CIS Top 10 – First Rankings

CIS Top 10 – First Rankings Reflect Past History

Ottawa is #1 in the opening Top 10 slate.

Ottawa is #1 in the opening Top 10 slate.

The obvious bias is for last season’s powerhouse teams to be ‘more reverently considered’ than the mere mortals who bob about in the wake of the G-Gs and Ravens.  But there is a case for a more objective evaluation.

Brock is undefeated in pre-season, including ‘good wins’ over Ryerson and Concordia.  McGill is 7-1, with a win on Ottawa’s home court. Carleton are the champs, yes, but they are 2-1 with a loss to Saskatchewan. The Huskies lost to Calgary, who were 6-1.

The problem can be that it is tough to make up ground when teams are placed ahead of you by 5 or 6 spots at the start line. The pre-season needs to have more impact on this year’s rankings, and the Top 10 can’t over-emphasize last season’s finish.

(Rankings are tough, however … these do include the teams who have had a strong October performance as well. It’s not easy to compare wins-losses vs different teams, especially early in the going.)

November 3/15 – Top 10

(regular season) / votes (1st votes) (pre-season)

1. Ottawa (0-0) / 401 points (11)          – 8-1

2. Carleton (0-0) / 372 (14) / (-)           – 2-1

3. McGill (0-0) / 365 (13) / (-)               – 7-1

4. Brock (0-0) / 336 (7) / (-) –               – 7-0

5. Ryerson (0-0) / 221 / (-)                  – 4-1

6. Western (0-0) / 186 (1) / (-)              – 4-0

7. Saskatchewan (0-0) / 165 (1) / (-)    – 6-2

8. McMaster (0-0) / 162 / (-)                – 4-1

9. Calgary (0-0) / 120 / (-)                    – 6-1

10. UBC (0-0) / 116 / (-)                       – 3-1

Other teams receiving votes: Dalhousie (37), Concordia (35).

 

Overtime –

  • Why is it that the schedule has teams repeating last season’s order of games?  UBC-Alberta, Winnipeg -Calgary, Manitoba-Sask., UVic-TWU, Brandon-Regina on the 1st weekend, again. Why can’t it be mixed up so that you see a different group of teams in each semester? It makes a difference when you play; a randomness to scheduling is much more fair and equitable.
  • Hoosiers 82   Gee-Gees  54  Tuesday, not at Montpetit Hall, as we reported, but , rather, the G-Gs were on the road at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN    … not a surprising score, with a November roadie rather than a August/September  home game.
  •   Brock opens at McMaster this week, and the Badgers have lost 14 straight to the Marauders going back to the 2009 season !
  • The Gateway, the U of A campus news, describes the ‘youth movement’ for the 2015-16 Bears.  Not sure how long we describe Alberta as being in the ‘post Jordan Baker era’. How about post Youssef Ouahrig season? They will miss their point guard, Joel Friesen, and Ken Otieno this year.  There’s still talent for the GBs, and they will stand-up and be counted.

Can Canada Qualify ?

 

 

Phil Scrubb, from Vancouver and Carleton U., will play for Canada in Mexico City.

Phil Scrubb, from Vancouver and Carleton U., will play for Canada in Mexico City at the FIBA America’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

FIBA Americas – Canada’s Shot

Canada’s National team, complete with 2 former CIS stars, Phil Scrubb and Aaron Doornekamp, both from the Carleton Ravens, tips off on Tuesday in Mexico City against perennial S. American power, Argentina in game 1 of their quest to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

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The Canadians, with 9 NBA players on their roster, including 6-8, Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves), 6-3 point man, Corey Joseph (Toronto Raptors), and 7-0 Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics), were 4-0 in the Tuto Marchand Cup ‘warm-up’ competition in Puerto Rico last week, and expectations are high for their chances of securing one of the two qualifying berths for the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro next year.

The 10 teams in Mexico City play 8 games each in a 9 day span, with 4 semi-finalists emerging.  Canada will need to win one of those semi-finals  in order to guarantee an Olympic spot; the last time they qualified was for the 2000 Games in Sydney, Aus.   All Canadian basketball fans wish the team well in this attempt.

There is a good feature article by David Ebner in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, highlighting the growth of Basketball, particularly in the Greater Toronto area.  For the scheduled television coverage of the FIBA Americas Tournament on TSN you can click here. 

 

‘Horns in Australia

Brandon Brine travels back home to Australia with his UL teammates.

Brandon Brine travels back home to Australia with his UL teammates.

The U. Lethbridge Pronghorns, under Coach Mike Hansen, are currently in Melbourne, Australia and getting an early start on their Fall training camp.  Where else ?!  Without talking with Coach Hansen , we can only assume the ‘Horns made that long and costly jaunt to a.) build a better recruiting bridge to a rich source of young basketball talent, b.) give a nod to  5th year star Brandon Brine, an Aussie national, c.) lure more recruits with the promise of future exotic travel with the ‘Horns, d.) escape the choking smokey air which has invaded S. Alberta over the past week !

We assume that the Lethbridge players will all be back on campus for the September 9 school start.  Our man in ‘L.A.’ points out that the ‘warm weather junket’ over the Christmas Holiday break will be to the Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg. (About 60 C colder ….)

 

‘Tweaking’, ‘Strengthening’, ‘Major-renovation’

There are years where some Canada West teams are fortunate enough to be tinkering with a few line-up changes in order to stay very competitive in the standings. This past Spring and early Summer, however, have seen more than the usual number of changes, as key players graduate (or just leave for other reasons), and their spots need to be covered-off.

Alberta, for example, are without stalwarts Ken Otieno and Joel Friesen, who completed

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson's 20 ppg, floor leadership, rebounding, and assists will be tough to replace for UC

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson’s 20 ppg, floor leadership, rebounding, and assists will be tough to replace for UC.

their 5 years last March. So we see Coach Barnaby Craddock adding 5 recruits, including 5-9 point man Colby Jackson from Las Vegas and 6-2 guard D’Wan Williams from Toronto.  Calgary will be without the graduated All-Canadian, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, but signed another Winnipeg high school ‘phenom‘ in Torrez McCoy, a 6-0 QB on the court, who will compete for minutes at the point as a rookie.

But many more CW coaches have been faced with the more difficult assignment  of

Huskies Ben Baker was Canada West Defensive Player of the Year ... and he could score !

Huskies Ben Baker was Canada West Defensive Player of the Year … and he could score !

making more extensive changes in order to bolster their rosters. Saskatchewan lost Ben Baker, Dadrian Collins, Mike Scott, Andrew Henry, and Conner Burns, so Coach Barry Rawlyk adds import guard and California Junior College star Shawn Lathan , San Diego  among others. UBC, who will be the host team for the CIS Nationals next March, are trying to fill major gaps left with the absence of Tommy Nixon, Tonner Jackson, Brylle Kamen, and Andrew McGuinness. Coach Kevin Hanson has been successful in landing 6-3 guard Taylor Browne  from Surrey, BC, 6-8  Patrick Simon (Port Coquitlam), a transfer from Simon Fraser, and several other solid looking prospects.

The Manitoba Bisons had 3 players graduate; Stephan Walton, Wyatt Anders , and Amir Ali were all key team members, and Coach Kirby Schepp also saw the need for more roster changes. We see the results of some hard recruiting work in the addition of 7 new faces for the Herd …  2 imports – former Brandon CW Rookie of the Year, point guard Ilarion Bonhomme of Washington, DC, and 6-6  forward Raheem Tyner  from Minneapolis, who transfers from Iowa Western Jr. College. Others include 6-6 fwd Joey Nitychoruk, a Winnipeg native, who transfers from Lakehead, a pair of 6-5 Winnipeg high school grads in  Dharmjit Dhillon and Raj Sidhu.  UM also signed guard Saajan Arora from Cambridge, ON, and 6-9 post, Osahon Eghosa  from Ajax, ON who played at Colorado Northwestern Jr. College.

