Hoops Teams Travel on Holidays

 

 

Canada West Hoops Holiday Schedules –

Denzel Lynch- Blair and his Wesmen will play host to the 50th Annual Wesmen Classic.

The 16 hoops teams of Canada West who have competitive plans for the Holiday season certainly have a contrast in destinations!  Winnipeg is popular !  But then, so is Phoenix, AZ!  Or, how about California ?   

The Winnipeg Wesmen play host to 5 other Canada West squads at their  50th Annual  Wesmen Classic, Dec 28-30th. The longest -running Canadian University tournament also includes Algoma  and Lakehead  from the Ontario league.  Already we’ve had 16 Junior Varsity teams play the first 3 rounds of their JV Classic, with the Final set for Dec 27. Also set to go on the 27th will be the High School (SR) Boys Wesmen Classic, with 8 teams competing and the Final on Dec 30. The University Classic  has Winnipeg- Algoma and Manitoba-Regina on the top half of the draw, then Brandon-Victoria and Alberta-Lakehead on the other.

Volodymyr Iegorov and his TRU Wolf Pack will be in California after Christmas.

California –

Saskatchewan is in Costa Mesa, CA for an  NAIA Tourney vs  Hope Int’l and  Vanguard U.

Thompson Rivers travels to Lancaster , CA  for 2 games  Dec 29-30

MacEwan is also in Lancaster, CA against Vanguard U. and Hope International .

Phoenix –

Calgary is in Phoenix  Dec 20- 22- vs Montana Tech, Warner -Pacific, Arizona -Christian

UBC  T’Birds are also in the Phoenix area for 3 games .

Montana – 

Lethbridge is at Carroll College, Helena, MT on Dec 17, then Montana St- Northern is at UL  Dec 28

Calgary switches venues (and climates!) as they go to U. Great Falls, MT on Dec 28,  then play in the Rocky Mountain College Tournament – Dec 29-30

Coach Aaron Muhic takes his Spartans back to his own ‘home-town’ of Anchorage.

Alaska –

In early action after exams … Trinity Western will travel to Alaska to play two exhibition games against the University of Alaska Anchorage (NCAA Div. II) Dec. 17-18 and vs University of Alaska-Fairbanks (NCAA Div. II) Dec. 19.

Montreal – 

UNBC T’Wolves venture East for the UQAM Tournament … Dec 29-31 vs UQAM, Guelph, Memorial

Halifax – 

The Mt. Royal Cougars make the long trip to play in the Rod Shoveller Tournament at Dalhousie U. in downtown Halifax on Dec 29-31  … teams are Dal-MRU, Ottawa-UPEI, St. FX-Acadia, Saint Mary’s-Queens

Kelowna

Staying very close to home, the UBC-O Heat entertain the Camosun Chargers (Victoria) on Dec 30

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Overtime –

Jonathan Tull celebrates a career milestone !        Photo-  UR Athletics

  • From Jonathan Tull and the Regina Cougars, a tribute to personal dedication and persistence.  A Twitter note from the 2016 Canada West All-Star and his coaches for the Regina Cougars, who remark on another significant honour.  Tull named an Academic All-Canadian !
  • The TWU Spartans are making a Christmas holiday trip to Alaska, largely because of the  personal connections of Head Coach Aaron Muhic, a star player and graduate of East Anchorage High School in 1987.
  • Coach Craig Beaucamp and the UVic Vikes make the earliest recruiting news for Fall 2017, with the announced signing of Oak Bay High School’s Jaden Touchie, a 6-1 guard with B.C. Juvenile team experience.  More details from Vikes Athletics 

 

 

Regina Preview – Weekend Summary

 

Cougars ‘Fitting the Pieces Together’ –   preview 

 Regina Cougars

’15-’16 – Lost to TRU in 1/4 Finals,     11 wins – 9 losses  (Pioneer Division)

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Returnees – 5th years –  Aaron McGowan , 6-1 guard, Toronto. Travis Sylvestre, 6-4 fwd, Regina. Stephen Shields, 6-7 fwd, Brandon. Matthew Augustine, 5-11 guard, Toronto .  4th years – Alex Igual, 6-4 guard, Barcelona, Spain . Brandon Tull, 6-4 guard, Ajax, ON. Brian Ofori, 6-6 fwd, Montreal. 2nd year- Samuel Hillis, 6-5 guard, Regina.

Newcomers –  Johneil Johnson, 1st year,  6-1 guard, Lake Echo, N.S. / Combine Academy (N.C.).  Ramiro Martinez, 6-6 fwd, 3rd, Yecla, Spain (Barstow College). Kornel Tokolyi, 6-7 fwd, 3rd, Budapest, Hungary (Barstow College). Benjamin Hillis, 1st, 6-1 guard, Regina, ( LeBoldus HS).  Kieran Hebert, 1st, 5-9 guard, Regina (Riffel HS). Carter Millar, 1st, 6-4 fwd, Regina (Leboldus HS). Brayden Kuski, 1st, 6-1 guard, Regina (Leboldus HS).

Head Coach Steve Burrows is using the ‘pre-season’ to get a good look at all his ‘ponies’; “We’re trying to see how to best utilize each guy’s talents, and what’s the best way for us to play.”  Yes, the 4th year bench boss has 7 returnees in either their 5th or 4th years, but he’s also working to blend in 7 new faces, including 5 in the 1st year out of high school.

“The team worked well in their summer program, and we’re pleased with how they’ve arrived at camp this Fall,” says Burrows.  “We are making adjustments with our style of play, and getting a good look at everybody in these October games.”

Guard, Brandon Tull (L) and forward, Brian Ofori (R) will be among the core group for the Regina Cougars.

Guard, Brandon Tull (L) and forward, Brian Ofori (R) will be among the core group for the Regina Cougars.

Canada West all-star, Jonathan Tull has graduated with his 17 ppg/5.2 rebs/2 asst/2.5 steals, so how do the Cougs fill that gap?  Burrows says, “We’re working to build confidence in the new roles some of our guys may have.  Not unlike everyone else!”

