Two Key Series To Watch –
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.
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
- 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 !