These 7 Teams Look to Move Up in Canada West

 

 

Brandon Tull will be a senior leader for the Regina Cougars.      photo – Arthur Ward

 Regina – The Cougars go 9-11 and are good at their best, but are troubled by injuries in the 2nd semester.  Coach Steve Burrows will enter his 5th year at the helm, and faces the task of ‘renewing’ a roster which loses 3 veteran mainstays.  Travis Sylvestre, Stephen Shields, and Matt Augustine graduate, and more size will be crucial in the recruiting project.  The Cougs have dependable vets returning in Brandon Tull, Alex Igual, and Brian Ofori.  Burrows looks to the younger Hillis bothers, Ben and Samuel, and rookie star, Johneil Johnson to pick up some of the slack.  An infusion of talent, especially in the bigs, will be necessary if UR is to move up.

Thompson Rivers –   Coach Scott Clark loses a ‘franchise player’ in import forward, Volodymyr Iegorov, who graduates this Spring.  Clark could anticipate that challenge, but the veteran bench boss also has his rookie stand-out, Trent Monkman,  transferring to Victoria. The Wolf Pack, 8-12,  have been a play-off team in recent years, and Clark has worked successfully to develop his young talent. This coming season will test his resolve once more.  The Orange returnees include import guard, Derek Rhodes, strong forward, Luke Morris, guard, Michael Rouault, and scrappy point man, Madhu McConnell.  TRU will also be looking for some size in the recruiting process, and certainly more depth for this young group.

MRU’s import star, Josh Ross,  returns for his 5th year        Photo – Cougars Athletics

Mt. Royal –  The ‘Blue Cougars’ face a familiar challenge, as Coach Marc Dobell sees 2 big post men, Brett Layton, and Ray Goff leaving the roster along with 5th year guard, Derek Wolf .  Layton is wanting to start Law School, and Goff has had very tough nagging leg injuries, and is graduating early next year.  MRU does return guards Glen Yang, Noah Lewis, and Craig Martin along with import  scoring leader, Josh Ross, Ryan Cunningham, and forward, Nick Tancon.  Coach Dobell is waiting to announce his signees, and has not quite finished the process.  We do understand that L.J. Hegwood is looking to transfer in from SAIT, and that McNally HS (Calgary) star, 6-7 Diew Moses, may be headed to the Cougars as well.

MacEwan –  There will be significant change with the Griffins, as they say goodbye to Denzel James, Thomas Jereniuk, Cole Aikens, Keith Gerdes, and Tyler Wise as 5th year grads.  Thadius Galvez, their outstanding lead guard, is also on the move, and Coach Eric Magdanz is left with a major recruiting task.  Returnees Ryan Coleman, Harrison Lane, Adonis Montfort -Palomino, Ali Raza, and Atlas St. Paul-Butler will be counted on next Fall. The Griffs have younger players like British import, Jake Notice, along with 3rd year guard,  Tarik Scott, coming off an injury rehab, and a local red-shirt freshman, Deonte Doslov-Doctor.  Recent signees include Lincoln Anderson, a 6-3 guard from Cardston, AB, who comes off a 2 year Mormon  church mission, and 6-8, Ben Niles, from Kamloops (Valleyview Sr Sec).  Coach Magdanz is also excited about Dustin Gatski  (Westlock, AB), a 6-4 transfer after  1 year of Junior College in Wyoming, and Moreau Amadou  a 6-4 wing from   Sir Winston Churchill, Calgary.

Marcus MacKay will carry a big scoring load for the Timberwolves.

UNBC –  Starting last season at 4-4 last Fall, The T’Wolves struggled through 12 straight losses to finish at 4-16, well out of play-off contention.  They lose their slick guard, Rhys Elliot, along with Elliott Rowe, and Sam Zhang to graduation. Coach Todd Jordan will be looking to add some size and more punch to his roster this Spring and Summer.  The UNBC returnees should include big shooting guard, Marcus MacKay, lead guard, James Agyeman, Vaggelis Loukas, an active forward, and Anthony Hokanson, who is a skilled wing man.   Adam Pahl, a  6-6 wing from Okotoks (Foothills HS) , AB was announced in January, and he comes with high hopes.  Volodymyr Pluzhnikov, is a ‘tough-minded’ guard coming off the red-shirt list, and Jordan has a few more prospects he hopes to sign in the next few weeks.  “We need to get bigger, and to make big improvements in our rebounding”, says the 5th year Head man.

Trinity Western –  The Spartans, 3-17 last season, do not graduate any 5th years, and Coach Aaron Muhic suggests that his returnee list should include all of his current roster players. We have mentioned veteran guard, Tyus Allen, who is rehabbing his injured knee, but who will not be ready until at least the Fall of 2018.  The Spartans will return  import guard, Pogos Trunyan, their high scorer (15 ppg), along with 6-10 post Patrick Vandervelden (13 ppg/7.2 rebs), and Vartan Tanielian, a 12 ppg scorer at wing. Among his younger contributors will be guards Max Viitala, and Josiah Meppelink.  TWU have not announced any new signees or transfers.

UBC-Okanagan –  After an 8-12 record in 2015-16, the Heat cooled off to just 2-18 last season.  Coach Peter Guarasci, in his 5th year, loses guard Mitch Goodwin to graduation.  But, he also has 7 other roster players (Cam Friesen, Randy Jernidier, Ryan Morck, Austin Penrose, Buster Truss, David Manshreck, and Davide Ciancio) who will not return, which obviouly leaves a daunting task of recuiting this Spring. Aldrich Berrios, his high-scoring (17.6 ppg) guard is back for his 4th year, along with back-court rookies, Matt Lafontaine, and Tristan Matthews.  Noma Obeseki, an athletic small forward,  will be entering his 3rd year.  Owen Keyes, a 6’9” Kelowna Sr Sec. stand-out has already signed, and looks like a strong prospect. Jake Stokker, Penticton Sr. Sec  is another big man signee , details in this story from Kelowna Capital News 

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Overtime –

  • Mason Foreman, a 6-7 forward from Winnipeg, who most recently attended Athlete Institute Prep just outside Toronto, has signed with the Calgary Dinos for next Fall.  Mason’s father is Jeff Foreman, who was a 3-time CIS All-Canadian with the Winnipeg Wesmen (Great Plains Athletic Conference)  in 1992, ’93, and ’94. ( In 1994, Jeff was CIS Player of the Year, and he was also a member of the Canadian national team.)
  •  UVic will, later this week, induct two former basketball stars into their Vikes Hall of Fame. Spencer McKay , was a dominating post man for Vikes teams of the late 1980s – early 1990s, and Carol Turney-Loos, was a key to their 1980 National title.   More details in this Oak Bay News article   

Spartans to Alaska, ‘Horns to Montana

 

 

Two games on tap Saturday …  

Dejon Burdeaux and the UL Pronghorns travel to Helena, MT to face Carroll College

Trinity Western vs Alaska -Anchorage, and Lethbridge at Carroll College, Helena, MT.

‘Halo’, the Carroll College St. Bernard, seems confident the Fighting Saints will get another win over Lethbridge Saturday.

