T’Wolves Working to Climb the Ladder

 

Who can step up for the Timberwolves?

Every team graduates top players, and UNBC will be looking for the leadership and 16 ppg which left with Rhys Elliott, the Aussie sniper.  Another loss is the injury absence of forward Austin Chandler, who could have been expected to play solid minutes.

Coach Todd Jordan knows it’s a challenge to compete in a “ tough Canada West League”.  “Many teams have had significant changes, but we are always working to move ahead”, says the 8 year head

Veteran forward Vaggelis Loukas, photo  UNBC Athletics

man. “I think we have some ‘old school’ inside men with some experience, who are joining us this season. We think we’ll be more combative, and tougher to play against.”

UNBC has potential leaders like 5th year guard, Marcus MacKay (Terrace, BC), the leading returning scorer at 12.5 ppg and  Jesse Mushiana (Vancouver) is a 4th year, 6-7 forward with some moves inside.  Point man James Agyeman , 4th year (Brampton, ON) is lightning quick, and import forward, Vaggelis Loukas (Athens, Greece) is a 6-5, 4th year battler at forward.

After a red-shirt year in ’16-’17, ‘Vova’ Pluzhnikov, a 6-1  Ukrainian import, is expected to be new floor leader for the ‘Wolves. 6-5, 4th year, Jovan Leamy (Toronto), transfers from Ryerson with the size and  experience to give the T’Wolves a boost. He will be available to play in early November (1 year after leaving the Rams program).

These elements need to all come together if this UNBC team can climb into playoff contention.  Since his days as a player with his hometown team back in the early 2000s, Coach Jordan has been pouring his every effort into building this program. He believes, “We will be more intense, more consistent, and physically tougher .”

Timberwolves last year – 4-16  … a long way up   Prognosis – The ‘Wolves will have to fight to get to .500, but, with so many re-building teams, this may be the year to move up.

 

UNBC has been ‘amazing’ for MacKay

After learning the game from his Dad, Cam, Head Coach at Caledonia High School (Terrace, BC),  Marcus MacKay moved to Prince George to play at UNBC.  Since that freshman year, the 6-4 guard has come into his own, with 28, 26, and 25 point games last season. “Now, I have to get more consistent”, says a determined Mackay. “No more following up with a 5 or 6 point  effort the next night.”

Marcus MacKay, 5th year guard, UNBC     photo – Timberwolves Athletics

Playing at UNBC means you’re ‘the biggest game in town’, and Marcus says “it’s been incredible” to have the big crowds, the enthusiasm, and the support from the Timberwolves faithful. “Many times it’s packed, it’s loud, and it’s a big thrill for us to play in front of our crowd.”  The community gets involved in supporting the team, from hiring players to summer jobs, to sponsoring athletes and the team for travel expenses.

Acknowledging how “5 years has flown by so quickly”, MacKay says, “I’m aiming to be the hardest working, to play more physically, to focus as a team leader, and inspire confidence in my teammates.”  After searching for a ‘perfect major’, Marcus is now aiming at an Education program to finish up at UNBC.  He is excited to now be following in the footsteps of his two parents, who both teach in Terrace. “I’m not sure where I want to teach”, he says. “But that’s what I know I want to do.”

Marcus is wanting to make his final season with the ‘Wolves one to remember, and he just wants to let the game ‘come to him’.  Not so much about firm personal goals, but more focused on the team process, and advancing the common cause.

