Carroll Exploits Foul-line Visits

 

UL turnovers and more foul line visits give Saints a winning edge

Lethbridge team photo of Dejon Burdeaux

24 points by Dejon Burdeaux lead the ‘Horns in Montana.

The Lethbridge Pronghorns shot the ball well enough to get a win in their road game with Carroll College on Saturday. But, 24 turnovers hand-cuffed the ‘Horns and gave the Fighting Saints a big advantage in their 12th straight win over Lethbridge.

UL was 53% from the field, slightly better than the Saints 50% , but Carroll had the big edge of 20/25 free throws vs just 5/6  for the visitors. Lethbridge was led by Dejon Burdeaux with 22 points, Elliott Sentance scored 15 and DeAngelo Ashley had 12.   Box Score     …  Next up for Lethbridge will be a home date on December 28 vs Montana State-Northern.

 

 

2nd half slump sinks Spartans 

Working from a hopeful 41-34 halftime deficit the TWU Spartans scored only 10 points in the final 20 minutes to fall by an 82-44 count to home- standing U. Alaska- Anchorage Sea Wolves on Saturday.

The Seawolves go 41 to 10 in the second half as 16 Trinity turnovers (to 6 for UAA) give the home team just that many more  opportunities. The Spartans shoot just 30% from the field and were out-rebounded 55-37. Post man Patrick Vandervelden had 12 points for TWU, while import guard, Pogos Trunyan,  added 11 points . Box Score     The same 2 teams play Sunday in Anchorage.

_____________________________________________________________

Upcoming CIS games –

Sunday, Dec 18 – Trinity Western at Alaska-Anchorage

Monday, Dec 19 – Trinity Western at Alaska-Fairbanks

U. of Calgary Dinos logo

Calgary Dinos make an early break to warm weather. 3 games in Arizona this week.

Tuesday, Dec 20 – Calgary Dinos vs Montana Tech  at Chandler, AZ

Weds , Dec 21 – Calgary vs Warner-Pacific  at Chandler, AZ

Thurs, Dec 22- Calgary vs Arizona Christian U.  at Phoenix, AZ

_____________________________________________________________

Overtime –

  • “Maybe next year we can play Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine the Canada West Final Four.”  So says Kamloops This Week columnist, Adam Williams, as he discusses the Canada West Basketball schedule and play-offs.  Williams’ somewhat facetious take on the play-off ranking system is highlighted in this ‘Fooled ‘Em Again’ column from Thursday’s KTW article.
  •  Mea culpa … We used too many toes to count the #6 ranked NAIA team Carroll College 11 game win streak over Lethbridge. 11(now 12) , not 16 !

    TWU photo of Josiah Meppelink

    Rookie point man, Josiah Meppelink.

  • As if they needed the added hardship, the Trinity Western Spartans suffered the loss of floor leader, Tyus Allen, to a season-ending knee injury in late November.  This moved Coach Aaron Muhic to insert 6-3 rookie, Josiah Meppelink , (Lynden Christian, WA) at the point.  His 6 assists were a plus for the Spartans in their loss to UA-Anchorage, as he now ‘learns on the fly’.

 

 

 

 

 

 Bisons and Bears in Blow-outs

 

Bisons bury the Wesmen in game 1

Keith Omoerah leads a Bisons stampede over Winnipeg Thursday.

Keith Omoerah leads a Bisons stampede over Winnipeg Thursday.

at Manitoba 91  Winnipeg 60 –   There’s nothing like a cross-town showdown to get the juices flowing, and the Bisons responded to the challenge from the Wesmen on Thursday night at UM.  Keith Omoerah scored 21 pts and claimed 12 boards to lead the way, as the Herd ran rough-shod over the Ws, with a 56-29 pasting in the 2nd half. 51% FG shooting, 20 Winnipeg turnovers, and a cool shooting night for UW led to a Bisons runaway.  Rookie Narcisse Ambanza (Toronto) had 17 for the Wesmen, and Ryan Oirbans scored an 11 point/ 10 rebound double.  Going into Saturday’s return match at Winnipeg, the records are 3-6 for Manitoba and 6-3 for Winnipeg.  Box Score

at Alberta 90  MacEwan 68 –  The Bears are now 9-0 atop Canada West as they smacked the Griffins through 3/4s , establishing a 72-53 lead.  Alberta were hot from the floor at 52.5%, with a scorching 68% (15/22) from 3 pt range.  Geoff Pippus led the Bruins with 20 points on 6/8 from the outside, and Austin Waddoups tallied 17 points, including 4/5 from 3 pt range.  Denzel James and Thadius Galvez were high scores for Mac with 12 apiece.  MacEwan ( 3-6) has the return bout back at their North Edmonton Gym, but they will be hard-pressed to slow down this Bears team on their current run.   Box Score  

David Kapinga led a Dinos charge in the 4th for a UC win at MRU.

