3rd frame, then 53 points in the 2nd half, which finish off the Spartans.  The teams combine almost equally for 41 turnovers in a fairly ragged contest. Jordan Jensen-Whyte leads the ‘Birds (18-1) with 18 points/ 6 assts, and rookie Isaiah Familia hits for 17 points, as he sees 29 minutes of play.  Trinity Western (3-16) have Josiah Allison counting 17 points, and Pogos Trunyan has 14, with 5 rebs/ 4 assists.  Box Score   Sat  at 7 pm

Fraser Valley 87 at UBC-O 72 –  Okanagan has it tied at 40 with the favoured Cascades at the half, but a 30-10 outburst by the visitors takes the air out of the home side.  52% from the field for UFV, as Manny Dulay scores 21, including 4/8 from outside.  Andrew Morris adds 17 off the bench, as Fraser Valley climbs to 10-9. UBC-O get 19 points/ 8 rebs/ 4 assts from Aldrich Berrios, and 13 points from rookie Matt Lafontaine, but they fall to 2-17.  Box Score   Sat at 7 pm

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In the East – 

Quebec – #8  McGill 99  UQAM  73

#1 Carleton 93  Queens 50, # 4 Ryerson 87  Toronto 73,  Lakehead 63  Guelph 62, #3 Ottawa 70  York 69, Nipissing 82 Laurentian 78, #5 Brock 72  Algoma 55

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Overtime –

  • Tough travel conditions along the #1 through the Fraser Valley, and all the way up the Coquihalla to the Okanagan forced the UFV teams to wait until Friday morning before heading East for their games at UBC-O.  Sports Communications Director, Dan Kinvig tells us the Cascades Women’s and Men’s teams called to say they arrived at 4 pm.   That’s a short turnaround for the Women’s team who tipped off a 6 pm.
  • “We control our own destiny,” Vikes coach Craig Beaucamp said.“It’s very simple. We need to win. It’s not really that complicated. Sometimes you talk about must-win situations and it’s just a figure of speech. It’s reality for us. We have to have our best effort this weekend.”   From a Victoria Times-Colonist story by Cleve Dheensaw

Canada West League Play Looms

 

Canada West Teams Wrap-up Pre-Seasoncwest-copy

Canada West League play looms this week, as 8 series are scheduled with Mount Royal on a bye.  We are now past the “We’re looking at different combinations … it’s early … we are just trying to give everyone a chance to show us what they can do under game conditions.”  (Or words to that effect).  No. No … ‘It’s GO TIME !’

What have we seen in the past weeks of pre-season play ?    Well … this …

UBC    6-0 …   Beat   Western O,   Lethbridge – 2,  Nipissing,  Laurier,  Lakehead 

Calgary 5-0 … Beat MRU, Windsor, Regina, Algoma, Saskatchewan

Winnipeg- 5-0 …  Beat Lakehead -3,  Laurier,  Brandon

Saskatchewan 4-1 … Beat TRU, UBC- Okan, MacEwan, Algoma … Loss Calgary

Alberta 5-2 …  Beat UNBC, Queens, Memorial, Nipissing, Western O … Lost to  Ottawa, Regina 

Victoria  5-3  … Beat  Regina, Western O, Laval … Loss  Carleton, McMaster, McGill

Lethbridge 4-2  .. Beat UFV, Bishops -2 , Regina … loss 2 to UBC  

MacEwan 4-2 … Beat TRU, UNBC,  UBC-O, Western O … loss to Sask, Nipissing

Thompson R.  2-2 … Beat TWU,  Lakehead  … Loss  MacEwan, Saskatchewan

Manitoba  2-3 … Beat UQAM, Laurier … Loss  Lakehead, Waterloo, Brandon

Regina  4-8 … Beat  Brandon, Guelph, UQAM, Alberta … Loss  Ryerson, Windsor, Calgary, Mt. Royal, McGill, McMaster, Victoria , Lethbridge  