Both Aaron McGowan and Alex Igual are experienced lead guards, and rookie Kieran Hebert has the ‘bloodlines’ and skills to step in there eventually.  Matt Augustine, a defensive stopper, returns for his final season after missing last year.  Samuel Hillis goes into his 2nd year ready to step up, and his brother joins the team as a star local grad.  Both are sons of former Cougars Head Coach James Hillis.

Brandon Tull and Travis Sylvester can be real leaders on the wing, and they get some big man help from 5th year, Stephen Shields. A pair of imports from Barstow College, CA , Ramiro Martinez a Spaniard, and Kornel Tokolyi from Hungary, will try and work their way into the rotation, and help in the paint.

After having narrowly missed a slot in last March’s CW Final 4, the green Cougars will be aiming to get back to the post season.  ‘It’s a new team”, says Burrows, “ and we’re trying to find a fit for each guy, and an effective style for this team.”

The schedule gives the Cougs  some key games on home court, and we’ll note they’re another squad with a 4/6, back-loaded schedule, with a bye in the 1st semester.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec – Victoria, at MacEwan, at Trinity W., Saskatchewan,  (4)            Jan-Feb -at UBC-O, Manitoba, at Brandon, Calgary, at Winnipeg, TRU (6)

Prediction – Playoffs, we would bet .


WEEKEND  REVIEW –

Vikes, Cougars Still ‘Works in Progress’

Out on the Island, the results of the GUY VETRIE MEMORIAL show McMaster Marauders of the OUA winning the event with a 3-0 mark ( 69-62 over McGill,  75-61 over Regina, and 76-65 past the Vikes on Saturday – Box Score). Victoria went 1-2, with a lop-sided  loss to McGill 69-44-  Box Score, and then their lone win, in a comeback, over Regina 76-67.  The Cougars, without Aaron McGowan, and having star recruit,  Johneil Johnson, go down with an injury, dropped all 3 games.

Both UVic and Regina are trying to incorporate a significant number of new faces into the playing roster.  Obviously, more games left in October to try and do that.

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A nice pair of wins for the Winnipeg Wesmen at Lakehead … 76-70 on Friday  Box Score, and  74-69 Saturday over the ‘Wolves. Box Score

UBC-O beats last year’s CCAA champs, Vancouver Island 82-53

Saskatchewan squeaks past Medicine Hat College  66-65 in OT  Box Score

UNBC beats Red Deer College 94 -83  The T’Wolves also win over NAIT 82-67

MacEwan beats UNBC 96-73 in Edmonton     Box Score ,  and Alberta topped the T- Wolves 92-61.

Elsewhere –

CIS champs, Carleton Ravens, served notice that they are back with ‘bad intentions’, as Carleton Rthey sweep the field at Acadia’s Stu Aberdeen Tournament in Wolfeville.  It was Ravens 85-62 over Laval (just loosening up …), then, on Saturday Carleton crushed the home Axemen 112-62.  The Blackbirds danced on St. FX on Sunday, to the tune of 116-72. Quels joueurs !

At UNB’s Eric Garland, the class of the field were the Saint Mary’s Huskies, as they beat the Reds 98-84, then Maine -Ft. Kent 84 – 73, and finish Sunday over Bishops Gaiters 82-66.

Concordia handles Queen’s in Montreal 74-53

UQAM also beats Queen’s  83-61, and Ottawa 76-73

More scores –

Toronto 105  Memorial 69,  Ryerson  123 Mohawk Coll. 76,  Laurier 74  Nipissing  50,  Bishops 69  UNB 60, Dalhousie 83 Mt. St. Vincent 54, Seneca College 80  York 78,  St FX 82  Laval 66, Guelph 90  Memorial 65, Laurier 62  Algoma 52,

Sunday –  Sheridan Coll. 94 Guelph 80, Dalhousie 102 Holland Coll. 92, Western Ont. 64 Humber Coll. 60, Memorial 78 York 74, Maine- Ft. Kent 85 UNB 81, Nipissing 68  Algoma 64, Laval 84 Acadia 76

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Overtime –

Thomas Cooper, UC Dinos' Canada West Player of the Year, leads a group of '15-'16 all-stars who are returning this year.

Thomas Cooper, UC Dinos’ Canada West Player of the Year, leads a group of ’15-’16 all-stars who are returning this year.                 photo –  David Moll, UC Athletics

  •   10 of the 15 Canada West All-stars from last season return to their teams for this campaign.  They are Player of the Year Thomas Cooper – Calgary, Jordan Jensen-Whyte- UBC, Mamadou Gueye- Alberta, Keith Omoerah – ManitobaBrett Layton – Mt. Royal, Conor Morgan – UBC, Denzel James – MacEwan, Denzel Lynch-Blair – Winnipeg, Volodymyr Iegorov – TRU, Lars Schleuter – Calgary.

 

 

 

Dinos Sweep Bears, Wolves Win Game 3

 

Calgary shakes off rough start and beat the Bears in the 2nd Half

David Kapinga was the catalyst for a big 2nd half comeback, as the Dinos eliminate Alberta.

David Kapinga was the catalyst for a big 2nd half comeback, as the Dinos eliminate Alberta.   photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

at Calgary 87   Alberta  77 –  The Dinos’ David Kapinga put the fire back into his game and that of his teammates, as he was the chief architect of the withering pressure defense, which turned the game from the Bears’ by 13 at half-time to a Calgary lead, 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter.  Steals, tips, recoveries, stops, and defensive rebounds were the recipe for a 2nd half Calgary surge, and entree to the Canada West Final 4.
The Bears were the more aggressive team early on, with forwards Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke riding rough-shod over their defenders.   “We were really flat in the 1st half, and they came out strong”, acknowledged Vanhooren. “But we get some real defensive spark from David, Matt (Letkeman), and all the guys to start the 3rd, and we just kept coming.”
Post men, Letkeman and Mitch Ligertwood, fought the battle well in the final 20, and made life much tougher for the Bears big men. It was the 3/4 court press, however,  which rattled the U of A guards, and changed the momentum in the Dinos favour.
5 Dinos in double figures, as Thomas Cooper had 24 on 11/12 from the line, despite a difficult shooting night from the floor. The lightening-quick Kapinga filled the stat sheet with 15 points/ 4 rebs/ 5 assists/ and 3+ steals. Three other starters, Lars Schleuter, Josh Owen-Thomas, and Letkeman each tallied 12 points. Calgary forced 19 Alberta turnovers, and hit 26/35 free throws vs 19/23 for the GBs. Both the powerful rookie, Clarke, and the slick 3rd year wing man, Gueye, finished the game with 20 points for Alberta, with Mamadou grabbing 10 boards, and Clarke getting 8.
By winning this series, Calgary, who won the Pioneer Division, earned the right to host next weekend’s Canada West Final 4.    Box Score

