Can Canada Qualify ?

 

 

Phil Scrubb, from Vancouver and Carleton U., will play for Canada in Mexico City.

Phil Scrubb, from Vancouver and Carleton U., will play for Canada in Mexico City at the FIBA America’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

FIBA Americas – Canada’s Shot

Canada’s National team, complete with 2 former CIS stars, Phil Scrubb and Aaron Doornekamp, both from the Carleton Ravens, tips off on Tuesday in Mexico City against perennial S. American power, Argentina in game 1 of their quest to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

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The Canadians, with 9 NBA players on their roster, including 6-8, Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves), 6-3 point man, Corey Joseph (Toronto Raptors), and 7-0 Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics), were 4-0 in the Tuto Marchand Cup ‘warm-up’ competition in Puerto Rico last week, and expectations are high for their chances of securing one of the two qualifying berths for the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro next year.

The 10 teams in Mexico City play 8 games each in a 9 day span, with 4 semi-finalists emerging.  Canada will need to win one of those semi-finals  in order to guarantee an Olympic spot; the last time they qualified was for the 2000 Games in Sydney, Aus.   All Canadian basketball fans wish the team well in this attempt.

There is a good feature article by David Ebner in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, highlighting the growth of Basketball, particularly in the Greater Toronto area.  For the scheduled television coverage of the FIBA Americas Tournament on TSN you can click here. 

 

‘Horns in Australia

Brandon Brine travels back home to Australia with his UL teammates.

Brandon Brine travels back home to Australia with his UL teammates.

The U. Lethbridge Pronghorns, under Coach Mike Hansen, are currently in Melbourne, Australia and getting an early start on their Fall training camp.  Where else ?!  Without talking with Coach Hansen , we can only assume the ‘Horns made that long and costly jaunt to a.) build a better recruiting bridge to a rich source of young basketball talent, b.) give a nod to  5th year star Brandon Brine, an Aussie national, c.) lure more recruits with the promise of future exotic travel with the ‘Horns, d.) escape the choking smokey air which has invaded S. Alberta over the past week !

We assume that the Lethbridge players will all be back on campus for the September 9 school start.  Our man in ‘L.A.’ points out that the ‘warm weather junket’ over the Christmas Holiday break will be to the Wesmen Classic in Winnipeg. (About 60 C colder ….)

 

‘Tweaking’, ‘Strengthening’, ‘Major-renovation’

There are years where some Canada West teams are fortunate enough to be tinkering with a few line-up changes in order to stay very competitive in the standings. This past Spring and early Summer, however, have seen more than the usual number of changes, as key players graduate (or just leave for other reasons), and their spots need to be covered-off.

Alberta, for example, are without stalwarts Ken Otieno and Joel Friesen, who completed

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson's 20 ppg, floor leadership, rebounding, and assists will be tough to replace for UC

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson’s 20 ppg, floor leadership, rebounding, and assists will be tough to replace for UC.

their 5 years last March. So we see Coach Barnaby Craddock adding 5 recruits, including 5-9 point man Colby Jackson from Las Vegas and 6-2 guard D’Wan Williams from Toronto.  Calgary will be without the graduated All-Canadian, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, but signed another Winnipeg high school ‘phenom‘ in Torrez McCoy, a 6-0 QB on the court, who will compete for minutes at the point as a rookie.

But many more CW coaches have been faced with the more difficult assignment  of

Huskies Ben Baker was Canada West Defensive Player of the Year ... and he could score !

Huskies Ben Baker was Canada West Defensive Player of the Year … and he could score !

making more extensive changes in order to bolster their rosters. Saskatchewan lost Ben Baker, Dadrian Collins, Mike Scott, Andrew Henry, and Conner Burns, so Coach Barry Rawlyk adds import guard and California Junior College star Shawn Lathan , San Diego  among others. UBC, who will be the host team for the CIS Nationals next March, are trying to fill major gaps left with the absence of Tommy Nixon, Tonner Jackson, Brylle Kamen, and Andrew McGuinness. Coach Kevin Hanson has been successful in landing 6-3 guard Taylor Browne  from Surrey, BC, 6-8  Patrick Simon (Port Coquitlam), a transfer from Simon Fraser, and several other solid looking prospects.

The Manitoba Bisons had 3 players graduate; Stephan Walton, Wyatt Anders , and Amir Ali were all key team members, and Coach Kirby Schepp also saw the need for more roster changes. We see the results of some hard recruiting work in the addition of 7 new faces for the Herd …  2 imports – former Brandon CW Rookie of the Year, point guard Ilarion Bonhomme of Washington, DC, and 6-6  forward Raheem Tyner  from Minneapolis, who transfers from Iowa Western Jr. College. Others include 6-6 fwd Joey Nitychoruk, a Winnipeg native, who transfers from Lakehead, a pair of 6-5 Winnipeg high school grads in  Dharmjit Dhillon and Raj Sidhu.  UM also signed guard Saajan Arora from Cambridge, ON, and 6-9 post, Osahon Eghosa  from Ajax, ON who played at Colorado Northwestern Jr. College.

Wholesale changes in Brandon this Fall.

Wholesale changes in Brandon this Fall.

But the champions of the off-season ‘Reno Competition’ have to be the Brandon Bobcats and Coach Gil Chueng, who return just 4 players from their 2-18 squad of 2014-15, D.J. Jordan, Earl Thompson Jr., Ryan Hawley and Denham Buchanan.  Coach Chueng says that we will see 10 new roster players including several red-shirts and 5 new signings including 6-11 post John Paul, a Saint Lucia import, 6-3 shooting guard, Chris Stanhope , a transfer from Fanshawe College in Toronto,  and 6-7 fwd Tyler Anderson  from Langley, BC’s Walnut Grove HS.

Both Fraser Valley and MacEwan signed 6 new players, as both teams graduated significant contributors from their teams last Spring.  This may be the most active roster-turnover recruiting period in the last 10 years in Canada West .  We will have more details as we get into training camps in the next couple of weeks.

