Previews – TRU , UBC-O

 

Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack – Scott Clark, 6th year

In a year of major change in many Explorer Division rosters, the TRU line-up is particularly  TRU Wolf Pack copyfull of fresh faces, and, although he’s not completely re-vamping his whole roster, Coach Scott Clark graduated key veterans, Brett Rouault, Tallon Milne, and Brett Parker, from the  2014-15 Wolfpack, who were an 11-9 playoff team.

The Wolves will depend heavily on  5th years, Josh Wolfram,  a Canada West All-Star forward, who played for Canada in the  ‘World Student Games’ in China this past summer, flashy point man, Reese Pribilsky,  and import strong forward, Gerard Gore.   Wolfie’s 18 ppg (including 46% shooting from the outside) and 10 rebounds put him in a select group of Canada West big men.  Pribilsky averaged 4.5 assists with a 2.0 asst/turnover rate, and also scored 13 ppg, while Gore and 3rd year forward, Luke Morris both scored near 5 ppg last season.

With only 4 returnees, Clark was busy on the recruiting trail last Winter and Spring, and added  7 new faces to his ‘Pack. TRU’s most intriguing recruit has to be the former U20 Ukrainian National Team player, Vladimir Iegorov.  Kamloops TV Sports -CFJC did this nice piece on Vladimir last week. With his size, maturity, and skills, this former pro import should be a most valuable addition for TRU.    Coach Clark also added another import in 6-2 combo guard, Albert Medrano (Gavilan Jr. College, CA) .

Closer to home, the Coach found some promising talent in 6-5 Michael Rouault, 6-4 Evan Helgason, 6-4 Jeff Tubbs, and 6-0 Evan Cave, as well as a Fraser Valley prospect in 6-2 Justin Mason from Surrey.  “They are rookies for us”, says Clark, but there is some good potential here, and we expect these young guys to work hard and make a contribution when their opportunity shows itself.”

TRU will stay fairly close to home base in their pre-season, with games at home in the Wolf Pack Tournament in mid-October vs Great Falls Univ. (MT), and Trinity Western , then Kwantlen College and Simon Fraser in Kamloops a week later.  The ‘Pack visit Northwest Univ. (Kirkland, WA)  for a game on Oct. 25.

Josh Wolfram can be a dominant force for TRU this season.

Josh Wolfram can be a dominant force for TRU this season.

Returnees – 

Josh Wolfram           6-10  F  5th year  , Kamloops

Reese Pribilsky         5-11  point 5th, Victoria

Gerard Gore             6-5   F ,  5th,   St. John’s, Antiqua

Luke Morris              6-5  F,  3rd,  Mission, BC

 Recruits – 

Jeff Tubbs               6-4 guard , 1st,  Kelowna,  Mount Boucherie

Evan Helgason         6-4 wing, Kamloops  (via a U.S. ‘prep’ school )

Michael Rouault      6-5  F  Vernon, Clarence Fulton  ’

Evan Cave              6-0  G  Kamloops, Norkam

Albert Medrano      6-2  G  Mountain View, CA, Gavilan Jr. Coll.

Vladimir Iegorov       6-7  F  Donetsk, Ukraine, MBC Mykolaiv

Justin Mason            6-2   G  Surrey , Lord Tweedsmuir

 

 

UBC-Okanagan Heat   Coach Peter Guarasci, 4th year   

UBC-O logo

Peter Guarasci believes in the ‘steady hand on the tiller’ approach to his coaching challenge at UBC-Okanagan. He has a group of young players, for the most part, with 9 on his roster who are 1st or 2nd year. The Heat come off a tough ‘trial by fire’ type of season in 2014-15, with a 3-17 record in the Explorer Division, and the former National team post man says, “We want to keep developing, and look for these guys to mature as players and students.”

