Cougars Shock TRU in 4th Quarter


Regina storms past TRU with a huge 41 point final frame
– we have results  from the opening game of 3 Canada West Quarter-Finals –

Jonathan Tull and his Regina teammates out-score the TRU Wolf Pack in game 1 in Kamloops on Thursday.

Jonathan Tull and his Regina teammates out-score the TRU Wolf Pack in game 1 in Kamloops on Thursday.        photo – U of R Cougars Athletics

 Regina  102  at Thompson Rivers 94  –  The Cougars obviously warm to the prospect of playing a more  wide-open offensive style with the cooperation of the home team. TRU is up 26-21 after the opening 10 minutes, but have the Regina team revved up to start some fireworks of their own.  The visitors go up 1 at the half, then the see-saw continues, with the ‘Pack hitting 3 consecutive treys in the middle of the 3rd to re-take the lead.
The Cougars were not to be deterred, as they hang up 41 points in the final frame to snatch the upset win over the Explorer leaders.  It was, after the dust settled, the green – clad Regina squad who had hit 18/36 from 3 point range, and out-rebounded the bigger ‘Pack by a 45-37 count.  Jonathan Tull led the charge for UR, with 29 points/ 6 rebounds as he shot 11/13 from the line. Import guard Alex Igual hit 7/12 from outside for 24 points plus 9 boards. Brandon Tull  (16 pts) had 4 treys, as did Jonathan, while Brian Ofori scored 15 on 7/11 from the floor.
TRU got 25 points / 10 assists from 5th year point man, Reese Pribilsky, 19 from Volodymyr Iegorov, 18 by  Luke Morris, and a 13 point / 13 rebound double from Josh Wolfram.  But the inside game did not produce trouble for Regina’s D, and the shots did not go down in the stretch for the Orange. Game 2 is Friday at 7 pm Pacific, with a ‘dream season’ on the line for the Wolf Pack.  Box Score

 at Manitoba  78 Fraser Valley 59  –  The Bisons hold serve in this one, with a very solid Manitoba copyhome win, as they ‘play their game’ ,  says Coach Kirby Schepp  to Bisons Athletics’ Danielle Doiron. “They really try to control the tempo of the game,” Schepp said after the win. “I think that’s really the battle for us. We’re trying to get the game faster. They’re trying to slow the game down. “It’s a battle of tempo, but the tempo was in our favour tonight, and that was probably the biggest difference of the game.”
Up 36 – 25 at the break, UM pulls away in the 2nd half, as they have 5 players in double figures, and win almost every statistical measure; Bisons 41.5% from the floor to 35% for UFV, 18/26 from the line vs 11/16 for the Cascades, and the  Herd get more rebounds, and give away several fewer turnovers. Veteran post man, Wyatt Anders provides the leadership, with 17 points / 8 rebounds, while wing man Keith Omoerah adds 14 points / 9 boards .
Fraser Valley never really gets un-tracked at the offensive end, with only Kevon Parchment (17 points / 9 rebs / 5 asst) and Matt Cooley (12 points / 7 rebs) doing any major damage.  Parchment’s 5/21 from the floor was, however, indicative of the cold hand that the visitors displayed as a group, and they never took a real run at Manitoba in this one.  Game 2 is Friday at 7 pm Central. Box Score

at UBC 81  Lethbridge 57 –  The result might have been expected, but the extent of the carnage was a bit of a shock for fans of the Pronghorns.  Without their import point man ubcDejon Burdeaux, whose injured leg/ ankle prevented him from playing, the ‘Horns could not match the  T-Birds.  UBC limits UL, the 2nd highest scoring team in Canada West, to 29 points less than their 86 ppg average; the Birds do it by forcing 26 Lethbridge turnovers, and converting those into 23 points.  They did it also by shooting 42% to the ‘Horns’ 36% on the night.

Jordan Jensen-Whyte had another stellar game for the Thunderbirds, with 25 points/ 2 steals, and guard, Phil Jalalpoor, scored 12 points, plus 6 rebs/ 2 steals.  The ‘Birds went 25/33 at the line vs 15/23 for the visitors.  Rob Olsen scored 14 for Lethbridge, and Brandon Brine had 13 plus 7 rebounds. UBC defense controlled the game, and they look like a team that will not yield on their home turf.  The picture is not bright for the Pronghorns as they look at game 2 on Friday at 7 pm Pacific.  Box Score


These are best of 3 series’, with a 3rd game if necessary – that would be Saturday, 3 pm Central for Manitoba – UFV, and  Saturday, 7 pm Pacific for both the TRU – Regina series, and the UBC – Lethbridge match-up.

The Calgary Dinos host the Alberta Golden Bears in game 1 Friday, 7 pm Mountain, with game 2 on Saturday at 7 pm, then game 3 (if necessary) is scheduled for 2 pm Sunday.

Women’s Playoffs started Thursday night as well, it was   Alberta 77 Thompson Rivers – 48 in Edmonton. On Friday, it will be game 2 in that series at 8 pm Mountain.

The others 3 series’ start Friday- Calgary at Regina is 7 pm Central, Saturday at 7 pm in game 2, and game 3 on Sunday (if necessary) is also 7 pm  .

The other 2 series’ – Victoria at MacEwan – Fri – 6 pm Mtn , Sat – 5 pm, and *Sun -2 pm   All 3 games of the UBC at Saskatchewan series are slated for 6:15 Central .


Other CIS Scores –
 Quebec – (League play) –  Concordia 76   UQAM 74 , Laval 82  Bishop’s 67
Ontario Preliminary Round play-off games –  Queen’s 87  Toronto 70, Lakehead 60  Western 58 ,  Brock 98  Laurier 80,    Windsor 82 Laurentian 73



Overtime –   

Coach Craig Beaucamp

UVic Coach Craig Beaucamp

  • U Vic Coach Craig Beaucamp,  with a caution regarding import players and any CIS school’s focus on academics along with basketball … ”We have used internationals and prospered from it, but I think we have to start asking ourselves: … What are we providing? Is it an education, followed by ‘they then play basketball’? Or is it a basketball player, followed by an education,” says Beaucamp .… “Without linking academic performance and athletic eligibility, “you’re acting as a professional team. You’re basically paying a guy to play for you for a couple years.” From a pretty fair discussion of the presence and impact of import players in the CIS.  in this article by Wayne Kondro, Ottawa Citizen.
  • News from Europe – Galitos Tiey of the Portuguese ‘A’ League (LPB) is
    Jordan Baker, with Galitos Tiey in Portugal

    Jordan Baker, with Galitos Tiey in Portugal

    climbing the standings, now in 5th place in the 11 team loop.  Alberta Golden Bears grad, Jordan Baker is their leading scorer / rebounder at 16.6 ppg / 8.4 rebounds, while Jared Ogungbemi-Jackson, former Dinos guard starts at the point, and is averaging 13.5 ppg / 3.7 assists. Nick Loewen, former Mt. Royal Cougar wing man, is in Leon, Spain playing for Augustines-Eras, who are at the top of the standings in Group B at 13-2. Nick is averaging 27 minutes coming off the bench, and averages 9.5 ppg / 49% from the floor.  Ross Bekkering is at Groningen with 3rd place, Donar Flames, playing 29 mpg, the veteran in the Dutch League, and former Dinos all-star, is shooting  65% from the floor, including 7/11 from 3 point range. (Shoot more  ‘Driepunters’ Roscoe !) ,  13 ppg/ 8.5 rebounds.

    Robbie Sihota

    Robbie Sihota

  • Another former Calgary Dinos stand-out,  Robbie Sihota  , following an exceptional 5 months with  MAFC Budapest of the Hungarian League, has transferred to Eisbaeran Bremerhaven of the German Bundesliga. . The 6-7  Sihota scored 19 ppg / 9.5 rebounds in Budapest, and Bremerhaven pursued his transfer in mid-February.  The Clubs completed the transfer last week, and Robbie  played his 1st game for Coach Chris Harris’  Eisbaeren Bremerhaven team on the 27th.   Harris, another former Dinos forward (’03), suggests that Bremerhaven obtained Sihota for their Bundesliga stretch run, with hopes of his helping them avoid relegation, as they are currently 17th in the 20 team League.