 

Canada vs Germany in Playoffs

 

Ottawa's Johnny Berhanemeskel is a key figure on Canada's team in S. Korea.

Ottawa’s Johnny Berhanemeskel is a key figure on Canada’s team in S. Korea.

FISU Games 1/4 Finals Start Saturday

The Canadian ‘World Student Games ‘ Team have qualified for the Quarter-Finals beginning Saturday, as they face Germany.  The winner of that game has the tough assignment of facing the USA – Lithuania winner in one semi-final on Sunday. On the other side of the draw, it will be  Russia vs  Estonia and France vs Brazil.

Playing in ‘preliminary round games in Gwangju, S. Korea (we mistakenly said China last weekend),  Canada finished at 4-1 following a 106-41 drubbing of Mongolia on Wednesday, and a cold-shooting (33% FG) 68-61 loss to Russia on Thursday.  In the Mongolia game, Coach Barnaby Craddock (U of A) rested a couple of his starters, Chris McLaughlin (UVic), and Johnny Berhanemeskel (Ottawa), and got some floor time for some others.

Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye played 28 minutes (well above previous games), and scored 23 pts/9 rebs, while Jarred  Ogungbemi-Jackson (Dinos) played his regular starting role, but shot more, scoring 16 pts, 7 boards, 6 assists.  Two big men, 6-10 Josh Wolfram (Thompson Rivers), and 6-8 Caleb Agada (Ottawa) both snared 10 rebounds, with Agada also registering 8 assists.

Against the Russians, it was a different story altogether, as ‘OJ’, McLaughlin, and Agada were limited to 1/13 shooting between them, as only Jordan Baker, 13 pts. (Alberta), Tommy Nixon  (UBC) 13 pts.,  and Johnny Berhanemeskel (Ottawa) 12 points hit double figures. The Canucks had previously recorded wins over Sweden – 78-61, Mexico- 81-61, and Montenegro 66-63.

Canada has had some past success in this ‘World Student Games’ (Now the FISU Games). We finished 4th in 2013 in Russia,  2nd in China in 2013, and, with 4 of Coach Ken Shields’ UVic Vikes in the line-up in 1983 in Edmonton, Canada beat the U.S. team which included Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Johnny Dawkins. (Credit to the Victoria Times-Colonist).

 

Overtime –

  • 5th year Lethbridge Pronghorns import post man, Brent Watkins, sustained serious injuries in a a car accident last weekend near Butte, MT.  We sincerely hope that the young man can recover in a short time, and that he might be able to return to U of L basketball this Fall.  (Thanks to David Wells for the information.)
  • Former Dinos star, Ross Bekkering,  has just signed a 1 year contract with Groningen of the Netherlands Basketball League.  Ross, a 6-9 post who struggled through an injury -plagued year last Fall and Winter, says, “I’m planning for this to be my last season as a pro, I think. “  His former Dinos teammate, Robbie Sihota, may have decided to stay in Calgary this coming winter, as he starts a search for his post-basketball career.

Student Games Team Announced

 

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Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 2.30.51 PM

 

Five Canada West Players on National Development Team

Led by the U. Alberta’s Head Coach, Barnaby Craddock, the Canada Basketball Development Team of 12 CIS players, will include 5 from Canada West including UVic’s Chris McLaughlin, the 2015 League MVP.  The other 4 Western reps include 5-9 guard, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (Calgary Dinos), 6-7 wing man, Mamadou Gueye (U of A Golden Bears) , 6-6 forward Tommy Nixon (UBC Thunderbirds), and 6-9 forward, Josh Wolfram (Thompson Rivers Wolfpack).

The team will represent Canada in the FISU Games tournament in Gwangju, South Korea, from July 4 – 13.  They will have a pre-tournament training camp at the University of Kansas from June 19-29.  More in this news release from Canada Basketball.

 

 

Sihota Continues Successful Pro Career

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Robbie Sihota in action this Spring for Fribourg, Switzerland.           photo – Ekalavyas

 

 From the Indian basketball website – Ekalavyas, writer Vishnu Ravi Shankar …

This is an excellent article on Robbie Sihota, the former Calgary Dinos forward, who has been playing in Europe for 5 years +. 

Sihota, who played for Coach Dan Vanhooren’s Dinos from 2006-2010, played his high school ‘ball at Lester Pearson HS, Calgary under Coach Bill Mitchell.  His pro career has seen him play  in The Netherlands, first with Rotterdam, where he was the Dutch League’s top rebounder, then in Nijmegen, and a year in Luxembourg. Robbie has just finished his 1st season in Fribourg, Switzerland, where he led the team in rebounding (8.5 rpg), and was 2nd in scoring (15.2 ppg).    (Thanks to our good friend, Art Unsworth, out there in Western Saskatchewan, who tipped us off to this story.)

 

Canada West Recruiting Update –

The latest signees in Canada West include 6-5 guard, Sebastian Eliasen ( Denmark) who  transfers to Trinity Western from Yuba Jr. College (California), and to UNBC  we have  Austin Chandler, a 6-7 transfer from Wenatchee, WA Jr. College.

Canada West Spring News

 

Canada West Meetings This Week  – Changes On the Way

David Wells honoured by induction to Sports Hall of Fame.

David Wells honoured by induction to Sports Hall of Fame.

  •  U. Calgary will be looking for a new Athletic Director, as Ron Wuotila announced his decision to resign in the face of an ill-considered and poorly staged implementation of a new ‘administrative model’ for the Dinos Athletic Program.
  • David Wells, Lethbridge,  a champion of school sport, from junior high, high school, college, and university, was honoured with induction into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame this past weekend. Currently the Director of Sports programs for the Southern Alberta School Sports Assn., Wells has been a sports writer, athletic administrator, coach, and National Team Manager … and always the most knowledgeable fan of young athletes in his area for many years.
Impressive new facility at Victoria.  Photo - Times-Colonist, Adrian Lam

Impressive new facility for U.  Victoria.            Photo – Times-Colonist, Adrian Lam

  • Craig Beaucamp, UVic Head Coach, obviously pleased with the new Vikes home court which will be ready for play this summer, “This is probably the top university athletic facility in the country, and I’ve been in most of them,” said Beaucamp. “This is a great opportunity to help in recruiting players.”  From a Times-Colonist article by Cleve Dheensaw
  • Joe Scanlon, long-time journalism teacher, and the Ravens' biggest fan.

