Monday, April 30, 2007

2007 Be One All-Canadian Weekend Rosters

Get ready for a tremendous three days of basketball this coming weekend at Humber College in Etobicoke as Canada Basketball hosts their 2nd annual Be One All-Canadian Weekend, Thursday through Saturday May 3-5. The men's roster includes a "who's who" of CIS basketball in 2006-07 including 6'2" Mike Moser Trophy winner Osvaldo Jeanty (Carleton), 6'1" Quebec Player-of-the-Year Patrick Perrotte (Concordia), 6'1" AUS Player-of-the-Year Paolo Santana (Acadia) and 6'4" Canada West Player-of-the-Year Casey Archibald (UBC). CIS stars will be mixed and matched with fellow All-Canadian selections from the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA), culminating in an all-star game on Saturday. The two days of practice and drills leading up to the game and the game itself will allow Canada's Senior National team coaches to evaluate players and then follow up with invitations to the main Canada Basketball camp later in May. Other CIS players who will participate in the event include 5'9" guard Efran Nasajpour, a two-time All-Canadian and former Canadian Jr. National team player from Winnipeg Wesmen, 6'8" forward Dan Eves (another two-time All-Canadian) from York, a pair of stars from Laval Rouge et Or 6'7" J.P. Morin and CIS Freshman of the Year Jean-Francois Beaulieu-Mahieux, 6'5" Eric Breland (Cape Breton), 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe (Ottawa) and 6'9" Doug McKinney (UPEI), another former Canada National Junior team member. As well, 6'4" Jerome Turcotte, a CCAA All-Canadian from CEGEP Ste. Foy, who will attend Laval next season, was one of the stars from the CCAA named to participate in the event. CIS coaches who will be participating during the weekend include Acadia's Les Berry, Windsor's Chris Oliver, Guelph's Chris O'Rourke, Ottawa's Dave DeAveiro and Carleton's Dave Smart.

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

Canada West Pacific Division Update

UBC Thunderbirds Key Losses: Casey Archibald 6'4", Adam Freisen 6'2", Jason Birring 6'3", Sean Stewart 6'5" (all graduated). Key Players Scheduled to Return: Chris Dyck 6'3" (4th), Bryson Kool 6'8" (4th), Matt Rachar 6'7" (4th), Alex Murphy 6'1" (2nd), Brent Malish 6'6" (2nd), Cody Berg 6'9" (5th), Brett Leversage 6'1" (3rd). Comments: Despite the loss of at least 3 key players in the rotation, the T-Birds return a top core of veterans beginning with Dyck, a pure scorer who can knock shots down and get to the rim. Kool is a solid inside player on the verge of all-conference-type status and Rachar adds an athletic dimension to UBC's front line. Murphy showed that he will be a top lead guard in the CIS as the season progressed and Malish is a solid, emerging wing player. Berg provides depth and size up front. Recruiting Focus: The back court is an area of focus that has been addressed with the commitment of 6’2” combo guard Nathan Yu (Vancouver, BC/Vancouver College also B.C. Provincial team). To complement the three returning forwards in the rotation, the Birds bring in another B.C. Provincial team player, 6’5” forward Graham Bath (Langley, BC/Brookswood) plus 6’8” centre Nick Adair (Courtenay, BC/GP Vanier). UBC does not appear to be done as of yet, looking to add another scoring guard and possibly one more player.

Victoria Key Losses: Graeme Bollinger, Steve Moore, Brandon Ellis (all graduated). Key Players scheduled to return: Jacob Doerksen 6'6" (3rd), Tyler Hass 6'5" (4th), Josh Whyte 6'3" (3rd), Mitch Gudgeon 6'7" (4th), Cyril Indome 6'0" (3rd), Isiah Pasquale 6'3" (3rd), Rob Kinnear 6'8" (5th). Comments: Despite the loss of 3 regulars from one of Canada's top teams, the Vikes return at least 3 players with All-Canadian potential in former CIS Rookie-of-the-year Doerksen, athletic forward Hass and last season's pleasant surprise in the back court, Whyte. Gudgeon provides size and perimeter skills as a big man off the bench and Indome provides depth in the back court at both slots. Recruiting Focus: The Vikes still need a pure point guard as they would like to have Whyte on the wing exclusively, making 6'1" Brandon Dunlop, a pure point guard who was a 1st Team BCAC choice at Camosun College in Victoria last season, a welcome addition. With returning talent up front, Vikes added athleticism at the wing spot with a pair of blue chippers: long, athletic 6'4" Ryan MacKinnon from Comox, BC, who has already has a mature game with his court sense and passing abilities and could be one of Canada West's top rookies plus 6'4" wing Julian Spearchief-Morris, who was generally regarded as the top player in Alberta high school this past season at Lethbridge LCI and should be one of the top athletic talents in the West. Coach Craig Beaucamp may also look to bring in another transfer with some experience to bolster what will be a very young team with no 5th year players only 2 regulars entering their fourth seasons.

Simon Fraser Clan Key Losses: Aaron Christensen, Alex MacIver Key Players Scheduled to return: Nolan Holmes 6'8" (5th), Greg Wallace 6'7" (4th), Shawn Burke 6'4" PG (3rd), Kevin Shaw 6'3" (3rd), Vladimir Rusic 6'8" (4th), Jeff Dolan 6'5" (2nd). Comments: Holmes is a nice big guy in the middle, while the athletic Wallace is tall and athletic. Starting point guard Burke is a big guard while Shaw is a dead-eye three point shooter. The athletic Dolan looks to build on his freshman season while Rusic provides depth in the post. Recruiting Focus: The Clan will need a big forward who can score to add depth to their front line. Another three-point shooter or two would also be helpful as would a back-up point guard who can spell Burke.

University College of Fraser Valley (UCFV) Key Losses: 6'3" Duane Wilson (reserve wing) Key Players scheduled to return: 6'8" Joel Haviland (5th), 6'6" Jamie Vaughan (5th), 6'4" Anthony Lao (5th), 6'8" Kyle Graves (5th), 5'11" Lee Jackson (5th), 6'1" Darren Johnson (4th), 6'5" Jesse Smith (3rd), 6'6" Nick Alderliesten (3rd). Comments: The Cascades will be arguably the most experienced team in all of the CIS with five 5th year starters returning and their three top bench players in their 3rd years or higher. Vaughan, an athletic swingman who rebounds and defends the paint, is one of the top returning scorers in Canada West. In Haviland, UCFV features a scoring 3 man with size. Graves is a classic post player who shoots a high percentage from the floor, rebounds and can be a presence defensively. Jackson, a U.S. import, runs the show from the point guard spot. Lao is a taller wing with all round shooting, passing and rebounding skills. Wilson and Johnson are solid all-round players with the ability to make "3's" when right and have started several games in their careers. Recruiting Focus: With six players graduating after this coming season, UCFV will recruit primarily for '08-'09 and have already began their foundation for the next generation by gaining the commitment of 5'9" Dylan Gatner, a solid point guard who started on B.C.'s Provincial team and is the heir apparent to Jackson. The Cascades also brought in 6'8" Jay Valeri, out of G.P. Vanier Secondary School in Courtnay, B.C., a high school teammate of UBC recruit Nick Adair to add front line depth. To ensure there is more quality experience this season and next, UCFV welcomes 6'4" Devon Krahn, a fourth-year transfer from Columbia Bible College and 2nd team BCCAA all-star this past season.

Trinity Western Spartans Players Lost: David Bron 6’5” (graduated). Key Players scheduled to return: Brian Banman 6’2” (5th), 5’11” Jon Schmidt (ACL surgery, status unknown) (5th), Luke Robinson 6’3” (5th), Michael Erickson 5’8” (4th), Joe Vroom 6’9” (3rd), Jason Keegstra 6’7” (3rd), Trevor Nerdahl 6’2” (2nd), Drew Slaght 5’8” (2nd), Daniel Demian 5’8” (2nd), James Powell 6’1” (3rd). Comments: With the majority of their regulars back, the Spartans return an experienced group but have a couple of question marks on the roster related to significant injuries. TWU employs an up tempo offense patterned around getting many shots up in short periods of time. Banman is one of Canada West’s top scorers but has battled through back injuries including late last season when he missed the playoffs as a result. Schmidt is a solid scorer but recently underwent knee surgery to replace his ACL. The diminutive Erickson is another top three point threat while Robinson is a strong wing player who can slash to the rim. The two bigs Vroom and Keegstra, shared time last season but as they enter their third years, both have a chance to be above average Canada West post players. To run as much as they do, the Spartans require a deep bench and Nerdahl is the most experienced of the supporting cast. A pair of sophomores-to-be Slaght and Demian look to continue the trend of smaller, quicker players who can shoot the ball. Recruiting Focus: In the face of injuries to 2 key guards, the Spartans could use some higher quality shooters and a point guard who can set the table for their array of shooters. Another athletic wing who can slash to the rim to be groomed when Robinson graduates would also be helpful. Finally, another big man to add depth to the front line would be helpful.