David Kapinga led a Dinos charge in the 4th for a UC win at MRU.

Calgary 87  at Mt. Royal 83 –  The Dinos got all they bargained for and more, as MRU struck with 12 treys to just 3 for the visiting UC.  The 51% FG average for Calgary included a bushel full of lay-ups and pull-ups, while it was the long bomb doing all the damage for the Cougs.  Mt. Royal led for much of the way … 43-38 at the half, and they had it tied late into the 4th quarter. 9 points by Calgary’s David Kapinga in that final frame, and 7 from Thomas Cooper led to a UC surge and the win.  The Cougars lost their all-star forward, Brett Layton to an ankle sprain in the 1st quarter, but that seemed to galvanize the squad, and they played an inspired game. Mt. Royal’s Josh Ross erupted for 34 points including 8/13 from outside, while Calgary got 27pts/ 6 rebs from Cooper, and 15 pts/ 6 rebs/ 4 asst by Kapinga.  The Cougars slide to 4-3, while Calgary is now 6-1, with the return game at UC on Saturday.    Box Score 

 

Overtime –

Wolf Pack Coach, Scott Clark

Wolf Pack Coach, Scott Clark

  • TRU Coach Scott Clark gives kudos to the atmosphere at UNBC for their games at the Northern Sport Centre, The Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre is the favorite visiting gym of most of the WolfPack players. They like the atmosphere there.  Clark praises UNBC for their ability to cultivate a basketball culture in Prince George. “ They draw quite well. There is a life to the crowd.  They have a captive audience there. They have done a good job in their community and my hat goes off to them.  That experience is what university athletics should be. Guys—whether it here at TRU or if they go on the road—they appreciate that.”

 

TWU's Tyus Allen will be out indefinitely with a knee injury.

TWU’s Tyus Allen will be out indefinitely with a knee injury.

  • We get an update on Tyus Allen, Trinity Western’s lead guard, who had played so well in recent outings.  Near the end of last Saturday’s close loss to Regina, Allen, who had put up 13 pts, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, went down with a knee injury, which is a repeat of past troubles there. A TWU source suggests that, “It doesn’t look good at this point.  Tyus worked so hard to get back after sitting out last season.  This is very disappointing for the young man.”

 

 

  • Coach Clark also points out some of the stresses on student athletes as we approach semester exams, “ This last weekend is tough on the student athletes. Exams are coming up. They have been playing for a long time. I hope that we play good basketball. It usually winds up that it isn’t the prettiest basketball at this time of year. Mental and physical fatigue tend to catch up with them at this point.  From Larry Read, TRU Athletics.

 

 

Huskies in Regina for ‘Provincial Title’

 

 

Saskatchewan and Regina Rivalry Highlights  Friday Action

Regina's Alex Igual leads the Cougars against provincial rival Saskatchewan .

Regina’s Alex Igual leads the Cougars against provincial rival Saskatchewan .

 Saskatchewan at Regina – The two Canada West teams from ‘The Land of the Living Skies’  are both at 4-2 in League play to date.  The Huskies make the trip South for 2 games in the Cougars Den with the provincial ‘championship’ on the line. The Huskies’ dominating forward, Shane Osayande (20 ppg/ 12.3 rebs), leads the ‘Dogs, while guard, Alex Igual (15.3 ppg/ 46% from 3 point range) tops a quartet of back-court scorers for the Cougs.  Big   +11 to -1   rebounding edge to the Huskies, while the Cougars have shot the ball better –  44% to 40%  FG, 33%-30%  from 3 .  Our Call –  Saskatchewan defense and rebounding gets them a split on the road.  (Both Friday and Saturday games go at 8 pm local time)

