Vikes Set to Run With Local Flavour

 

Bet on UVic Back in the Play-off Hunt

In  Coach Craig Beaucamp’s 14 seasons, in only the last 2 have there been losing records.  He has been Canada West’s Coach of the Year 5 times, and his overall conference record stands at 220-99 .

Jordan Charles’ return should give Vikes more scoring punch. Photo – Vikes Athletics

He explains his ‘new plan’ for the Vikes, based on recent experiences … “We have decided to go with local kids, as much as we can. We think we have good buy-in from the talented players in our area,  or on the Island.  “A look at the roster counts 9 from Victoria or ‘up- Island’, with another 4 from the B.C. Lower Mainland.  “We have a better chance to get to know these kids, and they can be on campus for most of the year.”

Scott Kellum is a top young import lead guard for the Vikes.

One Island star who returns this year after an injury absence is Jordan Charles, a 6-4 , 4th year wing man, who gives the Vikes a great scoring option and a strong defender.

Scott Kellum (Issaquah, WA) was the Canada West Rookie of the Year in ’16-’17, and will be the UVic floor leader. Two returnee 4th year bigs are Justin Kinnear (Montreal), a rugged 6-6 post man, and Jake Newman (Surrey, BC), another strong rebounding 6-6 forward.  Hayden Lejeune (Chilliwack) is a 6-8 forward, and should be ready to shoulder more of the load.

Early looks suggest new recruit, Mason Loewen (Victoria), a 6-3 shooter, can revitalize the Victoria offense. He played Div 2 NCAA in the U.S., but returned for his last 2 seasons to play for his home school. Jaamel Slack  is a 4th year,  6-2 guard, also a Victoria high school product, who returns from Medicine Hat College (AB).

One compelling story is that of Eric Hegadoren, a 6-11 rookie from Victoria, who is a good athlete, but is really just learning the hoops game. After playing Division 2 NCAA college baseball for the past 2 years, Hegadoren has decided to use his size on the court.  More in this story from CHEK News in Victoria. 

The odds might well be leaning to a return to the win column on a more regular basis for this traditionally powerful Vikes basketball program.  Coach Beaucamp suggests he has the patience to build a team to challenge for a championship again, and we would be foolish to doubt his ability to ccomplish just that.

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Sunday  results  –   Victoria  94  Waterloo  86  – (played at UBC)  a 54 point 2nd half propels the Vikes to their 2nd win on the weekend. Again, it’s newcomer, Mason Loewen, with 26 pts to pace UVic, with Jake Newman adding 18. The Vikes take advantage of 30/33 free throws to 15/18 for the Warriors.  …  at Brandon 97  Algoma  84 – The Bobcats have 5 in double figures , with Tyvon Cooper scoring 23, Pookie Sanders 17, and Jonathan Range 15.

The Cape Breton Fall Classic  … Capers  SAIT – (cancelled due to a ‘wet floor’ ??!!  and    UPEI 88  St. FX 80 

 

Concordia’s Tournament finishes with 2 games at “The Beehive’ … Stingers 85  York 80  Dalhousie  98   Regina  85 – the Tigers win the 4 team tournament. Sven Stammberger scores 31 for Dal, while Regina has 5 in double figures, led by Samuel Hillis’ 18.  23 turnovers hurt the Cougars.

 

Overtime –

Coach Mike Raimbault welcomes rookie guard, Don Dayrit (Sister HS) Winnipeg.

We dig out the box score for Saturday’s  Winnipeg – Algoma  tilt, and note the 24 points/ 5 rebs, 3 asst, 3 steals by rookie, Don Dayrit, the Manitoba high school player of the year in 2017.  Billy Yaworsky continues to shine with 15 pts and 9 rebounds in the 90-69 Wesmen win.

Brandon Returns, Recruits Top Talent

 

 

Graduation leaves gaps for Bobcats, but recruiting may have filled them

Brandon Coach, Gil Cheung

Gil Cheung, enters his 8th year as the Head Coach of a team he once captained to a pair of National Championship Finals.  His 9-11 ‘Cats made the playoffs last season, and  he says, “We’re anxious to get into competition; lot’s of work to do, but we ‘have some pieces’ and we hope to move forward.”