The ‘Wizard of Winnipeg’s’ Play-off Review


‘The Wizard’ Illuminates the Dark Corners of Potential Playoff Positionsimages

The penultimate week of League play has finalized the 7  playoff  teams from the  Pioneer Division, but we still have a bit of mystery as to the order of finish.
(Our stats consultant, Tyler, the ‘Wizard of  Winnipeg’, has served-up a 5 page breakdown of all Canada West possibilities – 4 pages for the Pioneer, and 1 for the Explorer. )  Not wanting you faithful readers to go cross-eyed with the ‘whole schmeer’, we give a much briefer summary.


Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 4.38.13 PMPioneer Division –
Calgary clinches 1st and home court. 12 wins in a row, with 1 left at Alberta.
UBC can finish 16-4 and 2nd place with 2 home wins vs Winnipeg next weekend, or give Manitoba a chance at 2nd, if they lose 1 or more to Winnipeg.
Manitoba are safely in 3rd spot, with a slim chance at 2nd.  (UBC loss vs Winnipeg AND Lethbridge not finishing 4th, or 2 Winnipeg wins over UBC.  Get that ?)
Lethbridge, Regina, Winnipeg, and Alberta fill out the slate, with too many variables to speculate (as we might have foolishly attempted in the past ). ‘The Wizard’ sends us 3 tables for different UBC-Winnipeg -Manitoba situations, and various results from Regina, Edmonton, and Lethbridge … the man is outrageously detailed, but deadly accurate ! (Send us $9.95, shipping & handling, and the entire review is yours!)
Saskatchewan and Victoria are now officially out.

Explorer Division –  (chart from the original ‘Wizard’s Review’)

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‘Superb Scorers, and Rabid Rebounders’ from the Weekend –
‘Fillin’ it up’  –

UC's Thomas Cooper has a 'Tyrannosaurus Rex' kind of weekend vs Regina !

UC’s Thomas Cooper has a ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’ kind of weekend vs Regina !

– Thomas Cooper (Calgary Dinos) scores a season high 42 on Thursday, then ’cools-off’ with a mere 30 in Friday’s 2nd win over visiting Regina .
–  Rhys Elliott‘s Timberwolves may be wallowing in 6th in the Explorer, but the UNBC hot-shot just ‘do what he do’ … shoots it …very well. He totals 58 in 2 close games with visiting Mt. Royal.
Kevon Parchment  (Fraser Valley Cascades)  must be feeling better, judging by his 53 points in  UFV ‘s 2 wins over 1st place TRU .  And, as usual, scoring is just one of several categories where he leads his team.
 Mt. Royal Cougars’ Derek Wolfe has a 53 point weekend as well, thanks to a ‘lights-out’ 39 point effort on Saturday to give the Cougars their 2 game sweep over the T‘Wolves.

‘Gimme that ball .. it’s mine ! ‘

–  Three warriors, who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to rebounding.

MRU's rookie forward, Brett Layton, leads all Canada West rebounders

MRU’s rookie forward, Brett Layton, leads all Canada West rebounders. photo – Cougars Athletics

Brett Layton of Mt. Royal, the Canada West leader (10.7 rpg) in this crucial category snares  25 in the pair of contests in Prince George.
Keith Omoerah, the ‘magic ingredient ‘ in the recent surge from his Manitoba Bisons, goes to work inside to grab 23 boards way from Trinity Western, making up for the absence of CW’s 2nd leading rebounder, Wyatt Anders.
Kevon Parchment, demonstrates his value to the Cascades, with 23 rebounds against a bigger TRU Wolf Pack team, who can hurt opponents badly if they are allowed. Parchment gives UFV the edge they needed.

Rookies of the Year ?

Only one of these guys will be anointed the Canada West ‘ROY’, but we thought we’d build a team from the top 1st year players this season.

Winnipeg guard, William Sesay, makes our 'All-Rookie team'.

Winnipeg guard, William Sesay, makes our ‘All-Rookie team’.

Brett Layton – Mt. Royal, leads CW rebounders, averages 16.7 points, and shoots 55% from the floor, as he has given the Cougars the extra inside presence they now enjoy.
Chan DeCiman – Saskatchewan, is a quick, combative, and skilled combo guard who makes an impact at both ends of the floor. He is 12.5 points/game, along with 4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists.
Brody Clarke, Alberta – As the season has progressed, Clarke his stepped up to give the Bears  muscle and a scoring touch on the forward line, especially in the absence of big man, Sebastien Denault. U of A gets 11.7 ppg, 6.4 rebounds, and 49.7% shooting from this inside -outside threat.
William Sesay, Winnipeg – Stepping into a major role with the young Wesmen, Sesay plays with ‘no fear’, with timely scoring (9.8 ppg), and a real nose for the ball on the boards (at 7.2 rpg, he is the  top ‘pure guard’ in those CW stats) , and he is getting better at ‘directing traffic’  (2.5 asst) as well.
Torrez  McKoy, Calgary –  Playing fewer minutes, McKoy demonstrates a cool head at the point, and the quickness to be solid at the defensive end. He scores  5.5 ppg,  goes to the boards well, at 3.8 reb,, and is a sure ball- handler, with 2.1 asst/game.

Other CIS Scores Sunday –
Atlantic –   at UPEI 115  Memorial  85
Ontario –    at #1  Ryerson 98 Algoma 56 ,  Ryerson 94 Toronto 79

Overtime – 

  • The Lethbridge Pronghorns were surprised when they were greeted at the Calgary airport by teammate, Brent Watkins, as they arrived back from their recent road-trip.  Watkins, of course, had a most serious car crash last summer, and has been left with a brain trauma recovery, which could take some time.  Details in this Lethbridge Herald story by Dylan Purcell.
  • Tribute words from Coach Adam Friesen, Fraser Valley Cascades, about his 5th year star Kevon Parchment , “He’s had to step up this year in terms of leadership because of all of our injuries and he’s provided a lot of stability for this group. We can always look to him to perform and give everyone a sense of calm. He keeps us in games and gives us a chance to win.” From a nice article in the Abbotsford News by Ben Lypka. 
  • TRU Wolf Pack Coach Scott Clark, with a touch of understatement in the aftermath of 2 road losses to Fraser Valley , ”Fraser Valley is a good team. What we saw this weekend was playoff basketball. We need to make the easy layups and free throws in order to win. We didn’t do that. We shot only 18 per cent in the third quarter. It is tough to win with those stats.”
  • Manitoba’s Wyatt Anders has been limited by injury problems for almost a month, but the Bisons’ bye in this last week of League play, will give him extra recovery time for the March quarter-finals.

10 Wins is the Target for Pioneer



Can You Count To 10 ?

Can the Bears and Mamadou Gueye de-rail the HUskies shot at the playoffs?

Can the Bears and Mamadou Gueye de-rail the HUskies shot at the playoffs?                                       photo – U. Alberta Athletics

10 is the magic number for entry to the playoffs as a Pioneer Division team,  especially if you’re the Saskatchewan Huskies ! Canada West’s Evan Daum has produced a playoff possibility primer for the fans going into this week’s play, and that’s a great service to those many of us, who are mathematically challenged ! Here’s Evan’s analysis –

Who’s clinched in the Pioneer (seven playoff berths): Calgary, UBC, and Manitoba have all clinched a playoff spot.
Possible clinches this weekend: Calgary can clinch first overall with a sweep of Regina.
Regina can clinch a playoff spot with a win against Calgary,  or a Saskatchewan loss against Alberta … Winnipeg can clinch a playoff spot with a win against Lethbridge
Lethbridge can clinch a playoff spot with a sweep of Winnipeg … Alberta can clinch a playoff spot with a sweep of Saskatchewan.

