MacEwan – Young Team, Big Dreams

 

Griffins coach likes the energy of his young team

MacEwan Coach Eric Magdanz is one of several Canada West coaches who has been dealing with a big turnover of seniors from last season.  “This process of developing a team, and re-forming with new recruits can be challenging, but also rewarding”, says the 4th year mentor.

The Griffs lost Thadius Galvez, Keith Gerdes,  Denzel James, and Tyler Wise,  who were core players.  But, this does not deter Coach Magdanz, who characterizes his team as ‘very young’, but also, “we are long, athletic, and energetic.”

The team will lean on veteran leaders like Ryan Coleman (Edmonton), the only 5th year Griff, and Adonis Monfort-Palomino left, Calgary), the 3rd year point man.  Ali Raza (Calgary), 3rd year wing, had ‘a phenomenol summer”, says Magdanz. “He is a remarkable athlete.” 6-6 Harrison Lane (Edmonton) is a 4th year post man, who should be stepping into a bigger role along with 2nd year English import, Jake Notice.

1st year players dot this roster, with 6-3 Lincoln Anderson (Cardston) expected to contribute right away, “ … he is ready”, his coach exclaims. Abdullah Shittu is a 6-7 Edmonton product who has a 7-2 wing span, and is picking up coaching very readily.   There are 8 rookies, and some will have to ‘wait their turn”, but Coach Magdanz believes, “This group will be great to coach; they will work hard, and, as they become more familiar with each other, we look forward to building a competitive team.”

 

 

Anderson enters as a ‘mature student and athlete’

Lincoln Anderson was a member of the Cardston , AB high school team which captured 2 consecutive 4A provincial titles in 2012 and 2013.  This was big news in hoops crazy Southern Alberta, and Anderson might have been expected to go on and play in Canada West.  But Lincoln had other priorities as a Church of Latter Day Saints member; he served a church mission in New Zealand for 2 years, centred in Auckland. “It was an amazing experience”, says Anderson.  No basketball practice for missionaries, but they did play a little informal rugby (as you would in the land of the ‘All-Blacks” NZ National Team).

Lincoln Anderson, MacEwan wing man

The difficult part of getting back to varsity sport is to “start thinking the game again”, according to the 22 year old. “As a missionary, I was planning every minute of my days in New Zealand, so I’m not having any trouble combining studies and basketball.”  Starting a B Sc. program, Lincoln wants to eventually work as a physiotherapist. “Because I’ve gone through so much work with my knee”, he says, “I’ve become keen on helping other people with similar challenges.”

Anderson was recruited by Coach Magdanz, who, coincidently, coached both Lincoln and Adonis Monfort-Palomino on Alberta’s U-17 team a few years back. “He is a young and enthusiastic coach”, says Anderson. “I like his style of coaching, and his enthusiasm for the team and individual players.”  ‘I’m excited to get playing games”, exclaims Lincoln. “I really look forward to competing.”  Under Magdanz’ tutelage, Anderson expects the Griffins to develop into a team that can “… contend with all the top schools.”  Lincoln Anderson and the others in this freshman class may well be chasing history if his prognostication comes close to fruition.  Dream big … how else can you hope to get there?

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Overtime – 

  • Game schedule … Thursday, Oct 5  –    Calgary Cup starts at UC –  Dinos vs McGill, McMaster vs Acadia  … Saskatchewan at Toronto, Bishops at Victoria, Laurentian at Brandon, NAIT at Thompson Rivers

    Ken Olynyk brings a long and distinguished university sport career to an end.

  • Congratulations to TRU’s Ken Olynyk, who has announced his retirement as the school’s Athletic Director.  Olynyk, a former player in the CIS, and a coach at U. Lethbridge, U. Toronto, and with the WolfPack, has had a very positive impact on basketball and sport at TRU.  We wish him well, and hope he enjoys the extra time he will have to enjoy family and recreational pursuits.  Ken will likely still be involved with hoops in some way, even beyond being a spectator at son Kelly’s NBA games!  More in this story from TRU Athletics.

4 Schools Announce Big Recruiting Classes

 

 

UBC Leads 4 Schools Announcing Big Recruiting Success

UBC Coach Kevin Hanson greets ‘feature’ signee, Grant Shephard            Photo – UBC Athletics

When a U-Sports school signs a bonafide NCAA Div. 1 prospect, it is certainly a banner day for that program and Canadian University basketball as a whole.  Coach Kevin Hanson of UBC announced in April that 6-10 post man, Grant Shephard from Kelowna will join the T’Birds roster for the 2017-18 season.  Shephard, who was a big factor as a grade 11 in the Kelowna Owls winning the B.C. High Schools 4A championship in 2016, spent grade 12 at Monteverde Prep in Florida.