Canada West all-star guard, Tyvon Cooper

Forward it may well be, despite the loss of Earl Thompson Jr, Chris Stanhope, Esmat Atem, and Denham Buchanan.  Back to juice the offense is team high scorer (18.4 ppg), import guard, Tyvon Cooper (NY), and forward John Paul (St. Lucia), a 6-11 inside force, who is a good candidate to average a double-double.

 

Pookie Saunders (Calgary), an emerging talent as a combo guard, returns for his 3rd year, and Troy Grant (Brampton, ON) , a 6-3 transfer from Thompson Rivers, will add depth. Grant’s childhood buddy from the GTA, Josh Bell, is a 3rd year guard, who will also be in the playing rotation, expected to up his scoring totals.

Cheung has added scoring, defense, and quickness in 2-time Junior College All-American, Jonathan Range (Harlem, NY), a 6-6 wing, and Jaleel Webb (Montreal), a 6-3 guard who transfers from Concordia.

The training camp has produced some nagging hurts, and the Bobcats will be ‘short-handed’ for some of their pre-season action.  Look for the ‘Cats to stay in the play-off picture in this ‘season of change’ in much of Canada West.

Dinos Defense Dumps McGill

 

 

Highly regarded Redmen team goes cold facing Dinos D

Montreal native, Mambi Diawara, has a big night in a Calgary Dinos win over McGill .      photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

In what was somewhat of a surprise, the Calgary Dinos started their pre-season with a decisive 81-61 win over the Quebec champs, McGill Redmen. Calgary defense made things tough on Redmen shooters, who were just 31% from the floor. UC, on the other hand, were 41% , then 18/21 from the line (86%), led by Mambi Diawara’s 25 points against his hometown team.

David Kapinga added 17 points, and Lars Schleuter 15 on 4/7 from 3 point range. Both coaches used their whole line-up in this first game of 3 in the Calgary Cup.  Avery Cadogan scored 15 for McGill and showed some flash taking it to the rim.

In an earlier game on Thursday at Calgary it was Acadia 96  McMaster 67.  On Friday, McMaster meets McGill, and Calgary takes on Acadia.

Other games –

Laurentian 92  at Brandon 79  – Pookie Saunders scores 22 points, and John Paul  has a 10 rebound/ 13 point double, but 24 turnovers gives the VGs extra chances. David Aromolaran scored 21 and Anthony Iacoe 18 for Laurentian.

at Toronto 89  Saskatchewan 66 – Alex Unruh scores 27 for the Huskies, but U of S hits just 4/20 from 3 pt range vs 9/33 for Toronto,  who had 5 players in double figures.

Thompson Rivers 86  NAIT 69     …

Lethbridge 92  Medicine Hat College 58

 No score yet … Victoria  Bishops

 

 

Cascades Ride Dulay to Game 3

 

 

‘If Manny Dulay crosses centre, is he in shooting range ? ‘

 Fraser Valley 78  at Winnipeg  71 –    “Magic Manny’ Dulay has given us the 3 game series we suspected we would have with these 2 evenly- matched teams.  In an extremely well-played game (only 14 total turnovers between the teams), it was the killer shooting

Precision shooting by UFV’s Manny Dulay takes the teams to game 3. photo – UFV Athletics

display by the 5th year guard from Surrey that fuelled the Cascades win in game 2.

In this virtuoso matinee performance, Dulay was an incredible 7 of 7 from way outside, as he scored 29 points/ 6 rebs/ 5 asst/ 3 steals.  Mark Johnson stepped up for 14 points, as he was 2/3 from 3 pt range, as well as claiming 7 rebounds.  The middle of the game saw the visitors tallying 49 points, and today they were able to limit Winnipeg in any small 4th quarter surge.

