Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Manitoba Bisons Update

Recently appointed new Manitoba Bisons Head Coach Kirby Scheff has hit the ground running in an effort to rebuild his program and in the short time he's been on board has been able to significantly upgrade the talent level, especially in the back court. The loss to graduation of three of last seasons top four players (Chris Pereira, Myron Dean - graduation; C.J. Wicker - academics) presented the first big challenge however with the commitment of a pair of blue chip guards from last season's Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) champions Red River Rebels 6'0" Jonar Huertas and 6'0" Kurtis Sansregret, the Bisons have at least four top guards poised to battle for minutes in the rotation. Huertas and Sansregret were both conference all-stars at Red River and also combined to lead Sisler Spartans to a Manitoba Provincial championship a few seasons ago on a team that Scheff called "one of the best high school teams we've had in Manitoba for a long time." Both Huertas and Sansregret are expected push for starting roles and complement returning guards 5'9" Nathan Dixon and 5'8" Eric Garcia.

Scheff believed he had another top recruit on the way in 6'7" Michael Page, who had played 4 seasons at Lakeland College and averaged 26.7 ppg in his final season however upon further review, it was discovered that Page completed his eligibility at Lakeland when Lakeland was still a so-called 4 year school (they are now a 5 year school). As such, Page's eligibility is limited to 4 seasons and not five.

Still, Scheff has started to address what continues to be a pressing need in the front court by bringing in 6'7" Sean Maxwell, a transfer from UBC, who has a smooth stroke from the perimeter and can play both the 3 and 4. 6'4" Dan Purvis-Collins is a 3rd year wing who should see some time as should 6'5" 3rd year forward Ian Dickey. A welcomed re-addition to the lineup is 6'7" Richard Reimer, who returns to the Bisons for his second season after playing his freshman season two seasons ago in 2007-08.

Coach Scheff appears to have done as much as he can given the extremely late start to his recruiting, fortifying the guard spots and now looks to build up his front line and find an impact three man as he works hard to rebuild his Bisons. Winnipeg area fans can catch their first glimpse of the new-look Bisons tomorrow night at the U of M gym at the first annual "Hoops from the Heart" event.

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