Thompson Rivers University Key Losses: None Key Players scheduled to return: 5'10" Charlie Spurr (3rd), 6'5" Kamar Burke (2nd), 6'5" Brian Smith (5th), 6'4" Braeden Jones (4th), 6'4" Connor Agnew (2nd), 6'1" Navanga Burke (3rd), 6'4" Chris Vandeweide (2nd), 5'11" Jesse Brown (2nd). Comments: The Wolf Pack was one of Canada's most inexperienced teams last season and usually turned to the offensively-skilled Spurr for scoring and playmaking. The multi-faceted Burke was considered by some to be the freshman who could make the most impact in Canada West throughout his career and last season pushed a triple-double on several occasions. Smith provides experience at the forward spot while Jones and Agnew other contributors to TRU. Recruiting Focus: The Wolf Pack needs more quality players to support Spurr and Burke. A point guard who can set the table for their scorers would be an ideal starting point while a big man in the middle who can assert himself offensively and protect the paint should be another priority. A tough, rebounding forward who can provide muscle up front would also help. The Wolf Pack has yet to announce any recruits.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday, April 29th News

Last night's Rumble in the T-Dot high school all-star game at Centennial College in Scarborough was successful with a number of future CIS players participating including James Clark, the 6'5" forward who had such a tremendous OFSAA "AAAA" tournament for Eastern Commerce Saints in March. Clark recently told observers that he will attend Concordia next season to play for John Dore's Stingers which will significantly help offset the loss to graduation of All-Canadian Patrick Perrotte. Other CIS commits who participated in the game included 6'8" Aaron Chapman (Belleville Nicholson - Carleton), 6'3" Yannick Walcott (Toronto Northern S.S. - Dalhousie verbal - awaiting acceptance) and 6'1" Ryan Barbeau (Belleville Nicholson - Western). Several other players are on CIS teams radar however no firm committments have been announced. West Hill Collegiate's 6'4" guard Kyle Johnson was named MVP of the boys game and long-time Bathurst Heights and current Emery C.I. Head Coach Bob Maydo was honoured for his career achievements which span into the early 1980's.

In other recruiting news, it appears that 6'1" Joe Kelman from Barrie Eastview will be attending Brock next season and suit up for the Badgers. Kelman was a first team Simcoe County all-star while playing for his father Steve Kelman. The York Lions have won the recruiting battle for 6'4" swingman Chad Bewley from Toronto Peoples Christian.

Finally, Chad Lucas, who does a great job covering CIS basketball for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports that Acadia Axemen are being investigated for allegedly using a player last season that had not sat out the requisite amount of time after transfering from an NCAA Division III school Eligibility at issue for Acadia hoop team

Saturday, April 28, 2007

In the News April 28th

Ned Bekavac from the Guelph Tribune reports on the possibility that the University of Guelph will soon invest in new athletic facilities University eyes sports facilities facelift

Wayne Kondro's article in this morning's Ottawa Citizen on Carleton's latest recruiting class which he describes as one that may go down in history as the Ravens finest Basketball Ravens Reload

Larry Miller named this year's winner of the Jimmy Rose Memorial Lifetime Achievements award for contributions to Niagara Region basketball as presented by the Brock Badgers men's basketball program Miller named winner by Brock

Former Canadian National team coach Ken Shields, who directed Victoria Vikes to 7 consecutive CIAU men's national championships and 8 overall, continues to teach and is scheduled to give a clinic today in Port Coquitlam. A tremendous anecdote that epitomizes Coach Shields' greatness is the example of Kelly Duckshire, a former Vike who played center in high school, forward in university and went for his first tryout at guard and made the National team - all because he understood how to play the game. Ken Shields coaching clinic in Port Coquitlam

Friday, April 27, 2007

Recruiting Update

One of the most sought after post players in Ontario has decided to return to high school for a fifth year. 6'8" Andrew Nicholson from Mississauga Father Goetz H.S. (Peel Region) had strong interest from many CIS schools including York, Toronto, McMaster, Ottawa, St. Francis Xavier and Windsor among others. Recently he advised coaches recruiting him that it was in his best interests to return to high school. Nicholson led Goetz to the Peel Region championship and a berth in OFSAA "AAAA" Here are some articles on Nicholson from the Toronto Star Professor of the Hardwood and a short thumbnail profile of Nicholson Nicholson Profile

Stay tuned for more recruiting news sure to come out of this weekend, which includes the Rumble in the T-Dot in Scarborough and several OBA tournaments in Southern Ontario. Nicholson will play in the Rumble Hoop Stars Ready to Rumble also check out the rostes for this event here

Bisons Add a Recruit: Manitoba reports that they have added 6'7" forward Richard Reimer from the Oak Park Raiders to their recruiting class. Coach Rick Suffield comments that he expects Reimer to redshirt this season. Bison Recruit Oak Park Champion Player Reimer for 07-08

Canada Basketball-related International News

International News:

Here is a story that received little fanfare in Canada and the U.S.A. but is a very interesting development in FIBA Americas region basketball FIBA Americas - Americas League given green light

FIBA Americas Senior Men's Championship News ARGENTINA - Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez understands the decision by national team veteran Manu Ginobili and emerging star Walter Herrmann to withdraw from the FIBA Americas Championship squad. Ginobili and Herrmann will not play Another story confirming Ginobili will not play with speculation as to why Ginobili will not play for Argentina Luis Scola has given Argentina's Olympic qualifying hopes a shot in the arm by confirming he will play for the country at this summer's FIBA Americas Championship. BC Khimki veteran Ruben Wolkowisky has also said he intends to play. With Walter Herrmann having all but ruled himself out and his fellow NBA-based players Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto and Andres Nocioni hinting they will miss, national team coach Sergio Hernandez was desperate for some good news and now he's got it. Scola, Wolkowisky give thumbs-up to Argentina Argentina's Olympic gold-medal winning point guard Juan Ignacio Sanchez admits he is still undecided whether or not to compete in August's FIBA Americas Championship where the Athens victors will hope to book a ticket to defend their crown at the Beijing Games. Sanchez undecided on national team

VENEZUELA - Venezuela have confirmed their participation in a quadrangular tournament in Mexico ahead of the FIBA Americas Championship. The Vinotinto, coached by Nestor Salazar, will take part in the mini warm-up competition against the Mexicans, Uruguay and the US Virgin Islands on August 14 and 15 Mexico Senior Men's Warm-Up Tournament

USA - New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul had a screw inserted in his left foot Monday and will likely be unable to train with the U.S. basketball team this summer. Paul unlikely to play for U.S. Villanova coach Jay Wright has been selected as USA Basketball's head coach for this summer's USA squad that will compete at the Pan-Am Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in July Wright to coach US team at Pan-Am Games Canada's entry at the Pan-Am games will be in a group with Puerto Rico, Brazil and Virgin Islands with games beginning on July 25th. CIS fans in the Nation's Capital will be able to watch Wright's Villanova Wildcats this coming Labour Day weekend as they come to Ottawa to face Carleton, uOttawa and McGill. Here is an article from USA Basketball previewing the United States team at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifier in Las Vegas USA to open against Venezuela

BRAZIL - Anderson Varejao is having no second thoughts about playing for Brazil this summer at the FIBA Americas Championship later this year. While the participation of Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix Suns) and Nene (Denver Nuggets) in Las Vegas is in doubt due to concerns about the insurance that the Brazilian Basketball Confederation has to pay to the NBA clubs to allow them to play for the national team, Varejao, a Cleveland Cavaliers forward, has said that he will have a "busy" summer with the Verdeamarelos. Varejao unwavering in commitment to Brazil Meanwhile Tiago Splitter doesn't hesitate when asked if he will play for Brazil this summer at the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas.
Splitter will hit the ground running in Vegas

FIBA U19 World Championship ARGENTINA - Argentina U19 coach Enrique Tolcachier has selected 24 players to begin preparations for the FIBA U19 World Championship in Serbia. Real Madrid reserve team guard Diego Gerbaudo and Tau Ceramica's 16-year-old guard Matias Nocedal, on loan at Utebo, are the key players on the roster. Argentina's U19 Team

USA - The U.S. U19 team spent much of April in Memphis training and preparing for the NIKE Hoop Summit at FedEx Forum which they won 100-80 over the World All-Stars. Many of the players on this team were on last season's U18 Gold Medal winning side and the Americans are the likely favorites for the U19 Worlds in Serbia USA Aiming To Take Advantage Of International Experience Here is a recap of the recent game in Memphis USA captures 10th NIKE Hoop Summit over World team

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Two Noteable Committments to Windsor, Carleton

A pair of teams who participated in the CIS Nationals this past season, including five-time defending champions Carleton Ravens, have secured committments from top rated players, one of which returns to Canada after a stint at a U.S. Division 1 program. The Ravens capped off what is probably one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory, welcoming 6'4" Elliot Thompson, generally regarded as the top high school player in New Brunswick and one of the better players to come out of New Brunswick in recent memory Thompson chooses Carleton Thompson was being pursued by a number of CIS schools including home town UNB Varsity Reds, Bishop's Gaiters where close friend Andrew Wright had a solid freshman season as point guard and Queen's Golden Gaels among others. Thompson joins fellow New Brunswick native Graeme Scott, who sat out last season at Carleton due to injury, on the five-time defending champions, adding to a stellar recruiting class that includes the top player in Eastern Ontario 6'7" Aaron Chapman and 6'5" Cole Hobin, originally from Ottawa who spent this past season playing at Eastern Commerce Prep in Toronto. The Windsor Lancers today announced that 6'7" Andre Smyth, originally from Windsor, will return home after transferring from Central Michigan Chippewas (NCAA Division 1 Mid-America Conference) where he redshirted in his first season and then played about 14 minutes a game last season. Smyth will sit out this season as a redshirt but will have 4 seasons of eligibility remaining when he suits up for the Lancers in 2008-09. Smyth to Windsor The Ottawa Gee-Gees have secured the committment of 6'6" forward Justin Bell, an athletic swingman from Mississauga Rick Hansen High School who will likely push for time immediately on the Gee-Gees front line with the departures due to graduation of Ottawa's two starting posts Curtis Shakespeare and Jermaine Campbell.
RMC's Kevin McGuire has been working very hard on the recruiting trail and has a number of committments, most noteable of which is 6'9" Nick Cooke from Toronto Eastern Commerce who promises to be a solid CIS player. Cooke is arguably the Paladins top recruit since a little-regarded, unsized forward named Kevin Dulude arrived in Kingston from Orleans, ON in early 2000's and left as the all-time leading scorer in OUA history. McGuire is being rewarded for his hard work on recruiting trail.

