All the Chips on the Table in These 2 Series

 

 

Two Key Series To Watch –

Regina’s Alex Igual will be a key figure in the series vs TRU            photo-  Regina Athletics

 

Thompson Rivers  (8-10) at Regina  (7-11) –  A sweep would be ‘party time’ for either squad, and guarantee a ply-off berth, and a split would allow TRU to move on, but potentially put Regina in a mathematical calculation for the last spot.  Regina have wins over Saskatchewan and Calgary, but lost to some non-playoff teams.  The Cougars have suffered through some key injuries to 5th year guard, Aaron McGowan, and 5th year post, Stephen Shields, neither of whom have been available down the 2nd semester stretch.  They are the more experienced crew in this match-up, and may have the leaders to get them a couple of big home wins.  TRU has lone senior, Volodymyr Iegorov, but also tough vets like 4th year Luke Morris, and 3rd year Mike Rouault.  Younger players like guardsTrent Monkman and Madhu McConnell are being asked to step up and make an impact.

Winnipeg (12-6)  at Victoria (7-11) –  The results here are crucial for the Vikes, as they try and grab a post-season spot, but will also effect the future of several other squads (Regina, TRU, MRU, MacEwan)  potentially.  Winnipeg will be guarding, somewhat, against complacency, or maybe just looking a week ahead to 1st round play-offs.  Both these teams are relatively young, with 1 graduating player each –  high scorer, Grant Sitton for the Vikes, and skilled guard,  Jamar Farley for the Ws.   Winnipeg has more depth on the perimeter, and ‘play small’ with big Ryan Oirbans surrounded by guards.  The Vikes Sitton is a 6-8 scoring machine, who is dangerous inside and out, and rookie guard Scott Kellum has been playing very well of late.  UVic has to have at least 1 win, and the Wesmen will look to tune up for an anticipated home play-off date.

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Scores from the East –

 Waterloo 96 at Western Ont 77 – There was a day  … quite some time ago … when Coach Don McCrae’s Warriors won 67%  of their ‘CIS’ games between 1971 and 1992.   Waterloo , under 2nd year Coach Justin Gunther are now threatening to make the OUA play-offs, after years of struggle.  They are 7-11, after going 1-19 last season.

at Windsor (11-9)  89 Laurier (10-10)  86 –   There are 2 sides to a dramatic, game- winning half-court  shot, such as the one the Lancers’ Mike Rocca tossed in last night in Windsor.  The winners are hugging, laughing, whooping, and pinching themselves.  The Hawks are left with the dazed stares, and a permanent mental scar.  (Do we over-state?)  Maybe, for some.  But, sadly, the losing can be every bit or more memorable than the winning.

