Bet on UVic Back in the Play-off Hunt
In Coach Craig Beaucamp’s 14 seasons, in only the last 2 have there been losing records. He has been Canada West’s Coach of the Year 5 times, and his overall conference record stands at 220-99 .
He explains his ‘new plan’ for the Vikes, based on recent experiences … “We have decided to go with local kids, as much as we can. We think we have good buy-in from the talented players in our area, or on the Island. “A look at the roster counts 9 from Victoria or ‘up- Island’, with another 4 from the B.C. Lower Mainland. “We have a better chance to get to know these kids, and they can be on campus for most of the year.”
One Island star who returns this year after an injury absence is Jordan Charles, a 6-4 , 4th year wing man, who gives the Vikes a great scoring option and a strong defender.
Scott Kellum (Issaquah, WA) was the Canada West Rookie of the Year in ’16-’17, and will be the UVic floor leader. Two returnee 4th year bigs are Justin Kinnear (Montreal), a rugged 6-6 post man, and Jake Newman (Surrey, BC), another strong rebounding 6-6 forward. Hayden Lejeune (Chilliwack) is a 6-8 forward, and should be ready to shoulder more of the load.
Early looks suggest new recruit, Mason Loewen (Victoria), a 6-3 shooter, can revitalize the Victoria offense. He played Div 2 NCAA in the U.S., but returned for his last 2 seasons to play for his home school. Jaamel Slack is a 4th year, 6-2 guard, also a Victoria high school product, who returns from Medicine Hat College (AB).
One compelling story is that of Eric Hegadoren, a 6-11 rookie from Victoria, who is a good athlete, but is really just learning the hoops game. After playing Division 2 NCAA college baseball for the past 2 years, Hegadoren has decided to use his size on the court. More in this story from CHEK News in Victoria.
The odds might well be leaning to a return to the win column on a more regular basis for this traditionally powerful Vikes basketball program. Coach Beaucamp suggests he has the patience to build a team to challenge for a championship again, and we would be foolish to doubt his ability to ccomplish just that.
Sunday results – Victoria 94 Waterloo 86 – (played at UBC) a 54 point 2nd half propels the Vikes to their 2nd win on the weekend. Again, it’s newcomer, Mason Loewen, with 26 pts to pace UVic, with Jake Newman adding 18. The Vikes take advantage of 30/33 free throws to 15/18 for the Warriors. … at Brandon 97 Algoma 84 – The Bobcats have 5 in double figures , with Tyvon Cooper scoring 23, Pookie Sanders 17, and Jonathan Range 15.
The Cape Breton Fall Classic … Capers SAIT – (cancelled due to a ‘wet floor’ ??!! and UPEI 88 St. FX 80
Concordia’s Tournament finishes with 2 games at “The Beehive’ … Stingers 85 York 80 … Dalhousie 98 Regina 85 – the Tigers win the 4 team tournament. Sven Stammberger scores 31 for Dal, while Regina has 5 in double figures, led by Samuel Hillis’ 18. 23 turnovers hurt the Cougars.
We dig out the box score for Saturday’s Winnipeg – Algoma tilt, and note the 24 points/ 5 rebs, 3 asst, 3 steals by rookie, Don Dayrit, the Manitoba high school player of the year in 2017. Billy Yaworsky continues to shine with 15 pts and 9 rebounds in the 90-69 Wesmen win.