    Joe Scanlon, long-time journalism teacher, and the Ravens’ biggest fan. Photo – The Ottawa Citizen.

    We learned, sadly, of the passing of Joe Scanlon, who did so much to chronicle the feats of the Carleton Ravens basketball teams, and was a leading promoter of CIS basketball over so many years. His tireless efforts raised the profile of the sport, and provided rich commentary for all of us who cared about the game. Joe will be remembered for his exceptional, enthusiastic work, and by all of us who enjoyed corresponding with him, and learning so much from his experience and knowledge.

  • Graduates and ‘Undergraduates –  Canada West graduated some terrific student – athletes this Spring, including the Dinos classy guard, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, who is now checking out opportunities to play pro. There will be others in the pro ranks (mostly in Europe), with the likes of  Joel Friesen, Ben Baker, Tommy Nixon, and MVP, Chris McLaughlin, finishing up impressive CIS careers.  Some notables did not finish, however … UVic’s flashy import guard, Marcus Tibbs, left campus shortly following the CIS Nationals, indicating he will pursue other basketball opportunities  … Calgary’s promising guard,  L.J. Hegwood, did not complete his academic year, and he will not be back for the Dinos …  Brandon’s Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak leaves after his 4th year, returning home to the Montreal area.
  • The Brandon Sun reported that former Bobcats star, Jordan Reaves, will follow in his father’s footsteps, as he moves onto the football field.  Reaves a 6-4, 225 lb wing -man at BU, signed a contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
  • The Canada West Governors will  continue to discuss and study different structures for League play at the upcoming annual general May meeting.  It’s obviously a big challenge to balance competition, tradition, and travel expenses; it is very difficult with a 17 team League ranging from 2000 student schools to some at 30,000 + .
  •   Latest Recruiting List (courtesy, Hoopstars Canada – Barry Hayes) …

    D'Wan Williams promises to add skill and flair to the Bears' roster.

    D’Wan Williams promises to add skill and flair to the Bears’ roster. Photo – North Pole Hoops

Alberta – 6’7″ pf Cole Knudsen (Barrhead, AB/Barrhead), 6’2″ sg D’Wan Williams (Toronto, ON/Oakwood), 6’1″ pg Jonah Weyessa (Edmonton, AB/Father Lacombe ’14)

Brandon

Calgary – 6’0″ pg Torrez McKoy (Grande Pointe, Manitoba/MBCI), Thomas Cooper – 6’5” (Chattanooga, TN) tsf from  C.C. San Francisco, U. Nebraska – Kearny.

Fraser Valley

Grant MacEwan – 6’3″ pg Chris Mooney (Ottawa, ON – transfer/NAIT; 10.3 ppg 2014-15) 6’7″ c Atlas St. Paul-Butler (Victoria, BC/Oak Bay), 6’6″ pf Michael Burnham (Winfield, BC/George Elliot)

Lethbridge – 6’9″ c Chris Maughan (Calgary, AB – transfer/Lethbridge College; 14.9 ppg, ’14-’15

Manitoba – 6’5″ pf Dharmjit Dhillon (Winnipeg, MB/Kildonan-East), 6’5″ sg Raj Sidhu (Winnipeg, MB/Kildonan-East), 6’2″ sg Saajan Arora (Cambridge, ON/St. John’s Kilmarnock)

Mount Royal – 6’6″ pf Nate Wall (Okotoks, AB/Holy Trinity), 6’4″ sg Tyis Yellowhorn (Piikani Nation, AB/Chestermere), 6’4″ sf Shay Foggo (Calgary, AB/Crescent Heights), 6’0″ pg Matt Gray (Victoria, BC/Oak Bay), 6’9″ c Brett Layton (Calgary, AB/Sir Winston Churchill ’09)

Regina – 6’7″ c Stephen Shields (Brandon, MB – transfer/Keyano volleyball ’11), 6’6″ pf Kolton Bellamy (Regina, SK/Balfour)

Saskatchewan – 6’6″ pf Devin Wittow (Leduc, AB/Leduc Composite)

Thompson Rivers – 6’2″ pg Jeff Tubbs (Kelowna, BC/Mount Boucherie), 6’4″ sf Evan Helgason (Kamloops, BC/Elev8 Sports Institute), 6’3″ sg Kaleel Faiz (Toronto, ON – transfer/Olds College; 22.5 ppg in 2014-15)

Trinity Western

Taylor Browne is a prized recruit for the T-Birds.

Taylor Browne is a prized recruit for the T-Birds.

UBC – 6’8″ c Roger Milne (Winnipeg, MB/Oak Park), 6’3″ sg Taylor Browne (Surrey, BC/Holy Cross), 6’8″ pf Patrick Simon (Port Coquitlam, BC – transfer/Simon Fraser; 10.6 ppg in 2014-15), 6’2″ pg Phil Jalalpoor (Shifferstadt, Germany – transfer/Olds College; 13.3 ppg in 2014-15)

UBC-Okanagan – 6’2″ sg Spencer Thomas (Pickering, ON/Pine Ridge)

UNBC – 6’4″ sf Anthony Hokanson (Vancouver, BC/Kitsilano)

Victoria – 6’5″ sf Jason Scully (Victoria, BC/St. Michael’s), 6’5″ sf Josh Charles (Duncan, BC/Cowichan), 6’5″ sf Tyus Barfoot (Nanaimo, BC/Nanaimo District), 6’1″ pg Graeme Hyde-Lay (Victoria, BC/St. Michael’s), 6’7″ pf Billy Yaworsky (Winnipeg, MB – transfer/Skagit Valley JuCo; 7.2 ppg in 2014-15)