 

 

Wolf Pack power too much for a short-handed Cougars crew

Reese Pribilsky scores 27, and his Wolf Pack are headed to Calgary for the Canada West Final 4.

Reese Pribilsky scores 27, and his Wolf Pack are headed to Calgary for the Canada West Final 4.   photo- TRU Athletics

 at Thompson Rivers  86   Regina  73   –  The Cougars show great determination to  somehow get the game to within 1 point, with just 5 minutes left, after trailing by a 45-33 count at the break. Regina may just have not had quite enough legs left in this 6th game in 9 days. The visitors shoot just 29% from the floor, and TRU is 42%, as they get a masterful effort from their 5th year leader, Reese Pribilsky at the point.

Pribilsky’s  27 points on 8/16 and 4/7 from 3 open things up for the powerful ‘Pack forward corps, and Voldoymyr Iegorov (21 points/ 14 rebounds) plus Josh Wolfram’s 15 points and 15 boards punish the visitors. Gerard Gore (15 points/ 7 rebs) chips in to the potent Orange attack, as they go into the Canada West Final 4 with this clutch 3rd game win.
Regina had a tough fight to get to this point, and they showed great resiliency to force a 3rd game against Thompson Rivers. Jonathan Tull bounced back on Saturday with 17 points/ 7 rebounds, while  brother Brandon scored 14 and 7 boards of his own. Brian Ofori worked extremely hard all weekend, and chalked up 9 points and 12 rebounds for U of R , doing what he could to give his team a chance.     Box Score


 Other CIS Scores –
Atlantic Championship Tournament –  Semi-Finals
Dalhousie 75    St. Mary’s  74,   UPEI  87 Acadia 66

 Ontario Quarter-Finals –  Windsor 79   #5  McMaster 78 , Ryerson 93  Lakehead 71, Ottawa 73 Queen’s 72,  Carleton 90 Brock 52


 

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Cougars Shock TRU in 4th Quarter

 

Regina storms past TRU with a huge 41 point final frame
– we have results  from the opening game of 3 Canada West Quarter-Finals –

Jonathan Tull and his Regina teammates out-score the TRU Wolf Pack in game 1 in Kamloops on Thursday.

Jonathan Tull and his Regina teammates out-score the TRU Wolf Pack in game 1 in Kamloops on Thursday.        photo – U of R Cougars Athletics

 Regina  102  at Thompson Rivers 94  –  The Cougars obviously warm to the prospect of playing a more  wide-open offensive style with the cooperation of the home team. TRU is up 26-21 after the opening 10 minutes, but have the Regina team revved up to start some fireworks of their own.  The visitors go up 1 at the half, then the see-saw continues, with the ‘Pack hitting 3 consecutive treys in the middle of the 3rd to re-take the lead.
The Cougars were not to be deterred, as they hang up 41 points in the final frame to snatch the upset win over the Explorer leaders.  It was, after the dust settled, the green – clad Regina squad who had hit 18/36 from 3 point range, and out-rebounded the bigger ‘Pack by a 45-37 count.  Jonathan Tull led the charge for UR, with 29 points/ 6 rebounds as he shot 11/13 from the line. Import guard Alex Igual hit 7/12 from outside for 24 points plus 9 boards. Brandon Tull  (16 pts) had 4 treys, as did Jonathan, while Brian Ofori scored 15 on 7/11 from the floor.
TRU got 25 points / 10 assists from 5th year point man, Reese Pribilsky, 19 from Volodymyr Iegorov, 18 by  Luke Morris, and a 13 point / 13 rebound double from Josh Wolfram.  But the inside game did not produce trouble for Regina’s D, and the shots did not go down in the stretch for the Orange. Game 2 is Friday at 7 pm Pacific, with a ‘dream season’ on the line for the Wolf Pack.  Box Score

 at Manitoba  78 Fraser Valley 59  –  The Bisons hold serve in this one, with a very solid Manitoba copyhome win, as they ‘play their game’ ,  says Coach Kirby Schepp  to Bisons Athletics’ Danielle Doiron. “They really try to control the tempo of the game,” Schepp said after the win. “I think that’s really the battle for us. We’re trying to get the game faster. They’re trying to slow the game down. “It’s a battle of tempo, but the tempo was in our favour tonight, and that was probably the biggest difference of the game.”
Up 36 – 25 at the break, UM pulls away in the 2nd half, as they have 5 players in double figures, and win almost every statistical measure; Bisons 41.5% from the floor to 35% for UFV, 18/26 from the line vs 11/16 for the Cascades, and the  Herd get more rebounds, and give away several fewer turnovers. Veteran post man, Wyatt Anders provides the leadership, with 17 points / 8 rebounds, while wing man Keith Omoerah adds 14 points / 9 boards .
Fraser Valley never really gets un-tracked at the offensive end, with only Kevon Parchment (17 points / 9 rebs / 5 asst) and Matt Cooley (12 points / 7 rebs) doing any major damage.  Parchment’s 5/21 from the floor was, however, indicative of the cold hand that the visitors displayed as a group, and they never took a real run at Manitoba in this one.  Game 2 is Friday at 7 pm Central. Box Score

at UBC 81  Lethbridge 57 –  The result might have been expected, but the extent of the carnage was a bit of a shock for fans of the Pronghorns.  Without their import point man ubcDejon Burdeaux, whose injured leg/ ankle prevented him from playing, the ‘Horns could not match the  T-Birds.  UBC limits UL, the 2nd highest scoring team in Canada West, to 29 points less than their 86 ppg average; the Birds do it by forcing 26 Lethbridge turnovers, and converting those into 23 points.  They did it also by shooting 42% to the ‘Horns’ 36% on the night.