The Ws get 22 points from the highest scoring non-starter in Canada West, import guard  Sean Tarver. Winnipeg’s Ryan Oirbans is effective again with 16 pts /10 rebs, but the difference was the 12/22 (55%) UFV shooting from beyond the arc.  The Wesmen hit just 5 treys, and thats a 21 point spread !  14/15 from the line helped Winnipeg, but that was not enough to have the home side threaten in the end.   Box  Score    The 3rd and deciding game is Saturday at the same 3 pm Central time.        This and the other play off games available   On Canada West TV

Justus Alleyn leads Manitoba to a series sweep over Regina.   photo- Jeff Miller – Bisons Sports

at Manitoba 88  Regina   80  –  The Bisons claim a spot in the quarter-finals, with a strong opening half, where they open up a 13 point advantage, looking more relaxed and ready than on Friday.  The Herd expand that lead in the 3rd quarter, then hold off a late Regina flurry for the sweep of this series.

Once again tonight, it’s guard Justus Alleyn leading the way for UM with 20 points/ 3 steals, while back-court mate A.J. Basi hits 18 points.  There are 5 Bisons in double digits, as they shoot 48% from the floor, and 41% from 3 pt range ( Alleyn is 4/8 outside and Malik Irwin 2/2 and 10 pts) . Turnovers played a role, with Regina committing 19 and Manitoba 17, while the home side wins the rebound battle 45-36.

Brandon Tull leads the Cougars in their final game of the season, with 19 points/ 4 steals.  UR got 13 points apiece from Johneil Johnson and Travis Sylvestre.   Box  Score    Manitoba earns a date in the Q-finals with the UBC Thunderbirds out in Vancouver starting next Thursday.

Tyvon Cooper scores 30 as the ‘cats win game 1 over TRU. photo- BU sports

at Brandon  101  Thompson Rivers 95  –  Break up the Bobcats !   Finding a  new team confidence, the ‘Cats send their fans home smiling, as they hit 55% from the floor and join the visiting T’Wolves in a  53-55 track-meet in the final 20 minutes.  No one blinked as both teams let it rip, with Brandon hitting 2 more treys (and 52% from 3 pt range)  for the difference.

Tyvon Cooper had a slick 30 points/ 8 rebounds for the Bobcats, while Earl Thompson Jr ‘hit for the cycle’ with 20 pts/ 6 rebs/ 6 assts/ 3 steals.  All 5 BU starters were in double figures, with big John Paul registering a double of 11 pts/ 10 boards, and Pookie Saunders  posting 14 pts/ 5 rebs/ 7 assists/ 5 steals.

TRU responded to a 48-40 half-time deficit with a big offensive eruption in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Volodymyr Iegorov displayed his play-off mettle with 29 pts/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals, and Joe Davis had one of his finer nights, cashing 24 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.     Box  Score        Game 2 is at 7 pm Central on Saturday.

Mike Pierzchala has a big 31 pt night in the ‘Horns series opening win.     photo – Levi Balan

at Lethbridge  97 Victoria 85 –  The ‘Horns repel a spirited UVic comeback in the 3rd quarter, and finish strong to capture game 1 after putting up 29 in the 4th.  The home side gets a scare, as Dejon Burdeaux, their powerhouse guard leaves with an awkward fall late in the 3rd.

Burdeaux gets some timely ‘corner work’ from his seconds, and, much to the collective relief, he’s back for a solid final 20 minutes. The big gun for UL on the night was Mike Pierzchala, with a sparkling 9/11 outside shooting display, leading to 31 points.  Also aiding a team 52% from 3 pt range was Elliott Sentance with his 21 points on 5/9 from outside, plus 8 rebs/ 7 assists.

The Vikes spread their scoring pretty well, as they get 14 pts each from Grant Sitton (9 rebs), and Taylor Montgomery-Stinson (7 boards).  UVic had 3 others in double figures, with a good team shooting night (44% FG, 41% 3 pt, and 17/19 from the line).   Victoria could not match the Pronghorns energy in the final 10 minutes, and they will need a Saturday win to extend the series.  Box  Score     Game time Saturday is 7 pm Mountain.

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Winning is Tough for Canada West’s Newest Schools

Only 2 of the 6 ‘Explorer Division teams from last season made the play-offs this campaign.   And these were not the latest entries to Canada West;  both Fraser Valley (2006) and Thompson Rivers (2005) have been in the League for some time now. The Wolf Pack and the Cascades have both enjoyed some success in play-off competition over those years.  Trinity Western joined Canada West in 1999, then, a year later, the 4 Great Plains schools were added – Brandon, Manitoba, Regina, and Winnipeg.