Canada West Great Plains Pre-Summer Look

The usually competitive Great Plains division comes off another solid year in which Brandon represented the division in the National championship game, playing Carleton as tough as anyone to lose by 3. Generally speaking, teams in the division return the majority of their top players with Winnipeg and Manitoba not losing anyone of note and the Wesmen returning All-Canadian Erfan Nasajpour while Brandon and Regina lose some quality yet hanging on to the basic core of their teams. All teams will be experienced and with solid recruits the division should be more competitive. Brandon still looks to be the class of the league but expect the other 3 teams to challenge the Bobcats more next season than they did this season when Brandon went 15-2 including 8 in a row after the holiday break against their Great Plains division rivals en route to the division championship.

Brandon Bobcats Key Losses: 6'0" Chad Jacobsen (graduation), 5'10" Taylor Cherris-Welding (graduation). Key Players scheduled to return: Dany Charlery 6'3" (3rd), Yul Michel 6'1" (5th), Adam Hartman 6'5" (5th), Yuri Whyms 6'9" (5th), Stevens Marcelin 6'7" (3rd), Nathan Grant 6'0" (3rd), Jon Thomson 6'5" (5th), Chris Schmidt-Watt 6'6" (3rd). Comments: The bulk of the national finalist team returns led by the versatile Charlery, a top scorer and defender. Michel is one of Canada's top lead guards who distributes and defends the ball. Hartman is a very underrated offensive player in the post with his blend of scoring and passing skills. The combination of Whyms and Marcelin in the post is athletic, long and provides plenty of defensive presence inside. Grant is an emerging point with the ability to finish in transition and get to the rim who is the heir apparent to Michel while Thomson and Schmidt-Watt contribute solid, underrate minutes off the bench with their rebounding and defending. Expect the Cats to continue their entertaining, up-tempo style and be one of the pre-season favorites in the CIS. Key Recruiting Targets: The Cats lost their two primary spot up three point shooters and will need to find at least one more guy who can stretch defenses from the perimeter. Brandon looks to fill this void with 6'7" Kevin Oliver, the MVP from the high school side of the Wesmen Classic, who comes in with a reputation as a solid shooter with range. Oliver's fellow starter on last summer's Manitoba's provincial team, which lost in the national finals, 6'6" swingman Kyle Vince from Winnipeg J.H Bruns will also join the Cats in the fall. Coached by ex-Winnipeg Wesmen All-Canadian Norm Fromel, Vince should add depth at big forward spot behind Adam Hartman after leading Silver Heights Huskies, the #1 Ranked team in Manitoba.

Winnipeg Key Losses: Will Bergmann 6'7" (graduated) Key Players scheduled to return: 5'9" Erfan Nasajpour (5th), 6'6" Matt Opalko (5th), 6'4" Ryan Roper (4th), 6'9" Ivan Saric (4th), 6'6" Dan Shynkaryk (4th), 6'0" James Horaska (2nd), 5'10" Nick Lother (2nd) Comments: With every key player returning including All-Canadian Nasajpour to score and lead, the Wesmen are well stocked offensively. Up front, Winnipeg has at least three experience contributors led by Shynkaryk, who with more consistency has potential to be an all-conference player, the athletic Saric, a solid defensive and low post presence and Opalko, who missed significant time because of injury last season. Roper is a big wing who can be a threat from the perimeter while Lother, who can run the point for stretches, and Horaska, both look to improve on their freshman seasons. Key Recruiting Targets: With all key players returning, not alot of time is available but the Wesmen welcome 6'0" Cam Hornby, (originally from Winnipeg Glenlawn) who returns home after a season and a half with South Dakota State Jackrabbits, where he redshirted in '05-'06 and then played sparingly last season before deciding to transfer. Hornby becomes eligible on November 17th and could get his freshman status after playing in only 4 games at South Dakota State. Hornby will fit into the Wesmen back court as a combo guard. Winnipeg could use another "3" man who can create, defend and rebound and also bring in another forward with a view of restocking their front line for after next season.

Regina Key Losses: Brad Fekula 6'2", Drew Kuzminski 6'5", Michael Enns 6'6" Key Players scheduled to return: Bryden Wright 6'3" (5th-injury redshirt last season), Jeff Lukomski 6'0" (2nd), Jamal Williams 6'5" (3rd), Paul Schubach 6'2" (3rd), Sarain Soonias 6'6" (5th), Jordan McFarlen 6'2" (2nd), Adam Huffman 6'7" (5th). Comments: The Cougars return White who was one of the top offensive players in Canada West prior to injuring his knee on the eve of last season's first exhibition game causing him to miss the season. Schubach emerged as the Cougars most consistent and accurate shooter from both inside and beyond the arc and at the free throw line. Canada West Freshman-of-the-Year Lukomski knocks down the "3" with consistency while Williams emerged as a legitimate all-conference candidate in the post down the stretch last season. Soonias provides depth up front and can be a presence in the paint defensively. Recruiting Focus: After losing 3 of the top 8 players in the rotation, including point guard Fekula and leading scorer Kuzminski, the Cougars look to fortify the lead guard and forward spots. 6'7" Brett Weiss, a versatile wing who can play anywhere from the "2" to "4" spots, could be an immediate impact player for the Cougars with his combination of size and athleticsm. Weiss, originally recruited by Regina out of high school in Wilkie, SK, spent the last 2 seasons at Montana State-Billings, an NCAA Division 2 school, redshirting for one of the seasons before transfering back and will be starting his second season when he becomes eligible immediately in the fall. The Cougars also will bring in a pair of big two guards who can shoot the ball in 6'5" Reid Quest (Regina Winston Knoll) and 6'5" Lance Aldcorn (Regina Balfour), both freshmen directly out of high school who should push for time on the wing. Coach James Hillis may also look to bring in one more player later in the summer.

Manitoba Key Losses: None. Key Players scheduled to return: 6'1" Issac Ansah (4th), 6'4" Darcy Coss (5th), 6'5" Brian Crowe (5th), 6'1" Chris Pereira (4th), 6'9" Sean Landry (3rd), 6'1" Joel Pankewich (2nd), 5'9" Graeme Mitchell (4th), 6'4" Myron Dean (4th), 6'5" Grant Rayner (3rd). Comments: The Bisons have a possible All-Canadian candidate in Ansah, an all-around scorer who shoots it beyond the arc and gets to the rim. Coss is a veteran three-point threat with the size to shoot over smaller defenders. Crowe provides a solid inside presence at both ends while Pereira is another long-range threat. Landry provides size and is a nice complementary player inside. Pankewich was Bisons top freshman last season while Mitchell provides depth in the back court. Dean is a wing off the bench. Recruiting Focus: With every top player scheduled to return, Manitoba can recruit for both this year and subsequent years - targets are up front, depth at the point and wing players. In 6'8" Clarence Smith (Lakeland College - Alberta colleges league), one of the leading scorers and rebounders in the ACAC, the Bisons get a formidable post presence who can score, rebound and protect the paint defensively. Smith, who is originally from Fort McMurray, Alberta - Lloydminister Composite, will be in his third year of eligibility with the Bisons. The Bisons also welcome another 6'8" post from Lakeland, Trevor Assels (Stonewall MB, Stonewall Collegiate), also entering his third year of eligibility, fortifying Manitoba's interior even further.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In the News, Recruiting and Labour Day Updates

Mike Tucker, who does a wonderful job with University College of Fraser Valley Cascades sports information, has released an announcement on the Cascades Labour Day schedule Cascades host Air Force, Boise State

An article in the Abbotsford News on UCFV's top recruit for this season's class, 5'9" Dylan Gatner Cascades get the point Also, the official release from the UCFV sports information office Cascades get their point

Howard Tsumura's article on Canada West's games on the Labour Day weekend which appeared in his excellent High School and University Sports site in the Vancouver Province Canada West teams face off against NCAA competition

An interesting piece in the Hamilton Spectator about parental-led fundraising for athletics Fundraising School Threat

Another article on Jay Triano's induction into the A.N. Myer High School Hall-of-Fame in Niagara Falls this coming weekend Triano credits his past coaches

A very good article from San Grewal from the Toronto Star on the growing interest in basketball in Toronto and Canada bouyed primarily by the recent success of the Toronto Raptors. A sobering set of data however puts the popularity into some perspective as television audiences for the Raptors, although growing significantly, still are between 1/6th and 1/10th of a typical audience for Hockey Night in Canada and Maple Leaf hockey games Raptor Nation: Hockey is still our game, but another sport is making a full-court press

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on Duquesne University men's basketball coach Ron Everhart, who accepted the United States Basketball Writers Association's Most Courageous Award on Monday in Atlanta, and also announced that the Dukes are planning to take a preseason trip to Toronto, where they will play a four-game exhibition schedule against Canadian competition. Duquesne eyes pre-season trip to Canada