Fraser Valley at Brandon – The Cascades (2-4) make the long trip to SE Manitoba with an urgent need to turn things around . The Bobcats  get a pair of home dates as they try to improve from a 2-6 tie for 13th spot.  Manny Dulay, a 5th year guard, leads UFV scoring at 15.3 ppg, but the team offense is not clicking so far (71 ppg) .  Brandon  suffers from the same malady at 69 ppg scored, and they’ve  allowed 79 ppg to Fraser Valley’s 73.  Our Call-  Home court should give the ‘Cats a lift, but UFV is bound to up their scoring. Toss-up.  (Friday at 8 pm, Sat. at 7pm)

Thompson Rivers at UNBC –  Who are the ‘Alpha-Wolves’?  Last season it was TRU, but UNBC (4-4) have won 4 straight as they finish off the 1st half at home. Neither team has been offensively impressive, with TRU fighting through the tougher early schedule, however.  The ‘Pack (3-5) have Volodymyr Iegorov and Luke Morris up front, while UNBC look to guards Rhys Elliot and Marcus MacKay.  Our Call-  The Orange to get at least a split.  (8 pm Friday – 7pm Saturday)

Tyus Allen and his Spartans host Lethbridge this weekend.

Tyus Allen and his Spartans host Lethbridge this weekend.   photo – Trinity Western Athletics

Lethbridge at Trinity Western – The Spartans (2-6) host the Pronghorns (4-4) in the on-campus Enarson Gym this week.  TWU has a better offensive flow this season, but their 88.5 ppg allowed defensively is the League’s worst.  Lethbridge can score, but they are hit and miss, with a tendency to turn it over  too often.  Guard play will be the key here … Dejon Burdeaux, Elliott Sentance, and Mike Pierzchala for the ‘Horns may have the edge over Tyus Allen, Pogos Trunyan and company.  Our Call-  Lethbridge with a chance at 2 wins, but Trinity more comfortable in their ‘home gym’.   (Friday and Saturday at 7 pm)

UBC-O  at UBC –   The younger cousins visit Point Grey, and this is easily the week’s biggest ‘mismatch’.  UBC (6-0) is a tough out for the anyone, but especially for the 1-7 Heat.  Defense first for Okanagan, and maybe Jordan Jensen-Whyte and his T’Birds ‘mates will have a final weekend let-down.  Our Call –  That is unlikely  … the Thunderbirds by a wide margin.  (8 pm Friday – 7pm Saturday)

 

Thursday games in Canada West – all at 8 pm local time on  Canada West TV )

Winnipeg at Manitoba ,  Calgary at Mt. Royal,  MacEwan at Alberta

Victoria Vikes have the bye this week.


 CIS Scores Wednesday –

In the OUA –  Windsor 86  at Toronto 84 ,  at #6  Ryerson 105  Western Ont. 76


screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-2-56-53-pm

Carleton are on top as they and #3 Ottawa host #5 Brock and #7 McMaster in some intriguing OUA league games this weekend. UBC and Calgary are also steady at #2 and 3, as Canada West finishes pre-Christmas games.  #6 Ryerson hosts Windsor on Saturday.  #8 McGill are done RSEQ play until January.  Alberta gains just 1 spot at #9 despite an 8-0 record in Canada West, as they finish with a home and home series in Edmonton vs MacEwan. #10 Dalhousie drops 3 spots from 7th, after a loss to Saint Mary’s.

 

 

 

Key Clashes in Saskatoon, Victoria

 

Saskatchewan Hosts Winnipeg, and Calgary in Victoria for Key Series’

The Winnipeg Wesmen and guard, Jamar Farley, invade Saskatoon this week.

The Winnipeg Wesmen and guard, Jamar Farley, invade Saskatoon this week.

The Winnipeg Wesmen are hoping to carry the 7-0 momentum they have built this past month as they travel West to Saskatoon to face the Saskatchewan Huskies.  The Ws, in the minds of many CIS coaches are be facing their biggest test to date, and Coach Mike Raimbault and his charges hope to repeat their sweep of the U of S from last year.

