UC’s Cooper – Canada West’s Top Player



 Calgary’s Thomas Cooper is Canada West Player of the Year

Thomas Cooper, UC Dinos' Canada West Player of the Year.

Thomas Cooper, UC Dinos’ Canada West Player of the Year.   Photo- David Moll, UC Athletics

It’s a long way from Chattanooga, TN to Calgary, but through a former teammate at City College of San Francisco, where they both played right out go high  school, Thomas Cooper was intrigued with the idea of  coming to Canada to play an extra year, and to finish his degree.

Dinos Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “Thomas did all the right things academically to get himself here, after a couple of disappointments in the U.S.  He is a very bright guy, with a great work ethic, and he has become a terrific leader on our team “

Cooper, a 4th year wing man,  was the Canada West scoring leader (25.8 ppg), but also led UC in rebounding with 7.5 rpg.  “He plays with great intelligence and intensity at both ends of the floor”, said his coach. “Thomas is one of those guys who believes in  preparation, and practice; he spends time studying the game. An MVP makes his teammates better players, and we know Thomas does that for our guys.”

Canada West’s other major award winners announced on Wednesday –

5th year wing, Kevon Parchment, UFV's Canada West Defensive Player of the Year

5th year wing, Kevon Parchment, UFV’s Canada West Defensive Player of the Year  Photo- UFV Athletics

Rookie of the Year –  Brody Clarke, Alberta

Defensive Player of the Year –  Kevon Parchment, 5th year, Fraser Valley

Student-Athlete Community Service Award – Jared Baker, 5th year, Lethbridge

Coach of the Year –  Scott Clark, 6th year, Thompson Rivers



Canada West Final Four Schedule –  Jack Simpson Gym –  the University of Calgarycwest

Friday, March 11
UBC vs. Thompson Rivers / 6 PM MST semifinal 1
Manitoba vs. Calgary – 8 PM   semifinal  2

Saturday, March 12
Loser semifinal 1 vs. loser semifinal 2 / 6 PM MST – 3rd place game
Winner semifinal 1 vs. winner semifinal 2 / 8 PM – Championship game

  • Notes –  Calgary last hosted this Final 4 in 2008, where they lost both games. ..  UC Coach Dan Vanhooren has won 2 Canada West titles (2004, 2009) … UBC’s Kevin Hanson has coached the T-Birds to 5 Canada West championships (2003, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013) … this is the 1st time either Manitoba or TRU have been to the Final 4.


Overtime –

  • Coach Adam Frieseen of UFV, explains why his 5th year star, Kevon Parchment deserves to have been selected as CW Defensive Player of the Year.    “Physically, he’s quick, fast and long. But what separates him are his instincts and his tenacity to want to stop people. He competes on that end of the floor from the first minute of the game all the way to the 40th, and that level of competitiveness is rare.”  From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics.

    The Pronghorns' Jared Baker - CW Community Service Award

    The Pronghorns’ 5th year guard, Jared Baker – Canada West  Community Service Award winner

  • The Lethbridge Pronghorns’ Jared Baker, was a high school quarterback and lead-guard in basketball at Raymond HS (just South of Lethbridge), and he has been a leader ever since. Jared, who was in his 5th year with the ‘Horns, won the Canada West Community Service Award; he was the driving force behind a fund-raising effort U of Lethbridge made in support of Brent Watkins, their former teammate, injured in a serious car accident last summer. He also involves himself in several other community service programs, and Coach Mike Hansen says, “He lives to serve others, which is a big reason why he is pursuing medical school following the completion of his degree and basketball career.  He exemplifies what it means to be a great teammate and a student-athlete.”  With information from Canada West Athletics.
  • Brody Clarke, the CW Rookie of the Year, is 2 years out of high school; a   highly sought-after recruit throughout Canada, he had some interest in the U. S.  as well. Early in his Fall pre—season with the Bears in 2014, he suffered a knee injury, and had to under-go complicated surgery.  He worked extremely hard at his rehab, and has been a bright light on the forward line for U of A this year.
  • TRU Athletics and Recreation director Ken Olynyk , commending  Coach Scott Clark, the 2016 Canada West Coach of the Year,   “Usually this award is given because the team does well and that reflects a coaching job well done. That takes the accumulation of time and years to get to that point. Scott has worked hard to develop a program and his work is reflected in his peers acknowledgement of his efforts. The honour is well deserved.”  From Larry Read, TRU Athletics.

Home Teams Favoured to Advance


The higher-ranked home teams are consensus favourites in this week’s Q-Finals

Keith Omoerah is one of several UM Bisons playing at the top of his game right now. Photo by Jeff Miller Bison Sports

Keith Omoerah is one of several UM Bisons playing at the top of his game right now.                  Photo by Jeff Miller,  Bison Sports

#5  Fraser Valley  at  #4  Manitoba Bisons – The Cascades have won the last 4 games with the Bisons, including a Fall pre-season contest in Winnipeg.  If we fast-forward to February, Manitoba copyhowever, we have Manitoba completing their regular season with 7 straight wins.  The Bisons have more consistent winning efforts with Ws  over UBC, Lethbridge, Calgary … in regular season no one has done better than a split with the CIS #9 ranked Herd.  UFV, in contrast, literally ‘limped in’ with  4 losses in their final 8 games, and lost to each of the other 5 Explorer teams at least once this season.
Injuries and illness have limited the Cascades, and they don’t have the same depth.  Nate Brown has been in and out of their line-up, and he is a big key, if they are to advance. However, look at the experience in the top 5-7 players … Fr Valley5th year all-star, Kevon Parchment, does it all at the wing, and the guard combo of Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhiilon are solid, and Navjot Bains is under-rated , with 9 ppg and 7.5 rebounds.
Manitoba will be favoured .  Their home court, they shoot far more FTs, score more , and play at a higher pace .  UM has high quality guards … A. J. Basi, Justus Alleyn,  and Ilarion Bonhomme, While Keith Omoerah (big guard-wing) 9.8 rebs/ 13 ppg/ 3.8 assts. Forwards – Wyatt Anders 9.8 reb, Brett Jewell, Jon Alexander.
It’s hard not to pick the Bisons, but UFV have some veterans who believe in themselves, and Coach Friesen is no stranger to play-off pressure.  Game times – Central, Thursday  7 pm  Fri- 7 pm, * Sat. – 3 pm