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Saturday scores – 

In Victoria …  Carleton 99 Victoria 61 ,  Concordia 94  Guelph 61

UNBC  beats  Mt. Royal  , Seattle Mountaineers at Trinity Western,  Lethbridge  110 Lethbridge Coll. 67, Western 116 UBC-O  52 , Windsor 92  Centennial Coll 68, Acadia 101 Holland Coll 73 , McMaster 92  Memorial 77

Saint Marys 79  Cape Breton 60,  UNB 79  UQAM 77  … UNB Tourney

Bears Hang Up a Big W at Saskatchewan

 

 

Bears outside shooting shocks the Huskies on Friday in Saskatoon

Mamadou Gueye and the Golden Bears claim a huge road W in Saskatoon. photo – U of A Athletics

 # 7  Alberta 80 at # 9 Saskatchewan 67 –  The Bears engage their top weapon, the 3 pt shot, with 13/27 – 48% from outside, and pull away in the closing minutes fo the big road win.  Alberta defense limited the Huskies to 38% from the floor, and the visitor’s sharp ball-handling gave them a 4-14 advantage in the turnover column.  6 points was as close as U of S got in the final frame, and Mamadou  Gueye’s 2 treys in the last 2 minutes iced the cake, and Alberta moves to 13-4.

The Bears get 22 pts from import guard, Austin Waddoups, as he cashes 4/6 from beyond the arc, and  Gueye finishes with 21 and 5 boards.  The Huskies (11-6) have 4 starters in double figures, with a 12 point/13 rebound game from Shane Osayande, and 16 pts/ 8 boards by Matt Forbes before he left with 5 fouls late in the 4th.  Box Score     8 pm Central again on Saturday

at Brandon 79  Manitoba  68 –   The Bobcats (8-11) poke a stick in the Bisons’ spokes,

Tyvon Cooper scores 21 as Brandon derails Manitoba in game 1.  Photo –   Bobcats Athletics

with some aggressive team defense and shut-out rebounding.  Manitoba can hit just 30% from the floor in dropping their 1st game in the last 9 League efforts.  Tyvon Cooper shines for the ‘Cats in this upset , with 21 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 steals, and he gets lots of help.  Big men, John Paul (12 pts/ 13 boards) and Earl Thompson Jr  (13 pts/ 10 rebs), both record handy double-doubles, and Pookie Saunders deals out 8 helpers.  The frustrated Herd (10-7) have Ilarion Bonhomme, the ex-Brandon point man, collect 14 points/ 6 rebs/ 7 assists as their top man.  Keith Omoerah totals 13 pts/ 11 rebs for his double, but there’s not enough offense on the night for the visitors.   Box Score    7 pm  Central  on Saturday

 

 

at  Winnipeg 102  Regina 93 –  Regina (7-10) looked like their hot shooting would get them a road win, but their defense allows 57 points in the 2nd half to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.  It’s ‘very rare’ to shoot 58.5% from the floor (50% from 3 !) and manage to lose.  20 turnovers, and a +10 for the Ws from the foul line certainly aided the charging home side. Winnipeg (11-6) have 6 players in double digits, with Sean Tarver the leader, scoring 21, Denzel Lynch-Blair 18, and big Ryan Oirbans recording a double of 14 pts/ 10 assists/ 8 rebs.  The Cougars get 25 points/ 5 rebs/ 4 assts from the explosive Brian Ofori, and both Brandon Tull and Alex Igual drop 21 pts for the visitors.    Box Score         7 pm  Central on Saturday

# 6 Calgary 84 at Thompson Rivers 76 –  A 21-11 final frame gets Calgary to the road win, after they trail for most of the opening 30 minutes.  The Dinos overtake the Wolves despite a decided 3 point shooting edge for TRU (10-5), but Calgary makes more trips to the line (25/34 vs 14/18) .  The Dinos move up to 13-4, while the ‘Pack fall to 8-9, after a closely contested match.  Thomas Cooper helped UC finish strong, as he collects 22 pts/ 11 rebounds, and got help from Mambi Diawara, who was good for 14 pts.  4 TRU players hit double figures, with Derek Rhodes cashing 16 pts, and Volodymyr Iegorov scoring 14 plus 10 rebs/ 9 assts.  Box Score          7 pm Pacific  again Saturday