Jordan Jensen-Whyte had another stellar game for the Thunderbirds, with 25 points/ 2 steals, and guard, Phil Jalalpoor, scored 12 points, plus 6 rebs/ 2 steals.  The ‘Birds went 25/33 at the line vs 15/23 for the visitors.  Rob Olsen scored 14 for Lethbridge, and Brandon Brine had 13 plus 7 rebounds. UBC defense controlled the game, and they look like a team that will not yield on their home turf.  The picture is not bright for the Pronghorns as they look at game 2 on Friday at 7 pm Pacific.  Box Score

 

These are best of 3 series’, with a 3rd game if necessary – that would be Saturday, 3 pm Central for Manitoba – UFV, and  Saturday, 7 pm Pacific for both the TRU – Regina series, and the UBC – Lethbridge match-up.

The Calgary Dinos host the Alberta Golden Bears in game 1 Friday, 7 pm Mountain, with game 2 on Saturday at 7 pm, then game 3 (if necessary) is scheduled for 2 pm Sunday.


Women’s Playoffs started Thursday night as well, it was   Alberta 77 Thompson Rivers – 48 in Edmonton. On Friday, it will be game 2 in that series at 8 pm Mountain.

The others 3 series’ start Friday- Calgary at Regina is 7 pm Central, Saturday at 7 pm in game 2, and game 3 on Sunday (if necessary) is also 7 pm  .

The other 2 series’ – Victoria at MacEwan – Fri – 6 pm Mtn , Sat – 5 pm, and *Sun -2 pm   All 3 games of the UBC at Saskatchewan series are slated for 6:15 Central .


 

Other CIS Scores –
 Quebec – (League play) –  Concordia 76   UQAM 74 , Laval 82  Bishop’s 67
Ontario Preliminary Round play-off games –  Queen’s 87  Toronto 70, Lakehead 60  Western 58 ,  Brock 98  Laurier 80,    Windsor 82 Laurentian 73

 


 

Overtime –   

Coach Craig Beaucamp

UVic Coach Craig Beaucamp

  • U Vic Coach Craig Beaucamp,  with a caution regarding import players and any CIS school’s focus on academics along with basketball … ”We have used internationals and prospered from it, but I think we have to start asking ourselves: … What are we providing? Is it an education, followed by ‘they then play basketball’? Or is it a basketball player, followed by an education,” says Beaucamp .… “Without linking academic performance and athletic eligibility, “you’re acting as a professional team. You’re basically paying a guy to play for you for a couple years.” From a pretty fair discussion of the presence and impact of import players in the CIS.  in this article by Wayne Kondro, Ottawa Citizen.
  • News from Europe – Galitos Tiey of the Portuguese ‘A’ League (LPB) is
    Jordan Baker, with Galitos Tiey in Portugal

    Jordan Baker, with Galitos Tiey in Portugal

    climbing the standings, now in 5th place in the 11 team loop.  Alberta Golden Bears grad, Jordan Baker is their leading scorer / rebounder at 16.6 ppg / 8.4 rebounds, while Jared Ogungbemi-Jackson, former Dinos guard starts at the point, and is averaging 13.5 ppg / 3.7 assists. Nick Loewen, former Mt. Royal Cougar wing man, is in Leon, Spain playing for Augustines-Eras, who are at the top of the standings in Group B at 13-2. Nick is averaging 27 minutes coming off the bench, and averages 9.5 ppg / 49% from the floor.  Ross Bekkering is at Groningen with 3rd place, Donar Flames, playing 29 mpg, the veteran in the Dutch League, and former Dinos all-star, is shooting  65% from the floor, including 7/11 from 3 point range. (Shoot more  ‘Driepunters’ Roscoe !) ,  13 ppg/ 8.5 rebounds.

    Robbie Sihota

    Robbie Sihota

  • Another former Calgary Dinos stand-out,  Robbie Sihota  , following an exceptional 5 months with  MAFC Budapest of the Hungarian League, has transferred to Eisbaeran Bremerhaven of the German Bundesliga. . The 6-7  Sihota scored 19 ppg / 9.5 rebounds in Budapest, and Bremerhaven pursued his transfer in mid-February.  The Clubs completed the transfer last week, and Robbie  played his 1st game for Coach Chris Harris’  Eisbaeren Bremerhaven team on the 27th.   Harris, another former Dinos forward (’03), suggests that Bremerhaven obtained Sihota for their Bundesliga stretch run, with hopes of his helping them avoid relegation, as they are currently 17th in the 20 team League.

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.”

Bears and Cougars on to Quarter-Finals

 

Gueye carries the heavy load in Alberta’s game 3 win

Mamadou Gueye scores 29 of Alberta's 55 points in a narrow win over GMU.

Mamadou Gueye scores 29 of Alberta’s 55 points in a narrow win over GMU.     photo  – U of A Athletics

 #9 Alberta Golden Bears  55  at  #8 MacEwan  Griffins  54   –   We have hand -to – hand combat in Edmonton in the nervy ‘3rd and deciding’.  The Bears use the foul shot to crawl back in the final stages, with 9 of their 15 points in the 4th coming from the line. GMU has a 6 point lead, but stall out in the last several minutes after looking like might  advance.  D’Wan Williams  (3 of 4 FG) hits the winner in the last seconds, and it’s not the only clutch hoop for him on the day.  But really, Alberta was dragged to this win by Mamadou Gueye’s 29 points, the only GB who is close to double figures. Alberta wins while shooting 37% vs 33% for the Griffs. The 49 – 35 rebounding edge for U of A was as important a stat as any, as Gueye gets 5  offensive boards himself, overcoming the 20 Alberta turnovers. Keith Gerdes scores 18 for Mac, with Denzel James and Chris Mooney adding 10 each.  Great support for the teams this weekend, and it augers well for the future of this as an intra-city rivalry.  Alberta at Calgary next weekend in the Quarter-finals, starting on Friday, 7 pm Mountain time.   Box Score 

Igual leads short-handed Cougars squad to 3rd game win

Import guard, Alex Igual, is hot from outside, and carries the Cougars past Winnipeg.

