Canada West Spring News

 

Canada West Meetings This Week  – Changes On the Way

David Wells honoured by induction to Sports Hall of Fame.

David Wells honoured by induction to Sports Hall of Fame.

  •  U. Calgary will be looking for a new Athletic Director, as Ron Wuotila announced his decision to resign in the face of an ill-considered and poorly staged implementation of a new ‘administrative model’ for the Dinos Athletic Program.
  • David Wells, Lethbridge,  a champion of school sport, from junior high, high school, college, and university, was honoured with induction into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame this past weekend. Currently the Director of Sports programs for the Southern Alberta School Sports Assn., Wells has been a sports writer, athletic administrator, coach, and National Team Manager … and always the most knowledgeable fan of young athletes in his area for many years.
Impressive new facility at Victoria.  Photo - Times-Colonist, Adrian Lam

Impressive new facility for U.  Victoria.            Photo – Times-Colonist, Adrian Lam

  • Craig Beaucamp, UVic Head Coach, obviously pleased with the new Vikes home court which will be ready for play this summer, “This is probably the top university athletic facility in the country, and I’ve been in most of them,” said Beaucamp. “This is a great opportunity to help in recruiting players.”  From a Times-Colonist article by Cleve Dheensaw
  • Joe Scanlon, long-time journalism teacher, and the Ravens' biggest fan.

    Joe Scanlon, long-time journalism teacher, and the Ravens’ biggest fan. Photo – The Ottawa Citizen.

    We learned, sadly, of the passing of Joe Scanlon, who did so much to chronicle the feats of the Carleton Ravens basketball teams, and was a leading promoter of CIS basketball over so many years. His tireless efforts raised the profile of the sport, and provided rich commentary for all of us who cared about the game. Joe will be remembered for his exceptional, enthusiastic work, and by all of us who enjoyed corresponding with him, and learning so much from his experience and knowledge.

  • Graduates and ‘Undergraduates –  Canada West graduated some terrific student – athletes this Spring, including the Dinos classy guard, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, who is now checking out opportunities to play pro. There will be others in the pro ranks (mostly in Europe), with the likes of  Joel Friesen, Ben Baker, Tommy Nixon, and MVP, Chris McLaughlin, finishing up impressive CIS careers.  Some notables did not finish, however … UVic’s flashy import guard, Marcus Tibbs, left campus shortly following the CIS Nationals, indicating he will pursue other basketball opportunities  … Calgary’s promising guard,  L.J. Hegwood, did not complete his academic year, and he will not be back for the Dinos …  Brandon’s Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak leaves after his 4th year, returning home to the Montreal area.
  • The Brandon Sun reported that former Bobcats star, Jordan Reaves, will follow in his father’s footsteps, as he moves onto the football field.  Reaves a 6-4, 225 lb wing -man at BU, signed a contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
  • The Canada West Governors will  continue to discuss and study different structures for League play at the upcoming annual general May meeting.  It’s obviously a big challenge to balance competition, tradition, and travel expenses; it is very difficult with a 17 team League ranging from 2000 student schools to some at 30,000 + .
  •   Latest Recruiting List (courtesy, Hoopstars Canada – Barry Hayes) …

    D'Wan Williams promises to add skill and flair to the Bears' roster.

    D’Wan Williams promises to add skill and flair to the Bears’ roster. Photo – North Pole Hoops

Alberta – 6’7″ pf Cole Knudsen (Barrhead, AB/Barrhead), 6’2″ sg D’Wan Williams (Toronto, ON/Oakwood), 6’1″ pg Jonah Weyessa (Edmonton, AB/Father Lacombe ’14)

Brandon

Calgary – 6’0″ pg Torrez McKoy (Grande Pointe, Manitoba/MBCI), Thomas Cooper – 6’5” (Chattanooga, TN) tsf from  C.C. San Francisco, U. Nebraska – Kearny.

Fraser Valley

Grant MacEwan – 6’3″ pg Chris Mooney (Ottawa, ON – transfer/NAIT; 10.3 ppg 2014-15) 6’7″ c Atlas St. Paul-Butler (Victoria, BC/Oak Bay), 6’6″ pf Michael Burnham (Winfield, BC/George Elliot)

Lethbridge – 6’9″ c Chris Maughan (Calgary, AB – transfer/Lethbridge College; 14.9 ppg, ’14-’15

Manitoba – 6’5″ pf Dharmjit Dhillon (Winnipeg, MB/Kildonan-East), 6’5″ sg Raj Sidhu (Winnipeg, MB/Kildonan-East), 6’2″ sg Saajan Arora (Cambridge, ON/St. John’s Kilmarnock)

Mount Royal – 6’6″ pf Nate Wall (Okotoks, AB/Holy Trinity), 6’4″ sg Tyis Yellowhorn (Piikani Nation, AB/Chestermere), 6’4″ sf Shay Foggo (Calgary, AB/Crescent Heights), 6’0″ pg Matt Gray (Victoria, BC/Oak Bay), 6’9″ c Brett Layton (Calgary, AB/Sir Winston Churchill ’09)

Regina – 6’7″ c Stephen Shields (Brandon, MB – transfer/Keyano volleyball ’11), 6’6″ pf Kolton Bellamy (Regina, SK/Balfour)

Saskatchewan – 6’6″ pf Devin Wittow (Leduc, AB/Leduc Composite)

Thompson Rivers – 6’2″ pg Jeff Tubbs (Kelowna, BC/Mount Boucherie), 6’4″ sf Evan Helgason (Kamloops, BC/Elev8 Sports Institute), 6’3″ sg Kaleel Faiz (Toronto, ON – transfer/Olds College; 22.5 ppg in 2014-15)

Trinity Western

Taylor Browne is a prized recruit for the T-Birds.

Taylor Browne is a prized recruit for the T-Birds.