The 1-1 Dinos are in Victoria to face the 1-1 Vikes, as two other squads with ‘big plans’ match-up on Ken and Kathy Shields Court at the Blue and Gold hued CARSA Centre.  It’s a test of the #4 ranked Dinos’ and the un-ranked Vikes’ ability to pull tgether after key line-up changes for both teams.  The match-ups in our ‘key clashes’ …

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan –  Despite their 7-0 record  this Fall, the Wesmen get no mention in the CIS Top 10 poll.  Last January they got a pair of home wins over these Huskies in Winnipeg, but this road series may prove a bit more rugged. The Ws have skill and depth at guard, with Denzel Lynch-Blair, William Sesay,  Jamar Farley, and import transfer, Sean Tarver.  It remains to be seen if Billy Yaworsky and Ryan Oirbans have enough help up front to hold off a bigger U of S squad.  The Huskies feature Shane Osayande, Trevor Severinski, and Matt Forbes , 6-5 Jaylan Morgan adding another weapon. The U of S guards have to hold their own, then the ‘Dogs may howl.  Our Call –  A split is in order, especially if Winnipeg’s full court defense can be effective.

 

The Vikes and Dinos go at it out on The Island this week.

The Vikes and Dinos go at it out on The Island this week. photo – UVic Athletics

Calgary at Victoria – Two traditionally competitive teams, both in search of a sweep this weekend.  The Dinos and the Vikes had 1 impressive win last week,  and 1 ‘not-so-much’!   Thomas Cooper is a deadly offensive threat for UC, and he has Lars Schleuter, a long range bomber, alongside. The guards are explosively quick.  David Kapinga, Jhony Verrone, and newcomers Max Eisle and Mambi Diawara can be suffocating at the defensive end. Victoria are leaning heavily on 5th year forward, Grant Sitton, for scoring, and he now has Wayne Tucker Jr. (tsf Olds College) and Jake Newman (tsf Lafayette U) for assistance.  There is new depth at the guard spot where  Scott Kellum, JJ Hamel-Carey, and Hassan Abdullahi may prove an effective combo. Our Call –  The best guess might be a split, having seen just that result for the past 2 seasons in League play.


The Original ‘Mad Viking’  … screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-55-23-pm

The Calgary Dinos, when they play on The Island this week, should be thankful that they will not be ‘greeted’ by the original ‘Mad Viking’ mascot.  Jim ‘Mother’ Hubbard prowled the court perimeter for Coach Ken Shields and his championship UVic teams of the ’80s.  This was not a rubber axe, and ‘Hubb’ was not a subtle fan!  Opposition players of the day couldn’t help but look over their shoulders to keep an eye on his menacing presence.

Coach Shields remembers ‘only a couple of occasions ‘ when ‘Hubb’ actually did any notable damage with his weapon! One of the great characters in Canada West history.

 


And, the remainder of the Canada West slate for week 2 –

Thurs –      Lethbridge at Mt. Royal –  This is the Cougars’ home opener, and they face a Pronghorns team that has 2 wins from last week.  U of L has some building confidence in 2 import lynch-pins, guard, Dejon Burdeaux, and wing man, Elliott Sentance. The ‘Horns seem to have all their ‘antelopes’ match-fit, and they may have the local talent to compliment the skills of Bordeaux and Sentance.  Zac Overwater and Mike Pierzchala, an LCI and Winston Churchill HS grad,  can be impact players in their own right. MRU were up and down in the pre-season, and there may be some depth concerns, especially on the forward line.  The addition of the multi-talented Josh Ross (tsf Vancouver Island U.) will help, and he should combine nicely with 2nd year all-star forward, Brett Layton.  Guards Derek Wolfe and Glen Yang will have to be sharp if the Cougars are to come out on top.  Our Call –  Lethbridge could sweep, we feel.  MRU will be fighting for a split.

Coach Gil Cheung and his Brandon Bobcats are home to the UBC-O Heat.

Coach Gil Cheung and his Brandon Bobcats are home to the UBC-O Heat.   photo – Brandon Athletics

Friday / Saturday –     UBC-O at Brandon  –  This is a true mystery.  Okanagan travels to Brandon so rarely ( well, actually just once … an 8 point loss in 2014).  The ‘Cats need these wins on home court.  The Heat have some chemistry building with Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin at guard, but they also need their big men, Ryan Morck and David Manshrek to battle the BU front line.  Those ‘Big ‘Cats’ are led by the strong efforts of Earl Thompson Jr., and the  improving  John Paul, a 6-11 ‘handful’.  Import guard Tyvon Cooper seems to be the scoring guard Brandon needs, as he averaged  17 ppg last week at Alberta.    Our Call –  Who feels comfortable down the stretch?  This is a toss-up on paper, but an edge to the home team.