This season we see the newest of our 17 teams, Mt. Royal, MacEwan, UBC-O, and UNBC, all on the outside looking in at the post -season play-downs. The TWU Spartans, who are also out, have had a few brushes with championships with Jacob Doerkson and company, but have ‘fallen on harder times’ in recent seasons.

No team outside of Victoria (16), Alberta (11), UBC (9), Calgary (5), Brandon (1), Lethbridge (1), and Saskatchewan (1) have ever won the Canada West title.  There were, of course, championships won in the GPAC by Brandon, Manitoba, and Winnipeg.

This season’s play-off slate prompts us to consider the old saw, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”, as we have Calgary, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and UBC the top 4 seeds, awaiting their opponents for the quarter-final series. We do believe the newer schools can become more competitive, and, on many nights, they have been already.  It’s not easy, however, to build a consistently strong contender in the early years of participation in Canada West.

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In the East –  Friday    

Atlantic – at #10 Dalhousie 88  Saint Marys 81 ,  at Acadia 88  St. FX 82,  at UNB 99 Cape Breton 93 – a good effort by the Capers, but they remain O-for.

Quebec –  at Laval 73 UQAM 62

Ontario –   at #1 Carleton 82  #5 Ryerson 77-  Good game.  Makes the play-offs more interesting !  at #3 Ottawa 74  Toronto  54 , at Queens 70 York  60, Laurentian 87 at Algoma 64, at Lakehead 66 Waterloo 62

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Overtime –

Nova Scotia star, Andrew Milner, signs with Calgary.

  • Andrew Milner, a 6-3 guard from Antigonish, NS,  has signed with the Calgary Dinos for the Fall of 2017.  Milner, who was a member of 2 Nova Scotia Provincial teams which won Canadian Championships in 2015 and 2016, will graduate this June from Rothesay Netherwood School (NB) .  Calgary Head Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “Andrew is very skilled and dedicated young player, and we look forward to his joining our program.”

 

  • All 4 of Canada West’s 1st round play-off sites are on the Prairies … teams seeded 5 – 8. Manitoba, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, and Brandon are hoping home court will give them the edge, and they can move on to quarter-finals next week.
  • Women’s Canada West 1st Round Play-offs –   (Best of 3 series’) Thursday, Brandon 56 at Trinity Western 48,  Friday  ,  Calgary 67 at Fraser Valley 48,  at  UBC 74 UNBC 61,  at Victoria 67 MacEwan 54 ,  at Trinity W 70  Brandon 57 – goes to a 3rd game Saturday  .     Interestingly, all 4 of these series are in B.C.  The Women’s top 4 seeds are 1 Saskatchewan  2 Regina   3 Winnipeg  4 Alberta.

 

 

Top 2 Teams Meet in Vancouver

 

 

Canada West  leaders square – off  in Vancouver this weekend

West-Coast showdown for old rivals UBC – Alberta

The UBC Thunderbirds (9-1) have ‘lured’ the 11-1 Alberta Golden Bears into War Memorial Gym for a top – 2  showdown this weekend.  Both teams have visions of claiming the top spot, and a sweep by either would be tremendous.

These teams both score very well, and shoot it around 46% from the field. The Bears are the bigger threats from 3 pt. range, with Austin Waddoups, Geoff Pippus, and Ivan Ikomey all in the top 5 long range snipers in CW.  U of A also has an exceptional rebounding team, and the T’Birds will see the board battle as a focus for this match-up.  The Bears own a 5 – 3 edge over the ‘Birds in games played over the past 3 seasons.

Who to look for?        UBCConor Morgan – CW top scorer @ 25.3 ppg ,  Jordan Jensen-Whyte, 5th year guard, 13.3 ppg, who is a big game performer, and 5th year defensive stopper, Will Ondrik (10.6 ppg), who’s shooting 49% FG.