UBC – 6’8″ c Roger Milne (Winnipeg, MB/Oak Park), 6’3″ sg Taylor Browne (Surrey, BC/Holy Cross), 6’8″ pf Patrick Simon (Port Coquitlam, BC – transfer/Simon Fraser; 10.6 ppg in 2014-15), 6’2″ pg Phil Jalalpoor (Shifferstadt, Germany – transfer/Olds College; 13.3 ppg in 2014-15)

UBC-Okanagan – 6’2″ sg Spencer Thomas (Pickering, ON/Pine Ridge)

UNBC – 6’4″ sf Anthony Hokanson (Vancouver, BC/Kitsilano)

Victoria – 6’5″ sf Jason Scully (Victoria, BC/St. Michael’s), 6’5″ sf Josh Charles (Duncan, BC/Cowichan), 6’5″ sf Tyus Barfoot (Nanaimo, BC/Nanaimo District), 6’1″ pg Graeme Hyde-Lay (Victoria, BC/St. Michael’s), 6’7″ pf Billy Yaworsky (Winnipeg, MB – transfer/Skagit Valley JuCo; 7.2 ppg in 2014-15)

Winnipeg – 6’3″ sg Kieran McGrath (Winnipeg, MB/Glenlawn), 6’3″ sg William Sesay (Winnipeg, MB/Oak Park), 6’6″ pf Frankie Tocci (Winnipeg, MB/Maples)

Carleton – Ottawa in CIS Final

 

Phil Scrubb was hot again, as Carleton beats Victoria for a shot at 5 straight CIS Championships.

Phil Scrubb was hot again (29 points) , as Carleton beats Victoria for a shot at 5 straight CIS Championships.    Photo – Greg Campbell

 

 

 Championship Semifinal # 1 –  Carleton 83  Victoria 74  –   The result was not unexpected, but the Vistoria Vikes could be excused for taking some satisfaction in how they played in coming back in the 4th quarter after falling behind by 27 points early in the 3rd quarter.  The Vikes were 40-22 from that point on, as their shots started to fall, and they had far more luck against the Ravens defense.

Rebounding totals had Carleton way out front 46-30, and that hurt the Vikes, plus the defending champs hit 46% from the floor/ 44% from 12 made 3s.  The Ravens had 29 pts, 8 rebs/ 13 assists from Phil Scrubb, as the Vancouver native, in his 5th year, has had 2 stellar games in trying to help his team to a 5th straight CIS title.  Victoria got a great effort from point man, Marcus Tibbs, who scored 27 points and added 9 assists, while Chris McLaughlin scored 14 plus grabbing 10 rebounds, and Reiner Theil went 4/5 from 3 point range for 16 points.

The Vikes head to a 3rd place game on  Sunday at 12:00 noon Eastern vs  the hosts, Ryerson Rams, while Carleton has Ottawa in the 3:00 pm Final.  Box Score

 

Championship Semifinal # 2:   Ottawa  84  Ryerson 75  –   In an exciting and see-

Ottawa heads to another championship game with Carleton.

Ottawa heads to another championship game with Carleton.

saw affair in a jammed Mattamy Centre, the Gee-Gees  make a strong 2nd half comeback for a berth in the Championship Final. It was 45-36 Rams at the half, but the Ponies erupted for 48 in the 2nd as Ryerson went cold. A 25-12 3rd quarter set the Rams back on their heels, and the Gee-Gees finsihed strong after Ryerson made a late run.

It was a strong game from Vikas Gill with 18 points / 5 rebs, and a big 2nd half for CIS MVP, Johnny Berhanemeskel ( 20 points/ 4 rebs/ 3 assts)  which put Ottawa over the top. The Gee-Gees hit 22/37 free throws to 11/15 for the Rams, and that spelled the eventual difference in this one. Adika Peter-McNeilly was tops for Ryerson with 17 points, and Jordan Gauthier scored 14.  Ryerson’s all-star guard  Jahmal Jones (2 pts)  could not get anything going, and that hurt the Rams’ attack.  So it’s 3rd/4th for the home team, and another All-Ottawa fInal, as the Gee-Gees get a crack at ending Carleton’s stranglehold on the Cup.   Box Score

 

Dadrian Collins  (27 points) leads Saskatchewan to a 5th place win over Windsor.

Dadrian Collins (29 points) leads Saskatchewan to a 5th place win over Windsor.

5th-place game –  Saskatchewan 99  Windsor 94 –  Putting a tough 1st round loss behind them,  Saskatchewan  got the flow going on offense, and, led by 29 points from Dadrian Collins they won their 2nd straight in the 5th place game victory over the Windsor Lancers.  A nice 32 point explosion in the 2nd quarter staked the Huskies to a 46-34 edge at the  break, which they surrendered to a furious 34 point Windsor response in the 3rd.  Free throws were big in the win, as the Dogs hit 23/29 vs 17/25 for the Lancers.  Ben Baker finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists in his final game for the U of S. The Lancers were paced by 21 from Khalid Abdel-Gabar and 18 plus 10 rebounds by Rotimi Osuntola.  Box Score

 

Sunday, March 15 – the 3rd Place game  goes at 11:30 and the Championship Final at 3 pm  (Eastern time) both are on TV  – Sportsnet 360 & ONE / and on streaming video, which is pay per view ?   www.CIS-SIC.tv   (So why not watch TV ?)

 

 

In the Friday, March 13 – Consolation Semis

Big 32 point game for Evan Ostertag as the Huskies move on to the Consolation final.

Big 32 point game for Evan Ostertag as the Huskies move on to the Consolation final.              photo – U of S Athletics

 game 5 – Saskatchewan 90 Dalhousie  79  –  Evan Ostertag hit for 32 points. 4 assts/ 4 steals, leading the Dogs, who shot 52% from the floor, and doubled Dal 49-25 on the boards.  dadrian Collins matched Ostertag’s 5/11 from 3 pt range, as he scored 21 for the Huskies.    Sven Stammberger was magic for Dalhousie, as the 2nd year post was 13/16, 5/6 from 3, and 34 points. U of S plays Windsor on Saturday ‘s  Consolation Final for 5th place.   Box Score

 game 6 –  Windsor  91  Bishop’s  80  –  Both teams were near 50% from the floor, as offense seemed more fun at this stage!  6 Lancers in double figures, with Alex Campbell and Rotini Osuntola hitting 13 each. Bishop’s had a 29 point/ 8 rebound effort from big Mike Andrews.  Box Score 

 

Overtime –

  •   Coach Roy Rana, Ryerson Rams, on his feelings about his team reaching the Nationals as the host. “ For myself, I have a vested interest in the tournament just as much as I have vested interest in our team performing. I want to see this be a real success for Toronto, it’s something I take great pride in. It’s a little taxing but I’m going to work hard on both ends. I’m not complaining. “  “This has been a very, very special season for this team. It’s a special, incredible group of young men that have matured nicely and I loved every minute of it. I’m glad that the vision I had, the possibilities, it’s finally come together.” From a story in North Pole Hoops by Ray Bala.
  •   Saskatchewan Coach, Barry Rawlyk, understandably disappointed after Thursday’s 1st round loss to Carleton,  “It’s very disappointing because I don’t think we put our best foot forward,” said Rawlyk. “Carleton’s a very strong team  … we didn’t do ourselves any favours.  Now we’ve got to reload and get prepared to play (Friday in the Consolation semi) and hopefully we play a little better.”  (Editor’s note … the Huskies did just taht with 2 wins and a 5th place finish … good season for Coach Rawlyk and his team).