Wholesale changes in Brandon this Fall.

Wholesale changes in Brandon this Fall.

But the champions of the off-season ‘Reno Competition’ have to be the Brandon Bobcats and Coach Gil Chueng, who return just 4 players from their 2-18 squad of 2014-15, D.J. Jordan, Earl Thompson Jr., Ryan Hawley and Denham Buchanan.  Coach Chueng says that we will see 10 new roster players including several red-shirts and 5 new signings including 6-11 post John Paul, a Saint Lucia import, 6-3 shooting guard, Chris Stanhope , a transfer from Fanshawe College in Toronto,  and 6-7 fwd Tyler Anderson  from Langley, BC’s Walnut Grove HS.

Both Fraser Valley and MacEwan signed 6 new players, as both teams graduated significant contributors from their teams last Spring.  This may be the most active roster-turnover recruiting period in the last 10 years in Canada West .  We will have more details as we get into training camps in the next couple of weeks.

 

Top Seeds Leap Out Front

#1 Saskatchewan and #2 Fraser Valley Grab Series’ Leads

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.00.05 PM

Vijay Dhillon kills Dinos with clutch treys in UFV game 1 win.

 

At Fraser Valley Cascades  78  Calgary Dinos 71  –  Tenuous control in the opening 20 minutes in Abbotsford, as Calgary starts fast, then Fraser Valley responds, but in the 2nd quarter, the Dinos finish with a 14-1 flurry to take a 38-35 edge at the break.  The 3 point shot got Calgary back in it, but their lead evaporates quickly in the 3rd, as UFV dominates 21-11.  Both teams are loose with the ball at times, with 20 turnovers from Fraser Valley and 14 by Calgary, but rebounding was the decisive factor as the home team almost doubles the Dinos 40-21, led by Jasper Moedt’s game-controlling 13.

Off their bench, UFV’s Vijay Dhillon tops team scoring with 20 including 4/5 from 3 pt. range.  He gets lots of help from Nate Brown (19 pts) and Moedt’s 15 for the double-double. Calgary has Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson with 20 pts/4 assts., Lars Schleuter counting 17 pts/ 4 rebs., and Josh Owen-Thomas with 16 pts/ 4 assts.   Box Score 

Matt Forbes is tough inside in leading U of S to a game 1 win.

Matt Forbes is tough inside in leading U of S to a game 1 win.

 

at Saskatchewan Huskies 96  Thompson R. Wolf Pack  82  – The Huskies had to shake some of the rust off in the early going, but 53 second half points bring Saskatchewan all the way back from an 11 point deficit midway in the 2nd quarter.  The Huskies are red hot, shooting 59% from the floor, led by 20 points from Matt Forbes, and  8 pts/12 rebounds by Ben Baker.

TRU look good early, but fade under more aggressive U of S defense, as the visitors scoring come harder in the final 20. Brett Rouault (22 pts) and Josh Wolfram (20 pts/4 rebs) pace the ‘Pack, who hit a respectable 48%.  Box Score

 

Vikes Give McKinnon Gym a Fitting Send-off 

  Chris McLaughlin is Vikes series leader in sweep of Alberta.

Chris McLaughlin is Vikes series leader in sweep of Alberta.

 

at Victoria Vikes 81   Alberta Golden Bears  67  –  Playing true to their form for the past several seasons under Coach Craig Beaucamp, UVic clamps down on the Bears offense in the 2nd half again on Friday, as they sweep Alberta 2-0 , qualifying for another Final 4.  Trailing 37-36 after a tight 1st half, Victoria hangs up 45 points to U of A’s 30  in the 2nd for a convincing win in the final game at McKinnon.

As he has in most games, Chris McLaughlin is the driving force for the Vikes offense, with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcus Tibbs shines at the guard spot with 19 points and 6 assists. Victoria hit 45% from the floor vs just 33% for Alberta, and UVic wins the rebounding  40-27.  Alberta gets a 21 point game from 5th year wing Ken Otieno, in his final CIS appearance.  Box Score

 

 Thunderbirds Reach Final 4 With 2nd Straight Over UNBC

at UBC Thunderbirds  88  UNBC  Timberwolves  78  –  The T-Birds repel the determined effort by UNBC, and they move on to the Canada West Final 4, looking to capture their 4th Canada West  title in 6 years. The T’Wolves trail 28-9 after a quarter, but hang in to creep as close as 5 points in the 4th, but run out of time. Conor Morgan is the highest flying ‘Bird with 19 points, Kedar Wright adds 17 / 4 assists, and Tommy Nixon 15 pts/ 5 rebs.   Rhys Elliott  hitting 19 points, Jeff Chu with 16, and Billy Chu 14   UBC wins the rebounding  43 to 35, and thrive on a full meal of 28/40 free throws against just 12/13 for the ‘Wolves.  No Box Score yet . 

 

More CIS Scores, Friday –

Atlantic Tournament – Dalhousie 62 Cape Breton 60 – Dal vs UNB in Semis

Saint Mary’s 99  Memorial 91 – SMU vs UPEI in Semis

Quebec – McGill 73 Laval 64   (Last Q-League games this week)

 

Overtime –

  • Does anyone else feel that, with a lead or a tie, you might feel that you just take the imagesball at the far end line, rather than move it up to 3/4 court (offensive zone) ?   We’ve noticed so many times where the offensive team has  trouble getting the ball in-bounds safely.  CBU turns it over tonight, with  23 secs. left and  the score tied at 60 … Dal gets the last shot, and buries it for the win.  That play happens so often, that you’d kill for a sure-fire entry pass under extreme pressure.
  • We’re calling UNB in the Atlantic Tournament this weekend.  ( Brilliant ! Bet the favourites). They’ve been the best all season, and should get the 2 wins necessary to win the Cup and get them to Toronto for the Final 8.

UBC and Victoria Get Home Wins

 

T-Birds Go Up One on UNBC

at UBC Thunderbirds  83  UNBC  Timberwolves  77 –  The T-Birds chalk up a win in game 1, despite a late flurry by the ‘Wolves (10-2 in the last 3:45), as they out-shoot UNBC  49% to 41%, and out-rebound the visitors 45-39, Where they really cash in is at the foul line, hitting 13/19 (68%) to just 5/9 for the ‘Wolves.  It’s a game with not too much form, as each team won 2 quarters, and defensive focus wasn’t there consistently.

Tommy Nixon led the ‘Birds with 23 pts/10 rebounds, and Tonner Jackson added 16 pts/6 boards.  Rhys Elliott was high man for the T’Wolves with 19, but had only 3 in the 2nd half. Nolan Hanson hit 5/7 off the bench for 13 points for the T’Wolves, who will have to find a way on Friday, or their season ends.  Box Score

 

Vikes Pull Away From Alberta in the 4thV Vike

at Victoria Vikes  77  Alberta Golden Bears  62 – For 3/4s, this looked like another tight one, destined to go to the final seconds; then the Bears offense went completely dry, with just 9 in the 4th stanza.  UVic were sharp down the stretch as Junior Sesay, a freshman, came in to tally 11 pts, while Player of the Year, Chris McLaughlin, wore out the GBs with 20 points and 15 big rebounds. Marcus Tibbs scored 16 for the Vikes and added 4 helpers.