With records back to 1995, the Lethbridge Pronghorns are 0-11 vs the Carroll College Fighting Saints of Helena, Montana.  The ‘Horns make the 4 hour road trip to Helena for their Saturday game, having dropped a 93-67 verdict to the Saints in Lethbridge  back in late October.  Carroll is 8-2 so far this season, and will be a tough assignment for UL.

 

In Saturday’s other game, it’s the Trinity Western in Anchorage , Alaska to play the NCAA Div. II, U. Alaska-Anchorage Sea-Wolves.  The ‘Wolves are 6-5 this season, and they compete in the 11 team Great Northwest Athletic Conference, along with Alaska- Fairbanks, and Burnaby’s Simon Fraser Clan. The Spartans play 2 games vs the Sea Wolves, then at Fairbanks for a single vs the U. Alaska Nanooks.   These are the 1st games for TWU against either of these Alaska schools.

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Overtime –

  • One of the absolutes for Canada West schools based in ‘smaller centres’ is the ability to land the top local talent in your recruiting efforts.  UBC-O Coach, Peter Guarasci, has done that with his announcement of 6-9 Kelowna Owls’ post man, Owen Keyes.  The 4th member of the KSS squad which won the 2015 B.C. 4A High School title to join the Heat, Keyes has a shot at being, “ … a real impact player at his position in Canada West”,  says Guarasci.  Details in this story in Kelowna Now. 

    MRU’s Josh Ross is averaging 19.6 ppg and 10 rebounds.  Photo – Cougars Athletics

  •  6-3 forward, Josh Ross, has energized the Mt. Royal Cougars offense this season, after his transfer from Vancouver Island U. of the B.C. Colleges League.  Ross, who hails from Burlington, Iowa,  gets high praise from Cougars Coach Mark Dobell, “He scores and he rebounds, but I think his biggest strength is his court vision and his ability to move the basketball and see teammates.”  Nice story in the Calgary Herald from Rita Mingo.  

 

Bears Hold on for 7th Win

 

 

 Waddoups on fire for GBs in tight finish at Manitoba

Austin Waddoups' big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

Austin Waddoups’ big game leads U of A over the Bisons.

#10 Alberta 88  at Manitoba  85 –  The Bears (7-0) remain unbeaten with a road win, as they dodge multiple Manitoba attempts to tie it up in the final 30 seconds. Alberta are 53% from the floor and the Herd are right there at 52%.  The visitors, however, cash 10 treys on 18 tries to just 5/18 for the Bisons, and that proves decisive.  This is a tough blow for Manitoba, who drop to 2-5 despite having 5 players in double figures.  The UM defense had no answer for Alberta’s Austin Waddoups , who led all scorers with 31 points, including 6/9 from the outside.     Bears – Waddoups 31 pts/ 3 assists, Brody Clarke 18 pts/ 7 rebs   Bisons  Keith Omoerah 18 pts/ 10 rebs, Justus Alleyn 17 pts/ 6 rebs, James Wagner 16 pts/ 5 boards.   Box Score  

Winnipeg 87  at Brandon 81  –  Winnipeg (6-2) roars back from a 10 point deficit after 3/4s, with a 27-11 final 10 minutes.  The Bobcats were looking good on the home court, and shot 46% from the floor, led by strong games from both Tyvon Cooper and John Paul.  The Ws took advantage of 25 free throws (making 18) to just 7/14  for Brandon, and the ‘Cats turned it over 18 times to only 12 for UW.   Wesmen-  Denzel Lynch- Blair  29 pts/ 10 rebs, William Sesay 21 pts/ 9 rebs   Bobcats – Tyvon Cooper 20 pts/ 5 rebs/ 5 asst, John Paul  20 pts/ 13 boards.  Box Score   

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.

Tyler Wise is strong inside for the Griffs at MRU.    photo – MacEwan Athletics

  MacEwan  93  at Mt. Royal  75 –  Just 24 hours, but there’s a 42 point swing in favour of the visitors from Thursday’s MRU win.  Mac (3-5) looked like the team with more zip, as their whole line-up worked hard for this road victory.  Denzel James, Thadius Galvez, and Tyler Wise led the charge in a 55 point 2nd half for the Griffs. MRU cooled off tonight, shooting 42% FG, and were out-rebounded 49-36 by a more aggressive MacEwan squad.    Griffins- Tyler Wise 27 pts/ 11 rebs, Denzel James 26 pts/ 5 rebs/ 6 asst, Thadius Galvez 16 pts/ 5 rebs  Cougars – Josh Ross 26 pts/ 8 rebs, Brett Layton 12 pts/10 boards.   Box Score  

 

Regina 107  at Trinity Western 74  – It was 54-24 at the half. Turn out the lights at the Langley Events Centre … game!  TWU did come back in the 2nd half with 50 points, but they also surrendered another 53 to the insatiable Cougars. 51% FG shooting including 15/33  from outside for the visitors. Regina, who had 7 players in double figures,  moves up to 3-2, while Trinity drops to 2-5 on the season.   Cougars  – Johneil Johnson  16 pts, Alex Igual 15 pts, Ramiro Martinez  14 pts  Spartans – Vartan Tanielien 23 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 asst, Patrick Vandervelden 17 pts/ 8 rebs      Box Score 

at Thompson Rivers 78   UBC-O 75 –  Playing at home, the ‘Pack are behind to their Okanagan rivals by as much as 12 points early in the final frame. Behind the timely scoring of Derek Rhodes and Michael Rouault, TRU (2-5) nips the Heat (1-6) at the wire, however.      Wolf Pack –  Derek Rhodes 25 pts/ 4 asst, Volodymyr Iegorov 20 pts/ 9 rebs/ 6 asst   Heat –  Aldrich Berrios 227 pts/ 9 rebs, Buzz Truss 16 pts.  Box Score  

 

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UNBC 66 at Fraser Valley  63 –   Trailing by 8 at the half, the T’Wolves (3-4) play a sharp 3rd quarter to snatch a 3 point lead then fight back in the last 2 minutes after UFV (2-3) takes a slim lead.  In a break-out game, transfer guard  James Agyeman (Laurier) is the game high scorer from his point spot for the Wolves. UNBC shoots only 31% from the floor, but hit more FTs and more 3 pt shots to take the W.    Timberwolves  – James Agyeman 22 pts/ 7 rebs/ 4 asst, Vaggelis Loukas 7 pts/ 8 rebs  Cascades    Vijay Dhillon 13 pts  Box Score 

#2 UBC 82   at Victoria  69 –   The T’Birds move on to 5-0 with a win in Victoria, as they establish their 13 point margin after 3/4s and hold steady from there. UBC wins with a rebounding (37-30) and a turnover (7-13) advantage over the Vikes.  UVic (2-5) shot the same 49% as the Thunderbirds, but could not make any headway on the scoreboard.  Thunderbirds – Conor Morgan 23 pts/ 6 rebs, Jordan Jensen-Whyte 20 pts/ 5 rebs  Vikes –   Wayne Tucker Jr. 21 pts/ 4 rebs, Grant Sitton 16 pts/ 111 rebs/ 3 blks   Box Score 

 