 

 

Ravens Crush Huskies, Vikes Survive

 

 Ravens Fly High in Burying Saskatchewan

Phil Scrubb shows his All-Canadian form, with 31 pts vs Saskatchewan

Phil Scrubb shows his All-Canadian form, with 31 pts vs Saskatchewan

 game 1-   Carleton Ravens  90  Saskatchewan Huskies 50 –  The Carleton Ravens engage their vaunted defense, and the Huskies play like ‘Sled Dogs in the headlights’.  48-18 at the half, and the earth is already scorched around the U of S bench.  It’s tough if you’re Saskatchewan, because you get tighter and more frustrated as you watch yet another Phil Scrubb trey splash through the twine (The 5th year all-star guard is  6/8  from the outside after 20 minutes for 29 points).  72-39 at 3/4s, and it’s over the boards with the subs for Carleton, although Connor Wood remains and shows why he’s so highly regarded.

Carleton keep raining 3s, as U of S defenders aren’t on the ball, and the Huskies’ younger players enter the game, as time winds down on the pummeling. Phil Scrubb finishes with 31 points, with few minutes played in the 2nd half. “Shots just started falling”, says the Vancouver native in a succinct post-game interview. The Ravens hit 55% from the floor and 56% from long range, as Thomas Scrubb  adds 18 pts / 9 rebounds

The Huskies are a paltry 29% from the floor and 20% from 3 pt. range in the face of a withering Carleton defense; Ben Baker, with 11 pts/ 7 rebounds / 6 assists and Matt Forbes with 14 points/ 7 boards  give the most resistance for Saskatchewan, but it was  an un-nerving experience for the Canada West finalists, who now move on to a 2 pm consolation semi on Thursday.  Box Score

 

Vikes Survive Nervous Start Against Dalhousie 

 game 2 –  Victoria Vikes  58   Dalhousie Tigers  57 –  It was an exasperating 2nd

3rd year import, Grant Sitton, scores 19 off the bench to save UVic.

3rd year import, Grant Sitton, scores 19 off the bench to save UVic.  photo- Vikes Athletics

game, with a very passive  effort by the Vikes in the opening 20 minutes, and Dalhousie having some similar offensive jitters. The Tigers got strong play from their big man, Kashrell Lawrence, although his shakey foul shooting limits their scoring.  A  28-24 Dal lead at the half, after lots of subbing for the Vikes, with Hadyn Lejuene and Grant Sitton logging extra minutes. The angular Sitton cuts loose with a trey at the 3rd quarter buzzer to give the Vikes a 48-42 edge, after they get the juices flowing after the break.

This one always looked like it was going down to the wire, and, despite grabbing a 6 point lead with 40 seconds left, UVic manages to trail by 1, off a put-back by Dal’s Lawrence, and the clock was running out.  The ball goes inside to Chris McLaughlin, who had missed much of the 4th quarter with a bleeding knee, and he tries to go up, but is wrestled (step-over-toe-hold) to the floor by the Tigers’ Sven Stammberger.  An obvious intentional foul, which should have led to 2 shots and the ball … but, no … so Mclaughlin has to hit free throws to tie, then go up 1.

Dal's Kashrell Lawrence is the game high scorer, with 21 in a close loss.

Dal’s Kashrell Lawrence is the game high scorer, with 21 in a close loss.

The Tigers get a contested shot off at the end, but it falls short.  Vikes win, and will face the machine that is Carleton in one of Saturday’s semi-finals.

UVic shoots 40% to Dalhousie’s 35%  from the floor, and Sitton’s 3 treys get him to 19 points, which gets the Vikes a white-knuckle win. Marcus Tibbs had 16 pts/ 6 assists and hit 2 huge buckets down the stretch in the tense finish. Mclaughlin was held to 10 points, but grabbed 11 boards.  Dal had 21 points / 8 rebounds from Lawrence, and 14 pts/ 9 rebs by their young post, Stammberger, and the Tigers claimed 13 offensive rebounds, which kept them close at the end.  Box Score

 

 

 CIS Awards Reflect OUA Power

Ottawa's Johnny Berhanemeskel is the CIS Top Player for 2015

Ottawa’s Johnny Berhanemeskel is the CIS Top Player for 2015

The Ontario schools dominate the list of CIS award winners and All-Canadians, announced on Wednesday, much like they’ve owned the upper reaches of the Top 10 rankings for the whole season.  Johnny Berhanemeskel of Ottawa breaks the stranglehold of  Carleton’s Phil Scrubb on the Player of the Year trophy, but Thomas Scrubb keeps the family in silverware by repeating as Top Defensive Player.

Top Rookie, Top Coach as well. Chris McLaughlin, UVic, and Javon Masters of UNB join 3 OUA stars on the 1st All-Canadian Team. Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary and Tommy Nixon, UBC are 2 Canada West stars in their 5th year who get the 2nd Team honours.  Calgary’s Lars Schleuter, the CW Rookie of the Year, is a member of CIS All-Rookie team.

Here are the 2015 CIS AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS – 

Mike Moser Memorial Trophy (player of the year): Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa

Defensive player of the year: Thomas Scrubb, Carleton

Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy (rookie of the year): Johneil Simpson, Brock

Stuart Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (TIMEX coach of the year): James Derouin, Ottawa

Ken Shields Award ( academics & community service): Noel Moffatt, Memorial

All – Canadians – First Team

G Johnny Berhanemeskel Ottawa 5 Ottawa, Ont.

F Thomas Scrubb Carleton 5 Richmond, B.C.

