Monday, 26 July 2010

Huskies audition possible Glover replacement

Dogs audition point guard

The show must go on, even without Showron (The Show) Glover.

Looking for a new point guard -- given the anticipated departure of Glover to the Swiss Pro A League -- the University of Saskatchewan men's basketball team may have found a replacement in another import from California.

Read more

Winnipeg, Windsor and Guelph's Ayanbadejo honoured

New Winnipeg Wesmen coach Mike Raimbault announced his first three recruits recently and they include a pair of transfers who are former Toronto high schoolers and an American who just graduated from high school in Los Angeles. In what appears to be a growing trend across the nation, another former CCAA star from the Greater Toronto Area has joined a non-Ontario CIS program with the transfer of 6'1" Nolan Gooding to Winnipeg. Gooding, who played his high school basketball at Toronto's storied Oakwood Collegiate before helping Humber College Hawks win an OCAA title (he was MVP of the OCAA title game in 2006), was most recently with St. Clair College (Windsor) and is likely to significantly upgrade Winnipeg's backcourt with his ability to shoot the ball out beyond the 3 point line and athleticism. In 6'7" David Stephens, the Wesmen get a player who was highly recruited, athletic forward out of Mississauga several years ago. Stephens chose St. FX and played very sparingly as a freshman in 2004-05 with the X-Men. He then transfered to Toronto Varsity Blues and was on the roster in 2006-07 but was injury plagued and only saw action in a couple of non-league games before suffering a serious off-court injury that interrupted his playing career for at least the past three seasons. With the news of his resurfacing at Winnipeg, those who know Stephens truly hope that injury and non-basketball issues are behind him and that he will be successful with the Wesmen. Finally, Raimbault brings in what may be the first American into the Wesmen program for several decades (if ever) in 6'6" forward Kelvin Smith from Los Angeles, CA. As a high school senior in 2008-09, Smith led Price High School to the championship game of the CIF Division IV Southern Regional championship game at Cal State Fullerton, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Price lost that game on a buzzer-beating three, falling one game short of appearing in the Division V state championship game. Smith, a 195 pound small forward, then spent this past season at Impact Prep in Las Vegas, NV and was identified on the "Players to Watch" list at several tournaments. describes Smith as a "productive interior player who also has 3-point range." Raimbault appears to be building the foundation of an athletic, up tempo group as he prepares for his first season at the Duckworth Center.


Mary Caton's article on Windsor's recruiting class

Lancers basketball team lures ex-Noble Matthews, Coach Oliver says recruits fill needs

The Windsor Lancers have added depth in the back court and size up front with the announcement of three recruits for the upcoming OUA men's basketball season.

Guards Troy Barnes and Terrell Campbell are coming to Windsor after playing community college ball in Alberta and six-foot-eight Evan Matthews joins the Lancers fresh from high school at Belle River district.

"We needed more guard depth and rebounding at the guard spot,"

...Read more


Gryphons add to hall of fame with former bball star Mike Ayanbadejo

The University of Guelph’s Gryphon Hall of Fame will grow again this fall.

The hall’s Class of 2010 includes three athletes, one builder and two championship teams. Going into the hall will be Mike Ayanbadejo, Maria Gallo, Colette McAuley, Fred Ramprashad, the 1958 men’s soccer team and the 1974-78 track and field teams.

...Read More

Friday, 23 July 2010

Clark looks south for new recruit

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team has had American players on its roster before, but never in the team’s five-year history have they had one from Georgia.

That will change in 2010-11 as head coach Scott Clark officially announced the signing of 21-year-old guard Justin Riggins of Atlanta.

Riggins is a six-foot-four guard who redshirted last season with the Columbia College Claim Jumpers of Sonora, Calif, a U.S. junior college.

...Read More


Belated congratulations to the players and coaching staff of Canada's Bronze medal winning entry at the FIBA Under 17 Men's world championships in Hamburg, Germany earlier this month. Canada scored the final six points in the final minute of the third-place game to nip Lithuania and capture Canada's first medal in a significant world basketball event in many years. There was a significant CIS component to the team with the entire coaching staff including Head Coach Roy Rana (Ryerson) and Assistants Kirby Schepp (Manitoba) & Nathan Schellenberg (Saskatchewan) all leading or working on CIS programs. Great to see some of our young coaches lead our country to a degree of success in international play.