Friday scores from the East –

Quebec … Laval 80  at UQAM  71

Ontario … #1 Carleton 79  at Nipissing 59 , #4 Ottawa 74 at Laurentian 59 , #8 Ryerson 111 at  Algoma 61 , Queens 76 at  Lakehead 75


 

 

Overtime –

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  •   Saskatchewan’s 3rd year wing man, Jaylan Morgan (Brampton, ON), on his experience in his 1st season with the Huskies. – “I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ve been put in this position for a reason and i’m going to take full advantage of it and help this team win as many games as possible,” Morgan said.  From a Global News story by Ryan Flaherty. 
  • Before Friday’s game in Victoria, the Vikes had won 8 of the past 11 meetings between these long-time rivals. Before their Friday game in Winnipeg, the Bears had a 9-5 record over the Bisons since 2010.
  • We are amazed and impressed by the timely ‘return to duty’ by both Lethbridge coach, Mike Hansen, after having had hip surgery only just about a month ago, and of MRU coach, Marc Dobell, who is back on the bench following a summer ‘heart episode’.  We know their teams appreciate their coaches’ presence, and their passion for the game.  We wish you both the best as you manage your recovery.
  • Marquee rebounding combos …  Both twosomes average 20+ rebounds/ game Saskatchewan’s Shane Osayande (12.3) and Matt Forbes (8.8) … Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross (10.6) and Brett Layton (9.4) .
  • We’re impressed with the play of UC transfer, Adonis Monfort-Palomino, for the MacEwan Griffins.  He brings solid defense, energy, and a dependable lead guard presence at his new school.

Bisons’ Bombs Beat Dinos

 

Justus Allen paces the Bisons to a big opening night win at Calgary.

Justus Allen paces the Bisons to a big opening night win at Calgary.

Bisons shooters are lights out from long range

   Manitoba 85    at Calgary  81 –   The Bisons hit 10/19 from 3 point range, with Justus Allen (25 pts … 4/4 from 3) and AJ Basi (21 pts … 6/10 from 3) doing most of the long range damage. Thomas Cooper’s 39 points were not enough, as Calgary could not match the clutch shooting from Manitoba,      Box Score

 

at Alberta  76   Brandon  64 – The Bears pull away (42-31) in the 2nd half at the Saville Centre, building on a 1 point lead at the break. In a game where neither Alberta (33%) or Brandon (32% could hit from the floor, Brody Clarke’s 35 points/ 14 rebounds stood out for the Bears. Tyvon Cooper’s25 points led for the ‘cats.   Box Score

 

Victoria  95  at Regina 77 –  The visiting Vikes are up 3 after 20 minutes, then score 49 in the 2nd half to cinch a convincing road win.  As he does, Grant Sitton was high for the UVIc with 23 points/ 5 rebs, while both Wayne Tucker Jr and Hassan Abdullahi counted 16. The Victoria edge in FG shooting spelled the difference at 51% – 39 % for the Cougars. Johneil Johnson scored 15 for Regina.   Box Score

at Winnipeg 74  UNBC  59  – The Wesmen controlled the action with a big 59-29 rebounding edge, and outshot the visiting ‘Wolves by a 42%-32% count.  Denzel Lynch -Blair counted 25 points/ 9 rebs/ 5 assists, while William Sesay claimed 14 boards and 5 assists for the Ws.  Marcus MacKay had a solid game for NBC, with 22 points/ 4 reb/ 2 steals.  Box Score

at Lethbridge 79  MacEwan  62 –  The ‘Horns started slowly and trailed 31-28 at the half, but came on with 51 points in the 2nd for a clear win. Elliot Sentance with 22 pts/ 6 boards, and Zac Overwater with 15 pts/ 4 rebs/ 4 asst in 20 mins were the Pronghorns offensive leaders.  Dejon Burdeaux led at the other end, with 7 steals/ 5 rebs/ 9 pts. Thadius Galvez scored 15 pts/ 7 rebs/ 6 assts for the visiting Griffins.    Box Score

UBC  96  at Thompson Rivers  60 – Early and often for the Thunderbirds, who shoot 54% from the floor, win on the boards 41-23, and force 26 Wolf Pack turnovers. 5 UBC players in double figures, led by 17 from 5th year wing, Will Ondrik, a TRU transfer.  3 T-Birds at 13 points, including Jordan Jensen-Whyte, rookie Isaiah Familia, and  2nd year guard Taylor Browne.  The ‘Pack had 16 points from Volodymyr Iegorov. Box Score

 at Fraser Valley  59   Saskatchewan 50  –  The Cascades defense choked off the Saskatchewan attack  in a low-scoring affair in Abbotsford.  Vijay Dhillon tallied  17 points including 4 treys , and Manny Dulay had 10 points. Navjot Bains was big at both ends, with8 pts/16 huge rebs. Shane Osayande had a nice double-double for the Huskies 18 pts / 13 rebs.  Box Score

at UBC- Okanagan 87   Trinity Western 71  – Down 2 at the half, the Heat are on fire in the final 20, scoring 59 points to grab the win.  Aldrich Berrios leads with 25 points / 7 assists, and hits 6/11 shots from outside the arc. His guard partner, Mitch Goodwin adds 18 pts / 6 rebs, and David Manshrek grabs 10 boards / 8 pts. Vartan Tanielien is high man for the Spartans with 17, and Thus Allen scores 14, adding3 assists and 5 steals.      Box Score

(* Due to excessive Dinos Alumni activity, the Editor has a limited write-up for this weekend’s opening round games.  This is a temporary condition …. )


Season Openers for 3 CIS Leagues

Canada West rolls out a full slate of games this Friday / Saturday, with 5 on the Prairies (at Winnipeg, Regina, Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge) and 3 in B.C. ( at Thompson Rivers, UBC-Okanagan, Fraser Valley) .  The Atlantic teams start as well, with games in the 8-team AUS spread from Thursday – Sunday.

The OUA  has a limited number this weekend, while the Quebec League  won’t start their regular season schedule  until next week.  The Mt. Royal Cougars are on a bye week, with no dance partner in the 17 team Canada West for opening weekend.  There are 5 weekends of CW play prior to the exam / Christmas hiatus, and, depending on their by week, teams will have played either 8 or 10 games in the opening semester.