Recruiting and Labour Day news: OUA West - The Brock Badgers will welcome at least 4 new faces to next season's lineup, led by 6'6" Andrew Ferguson from St. Catharines Governor Simcoe, one of the Top 50 players in Ontario according to Jim Thomas' All-Ontario Scouting Service. Ferguson has a nice touch from the perimeter and should push for playing time as a freshman with the Badgers, especially with the graduation of "4" man Chris Keith. Coach Ken Murray also got commitments from 6'6" Gidon Frank (Toronto Community Hebrew Academy (CHAT) and Vaughan S.S.), 6'4" Joe Kendrick who played on a provincial championship team at Horton H.S. in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and 6'4" Pat Orvidas from Jamie Girolametto's St. Mary's Crusaders from Hamilton. The Badgers will also host the University of North Florida Ospreys, an NCAA Division 1 team (Atlantic Sun conference - same conference as Belmont) from Jacksonville, FL and possibly one more NCAA team during the Labour Day weekend. One of the top power forwards in Ontario, 6'6" Adam Bering (Tecumseh St. Anne's) has decided to attend the University of Guelph and play for the Gryphons. QSSF - Craig Norman's McGill Redmen travel to the Nation's Capital during the Labour Day weekend to join Ottawa and Carleton in a pair of games against visiting Villanova Wildcats and Alabama Crimson Tide, playing one game each at the Ravens Nest and Montpetit Hall in Ottawa. Norman hopes to gain committments from 1 or more recruits within the next 3 weeks or so. Canada West - We will release the Great Plains pre-summer overview in the next day or so however in the interim, Regina has announced two more recruits to add to another key recruit who earlier transfered back from the U.S. The Cougars got a pair of tall, sharpshooting freshmen in 6'4" Reid Quest (Regina Winston Knoll) and 6'5" Lance Aldcorn (Regina Balfour). Both come to Regina with a reputation for shooting the ball and will add depth on the wing and up front. Earlier, the Cougars had announced that 6'7" Brett Weiss, a versatile wing who can also play the "4" if needed, has transfered to Regina from Montana State-Billings, an NCAA Division II program where he redshirted in his first season and then played parts of another season. Weiss, who can shoot beyond the arc and has a live, athletic body, sat out this season while transfering and will be in his second year of eligibility beginning in the fall.

Finally, here is an excerpt from Rivals.com from April 22, 2007 about a Canada Basketball student team hopeful who recently turned heads at the Pitt Jam Fest, an AAU tournament in Pittsburgh, PA. Joseph helped Grassroots Canada play the role of giant killer as they captured the tournament championship including a knock out Boo Williams, one of the favorites to win the tournament. One of the reasons why the kids from Toronto played so well was the outstanding play of guard Devoe Joseph. The 6-foot-2 combo from Pickering (Ont.) High School started his day with a 30-point effort against East Coast Fusion. He drilled six three-pointers in that victory. Later in the day, Joseph poured in 22 points and connected on four three-pointers against Boo Williams. The game later, Joseph and Grassroots Canada knocked out Juice to advance to Sunday's quarter final game against a surging Arkansas Hawks team. The Canadian team then went on to capture the tournament championship on Sunday. Joseph was one of the best, if not the best, guard on Saturday. He scored at will against good teams. Don't write him up as just a shooter. Joseph has good ball-handling skills and picked apart defenses with little trouble. He said Washington State, Duquesne and Minnesota (former staff) have offered scholarships. It will be interesting to see how much that list transforms after this weekend in Pittsburgh. Although Joseph is not likely to play in the CIS, he has helped Canada internationally in the past and here's hoping that Joseph continues to play a role for our country in the future including this summer on coach Greg Francis' U-19 team at the world championships.

Monday, April 23, 2007

In the News and other tid-bits

Congratulations to University of Toronto Varsity Blues Head Coach Mike Katz who recently was inducted into the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Hall-of-Fame. James Christie from the Globe and Mail had a small tribute to Coach Katz Shrine Beckons Humber hoops mentor

Many will remember that for over 40 years, no one embraced basketball in Canada quite like Bernie Offstein, who captured the heart and soul of the sport and was affectionately known as the "Commissioner" in Toronto basketball circles. To honour Bernie's memory, the Varsity Blues program announced that the inaugural "Bernie Offstein Memorial Golf Tournament" will take place on Wednesday, August 1st, 2007 at Lionhead Golf & Country Club in Brampton, Ontario (just north west of Toronto). For further information, please contact Tournament Chairman Rick Matthew at (416) 835-4667 or by email at rmatthew@cogeco.ca

It was great to hear from ex-Laurentian Voyageurs star and former Canadian National team member Shawn Swords, who is in the midst of a very successful pro career in France. Shawn tells us that at 33 years old, he still feels pretty young and full of energy at practice. Swords has been the captain of Mulhouse in the French "B" league for 3 years now and, although he feels it will be his last season in that city, he still feels he may some basketball left. Swords adds that he has had a great career overseas, playing in many countries, experiencing different cultures and met many lifelong friends.

A note from Neate Sager regarding Calgary's Allan Tollestrup, who is joining the Lethbridge Pronghorns this season. Tollestrup is from a very athletic family - as mentioned his father Phil Tollestrup, a CIAU All-Canadian at Lethbridge and a member of Canada's National team in the 1970's who played for Canada at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, is a member of the University of Lethbridge Hall-of-Fame Phil Tollestrup Profile . Allan's cousin, Dalin Tollestrup, was the CIS football rookie of the year as the quarterback for the Calgary Dinos, although he's taking his Mormon mission for the next two years.

NCAA Labour Day games update: The greater Calgary area is in for a tremendous weekend of basketball on the 1st and 2nd of September as the Lethbridge Pronghorns and Calgary Dinos will face a pair of NCAA Division 1 teams in a pair of doubleheaders to be played at the University of Calgary gym. The CIS Central Division programs will meet Weber State Wildcats from the Big Sky conference and Creighton Bluejays from the Ohio Valley conference on those days, part of numerous CIS vs. NCAA games across the country on that weekend. In addition to those already announced on cishoops.ca, many teams on both sides of the border are still in the midst of finalizing plans for Labour Day. Stay tuned to the site for a comprehensive list of Labour Day games across the country once it is finalized.

AUS Updates: In addition to the four seniors that Memorial loses to graduation and exhausted eligibility, the Seahawks recently announced that reserve guard James Saxby has also graduated from his academic program and will not return. The Seahawks have yet to formally announce any recruits for next season. Dalhousie coach John Campbell tells us that 6'3" wing Josh Beatty from C.T. Allen H.S. in Bedford, NS has committed to play for the Tigers next season. As well, the Tigers will welcome 6'3 Juppe Knudsen, a swingman from Copenhagen, Denmark next season. Knudsen, just 19 years old, was teammates with former Tigers All-Canadian Dean Thibodeau, who spent part of his playing career in Denmark. The Tigers are still waiting on a couple of solid verbals commits as academic acceptance letters begin to filter out to possible recruits. Cape Breton is the winner in the recruiting battle for athletic 6'5" Al Aliovic from Milton (ON.) Bishop Reding, an Ontario Provincial team player who has range beyond the 3 point line and is a solid scorer.

QSSF News: Defending Quebec champions Concordia Stingers will travel to Isreal on May 24th to compete in the Friendship Games in which 16 countries will be represented. The Stingers will travel with this past season's team, meaning Patrick Perrotte will play. Coach John Dore tells us that this tournament is a low D1, high D2 calibre. Serbia-Montenegro captured the title at the last Friendship Games basketball event. The Stingers also announced their first recruit for next season as Decee Krah, a 6'0" guard from Hamilton Cathedral has committed to the Stingers.

Ontario News: The uOttawa Gee-Gees announced their first recruit for this coming season: 6'6" Marvin Bazille, an athletic, rebounding forward from CEGEP John Abbott, winners of the Bronze medal at the recent CCAA Nationals in Truro, Nova Scotia. The Gee-Gees expect Bazille to help offset the loss to graduation of 6'5" Curtis Shakespeare and 6'5" Jermaine Campbell inside. On the heels of the recent news out of Kingston regarding Queen's new facility, word is that the University of Guelph is planning an ~$300 million, 10 phase project to construct modern athletic buildings on campus including a proposed 3,500 seat convocation building that will house basketball and volleyball including bowled seating surrounding the entire playing area. The plan goes to be approved shortly; stay tuned.