Alberta –    Austin Waddoups is a feisty, confident lead guard who’s over 50% from anywhere on the floor!  Brody Clarke is a skilled big man, scoring 15 ppg/ 7.5 rebs. and Mamadou Gueye averages 16 ppg/ 7 boards.

The 6th man comparison is intriguing, with former T-Bird, Geoff Pippus, a big scoring threat for the Bears, and young Taylor Browne giving UBC a spark in his 19 mins/game.   We have to call it a toss-up, and expect a split in 2 very tight games.  A sweep either way is a likely ‘game-changer’ for a League finish.

 

‘Horns and Huskies in a swing series at Lethbridge

‘Bridge Town sees renewal of heated Prairie feud

Here are 2 teams looking to contend, and the 8-4 Pronghorns want to use home floor to distance themselves from Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, and Regina. But either in Saskatoon or S. Alberta, over the last 4 seasons Saskatchewan and Lethbridge have split their annual 2 game set evenly.

The ‘Horns ‘king-pin’ is 4th year import guard, Dejon Burdeaux (Oakland, CA), a 2-way leader who shoots 53% from the floor, scores 15 ppg, shares 4.5 assists, grabs 5.5 rebounds, and steals it 3.7 times a game.  UL’s other weapons include import guard, Elliott Sentance, a premier scorer (19.6 ppg, 3rd in CW), who claims 7.3 rebs/game, and Zac Overwater, a 6-8 wing (13.2 ppg) from Lethbridge.

The Sled Dogs (6-4) respond with a powerful inside game, led by the dynamic Shane Osayande, a 6-6, 4th year forward (Toronto), who averages a double of  19 points and 11 rebounds.  A healthy Matt Forbes (12 ppg/8 rebs), a  5th year bruiser, helps the Huskies with their team  +10 rebound margin, and is upping his scoring totals. Speedy guards, Alex Unruh Saskatoon), and Chan De Ciman (Regina) get perimeter help from Jaylan Morgan, a 6-5 swingman, and 6-3 import addition Lawrence Moore.

Why would we expect anything but a split here?  Two good teams, rounding into form will make for a dynamite series in the ‘Bridge Town’.

 

More Canada West action –

Two Winnipeg teams on the road this week –

Denzel Lynch Blair leads the Wesmen against TRU

> The 8-4 Winnipeg Wesmen, led by guards Denzel Lynch-BlairWilliam Sesay, and Sean Tarver head to Kamloops to play the TRU Wolf Pack (6-6).  The ‘Pack have an 8-2 record over the Wesmen in games since 2008.  Thompson Rivers big men Volodymyr Iegorov and Luke Morris will challenge the Ws, and we feel a split may be in the cards.

>  Closer to home base, the Manitoba Bisons (4-6) start their 2nd half at the Regina Cougars (6-4), with the Herd anxious to fulfill the promise of a veteran team coming off a big Wesmen Classic win.  Alex Igual and the Cougars will have to be at their best against Keith Omoerah and the Bisons.

>  Mt. Royal Cougars (5-5) fly to Prince George, BC to face the UNBC Timberwolves (4-8), and MRU are looking to bounce back from a home loss to Brandon.  This series will feature ‘Wolves shooters Rhys Elliott and Marcus MacKay against Cougars forwards Brett Layton and Josh Ross. Neither team will be satisfied with anything but a sweep.

Bobcats shooting guard, Tyvon Cooper

> Victoria Vikes  (3-7) at UBC-O Heat (2-10) –  UVic’s backs are against the wall.  Any play-off hopes for Grant Sitton and the Vikes cannot allow under-dog heroics from the Heat guard pair of Mitch Goodwin and Aldrich Berrios.

>  Another Prairie match-up has the 4-8 Brandon Bobcats at home against the veteran 3-9 MacEwan Griffins.  Brandon is showing new life, with 2nd year guard, ‘Pookie’ Saunders stepping up to complement high scorer Tyvon Cooper and stellar forward, Earl Thompson Jr.  The Griffs’ Thadius Galvez, Denzel James, and 5th year forward, Keith Gerdes will keep it interesting.

