Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Wednesday's News and Comments

Ron Rauch recaps the recent Guy Vetrie Memorial tournament and discusses the hometown Vikes as part of the article Young Vikes Impress despite losses

One of the many comments on the most recent Top 10 was a very legitimate question about having 4 AUS schools in the rankings. My rationale for 4 AUS schools centers on the collective 15-1 record of the 4 teams in games outside of their conference, as follows:

Cape Breton 2-0 (both neutral site games against formidable opponents Laval & Brock)
Dalhousie 5-1 (3 road wins at York, at Laurier at Ryerson, 2 neutral site wins vs. Guelph & UQAM, 1 loss at #1 Carleton)
St. Mary’s 4-0 (wins over Western, Manitoba, Victoria, Ryerson; 2 neutral, 2 at home)
Acadia 4-0 (wins over Bishop’s, Victoria, Ryerson, RMC)

With only 4 of those games at home (out of 16 non-conference games), the AUS has gone out, played teams away from home and won. Even though it is early, right now based on the few games that have been played, the top teams in the AUS deserve to be considered nationally in my opinion.

From the Alberta web site Golden Bears Season Preview

Starting next Monday night, numerous CIS schools will travel state-side to meet U.S. teams, many being NCAA Division 1 teams. The first CIS vs. NCAA game in the U.S. this season is at Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY on Monday night, October 29th when CIS #1 Carleton Ravens meet the Cardinals from the Big East conference. Recall that last season at the Raven's Nest in Ottawa, Louisville needed a last second put back by Juan Tello Palacios to edge Carleton by one at the buzzer. The Cardinals were a young team with freshmen Edgar Sosa, Jerry Smith and Earl Clark participating in their first-ever action as college players while touted recruit Derrick Caracter did not make the trip to Ottawa and veteran post David Padgett was out with a knee injury. It is more than one year later and Sosa has experienced the NCAA tournament with a stellar performance in which he almost single-handidly propelled the Cardinals into the Sweet 16, Clark has improved to the point where he is a regular in the rotation, Padgett is back as a starter and Caracter appears to be dealing well with the constant challenges on his conditioning and weight that coach Rick Pitino puts in front of him. The Cardinals held their annual Red and White intrasquad game in preparation for Carleton next Monday night and capture the essentials. While Carleton will be challenged on Monday night, expect a tremendous effort from the Ravens. We plan to have much more on the series of NCAA vs. CIS games coming up in the next 2 weeks.

Here is a Simon Fraser team preview from Scott McLean, Clan Sports Information

06-07 CW Tournament: Lost 2-0 to Victoria in the opening round of Pacific Division Playoffs
06-07 CIS Tournament: N/A
06-07 Overall Record: 17-14
06-07 Conference Record: 11-12
Last CW Title: Never
Last CIS Title: Never

