Home Teams Favoured to Advance

 

The higher-ranked home teams are consensus favourites in this week’s Q-Finals

Keith Omoerah is one of several UM Bisons playing at the top of his game right now. Photo by Jeff Miller Bison Sports

Keith Omoerah is one of several UM Bisons playing at the top of his game right now.                  Photo by Jeff Miller,  Bison Sports

#5  Fraser Valley  at  #4  Manitoba Bisons – The Cascades have won the last 4 games with the Bisons, including a Fall pre-season contest in Winnipeg.  If we fast-forward to February, Manitoba copyhowever, we have Manitoba completing their regular season with 7 straight wins.  The Bisons have more consistent winning efforts with Ws  over UBC, Lethbridge, Calgary … in regular season no one has done better than a split with the CIS #9 ranked Herd.  UFV, in contrast, literally ‘limped in’ with  4 losses in their final 8 games, and lost to each of the other 5 Explorer teams at least once this season.
Injuries and illness have limited the Cascades, and they don’t have the same depth.  Nate Brown has been in and out of their line-up, and he is a big key, if they are to advance. However, look at the experience in the top 5-7 players … Fr Valley5th year all-star, Kevon Parchment, does it all at the wing, and the guard combo of Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhiilon are solid, and Navjot Bains is under-rated , with 9 ppg and 7.5 rebounds.
Manitoba will be favoured .  Their home court, they shoot far more FTs, score more , and play at a higher pace .  UM has high quality guards … A. J. Basi, Justus Alleyn,  and Ilarion Bonhomme, While Keith Omoerah (big guard-wing) 9.8 rebs/ 13 ppg/ 3.8 assts. Forwards – Wyatt Anders 9.8 reb, Brett Jewell, Jon Alexander.
It’s hard not to pick the Bisons, but UFV have some veterans who believe in themselves, and Coach Friesen is no stranger to play-off pressure.  Game times – Central, Thursday  7 pm  Fri- 7 pm, * Sat. – 3 pm

#7 Regina  at  #2 Thompson Rivers –  Regina are in the air today, winging their way to TRU Wolf Pack copyKamloops, after a 2 day prep for this Q-Final against the Explorer Division’s top team, TRU.  We have no update on the health condition of the Cougars, after last week’s ‘campus plague’ had brushed some team members.
What UR will find in the B.C. interior is a big, skilled, confident Wolf Pack team with an exceptional front line;   6-10, Josh Wolfram (19 ppg / 9.6 rebs), 6-7, Volodymyr Iegorov (18.4 ppg/ 7.1 rebounds), 6-4, Luke Morris (12.5 ppg/ 6.3 rebs)  are a formidable trio. Reese Pribilsky is a 5th year guard who can score and distribute, and 6-5 Gerard Gore appears ready to make an impact with some recent efficient scoring and steady rebounding. The Pack shoot the ball well, inside and out, and imagesfrom the foul line, although they don’t get there enough. They do a good job on the boards, and they take good care of the ball.
The visiting Cougars will need a better shooting effort to begin this series  than last week’s with Winnipeg, if they hope to come out on top vs TRU.  Jonathan Tull (17 ppg), Brandon Tull (12 ppg), Alex Igual, and Andre McGowan have the games to give the ‘Pack a real run, but shooting and rebounding will be the key.  Contending with TRU’s size will be a bigger challenge if big Stephen Shields is still not available on Thursday . The Cougars want to run, and can score from the break with J. Tull and McGowan.  Their 3 point shooting usually comes from Will Tallman, McGowan, and Igual.
If there’s an upset in this Q-Final round, it could be in this series, if Regina were to be at their best, and TRU were feeling the ‘pressure’ of a home crowd.   Game times –  Pacific – 7 pm, 7 pm, *7 pm, if necessary

UBC's Jordan Jensen-Whyte uses speed, power, and finesse to get the ball to the hoop for the 'Birds.

UBC’s Jordan Jensen-Whyte uses speed, power, and finesse to get the ball to the hoop for the ‘Birds.        photo – The Ubyssey

# 6  Lethbridge at  #3  UBC –  There’s a temptation to rate the T-Birds as huge ubcfavourites, with a home floor, and the League leading team FG% – 47%, and rebound margin – +9, averaging 83 ppg and giving up just 71. The ‘Birds  beat the ‘Horns twice at this same venue in League play in early January, and CW records tell us that UL last beat UBC in Vancouver in 1999.  We are, however, going to give the Pronghorns consideration for their veteran depth, and the key role that their 2 talented imports could play.
Brandon Brine (19 ppg, 6.7 rebs)), a 5th year, 6’6’  Aussie  can go for 30, and can scoop 10-12 rebounds on any given night, while, if he has recovered sufficiently from leg injuries,  guard Dejon Burdeaux (12.5 ppg, 4.5 rebs,3.5 'horndasst, 3.4 steals,) a California product,  is a load at both ends, with a slashing offensive style , and the quick hands of the Canada West steals leader. Rob Olsen (15 ppg) is among the League’s best 3 point % shooters at 41.8%.  The ‘Horns, with younger forwards, Zac Overwater (6-8), Chris Vaughn (6-9), and Mike Pierzchala (6-5), have some size to try and match the Thunderbirds.
But the T-Birds have this ‘War Memorial edge’ – it’s a tough place for visiting teams to win.  Three ‘Birds are major scoring / rebounding threats – Conor Morgan (7.3 rebs) and Jordan Jensen-Whyte (5 rebs) are near 15 ppg apiece, and 6-8 David Wagner (5.5 rebs) has a well-honed touch on the inside (12 ppg). With 6-8 Patrick Simon, 6-7 Luka Zaharijevic, and 6-7 Will Ondrik, UBC has more than enough size to intimidate.  Import guards Phil Jalalpoor and A.J.Holloway do a good job of keeping the offense on track.
A Lethbridge win in this match-up would be a surprise; not an impossibility, but certainly and eye-opener.    Thursday – Saturday … 7 pm  Pacific for all 3 games (* if the 3rd is necessary).
#9 Alberta  at  #1 Calgary  –  Do all the season’s stats go out the window when we talk Dinos14about a Dinos v Bears play-off series? Well, no, but there is a tradition of very hard-fought games, many of which have gone right down to the wire. We don’t think Calgary will dominate the Bears this weekend, but we do think, based on their depth and season’s performance, that they should be the odds-on favourites.
Alberta comes with a stingy defense, which surrenders an average of 71 ppg, but their offense (68.5 ppg) has been lacking punch in many games this campaign. The FG shooting stats are shaky   – 39% from the floor, 29% from 3, but they hit 73.5% from the line. Mamadou Gueye, their 6-7 Quebec import, scores 18.5 ppg, and 7.5 rebounds, while rookies Brody Clarke , a 6-8 post (12 ppg, 6.3 rebs), and Colby Jackson , a 5-9 guard (8 ppg, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals)  are also big contributors on the attack.   7-1 Brett Roughead makes his presence felt on defense, and can mix it up in the paint.
Calgary has speed and quickness going both ways, with point men David Kapinga, and Torrez McKoy taking the lead. If their defense makes things hard for Gueye, Clarke, and Jackson of U of A, the Dinos should have enough fire-power to get the job done at the Bears 3other end.  CW’s #1 scorer, Thomas Cooper (26 ppg), has range, quickness, and a remarkable ability to get to the rim.  He has a pair of outstanding 3 point shooters ‘riding shot-gun’ – Josh Owen-Thomas (44.6%) and Lars Schleuter (44.2%).
Everyone who plays can score – with wing-men Jasdeep Gill (7 ppg) and Dallas Karch (6 ppg)  capable of bigger things in big games. UC has as many as 4 posts set to go, with the 5th year, 6-7 Matt Letkeman leading the way, but 6-7 Mitch Ligertwood, 6-7 Matt Ellis, and 6-6 Connor Foreman are ready at any time.  These teams present a big contrast in style, with Calgary on the run, and Alberta almost looking to limit the number of possessions. The Bears defense could hamper the UC attack, but not enough, by our estimation to secure an upset here.
Games are (Mountain) Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 7 pm, and * Sunday at 2 pm, if needed.