The 7500 student campus sits in the Okanagan Valley, which can be a real positive for recruiting, but B.C. has 7 other university-level programs scouring the Province for players as well. Guarasci’s preference is to recruit and develop young talent, and suggests that his ‘team has some good prospects, who should help us compete more consistently, and deeper into games.”  Two college transfers bring some skills and confidence; Randall Mosca is a combo guard from St. Mary’s University , Calgary, where he scored 21 ppg in the Alberta Colleges League. Paulius Makulavicius is a 3rd  year wing who played high school in Vancouver, and transfers from Capilano College ( 12.5 ppg/ 4.5 rebs).

Mitch Goodwin is a key veteran guard for UBC-O

Mitch Goodwin is a key veteran guard for UBC-O

A 2nd year post man, 6-8 Brian Ademba, is very new to the game, but his Coach feels , “He is one of the hardest workers I’ve coached, and he improves with each session he has in the gym.  With his size and enthusiasm, I think he can be an effective CIS player eventually.”  His other young post men, 6-9 Ryan Morck and 6-8 Dean Johnston, will also be expected to step their games up and give Okanagan an improved inside presence along with 6-6 forward, Austin Penrose.

Three offensive leaders return for the Heat;  guard Mitch Goodwin ( 13.6 ppg, 4.7 rebs, 2.4 asst) , forward David Manshrek (13.5 ppg, 6.3 rebs), and point guard, Aldrich Berrios (12.4 ppg, 3.1 asst, 1.6 steals) should be a solid combo this campaign.  The team has just started Fall camp, and Coach Guarasci is happy to ‘take things a little slower’ in the pre-season;  “We want the kids fresh when we start playing for real in November, and we can’t forget that allowing them to get their bearings academically is a sensible approach in early September.  UBC-O will play the Lethbridge Pronghorns in Kelowna in early October, then face Trinity Western and Great Falls (MT) Univ. in the Thompson Rivers Tournament  Oct. 16/17.

For a bit of change of pace over the Christmas break, the Heat will be training with the UVic Vikes over on Vancouver Island.

Returnees – 

Mitch Goodwin   G  6-2,  4th year, Kelowna

Ryan Morck         F   6-9, 2nd  , Airdrie, AB

Dean Johnston    F  6-8,  2nd,   Port Coquitlam

Aldrich Berrios     G  6-1   2nd, Burnaby

Cameron Servatius  G  6-4,  2nd, Chilliwack

Cameron Friesen    W  6-4,  3rd, Abbotsford

David Manshreck    F   6-5,  3rd  N. Vancouver

Austin Penrose       F  6-6, 2nd, W. Vancouver

Brian Ademba        F  6-8, 2nd,  Nairobi, Kenya …

Buzz Truss            G  6-4, 2nd   Kelowna

Recruits – 

Spencer Thomas         6-2 G, 1st , Pickering, ON

Randall Mosca            5-10 G, 3rd, Calgary, AB , tsf St. Mary’s University College

Patrick Dujmovic         6-4 F , 1st, White Rock, Semiahmoo

Paulius Makulavicius   6-4 W,  3rd,   Vancouver, tsf  Capilano Univ. College

 

Overtime –

  • Former Alberta G’Bears mainstay, Jordan Baker, has joined Calgary Dinos grad ,
    Bears grad, Jordan Baker

    Bears grad, Jordan Baker

    Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson on the roster of Galitos – Tiey, in Barreiro, of the Portuguese Pro League. The 2 All-Canadians should both get a great shot at playing significant minutes with this club. 

  •  Pre-season games start early … Regina plays Medicine Hat College next Saturday in Moose Jaw, while both MacEwan and Alberta have Alumni games in Edmonton.
  •  Christine Stapleton, the former head coach for the powerful Regina Cougars Women’s  team of a few years ago, moves from the University of Waterloo’s Athletic Department to take over as the new Athletic Director at University of Calgary.  She is the 1st female A.D. in Dinos history.

CIS – Canada West Summer Notes

 

Summer Highlights from Canada West and the CIS Schools –

*(Editor’s note … After a lengthy break, we’re playing catch-up here ….)