Alberta had 15 from both Ken Otieno and Joel Friesen, but shot 39% as a team, and far worse than that in the last 10 minutes. Points in the paint were 40-22 Victoria, and the Vikes collected 13 from turnovers, while Alberta were credited with none (seems far-fetched) .  Alberta showed earlier on that they could play with UVic, but they’ll have to do it with more composure for the full 40 on Friday, or they’re done.  Box Score

In Quebec on Thursday –

Concordia 79  UQAM 65  in a cross-town Montreal game, which took the Citadins out of the playoff picture in the RSEQ.

Overtime –

  • We have a hunch that Ken and Kathy Shields will be in attendance on Friday to watch what might be the final game played by a Vikes  team (Men or Women), on the court named for the legendary husband and wife coaching duo.  Between them, they won 15 CIS National championships,  and 24 Canada West titles.  They’re both in too many Halls of Fame to count, and they accomplished all of this together, building their lighthouse programs at the venerable McKinnon Gym.
  • Series are not won in a single game, and  one night can be different from the last, especially when the teams have had a 12 day lay-off between games.  Expect a pitched battle in Victoria, and a most spirited effort from UNBC in Vancouver.  There are 4 games on Friday as the other 2 Quarter-Finals get started in Saskatoon and Abbotsford.
  • The AUS Tournament gets underway with 2 games on Friday in Halifax –  Dalhousie vs Cape Breton, and Memorial facing Saint Mary’s.  The winners will go on to play UPEI and UNB, the top 2 seeds, in Saturday’s Semi-finals, with the Final slated for Sunday.

T-Birds and Bears Finish Strong

 

Canada West … Notes from the Final Weekend –

Tommy Nixon and the UBC Thunderbirds turn season around with a 13-1 finish!

Tommy Nixon and the UBC Thunderbirds turn season around with a 13-1 finish, after starting 1-5 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •   The UBC Thunderbirds were, in some respect, the story of the regular season, with their ‘impending disaster’ start at 1 win 5 losses followed by a 13-1 stretch from the last week in November through their 2 home wins to finish the schedule vs Manitoba.  Tommy Nixon went on a tear through that hot streak, and finished as the scoring champion at 20.8 ppg, and shot 58% from the floor including 50% (tops in CW) from 3 pt. range ; the 5th year, 6-6 wing man contributed 28 pts/ 22 rebounds against Manitoba . Conor Morgan has emerged as another focal point of the offense, and he went for 34 pts/13 rebs, while point man, Jordan Jensen-Whyte has matured into a most effective floor leader … against the Herd he is 36 pts/11 rebs/9 assts.
The Bears' Ken Otieno hopes his 5th and final season leads to the Nationals.

The Bears’ Ken Otieno hopes his 5th and final season leads to the Nationals.

  • The Alberta Golden Bears stay on course, with an attention-getting 8 straight wins to finish at 14-6, in 4th place in the Pioneer. Their 5th year seniors lead the way with 2 game totals of – Joel Friesen 41 pts/11 rebs, Ken Otieno 30 pts/13 rebs. For their exceptional efforts they get a trip to Victoria to play the Vikes in the Quarter-Final round on Feb. 27- March 1 !
  • As a team, Saskatchewan comes through with a solid weekend, and, with import guard, Mike Scott, scoring 27 on Saturday, and Dadrian Collins (35 points in 2 games)  and Ben Baker (31 pts/13 rebs/8 assists) leading the way, the Huskies turn aside the Calgary Dinos for the 2 wins necessary to clinch #1 in the Pioneer, and top seed in the CW playoff grid.
  • Victoria matches the U of S record of 15-5, and get the #3 seed with 2 wins over Trinity Western, and on Saturday, celebrate the final season for their historic MacKinnon Gym. Tibbs  49/ / 14/ 4, McLaughlin  43/16  Justin Bakuteka  43 pts.
The Dinos host Manitoba this week in round 1 playoff action.

The Dinos host Manitoba this week in round 1 playoff action. Which team will regain winning form, and qualify for a Q-final match-up with Fraser Valley ?

  • At the other end of the momentum curve, there are several teams ‘limping’ into the playoffs some literally, with noticeable bruises, sprains, and worse, and most with accumulated losses eroding the confidence levels.  In the Pioneer, Calgary has lost 4 straight, and they play the nose-diving Manitoba Bisons, who have 7 consecutive defeats.  The Explorer leaders, the Fraser Valley Cascades have dropped 3 of 6, but have a week off to tune-up for their Q-final games, but Thompson Rivers , who lost 3 of their last 5, have a quick turnaround, as they face the Winnipeg Wesmen starting on Thursday in Kamloops in their 1st round best of 3.
  • The TRU Wolf Pack marshall their forces and, with 5th year stalwart, Brett Rouault, scoring 19 points, and Josh Wolfram adding 15 as he returns from injury, they get a playoff spot with a tense win at Fraser Valley on Saturday.
  • A disturbing trend for Coach Adam Friesen and his 17-3 UFV Cascades, as the 3 losses have come 1 each on the last 3 weeks of the season, and the inconsistency in their play will not breed confidence heading into the Q-Finals in 2 weeks.  They have the League’s top rebounder in Jasper Moedt, and the talent to contend, but can they put things back on the rails to win a series against either Calgary or Manitoba?
  • Denzel James scores 34 points for MacEwan in the Saturday loss at Mt. Royal, and makes a strong case for all-star consideration, with his excellent season for the Griffs.

 

CIS Scores from the East –

AUS …  Acadia 71 Memorial 56

Quebec ...  McGill 56 at Bishop’s  46

Ontario …   #1 Carleton 87 at York  45

  • All 3 of these leagues have a full slate of games to play this week.  The OUA playoffs start on Weds. Feb. 25 with a preliminary round, then quarter-finals on Sat. Feb. 28. The Final 4 for the Wilson Cup ( at the highest seed) will be March 6/7.
  • The Quebec 4-team Championship Tournament at Bishop’s is March 6/7 as well.
  • The AUS Tournament at the Halifax Metro Centre is a 6 team affair running Feb. 27 – March 1st.
  • These other 3 leagues have single game knock-out formats, unlike the grueling Canada West structure involving best of 3 series for both the play-in round and the Quarter-finals.

 

Overtime –

  •   Thanks to our avid fan/ expert observer, ‘Ice Man’ for pointing out the retirement announcement by MacEwan Women’s Coach Rob Poole.  We mentioned his record-setting accomplishment of making the playoffs with his Griffins in their 1st year of competition, with a 16-4 mark in the Explorer Division.   More in the official release from Griffins Athletics.
  • The Calgary – Manitoba series is scheduled for games 1 and 2 on  Friday / Saturday at 7:00 pm – Mountain time at UC, with a 3rd game Sunday at 3:00 pm, if necessary.  At Kamloops, The Wolf Pack host the Winnipeg Wesmen (the added excitement of the cross-over between Divisions) starting with games Thursday / Friday at 7:00 pm Pacific, with a 3rd game on Saturday at 5:00 pm if necessary.
  • Due to Huskie Athletics hosting the 2015 CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship on the scheduled Canada West basketball quarter-finals weekend of February 27 to March 1, the Huskies will play the series at St. Joseph High School in Saskatoon for Games 1 and 2. Game 3 (if needed) would return to the PAC on March 1.
  • In Women’s playoffs –  Unusually, the #3 ranked Huskies will play their Q-Final , best of 3 series vs #6 Winnipeg a week earlier than the other Q-Final series.  The home court is not available because the U of S is hosting CIS Men’s Volleyball – Feb 27-March 1.