 

 

Overtime –

  • Error ! –  We were relying on some old info regarding Quebec play-offs … their tournament will have 4 teams (where previously they involved only 3) .  There are League games left, but the match-ups have already been decided –
    In the semi-finals – Laval plays McGill and UQAM plays Concordia.    All games at McGill  on  March 11-12.
  • The OUA announced a change in the final League results on Monday …   York U. self-reported an eligibility violation for one of their players, and consequently they forfeited 3 wins, taking them out of play-off consideration.  U. Toronto is elevated from 4th to 3rd in their Division, and they get the #10 seed previously held by the Lions.
  • Fraser Valley Coach, Adam Friesen (right) , on his Cascades’ challenge vs the A FriesenManitoba Bisons in Winnipeg,  “It takes strong leadership, good chemistry and mental toughness to have success on the road in the playoffs,” Friesen noted. “The challenge is that you’re having to face a good team, because they’ve earned home court.” “They’re well-rounded,” Friesen noted. “Their bigs are a physical presence down low, and their guards are versatile and can shoot from deep. “They’re challenging, and we’ve got to do our best to figure it out. Controlling the pace of the game will be important.”  (From UFV Sports – Dan Kinvig)
  • Lethbridge 5th year players, Rob Olsen and Jared Baker , as they prepare to play at UBC in their Q-Final series, “I don’t want it to end. This has been such a big part of things, I know none of us want this weekend to be the end of our basketball careers,” (Olsen) said.  As for Baker, “I’ve been playing competitive basketball since what, Grade 4?” he said. “Maybe even earlier than that. No, I don’t want it to end, none of us do.”

Manitoba and Regina Get Huge Wins

Bisons in OT over Wesmen and Regina Catches Vikes in the 2nd half

 Manitoba copyManitoba 82 at Winnipeg 74  OT  –   Down by 7 at the half and 5 at the 3/4 mark, the Bisons take the lead half-way through the final stanza, but Winnipeg fights back to get it to extra time.  12-4 Herd in that session as they get the sweep with a win at UW to advance to 13-5, and now solidly in 3rd spot.  Keith Omoerah has a stellar performance with 22 points and 16 rebounds, helping UM control the glass by a 57-41 count. Both Justus Alleyn and A. J. Basi cash 15 points for Manitoba who matched a somewhat cold shooting night from Winnipeg, both  hitting just 37.5% from the floor.  The Wesmen (9-7) have James Farlay with 17 points, and William Sesay scoring 9 and grabbing 11 boards. Box Score

 Regina  91   Victoria 82  –  The Vikes were better on Saturday in Regina, taking a 4 point half-time lead, but the Cougars win the 2nd half 49-36 to get a critical sweep, as they are in 4th at 10-6.  UVic, last year’s League champs may be outside the play-off picture, as they drop their 6th straight to fall to 7-11. Jonathan Tull comes up big for U of R once more, with his 24 points/ 6 boards / 4 steals, and he got help from 16 points / 8 rebounds / 5 assists by 6th-man Aaron McGowan. Victoria had balanced scoring, with 5 in double digits, led by 15/ 5 reb/ 4 asst from Grant Sitton, and 10 points / 11 boards by Reiner Theil. Box Score

Lars Schleuter's late trey catapults Dinos to Saturday win.

Lars Schleuter’s late trey catapults Dinos to Saturday win.

at  #5 Calgary 88  Lethbridge  84 –  A 20 point Dinos lead at the break was erased by agame Lethbridge squad, who made a massive comeback, hitting 52 points in the final 20 minutes. Calgary was reeling, and stuck on offense, as the ‘Horns switched to Man-D, and confused the UC attackers. It was tied at 79 with 3 minutes left, and UL had all the momentum; a Thomas Cooper free throw and Lars Schleuter’s 3 point shot put Calgary back in front, and they held on with hoops from David Kapinga and Cooper, and a big blocked shot from Dallas Karch.  UC goes 10 in a row and are in 1st spot at 14-3, while the Pronghorns fade to 9-7.  Cooper led all scorers with 27, plus 5 boards and 10 assists, while Schleuter finished with 18 including 6/9 from 3 point range. For UL, it was Brandon Brine scoring 19 and 7 rebounds, with Rob Olsen adding 18 points.  Box Score

at Alberta  83  Trinity Western 60 –  With a smothering defensive game, the Bears never trail in this home win, moving them to 9-8 on the season. Mamadou Gueye continues his hot play for the weekend, with 27 points / 7 reb/ 5 assists, and Brody Clarke adds 16 points/ 3 asst / 3 steals. TWU shoots only 36% to 47% for the U of A; Kelvin Smith is the lone Spartan in double figures with 11 points.    Box Score

 at Saskatchewan 81   Brandon 61   –  The Huskies looked like a refreshed team, as they get great scoring from a lengthened bench corps, led by 22 from guard Alex Unruh, and big man, Trevor Severinski, with 14. The U of S out-shot (46% to 40%) and out-rebounded (43-35) the Bobcats, taking control with a 51-24 edge in the sandwich sessions. Brandon’s D. J. Jordan hit 18 points / 6 reb and Earl Thompson had 15 points, but the ‘Cats go to a dismal 1-15 while the Huskies are now 6-10.    Box Score


Okanagan Get a Clutch Home Win over UFV

Mitch Goodwin leads Okanagan to a huge home win over Fraser Valley.

Mitch Goodwin leads Okanagan to a huge home win over Fraser Valley.

at UBC-Okanagan 68  Fraser Valley   65 –   The Heat (8-8) help their play-off cause with a clutch win courtesy of 3 points from Randall Mosca in the final seconds. This is a toughly contested game with many lead changes throughout, as Mitch Goodwin tallies 24 points for UBC-O, adding 5 reb / 5 asst. UFV cost themselves with 18 turnovers; Manny Dulay hits 24 points for the Cascades (10-6) including 5/10 from beyond the arc, and Nate Brown contributes 19 points / 7 boards.  Box Score 
at Thompson Rivers  70  UNBC 56 –   The Wolf Pack lead all the way; they are just too much for the T-Wolves in out-shooting the visitors 45% to 31% from the floor, and 44 rebounds vs 30 for UNBC. Albert Medrano scores 14 to lead TRU (14-2), while Josh Wolfram has 12 rebounds and 8 points. UNBC (3-13) gets 14 points and 5 rebounds from Saje Gosal.  Box Score

Denzel James scores 30 to propel his Griffs to a big win at Mt.Royal.

Denzel James scores 30 to propel his Griffs to a big win at Mt.Royal.

 MacEwan 78  at Mt. Royal   73 –   The Griffins (7-9)  bounce back for a crucial split on the road vs MRU, as the visitors make a 28-15 outburst in the 2nd quarter stand-up for the win. Mac outshoots the Cougars 48% to 39% from the floor, and make 18/24 free throws to 12/23 for the Cougs (6-10).  MacEwan gets a big 30 point game from Denzel James (6 reb), plus 16 points / 6 boards / 5 asst from Chris Mooney. Mt. Royal are paced by 20 points / 8 reb from James Lefebvre, and 12 points / 12 boards by Brett Layton. Box Score


More  CIS Scores  on Saturday –  
Quebec – #6 McGill 74 at UQAM  60   , Concordia 64   at  Bishop’s  61
Atlantic – at St. FX  96  UPEI  90  , at Saint Marys  86 UNB 77  ,  at Acadia 87  Cape Breton 79, #10 Dalhousie 83 at Memorial 78
Ontario –   at Toronto 79 Laurier 60  , at Windsor 93 Nipissing 71 , Guelph 102  at York 98, at Algoma 81  Waterloo 68  , at Western 61 Laurentian 50   , at Queen’s 80  Lakehead 72


Overtime –   

  • A.J. Basi, with an example of why the local rivalry is inevitably the more intense; after the Manitoba Bison’s game 1 win over Winnipeg on Friday,  “It feels good,” Basi said. “Just in general, beating the Wesmen, we don’t really like those guys. There’s always a rivalry there. On top of that we won the Duckworth Challenge, and we’re one step closer to clinching a home playoff series.”  From the Winnipeg Sun – Kirk Penton.
  • UNBC Coach Todd Jordan, on his team’s effort in Friday’s loss at  TRU, despite their injury problems taking away firepower and depth, “I don’t think the score reflected the effort we put in today” explains … Jordan. “ I was happy with our guys. We had a really weak second quarter that put us in a tough spot. We are pretty banged up and injured and have a lot of young guys seeing lots of minutes.”  From a story in News Kamloops.
  • Just in case you missed it yesterday …
    A celebration of the  Life and Accomplishment  of famed  Alberta Colleges coach, Phil Allen, will be held at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton on Wednesday, February 17  at 10:00 am in the main gymnasium. There will be a reception to follow. Players, Alumni, Colleagues, Family and Friends are all welcome. Please RSVP or contact the family directly – joelallenx@gmail.com

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 !