 

CIS Players Turn Pro –

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson  will play pro in Portugal

Calgary’s All-Canadian, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson will play pro in Portugal

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, the recently graduated all-star point man for the Calgary Dinos, has signed a professional contract with Galitos – Tiey , in Barreiro, Portugal.

“JOJ’ , speaking from his home in Winnipeg, said, “I’m very pleased to get this opportunity to play for Galitos; I think I will have a good chance to play, and to show my skills, and get some exposure to the European style of play.”  More details in this announcement from Slan Sports, which is Jarrred’s agent in Europe. 

The Victoria Vikes’ 6-10 Chris McLaughlin has signed with the Basket Swans Gmunden in Austria. McLaughlin led UVic to the 2015 Canada West Championship, and was the League MVP.  Six-foot-ten centre McLaughlin just finished his fifth and final season with the Vikes, helping the team capture the program’s first title since 2006 and leading the team to finish fourth in the CIS Final 8 national championship for the second consecutive year.

“I am very excited to take the next step in my basketball career and pursue a professional career in Austria,” said McLaughlin. ” I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far without the support from friends, family, coaches and previous team mates who have pushed me over the last five years.”

Another Vikes grad, Terrell Evans (2014), like McLaughlin, a 1st team All-Canadian in his final year, the 6-5 wing also signed with an Austrian club, the Oberwart Gunners.

Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak, former Brandon Bobcats star forward has signed  with US Setif in Algeria.

Emerick Ravier another Bobcats mainstay, signed  SPN Vernon, a French club.

Phil Scrubb , the lead guard for the Ravens, will play in Greece.

Phil Scrubb , the lead guard for the Ravens, will play in Greece.

Justin King, former CW high scorer while at Thompson Rivers signs with the Oakleigh Warriors  in the Australian League.

Johnny Berhanemeskel, the Ottawa Gee-Gees’ All-Canadian, takes his high octane game to  TLÜ/Kalev  in Estonia .

Phil Scrubb, the 6-3 guard, a 2 – time CIS MVP for Carleton, and current National team guard, has signed to play with AEK Athens, Greece, one of the top clubs in Europe.

Jahmal Jones (Ryerson), an All-Canadian point man last season, has signed  with Qanto Turi Svitavy of the Czech Republic National Basketball League .

 

Canada West Goes PAY Per View !   Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 9.29.12 AM

The market test from the U of A games last season must have been positive, because Canada West announced last week that all their games on Canada West TV will be on a Pay-per-view basis this 2015-16 season.

It’s disappointing in a way, but I think we have to consider the costs associated with the TV presentations for each school, and the limited sources of revenue to keep the programs running. So we pony up $3.75 for a single day of viewing, $22.50 for all games in a season for any one sport, or $33.75 for the multi-sport pass, which is good for all sports and all games. (Prices are in $ U.S. … of course they are !  More details from Canada West Sport – Evan Daum.

 

Season’s Tickets are On Sale Now –

Fans, buy your tickets early !  Get into CIS Sport … you and your family, friends.  Here’s the best way to do it … Season tickets !  The cost per game can be near a loony, if you’re wanting to see a variety of sports.  Most packages include team swag, discounts on food or other team gear, and playoff reductions.  Junior Dinos, Bears, T-Birds, or ‘Horns will have their own low-priced tickets and bonuses.

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Once again, the Calgary Dinos appear to have the top ‘screamin’ deal’, where they include parking for a very low cost, avoiding the pay at the machine annoyance.  The UC’s all-sport GOLD Card is the way to go … $100 for all regular season games, with 25% off playoff tix.  You can add all-events game day parking for $25 !  No brainer ….

For the  Mt. Royal Cougars – Multi-Sport Pass – $100 (All sport pass – all regular season home events in every sport). Single Sport Pass –   $75 (All home games for any specific sport) (But, sadly, no parking deal.)

UBC – $80 for admission to all regular season games, all-sports – 100+ games.

Alberta – a bit more $$$$$.  No multi-sport pass.  Basketball – $81 , while Hockey  is $126 … all sports work out to $9 per game, and fans get playoff discounts.