F Chris McLaughlin Victoria 5 Oakville, Ont.

G Javon Masters UNB 2 Kitchener, Ont.

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is a 2nd Team All-Canadian

Dinos’ Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is a 2nd Team All-Canadian

G Philip Scrubb Carleton 5 Richmond, B.C.

All – Canadians -Second Team

G Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson Calgary 5 Winnipeg, Man.

G Jahmal Jones Ryerson 5 Mississauga, Ont.

G Tyler Scott UPEI 3 Halifax, N.S.

F Tommy Nixon UBC 5 Vancouver, B.C.

F François Bourque McGill 2 Terrebonne, Que.

CIS All-Rookie Team – 

Lars Schleuter, Calgary, is on the CIS All-Rookie Team

Lars Schleuter, Calgary, is on the CIS All-Rookie Team

G Johneil Simpson Brock 1 Toronto, Ont.

G Ben Miller Acadia 1 Winnipeg, Man.

G Lars Schlueter Calgary 1 Ulm, Germany

W Alexandre Leclerc Laval 1 Saguenay, Que.

W Luke Allin Wilfrid Laurier 1 Chatham, Ont.

 

CIS Tourney – 1/4 Final Previews

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.23.56 PM

 

Carleton and Ottawa Look Like Odds-on Favourites

 

Thursday, March 12 – 
11 am  – game 1-   # 1 Carleton Ravens  vs # 8 Saskatchewan Huskies –

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.26.45 PM

The Ravens are, as has been the case for over 12 seasons, the team to beat.  They’ve won the CIS title for the past 4 years, and won 10 with Coach Smart since their 2003 win.  Carleton limits opponents to 56 ppg against, while scoring 91 ppg themselves.  Death !

They have the Scrubb brothers, Thomas, a 6-6 whirlwind, who has become their most

Huskies Ben Baker- Canada West Defensive Player of the Year

Huskies Ben Baker– Canada West Defensive Player of the Year

consistent offensive threat, and Philip, the 6-3 guard, who controls a fast paced attack, and, when on, can be a deadly outside shooter. Guard Connor Wood is a dangerous shooter as well, helping CU hit 50% from the floor and 46% from 3 point range, and they are +14 on their rebound margin.  This 26-2 team is battle – ready and more than prepared to take a very good run at their 5th straight McGee Trophy.

Saskatchewan is in tough here, to put it mildly.  The Huskies have size, with 6-6 Matt Forbes, 6-8 Conner Burns, and the multi-talented team catalyst, 6-4 Ben Baker at guard.  But they give up 20 points more per game than the Ravens, while scoring 8 points less. They rebound well as a team, but not like Carleton. Their pace can give them open court baskets in stretches, but, again, not nearly as relentless as the ‘Birds’. If their 3 point shooters, like Dadrian Collins, Evan Osterberg,  Baker, and Trevor Severinski can get ridiculously hot, maybe … but, they still suffer 7-8 more turnovers per game, and, clearly, Carleton are a runaway favourite.

 

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1 pm –   game 2 –  # 4 Victoria Vikes vs. # 5 Dalhousie Tigers –  Two League champions square off in this one, with the Vikes having more experience in this event by far, having played in the last 2 Nationals.  UVic were 23-8 vs CIS teams this season , while Dalhousie were 13-14.  The Vikes are a  notably stingy defensive team, giving up just over 70 ppg, which is 7 less than Dal.

Marcus Tibbs,  point guard for Victoria.

Marcus Tibbs, point guard for Victoria.

This game features Vic’s Canada West player of the year, Chris McLaughlin, who, at 6-10, scores 19.8 ppg / 10 rebounds; Dalhousie has ridden their 1st team AUS all-star, Kashrell Lawrence, who averaged 23 ppg / 12 rebounds  in the Tigers’ 3 game odyssey in winning the Atlantic title.  The point guard match-up will be fun to watch, with Victoria’s Marcus Tibbs  more of a scorer (17 ppg / 5 assists), and Dal’s Richie Kanza Mata  a set-up man (7 assists, 9 ppg), with both very adept at turning the other team over on the defensive end.

The supporting cast for UVic has ace defender, 6-4, Reiner Theil, who can also knock down the trey, and 6-6 Mack Roth, who has been a more prominent factor in recent games. Dalhousie has  strong  rebounding from Sven Stammberger (5.2 rebs/ 9 ppg) and Devon Stedman (5.2 rebs/ 8 ppg), and a smooth 2-way guard in James Reid (13.5 ppg / 2.5 assts/ 2 steals).

Unless they can control the inside presence of McLaughlin, and manage to score against the rugged UVic D, the Tigers playoff magic may disappear quickly.

 

Ryerson's Aaron Best will be a floor leader for the Rams.

Ryerson’s Aaron Best will be a floor leader for the Rams vs Windsor.

6 pm – game 3 –  # 7 Ryerson vs. # 2 Windsor –  Let’s try to put aside the seeding arguments, and, if you’re Ryerson, be very happy that you have home court against a potent Windsor team in the 1st round.  The Rams bounced the Lancers 98-78 in their league game on this Mattamy Centre court in November, and they will try and get momentum back after 2 losses (Carleton and Ottawa) in the OUA Final 4. Prior to last weekend the Rams had won 14 straight.

Windsor beat ‘mighty Carleton’ in the OUA regular season, and Ottawa in the Final 4, so they are ‘big game treacherous’, with a 24-6 CIS record, led by guards, Rotimi Osuntola Jr. (20 ppg/ 11.5 rebs ) and  Mitch Farrell (13 ppg )  This should be a fast-paced, high scoring affair, with the Lancers averaging 87 ppg and Ryerson over 89 ppg. The Rams shoot it better from 3 pt range (38% to 33%), and are + 12 in rebounds vs  + 7 for Windsor.

Ryerson has 4 players in double figure scoring, led by veteran guards, Jahmal Jones  (17 ppg/5.5 assts/ 4.3 rebs) , and Aaron Best (15 ppg/ 5.5 rebs/ 46% from 3).  They get strong rebounding through their line-up, with 6-9 Kadeem Green averaging 7 rpg plus 12 ppg on 58% FG shooting.  It won’t be a surprise or an upset if Ryerson beats the # 2 seed;  it might, however, be quite traumatic for the home folks if Windsor were to come up big, yet again.