Wesmen Falter, Dinos Benefit

 

 

  Friday Night  in Canada West –

Dinos lose – but get 5th over the struggling Wesmen?

 (We’re on remote here fans – just the highlights)

 at Saskatchewan Huskies 89  Calgary Dinos 80 –  Like a punch to the gut … 33 Huskie points in the opening quarter. The Dinos crawl back to within 3 after 3, but no cigar!  Pretty tough when Saskatchewan shoots 60% from the floor, with Calgary a mere 48%. Dadrian Collins scores 21 for the ‘Dogs, with Ben Baker and Matt Forbes hitting 17. Calgary has a good game from Phil Barndt with 22, and Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson adds 17.  Saskatchewan (14-5) is one win away from clinching the #1 seed.  The Dinos fall to 12-7, but will finish 5th by our reckoning, as Winnipeg drops a key game to Regina.  Box Score 

Regina Cougars 74  at Winnipeg Wesmen  71 –   The Cougars (8-11) bring their ‘A  game’, shooting 51% FGs, led by Brandon Tull with 17 / 10 rebounds, with Jonathan Tull adding 18 pts/4 rebs/ 4 asst/ 3 steals. The Wesmen are cold at 38% from the floor, but have a chance at the finish, falling just short.  This game is very costly for Winnipeg, as at 11-8, they can only tie Calgary, and will fall to 6th, as the Dinos beat the Ws twice in League play.  Box Score 

  at Alberta Golden Bears 75  Lethbridge Pronghorns 57 –  After a 25-11 3rd quarter, it’s all over …. Bears are 13-6 and get # 7 in a row. They take advantage of 12 treys vs just 4 for the ‘Horns (7-12) .  Ken Otieno scores 15 with 7 boards and Joel Friesen 14 pts/7 rebs/ 5 assts. Rob Olsen for Lethbridge is the game high scorer with 23 points. Box Score 

at UBC Thunderbirds 98  Manitoba Bisons 82 –  The ‘Birds (13-6)  ‘declare‘( in cricket parlance) at 80-55 after 3/4s, as they hit 50% from the floor and 29/42 free throws vs 6/11 for the visiting Herd (9-10).  6 players in double figures for the Thunderbirds, including 12 points / 10 boards by Conor Morgan, and 17 pts/ 5 rebs/ 7 assts by Jordan Jensen-Whyte. Manitoba get 15 from Amarjit Basi, and they have 4 more players in doubles, but can’t defend the ‘Birds. Box Score 

  at Victoria Vikes 99 Trinity Western Spartans 79 –  The Vikes hit 52% from the field, as Marcus Tibbs runs free for 29 points, with 5/7 from outside, 10 assts/ 3 steals, while Chris McLaughlin chips in with 25 pts/ 8 boards. Victoria (14-5) takes it down to the final League game trying to catch Saskatchewan for 1st, but need a Huskie loss on Saturday. TWU win the rebounding 39-32, but little else, as their defense cannot slow down the Vikes. Justin Bakuteka scores 21 for the Spartans (2-17) and Denny McDonald 17.  Box Score 

 

Explorer Division … Cougars Can Snag 3rd, With Help

 at  Mt. Royal Cougars 78  MacEwan Griffins  71-  MRU looked like a flustered team at the half, and, trailing by 10 in the 3rd quarter, but they roared back to tie, then won the 4th decisively.  They move to 9-10, and are 1 win and a TRU loss away from a playoff spot. MacEwan’s Lee Danderfer connected on 7/13 treys for a game high 23 points, and Keith Gerdes adds 16, but they cool down in the final 15 minutes, shooting 36% as a team on the game. Mt. Royal owns the boards at 47-33, and shoots well enough to win. Manok Akwl and Awet Abraha both tally 17 points, while James Lefebvre -do what he do’ – 15 pts/ 15 rebs !  Box Score

at Fraser Valley Cascades 83  Thompson R. Wolf Pack 62 –  Fraser Valley stifles the ‘Pack attack, as the Orange (10-9) hit a paltry 29% from the floor. TRU’s leader,  Josh Wolfram, plays 19 minutes, but is not really himself, scoring just 7 and claiming 4 rebs. Joe Davis comes off the bench as the only Wolf to hit double figures with 10 in 12 minutes. The rebounds are 52-33 UFV !  The Cascades (17-2) get 22 points from Kadeem Willis and 17 by Kevon Parchment.  Box Score

UNBC Timberwolves  85 at UBC-Okanagan Heat  64-  Bang-zoom !  In an afternoon tilt, the Timberwolves dispense with the Heat in very short order.  As in the Thursday night affair, the ‘Wolves cut off the UBC-O offense, and, in the late-going, pulled away with a 41-25 2nd half. Rebounding was a big T-Wolves advantage at 46- 33, and 21/29 (72%) free throws beat the 14/22 (64%) of the Heat. 4 starters posted double figure scoring for the 12-8 Timberwolves, led by 16 pts/9 rebounds from the relentless Francko Kouagnia, and a robust 14 boards and 12 points from his ‘right-hand man‘ Devin McMurtry.  Okanagan, who finish League play at 3-17, had Dean Johnston with 12 pts, and 10 each by Noma Obaseki and Ryan Morck (9 rebs).   Box Score

 

 CIS Scores from the East –

AUS …  #8 UNB 77   at St. FX 72

Quebec …  Laval 72 at UQAM 60, at Bishop’s  76 Concordia 72

Ontario –  #1 Carleton 114  at Queen’s 45 , #2 Ottawa 90 at York 57,  #5 Windsor 103 at Algoma 66

at Waterloo 91  Nipissing 64, Laurentian 73 at Laurier 65

 

Overtime –

  • We noted the outstanding year for the MacEwan Women’s team in making the playoffs in their 1st year in Canada West.  The question has been asked , “Has any other school done this in their 1st year ?”  Well … yes !  Trinity Western Men, with a record of 8-14, tied for 6th in 2000-01, their inaugural CIS season.  They won the spot in a ‘tie breaker’, and lost in the 1st round, 2-0 to Simon Fraser.
  • The Calgary Dinos Women’s team, 9-9 and playing the 1st place, 15-3 Huskies,  look to be firmly in 7th spot for the playoffs, and would travel to the #5 Pioneer team … (Winnipeg, Regina, Victoria ?) for a play-in round best of 3 next weekend.
  • The Mt. Royal (Men’s) Cougars now depend on Fraser Valley to beat Thompson Rivers twice, and they need to take care of business themselves by sweeping the MacEwan Griffins who visit Jack Kenyon Court for the final 2 games on the schedule. If the chips fall for the Cougars, MRU and TRU would be tied at 10-10, and were 2-2 with each other in League play.  The tie breaker for 3rd spot would be Mt. Royal’s win over UFV on Feb. 1.  The 3rd Explorer team hosts a play-in series (best of 3) vs the 6th place Pioneer squad.

Three All-Star Teams

 

 Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is our pick for Canada West's Most Outstanding Player.

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is our pick for Canada West’s Most Outstanding Player.

 

Eccentric All-Star Voting – 

The Canada West coaches will be making nominations for individual awards this week, we believe, and the winners will be announced as we move toward the Final 4 in March.Unknown

“ For fairness when there is no inter-lock and one division is larger than another, there is a weighted ranking system for coaches voting on Canada West All-Stars.” (Excerpt from the CW operations manual)  Ergo :  Each vote and ranking point from the coaches in the Pioneer division this year will be worth 6/11 or .545, while the Explorer coaches’ votes are worth 1.0 .