We are not, however, afraid to go out on a limb by making assumptions based on past performance. so the real key series is Alberta at Saskatchewan.  The Bears are in with a win to get to 10!  Everything hinges on the Huskies record over the next 4 games. 2 at home with the Bears and 2 down the highway in Regina  next week vs the Cougars. The ‘Dogs need to win all 4, or they’re gone, if we assume Lethbridge can win at least 1 of 4 games (and they can and will, as they finish with 2 at home vs Trinity W) .  Winnipeg already has 9 wins, and has the tie-breaker with 2-0 over Saskatchewan.

Victoria Vikes (7-11) get the bye this week.

 In the Explorer –  (three playoff berths):
The analysis from Mr Daum  Thompson Rivers has clinched first …  UFV can clinch a playoff spot with a victory against Thompson Rivers , or a combination of losses by MacEwan against UBCO and Mount Royal against UNBC …  UBCO can clinch a playoff spot with a sweep of MacEwan and one Mount Royal loss.

GriffinsHome copy
Yes, well,  we look at this week’s MacEwan at UBC-O series as the crucial set.  A sweep by either team will get them in is our ‘guesstimate’ … Mac has a useful win over TRU, should they be tied for 3rd.  MRU needs to sweep, then get help from TRU beating Okanagan twice, and UNBC over Mac at least once.   Now the head starts to hurt …. We have to like UBC-O, since they’re at home, but if they split this week, Mac has a shot if they beat UNBC twice to finish.  OK, that’s confusing enough.  Let’s play !


Thursday / Friday  –  

Calgary's Torrez McKoy and his 'mates have a home series vs Regina this week.

Calgary’s Torrez McKoy and his ‘mates have a home series vs Regina this week.                          photo – David Moll, UC Athletics

Regina at Calgary –  Homers !  That’s what these teams are against each other recently … at Calgary, the Dinos are 5-0 in the last 5 League games vs the Cougars, and at Regina, it’s 6-2 Cougars over the Dinos in that same time frame.  Motivation here is about equal, with Calgary looking to clinch 1st place, and Regina wanting to boost their playoff ranking.  Key match-ups are –  point – UC David Kapinga, Torrez McKoy  vs UR Alex Igual, Aaron McGowan …wing – UC  Thomas Cooper vs UR Jonathan Tull … forwards – UC  Matt Letkeman, Lars Schleuter vs UR  Stephen Shields, Will Tallman.  Big crowds expected … tough, competitive games !  (both at 8 pm Mtn)

Friday / Saturday –  
Lethbridge at Winnipeg –  Does this Lethbridge  zone defense seem explicitly designed to play the Wesmen?  Can the quick, tenacious UW defense slow down the quick-strike ‘Horns attack ?   Do Dejon Burdeaux, Rob Olsen, and Brandon Brine light-up the Ws with their potent offensive power?  Can Denzel Blair-Lynch get enough scoring help to stay with the scoring pace of the Pronghorns?  8 pm Central for both nights. Tune in to Canada West TV for these and other highlights

Alberta at Saskatchewan – This series has had a major impact on Canada West standings for a number of years;  usually it has been in a battle for 1st, 2nd, 3rd , but now it’s for playoff survival.  The ‘Dogs are backed into a corner, and have to fight for a post-season spot with 2 wins this week.  Alberta is coming off a pair of wins last week, and would love to sideline the Huskies. Mamadou Gueye has his game in order for the Bears, and, if their guards can slow down Chan DeCiman , Evan Ostertag and Co. , they may do just that. Both games are at 8 PM Central.

UBC at Brandon –  A few factors in play here … The ‘Birds have bombed the Bobcats 10 straight games  dating back to 2008.  This is not a ‘banner year’ for the ‘Cats (1-15) … the T-Birds are prepping for playoffs that will see them ultimately host the CIS Nationals.  We’re not sure that Brandon’s  D.J. Jordan and Earl Thompson Jr. can, between the 2 of them, score enough to overcome the difference in depth between these teams.  We’ll ‘bravely’ call UBC to sweep.  Games are 8 pm  Fri/ 7 pm Sat – Central.

Manitoba at Trinity Western –  This is a miss-match of one team, Manitoba, working their way to a possible CW title, and another, TWU, fighting for just a bit of respectability.  Manitoba has so many players now ‘running with the Herd’ … A.J Basi, Justus Alleyn, Keith Omoerah, Wyatt Anders, Jonathan Alexander and more.  Trinity usually counts on a hot hand from one or both of Kelvin Smith and Lucas Mannes, and it has not been enough.

A Hot Time in the Okanagan !

The eyes of the ‘Explorers’ are on Kelowna, where the UBC-O Heat try to stay ahead of their primary rivals for 3rd place, the MacEwan Griffins.  In Abbotsford, we see if Fraser Valley can muster up enough fresh bodies to take a serious run at the vicious TRU Wolf Pack, who have been terrorizing the Division for much of the season.  And, over in Prince George, Mt. Royal needs 2 wins over UNBC and their prayers answered elsewhere, if the Cougars have any hope of a post-season appearance.  Games are 8 pm and 7 pm Pacific time for all 3 series in the Explorer. (3 playoff spots at stake).

Mitch Goodwin and the UBC-O Heat have a vital series at home vs MacEwan.

Mitch Goodwin and the UBC-O Heat have a vital series at home vs MacEwan.

MacEwan at UBC-Okanagan –  The Griffs are the masters of the weekend split, having gone 1-1 in 6 of their 9 series to date this season, including the November pair with Okanagan. The Heat have won 3 of their last 4 games, and, when they get scoring from 4 and 5 players, they have beaten everyone in the Explorer.  Neither team, however, has been all that predictable.  So … Mitch Goodwin and Aldrich Berrios vs Denzel James and Thadius Galvez ?  Not really !  The ‘supporting cast is critical for both squads.  Too tough to call this series, but a sweep would be a surprise, either way.

Thompson Rivers at Fraser Valley – It has been the recent habit of the Cascades to win at home and struggle on the road; in late November in Kamloops, UFV were trounced by 14 then 30 by the ‘Pack.  Fraser Valley are 7-1 at home, and have responded to many challenges this season, but Thompson Rivers may be too much to handle, with their size and skill.  Nate Brown needs Kevon Parchment back, and Manny Dulay has to have a hot Vijay Dhillon as an option. It could happen, but the odds are longer than they have been in years.

Mt. Royal  at UNBC  –  The Timberwolves have had a rough go this year, made worse by losing their injured point man Billy Cheng and dropping all 8 of their games since the Christmas break. MRU’s post tandem of James Lefebvre and Brett Layton may give UNBC real trouble, and the guard match-up with MRU’s Glen Yang vs Elliot Rowe for the ‘Wolves may be decisive.  The Cougars have some developing depth, but haven’t proven their ability to win 2 games in a weekend.


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The Calgary Dinos climbed another spot this week from 5th to 4th as they win 2 games to extend their winning streak to 10.  UBC jumps over McGill into 7th ranked, and, despite their gaudy 14-2 record, Thompson Rivers stays in 9th spot.

The Ryerson Rams continue to impress at #1, and Ottawa is in 2nd again, just ahead of the defending CIS champs, the Carleton Ravens. In the OUA this week, we see the Ottawa teams travel to SW Ontario  … #2 UO and #3 Carleton take on #6 McMaster and #5 Brock.


Who Has the Toughest Schedule ?


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Dan V copy

Why is this man smiling ?  Well, it could be that Calgary Coach Dan Vanhooren  feels good about his Dinos’ 2nd half schedule, which we judge as the best in Canada West’s Pioneer Division. (Of course, you still have to play the games … they’re not won ‘on paper’, as we well know.) Following is a fanciful analysis of the games facing the playoff contending teams (sorry TWU and Brandon!) in this 2nd semester .  We prefer the Dinos’ and the Bears’ slates when we compare them to Regina’s or the Pronghorns. Let’s take a look …
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If we use a 5 point scale, with 5 being the toughest, and 1 the least rugged, this is what we see –(* Based on semester 1 performance (and some historical bias!))