Import guard, Alex Igual, is hot from outside, and carries the Cougars past Winnipeg.               photo – U. Regina Athletics

  at #7  Regina Cougars 75    #10 Winnipeg Wesmen  69 –    The Cougars advance in a war of attrition, as Alex Igual plays an inspired game, and Regina defend Winnipeg’s speed.    For a guy who was suffering from a flu bug, Jonathan Tull showed a lot of energy tonight as well.  UR seemed to play with an increased determination, and won the game despite having a limited bench in a 3 game series. Igual notched 17 points / 6 boards/ 5 steals,  and hit 4 of 7 from 3 point range, while J. Tull had 15 / 6 boards, and Brandon Tull scores 12 with 5 assists / 4 steals. Winnipeg hit only 33%, and shot selection suffered badly in the 2nd half; Jelane Pryce scored 19 points/ 5 rebounds, with 17 points each from Ryan Oirbans (10 rebounds), and Jamar Farley.  Regina will get a very brief respite, then travel to Kamloops to play Thompson Rivers, the top team in the Explorer Division in the Quarter-finals starting Thursday night – 7 pm Pacific.     Box Score


 

 

Quarter Finals in Canada West – Best of 3 games series’

Thursday – Fri – Sat …
#7  Regina  at #2  Thompson Rivers – (Pacific – 7 pm, 7 pm, *7 pm, if necessary)
#6  Lethbridge  at #3  UBC –    (Pacific – 7 pm, 7 pm, *7 pm – if necessary)
#5  Fraser Valley  at  #4  Manitoba – ( Central – 7 pm, 7 pm,  *3 pm, if necessary)
Friday – Sat- Sun …
#9  Alberta  at #1  Calgary  –  (7 pm, 7 pm, *2 pm, if necessary)


 

Overtime – 

  •   For a taste of the rugged reality of the Canada West play-off schedule, imagine you’re the Regina Cougars at 9 pm Sunday, you celebrate a hard-fought win in the play-in series. You’ll be up for  classes on Monday morning , Tuesday, and,  on Wednesday, you catch a plane in the morning, stopping in Calgary  … 5 – 7 hours later, you’re in Kamloops.  Shooting practice that afternoon / evening.  Game 1 is on Thursday at 7 pm. After game 2 on Friday at 7 pm- 9 pm, you will have played 5 games in 7 1/2 days, and you may have 1 left on Saturday.  Fly home on Sunday.  (You’ll hope you haven’t caught the ‘flu’ virus running around the campus.)
  • Mac fans 'represent' in their home gym vs the cross-town Bears.

    Mac fans ‘represent’ in their home gym vs the cross-town Bears.

    Congratulations to GMU Athletics for the crowds and the atmosphere in their gym this weekend for the Bears – Griffins series.  Game attendance is a major focus – point for the League, and the promise of bigger fan turn-out for next year’s new schedule will be encouraging.  Marketing of CIS basketball can draw from a large community fan base, with the game growing increasingly popular among our youth.

Both Series’ Go To Third Game

 

Outside shot is key to Griffins game 2 win

Keith Gerdes and the GMU Griffins earn a game 3 shot vs Alberta .

Keith Gerdes and the GMU Griffins earn a game 3 shot vs Alberta .

at  #8 MacEwan Griffins  77  #9 Alberta Golden Bears 62   –  The plot thickens in Edmonton, with a developing rivalry breaking into a fierce battle.  GMU go right at Alberta in the opening 10 minutes, as the lead grows to 20-9 on a late trey from Denzel James, finishing an 18-2 run.  Another great crowd at Mac, with energy transferred to the Griffs on the floor. James tallies 19 in the 1st half, as the Maroon  expand their lead to 44-27, while the defense makes it tougher on the GBs. The deep ball is McEwan’s friend in this 2nd game, as the hosts cash 13/32 (40%) from 3 point range vs 5/28 (18%) from Alberta; the Mac shooting was far better than in Friday’s loss, as they outshoot the Bears 42% to 34% from the floor. James finishes with 24 points/ 8 rebounds/ 3 assists to pace the winners, helped by 17 points / 5 assists  from Thadius Galvez, and 16 points/ 6 rebounds by forward Keith Gerdes.  Between the trio , they are 12/20 from outside the arc. The Bears have 14 from Mamadou Gueye, while Sheldon Pittman totals 13 points/ 4 rebounds coming off the bench.  The 3rd and deciding game is again at GMU – game time 2 pm Mountain.  The winner of that game faces the top seeded Calgary Dinos in a 3 game series starting next Friday night in Calgary.      Box Score

Cougars dig deep to engineer a 2nd half surge

The Cougar mascot expresses some concern early in the Saturday contest.