#7 Regina  at  #2 Thompson Rivers –  Regina are in the air today, winging their way to TRU Wolf Pack copyKamloops, after a 2 day prep for this Q-Final against the Explorer Division’s top team, TRU.  We have no update on the health condition of the Cougars, after last week’s ‘campus plague’ had brushed some team members.
What UR will find in the B.C. interior is a big, skilled, confident Wolf Pack team with an exceptional front line;   6-10, Josh Wolfram (19 ppg / 9.6 rebs), 6-7, Volodymyr Iegorov (18.4 ppg/ 7.1 rebounds), 6-4, Luke Morris (12.5 ppg/ 6.3 rebs)  are a formidable trio. Reese Pribilsky is a 5th year guard who can score and distribute, and 6-5 Gerard Gore appears ready to make an impact with some recent efficient scoring and steady rebounding. The Pack shoot the ball well, inside and out, and imagesfrom the foul line, although they don’t get there enough. They do a good job on the boards, and they take good care of the ball.
The visiting Cougars will need a better shooting effort to begin this series  than last week’s with Winnipeg, if they hope to come out on top vs TRU.  Jonathan Tull (17 ppg), Brandon Tull (12 ppg), Alex Igual, and Andre McGowan have the games to give the ‘Pack a real run, but shooting and rebounding will be the key.  Contending with TRU’s size will be a bigger challenge if big Stephen Shields is still not available on Thursday . The Cougars want to run, and can score from the break with J. Tull and McGowan.  Their 3 point shooting usually comes from Will Tallman, McGowan, and Igual.
If there’s an upset in this Q-Final round, it could be in this series, if Regina were to be at their best, and TRU were feeling the ‘pressure’ of a home crowd.   Game times –  Pacific – 7 pm, 7 pm, *7 pm, if necessary

UBC's Jordan Jensen-Whyte uses speed, power, and finesse to get the ball to the hoop for the 'Birds.

UBC’s Jordan Jensen-Whyte uses speed, power, and finesse to get the ball to the hoop for the ‘Birds.        photo – The Ubyssey

# 6  Lethbridge at  #3  UBC –  There’s a temptation to rate the T-Birds as huge ubcfavourites, with a home floor, and the League leading team FG% – 47%, and rebound margin – +9, averaging 83 ppg and giving up just 71. The ‘Birds  beat the ‘Horns twice at this same venue in League play in early January, and CW records tell us that UL last beat UBC in Vancouver in 1999.  We are, however, going to give the Pronghorns consideration for their veteran depth, and the key role that their 2 talented imports could play.
Brandon Brine (19 ppg, 6.7 rebs)), a 5th year, 6’6’  Aussie  can go for 30, and can scoop 10-12 rebounds on any given night, while, if he has recovered sufficiently from leg injuries,  guard Dejon Burdeaux (12.5 ppg, 4.5 rebs,3.5 'horndasst, 3.4 steals,) a California product,  is a load at both ends, with a slashing offensive style , and the quick hands of the Canada West steals leader. Rob Olsen (15 ppg) is among the League’s best 3 point % shooters at 41.8%.  The ‘Horns, with younger forwards, Zac Overwater (6-8), Chris Vaughn (6-9), and Mike Pierzchala (6-5), have some size to try and match the Thunderbirds.
But the T-Birds have this ‘War Memorial edge’ – it’s a tough place for visiting teams to win.  Three ‘Birds are major scoring / rebounding threats – Conor Morgan (7.3 rebs) and Jordan Jensen-Whyte (5 rebs) are near 15 ppg apiece, and 6-8 David Wagner (5.5 rebs) has a well-honed touch on the inside (12 ppg). With 6-8 Patrick Simon, 6-7 Luka Zaharijevic, and 6-7 Will Ondrik, UBC has more than enough size to intimidate.  Import guards Phil Jalalpoor and A.J.Holloway do a good job of keeping the offense on track.
A Lethbridge win in this match-up would be a surprise; not an impossibility, but certainly and eye-opener.    Thursday – Saturday … 7 pm  Pacific for all 3 games (* if the 3rd is necessary).
#9 Alberta  at  #1 Calgary  –  Do all the season’s stats go out the window when we talk Dinos14about a Dinos v Bears play-off series? Well, no, but there is a tradition of very hard-fought games, many of which have gone right down to the wire. We don’t think Calgary will dominate the Bears this weekend, but we do think, based on their depth and season’s performance, that they should be the odds-on favourites.
Alberta comes with a stingy defense, which surrenders an average of 71 ppg, but their offense (68.5 ppg) has been lacking punch in many games this campaign. The FG shooting stats are shaky   – 39% from the floor, 29% from 3, but they hit 73.5% from the line. Mamadou Gueye, their 6-7 Quebec import, scores 18.5 ppg, and 7.5 rebounds, while rookies Brody Clarke , a 6-8 post (12 ppg, 6.3 rebs), and Colby Jackson , a 5-9 guard (8 ppg, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals)  are also big contributors on the attack.   7-1 Brett Roughead makes his presence felt on defense, and can mix it up in the paint.
Calgary has speed and quickness going both ways, with point men David Kapinga, and Torrez McKoy taking the lead. If their defense makes things hard for Gueye, Clarke, and Jackson of U of A, the Dinos should have enough fire-power to get the job done at the Bears 3other end.  CW’s #1 scorer, Thomas Cooper (26 ppg), has range, quickness, and a remarkable ability to get to the rim.  He has a pair of outstanding 3 point shooters ‘riding shot-gun’ – Josh Owen-Thomas (44.6%) and Lars Schleuter (44.2%).
Everyone who plays can score – with wing-men Jasdeep Gill (7 ppg) and Dallas Karch (6 ppg)  capable of bigger things in big games. UC has as many as 4 posts set to go, with the 5th year, 6-7 Matt Letkeman leading the way, but 6-7 Mitch Ligertwood, 6-7 Matt Ellis, and 6-6 Connor Foreman are ready at any time.  These teams present a big contrast in style, with Calgary on the run, and Alberta almost looking to limit the number of possessions. The Bears defense could hamper the UC attack, but not enough, by our estimation to secure an upset here.
Games are (Mountain) Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 7 pm, and * Sunday at 2 pm, if needed.