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 1.56.11 PMTeam by Team Schedule breakdown   – 

Calgary Dinos – The 6-3 Dinos have the most favourable schedule, as we note their home dates vs Saskatchewan, Lethbridge, and Regina, with road games against the struggling TWU and Brandon, plus 1 at Alberta. 6 home and 5 away.
Alberta Golden Bears –  The Bears have already played many of the ‘top teams’, like UBC, Manitoba, Regina, and Calgary (once). Home vs Victoria and Calgary helps, with Lethbridge a tough road series.
UBC Thunderbirds – The ‘Birds are in the Nationals as host (pressure release in one way … maybe more nerves as the event gets closer).  4 tough series to start the 2nd semester, with Lethbridge in Vancouver right away, then at Manitoba, home to Regina, and at UVic.
Saskatchewan Huskies –  The Huskies have ground to make up, and have 6-6 forward, Shane Osayande, back in action to help the cause. At Calgary and home to Lethbridge will be a key 4 games to re-start before a bye week. The ‘Dogs’ playoff chances may come down to the last weekend in Regina.
 Victoria Vikes –  A fast start is essential as UVic hosts Manitoba this weekend, then at Alberta and Winnipeg.  They’re home to arch-rival UBC in a pivotal series.  Inside play will be a big factor if they are to make the top rungs in League play; the Vikes come off 3 straight League losses.
Manitoba Bisons –  The Bisons are rumbling along confidently after winning the Wesmen Classic, and riding a 7 game win streak. The return of Keith Omoerah and Wyatt Anders, plus the addition of Ilarion Bonhomme have been a huge bonus. A rugged opening month of games at UVic, at Lethbridge, and home to UBC and Regina.
Winnipeg Wesmen –  The Wesmen win 2 of 3 at their Christmas Holiday Classic, but face an uphill task in the 2nd semester chase for a play-off spot.  2 wins vs Brandon might build some momentum this week, but the 10 games to follow include 4 of the top 6 squads, plus Saskatchewan, who are 6-2  vs Winnipeg over the last several seasons.
Lethbridge Pronghorns –  Only one loss to date, and a nice mix of size, experience, and some youthful talent. But the ‘Horns have a tougher schedule than almost everyone else;  they are the lone team in the top 9 without a bye week in Jan/Feb, and they face 8 away games vs 6 home dates. The home series vs Manitoba may be the ‘TSN Turning Point’ for the ‘Horns.
Regina Cougars –  The Cougars are also up against the odds, as they finish with 5 teams (UBC, Manitoba, UVic, Calgary, and Saskatchewan) with whom they are a combined 6 wins – 34 losses in recent years. The final 3 weeks will be key, with home dates against the Vikes and Huskies, sandwiching a key road series at Calgary.


The Explorer Division is a More Simple Breakdown –

Can any team catch Reese Pribilsky and the TRU Wolf Pack ?

Can any team catch Reese Pribilsky and the TRU Wolf Pack ?    Photo – TRU Athletics

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A 3 -point scale does it for us here, with UFV having an ‘easier’ sched., while MRU and UNBC have a much rougher road.

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Team by Team ‘Schedule breakdown’ – (There are 3 playoff teams from the Explorer. A very tidy schedule, with every team on a bye in the last week of January !)

TRU Wolf Pack-  The ‘Pack are home to UFV, and they play UBC-Okanagan in both home and away series’. They control this Division with a split vs UFV in mid-February.
Fraser Valley Cascades – Two decisive losses at TRU to end the 1st half put the Cascades off the pace, and they will need to return the favour in February to challenge for top spot. Two series vs MRU.
Okanagan Heat-  The Heat find themselves in playoff contention, but are in tough, with 2 series vs TRU. If they go .500 for this half, they’re in, we predict!
UNBC Timberwolves –  The T’Wolves, at their best, are a real playoff contender.  They have 2 series with MacEwan, who are chasing as well, and they have UBC-O in Prince George.  However, the Wolves have2  tough road series’ at both TRU and UFV.
MacEwan Griffins-  The Griffs will need to take at least 3 from UNBC, we would think. They have both the Wolf Pack and the Cascades in Edmonton, and may surprise there.
Mount Royal Cougars –   This may be too big an ask for the young Cougars, at 2-6, but the rookies will be more prepared in this 2nd half.  Road wins will be a necessity if they are to move up – at UFV, at TRU, at UNBC? Ouch !

Winnipeg Teams to Meet in Semi


Justus Alleyn will lead the Bisons in their semi-final vs Winnipeg.

Justus Alleyn will lead the Bisons in their semi-final vs Winnipeg.  photo  UM Athletics

Semi-Finals Set in Winnipeg –

Lakehead  72  Brandon  64 –  The Thunderwolves advance to the semi-finals of the Wesmen Classic as they beat Brandon, despite trailing by 2 at the half.  Kache Kopec led Lakehead with 17 points (5 treys).  Henry Tan and  Brandon Persad each had 15. The Bobcats’ Earl Thompson Jr put up a 23 point/13 rebound double. Lakehead meets Acadia in the one semi final.  Box Score

Acadia 84  MacEwan 82  –  Up 8 at the half, the Griffins MacEwan  were out-scored 50-40 by the Axemen in the second half. the Axemen’s Kyle Arsenault hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to crush Mac’s hopes. GMU out-rebounded Acadia 52-36, but scored just 5/10 free throws to 16/25 for the Axemen. AU’s Arsenault  had a game high 27 points, including 6 from beyond the arc, and Erik Nissen had 17 points/ 8 rebounds.
MacEwan had 5 players in double-digits led by Keith Gerdes’s 18 points/ 9 boards.      Box Score

Winnipeg  74  NAIT 63 – Jamar Farley led the Wesmen with 15 points , with William Sesay adding 13 points and nine rebounds. The Wesmen led 41-26 at the half, and held off a 3rd quarter NAIT run to secure their spot in the All-Winnipeg semi-final vs the Bisons.  Box Score
Manitoba  87 Lethbridge 77 –  The Herd got out front early on and stayed there for the full 40 minutes; Justus Alleyn led Manitoba with a game high 22 points, and Keith Omoerah had 21, while Wyatt Anders of the Bisons nabbed a game-high 15 rebounds. Rob Olsen led Lethbridge with 19 points, and Brandon Brine 15. Box Score  

Ranked teams Go Down at the  Laval Tourney –
 New Brunswick 87  #7 Calgary 85  –   Close, high-scoring affair, as the Dinos couldn’t quite match the Reds in the  final 2 minutes , as the the Laval Tournament tips – off.  12 UNB treys vs only 5 for Calgary, plus 20 Dinos turnovers to 14 by the Reds hurt the UC chances.  Javon Masters scored 24 to lead UNB, while  Thomas Cooper had a game-high 27 for Calgary.

Laval registers big upset over #1 Ottawa.

Laval registers big upset over #1 Ottawa.

Laval 87  #1 Ottawa  77 –  Shocker !  The Rouge et Or claim a big upset win, as a 21-10 2nd quarter dooms the cold-shooting  (33% FG) Gee-Gees.  Laval, in contrast, hits 49%, and scores 15/27 free throws vs 1/6 for UO. Karl Belanger leads Laval with  23 points, and Alexandre Leclerc adds 17 plus 8 rebs. Mike L’African is high man for Ottawa with 21 points. Not predicted by anyone, and this will get the ‘experts’’ attention!
 >>Calgary meets Ottawa and Laval plays UNB in Quebec City on Tuesday.

In the U.S.-logo_handler
Biola U. (CA)  55    Alberta  43 –  A cool shooting touch from both teams as the Eagles’ defense dominates . Brody Clark scores 17 points and claims 11 rebs. for the Bears, who were just 30% from the floor as a team. Box Score
‘ Future College’ 114  Regina   112 –  no stats … a ‘defensive struggle’ !


Overtime –

  • Fans on Vancouver Island can see the Victoria Vikes in 2 games this week at the Carsa Centre – Tuesday, the 29th at 2 pm vs Simon Fraser … then, Thursday, the 31st at 1 pm the Vs welcome Coach Peter Guarasci and his UBC-O Heat.  Admission to both games is by a donation  to the food bank.

