Friday, 4 May 2007

Proghorns get Pickering Pair, Be One All-Canada Game Preview

According to sources in the Greater Toronto Area, Lethbridge has secured the commitments of a pair of athletic, competition-savvy forwards from recent OFSAA "AAAA" champions Pickering Trojans as 6'5" Sefton Spence and 6'6" Brandon Thomas-James, both starters on the Trojans, who have confirmed that they will attend the southern Alberta school. This is the most recent phase of a virtually-full makeover of the Pronghorns who return only 4 players from last season's roster. Spence, who participated in the recent Rumble-in-the-T-Dot all-star game in Scarborough, was recruited by several schools for accomplished skills as a wideout on the football gridiron but chose his first love of basketball. The 'Horns expect Spence to play up front primarily at the power forward position. Thomas-James is another jumping-jack type athlete who has emerging perimeter skills and appears to have a solid future as a CIS wing at the "3" spot. This brings to 7 the number of new recruits who have pledged to attend Lethbridge next season. With only 4 returning players from last season's roster, the 'Horns aren't finished yet and are likely to bring in a couple of more players in the coming weeks with a view of filling their final need for some size at the "5" spot.

The rosters have been set for the 2 teams in tomorrow afternoon's Be One All-Canadian game. Twenty-one players have been divided up into 2 teams: Canada Red and Canada White and some interesting matchups have emerged for the game as Canada White coach Chris Oliver (Windsor) and Canada Red coach Scott Mawhinney (John Abbot) contemplate game strategy. Oliver's White team has a pair of ultra-quick, waterbug guards who can defend the ball in CIS Defensive Player-of-the-Year 5'8" Martin Ajayi (McMaster/Hamilton, ON) and 6'1" AUS Player-of-the-Year Paolo Santana (Acadia/ Toronto, ON) both of whom will contrast nicely with the skill and poise of OUA West Player-of-the-Year 5'10" Brad Rootes (Brock/Niagara Falls, ON) and Canada West First Team All-Star 5'9" Erfan Nasajpour (Winnipeg/Winnipeg, MB). Expect Oliver to push the tempo with his athletic guard tandem while Canada Red will look to Rootes and Nasajpour to control things from the guard spots. Team White has a pair of big guards in 6'4" Canada West Player-of-the-Year Casey Archibald (UBC/Blind Bay, BC) and 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe (Ottawa/Toronto, ON) who can play both guard spots but both are effective shooters and scorers when playing the wing. Archibald and Gibson-Bascombe went at it head-to-head in the first round of the recent CIS Nationals in Halifax with both players earning Player-of-the-game honours for their respective teams. Team Red counters with two-time CIS Mike Moser Memorial Award winner 6'2" Osvaldo Jeanty and CIS Freshman-of-the-Year 6'3" J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux, both of whom have range beyond the three point line and who should find the playmaking abilities of Rootes and Nasajpour to their liking. Up front, Canada Red features three tremendous scorers in 6'8" Dan Eves (York/Barrie, ON), 6'7" J.P. Morin (Laval/Aylmer, PQ) and 6'1" Patrick Perrotte (Concordia/Montreal, PQ), all of whom averaged over 20 points per game this past season. Team White features the AUS combination of 6'9" Doug McKinney (UPEI/Charlottetown, PEI) and 6'5" Eric Breland (Cape Breton/Baltimore, MD). Expect a competitive, up tempo affair that offers some intriguing player combinations and matchups.

Canada White
Head Coach:
Chris Oliver (Windsor)
6 Ajayi, Martin; McMaster
7 Santana, Paulo; Acadia
8 Hynes-Guery, Adrian; Dawson College
9 Gibson-Bascombe, Joshua; Ottawa
10 Archibald, Casey; UBC
11 Turcotte, Jérôme; Sainte-Foy
12 Sewell, Patrick; Fanshaw College
13 Anthony, Doyle; Mount Allison University
14 McKinney, Doug; UPEI
15 Breland, Eric; Cape Breton University

Canada Red
Head Coach:
Scott Mawhinney, John Abbot
5 Rootes, Brad; Brock
6 Nasajpour, Erfan; Winnipeg
7 Jeanty, Osvaldo; Carleton
8 Eman, Ahmed; Algonquin
9 Beaulieu-Mahieux, Jean-Francois; Laval
10 Hemmings, Jadwey; Humber
11 Kamand, Jean-Paul; Capilano
12 Eves, Daniel; York
13 Morin, Jean-Philippe; Laval
14 Perrotte, Patrick; Concordia
15 Sturgeon, Andrew; Douglas

For more information visit the Canada Basketball web site by clicking here

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