Fraser Valley  1-1  …  Beat Laurier …  Lose Lethbridge

UNBC   1-3 …    Beat Lakehead … Loss   MacEwan,  Alberta, Laurier    

Brandon 1-4 … Beat Manitoba … loss Wpg, Regina, Laurier, Lakehead

Mt. Royal 1-5 … Beat Regina … Loss  Windsor, Calgary, Bishops, Victoria-2

UBC-Okanagan  0-5 … Loss   Sask, MacEwan, McGill, McMaster, Laurentian

Trinity Western  0-1 …   Loss  Thompson Rivers     

(Trinity and quite a few other CW schools played Canadian College teams and some U.S. schools, from NCAA (various Divisions), NAIA,  and National Junior College.  We did not include these games in the record)

The Dinos and UBC are the 'teams to beat' in Canada West, as we anticipate the start of League play.

The Dinos and UBC are the ‘teams to beat’ in Canada West, as we anticipate the start of League play.

Based on these results, UBC and Calgary are our two favourites in early November.  They are deep, have great experience, and have added some significant talent.  Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Victoria, Lethbridge all look capable of chasing the top 2, and of securing a post-season berth.

MacEwan appears to be a veteran team with a great chance to surprise, and Regina has a couple of very good wins in a ‘chock-full’ October schedule, with enough quality returnees to make it interesting.

Manitoba, who had some injury troubles, still were surprisingly ineffective in October.  They have the horses, now, can they answer the bell for the start of the regular season?  Mt. Royal, Thompson Rivers, and Fraser Valley may be competitive again, but it’s hard to assess right now.  Fighting to keep the pace are UNBC, UBC-O, Brandon, and Trinity Western.

 

Sunday’s final Pre-season games – 

  •   Fraser Valley  74  W. Laurier 71 –  The mask he was wearing to protect a broken nose didn’t seem to bother Vijay Dhillon, as he scored 21 points to lead the Cascades to a close win over the traveling Laurier Hawks. Manny Dulay had 17 points for UFV, and Laurier’s high scorer was Tevoun Koko with 19 points.
  • in Ottawa –   Bishops 78 Toronto 76 , Ottawa 73  McGill  43 ,  Concordia  75 Waterloo  66        

Canada West Newcomers expected to make an immediate impact –

Elliott Sentance comes to Lethbridge with a wealth of experience and a sweet shooting stroke !

Elliott Sentance comes to Lethbridge with a wealth of experience and a sweet shooting stroke !

  • Elliott Sentance – Lethbridge – scoring in large bunches.  Sentance, a veteran of high level club ‘ball in Britain, and in the JC League in the U.S. , should be among the top scorers in CW all season.
  • Austin Waddoups – Alberta –  A poised, skilled, and mature player.  Waddoups, a 6-2 guard, played at S. Utah Univ, and Salt Lake City C.C. after a 2 year Mormon mission following high school.
  • Tyvon Cooper, Brandon – the 6-0 guard was the 4th highest scorer in the National Jr. College ranks in the U.S. at Orange County College , NY.
  • Mambi Diawara, Calgary – The 6-5 Montreal product played 2 years at Lamar State – Port Arthur, TX  Jr. Coll.  A smart, long defender, he averaged close to 20 ppg last season.

    UFV's Andrew Morris is a key addition for the Cascades this Fall.

    UFV’s Andrew Morris is a key addition for the Cascades this Fall.