Thompson Rivers at Manitoba –  The Wolf Pack have a tough task in facing the Herd out in ‘Ft. Garry’.  Manitoba has the fire-power that TRU lost to graduation.  The ‘Pack still have Volodymyr Iegorov, Micheal Rouault, and Jeff Tubbs, but they are a team in the -re-building process.  The Bisons are packed with talented veterans, like Keith Omoerah, AJ Basi, Justus Alleyn, Ilarion Bonhomme, and Jonathan Alexander.  At their best, the Herd will Stampede all over many Canada West teams.  Our Call – Two decisive Manitoba wins.

Regina at MacEwan –  This is a test for two teams with playoff potential. The Cougars have the ultimate ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ team so far.  They win by 20 vs UVic last Saturday, after dropping a 95-77 home opener to the Vikes on Friday. Brian Ofori has looked like a leader on their forward line, and they have 5th year vets Travis Sylvester and Stephen Shields in their top 9.  Guards Brandon Tull, Aaron McGowan, and Alex Igual get help from newcomer, import Johneil Johnson.  MacEwan, too, have a good core of vets, with Thadius Galvez and Denzel James, their backcourt strength.  Keith Gerdes and Harrison Lane head-up a ‘medium sized’ front court  in need of some scoring punch.   Our Call –  Regina wins at least one, but MacEwan is ‘sneakily competitive’, and may surprise us.

Matt Hayashi and his TWU teammates will be up for their 'Valley Series' with UFV.

Matt Hayashi and his TWU teammates will be up for their ‘Valley Series’ with UFV.   Spartans Athletics

Trinity Western at Fraser Valley –  Flush with their Saturday win at UBC-O, the Spartans are set to challenge for ‘Kings of the Valley’ !  UFV have won all 6 games in the past 3 seasons, and will be a tough out for TWU.  The Cascades guard corps look best in this match-up, with Manny Dulay, Vijay Dhillon, and 6-4 transfer (College of the Desert) Anthony Gilchrist off the bench.  The Green start 3 forwards … Nav Bains, Andrew Morris, and Mark Johnson, and they are part of a pretty effective defensive unit. Trinity have bigger, but less mobile forwards in Patrick Vandervelden and Matt Hayashi.  There is  some developing strength in import, Pogos Trunyan, along with scoring wing, Vartan Tanielian, and lead guard, Tyus Allen.   Our Call –  Has TWU turned a corner?  We don’t have the ‘faith’ of their followers yet, but they will give UFV a good challenge this week.

Alberta at UNBC –  The Bears go on the road with their 2 opening wins from last week, and the T’Wolves will hope the friendly environs of the Northern Sports Centre in Prince George will give them an edge.  Alberta comes with the ‘golden duo’ of Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke at forward; this a severe challenge for the ‘Wolves’ Vaggelis Loukas and Anthony Hokanson. Rhys Elliot and Marcus MacKay give UNBC a pair of able scoring guards, who will have to out-play U of A’s new arrivals Austin Waddoups and Andre Kelly.  Our Call –  The Golden Bears have an edge here, and will be aiming for the sweep.  A top effort from the T’Wolves will be necessary for a win.

Saturday –  Mt. Royal travels to Lethbridge for game 2.

UBC has the bye this week.


screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-16-50-pm

UBC Climbs to 2nd in Week 2

The UBC Thunderbirds, looking strong in the early-going this season, were voted #2 in this week’s coaches’ poll for the CIS. Calgary, who dropped their opener to Manitoba, were demoted to the #4 slot.

There are 6 OUA teams in the 12 mentioned in the poll , including the ‘Mighty Ravens’ of Carleton at #1. The Alberta Golden Bears appear as an ‘honourable mention.

 


 

Overtime –

sask-camo

Trevor Severinski (L) and Chan De Ciman model the ‘camo gear’ the Huskies will wear to observe Remembrance Day.

  •   The Saskatchewan Huskies will be wearing special ‘camo’ game jerseys when they host Winnipeg this weekend,  in tribute to those Canadians who served / serve in the military.  Coach Barry Rawlyk says, “Remembrance Day is reserved in Canada for us to honour and remember those who bravely served and scarified for our great country,” said head coach Barry Rawlyk. “We also believe it is a time to express our appreciation to all of the men and women in uniform that courageously and unselfishly serve our nation.”  From U of S Athletics
  •   TRU Coach, Scott Clark, on the new scheduling format for Canada West  , “ …  there are not two teams in the conference that play the same schedule,” Clark said. “To call it a schedule, I think, is a misnomer, in that I believe we just play some games and at the end they’re going to compare everybody.  It’s no fault of whoever makes the schedule. It’s a 17-team conference — it’s monumental.  Really, you can’t [have a schedule] with 17 teams. But my opinion was always that the conference needs to be divided.”   From Kamloops This Week.
  • We have the first of several home and home series which are part of that somewhat disjointed League schedule this season.  Mt. Royal hosts Lethbridge on Thursday, then travel South for the return bout on Saturday, while the ‘Valley Neighbours’, Trinity Western and Fraser Valley exchange home courts on Friday/Saturday. This would seem like a great way to build on regional rivalries.