Overtime –

  • Error ! –  We were relying on some old info regarding Quebec play-offs … their tournament will have 4 teams (where previously they involved only 3) .  There are League games left, but the match-ups have already been decided –
    In the semi-finals – Laval plays McGill and UQAM plays Concordia.    All games at McGill  on  March 11-12.
  • The OUA announced a change in the final League results on Monday …   York U. self-reported an eligibility violation for one of their players, and consequently they forfeited 3 wins, taking them out of play-off consideration.  U. Toronto is elevated from 4th to 3rd in their Division, and they get the #10 seed previously held by the Lions.
  • Fraser Valley Coach, Adam Friesen (right) , on his Cascades’ challenge vs the A FriesenManitoba Bisons in Winnipeg,  “It takes strong leadership, good chemistry and mental toughness to have success on the road in the playoffs,” Friesen noted. “The challenge is that you’re having to face a good team, because they’ve earned home court.” “They’re well-rounded,” Friesen noted. “Their bigs are a physical presence down low, and their guards are versatile and can shoot from deep. “They’re challenging, and we’ve got to do our best to figure it out. Controlling the pace of the game will be important.”  (From UFV Sports – Dan Kinvig)
  • Lethbridge 5th year players, Rob Olsen and Jared Baker , as they prepare to play at UBC in their Q-Final series, “I don’t want it to end. This has been such a big part of things, I know none of us want this weekend to be the end of our basketball careers,” (Olsen) said.  As for Baker, “I’ve been playing competitive basketball since what, Grade 4?” he said. “Maybe even earlier than that. No, I don’t want it to end, none of us do.”

‘Old’ Pioneer Powers Scrambling




Changing of the Guard in Canada West ?

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 7.38.26 AM
After watching all 3 of Victoria, Alberta, and Saskatchewan absorb two losses each this past weekend, we find ourselves in the ‘New Order’ of Canada West Basketball.  These three teams  have figured prominently in Canada West and CIS hoops for years past;  the last 5 Canada West championship games were won by –  2015 – Victoria over Saskatchewan, 2014 – Alberta over Victoria, 2013 – UBC over Victoria, 2012 – Alberta over Fraser Valley, 2011 – UBC over Saskatchewan.

 The T-Birds are still good bets to be in the Final 4, and, of course, host the CIS Nationals, but what of the Bears, Vikes, and Huskies?  It would seem unlikely, or even shockingly improbable for all 3 strong programs to have such a difficult year.  We certainly think U of A and UVic still have playoff shots, but U of S has faded too far South;  graduation of key players, injuries, and defections have conspired to reduce these teams to chasers rather than the leaders they had been for so long.

We suspect they will all be back next season with their usual competitive squads, but, for now, they have given way to ‘upstart teams’, like Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, and Thompson Rivers.  We have 3 weeks of play remaining in both Divisions, and it’s highly likely that we may have a very different slate of teams competing in the Final 4 come March 11-12.

Four Series Sweeps Change the Standings

Manitoba copyWe had 5 series in the Pioneer last weekend, as the 6 Explorer teams and the UC Dinos had the weekend off. We saw movement away from the middle of the standings by several teams, as 4 of these series’ ended with 2-game sweeps.
> Manitoba has officially exorcised their 2nd half of the season ghosts of past years; they pounce all-over the Regina Cougars, 89-82 and 77-63, and sit at 11-5.
> Across town, the Winnipeg Wesmen prepared themselves for the ‘Red River Rivalry’ series by dispatching a scrappy U of S Huskies squad 81-77 and 81-72 to win their 6th in a row for a 9-5 mark.
> At Lethbridge, the short-benched Bears were trounced by a running, pressing Pronghorns team, who used 2nd half onslaughts to dispatch their Northern rivals 93-61 and 88-62.
> In their brand-spanking -new Carsa Centre, the ‘rebuilding‘ Victoria Vikes were sorely pressed to stay anywhere near the visiting UBC Thunderbirds.  UBC took both games with unusual ease … 79-51 and then 86-67.
> It was fitting that both Brandon (Friday) and Trinity Western (Saturday) got their first wins of the season in their series in Langley.  No playoff chances, but the shut-out is averted!