 

at  MacEwan 74   UBC-Okanagan  62  –   A big 2nd quarter gets the Griffins a clear lead, and they are even from there for their 7th win vs 11 losses on the season. GMU out-shoots (47% to 35%) and out-rebounds (43-33) the visiting Heat, who are now 2-15. Denzel James leads Mac with 15 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 assts, while forward Ryan Coleman is off the bench for 14 pts/ 8 boards, and Keith Gerdes chips in with 13 pts/ 8 rebs. Both Austin Penrose (7 rebs) and Aldrich Berrios tally 16 points apiece for UBC-O.  Box Score                 7 pm Mountain  on Saturday

 at  Mt. Royal 96  Trinity Western 66 –  The Cougars open up a 51-30 half-time lead, and cruise to their 8th win, with 5 players hitting double figures.  TWU have offensive troubles stemming from 27 big turnovers, and they shoot only 3/5 free throws vs 19/25 for the home side.  Josh Ross paces MRU with his 16 pts/ 8 rebs/ 6 assts, while Brett Layton adds 14 pts/ 8 boards.  Max Vitala tallies 18 pts for Trinity, as they are now 2-15.  Box Score               6 pm Mountain on Saturday

Manny Dulay leads UFV to a come-from-behind win photo- UFV Athletics

at Fraser Valley 87 Victoria 83 –  A somewhat unexpected offensive explosion in Abbotsford, as the Vikes (7-10)  post 33 points to grab a 73-65 lead at the 3/4 mark, only to see the Cascades win the 4th by a 22-10 count for the come-back victory.  Manny Dulay’s 36 points for UFV (8-9) continue a personal hot streak, but none hotter than Friday.  Dulay splashes 8/11 from 3 pt range and adds 7 assists, while Andrew Morris helps with 14 pts.  as Fraser Valley shoots 51% from the floor.  The Vikes are 50% from outside on 14/28, but their offense stalls out in the 4th.  Grant Sitton scores 26 for the visitors on 4/8 from beyond the arc, and he adds 9 rebounds/ 5 assts.  Box Score        7 pm  Pacific  on Saturday

 

 at   UBC 123  UNBC 75  –  Up 56-37 at the break, the T’Birds top that with 67 points in the final 20 minutes to post a most lop-sided win.  Cruel and unusual ….  Conor Morgan pours in 36 pts for UBC, with 13 rebounds, while Taylor Browne notches 20 pts off the bench, as the Thunderbirds shoot 67% from the field.  UNBC  has 14 pts/ 5 assts/ 4 steals from James Agyeman Box Score              7 pm  Pacific on Saturday

 

Lethbridge has the bye this week

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Scores from the East –

Atlantic -at #10 Dalhousie 88 Memorial  63, at UPEI 92  UNB 77 , St. FX 85 at Saint Marys 83, at Acadia 101 Cape Breton  88

Thursday in Quebec  … at Concordia 68 Laval 54,  at #8 McGill 79  Bishops 62

In the OUA … #1 Carleton 74 # 3 Ottawa 61, at Toronto 79 York 58, at #5 Ryerson  70 Queens 59 ,  at Laurentian 73   Lakehead 67,  Western 79 at Algoma 67, at Nipissing 79  Guelph 69

 

Overtime –

  • Congratulations to Howard Tsumura, long-time Vancouver Province columnist and blogger, on his new website  ‘Varsity Letters’ . http://varsityletters.ca    This impressive site continues Howard’s amazing coverage of school sports, from high school to university.  He provides thoughtful profiles on individual athletes,  covers the progress of teams, leagues, and championships, with a very keen focus on British Columbia specifically.  It is great to see this popular writer continuing to  lead the way in covering so many amateur sports and athletes.
  • UVic vs UFV coaches’ thoughts going in to a pivotal weekend series,  “We know they can score and they have had some very good results in the second half of the year, knocking off Alberta and playing Calgary really tough,” Vikes Coach Craig Beaucamp said of the Cascades. “We are going to have our hands full, we have to play well on the defensive side of the ball for sure.”    The Cascades head man, Adam Friesen says, “UVic tries to grind it out and games like that come down to a possession here or there. Whoever wins the battles in the paint gives themselves a better chance to win.”   (From a story by   MARIO ANNICCHIARICO in the Victoria  TIMES COLONIST.)