More CIS Scores –

Thursday –  AUS League play  … Saint Mary’s  86  at  Acadia  77

Friday –  Atlantic … St. FX 94  UPEI   93, Dalhousie 95 Cape Breton 60

Still some pre-season games elsewhere …   at Nipissing 83 Laval  67, and, behind closed doors in Philadelphia –  Carleton at Penn  (no score … secret)


 

Overtime –

  •   The Carleton Ravens have picked up on some of that hazy Ottawa political – security vibe !  For the past couple of weeks, as they finish the pre-season, the CIS champs are ‘rockin’ the CSIS vibe, with their ‘Close Scrimmages’ vs NCAA opponents.  National security ….
  •   “I am really looking forward to this season,” says 4th year forward,Luke Morris, of the TRU Wolf Pack.  “We have a lot of new faces who are just getting accustomed to University basketball. I am looking forward to having an increased role on this team.” Morris admits that as the longest serving member of the Wolf Pack organization right now, it is a little different. “It’s a little weird. I’m not the oldest (Iegorov is) but it’s amazing when you think how time has flown.”  Larry Read, TRU Sports Information
  • With his MRU Cougars on a bye, and Calgary basking in almost summer-like conditions this weekend, Coach Marc Dobell has a couple of tee-times at local links !  Good strategy !  There’s only so much game film a guy can review.  Fore !
  • Here is the pre-season CIS Top 10 from mid-week …

Team (regular season record) / votes (1st place votes) / (previous ranking)

1. Carleton (0-0) / 458 points (45) / (-)

2. Calgary (0-0) / 384 (1) / (-)

3. UBC (0-0) / 335 / (-)

4. McMaster (0-0) / 326 / (-)

5. Ottawa (0-0) / 254 / (-)

6. Dalhousie (0-0) / 207 / (-)

7. Brock (0-0) / 199 / (-)

8. McGill (0-0) / 113 / (-)

9. Saint Marys (0-0) / 73 / (-)

10. Ryerson (0-0) / 55 / (-)

Other teams receiving votes: Windsor (51), Saskatchewan (28)

 

UBC-O and Mt. Royal Previews

 

 

Heat and Cougars – Battling Game by Game

               –   2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

The effect of the new Canada West schedule, now ‘mixing and matching’ games among all 17 teams, is to give everyone a sense of unease.  No one plays the same teams.  You prepare for more teams.  The 6 teams from last year’s Explorer Division jump in to play some of the 11 from the Pioneer.

12 teams will make a playoff round.  We are here to tell you that there aren’t many, if any, schools who don’t see themselves among those 12.  That’s the optimism of the Fall.  That’s a way of moving forward with anticipation and promise.

That’s how we see Mt. Royal and UBC-Okanagan.  Neither team made the playoffs last year in the 6 team Explorer Division, where just 3/6 made it in.  The Cougars and the Heat have positive and bright coaches with improved and eager returnees, and each have added promising recruits.

Can their preparation and their team chemistry get them winning 9-10-11 or more games in order to make that cut?  They are readying themselves for the challenge, and will likely be on that fine line right through January and February.

 

UBC- Okanagan Heat
No playoffs                         8 wins   12 losses      (Explorer Division)

UBC-O logo

Returnees – 
5th year – Mitch Goodwin, 6-2 guard, Kelowna … 4th year – Cameron Friesen, 6-4 fwd, Abbotsford, BC … 3rd years – Aldrich Berrios, 6-1 guard, Burnaby, BC. David Manshrek, 6-4 fwd, N. Vancouver. Ryan Morck, 6-9 fwd, Airdrie, AB. Buzz Truss, 6-4 guard, Kelowna. Austin Penrose, 6-6 fwd, W. Vancouver.    2nd year – Spencer Thomas, 6-2 guard, Pickering, ON

New faces –   Matt Lafontaine, 6-2 guard,  1st,  Kelowna Sr. Sec.  Triston Matthews, 6-4 guard, 1st, N.Vancouver (Sentinal Sec) . Navtej Sandhu, 6-5 guard, 1st, Kelowna Sec.  Justin Melynchuk, 6-4 guard, 1st, Kamloops (St. Anne’s).  Davide Ciancio, 5-10 guard, 1st, Kelowna Sec.  Sam Striker, 5-9 guard, 1st, Kelowna (Heritage Christian) … Randy Jernidier, 6-6 fwd, 3rd, Guadaloupe, West Indies, tsf, Parkland JC , IL.  Noma Obaseki, 6-6 fwd, 2nd, Vancouver.

Coach Peter Guarasci is a patient man, with his team and himself.  “Our guys are fit, and they’ve worked hard in the summer, but we are still on the young side”, says the former Canada Basketball forward. “Also, I feel I’m more sure of how I want our team to play, going into my 5th year here.”

Veteran guards, Mitch Goodwin (L) and Aldrich Berrios (R) give the Heat good back-court leadership. photos - Greystoke Photography

Veteran guards, Mitch Goodwin (L) and Aldrich Berrios (R) give the Heat good back-court leadership.                                                              photos – Greystoke Photography

It does take a while to put together a competitive program at a relatively new school, but Guarasci is focused on developing a team with good size, strength, and a sense of the systems he prefers. Among his returnees Guarasci cites the work of big Ryan Morck who,  “ … worked very hard on our strength program.  He has come back stronger, and more fit.”  The coach expects Morck to be a bigger factor with his experience and preparation.

Another forward who will invigorate the interior play is David Manshrek, who missed last season due to injury. In ’14-’15 he averaged 13.5 ppg, 6.5 rebs as a ‘small forward’ capable of shooting the 3 ball.  The only 5th year player is Mitch Goodwin, a combo guard who logged 27 minutes,  12.7 ppg/5 rebs/2.5 assts.  He and point man, Aldrich Berrios give the Heat a dependable pair in the back-court.  Berrios scored a team high 14.5 ppg plus 2.5 assists.

“We have had a good Fall camp so far”, says Guarasci. “We’re way farther ahead, because the guys are more familiar with what we are trying to do in each situation.”  8 returning players who are now 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years are making it easier to prepare the squad. Buzz Truss, a big guard, and Cam Friesen at forward will be key factors in the playing rotation as well.

There is great anticipation as Kelowna Owls star, Matt Lafontaine, joins the Heat, and Guarasci says, “Matt is a very strong rookie, who will play some good minutes for us.  He,  Triston Matthews,  Justin Melynchuk, and Nav Sandhu have the size and potential we can build on for the future.”

The athletic Noma Obaseki returns after a year’s absence, and Guarasci is also impressed with the coachability and hard work he is getting from import forward, Randy Jernidier.
The outlook is hopeful, and there is more confidence coming from the Okanagan as Guarasci’s team comes together.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec … Trinity Western, at Brandon, Mt. Royal , at Thompson Rivers, at UBC  .   Jan-Feb … Regina, Victoria, at Lethbridge, at MacEwan, Fraser Valley

Prediction –   One of the teams scrambling for a playoff berth

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Mt. Royal Cougars
’15-’16 – No playoffs (lost on a tie-breaker)     10 wins – 10 losses  (Explorer Division)

 Returnees – 5th year  – Derek Wolf, 6-2 guard, Penticton, BC.  4th years –  Ray Goff, 6-7 fwd, Okotoks, AB. Ryan Cunningham, 6-3 wing, Calgary. Noah Lewis, 6-4 guard, Comox, BC.  … 3rd year  –  Glen Yang, 6-2 guard, Calgary.  … 2nd years – Brett Layton, 6-8 post, Calgary. Tyis Yellowhorn, 6-4 guard, Piikani Nation, AB.  Wiande Kher, 6-5 fwd, Calgary.

New faces – Josh Ross, 4th , 6-4 fwd, Burlington, IA (Vancouver Is. U.). Matthew Guinto, 3rd, 5-11 guard,  Calgary (St. Marys Univ. Coll.). Nick Tancon,2nd,  6-7 fwd, Comox, BC (Trinity W.). Brodie Davis, 2nd, 6-2 guard, Calgary (SAIT). Charn Gill, 3rd, 6-0 guard, Calgary (St. Mary’s U.),  RS – Quinn Taylor, 3rd, 6-3 guard, Calgary (St. Mary’s U.)

