2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –
’15-‘16 No playoffs 8 win 12 losses (Pioneer)
Returnees – 5th years – Matt Forbes, 6-6 fwd, Regina Beach. Trevor Severinski, 6-6 fwd, Pitt Meadows, BC. … 4th Year – Shane Osayande, 6-6 fwd, Toronto. Alex Unruh, 5-10 guard, Saskatoon. … 3rd Years – Mack Burns, 6-6 fwd, Regina. Joseph Barker, 6-6 fwd, Saskatoon. … 2nd Years – Chan De Ciman, 6-2 guard, Regina. Dean Wittow, 6-7 fwd, Leduc, AB. Jonathan Halvorson, 6-3 guard, Regina. Reid Thuringer, 6-2 guard, Warman, SK. … (after redshirt) 1st year – Davis Humbert, 6-2 guard, Saskatoon ( Aden Bowman).
New faces – Jaylon Morgan, 6-5, 3rd year, Brampton, ON (Williston St., ND). Addison Dewar, 6-3 guard, 1st, Saskatoon (Marion Graham). Emmanuel Akintunde, 6-2 guard, 1st, Saskatoon (St. Joseph)
The Huskies would like to put the 2015-2016 season behind them, and they think they have the team to do that. Missing the playoffs has not been part of the Saskatchewan script for the last 10 years or so, and we expect the Green and White to be better this campaign.
The Huskies senior core of players has quickness, rebounding, and scoring ability led by their two big forwards, Matt Forbes and Shane Osayande. Forbes is a ‘hammer and tongs’ physical force, who was missed last season when he went down with injury. Osayande has ‘pro-type’ physical abilities, and he averaged a double of 14 ppg / 10 rebounds, with more to come, we suspect. Another big man, Trevor Severinski may repeat as the best three- point shooter in Canada West (47% last season), and he can guard a bigger opponent. Mack Burns is a versatile small forward, with a good shooting touch and an aggressive style as a rebounder. Joseph Barker has also shown a good nose for the boards, and he will provide depth on the frontline.
At the guard spots, Coach Barry Rawlyck has the dynamic Chan De Ciman (12.5 ppg as a rookie), who will combine with point man Alex Unruh (48% FG, 8 ppg), and newcomer Jaylon Morgan, a big shooting guard. After redshirting last season local Saskatoon product Davis Humbert may get a good look as a backup guard on the playing roster.
The ‘Sled Dogs’ may not be as deep as some of the other top teams, but their best players are very capable of winning enough games to get them in the top three or four. Injuries and other issues took their toll last season, and Saskatchewan will need some better fortune as they chase a championship this year.
Schedule – Nov-Dec – at Fraser Valley, Winnipeg, Brandon, at Regina – 4 series
Jan-Feb – UBC, at Lethbridge, at Calgary, Mt. Royal, Alberta, at UNBC – 6
Prediction – Huskies will be better, and may make a mark at playoff time.
Fraser Valley Cascades
’15-‘16 – Lost to Manitoba, 1/4 finals wins 12 losses 8 (Explorer)
Returnees – 5th years – Manny Dulay, 6-3 guard, Surrey. Vijay Dhillon, 6-1 guard, Richmond. 4th year – Navjot Bains, 6-6 fwd, Surrey. 3rd years – Mark Johnson, 6-6 fwd, Palm Springs, CA. Matt Cooley, 6-9 fwd, Coquitlam, BC.
New faces – Andrew Morris, 6-5 fwd, 3rd, Burnaby, BC (tsf. U. Victoria) . Denver Sparks-Guest, 6-5 wing, 3rd year, Coquitlam (tsf from Simon Fraser). Anthony Gilchrist, 6-4 guard, 3rd, Cathedral City, CA (College of the Desert). . Sukhman Sandhu, 6-10 fwd, 1st, Surrey (Tamanawis). Riley Braich, 6-3 guard, 1st, Abbotsford (Yale Sr Sec). Daniel Adediran, 6-5 wing, 1st, Surrey (Pacific Academy ) Justin Dhillon, 6-3 guard, 1st, Richmond (HJ Cambie)
There are 7 newcomers in the playing roster for Coach Adam Friesen, going into his 5th year at UFV, which constitutes a big turnover. The Cascades have had the most competitive program among the newer schools to Canada West, as Friesen has a 67% winning rate in Canada West League play. This former hot-shooting, lefty guard (TWU) had the Cascades in the Final 4 in 3 of his first 4 years.