 

 

Vikes Edge Cougars For Sweep

Sitton Carries Vikes to 2nd Game Win

A 2nd straight strong game from UVic's Grant Sitton, in the Saturday win over MRU.

A 2nd straight strong game from UVic’s Grant Sitton, in the Saturday win over MRU.

 at Victoria 77   Mt. Royal   75 – The Vikes survive a  big 4th quarter (26-14) run by the visiting Cougars. UVic gets the sweep as Grant Sitton fires 31 points and hits 5/7 from outside.  Justin Kinnear is the only other Vikes player in double figures, with 15 plus 4 boards before fouling out. MRU goes to the line 28 times, but miss 9, and they also lose the made 3s battle 7-4. Brett Layton is, once again, their leader with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Derek Wolfe counted 17 points and Glen Yang 13.  Box Score

 at  Lethbridge –  Carroll College 93   Lethbridge  67 –  Not sure about the water and the oranges at 1/2 time for Lethbridge.  The ‘Horns go in leading 40-38, then suffer through a horrendous 36-9  Fighting Saints onslaught in the 3rd frame.  Just 8 players dressed for the home side, as they are missing starters Dejon Burdeaux, Mike Pierzchala, and Zac Overwater . Elliott Sentance continues his hot play for UL, scoring 28 points/ 11 rebounds, while Cameron Fischer is the only other Lethbridge player in double figures with 10.     Box Score           Regina 74 Alberta 72  ,  

UBC T-Bird

at Vancouver –  UBC 107  Lakehead  75 –  UBC punish the ‘Wolves, as the ‘Birds shoot 55% to Lakehead’s 44% from the floor.  The T’Birds enjoy 31/35 from the charity stripe against 14/17 for the visitors. Conor Morgan leads UBC with 23 points and Will Ondrik scores 17.                               Laurier 71   UNBC  61 –  8 treys from Laurier vs only 3 for the T’Wolves, as neither team quite reaches 40% from the floor overall. 22 turnovers hurts the UNBC effort.  The ‘Wolves have 4 in double figures, with Marcus Mackay scoring 17 before fouling out. Anthony Hokanson has 12 points/ 9 rebounds.  Laurier have 14 points from Owen Coulthard, who hits on 4 treys.

at Valley City State (ND) 65 Winnipeg 53

 at Eastern Oregon 89  Trinity Western  73  –  The Spartans hang in for the better part of 3/4s, but Eastern finish strongly.  TWU shoot better from the floor (47%-46), but, as in many games now, the 3 point shot was decisive here.  9 treys for the home side, and just 4 for Trinity, and there’s the 15 points.  The game was not pretty, with a combined 44 turnovers, with 23 by TWU. Import Pogos Trunyan scored 18/ 4 assists for Trinity Box, with Tyus Allen adding 14 points, and Tee Maberry 13.  Box Score   

in Ottawa –    McGill 72  Toronto  67,  Ottawa 74  Concordia 68 , Waterloo 96  Bishops 92

also – at U. Vermont 89   UQAM  69 ,   at Western Ont. 81  Laurentian 60

TWU / UNBC – Small School Challenges

 

Spartans and Timberwolves Face an Uphill Path

–  2016-17 Canada West Basketball Previews –

These 2 B.C. schools are among the smallest, by population, in Canada West, and have quite a task in trying to match the resources and recruiting power of many of the larger programs. Despite this, the TWU Spartans, about 6-8 years ago were very competitive in this League with the likes of Jacob Doerksen, Brian Banman, and Jason Keegstra.  UNBC has yet to make that kind of impact, but  Coach Todd Jordan and his boys were 12-8 just 2 years ago with Rhys Elliott and Franko Kouagnia leading the way.