Top Performers last weekend –

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.  photo- Bisons Athletics

  • Keith Omoerah may not have a big ’S’ on his chest, but he should have !  Keith’s return to the Bison Herd has put this team on a path for championship contention, with his rebounding, scoring, and defensive effort.  16 points / 14 rebounds/ 6 assists on Friday, then 18 boards plus 12 points, 3 asst, 4 steals in the Saturday win. Oh, and we might mention A.J. Basi’s  significant sharp-shooting role … 27 points Friday, and Jonathan Alexander chipping in both nights for totals of 26 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Winnipeg’s  Denzel Lynch-Blair has to be in the  all-star discussion, with yet another week of multiple contributions for UW, with 49 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 steals.  Nicely done, young man !  Ryan Oirbans with his rebounding and a 29 point night on Saturday from Jelane Pryce pace the Ws to a sweep.
  • Brandon Brine hits 37 points, with a scoring frenzy at home for the ‘Horns on Friday, then Jared Baker takes over on Saturday, hitting 3s everywhere, and scoring 17 points / 5 assists.  Lethbridge has a ‘not-so-secret-weapon’, however;  Dejon Burdeaux, back to ‘match-fitness’ is a dominant force at both ends of the floor … 31 points over 2 nights, to go along with 16 assists and 12 steals off the very effective UL press.
  • UBC has a varied attack, as they get 8 players contributing in both definitive victories at UVic … their depth is apparent, when their scoring leader Conor Morgan has a quieter weekend, but rookie Taylor Browne steps up with 15 points/ 4 reb, 3 asst on Saturday, while the night before David Wagner returned to the ‘Birds line-up with 12 points/ 6 rebounds.
Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday.

Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday. photo – TWU Athletics

A round of applause for the TWU Spartans’ Lucas Mannes with his tour de force of 56 points/12 reb/14 asst/6 steals; his teammate Kelvin Smith chimes in  with 49 points/ 14 rebounds/ 5 steals.   Brandon’s Earl Thompson pots 37 points / 19 rebounds in the split series, and the Bobcats’ rookie, Pookie Saunders, gets our attention with a combined 39 points /12 boards / 10 asst/ 5 steals.




 CIS Scores  on Sunday –  
Atlantic –   UPEI  97  at Cape Breton   80  … a split of their weekend pair, leaving the Panthers (10-4) in a 1st place tie with Dalhousie, and the Capers (7-6) scratching for a playoff spot, back in 5th spot .


Overtime –   

  • UBC are wanting to try and duplicate the feat of the 1982 UVic Vikes under Coach Ken Shields, who won the CIS Championship at Memorial Arena in Victoria that season, the 3rd of 7 straight for the Vikes.  The Birds don’t yet have that kind of roll going, but UBC Coach Kevin Hanson wants to start this March !
  • As for the 7-9 Vikes, Coach Craig Beaucamp says , “We’re trying to stay up in a down time.  There is so much left to play for. We’ve got a good nucleus and can’t lose sight of the big picture. We can still make some noise.” From the Victoria Times-Colonist, Cleve Dheensaw
  • Speaking of the U of A Golden Bears , who his UL team beat twice last weekend in Lethbridge, “They’re a banged up group,” said Horns coach Mike Hansen. “It’s a reversal of fortune. We limped up there last season and lost and this time it was their turn to have a bunch of injured guys. Our guys played great D all weekend,” said Hansen. “Jared Baker and Dejon Burdeaux at the top of our press were great both games.”  From Dylan Purcell in the Lethbridge Herald.

Winnipeg Teams Defend Home Courts


Jelane Pryce is big in the Wesmen win, as both Winnipeg schools finish of home sweeps on Saturday.

Jelane Pryce is big in the Wesmen win, as both Winnipeg schools finish off home sweeps on Saturday.


at Manitoba 77  Regina  63 –   The Herd rumble to a most convincing shut-down of the visiting Cougars, and get the sweep to improve to 11-5 for the season. Up by 15 at the half, the Bisons widen the gap in the 3rd, then waltz home with the W.  Regina just not in this one, as they hit only 28% from the floor, and are unable to take advantage of a generous 26 Manitoba turnovers. All 5 UM starters score in double digits, led by Keith Omoerah, who also claims 18 rebounds, 3 asst, 4 steals . Jonathan Alexander has a double of 12 points and 11 boards. Aaron McGowan is off the bench with 11 points / 5 asst  for the Cougars, who also have Jonathan Tull with 12, and Travis Sylvestre adding 10. Regina slips to 8-6, with UVic, Calgary, and Saskatchewan left.    Box Score

at Winnipeg  81 Saskatchewan  72 –  With foul trouble hanging over several players in the 4th quarter, the Huskies lost the lead they had for most of the game, as Winnipeg hit 11 points in the final minute from the foul line.  The foul shots really did determine the outcome as the home team shot  27/35, while the visiting Huskies had just 6/10.  Jelane Pryce, with 29 pts / 10 rebounds, and Denzel Lynch-Blair’s 27, with 5 reb/ 6 asst/ and 5 steals  filled the scoresheet for the Ws.  William Sesay added 11 boards, 3 assists, and 2 steals to help Winnipeg to the sweep. Shawn Lathan was good for U of S, with his 19 points/ 5 rebounds, and Mack Burns  grabbed all of 15 rebounds. The Wesmen move up to 9-5, in the thick of the playoff race, with 4 more home games coming up, while Saskatchewan are 4-10, with prospects fading rapidly.  Box Score

at Lethbridge  88  Alberta 62  –   Deja vu for the Bears and Pronghorns, as the home side takes a 5 point lead into the half, then steps up the pace to pull away quickly in the 3rd, with a 25-9 pasting. The U of A cannot match the 52% shooting of the ‘Horns, and the Bears relatively inexperienced back-court cough it up 29 times to add to the agony. Four U of L starters in double figures, with 21 points, 8 assists, 4 steals by import guard, Dejon Burdeaux, and 17 points/ 5 asst by senior guard Jared Baker, who is 5/7 from outside.  Alberta shoots only 33% from the floor, but go to the line for 25/32, as Mamadou Gueye counts 19 points/ 7 rebounds. Lethbridge get to 9-5 with the weekend double over Alberta (7-8), and the ‘Horns travel to Calgary next week to play the 12-3, first place Dinos.   Box Score