Canada West: 5'9" Dylan Gatner, the starting point guard on B.C.'s provincial team, will attend University College of Fraser Valley. As well, a motion to reduce the number of league games in Canada West's Pacific division down to 18 from the current 23 games will go to vote soon. Currently, Pacific division teams play each other 3 times with alternating extra home games each year. Add that to the playoff format in Canada West in which all series are Best-of-three and teams can play as many as 6 league games against the same opponent. Stay tuned for the results of the vote and the potential impact on Canada West team schedules for next season.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

In the News: Sunday April 22nd, 2007

Many thanks to our good friend Neate Sager, who publishes the wonderful sports blog Out of Left Field for this piece on former Canadian National team coach and current Toronto Raptor assistant Jay Triano, who as it turns out, could have done the interview for this piece in Spanish, which helps him out in his work coaching with the Raps - thanks to Neate for the heads up George Gross article on Jay Triano in the Sunday Sun

An article from News@UofT, the University of Toronto's on-line news site announcing a series of athletic scholarships for U of T student/athletes donated by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chair Larry Tanenbaum and his wife Judy Raptors, Leafs owner establishes scholarships for student/athletes

The Guelph Tribune reports on the Gryphon men's latest recruiting class which includes four new players including the third recipient of Guelph's President scholarship in 17 years Gryphons announce recruiting class

Guelph also welcomes back former Toronto Oakwood star Jonathan Moscatelli, who has missed the past 2 season with a pair of severe knee injuries. The Guelph Mercury provides a nice account of Moscatelli's trials and tribulations Basketball Dreams

A nice piece by John Short of the Edmonton Sun inside his column talking about the career successes of Alberta Head Coach Don Horwood Don Horwood Piece in Edmonton Sun

Coming off one of the most successful seasons in the history of the men's basketball program, the Queen's Golden Gaels have a bright future in more ways than one. On the verge of the first Top 10 men's basketball ranking in the history of the program in late January, the Gaels stayed in the race for a home playoff game in what turned out to be the toughest division in the CIS - the OUA East - but ran into some injury troubles and ultimately fell at York in the first round of the OUA East playoffs. But with one of the top freshmen in Canada back in 6'6" Mitch Leger and a solid pair of guards in 6'0" third-year shooting guard Ryan Hairsine and tough 5'11" Baris Ondul, the Gaels have the foundation for continued success. Queen's will have to replace a number of players who have graduated from their academic programs and thus will not be back to play basketball including 6'3" Simon Mitchell, 6'3" Jordan Balaban, 6'6" Cam Eby, 6'4" Kyle McCleery and 6'8" Glen Smith. As well, solid 6'6" post Rob Shaw will undergo knee surgery this week to hopefully fix a problem that plagued him since the early part of last season. Coaches Rob Smart and Duncan Cowan have been working to replace these key players and have verbal commitments from several players - Queen's University sends out academic acceptance letters in mid-to-late April through early May so announcements on the Gaels class will have to wait until recruits are officially accepted into school - stay tuned. More importantly for the longer term, the University has made a $230 million commitment to Gaels athletics, led by A.D. Leslie Dal Cin, which includes the construction of a new gymnasium very close to the current Bartlett Gym. The new facility, forecasted for completion by September 2009, is projected to hold 2,500 people and will be state-of-the-art. This is great news for CIS basketball with another modern basketball facility being built.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Canada West Central Division Pre-Summer Update

Saskatchewan Huskies Key Losses: Sam Lamontagne G/F (graduated) Key Players Scheduled to return: Andrew Spagrud 6'8" (5th), Kyle Grant 6'2" (5th), Rejean Chabot 6'0" (3rd), Jordan Harbidge 6'1" (5th), Mark Lynch 6'7" (5th), David Neufeld 6'8" (2nd), Clint Unsworth 6'9" (3rd). Comments: The Huskies return all five starters including All-Canadian Spagrud who is the best low-post player in the conference and arguably the best big returning big man in Canada. Three of the other 4 starters enter their fifth seasons including steady point guard Harbidge, who battled injuries late last season, a terrific scorer in Grant and a steady complementary big in Lynch who can make perimeter jumpers. Chabot is an explosive scorer while a pair of young bigs off the bench in Unsworth and Neufeld provide depth inside. Recruiting Focus: Although there is little room in the rotation this season, the Huskies will have to replace almost their entire starting lineup in '08-'09 and have already positioned themselves well with a commitment from 6'8" forward Troy Gottselig, who will enter his third season of eligibility after transfering from Medicine Hat College. Gottselig, an athletic forward who was a second team ACAC All-Star, shoots the perimeter jumper and is at his best running the floor. The Huskies also will bring in 6'3" guard Brennan Jarrett, fresh off back-to-back city championships with Saskatoon Holy Cross, a fundamentally-sound, smooth-shooting combo guard. Jarrett joins four other former Crusader players on the Huskie roster. The Huskies could also add another athletic wing and another big guy who can score with his back to the basket.

Alberta Golden Bears Key Losses: Scott Gordon 6'5", Tyson Jones 6'3" (both graduated). Key Players Scheduled to return: 6'2" Alex Steele (5th), 6'0" C.G. Morrison (3rd), 6'5" Justin Van Loo (4th), Andrew Parker 6'3" (5th), 6'11" Richard Bates (5th), 6'5" Neb Aleksic (4th), Scott Leigh 5'10" (2nd), Harvey Bradford 6’5” (3rd) and Jeff Stork 6’9”. Comments: The Bears return a veteran lineup that includes 5 players in last season's rotation who enter their 4th or 5th seasons plus a pair of point guards, both of who can be stars in Canada West. Steele is one of Canada West's top perimeter shooters who benefits from the strong court sense of floor leader Morrison, who emerged as one of the top lead guards in the conference last season. Up front, Van Loo is a strong rebounding forward in the mould of many great Bears post players of the past while the tall, burly Bates provides size and a defensive presence. Aleksic was instant offense from the beyond the arc when right last season while Parker could be the best raw athlete in Canada and looks to fully break out in his final season. Leigh is a former B.C. Provincial team point guard who should break into more playing time subbing for as well as along side Morrison in the back court. Recruiting Focus: Although the Bears return a pair of strong post-area players, a big man to whom the ball can be dumped inside for scoring is needed. As well, Alberta could use an athletic wing player who can create offense and make shots to complement an array of catch and shoot perimeter players. Another all-round wing and/or post would also help as the Bears lose another 3 players next season.

Calgary Dinos Key Losses: Josh Feist PG, Brian Finniss F, Sonny Khangura F. Key Players Scheduled to return: Ross Bekkering 6'7" (3rd), Robbie Sihota 6'5" (3rd), Cody Darrah 6'4" (5th), Joe Schow 6'9" (3rd), Jeremy Odland 6'4" (5th), Joel Bancroft 6'0" (3rd). Comments: With the strong, athletic Ross Bekkering leading the charges up front, Calgary returns the majority of their bigs. Sihota is a proven scorer while Darrah is an experience Canada West player. Schow has plenty of size and length. Bancroft is the most experienced returning guard. Recruiting Focus: The Dinos have the makings of one of Canada's top recruiting classes beginning with an early commitment from strong forward Henry Bekkering (Taber, AB), who is transfering from NCAA D1 Eastern Washington and could immediately be the best athlete in the CIS. At 6'6" and 245 lbs., Bekkering is big and strong but has freakish jumping ability and expect his high-wire act to result in some highlight reel dunks as he will push for a starting spot immediately. Calgary's second blue chip recruit is regarded as one of Canada's top high schoolers: 6'9" wing Tyler Fidler, who brings a blend of athleticism and skill with perimeter skills and an inside game. Fidler averaged a triple-double at Calgary Western Canada H.S. this past season and was recruited by several NCAA Division 1 teams before deciding to stay home. Fidler is also a member of the Alberta Provincial team and started on the 2005 Alberta Canada Games team as a 16-year old that competed in Regina. Recruiting a top point guard who can step in and play immediately was a top priority and in 6'2" Jeff Price, originally from Calgary Lord Beaverbrook H.S. and a transfer from Mount Royal College in Calgary entering his 3rd year of eligibility, the Dinos feel this area has been addressed. The Dinos also received a commitment from 6'2" combo guard Brennan Fule from Strathmore, Alberta, just outside Calgary, who is described as mentally-tough with a scorer's mentality and was also heavily recruited as a volleyball player before deciding on playing basketball.

Lethbridge Pronghorns Key Players Lost: Scott Mackinnon, Matt Bekkering, Todd McClenaghan, Bruce Carbert, Kevin Monson (all graduated), Ryan Mitchel, Eric Galie, Tim McMurray (will not return). Key Players Scheduled to return: Richard Steed 5'10" (3rd), Ryan Anderson 6'5" (4th), Chris Giles 6'3" (2nd), Gilbert Madsen 6'8" (4th). Comments: The Horns return only 4 players from last year's roster including starting point guard Steed, a steady ball handler, who looks to improve his perimeter jumper. Anderson, the team captain, is a strong, physical post player who was last season's sixth man while another big body in Madsen provides rebounding and interior defense. Giles, a combo guard who was an Alberta provincial team member, had a nice freshman season and should press for time on the wing. Recruiting Focus: With plenty of roster space and playing time available, Coach Mike Connolly looks to bring in a large class with every position accounted for. The Horns got an early commitment from blue chip 6'4" wing Allan Tollestrup, son of former Canadian National team player Phil Tollestrup, back from a Mormon mission after playing his first season at Lethbridge C.C. The younger Tollestrup is a tremendous scorer in the mould of his dad after leading the ACAC in scoring two season's ago. Lethbridge also welcomes Tollestrup's teammate from Lethbridge CC, 6'1" Shawn Nelson, who is a solid defender and athlete entering his third season of eligibility. To help fortify the front line, the Horns will bring in 6'6" Greg Jobagy (Calgary Beaverbrook), described as a prototypical power forward who spent his freshman season at U of Calgary but redshirted after winning the 2004 Alberta provincial high school championship and captaining the 2004 Alberta provincial team. Connolly tapped into his contacts in the Toronto area, where he spent several seasons as an assistant to Ken Olynyk at U of T to snare 5'9" PG Alan Kadema, orginally from Toronto Jarvis who spent his first 3 seasons in the U.S., most recently at Minot State-Bottineau JUCO. Kadema should push for a starting role immediately. Lethbridge also secured the services of another Alberta provincial team stalward in 6'2" two guard Quinn Van Gaalen, a local product from Lethbridge LCI via Foremost H.S. who enters his freshman season as a combination guard. Connolly will likely bring in at least 3 more new faces including a traditional big, low post player, an athletic big guy at the four spot and another wing player.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Canada Basketball Men's Programs 2007 - A First Look

It will be another busy summer at Canada Basketball with three men's teams wearing the Maple Leaf in international play including an important summer for the Senior Men's team, which begins Olympic qualifying in August at the FIBA Americas tournament in Las Vegas. As well, the Student team will compete in the FISU Games (formerly World University Games) in Bangkok, Thialand while the U-19 Men's national team, which qualified for the world's last summer in San Antonio, will compete in the FIBA U-19 world championships in Nobisad, Serbia in July.