Tonight Quebec – UQAM  at  #8 McGill

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Overtime –

5th year UBC-O all-time scoring leader, Mitch Goodwin

  •   Mitch Goodwin, 6-2 shooting guard at UBC-O, unfortunately spent most of the 2nd half of his 5th year watching from the sidelines.  Goodwin, who is the school’s all-time leader in games played (93), and points scored (1204), struggled with injuries later in his career, and was forced to stop playing all together in mid-January. Goodwin, the former Kelowna High School star, and fellow 5th year vet, Cam Friesen, a 6-4 forward from Abbotsford, will be honoured at a Senior Night ceremony prior to UBC-O’s home game vs Fraser Valley on Saturday.   (From Cary Mellon, UBC-O Sports Information Director)
  • We have a flurry of comments following our last 2 posts, most of which relate to the new League structure, and the vicissitudes (twists and turns) of the broad-stroke RPI solution.  One of our favourite contributors / coaches, ‘Tyler from The Herd’ clarifies in one response to  the question, ‘Could UBC have been 20-0, and still not been 1st?’  Tyler tells us , “Absolutely. If we use the default settings on the RPI calculator, UBC would still be the #2 seed with a 0.6118 RPI, behind Alberta’s 0.6210 at 15-5.”    Beauty!
  • Another fan notes, emphatically, that UBC did, in fact , lose a game … to Saskatchewan, 95-78, on January 6, in Saskatoon.  So, let’s not get ahead of ourselves with a coronation of the T’Birds prior to the play-offs being completed.  After all … the Huskies lost to Regina, UFV, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Alberta.  We could go on, but the point is … on any given night, the result is in some doubt.
  • Carter Millar, 6-4 rookie forward , Regina Cougars, on what it’s like to play in Canada West,  “I love it,” he says. “The skill level (in Canada West basketball) is insane. It’s probably the most exciting thing that I’ve ever been a part of and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to have this opportunity. I’ve wanted to do this ever since I started watching basketball as a kid,” he says. “You play at halftime (of Cougars games) in the games in grade 4 or 5 and it’s, ‘Who are those guys? I want to be that guy when I grow up.’    From ROB VANSTONE, REGINA LEADER-POST, REGINA LEADER~POST
  • As the old TV ads from NCAA sport pointed out, university basketball players will be turning pro in something other than hoops.  The 5th year celebrations happening all through February at U-Sports schools are about the many achievements of these young people.  They include academic honours, career development, and the positive experience of being a team member.  Our very best to all 5th year student athletes.  The very best to all of you !

Regina Preview – Weekend Summary

 

Cougars ‘Fitting the Pieces Together’ –   preview 

 Regina Cougars

’15-’16 – Lost to TRU in 1/4 Finals,     11 wins – 9 losses  (Pioneer Division)

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Returnees – 5th years –  Aaron McGowan , 6-1 guard, Toronto. Travis Sylvestre, 6-4 fwd, Regina. Stephen Shields, 6-7 fwd, Brandon. Matthew Augustine, 5-11 guard, Toronto .  4th years – Alex Igual, 6-4 guard, Barcelona, Spain . Brandon Tull, 6-4 guard, Ajax, ON. Brian Ofori, 6-6 fwd, Montreal. 2nd year- Samuel Hillis, 6-5 guard, Regina.

Newcomers –  Johneil Johnson, 1st year,  6-1 guard, Lake Echo, N.S. / Combine Academy (N.C.).  Ramiro Martinez, 6-6 fwd, 3rd, Yecla, Spain (Barstow College). Kornel Tokolyi, 6-7 fwd, 3rd, Budapest, Hungary (Barstow College). Benjamin Hillis, 1st, 6-1 guard, Regina, ( LeBoldus HS).  Kieran Hebert, 1st, 5-9 guard, Regina (Riffel HS). Carter Millar, 1st, 6-4 fwd, Regina (Leboldus HS). Brayden Kuski, 1st, 6-1 guard, Regina (Leboldus HS).

Head Coach Steve Burrows is using the ‘pre-season’ to get a good look at all his ‘ponies’; “We’re trying to see how to best utilize each guy’s talents, and what’s the best way for us to play.”  Yes, the 4th year bench boss has 7 returnees in either their 5th or 4th years, but he’s also working to blend in 7 new faces, including 5 in the 1st year out of high school.

“The team worked well in their summer program, and we’re pleased with how they’ve arrived at camp this Fall,” says Burrows.  “We are making adjustments with our style of play, and getting a good look at everybody in these October games.”

Guard, Brandon Tull (L) and forward, Brian Ofori (R) will be among the core group for the Regina Cougars.

Guard, Brandon Tull (L) and forward, Brian Ofori (R) will be among the core group for the Regina Cougars.

Canada West all-star, Jonathan Tull has graduated with his 17 ppg/5.2 rebs/2 asst/2.5 steals, so how do the Cougs fill that gap?  Burrows says, “We’re working to build confidence in the new roles some of our guys may have.  Not unlike everyone else!”