The Cougars boast 6-8 post man, Brett Layton (17 ppg, 11.2 rebs), a mature 2nd year, who was a Canada West all-star last season.  Layton, Ray Goff, and TWU transfer, Nick Tancon, are the post trio for Coach Marc Dobell’s squad, who will try and run the floor and use motion to create  offense.  MRU were a solid rebounding team last year, despite size disadvantages on many nights.

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Post man, Brett Layton (L) and guard Derek Wolf (R) will be key options in the Cougars’ offense.

The addition of talented VIU (the BC Colleges League) transfer, Josh Ross, will give the Cougs an added dimension on their forward line.  His last season’s stat line of 21 ppg, 11.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists holds promise for his new team.

The perimeter group is pretty deep, led by 5th year shooter, Derek Wolf (15 ppg),  and combo guard, Glen Yang (11 ppg, 2.9 assists) . Noah Lewis is a capable, energetic 4th year, and Tyis Yellowhorn has the size and shooting stroke to make a difference. A nice off-season pick-up is rookie point man, Craig Martin, a high school stand-out from Dallas, TX, who looks like he can be a solid floor leader.

The Cougars will be looking for better 3 point shooting (only 30% last season), and to limit their turnovers, which hurt their playoff run in several key games. “ We want to be better in transition, and in creating higher quality shots off our passing game”, says Coach Dobell.

MRU gets a bye to start the season, playing 4 series’ before the Christmas break, and 6 in the 2nd half. Like several other former Explorer Division teams, MRU are eager for the chance to play some of the more established ‘Pioneer’ schools this season.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec –  week 1 bye, at UBC-O,  MacEwan , Calgary home and home.  Jan-Feb – Brandon, at UNBC, UBC, at Saskatchewan, Trinity Western, at Manitoba.

Prediction – a fighting chance at a playoff spot.

_________________________________________________________________________

Overtime –

  • On Friday, UBC-O plays Vancouver Island U., a powerhouse for the last several years in the BC Colleges loop.  The game is at Immaculate HS in Kelowna.  The Heat also play an alumni game at their home gym at 6 pm Saturday.
  • The Lakehead Thunderwolves will be hosting the Winnipeg Wesmen in the
    Vikes 5th year shooter, Grant Sitton - photo - AP Shutter

    Vikes 5th year shooter, Grant Sitton  –    photo – AP Shutter

    Thunderdome for non-conference games both Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm (Eastern).  Both games are live on  OUA.TV

  • Grant Sitton, UVic’s 5th year wing man, as he and the Vikes look forward to their ‘Guy Petrie Memorial Tournament, “ … not making the playoffs last year leaves a bad taste in your mouth, makes you want to strive harder, it humbles you and makes you want to succeed more.”   More in this story in the Saanich News.
  • Coach Guy Vetrie died of a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 52, after having coached the Victoria Vikes for 13 years.  A native of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Vetrie was a top player for Coach Ken Shields at Laurentian U. in Sudbury.  He was an assistant for a year with the Voyageurs, then Head Coach at the University of Saskatchewan for 9 seasons.  When the legendary Coach Shields moved on from his post at UVIc, he called on Vetrie to take over the reins for the Vikes. Vetrie won 530 games as a head coach, a National Championship in 1997, and had 6 Canada West  Coach of the Year Awards.

Dinos and Bisons on a Collision Course

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Our season previews start with a pair of teams who both figure to make a hard run at the March 2017 Canada West Final 4.  Despite being early in Fall camp, both the Calgary Dinos  and the Manitoba Bisons will be looking ahead to their meeting in Calgary for the opening weekend of play in November.

Calgary Dinos
– 2016 Canada West champions   – 17 wins  3 losses

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-05-27-am

5th year stalwarts, Dallas Karch (L) and Jasdeep Gill (R) will be primed for a big 5th year with the hometown Dinos.

Returnees – 5th years – 6-5,Thomas Cooper, 6-7, Dallas Karch, 6-5, Jasdeep Gill … 4th years- 6-0, Jhony Verrone, 6-7, Mitch Ligertwood, 6-6, Connor Foreman, 6-7, Sunvir Johal … 3rd years – 5-11, David Kapinga, 6-7, Lars Schleuter,        6-7, Matt Ellis.
New faces – Mambi Diawara, 4th yr, 6-5 wing, Montreal (Lamar State C.C. TX) , Aloysius Calaghan, 4th yr, 6-0 guard, Calgary (MRU), Max Eisle, 1st yr, 6-4 guard, Ulm, Germany, Jeff Rodehutskors, 1st yr, 6-8 fwd, Chestermere, AB, Sasha Pojuzina, 1st yr, 6-6 wing, Regina, Jake Neilsen, 1st yr, 6-3 guard, Cochrane, AB, Ethan Scott, 1st yr, 6-2 guard, Vancouver, (Orangeville Prep, ON)

blk dinos copyThe Dinos went all the way to the CIS Final last March, where they lost decisively to the mighty Carleton Ravens. The temptation is to focus on how you can return to the Final 8 next Spring and win the ‘Cup’ next time.  But, that was then … this is now.

This Fall U. Calgary appears deep, experienced, big, with good team quickness.  But, even in their opening series of the ’16-’17 season on November 4/5, the Dinos face a formidable foe in the Manitoba Bisons. Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “We’re excited about this group of guys”, but knows it is a long road through a rugged League schedule.

UC returns 71.8 ppg in scoring, lead by last year’s top CW sniper, Thomas Cooper, (25.8), and tall wing man,Lars Schleuter (12.5).  The explosive quickness of David Kapinga and Jhony Verrone lead the back-court defense, and both are opportunistic scorers. That guard experience and the growing confidence of forwards Matt Ellis and Mitch Ligertwood should make up for the loss of Josh Owen-Thomas and Matt Letkeman, last year’s senior leaders.

Both Jadeep Gill and Dallas Karch are veteran players with size and toughness, with Gill a big offensive threat, and Karch with his speed and quick jumping ability. Connor Foreman will provide post depth, as will rookie, Jeff Rodehutskors, an extremely athletic big man.
Newcomers Max Eisle, a lead guard with experience in the German League, and Mambi Diawara, a dynamic wing transfer from his Texas JUCO, will be in the playing rotation. Sasha Pojuzina is a high school recruit with size and skill.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – vs Manitoba, at Victoria, home/home with Lethbridge, h/h with Mt. Royal …  Jan/Feb – h/h with Alberta, vs Fraser Valley, vs Saskatchewan, at Regina, at Thompson Rivers, vs MacEwan.             Prediction –  Top 3 team


Manitoba Bisons
’15-’16 – Lost to Calgary and UBC in CW Final 4        – 15 wins 5 losses

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

A J Basi (L) and Keith Omoerah (R) head up a talented, veteran Bisons crew.