First Half All-Stars


Our Canada West All-Stars – Semester One

 Thomas Cooper, doing it all for the Calgary Dinos.

Thomas Cooper, doing it all for the Calgary Dinos. photo – David Moll, UC

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.29.45 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.30.04 PM





  • Yes, we always need a 6th Man !

Good size on the 1st team, with Anders (6-8), Wolfram (6-10),  Brine (6-7), and Cooper (6-5) taking very good care of the rebounding.  Burdeaux can run the team, along with Whyte and Cooper.  The 2nd team has more of a back-court emphasis, with Elliot, Tull, and Ostertag shooting the ball, and  Berrios the QB, who can score. Parchment does it all, and Iegorov is as solid as you can get at a big forward.

Best Rookies in the Opening Half –

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.29.21 PMNo  particular order here … Clarke has the tools, Layton the big numbers, McKoy a smooth 2-way game, DeCiman with speed and great skill.  Bennett-Boire is ultra-competitive, and William Sesay belies his youth, with quickness and poise.  This group would make a good start to a play-off team.


Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.31.04 PM‘Horns Running Ahead  !

The Lethbridge Pronghorns have surprised the rest of Canada West, as they grab the half-way lead.  U of L have a veteran -laden line-up with 3rd year U.S. transfer guard, Dejon Burdeaux, the catalyst for the rise in this team ‘s recent performance.

(They must be going well, since I’m getting hourly updates from D. Wells down there in L.A.!)  But, caution is advised Wellsie!  Your boys have 14 more to play, and they’re at UBC, at Sask., at Calgary, at Winnipeg for 8 of those.

The Manitoba Bisons are sitting pretty up there with the UBC Thunderbirds, and the Herd also have lots of experience, plus the benefit of adding former Brandon  CW Rookie of the Year, Ilarion Bonhomme, and the multi-skilled Keith Omoerah, back after a couple of years away. UBC has size, some impressive talent at guard, and a more robust Jordan Jensen-Whyte, but is their team chemistry helping them to a championship?

Calgary, riding the extraordinary skills of Thomas Cooper, are happy with a win over the Golden Bears on Saturday, and look like they will be there through the 2nd half, where they appear to have a reasonably favourable schedule – home vs Sask, Lethbridge, and Regina. The Green Cougars got back on track against Winnipeg, and sit together with the V.Vikes at 5-3, and not incapable of making a run. Regina, who have a solid back-court group, looks forward to the arrival on campus of Rawane Ndiaye, a 6-11 space-eating transfer from Tennessee, who could be just the presence they are looking for inside. UVic will have been toiling in practice, trying to get cleansed after their debacle in Lethbridge to end the 1st half. Their first January series is at home to Manitoba … an immediate litmus test for Reiner Theill, Brandon Dunlop, and their younger teammates.

Alberta is struggling at 4-5, and their offense is sputtering at this point; they have shooters, but  they aren’t hitting shots … last in Canada West in points/game – 67.6, field goals made, FG %-38%, 16th in 3 pt% – 30%. Their defense is stout, however, allowing only 72.7 ppg., and the rebounding is there.  Expect them to pick it up in January / February.
Both Saskatchewan and Winnipeg are hurting from a lack of size up front; the guards, some good young ones for both teams, can play very well at times, but both teams are minus in the rebound margin, with no promise of added help on the horizon. The Huskies defense hasn’t been this porous (16th in FG% allowed, 15th in ppg allowed – 84-4) for
many  years.

Neither Brandon nor Trinity Western appear to be any kind of a threat beyond
‘spoiler’ possibilities for the playoff stretch run. Yet another very long season
for both programs, who, not too long ago, were among the most competitive.


Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.32.29 PMWolfPack Looking Ominous !

The question on everybody’s mind may well be ‘Is TRU the best team in all of Canada West ?’  Veteran leadership, offensive power, good team size, and a willingness to work at their defensive end.  Volodymyr Iegorov and Luke Morris make this team a potential winner in March.

Fraser Valley needs a couple of bodies back and playing well … Nate Brown and Mark Johnson off of injuries, and Manny Dulay from a minor slump in his offensive output. The Cascades will, we feel, still be a factor down the stretch.UBC-Okanagan is ‘coming of age’ this season, as the young team matures and gains from having played together; Aldrich Berrios has been great for the Heat.  Not yet there against the ‘big boys’, but coming on nicely.

UNBC are getting stellar guard play, firstly from that model of consistency, Rhys Elliott, and then by Billy Cheng, who’s obviously wanting to make year 5 one to remember. The ‘Wolves are, however, 17th in all rebounding stats, and not getting enough shots, either from the floor or the free-throw line.

MacEwan Griffins (and we apologize for missing their piece on the original post), are just not as consistent as they need to be.  They can rebound, but played teams who did it better in Semester 1, and they don’t shoot the ball as well as they need to in close games. Maybe the break will give them a chance to re-energize. Mt. Royal have some good young talent, but the emphasis is on the ‘young’ part so far. Big men Brett Layton and James Lefebvre give the Cougs a lift inside; the guard game, both outside shooting and care of the ball, will have to improve.


Overtime –

  •  Long, tall referee-rancher, Huskies fan, Art Unsworth, proudly reports that the Red Deer Univ. College Kings are the 3rd ranked CCAA team in Canada. “They’d be 2nd if it weren’t for the eastern bias”, says Art, whose oldest son Clint is an Asst. Coach with the Kings.  If they can win in Alberta, then they get a chance to prove it at Nationals, Art!  RDC Head Coach, Clayton Pottinger, former U of A star,  has former Mt. Royal player Matt Matear, oh, and, 3 imports – Henderson, NV, Seattle, and Oklahoma City !
  • Lethbridge announced the signing of Scott Mazutinec, a 6-4 guard from Stirling, in S. Alberta.  The former QB on the Raymond HS football team, led his 100 student school basketball team to the 2A Alberta title,and was a starting player and high scorer on the Alberta U-17 team last summer in Halifax.


T-Birds Claim First

T-Birds Pound Boards and Beat Calgary To Claim First

David Wagner's 18 pts leads UBC over Calgary

David Wagner’s 18 pts leads UBC over Calgary – photo UBC

UBC Thunderbirds 83 at  Calgary Dinos 76 –  The T-Birds get their 6th straight win, and sit alone in 1st at 6-1, as they own the boards, 50-33, against a smaller Dinos line-up.  The UBC size and pressure on defense also stifles the Calgary attack until the closing minutes, with UC cold at 37.5% from the floor. Every  T-Bird scores, and they have 4 in double figures, led by big David Wagner with 18 points/ 5 rebs, 16 points/ 7 boards by Jordan-Jensen Whyte, and 15 points from import guard, Phil Jalalpoor.  Calgary (4-3) leans heavily on the 31 points/ 10 rebounds of Thomas Cooper, and force the ‘Birds into 22 turnovers, as David Kapinga is aggressive on D with 6 steals.   Box Score


at Lethbridge Pronghorns 89 Victoria Vikes   62  –  ‘Horns get a big home win to move to 4-1, and drop UVic back to 5-2.  The ‘Horns have a 38-29 lead at the break, then pour in 32 in the 3rd, to push the margin to 22, and they waltz.  The home team hit 47% from the field vs 36 for the Vikes, and hit an amazing 24/37 free throws to just 6/10 for the visitors.  Brandon Brine has 21 pts/ 9 rebs for Lethbridge, and Dejon Burdeaux delivers 10 assists to go with 18 points.  Victoria hurt themselves with 23 turnovers, and are beaten 43-34 on the boards, as Reiner Theil scores 13 plus 7 rebounds.  Box Score

Mamadou Gueye sparks Bears in win over Regina.