# 9  UBC  86 at Victoria 67  –   The UBC offensive power puts the Vikes away for a 2nd straight night, as the home team finds it tough to get inside hoops against the ‘Birds size.  Vic works hard at the defensive end, but the relentless attack by the Thunderbirds (12-4) proves decisive.  53-34 at half-time leaves little doubt as to the result, with UBC hitting 55% from the floor to only 36% for the Vikes. A team effort from the ‘Birds, with 3 players – Jordan Jensen-Whyte (7rebs), Philip Jalalpoor (5 boards), and 1st year guard, Taylor Browne (4 reb, 3 asst, 6/6 shooting) scoring 15 points apiece, then 2 others  with 12.  Victoria (7-9) never threatens, but get Mack Roth with a good shooting night (7/13) at 16 points, and Reiner Theil working hard for 6 rebounds and 13 points.    Box Score

A 36 point effort from Lucas Mannes leads Trinity to their 1st win on Saturday.

A 36 point effort from Lucas Mannes leads Trinity to their 1st win on Saturday.

 at Trinity Western 87 Brandon  78 –  Trinity uses home court on Saturday, and finally land their elusive 1st win of the season, after having come close at least a couple of previous times. A 52 point feast in the 2nd half allows the Spartans to overcome a 3 point half-time deficit, as they shoot 49% on the night to Brandon’s 40%.  Lucas Mannes had a terrific game for TWU, as he scores 36 points/ 6 reb/ 5 asst/ 5 steals, and Kelvin Smith adds 18 points / 9 boards.  Brandon’s rookie guard, ’Pookie’ Saunders, leads the ‘Cats with 21 points/ 7 asst/ 6 rebounds.  Box Score





CIS Scores  on Saturday –
Atlantic –   at Cape Breton  77  UPEI   63, at #10 Dalhousie 87 Acadia 68,  at UNB 108  Memorial 90,  Saint Marys 82  St. FX 69
Quebec – #7 McGill  at Bishop’s ,  at UQAM 98 Laval 97,
Ontario –  #1 Ryerson 97 at Nipissing 68, at #2 Ottawa 91 York 61,  at #3 Carleton 99 Queen’s 81, Guelph 80 at Algoma 60, at Laurentian 75 Toronto 74, at Lakehead 74        #4 McMaster  72 , Western 81 Laurier 60,  Windsor 86  Waterloo 58

UBC-O, MRU Claim Upset Wins

Explorer Division Leaders Get Dusted Saturday

Aldrich Berrios leads the Heat to a big home win.

Aldrich Berrios leads the Heat to a big home win.

at UBC-Okanagan   62  Thompson Rivers 57  –   UBC-O shock the Explorer leaders with a great team defensive effort, as they even their record to 5-5, and drop TRU back to 8-2. The Heat stifle the TRU attack in the final frame, limiting the ‘Pack to only 7 points.  The home team also win the rebound battle against the bigger Wolf Pack 40-37, and hit 10 treys to just 3 for the visitors. Aldrich Berrios was the top scorer for the Heat with 18, including 4 treys, and Mitch Goodwin added 15 with 3 long bombs. Thompson Rivers shot just 36% , and had Volodymyr Iegorov with 13 as their leader. Box Score

Mt. Royal  86  at Fraser Valley   71   OT –  A huge win for MRU (3-7), as they blitz the

Brett Layton wears out the UFV defense in a big Cougars win Saturday.

Brett Layton wears out the UFV defense in the Cougars OT win on Saturday.            photo – MRU Athletics

Cascades 20-5 in the extra frame. (The bigger story might be the strange ending to this game – see Overtime)  UFV hit 10 treys to the Cougars’  3, but the visitors cash 17 free throws compared to 11 for Fraser Valley (6-4), and the visitors win the rebounding over their bigger hosts 61-51, on a cold shooting night for both teams. Mt. Royal almost lost it at the line , as they hit just 44% of 36 chances. Brett Layton scored 22 points and had a monster 24 rebounds to lead MRU, and James Lefebvre contributed 19 points/ 5 boards. Manny Dulay was high for the home team with 19, including 5/7 from 3,  while Kevon Parchment rang up 12 points / 16 rebounds, and Vijay Dillon scored 18.  Box Score

MacEwan 72  at UNBC 70  –  The Griffins celebrate a hard-fought sweep at UNBC, as Thadius Galvez makes a buzzer -beating jumper for the  clutch win in game 2. Ryan May had a big night for Mac, as he scores 24 points / 6 rebounds, and Galvez tallies 13 points/ 4 assists .  MacEwan (5-5) is hot from the floor at 53%, while the T’Wolves are just 35% themselves. UNBC (3-7) stays close with a big 19/27 from the line vs 9/15 by the Griffins. Both Billy Cheng and Rhys Elliot score 17 for the Timberwolves. Box Score


T-Birds Sweep Pronghorns to Stay on Top of the Pioneer

Jordan Jensen-Whyte leads UBC to a 2nd win over Lethbridge this weekend.