With this new 17 team League, there are now games against some of the much bigger schools for the T’Wolves, and Trinity is definitely in a ‘re-building phase’.  Both teams have some new faces who should help the cause for the upcoming year, but ‘it’s never easy’.

Trinity Western Spartans
No playoffs                  1 win   19 losses      (Pioneer Division)

Returnees – TWU copy
4th years –  4th years – Peter Spangehl, 6-3 wing, Surrey, BC.  Pogos Trunyan, 6-2, guard, (red-shirt last yr), Sacramento, CA … 3rd years – Tyus Allen, 6-1, guard,  White Rock, BC.  Vartan Tanielian, 6-4 guard, Surrey. Patrick Vandervelden, 6-10 forward, 3rd, Abbotsford.  Josiah Allison,  6-2, guard, 3rd, Abbotsford.  Eric Rogers, 6-4 guard,  Chilliwack.   2nd year –  Matt Hayashi, 7-1 post,  Langley … 1st year- Nathan Allison,  6-0 guard (redshirt ’15-’16), Abbotsford.

New faces –   Nick Smith, 6-4 fwd, 3rd,   Surrey (Kwantlen Poly U.). Max Viitala, 3rd, G, 6-5,  Melbourne, AUS  , Ambrose Univ. Coll., (Calgary).  Taturs Maberry, 6-6 post, 3rd, Pasadena, CA  (Los Angeles Valley Col.), Josiah Meppelink,  6-3 guard, 1st,   Langley ( Lynden Christian) Nigel Boyd, 6-3 guard, 1st,   Richmond  (Steveston- London), Aaron Paetkau, 6-5 wing, 1st, Parksville BC (Ballenas), Daniel Stead, 6-7 Wing, 1st, Langley (Walnut Grove), Justin Robinson, 6-1 guard, 1st,   Maple Ridge,  ( Maple Ridge Christian), Ben Reddy, 6-3 guard, 1st,  Victoria (Lambrick Park)

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-4-46-48-pm

California transfer, Pogos Trunyan (L) and returnee post man, Patrick Vandervelden (L) will be key to the fortunes of TWU.

With a young team coming off a very difficult ’15-’16 season, Coach Aaron Muhic starts his 2nd season at TWU counting on some of his returnees to bring a higher skill level and the determination to help the team move up. “The guys have a good team attitude, and we’re happy with how they work together”, said Muhic. “We certainly have challenges, but we also feel we have the pieces to make things better this year.”

Guard, Tyus Allen, who returns after a year off, “ … may have to shake the rust off,” says the coach, “but he has the skill and experience to be a leader.”  Muhic also points to 3rd year guard, Josiah Allison, who has shown “an aggressive style, and looks good in early workouts.”  Guard, Vartan Tanielian, and big forward, Patrick Vandervelden, should be set for impactful seasons with more playing experience.  Coach Muhic also has high hopes for 2nd year tower, Matt Hayashi, who, the coach tells us, “Is working hard, and starting to get more comfortable with his role.”

Pogos Trunyan played for Coach Muhic in the California College League, and he will be expected to give the Spartans scoring and floor leadership, after red-shirting in Langley in 2015-16. “He is eager to go, and has adapted very well to the International style of play, and his academic program at TWU”, says Muhic. Another import, Taturs Maberry, is a candidate for valuable contributions in scoring and rebounding. Local recruit, Joseph Meppelink, is a very capable high school grad, who has the size and skill to get him into the playing rotation.

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at UBC-O, home and home vs Fraser Valley, at UNBC, vs Regina, vs Lethbridge   …  Jan/Feb –   at Winnipeg, vs Manitoba, at Victoria, at Mt. Royal, vs UBC   Prediction –  Will improve, but tough to reach the top 12


U. Northern BC Timberwolves
’15-’16 – No playoffs                 4 wins    16 losses  (Explorer Division)

Returnees – 5th years – Rhys Elliott,  6-1 guard, Adelaide, Aus. Elliot Rowe, 5-9 guard, Victoria   … 4th years –  Marcus MacKay, 6-4 wing, Terrace, BC.  Nolan Hanson, 6-1 guard, Prince George.  Austin Chandler, 6-6 fwd, Wenatchee, WA  … 3rd years – Vaggelis Loukas, 6-5 fwd, Athens, GR  … 2nd years – Anthony Hokanson, 6-5 fwd, Vancouver.  Saje Gosal, 6-5 wing, Golden, BC.  Neal Randhawa, 6-4 guard, Golden.UNBC copy
New faces –   James Agyeman, 5-11 guard, 3rd,  Brampton, ON (tsf- W. Laurier). Sam Zhang, 6-4 fwd, Pitt Meadows, BC (tsf Capilano Coll.) . Tyrell Laing, 6-0 guard, 1st year, Prince George (Prince George).  (RS) Volodymyr Pluzhnikov, 6-0 guard, Kharkiv, Ukraine (MBC Mykolaiv – Ukraine Superleague).