Reportedly, he had solid offers from some NCAA powers, but the young man suggested that he felt more ‘excited’ about UBC, and being closer to friends and family.  Coach Hanson said, “Despite Grant having several offers from NCAA Division 1 schools, he decided playing and studying at UBC was the right fit for him. He is a special player, a special person, which makes this a special day for UBC basketball.” Shephard, who scored 31 points and added 22 rebounds in that 2016 Provincial Final win over Tamanawis HS of Surrey, will also welcome the chance to play with Parker Simson, an Owls teammate.  Simson will be in his 2nd year at UBC after working through an injury, which kept him from both the Football and Basketball Thunderbirds.  Another Kelowna Owls star who has signed with the Thunderbirds is Mason Bourcier, a 6-4 guard with great credentials and high expectations.  He too had interest from NCAA schools, but will now join one of the best recruiting classes in UBC basketball history.

The T’Birds already announced the addition of 6-6 wing, Cam Morris, Burnaby (St. Thomas More HS) along with ‘ imports’  Grant Audu, a 6-4 guard from Thornhill, ON , who played at  Marist HS, New Jersey,  and 6-3 guard, Anthony McNish, Toronto, who was at Hillcrest Prep in Arizona.   (From UBC Athletics)

Dinos add power and finesse in their recruiting class

Rys Larry is a top rebounder, transferring to UC from Acadia.                    Photo –   Axemen Athletics

The Calgary Dinos are boasting a most productive recruiting year to date as they land 6-9 rebounding ace, Rhys Larry, a transfer from Acadia who will be entering his 4th year of eligibility.  Another key transfer is 3rd year 6-1 combo guard, Lucas Mannes,  from Chilliwack, BC, who averaged 18 ppg in his last year at Trinity Western.

A pair of high school stand-outs are also expected to make an immmediate impact at UC, with 6-2 point man, Andrew Milner (Antigonish, NS) a winner with his provincial U-17s at Summer Nationals, and 6-7 Mason Foreman (Winnipeg), who played last year for Orangeville Prep in the Toronto area, and is the son of former National Team forward, Jeff Foreman.

Calgary Coach, Dan Vanhooren says, ’We feel we’ve added top quality guys, with Rhys Larry bringing us leadership at the forward spot, and a proven scorer in Lucas Mannes.  We’re excited to have the young talent we see in both Andrew, a real floor leader, and Mason, who has size and a nice shooting touch.’

 Lethbridge Bolsters Their Lineup

Kyle Peterson, in CIS Nationals play vs Ottawa.

The Lethbridge Pronghorns recently announced 3 signees expected to give them a big boost in years to come. Lead guard, Kyle Peterson, was a 2 year starter at UVic, and had a red-shirt year in Lethbridge; he returns after a 2 year Mormon mission.  Saren Westrop, a 6-7 local high school star ( LCI ), played at Iona College, then transferred to Harcum JC (Pennsylvania).  Jeff Rodehutskors, a strong and promising 6-6 forward (Chestermere HS) , transfers fron Calgary, where he played last season.  Jeff will red-shirt in ’17-’18, but will join his younger brother Mark with the ‘Horns the following season.

U of L also announced the addition of Tanner McLachlan, 6-6 forward, from LCI,  Canyon Lewis, a 6-6 forward from Henderson, NV (* he is a Canadian citizen), and Nick Myndio, a 5-10 guard from Lethbridge, who starred with Chinook HS.  Boomer Heggie, a 6-0 guard at Raymond HS, will go on a church mission for 2 years, but plans to return to play for UL in 2019-20.

Griffins Coach, Eric Magdanz                            Photo – MacEwan Athletics

MacEwan Makes Moves to Strengthen Their Roster

After seeing the graduation and departure of 5 veteran roster players including stalwarts Denzel James, Thadius Galvez, and Keith Gerdes, Griffins Head Coach, Eric Magdanz, knew he had a big recruiting task ahead this past Spring.  The 4th year mentor has been successful in adding 7 new faces including, most recently, his 2nd British star in 2 years. 18 year old, Jay Carter, a 6-6 wing with the UK Jr Nationals, comes from Reading Rockets with exceptional 3 point shooting stats.