Canada's men's development team is in the middle of their tour of Europe and thus far has gone 2-2, splitting a pair of games each in Belgium and London, England. Canada has 4 more games in the next week including a pair in Holland today and tomorrow plus a pair in Spain next weekend. 6'4" Ryan Bell , former Carleton Raven, has started every game at the point, averaging 30 minutes per game while turning it over only 6 times in 4 games. Bell continues to show off his steady, intelligent decision making and ball hawking abilities at arguably the most important position on the floor. 6'4" shooting guard Casey Archibald, an All-Canadian earlier this decade at UBC, exploded for 18 points including 4-6 3's as Canada came from 18 points down to defeat a Great Britain team in London. 6'7" Jordan Baker, Canada West Freshman of the Year, had 8 points in 22 minutes during yesterday's loss to Finland while the fourth member of the team with CIS ties, 6'8" Troy Gottselig, had his best effort against the Belgian Tigers in a nine-point loss with 5 points in 16 minutes. Team Page including box scores


For fans in the Winnipeg area, the University of Manitoba will host the Midget and Juvenile (aged 15-17) Men's National Championships from August 2 to August 7. Some of them were even part of the Cadet Men's National Team who placed third at the 2010 World Championship (U17) in Germany.


Pool plays: August 2-4.
Quarter finals and classification games: August 5
Semi-finals and classification games: August 6
Classification and medal games: August 7.

Detailed schedule available here

All games will take place at the University of Manitoba Investors Group Athletic Centre.

Tournament web site

Oliveri fortifies Lions

We have already talked about the terrific finish to last season that the young York Lions accomplished in Bob Bain's final go-around. Building on that late success is a top goal of new Head Coach Tom Oliveri, a mainstay with the Lions program for over a decade and historically one of the hardest workers on the recruiting trail. While York returns the core of their group that advanced to the OUA East semi-finals after clinching a playoff spot on the final weekend of the regular season, Oliveri brings in at least 4 new faces including a point guard, a pair of bigs and an athletic wing who returns to the GTA.

In 6'0" Travis Turnbull from Tecumseh (St. Anne's), ON, the Lions add depth to their point guard position where incumbent David Tyndale was logging 35+ minutes on typical nights when not in foul trouble. Oliveri feels that Turnbull can step in right away and play significant minutes without a noticeable drop-off in decision making at the point. Turnbull should allow Oliveri to give his emerging all-conference starting pg Tyndale the spells on the bench to remain fresh not just in games but down the stretch of the long season.

Solid big man play has been a staple of York basketball going back to the early 70's with Lonnie Ramati and Bo Pelech. The Lions again promise to have one of the top front courts in the conference this coming season with 6'10" OUA East All-Freshman team selection Dejan Kravic, 6'8" fifth-year shot-blocking sensation Stefan Haynes and 6'6" athlete Justin Bell. In 6'7" Nicholas Tufegdzich and 6'7" Vlad Velici, York adds another pair of bigs with the potential to continue their legacy of producing top front court players.

Tufegdzich averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks per game at Windsor Riverside and is a tremendous athlete who plays over-the-rim and has a nice skill set for a big man. The Lions got involved with Tufegdzich relatively late in the recruiting process but were pleasantly suprised to be able to attract a likely rotation stalward as his career progresses. While he is athletic enough to push to play immediately, expect Tufegdzich to work deeper into the rotation as his strength improves. Velici, who comes to York from nearby Woodbridge College, also has an array of skills primarily facing the basket and also will be a factor as he fills out his current 190 pound frame. Last April, he was selected to be part of the Hoop Factory elite Canadian team that travelled to Milan, Italy for an international tournament, where the squad won the gold medal with a victory over a Lithuanian team in the final.

Oliveri may have uncover a diamond in the rough with 6'2" Jordon Campbell, originally from Whitby, ON who played his final years of basketball in Niagara Falls at Westlane H.S. Campbell is a player that grew on the entire York staff the more he performed over time and has the quickness and athletic ability to defend the point and both wing positions. Campbell appears to have the right make up and intangibles to fit into York's up-tempo style as his career evolves.

With virtually his entire rotation back and a nice recruiting class, expect the Lions to improve on their '09-'10 regular season results and push back into the upper regions of the OUA East standings.

For the first time in several years, the Lions will not face any NCAA Division 1 schools in August/September. However, the Lions, U of T Varsity Blues and OCAA programs George Brown Huskies and Sheridan Bruins will participate in an inaugural event in the late summer hosted by long-time OUA referee Mike Currie. The concept, started by Currie, one of the nicer guys in the business, gives teams a chance to compete in more of a controlled scrimmage environment, likely broken down into 8 minute quarters, and also will likely give officials a chance to break into the season in a more controlled manner. More details on dates, location and times to follow.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Articles including Tor Star's Doug Smith on Wayne Parrish

Doug Smith of the Toronto Star provides more colour on yesterday's announcement that Wayne Parrish is taking on a role not directly associated with Canada Basketball. Headlines in other newspapers, which appear to be inaccurate, alluded to Parrish leaving Canada Basketball. Smith and others contacted highlight that Parrish will continue to have a strong mandate and leadership role within Canada Basketball, which, based on the spectacular progress he has led in the past 3 years, is very positive for our Nation's basketball future.

