Top 5 Lists – Canada West

 

Our Top Teams, Players, Rookies in the 1st Semester

Import guard, Austin Waddoups , is a big reason that the GBs are at the top of CW standings.         Photo – U of A Athletics

Top 5  ‘Notable’ Teams  –

  1. Alberta Golden Bears –  10-0 is a big surprise.  We thought Alberta would be in contention, but a clean slate at the 1/2 way mark ?  Outstanding.  Good additions, and more experience with returnees. Defense allows 68 ppg, and offense is cranked up to 86 ppg, 3rd in CW. Tougher 2nd half sched, with Calgary, at UBC, UFV, at Saskatchewan, Lethbridge.
  2. UBC Thunderbirds – 8-0 and coming together with vets and newcomers.  The ‘Birds have had a couple of close ones in the final couple of series vs UVic and Manitoba.  UBC starts the 2nd half at Saskatchewan, home vs Alberta, and at Mt. Royal.  Survive that, and the T’Birds could be top seed.
  3. Calgary Dinos –  They tripped over Manitoba in game 1, but are the top scoring team in CW at 7-1, scoring 95 ppg.  Coach Vanhooren is looking for more consistency, but the depth and talent is there.
  4. Manitoba Bisons –  This team is the ultimate puzzle at 4-6.  The Herd have a tough 1st half sched, but they admit to being disappointed in their start.  But, after beating Winnipeg twice to finish, they have the 2nd half schedule to make a big turnaround.  Maybe as high as 4th ?!
  5. Mt. Royal Cougars –  Under-rated is an apt description.  The Cougs are 5-5, and we suggest they could duplicate that mark in the next 10, and qualify for the play-offs.  4th in CW ppg scored @ 85.4 ppg, they are one of the top shooting clubs (45% from the floor – 4th), 5th best in ‘ball control’.

Top 5  Players in the League –  (Alpha order …  up for grabs, we think.)

Calgary’s Thomas Cooper is Canada West’s top scorer again this season.   Photo- UC’s David Moll

Thomas Cooper, Dinos – The ‘Reigning Champion’ leads the scoring race with 25.6 ppg, and is a ‘prime-time finisher’. He scoops 6 rebs/game, and averages 2 steals.

Volodymyr Iegorov, TRU Wolf Pack –  The big Ukrainian import ‘carries the water’ for the ‘Pack, with his 18.6 ppg/ 9 rebounds and 3.9 assists.  We expect him to finish strong, and give his team a good play-off shot.

The Huskies Shane Osayande is ‘ripping it’ every time out this season. Photo- U of S

Conor Morgan, T’Birds – Putting up some big numbers, and has been ‘unstoppable’ at times.  25 ppg while shooting 61.5% FG, plus 6.6 rebs.

Shane Osayande, Huskies – Averaging a double-double of 20 ppg and 11.6 rebounds !  A constant force on a team which has been inconsistent at times. He blocks 2.5 shots per game.

Josh Ross, MRU Cougars – This import transfer is a player!  Another who posts a double-double ‘every night’ !  Scoring 19.6 ppg / 10 rebounds/ 3.8 assts.

Others-  Keith Omoerah – Bisons, Mamadou Gueye – Bears, Elliott Sentance – Pronghorns, Thadius Galvez- Griffins,  David Kapinga – Dinos,

Top 5 CW Rookies – (again with the alpha list)

Winnipeg rookie, Narcisse Ambanza, is a big factor the the Wesmen.

Narcisse Ambanza – Wesmen,  22.2 mins …  The front-runner in this crop, with his scoring and rebounding.  11.9 ppg/ shoots 53% FG / 3.7 rebs/ 2 asst

Max Eisle – Dinos,  15.6 mins … Not the big minutes, or the scoring numbers, but he is tough, skilled, and a top-notch defender.   3.1 ppg/ 41% FG/ 2 asst/ 1.3 steals

Johneil Johnson –  Reg. Cougars, 17.9 mins …  Has been the key man in a couple of games.  He possesses an impressive all-round game. 10.1 ppg/ 48% FG, 3 rebs/ 2 steals

Scott Kellum –  Vikes, 28.3 mins …  A confident player with great leadership qualities.  Playing too many freshman minutes, probably. 9.4 ppg/ 38% from 3 pt/ 2.3 rebs

Andre Kelly – Bears, 18 mins …  Has the game to be a top-notch player as he matures.  Solid numbers for the top team. 6.6 ppg/ 44% FG/ 1.7 asst/ 2.3 rebs

 Others … Tyrell Laing- Timberwolves, Craig Martin- MRU Cougars, James Wagner – Bisons.