Burnaby, B.C. – The 2007-08 edition of the Simon Fraser University Clan men’s basketball team is poised for a breakout season after finishing third in the Pacific Division in 2006-07. With a number of key departures around the Canada West, and specifically in the Pac-D, this could be the Clan’s year to advance deep into the post season. “I think [the Pacific Division] is open, but by the same token UBC still returns a couple of core guys, so they’re still the team to beat,” says SFU head coach Scott Clark of the upcoming year. “Victoria will still be solid, and I don’t think anybody can take anything for granted. Still, I think we probably have a chance to step up.” Simon Fraser returns four of five starters from the 06-07 team, with Sean Burke (third year/North Vancouver, B.C.) and Greg Wallis (fourth year/Victoria, B.C.) tasked to lead the charge for the Clan. Both averaged double figures in scoring last season (Wallis 11.7 ppg, Burke 10.7 ppg), but both will have to step in to fill the large shoes left by departed senior and Canada West All-Star Aaron Christensen. “In order for our team to go far, we need some great play out of [Burke] and we need some great play out of [Wallis],” says Clark. “And it’s not just here and there; those guys have got be night in and night out contributors. That’s probably the biggest thing for those guys; they have to be consistent in their approach­daily in practice and daily in games.” The Clan will also miss the contributions of Alex MacIver and Jeff Dolan, two other departures from the 06-07 team. University of Victoria transfer Matt Kuzminski (third year/Nanaimo, B.C.) and former Capilano College star Jean-Paul Kamand (fourth year, Burnaby, B.C.) lead a talented group of new recruits as Simon Fraser adjusts to the new FIBA rules instituted in the CIS for the upcoming season. “[The FIBA rules] will up the amount of possessions per game and I think you have to be much more of an early attacking team,” says Clark of the shift in philosophy. “It places an emphasis on your ability to penetrate the basketball off the dribble, and maybe a bit earlier in the shot clock than has happened in the past, so because of that it opens up play.” The shift in rules will shift the Clan’s court rotation. While in previous seasons the team had a more standardized rotation of two guards, two forwards and a post, SFU will now implement a swing guard in different sets. Fifth year forward Nolan Holmes (Victoria, B.C.) will be the go-to man in the post, while Kevin Shaw (third year/North Vancouver, B.C.) is developing into a lethal threat from beyond the arc. Kuzminski is currently penciled in as the starting swing guard, however second year guard Jordan Nostedt (Brandon, MB) had a stellar preseason, coming off the bench in a complimentary role. Kamand is undersized at forward, but has the athleticism to compete for rebounds and score in the paint. In the paint, Vlad Ruzic (fourth year/Burnaby, B.C.) returns after an up and down first season with the Clan to spell Holmes. Ruzic has a fantastic inside turnaround jump shot, but needs to improve his inside game and rebounding to help the team. In the same position is fourth year guard Grant Fedorak (Victoria, B.C.), who had a lock on the backup point guard position when 06-07 ended. However with the plethora of guards on the team, Fedorak will have to make the most of his minutes, as playing time is at a premium. Guard Ben Gutowski (fourth year, Shelbourne, Ont.) also returns for his third season with the Clan. A shooter, Gutowski is lauded for his work ethic in and around the gym. Returning guard Edvard Bengston (Uppsala, Sweden) is another gritty player who will get playing time in a complementary role. Along with Kuzminski and Kamand, other newcomers include Greg Gillies (first year/Nanaimo, B.C.), Zach Frehlick (first year/Kelowna, B.C.), Jean-Prospere Philistin (second year/Montreal, QC) and Eric Burrell (first year/Surrey, B.C.). Gillies had an outstanding high school career at Dover Bay, and is lauded for his high basketball IQ and may get some minutes as a true freshman. Frehlick is a great natural athlete, but will be in tough for playing time in 2007-08. Philistin had a solid career in CEGEP at Dawson College, but needs to improve his ball handling to make an impact in the Canada West. Burrell is a great athlete and has great quickness to get to the rim for boards, but his skills are still very raw in the post. The Clan open their season at Victoria this coming Friday, October 26, before hosting the UBC Thunderbirds at home on Saturday, October 27 in their Canada West home opener. Game time is set for 7pm.


Scott McLean
Media Relations Coordinator
Simon Fraser University
Recreation & Athletics
"Thinking of the World"
Phone: 778-782-4057
Fax: 778-782-4922
Cell: 604-505-5519
Simon Fraser University Clan
Pride - Passion - Tradition

Lakehead Thunderwolves North Dakota Preview... Wolves Play Three North Dakota Schools courtesy of Mike Aylward of Lakehead Sports Info;

The Lakehead Thunderwolves men’s basketball team head to North Dakota this weekend for the Mayville State Invitational Tourney as well as a third exhibition game against Jamestown State. Lakehead will play Mayville State on Friday and North Dakota State on Saturday. The other team taking part in the tourney are the No. 8 Brandon Bobcats (as ranked by Lakehead will play Jamestown on Sunday. All three US opponents are NAIA schools and Lakehead will host Mayville State next weekend. Lakehead Head Coach Scott Morrison said he is looking for continued improvement from his squad this weekend. "We have been happy with our play this season at times, but have much more improvement to achieve before we can be satisfied with things. This week, in practice, we must continue to focus on this as well as tightening up our team defense. We will also be talking about getting three consistent efforts in a row this weekend. The trip will also be a good experience for the team, traveling to a part of the United States we have not visited and getting a chance to represent the CIS and the OUA to the people in Mayville and Jamestown."