Bisons 2nd Straight Classic Title

 

 

 

 Bisons rumble in the 4th quarter to win back to back titles

Manitoba’s Keith Omoerah is named MVP in the 50th Wesmen Classic

Manitoba  86  #8 Alberta 78 –  The defending champs take a 3 point lead at the half, and they continue to out-play Alberta through the 2nd half.  Shooting it better from the floor, the line, and from 3 point range, the Herd pull away.  Justus Alleyn leads UM scorers with 22, while Keith Omoerah, voted the tournament MVP,  posts a double of 10 pts/ 12 rebounds.  For Alberta, Brody Clarke has 21 points/ 9 rebs, and Austin Waddoups counts 16 points.  Box Score   

Winnipeg 64  Victoria  63  –  The Wesmen win the 2nd half and the game, with a 10-7 advantage in 3 point shots made.  The Vikes are just 34% from the floor, but Hassan Abdullahi hits 12 points on 5/7 and adds 6 rebs/ 2 steals.  Winnipeg get 21 points/ 8 rebs/ 3 assts from Denzel Lynch-Blair to capture 3rd place.  Box Score

Lakehead 89  Regina 56 –  Not much doubt here as the ‘Wolves go up 47-22 by half-time. 4 Lakehead players in double digits scoring, with Jack Bull cashing 10 pts/ 11 boards. Matthew Augustine scores 11 for the Cougars.  Box Score

Algoma 92   Brandon  83 –   Scott Clendenning hits 26 points for the Thunderbirds, and  Earl Thompson Jr (12 rebs)  and Tyler Anderson each score 15 for the ‘Cats.  Box Score  

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Shoveller Memorial in Halifax –

  Saint Marys  Huskies 79  #10 Dalhousie  Tigers  76  –  The home team goes down to the school just around the corner.  Dal falls back by 14 at the half, and the comeback is too little, too late.  The  Huskies are up against the #4 ranked Gee Gees in tomorrows final.  Box Score  

 #4 Ottawa Gee Gees 83 St. FX X-Men  65  –  Caleb Agaga with a double-double of 15 pts/ 12 boards, and there are 6 ‘Ponies’ in double digits.  Box Score  

Consolation games

 UPEI  Panthers  95  Acadia Axemen  92

Queens Golden Gaels 72  Mt. Royal Cougars  68 –   Mt. Royal comes fast out of the gate for a 25-18 lead after 10 minutes, but it goes South from there.  Without ace post man, Brett Layton, the Cougars fire blanks in the 2nd with just 7 points.  For the game they are 32%  from the floor.  Still they keep it close, with Nick Tancon having a good one, with a double of 16 points/ 11 rebounds.   Rookie guard, Craig Martin has 15 points, and Glen Yang 12.   Queens has Tanner Graham  as their top scorer with 16 pts/ 8 rebs/ 3 blocks.  Box Score     MRU plays Acadia on Saturday.

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Classique Olga Hrycak at UQAM, Montreal –

Two wins for the T’Wolves in Montreal.

UNBC  Timberwolves 76  Guelph Gryphons 71-  Another great team effort from the Timberwolves, as they shoot 50% from the field and hit 12/13 free throws. ’15-’16 Canada West all-star, Rhys Elliott , has another stellar effort, with 28 points/ 6 rebs.  James Agyeman deals out 8 assists and scores 8 pts, while Anthony Hokanson has 8 points/ 7 rebounds.  Ahmed Haroon scores 20 pts on 9/16 and adds 9 boards for the Gryphons. .   UNBC play  Memorial on Saturday. (Thanks to Coach Jordan for the box score by text )

  Memorial Seahawks  65   UQAM  Citadins 58

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#3 Calgary 82  Montana-Western Bulldogs  78 –  Down 5 at the break, the Dinos come back in the 2nd half with their defense slowing the Bulldogs scoring .  UC hits 52% in that final 20 minutes, led by the double of 29 points/ 12 rebs by 5th year wing Thomas Cooper.  Lars Schleuter added 16 pts, and David Kapinga 15 pts/ 4 assists.    (Another box score sent by text !)

