Dinos Lean on Experience , Guard Depth

 

Calgary Dinos Preview – 

Out of obvious necessity Dinos look to be increasingly embracing a ‘small-ball’ approach this coming season.  “We are definitely smaller”, said Coach Dan Vanhooren.  “ But we’re very happy with our good mix of returnees and younger players.”

Mambi Diawara attacks the rim for UC.

Guards David Kapinga and Mambi Diawara will be expected to benefit from their summer with Canada’s Universiade Team, which competed in Taiwan. Kapinga, a two-way leader, topped Canada West 3 pt% shooting last year at 48.1%, and can be expected to raise his numbers (11.5 ppg), as UC tries to cover the 24 ppg they got for 2 years from Thomas Cooper.

Diawara  should be another impact player at both ends, with his quickness and size; the Montreal native is an obvious ‘X-factor’ candidate. Defensive stopper, Jhony Verrone, is one of a pair of 5th year players, along with the hard-working post man, Connor Foreman Lars Schleuter, a 4th year forward, has an effective 3 point shot, and will get more minutes inside as well.

There’s no shortage of young talent on the Dinos, with 2nd year German import guard, Max Eisle,  6-5 wing, Sasha Pojuzina (Regina), and rookies Mason Foreman, a 6-6 forward from Winnipeg, along with Andrew Milner a 6-1 lead guard from Nova Scotia.

Calgary will compete for a top 5 finish in Canada West,  counting on their team defense to negate that size deficit. UC has 6 strong opponents to test their ‘new look’ in pre-season action.

Last year – 16-4 …..  Prognosis – 13-15 wins– size matters quite a bit in the Canada West wars.

 

 

 Foreman  is Positive for Final Season

Connor Foreman, ‘… thought of myself as a basketball player’ as early as his Junior High years in smalltown, Camrose, Alberta. “I was 6-6 going into 10th grade, and, even though I played many other sports, basketball was it for me.’ Despite this initial love for hoops, it was Volleyball that got Foreman to the University of Calgary. “Actually”, says Connor, “it was also being able to see the mountains every day, and having family in the Calgary area.”

Connor Foreman will be in the ‘thick of things’ for the Dinos. Photo – Edmonton Journal

Not a ‘high profile recruit’ in basketball, Connor had former coach, Pat McFeeley, promoting his volleyball skills to Dinos Coach, Rod Durant. But after 2 years of “… not being able to bang into somebody”, the 225 lb Foreman headed to the Basketball team and Coach Dan Vanhooren.  “Connor is such a dedicated, hard-working young man; he has steadily improved each season with us, and we think he will be key this year.”  Connor describes himself as a ‘grinder’, and when you watch him play you see his extra effort in running the floor for both offense and defense.

His physicality on the floor allows him to ‘bang’ with bigger opponents, and this season, Connor is trying to hone some more productive scoring moves inside.  He is still somewhat limited in practice as he finishes up his recovery from a leg injury. “I want to be back in the line-up, and to play big minutes” , says Connor,  and certainly more than  he has seen in his first 2 years. When he started with the Basketball Dinos, he was motivated by the leadership model he saw in post – man, Matt Letkeman. Foreman suggests that the big B.C. native was “always positive, and encouraging other guys to work hard for their success; he promoted a selfless, supportive  attitude amongst teammates.”

The 6-7 Foreman will finish a BSc in Biology next Spring, then plans to ‘include lots of travel’ in his immediate future. “ My older brothers have kind of led me to this drive to see the world.  One has been in China, and the other in France.  Who knows, maybe I can play ‘ball overseas, and see the sights at the same time.”

But first, it’s a 5th year in Canada West, and, the engaging senior hopes he will compete in his 3rd Nationals in 3 seasons of play. If this is to happen for his Dinos, Connor is sure to play a big role, as he is now ‘the’ big man on the roster!

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Overtime –

  • Saturday pre-season games

at Fraser Valley Cascades vs. Seattle Mountaineers, 6 p.m.