Canada West Pioneer – Nip and Tuck

 

 

Hammer and Tong in the Pioneer Division  Battle –

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.15.11 AM
The games are fiercely contested, largely competitive, and beginning to take a toll.  More players and teams are ‘sore, lame, hurting, fatigued’, or just flat-out injured, as we talk with coaches around the League. Last week saw leaps forward – by Winnipeg, with their 2 wins at home over Victoria, as the Wesmen hit 7-5;  by Alberta, who are now 7-6 after getting 2 much-needed road wins at Brandon; and by Calgary, who mix up their line-up, and throttle the short-handed TWU Spartans to stay in 1st place at 12-3.
We saw significant wins –  Regina, most notably, who won their 1st-ever game at UBC on Saturday, and sit at a tidy 8-4, in 4th place; Manitoba (9-5) on Saturday, getting a win in Lethbridge, and ‘calming the Herd’ after a disappointing Friday loss. We have to assume the ‘Pronghorns (7-5) were pleased with the Friday home win, but not so much on Saturday.
We have last year’s champs, UVic (7-7), staggering  back home after 2 more losses (at Winnipeg), and trying to steady the ship before the Thunderbirds visit this coming weekend.
And, painfully, we had both Brandon and Trinity Western remain winless, with 2 losses apiece.


Now That We’ve Decided First in the Explorer …

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.15.30 AM

The whole Division has a bye week  !  This is a  chance to heal, take a few deep breaths, re-tool the game-plans, and prepare for the final 3 weekends.
But the TRU Wolf Pack are getting stronger, and distancing themselves from the fray beneath them … we have to call it at this point. … 2 home wins over MRU, and they are 12-2, with a 3 game lead.


Fraser Valley, at their healthy-best, can still be a playoff factor, but their current run of injuries and illness has taken away some of the confidence and cohesion. A bad loss on Saturday at MacEwan, and now 9-5.
Okanagan (7-7) get 2 road wins and 3rd place on their own, as they clip the UNBC ‘Wolves, who are another crew licking their wounds, falling to a distant 3-11.
MacEwan needed and got a ‘lifeline-win’ on Saturday vs UFV, and the Griffs can still play their way back to 3rd, but time is not on their side.
Mt. Royal loses 2 … they can consider mathematical chances at this stage, with 4 home games left, but the odds are getting a bit to large for the Cougars (5-9), we would guess.


‘Unsung Heroes Week’ –

Jasdeep Gill of Calgary, is one of many Canada West stalwarts who toil mostly unheralded from game to game.

Jasdeep Gill of Calgary, is one of many Canada West stalwarts who toil mostly unheralded from game to game.           photo –  David Moll, UC Athletics

They’re seldom in the headlines, but their impact shows in the games.  These 8 players are representative of so many of the ‘engine room’ kind of players; they are the ones who give their teams an edge just when it makes the difference between winning and losing.  ‘Points off the bench’ …  ‘Teammate in a supporting role’ !

Aaron McGowan, Regina –  This  4th year transfer (UFV) guard would be a sound pick as ‘6th Man of the Year’, if there were such an award.  (Maybe we’ll create one !)  He has been a super addition for the Cougs’ , and he helped last weekend in Vancouver, with his 21 points,  5 assists, and 5 steals  vs UBC.

Mike Pierzchala, Lethbridge –  We’re just starting to see the talents of ’North Side Mike’ emerge, and he looks like a future star for the ’Horns.  A modest 12 points /9 rebs/ 5 Asst vs Manitoba, but he will figure more notably down the stretch for Lethbridge, and certainly in future seasons.

Jasdeep Gill, Calgary –  Here’s an experienced 4 year – veteran who waits for the call, then rolls out his varied skills package to contribute where he’s needed .  A high school point man, he has morphed into a ball-handling ‘3-4’  for this year’s Dinos. Against TWU, he tallied 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists in the 2 lop-sided wins.
William Sesay, Winnipeg – He’s a smooth, quick 25 minute/game rookie, who shoots 46%FG, and scores 9.5 ppg. In the Ws 2 crucial wins over Victoria, the Winnipeg high school product had 13 pt/19 big rebounds/6 assists /3 steals.

Colby Jackson, Alberta – This import guard from Las Vegas is the starting point man, but we don’t think he gets enough credit for his efforts to pull together the GBs’ offensive game.  At Brandon, he led the Bears to 2 victories with 16 assists, 22 points, and 6 rebounds.  All-around excellence !

Gerard Gore, Thompson Rivers –  This 6-5 native of Antigua is coming into his own as a 2-way wing role-player on a team of celebrated stars. He had a strong weekend in 2 wins over Mt. Royal, with his  22 pts/18 rebounds.

Glen Yang , Mt. Royal –  A 2nd year combo-guard (He passes and he shoots?!) , he has recently shown signs of increased confidence in his game.  In 2 games at TRU, he scored 41 points (well above his average) and added 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals.  Chances of stardom here perhaps!
 Keith Gerdes, MacEwan –    A seldom-mentioned, 4th year  from Edmonton, this 6-5  forward is a steady, dependable contributor for the Griffs.  He scored 22 points on Saturday, and that out-burst led Mac to a win over visiting UFV.

Some more noteworthy performances –

Lucas Mannes 39 points Friday vs Calgary … Hot !  Brett Roughead, the Bears 7-1 post man, with 24 rebounds on the weekend against Brandon. UBC’s Conor Morgan has found the range – he totals 51 points in the Regina series for the ‘Birds. Lethbridge’s ‘Batman and Robin’, Rob Olsen and Brandon Brine score 55 and 47 points respectively in the 2 -game set vs Manitoba.  UC’s Thomas Cooper just keeps on scoring, with 49 vs TWU in 2 games.


Overtime –   

  • Lucas Mannes, who scored 39 points last (Friday) night (vs the UC Dinos) was limited in action  Saturday  due to injury…TWU was also down  to three subs as a number of players are out with injuries.  (This is from Scott Stewart, TWU, about as much as we might ever get concerning player health, we guess.)  It hasn’t helped the Spartans’ cause that talented import guard Dean Richey left the team over Christmas break, or that guys like Matt Blackaby are injured.

    Dejon Burdeaux, U of L guard, is one of many players on the injured list.

    Dejon Burdeaux, U of L guard, is one of many players on the injured list.  photo – UL Athletics

  • On that injury front, UBC has been without David Wagner , their ‘go-to’ post man, since the Friday game at Manitoba on January 15.  Dejon Burdeaux of Lethbridge has injuries or ‘issues’ with both legs / ankles / knees, apparently including a painful thigh contusion suffered in the Saskatchewan series.  Fraser Valley has been hit hard, as Mark Johnson, a 3rd year import forward, who had 21 points in a win over Okanagan in early November, has not played significant minutes since then (unspecified). Billy Cheng is gone for the remainder of this, his 5th year for UNBC with a knee injury.  Big Sebastian Denault was out of the line-up for Alberta this past weekend. These are of great consequence to the teams, of course, but they can be even tougher to handle for the young player himself.
  • UBC has signed one of the most sought-after multi-sport athletes in recent memory;  Parker Simson, an all-star quarterback for the Kelowna Owls, will plan to play football for Coach Blake Nill’s defending CIS champs, and basketball for Coach Kevin Hanson’s ‘Birds as well. Says Hanson, “I have always been a big advocate for multi-sport athletes Parker’s court/field vision and awareness has really developed because he has played multiple sports. He has a great package of athleticism and psychological attributes. “   Kelowna is the #1-ranked high school basketball team in B.C., and Simson is averaging 15 ppg/ 6 rebounds, 6 assists/ 6 steals.  From a story by Lorne White in Kelowna Now

Huskies Clip ‘Horns in OT

 

Huskies and ‘Horns go down to the wire in Saskatoon –

Huskies' Shawn Lathan connects on a game-winning OT trey.