Winnipeg – 6’3″ sg Kieran McGrath (Winnipeg, MB/Glenlawn), 6’3″ sg William Sesay (Winnipeg, MB/Oak Park), 6’6″ pf Frankie Tocci (Winnipeg, MB/Maples)

Ravens Crush Huskies, Vikes Survive

 

 Ravens Fly High in Burying Saskatchewan

Phil Scrubb shows his All-Canadian form, with 31 pts vs Saskatchewan

Phil Scrubb shows his All-Canadian form, with 31 pts vs Saskatchewan

 game 1-   Carleton Ravens  90  Saskatchewan Huskies 50 –  The Carleton Ravens engage their vaunted defense, and the Huskies play like ‘Sled Dogs in the headlights’.  48-18 at the half, and the earth is already scorched around the U of S bench.  It’s tough if you’re Saskatchewan, because you get tighter and more frustrated as you watch yet another Phil Scrubb trey splash through the twine (The 5th year all-star guard is  6/8  from the outside after 20 minutes for 29 points).  72-39 at 3/4s, and it’s over the boards with the subs for Carleton, although Connor Wood remains and shows why he’s so highly regarded.

Carleton keep raining 3s, as U of S defenders aren’t on the ball, and the Huskies’ younger players enter the game, as time winds down on the pummeling. Phil Scrubb finishes with 31 points, with few minutes played in the 2nd half. “Shots just started falling”, says the Vancouver native in a succinct post-game interview. The Ravens hit 55% from the floor and 56% from long range, as Thomas Scrubb  adds 18 pts / 9 rebounds

The Huskies are a paltry 29% from the floor and 20% from 3 pt. range in the face of a withering Carleton defense; Ben Baker, with 11 pts/ 7 rebounds / 6 assists and Matt Forbes with 14 points/ 7 boards  give the most resistance for Saskatchewan, but it was  an un-nerving experience for the Canada West finalists, who now move on to a 2 pm consolation semi on Thursday.  Box Score

 

Vikes Survive Nervous Start Against Dalhousie 

 game 2 –  Victoria Vikes  58   Dalhousie Tigers  57 –  It was an exasperating 2nd

3rd year import, Grant Sitton, scores 19 off the bench to save UVic.

3rd year import, Grant Sitton, scores 19 off the bench to save UVic.  photo- Vikes Athletics

game, with a very passive  effort by the Vikes in the opening 20 minutes, and Dalhousie having some similar offensive jitters. The Tigers got strong play from their big man, Kashrell Lawrence, although his shakey foul shooting limits their scoring.  A  28-24 Dal lead at the half, after lots of subbing for the Vikes, with Hadyn Lejuene and Grant Sitton logging extra minutes. The angular Sitton cuts loose with a trey at the 3rd quarter buzzer to give the Vikes a 48-42 edge, after they get the juices flowing after the break.

This one always looked like it was going down to the wire, and, despite grabbing a 6 point lead with 40 seconds left, UVic manages to trail by 1, off a put-back by Dal’s Lawrence, and the clock was running out.  The ball goes inside to Chris McLaughlin, who had missed much of the 4th quarter with a bleeding knee, and he tries to go up, but is wrestled (step-over-toe-hold) to the floor by the Tigers’ Sven Stammberger.  An obvious intentional foul, which should have led to 2 shots and the ball … but, no … so Mclaughlin has to hit free throws to tie, then go up 1.

Dal's Kashrell Lawrence is the game high scorer, with 21 in a close loss.

Dal’s Kashrell Lawrence is the game high scorer, with 21 in a close loss.

The Tigers get a contested shot off at the end, but it falls short.  Vikes win, and will face the machine that is Carleton in one of Saturday’s semi-finals.

UVic shoots 40% to Dalhousie’s 35%  from the floor, and Sitton’s 3 treys get him to 19 points, which gets the Vikes a white-knuckle win. Marcus Tibbs had 16 pts/ 6 assists and hit 2 huge buckets down the stretch in the tense finish. Mclaughlin was held to 10 points, but grabbed 11 boards.  Dal had 21 points / 8 rebounds from Lawrence, and 14 pts/ 9 rebs by their young post, Stammberger, and the Tigers claimed 13 offensive rebounds, which kept them close at the end.  Box Score

 

 

 CIS Awards Reflect OUA Power

Ottawa's Johnny Berhanemeskel is the CIS Top Player for 2015

Ottawa’s Johnny Berhanemeskel is the CIS Top Player for 2015

The Ontario schools dominate the list of CIS award winners and All-Canadians, announced on Wednesday, much like they’ve owned the upper reaches of the Top 10 rankings for the whole season.  Johnny Berhanemeskel of Ottawa breaks the stranglehold of  Carleton’s Phil Scrubb on the Player of the Year trophy, but Thomas Scrubb keeps the family in silverware by repeating as Top Defensive Player.

Top Rookie, Top Coach as well. Chris McLaughlin, UVic, and Javon Masters of UNB join 3 OUA stars on the 1st All-Canadian Team. Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary and Tommy Nixon, UBC are 2 Canada West stars in their 5th year who get the 2nd Team honours.  Calgary’s Lars Schleuter, the CW Rookie of the Year, is a member of CIS All-Rookie team.

Here are the 2015 CIS AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS – 

Mike Moser Memorial Trophy (player of the year): Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa

Defensive player of the year: Thomas Scrubb, Carleton

Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy (rookie of the year): Johneil Simpson, Brock

Stuart Aberdeen Memorial Trophy (TIMEX coach of the year): James Derouin, Ottawa

Ken Shields Award ( academics & community service): Noel Moffatt, Memorial

All – Canadians – First Team

G Johnny Berhanemeskel Ottawa 5 Ottawa, Ont.