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6-11 Majid Naji will try and control the paint for Bishop’s vs Ottawa.

 

8 pm – game 4 –  # 6 Bishop’s vs. # 3 Ottawa – In the last Q-final of the night, we may see ‘Ponies running wild in the streets’ .  The Gaiters can play defense (65.5 ppg against), but not necessarily vs ‘Johnny B’  and his ‘back-up singers’.  Bishops was just 10-15 vs CIS teams, and lost 80-66 to Ottawa early in the season. The Gee-Gees score  94.5 ppg and surrender only 69 ppg, and boast a 29-2 overall record.

Ottawa has J. Berhanemeskel , the OUA’s 5th year MVP,  at 23 ppg/ 56% FG/ 45% from 3/ 4.5 assts,  and wing man Caleb Agada (16 ppg/ 8 rebs), plus shooting and floor leadership from Mike L’Africain (46% from 3/ 12 ppg/ 5 assts).  They have 6 players 40% or better from beyond the arc, and are 51% from the floor as a team.

Bishop’s counters with far more conservative numbers … with a 69 ppg scoring average, the Gaiters shoot only 39% from the floor, and 28% from 3 pt range. They do have some solid veterans, and lots of size – Kyle Desmarais is a 5th year transfer guard (Concordia) (14.5 ppg / 3 assts ), Mike Andrews, a 6-10 forward (12 ppg /5.5 rebs.) , Majid Naji, a 6-11 post ( 10 ppg/ 8 rebs) , and Matt McLean, a 6-9 fwd ( 7 ppg / 6.3 rebs).

The Gaiters have a way of hanging in against tough opponents, but it’s doubtful they have the fire-power to get past as explosive a unit as Ottawa, who come at you with so many weapons.

 

Overtime –

  •   Correction … Waterloo has 1 CIS title (1975), and the other is Waterloo-Lutheran (1968) , which became Wilfred Laurier.  Our local Kitchener-Waterloo historian, Martin Timmerman, sets us straight !  Go to Martin’s cishoops.ca for stats, records, draws, results, team info, and much more .
  •   Saskatchewan Coach Barry Rawlyk, obviously disappointed, but understanding of the draw seeding for the Nationals, “Anyway you try and dice it and slice it, there’s going to be a tough first-round game at nationals,” said Rawlyk, adding there are some artificial rules in place that put conference champions in certain spots.  (The 4 League champs cannot be ranked lower than 6th.  So 7 is Ryerson, and 8 is Saskatchewan.)  From Darren Zary in the Star-Phoenix.

    John Traboulsi, Dalhousie

    John Traboulsi, Dalhousie

  • There are 2 Calgary high school grads playing for the Atlantic champions, the Dalhousie Tigers. John Traboulsi, a 4th year, 6-3  guard, played at Western Canada HS in Calgary for Coach Steve Wiebe. He is averaging about 10 minutes /game in the late season and playoffs.  Ross Crichton , a 6-7 rookie from E. Manning HS in Calgary, may be on the travel roster, but is unlikely to get any floor time at the Nationals.

 

 

  • Just in case we’re confused about the ‘pecking order’ in the Tournament, the
    images-1

    Dave Smart, Carleton

    Ravens’ Coach Dave Smart fills us in, “We’ve got a long way to go. It’s going to be tough. The team with the best record in the country, Ottawa, just came off a disappointing loss at home at the OUA Final Four, so they’re highly motivated. The second or third best team in the country is playing at home this week, so they’re going to be highly motivated as well. For us, we’ve got to keep going in the same direction we’ve been going and play the games. “ CIS press release.

Vikes Capture Canada West Title

 

Victoria find a way in Canada West Final  

Marcus Tibbs led the scoring for Victoria, as the Vikes win the Canada West crown.

Marcus Tibbs led the scoring for Victoria, as the Vikes win the Canada West crown.

Victoria Vikes 70  Saskatchewan Huskies 67 –  With both teams guaranteed a trip to Nationals, this Canada West championship may have seemed like icing on the cake, but the ferocity of play belied that notion, with several lead changes, some sharp-shooting from both teams, then a combative finish in the last minute.

Victoria captured their 15th League title, by reaching down and recovering from a V Vike copynasty 3rd quarter, which saw a 9 point half-time lead reversed to a 10 point deficit in the 7 minutes starting the 2nd.  The home-town Huskies went cold in the 4th, and Victoria got just enough offense to creep back in, as Chris McLaughlin and Marcus Tibbs scored key points down the stretch. Tibbs did most of his damage in the opening 20 minutes, and finished the game with 25 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds; McLaughlin had to work hard for his 12 points and 10 rebounds, but he was a big factor at both ends of the floor when it really counted.

The Huskies were on the brink of pulling away for the win, but stalled out in the last 4 minutes; they got another gem of a game from 5th year guard, Ben Baker, who scored 21 pts, grabbed 10 boards, and added 6 assists. Evan Ostertag came off the bench for U of S to hit 7/11 from the floor for 17 points, but their 39% FG shooting just wasn’t enough to get the job done.

Bragging rights in the West, a higher seed, and a better draw at Nationals go to the Vikes;  the CIS Final 8 draw comes out on Sunday, and both these teams will be on flights to Toronto by Tuesday in all likelihood.   Box Score

 

Cascades use the outside shot to win 3rd place game

Manny Dulay is hot from outside, and leads UFV to a 3rd place win over UBC.

Manny Dulay is hot from outside, and leads UFV to a 3rd place win over UBC.

 Fraser Valley Cascades 87  UBC Thunderbirds  71 –  After dropping their ‘win or else’ semi-final games on Friday, the ‘Birds and Cascades could be excused for a lack of fire in this ‘consolation’ tilt.  The Cascades were obviously the more motivated team, as they force  the Thunderbirds into 17 turnovers and beat them on the boards 33-30.  The big difference was a return of their 3 point shooting touch, as UFV hits 12/29 (41%)  vs 4/17 (24%) for UBC.

Very balanced scoring for the Cascades, as it has been most of the season, with 5 players in double figures, led by the 18 of Manny Dulay as he connects on 6/11 from beyond the arc; Nate Brown scores 17 and 7 rebounds, while Kadeem Willis adds 16, and both Kevon Parchment and Dom Brooks tally 15.  UBC has 19 from Kedar Wright and 18 from Tommy Nixon in his final CIS game for the T-Birds.  Box Score

 

Other CIS Playoff action on Saturday –

Quebec Final –

at Bishop’s  Gaiters 68  McGill Redmen 63 – home court proves valuable for the 2nd seeded Gaiters, who take the Cup and the lone Quebec berth at Nationals.

