Monday, 5 July 2010

Lethbridge, Bishop's updates

Dave Adams second go 'round as Head Coach at Lethbridge produced a tremendous first season as the Pronghorns returned to the Canada West playoffs and were very competitive in most games against CIS Top 10 competition. The Horns of last season were sparked by the addition of All-Conference guard Jeff Price , who transfered in from Calgary and immediately grabbed the leadership mantle, putting together an all-star season while finishing sixth in CW POY voting although some could justifiably argue that Price was Canada West's most valuable player to his particular team. Unfortunately for the Horns, Price has decided not to play this year and instead will spend the year travelling with his wife, Steph Price, the top player on the Horns women's team. Price retains one final year of CIS eligibility. Thus, Lethbridge loses three rotation players from last season's successful group including graduated fifth-year front court stalwards 6'5" Robin Cooper and 7'0" Remington Stemler, who became a positive force by the end of last season. Adams has been busy retooling the Horns roster, bringing in likely potential rotation additions led by 6'1" Julian Spear Chief-Morris, who returns home to Lethbridge and becomes eligible after sitting out his transfer year from UVic. The Horns look to welcome in a pair of posts from Casper College in Wyoming, a top end NJCAA (junior college): 6'9" Abner Kamps an American who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining and 6'11" Nikola Kovac, originally from Toronto, who will start his second season of eligibility. Kamps, who originally signed with NCAA D1 Jacksonville State before decommiting, is described as a strong and active big with a developing offensive game while Kovac is skilled and more suited to a half-court type game. Replacing the consistent decision making, scoring and leadership that Price brought to the floor each and every night will be difficult, however expect Adams and his staff to continue to grow this program. Late Note: The Horns may have found an able replacement to Price with the announcement of the signing of Zack Humphrey, a 5'11" combo guard from Spokane, Washington (Shadle Park H.S.) where he earned first team All State honours in his Senior year. Humphrey spent the first two seasons of his post-secondary career at Community Colleges of Spokane, a U.S. JUCO where he was named first team East Division All Star last season as the team went 24-4 and he averaged 16.8 points per game on 43% shooting from the three point line. Lethbridge will also play a pair of exhibition games in Calgary in August against Northern Arizona University, an NCAA Division 1 program. We plan to have a comprehensive schedule of all games involving CIS competition & NCAA schools in a future post.

Bishop's coach Rod Gilpin continues to work very hard on the recruiting trail building on the Gaiters playoff appearance last season during which Gilpin's team improved tremendously from October to the end of the season. Early in the pre-season, the Gaiters frankly looked like a group that was just learning to play together but dramatically improved when it mattered down the stretch of the season, especially defending and rebounding as a team. Gilpin discovered very early that 6'0" Oraine Green is a solid CIS scorer and Gaiters' best perimeter shooter but is more comfortable and productive at the off guard spot and therefore spent much time recruiting a true point guard to complement Green and last season's prized freshman Onnex Blackwood. As well, with the graduation of veteran bigs Damon Thomas-Anderson & Hermon Tesfaghebriel , Bishop's lost two players who provided paint-area presence. The recruits announced by the Gaiters target these areas of need with 3-4 quality bigs and at least 3 guards who can run the point. Up front, Bishop's brings in a pair of solid big men: 6’8 Matt McLean (Ottawa, ON) and 6’9 Mike Andrews (Oakville, ON). Both are expected to make an immediate impact and become the backbone of Gaiters front court for years to come. In the back court, Gilpin was able to attract 6'2" Patrik Kabongo, a defensive-minded guard who played with the Scadding Court Hawks, a top AAU team in Toronto. Kabongo comes from a very talented athletic family with his brother Christian playing basketball at New Mexico State, cousin Myck Kabongo, who recently led Canada to a Bronze medal at the FIBA Americas U18 tournament and a U of Texas Longhorns commit plus cousin Patrick Kabongo of the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos. Gilpin describes Kabongo as a player with "tremendous work ethic and the kind of attitude that people want to be around". Adding depth to the point position is 5'10" Antoine Côté-Caouette, out of Quebec City, who was the starting pg this past season for ‘AAA’ Cegep league champion Ste. Foy Dynamiques. A very smart player, Côté-Caouette is a pure point who joins his sister, Gabrielle, a key player with the Lady Gaiters. Another freshman adds depth to the front court: Andrew Drisdelle, 6’6 forward, from Brantford, ON who Gilpin describes as a strong rebounding forward who played at Academie Catholique Mere-Theresa in Hamilton. ACMT is a traditionally strong team and won the Hamilton City Championship over OFSAA ‘AAAA’ finalist St. Thomas More. Bishop's also looks to bring in a pair of transfers, starting with 6'5" Troy Harmon, originally from Toronto who was a medical redshirt last season at the University of Ottawa, nursing a knee injury. Harmon reunites with high school teammate Oraine Green on the Gaiters (the pair also played together at Highland Junior College in Kansas). ‘Big Troy’ as he is affecionately known plays a power game in the paint and will further fortify Gaiters new-look front court. Bishops' second transfer with Ottawa ties is 5'1" Scott Ring, who redshirted at Carleton last season after running the point at Orleans St. Matthew’s, where the Tigers won ‘AAA’ OFSAA title the year before current Gaiter Jeremy Leonard-Smith part of that team. Ring is a tough-minded, fundamentally sound point guard who makes very strong decisions and is a winner. His grit and court savvy should allow him to compete for minutes at the point from the get-go. Both of Scott’s parents are Bishop's alumni including mother Sue Hylland, a basketball All-Canadian at Bishop's and father Larry played football for the Gaiters and later led the Ottawa Gee-Gees football team as Head Coach for several years in the 90's.

With Brad Rootes being naming as interim Head Coach of the Brock Badgers, Rootes is relinquishing his post as Head Coach of Ontario's U-17 provincial team. York U. assistant Chris Cheng, who has been on the Lions staff for the past two seasons, takes over the group... Laurier Golden Hawks were able to secure a top level recruit, bringing in 6'6" Patrick Donnelly, originally from Oakville Abbey Park, who spent the past two seasons at Procter Academy, a prep school in Andover, New Hampshire. The Hornets, who finished 5-17 last season, had 5 other GTA-area players on their roster last season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not too surprised Scott Ring decided to leave Carleton.
Even with Anthony Ashe departing, there was little chance Ring would move up the depth chart, not with Phillip Scrubb coming on board.