F Thomas Scrubb Carleton 5 Richmond, B.C.

F Chris McLaughlin Victoria 5 Oakville, Ont.

G Javon Masters UNB 2 Kitchener, Ont.

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is a 2nd Team All-Canadian

Dinos’ Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson is a 2nd Team All-Canadian

G Philip Scrubb Carleton 5 Richmond, B.C.

All – Canadians -Second Team

G Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson Calgary 5 Winnipeg, Man.

G Jahmal Jones Ryerson 5 Mississauga, Ont.

G Tyler Scott UPEI 3 Halifax, N.S.

F Tommy Nixon UBC 5 Vancouver, B.C.

F François Bourque McGill 2 Terrebonne, Que.

CIS All-Rookie Team – 

Lars Schleuter, Calgary, is on the CIS All-Rookie Team

Lars Schleuter, Calgary, is on the CIS All-Rookie Team

G Johneil Simpson Brock 1 Toronto, Ont.

G Ben Miller Acadia 1 Winnipeg, Man.

G Lars Schlueter Calgary 1 Ulm, Germany

W Alexandre Leclerc Laval 1 Saguenay, Que.

W Luke Allin Wilfrid Laurier 1 Chatham, Ont.

 

Vikes Capture Canada West Title

 

Victoria find a way in Canada West Final  

Marcus Tibbs led the scoring for Victoria, as the Vikes win the Canada West crown.

Marcus Tibbs led the scoring for Victoria, as the Vikes win the Canada West crown.

Victoria Vikes 70  Saskatchewan Huskies 67 –  With both teams guaranteed a trip to Nationals, this Canada West championship may have seemed like icing on the cake, but the ferocity of play belied that notion, with several lead changes, some sharp-shooting from both teams, then a combative finish in the last minute.

Victoria captured their 15th League title, by reaching down and recovering from a V Vike copynasty 3rd quarter, which saw a 9 point half-time lead reversed to a 10 point deficit in the 7 minutes starting the 2nd.  The home-town Huskies went cold in the 4th, and Victoria got just enough offense to creep back in, as Chris McLaughlin and Marcus Tibbs scored key points down the stretch. Tibbs did most of his damage in the opening 20 minutes, and finished the game with 25 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds; McLaughlin had to work hard for his 12 points and 10 rebounds, but he was a big factor at both ends of the floor when it really counted.

The Huskies were on the brink of pulling away for the win, but stalled out in the last 4 minutes; they got another gem of a game from 5th year guard, Ben Baker, who scored 21 pts, grabbed 10 boards, and added 6 assists. Evan Ostertag came off the bench for U of S to hit 7/11 from the floor for 17 points, but their 39% FG shooting just wasn’t enough to get the job done.

Bragging rights in the West, a higher seed, and a better draw at Nationals go to the Vikes;  the CIS Final 8 draw comes out on Sunday, and both these teams will be on flights to Toronto by Tuesday in all likelihood.   Box Score

 

Cascades use the outside shot to win 3rd place game

Manny Dulay is hot from outside, and leads UFV to a 3rd place win over UBC.

Manny Dulay is hot from outside, and leads UFV to a 3rd place win over UBC.

 Fraser Valley Cascades 87  UBC Thunderbirds  71 –  After dropping their ‘win or else’ semi-final games on Friday, the ‘Birds and Cascades could be excused for a lack of fire in this ‘consolation’ tilt.  The Cascades were obviously the more motivated team, as they force  the Thunderbirds into 17 turnovers and beat them on the boards 33-30.  The big difference was a return of their 3 point shooting touch, as UFV hits 12/29 (41%)  vs 4/17 (24%) for UBC.

Very balanced scoring for the Cascades, as it has been most of the season, with 5 players in double figures, led by the 18 of Manny Dulay as he connects on 6/11 from beyond the arc; Nate Brown scores 17 and 7 rebounds, while Kadeem Willis adds 16, and both Kevon Parchment and Dom Brooks tally 15.  UBC has 19 from Kedar Wright and 18 from Tommy Nixon in his final CIS game for the T-Birds.  Box Score

 

Other CIS Playoff action on Saturday –

Quebec Final –

at Bishop’s  Gaiters 68  McGill Redmen 63 – home court proves valuable for the 2nd seeded Gaiters, who take the Cup and the lone Quebec berth at Nationals.

 Ontario Final 4 – at Ottawa U.

Final – Carleton Ravens 103 Windsor Lancers  59 –  The Ravens win the OUA championship in impressive fashion, as they avenge a loss in regular season play to the Lancers.

3rd place game –   Ottawa Gee-Gees  79  Ryerson Rams 66 – The Gee-Gees recover from their upset loss to Windsor, and should be highly seeded at the Nationals.

 

The Field for Nationals – ( draw to be announced on Sunday) 

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3 pt. Shot Serves Vikes and Huskies

Hot 3 point shooting leads to a UVic romp over UFV

Mack Roth 14 copy

Mack Roth enjoys a return to his home-town with a 19 pt. game to lead UVic over Fraser Valley in their CW semi-final on Friday.

 

 Victoria Vikes  86  Fraser Valley Cascades  61 – No game … clinic.  27-12 after the quarter, as the Vikes come out hot and UFV definitely not. Live by the trey, but tonight the Cascades die by the 10/23 (43.5%) long-range shooting from UVic compared to their own 4/22 (18%). Manny Dulay, disappointingly, shoots just twice for UFV, missing both.  Game, set, match, with UVic defense stifling any come-back hopes by the Cascades.

Mack Roth takes advantage of extra space as a result of the attention paid to big Chris McLaughlin by Fraser Valley defenders, and the Saskatoon native leads the Vikes with 19 points. McLaughlin managed 17 pts/ 6 rebounds, while both Reiner Theil (9 rebs) and Marcus Tibbs (11 assts)  cashed 15 points for Victoria, who hit 52% from the floor.  Fraser Valley   got a strong effort from Kevon Parchment, with 17 points/ 7 rebounds/ 4 assists. So Victoria moves on to the Saturday Final, and has a berth in the CIS Final 8 in Toronto next weekend.  Box Score 

 

 Huskies Rain 3s on UBC, and play for championship Saturday

Saskatchewan's Ben Baker leads his team to a big 2nd half win over UBC.