Huskies’ Shawn Lathan connects on a game-winning OT trey.  photo – Huskies Athletics

 at Saskatchewan 90  Lethbridge  89  –   The Huskies (4-8) catch Lethbridge (6-4) late in the 4th quarter, with some ‘Horns turnovers leading to hoops from Chan DeCiman and Shane Osayande, but the ‘Horns get it to OT with a last second 3 point shot from Rob Olsen.  Shawn Lathan returned the favour at the end of OT, with a winning trey at the 20 second mark, then Shane Osayande blocks a shot to preserve the win for U of S. 5 Sask. players in double figures with 18 each from Lathan and Osayande, who also adds 8 rebounds. The Huskies get  26/35 free throws vs just 12/15 for the visitors, as Lethbridge shoots 50% from the floor to 35% for the Dogs, and still lose !. UL are led by 22 points from Rob Olsen, who is 4/6 from outside,  19 points/8 boards by Dejon Burdeaux, and 17 / 9 rebs by Brandon Brine.  21 Lethbridge turnovers hurt their cause, and they lose the rebound battle 41-34.   Box Score

 UBC 76  at Manitoba 66 –  The 2nd game to UBC, and a split for the series (prophetic on Coach Hanson’s part ….) The T-Birds get off to a sprint start at 20-9 after 10 minutes, and their defense squeezes Manitoba enough that the Herd hit only 31% on the night. UBC (9-3) hits 8 treys vs 3 for UM, and the ‘Birds scoop 50 rebounds against 44 for the Bisons. Phil Jalalpoor leads the visitors with 19 points/ 5 rebs/4 assts, while Jordan Jensen-Whyte scores 18 / 5 assts, and Conor Morgan hits 14 and snares 10 boards. Manitoba (8-4 )  have 4 players in double digits, led by 18 from Justus Alleyn, 17 by A.J. Basi, and 10 points / 11 boards from Keith Omoerah. Box Score

  Victoria 66  at   Alberta  60 –   Another split of competitive teams, as the Vikes (7-5) capitalize on a 48-36 rebounding margin and very careful ball-handling with just 4 turnovers. poor Cold shooting from the floor with good defensive efforts from both teams (35%-34%) , but, with no D at the free throw line, the Bears are 12/14 and UVic goes13/15. Victoria got 16 apiece from Grant Sitton and Jordan Charles, along with 15 points/ 8 rebounds by Mack Roth.  Alberta (5-6) were led by 16 points and 9 boards from Mamadou Gueye, and 13 / 6 rebs by Brody Clarke.   Box Score

Thomas Cooper's 28 points vs Brandon keeps Calgary atop the Pioneer.

Thomas Cooper’s 28 points vs Brandon keeps Calgary atop the Pioneer.   photo – David Moll, UC

Calgary 85  at  Brandon 79  –   The Dinos trail for much of the game, in fact through until the 5 minute mark of the 4th, as the ‘Cats, led by D.J. Jordan looked ready for the upset.  Calgary (10-3) went on a 14-6 run to finish the game, with key defensive stops, and some clutch play by Jasdeep Gill, Josh Owen -Thomas, and Thomas Cooper.  Cooper, who had only 11 on Friday, buried 28 tonight, and added 5 boards and 6 assists. Owen-Thomas and Lars Schleuter each scored 11, as UC hit 44% FG and 19/26 free throws. BU’s Jordan filled it up for 3/4s, and netted 29 for the night , while Troy Grant hit for 22/ 6 rebs/ 3 assts/ 5 steals, but Brandon loses their 10th straight. Box Score


 

TRU pulls out a tight win at MacEwan

Thompson Rivers 71  at  MacEwan 69  –    The Wolf Pack (12-2) have to overcome a 5 point deficit after 3/4s, and they get key hoops from both Volodymyr Iegorov and Reese Pribilsky to do just that.  MacEwan (5-7) had their chances, but cooled off in the last 5 minutes to slide back to 5-9 on the season. Josh Wolfram was the high scorer for TRU with 21 points / 8 rebounds, while Iegorov counted 15 points / 10 boards, and Pribilsky hit 17 pts/ 7 assists. The Griffs got 16 points / 10 rebounds from Thadius Galvez, and 17 points / 7 boards / 3 steals by Denzel James. Box Score

at Mt Royal  79  UBC- Okanagan 57  –   The home-standing Cougars go up 42-22 at  the half, and that’s virtually the match, as MRU   get a weekend sweep and a share of 3rd place in the Explorer with the Heat and MacEwan at 5-7.  Okanagan hit a paltry 28% from the field, and commit 19 costly turnovers in the loss.  Brett Layton scores 19 and rips 12 rebounds for MRU , and he gets help from his post partner, James Lefebvre, with 17 plus 5 boards. Mitch Goodwin was the game’s high scorer for UBC-O at 22 points, but no other Heat player approaches 10.   Box Score  

at Fraser Valley 62  UNBC  47  –  Strong defensive play by the Cascades to win convincingly for the sweep, and move up to 8-4 for the season. UNBC is flirting with a non-playoff season at 3-9, having dropped 3 straight, as they shoot only 32% vs 46% for UFV. 16 points each from Kevon Parchment and Nate Brown, and 11 rebounds from Parchment for his 2nd double-double of the weekend. 10 points from Austin Chandler was the highlight for Timberwolves.  Box Score


CIS Scores on Saturday –
Atlantic-  at UPEI 92 Acadia  90 , UNB 86  Dalhousie 71, Memorial 109  at                 Saint Marys 105  ,    St. FX at Cape Breton  ppd, weather
Quebec –  Concordia  71  UQAM  66, Laval 73  McGill 52
Ontario –  Ottawa 75  Carleton 73 , Ryerson 97  Queen’s 81,  Windsor 87  Algoma 80,  McMaster 105  Laurier 81, Brock 81  Waterloo 69 , Nipissing 84  Laurentian 73


Overtime – 

  •  A.J Holloway, the T-Birds 4th year guard from Tacoma, WA (Bellevue C.Coll) is starting to live up to the promise he showed as a Jr. College star in Washington.  “Over the holiday, on our California trip, A.J. really played well, and we see him as a bigger contributor in the 2nd half of the year”, said Coach Kevin Hanson.
  • In a conversation prior to the weekend’s play, Coach Hanson suggested that
    UBC bench boss, Kevin Hanson.

    UBC bench boss, Kevin Hanson.

    these double-header weekend series are not his favourite scheduling method.  Says the 16 year Thunderbirds head man, “It’s tough for 2 teams who are fairly evenly matched to play a repeat game the next night. If you win the 1st game, you feel you’ve accomplished your goal,  and it’s hard for the players to come back with the same intensity.”  Hanson says he much prefers the ‘split-weekends’, for example, playing 1 vs Manitoba , then 1 against Winnipeg.  Better for the fans and the teams. Coach Hanson points out, “We’re the only League in the CIS that does this consistently, and it hurts us, even in the National rankings.”  He adds, “Do you think Carleton and Ottawa would want to play on back-to-back nights?”   (More on CW scheduling later in the season).

Southern Alberta Showdowns

Southern Alberta Teams Host League Leaders

thomas cooper5

Thomas Cooper and the UC Dinos are up against the 5-1 UBC Thunderbirds in Calgary on Friday/Saturday.            (photo – from UVic Athletics)

The UBC T-Birds and Victoria Vikes enter the weekend tied at the top of the Pioneer Division at 5-1, and they travel to Southern Alberta to play the Calgary Dinos (4-2) and the Lethbridge Pronghorns (3-1), who are looking to edge closer to that lofty perch.