 Ontario Final 4 – at Ottawa U.

Final – Carleton Ravens 103 Windsor Lancers  59 –  The Ravens win the OUA championship in impressive fashion, as they avenge a loss in regular season play to the Lancers.

3rd place game –   Ottawa Gee-Gees  79  Ryerson Rams 66 – The Gee-Gees recover from their upset loss to Windsor, and should be highly seeded at the Nationals.

 

The Field for Nationals – ( draw to be announced on Sunday) 

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3 pt. Shot Serves Vikes and Huskies

Hot 3 point shooting leads to a UVic romp over UFV

Mack Roth 14 copy

Mack Roth enjoys a return to his home-town with a 19 pt. game to lead UVic over Fraser Valley in their CW semi-final on Friday.

 

 Victoria Vikes  86  Fraser Valley Cascades  61 – No game … clinic.  27-12 after the quarter, as the Vikes come out hot and UFV definitely not. Live by the trey, but tonight the Cascades die by the 10/23 (43.5%) long-range shooting from UVic compared to their own 4/22 (18%). Manny Dulay, disappointingly, shoots just twice for UFV, missing both.  Game, set, match, with UVic defense stifling any come-back hopes by the Cascades.

Mack Roth takes advantage of extra space as a result of the attention paid to big Chris McLaughlin by Fraser Valley defenders, and the Saskatoon native leads the Vikes with 19 points. McLaughlin managed 17 pts/ 6 rebounds, while both Reiner Theil (9 rebs) and Marcus Tibbs (11 assts)  cashed 15 points for Victoria, who hit 52% from the floor.  Fraser Valley   got a strong effort from Kevon Parchment, with 17 points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 assists. So Victoria moves on to the Saturday Final, and has a berth in the CIS Final 8 in Toronto next weekend.  Box Score 

 

 Huskies Rain 3s on UBC, and play for championship Saturday

Saskatchewan's Ben Baker leads his team to a big 2nd half win over UBC.

Saskatchewan’s Ben Baker leads his team to a big 2nd half win over UBC in the 2nd semi-final.

 

 Saskatchewan Huskies 81  UBC Thunderbirds 75 – Despite shooting 50% from the floor, the T-Birds score well under their season average, and, as in the Vikes/Cascades game, the deep ball is decisive for Saskatchewan in this one.  The Dogs hit 11/28 (39%) vs 3/16 (19%) for UBC. a strong 40-32 2nd half turned the trick for the U of S, as they pull away with clutch shots from Trevor Severinski, Dadrian Collins, and Ben Baker.

Baker plays his typically tenacious game, with 20 pts/ 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Collins hits 20 pts and grabs 5 rebounds. The T-Birds just ran out of flow and went cold in the final 2 minutes, giving Saskatchewan a CIS Final 8 spot and a shot at a Canada West title in front of their home fans. (Much better crowd for the 2nd game ….)  UBC has 23 from Kedar Wright in a sharp shooting game for him, while Tommy Nixon and Tonner Jackson score 14 each, with Nixon also claiming 12 rebounds.  Box score

 

Other CIS Playoff action on Friday –

Quebec  –  at Bishop’s U., Lennoxville

Semi-Finals – Bishop’s Gaiters 76 vs Laval Rouge et Or 65 ,   McGill Redmen 74 vs Concordia Stingers 60

Ontario Final 4 – at Ottawa U.

Semi-Finals –

Carleton Ravens 84 Ryerson Rams 80 – the Ravens come from behind, with a 46-36 2nd half run, and are in the OUA Final yet again. 31 pts/ 12 boards by Thomas Scrubb, and 28 for the Rams by Jahmal Jones.

Windsor Lancers 85  Ottawa Gee-Gees  80  – the ‘giant killer’ Lancers take the air out of the Ponies’ party balloons right there at Monpetit Hall in the Nation’s Capital.  Saving themselves for the big show next week in Toronto?

 

March 12-15, CIS Final 8 – at Ryerson U. – Mattamy Centre, Toronto

Teams In –Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 9.18.57 PM

 

Overtime –

Ryerson Coach, Roy Rana

Ryerson Coach, Roy Rana                        photo – Tyler Anderson, National Post

  •  Toronto has and is producing more basketball talent than any other place in Canada, and Ryerson U. Coach Roy Rana wants to further boost his program with home-grown players. Are CIS schools able to capture a bigger share of this talent base? He and other top OUA coaches weigh in on the challenges of recruiting young players with big dreams.    More details in the National Post story by Eric Koreen
  • Where are the basketball fans in Saskatoon ?  Vikes-Cascades  ask the 15 spectators to introduce themselves to the players prior to tip-off.  It’s the Canada West championship tournament … can you work up just a bit of enthusiasm?  (The crowd arrives late, to see the Huskies game … but no real   keen appreciation for anyone else).  And, at the risk of appearing too curmudgeonly, could the U of S put a bit more thought, effort, and resources into the production on Canada West -TV ?  Two cameras, with one from the end, a static take, and the main camera panning horizontally from just over 50 yards away!   If this is the ‘showcase event‘, we’ve missed the mark by quite a ways; not a smart promotion of CIS Sport by any stretch.

Canada West Final 4 – Preview

 

The Final 4 coaches - Top left, Adam Friesen, UFV, right, UVic's Craig Beaucamp, bottom left UBC's Kevin Hanson, right Saskatchewan's Barry Rawlyk.

The Final 4 coaches – Top left, Adam Friesen, UFV, right, UVic’s Craig Beaucamp, bottom left UBC’s Kevin Hanson, right Saskatchewan’s Barry Rawlyk.

 

Top 4 Seeds Contest Canada West Championship in Saskatoon –

All four top seeds advanced to the Canada West Final 4 this past weekend, some with more drama than others;  UNBC lost 2 straight , but handled themselves very well in a tough match-up against the T-Birds.  Thompson Rivers ‘scared the chicken soup’ out of the # 1 Saskatchewan Huskies, before the ‘Dogs prevailed late in the 3rd game.  The other two series showed more domination by the home team, as both UVic (vs Alberta) and UFV (against Calgary) demonstrated a decided edge in 2 game sweeps.