UBC-O hosts  Vancouver Island U. in Kelowna

 

Montana State Over Calgary

 

 

 

 Montana State 91  Calgary 71 –

The visiting Bobcats out-scored the Dinos 26-12 in the 4th quarter to pull away from a game, but out-manned Calgary team. The NCAA Big Sky squad from Bozeman, in SW Montana, got to the rim consistently in the final 15 minutes of play.  The Blue and Gold spread their scoring through the the line-up led by all-star guard, Tyler Hall with 15 points.

The Dinos went with 8 players, and noticably faded in the last 4-5 minutes;  down 5 points with 5 minutes left, but unable to match the deeper ‘Cats at the finish.  Lucas Mannes, a transfer guard from Chilliwack, BC (Trinity Western), led UC with 21 pts / 6 rebounds. Max Eisele looked sharp at the point, hitting 15 points / 6 assists, while red-shirt rookie Sasha Pojuzina worked hard for 7 boards and 12 points vs his bigger match-ups.  These teams meet again on Saturday at 3 pm.  MSU plays Alberta Friday at 7 pm and Sunday at 1 pm.

 

Dinos ‘Short’ in the Big Man Position

After graduating Mitch Ligertwood,  having Jeff Rodehutskors transfer to Lethbridge, and  losing Matt Ellis, the Calgary Dinos were left with Connor Foreman as their only returning post player.  The coaches were excited to sign Rhys Larry, a veteran rebounder from Acadia, but Larry changed his mind, and will not be moving West after all.

Connor Foreman, the lone Dinos big man, will not play this weekend due to injury.

“We were unexpectedly left scrambling after the disappointments with Rodehutskors and Larry”, said Coach Dan Vanhooren.  The coaches have tracked several possibilities, and may have found a B.C. high school grad to bolster the roster in the Fall.  There may also be an addition of an import big man, but the staff are showing caution before pulling the trigger there.

With Foreman rehabbing an injured knee , Calgary’s biggest player is 6-7 wing man, Lars Schleuter, who will be in the middle for some alignments vs Montana State this weekend.  9 players will dress for Lead Assistant Coach Matt Skinn, who will temporarily take the reins, with Coach Vanhooren down in Indiana with Team Canada preparing for the Universiade in Taipei.

Bears Bring Experience and Talent 

The 2017 Canada West Champion Alberta Golden Bears may well be the odds -on favourites to repeat in this coming season. The veteran line-up set to play Montana State in a pair of games this Friday 7 pm and Sunday 1 pm is highlighted by 5th year wing man, Mamadou Gueye (16 ppg/ 6 rebs), a 6-7 slasher who is sure to be on pre-season all-star lists.

Geoff Pippus is one of 3 Bears starters in their 5th year.

The Bears also have  rugged 3rd year forward, Brody Clarke  , and 5th year shooter Geoff Pippus, a dangerous outside threat. The U of A point guard, 6-2 Austin Waddoups goes into his 4th year, and triggers the Bears attack. We should see returnee guards Andre Kelly, Ivan Ikomey, and D’Wan Williams, all of whom saw significant playing time last season.  5th year, 6-6 guard, Lyndon Annetts, is another returning starter who can hit the outside shot.

5th year Alberta Head Coach, Barnaby Craddock, has added a transfer guard, Nolan Woodward, a 6-4, 4th year Montreal native, who played at 2 NCAA Div 2 schools, and will be expected to provide quality depth.

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Overtime –

  • The Canada Team for the FISU Games are now training at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  They are staying on campus at Purdue, and will play 2 games against the U.S. team, comprised totally  of Purdue players, and coached by Matt Painter.  Games are Friday night at Carmel (IN) HS and Saturday at Lafayette Jefferson HS and both will be streamed live on Facebook Live  .
  • Scores this past week from U-Sports teams vs NCAA schools –
  • U. California-Riverside 73  Laval 68, UC Riverside 79 UQAM 39
  • In Costa Rica … Laurentian VGs 76  U. Montana 67, Western kentucky 104  Laurentian 98
  • Towson, a   Div 1 school from the Baltimore area, beats UQAM 94-63, then it’s Towson 76 Carleton 64, and Towson 70  Laval 51
  • In Montreal, Alabama Crimson Tide crushed McGill 96-57, but Carleton bounced back from their loss earlier in the week to clip the Tide 84-71 in Ottawa.
  • McGill gave S. Methodist (Dallas, TX) a scare before falling to the Mustangs 86-83
  • Brock beat Binghamton (NY) 80-69 in St. Catharines.
  • Thursday games –  Alabama 81 at Ottawa 71,  W. Kentucky 118 Laurentian 63 (in Costa Rica), S. Methodist 98  at Ryerson 86,  Towson 84  at McGill 53,