Jordan Jensen-Whyte leads UBC to a 2nd win over Lethbridge this weekend.

at UBC  85  Lethbridge  79  –   This is a close one most of the way, as Lethbridge hangs tough, but can’t close the gap in the late stages. The sweep gives UBC a Pioneer Division lead at 8-2, and the ‘Horns return home with a 5-3 mark. UBC won this game at the foul line with 21-26 made against a mere 7/8 for the visitors. Both teams speed their scoring around with 5 players from each team scoring 10 or better, with Jordan Jensen-Whyte tops for the ‘Birds with 16 plus 7 assists, and Jared Baker notching 16 for the ‘Horns, who were out-rebounded 43-25 on the night. Box Score

at Calgary 83  Saskatchewan 78  –   Another grind- it -out type of game between these 2 teams , as it resembled Rugby more than basketball at times.  Fouls hurt Saskatchewan, as the Dinos go to the line 33 times and convert 27 (82%) vs 18/20 for the ‘Dogs.  Thomas Cooper hit 21 points and snared 9 boards for Calgary, and Josh Owen-Thomas had 18 points.  The Huskies have 5 players in double digits, including 14 points and 17 big rebounds from a most impressive Shane Osayande.  He got help from 15 points apiece by Jauquin Bennett-Boire and Chan DeCiman.  The Dinos move up to 8-3, while U of S drop further to 3-7. Box Score

Manitoba  65  at Victoria  59 –  This is not the score we might expect in a Bisons win over UVic, but it is big for Manitoba to get the split, as they give the Vikes only 24 points in the 2nd half. Victoria are ice cold from the floor at 31%, and shoot just 8/11 from the free throw stripe vs 17/31 for the Herd. Manitoba didn’t shoot it well either, at 36% from the floor. 17 each by A.J Basi and Justus Alleyn paced the Bisons (7-3), while Keith Omoerah worked hard for 15 rebounds, and U of M grabbed 56to UVic’s 39.  The Vikes (6-4) had 18 points from Mack Roth and 14 by Brandon Dunlop.   Box Score

at Regina  95 Trinity Western  72  –   The Cougars light -up the Spartans early, taking a 54-30 lead at the break, and putting it on auto-pilot in the final 20 minutes to secure their 6th win. 5 players in double figures for Regina with 18 points and 4 steals from Brandon Tull, and a superb 14 rebound/ 17 point game from Brian Ofori. TWU had trouble mounting an offence, as they hit just 31% from the floor. Kelvin Smith stood out for the Spartans as he registers 22 points and 5 rebounds. The 2nd game in this series is Sunday in Regina . Box Score

at  Winnipeg  80  Brandon  59 –  The Wesmen get the sweep of this home and home set, with Denzel Lynch-Blair their leading scorer again with 19 plus 7 rebs/5 assts. Jelane Pryce adds 17 for UW, who are now 5-5. Brandon fall to 0-8, as they shoot only 32% FG, and have earl Thompson Jr. as their high man with 11 points.  Box Score  


Other CIS Scores –
Atlantic – at UPEI   104  Saint Marys   82 , UNB 100  at St. FX  83 ,  at  Memorial  86  Acadia  83
Quebec –  Montreal  83 at Bishops  72
Ontario –  Western  at Guelph  ,  (Non-league)  McGill  70 at Queen’s  61 ,  at Brock  86  Windsor 79


Overtime –

  • An incredible, impossible ending to the Mt. Royal at Fraser Valley game  Saturday in Abbotsford; first for the last second, throw-it-up 3 pointer by Manny Dulay to get the Cascades into overtime.  But the true oddity was the foul out of 5 of the  8 players dressed by UFV, leaving them 3 on 5 against  the Cougars in the extra time. “We really didn’t know what to do”, said MRU Coach Marc Dobell. ” Our guard would dribble right to the hoop, and, because their guys didn’t want to foul (and forfeit) , they virtually let us score in the last 2 minutes.”  Not something we’ll see every day!

Alberta and Lethbridge – Previews



Lethbridge Pronghorns, Coach Mike Hansen, 3rd year 

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It was a game changer for the ‘Horns when their 5th year import post, Brent Watkins, suffered what likely will be a career-ending set of injuries as a result of a summer car accident. Watkins’ recovery has been heartening, and the extended U of L community has extended great support to the family back in California.  Now, without the defense, rebounding, and 61% FG shooting of Watkins, and with Tyson McIntyre struggling with another knee injury, Coach Mike Hansen suggests, “We are a small team, and we’ll have to find new ways of getting the ball to the basket.”

The U of L roster has more returning players than almost any team in Canada West, and 5 of those are 5th years, including their superb guard combo of Jared Baker and Rob Olsen.

Rob Olsen is a hot-shooting 5th year guard for U of L.

Rob Olsen is a hot-shooting 5th year guard for U of L.

Forward Brandon Brine is a potential all-star at forward, and Coach Hansen is happy with the progress of 2nd year players Zac Overwater and Josh Sparkes, “They made a big jump over the summer, and are now stronger and more skilled.”   Also, the addition of (former UL star) Alex Fletcher as a full-time Assistant will be big for player development. Hansen cites a new push at Lethbridge to provide resources for Athletics, and Fletcher’s post is one example.

The late summer signing of import point guard Dejon Burdeaux will spark the guard corps, and ACAC College transfers Chris Maughan and Brian Preneslo give some help up front. Lethbridge may fly under the radar as they integrate the new talent, but they have enough experience and capable leadership in their veterans to contend.


Brandon Brine           F        6-6,    5th year, S.Australia

Lynden Nummi          G       5-9,    5th, Lethbridge

Spencer Lambert      G        6-1,    3rd, Lethbridge

Mike Pierzchala         F        6-4,   2nd, Lethbridge

Zac Overwater          W        6-7,   2nd, Didsbury, AB

Josh Sparkes            G        6-0,   2nd,  Medicine Hat

Jason Nysten            W        6-3 ,  4th, Carstairs, AB

Jared Baker               G        6-2,   5th,  Raymond, AB

Rob Olsen                  G       6-2,   5th,  Cardston, AB

*Brent Watkins            F       6-10,  5th –  injured in a car accident

*Tyson McIntyre –         F     6-7,    3rd –  knee injury

New ‘Horns –

Dejon Burdeaux   G      6-0  3rd, San Leandro, CA (tsf-Fresno City  Coll.)