Mamadou Gueye sparks Bears in win over Regina.  photo – U of A Athletics

at  Alberta Golden Bears 84  Regina Cougars 65  –  The Bears (3-4) are the aggressors in this one, as Regina offers fairly passive resistance after the opening 10 minutes; out-scoring the Cougs 42-23 in the middle two frames, Alberta shoots 53% from the floor, and wins the rebounding 37-26.  U of A  is also hot from the foul line, led by game-high scorer, Mamadou Gueye, who is 10/12 there, and cashes 22 points on the night for the home team. Brody Clarke hits 15 plus 9 boards, and Colby Jackson scores 13 and adds 4 asst/ 4 steals.  Regina, now at 3-2, get 15 from Alex Igual, and 13 by Jonathan Tull.  Box Score

Manitoba Bisons 86  at Brandon Bobcats  75 –  The Bisons get warmed up in the middle frames, with a 53-38 spread there and coast in with a clear victory.  The visiting Herd got better shots and made a much higher percentage (52% vs 38% for BU), they won the rebounding 43-37, and never let Brandon off the mat after the half. 4 starters in double figures for Manitoba, who move up to 5-2; Wyatt Anders dominates the glass again, with 14, and adds 13 points, while Justus Alleyn leads the UM scorers with 18. Keith Omoerah has a strong game with 16 points/11 rebounds.  Brandon has Earl Thompson Jr. as the game high scorer with 21 plus 12 big rebounds, and D.J. Jordan goes 17 pts/ 7 rebs, but the ‘Cats slide to 0-5.       Box Score

 Thursday – Saskatchewan Huskies  97 at Trinity Western Spartans 86  –  After seeing the home-standing Spartans roar back to within 1 point after 3/4s, a 28 point final quarter gave the Huskies (2-5) a more secure margin of victory.  The ‘Dogs shot he ball well, at 53% from the floor, as all 5 starters are in double figures, topped by 27 from Evan Ostertag (4 rebs, 3 asst), and 23 by Chan De Ciman (5 rebs, 3 asst). Trinity, who fell to 0-7, had good offensive production, but, as Coach Aaron Muhic said to TWU’s Scott Stewart after the game, “ … we just need to mix in some defense.”  Lucas Mannes scored 23 for Trinity, while Dean Richey added 20, and Kelvin Smith 18.   Box Score

 Friday game – Saskatchewan 78    at TWU 77 –  We are welcomed back to the old campus gym at TWU, and the Spartans seem buoyed on their practice floor;  they lead  a foul-filled affair, right up to the final buzzer, when the ball is in the air from the hand of Jonathan Karwacki.  The Huskies reserve guard drills the trey,  and it’s a cruel ending for the Spartans, who led for much of the way, in pursuit of what would have been their 1st win. But n-o-o-o-o !  Sask. gets the sweep, and are 3-5 at the exam break.  Evan Ostertag and Jauquin Bennett-Boire both total 17 points for the Dogs, with Chan De Ciman scoring 13 plus 5 rebs/ 5 asst.  Kelvin Smith has 29 points including 7/10 from the 3 pt. line for Trinity.  no  Box Score yet … delay.

WolfPack Nose Out-front in the Explorer

Luke Morris leads the Wolves to a big win over UFV.

Luke Morris leads the Wolves to a big win over UFV on Friday.                            photo – Kamloops This Week

at Thompson R. WolfPack  89   Fraser Valley Cascades 75 –   The ‘Pack (6-1) offense delivers (48% vs 35% from the floor) , and they grab 48 boards to 38 for the Cascades (5-2) in the first round of this ‘leaders series’. Luke Morris has a big night for the Orange, with 21 points/ 10 rebs, and Josh Wolfram, using his 6-10 to full advantage, hauls in 18 rebounds to go with 17 points for TRU. Vijay Dillon scores 26 for UFV including 8 treys, while Kevon Parchment adds 15 points / 8 asst/ 4 rebs.   Box Score

 UBC-Okanagan Heat 87 at  MacEwan Griffins 82  –  The ‘Hot-Hot Heat’  (they shoot 52% FG) ring up their 4th straight win, as they withstand a 57 point 2nd half by Mac, and hold on for the W.  Aldrich Berrios is a flame-thrower with the deep ball, hitting 6/7 outside and scoring 21 pts / 5 reb/4 asst for Okanagan. Cameron Servatius comes off the bench for a welcome 12 points and 7 boards for UBC-O, who are now 4-3.  MacEwan (2-5) have 5 in double digits – Thadius Galvez with 17/ 6 rebs/  4 steals, and both Denzel James and Keith Gerdes notch 16.   Box Score


UNBC Timberwolves  77 Mt. Royal Cougars  73 –   A big 2nd half comeback falls short for the Cougars, who suffer their 6th loss against 1 win on the year. Northern B.C. moves  to 3-4 with a tidy road win, as they shoot 46%, including 12/24 from beyond the arc. Rhys Elliott continues to be their scoring leader, with 21 tonight plus 4 rebs/ 4 asst., and Colin Plumb contributes mightily with a 17 point / 10 rebound double. MRU will wish they had hit their free throws (only 8/21), which may have won them the game. Brett Layton scored 16 / 7 rebs. for the Cougs, and James Lefebvre hit 13 pts / 11 rebounds.  Box Score

Other CIS Scores on Friday Night –

Atlantic – New Brunswick 102 Saint Marys  97  OT

Quebec –  Montreal 86  Laval 82

Ontario – #1 Ottawa 87 Windsor 53, #2 Carleton 83  #6 Western  47,  #4 Brock 82  Lakehead 80, Queen’s 81 Laurier 74, Waterloo 86 York 83,  Nipissing 71  Algoma  56



Overtime –

  • Vikes Coach Craig Beaucamp, about playing at Lethbridge, “They play run-and-gun and are especially dangerous on their own court. With the history and tradition they have in their gym, we will have our hands full this weekend. It’s never easy in that place. If it’s a matter of trading baskets, they will be tough to beat.”  (In the Victoria Times-Colonist)
  • And, in the cryptic comment department, Coach Scott Clark gives his insight into his TRU WolfPack’s home series against the UFV Cascades – “They are a good team. “We will have to play well.”  Plain-speak … succinct.  (From News-Kamloops)

Road Teams With a Chance


Road Games a Tough Go in Canada West

Can Mt. Royal and their veteran post man, Jame Lefebvre, win at UBC-O?

Can Mt. Royal and their veteran post man, James Lefebvre, win at UBC-O?

Statistically, and from many coaches’ experiences, winning games on the road in Canada West can be the ultimate challenge.  It’s a long way from Manitoba to B.C., and the athletes are visiting gyms they may never have seen before.

So many factors mitigate against the visitors, but we look this week at several instances where the parity of talent and performance may see some road teams carrying off a win or two by Saturday night. It’s less likely if you’re MacEwan going into TRU, but match-ups like Regina at home to Lethbridge are far less predictable.

So, here are the road teams that might well be holding out hope for at least a split this Friday and Saturday ….   Certainly Fraser Valley at UNBC, and UBC at Saskatchewan  … and Calgary is looking like they will give UVic a run, along with Mt. Royal playing UBC-O in Kelowna   … The two Winnipeg -based schools look like favourites … the Wesmen over Trinity and Manitoba over the Bears, but particular caution for the Herd, however, since Alberta took one from the mighty T-Birds in Vancouver !

Pioneer Division –

Mack Roth has been a consistent scorer for the 4-0 Vikes.

Mack Roth has been a consistent scorer for the 4-0 Vikes.

Calgary Dinos  3-1  at Victoria Vikes  4-0 –  This is a ‘Show Me’ kind of series, with the Vikes having won 6 of 8 meetings over the past 4 seasons.  If the Dinos have designs on beating UVic this time, then the visitors need to win on the boards, run their offense and share the ball, and stifle the Vikes key scorers. (Brilliant game plan, editor!)   Who scores in the paint?  Calgary, with any of their 5 or 6 post players, or Victoria, with their screening, back-cutting, offense?  Calgary hopes for the return of quick guard, David Kapinga, who missed last weekend in Manitoba. Road wins vs good teams are hard to come by ….

Alberta Golden Bears  2-2  at Manitoba Bisons 2-2 —  The Bears have the forwards to give Wyatt Anders, Keith Omoerah, Brett Jewell, and co. a run on the glass, but can their guards match-up with Justus Alleyn, AJ Basi, and Ilarion Bonhomme ?  The compact Colby Jackson is a capable point man for Coach Craddock, and he needs shooting guards …  Sheldon Pittman? Lyndon Annetts? … to make their presence felt.  M. Gueye can’t carry the offense every night! Can the Buffalos break through against the GBs ?