Who Goes, Who Stays for Next Fall?

 

 

 

 An Early Look at Canada West Rosters

We’ve just caught our breath after a long 2nd semester haul to the 7th straight coronation of the Carleton Ravens as U-Sports Champions.  It was a sobering experience for our 3 Canada West teams, as they all drop their round 1 games.  So it is literally ‘back-to-the-drawing-board’ for the 17 schools West of Ontario.

We start with a peek at the  players these teams will lose from rosters from the past season, key returnees, and a number of announced additions and expected jumps from the red-shirt list

Alberta –  2017 Canada West champs … the Bears lose big Brett Roughead, with no word on any other changes from this year’s 14-6 squad.  They return almost their whole roster, including all-stars Brody Clarke, Austin Waddoups, play-off ace, Mamadou Gueye, and CW rookie team, Andre Kelly. Coach Barnaby Craddock will  certainly have a contender again next season.

Lucas Mannes (tsf-TWU), a sharp-shooting guard, joins the Dinos this Fall.

Calgary –  The Dinos (16-4) win their last 2 of the year, over Manitoba and Saint Marys to finish 5th at Nationals, but four key seniors, Thomas Cooper, Jasdeep Gill, Mitch Ligertwood, and Dallas Karch, will be missed.  Coach Dan Vanhooren does, however, feel good about his returning core, with David Kapinga, Jhony Verrone, Mambi Diawara, and Max Eisle at guard.  Forwards are led by Lars Schleuter, Connor Foreman, and Jeff Rodehutskors.  Both 6-6 fwd Sasha Pojuzina (Regina), and 6-1 guard, Jake Nielson (Cochrane) should move in off the red-shirt list, and guard Andrew Milner is a high school signee from Nova Scotia’s U-17 champions. Lucas Mannes, an 18 ppg guard, transfers from Trinity Western.

Shane Osayande returns for the Huskies with his power game.

Saskatchewan – The Huskies  are 14-6 this year, get to the Final 4, but lose to Alberta and Calgary there.  They will miss their solid post man, Matt Forbes, and his 3 point shooting partner, Trevor Severinski.  U of S has the high-octane duo of forward, Shane Osayande, and guard, Alex Unruh, as 5th year leaders in the Fall. Coach Barry Rawlyk will have a strong returning group with veterans, Jaylan Morgan, Lawrence Moore, Mack Burns, and Joseph Barker.  A healthy return for speedy guard, Chan De Ciman, would be a big plus as well.

Manitoba –  A huge push in the 2nd semester, to a 12-8 record,  lifts the Herd to the Final 4, where they qualify for their 1st Nationals in many seasons.  They bid adieu to 4 rotation players including starters AJ Basi, and Brett Jewell, along with point man Ilarion Bonhomme, and Jonathan Alexander.  The Bisons returnees are solid, led by starters Justus Alleyn, a Canada West all-star, and the 2 way hotshot, Keith Omoerah. Coach Kirby Schepp also revels in the depth from forwards James Wagner and Malik Irwin.  He has announced the signing of local high school star, 6-6 Wyatt Tait  ( Oak Park)

Conor Morgan enters his 5th year for UBC this Fall.                 photo- UBC Athletics

