Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Mary Caton's Windsor Lancer Preview

Trio of veterans to start for Lancers, Coach Oliver finalizes roster

The Windsor Lancers have finalized their 14-man roster for the upcoming OUA men's basketball season.

Life without CIS all-Canadian Greg Surmacz will revolve around veterans Nigel Johnson-Tyghter (fifth year), Isaac Kuon (fourth year) and Andre Smyth (fourth year).

"We're still working out the other two (starting) spots," Windsor coach Chris Oliver said Monday after announcing the roster for the 2009-10 season.

****The Lancers open the OUA season Nov. 6 at home to York but they'll be in action Oct. 15-17 in British Columbia playing Fraser Valley (Oct. 15), UBC (Oct. 16) and Simon Fraser (Oct. 17).

"The guard spots will sort themselves out in our pre-season tournaments," Oliver said.

The Lancers finished second in the West division at 15-7 a year ago before losing in the division final 98-66 to Western. They also lost the OUA bronze-medal game 73-59 to Ottawa.

No longer with the team is Leamington native Blake Pauls, a highly recruited six-foot-10 post.

"He felt like he couldn't handle the demands of everything," Oliver said of the freshman juggling his course load and varsity training schedule.

Training camp did yield a couple of surprises, one quite familiar to the Windsor basketball community.

Former Herman star R.J. Wells is back after spending time at junior college in the U.S. and Pickering guard Jameel Williamson made the team as a walk on.

"Jameel impressed us in tryouts with how hard he played," Oliver said.

The top three additions to the Lancers are six-foot-one point guard Josh Collins, six-foot-eight forward Lien Phillip and six-foot-six swingman Justin Wiltshire.

All three have been rated as top 10 nationally at their positions.

Other returning players include guards Monty Hardware, Matt Handsor, John Woldu and Corey Boswell.

New faces include forward Michael Godfrey (West Elgin) and guard Enrico DiLoreto (London Beal).

Not back although they had CIS eligibility remaining are Kevin Cameron, Tyler Carey, Matt Day and Conor Allin.

"We feel like everything is progressing," said Oliver of a team that finished No. 8 nationally last year.

"We're hoping to play 10 guys. We're hoping to play fast and we're hoping to play up and down. We have that ability this year because we're not trying to play one guy 38 minutes like we did with Surmacz."

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