Manitoba – $60 Brown & Gold pass is good for regular season games in Basketball, Hockey, and Volleyball.  Football is separate … $50  for Adults … U of M Alumni and UM Staff  – $40

 

Coaches – The Year of the Leave !

Carleton’s Smart Takes a Break !  Carleton Head Coach, Dave Smart, the man who has directed the Carleton Ravens to 11 CIS Titles since 2003 is taking a year off. More details in this Ottawa Citizen story by Wayne Kondro.

Ryerson Coach,  Roy Rana, will take a leave from his duties with the Rams this season.

Ryerson Coach, Roy Rana, is prominent among a group of CIS coaches who will take a leave from his duties this season.

One coach leaves, and another returns;  Dave Adams, who twice had the reins of the U of L  Men’s team, was recently announced as the new Head Coach of the ‘Horns Women’s team. Details  in this article in the Lethbridge Herald by Dylan Purcell

More coaching changes – Aaron Muhic takes over for Scott Allen at Trinity Western – details from TWU Sports 

Waterloo: Justin Gunter replaces Greg Francis, who goes to Canada Basketball

Windsor: Ryan Steer is interim coach while Chris Oliver is on sabbatical leave.

Concordia: Rastko Popovic replaces the long-serving John Dore, who won a CIS title for the Stingers in 1990.

Ryerson: Patrick Tatham is interim coach while Roy Rana also takes a sabbatical

UQAM: Nate Philippe replaces the retiring veteran , Olga Hrycak, who may have been the only female Head Coach of a Men’s CIS B’Ball squad.

 

CIS vs NCAA Scores to Note –

Texas Tech 84  Ottawa 65,  Texas Tech 67  Carleton 60, T. Tech 54 McGill 46

Windsor 92 Indianapolis 86 OT (and Windsor 89 Indy 79), Indianapoils 100 Western 87

Valparaiso 84 Ottawa 76, Carleton 77 Valparaiso 59, Valpo 80  McGill 60

Baylor 80 Carleton 78, and Ravens 79 Baylor 73,  Baylor 92  Ottawa 73, and Baylor 100 U.O.84

Murray St. 66 Concordia 55, Murray St. 63 Carleton 59, Ottawa 81 Murray St. 57

  • Our take … neither Carleton or Ottawa are as strong as last season.  But … it’s summer !

Some games upcoming – Bishop’s vs Manhattan, York vs IUPUI

Calgary Comeback Beats Bears

5th year Dinos lead guard, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, counts 29 in a big win over Alberta.

5th year Dinos lead guard, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, counts 29 in a big win over Alberta.

# 7 Calgary (9-2)   90   Alberta  (4-5)   84  –  The Calgary Dinos show their grit and team confidence as they erase an early Alberta lead, and take an emotionally charged game with some clutch play in the 4th quarter in Edmonton.  The Bears went in as one of the best shooting teams in the CIS (47% FG ) and came out firing most accurately in establishing a 29 -17 lead after 10 minutes. But Calgary refuses to wilt under the barrage, and the visitors respond with  29 points of their own in the 2nd quarter to close to 49-46.

Ken Otieno tallied 20 pts including 4/6 treys in the first half as the 3 point shot is, again,  Alberta’s favourite weapon, and they cash  9/15 long bombs for 60% at the half.  In the 2nd half, fouls take their toll with Alberta’s big men, Rav Dhaliwal then Mamadou Gueye picking up 4 fouls, and Gueye eventually fouling out.  The Bears extended their lead to  67-61 after 3, but the 4th quarter saw the Dinos take control.

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, as he has so often in Dinos colours,  takes charge, as he breaks down the Alberta defense in tallying 29 pts on 10/16 shooting, with 5/9 from outside. The 5th year guard also chalked up 9 rebounds, and 8 assists, aiding 3 teammates reach double figures including 11 pts/ 4 boards from rookie import Lars Schleuter, and 10 pts apiece by 2nd year guard Jhony Verrone and LJ Hegwood.