Regina looks to Jonathan Tull to get them 2 wins at home vs the U of L.

Regina looks to Jonathan Tull to give them scoring at home vs the Lethbridge Pronghorns  .

 Lethbridge Pronghorns 2-0 at Regina Cougars 2-0 –  Regina comes off a bye week (rusty or rested?) , and off a win last time they met the ‘Horns.  But Lethbridge has won 7 of their last 8 over the Cougs, and they arrive in the ‘Queen City’ with a veteran crew, led by forward Brandon Brine, and guards Jared Baker and Rob Olsen, who are 5th year players intent on leading U of L to the playoffs.  This should be a tight series, with import guards Dejon Burdeaux (16 ppg/5.5 steals) for the Antelopes and Alex Igual (10 ppg/7.5 asst) for the ‘Cats likely to feature prominently.   Aces for the home squad … Jonathan Tull, and his ‘little brother’, Brandon.

UBC Thunderbirds 3-1 at Saskatchewan Huskies 1-3  –  Another pair of ‘ambitious’ teams in this year of unpredictability in the Pioneer Division …  both the ‘Birds and the Huskies have won a lot of games in the past 10 years (Barry Rawlyk has a 71% winning average for U of S – Kevin Hanson is close to 75% with UBC!)  The T-Birds are 13-4 vs Sask. in those 10 years, and, unless Coach Rawlyk can rally his somewhat bruised ‘pack’, that gap may widen.  UBC has a major size advantage, while Saskatchewan may have more guard depth, however young they may be.  Veterans need to have an impact for U of S – Evan Ostertag and Trevor Severinski, and UBC – Jordan Jensen-Whyte, David Wagner, and Conor Morgan.

Jelane Pryce and the Wesmen are happy to be back home vs TWU.

Jelane Pryce and the Wesmen are happy to be back home vs TWU.

Trinity Western Spartans 0-4 at Winnipeg Wesmen 1-3  –  This may be the lowest profile series of the weekend, but the Spartans will be very motivated to get their opening win, and may have the guns to get it done on the road.  Vartan Tanielian joins Kelvin Smith, Dean Richey, and Lucas Mannes in providing scoring for TWU, and Patrick Vandevelden chips in on the boards.  Winnipeg is happy to be home after their 2 week ‘Tour of Alberta’, and they will want 2 wins to even their record.  Patience is a key for Coach Raimbault, with young players working to ‘learn on the job’.  Jelane Pryce and Jamar Farlay can be leaders for the defense, which will key their successes as a team.

Brandon Bobcats  0-4 … get the bye

Explorer Division –


Reese Pribilsky, TRU's 5th year floor leader.

Reese Pribilsky, TRU’s 5th year floor leader.

Mac Ewan Griffins 1-3  at Thompson R. WolfPack 4-0 –  This series is 2-2 over the last 2 seasons !  Will this help the Griffins in their daunting task to sneak a win at Kamloops ?  A-h-h-h-h … NO !  Despite the strength they have on their forward line (Keith Gerdes, Ryan May, Ryan Coleman), Mac will find it hard to match-up with J. Wolfram and friends.  Mac’s guard combo of Denzel James and Thaddeus Galvez will aim to keep TRU’s Reese Pribilsky from controlling the game.  With home court, it’s hard not to see the CIS 10th – ranked WolfPack feeding hungrily.

Fraser Valley Cascades 4-0  at UNBC Timberwolves 1-3  –  UNBC won their last meeting … but, again, does this mean an upset of the 4-0 Cascades?  This is not likely (UFV won all of the previous 10 games shown on CIS Hoops’ chart!) , but the ‘Big Trees’ might be excused for looking ahead in the schedule to Nov. 27/28, when they meet the raging WolfPack in Kamloops.  Trap games this week in PG ?   Billy Cheng and Rhys Elliot will need more ‘Wolves in an angry mood, if they are to threaten Kevon Parchment, Vijay Dhillon, Manny Dulay and the rest of a strong UFV contingent.


Mitch Goodwin is a key offensive weapon for the Heat.

Mitch Goodwin is a key offensive weapon for the Heat.

Mt. Royal Cougars 1-3 at UBC-Okanagan Heat  1-3 –  Guarantee … both coaches are thinking – “We gotta win these 2 … this team is ‘gettable’ … We need to make up ground, keep pace, climb in the standings .”  They’re right to think that way, but may admit only that, “We will work on the things we can control; we can’t focus on outcomes, but, rather, on good execution of our system.”   Mt. Royal has an even more youth than Okanagan, but they have more height, and a rapidly improving group of forwards.  UBC-O won a game, they’re at home, and they are improved over last season.  Interesting match-ups – Derek Wolf, Glen Yang, and Brett Layton for MRU vs Aldrich Berrios, Mitch Goodwin, Dean Johnston for Okanagan.

 CIS Scores —

Atlantic –   Saint Mary’s 77 Dalhousie 58  –  The Huskies are the AUS’ most unpredictable team, and Dal will be disappointed as they had a brief flirtation with the CIS Top 10 !   St. FX 93  Acadia 92  – road win for the X-Men in a very well-balanced Atlantic League.
Ontario –    Windsor 81   Ryerson 67 – down go the Rams, the #5 ranked team in the CIS.


Overtime –

U of L's Mike Hansen 'co-stars' with our man, David Wells, in a new 'Horns Nation podcast.

U of L’s  Coach Mike Hansen ‘co-stars’ with our man, David Wells, in a new ‘Horns Nation podcast.

  • Coach Mike Hansen, Lethbridge, says, “No one on our team, player or coach, has ever been (to play at UR) in Regina.”  Hansen credits the vicissitudes of the quirky Canada West schedule over the past few years.  This is one of many topics discussed by the ‘Horns Coach and David Wells (‘Basketball Historian’, journalist, Amateur Sports Administrator ….) in the ‘fresh out of the wrapper’  Pronghorns ‘Run Together’ – ‘Wellsie and the Coach’ podcast.
  • Adam Friesen, UFV Head Coach, as  his Cascades head to Prince George for a weekend series against the UNBC T’Wolves. “UNBC is a scrappy team that’s got some really good versatility, and guard scorers,” Friesen analyzed. “We have to keep on sharing the basketball and playing solid defence.”  (From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics)

Vikes On the Rise


Victoria Vikes Stay at Home To Face Dinos


Grant Sitton, on his way to scoring 33 pts vs U of S on Saturday.

Grant Sitton, on his way to scoring 33 pts vs U of S on Saturday.

The Victoria Vikes have won 15 Canada West titles and 8 National crowns, far and away the best in the West, and they have made a fast start at defending their 2014-15 CW Championship.  This is a bit of a surprise, after they looked a little vulnerable in the pre-season; but they have beaten Trinity Western in a pair over in Langley, then 2 at home last week over Saskatchewan to sit alone at 4-0.

This week they welcome the 3-1 Calgary Dinos, who come off 2 overtime thrillers, which they split at Manitoba. The Vikes are used to winning, and, like most strong programs, especially winning on their home court. The Vikes have won 5 of the past 7 games against the Dinos going back to 2012, including 3/4 on the Island.  Victoria has a spanking-new home arena, dubbed the CARSA Centre, with is far more colourful seating, and cozier ‘surround-stands’. 

Despite losing their dominant post man, Chris McLaughlin, the 2015 CW Player of the Year,  to the pros, Coach Craig Beaucamp is pleased with the job his returning veterans have done in stepping up their games together,  “Some of those guys have earned their stripes and now they are the marquee guys. They are the guys that are going to get the majority of the minutes and for the most part the Reiner’s (Theil), Mack’s (Roth) and Jordan’s (Charles) are stepping up and being consistent for us. I also thought  Brandon Dunlop  was good tonight defensively, too.”  (The Coach’s comments following the Saturday win over the Huskies) – by  Ardy Ramezani, Vikes Communications.



