Thursday, 7 February 2008

Newest Scrum Podcast; UBC Announces Recruit; Wayne Thomas Canada West Awards Report

Howard Tsumura is reporting that 5'11" guard Akeem Pierre from Richmond, B.C.'s R.C. Palmer H.S. has committed to the UBC Thunderbirds Akeem the Dream signs on for a career with the Blue and Gold

The boys over at the Scrum (Larkins and Sawatsky) have their latest Podcast ready and it features UBC Head Coach Kevin Hanson

David Grossman of the Toronto Star has a piece on 6'10" 15 year old Stefan Nastic of Thornhill H.S. Nastic getting noticed for all the right reasons

Calgary's Wayne Thomas outlines his opinions on some of the post-season awards in Canada West in his most recent piece.... Tough Choice Between Top Players No matter who we might choose as Canada West Player of the Year for this 2007-08 season, we will be taken to task by dissenters, who will have very strong arguments for another candidate. The anointing of one player as the league's best is a bit of a bum's game in any case, as the skills of one might not match in some areas, but are superior in others. We need to go no farther than the Super Bowl and Eli Manning to see what type of heated discussion can be generated on these awards. How do you choose a defensive star vs. an offensive stand-out? How does one compare a slick guard with a power forward; a rebounding machine with an outside shooter. How do we leave off Ross Bekkering? Kyle Grant? Jeff Price? Adam Hartman? (They are, arguably, not the top player on their team this season!) See how you can get yourself in the soup?! OK ... let's proceed into deeper doo-doo ... Canada West's Top Players ... Isaac Ansah- Manitoba - 3rd in scoring and 2nd in assists in this group. Ansah is a great guard. Cannot give Bisons any wins without his leading them. Exciting player ... very tough to stop... Henry Bekkering- Calgary - Human highlight reel ... he is 4th in scoring at 20.4, and he grabs 6.7 rebounds ... his impact has been huge for the Dinos.... Kamar Burke - Thompson Rivers - like Ansah, his team has not been good, but Burke is a 15.3 ppg scorer and an 8.2 rebound man ... explosive, good passer.... Dany Charlery- Brandon - A clutch player on a clutch team. He scores 17.8 ppg and has 2.5 steals ... not many can guard him with the game on the line.... Chris Dyck- UBC - The Man for the 'Birds ... Dyck scores from outside at 18.5 ppg and adds a 1.2 asst. to turnover ratio.... Tyler Hass - Victoria - scoring 12.6 ppg on a control team ... has 1.5 steals per game ... a good athlete who can D it up.... Erfan Nasajpour- Winnipeg - truly a magician for the Wesmen ... 2nd in scoring at 21.7 ... 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assts. and a ratio of 1.6, 3.7 steals, and 39% from 3 pt. range. Stat man!!.... Luke Robinson - Trinity Western - Scores 16.3 ppg and steals 1.8 ... hard worker.... Andrew Spagrud- Saskatchewan - Mr. Everything for the Huskies ... leads the scoring race with 22 pts. a game ... 2nd in league in rebounds at 9.9, and he throws in 2.5 steals. A provincial treasure! .... Alex Steele - Alberta - Alberta's go-to performer who scores from everywhere at a 20.4 ppg clip. He is a passer with 3.8 assists, an 84% free throw shooter, and snags 2.4 steals per game.... Greg Wallis - Simon Fraser - Big man for the Clan at 18.3 ppg, 7.4 rebounds ... a high percentage shooter, who makes SFU competitive.... There are 11 quality players ... the best on their respective teams we suggest, and, already, we have miffed some supporters of Regina, Fraser Valley, and Lethbridge, who have no representative mentioned. Alright ... Jamaal Williams is a standout for the Cougars, Doug Plumb is a solid guard for the Cascades, and Richard Steed and Ryan Anderson have given yeoman service to the 'Horns, but not in our top 11.... Weighing the Arguments ...
> Ansah is on a weak team and has to carry an inordinate scoring load, as does Burke for Thompson Rivers, although sometimes he has trouble getting the ball from the shot happy teammates.
> Hass is on a defensive minded team, and he does not have the free rein of guys like Bekkering, Steele, Nasajpour, and Dyck.
> Spagrud does whatever he wants, and the Huskies are glad he does. Nasajpour is a brilliant all-round player who cannot lift the Wesmen above mediocrity.
> Charlery and Bekkering are on teams that are so deep that they don't get the same number of chances as Erfan, Steele, Dyck, and Spagrud.
Who would You Want On Your Team?.... Let's pick our Favourite Five, and we'll leave off 6 very good players, but, hey, someone has to make the decisions! According to height ... tallest to shortest ...
> Andrew Spagrud - Huskies - 6'7" forward who may soon become the CIS' top all-time scorer (we'll set all the statistical arguments aside, and move on) ... has been a 5 year gem for Coach Jockims, and Spags will leave a Ft. McMurray sized hole when he graduates later this season. Competes at both ends, and plays huooooge minutes with superb athleticism.
> Henry Bekkering - Dinos - 'You Tube' icon, he has outplayed most of these Fave Five in head to head meetings over the season (Charlery a notable exception). Power personified, it is hard to identify a better athlete in the CIS. Drafted already by the Calgary Stampeders, Henry has done all CIS fans a favour by joining his brother Ross in Calgary.
> Dany Charlery - Bobcats - He is the game hardened vet who has won more than anyone on this list in Canada West. Charlery is the quickest wing man and the best slasher in the league, who often plays second fiddle to the many other standouts on Coach Raimbault's roster. He leads the best team in the Conference going into the playoffs.
> Alex Steele - Golden Bears - He is an uncanny scorer for Coach Horwood, and he almost always steps to the fore in big games. Led U of A to two great wins over UBC and UVic on the coast ... this is never done, in our memory. Outside shooting, passing, stealing, driving and finishing, and foul-shooting ... he is a scoring machine.
> Erfan Nasajpour - Wesmen - Must be exhausted from carrying the load for Coach Crook ... Erfan is, simply, a legend. He is the consumate all-around player, who takes as much responsibility as a defender as he does as a scorer, passer, rebounder .... They will have to re-invent the game in downtown Winnipeg in years to come.
Now there are the 'Fave Five', and, you must concur, a fine lot they are! We are not going to choose one guy after all that ... we, unlike Canada West coaches, who do the voting on these league awards, can wait for the dust of playoff clashes to subside. So-o-o-o-o-o ... we will announce our choice after the Canada West Final Four in March. After all, who remembers league games after the playoffs are in swing ... this is when the heart-rate of the coaches starts to race and/or sputter, and this is when the great players rise up above the rest.... Other Awards
> Coach of the Year - How about Mike Raimbault in Brandon, Don Horwood at Alberta, and Dan Vanhooren in Calgary. Well, we are biased ... Coach Vanhooren has done a great job of assembling a team, bringing them together, and winning more games than any Dinos team in memory. He edges out the great job by rookie head man Raimbault, and the league's Dean of Coaching, and the master of consistency, Coach Horwood. ---------Dan Vanhooren - Coach of the Year.
> Defensive Player - This is very tough, and, quite frankly, extremely subjective ... Our top five defenders ...
---- Ross Bekkering - Calgary - leading rebounder in Canada West, who protects the hoop with his shot-blocking and board work. More physical inside this season.
---- David Yul Michel - Brandon - dangerous pressure defender with a nose for the ball. Dials it up when needed ... great leader of a great group.
---- Erfan Nasajpour - Winnipeg - quick, anticipates, rebounds, and can shut out a shooter. One of the best leaders in the CIS.
---- Tyler Hass - Victoria - leader on the top defensive team in the league. He rebounnds, steals, and blocks shots, and represents a philosophy of defense.
---- Adam Hartman - Brandon- pound for pound ... going up against the bigger posts, he battles, scratches, rebounds, hits the floor, and competes every possession.
Top Defender - David Yul Michel - Brandon Bobcats - he is a cool 'Cat when the game is on the line, and he is among the toughest to beat in Canada.
Fire Away ! There are many opinions out there, and we fully expect to hear from many others ... give us your thoughts, but keep it civil!