In April the Griffs signed 6 other young prospects … Lincoln Anderson, a 6-3 all-star with Cardston HS (AB), comes off a 2 year Mormon mission and a year’s knee re-hab … 6-8 Ben Niles (Kamloops – Valleyview) has the size, but also a good out-side touch … also 6-4 Moreau Amadou, Calgary -Sir Winston Churchill, Luke Harold, a 6-5 wing from Regina’s Campbell Collegiate, Marco Beasley, 6-7 forward, Edmonton – Ross Sheppard HS, and Dustin Gatzki (Westlock, AB) a 6-4 wing who had a year at Staples HS, Wyoming.

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Overtime –

  • News this week on  NCAA games to be  hosted at U. Calgary this summer ...  on August 10 and 12 the Calgary Dinos will play the NCAA Div 1, Montana State Bobcats .  Also at UC, on August 11 and 13, it will be the Alberta Golden Bears taking on the Bobcats.

 

  • Great fun to be had this coming Saturday, May 27, as the UVic Vikes host a Ken Shields Roast !  Who better to skewer our old buddy Shields than former coaching rivals Don Horwood (U. Alberta), Jerry Hemmings (Brandon), and Ken Olynyk (Lethbridge) ?  The Vikes Hall of Fame Coach will also get ‘greetings’ from from former Vikes players including Robbie Parris, Gerald Kazanowski, and fiery mascot Jim ‘Mother’ Hubbard.  More details in this Times-Colonist story from Cleve Dheensaw.

 

 

 

Alberta and Victoria Win in East

 

 

Bears Beat Home Side at Naismith

Brody Clarke (L) and Mamadou Gueye (R) gave the Bears a big edge inside.

Brody Clarke (L) and Mamadou Gueye (R) gave the Bears a big edge inside, in a win at Queens.

at the Queen’s Golden Gaels Tournament in Kingston –   Alberta 73 Queens 65 – The Bears had a much steadier outing in turning aside the home team.  The forward combo of Mamadou Gueye (21 pts/ 9 rebounds) and Brody Clarke (19 pts/ 8 boards)  gave the Gaels more than they could handle in the paint.   Box Score ,   also Ottawa 84 Memorial 47

at the UBC-O  Heat Tournament – Saskatchewan  79 Thompson Rivers 71  OT – Two overtime losses in successive nights for the Wolf Pack.  “Same story as last night,” said  TRU Head Coach, Scott Clark. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds. We get the emotional high from making a stop but then don’t secure the loose ball. But it is early and we have lots to work on.”  No box score here.

Denzel james leads MacEwan to their 2nd straight in Kelowna.

Denzel james leads MacEwan to their 2nd straight in Kelowna.

  MacEwan 76  UBC Okanagan 62  –  The Griffs are getting our attention, with a pair of wins here, and their veteran-laced line-up appears to be clicking in the pre-season. 47% from the floor vs 37 for Okanagan, and Mac hits 10 treys against just 4 for the Heat. Denzel James scores 20 to lead MacEwan, with Thadius  Galvez adding 16 pts/6 boards/ 7 assists.  Off the bench, Aldrich Berrios scored  18 points for UBC-O.                 Box Score

> Saskatchewan faces MacEwan in a Sunday game in Kelowna

 

Lethbridge  91 at Fraser Valley 79  –  The ‘Horns came out firing in Abbotsford, as they hit 51% from the floor, as Mike Pierzchala had a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-6 from outside. U of L also got 19 from Zac Overwater, and 14 by DeAngelo Ashley. The UFV defense could not stop the ‘ Horns onslaught, but the Cascades were sharp on offense, shooting 48% from the floor, with Andrew Morris (Burnaby), a 6-5, 3rd year transfer from UVic going a perfect 7/7 on his way to 21 points.  Senior guard, Manny Dulay hit 17 pts/7 assists, while Navjot Bains tallied 14 rebounds plus 9 points.

Lethbridge completes their 3 game swing to the W. coast with a Sunday game at UBC.

at Valley City St. (ND)  85  Brandon   71     Despite a good shooting night, the Bobcats drop their 4th straight. 22 Brandon turnovers to only 11 for VC, and just 4 made free throws for BU against 15 for the Vikings.