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Scores from the East –

Ontario –  at #10 McMaster 85 Laurier 54, at Windsor 85  Western Ont. 78

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Overtime –

  • UFV’s Adam Friesen, on his team’s focus going into their road series at #5 U. Calgary.  “We know we’re facing a really good team, but we hope to come in excited and loose,” Friesen said. “This is going to be a great opportunity to test ourselves and get better. We want to see if we can compete for all 40 minutes harder than we ever have this season, because if we don’t, it’s going to be a long night.” (From Dan Kinvig – UFV Athletics)
  • Conor Morgan video –  5th year star looks to lift T-Birds … from high school prodigy to pro prospect for UBC’s outstanding 6-9 forward.

 

 

 

Bobcats Bring Fresh Hope

 

 

2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

Brandon Bobcats

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

Returnees –   br-bobcats-copy-2

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

New faces –

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

jordan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule –  

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

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

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


 

Overtime –

kelly-olynyk-heroes-among-us-celtics-hub

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

 

 

‘Old’ Pioneer Powers Scrambling

 

 

 

Changing of the Guard in Canada West ?

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 7.38.26 AM
After watching all 3 of Victoria, Alberta, and Saskatchewan absorb two losses each this past weekend, we find ourselves in the ‘New Order’ of Canada West Basketball.  These three teams  have figured prominently in Canada West and CIS hoops for years past;  the last 5 Canada West championship games were won by –  2015 – Victoria over Saskatchewan, 2014 – Alberta over Victoria, 2013 – UBC over Victoria, 2012 – Alberta over Fraser Valley, 2011 – UBC over Saskatchewan.

 The T-Birds are still good bets to be in the Final 4, and, of course, host the CIS Nationals, but what of the Bears, Vikes, and Huskies?  It would seem unlikely, or even shockingly improbable for all 3 strong programs to have such a difficult year.  We certainly think U of A and UVic still have playoff shots, but U of S has faded too far South;  graduation of key players, injuries, and defections have conspired to reduce these teams to chasers rather than the leaders they had been for so long.

We suspect they will all be back next season with their usual competitive squads, but, for now, they have given way to ‘upstart teams’, like Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, and Thompson Rivers.  We have 3 weeks of play remaining in both Divisions, and it’s highly likely that we may have a very different slate of teams competing in the Final 4 come March 11-12.

Four Series Sweeps Change the Standings

Manitoba copyWe had 5 series in the Pioneer last weekend, as the 6 Explorer teams and the UC Dinos had the weekend off. We saw movement away from the middle of the standings by several teams, as 4 of these series’ ended with 2-game sweeps.
> Manitoba has officially exorcised their 2nd half of the season ghosts of past years; they pounce all-over the Regina Cougars, 89-82 and 77-63, and sit at 11-5.
> Across town, the Winnipeg Wesmen prepared themselves for the ‘Red River Rivalry’ series by dispatching a scrappy U of S Huskies squad 81-77 and 81-72 to win their 6th in a row for a 9-5 mark.
> At Lethbridge, the short-benched Bears were trounced by a running, pressing Pronghorns team, who used 2nd half onslaughts to dispatch their Northern rivals 93-61 and 88-62.
> In their brand-spanking -new Carsa Centre, the ‘rebuilding‘ Victoria Vikes were sorely pressed to stay anywhere near the visiting UBC Thunderbirds.  UBC took both games with unusual ease … 79-51 and then 86-67.
> It was fitting that both Brandon (Friday) and Trinity Western (Saturday) got their first wins of the season in their series in Langley.  No playoff chances, but the shut-out is averted!

Top Performers last weekend –

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.