The Cougar mascot expresses some concern early in the Saturday contest.

at #7  Regina Cougars  67            #10   Winnipeg Wesmen  64 –  The Cougars appear to have suffered from the virus which has effected the UR campus, as they’re moving slowly, and just not able to convert offensively early on. Up by 33-32 after 20 minutes, the Wesmen go 11-0 to start the 3rd; Brian Ofori and Jonathan Tull provide Regina some energy to finish the stanza, with UW up 51-44.  Much more urgency from the home side in the fourth, and a larger Saturday crowd gets behind the come-back. Will Tallman leads Cougars’ scoring with 19 points, including 3/6 from outside, plus 9 rebounds;  18 by Jonathan Tull, and 8 rebounds, while Alex Igual also cashes 3 treys in scoring 15 points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 assists.  Winnipeg stops scoring in the 4th, and shoots just 35% for the game, with UR almost the same, at 36%. Ryan Oirbans is tops for UW, with 18 points and 10 boards / 5 assists.  Game 3 in this series goes at 7 pm on Sunday night. The winner from this series travels to Kamloops to play the #2 seeded TRU Wolf Pack, starting next Thursday.    Box Score


  More CIS Scores  –
Atlantic –  at Cape Breton 88  Saint Marys  80,  Acadia 103  UNB 92 , St. FX  87  at Memorial  71
Quebec – at #8  McGill 76  Bishop’s 46 , at UQAM 81 Laval 76
Ontario –  #1 Carleton 68 at  Nipissing 39 ,  #2 Ottawa 102 at Laurentian 79 ,                 #3 Ryerson 81 at York 72 , at Queen’s 77 Toronto  68 ,  at   #7 Brock 65 at  Guelph 62,      at Western 72  Algoma 58 ,  Laurier 104  Waterloo  82  , Lakehead  at Windsor  (late score).


 

Overtime –   

  •  On Friday, and again tonight the Regina Cougars had just nine players dressed, as Stephen Shields sat while undergoing  concussion protocol,  and   Rawane Ndiaye, who has been used very sparingly in any case, had to return to the U.S. with visa issues.  Shields has been a significant presence in the regular season, and his size would have been useful in dealing with Winnipeg’s Ryan Oirbans.  To complicate matters, the U of R campus had a ‘Norwalk Virus’ alert, and things were basically shut down, which explains the sparse crowd at Friday’s game.
  • Neither team looks to have a clear advantage in the Regina-Winnipeg clash, and the 3rd game will be a confrontation of wills, with fatigue looking like it may well be a factor. “The playoffs are always tough. This was a very close game, and our guys know we’ll need to bring a great effort tomorrow”, said Winnipeg Coach Mike Raimbault.  Cougars Coach Steve Burrows was, of course, happy with the win. “It was just a reversal of Friday’s game where they had made the big comeback; I told our guys in the locker room that I felt they had shown the character we saw from them all season long”, said Burrows.
  • Just as a reminder – in the March 3-4-5-6 QUARTER-FINALS – we have …
    Series A – GRIFFINS / BEARS winner  at #1 CALGARY
    Series D- #5  FRASER VALLEY  at  #4  MANITOBA                                                        –  ( Winner of series A  vs Winner  D at the Final 4, March 11/12)
    Series B – COUGARS/WESMEN at #2  TRU
    Series C – #6 LETHBRIDGE  at  #3  UBC                                                                    –    ( Winner- series B  vs  Winner of C at the Final 4 )
    That Final 4 runs March 11-12, Friday-Saturday,  at he home of the highest winning seed.

Comeback Wins to Bears and Wesmen

 

Defense rules as Alberta comes back to take game 1

Colby Jackson scores 21 to lead the Bears to a game 1 win.

Colby Jackson scores 21 to lead the Bears to a game 1 win.    photo- U. Alberta Athletics

#9 Alberta Golden Bears 67  at  #8 MacEwan Griffins  58 –   The conditions seemed ripe for a Griffins ‘upset’ early in this well-attended game in North Edmonton. GMU fans were raucous, and the visiting Bears were struggling to score, as the home side were up 36-28 at the half. Alberta’s inside game never did dominate as might have been expected, but their shooters were much sharper in the final 20 minutes, led by guard, Colby Jackson, who scored 21 points on 4/8 treys, adding 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Mamadou Gueye had an off-night shooting-wise, but still managed 14 points / 5 rebounds/ 3 steals.  The Bears went to the line 22 times vs just 8 for Mac, and UA tallied 16 points there against only 5 for MacEwan. Defense stole the show overall, as Alberta ‘out-shoots’ GMU 33% to 28% from the floor; the Griffs had 13 from Thadius Galvez plus 5 helpers, and Chris Mooney claimed an amazing 19 rebounds to go with just 7 points.  Game 2 is at 7 pm Mountain at MacEwan.  Box Score 

 

Big finish produces road win for feisty Wesmen

Big man, Ryan Oirbans, dominates the middle in a huge Winnipeg comeback win.

Big man, Ryan Oirbans, dominates the middle in a huge Winnipeg comeback win.

#10 Winnipeg Wesmen  80 at #7  Regina Cougars 73 –   With a 10 point lead at the break, Regina looked to be set to take charge against the visiting Wesmen, but the shots stopped falling and the fouls on the Cougars sent Winnipeg to the line with regularity.  The Ws find their sweet spot on offense, and post 29 in the 4th quarter to snatch a 1 game lead in this best -of-three. Ryan Oirbans plays like an ‘Aussie on a mission’, with 21 points, 15 rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots, leading UW’s 5 men in double figures. William Sesay also has a double-double, with his 10 points/ 10 boards, and Jelane Pryce adds 15 points, and 6 rebounds. Winnipeg scores 21/37 free throws vs just 5/12 from Regina, who get 22 points and 5 rebounds from Jonathan Tull, a 10/10 double by Will Tallman, and 14 points / 9 boards for Alex Igual.  Game 2 is set for 5 pm Central.  Box Score 

 


 

 More CIS Scores  –

Atlantic –  at Cape Breton 85 #10 Dalhousie 84, at UNB 102 UPEI 87, at Memorial  104 St. FX  84 ,

Ontario – #5 McMaster 80  Brock 69  (Weds) … Friday –  #1 Carleton 87 at Laurentian 67, #2 Ottawa 74 at Nipissing 49 , #3 Ryerson  70 at Queen’s  68 , #5 McMaster 89 at Guelph 76 , at Western 84 Lakehead 69, at York 97 Toronto 93


 

 