The defending champs, Alberta, are out, but all four of the qualifiers have plenty of recent experience in this Tournament finale. The ‘Birds have 2 titles in the past 5 seasons, and Saskatchewan 1, while Fraser Valley has been knocking on the door the past 3 seasons, and UVic the last 2.  No advantage there, except the obvious ‘home court / home pressure’ for the Huskies.

Now, let’s take a quick look at several key players on each team, and the team statistics  –

Canada West Final 4 – Facts and Figures – at U. Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Semi-Finals, Friday, March 6 –

UFV's Jasper Moedt, and the Vikes' Chris McLaughlin will have a critical match-up in the 1st  Semi-final

UFV’s Jasper Moedt, and the Vikes’ Chris McLaughlin will have a critical match-up in the 1st Semi-final on Friday.

 

# 3 seed – Victoria Vikes  vs # 2 seed – Fraser Valley Cascades   6 pm Central

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The Vikes – Cascades Match-up –

  • Victoria is 6-0 against Fraser Valley in the last 3 seasons, the last time was in pre-season play in October 2014 at Victoria.
  • The Vikes have played in the last 2 Canada West Finals, and gone on to the CIS Nationals. UFV played in Nationals in both 2012 and 2013.
  • Both teams are strong defensively, and both are among the best rebounding units in Canada West.
  • UVic has been the more consistent shooting team, but UVF has 6 players averaging double figures.
  • UVic’s McLaughlin, the CW Most Outstanding Player, has been dominant, but can he do that against Jasper Moedt ? 6-10 vs 6-7 ….
  • Is Marcus Tibb’s quickness negated by the defense of UFV’s Dom Brooks?

    Nate Brown can tip the scales in UFV's favour.

    Nate Brown can tip the scales in UFV’s favour.

  • Is Reiner Theil the defensive stopper that the Vikes need against Kevon Parchment?  Nate Brown? Maybe Mack Roth has the size / quickness? ‘Big Nate’ has both, and is tough to handle.
  • Who’s hot from outside ? Manny Dulay or Brooks for UFV ?  Tibbs or Theil for UVic?  Maybe the X-factor is the ‘Cades’ Vijay Dhillon!  The 2nd yr. guard from Richmond, B.C., transferred from Victoria to Fraser Valley, and he may be hitting his stride just in time for a key playoff role.
  • This should be the lower scoring Semi-Final, and it really is too hard to pick.

 

# 4 seed – UBC Thunderbirds  vs  # 1 seed – Saskatchewan Huskies 8 pm  “

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The Huskies – Thunderbirds  Match-up –

  • UBC has won 7 straight vs U of S, including a sweep in League play in Vancouver in November.
  • The T-Birds missed out on the Final 4  last season, while the Huskies beat UFV for 3rd, and went to Nationals.
  • This game will be high scoring, we would guess.  Lots of foul shooting. Physical. The paint will not be for the faint of heart ….
  • Saskatchewan has been better from 3 pt. range – Collins, Trevor Severinski, Evan Ostertag, Mike Scott.  UBC has Nixon,  and Conor Morgan, bur Andrew McGuinness isn’t shooting as many ….
  • UBC’s Tommy Nixon is the key to their fortunes – if he gets it rolling, gets it in the paint, and gets to the line, the T’Birds offense will fly high. He opens it up for everyone else.

    5th year post, Tonner Jackson, has been solid for the 'Birds.

    5th year post, Tonner Jackson, has been solid for the ‘Birds.

  • Saskatchewan will count on winning the rebound battle – Ben Baker, Connor Burns, Dadrian Collins, Matt Forbes, and crew need to beat UBC’s Nixon, Morgan, David Wagner, Tonner Jackson, and maybe even Brylle Kamen.
  •  Big test for UBC’s Jordan Jensen-Whyte; how will he respond to the ‘all-the-chips-on-the-table’ pressure against the Huskies’ import gunslinger, Scott.
  • Both teams in the 80s … 90s ?  Again, it’s too hard to pick, although many insiders (certainly not lowly outside observers like us) are leaning towards the Thunderbirds.

 

Overtime –Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 7.45.48 PM

  • For those basketball fans in the Calgary area, make sure you’re at the Fighting Tacos 15th Annual NCAA March Madness Party, in support of the Mt. Royal Cougars Team. The Tacos, a notable aggregation of ‘former greats‘ toil in the Calgary Sr. Men’s League. The team has 3 former Cougars, 2 former Dinos, a Huskie and even a Mount Allison guy!  There’s usually a great turn-out, and a lot of fun watching / betting games, eating, drinking, and visiting. All the basics ! Tickets at the door – Richmond Pub – 3919- Richmond Rd. SW  … Come as early as 11 am … evening festivities begin around 4 pm.
  • UNBC copy  Reflections from UNBC Coach, Todd Jordan, a few days after his T’Wolves were eliminated from the play-offs in 2 straight at UBC … “Looking at the season as a whole, the program took a pretty big step moving forward. It was the most successful season to date (in the CIS) and to make the playoffs and a quarterfinal is a pretty big accomplishment. UBC’s program, they were hot coming down the stretch. They have some very talented athletes and it was a good measuring stick for us. We gave them a good run and at the same time, going into War Memorial Gym, it was tough going in on their own turf. But we got the playoff experience.”

Top Seeds Leap Out Front

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Vikes Give McKinnon Gym a Fitting Send-off 

  Chris McLaughlin is Vikes series leader in sweep of Alberta.

Chris McLaughlin is Vikes series leader in sweep of Alberta.

 

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

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

 

 Thunderbirds Reach Final 4 With 2nd Straight Over UNBC

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

 

More CIS Scores, Friday –

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

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

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

 

Overtime –

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

UBC and Victoria Get Home Wins

 

T-Birds Go Up One on UNBC

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

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

 

Vikes Pull Away From Alberta in the 4thV Vike

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

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

In Quebec on Thursday –

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

Overtime –

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

Thursday – Bears-Vikes, ‘Birds-‘Wolves

 

Can the Vikes and Chris McLaughlin get past the Golden Bears ?

Can the Vikes and  Canada West’s Player of the Year, Chris McLaughlin, get past the Golden Bears  in the Q-Finals?

