Wesmen Tourney, A True Classic



A popular semi-final

A popular semi-final for next Tuesday night would match the hometown Manitoba Bisons and the Winnipeg Wesmen.             photo –  Wesmen Athletics

The 49th Annual Winnipeg Wesmen Classic – Dec. 28-30

Who says Winnipeg is no fun in Winter? !  Hard -core hoops fans can take in the longest running university tournament in Canada, the Wesmen Classic, which runs next Monday-Wednesday, December 28-30.  Started as ‘The Golden Boy’ Tournament  in 1967 by the first Wesmen Coach, Vic Pruden, the name changed in 1977 to link it more closely with the U. of Winnipeg, and it has become a huge community highlight. The 8 – team University Tournament is the feature event, but there is much more for Winnipeg’s basketball followers at UW as part of the Holiday ‘hoop-fest’.wesmen5 copy

Athletic Director, Dave Crook, (who coached the Ws to a pair of ‘Classic’ titles) and his UW  Athletics staff are very busy, as they also host an 8 – team  High School Varsity tournament and a 16 – team Jr. Varsity tournament at their downtown campus as well.  The JVs competed on Dec. 11/12, and the finals go on Dec. 27. The HS Varsity play goes  from the 27th-30th, with their semi-finals and finals ‘rubbing shoulders’ with the CIS games at the Duckworth Centre. All results are available at www.wesmen.ca .

Here are the two halves of the draw, with games on opening night, Monday, Dec. 28 … Winnipeg looks to beat NAIT, and face the Lethbridge – Manitoba winner in one bracket.  On the other side,  Brandon hopes to improve on their record when they meet Lakehead, and MacEwan has a challenge with Acadia, who travel all the way from Wolfville, NS. (The Axemen are the busiest team in the CIS over the holidays, as they fly back home in time to play in the Shoveller Memorial as well.)

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Check out the biggest basketball party in Western Canada in this complete Wesmen Classic Media Guide. Some extras – ‘Santa’s High Flyin’ Slam Jam’ – one player from each university team … High school players are in the ‘Top Gun Shoot-out’, a 3-pt shooting contest. Every game in the University Classic will be web-cast on Canada West TV.


Overtime –


  • The Rod and Joan Shoveller Memorial Tournament, hosted by the Dalhousie Tigers in Halifax is another annual 8-team event, this year running Jan. 1-3.   Competing teams are Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, UPEI, St. FX, Acadia, Concordia (Montreal), and Mt. St. Vincent. Details from Dal Sports
  • RTEmagicC_logo-Rouge-et-Or_pngThe Laval Rouge et Or Tournoi  is a 4- team round-robin tourney with the hosts, Laval, along with the  #7 Calgary Dinos, #1 Ottawa Gee-Gees, and the New Brunswick Reds – Dec. 28-30 at the Centre PEPS in the Quebec City suburb .
    (There is no web-cast of these games from Quebec).
  • The Trinity Western Spartans got in some pre-Christmas action down in Hootie-2Klamath Falls, Southern Oregon.  Sparties vs Oregon Tech – game one on Dec. 22 –  90-77 in favour of the  Oregon Tech Hustlin’ Owls … for TWU, Lucas Mannes (Chilliwack, B.C.) had 32 points and 10 rebounds, Kelvin Smith (Los Angeles) with 14 points and six rebounds.  In game 2 on Dec. 23, the Owls dominated in a 75-43 drubbing, as Tech Coach, Danny Miles, credits his ‘Hustlin’ Owls defense, which held the Spartans to just 29% from the floor.
    (Thanks to TWU’s Scott Stewart, Sports Information Director,for the recaps).
  • A good look around the CIS at the half-way mark of the season from North Pole Hoops’ Charles Blouin-Gascon, with comment on the continued fine play of Carleton and Ottawa, the emergence of McGill as a #3 ranked team from the’Q’, and Calgary’s Thomas Cooper as the top newcomer in Canada this year.

‘OJ’s’ Status Uncertain for Dinos


5th Year Mainstay Crucial to Calgary’s Chances

The value of Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson to the 9-2 and #7 Calgary Dinos was made very clear with his absence due to injury for all of the Christmas Holiday games in Winnipeg, then 2 more in Montana.  The 5th year Canada West All-Star is at the heart of this Dinos team, and, as well as his teammates have played in the opening 11 games of their Canada West schedule, they know they will need ‘OJ’ back in order to remain competitive in the rugged Canada West Pioneer Division.

Yes, Jarred was the leading scorer in the League last season, as he tallied 20.6 ppg, ahead of Stephon Lamar, Ta’Quan Zimmerman, Terrell Evans, Steven Wesley, and Jordan Baker, all of whom are finished their Canada West careers.  But many fans may not appreciate all the other skills he brings to the table. The 5-9 native of Winnipeg is 9th in CW rebounding at 8.5 rpg, which he accomplishes with his incredible quickness to the ball, and with amazing jumping ability. He is 3rd in assists, at 5.0 apg, as he adapted his game to a new offensive system introduced by Coach Dan Vanhooren this season, while still scoring 19.8 ppg, good for 4th in CW. His assist to turnover ratio is 2.0, despite the added attention he receives from opposing defenses. His defensive quickness and saavy allow him to guard point men and dangerous shooters.

As a rookie, Jarred played 30+ minutes a game on a 15-5 Calgary team that were finalists in Canada West and semi-finalists in the CIS Final 8.  He has been the driving force for the Dinos for all of his 5 years even as he has battled through a series of major and minor injuries.  He is arguably the most physically gifted player ever to wear a Dinos uniform, and certainly one of the most fiercely competitive.