Both Aaron McGowan and Alex Igual are experienced lead guards, and rookie Kieran Hebert has the ‘bloodlines’ and skills to step in there eventually.  Matt Augustine, a defensive stopper, returns for his final season after missing last year.  Samuel Hillis goes into his 2nd year ready to step up, and his brother joins the team as a star local grad.  Both are sons of former Cougars Head Coach James Hillis.

Brandon Tull and Travis Sylvester can be real leaders on the wing, and they get some big man help from 5th year, Stephen Shields. A pair of imports from Barstow College, CA , Ramiro Martinez a Spaniard, and Kornel Tokolyi from Hungary, will try and work their way into the rotation, and help in the paint.

After having narrowly missed a slot in last March’s CW Final 4, the green Cougars will be aiming to get back to the post season.  ‘It’s a new team”, says Burrows, “ and we’re trying to find a fit for each guy, and an effective style for this team.”

The schedule gives the Cougs  some key games on home court, and we’ll note they’re another squad with a 4/6, back-loaded schedule, with a bye in the 1st semester.

Schedule –  Nov-Dec – Victoria, at MacEwan, at Trinity W., Saskatchewan,  (4)            Jan-Feb -at UBC-O, Manitoba, at Brandon, Calgary, at Winnipeg, TRU (6)

Prediction – Playoffs, we would bet .


WEEKEND  REVIEW –

Vikes, Cougars Still ‘Works in Progress’

Out on the Island, the results of the GUY VETRIE MEMORIAL show McMaster Marauders of the OUA winning the event with a 3-0 mark ( 69-62 over McGill,  75-61 over Regina, and 76-65 past the Vikes on Saturday – Box Score). Victoria went 1-2, with a lop-sided  loss to McGill 69-44-  Box Score, and then their lone win, in a comeback, over Regina 76-67.  The Cougars, without Aaron McGowan, and having star recruit,  Johneil Johnson, go down with an injury, dropped all 3 games.

Both UVic and Regina are trying to incorporate a significant number of new faces into the playing roster.  Obviously, more games left in October to try and do that.

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A nice pair of wins for the Winnipeg Wesmen at Lakehead … 76-70 on Friday  Box Score, and  74-69 Saturday over the ‘Wolves. Box Score

UBC-O beats last year’s CCAA champs, Vancouver Island 82-53

Saskatchewan squeaks past Medicine Hat College  66-65 in OT  Box Score

UNBC beats Red Deer College 94 -83  The T’Wolves also win over NAIT 82-67

MacEwan beats UNBC 96-73 in Edmonton     Box Score ,  and Alberta topped the T- Wolves 92-61.

Elsewhere –

CIS champs, Carleton Ravens, served notice that they are back with ‘bad intentions’, as Carleton Rthey sweep the field at Acadia’s Stu Aberdeen Tournament in Wolfeville.  It was Ravens 85-62 over Laval (just loosening up …), then, on Saturday Carleton crushed the home Axemen 112-62.  The Blackbirds danced on St. FX on Sunday, to the tune of 116-72. Quels joueurs !

At UNB’s Eric Garland, the class of the field were the Saint Mary’s Huskies, as they beat the Reds 98-84, then Maine -Ft. Kent 84 – 73, and finish Sunday over Bishops Gaiters 82-66.

Concordia handles Queen’s in Montreal 74-53

UQAM also beats Queen’s  83-61, and Ottawa 76-73

More scores –

Toronto 105  Memorial 69,  Ryerson  123 Mohawk Coll. 76,  Laurier 74  Nipissing  50,  Bishops 69  UNB 60, Dalhousie 83 Mt. St. Vincent 54, Seneca College 80  York 78,  St FX 82  Laval 66, Guelph 90  Memorial 65, Laurier 62  Algoma 52,

Sunday –  Sheridan Coll. 94 Guelph 80, Dalhousie 102 Holland Coll. 92, Western Ont. 64 Humber Coll. 60, Memorial 78 York 74, Maine- Ft. Kent 85 UNB 81, Nipissing 68  Algoma 64, Laval 84 Acadia 76

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Overtime –

Thomas Cooper, UC Dinos' Canada West Player of the Year, leads a group of '15-'16 all-stars who are returning this year.