In the East –

at the Carleton Ravens Tournament in Ottawa –  Victoria  68 Western Ontario 55 – The Vikes engaged their defense nicely vs the Mustangs, and showed some resiliency after a tough game 1 beating from Carleton. also Carleton 82 Laval 52 ,

at the Queen’s Golden Gaels Tournament in Kingston –

Alberta 73 Queens 65 – The Bears had a much steadier outing in turning aside the home team.  The forward combo of Mamadou Gueye (21 pts/ 9 rebounds) and Brody Clarke (19 pts/ 8 boards)  gave the Gaels more than they could handle in the paint.  also Ottawa 84 Memorial 47 

The Ontario Colleges powerhouse, the Humber Hawks ran the table to win the Waterloo Warriors ‘Naismith Classic’ , with an 80-68 win over the now struggling UQAM  Citadins.  In the 2nd game of the night at Waterloo  it was the Warriors 85 over Manitoba  82  .

at the UPEI, ‘Mickey Place’ Tournament –  Dalhousie 69 Maine- Ft. Kent 59  ,  Concordia 85 UPEI 69

Day 2 at the St. FX Tournament in Antigonish, NS –

In the  championship final St. Mary’s 83 St. FX  77 , and in the consolation, it was Holland College  94 Cape Breton  70.


Overtime –

  •   The Lethbridge Pronghorns will be disappointed that 2013 recruit, 6-7 Lincoln Anderson, a League MVP at Cardston (AB) HS, will be unable to play this season due to knees problems.  Considered a  possible ‘top 8’ rotation player for UL, he judged it was best to wait.

Skinn is a Big Plus for Dinos

Dinos Benefit From Coach’s Life-changing Decision

Your dream job was to be a Head Coach in CIS Basketball, and, if you’re Matt Skinn, you got to do that as a young man, first at St. FX, where you turned some heads by taking a 4-16 team from the previous year, and posting a 16-4 record in your 1st season (2008-09).  “I’m very proud of what we accomplished at X”, said Skinn. “We had a strong winning record for several seasons, and had recruited the future CIS Rookie of the Year (Vanessa Pickard) before I took the CBU Men’s job.”

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach.

Matt Skinn, a Coach of the Year for Cape Breton in 2013, returns to Calgary as the full-time assistant coach. Photo – Halifax Chronicle-Herald

You moved to the Cape Breton Capers in 2012; this was your alma mater, where you were an AUS all-star forward in the early 2000s.  For 4 years, you guided the Capers, and won an AUS title in 2013.  “I was so excited to be at CBU as the Head Coach, and I felt that we were establishing a 1st-class program”, Skinn suggests. “I loved coaching at my old school.”

So, now you give that up?  You move back to Calgary and UC, where you had been an Assistant Coach working under Dan Vanhooren prior to your ‘Maritimes Adventure’?  You’re back as a UC Assistant for the best reason possible: to be with your fiancé !  Karmen Brown, who grew up in Calgary, met Matt when they were both prominent figures in the Basketball scene in Nova Scotia (Karmen a player at CBU), and, and after her graduation, they got together in Sydney for the final years of Matt’s coaching for the Capers.

When Karmen returned to Calgary, and was successful in landing a position with the Calgary Police Service, Matt had a decision to make. Give up his head coaching job with the Capers, or stay in Nova Scotia?  Being a pretty smart guy, Matt chose  S. Alberta and living with Karmen. He returns as an Assistant Coach with Coach V and the Dinos … more details in this story from Ben Matchett, UC Asst. Athletic Director. 

Calgary is very fortunate to regain the passion and experience that Coach Skinn brings to the table; it’s not often you get a guy with his resume as your Assistant Coach.  With his full-time status, Matt will be able to have an immediate positive impact for this already strong Dinos program. His ability to work with and relate to student athletes, his solid grasp of recruiting, and his strategic sense for the CIS game will pay dividends for UC.  Welcome back Matt !


MRU lands a pair of ‘blue-chip recruits’ !

6-4 import swinman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

6-4 import swingman, Josh Ross, brings immediate power and experience to MRU.

Coach Marc Dobell must be feeling just a little more confident of his Cougars’  immediate future after having signed 2 impressive looking American imports last week. It’s not hard to understand how he became aware of Josh Ross, 6-4, 4th year wing man from Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, B.C.).  Ross was named the Canadian Colleges Player of the Year back in March, and has been a stellar scorer / rebounder for the Mariners, as the Island crew dominated the B.C. League.  “Josh is a 3-4 player, who can impact a game in many ways”, says MRU Coach Marc Dobell.