Overtime –   

  • Manitoba Head Coach, Kirby Schepp,  on his Bisons strong run into the CW play-offs this season, “People saw both programs [Manitoba and Winnipeg] in the city as not winners and not something they wanted to be a part of,” Schepp said.“Winnipeg’s certainly done well in the last few years and they’ve brought things around. Obviously I’m really proud of what we’ve done here and gradually each year we’re getting better and better and better and being more competitive and more consistently a playoff team.”  From this story in The Manitoban. 
  • More excitement at MacEwan on Friday, with a much bigger crowd than we see at Regina.  The fans are into the game, and the Griffs are equiting themselves pretty well in the early going against their older ‘cousins’ from the South side. Winnipeg is unaffected by the Regina fans, and work their way back into this game in the 2nd half with an inspired effort.
  • Here’s an example of ‘Player Media Training’  engendering the stock response –  From The Golden Bears’ 2nd year guard, Andriy Halushko,  asked whether the match-up with MacEwan was a particularly notable game, “This game has the same level of importance to us as any other game this year,” Halushko said. “MacEwan is just another team on the list we’re trying to defeat in order to win the championship. The strategy for the game remains the same: be the best we can be.” (C’mon Andriy !  Any All-Edmonton playoff tilt has to create a special buzz for the Griffins and the Bears ! ) From this story in The Gateway 

‘Play-ins’ at MacEwan and Regina

 

‘Play-ins’ Are Tough To Call –

Thadius Galvez, MacEwan Griffins' guard, will be a key man as they host the U of A Golden Bears in one 'play-in' series this weekend.

Thadius Galvez, MacEwan Griffins’ guard, will be a key man as they host the U of A Golden Bears in one ‘play-in’ series this weekend.  photo – MacEwan Athletics

#9  Alberta Golden Bears   at  #8  MacEwan Griffins –  You would have thought these two schools would have found each other before now, but Friday’s 1st game of this best of three series will be the 1st time the Griffins and Bears have met.  Predictions really go out the window, other than we would expect a ‘full house’ at Mac, as the Edmonton basketball community comes together to witness a bit of history in the making. (Wouldn’t our friend Phil Allen have been excited to have seen these games !)  GriffinsHome copy

The Griffs and Bears may well produce a low-scoring series, with both teams relying on defense, and neither consistently pushing the ‘running game’.  Mac Coach Eric Magdanz suggests, “We have to contend with their bigger, stronger front-line, where they do most of their scoring. Our guards (Thadius Galvez, Denzel James, and Chris Mooney) have generated a lot of our scoring, so it’s a bit of a contrast in styles.”
Who to watch-
Bears – Mamadou Gueye – 6’7’ ‘small forward’ … 18 ppg and 7.2 rebounds,  Brody Clarke – 6-8 post … 12 ppg and 6.3 rebounds, Colby Jackson – 5-9 point … 8 ppg and 4.7 assists.
Griffins –  Denzel James –  6-3 wing …14 ppg / 5 rebounds/ 1.5 steals,  Thadius Galvez – 6-2 guard …13.5 ppg/ 3.5 assists/ 2.1 steals, Chris Mooney – 6-3 guard … 9 ppg . 6.7 rebounds, 3 asst.
Bears 3 copyAlberta has a long history in the CIS, with Canada West and National championship trophies in their collection, while MacEwan was, up until 2 years ago, playing at the Canadian Colleges level in the ACAC.  But we’ve seen former ‘College teams’ like TRU and Fraser Valley have playoff success against Pioneer programs.
“There’s great excitement in Edmonton surrounding this series; there are no big high school tournaments competing for fans, so we expect a big crowd”, says Coach Magdanz.
Game times –  Friday, Feb. 26 – at 6 pm, Saturday, 27th- 5 pm, and Sunday, 28th (if necessary) at 2 pm (times are Mountain).   The winner of this series will meet the Pioneer Division leaders and #1 seed Calgary Dinos in one Quarter final series ‘A’  in Calgary.

Jonathan Tull, Regina's high scorer, will be a focus for UW's defense in the 2 Pioneer teams' play-in series in Regina this weekend.

Jonathan Tull, Regina’s high scorer, will be a focus for UW’s defense in the 2 Pioneer teams’ play-in series in Regina this weekend.

 #10 Winnipeg Wesmen  at #7  Regina Cougars –   Here’s a tough series to get our heads around, hoops fans !  Winnipeg, since winning 6 straight to start the 2nd half of the season, have dropped 5 of their final 6 League games; they also lost 2 to Regina back in early December. The home-standing Cougars have that obvious advantage, but, since a huge win at UBC on January 23, UR has lost 5 of 8 to finish up at 11-9. Unknown-2
Winnipeg have their high scorer, guard Denzel Lynch-Blair (17.5 ppg, 3 steals) ‘somewhat doubtful’ for this series, having missed the UBC game last Saturday. Their offensive is12th in Canada West in points /game at 72, and they shoot 39.5%, which is 14th in CW. They can, however, play defense – 2nd in steals and blocked shots, and they allow only 75 ppg.  Their rebounding is a weakness, with a -6 margin, among the League’s worse.
Unknown-1Regina scores more – 81 ppg, and get to the line quite often (24 /game), but they allow more points as well – 77.5 /game.  Besides the home court, the Cougars appear to have more functional depth than the Ws, with scoring spread 7 or 8 deep, and key subs in guard Aaron McGowan and forward Brian Ofori.  Key players in this series –
Wesmen – *D. Lynch-Blair (if he can go) – 6-4 guard, who can score, and disrupt on the defensive end, he has often been the catalyst on offense.  Jelane Pryce – 6-7 forward …  15.2 ppg/ 5.3 rebs/ 1.4 blocks . Ryan Oirbans – 6-9 forward … key rebounder (8.1 per game)  9 points.  William Sesay – 6-3 rookie guard … quick defender, 6.8 rebounds, 9.7 ppg/ 1.8 steals.
Cougars – Jonathan Tull – 6-4 guard …  17 ppg/ 5.2 rebs/ 2.5 steals .  Brandon Tull – 6-4 guard … 11.8 ppg / 3.8 reb./ 2 steals.  Brian Ofori – 6-6 forward … 8 ppg/ 5 rebs .  A. McGowan – 6-1 guard … top-notch 6th man, 9.5 ppg/3.5 rebs/ 2.8 asst.