UBC returns to the Prairies for a 2nd straight week, as they meet the Dinos in Calgary, after having earned 2 wins at Saskatchewan last week.  The Vikes, headed to Lethbridge, are East of the Rockies for the first time this season, after starting the season with 2 road wins at TWU, then 2 wins in their home opening series over Saskatchewan, and split on the Island vs Calgary last week.

Here ’s a quick preview of our Pioneer Division match-ups this week –

 

Thursday/Friday games – Saskatchewan Huskies (1-5) at Trinity Western Spartans   (0-6) –   The Huskies have to be in a foul mood, after 4 straight losses (UVic, UBC), and will see the 0-6 Spartans as ‘easier prey’.  But beware the road games in CW,;  plus Trinity will come together as the season progresses.  The Sparties have so many new faces, and a new coach, and they need time to jell. The Huskies have been close against some good teams, and TWU needs an exceptional effort to prevail here.

 UBC Thunderbirds (5-1) at  Calgary Dinos (4-2) –  UBC lost their home opener to Alberta, then shook it off, and have won 5 in a row since then.  Calgary have 2 losses in road games at Manitoba and Victoria, and Coach Dan Vanhooren believes his guys are ready to compete with the ‘Birds.  UBC is 5-2 vs Calgary in the past 5 seasons.  Both teams have size, and both have good guard play, and veteran leadership.  Go time !

 'Horns Senior guard, Rob Olsen

‘Horns Senior guard, Rob Olsen

Victoria Vikes (5-1) at Lethbridge Pronghorns (3-1) –  The Vikes fly to Calgary, bus to Lethbridge … not a favourite trip.  UVic will not underestimate the ‘Horns, who are the most veteran – laden team in Canada West. (‘Horns Nation Director, Dave Wells says, “There are NBA teams with younger starting line-ups !”)  However, despite the widely-perceived U of L home court advantage, we must consider the Vikes’ 5 year domination of this series … 8-0 in that stretch.

Regina Cougars (3-1) at  Alberta Golden Bears (2-4)  –  So, you’re Regina, wanting to be ‘in the conversation’ in the Pioneer?  This is where you make a difference … beat the struggling GBs in their own den !   But the Cougars have won just 2 of 10 over the past 5 years, and Alberta has been tough to beat in the Saville Centre.  On paper, the Regina guards have an edge on the Bears back-court, and Alberta may be tougher up front. Now, on the hardwood ….

Manitoba Bisons  (4-2) at Brandon Bobcats (0-4) –  Manitoba might be excused for having a bit of a let-down, after having had a tough  but successful 3 weeks against higher-ranked opponents than the lowly Bobcats.  Brandon is aching for a win (or two), but the ‘Cats have dropped 6 straight to the Herd in the last 2 seasons, and the Bisons may have built some new confidence with their largely home-based talent.

Winnipeg Wesmen (3-3) get this week’s bye … enjoy the Grey Cup !


 

Explorer Division –

“Let’s Get Ready to R-u-u-m-m-b-l-l-e  !”  – Cascades vs ‘Pack !

Volodymyr Iegorov gives the 'Pack more punch, as TRU hosts Fraser Valley this week.

Volodymyr Iegorov gives the ‘Pack more punch, as TRU hosts Fraser Valley this week. photo – Kamloops This Week

 

Fraser Valley Cascades  (5-1) at Thompson R. WolfPack (5-1) – Two teams who could compete in any League in the CIS, and definitely the heavyweights in this grouping of ‘younger Canada West programs’. The WolfPack are at home, and have their ‘Big 3’  (Wolfram, Pribilsky, Iegorov) pacing a potent attack, but the Trees will be ready to engage, with an experienced group, used to, as Coach Adam Friesen suggests, “Find ways to get the job done ….”  Battle Royal !  Hard to see one team winning both nights.

UBC-Okanagan Heat (3-3)  at  MacEwan Griffins (2-4) –   The party must be over in Kelowna by now, surely?  The Heat are 3 straight, but will be cautioned by Coach Guarasci to get ready for a tough Griffins team, who beat TRU in Kamloops last Saturday.  Into chilly Alberta … the Heat guards can play, but will the Mac forwards be too much to handle.  Good match-up here !

UNBC Timberwolves (2-4)  Mt. Royal Cougars  (1-5)  –  Neither of these teams can afford to ‘mark time’ this week.  The ‘Wolves beat UFV last Friday, and have found some team chemistry.  The Cougars are playing like the young team they are, and want to put the pieces together in these last games of the semester  vs a T-Wolves squad that features exceptional veteran guard play, with Billy Cheng and Rhys Elliot.


Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 7.02.38 AM

 


 

Overtime –

  • The thanks of many close CIS followers go out to Dale Stevens, from Ontario, who ran a ‘CIS chat group ‘ on-line for over 20 years.  Subscribers had a chance to hear from many people who were very close to the game, from way out there in the Atlantic to Vancouver Island.  Great job Dale !
  • Brian Ofori, a 3rd year transfer from UPEI, is helping the Regina Cougars play their way into contention in the Pioneer Division of Canada West … More details in this Regina Leader-Post article by Ian Hamilton.

Bisons Bury Bears, UFV Upset

  Bisons Beat Alberta With Big 2nd Half

Keith Omoerah has a big night for Manitoba, as the Bisons get a home win over Alberta. photo - UM Athletics

Keith Omoerah has a big night for Manitoba, as the Bisons get a home win over Alberta.               photo – UM Athletics

 at Manitoba Bisons   90  Alberta Golden Bears  68  –  Manitoba (3-2) takes complete charge in the 2nd half, with a 49-33 blitz, aided by 22 Bears turnovers on the night. Keith Omoerah, in a comeback season after taking a couple of years off, has a huge 29 point night on 11/14 from the floor, dishing out 7 assists, and making 4 steals.  Justus Alleyn is effective for the Herd, with 14 points and 7 assists, and AJ Basi scores 13. The Bisons get 39 rebounds to the U of A’s 29, and they out-shoot the GBs 52% to 47% from the floor. Brody Clarke plays a solid game for the Bears (2-3), scoring 20 points/ 5 rebs. , and both Colby Jackson and Mamadou Gueye total 10 points apiece. Box Score

Lethbridge Pronghorns 83  at Regina Cougars  76 –   Regina go up 43-36 at the half, but come out flat in the decisive 3rd frame, as the Pronghorns paste the Cougs 31-11.  Regina make a bit of a late run, but U of L  hold on for a big road win, improving to 3-0. Lethbridge has 4 in double figures, led by 20 pts from Rob Olsen, 16 points/ 12 rebounds by Brandon Brine, and 15 pts/ 7 boards from Chris Maugham inside. Jonathan Tull is the game high man for the Cougars (2-1) with 23 points, and Travis Sylvester adds 16.  The game is ragged at times, with 26 turnovers by Regina and 23 from Lethbridge.             Box Score

UBC Thunderbirds 81  at Saskatchewan Huskies  72 –  The Huskies are game, but

Jordan Jensen-Whyte leads the T-Birds to a good road win, scoring vvv points vs Saskatchewan.

Jordan Jensen-Whyte leads the T-Birds to a good road win, scoring 22 points vs Saskatchewan.

their execution at the offensive end just isn’t there, as they drop to 1-4.  UBC hits 47% from the floor to  42% for U of S, and 19/30 free throws to 13/24 for the Dogs.  25 points by the ‘Birds off 19 Huskies turnovers cliches the deal.
Jordan Jensen-Whyte is the game high scorer at 22 points, adding 5 assists, while Conor Morgan tallies 13/ 5 rebs/ 4 steals. Saskatchewan are paced by Mack Burns’ 12 points and 5 rebs/ 4 steals, but their 3 starting guards, Evan Ostertag, Shawn Lathan, and Jauquin Bennett-Boire are a combined 7/24 (29%).  The home team draws to within 4 in the final minutes, but UBC finishes with free throws from Morgan, and a trey by Will Ondrik.  Box Score

at Winnipeg Wesmen  85 Trinity Western Spartans  68  –  The Wesmen put up 50 in the opening 20 minutes, and never look back, moving to 3-2 on the season. Denzel Lynch-Blair scores 24 and makes 5 steals, while Ryan Oirbans has 17 points/ 8 boards for Winnipeg. Trinity allow too many points in the paint in the final quarter, and never really threaten. Lucas Mannes leads the Spartans (0-5) with 19 points, Dean Richey adds 17/ 8 rebs/ 7 steals, and Kelvin Smith scores 11 plus grabbing 10 rebounds.   Box Score

  at Victoria Vikes 72 Calgary Dinos  71  –   UVic Coach Craig Beaucamp is quoted earlier in the week saying, “Our defense gives us a chance every game …. “, and that was certainly true tonight, as the Vikes go to 5-0 with a last-second free throw from Mac Roth.  Defense wins for Victoria, who shoot just 38% from the floor, as do the Dinos.  Vic opened up a 3rd quarter lead, but Calgary (3-2) caught them in the final minutes of the 4th.  The Vikes get 2 shots and 2 rebounds, and Roth is sent to the line off a foul call which just beats the buzzer. Mac finishes with 19 points and 5 boards to lead Victoria, while Calgary’s Thomas Cooper is the game’s high scorer with 22/ 8 rebs. Box Score


Explorer Division –

Josh Wolfram scores 20 plus 11 boards to pace the 'Pack to their 5th straight win.