The international basketball landscape has had a dramatic shift since the original U.S.A. Dream Team dominated opponents at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. It has been almost 7 years since the Americans last won a Gold medal at a Senior men's world championship or Olympic tournament (2000 Olympics in Sydney). The drought is 3 major events and counting as the U.S. dropped the world championships in both 2002 (on American soil in Indianapolis) and 2006 (a loss to Greece in the gold medal game last summer and failed to even advance beyond the semi-finals in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. European and South American teams, featuring highly-skilled, multi-talented athletes, all of whom can shoot the ball, handle and pass have caught up to and arguably have by-pass the U.S. using quick-hitting offensive sets with fundamental screens and cuts augmented by crisp screen and rolls that rely on instinctively reading defenses and usually result in a good shot for whoever has a mismatch or is open off draw and kicks. The success of this fundamentally-sound approach has brought the United States back to the pack quickly and nation's wanting to compete with the world's elite are being forced to reassess the traditional ways of developing and coaching basketball talent. Arguably, the game is beginning to pass the U.S. by as the team concept begins to surpass concepts around individually skilled players, traditional back-to-the-basket low post play and attacking the rim at all costs. Canada's only NBA franchise, Toronto Raptors, are a tremendous example of how the influence of European basketball can improve a team's fortunes in a hurry as Euros such as Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, Jorge Garbajosa, Rasho Nesterovic and Anthony Parker (an American who spent 5 formidable season playing in Europe) all have been instrumental in turning the team around. Each and every one of these Euros can shoot, handle and pass the ball and, more importantly, know how to play the game in a team concept. As Canada looks to improve their international standing, we do so in a backdrop of a world basketball landscape that is changing away from the glamour of scoring in transition and getting to the rim to more fundamentally-sound, purer form of the game that already has proven to be successful.

All 3 Canadian teams that will compete this summer will have some CIS flavour, either on the coaching staff or on the roster or both. Here is a first look at each team including recent history, coaching staff, what is currently known about the summer schedule and a projection of some potential CIS players who could make the rosters.

U-19 Men's Team: Head Coach Greg Francis, who steered the program to qualify for the world's last summer in San Antonio, will begin preparation in mid-June for the FIBA world U-19 championships, which were to take place in Vancouver but were moved to Nobisad, Serbia. University of Victoria Vikes Head Coach Craig Beaucamp and Toronto Eastern Commerce Head man Roy Rana complete Francis' staff, which projects to be made up of a number of existing and projected NCAA players with the possibility of a number of solid CIS rising sophomores and freshmen who meet the age requirements also with a chance to crack the roster. Canada qualified for the U-19 Worlds with a fourth-place finish at last summer's U-18 FIBA Americas championships, an 8 team event in which Canada finished 2-1 in the qualifying round before losing 92-66 to the U.S. in the championship semi-finals and dropping a 79-70 affair to Brazil in the Bronze medal game. The FIBA Americas qualifier capped a 3-6 summer for the squad after a 1-3 record at the Global Games in Dallas, where the young Canadian squad faced older, veteran sides to prepare for the qualifier with their only victory coming against the U.S. 68-66. Top players on last summer's team included 6'3" Devoe Joseph, a combo guard who recently led Pickering H.S. Trojans to the OFSAA "AAAA" (Ontario) championships in Hamilton and was Canada's leading scorer in the qualifying tournament last summer. A pair of Canadians originally from the Greater Toronto Area who have spent the past three seasons playing high school basketball in the U.S. were also instrumental in Canada's success as 6'8" wing Olu Ashaolu, currently ranked #35 in Van Coleman's list of the top players in the Class of 2008, and 5'11" point guard Junior Cadougan, #12 ranked by Coleman in the Class of 2009, each played major minutes for their country. Both left Canada early in their high school careers and most recently spent this past season with Humble Christian Life Academy in Humble, TX. The U-18's qualified despite not having 6'8" Scott Brittain (Oakville, ON), who was injured in the Global Games just prior to the qualifying tournament and had been arguably Canada's most consistent post player. Brittain just completed a successful freshman season with Boston University Terriers (NCAA D1 America East conference) during which he averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 29 minutes per game while starting 28 of 29 games. Expect 7'0" Robert Sacre, headed to Gongaza, and 6'6" sharpshooter Jonathan House (Guelph Centennial), headed to Belmont, to also push for spots on this summer's team. The lone CIS player on last summer's roster was 6'6" Brent Malish, who just finished his freshman season at UBC. Malish, fellow teammmate at UBC 6'1" Alex Murphy and 6'7" Boris Bakovic, OUA East Rookie-of-the-year from Ryerson are others who could push for roster spots. Tryouts for the U-19 side begin on June 15th in Toronto, likely at Humber College. At the tournament, which begins on July 12th, the preliminary round sees Canada in Group C with Australia, Turkey and Nigeria - there are 6 groups of 4 teams apiece. The top 3 teams from each of the six groups advance to the second round, which will be broken up into new groups with games played against advancing teams in their original groups counting in the second round standings. There will be 3 more games in the second round and the top 8 teams will qualify for the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals. Canada will need to win 2 games in the first round to assure themselves of a spot in the second round although also could qualify with just one win. Official 2007 FIBA U-19 Web Site

FISU Games Student Team: Canada has had a rich history in these games including a Gold Medal at the 1983 games (then called the World University Games) under Coach Jack Donohue and a Silver medal in 1999 when Coach Mike Katz's squad took an 8 point lead into the intermission in Italy before U.S.A.'s Earl Boykins took the game over late to hand Canada their only defeat of the tournament in the championship game. This season, Guelph skipper Chris O'Rourke heads our coaching staff and look for the roster to be filled with NCAA Division 1 and CIS stars. Former UPEI Panther and now Humber College head coach Darrell Glenn and uOttawa Gee-Gees head coach Dave DeAveiro round out the FISU team's coaching staff. The FISU games are oriented around university/college aged athletes and to qualify for participation in the basketball event, an athlete must be just one year removed from being a student at a university or college. Canada did not have to qualify for this event and the roster will likely be filled with players who qualify according to the student rule, are too old for the U-19 team and likely will not make the Senior Men's national team. The roster for this team will likely be named a few days into the centralized camp which begins in June in Toronto once the Senior team begins to finalize its roster, which should be set in late June. The FISU teams expects to assemble on August 1st in Vancouver for about 5 days before leaving for the Far East and the FISU tournament which begins on August 8th. The schedule of games for the basketball portion of FISU Games Bangkok 2007 has not yet been made public. 2007 FISU Summer Games Official Basketball Web Site

Canada's Sr. National Team: Ranked #15 in the world by FIBA, the governing body of basketball in the world, Canada's Senior Men's national basketball team begins their quest to qualify for the 2008 Olympics with FIBA Americas 2007 Olympic Qualifying Tournament beginning August 22nd, 2007 in Las Vegas. Canada needs to finish in the Top 5 of this tournament to remain in contention for a spot in Beijing - a top 2 finish would ensure a spot at the 2008 Olympics, while teams finishing 3 through 5 will advance to a pre-Olympic tournament next summer with a chance to advance to the Olympic tournament. Head Coach Leo Rautins, who begins his third summer at the helm of the program, has an experienced staff including head coach of five-time CIS National champions Carleton Ravens, Dave Smart and former Canadian National team forward Wayne Yearwood, who directed the Dawson College Blues to the CCAA National title in Truro, Nova Scotia last month. Rautins recently also named Cleveland Cavaliers’ assistant coach Michael Malone to the coaching staff. Malone is the son of former Toronto Raptor head coach and former Syracuse Orangeman assistant Brendan Malone, who coached Leo at Syracuse University.

In preparation for the Olympic qualifier, Canada will participate in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, beginning on July 25th (schedule not yet released). About 3 weeks after the Pam-Am's, Canada participates in the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament beginning August 22nd at the Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas-Nevada (UNLV). In all, there are 10 teams participating in the initial qualifying event in Las Vegas including (FIBA world ranking) #1 United States, #2 Argentina, #13 Puerto Rico, #17 Brazil, #21 Venezuela, #30 Panama, #31 Uruguay, #34 Mexico and the US Virgin Islands. The top 2 teams in the Las Vegas event advance directly to the 2008 Olympics while finisers 3 through 5 enter in another qualifier just prior to the 2008 games next summer. Six of the teams in this summer's qualifier, including #15 Canada, are ranked in the FIBA world Top 25. With the U.S. and Argentina the probable favorites for the top 2 spots at this summer's qualifier, one of the 4 remaining teams in the current Top 25 will be eliminated from Olympics contention at this tournament. The 10 teams at the Las Vegas event will initially be placed into two Groups of five. Canada has been placed in Group B and will open the tournament against Brazil in the first game of Group B action. Other teams in Group B include the United States, the US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela. Group A includes Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. Each team will play one game against all others in their group in the preliminary round, with the fifth-place finisher in each group eliminated from the tournament. From there, 8 teams move on to the second round where games against their qualifiers in their group continue to count and four more games, against qualifying teams from the other group, are played. The top four teams advance to the semi-finals, while the FIFTH PLACE team in the second round standings becomes the fifth and final team to remain in contention for qualifying (tie breaking formulas not yet made available).