Keith Omoerah is a difference-maker for the Herd this season.  photo- Bisons Athletics

  • Keith Omoerah may not have a big ’S’ on his chest, but he should have !  Keith’s return to the Bison Herd has put this team on a path for championship contention, with his rebounding, scoring, and defensive effort.  16 points / 14 rebounds/ 6 assists on Friday, then 18 boards plus 12 points, 3 asst, 4 steals in the Saturday win. Oh, and we might mention A.J. Basi’s  significant sharp-shooting role … 27 points Friday, and Jonathan Alexander chipping in both nights for totals of 26 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Winnipeg’s  Denzel Lynch-Blair has to be in the  all-star discussion, with yet another week of multiple contributions for UW, with 49 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 steals.  Nicely done, young man !  Ryan Oirbans with his rebounding and a 29 point night on Saturday from Jelane Pryce pace the Ws to a sweep.
  • Brandon Brine hits 37 points, with a scoring frenzy at home for the ‘Horns on Friday, then Jared Baker takes over on Saturday, hitting 3s everywhere, and scoring 17 points / 5 assists.  Lethbridge has a ‘not-so-secret-weapon’, however;  Dejon Burdeaux, back to ‘match-fitness’ is a dominant force at both ends of the floor … 31 points over 2 nights, to go along with 16 assists and 12 steals off the very effective UL press.
  • UBC has a varied attack, as they get 8 players contributing in both definitive victories at UVic … their depth is apparent, when their scoring leader Conor Morgan has a quieter weekend, but rookie Taylor Browne steps up with 15 points/ 4 reb, 3 asst on Saturday, while the night before David Wagner returned to the ‘Birds line-up with 12 points/ 6 rebounds.
Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday.

Lucas Mannes sparks TWU win on Saturday. photo – TWU Athletics

A round of applause for the TWU Spartans’ Lucas Mannes with his tour de force of 56 points/12 reb/14 asst/6 steals; his teammate Kelvin Smith chimes in  with 49 points/ 14 rebounds/ 5 steals.   Brandon’s Earl Thompson pots 37 points / 19 rebounds in the split series, and the Bobcats’ rookie, Pookie Saunders, gets our attention with a combined 39 points /12 boards / 10 asst/ 5 steals.

 

 


 

 CIS Scores  on Sunday –  
Atlantic –   UPEI  97  at Cape Breton   80  … a split of their weekend pair, leaving the Panthers (10-4) in a 1st place tie with Dalhousie, and the Capers (7-6) scratching for a playoff spot, back in 5th spot .


 

Overtime –   

  • UBC are wanting to try and duplicate the feat of the 1982 UVic Vikes under Coach Ken Shields, who won the CIS Championship at Memorial Arena in Victoria that season, the 3rd of 7 straight for the Vikes.  The Birds don’t yet have that kind of roll going, but UBC Coach Kevin Hanson wants to start this March !
  • As for the 7-9 Vikes, Coach Craig Beaucamp says , “We’re trying to stay up in a down time.  There is so much left to play for. We’ve got a good nucleus and can’t lose sight of the big picture. We can still make some noise.” From the Victoria Times-Colonist, Cleve Dheensaw
  • Speaking of the U of A Golden Bears , who his UL team beat twice last weekend in Lethbridge, “They’re a banged up group,” said Horns coach Mike Hansen. “It’s a reversal of fortune. We limped up there last season and lost and this time it was their turn to have a bunch of injured guys. Our guys played great D all weekend,” said Hansen. “Jared Baker and Dejon Burdeaux at the top of our press were great both games.”  From Dylan Purcell in the Lethbridge Herald.

Winnipeg Teams Defend Home Courts

 

Jelane Pryce is big in the Wesmen win, as both Winnipeg schools finish of home sweeps on Saturday.

Jelane Pryce is big in the Wesmen win, as both Winnipeg schools finish off home sweeps on Saturday.

 

at Manitoba 77  Regina  63 –   The Herd rumble to a most convincing shut-down of the visiting Cougars, and get the sweep to improve to 11-5 for the season. Up by 15 at the half, the Bisons widen the gap in the 3rd, then waltz home with the W.  Regina just not in this one, as they hit only 28% from the floor, and are unable to take advantage of a generous 26 Manitoba turnovers. All 5 UM starters score in double digits, led by Keith Omoerah, who also claims 18 rebounds, 3 asst, 4 steals . Jonathan Alexander has a double of 12 points and 11 boards. Aaron McGowan is off the bench with 11 points / 5 asst  for the Cougars, who also have Jonathan Tull with 12, and Travis Sylvestre adding 10. Regina slips to 8-6, with UVic, Calgary, and Saskatchewan left.    Box Score