Ross, from Burlington, Iowa, will have 2 years to help Mt. Royal move up the pecking order in Canada West, and he joins a core group which includes returnees Canada West Rookie of the Year, Brett Layton (6-8, Calgary), 5th year shooting guard, Derek Wolfe, and 6-2 point guard, Glen Yang (2nd year, Calgary).

A high school recruit from Dallas, TX, Craig Martin, is described by his high school coach, Patrick Washington (Woodrow Wilson HS) as, “ … easy to coach and has a great basketball IQ.”   In a program which amassed an amazing 110 wins vs just 18 losses during Martin’s 4 years at Wilson, the combo guard stood out for his exceptional ball handling and his team-leading defensive skills.  “We think Craig will be a very good player for us”, says Coach Dobell. “Coach Washington, who has a son playing football for U. Regina, obviously supported the young man’s decision to come to Calgary for school, and play for the Cougars.”

A 3rd recruit added last week is 2nd year transfer Nick Tancon, a 6-7 forward from Comox , B.C., who played for 1 season at Trinity Western.  On his signing by the Spartans in the Spring of 2014, Tancon was lauded by then TWU Coach Scott Allen as one of B.C.’s best all-round players, and he impressed Canada West observers in his rookie season at Langley.  Tancon will add valuable size and depth on the Cougars front line.  Dobell suggests, “Nick will be working to get in game shape after having had surgery on his foot and ankle last Winter.  We expect him to be a key contributor for us in the future.”


 

‘Horns Cast Wide Net .. and come up with prize catches !'hornd

In a major re-tooling for the U of L, following the graduation of key seniors, Brandon Brine, Jared Baker, and Rob Olsen, who combined for over 40 ppg, 16.2 rebounds,  8.2 assists, the Pronghorns added 7 new players for the 2016-17 roster. Losing those 3 veteran leaders, who each logged near 29 minutes per game last year, means the ‘Horns will be getting an infusion of youth.

The headliners have to be 6-8 forward DeAngelo Ashley (3rd year transfer, Fresno City College, CA), and 6-6 Australian import, Michael D’Agostino, an 18 year old who played in the Aussie ‘V League’, a men’s league a rung below their top  level.

Daniel Lybbert is a Canadian who attended high school in the U.S,, coming to Lethbridge from Scottsdale, AZ Prep.  Lybbert is a ‘tremendous shooter’, according to Coach Hansen, and his senior year stats from Scottsdale back up that assertion : he averaged 14 ppg, and shot over 50% from 3 point range!

Coming to Lethbridge from Ontario’s Ridley College, Brett Warren is a 5-11 point man from Newfoundland, who promises to be a great set-up man for the UL offense.  Mark Rodehutskors, at 6-6, a very young (16 yrs) grade 12 star at Chestermere High School, chose to take his own path to UL after his older brother Jeff had already signed at U Calgary. Mark is a red-shirt candidate, according to Coach Mike Hansen, but should develop into a significant contributor once he hits the playing roster.

Colton Gibb,  (LCI, Lethbridge) and Lincoln Anderson (Cardston, AB) are both former all-stars in the Southern Alberta High School circuit, and are returning from Mormon Missions.  The pair have the skills to crack the ‘Horns line-up, and will be closely followed by local fans.


 

Overtime –

  • Good luck to Katherine Adams, who was recently named the new
    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griggins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Katherine Adams moves from Asst. Coach , U. Calgary, to MacEwan Griffins, where she will take over as Head Coach.

    Head Coach of the Women’s team at MacEwan University in Edmonton.  Adams, a Calgary native,  has been coaching as an Assistant with the UC Dinos Women for the past 7 years, and, as a player, was a steady floor-leader at guard for some strong Dinos teams in her 5 year career.  Expect Adams to do a solid job with the Griffins, as she has had a most thorough ‘internship’ at various levels from Club, High School, Provincial competition, and with UC.

  • Trinity Western continues to re-work their young roster with the addition of Ben Reddy,  a 6- 3 guard,  from Lambrick Park Secondary (Victoria), who had an injury-shortened Grade 12,  playing only three games, where he averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game.  (From Mark Janzen – TWU Athletics). Another B.C. high school star has chosen Trinity Western; Daniel Stead, a 6-7 forward from Walnut Grove, Langley he coming Fall.  Details in this story from the Langley Times