Canada had a rather light summer of play in 2006, participating in 3 tournaments in Europe and coming home with a record of 2-6 in 8 games. Last summer began with the Diego Gianetti Invitational tournament in Bormio, Italy where Canada lost games to host Italy (73-67), eventual world champions Greece (89-59) and Serbia-Montenegro (95-83). Canada then move north to Germany for a quick two game set against the Dirk Nowitski-led German National team in Nuremburg where Canada pulled off a 71-68 victory before losing 95-75 in the second game. Finally, Canada entered the International Alpos Cup in Slovenia, defeating Venezuela 108-86 before dropping decisions to Lebanon (83-80) and Slovania (87-72). Some of the top players for Canada last summer included 6'5" Alex English, an athletic wing who played 3 seasons at Hawaii, 6'5" Dave Thomas, who was sixth man on Michigan State's most recent NCAA championship team, 6'9" Levon Kendall, who just graduated from Pitt and 6'10" Nate Doornekamp, formerly of Boston College. Calgary's 6'5" Jermaine Bucknor (Richmond), 6'7" Rans Brempong (Western Carolina) and 6'2" Jermaine Anderson (Fordham) also were key contributors. CIS players from this season who should merit strong consideration for this summer's National team include CIS Final 8 MVP Aaron Doornekamp (Carleton), Osvaldo Jeanty (Carleton), Garry Gallimore (St. FX) and Casey Archibald (UBC). Expect a number of CIS stars to accept invitations to tryout at the main camp which begins in mid June in Toronto. Stay tuned for more specific information as it becomes available.

Official 2007 FIBA Americas Men's Championship Web Site

Here is FIBA's current list of the Top 25 basketball nations in the world with FIBA Americas 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament participants in BOLD:

Rank Points
1. USA 832.0
2. ARG 720.0
3. ESP 619.0
4. YUG 508.0
5. LTU 460.0
6. GRE 429.0
7. ITA 418.0
8. FRA 343.0
9. GER 282.0
10. AUS 279.0
11. CHN 262.0
12. NZL 228.0
13. PUR 218.0
14. ANG 206.0
15. CAN 196.0
16. TUR 194.0
17. BRA 168.0
18. RUS 162.0
19. CRO 125.0
20. SLO 121.0
21. VEN 105.0
22. NGR 101.0
23. ISR 62.0
24. LIB 57.0
25. KOR 52.0

Canada Basketball's 2nd Annual "Be One" Weekend

LATE ADDITION: The latest edition of the Thomas Report, authored by Jim Thomas, long-time publisher of All-Ontario Scouting Service, has been released and is available on the Hoop-la.com web site run out of the Hamilton area by clicking here

Canada Basketball recently announced the 2nd Annual "Be One All-Canadian Weekend" between May 3rd and 5th at Humber College North Campus (Finch & Highway 27 just north of Woodbine Race Track) in Toronto. The event culminates in the women's and men's All-Canadian games on Saturday, May 5th (women's at noon; men's at 2 PM). The three-day event includes coaching clinics and sessions with National team alumni. The rosters are made up of CIS and CCAA stars from across the country and teams are divided into Canada Red and Canada White. Among the stars scheduled to appear in the men's game: two-time Mike Moser Award winner Osvaldo Jeanty (Carleton), two-time CIS All-Canadian Casey Archibald (UBC), CIS Defensive Player-of-the-Year Martin Ajayi (McMaster) and Quebec conference Player-of-the-Year Patrick Perrotte (Concordia). The rosters will be led by coaches from both leagues to be announced shortly. In last season's inaugural men's game held at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada White, led by 16 points and 12 rebounds from Cape Breton's Paul Blake, defeated Canada Red 89-74 despite a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds from Laval's J.P. Morin. For those in Southern Ontario and especially the GTA, this promises to be a tremendous all-star event pitting the top players in Canadian post-secondary basketball programs from the past season. For more information visit the Canada Basketball web site

An article in the Hamilton Spectator about another Canada Basketball initiative, National Elite Development Academy for young men. Former Canadian National team member via Toronto Oakwood Collegiate and Fairfield University (NCAA D1) Greg Francis will be the head coach of a group of young men stationed in Hamilton at McMaster University next season. Larry Moko as always does a wonderful job of reporting on this story Elite Boys coming to Hamilton

The McGill Reporter has a story announcing incoming Athletic Director Drew Love Love tapped for top Athletics job

Acadia's Les Berry has been spending time working camps and clinics this spring and NovaNewsNow.com reports on one such event Dreaming of Acadia

Finally, a tremendous profile on McGill's hard working Sports Information Director, Earl Zukerman in today's McGill Reporter Pearl of a sports scribe

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In the News Wed. April 18/07

An article in the London Free Press on retired Western Mustangs coach Craig Boydell and an honour bestowed upon him recently that we reported on Boydell awarded Kitch MacPherson honour

Northern Life.ca, a Sudbury-based publication, reports on Virgil Hill's resignation from Laurentian Hill leaves Voyageurs

6'6" Jason Price from Regina's Sheldon-Williams H.S. Spartans, heavily recruited for both football and basketball, has decided to attend the University of Regina, focusing on football in the immediate future. Still, this article in the Regina Leader-Post alludes to the possibility of another two-sport CIS athlete Price should be right for Regina

Congratulations to Guelph Gryphons coach Chris O'Rourke, who has been named Head Coach of Canada's entry at the World University Games this coming August in Bangkok, Thailand. Also announced were O'Rourke's assistants for the team, Humber College head man Darrell Glenn (a former UPEI Panther) and University of Ottawa head coach David DeAveiro. Gryphon bench boss selected to run national university squad

More on the Tim McGarrigle Dalhousie issue from the Halifax Daily News Former Basketball Coach appeals jury's verdict

Stay tuned for more off-season CIS team summaries as we report on Canada West in the coming week.

AUS Pre-Summer Outlook

The AUS tournament displayed the tremendous parity that has now emerged in the conference as each playoff game was extremely close and action packed with all six teams ultimately showing they were capable of contending for the conference championship. Acadia, after coming on strong in mid-November, took a gigantic leap back to national prominence with their tournament championship. St. Mary's again showed that come tournament time, coach Ross Quackenbush, despite a very short bench this season, usually has his troops mentally and physically prepared to compete while St. FX, trying to work 6 freshmen into their lineup this season, still had the talent and depth to rise to the top of conference by the end of the season. The X-Men will need another solid class to augment what is now an even younger team. Cape Breton was upset in the semi's and loses a number of top players but returns a solid core. UPEI is another team with a hard-working, young coach who must replace 3 fifth-year startes and Dal should continue their improvement toward the top of the AUS. With the Nationals leaving Halifax for at least the next 3 seasons, let's hope that next season's AUS season and playoff tournament brings the same or greater level of excitement that National tournaments have brought in the past to reward the loyal CIS basketball fans of Atlantic Canada.

Acadia Axemen Key Losses: 6'2" Jordan Sheriko (accepted to Dalhousie medical school) Key Players scheduled to return: Paolo Santana 6'1" (3rd), Achuil Lual 6'8" (5th), Luckern Dieu 6'4" (4th), Peter Leighton 6'1" (3rd), Andrew Kraus 6'2" (2nd), Sean Berry 6'4" (4th), Alex Traikov 6'6" (3rd), Mike Folker 6'6" (3rd). Comments: The defending AUS champions return their entire starting lineup and much of their depth. Santana, the reigning AUS Player-of-the-Year, is a potential triple-double threat each night who, when he adds a perimeter jumper off the dribble, will be even more difficult to defend. Big and long Lual is a defensive presence up front and is complemented perfectly by another strong, experienced forward in Dieu, who operates well in and around the high post offensively. Leighton is a top three-point threat who usually is the recipient of draw-and-kicks from Santana and rising sophomore Kraus, who was steady with the ball in his first season and looks to add more offense to his game as his career evolves. Off the bench, sixth man Berry provides instant offense including three-point range. Folker is a hard working post player and Traikov adds more depth up front. Recruiting Focus: With virtually the entire roster in tact, the Axemen don't need much however waiting in the wings is explosive 6'5" Leonil Santil, who sat out last season while transfering from Memorial and should immediately enter the rotation up front as a top scorer and rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. Acadia could also look to add another shooting guard and/or small forward off the bench who can play immediately to replace Sheriko. Expect Coach Berry to continue to improve his roster with top players.