Todd Jordan, now in his 8th season in Prince George as Head Coach, is hoping 2016-’17 brings a little less pain than last year.  Injuries took away key players for far too many games, and it was tough to get any continuity.  “We were were going with a patch-work lineup from one series to the next”, said Jordan.

The Timberwolves get Nolan Hanson back after he missed almost all of ’15-’16, and Anthony Hokanson, Sam Zhang, and James Agyeman are now available.  Agyeman, a transfer from Laurier of the OUA, can step in as a skilled point man, and boost the guard corps. He and a healthy 5th year stalwart, Elliot Rowe ,should be a good combo at that spot. Rhys Elliott, another 5th year player,  returns as the ‘Wolves leading scorer (18 ppg, 7th in Canada West, 5 rebs and 2.3 assists.)

Two offensive threats for UNBC - Rhys Elliott (L) and Marcus MacKay (R)

Two offensive threats for UNBC – Rhys Elliott (L) and Marcus MacKay (R)

“We’ve had a good ‘off-season’”, says Jordan. “The guys have come back in great shape, and we have more experience as a whole team.”   Jordan says he is looking to several returnees to have significantly better campaigns, including wing, Marcus MacKay, a real 3 point threat.  Vaggelis Loukas will also be a key leader, with his toughness, scoring ability, and maturity as a player.

Rebounding is a focus for UNBC, as they struggled to meet their goals last year.  Jordan says, “We definitely know we have to improve, and everyone needs to play a part, if we want to get our share every game.”  The ‘Wolves take care of the ball very well, and have quality depth on the perimeter to ensure that continues.  Finding an interior presence on offense, and at least fighting to a draw on the boards are top priorities.

“This League gets very interesting as we meet the ‘Pioneer‘ schools, and every weekend is big if we are to contend for a playoff spot”, says Coach Jordan. “Maybe we can surprise a few favourites as our team comes together; we know the guys will work hard, and we think we will give it a good run.”

Schedule –  Nov/Dec – at Winnipeg, vs Alberta, vs Trinity Western, at Fraser Valley, vs Thompson Rivers,   Jan/Feb –  at Lethbridge, vs Mt. Royal, at Manitoba, at UBC, vs Saskatchewan     Prediction –  Tough road to  playoffs


 

Does size of schools matter ?inthebleachers-jumpball

If we looked at Canada West as an ocean, we’d be seeing whales, shrimp and everything in between.  From UBC, the big whale, to Northern B.C. a relative minnow in school population, this League has a wide array of school sizes.

Can schools the size of an average city high school hope to match the ‘big boys’?

cw-by-popn

The big fish, like UBC, Alberta, Calgary, and Manitoba very much dwarf the Trinity Westerns and UNBC’s out there.  It means financial resources, facilities, and ‘name recognition’.

Brandon is one school that, in the Coach Jerry Hemmings era, overcame this disadvantage, and the ‘Cats won multiple Great Plains titles and 4 National Championships.  But this may be too big a stretch for most of our really small schools.

TRU went to Nationals with a strong core of experienced and talented players last season, and Fraser Valley has had a couple of championship looks.  It remains to be seen how often the ‘small guys’ can buck the trend.

After all, who has won Canada West?   It has been Victoria 16 times, Alberta 11, UBC 9, Calgary 5, and Saskatchewan, Lethbridge, and Brandon 1 apiece.

(Note- We are not counting Great Plains titles won by Brandon, Manitoba, Regina, or Winnipeg)


 

Overtime –

  • The Guy Vetrie Invitational (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1) has Victoria  hosting McMaster, McGill, and Regina , and fans can watch live video on Canada West TV .   Thursday games – 6 pm (Pacific) McGill vs McMaster, 8 pm Vikes vs Regina, Friday – Regina-McMaster at 6, UVic – McGill at 8, and Saturday – Regina-McGill at 5 pm ,  Victoria vs McMaster at 7 pm.