Cochise College  85   #2 UBC  82 – Guard Jordan Jensen-Whyte paced the UBC offence with a 22-point performance while forwards Patrick Simon and Conor Morgan scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. The Thunderbirds were ahead for all but 12 seconds of regulation.  They held a 72-56 advantage with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the 2nd half but Cochise mounted a furious rally – closing on a 22-6 run – to send the game into overtime. The Apaches outscored UBC 7-4 in the extra period to earn the comeback victory.  (From UBC Athletics)

 Thompson Rivers 79  Antelope Valley  78 – Two nice wins for the Wolf Pack this week.  Tight battles and the right result with good play down the stretch.

 MacEwan  76   Vanguard U. (CA)   68 –   Denzel James leads with 17 points/ 9 rebs, as the Griffins shoot 49% FG including 12/26 from outside.  Box Score 

Saskatchewan 67  Hope International (CA)  60

UBC-O  81 Camosun College 77

  Occidental College Tigers (CA)  77   Fraser Valley 59  –  The Cascades are up 33-32 at the half, but lose 26-45 in the final 20 minutes.  The Tigers are 50% from the floor to UFV’s 39%. The home team wins the rebounding 43-29 , and there are 19 Fraser Valley turnovers to 12 for ‘Oxy’.  Vijay Dhillon is 5/6 from 3 point range for 15 points to lead UFV.   Box Score

                                _______________________________

also –  Rochester College (MI)  82  Waterloo 59  ,  UNB 73  Holland College 72 , at Toronto 78  Laval 61  ,  Johnson and Wales (FL)  80 Concordia 78

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Overtime –

  • UNBC’s Vaggelis Loukas, who was so good against UQAM on Thursday,  suffered a light ankle sprain early in the opening minutes of the win over Guelph on Friday. Coach Todd Jordan says, “He should be OK for our League play next week.  We’ve had so many of these injuries this season.  It’s been a struggle, but our guys are coming on, and we’re happy with their play this week, obviously.”
  • A closely kept secret … the UFV Cascades are in California to play 2 games.  They dropped an 84-70 decision on Thursday to the host, Westmont Warriors, the #9 ranked NAIA school in the U.S.  All 10 players are in the game with 11 + minutes for UFV tonight.

TWU / UNBC – Small School Challenges

 

Spartans and Timberwolves Face an Uphill Path

–  2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

These 2 B.C. schools are among the smallest, by population, in Canada West, and have quite a task in trying to match the resources and recruiting power of many of the larger programs. Despite this, the TWU Spartans, about 6-8 years ago were very competitive in this League with the likes of Jacob Doerksen, Brian Banman, and Jason Keegstra.  UNBC has yet to make that kind of impact, but  Coach Todd Jordan and his boys were 12-8 just 2 years ago with Rhys Elliott and Franko Kouagnia leading the way.

With this new 17 team League, there are now games against some of the much bigger schools for the T’Wolves, and Trinity is definitely in a ‘re-building phase’.  Both teams have some new faces who should help the cause for the upcoming year, but ‘it’s never easy’.

Trinity Western Spartans
No playoffs                  1 win   19 losses      (Pioneer Division)

Returnees – TWU copy
4th years –  4th years – Peter Spangehl, 6-3 wing, Surrey, BC.  Pogos Trunyan, 6-2, guard, (red-shirt last yr), Sacramento, CA … 3rd years – Tyus Allen, 6-1, guard,  White Rock, BC.  Vartan Tanielian, 6-4 guard, Surrey. Patrick Vandervelden, 6-10 forward, 3rd, Abbotsford.  Josiah Allison,  6-2, guard, 3rd, Abbotsford.  Eric Rogers, 6-4 guard,  Chilliwack.   2nd year –  Matt Hayashi, 7-1 post,  Langley … 1st year- Nathan Allison,  6-0 guard (redshirt ’15-’16), Abbotsford.