As close basketball observers and as keen basketball fans, we can only hope that he is given a clean bill of health, and he is able to finish his amazing 5 year career on the court.  It is true that “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” and we desperately hope that the dynamic ‘OJ’ is back in uniform in Lethbridge on January 16.


Calgary in Montana –

Sat. –  Montana Tech Ore Diggers  73  Calgary Dinos 53 –  Turnovers cost the Dinos dearly in this one, with 28 give-aways vs 16 for the Diggers … this creates 18 more shots for Tech (28/65) , and Calgary shoots 7/13 from the line to 15/21 for the home team.  15 points from Jas Gill leads the Dinos.  Box Score

Sun. – Carroll College  69 Calgary  54 –    Dinos just 3/24 from 3 pt. range … Carroll is 50% from the floor, Calgary is 41%.  Saints score effectively inside.   no box score


 From the Shoveller Memorial at Dalhousie – 

Ottawa wins by an average of

Ottawa wins by an average of 27 pts in their 3 games vs AUS teams.

Saturday Semis – Ottawa Gee-Gees  89  St. FX  X-Men  71 –  Box Score

Dalhousie Tigers  64  McGill Redmen  50 –  Box Score

also St. Mary’s 103  UPEI 81, Acadia 92  Mt. St. Vincent 50

Sunday Final – Ottawa 83  Dalhousie 62  Box Score

3rd – McGill 78  St. FX  57, and SMU 83  Acadia  82, PEI 100 Mt. St. V  53

More scores –

Montana Western  86   Lethbridge  68

Southeastern (FL)  85  Concordia Stingers  80

UBC- Okanagan  92  Red Deer Coll. 61


Overtime –

  •   The AUS makes a very quick turnaround, as St. FX from the Shoveller Tournament 3rd place game on Sunday returns home for a League game vs Cape Breton on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, we get action in Quebec and the OUA , as UQAM hosts Laval, #4 McMaster is at home against Laurier, Toronto plays a ‘Downtown Showdown’ at #3 Ryerson, and #5 Windsor has home court vs Western.  On Thursday, Bishop’s tries to stay on top in the Q, as they are on the road vs McGill.
  • There’s a full slate of games in Canada West this coming weekend, with every team in action, save the UC Dinos who are on a bye week.  Mt. Royal Cougars go to Abbotsford to challenge the unbeaten (8-0 in Explorer Division play) #9 Cascades of Fraser Valley.  Other highlight games are in Winnipeg, with the #6 Victoria Vikes (6-2) at the Manitoba Bisons (8-2), and Alberta (4-5) making a return trip to play the UW Wesmen (5-3), after beating the Ws in the championship game at last week’s Wesmen Classic.
  • On Sat. … 71-62  Montana Tech over Calgary in the Women’s game.   Sunday game – 77-47 Carroll over UC.

Ottawa Lights Up the Huskies


Johnny Berhanemeskel and the Ottawa Gee-Gees will bring excitement to the Shoveller Tournament at Dal.

Johnny Berhanemeskel and the Ottawa Gee-Gees will bring excitement to the Shoveller Tournament at Dal.


 Gee-Gees  Scorch Saint Marys

Ottawa 115  Saint Marys 72 –   Just to clarify the wide chasm separating Ottawa – Carleton and 98% of all other CIS teams, the Gee-Gees have taken a spot in the Annual Rod Shoveller Memorial Tournament in Halifax.  ‘They do whut they do’, and it’s a 40 point game for the invading forces. 30-14, 57-35 … and on, and on ….  The ‘Ponies’ have 5 players in double figures, and 10 playing 11+ minutes. Johnny Berhanemeskel leads with 19, while Caleb Aqada hits 16 / 12 rebounds / 8 assists, and fouls out for good measure.  The G-Gs hit 54% from the floor, and still apply deadly force despite the 21/32 free throws for the Huskies vs just 9/12 for the visitors.  Osman Barrie has 17 points / 7 boards for Saint M.    Box Score

More scores from the Shoveller Memorial at Dalhousie –

St. FX  84  UPEI  82

McGill 84  Acadia  73

Dalhousie 89  Mt. St. Vincent  38

In the semis on Saturday it’s  St. FX  up against  Ottawa, and Dalhousie plays McGill.


More CIS scores –

Montana Western 96  Lethbridge 74

Hawaii Pacific 73  UBC  64 (Honolulu)

UNBC 91  Master’s College  90  OT

Vanguard U. (CA)  77  Fraser Valley  56


Earlier in the week – 

Northwest Univ.  70  Thompson R.  65, Rochester Coll. (MI) 68  Guelph  42

Rochester Inst. Tech (NY) 71  Brock 69,  Arizona Christian  100 UNBC  94

Northwestern Coll. (Iowa)  87  Fraser Valley  73,  Victoria  66  Westmont  (CA)  64


Overtime –

  •   Post championship game  (Wesmen Classic) reaction from the victorious coach –  “Otieno was unbelievable, a fifth-year guy who stood on his head, really,” said Golden Bears head coach and former Wesmen assistant Barnaby Craddock. “They played fantastic defense. They’re one of the top defensive teams in the country, so Otieno really was a guy that could create a shot for himself. We needed him to do that tonight, and he did.”  From a Winnipeg Sun article – Kirk Penton.
  • As the real ugly stuff hit on Friday, the UC Men’s and Women’s teams board the bus for Montana, with games scheduled at Montana Tech (Butte) on Saturday evening, then over to Helena to face Carroll College on Sunday afternoon.  (The quick trip may or may not give veteran team manager, Dean McCord, a chance to buy several dozen boxes of his favourite breakfast cereal and other healthy confections. Anything to declare?)