Saskatchewan’s Ben Baker leads his team to a big 2nd half win over UBC in the 2nd semi-final.

 

 Saskatchewan Huskies 81  UBC Thunderbirds 75 – Despite shooting 50% from the floor, the T-Birds score well under their season average, and, as in the Vikes/Cascades game, the deep ball is decisive for Saskatchewan in this one.  The Dogs hit 11/28 (39%) vs 3/16 (19%) for UBC. a strong 40-32 2nd half turned the trick for the U of S, as they pull away with clutch shots from Trevor Severinski, Dadrian Collins, and Ben Baker.

Baker plays his typically tenacious game, with 20 pts/ 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Collins hits 20 pts and grabs 5 rebounds. The T-Birds just ran out of flow and went cold in the final 2 minutes, giving Saskatchewan a CIS Final 8 spot and a shot at a Canada West title in front of their home fans. (Much better crowd for the 2nd game ….)  UBC has 23 from Kedar Wright in a sharp shooting game for him, while Tommy Nixon and Tonner Jackson score 14 each, with Nixon also claiming 12 rebounds.  Box score

 

Other CIS Playoff action on Friday –

Quebec  –  at Bishop’s U., Lennoxville

Semi-Finals – Bishop’s Gaiters 76 vs Laval Rouge et Or 65 ,   McGill Redmen 74 vs Concordia Stingers 60

Ontario Final 4 – at Ottawa U.

Semi-Finals –

Carleton Ravens 84 Ryerson Rams 80 – the Ravens come from behind, with a 46-36 2nd half run, and are in the OUA Final yet again. 31 pts/ 12 boards by Thomas Scrubb, and 28 for the Rams by Jahmal Jones.

Windsor Lancers 85  Ottawa Gee-Gees  80  – the ‘giant killer’ Lancers take the air out of the Ponies’ party balloons right there at Monpetit Hall in the Nation’s Capital.  Saving themselves for the big show next week in Toronto?

 

March 12-15, CIS Final 8 – at Ryerson U. – Mattamy Centre, Toronto

Teams In –Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 9.18.57 PM

 

Overtime –

Ryerson Coach, Roy Rana

Ryerson Coach, Roy Rana                        photo – Tyler Anderson, National Post

  •  Toronto has and is producing more basketball talent than any other place in Canada, and Ryerson U. Coach Roy Rana wants to further boost his program with home-grown players. Are CIS schools able to capture a bigger share of this talent base? He and other top OUA coaches weigh in on the challenges of recruiting young players with big dreams.    More details in the National Post story by Eric Koreen
  • Where are the basketball fans in Saskatoon ?  Vikes-Cascades  ask the 15 spectators to introduce themselves to the players prior to tip-off.  It’s the Canada West championship tournament … can you work up just a bit of enthusiasm?  (The crowd arrives late, to see the Huskies game … but no real   keen appreciation for anyone else).  And, at the risk of appearing too curmudgeonly, could the U of S put a bit more thought, effort, and resources into the production on Canada West -TV ?  Two cameras, with one from the end, a static take, and the main camera panning horizontally from just over 50 yards away!   If this is the ‘showcase event‘, we’ve missed the mark by quite a ways; not a smart promotion of CIS Sport by any stretch.

Canada West Final 4 – Preview

 

The Final 4 coaches - Top left, Adam Friesen, UFV, right, UVic's Craig Beaucamp, bottom left UBC's Kevin Hanson, right Saskatchewan's Barry Rawlyk.

The Final 4 coaches – Top left, Adam Friesen, UFV, right, UVic’s Craig Beaucamp, bottom left UBC’s Kevin Hanson, right Saskatchewan’s Barry Rawlyk.

 

Top 4 Seeds Contest Canada West Championship in Saskatoon –

All four top seeds advanced to the Canada West Final 4 this past weekend, some with more drama than others;  UNBC lost 2 straight , but handled themselves very well in a tough match-up against the T-Birds.  Thompson Rivers ‘scared the chicken soup’ out of the # 1 Saskatchewan Huskies, before the ‘Dogs prevailed late in the 3rd game.  The other two series showed more domination by the home team, as both UVic (vs Alberta) and UFV (against Calgary) demonstrated a decided edge in 2 game sweeps.

The defending champs, Alberta, are out, but all four of the qualifiers have plenty of recent experience in this Tournament finale. The ‘Birds have 2 titles in the past 5 seasons, and Saskatchewan 1, while Fraser Valley has been knocking on the door the past 3 seasons, and UVic the last 2.  No advantage there, except the obvious ‘home court / home pressure’ for the Huskies.

Now, let’s take a quick look at several key players on each team, and the team statistics  –

Canada West Final 4 – Facts and Figures – at U. Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Semi-Finals, Friday, March 6 –

UFV's Jasper Moedt, and the Vikes' Chris McLaughlin will have a critical match-up in the 1st  Semi-final

UFV’s Jasper Moedt, and the Vikes’ Chris McLaughlin will have a critical match-up in the 1st Semi-final on Friday.

 

# 3 seed – Victoria Vikes  vs # 2 seed – Fraser Valley Cascades   6 pm Central

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Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 5.23.38 PM

 

The Vikes – Cascades Match-up –

  • Victoria is 6-0 against Fraser Valley in the last 3 seasons, the last time was in pre-season play in October 2014 at Victoria.
  • The Vikes have played in the last 2 Canada West Finals, and gone on to the CIS Nationals. UFV played in Nationals in both 2012 and 2013.
  • Both teams are strong defensively, and both are among the best rebounding units in Canada West.
  • UVic has been the more consistent shooting team, but UVF has 6 players averaging double figures.
  • UVic’s McLaughlin, the CW Most Outstanding Player, has been dominant, but can he do that against Jasper Moedt ? 6-10 vs 6-7 ….
  • Is Marcus Tibb’s quickness negated by the defense of UFV’s Dom Brooks?