The top 1 to 5 All-star vote getters from the nominees will be the first team, 6-10 will be the 2nd team, and, for the first time, the 11-15 will make up a 3rd all-star team.  The player receiving the most votes in the All-star process is automatically the winner of the Canada West Outstanding Player of the Year.

(Of course, we might contend that a stand-out performer in the Pioneer has played against tougher competition than those nominated from the Explorer.  Opinion may vary here ….  )

 

Canada West Hoops.com – Individual Awards –  (Our own take)

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One Game – Possible Re-Shuffle in the Pioneer

Can Ben Baker and the Huskies get a sweep vs the Dinos , and hold on to first ?

Can Ben Baker and the Huskies get a sweep vs the Dinos , and hold on to first ?

By simply picking the favourites to sweep at home this week, we have the order of finish in the Pioneer Division determined as –

1st) Saskatchewan – 15-5 …  2nd) Victoria – 15-5 … 3rd) UBC – 14-6 … 4th) Alberta – 14-6 … 5th) Winnipeg – 13-7 … 6th) Calgary – 12-8 …  7th) Manitoba  … 9-11

Just for entertainment … let’s suppose the Calgary Dinos win a game at Saskatoon this week.  (Everyone else does what we suggested they might –  Bears, T-Birds, Vikes, Wesmen all sweep at home).  That game changes things !

  •   Vikes get 1st  with a 15-5 record
  • We have Alberta, Saskatchewan, and UBC are  all tied at 14-6 , and Calgary at 13-7, tied with Wpg
  • 1st tie break – games within that group –
    • UBC is +2 … they beat Sask twice, and split with Bears  … T-Birds finish 2nd !
    • Bears  are ‘0’ … they split with UBC, Sask,  … Alberta is 3rd
    • Huskies are -2 …  ‘Dogs lost 2 to UBC, split with Bears … U of S are 4th !
    • In the other tie, Calgary swept Wpg, so the Dinos are 5th and the Wesmen 6th.

It could happen ….

 

Overtime –

V Vike

  • The Victoria Vikes close out the historic McKinnon Gym as their playing site, as they  host the Trinity Western Spartans this Friday and Saturday.  The teams are scheduled to move to the new Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) starting next Fall. There will be a celebration of Vikes history at McKinnon / Ken and Kathy Shields Court on Saturday, Feb. 14 .
  • Coach Scott Allen, who has had little to celebrate with his TWU Spartans this season, after Saturday’s home win over Winnipeg, “Sometimes you forget how good it feels to win.  It seems like every interview we’ve done this year, I’ve said the same thing: ‘The guys work hard enough to deserve a win, but we didn’t get it done.’ It’s pretty fitting to win the last game at home.” –  (From The Langley Advance )
  • Cougars Coach Marc Dobell … staying low.

    Cougars Coach Marc Dobell … staying low.

  •   Sorry … we left Oluwafemi Ogun, post man at Mt. Royal, off their 5th year grads list !  Good luck, Femi !
  •   Most coaches stand and move along the sideline.    What’s the deal with the low-profile crouching by MRU head man, Marc Dobell ?  What about the towel?  The affable Dobell responds – “When I walked back and forth in front of the bench, and something happened on the court, I would ask my guys on the bench, “Wasn’t that a travel?”  or something. They’d say they couldn’t see it, because I was in the way.  So I crouch.”  And the towel ?   “ It’s only used at home games.  Mt. Royal’s ‘austerity program’ has our gym ‘below freezing’ … I use it to keep my hands warm.”  And there you have it … we get to the vital matters during this playoff run !

‘Red River Rivalry’ in Winnipeg

 

 Winnipeg Teams Go Head to Head – 

Bisons scoring guard, Amarjit Basi

Bisons scoring guard, Amarjit Basi

Pioneer Division on Friday –

Manitoba (9-7)  at Winnipeg  (8-6) –  ‘All is clear’ after a boil water order in Winnipeg this week, and the coaches can stop bringing ‘Power-ade’ to practice. The true -30 C Manitoba weather is moving in, and it’s time for the ‘Red River Rivalry Series‘ !  The Wesmen have won 5 of the past 6 games between these cross-City rivals, but the teams split last year’s home and home , with 2 very close games.  ‘These games are exciting”, says Bisons Coach Kirby Schepp, and his Wesmen counterpart, Mike Raimbault agrees.  “ We always seem to have great games with them, and we know the guys are up for this series”, says Raimbault.

We have a contrast in styles, with the Herd wanting to pick up the pace, while Winnipeg are happier depending on their tight defense.  Manitoba averages 81.2 ppg vs 75.6 for the Ws, but, at the other end, the Bisons allow 79.1 ppg against Winnipeg’s 70.6 (2nd best in CW).  Both teams could very much use a sweep to sweeten their playoff seeding, but a split is more likely.

UBC's 5th year star, Tommy Nixon leads Canada West scoring.

UBC’s 5th year star, Tommy Nixon leads Canada West scoring.    Photo – Rich Lam – UBC

 #10  Calgary  (11-4)  at  UBC (9-5) –  UBC has won 7 of the last 8 vs the Dinos, and the ‘Birds are flying high with an 8 game win streak this season. UBC also has the League’s hottest player in 6-5 Tommy Nixon, who leads Canada West scoring at  21.2 ppg, as he  scored 45 then 27 points in 2 wins at TWU last weekend. Nixon is not, by any means, their only offensive weapon, as they have 6 other players averaging double figures, notably, forwards Conor Morgan (12 ppg) and Tonner Jackson (11 ppg), who also haul in about 5 rebounds apiece. At guard, the T-Birds feature former Calgary high school stand-out, Jordan Jensen-Whyte, who directs the attack with 5.5 assists/game, while scoring 10.5 ppg.

Calgary responds with Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, the 2nd leading CW scorer at 20.2 ppg along with 5.1 assts / 7.9 rebounds. ‘OJ’ is carrying the scoring load for Calgary, with help from the 9.4 ppg from Phil Barndt, who leads CW 3 pt. shooting at 54.8 %.  Both LJ Hegwood and Dallas Karch contribute 9 ppg for the red and gold. If the Dinos are going to win at Point Grey they will need to get a solid effort from their front line, including a pair of 6-7s, Matt Letkeman, and rookie import Lars Schleuter.  UBC is the League’s top scoring team and may want a more wide-open affair, while the Dinos may try and keep the score in the 70s.

Brandon  (1-15)  at Alberta  (9-6) –  The Bears have won 9 of the last 10 games vs the ‘Cats, but that loss was the last League game they played in Brandon in Nov. of 2013.  Joel Friesen (18.2 ppg),  Mamadou Gueye (16.9) , and Ken Otieno (14.1) are the major scoring threats for the GBs, who, despite being the top 3 pt. shooting team in CW (39%), are averaging just 75 ppg.  Of course, they only concede 71 ppg at the defensive end.  Brandon is having a season to forget, but still have 3 stand-outs in Kenonte Ramsay (16.2 ppg), D.J. Jordan (16 ppg), and Earl Thompson Jr. (14.4 ppg, 8.4 rebs) .  Expect Alberta to get a sweep, especially happily ensconced on the home floor.

Trinity Western (1-13)  at #6 Saskatchewan (10-4) – The ‘Dogs have won 6 of the past 7 meetings, with 3 of those in the playoffs, but TWU did fashion an upset in their League game at Saskatoon in November of 2013. That was then, and this is now.  Saskatchewan has eyes on winning a championship, while Trinity can’t be blamed for just playing out the string.  Both teams like to score in a hurry, but both give up more than enough turnovers.  TWU has allowed 92 ppg on defense, and that has the Huskies ‘licking their chops’.