Will Hickey          G      6-0, Golden, BC, (tsf-Lethbridge  Coll )

Brian Prenoslo    F       6-4, 4th  Sherwood Park, (tsf-Red Deer College)

Chris Maughan    F     6-9,  3rd,  Calgary, (tsf Lethbridge Coll.)



Alberta Golden Bears – Coach Barnaby Craddock, 5th year

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The Golden Bears will be in a re-building mode after losing mainstays Joel Friesen, Ken Otieno, and Youssef Ouahrig. Coach Barnaby Craddock, who has had success at Brandon, Fraser Valley, and Alberta as the head man, can see an effective forward line developing, especially with the often-spectacular play of 3rd year Canada West All-Star, Mamadou Gueye, and the physical ’14-’15 rookie star, Sebastian Denault. Add in the experienced Rav Dhaliwal, ‘BIG’ Brett Roughead, and red-shirt rookie, Brody Clark, and this should be a formidable group.

Mamadou Gueye will be a major force for the Bears.

Forward, Mamadou Gueye, will be a major force for the Bears.

Guard play will be ‘a work in progress’, according to Craddock.  “Losing a lead guard as good as Ouahrig will have us scrambling for the first part of the season”, he says. Both import Colby Jackson and Ontario star, D’Wan Williams come with impressive credentials, and veteran Ethan Dixon may get a chance to shine. Andriy Halushko and Lyndon Annetts are both capable outside shooters, and they may help U of A’s back-court step up as the season progresses.

Losing 4 of their 5 first pre-season games has to be concerning for Coach Craddock, but there is too much talent there to count out the perennial contenders this early in the ‘re-construction phase’. The GBs are home for their own Invitational on Oct. 23-24 vs UNBC and Queen’s.


Ethan Dixon                G     6-0,      3rd year,  Edmonton

Andriy Halushko          G     6-4,      2nd, Edmonton

Sheldon Pittman          G     6-5,     2nd,  Calgary

Lyndon Annetts            G     6-6,     3rd,  Beaumont, AB

Mamadou Gueye          F      6-6,     3rd,  Quebec City

Rav Dhaliwal                  F     6-7,     4th,   Surrey, BC

Brett Roughead             P      7-1,     4th,  Coleman, AB

Sebastien Denault         P       6-9,     2nd,    La Prairie, QC

New Bears –

Jonah Weyessa      G       6-0       1st,  Calgary -Fr. Lacombe

Colby Jackson        G       5-8,     1st,  Las Vegas, NV- Clark  HS

Joel Lutz                 F        6-7,     1st,  Cardston, AB

Cole Knudsen          F       6-7,     1st,  Barrhead, AB

Brody Clarke           F      6-8,     1st Toronto – Oakwood

Ivan Ikomey             G      6-1,    1st,  Calgary – McNally

D’Wan Williams       G      6-2,    1st, Toronto- Oakwood


Game Scores  – 

Thurs. Oct. 15 –  Windsor 94 vs Regina 80,  Concordia 80 at Saskatchewan  67

at McMaster 90 Cape Breton 68


Overtime – 

  •   Josh Mayorga (TRU) was on the Canada West All-Rookie team last March, but the young man informed Wolf Pack Coach Scott Clark that he did not want to continue with school and basketball this year.
  • In a similar vein, Adonis Monfort-Palomino, after a rookie year as back-up to Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson at Calgary, has recently chosen to leave the team, but UC still has 2nd year Cory Hauck, rookie Torrez McCoy, and transfer David Kapinga up to the challenge at that spot .

    Coach Craddock is the only coach in history to lead 3 different schools to the CIS National Tournament.

    Coach Craddock is the only coach in history to lead 3 different schools to the CIS National Tournament.

  •   Bears Coach Craddock, who was very busy himself this past summer as Head Coach of Canada’s Development Team, who played in the Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea, is very high on the future of Brody Clark, his red-shirt freshman forward. “Brody was the only CIS player on the Canada Junior (U-19) team, (which finished 6-1, 5th place in the FIBA Worlds in Heraklion, Greece in July) …”  Craddock suggests Clark has the physical talent and the work ethic to eventually become an All-Canadian for Alberta.

Top Teams, Players – Week 1


Chris McLaughlin shows up with deadly low post game to turn aside the Regina Cougars at UVic.

Vikes’ 6-10, Chris McLaughlin shows up with a deadly low post game to turn aside the Regina Cougars at UVic.


4 Teams Get a Headstart

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‘Horns get 2 valuable road wins

Our prediction of more series  splits was trashed by the Dinos and Pronghorns, for sure, as we might have expected both the home teams, Winnipeg and Brandon, to get at least 1 of the 2 on their home court.  The Vikes sweep over Regina was true to form, in the long history between these teams, and the Alberta-Saskatchewan split might have been anticipated, with not much to choose between these ‘heavy-weights.


The week’s Top Teams –

Lethbridge – the revamped ‘Horns go into Brandon and get 2 wins, as the new floor leaders, Jared Baker and Rob Olsen keep the ball moving in their high-energy offense.  The inside game is strong, with Brandon Brine, Brent Watkins, and 1st year stand-out, Zac Overwater.

Dinos escape Winnipeg with 2 big wins.

Dinos escape Winnipeg with 2 big wins.

Calgary – The underdogs going into Winnipeg against the Ws, Calgary shows more ball movement on offense, and a renewed defensive effort (” … for 7 quarters”, says Coach Dan Vanhooren, in referring to the startling 39 point Wesmen explosion in the 4th on Saturday) .

Manitoba – The Bisons ‘win ugly’ according to Coach Kirby Schepp, but they flourish with Stephan Walton at the controls, Amarjit Basi’s hot- shooting, and strong rebounding, led by Wyatt Anders.

Victoria –  The top-rated Vikes get 2 at home, but, except for a clinical performance in the post by Chris McLaughlin, they bog down at times vs a willing Regina effort. Marcus Tibbs and Reiner Theil are key pieces if UVic is to stay at the summit.