  • Andrew Morris, Fraser Valley  – The 6-5 Morris has a smooth shot, and uses his size effectively as a defender and rebounder.
  • Josh Ross, Mt. Royal – The 6-4 Ross was the 2016 Player of the Year in the Canadian Colleges, as he led the Vancouver Island Mariners to the CCAA title.
  • Johneil Johnson, Regina –  the 6-0 point man was the top player in Nova Scotia high schools.  ‘Tremendous athlete, and a quick defender.’
  • Jaylan Morgan, Saskatchewan – a strong 6-5 wing man, he averaged 15 ppg / 56% from the floor at Williston State JC, ND after a brilliant high school career in Brampton, ON.
  • Pogos Trunyan, Trinity W … The 6-2 shooting guard from Sacramento, CA played 2 seasons at Sierra College, Lake Tahoe, CA, and last season with the Bellevue (WA) Bears.  He is a confident 3 point shooter.
  • Isaiah Familia, UBC – This multi-skilled 6-2 guard will be on our ‘all-rookie’ watch list.  He was a 2-time ‘Mr. Basketball’ in Windsor -area high schools.
  • James Wagner , Manitoba –  The 6-7 Wagner was a coveted recruit across the CIS.  He played for Canada’s U17 team this past summer, and is a strong rebounder.
  • Scott Kellum, Victoria –  The Vikes have the Issaquah, WA  rookie coming off the bench at the point, but he has the composure and skills of a veteran at both ends of the floor.
  • Sean Tarver, Winnipeg … The Baltimore, MD high school star, played  two years with the Community College of Baltimore County Dundalk Lions.  He is a scorer and a creator on offense, and an aggressive defender.

 


Can we have ‘pivotal series’ in the opening week ?

 Week 1 Schedule –  November 4/5

at Calgary   Manitoba

at Thompson Rivers   UBC

at Regina   Victoria

at Alberta   Brandon

at Fraser Valley  Saskatchewan

at Winnipeg    UNBC

at Lethbridge    MacEwan

at UBC-O     Trinity Western


 

Overtime –

golf-basketball-21c9f3y

  • TRU Head Coach Scott Clark, on a couple of his favourite games ,  “If this were golf and you shoot 100. You go out the next few times to whittle it down to 90. You have to work on the little things to be a good golfer. That is kind of like what it is for us right now. We are trying to perfect a bunch of little things to be a good basketball team.”  (Chipping, putting  … foul-shooting, rebounding ….)  Nice !
  • UFV Cascades head coach Adam Friesen, after their  win over Laurier on Sunday,  “It was nice to see Vijay (Dhillon) get into a rhythm,” said. “He’s been battling injuries for a while now, so he hasn’t seen much court time. But to see him get into some game rhythm at the end of this one bodes well going into league play.”   
  • The Ottawa pasting (73-43) of the Q’s top -rated squad, McGill, yesterday is the ultimate ‘statement game’ by someone other than Carleton.  The ‘Ponies’ shut down the Redmen and they scored inside on the usually stingy McGill defenders.  This follows a ‘mixed October’ for Ottawa, who lost to UQAM early on, and were not ‘flying’ in a couple of other fairly close wins.
  • As a skilled rookie, you may come into a program where you will play 15-20 minutes plus, or you may see yourself lower on the depth chart on a deeper squad.  Here are some 1st year guys who are strong players, but may have to wait their turn, or ‘get more experience’ at this higher level.  Jeff Rodehutskors, Calgary, Riley Braich, UFV, Dharmjit Dhillon, Manitoba, Tristan Matthews, UBC-O, Noah Kaefer, TRU, Josiah Meppelink, TWU, Justin McChesney, UBC, Narcisse Ambanza, Winnipeg

 

T-Birds Loaded For Battle

 

2016-17 Canada West  Previews –

UBC Thunderbirds

 ’15-‘16 –  3rd at CW Final 4,  Host Nationals                 Wins 16   losses  4    (Pioneer)

Returnees –    5th years – Jordan Jensen-Whyte, 6-6 wing, Calgary. Will Ondrik, 6-7  UBC T-Birdwing, Vernon, BC.  … 4th Year – Conor Morgan, 6-9 wing, Victoria. Phil Jalalpoor,  Germany. Luka Zaharajevic, 6-7 forward, Vancouver. A.J. Holloway, 6-2 guard, Tacoma, WA.  … 3rd Years – Patrick Simon, 6-8 forward, Port Coquitlam, BC.… 2nd Years – Roger Milne, 6-8 forward, Winnipeg. Taylor Browne, 6-2 guard, Surrey, B.C.