New faces –   Nick Smith, 6-4 fwd, 3rd,   Surrey (Kwantlen Poly U.). Max Viitala, 3rd, G, 6-5,  Melbourne, AUS  , Ambrose Univ. Coll., (Calgary).  Taturs Maberry, 6-6 post, 3rd, Pasadena, CA  (Los Angeles Valley Col.), Josiah Meppelink,  6-3 guard, 1st,   Langley ( Lynden Christian) Nigel Boyd, 6-3 guard, 1st,   Richmond  (Steveston- London), Aaron Paetkau, 6-5 wing, 1st, Parksville BC (Ballenas), Daniel Stead, 6-7 Wing, 1st, Langley (Walnut Grove), Justin Robinson, 6-1 guard, 1st,   Maple Ridge,  ( Maple Ridge Christian), Ben Reddy, 6-3 guard, 1st,  Victoria (Lambrick Park)

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-4-46-48-pm

California transfer, Pogos Trunyan (L) and returnee post man, Patrick Vandervelden (L) will be key to the fortunes of TWU.

With a young team coming off a very difficult ’15-’16 season, Coach Aaron Muhic starts his 2nd season at TWU counting on some of his returnees to bring a higher skill level and the determination to help the team move up. “The guys have a good team attitude, and we’re happy with how they work together”, said Muhic. “We certainly have challenges, but we also feel we have the pieces to make things better this year.”

Guard, Tyus Allen, who returns after a year off, “ … may have to shake the rust off,” says the coach, “but he has the skill and experience to be a leader.”  Muhic also points to 3rd year guard, Josiah Allison, who has shown “an aggressive style, and looks good in early workouts.”  Guard, Vartan Tanielian, and big forward, Patrick Vandervelden, should be set for impactful seasons with more playing experience.  Coach Muhic also has high hopes for 2nd year tower, Matt Hayashi, who, the coach tells us, “Is working hard, and starting to get more comfortable with his role.”

Pogos Trunyan played for Coach Muhic in the California College League, and he will be expected to give the Spartans scoring and floor leadership, after red-shirting in Langley in 2015-16. “He is eager to go, and has adapted very well to the International style of play, and his academic program at TWU”, says Muhic. Another import, Taturs Maberry, is a candidate for valuable contributions in scoring and rebounding. Local recruit, Joseph Meppelink, is a very capable high school grad, who has the size and skill to get him into the playing rotation.

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at UBC-O, home and home vs Fraser Valley, at UNBC, vs Regina, vs Lethbridge   …  Jan/Feb –   at Winnipeg, vs Manitoba, at Victoria, at Mt. Royal, vs UBC   Prediction –  Will improve, but tough to reach the top 12


U. Northern BC Timberwolves
’15-’16 – No playoffs                 4 wins    16 losses  (Explorer Division)

Returnees – 5th years – Rhys Elliott,  6-1 guard, Adelaide, Aus. Elliot Rowe, 5-9 guard, Victoria   … 4th years –  Marcus MacKay, 6-4 wing, Terrace, BC.  Nolan Hanson, 6-1 guard, Prince George.  Austin Chandler, 6-6 fwd, Wenatchee, WA  … 3rd years – Vaggelis Loukas, 6-5 fwd, Athens, GR  … 2nd years – Anthony Hokanson, 6-5 fwd, Vancouver.  Saje Gosal, 6-5 wing, Golden, BC.  Neal Randhawa, 6-4 guard, Golden.UNBC copy
New faces –   James Agyeman, 5-11 guard, 3rd,  Brampton, ON (tsf- W. Laurier). Sam Zhang, 6-4 fwd, Pitt Meadows, BC (tsf Capilano Coll.) . Tyrell Laing, 6-0 guard, 1st year, Prince George (Prince George).  (RS) Volodymyr Pluzhnikov, 6-0 guard, Kharkiv, Ukraine (MBC Mykolaiv – Ukraine Superleague).