    Nate Brown can tip the scales in UFV's favour.

    Nate Brown can tip the scales in UFV’s favour.

  • Is Reiner Theil the defensive stopper that the Vikes need against Kevon Parchment?  Nate Brown? Maybe Mack Roth has the size / quickness? ‘Big Nate’ has both, and is tough to handle.
  • Who’s hot from outside ? Manny Dulay or Brooks for UFV ?  Tibbs or Theil for UVic?  Maybe the X-factor is the ‘Cades’ Vijay Dhillon!  The 2nd yr. guard from Richmond, B.C., transferred from Victoria to Fraser Valley, and he may be hitting his stride just in time for a key playoff role.
  • This should be the lower scoring Semi-Final, and it really is too hard to pick.

 

# 4 seed – UBC Thunderbirds  vs  # 1 seed – Saskatchewan Huskies 8 pm  “

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Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 1.55.56 PM

The Huskies – Thunderbirds  Match-up –

  • UBC has won 7 straight vs U of S, including a sweep in League play in Vancouver in November.
  • The T-Birds missed out on the Final 4  last season, while the Huskies beat UFV for 3rd, and went to Nationals.
  • This game will be high scoring, we would guess.  Lots of foul shooting. Physical. The paint will not be for the faint of heart ….
  • Saskatchewan has been better from 3 pt. range – Collins, Trevor Severinski, Evan Ostertag, Mike Scott.  UBC has Nixon,  and Conor Morgan, bur Andrew McGuinness isn’t shooting as many ….
  • UBC’s Tommy Nixon is the key to their fortunes – if he gets it rolling, gets it in the paint, and gets to the line, the T’Birds offense will fly high. He opens it up for everyone else.

    5th year post, Tonner Jackson, has been solid for the 'Birds.

    5th year post, Tonner Jackson, has been solid for the ‘Birds.

  • Saskatchewan will count on winning the rebound battle – Ben Baker, Connor Burns, Dadrian Collins, Matt Forbes, and crew need to beat UBC’s Nixon, Morgan, David Wagner, Tonner Jackson, and maybe even Brylle Kamen.
  •  Big test for UBC’s Jordan Jensen-Whyte; how will he respond to the ‘all-the-chips-on-the-table’ pressure against the Huskies’ import gunslinger, Scott.
  • Both teams in the 80s … 90s ?  Again, it’s too hard to pick, although many insiders (certainly not lowly outside observers like us) are leaning towards the Thunderbirds.

 

Overtime –Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 7.45.48 PM

  • For those basketball fans in the Calgary area, make sure you’re at the Fighting Tacos 15th Annual NCAA March Madness Party, in support of the Mt. Royal Cougars Team. The Tacos, a notable aggregation of ‘former greats‘ toil in the Calgary Sr. Men’s League. The team has 3 former Cougars, 2 former Dinos, a Huskie and even a Mount Allison guy!  There’s usually a great turn-out, and a lot of fun watching / betting games, eating, drinking, and visiting. All the basics ! Tickets at the door – Richmond Pub – 3919- Richmond Rd. SW  … Come as early as 11 am … evening festivities begin around 4 pm.
  • UNBC copy  Reflections from UNBC Coach, Todd Jordan, a few days after his T’Wolves were eliminated from the play-offs in 2 straight at UBC … “Looking at the season as a whole, the program took a pretty big step moving forward. It was the most successful season to date (in the CIS) and to make the playoffs and a quarterfinal is a pretty big accomplishment. UBC’s program, they were hot coming down the stretch. They have some very talented athletes and it was a good measuring stick for us. We gave them a good run and at the same time, going into War Memorial Gym, it was tough going in on their own turf. But we got the playoff experience.”

Top Seeds Leap Out Front

#1 Saskatchewan and #2 Fraser Valley Grab Series’ Leads

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Vijay Dhillon kills Dinos with clutch treys in UFV game 1 win.

 

At Fraser Valley Cascades  78  Calgary Dinos 71  –  Tenuous control in the opening 20 minutes in Abbotsford, as Calgary starts fast, then Fraser Valley responds, but in the 2nd quarter, the Dinos finish with a 14-1 flurry to take a 38-35 edge at the break.  The 3 point shot got Calgary back in it, but their lead evaporates quickly in the 3rd, as UFV dominates 21-11.  Both teams are loose with the ball at times, with 20 turnovers from Fraser Valley and 14 by Calgary, but rebounding was the decisive factor as the home team almost doubles the Dinos 40-21, led by Jasper Moedt’s game-controlling 13.

Off their bench, UFV’s Vijay Dhillon tops team scoring with 20 including 4/5 from 3 pt. range.  He gets lots of help from Nate Brown (19 pts) and Moedt’s 15 for the double-double. Calgary has Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson with 20 pts/4 assts., Lars Schleuter counting 17 pts/ 4 rebs., and Josh Owen-Thomas with 16 pts/ 4 assts.   Box Score 

Matt Forbes is tough inside in leading U of S to a game 1 win.

Matt Forbes is tough inside in leading U of S to a game 1 win.

 

at Saskatchewan Huskies 96  Thompson R. Wolf Pack  82  – The Huskies had to shake some of the rust off in the early going, but 53 second half points bring Saskatchewan all the way back from an 11 point deficit midway in the 2nd quarter.  The Huskies are red hot, shooting 59% from the floor, led by 20 points from Matt Forbes, and  8 pts/12 rebounds by Ben Baker.