Anonymous said...

I for one don't appreciate reading writings coming from Calgary's coaching staff on who they think should be up for awards.
Thinly veiled propaganda, under the guise of discussing all-stars.
Last time it was hyping Fidler for Rookie of the year, this time hyping Vanhorn for Coach of the Year.
Why don't we just post something from each team, discussing how good their own guys are.
Im surprised Wacyk allows this to be put up on his site.
So to Wayne Thomas, stop the articles OK, just report the facts. We all ready know you want all things Calgary to win awards, you don't need to print it on here.

Mark Wacyk said...

Wayne Thomas has been a strong contributor to this site virtually since inception providing insights on Canada West basketball the depths to which I likely could not go. His remarks are typically considered and while much of the material is Calgary-centric, he has also written several balanced pieces on Canada West basketball in general that I believe are important for all CIS fans across the country to read. The fact that he has included his opinions to complement the facts in my opinion is excellent. As many have suggested to me, the uniqueness of this site is that it combines facts that usually can't be found elsewhere with commentary. You have expressed your opinion on Wayne's contribution - I think it would help the discussion if you provided your thoughts on Canada West ROY and Canada West COY (and the other honours Wayne has suggested as well). My opinion is that Wayne is very capable of expressing his views, especially on Canada West basketball, given that they are rooted in watching 20-30 or more CIS games this season; yes he has a Calgary slant in many cases but, especially with this post, he has thoroughly gone through the details of why he picked certain players and coaches. I commend him in his efforts to communicate information about CIS basketball and urge you to continue to provide your opinion on these matters and, hopefully, other CIS matters that you can talk to through your own experiences.

WT said...

note to "Anonymous" ... this writer is no longer a member of the Calgary Dinos coaching staff, and, although our opinions are, undoubtedly, biased because of links to this program, we're going to express them regardless. CIS Basketball and CIS Sport, in general, needs more discussion and more coverage, not less. An exchange of opinions is welcome around the country, we would hope, as long as it is informed by some level of insight. Comment is welcomed even it may be a bit mean-spirited; there's lots of room for healthy rivalries in sports. So, as one of my old teammates used to say "Fill yer boots!"
Wayne Thomas, Calgary

WheatCitysFinest said...

Allow me to side with Wayne and Mark on this. Anyone who signs "anonymous" and then proceeds to unjustly shred one of the people who works diligently in contributing to CIS discussion is barely worth of a response.

However, where are Wayne's comments wrong? Fiddler shouldn't be considered for rookie of the year? Vanhooren won't get a look for coach of the year? The team is 19-3, has improved by eight wins over last season, and is one of the top-ranked teams in the country. You don't think Dan is going to get some serious consideration here? What would you like Wayne to do, ignore that because of YOUR perception that there's bias involved? Also note that Wayne has gone ahead and noted other players and coaches worthy of consideration, hardly a Calgary-slanted rant on his part.

The point is to have discussion and Wayne contributes to that. Anyone who takes the "anonymous" angle is helping that discussion at all. Get over yourself.