Returnees – 5th years –   5-11, Amarjit (AJ) Basi, 6-0, Ilarion Bonhomme, 6-6, Jonathan Alexander , 6-7, Brett Jewell … 4th years –  6-5, Keith Omoerah,   6-3, Justus Alleyn, 6-5, Malik Irwin, 6-4, Keenan Benarroch , 6-5, Joey Nitychoruk  … 3rd year-  6-7, Osahon Eghosa … 1st years (after red-shirting), 6-5, Dharmjit Dhillon ,  6-6, Raj Sidhu , 6-0 Keiran Zziwa
New faces –  (all 1st years) James Wagner, 6 – 7 fwd, John Taylor (Winnipeg) , Zach Giesbrecht, 6-1 guard, John Taylor, Cam O’Hara,  6-7 forward, St. Paul’s HS (Winnipeg), Joel Adu Quaye, 6-6 forward, St. Paul’s  (Winnipeg), David Mugugu, 6-5 forward , Kildonan-East Collegiate (Winnipeg).

Manitoba copyThe Bisons were right on the cusp last season, but just missed a trip to Nationals with 2 losses  in the Final 4.  They graduated their top rebounder, Wyatt Anders, but still have size with Jonathan Alexander, Brett Jewell, Keith Omoerah, and Osahon Eghosa.  (Eghosa suffered through salmonella poisoning in a trip to the U.S. this summer, and will be working his way back to ‘match fitness’ this Fall.) Adding 6-7 rookie, James Wagner, who played on the Canada U-18s this past summer, has  Coach Kirby Schepp exclaiming, “He may be our top recruit in the recent history of our program !”.

Canada West all-star, Omoerah (13 ppg), Justus Alleyn (15.6 ppg), and Amarjit Basi  (18 ppg) were offensive leaders last season, and the veteran import point man, Ilarion Bonhomme, a former Brandon Bobcat, has proven to be a great addition.

Joey Nitychoruk is a ‘high-energy’ player, who transferred last year from Lakehead, and Schepp expects him to be a solid contributor. A slow start last year may have given the Herd a tougher road at play-off time, but, with so much experience returning, we can expect them to be more ready for this campaign. They had better be, because they have one of the toughest front-end schedules before the Holiday break!

One very impressive stat is that 15 of their 18 roster players are Winnipeg high school products; an amazing pool of home-grown talent! “We are very proud of our ‘Manitoba content’ on our roster”, says Schepp.
Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Calgary, vs Thompson Rivers, at UBC, vs Alberta, h/h with Winnipeg … Jan/Feb – at Regina, at Trinity Western, vs UNBC, at Brandon, vs Mt. Royal                            Prediction – Top 5 team


New Schedule ‘Not Universally Popular’

What is the RPI, and why will it bother us?  Learn more as we examine the shiny new schedule which Canada West has rolled out for the coming season.  No more ‘Pioneers’ and ‘Explorers’, as we’re all one big, happy, 17- team Canada West League now!  (Actually there may be the odd coach here or there who is a smidge shy of happy.)    Because … there are a few oddities to the new format –

The 'tricky math' of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.

The ‘tricky math’ of the RPI tries to smooth out the new schedule.  But it is apples vs oranges in this set-up.

> Schools don’t play the same teams.  You see, each school has 4 designated ‘traditional rivals’, who they play every year … 8 games … then they play 6 of the remaining 12 teams … 12 games  = 20
> So we miss 6 teams each year , but get them the following year.
> Who makes the playoffs ?  “ The top 12 teams based on winning percentage at the conclusion of league play … “
> How do we break ties ?  Well, here are the first 4 tie breakers in the manual –  when Two Teams are Tied:
1. Win/Loss record in head to head competition.
2. Win/Loss record versus common opponents.
3. Each teams RPI ranking.
4. Points difference in head to head competition between the tied teams.
Three or More Teams Tied:
Use the same procedure as a two‐teams tied. Once one team has been separated from the tied group, go back to step one with the remaining tied team(s).
> How are the playoff teams ranked ? “The top 12 teams are then ranked 1 to 12 based on each team’s RPI standing in order to account for the various strength of schedules faced by each team.”  Er-ah ?!  (The OUA people may get this, but we Westerners are scratching our heads !)
> What is the RPI ?  “ Each team’s RPI is based on the following formula: = 25% team winning percentage (WP) adjusted for home and away wins (1.2 for an away win and 0.8 for a home win), 50% opponents’ average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents’ opponent’s average winning percentage (OOWP) .  O-h-h-h-h-h-h … now it’s clear.  (Actually, could either Tyler from Winnipeg or Martin from Waterloo give us a formula for this ?  As always, we need math help !)


 

Overtime –

  •  Ex-Calgary Dino, Robbie Sihota, has signed a new one-year
    Robbie Sihota

    Robbie Sihota

    contract with MAFC Budapest of the Hungarian A Division. Last season the 6-6 forward, who heads into his 7th year as a pro, scored 18.5 points per game (3rd in league) and snared 9.3 rebounds per game (4th).
    Sihota had previously played in the Dutch League, Switzerland, Germany, and in Edmonton of the IBL.

  • Brandon Brine, the Lethbridge Pronghorns’ 5th year Canada West all-star last year signed a pro deal with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos in Spain. The 6-7 Aussie will be missed by UL, but is expected to be one of the top players for his club in Miraflores.
  • The powerhouse Carleton Ravens landed another big recruit in August in 6-9, Eddie Ekiyor of Ottawa,  This was a late switch  for the widely recruited Canada Basketball team member, who had originally signed with Xavier (Cincinnati), an NCAA Div 1 school.
  • It was great to hear Coach Marc Dobell answer his office phone at Mt. Royal University;  the personable 13 year coach of the Cougars returns to Fall practice after some time away recovering from a heart attack.  We wish him well, not only with his team, but in a full recovery health wise .

MRU Cougars Coach Suffers Heart Attack

 

 

Dobell Taking Time to Recover

Marc Dobell coaching a Cougars game last season.

Marc Dobell coaching a Cougars game last season.         photo – W. Thomas,                 Canada West Hoops

We were surprised to hear that our friend Marc Dobell, the long-time Head Coach of the Mt. Royal Cougars, had suffered a heart attack last Thursday, July 28.  Marc shared his experience in a detailed note to friends, team members and supporters today, and he expressed his wishes for the near future, “I look forward to seeing you all down the road to recovery and into the basketball and school season.  I also look forward to being back with the team soon!  In the meantime I  have great immediate support with my family, assistant coaches (Ty (McVicar), Rich (Foggo) and Hidesh (Bhardwaj)- they will be taking the reigns for the next couple of weeks).”

Dobell described the heart attack as having delivered a “serious blow to the heart”, but “ Current prognosis is I should get to a near full recovery, although I have lost some functionality in the heart. “

 Coach Dobell led the Cougars into CIS competition in the 2012-13 season after he had established Mt. Royal as one of the perennial powers in Canadian Colleges play.  He won a CCAA title with MRU in 2009, a Silver medal in 2012, and another National championship while coaching NAIT in 2003.