This is, however, the first year ‘AKP’ , after Kevon Parchment ! UFV will miss the splendid all-around play of their perennial all-star and ’15-’16 Defensive Player of the Year, who has graduated. “Right now, we’re just learning we’re in the post-Kevon Parchment defensive life,” Friesen said earlier his Fall. “We have a lot of new faces, we have some growing pains that way, and we’re realizing we maybe got away with some stuff the last couple years because we’ve had Kevon.”
Among the 5 returnees, Coach Friesen can be confident in his pair of 5th year guards, Manny Dulay (11.6 ppg/2/7 asst) and Vijay Dhillon (15.6 ppg/2.5 asst), both of whom shot over 40% from 3 pt range last year. Mark Johnson (12 ppg/5.7 rebs) , Navjot Bains (7.4 ppg/7.2 rebs), and Matt Cooley (6.7 ppg/6 rebs) provide a solid core on the forward line.
Friesen was extremely busy and very successful with his recruiting efforts this past Spring and Summer. 7 new faces ready to step up, and 6 red-shirts working to make the grade for future campaigns. Wing man, Andrew Morris, who moves to Abbotsford from UVic, has been offensively sharp in pre-season play, with a 21 point, perfect shooting game against Lethbridge. Denver Sparks-Guest should be a ‘first 8’ player, with his experience at Simon Fraser; he is a big guard with the skills to make an impact.
Friesen has been impressed with the early showing of 2 local high school recruits, Riley Braich and Daniel Adediran. Another rookie to watch is Sukhman Sandhu (Tamanawis, Surrey, BC), a post transfer returning after a red-shirt year in a California JC, who should develop into a solid CIS competitor.
It’s hard to predict how this team will come together, with the number of newcomers to be worked into the line-up. UFV has the leaders with a history of big-game success, but it remains to see if there will be enough cohesion to play at a high level consistently.
Schedule – Nov-Dec. – Saskatchewan, home/home Trinity W, UNBC, at Brandon – 4 series Jan-Feb – MacEwan, at Calgary, at Alberta, Thompson R., Victoria, at UBC-O – 6
- Vicissitudes of the Canada West regular season schedule – Wilfred Laurier (Waterloo, ON) will have played more games in both B.C. and Manitoba than will Saskatchewan, even after the conclusion of League play. Neither Victoria nor UBC plays any games in Manitoba … Brandon has 1 series in B.C.
Three starters from Saskatchewan’s ’15-’16 team beginning last season are no longer with the team. Evan Ostertag graduated, Shawn Lathan left, and Jauqin Bennett-Boire left school early in the New Year, and is now red-shirting at UBC. Lethbridge lost 3 starters to graduation/5th year- Jared Baker, Brandon Brine, and Rob Olson … TWU lost 3, with Lucas Mannes, Dean Richey (very early), and Kelvin Smith (5th year grad) . The biggest group of starters, however, are gone from the UVic Vikes. Reiner Theil, Brandon Dunlop, and Mack Roth graduated, while Jordan Charles is not playing this season.
- All-stars or all-rookie team players returning – UBC has 3, in Jordan Jensen-Whyte, Conor Morgan, and all-rookie, Taylor Browne. Alberta has Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke (R), Calgary has Thomas Cooper and Lars Schleuter, TRU with Volodymyr Iegorov, and Jeff Tubbs (R), and Winnipeg has Denzel Blair-Lynch, and William Sessay (R) . ‘Single stars’ – Manitoba has Keith Omoerah, MacEwan – Denzel James, and Saskatchewan – Chan De Ciman (R).