New faces –   Isaiah Familia, 6-2 guard, 1st year, Windsor, ON (Holy Names HS).   Izaiah Ugoalah, 6-5 guard, 1st, Vancouver (Sir W. Churchill).  Justin McChesney, 6-10 forward, 1st, Prince Rupert, B.C., (Charles Hays Sr.)

 From his start at UBC in 2000 through the ’15-’16 season, Coach Kevin Hanson has a .750 winning percentage in Canada West League play.   Money !       So,  barring any major upset, we can safely assume this season’s Thunderbirds will be near the top of the 17 team loop once again.

The ‘Birds have experience, and they’re high quality returnees at that!  Jordan Jensen-Whyte, formerly a rangy, slim point man, has morphed into a bruising slasher at the wing.  He averaged 15 ppg, 48% from the floor, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.  Conor Morgan is a very tall, inside-outside offensive force, and should improve on last year’s ‘pretty good’ numbers – 14.8 ppg/ 7.3 rebounds / 1.5 blocks per game.

Luka Zaharajevic is getting his shot at making a big impact for UBC.

Luka Zaharijevic is getting his shot at making a big impact for UBC.    photo- UBC -Wilson Wong

A less well-known character, outside of Point Grey and Kitsilano areas in Vancouver, is 6-7, 255 lb post man, Luka ‘The Bazooka’ Zaharijevic.  Big Luka recently laid a career high 24 point/ 8 rebound game on the visiting Lethbridge Pronghorns, and Hanson said, “We’re very proud of him. He’s worked so hard, in dropping 25 lbs.  He could be great!  He’s a thick bodied, massive guy.  He hurts guys in practice!”

On the perimeter, UBC counts on Phil Jalalpoor at the point, with AJ Holloway and Taylor Browne both back, and looking ready to contribute even more this year.  Two rookies who are sure to get some attention are the two Iz(s)aiahs,  Isaiah Familia and Izaiah Ugoalah, a pair of tall, athletic shooters with great upside.  Familia was ‘Mr. Basketball’ in Windsor, ON the last 2 years in high school, and the coach says, “He’s a gamer … better than we even thought he’d be.”

Justin McChesney is a very big rookie, and, according to Hanson, “ … a diamond in the rough.”  Initially projected as a red-shirt, the Prince Rupert post man has played his way onto the 12-man roster.

We could go on.  We should.  They also have Will Ondrik, a tough, tall defender, and  two big forwards, Patrick Simon and Roger Milne off the bench. Suffice it to say that the T’Birds are loaded, and they want to get back to Nationals after hosting last year.  By their early season form, we could easily see that happening, if all the pieces fall into place.  But those pieces certainly appear to be there!

(* Credit to the Province podcast ‘Varsity Letters’ , with host Howard Tsumura interviewing Kevin Hanson last week)

Schedule –  Nov-Dec – at Thompson Rivers, bye, Manitoba, home/home Victoria, UBC-O – 4 series   Jan-Feb – at Saskatchewan, Alberta, at Mt. Royal, Brandon, UNBC, at Trinity W  – 6 series in the 2nd half.

 Prediction –  The ‘Birds should fly high.  A solid contender for League honours.


 

 

Overtime –

  • UBC has a big red-shirt group, including the talented, but unpredictable Jauquin Bennett-Boire, who started for Saskatchewan as a rookie last Fall, but dropped out of school at Christmas.  Still with the T-Birds football team is Parker Simson, a highly recruited guard / QB from Kelowna.  Coach Hanson says, “ He’s a tough, gritty competitor with a championship attitude.” Due to the football schedule his status with the hoops squad is a bit unsure.
  • On the topic of pre-season schedules … See Canada this Fall !  Play for the Regina Cougars ! … 10 games so far, from Victoria to Calgary,  day trip to Brandon, off to St. Catharines, ON, and a bus ride to Lethbridge this week for #11-12.  On the other hand, we have Fraser Valley, with a couple of short cab rides for some B.C. College scrimmages, and 2 home games vs Lethbridge and Laurier.  At least the Cascades are hitting all their classes !

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.