Bobcats Bring Fresh Hope



2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Brandon Bobcats

’15-‘16      No playoffs                  1 win  19 losses (Pioneer)

Returnees –   br-bobcats-copy-2

5th years – Denham Buchanan, 6-3 wing, Toronto.  Earl Thompson Jr., 6-5 fwd, Henderson, NV.  Chris Stanhope , 6-5 guard, Brampton, ON.   Esmat Atem, 6-9 fwd, Ottawa  … 4th year –  John Paul, 6-11 fwd, St. Lucia.  Baka Ngeleka, 6-1 guard, St. Hyacinthe, PQ … 2nd years –  Pookie Saunders, 6-1 guard, Calgary.  Mitch Marquis,  5-10 guard, Rockwood, ON.  Keneal James, 6-2 guard, Chateauguay, PQ.  Tyler Anderson, 6-7 fwd, Langley, BC.

New faces –

Josh Bell, 6-3 guard, 2nd year, Mississauga, ON (tsf Lakehead U.) .  Tyvon Cooper, 6-0 guard, 3rd year, Middletown, NY  (Orange County CC, NY).  Girece Kazumba, 6-3 guard, 3rd, Toronto (Vermillion College) . Kobyn Jopp, 6-8 fwd, 1st year, Calgary (Churchill HS).   Riley Schaus, 6-1 guard,  Red-shirt, Brandon (Crocus Plains)


Earl Thompson Jr. will be in the of the action for Brandon in his senior year.   photo – BU Athletics

 As a key player on Brandon championship teams, Gil Cheung would like nothing better than to return the Bobcats to a winning program.  But, in the last 5  seasons BU has a disheartening record of only 22 wins against 82 losses.  The roster loses veterans DJ Jordan (17 ppg) and Troy Grant (11 ppg), as new faces come in bringing fresh hope in the new season.

There are experienced returnees, including 6 players in their 4th or 5th years of eligibility. Earl  Thompson Jr. is a strong rebounder (8 rpg  ) and able scorer ( 16.5 ppg ), and big guard, Chris Stanhope,  is emerging as an offensivee threat  ( 9.2 ppg/ 4 rebounds)  .  2nd year guard, Pookie Saunders , has the quickness, and 6-11 post man, John Paul (5 ppg/ 6.2 rebs), the potential as an interior defender and rebounder.  Is there, however, the on-court leadership to give  the Blue and Gold the late – game confidence to win more close decisions?

Two Toronto – area guards, Josh Bell and Grieve Kazumba are recruits who may provide that catalyst.  Both have some success at the CIS and College level.   Multi-talented import , Tyvon Cooper, may be the lead guard so essential in coordinating an efficient attack.  Cooper was the 4th leading scorer (24 ppg) in the U.S. Jr. Colleges last year 1st year forward, Kobyn Jopp, has the size, but may have to be eased into the rotation as the year goes on.

“We are very optimistic for the upcoming season with a nice mix of new student athletes and returning some key parts as well, says Cheung. “ We have 7 pre-season games, and will use them to find rotations, build chemistry, and get some feedback.”

In the opening half of the season, Brandon faces 4 teams which have a recent history of  playoff success, and they face Okanagan, a squad which may be on it’s way up into competitive form.  Defense may be a big key for the ‘Cats in these first semester contests, at least until they get enough time to develop some offensive chemistry and flow.

Schedule –  

Nov-Dec … at Alberta, UBC-O, at Saskatchewan , h/h Winnipeg,  Fraser Valley

Jan-Feb … at Mt. Royal,  MacEwan,  Regina,  at UBC,  Manitoba

Prediction –  It looks lie an uphill climb for the ‘Cats


Overtime –


  •   The “Kelly Olynyk Basketball Academy”, a developmental basketball program for boys and girls from kindergarten to grade 7, started last week in Kamloops.  The South Kamloops Sr. Secondary grad and Boston Celtics star contributed financially to the new start-up, which is being run at the Tournament Capital Centre and the  old TRU Gym.  “It is an amazing feeling to be able to give back to the City of Kamloops and their youth,” says Olynyk.  TRU head coach Scott Clark said,   “ … house leagues and youth programs were a big part of my development as a basketball player and individual. I am excited for these kids to be able to grow; learn and develop their skills the same way I did, with a love for the game. ”          (From Larry Read, TRU Wolf Pack Athletics)
  • In a late result from The Ubyssey , last Friday, the T-Birds beat the Seattle Mountaineers 87-66. 5th year forward, Conor Morgan, was 10/17 from the floor plus 11 rebounds , while returnees, AJ Holloway, Phil Jalalapoor, and rookie Isaiah Familia  looked good in the back-court.  UBC hosts the Lethbridge Pronghorns in pre-season action  this Friday, the 14th, and Sunday, the 16th at War Memorial.
  • Scores from last Sunday in the CIS –   Laurier 101 at Brandon 76McMaster 76  Dalhousie 70,  Nipissing  87 Cape Breton 66, Brock 95  Concordia 78



Canada West Teams Head East



Tournament Play In Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic

On the final pre-season weekend for most Canada West teams, there are 5 teams heading to Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes for inter-regional CIS play. UBC is at the Laurier Hawks Tournament, Fraser Valley and Regina are both at the Brock Tournament, Mt. Royal play in Laval’s ‘Tournoi’, and Calgary is way over in Cape Breton for the Capers Tourney.

Dinologo copy 2

UC plays in Cape Breton this weekend

We also have 2 Ontario teams in the West, with Nipissing in the Huskies Tourney in Saskatoon, and Laurentian playing in Kelowna.  These ‘inter-locking games’  will have a big influence on the CIS Top 10, which appears for the 1st time next Tuesday.  The Calgary Dinos will be in tough with their 3 game slate at Cape Breton, as they open with what may be the top AUS team in the host Capers, coached by former Dinos Assistant, Matt Skinn, then finishing up with UNB, who have some real talent as well.