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Overtime – 

  • A major facilities announcement from U. Saskatchewan, with a donation from the Graham family, enabling the Huskies to build new practice/tournament courts at the planned Merlis Belsher Place.  From CTV News, Saskatoon 
  •   The Bisons A.J. Basi, in his team blog, on Manitoba’s rough start in the regular season, … “we were disappointed to drop a few close and winnable games. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves for our inconsistency. We all still believe we belong amongst the top teams in our league.”

Busy Summer for CIS Hoops Players

 

 

‘Off-season’ is a Big Misnomer for Canada West Athletes

There was a day (in the previous century) when ‘CIAU’ players used to work summer jobs, or, if they were lucky, play golf, drop by the gym, or out-door court, and do some shooting or get in a pick-up game.  Today’s CIS athletes, for the most part, are more intensely engaged in training, teaching camps, playing summer games, and involved in full-on practice sessions.

David Kapinga , UC Dinos 3rd year point man.

David Kapinga , UC Dinos 3rd year point man.  photo- David Moll UC Athletics

In a conversation with Calgary Dinos point guard David Kapinga, we get a sense of the schedule many of today’s student athletes face in the ‘off-season’. “ It’s intense”, says the former Calgary high school star. “We’re here to start UC summer camps for junior high kids at around 8 am, and we go through 4:00 pm.  We’ll shoot at noon, and then shoot and scrimmage after 4.  We will do a physical training / weights session after that, and we’re not done until after 8 pm.  I’m bagged after a week of camps, and we have 3 weeks”,  says Kapinga.

The Dinos have chosen not to host NCAA teams in August, as they had done for many recent summers, however, several B.C schools will be geared up to play U.S. teams again this August.

Other teams will meet for a summer team camp, and, like UBC, may make an overseas trip for returning players.  The whole T-Birds squad will be facing NCAA  competition some time in August, and that means getting enough practice hours to be game-ready. No longer the standard 2nd week of September start;  it’s an 11 month team exercise for most very competitive programs.  These guys (and gals) earn their scholarships !


Mid-summer news briefs from Canada West –

  • Former Bears star, Jordan Baker, has signed a contract to play in Japan next season.  He moves from the Portuguese League, where he was the team’s leading scorer for Galitos -Tiey.  Details in this Edmonton Journal article.
  • The Winnipeg Wesmen add Winnipeg school stand-out , 6-4 guard, Josh Gandier of John Taylor Collegiate.  Coach Mike Raimbault also lands  a pair of  Junior College stars ; 6-5 wing, Sean Tarver (Baltimore, MD) UW news release     Home-grown forward,  6-7 Billy Yaworski,  returns home after 1 year in U.S.  Wesmen News
  • Thompson Rivers adds 6-9 import, Malik Hazziez, from Sacramento, CA.  A 12 point / 10 rebound performer at  American River College  (Sacramento) will be going into his 3rd year of eligibility this Fall.  More in this Kamloops This Week article.
  • Manitoba’s Coach Kirby Schepp coached the Team Canada  U-18s,
    Bison's Kirby Schepp with Canada Basketball Manager and NBA legend , Steve Nash - photo from The Winnipeg Sun

    Bison’s Kirby Schepp with Canada Basketball Manager and NBA legend , Steve Nash – photo from The Winnipeg Sun

    and a key Bisons’ recruit, James Wagner, was a member of that team, as they made it to the finals of the FIBA America’s tourney in Chile, but lost a 99-84 decision to the U.S.

 

  • Fraser Valley lands Anthony Gilchrist, a 6-4 guard from College of the Desert, CA
  • The Saskatchewan Huskies sign 6-4 wing, Jaylan Morgan, Brampton, ON, Unknownwho comes to the Huskies from Williston St College, ND
  • Okanagan Heat have added Tristan Matthews, a 6-4 guard from Sentinal Sr Sec., West Vancouver
  • UBC adds  Harry Liu, a 6-3 guard from Sir Winston Churchill, Vancouver
  • UNBC gets a local star in Tyrell Laing, a 5-10 guard from Prince George.
  • Victoria continues to sign members of the Charles family !  This summer, it’s Noah Charles, a 6-5 forward from Duncan’s Cowichan Sec. A more circuitous route brings 6-6 Jake Newman back to B.C. to play for the Vikes.  The White Rock Christian grad played 2 years at Lafayette College, PA, then red-shirting last year at Carleton.