Thomas Cooper, UC Dinos’ Canada West Player of the Year, leads a group of ’15-’16 all-stars who are returning this year.                 photo –  David Moll, UC Athletics

  •   10 of the 15 Canada West All-stars from last season return to their teams for this campaign.  They are Player of the Year Thomas Cooper – Calgary, Jordan Jensen-Whyte- UBC, Mamadou Gueye- Alberta, Keith Omoerah – ManitobaBrett Layton – Mt. Royal, Conor Morgan – UBC, Denzel James – MacEwan, Denzel Lynch-Blair – Winnipeg, Volodymyr Iegorov – TRU, Lars Schleuter – Calgary.

 

 

 

‘Horns Trample Bears in Second Half

 

Brine Burns Bears … huge 2nd half for the 5th year Aussie

Brandon Brine's career night carries Lethbridge to a win over Alberta.

Brandon Brine’s career night carries Lethbridge to a win over Alberta.    photo – UJ Athletics

at Lethbridge 93  Alberta  61 –  A decisive 32-14 Lethbridge outburst in the 3rd quarter breaks this one open after U of A led 39-38 at the half. Alberta all but disappears in the 4th, with Bears starters on the bench and the ‘Horns running free. Brandon Brine has a field day for UL, with 37 points on 7/9 from 3 point range;  Lethbridge (8-5) is 51% from the floor to 36% for an over-matched U of A crew, who are playing with an obvious lack of depth.   Dejon Burdeaux returns to the line-up for UL, and tallies10 points along with an amazing 8 steals, 8 assists,  as his defense puts heavy pressure on the Alberta guards.  Lyndon Annetts started well for the Bears (7-7), and was their high man, with 20 points, while Colby Jackson scored 10 and counted 5 assists. Both of U of A’s ‘scoring forwards’, Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke played limited minutes, and were well below their usual offensive totals.  Box Score

 

at Manitoba 89  Regina 82 –   The Bisons  get the big hoops in the 4th from

A.J. Basi pilots the Bisons to their 10th win, as they defeat Regina.

A.J. Basi pilots the Bisons to their 10th win, as they defeat Regina.     photo – Bisons Athletics

Jonathan Alexander,  A.J. Basi, and Keith Omoerah, and Regina cannot hit from the outside to overtake the Herd.  Basi seals it with free throws, as UM moves up to 10-5, and still in the race for top spot.  Regina (8-5) mount a determined come-back, after trailing 50-35 at the break, and they come within 2-3 points on several occasions, but never get the defensive stops in the final minutes. Basi riddles the Cougars defense with 27 points, with 5/10 from outside, while Omoerah is strong with his 16 point / 14 rebound / 6 assist effort.  Big Stephen Shields holds the Cougars in the game with his 21 points and 8 rebounds (10/11 from the floor), and Brandon Tull scores 15 / 9 boards / 3 assists.  Jonathan Tull, Will Tallman, and  Aaron McGowan, all keys to Regina’s fine play recently, had off- nights in this one, as they shoot a combined 6/28 from the field.  Box Score

at Winnipeg 81 Saskatchewan  77 –  It was nervous time for the Wesmen, as they got everything that Saskatchewan had, except for the free throws.  The Huskies, with a depleted line-up , played one of their best games of the year, but could not convert on free throws down the stretch, and it allows Winnipeg (8-5) to wriggle off the hook.  UW hit 11 treys to 10 for Sask., and cashed 14/18 from the line vs 9/16  for the Dogs. Saskatchewan was a solid 46% from the floor, and narrowly won the rebounding, but were hurt by 18 turnovers to just 10 from the home team. Ryan Oirbans was huge for Winnipeg with his double of 14 points, punctuated by 11 valuable rebounds, while Jamar Farley also had 14 points plus 6 boards and 5 assists. The high scorer for the Wesmen was Denzel Lynch-Blair with 22, and he added 7 rebounds and 7 assists to post another impressive game.  The Huskies  (4-9) had 4 in double figures, with 12 points / 9 rebounds by Shane Osayande, and 18 points by rookie guard Chan DeCiman.  Box Score