TRU look good early, but fade under more aggressive U of S defense, as the visitors scoring come harder in the final 20. Brett Rouault (22 pts) and Josh Wolfram (20 pts/4 rebs) pace the ‘Pack, who hit a respectable 48%.  Box Score

 

Vikes Give McKinnon Gym a Fitting Send-off 

  Chris McLaughlin is Vikes series leader in sweep of Alberta.

Chris McLaughlin is Vikes series leader in sweep of Alberta.

 

at Victoria Vikes 81   Alberta Golden Bears  67  –  Playing true to their form for the past several seasons under Coach Craig Beaucamp, UVic clamps down on the Bears offense in the 2nd half again on Friday, as they sweep Alberta 2-0 , qualifying for another Final 4.  Trailing 37-36 after a tight 1st half, Victoria hangs up 45 points to U of A’s 30  in the 2nd for a convincing win in the final game at McKinnon.

As he has in most games, Chris McLaughlin is the driving force for the Vikes offense, with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcus Tibbs shines at the guard spot with 19 points and 6 assists. Victoria hit 45% from the floor vs just 33% for Alberta, and UVic wins the rebounding  40-27.  Alberta gets a 21 point game from 5th year wing Ken Otieno, in his final CIS appearance.  Box Score

 

 Thunderbirds Reach Final 4 With 2nd Straight Over UNBC

at UBC Thunderbirds  88  UNBC  Timberwolves  78  –  The T-Birds repel the determined effort by UNBC, and they move on to the Canada West Final 4, looking to capture their 4th Canada West  title in 6 years. The T’Wolves trail 28-9 after a quarter, but hang in to creep as close as 5 points in the 4th, but run out of time. Conor Morgan is the highest flying ‘Bird with 19 points, Kedar Wright adds 17 / 4 assists, and Tommy Nixon 15 pts/ 5 rebs.   Rhys Elliott  hitting 19 points, Jeff Chu with 16, and Billy Chu 14   UBC wins the rebounding  43 to 35, and thrive on a full meal of 28/40 free throws against just 12/13 for the ‘Wolves.  No Box Score yet . 

 

More CIS Scores, Friday –

Atlantic Tournament – Dalhousie 62 Cape Breton 60 – Dal vs UNB in Semis

Saint Mary’s 99  Memorial 91 – SMU vs UPEI in Semis

Quebec – McGill 73 Laval 64   (Last Q-League games this week)

 

Overtime –

  • Does anyone else feel that, with a lead or a tie, you might feel that you just take the imagesball at the far end line, rather than move it up to 3/4 court (offensive zone) ?   We’ve noticed so many times where the offensive team has  trouble getting the ball in-bounds safely.  CBU turns it over tonight, with  23 secs. left and  the score tied at 60 … Dal gets the last shot, and buries it for the win.  That play happens so often, that you’d kill for a sure-fire entry pass under extreme pressure.
  • We’re calling UNB in the Atlantic Tournament this weekend.  ( Brilliant ! Bet the favourites). They’ve been the best all season, and should get the 2 wins necessary to win the Cup and get them to Toronto for the Final 8.

UBC and Victoria Get Home Wins

 

T-Birds Go Up One on UNBC

at UBC Thunderbirds  83  UNBC  Timberwolves  77 –  The T-Birds chalk up a win in game 1, despite a late flurry by the ‘Wolves (10-2 in the last 3:45), as they out-shoot UNBC  49% to 41%, and out-rebound the visitors 45-39, Where they really cash in is at the foul line, hitting 13/19 (68%) to just 5/9 for the ‘Wolves.  It’s a game with not too much form, as each team won 2 quarters, and defensive focus wasn’t there consistently.

Tommy Nixon led the ‘Birds with 23 pts/10 rebounds, and Tonner Jackson added 16 pts/6 boards.  Rhys Elliott was high man for the T’Wolves with 19, but had only 3 in the 2nd half. Nolan Hanson hit 5/7 off the bench for 13 points for the T’Wolves, who will have to find a way on Friday, or their season ends.  Box Score

 

Vikes Pull Away From Alberta in the 4thV Vike

at Victoria Vikes  77  Alberta Golden Bears  62 – For 3/4s, this looked like another tight one, destined to go to the final seconds; then the Bears offense went completely dry, with just 9 in the 4th stanza.  UVic were sharp down the stretch as Junior Sesay, a freshman, came in to tally 11 pts, while Player of the Year, Chris McLaughlin, wore out the GBs with 20 points and 15 big rebounds. Marcus Tibbs scored 16 for the Vikes and added 4 helpers.

Alberta had 15 from both Ken Otieno and Joel Friesen, but shot 39% as a team, and far worse than that in the last 10 minutes. Points in the paint were 40-22 Victoria, and the Vikes collected 13 from turnovers, while Alberta were credited with none (seems far-fetched) .  Alberta showed earlier on that they could play with UVic, but they’ll have to do it with more composure for the full 40 on Friday, or they’re done.  Box Score

In Quebec on Thursday –

Concordia 79  UQAM 65  in a cross-town Montreal game, which took the Citadins out of the playoff picture in the RSEQ.

Overtime –

  • We have a hunch that Ken and Kathy Shields will be in attendance on Friday to watch what might be the final game played by a Vikes  team (Men or Women), on the court named for the legendary husband and wife coaching duo.  Between them, they won 15 CIS National championships,  and 24 Canada West titles.  They’re both in too many Halls of Fame to count, and they accomplished all of this together, building their lighthouse programs at the venerable McKinnon Gym.
  • Series are not won in a single game, and  one night can be different from the last, especially when the teams have had a 12 day lay-off between games.  Expect a pitched battle in Victoria, and a most spirited effort from UNBC in Vancouver.  There are 4 games on Friday as the other 2 Quarter-Finals get started in Saskatoon and Abbotsford.
  • The AUS Tournament gets underway with 2 games on Friday in Halifax –  Dalhousie vs Cape Breton, and Memorial facing Saint Mary’s.  The winners will go on to play UPEI and UNB, the top 2 seeds, in Saturday’s Semi-finals, with the Final slated for Sunday.