Calgary collected 35 rebounds to Alberta’s 22, with Josh Owen-Thomas’ 6 rebs/9 pts helping the cause.   The Bears are led by Otieno’s 25 points, with Joel Friesen nailing 18, and rookie guard Andriy Hlushko goes 5/5 from outside for 15 pts.  Calgary shoots 53% to Alberta’s 50% from the floor.

Emotions ran high in the 2nd half when the game got close and the clock ran down, as technical fouls were assessed to both teams for ‘taunting’.  Frustration was evident on the part of Alberta as Calgary scored the final 8 points in the last 1:10 to snatch the win after trailing most of the way.   box score 

This is a significant win for the Dinos, now 9-2 at the top of the Pioneer Division; they top their biggest rival, but also do it in road game against a more veteran team.  The 2nd semester schedule is unrelentingly tough, so getting this one in the win column carries extra weight.  Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren says, after the game, “We are very proud of our guys; they never gave up, and just kept battling. This is a big win, especially when we know how tough the competition will be in the 2nd half of our schedule.”

The Bears will re-charge , and, undoubtedly be a factor in the playoff chase in the New Year, but they will feel the pain of this loss at least until they come to Calgary for the February 5th return match.

 

Overtime –

Bears 5th year leader, Ken Otieno

Bears 5th year leader, Ken Otieno

  •   U of A’s Ken Otieno discussing the changes in this year’s team leadership for the Bears, “The big thing is leadership,” Otieno said. “Last year we had four or five fifth-years, so they knew what they were doing on the court, leadership was there and everyone was in sync. I was with them for almost five to six years. It’s tough not having those guys around right now and losing them is obviously a big factor.”   From an Edmonton Journal article by Andrew Jeffrey.
  • “The trip to Saskatchewan hurt,” Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp said following his team’s sweep of Alberta last weekend. “It showed some cracks, but we all have them. “We’ll take a week off here and then practise through the Christmas break,” he added. “We’ll need those games in Santa Barbara and then we open up in Manitoba, which is an awfully good team right now.”  From a story by Mario Annicchiarico in the Victoria Times-Colonist.
  • It’s disturbing to hear the annoying whining from home announcers (The U of A guys aren’t the only ones on  Canada West TV, but Friday night saw them take it to a new level) … stop apologizing for the home team, crying for every foul.  Oh, and by the way, Calgary wins, and we need commentary, not personal rants.  You did take away from the game … you didn’t even come close to ‘leaving it there’.  Ad nauseum.
  •   More game stats – Alberta hits 52% from 3 point range and Calgary is 50%. Except from the foul line, it is an incredible shooting game;  but Calgary could have lost the game from the charity stripe in going 15/26 for 58% vs the 72% for the Bears on 13/18.  The Dinos take advantage of 30 pts off the  bench  against 17 for Alberta (15 of which come from Hlushko’s outside shooting.)  Calgary gets 1/3 of their scoring from Ogunbemi-Jackson’s 29, but also important efforts and production from Jasdeep Gill, Owen-Thomas, and Hegwood.  The Bears’ Gueye is held in check, with only 4 points, as he plays just 22 minutes with foul trouble,  Calgary’s Phil Barndt is limited to 12 minutes / 5 points for the same reason. This is one of the best assist to turnover games of the season for both teams – 17 A/8 TO for Alberta, and 16/9 for Calgary.

Dinos at Bears on Friday

 

The Battle of Alberta – Scene 27,145

5th year wing, Joel Friesen  of Alberta, will test Dallas Karch and other Calgary defenders.

5th year wing, Joel Friesen of Alberta, will test Dallas Karch and other Calgary defenders in Friday’s only game in Canada West.

After having just witnessed first-hand the cultural phenomenon that is the Grey Cup, we can ‘feel the love’ flowing across all manner of sports competitions between Edmonton and Calgary.  The dozens of Eskimos faithful in our section of B.C. Place Stadium on Sunday afternoon would have cheered heartily for the forces of Attila the Hun, or even the Russian Army as long as they were going to bring down the hated Stampeders. (Hate may be a strong word, but it fits in this Red vs Green ‘rivalry’).