Josh Wolfram scores 20 plus 11 boards to pace the ‘Pack to their 5th straight win.                 photo –  TRU Athletics

 at Thompson R. WolfPack 74  Mac Ewan Griffins   60 – The WolfPack (5-0) wear out their shooting arms, with 34 points in the 3rd quarter, and lead 65-39, then MacEwan comes to life, but are too far back to threaten. Neither team shoots well, but TRU has 4 in double figures scoring – 20 pts/ 11 rebounds for Josh Wolfram, 19 points/ 10 boards for Luke Morris, and another double of 12 pts/ 11 rebs by Volodymyr Iegorov .  The Griffins match the ‘Pack (46-47) on the glass, but 21 turnovers and 35% shooting foil their efforts. Thadius Galvez scores 15 to lead Mac (1-4).  Box Score

Colin Plumb and his UNBC teammates grab a huge home win over UFV on Friday.

Colin Plumb and his UNBC teammates grab a huge home win over UFV on Friday.     photo – UNBC Athletics

 at UNBC Timberwolves  81  Fraser Valley Cascades  74 –   There was a lot of ‘hooting and hollering’  as the clock wound down on the ‘trap-game’ upset of previously unbeatenUFV by the home-standing Timberwolves.  Big win for UNBC… one of the best you have had in your school’s young Canada West history. The Cascades are up 44-37 at the half, and things were proceeding as might be expected.

The T’Wolves (2-3), however, had other ideas, and, sparked by the 23 points from the consistently sharp Rhys Elliott, they caught and passed the Trees in the 3rd quarter, and increased their margin in the 4th.  48% FG shooting was one edge for the home side, and the 11 treys (3 by Marcus MacKay, and 2 each (off the bench) by Vaggelis Loukas and Elliot Rowe)  provided the necessary momentum.  Oh, and a mere 9 turnovers by a solid guard corps was critical as well; Billy Cheng helped with 15 points/ 3 asst/ 2 steals, and Colin Plum with 13 points/ 9 boards/ 2 steals.  Kevon Parchment scored 25 for the Cascades (4-1), adding  11 boards, while Vijay Dillon had 16 pts. and Manny Dulay 14.
Box Score

at UBC-Okanagan Heat  73  Mt. Royal Cougars  58 –  A solid game for the Heat (2-3), as they build through the 44 point 2nd half to a strong finish.  Okanagan is 46% from the floor to only 37% for MRU, and the Heat score 26 off turnovers to the Cougars’ 14.  Aldrich Berrios has another good night, with 23 points/ 7 rebs, while Dean Johnston hits for 18 points / 5 boards for UBC_O.  Mt. Royal (1-4) have Derek Wolf with 17 and Brett Layton with 16 points   Box Score


 

 

Overtime-

  • Correction !  CW Hoops Editor error ! (Why would we use the Canada West site, when we can go to the CISHoops.ca ‘Bible’ for any stat … Coach Barry Rawlyk of Saskatchewan has a CIS overall winning percentage of 71% in Canada West (League and playoffs), and 74% in CIS play overall. Sorry for short-changing you, coach!  Martin Timmerman – CISHoops editor-  is on the job !
  • UVic Athletics  must be kidding with the goofy horns blaring the whole game with the Vikes – Dinos on Friday.  Not sure why the League would allow this, but it is a ridiculous atmosphere for a game.  Bush League.
  • What else can we learn at this fantastic CIS Hoops info site ? Well, for example … which teams are more often in the CIS Top 10, and which have never made it ? An historical summary of the CIS Top 10, courtesy of Martin Timmerman at cishoops.ca
  • Spanish guard, Alex Igual, is back in action for the Cougars.

    Spanish guard, Alex Igual, is back in action for the Cougars.    photo – UR Athletics

    Good article about Regina’s Spanish import guard, Alex Igual, in the Regina Leader-Post by Ian Hamilton  .  Igual talks about a rough year of re-hab after suffering an early season injury. “Last year was tough because I wasn’t able to help my team,” Igual said. “It’s frustrating when you see how the season is going and you can’t help them.It’s awesome to be with my teammates again and be a part of the team.”

  • More from the U of L’s  ‘Wellsie and the Coach’ –  In this interesting Pronghorns podcast, they talk about how a smaller centre like Lethbridge might overcome the ‘Central Ontario advantage’ , and compete for Canada West and National championships –   “… develop local players,  keep guys together, and bring 1 or 2 import stars to raise the level,” says Coach Hansen. He also  hints at a terrific new import player coming in next season ( Australia ?).   For more of this podcast.

 

 

 

Road Teams With a Chance

 

Road Games a Tough Go in Canada West

Can Mt. Royal and their veteran post man, Jame Lefebvre, win at UBC-O?

Can Mt. Royal and their veteran post man, James Lefebvre, win at UBC-O?

Statistically, and from many coaches’ experiences, winning games on the road in Canada West can be the ultimate challenge.  It’s a long way from Manitoba to B.C., and the athletes are visiting gyms they may never have seen before.

So many factors mitigate against the visitors, but we look this week at several instances where the parity of talent and performance may see some road teams carrying off a win or two by Saturday night. It’s less likely if you’re MacEwan going into TRU, but match-ups like Regina at home to Lethbridge are far less predictable.

So, here are the road teams that might well be holding out hope for at least a split this Friday and Saturday ….   Certainly Fraser Valley at UNBC, and UBC at Saskatchewan  … and Calgary is looking like they will give UVic a run, along with Mt. Royal playing UBC-O in Kelowna   … The two Winnipeg -based schools look like favourites … the Wesmen over Trinity and Manitoba over the Bears, but particular caution for the Herd, however, since Alberta took one from the mighty T-Birds in Vancouver !

Pioneer Division –

Mack Roth has been a consistent scorer for the 4-0 Vikes.

Mack Roth has been a consistent scorer for the 4-0 Vikes.

Calgary Dinos  3-1  at Victoria Vikes  4-0 –  This is a ‘Show Me’ kind of series, with the Vikes having won 6 of 8 meetings over the past 4 seasons.  If the Dinos have designs on beating UVic this time, then the visitors need to win on the boards, run their offense and share the ball, and stifle the Vikes key scorers. (Brilliant game plan, editor!)   Who scores in the paint?  Calgary, with any of their 5 or 6 post players, or Victoria, with their screening, back-cutting, offense?  Calgary hopes for the return of quick guard, David Kapinga, who missed last weekend in Manitoba. Road wins vs good teams are hard to come by ….

Alberta Golden Bears  2-2  at Manitoba Bisons 2-2 —  The Bears have the forwards to give Wyatt Anders, Keith Omoerah, Brett Jewell, and co. a run on the glass, but can their guards match-up with Justus Alleyn, AJ Basi, and Ilarion Bonhomme ?  The compact Colby Jackson is a capable point man for Coach Craddock, and he needs shooting guards …  Sheldon Pittman? Lyndon Annetts? … to make their presence felt.  M. Gueye can’t carry the offense every night! Can the Buffalos break through against the GBs ?

Regina looks to Jonathan Tull to get them 2 wins at home vs the U of L.