 Lethbridge  (6-8)  at #7 Victoria  (10-4) –  The Vikes have won 6 in a row over the ‘Horns including a 27 point thumping in Lethbridge last February. With Brent Watkins, Brandon Brine, and the newly added Alexi Frigon, Lethbridge has the size to combat the inside power of UVic’s Chris McLaughlin, but is his finesse too much for the ‘Horns?  UVic’s defense will try and stop the scoring from Brine (17.8 ppg, 5.8 rebs) , the impact of the 6-10  Watkins (7.8 rpg, 12 ppg) and floor leader, Jared Baker, (6.7 rebs, 11 ppg, 4.5 assists).  Marcus Tibbs, the speedy Vikes guard will be a handful for U of L, and Reiner Theil is a tough customer on D, with an effective long-range offensive game.

Explorer  Division –

Mt. Royal's Jame Lefebvre has a tough task this week.

Mt. Royal’s Jame Lefebvre has a tough task this week.  –   Photo – MRU Athletics

#8 Fraser Valley  at  Mt. Royal –  The Cougars are the last team to have beaten UFV in League play (62-60 in Abbotsford, Nov. 15, 2013).  MRU lost 2 games at UFV by 15 and 17 a couple of weeks ago. “They’ve always battled us really hard,” says Cascades Coach Adam Friesen. “We expect them to come out and play really hard, and we’ve got to try our best to match that.”  Fraser Valley are blessed with 6-8 Jasper Moedt (2nd in CW rebounding – 10.6 rpg, 12 ppg), and he has plenty of help from  Kevon Parchment (15 ppg, 6 rebs)   and Nate Brown  (14 ppg, 7 rebs).  MRU have the 6-4 James Lefebvre (13 ppg, 7 rebs), but he will need help from Femi Ogun and Kyle Wilson against the bigger Cascades forwards. The Cougars need to fashion a win or two vs UFV to get back into the playoff race, but these Cascades are 14-0 for good reason. (These are Saturday / Sunday games at Mt. Royal’s Kenyon Court.)

  MacEwan at UNBC – These teams split a series in Edmonton 2 weeks ago, and they are very well matched with post strength –  Francko Kouagnia and Devin McMurtry for the ‘Wolves vs Ryan May and Brandon Sackey for Mac.  Denzel James gives the Griffs scoring and rebounding, while Rhys Elliot has been a hot shooter for the T-Wolves of late.  Lee Danderfer gives Mac a seasoned offensive threat at shooting guard, while UNBC needs some more consistency from their perimeter crew. These games in P.G. should be close and entertaining.

  Thompson R.  at UBC-O –  The ‘Okanagan Shoot-Out’ might be a rather one-sided TRU Wolf Pack copyaffair, unless the hometown Heat can score well – over their League – worst average of 68 ppg.  UBC-O scores from outside, but points in the paint are too rare. The ‘Pack boast a 5th year star from Penticton, Brett Rouault, who will want to impress family and friends, while Josh Wolfram, at 6-10 + could be an unmanageable load for Heat defenders.  Okanagan point man, Aldrich Berrios, one of our favourites  for CW Rookie of the Year, will have an interesting battle with the more experienced Reese Pribilsky for Thompson Rivers.   TRU cooled off the Heat with a pair of 30 point drubbings last January, and they are favourites to get a road sweep this weekend.

 

CIS Games from the East –

Weds.  –   St. Marys 86  St.FX  75 ,  # 4 McMaster 86 Guelph 74 , # 3 Ryerson 93  Brock 64 , Laurier 93  Waterloo 85

Thurs – Laval at Concordia  ,  Quebec-Montreal   at McGill

Friday –  # 1 Ottawa  at Algoma  , York    at  Western  ,    at Lakehead   Waterloo ,  at #5 Windsor   Queens  ,  UPEI  at Cape Breton  ,  # 9  UNB  at Acadia  ,

 

 Overtime –

  •   ‘Mismatch’ – defined – a discrepancy … unsuitably paired .  For example – the 1-12  Algoma Thunderbirds , in their 1st -ever OUA-CIS season ‘welcome’ the #1 and #2 teams in the country, Ottawa 13-0 and Carleton  11-2, for league games this weekend in Sault St. Marie.  But, you have to start at the bottom, and, hopefully, work your way up.  For basketball fans in the Sault, it’s exciting to get an up-close look at 2 terrific CIS squads, and for the Algoma team, a chance to play the best.  Good luck to the OUA’s T-Birds !
  •  Talk about a tough sell !  The Cascades and Cougars will tip off their Sunday game right about the same time we have 90% of the sports world glued to the Super Bowl – Seattle v. New England.  Could be quiet for these 2 Explorer teams.
  •   We see McGill (6-2) pulling away slightly from the 2nd place teams, Bishop’s and Laval (both at 5-5), with Concordia 4-4, and Quebec-Montreal 2-6.  We also note that the Final 4 in ‘The Q’  (the odds are terrific here) will be held at Bishop’s ‘newly renovated Mitchell Gym –  March 5-7”  … (from Martin Rourke, Gaiters Athletics).
  • Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.23.38 PM It’s a bit confusing.  The movement is all at the bottom of the Top 10 this week, with Saskatchewan’s sweep of unranked Manitoba vaulting the Huskies into # 6 spot, while UVic gets a split at Calgary (the top team in the Pioneer Division of Canada West), and they drop down.  Calgary loses votes, I guess because they don’t sweep the ‘highly regarded Vikes’.McGill moves into the ‘also ran’ category with 3 votes.  We can’t get 3 votes for Winnipeg ?  Alberta?  Maybe we have change for change sake ?

Top 2 Teams Play in Calgary

 

Can Phil Barndt and his Dinos teammates get the best of the visiting UVic Vikes ?

Can Phil Barndt and his Dinos teammates get the best of the visiting UVic Vikes ?

 

The # 6 Ranked Vikes are at # 10 Calgary in This Week’s Feature Series

It’s hard to pick a favourite in the Pioneer Division in Canada West as , each week, we get ‘upsets’, hard-fought split series, and unpredictable results.  No team has convinced us that they’re clearly number 1.  (That’s with apologies to the 12-0 Explorer leaders, the Fraser Valley Cascades –  they just don’t have the same level of competition).

Victoria are a 1/2 game behind Calgary going into the weekend, and the Vikes seem to be the team  that CIS coaches suspect might come out on top out West when the dust settles in March.  Calgary had a strong 1st half of the season, but now face a ‘Murderers Row’ of teams to finish the schedule –  UVic, at UBC, 1 at home vs Alberta, then at Saskatchewan.  Rugged.  The Dinos will get the full treatment from a perennially stingy Vikes defense, and have to respond with an exceptional effort to get results this Friday/Saturday.

We have Canada West games starting  Thursday – 

Winnipeg Wesmen (6-6) at Brandon Bobcats (1-13) – This is the opener of their home and home series this week, with the 2nd game Saturday in Winnipeg.  Fresh off an intense weekend at Victoria, the Ws need to keep their focus against the lowly ‘Cats.  These

Brandon's Kenonte Ramsay -  photo by MacKenzie Berry

Brandon’s Kenonte Ramsay – photo by MacKenzie Berry

provincial rivalry games somehow draw out more motivation, and can produce improbable results. Saying that, we note that Winnipeg has won 10 of the last 12 meetings.  The Wesmen have Jelane Pryce scoring 17 ppg, and Travis Krahn seems to have found the range recently in this last semester of his 5th year. Brandon shot it well at UBC, but turnovers and a rebounding deficit torpedoed their chances.  The Bobcats’ 5th year import guard, Kenonte Ramsay (16 ppg) has been stellar of late.

