Monday, 10 August 2009

Maturing Wesmen Push toward top of Great Plains

But first, the moment at least 2 of you have been waiting for... Thanks for the numerous entries into our contest. It was especially gratifying to get such a wide variety of answers which included Ricky Gallon circa 1977 Louisville Cardinals, Bubbles Hawkins (ex-ABAer), ex-Carleton star Paul "Armie" Armstrong circa late 70's and some were so stumped they simply went with Dr. J. Actually we got 3 responses including one from a prominent coach had no idea who I was, which is about right. The correct answer is Darnell Hillman, one of the greatest dunkers of all time who helped put the ABA on the map. Two entries came in at about the same time: Kyle Atkinson and Coach Matt Davies from UPEI. Congratulations on winning a FREE subscription to

Winnipeg preview: After losing star All-Canadian Erfan Nasajpour going into last season, Wesmen Head Coach Dave Crook began what can be reasonably called a rebuilding process - last season's group had no returning player with more than 2 years experience. However, despite a third consecutive season where serious injuries had huge impacts on the rotation, that group still managed to advance to the Great Plains division playoffs. Now with the majority of key players having been together for going on 4 years and the addition of 6'10" Division 1 transfer Adam Dobriansky, Winnipeg is back on the path to competing for a Great Plains division crown.

Winnipeg's top four scorers from a year ago all return and each are now in their fourth season led by 5'10" Nick Lother and 6'3" Peter Lomuro. Coach Crook regards this 1/2 punch as "two outstanding players who should improve their numbers from a year ago". Injuries sidelined 6'6" James Horaska for much of the first semester last season and a healthier version should fortify the front court and with Dobriansky open up the floor a bit more. Crook believes 6'6" Mike James, the fourth member of the veteran fourth year group, is poised for a breakout season after some hard work over the summer on his skills.

The Wesmen's big addition is the large, skilled center Dobriansky, a transfer from Monmouth University (NCAA Division 1) who Crook believes will "change the way people guard us". To my memory, Dobriansky is Winnipeg's first legitimate tall center since the days of 7'0" All-Canadian Norm Froemel. Fortifying the front court and also coming off an injury plagued first two seasons is 6'7" third year forward Ben Kingdon, who missed most of the 1st semester last year with heart ailment. Crook believes Kingdon should be healthy this year and regain his form and build on his first two years. Because of all the injuries last season, Toronto-native 6'4" Chris Jordan, a graduate of Newtonbrook H.S., probably had to play more than a normal freshman might but in the long run should benefit for the extra minutes and is in the mix as a swing forward. 6'2" Eric Zimmerman can stretch the defense with his 3 point shooting.

Crook will field a bit of shortened lineup on Wednesday in the "Hoops for the Heart" event as Dobriansky will miss the game due to work commitments and several others who either live outside of Winnipeg in the off season including Jordan and 6'2" Justin Phillips (also Toronto Newtonbrook) plus 6'8" Jeff Shynkaryk are not scheduled to play on Wednesday. The game will give Crook an opportunity to play a couple of his new freshmen out of Winnipeg high school in 6'6" Mark Ridd and 6'4" Brayden Duff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BTW, Darnell Hillman turns...gasp...60 on August 29.
Now most of those guesses were pretty reasonable except whoever thought it was Paul Armstrong.
Now I saw Army play back in the day and although his fro was pretty fly for a white guy...if you thought the guy in the picture was him you badly need to see an optometrist.