Prime-Time Players –

Chris McLaughlin, Vikes-  ‘Day- to -Day’, indeed!  The 5th year post eats Regina’s lunch, with 21 ppg/12 rebs. A most effective low -post player, he hits the ‘O’ – glass with a vengeance.

'JOJ' remains the driving force for the UC Dinos, in 2 road wins at Winnipeg.

‘JOJ’ remains the driving force for the UC Dinos, in 2 road wins at Winnipeg.

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Dinos – asked to ‘adjust his game’ in his 5th year, JOJ responds with  a competitor’s  instincts.  Fewer shots, more assists, still among the top rebounders through hustle … still at 16 ppg.

Stephan Walton, Bisons – his presence ‘stirs the pot’ for the Herd, as they crush TWU in 2 home wins …  he averages 18 ppg/

Jonathan Tull, Regina – a great pick-up from Acadia, and should give the Cougs that extra offensive weapon, alongside his ’little brother’ , Brandon. 19.5 ppg.

Rob Olsen in his best form vs Brandon.

Rob Olsen in his best form vs Brandon.

Marcus Tibbs, Vikes – The quick attacker for UVic directs the action, and scores off the break … 19.5 ppg. Quick, aggressive defender.

Rob Olsen, Pronghorns – just what Coach Mike Hansen needed … smooth shooter scores (18 ppg),  distributes for 6 asst/game with a 2.4 asst/turnover ratio.

Brandon Brine, Pronghorns brings an edge to the ‘Horns.  No – back – down approach … 17.5 ppg,

Mark McNee, Wesmen – as the Ws look to replace S. Wesley, it is McNee who steps up with 17.5 ppg, inside and out.

Joel Freisen, Bears – averages 20.5 ppg in their split with Saskatchewan, also has 6 assists and 9 rebounds in the 2 games.

Ali Mounir Benabdelhak (17 ppg/7.5 rebs.) and Earl Thompson Jr. (11 ppg/7.5 rebs), Brandon, were both strong for the Bobcats, despite the 2 home losses.

Matt Forbes, Huskies – always battling in the post, Forbes scores 13 ppg/9.5 rebounds as one of the ‘Dogs’ steadiest performers vs Alberta.

In a supporting role –

The Bisons' Amarjit Basi pulls the trigger on Trinity W.

The Bisons’ Amarjit Basi pulls the trigger on Trinity W.

Jared Baker, Pronghorns – gets it done as the ‘co-point man’ with his League-leading 12 rebs/game and 6 assts/game.  The ‘glue guy’ for the U of L.

Amarjit Basi , Bisons – 18.5 ppg, shoots 56% .  Great series from this veteran!

Zac Overwater, Pronghorns-  the 6-7 freshman looked very confident as he scores  15 ppg/7.5 assists, and handles the ball well in the open court vs Brandon.

Youssef Ouahrig, Bears – runs the U of A offense , with 7 assists, 14 points in Saturday win vs U of S.

Wyatt Anders, Bisons – 11.5 rebounds/game (2nd in CW), and a key for the Herd, who need that ball control edge.

Dallas Karch, Phil Barndt, Dinos – 3rd yr forward, Karch shoots 83%, scores 12 ppg.  Plays big in the paint on defense. 5th year forward, Barndt leads the way with 24 pts/5 boards in the Saturday win at Wpg.

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.22.55 PMThe poll is essentially static, with the 5 OUA teams set to start League play as they sit atop the rankings.  Minor flip with UNB promoted 1 spot over Saskatchewan who were 1-1 at Alberta last weekend.

Calgary gets an honourable mention after beating Winnipeg twice.






Overtime –ubc copy

  •   UBC had the bye, and played a couple of Oregon colleges … they open this coming Fri/Sat.  against the 2-0 Vikes, with both games in Vancouver at War Memorial (no B.C Ferries home and home?  What’s up with that?).  UVic was top-ranked by League coaches in the pre-season, so this is a ‘show me’ series for both teams.
  • Coach Mike Hansen gets bad news with what looks like a serious injury to 2nd year forward, Tyson McIntyre, suffered vs Brandon.  Also, import guard, Jesse Hilleary, has apparently returned to Australia. This may well leave the ‘Horns as yet another team with a ‘short roster’ of 11 or 12.
  • Brett Rouault scores 19 vs Gonzaga.

    Brett Rouault scores 19 vs Gonzaga.

    Coach Scott Clark, TRU, after his team’s 95-69 loss at Gonzaga, “We hung in there for most of the night,” said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark. “Except for a couple of minor stretches. We are now getting ready for the start of the season.”  (This was a great  experience for the ‘Pack, we would guess.  The ‘Zags are a very popular, regional favourite in the North West … even in B.C and Alberta, of course.  They are nationally – ranked, and drew the biggest crowd that TRU players will see all season.)

  • Brett Roughead, the Bears’  7-1 post from Crowsnest Pass HS and St. Mary’s (Calgary) U., is easily the top ‘rebounds per minute’ player in Canada West , with 7.5 reb in 17.5 minutes.  The UM Bisons’ import forward, Alfreeman Flowers, would next at 7 rebs. in 19.5 minutes on average.
  • This week we have a full slates of games in the rest of the country as well as the entire Canada West in actionthe Explorer Division launches this week with 3 series – MRU at MacEwan, UNBC at TRU, and Fraser Valley at Okanagan.  All 3 other Leagues in the East tip-off their regular season as well, with McMaster at Ottawa and , the next night taking on Carleton in Top 10 match-ups.  The AUS’ top team, Cape Breton is at home to the Memorial Seahawks, and , in Quebec, McGill and Bishop’s go at it in Montreal.