 

# 9 UBC 79 at Victoria  51 –   A  steam-roller job by the visiting Thunderbirds, as UVic’s offense struggles, and the ‘Birds (11-4) run away with it in the final 10 minutes. Seldom has a Vikes team looked as shaky at the defensive end, and the T-Birds’ 45-26 control of the boards was a big factor as well.  It was UBC 48% and UVic 36% from the floor, and the T-Birds getting the ball inside for 18/24 free throws vs just 7/13 for UVic. Four UBC starters in double digits, with Phil Jalalpoor hitting 16 points plus 7 rebounds, and Conor Morgan scoring 15 plus 7 rebounds as well. The Vikes Grant Sitton scored 13, but played only 17 minutes, as Victoria drops to 7-8 on the year.  Box Score

Brandon 98 at Trinity Western 87 –  A blitz by the Bobcats in the 2nd half, as their offense clicks for 51 points, and all 5 starters hit double figures.  The ‘Cats shoot 49% to 41% for Trinity, and it’s a demoralizing defeat for the home team, as they now sit as the only ones without a Canada West win this year.  Earl Thompson Jr. is the top ‘Cat with his 24 points and 10 big boards for a winning double-double. Big forward, John Paul, has a strong game in the paint, with 5 blocked shots and 9 boards to go with 12 points for Brandon (1-12) .  Kelvin Smith laid it all out for TWU, as he posted 31 points on 11/21 from the floor, while Lucas Mannes added 20 points, but shot only 7 for 24 on the night. Box Score

 


 

CIS Scores –
Quebec on Thurs –  McGill 79  Bishops 66,  Laval  90  UQAM  77

 Friday –  Ontario – # 1 Ryerson  86 at Laurentian 62, at #2 Ottawa 76 Queen’s 60 ,               at # 3 Carleton 96  York 53 , at Lakehead 73  # 4 Mc Master 67  (From afar, one gets the impression that playing at Lakehead  may be giving away 10-15 point right off the top.  We know they have great fans, and it’s a tough atmosphere. ‘Down go the Marauders’ !   We might equate it with the AUS ‘Mainlanders’ making the road trip to ‘The Rock’.  Memorial has a wee bit of a home advantage as well ! )  Toronto 73 at Nipissing 69,


Overtime –   

  •  UBC Coach, Kevin Hanson announced the signing go top recruit, Izaiah Ugoalah, 6-5 wing man, who is playing at Winston Churchill HS (Vancouver), after having spent  a ‘prep year’ at Sunrise Christian Academy, Kansas. “We are thrilled to announce the signing of Izaiah. He is a blue chip athlete with huge potential,” said Hanson. “With his length and athleticism, he has the ability to be an impact player at both ends of the court.”  With options to play and study in the U.S. and Canada, the young man chose to remain home, and play at UBC.  Izaiah said, “I’ve been at Drive (Academy, Richmond/Vancouver)  since the fourth grade with Pasha Bains, and he’s a coach at UBC. It felt right. I left my Grade 11 year (for Kansas) and I found out how much l really loved the city of Vancouver and how much I missed it.”          (From UBC Athletics)
  • Manitoba Bisons’ Coach, Kirby Schepp, talking about his team’s pursuit of a playoff spot in an ultra-competitive Pioneer Division, “You know it from the beginning, because of the parity of our league,” Schepp said. “You try to impress that on the players in the very first weekend of the year… now it’s sort of setting in. There’s a loss or two separating about five teams.”   In this article by Melissa Martin in the Winnipeg Free Press.