Coach Dobell’s episode is such a surprise, but a reminder that life is unpredictable, and we would be wise to enjoy it, and appreciate our friendships on a daily basis. We, along with so many colleagues, friends, and people in the basketball community wish Marc the very best in his recovery.  We hope to see him back on the bench this Fall, with a good health outlook.


 

Respect for a Southern Alberta High School Legend

Jim Whitelaw photo- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Jim Whitelaw                                                           photo- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Jim Whitelaw, an outstanding basketball and football coach during his teaching career at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI) from 1951-1979, died last week in Lethbridge.  A driving force in the establishment of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association, Mr. Whitelaw was considered one Alberta’s very top coaches in both sports as he directed the Rams to many championships over his tenure.

The LCI basketball teams won provincial titles in 1958, ’60, ’61, ’65 and ’79 with the football teams capturing 19 Southern Alberta championships, with five undefeated seasons in the 1950s and early ‘60s.images
His teams displayed the determination, poise, and discipline which Coach Whitelaw had as the foundation of his coaching philosophy.  He was a demanding task-master, and had confidence in his coaching system, and transferred that confidence to his players. He was a multiple winner of coach of the year honours in both football and basketball in the very competitive Southern Alberta League.  He was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

In the summer months Jim’s game was golf, and in that too, he was extremely competitive in winning  two Southern Alberta Open Golf Championships, a City of Lethbridge Open Championship, and winning a spot on the Alberta Senior Men’s team in 1982.

Certainly, those who played for him, and those who coached with him and against him, had the utmost respect for the tireless efforts Coach Whitelaw made on behalf of the youth of Lethbridge, and for basketball and football in Alberta. He leaves a tremendous legacy, in the tradition of the LCI Rams, and through his many grads, including current U of L Women’s coach Dave Adams, and former Stampeders football great, Jim Furlong.

Many more details in this terrific article from Dylan Purcell in the Lethbridge Herald. 


 

Overtime –

  • NCAA squads are beginning to cross the Canadian border to play games against CIS teams, with most games in Eastern Canada .  The only games for Canada West teams are with UNC-Charlotte, who will play 3 B.C. schools in mid-August.
    •  Charlotte at UBC on Aug 11, at Trinity Western on Aug 12, and at Victoria on Aug 15.
  • The other games starting Friday include Stetson Univ (FL) at McGill, Carleton, Concordia … Wichita State at UQAM, Carleton, McGill,  … Charleston Southern vs Windsor and Toronto … Arkansas- Pine Bluff at Laval, UQAM, Carleton, McGill … Morgan St. at Concordia … Florida A&M at UQAM, Laval, McGill, Concordia …  Other visitors will be Fairleigh Dickenson, Northwestern St., Buffalo, Northwood, and St. Thomas Aquinas

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   

Spartans – Bobcats After a Win

 

D.J. Jordan and his Brandon Bobcats will be looking for win # 1 at TWU this weekend.

D.J. Jordan and his Brandon Bobcats will be looking for win # 1 at TWU this weekend.

Spartans or Bobcats to ‘spoil perfect record’ –

Feature Series –  Brandon  at Trinity Western –  Heartlessly we refer to this as ‘The Battle of the Titans’;  two teams who are having very disappointing and frustrating seasons.  Don’t forget that you have very talented players on both teams, and they dedicate a great deal of time and effort to their sport.  Let’s hope the games are well-played and competitive !  Lucas Mannes, Vartan Tanielian, and TWU? Go Spartans !  Or will it be D.J Jordan, Earl Thompson Jr. and Brandon? Go Bobcats !

Alberta (7-6) at Lethbridge  (7-5) –  Two teams in the heat of the playoff battle, who would both love to sweep, but know the odds are on a split.  If the Bears get Sebastian Denault back on the court, their size / power may be a big factor, with Brody Clarke starting to put his stamp on every game. Alberta could use 1 more perimeter shooter to hit shots (couldn’t we all) against the zone defensive schemes of U of L.  The ‘Horns have been leaning heavily on their 2 mainstays, Brandon Brine and Rob Olsen;  they may need wider contributions, should either star have an off-night.

Can Jordan Charles and UVic knock off the UBC T-Birds in Victoria this weekend?

Can Jordan Charles and UVic knock off the UBC T-Birds in Victoria this weekend?    photo- AP Shutter.com

UBC (10-4) at Victoria (7-7) –  This, in past seasons would have been the ‘big show’, but for the rival Thunderbirds’ first visit to the new CARSA Centre, it lacks that drama, with the Vikes floundering in the middle stages of this season.  UBC comes with the ‘eye of the hunters’, as they chase the UC Dinos for top spot in the Pioneer, while UVic are fighting for their playoff lives.  The Vikes want to set themselves back on course, after dropping 7 of 10 games in the last 5 League weekend series’.  Which headline is more likely? “Conor Morgan comes home to lead the ‘Birds to victory”?  Or  “Vikes Rally, and Upset T-Bird Rivals” ?

Regina (8-4) at Manitoba (9-5) – Two top teams coming off big wins last Saturday (Regina at UBC, Manitoba at Lethbridge), and the home court is a reassuring sight for the Herd.  The Bisons have won 10 of the past 11 games against the Cougars, and both teams may as strong as they’ve been for at least the past 5 – 6 seasons. Keith Omoerah, A.J. Basi, Wyatt Anders, and Justus Alleyn have been stellar for UM, but Regina’s Tull brothers, Alex Igual, Aaron McGowan, and Travis Sylvestre will try to use their momentum to get at least a split.

Saskatchewan (4-8)  at Winnipeg (7-5) – With rumours of some discord in the Huskies camp surrounding rookie guard, Jacquin Bennett-Boire, Saskatchewan faces the Wesmen in Winnipeg. U of S may have their role reduced to ‘spoilers’, just as UW appears to be solidifying their game, and seeking a playoff berth.  Jelane Pryce, Denzel Lynch-Blair, and big rebounder, Ryan Oirbans have been coming on strong, as the Wesmen play the first of 6 straight home games. The ‘Dogs will look to big man, Shane Osayande, and guards, Evan Ostertag and Chan DeCiman to lead them back on the winning track.

Calgary is on a bye week in the Pioneer, and the entire 6-team Explorer Division are taking a mid-winter break.


Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 3.07.27 PMRyerson Rams- the New # 1

For the first time since November of 2012, a team other than Carleton or Ottawa is in the #1 slot of the Coaches Top 10 poll !  The Ryerson Rams, who beat both the Ravens and Gee-Gees last week in Toronto jumped ahead of their OUA rivals. McMaster jumps over Brock, while McGill loses 3 spots, with 2 losses, and Calgary climbs to # 6 with their 8th straight win.

> Note – the CIS Nationals wildcard spot will go to an OUA team – done!

CIS Scores –
Cape Breton  100  St. FX  86 – a sweep of the home and home series for the Capers, with this return match delayed by last week’s big storm.


 

 

Overtime –

  • MRU Coach , Marc Dobell, mirroring the thoughts of most Explorer
    MRU Coach Marc Dobell is happy to have time to rest his team.