CBU Coach, Matt Skinn, is confident about his Capers team.

CBU Coach, Matt Skinn, is confident about his Capers team.

In Friday’s opener, Calgary’s guard corps will be tested by the Capers back-court, including Calgary high school product, Vishal Banipal, a 6-1 point, Akeem Isaac-Philip, a 6-3 tsf from Lakehead, and their ace, Seth Amoah, a 6-3 3rd year scorer.  The Dinos will run into a rugged and deep CBU forward line led by 4th year strongman, 6-8, 240, Meshack  Lufile, and another Calgary area veteran, Sean McCormick (Chestermere HS), 5th year, 6-5.


New Names Making Impact Early-On

Conner Burns plays 5th year with Huskies.

Conner Burns plays 5th year with Huskies, after 4 seasons in Regina.

Canada West teams have added fresh talent over the spring and summer, and some of these new faces are making   positive contributions right away –

Brandon – Earl Thompson Jr. is a 3rd year, 6-5, 225, import forward (Las Vegas)

Calgary –  LJ Hegwood, a 6-5 , 2nd year wing (Calgary)

Lethbridge – Tyson McIntyre, a 6-6, 2nd year forward returns from a Mormon mission

Manitoba – Alfreeman Flowers, a 4th year, 6-4 import wing from Milwaukee, WI

Regina – added Jonathan Tull, a 6-4, 4th year guard transfer from Acadia

Saskatchewan – activates 5th year forward, 6-6 Connor Burns (tsf from Regina), and adds 4th year, 6-2, import guard, Michael Scott, from San Diego.

Trinity Western- has a good-looking rookie in Nick Tancon, 6-7, Comox-Highland

Aldrich Berrios heads a big rookie group at UBC-O

Aldrich Berrios heads a big rookie group at UBC-O

Victoria – 3rd year import transfer, Grant Sitton, is a 6-8 scorer/rebounder from Vancouver, WA.

Fraser Valley- beefs up their front line with 6-6, Nate Brown, a 3rd yr import from Fresno, CA

MacEwan – these guys are all new to the CIS, but Lee Danderfer, a 5-11, 5th year guard, will be an on-court leader for the Griffs.

UBC-O – Okanagan are full of new young faces, but Aldrich Berrios, a 6-1 rookie guard from Notre Dame HS, Burnaby gets our attention with some good early starts.

Thompson Rivers – Sean Price, a mature, 6-3, import guard from Vancouver, WA looks like a player

UNBC – The T- Wolves pick up guard Rhys Elliot, a 3rd year, 6-3 import (Adelaide, Australia)


Huskies and Vikes Get Wins –

Point man, Marcus Tibbs, is sharp for the Vikes.

Point man, Marcus Tibbs, is sharp for the Vikes.

On the opening day of the U of S’  Graham Shootout , it was  UVic 63  Nipissing  41 – Marcus Tibbs scores 17 as the Vikes are without Chris McLaughlin (minor injury ?).

Saskatchewan 97  MacEwan  76 – Shooting guard, Andrew Henry hits for 25 pts,  and gets help from Evan Ostertag and Matt Forbes  with 18  apiece.



Games on tap Friday –

Calgary at Cape Breton – at the Eastlink Capers Tourn., Sydney, NS

Mt. Royal vs Western Ont.  (at Laval)

Waterloo vs UBC  – 6 pm  Eastern  OUA TV

Regina vs York, Fraser Valley vs Brock – at Brock RBC Classic

at U. Winnipeg Tourn. –  Brandon at Manitoba and UNBC at Winnipeg

at Saskatchewan  Nipissing

Victoria vs MacEwan

Alberta vs U. Great Falls    (at Lethbridge)

at Lethbridge  MT. St.- Northern

Thompson Rivers vs Laurentian (at Kelowna)

Saturday –

Calgary vs UPEI

Mt. Royal  at Laval

UBC vs Laurier – 7:30 Eastern  OUA TV

Windsor vs Regina

Ryerson vs Fraser Valley

at Saskatchewan   Victoria

MacEwan vs Nipissing  (at Sask.)

UNBC vs Manitoba

Winnipeg vs Brandon

at Lethbridge  U. Great Falls

Alberta vs Montana St-North.

at UBC-Okanagan  Laurentian

Thompson Rivers  vs Trinity W.

Sunday – 

Calgary vs U. New Brunswick

Mt. Royal vs Memorial

UBC at Guelph

Fraser Valley vs Windsor

Regina at Brock

at Okanagan  Trinity W.


Overtime –

  • 2bpi18nnb2c9yhlr copyWho would be among the Top 10 CIS teams right now ?  The only clear picks would be … Carleton, Ottawa, Ryerson, McMaster, Cape Breton, and Windsor.  Most of the Canada West teams, including Saskatchewan, Victoria, Alberta, Fraser Valley,and UBC have sustained pre- season losses.  Winnipeg (4-0) won 2 at Lakehead, so should be in there, if they win 2 at home this week.  Calgary need 2 or 3 wins at the Cape Breton Tournament to get serious consideration.  The T-Birds could be ranked with 3 wins in Ontario.

    Kathy Shields adds to her many honours.

    Kathy Shields adds to her many honours.

  • Our congratulations to Kathy Shields, former UVic and Canada National Team coach, who was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. In 22 seasons as Head Coach with the Vikes, Kathy guided her teams to 8 CIS titles; she joins her husband, Ken Shields, who was inducted to the Canadian Hall in 2009.
  • We can find just the UBC games on the ‘net … not much pre-season coverage.