Regina looks to Jonathan Tull to give them scoring at home vs the Lethbridge Pronghorns  .

 Lethbridge Pronghorns 2-0 at Regina Cougars 2-0 –  Regina comes off a bye week (rusty or rested?) , and off a win last time they met the ‘Horns.  But Lethbridge has won 7 of their last 8 over the Cougs, and they arrive in the ‘Queen City’ with a veteran crew, led by forward Brandon Brine, and guards Jared Baker and Rob Olsen, who are 5th year players intent on leading U of L to the playoffs.  This should be a tight series, with import guards Dejon Burdeaux (16 ppg/5.5 steals) for the Antelopes and Alex Igual (10 ppg/7.5 asst) for the ‘Cats likely to feature prominently.   Aces for the home squad … Jonathan Tull, and his ‘little brother’, Brandon.

UBC Thunderbirds 3-1 at Saskatchewan Huskies 1-3  –  Another pair of ‘ambitious’ teams in this year of unpredictability in the Pioneer Division …  both the ‘Birds and the Huskies have won a lot of games in the past 10 years (Barry Rawlyk has a 71% winning average for U of S – Kevin Hanson is close to 75% with UBC!)  The T-Birds are 13-4 vs Sask. in those 10 years, and, unless Coach Rawlyk can rally his somewhat bruised ‘pack’, that gap may widen.  UBC has a major size advantage, while Saskatchewan may have more guard depth, however young they may be.  Veterans need to have an impact for U of S – Evan Ostertag and Trevor Severinski, and UBC – Jordan Jensen-Whyte, David Wagner, and Conor Morgan.

Jelane Pryce and the Wesmen are happy to be back home vs TWU.

Jelane Pryce and the Wesmen are happy to be back home vs TWU.

Trinity Western Spartans 0-4 at Winnipeg Wesmen 1-3  –  This may be the lowest profile series of the weekend, but the Spartans will be very motivated to get their opening win, and may have the guns to get it done on the road.  Vartan Tanielian joins Kelvin Smith, Dean Richey, and Lucas Mannes in providing scoring for TWU, and Patrick Vandevelden chips in on the boards.  Winnipeg is happy to be home after their 2 week ‘Tour of Alberta’, and they will want 2 wins to even their record.  Patience is a key for Coach Raimbault, with young players working to ‘learn on the job’.  Jelane Pryce and Jamar Farlay can be leaders for the defense, which will key their successes as a team.

Brandon Bobcats  0-4 … get the bye

Explorer Division –

 

Reese Pribilsky, TRU's 5th year floor leader.

Reese Pribilsky, TRU’s 5th year floor leader.

Mac Ewan Griffins 1-3  at Thompson R. WolfPack 4-0 –  This series is 2-2 over the last 2 seasons !  Will this help the Griffins in their daunting task to sneak a win at Kamloops ?  A-h-h-h-h … NO !  Despite the strength they have on their forward line (Keith Gerdes, Ryan May, Ryan Coleman), Mac will find it hard to match-up with J. Wolfram and friends.  Mac’s guard combo of Denzel James and Thaddeus Galvez will aim to keep TRU’s Reese Pribilsky from controlling the game.  With home court, it’s hard not to see the CIS 10th – ranked WolfPack feeding hungrily.

Fraser Valley Cascades 4-0  at UNBC Timberwolves 1-3  –  UNBC won their last meeting … but, again, does this mean an upset of the 4-0 Cascades?  This is not likely (UFV won all of the previous 10 games shown on CIS Hoops’ chart!) , but the ‘Big Trees’ might be excused for looking ahead in the schedule to Nov. 27/28, when they meet the raging WolfPack in Kamloops.  Trap games this week in PG ?   Billy Cheng and Rhys Elliot will need more ‘Wolves in an angry mood, if they are to threaten Kevon Parchment, Vijay Dhillon, Manny Dulay and the rest of a strong UFV contingent.

 

Mitch Goodwin is a key offensive weapon for the Heat.

Mitch Goodwin is a key offensive weapon for the Heat.

Mt. Royal Cougars 1-3 at UBC-Okanagan Heat  1-3 –  Guarantee … both coaches are thinking – “We gotta win these 2 … this team is ‘gettable’ … We need to make up ground, keep pace, climb in the standings .”  They’re right to think that way, but may admit only that, “We will work on the things we can control; we can’t focus on outcomes, but, rather, on good execution of our system.”   Mt. Royal has an even more youth than Okanagan, but they have more height, and a rapidly improving group of forwards.  UBC-O won a game, they’re at home, and they are improved over last season.  Interesting match-ups – Derek Wolf, Glen Yang, and Brett Layton for MRU vs Aldrich Berrios, Mitch Goodwin, Dean Johnston for Okanagan.


 CIS Scores —

Atlantic –   Saint Mary’s 77 Dalhousie 58  –  The Huskies are the AUS’ most unpredictable team, and Dal will be disappointed as they had a brief flirtation with the CIS Top 10 !   St. FX 93  Acadia 92  – road win for the X-Men in a very well-balanced Atlantic League.
Ontario –    Windsor 81   Ryerson 67 – down go the Rams, the #5 ranked team in the CIS.


 

Overtime –

U of L's Mike Hansen 'co-stars' with our man, David Wells, in a new 'Horns Nation podcast.

U of L’s  Coach Mike Hansen ‘co-stars’ with our man, David Wells, in a new ‘Horns Nation podcast.

  • Coach Mike Hansen, Lethbridge, says, “No one on our team, player or coach, has ever been (to play at UR) in Regina.”  Hansen credits the vicissitudes of the quirky Canada West schedule over the past few years.  This is one of many topics discussed by the ‘Horns Coach and David Wells (‘Basketball Historian’, journalist, Amateur Sports Administrator ….) in the ‘fresh out of the wrapper’  Pronghorns ‘Run Together’ – ‘Wellsie and the Coach’ podcast.
  • Adam Friesen, UFV Head Coach, as  his Cascades head to Prince George for a weekend series against the UNBC T’Wolves. “UNBC is a scrappy team that’s got some really good versatility, and guard scorers,” Friesen analyzed. “We have to keep on sharing the basketball and playing solid defence.”  (From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics)

Top Teams , Players – Week 2

 

 


Hot and Cold – From Week 2 in Canada West


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The Victoria Vikes, 4-0, have come out of the gates with guns
blazing, and did some nasty damage to the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies last Friday (83-58) and Saturday (86-76).  Grant Sitton delivers 33 on Saturday, and the whole team seems to be working well together.

The Fraser Valley Cascades, without big Nate Brown (15 ppg/ 7 rebs), still man-handle the visiting McEwan Griffins, and move on to 4-0; UFV has 6 players averaging 10 or more points/game, led by Kevon Parchment, with 18 ppg and 7.3 rebounds.

The Thompson Rivers WolfPack are nipping at the heels of the Cascades in the Explorer Division, also at 4-0, after getting a pair of convincing road wins at Mt. Royal. Their ‘feature trio’ of Josh Wolfram (24 ppg/ 10.5 rebs), Reese Pribilsky (18 ppg/ 7 rebs/ 5.5 asst.), and newcomer, Volodymyr Iegorov 25.5 ppg/ 6.3 rebs) are laying waste to the opposition.

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– The Calgary Dinos (3-1) lose one (96-90) in OT on Friday at Manitoba, then get one back (90-87) in extra time of Saturday.  A quality road win, after squandering game 1 with key misses at the foul line. Thomas Cooper, their 4th year import wing man, is leading Canada West at 28 ppg, and 6th in League rebounding with 9.5 rpg.

– The UBC Thunderbirds  (3-1) use home-court for a pair of wins over Trinity W., as they spread there scoring around, with 4 players averaging double digits, led by swing-man, Jordan Jensen Whyte at 15 ppg, and Conor Morgan with 13 ppg/ 7 rebs. Newcomer Phil Jalalpoor looks like a keeper, at 10 ppg, 7 rebs/ 3 asst.

Lethbridge Pronghorns (2-0) get 2 home wins over Brandon to open their season, as returnees Rob Olsen, 15.5 ppg/ 7.5 rebs/ 3.5 asst., and Brandon Brine, 15.5 ppg/ 9 rebs, get help from import guard Dejon Burdeaux, who is 15 ppg / 5.5 steals.