    MRU Coach Marc Dobell is happy to have time to rest his team.

    teams getting this week off,  “It is good. We are banged up. We were playing without one player tonight (last Saturday at TRU). A fifth-year player (James Lefebvre, forward) who would have made a big difference for us. He is going to get a chance to recover along with another guy who played limited minutes tonight because he is sore. It is a good time for us to heal some of our nicks and wounds and start focusing in on the last three weekends.” From TRU Athletics – Larry Read.

  • Senior Nights honouring the ‘graduating’ 5th year players across the League are cropping as early as next weekend … Feb. 5/6/7, and through the last regular season games on Feb. 20.  Good reason to get to the gym and see the games live; if you’re alum, you can pay special attention to the young men who will be joining your elite group !

UBC-O, MRU Claim Upset Wins

Explorer Division Leaders Get Dusted Saturday

Aldrich Berrios leads the Heat to a big home win.

Aldrich Berrios leads the Heat to a big home win.

at UBC-Okanagan   62  Thompson Rivers 57  –   UBC-O shock the Explorer leaders with a great team defensive effort, as they even their record to 5-5, and drop TRU back to 8-2. The Heat stifle the TRU attack in the final frame, limiting the ‘Pack to only 7 points.  The home team also win the rebound battle against the bigger Wolf Pack 40-37, and hit 10 treys to just 3 for the visitors. Aldrich Berrios was the top scorer for the Heat with 18, including 4 treys, and Mitch Goodwin added 15 with 3 long bombs. Thompson Rivers shot just 36% , and had Volodymyr Iegorov with 13 as their leader. Box Score

Mt. Royal  86  at Fraser Valley   71   OT –  A huge win for MRU (3-7), as they blitz the

Brett Layton wears out the UFV defense in a big Cougars win Saturday.

Brett Layton wears out the UFV defense in the Cougars OT win on Saturday.            photo – MRU Athletics

Cascades 20-5 in the extra frame. (The bigger story might be the strange ending to this game – see Overtime)  UFV hit 10 treys to the Cougars’  3, but the visitors cash 17 free throws compared to 11 for Fraser Valley (6-4), and the visitors win the rebounding over their bigger hosts 61-51, on a cold shooting night for both teams. Mt. Royal almost lost it at the line , as they hit just 44% of 36 chances. Brett Layton scored 22 points and had a monster 24 rebounds to lead MRU, and James Lefebvre contributed 19 points/ 5 boards. Manny Dulay was high for the home team with 19, including 5/7 from 3,  while Kevon Parchment rang up 12 points / 16 rebounds, and Vijay Dillon scored 18.  Box Score

MacEwan 72  at UNBC 70  –  The Griffins celebrate a hard-fought sweep at UNBC, as Thadius Galvez makes a buzzer -beating jumper for the  clutch win in game 2. Ryan May had a big night for Mac, as he scores 24 points / 6 rebounds, and Galvez tallies 13 points/ 4 assists .  MacEwan (5-5) is hot from the floor at 53%, while the T’Wolves are just 35% themselves. UNBC (3-7) stays close with a big 19/27 from the line vs 9/15 by the Griffins. Both Billy Cheng and Rhys Elliot score 17 for the Timberwolves. Box Score


 

T-Birds Sweep Pronghorns to Stay on Top of the Pioneer

Jordan Jensen-Whyte leads UBC to a 2nd win over Lethbridge this weekend.

Jordan Jensen-Whyte leads UBC to a 2nd win over Lethbridge this weekend.

at UBC  85  Lethbridge  79  –   This is a close one most of the way, as Lethbridge hangs tough, but can’t close the gap in the late stages. The sweep gives UBC a Pioneer Division lead at 8-2, and the ‘Horns return home with a 5-3 mark. UBC won this game at the foul line with 21-26 made against a mere 7/8 for the visitors. Both teams speed their scoring around with 5 players from each team scoring 10 or better, with Jordan Jensen-Whyte tops for the ‘Birds with 16 plus 7 assists, and Jared Baker notching 16 for the ‘Horns, who were out-rebounded 43-25 on the night. Box Score

at Calgary 83  Saskatchewan 78  –   Another grind- it -out type of game between these 2 teams , as it resembled Rugby more than basketball at times.  Fouls hurt Saskatchewan, as the Dinos go to the line 33 times and convert 27 (82%) vs 18/20 for the ‘Dogs.  Thomas Cooper hit 21 points and snared 9 boards for Calgary, and Josh Owen-Thomas had 18 points.  The Huskies have 5 players in double digits, including 14 points and 17 big rebounds from a most impressive Shane Osayande.  He got help from 15 points apiece by Jauquin Bennett-Boire and Chan DeCiman.  The Dinos move up to 8-3, while U of S drop further to 3-7. Box Score

Manitoba  65  at Victoria  59 –  This is not the score we might expect in a Bisons win over UVic, but it is big for Manitoba to get the split, as they give the Vikes only 24 points in the 2nd half. Victoria are ice cold from the floor at 31%, and shoot just 8/11 from the free throw stripe vs 17/31 for the Herd. Manitoba didn’t shoot it well either, at 36% from the floor. 17 each by A.J Basi and Justus Alleyn paced the Bisons (7-3), while Keith Omoerah worked hard for 15 rebounds, and U of M grabbed 56to UVic’s 39.  The Vikes (6-4) had 18 points from Mack Roth and 14 by Brandon Dunlop.   Box Score

at Regina  95 Trinity Western  72  –   The Cougars light -up the Spartans early, taking a 54-30 lead at the break, and putting it on auto-pilot in the final 20 minutes to secure their 6th win. 5 players in double figures for Regina with 18 points and 4 steals from Brandon Tull, and a superb 14 rebound/ 17 point game from Brian Ofori. TWU had trouble mounting an offence, as they hit just 31% from the floor. Kelvin Smith stood out for the Spartans as he registers 22 points and 5 rebounds. The 2nd game in this series is Sunday in Regina . Box Score

at  Winnipeg  80  Brandon  59 –  The Wesmen get the sweep of this home and home set, with Denzel Lynch-Blair their leading scorer again with 19 plus 7 rebs/5 assts. Jelane Pryce adds 17 for UW, who are now 5-5. Brandon fall to 0-8, as they shoot only 32% FG, and have earl Thompson Jr. as their high man with 11 points.  Box Score  


 

Other CIS Scores –
Atlantic – at UPEI   104  Saint Marys   82 , UNB 100  at St. FX  83 ,  at  Memorial  86  Acadia  83
Quebec –  Montreal  83 at Bishops  72
Ontario –  Western  at Guelph  ,  (Non-league)  McGill  70 at Queen’s  61 ,  at Brock  86  Windsor 79


 

Overtime –

  • An incredible, impossible ending to the Mt. Royal at Fraser Valley game  Saturday in Abbotsford; first for the last second, throw-it-up 3 pointer by Manny Dulay to get the Cascades into overtime.  But the true oddity was the foul out of 5 of the  8 players dressed by UFV, leaving them 3 on 5 against  the Cougars in the extra time. “We really didn’t know what to do”, said MRU Coach Marc Dobell. ” Our guard would dribble right to the hoop, and, because their guys didn’t want to foul (and forfeit) , they virtually let us score in the last 2 minutes.”  Not something we’ll see every day!