UBC Thunderbirds – After a banner 19-1 regular season, UBC suffered a dispiriting 2-0 sweep to Manitoba in play-offs. We expect the T-Birds to rebound as a typically strong contender, but graduating Jordan Jensen-Whyte, Will Ondrik, and Harpreet Randhawa will significantly change the mix. They red-shirted Jauquin Bennett-Boire, an impact lead guard, who came from a ‘partial’ rookie season at Saskatchewan. Coach Kevin Hanson boasts a deep returnee roster, with CW 2017 Player of the Year, Conor Morgan, into his 5th year along with guards, Phil Jalalpoor,  A.J. Holloway, and post man Luka Zaharijevic.  Patrick Simon is another experienced veteran on the front line, and young guards Taylor Browne, Isaiah Familia, Izaihah Ugoalah will step up. Coach Hanson has announced the signing of Cam Morris, a 6-6 forward from St. Thomas More Collegiate (Burnaby).

 Lethbridge – 5th year guard Will Hickey is leaving and  2nd year wing, Scott Mazutinec will depart on a Mission for his church. The ‘Horns were 13-7 and will be hoping to improve on that for 2017-18, with Kyle Peterson, transfer (UVic) combo guard, returning for his 3rd year, after finishing his church mission.  Dejon Burdeaux will be a 5th year leader, with Michael Pierzchala, Elliott Sentance, and Zac Overwater adding offensive punch.   6-6 wing, Mark Rodehutskors, should help, coming off the red-shirt list, and UL likely adds another Australian post man.

Winnipeg – Coming off a 12-8 record in 2016-17, the relatively young Wesmen lose  Jamar Farley to graduation, but boast all-rookie team member, Narcisse Ambanza, and CW all-star Denzel Lynch-Blair.  Sean Tarver is a high scoring wing man, and William Sesay, a talented all-round contributor.  Up front, the Ws return big post man, Ryan Oirbans, along with 6-7 Billy Yaworsky Coach Mike Raimbault has had good luck in recruiting local talent and a few top players from the East in his tenure at UW.

The Cascades’ Nav Bains and Wesmen’s Ryan Oirbans will do battle again next season.

Fraser Valley – Coach Adam Friesen will be looking to re-tool his offense, as the Cascades graduate both scoring guards, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon.  There is, however a ton of talent in ‘The Valley’ and the Lower Mainland, and Friesen has established his program largely with locals. He has announced the signing of Harsimran Bhullar of Panorama Ridge HS , Surrey, B.C.  UFV returns a good core of veterans in Navjot Bains, Denver Sparks-Guest, and Anthony Gilchrist.

Brandon – The Bobcats late season run to 9-11 was one of the good stories in Canada West this Winter, and Coach Gil Cheung will be working hard at building on that momentum. They have some key players graduating this Spring, including scorer-rebounder Earl Thompson Jr, shooter Chris Stanhope, Denham Buchanan, and Esmat Atem. The ‘Cats do have some young talent in guards Tyvon Cooper, a CW all-star,  and Pookie Saunders. John Paul will be a 5th year leader up front, along with rookie Kobyn Jopp, and Tyler Anderson.

2017 Rookie of the Year, Scott Kellum, will lead the Vikes next season.

Victoria –  The Vikes lose their go-to scorer, Grant Sitton, and Coach Craig Beaucamp has wasted no time trying to improve on their 9-11 League mark.  Scott Kellum, a headsy guard from Washington state, is the 2017 Canada West Rookie of the Year, and a solid building block. Vlad Zasmolin (Calgary-Churchill)  could be a ‘sleeper’ off the red-shirt list, and UVic returns several young rotation players in Jake Newman, J.J. Hamel- Carey, and Taylor Montgomery-Stinson.  We understand that TRU’s impressive rookie, 6-1 guard Trent Monkman, will be a red-shirt with the Vikes this Fall.  Coach Beaucamp was busy early, and has signed 6-7 Hunter Hughes from Surrey (Southridge), Andrew Goertzen, a 6-8 fwd from Walnut Grove (Langley), 6-11 Eric Hegadoran from Lambrick Park, Victoria, 6-2 Jaden Touchie, Victoria, Oak Bay, and 6-3 guard Aaron Tesfegiorgis, from Calgary – Notre Dame.  Very busy.

More team reports up-coming  _________________________________________________________________________

 

Overtime –