Lakehead 07-08 Results:
Sat Oct 13 Lakehead 76 Simon Fraser 70 NC
Fri Oct 12 Saskatchewan 104 Lakehead 84 NC
Thu Oct 11 Brandon 97 Lakehead 66 NC

The Thunderwolves will look to their one-two scoring punch of seniors Kiraan Posey and Warren Thomas for offense and rebounding. Posey has been on fire in his six pre-season games; he averaged 30 ppg at the Brandon Super 8 Tourney and 25 ppg at the Invitational. He scored 47 points against Saskatchewan at the Brandon tourney to set a Lakehead and tourney single game scoring mark. At the Saskatchewan tourney last weekend; he set a tournament scoring record of 75 points and was named to the All Tournament team. He also led the tourney in steals and ranked high in rebounding and assists. Posey will need to work on cutting down turnovers this weekend in North Dakota. Thomas is right behind Posey offense wise; he averaged 22 ppg at the Brandon tourney and 23 ppg at the Saskatchewan tourney. Thomas can also use his size and strength to be a force on the boards. Coach Morrison is looking for better team defense and also for more scoring from the rest of the roster as opponents are learning quickly to focus on Lakehead’s Top Guns; Posey and Thomas. A big loss this weekend is the fact that fifth year senior post Matt Verboom won’t be making the trip due to academic commitments so the Wolves will miss his scoring and rebounding. Zack White will also miss the trip for the same reason. Sophomore guard Jamie Searle is making strides and his assists production and playmaking is constantly improving; as is the play of fellow sophomore guard Paul Popo-Ola. A positive note from last weekend’s Saskatchewan tourney was the play of senior guard Ryan Precious; who started as the shooting guard and may have found his position. Freshman Kyle McConnell also showed he can be a solid outside threat; and the Wolves will need offensive production from him to relieve opponents’ defensive pressure on Posey and Thomas. Sophomore post Andrew Hackner has been giving some good minutes off the bench and this is also a very positive sign for the Wolves. Lakehead will also be looking for strong minutes and continued improvement from freshmen Aaron Jackson, Lerry Williams and Graeme Enns, sophomore Dean Magierowski, and junior Andrew Quirion.


Courtesy of Mike Tucker, University of Victoria
October 23, 2007

Vikes Men's Basketball 2007-08 Preview

Victoria Vikes
2005-06 Conference: 20-3 (2nd, Pacific)
Canada West playoffs: 2-4 (4th, CW)
Overall: 26-15
Last CW title – 2005-06
Last CIS title – 1996-97

The Victoria Vikes embark on the 2007-08 campaign a distinctively different team from last year's squad that went 20-3. The five top-scorers are gone including, Graeme Bollinger, Brandon Ellis, Steve Moore and Canada West All-stars Jacob Doerksen and Josh Whyte. However, the upstart Vikes are not dwelling on the loss but embracing the John Wooden saying that, "things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." "The misconception is that change is not all subtraction," said head coach Craig Beaucamp, who enters his fifth season at UVic with a 74-35 record. "We have a different combination and identity from last year, but there's no reason why we can't achieve the same goals." The heart and soul of the Vikes ultimately rests with the senior trio of centre Rob Kinnear, forward Mitch Gudgeon, and guard Tyler Hass. Only Hass has been a regular starter, but all are relishing the opportunity of moving from a reserve role to feature players. The all-everything Hass, whose athleticism lies with the fact he was selected in the third-round of the National Lacrosse League draft, will shoulder a bulk of the scoring load. Last season Hass averaged 7.4 points through league play, before improving his scoring average by three points per game in the post-season. Gudgeon served primarily as the Vikes sixth-man in 2006-07, and averaged 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds. Kinnear enters his fifth season with the Vikes, and so far his production has increased along with his playing time. Through six pre-season games, Kinnear has led the Vikes in rebounding every game. In addition the senior triplets, the Vikes also welcome back third-year guards Isiah Pasquale and Cyril Indome, as well as sophomores Mike Berg and Jeff Cullen. Pasquale, whose father Eli was a five-time National champion with the Vikes, should see plenty of playing time alongside his former Oak Bay High School teammate Cullen. Indome, meanwhile, is projected to start at the two-guard, and Berg is versatile 6-foot-8 forward off the bench. "With the losses we've experienced, our players have felt challenged," said Beaucamp. "It's been an opportunity for our returning players to step up and add different strengths, but we also have some young guys bring in some different attributes." The Vikes will rely heavily on four newcomers to the line-up, including two freshmen and a pair of transfers. High school standouts Julian Spear Chief-Morris, who led Lethbridge Collegiate with 28.9 points per game his senior year, and former BC U17 Provincial team member Ryan McKinnon, who was named North Island MVP at Highlands Secondary, will figure prominently in the rotation at guard. Camosun College transfers Brandon Dunlop and Mike Hull should also make an impact. The 6-foot-6 Hull led the BC College league in rebounding in his final year, and Dunlop was named BCCAA All-Star and Rookie of the Year with 18.4 points per game and 5.8 assists. Also new to the Vikes roster is promising 6-foot-7 forward Pierce Anderson and senior guard Rob Bergen. Bergen transfers from Thompson Rivers, where he won a CCAA National title in 2005. "We definitely have to play well as a group, and we're going to rely on different players to step-up night in and night out," said Beaucamp. "It's a young team, and with that a huge potential to improve over the course of the season."
Mike Tucker
Vikes Communications Officer
University of Victoria | Athletics and Recreation
250-721-8725 P | 250-721-8956 F