This Coming Weekend in Canada West –

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.11.00 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.05.06 AM

CIS Top 10 – Tues., November 17

We are steady in the top 5, then Calgary drops to 7 and Western up to 6;  Saskatchewan drops out.  Mc Master is dropped a spot, and Thompson Rivers jumps in for their first-ever Top 10 rating (we think).

We suspect Victoria’s pre-season losses to OUA teams are making it tougher to get them moved up.  (But what of other October results , committee ?)


W-L      results                    last week

1. Ottawa (4-0)    beat Lakehead , Guelph  – 1

2. Carleton (4-0)  beat Guelph, Lakehead – 2

3. McGill (1-0)  beat Bishops                     – 3

4. Brock (2-0)  did not play                       – 4

5. Ryerson (3-0)  beat Mac, Waterloo       – 5

6.  Western (2-1)   beat Windsor               – 7

7. Calgary (3-1)  split with Manitoba         – 6

8. Dalhousie (4-0)  – beat Memorial twice – 10

9. McMaster (2-2)  Lost Ryer, beat Tor.     – 8

10. Thompson Rivers (4-0) Beat MRU twice   – (not ranked)

Our Other Possibles: Concordia (2-0), Fraser Valley (4-0), UVic (4-0), Queen’s 3-0,  UPEI  (3-0), UBC (3-1)


Mid-Week  CIS Match-ups —

Atlantic –    Dalhousie   Saint Mary’s  ,  Acadia   St. FX

Ontario –    Windsor    Ryerson

Quebec –  McGill    Concordia


Overtime – 

  • Aldrich Berrios, the 2nd year guard at UBC-O, was one of Canada West’s top rookies last year, and he led the Heat to their 1st win of this young season last Saturday, scoring a career-high 32 points.  The Vancouver product is the subject of this article in Kelowna Now  .
  • Wyatt Anders, the ‘Super-senior’ post man for the Manitoba Bisons, was an obvious oversight in our feature on top performers of week 2 in Canada West.  The 5th (6th?) year team co-captain, leads the League in rebounding at 14.5 rpg, and, vs  UC Dinos last week, he claimed an amazing 33 boards, plus 24 points.



Dinos Respond in OT


Calgary and Manitoba Down to the Wire Again

It was a battle both nights for the Dinos and the Bisons. UM Athletics

It was a battle both nights for the Dinos and the Bisons.  photo UM Athletics

  Calgary Dinos 90  at Manitoba Bisons  87   OT   –   A week may not be enough recovery time for these 2 teams prior to next weekend’s action.  Saturday reflected the Friday game, and Manitoba were on the brink of a sweep, until Dinos young post, Matt Ellis, made 2 free throws late in OT to put the visitors in front, then 4th year wing, Jasdeep Gill,  hit another pair with 10 seconds left to ice the win.  Thomas Cooper hit 23 points, and Josh Owen-Thomas 23 for Calgary, who are now 3-1.  A.J.  Basi had a great shooting night for the Bisons, tallying 32 points, with 7/12 from downtown, and Wyatt Anders scored 17 plus grabbing 13 boards.          Box Score

 at Alberta Golden Bears 79  Winnipeg Wesmen   67-   The Bears (2-2) earn the split and move to 2-2, as they hit 43% on field goals to only 37% for Winnipeg, and Alberta takes the rebounding 45-33. 21 points from import guard, Colby Jackson pace the GBs, and Denzel Lynch-Blair leads the 1-3 Wesmen with 15.    Box Score

U of L's Dejon Burdeaux drives vs Brandon on sSaturday.

U of L’s Dejon Burdeaux drives vs Brandon on Saturday.  photo Pronghorns Athletics.

at Lethbridge Pronghorns 94  Brandon Bobcats 70   – Two wins on opening weekend for the ‘Horns, who have 4 players in double digits, with 18 from Rob Olsen, and 17 apiece from Dejon Burdeaux and Brandon Brine.  Brandon falls to 0-4, with just 39% from the flooring 12/24 from the line.  D.J. Jordan is alone with 14 points, with 4 teammates chipping in 8 each.  Box Score

at  Victoria Vikes 86 Saskatchewan Huskies 76   –   Victoria earns the sweep, and is a perfect 4-0, after catching and passing the Huskies with a 35-20 shellacking in the 4th quarter. Sharp-shooting is the key for UVic, who are 49% FG, 12/24 from 3 point range, and 18/19 from the line.  Grant Sitton is on fire, with 33 points, featuring 6/7 from beyond the arc. Reiner Theil has 15 pts, and Mack Roth 14.  Saskatchewan (1-3) has 4 players in double figures, led by 17 apiece from Chan De Ciman and Jauquin Bennett-Boire, their freshman guard pair.   Box Score

Conor Morgan helps the T-Birds in their 2nd win over TWU.

Conor Morgan helps the T-Birds in their 2nd win over TWU.   photo – UBC Athletics

at UBC Thunderbirds  85 Trinity Western Spartans 75  –  The Spartans kept it close for much of the opening half, but UBC (3-1) converted on many of the 19 TWU turnovers, and out-scored the visitors 48-30 in the paint.  The T-Birds spread the scoring love around, with 6 in double digits,  as Conor Morgan, one of 4 ‘Birds with 12 points, also claimed 7 boards and 4 assists. Phill Jalapoor also scored 12 pts / adding 8 rebounds.  Trinity got a sharp effort from Vartan tanielian, who scored 21 points with 4/7 from 3 point range. TWU’s best outing this early season, but they are now 0-4.   Box Score  


Explorer Division – 

Derek Wolf's 22 points are not enough, as MRU goes down again Saturday to the WolfPack.

Derek Wolf’s 22 points are not enough, as MRU goes down again Saturday to the WolfPack.     photo     – MRU Cougars Athletics

Thompson R. WolfPack 79 at Mt. Royal Cougars 66  –  Closer for the Cougars, but a solid road sweep for TRU (4-0), who shoot 44% to MRU’s 35% from the floor. The ‘Pack’s 2 big forwards rolled again in this game, with Josh Wolfram at 25 points/11 rebounds, and Volodymyr Iegorov tacking up 30 points and grabbing 7 boards.  Mt. Royal (1-3) are led by Derek Wolf’s 22 points, and 17 from guard, Glen Yang.   Box Score

at  Fraser Valley Cascades 97  MacEwan Griffins 56  –   The Cascades (4-0) lower the boom on the Griffins tonight, winning every quarter, and hitting 49% from the floor, including 14/31 from long range. 4 ‘Cades in double digits led by Brandon Burke, off the bench with 20 points/ 9 rebs., along with 16 pts each from Nav Bains and Kevon Parchment.  Denzel James is high man for the Griffs with 13, and Mac falls to 1-3  Box Score

 at UBC-Okanagan Heat  78  UNBC Timberwolves 57 –  A break-out game for the Heat (1-3), perhaps?  The home-side, plays a complete game,  shooting it well (46% FG, 77% FT), and winning the rebounding 41-32 to grab their 1st win of the season.  Aldrich Berrios weaves a gem, with 32 for UBC-O, while Dean Johnston scores 12 and adds 8 rebounds. Rhys Elliot leads the ‘Wolves (16 points), who cannot crack the Heat defense on the night, shooting only 32% FG, and they are also 1-3 on the year.  Box Score


Overtime –

  • We missed Terrell Evans (UVic) on our Euro Report of Canada West grads … the slashing winger starts for Oberwart in Austria, scoring 8 ppg and 3.5 rebounds.

polar bears

Chris Harris gets big coaching opportunity in German League.

Chris Harris gets big coaching opportunity in German League.






  • More news from Europe –  Former Calgary Dinos (’03)  forward, Chris Harris, accepted the position of Head Coach for the Eisbären Bremerhaven, who play in the First Bundesliga, the top tier of the German national basketball conference. The Eisbärens ( Polar Bears !)  have had Harris  as an Assistant Coach  for the past 18 months.  Harris has played and coached in Germany since leaving the UC.