Friday –

Vikes big man, Chris McLaughlin

Vikes big man, Chris McLaughlin                              Photo – Ali Lee, UVic

#6 Victoria Vikes (9-3) at #10 Calgary Dinos (10-3) –  Last January the Vikes pummeled the Dinos 92-64, and UVic has won  4 of the last 5 games between these teams.  This series may decide top spot in the Division, but the top 4 or 5 teams are so close now, that it may not, either.  (Thanks for that vague analysis!)  Calgary’s inside defense will be examined by Victoria’s aim of getting the ball to 6-10, Chris McLaughlin (19 ppg, 10 rebs).  Matt Letkeman and Phil Barndt’s ability to stay out of foul trouble could be key to the Dinos fortunes here.  Marcus Tibbs should be back for the Vikes, and he will help their attack.  How will Calgary fare on offense against the Vikes tenacious D ?

#8 Saskatchewan Huskies (8-4) at Manitoba Bisons (9-5) – Is Manitoba a contender this season ?  We think so, but they’ll have to prove it against a Saskatchewan team that’s beaten the Herd  10 of the last 11 times out !  The Bisons may have the strength inside to fend off Matt Forbes, Conner Burns and company … Manitoba’s Wyatt Anders is 2nd in CW rebounding at 10.2 rebs/pg, and he gets help from Alfreeman Flowers (6.4 rpg), and Jon Alexander (5.5 rpg).  Ben Baker is the ace for Saskatchewan , with his 7.8 rebs from the guard spot.  We would bet the games are in the 80s, and we may well get a split.

Alberta Golden Bears (7-6)  at Regina Cougars (7-7) –  The Bears and Cougars are in the ‘pack of chasers’ in the Division race at this point, and both teams will dream of a sweep to help them move upstairs.  Regina has won just 1 of 5 games vs Alberta in 3 seasons, and despite the home court, they go in as ‘under-Cougars’.   The Bears, the defending Canada West champs,  have the experience (Ken Otieno, Mamadou Gueye, Joel Friesen, Youssef Ouahrig), and a recent tradition of winning, but have been up and down this campaign.  The Cougars, with the League’s scoring leader , Jonathan Tull (20.2 ppg), along with younger brother Brandon (15 ppg), and Travis Sylvestre (13 ppg), are a more confident team, and may give U of A all they want, and more.

UBC Thunderbirds (7-5) at Trinity Western Spartans (1-11) –  The Spartans come off a bye week and step right into the path of a fast-moving freight in the form of the surging T-Birds, who’ve won 6 in a row, and have their eyes on further glory.  Could TWU catch UBC looking ahead to ‘bigger, more dangerous prey’ ?  Perhaps, but the disparity in recent form may be far too great to make a difference.  Tommy Nixon, Conor Morgan, Brylle Kamen, and Jordan Jensen-Whyte have this Thunderbirds team playing like some of their better teams of the past.  Trinity hasn’t shown that they have enough support for Justin Bakuteka, and their defense will have trouble containing the ‘Birds.

Explorer Division  –

UNBC's relentless forward, Devin McMurtry, will be a tough match-up for Mt. Royal.

UNBC’s relentless forward, Devin McMurtry, will be a tough match-up for Mt. Royal.                       photo-  UNBC Athletics

UNBC Timberwolves (5-7) at Mt. Royal Cougars (6-6) –  Here are 2 teams fighting for the 3rd and final playoff spot (10th seed in CW) in the Division.  The Cougars have home court, and come off 2 wins at UBC-O, and they may have found their offensive mojo.  “We shared the ball better last week … we got (or chose) better shots”, says Coach Marc Dobell. They also got a super weekend from their ‘Little – Big Man’, James Lefebvre, who posted 44 pts / 14 rebounds in the 2 games;  Lefebvre’s challenge this week will be to combat the power of the ‘Wolves big post man, Francko Kouagnia (15.7 ppg / 6.6 rebs).  UNBC also has the brawn of Devin McMurtry (8.5 rebs), and MRU has to get all hands on deck to do battle on the boards.

MacEwan Griffins (4-8) at Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack (7-5) –  TRU forward, Josh Wolfram, will be getting a lot of attention from the Griffins defense, with his League -best 10.7 rebounds and 19.3 ppg.  Mac’s Ryan May and company will have their hands full.  One of Canada West’s under-rated players is Reese Pribilsky, the 4th year Wolf Pack point man from Victoria’s Oak Bay HS; Pribilsky averages 11 ppg, 4.2 assists, and has a 2.0 asst/turnover ratio. MacEwan counters with another relatively anonymous character in Denzel James, a 3rd year, 6-2 wing from Edmonton, who  scores 18 ppg, delivers 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Okanagan Heat (2-10) at #7 Fraser Valley Cascades (12-0) –  The spirit may be willing for the Heat, but they are up against a buzz-saw here with the Cascades on their home court.  UFV are an experienced crew, with Manny Dulay, Kevon Parchment, Jasper Moedt and their predecessors  having reached the Canada West Final Four the past 3 seasons. UBC-O are the youngest team in the League, and, even with a possible rookie of the year – Aldrich Berrios at point guard – the Heat can’t match the Cascades. Okanagan will hope to get a strong team performance and keep it close.

Lethbridge gets a bye this week

Saturday in Canada West –

Pioneer – Victoria at Calgary, Brandon  at Winnipeg, Saskatchewan at Manitoba, Alberta at Regina, UBC at Trinity Western

Explorer – UNBC at Mt. Royal, UBC-O at Fraser Valley, MacEwan at Thompson Rivers

 

CIS Scores From the East –  

Tues –  Cape Breton 83  St. FX  65

Weds –  Guelph 92  Waterloo 60,  Acadia 72  Saint Marys 62

Tonight we have … a downtown Montreal affair with UQAM at Concordia.

Friday’s  ‘Big Games in the East ‘ – 

The Reds are the top team in the Atlantic.

The Reds are the top team in the Atlantic.

A 4 pt game in the AUS as #9 UNB hosts the inconsistent CBU Capers

Bishops is at Laval in the ‘Q’ (They play a Fri/Sat home and home. )

#2 Carleton is on the road at #5 Windsor, while #3 Ryerson plays a cross-town game against an up and coming York Yeoman team, and #1 Ottawa is in London to play a very tough Western Mustangs crew.

Saturday –  It’s Carleton at Western and Ottawa at Windsor in key OUA contests, while UPEI plays at UNB in the Atlantic.

 

Big Reversal for Bears and ‘Horns

 

Pioneer Division -Alberta Thumps the Bisons,  Lethbridge Handles the Dinos … ‘T-Birds Stay Hot at Home …

 

Brandon Brine's 30 points help 'Horns get a split with Calgary.

Brandon Brine’s 30 points help ‘Horns get a split with Calgary.

at Lethbridge 82  # 8 Calgary  70  –  As hot as the Dinos were on Friday, they couldn’t find the hoop with any consistency on Saturday, while Lethbridge seemed to find their groove at both ends, opening up a 34-22 lead, and expanding it to a 16 point game after 3 quarters.  Inside and out, Brandon Brine was ripping it up for U of L (6-8), with 30 points on 9/15 including 5/8 from outside.   ‘Horns Coach Mike Hansen rolled his line-up often, and got valuable contributions from his bench, as the ‘Horns defensive efforts cooled the Dinos right down. Calgary gets 15 apiece from Dallas Karch and Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, as they slide to 10-3 on the season.  Box Score

 

at  # 9 Saskatchewan  88 Regina 80  –  Another ‘tooth and nail affair’ for the provincial rivals as the ‘Dogs get a valuable sweep, and maintain their 10 year domination on home court.  Both teams shot well , but the Huskies (8-4) hit  more treys . A solid rebound advantage also gave the home team some breathing room.  Lots of free throw shooting …  U of S led by  18 points from Andrew Henry, 16 by  Matt Forbes. Regina gets 17 from Travis  Sylvestre, and  falls to 7-7.   Box Score  

 

 

Mamadou Gueye leads a determined Bears attack to a split with Manitoba.