The Dinos – Bears history has fewer participants, but the players, coaches, fans, and even some media (dwindling on a yearly basis, unfortunately), are energized by annual contests between the schools.  This season, the basketball teams have scheduled a home- and- home pair of games, starting with Friday’s tip-off at the Saville Centre in Edmonton.

The sub-text here –  Alberta has won 4 straight at home against the Dinos … however, Calgary beat the Bears in October in Calgary.  Alberta are the defending Canada West champs, and Calgary have missed the playoffs for the last 2 seasons.

This season thus far, Calgary is 8-2, with 2 wins over Winnipeg, Brandon, and Trinity W., plus splits with Manitoba and Regina.  Alberta has a  4-4 mark, arguably vs a slate of tougher opponents –  2 wins vs Trinity, then a split with Saskatchewan and with UBC, and 2 losses at UVic.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.26.04 AM

 

Neither offense has consistently pleased their coaches, Dan Vanhooren of Calgary or Barnaby Craddock of Alberta.  The Bears spread their scoring around a bit more amongst starters, but Calgary has had an average of 28 ppg off the bench vs just 13.5 for Alberta.  Alberta will try and harass Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, and the Dinos will attempt to contain Joel Friesen, both of whom are  having sparkling 5th years.  ‘OJ’ seems able to respond to one on one challenges, and he has been involving his teammates in the offensive flow to a greater extent this season.

The Bears advantage is their 3 point shooting with both Friesen and point man Youssef Ouahrig lighting it up from long-range.  Calgary hasn’t been effective from beyond the arc, even though players like OJ, Phil Barndt, and rookie, Lars Schleuter,  have had success in the past. Defensive stability has been a calling card for Coach Craddock, and the Dinos will be looking to improve the consistency of their effort in that area.

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Home teams in Canada West have won 44 and lost 30 in the opening half of the schedule, and Alberta has been pretty good at defending the Saville Centre home court, so we’d have to establish the GBs as the favourites.  Both teams will be looking at this as a special game, not only the ‘Battle of Alberta’ over-tones, but also with all the focus on them as no one else in the whole CIS plays this week .

Who can come up big for either team ?  Of course, Friesen for Alberta and Ogungbemi-Jackson for Calgary, but let’s pick a couple of others:  the Bears have proven firepower in both Mamadou Gueye, a quick, slashing wing, and Ken Otieno, who has been a 20+ ppg scorer in the past;  for the Dinos, it might well be Phil Barndt, the 5th year post, who can hit the open jumper from any range, then take it to the hole, and 2nd year, LJ Hegwood, whose speed and quickness can create instant offense.

Game time –  8 pm Friday, Dec. 5  on Canada West TV  (this costs a ‘small fee’ for any Bears home game this season. Just a Canada West test run on pay-per-view possibilities).

 

The CIS Top 5 … Plus 5Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.20.18 AM

The ‘Famous 5 – Titans from the Heartland’, remain behind the giant moat separating the CIS Top 5 and the ‘also-rans’ from 6-10.  (We must be aware that all of the 5 ‘won tournaments’ in various parts of the country in the pre-season.  They are for real.)

If you’re in parts East or West, you might be excused, however, for a bit of cheering for teams like Western, Guelph, Lakehead, York, Laurier, or maybe even Laurentian to ambush one of the ‘Titans” in a future OUA league game.  Maybe at a Holiday tournament?

In the 6 -10 spots, we have Victoria moving up after taking 2 from Saskatchewan.  The Huskies are fortunate to stay ranked. Quite frankly, the continued exclusion of Manitoba, who are tied for the Pioneer Division lead in Canada West, is an ‘oversight’.

UNB loses a pair and drops from 6 to 8, and Calgary bumps up to 7 with 2 wins, while UFV are 9th as they remain unbeaten in the Explorer.  Because of the Canada West ‘split’, it is tough to see the Cascades getting much higher.