Dinos Host Whitworth Saturday Calgary returns home this week and will face Whitworth University of Spokane, Washington in an 11:45 a.m. game on Saturday. The Dinos are 4-1 in the past two weeks against Ontario and Montana opposition, and are looking to the Pirates contest as a final tune-up for the Canada West regular season opener on November 2nd and 3rd. Henry Bekkering, who has been the team's leading scorer thus far, will not play against Whitworth as he nurses an ankle injury suffered on Saturday in the Carroll College match-up. This will mean a bigger role for Joe Schow, Robbie Sihota, Chris Unsworth and Josh Lovestone. Here is a brief preview of the Northwest Conference Pirates: Already the second-winningest coach in Whitworth men's basketball history after only six seasons at the helm, Jim Hayford has made an indelible mark in the Pirate program. Through the 2006-07 season, Hayford has a record of 119-39 and a winning percentage of .753 at Whitworth. He has coached the Pirates to four 20-win seasons and has earned two Northwest Conference Coach of the Year awards. This past season he led Whitworth to a 24-4 record and a conference title, earning his second NWC Coach of the Year honor. His team set a school record for single-season winning percentage (.857). The Pirates advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, losing at the eventual third place finisher by only two points. The Pirates will be tough again this season led by senior guard Bryan Williams, the 2006-07 player of the year in the Conference. He will be joined by returning starters Colin Willemsen and Ryan Symes, a pair of 6'5" Junior forwards. Other key returning players include Jon Young, a 6'3" sr. guard and Kevin Hasenfus, a 6'7" post player, who will also play his 4th and final season for Whitworth.

Finally, a note from SLAM! ONLINE writer Holly MacKenzie, a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS Holly's articles can be found here In her most recent article, she pays tribute to her mentor at St. FX: "I was finding the basic recaps were getting to be monotonous and boring and I apologize, but once season starts and there are regular highlights and games on TV, it will be easier to write something of interest rather than just spitting out stats. For this Monday, I want to try something different and just give a rundown of some interesting parts of the games this weekend. Knowing myself, I will probably end up getting back to the stats because I’m a numbers kinda girl. Anyway, one thing about the NBA; it is never dull. On a more personal note, I need to give my first ever shout out! I want to congratulate my “coach”, mentor and teacher, Steve Konchalski on his induction into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame this past weekend. Already a 2-time inductee into the Canadian Basketball Hall of fame (once as assistant coach of the Canadian National team in 1976 and again as a builder), our Canadian Coach “K” has led my Alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University to 3 National Championships and 9 conference titles while coaching more than 1000 games and garnering more than 675 wins. He has nabbed the Atlantic Coach of the year award 6 times along the way. He was named Canadian Interuniversity Sport coach of the year in 2001 when he led the X-Men to a perfect 20-0 season and he is the very reason why I chose my university. He is also a man who gives so much to the game and to anyone who wants to learn. My second day on campus I searched him out and ended up spending well over an hour in his office watching game tapes and talking basketball. Ever since then his door has always been open for me as he has encouraged my passion and continued to pass on the love of the game. He always finds time for those who want to learn. He truly is a remarkable man as his respect for the game is unrivaled. He gives more of himself each day and in turn gives more to the basketball world with each practice, game and interaction. I just need to send out my sincerest congratulations on yet another accolade that is beyond deserved."

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