– The Winnipeg Wesmen (1-3) get a nice road win at Alberta to ‘get off the schneid’ , as Jelane Pryce comes through with a 21 point/ 8 rebound effort.  Lot’s of work, but some bright spots, with  some aggressive team defense.

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– The Saskatchewan Huskies (1-3) dropped 2 to the Vikes, and are suffering in the injury department, with Matt Forbes out, and Shawn Lathan missing on Saturday.  No break in a tough schedule, as they have UBC in Saskatoon this weekend.

– The 4 Explorer teams who are tied for 3rd place at 1-3, are fighting for survival, and only one amongst them – Mt. Royal Cougars, McEwan Griffins, UNBC T’Wolves, and UBC-O Heat –   will be looking at a playoff spot. Getting a few road wins will make the difference, one would guess.

Both Brandon Bobcats and Trinity Western Spartans must be slightly uncomfortable with their start, after going  2-18, and tying for last in 2014-15.  They have room to make progress, and some new talent to help them along, but wins are needed soon.

 


 

5 Players Who Stood Out – 

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Left to right – Thomas Cooper, Josh Wolfram, Kevon Parchment , Reese Pribilsky, Grant Sitton

 

Thomas Cooper – Calgary Dinos … Scores 61 points in a win and a loss at Manitoba, while adding 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Leads CW scoring at 28 ppg.

Josh Wolfram – TRU WolfPack … Scores 60 points plus grabs 20 rebounds, helping the Orange to a road sweep over Mt. Royal.

Kevon Parchment – UFV Cascades … Game in and game out, he is their team leader. Scores 33 points, 18 rebounds, 11 assists, and 6 steals in the 2 wins over MacEwan.

Reese Pribilsky – TRU ‘Pack … The playmaker, amasses 16 assists, while making 9 steals as he leads TRU at both ends of the court.

Grant Sitton – Victoria Vikes … Starting to distinguish himself with a deft scoring touch, inside and out.  48 points and 12 boards in the Vikes sweep of Saskatchewan.


 

Sunday  CIS Scores –

Atlantic –   UPEI  89 Saint Mary’s 79

Ontario –     W. Laurier 80  Algoma 62

 


 

Dinos Respond in OT

 

Calgary and Manitoba Down to the Wire Again

It was a battle both nights for the Dinos and the Bisons. UM Athletics

It was a battle both nights for the Dinos and the Bisons.  photo UM Athletics

  Calgary Dinos 90  at Manitoba Bisons  87   OT   –   A week may not be enough recovery time for these 2 teams prior to next weekend’s action.  Saturday reflected the Friday game, and Manitoba were on the brink of a sweep, until Dinos young post, Matt Ellis, made 2 free throws late in OT to put the visitors in front, then 4th year wing, Jasdeep Gill,  hit another pair with 10 seconds left to ice the win.  Thomas Cooper hit 23 points, and Josh Owen-Thomas 23 for Calgary, who are now 3-1.  A.J.  Basi had a great shooting night for the Bisons, tallying 32 points, with 7/12 from downtown, and Wyatt Anders scored 17 plus grabbing 13 boards.          Box Score

 at Alberta Golden Bears 79  Winnipeg Wesmen   67-   The Bears (2-2) earn the split and move to 2-2, as they hit 43% on field goals to only 37% for Winnipeg, and Alberta takes the rebounding 45-33. 21 points from import guard, Colby Jackson pace the GBs, and Denzel Lynch-Blair leads the 1-3 Wesmen with 15.    Box Score

U of L's Dejon Burdeaux drives vs Brandon on sSaturday.

U of L’s Dejon Burdeaux drives vs Brandon on Saturday.  photo Pronghorns Athletics.

at Lethbridge Pronghorns 94  Brandon Bobcats 70   – Two wins on opening weekend for the ‘Horns, who have 4 players in double digits, with 18 from Rob Olsen, and 17 apiece from Dejon Burdeaux and Brandon Brine.  Brandon falls to 0-4, with just 39% from the flooring 12/24 from the line.  D.J. Jordan is alone with 14 points, with 4 teammates chipping in 8 each.  Box Score

at  Victoria Vikes 86 Saskatchewan Huskies 76   –   Victoria earns the sweep, and is a perfect 4-0, after catching and passing the Huskies with a 35-20 shellacking in the 4th quarter. Sharp-shooting is the key for UVic, who are 49% FG, 12/24 from 3 point range, and 18/19 from the line.  Grant Sitton is on fire, with 33 points, featuring 6/7 from beyond the arc. Reiner Theil has 15 pts, and Mack Roth 14.  Saskatchewan (1-3) has 4 players in double figures, led by 17 apiece from Chan De Ciman and Jauquin Bennett-Boire, their freshman guard pair.   Box Score

Conor Morgan helps the T-Birds in their 2nd win over TWU.

Conor Morgan helps the T-Birds in their 2nd win over TWU.   photo – UBC Athletics

at UBC Thunderbirds  85 Trinity Western Spartans 75  –  The Spartans kept it close for much of the opening half, but UBC (3-1) converted on many of the 19 TWU turnovers, and out-scored the visitors 48-30 in the paint.  The T-Birds spread the scoring love around, with 6 in double digits,  as Conor Morgan, one of 4 ‘Birds with 12 points, also claimed 7 boards and 4 assists. Phill Jalapoor also scored 12 pts / adding 8 rebounds.  Trinity got a sharp effort from Vartan tanielian, who scored 21 points with 4/7 from 3 point range. TWU’s best outing this early season, but they are now 0-4.   Box Score  


 

Explorer Division – 

Derek Wolf's 22 points are not enough, as MRU goes down again Saturday to the WolfPack.

Derek Wolf’s 22 points are not enough, as MRU goes down again Saturday to the WolfPack.     photo     – MRU Cougars Athletics

Thompson R. WolfPack 79 at Mt. Royal Cougars 66  –  Closer for the Cougars, but a solid road sweep for TRU (4-0), who shoot 44% to MRU’s 35% from the floor. The ‘Pack’s 2 big forwards rolled again in this game, with Josh Wolfram at 25 points/11 rebounds, and Volodymyr Iegorov tacking up 30 points and grabbing 7 boards.  Mt. Royal (1-3) are led by Derek Wolf’s 22 points, and 17 from guard, Glen Yang.   Box Score

at  Fraser Valley Cascades 97  MacEwan Griffins 56  –   The Cascades (4-0) lower the boom on the Griffins tonight, winning every quarter, and hitting 49% from the floor, including 14/31 from long range. 4 ‘Cades in double digits led by Brandon Burke, off the bench with 20 points/ 9 rebs., along with 16 pts each from Nav Bains and Kevon Parchment.  Denzel James is high man for the Griffs with 13, and Mac falls to 1-3  Box Score

 at UBC-Okanagan Heat  78  UNBC Timberwolves 57 –  A break-out game for the Heat (1-3), perhaps?  The home-side, plays a complete game,  shooting it well (46% FG, 77% FT), and winning the rebounding 41-32 to grab their 1st win of the season.  Aldrich Berrios weaves a gem, with 32 for UBC-O, while Dean Johnston scores 12 and adds 8 rebounds. Rhys Elliot leads the ‘Wolves (16 points), who cannot crack the Heat defense on the night, shooting only 32% FG, and they are also 1-3 on the year.  Box Score


 

Overtime –

  • We missed Terrell Evans (UVic) on our Euro Report of Canada West grads … the slashing winger starts for Oberwart in Austria, scoring 8 ppg and 3.5 rebounds.

polar bears

Chris Harris gets big coaching opportunity in German League.

Chris Harris gets big coaching opportunity in German League.

 

 

 

 

 

  • More news from Europe –  Former Calgary Dinos (’03)  forward, Chris Harris, accepted the position of Head Coach for the Eisbären Bremerhaven, who play in the First Bundesliga, the top tier of the German national basketball conference. The Eisbärens ( Polar Bears !)  have had Harris  as an Assistant Coach  for the past 18 months.  Harris has played and coached in Germany since leaving the UC.