at Winnipeg  81 Saskatchewan  72 –  With foul trouble hanging over several players in the 4th quarter, the Huskies lost the lead they had for most of the game, as Winnipeg hit 11 points in the final minute from the foul line.  The foul shots really did determine the outcome as the home team shot  27/35, while the visiting Huskies had just 6/10.  Jelane Pryce, with 29 pts / 10 rebounds, and Denzel Lynch-Blair’s 27, with 5 reb/ 6 asst/ and 5 steals  filled the scoresheet for the Ws.  William Sesay added 11 boards, 3 assists, and 2 steals to help Winnipeg to the sweep. Shawn Lathan was good for U of S, with his 19 points/ 5 rebounds, and Mack Burns  grabbed all of 15 rebounds. The Wesmen move up to 9-5, in the thick of the playoff race, with 4 more home games coming up, while Saskatchewan are 4-10, with prospects fading rapidly.  Box Score

at Lethbridge  88  Alberta 62  –   Deja vu for the Bears and Pronghorns, as the home side takes a 5 point lead into the half, then steps up the pace to pull away quickly in the 3rd, with a 25-9 pasting. The U of A cannot match the 52% shooting of the ‘Horns, and the Bears relatively inexperienced back-court cough it up 29 times to add to the agony. Four U of L starters in double figures, with 21 points, 8 assists, 4 steals by import guard, Dejon Burdeaux, and 17 points/ 5 asst by senior guard Jared Baker, who is 5/7 from outside.  Alberta shoots only 33% from the floor, but go to the line for 25/32, as Mamadou Gueye counts 19 points/ 7 rebounds. Lethbridge get to 9-5 with the weekend double over Alberta (7-8), and the ‘Horns travel to Calgary next week to play the 12-3, first place Dinos.   Box Score

# 9  UBC  86 at Victoria 67  –   The UBC offensive power puts the Vikes away for a 2nd straight night, as the home team finds it tough to get inside hoops against the ‘Birds size.  Vic works hard at the defensive end, but the relentless attack by the Thunderbirds (12-4) proves decisive.  53-34 at half-time leaves little doubt as to the result, with UBC hitting 55% from the floor to only 36% for the Vikes. A team effort from the ‘Birds, with 3 players – Jordan Jensen-Whyte (7rebs), Philip Jalalpoor (5 boards), and 1st year guard, Taylor Browne (4 reb, 3 asst, 6/6 shooting) scoring 15 points apiece, then 2 others  with 12.  Victoria (7-9) never threatens, but get Mack Roth with a good shooting night (7/13) at 16 points, and Reiner Theil working hard for 6 rebounds and 13 points.    Box Score

A 36 point effort from Lucas Mannes leads Trinity to their 1st win on Saturday.

A 36 point effort from Lucas Mannes leads Trinity to their 1st win on Saturday.

 at Trinity Western 87 Brandon  78 –  Trinity uses home court on Saturday, and finally land their elusive 1st win of the season, after having come close at least a couple of previous times. A 52 point feast in the 2nd half allows the Spartans to overcome a 3 point half-time deficit, as they shoot 49% on the night to Brandon’s 40%.  Lucas Mannes had a terrific game for TWU, as he scores 36 points/ 6 reb/ 5 asst/ 5 steals, and Kelvin Smith adds 18 points / 9 boards.  Brandon’s rookie guard, ’Pookie’ Saunders, leads the ‘Cats with 21 points/ 7 asst/ 6 rebounds.  Box Score

 

 


 

 

CIS Scores  on Saturday –
Atlantic –   at Cape Breton  77  UPEI   63, at #10 Dalhousie 87 Acadia 68,  at UNB 108  Memorial 90,  Saint Marys 82  St. FX 69
Quebec – #7 McGill  at Bishop’s ,  at UQAM 98 Laval 97,
Ontario –  #1 Ryerson 97 at Nipissing 68, at #2 Ottawa 91 York 61,  at #3 Carleton 99 Queen’s 81, Guelph 80 at Algoma 60, at Laurentian 75 Toronto 74, at Lakehead 74        #4 McMaster  72 , Western 81 Laurier 60,  Windsor 86  Waterloo 58