Todd Jordan, now in his 8th season in Prince George as Head Coach, is hoping 2016-’17 brings a little less pain than last year.  Injuries took away key players for far too many games, and it was tough to get any continuity.  “We were were going with a patch-work lineup from one series to the next”, said Jordan.

The Timberwolves get Nolan Hanson back after he missed almost all of ’15-’16, and Anthony Hokanson, Sam Zhang, and James Agyeman are now available.  Agyeman, a transfer from Laurier of the OUA, can step in as a skilled point man, and boost the guard corps. He and a healthy 5th year stalwart, Elliot Rowe ,should be a good combo at that spot. Rhys Elliott, another 5th year player,  returns as the ‘Wolves leading scorer (18 ppg, 7th in Canada West, 5 rebs and 2.3 assists.)

Two offensive threats for UNBC - Rhys Elliott (L) and Marcus MacKay (R)

Two offensive threats for UNBC – Rhys Elliott (L) and Marcus MacKay (R)

“We’ve had a good ‘off-season’”, says Jordan. “The guys have come back in great shape, and we have more experience as a whole team.”   Jordan says he is looking to several returnees to have significantly better campaigns, including wing, Marcus MacKay, a real 3 point threat.  Vaggelis Loukas will also be a key leader, with his toughness, scoring ability, and maturity as a player.

Rebounding is a focus for UNBC, as they struggled to meet their goals last year.  Jordan says, “We definitely know we have to improve, and everyone needs to play a part, if we want to get our share every game.”  The ‘Wolves take care of the ball very well, and have quality depth on the perimeter to ensure that continues.  Finding an interior presence on offense, and at least fighting to a draw on the boards are top priorities.

“This League gets very interesting as we meet the ‘Pioneer‘ schools, and every weekend is big if we are to contend for a playoff spot”, says Coach Jordan. “Maybe we can surprise a few favourites as our team comes together; we know the guys will work hard, and we think we will give it a good run.”

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Winnipeg, vs Alberta, vs Trinity Western, at Fraser Valley, vs Thompson Rivers,   Jan/Feb –  at Lethbridge, vs Mt. Royal, at Manitoba, at UBC, vs Saskatchewan     Prediction –  Tough road to  playoffs


 

Does size of schools matter ?inthebleachers-jumpball

If we looked at Canada West as an ocean, we’d be seeing whales, shrimp and everything in between.  From UBC, the big whale, to Northern B.C. a relative minnow in school population, this League has a wide array of school sizes.

Can schools the size of an average city high school hope to match the ‘big boys’?

cw-by-popn

The big fish, like UBC, Alberta, Calgary, and Manitoba very much dwarf the Trinity Westerns and UNBC’s out there.  It means financial resources, facilities, and ‘name recognition’.

Brandon is one school that, in the Coach Jerry Hemmings era, overcame this disadvantage, and the ‘Cats won multiple Great Plains titles and 4 National Championships.  But this may be too big a stretch for most of our really small schools.

TRU went to Nationals with a strong core of experienced and talented players last season, and Fraser Valley has had a couple of championship looks.  It remains to be seen how often the ‘small guys’ can buck the trend.

After all, who has won Canada West?   It has been Victoria 16 times, Alberta 11, UBC 9, Calgary 5, and Saskatchewan, Lethbridge, and Brandon 1 apiece.

(Note- We are not counting Great Plains titles won by Brandon, Manitoba, Regina, or Winnipeg)


 

Overtime –

  • The Guy Vetrie Invitational (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1) has Victoria  hosting McMaster, McGill, and Regina , and fans can watch live video on Canada West TV .   Thursday games – 6 pm (Pacific) McGill vs McMaster, 8 pm Vikes vs Regina, Friday – Regina-McMaster at 6, UVic – McGill at 8, and Saturday – Regina-McGill at 5 pm ,  Victoria vs McMaster at 7 pm.