The Cougars do have the home court, and, if their offense can crank it up, they may have too much scoring for the Wesmen to match.  If nerves hit Regina, the Winnipeg defense could turn this series on it’s ear.  An upset here is not impossible, but our guess would be that UR’s depth will give them the edge.
Game times –  Friday, Feb. 26 – 27- 28 (if necessary)  all at 7 pm  Central.  The winner of this series will meet the Explorer Division’s top team, #2 Thompson Rivers, in Kamloops in  Quarter-Final  ‘B’.


CIS Scores –  (Tuesday) … Saint Mary’s 90  Acadia 74


 

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 3.01.34 PM

Don’t look now, but guess who’s back on top ?  Yes fans, it’s the Carleton Ravens , the same birds who’ve won of 11 of the past 13 CIS Championships !

Who knows if they’ll win in the OUA play-offs, but this week, the Ravens are #1, as Ryerson has a small hiccup in Guelph.  Ottawa wins and gets #2, while Calgary stays at #4, UBC #6, and Manitoba rises to 9 without even playing!  We continue to believe that UBC and 2 other Canada West teams will be in the Final 8, but not a 4th by a wildcard choice.


 

 

Overtime –   

  • In a comprehensive article by Wayne Kondro of the Ottawa Citizen , U. Ottawa Coach James Derouin, says that the FIBA rules played in the CIS require players to make quick decisions. “That’s the key,” he says. “Can you teach your players to play without them having the crutch that a coach can call a timeout and bail you out of any situation? You definitely have to develop their decision-making a lot more.”
  • Manitoba Head Coach Kirby Schepp signs a big man from Winnipeg’s talent-rich high school ranks in St. Paul’s High School forward, Cameron O’Hara.  O’Hara played on Manitoba’s provincial U17 and U16 the past 2 summers. At 6-7,   245, he will be a ‘space-eater’ in the lane for the Herd.
  • Sorry about the ‘A-D-B-C’ mix-up in our last post.  To clarify the play-offs – Winners of series’  A plays the  D winner and the B series winner plays the C winner.   S-o-o-o-o …in the March 3-4-5-6 QUARTER-FINALS – we have …
    A – GRIFFINS / BEARS winner  at #1 CALGARY
    D- #5  FRASER VALLEY  at  #4  MANITOBA – Winner of series A vs Winner of D at the Final 4, March 11/12
    B – COUGARS / WESMEN winner  at   #2  THOMPSON RIVERS
    C – #6 LETHBRIDGE  at #3  UBC – Winner- series B vs Winner of C at the Final 4

Play-Off Schedule … All-Stars

Play-off Schedule Highlights an ‘All- Alberta Bracket’

mooney copy

Chris Mooney and the MacEwan Griffins will host their ‘Older Neighbours’, the U of A Golden Bears, in a very compelling play-in series this weekend in the Alberta capitol.

The Canada West play-off schedule has been decided, and the stars aligned on the weekend, as teams fell into the exact order necessary for the Edmonton schools, Alberta Golden Bears and MacEwan Griffins, to meet in Round 1 of the Canada West play-offs.  And, the seedings also lead to that series winner traveling to Calgary on March 3 to play game one in the 1/4 Final against the #1 Calgary Dinos.

The Regina Cougars earned home court with their win over Saskatchewan on Saturday, and the UBC T-Birds get the 3rd seed with a sweep of Winnipeg. MacEwan secures the #8 seed by edging MRU for third in the Explorer.  Here’s the play-off draw –

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.40.54 PM

 

All – Stars and Most Outstanding Player –

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, is our Outstanding Player of 2015-16 photo- David Moll, UC

Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos, Canada West’s ‘ top player’               photo- David Moll, UC

Our pick as the Most Outstanding Player is Thomas Cooper, Calgary Dinos … top team, leading CW scorer, a strong rebounder, who can also pass and play defense. A clutch performer in so many games for the Dinos this season, he has decided many games with timely plays.

We have to pull our punches a bit on the All-Stars … here are 15 players who deserve the nod, and could or should be on one of two Canada West All-Star teams :
Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 2.16.48 PM


Let’s also check in on the Women’s Play-off Picture –

Saskatchewan gets a decisive win at Regina on Saturday, earning a weekend split, the top spot in the Pioneer, and #1 seed for Canada West Play-offs.  Calgary beats Alberta, and knocks the Pandas back to 3rd spot, and the #4 seed.  MacEwan wins the Explorer Division, and gets the #2 seed for play-offs.  Here’s the Women’s Tournament info –Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 8.46.39 PM

 


Overtime –   

  • Some fine players finished up their CIS careers Saturday, with their teams missing the playoffs –  Evan Ostertag of Saskatchewan, James Lefebvre of Mt. Royal, Billy Cheng (injured) and Colin Plumb of UNBC, Kelvin Smith of Trinity Western, and Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop, and Mack Roth of Victoria.  Fine players, who will all earn their degrees (some a 2nd degree) this Spring, or in the very near future.  The best of what CIS Sport is all about.  Well done, gentlemen !
Brody Clarke, Bears, our Rookie of the Year.

Brody Clarke, Bears, our choice for CW Rookie of the Year.                                    photo – U of A Athletics

  • Correction !  Since the CW Rookie of the Year must be 21 yrs or younger, we have to eliminate Brett Layton from the Rookie team, but he is certainly in play for our All-Star selections.  So, our Rookie team is –  William Sesay, Winnipeg, Chan DeCiman, Saskatchewan, Torrez McKoy, Calgary, Colby Jackson, Alberta … and, our Rookie of the Year,  Brody Clarke, Alberta.
  • The game times are all over the map for the upcoming play-off series’ !  We will make sure to note these as we get closer to ‘game days’.  We’re all the way from 2 pm – 8 pm for tip-off (local times).  Each school has it’s own gym sched, preferred times, conflicts and the like.  No predictability at all.