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’.
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.)
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.
- 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
- The 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 Klamath 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.