Mamadou Gueye leads a determined Bears attack to a split with Manitoba.

at Alberta  96  Manitoba  73 –  Alberta (7-6) literally ‘come out with a vengeance’, and their defense stifles the Manitoba attack.  The Bears get a weekend split by playing hard on defense and smart at the offensive end, and use a massive 61-39 win in the rebound battle to tip the scales. It’s a physical game, with  74 free throws attempted, 3 foul outs, and 3 technical fouls. Intense.  For the GBs, it’s 25 points and 14 boards from Mamadou Gueye and 24 points from Ken Otieno. Manitoba ( 9-5) gets 18 from Amarjit Basi before he leaves on fouls, and Mike Holloway scores 14.  Box Score

 at  # 5 Victoria 78  Winnipeg  76 –   The Vikes, now  9-3,  held on for the win after Winnipeg took a 9 point, last minute run at the home team, with  Chris McLaughlin’s  basket proving the winner.  The teams were tied at 43 at the break, then UVic took an 8 point edge into the 4th, but the Wesmen (6-6) proved very stubborn. McLaughlin hit 16 pts and snared 12 rebounds, while   Patrick Pilato scored 14 and Reiner Theil 12  for the Vikes.  Mark McNee scored 21 for the Ws, who were out-rebounded 36-26 by the hosts.  Winnipeg might have won it from the free throw line, but hit only 61% (17/28) .  Box Score

at  UBC  107  Brandon 76  –  There was even rain indoors at UBC on Saturday, as the T-Birds (7-5) dropped 58% of their field goal attempts and deluged the Bobcats. 5 ‘Birds in double figures with Tommy Nixon spurring his team to their 7th straight victory, as he scored 22, claimed 12 rebounds, and had 4 assists and 4 steals. Conor Morgan also scored 22 for UBC, whose tough defending forced 21 Brandon turnovers. Kenonte Ramsay led the ‘Cats (1-13) scoring once again with 20 pts on 7/10 shooting.  Box Score

Trinity Western (1-11)  bye week.

 

Explorer Division –MacEwan Fights Back, but Cascades Get OT Win

Kevon Parchment powers UFV to an OT win at MacEwan.

Kevon Parchment powers UFV to an OT win at MacEwan on Saturday.

# 7  Fraser Valley 90  at MacEwan 83    – Credit to MacEwan, who dug in early in this one, trying to expunge the stain from Friday’s mauling and they have it tied at 35 after 20 minutes. We get a bizarre finish, with UVF ahead 70-66 in the last 30 seconds,  the Griffs’ Keith Gerdes makes 2 and draws a foul from UFV’s Nate Brown plus 2 technical fouls.  Gerdes makes 3 FTs (5 pt play !) and we have a tie.  Incredibly, the teams swap 3 pointers in the final 20 seconds to take it to OT. Fraser Valley ends the drama with 9 straight points to start the extra time, holding on for their 12th straight win (12-0).

Kevon Parchment has 22 pts/7 rebs/ 5 assts and Jasper Moedt 20 pts/ 10 boards for the Cascades, while MacEwan (4-8)  has all 5 starters in double figures, topped by 18 from Denzel james and 17 from Gerdes.  Box Score

 Thompson Rivers  81  at UNBC  71 –  The ‘Pack (7-5) look much sharper tonight, as they go 49% from the floor (to 39% for UNBC) , and establish a 42-30 lead at the half. The visitors win the rebound (40-37) and turnover (12-15) battles as well.  UNBC (5-7) hits 10 shoots from the outside to keep it respectable, but really, never in much doubt. Big man, Josh Wolfram re-emerges with 29 points and 16 big rebounds to pace the TRU attack, while Gerard Gore scores 10 points off the bench.  Devin McMurtry has a solid double of 18 pts / 14 boards for the T’Wolves. Box Score

James Lefebvre burns the Heat for 27 points as the Cougars sweep in Kelowna.

James Lefebvre burns the Heat for 27 points as the Cougars sweep in Kelowna.

Mt. Royal 85  at UBC-Okanagan 70   –   A big offensive effort by the Cougars, who even their record at 6-6, as they get 27 points from James Lefebvre, and 15 from Okanagan Valley native, Derek Wolf on 6/11 shooting.  49% from the floor is heady territory for MRU these days ?  Noma Obeseki grabs 11 boards for the Heat, leading both teams, while rookie, Aldrich Berrios cashes 25 points including 5/10 from beyond the arc. UBC-O (2-10) struggles at 33% from the floor;  there are 72 free throw attempts in a bit of a scramble, but the 2 squads combine to hit just 43 of them. Box Score

 

 

Saturday Scores from the East –

# 1 Ottawa 102 Guelph  68,  # 2 Carleton 105  Lakehead  58, # 4 McMaster Nipissing  , # 6 Windsor 94 Laurier 87

Toronto  95  Algoma 75 ,  Laurentian 89 Brock 81,  York  76 Queens 63 ,       Western  71 Waterloo  54

Bishops  59  Concordia 40 ,  McGill 73  Laval  42

# 10  New Brunswick 98  Dalhousie 57 , UPEI 90  Memorial  82,                         Cape Breton 69  Acadia  65

 

Overtime –

TRU Wolf pack Coach Scott Clark

TRU Wolf pack Coach Scott Clark

  • Theory of a playing rotation from TRU  Coach Scott Clark –    “We have only 10 guys on our roster so we usually play only eight or nine every night.  It’s our rotation and is natural for most basketball teams.  Some teams only go eight players.  You are trying to develop your young guys and keep people involved. As well, you are aiming at creating a good working environment where it’s more fun to come to practice when there is a prize at the end of it. That prize is playing.  If there is some sort of injury:  it’s part of the game. You have guys who can switch their roles slightly to adapt to that or any other situation.”  (Can we review that ?)
  • Fraser Valley's Adam Friesen.

    Fraser Valley’s Adam Friesen has his Cascades way out in front in the Explorer.

  • UFV Coach, Adam Friesen following the OT game with MacEwan on Saturday,  “The mental state we came into the game yesterday was a lot different than today.  We didn’t look for any shortcuts to success last night, but we did tonight. Hopefully this is a reminder of how we have to play moving forward.” Friesen … on (Kevon) Parchment’s game-tying triple and his OT heroics, said the fourth-year guard “won us the game.”“He took things into his own hands and was making plays all over the court,” Friesen marvelled. “The overtime and the final 30 seconds of regulation was basically him willing out the game for us.” (From a press release by Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics.
  •    The Vikes Head Coach, Craig Beaucamp, after the Saturday game –  “It was a trying weekend for us in a lot of ways,” said Beaucamp, whose squad was forced to compete without starting point guard Marcus Tibbs this weekend. “I am proud of the guys though. It was definitely a good character win.”  “Pat Pilato had a great bounce-back game for us tonight at point,” highlighted Beaucamp. “Chris was a warrior all weekend on the boards and Reiner was a force tonight. You could see it in (McLaughlin and Theil’s) eyes that they weren’t going to let us lose two-straight at home tonight.” – From UVic Athletics (Ali Lee)