Victoria and Alberta – Two Traditional Powers

In one Canada West Q-Final beginning on Thursday night, UVic hosts Alberta in a match-up of teams with a history of success at the League and National level.   The Vikes  have been to the last 2 CIS Nationals, but haven’t won Canada West since 2006, while the Bears were at the CIS Final 8  last season and in ’12 , and they were CW champs in both those years and in 2005.

Only one of these ‘power teams’  will move on to the Canada West Final 4.  The Vikes have home court, where they beat Alberta twice in League play, while the Bears have the longest current win streak , 8 games, in the League.  Key players and key numbers –

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The Golden Bears have a bit more depth (by minutes played), their defense is at least as good as UVic’s, and they shoot the 3 pointer better as a team.  The Vikes have 2 game-changers in McLaughlin and Tibbs, plus as good a rebounding team as there is in CW.

Youssef Ouahrig is another key for Alberta at the point, and Reiner Theill can hit the 3 and play the D for Victoria. Prediction – Home court edge in a 3 game series for UVic. 

 

5th year forward, Tommy Nixon, is UBC's ace in the paint !

5th year forward, Tommy Nixon, is UBC’s ace in the paint !

Timberwolves at Thunderbirds –  UBC  Has ‘Dynamic Duo’

In the other Thursday start, the Explorer Division’s UNBC Timberwolves (12-8), in their first-ever CIS playoff series (this is only their 3rd year in Canada West), step onto historic War Memorial Gym hardwood to face the 14-6 UBC T-Birds. UBC has been one of Canada West’s winningest programs, with 5 League championships  over the past 12 years. The ‘Birds slipped to 11-11 last season, and started 1-5 this campaign, but finished 13-1 since late November.  Key players and key numbers –

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The two dominant figures for UBC over that stretch have been Tommy Nixon, the Canada West scoring leader, and 6-9, Conor Morgan.  UNBC counters with their ‘bigs’ Francko Kouagnia and Devin McMurtry, plus a sharp-shooting Aussie import, Rhys Elliott.  The T-Birds bring more size and experience with  6-8, Tonner Jackson and 6-8, David Wagner,  and their 3rd year point man, Jordan Jensen-Wright, has grown more and more comfortable in that role.

The T’Wolves defense needs  to have a big series, and control the efforts of Nixon and Morgan, mostly inside.  UBC scores (highest ppg in Canada West) in the paint, and at the line !  Prediction – UNBC hasn’t turned it over, and they allow  fewer points, but this still looks like a 2 game sweep for UBC.

  >   Both  these series tip-off Thursday at 7 pm – Pacific

 

 Canada West Men’s Basketball Individual Award winners:

 

Huskies Ben Baker- Defensive Player of the Year

Huskies Ben Baker- Defensive Player of the Year

 Player of the Year: Chris McLaughlin, Victoria – As the ‘go-to man in the middle for the Vikesthe 6-10 McLaughlin led his team to a 15-5 season, and averaged 19.8 points per game 2nd in CW scoring, and 10 rebounds.  In his final season at Victoria, the Ontario native is a sure -fire pro candidate.

Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Baker, Saskatchewan – Leading the  Huskies (15-5)  to the #1 seed,   Baker finished  with 2.1 steals/ game,  and 7.7 rebounds, while contributing 12 ppg offensively. He also won this award in 2013.

 

 

 Calgary's  Lars Schleuter, is CW Rookie of the Year.

Calgary’s Lars Schleuter, is CW Rookie of the Year.     Photo – David Moll –  UC

Rookie of the Year: Lars Schlueter, Calgary – This 6-8, import wing-man from Germany is … “ a high percentage shooter with a quick enough release to handle the speed of our game and can run the floor very well”, says his Coach Dan Vanhooren.  He averaged 9.6 ppg and 3.2 rebounds, and defended opposing forwards very well, as he started every game for the Dinos.

 

Dan Vanhooren, UC Dinos, wins Coach of the Year.

Dan Vanhooren, UC Dinos, wins Coach of the Year.  Photo- David Moll, UC

Coach of the Year: Dan Vanhooren, Calgary – This is the first Coach of the Year selection for the Dinos 15 year head man, as he moves the team from 2 non-playoff seasons in 2013 and ‘14 to their 12-8 year this campaign, much of it spent in the CIS Top 10 rankings. Vanhooren has won 2 Canada West titles with his Dinos teams in 2004 and 2009.

 

 

 

Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Devin McMurtry, UNBC – The formidable 5th year rebounder was a peer-tutor, helping his teammates and other student-athletes with their studies, and also coached in the Jr. Timberwolves program.  The clincher, though, was his shaving is famous ‘flowing locks’ for the latest cancer fund-raiser!

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Overtime –

  • Further to the OUA’s use of the RPI as a decision-maker for playoff seeding … The RPI is a metric calculated on the following formula: 25 percent a team’s record, 50 percent a team’s opponents’ record, and 25 percent a team’s opponents’ opponents’ record.
  •  CIS Champions over the past 15 years – Carleton – 10 wins, including the last 4 seasons, Saskatchewan in 2010, Brock in 2008, Alberta in 2002, and St. FX in 2001, 2000. So 11 of 15 for the OUA, and 10/15 for Coach Dave Smart and the Ravens.  Canada West has 2 wins, as does the AUS, and Quebec hasn’t won since Bishop’s in 1998.
  •   Two big recruit signings for  Coach Mark Dobell of Mt. Royal, as theMRU has the friendliest ticket prices in the schools we checked for single game tickets. Cougars land Tyis Yellowhorn, a 6-4 combo guard from Chestermere (AB) High School. Yellowhorn, a key player on Coach Rob Wilson’s  powerhouse team ( 28-0 vs Canadian schools ), had been recruited by several other CIS schools, but stays close to home in the Calgary area. Coach Wilson says, “Tyis is a very good shooter, who builds everything else off that shot.  He makes good decisions as a ball-handler.“   The 2nd addition for MRU is Nate Wall, a 6-8 wing man from Holy Trinity, Okotoks, AB, and another highly sought -after grad, who Coach Dobell describes as having “ … a huge upside. He also shoots the ball really well, and can  put it on the floor.  He has some maturing to do physically (as do most high school grads), but we like his skills as a big kid.”