St. Mary's Huskies Key Losses: none; status of 6'3" Aaron Duncan (suspended) uncertain pending outcome of personal issues Key Players scheduled to return: Mark McLaughlin 6'2" (3rd), Ike Uchegbu 6'5" (3rd), Clint Bateman 6'6" (4th), Mark Ross 6'0" (5th), Cordell Wright 6'3" (3rd), Eric Glavic 6'5" (2nd), Mike Poole 6'5" (2nd). Comments: Despite the loss of probable conference all-star Duncan near the end of this past season, the Huskies shortened their bench and made another improbable run to the CIS semi-finals behind the slick McLaughlin, who is one of the better pure scorers in Canada and Uchegbu, who has dramatically improved his offensive game from the low post. Point guard Ross is a steady as they come running a team and will become even more difficult to defend with outside shooting improvement. Bateman can stretch defenses with his long-range shooting and when fit can provide additional support defensively and on the glass. Wright is a steady performer with no fear who is a strong complementary player. Glavic was a solid contributor off the bench down the stretch and Poole has a chance to contribute more as he matures physically. Recruiting Commitments: For a team that rode 6 players to within one game of the national championship, depth is the key focus to help SMU get over the hump. To that end, up front the Huskies welcome arguably the best big man in Atlantic Canada high schools in 6'7" Luke Reynolds (C.T. Allen H.S. in Bedford, NS) who should contribute immediately with his blend of perimeter skills including three point range and inside play. The Huskies added depth and the possible heir apparent to Ross at the point with 6'1" Jack Gallinaugh (Halifax), who comes in with a strong basketball IQ and solid lineage being the son of an ex-Huskies star John Gallinaugh from the '70's. However, the biggest difference maker could be 6'0" Shane Morrison, who practiced with the Huskies all of last season and is completing courses toward being eligible in the fall. Morrison, a former City of Toronto all-star, is a combination guard with strength and tremendous athleticism who could be a difference maker assuming he becomes eligible. If Duncan overcomes his off-court issues and Morrison becomes eligible, the Huskies will have the talent and depth to compete at the top of the AUS once again.

St. Francis Xavier X-Men Key Losses: Neil MacDonald 6'10" (graduated), 6'3" Garry Gallimore (status uncertain; completed undergraduate program and may return or entertain offers from Europe). Key Players scheduled to return: Tyler Richards 6'2" (4th), Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw 5'11" (2nd), Dwayne Johnson 6'3" (2nd), David Joyce 6'3" (3rd), Terrence Taylor 6'5" (2nd), Will Silver 5'9" (2nd), Remy Simpson 6'5" (4th), Daouli Lengema 6'6" (2nd), Alberto Rodriquez 6'8" (2nd). Comments: The X-Men got very young quickly and, assuming Gallimore does not return, will have only one player from last season's rotation, Richards, in his 4th or 5th year. Richards is a streaky shooter who has learned to create his own shot and makes up a solid backcourt with Upshaw, an exciting lead guard who loves to play in transition. Johnson, the most experienced and arguably highly-touted as an immediate impact player from last season's six man recruiting class, will assume more responsibilities, especially as the top defender if Gallimore does not return. Up front, the X-Men will likely need either or both of Lengema and/or Rodriquez, neither of who played significant minutes as of yet to assume greater responsibility. Simpson, a transfer going into his fourth year, suffered through injuries in his first season in Antigonish, has experience and is likely to assume more minutes while a pair of above average role players in Silver, who can run the point well, and Joyce, who contributes on the glass and defending, provide X with a deep bench. Recruiting Focus: St. FX is young up front and needs at least one and probably two bigs who can step in immediately and contribute. Without Gallimore, there is time available for a strong, athletic wing who can rebound, defend and score. Another combination guard who can fit into the rotation is also another nice-to-have. With the quantity and quality of role players already on this roster, expect any new recruits to be viewed as immediate impact players.

Cape Breton CAPERS Key Losses: Ryan Keliher 6'1" (graduated), Corey Hargrove 6'3" (graduated), Jarrett Timmons 6'9" (graduated), Daniel White 6'10" (graduated), Kerwin Liverpool 6'3" (graduated). Key Players scheduled to return: Eric Breland 6'5" (5th), Paul Blake 6'4" (5th), Phil Nkrumah 6'4" (2nd), Mark McGarrigle 6'2" (3rd), Scott Jaspers-Fayer 6'6" (2nd). Comments: With 5 players having graduated including 3 starters, the CAPERS have a number of holes to plug but still have at least 3 players back who were major contributors to their AUS regular season championship team. Breland is one of the toughest matchups up front in the league with his blend of finesse and strength while Blake stretches defenses from the perimeter and brings experience from many big games. Nkrumah flashed his tremendous athleticism and should step into the starting lineup as a combo forward. McGarrigle is likely to inherit the starting point guard role while Jaspers-Fayer is a promising young post player who will look to seize the opportunity for more minutes. Recruiting Focus: With the heavy loses, coach Jim Charters looks to ideally bring in at least one player at every position with the most glaring need another big guy or two, preferably a strong rebounder to complement Breland. Depth at the point is also a priority while another one or two perimeter shooters and a wing who can defend also being high priorities. The CAPERS have yet to announce any recruits officially.

UPEI Panthers Key Losses: Doug McKinney 6'8" (graduated), Sherone Edwards 6'4" (graduated), Peter Stay 6'5" (graduated). Key Players scheduled to return: Brent McLaren 5'10" PG (5th), Jared Budd 6'0" (5th), Jonathan Cooper 6'2" (2nd), Awale Dualeh 6'8" (5th), Chad MacDonald 6'2" (5th), Shakir Chambers 5'10" (5th). Comments: Despite losing arguably their top 3 players, the Panthers return some experience as five players going into their 5th seasons are back including point guard McLaren, who runs a solid point and shoots 3's. A pair of veteran long-range shooting specialists, Budd and MacDonald, will continue to stretch defenses from the perimeter. Sophomore Cooper, one of the top athletes in the AUS, is already a solid defender and will look to be more consistent with his offense and rebounding as his game matures and responsibilities increase. Dualeh should see more time up front after the graduation of the entire starting front line while Chambers provides depth in the back court. Recruiting Focus: The Panthers need to replace their entire front line so posts and big forwards are the critical target. A strong, physical wing who can score from the perimeter and rebound who can complement sophomore Cooper is another target. Finally, at least one young point guard who can takes the reigns for '08-'09 or earlier is needed. Coach Davies and staff have been working hard on securing commitments to fill these needs and plan to announce their class in the coming weeks.

Dalhousie Tigers Key Losses: Monte Francois 6'3" (graduated). Key Players scheduled to return: Germain Bendegue 6'5" (4th), Drew Stratton 6'7" (4th), Andrew Sullivan 6'0" (3rd), Ryan deWinter 6'5" (5th), Devon Norris 6'3" (4th), Sandy Viet 6'7" (2nd), Jason Jordan 5'9" (4th), Shea Ballish 6'3" (3rd). Comments: The Tigers matured significantly last season, earning a playoff spot after the improved play from center Bendegue who is a nice inside scorer and uses his athleticism defensively but needs to stay away from fouls to become an elite AUS center. Sullivan, who can play both guard spots, is an emerging star in the backcourt and Stratton took a major leap this season as a scorer. deWinter provides more depth up front while Viet, who improved steadily throughout his freshman season, looks to get stronger and make a greater impact as a sophomore. Norris, who made several big game-deciding shots down the stretch, will look to be more consistent offensively. Recruiting Focus: The Tigers addressed a need in their backcourt by welcoming one of Canada's top recruits in 6'1" Simon Farine from Northern C.I. in Toronto via Wisconsin-Green Bay (NCAA D1) who should make an immediate impact in the backcourt after sitting out last season as a transfer but practicing all season with the Tigers. Dal also secured a committment from one of the better big men in Ontario as 6'7" Jason Wang (Ottawa Sir Robert Borden) joins to add depth to the front court. The Tigers look to add another athletic front court player and another pair of wings who can create and score to finalize their class.

Memorial Sea-Hawks Key Losses: Justin Halleran, Evan Constantine, Curtis Power, Colin Power (all graduated). Key Players scheduled to return: Sean Thistle 6'5" (5th), Stephen Singleton 6'8" (2nd - status unknown), Grant Harvey (2nd), Mark English (3rd), Randy O'Reilly (2nd), James Saxby (2nd). Comments: The Sea-Hawks lose 3 starters and 4 rotation players to graduation and, apart from leading scorer Thistle, are scheduled return the majority of their second and third year players. The status of highly-touted Singleton, who won the three-point shootout competition at the adidas All-Canadian game last season, is uncertain after he missed the final few league games this past season. Saxby is the younger brother of former Seahawk star Jeff so he has great lineage. The remainder of the roster is made up of solid, scrappy role players who did not alot of significant action last season with the senior-laden team.

UNB Varsity Reds Key Losses: Oliver Glencross 6'0", Adam Parent 6'10", Ben MacLeod 6'6", Bill Walker 6'6" (all four have graduated). Key Players scheduled to return: Colin Swift 6'2" (4th), Thor Jensen 6'5" (4th), Colton Wilson 6'4" (2nd), Michael Anderson 6'3" (3rd), Patrick Sharkey 6'4" (2nd), Danya Bubar (3rd), Jonathan Maxwell (3rd). Comments: The Reds lose one of the top players in the AUS in Glencross and a solid post player in Parent. Back-up posts Walker and MacLeod could return but it is unlikely with both graduating and goals outside of basketball. The V-Reds return a solid core of skilled wing players in Anderson and Maxwell while Jensen will provide strong inside/out scoring and perimeter shooting. Swift can carry a team with his three-point shooting when right. Bubar will finally get an opportunity to lead the UNB backcourt. Wilson had a solid freshman season as a small forward. Recruiting Focus: The Reds will need a lead guard/ball handler who can start the offense and create to replace the solid decision making of Glencross. The Reds addressed a need in the backcourt with the commitment of 6'2" Mike Bowser from Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton, NB who is a tough defender and capable scorer. A big, strong post player who can keep teams honest inside offensively and provide a presence in the paint is another target. An athletic wing who can create shots for UNB's array of three-point shooters would also be helpful.

Stay tuned for more recruiting commitments as they become available. With our next off-season update, we will work through the 3 divisions of Canada West.