Parrish will keep hands in hoops

Wayne Parrish has a new job — and an old one.

Parrish is taking over as chief transformation officer of Postmedia Network but isn’t going to forsake his significant role with Canada Basketball after his contract with the group expires in September.

“We don’t know what the title will be, but essentially I’ll still be in a leadership position,” said Parrish, who is currently Canada Basketball’s executive director and chief executive officer.

...Read More

Local Belleville newspaper has a nice feature on Western Mustangs rising fourth-year guard Ryan Barbeau

Barbeau sets sights on title

Belleville native Ryan Barbeau can't wait to get back on the basketball court.

Fresh off an all-star season at the University of Western Ontario in London, Barbeau hopes to lead the Mustangs to a national title.

Barbeau was a big gun for the Mustangs last season.

...Read More


Former Saint Mary's Huskie Nate Phillipe , a native of Ottawa, has joined the coaching staff of the North Dakota Fighting Sioux (NCAA Division 1)

Men’s Basketball adds Philippe to coaching staff

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — University of North Dakota men’s basketball head coach Brian Jones announced the addition of Nate Philippe to his coaching staff on Wednesday. Philippe’s primary responsibilities as an assistant coach will be recruiting, opponent scouting, video exchange and working closely with UND post players.

Philippe brings more than 15 years of coaching and playing experience at the prep and university levels in Canada to the Fighting Sioux program. This past season, Philippe worked as an assistant coach at York University and was also the associate head coach at the Regional Elite Development Academy in Hamilton, Ontario.



UNB's Eric Garland tournament could have the best tournament field of the season with three probable pre-season Top 10 teams: Cape Breton, St. FX and Lakehead.

Strong field for UNB hoop tournaments

This year's version of the Accreon Helen Campbell and Eric Garland Basketball Tournament will feature very competitive lineups for both the men's and women's draws.

The event will be held on Thanksgiving weekend, Oct. 8-10, at the Aitken University Centre.

The Eric Garland men's draw will feature reigning AUS champion Cape Breton Capers and league runner-up St. Francis Xavier X-Men. The Lakehead Thunderwolves, a 2010 CIS Final 8 qualifier, will make the trek east to complete the four-team field.

These three teams all feature veteran lineups. UNB will return eight players from last year's team with four rookies rounding out this very young, but capable squad.


UBC Associate Head Coach Randy Nohr, a former CIS tournament MVP, All-Canadian and member of Canada's National team, continues to dominate when he runs, as chronicled in this article

Former Pacer hoop star still going strong

At the age of 35, Navi Sekhon continues to dominate at Dolphin Park Basketball Classic outdoor tournament

He has been a force on the basketball court for over 20 years and Navi Sekhon is showing no signs of slowing down.

Sekhon already enjoys legendary status at Delta secondary where he led the Pacers to an Agrodome appearance in 1993 and owns all kinds of team scoring records, including 61 points in a single game. He also has earned a similar reputation at Western Canada's premier outdoor summer tournament.

...Read More

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Parrish vacating role at Canada Basketball

Canada Basketball's Director to vacate role

Canada Basketball’s executive director is not exactly stepping down, but he is not exactly staying on, either.

Wayne Parrish, who took the role with the organization in 2007, is joining Postmedia Network, which owns the National Post, as the chief transformation officer. Parrish will continue on with Canada Basketball on the group’s board, but will leave the staff.

His duties will likely be split up, and the vacancy he leaves should be filled.

Read more


Ref eyes roundball history

It is believed that no Canadian has officiated an NBA game, but Calgary's Michael Weiland is determined to be the one.

It’s not just in the casinos on the Strip where some dreams are being realized and others shattered.

A few kilometres east, on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus, basketball prospects and former stars alike are playing in the NBA Summer League this week, hoping to show a team they’re good enough to fill out a roster as the 12th or 13th man this coming fall.

Then there’s Michael Weiland.



Finally, Canada Basketball is on the rebound

He was not, Wayne Parrish realized, in the strongest bargaining position.

As the newly minted executive director of Canada Basketball in the summer of 2007, he found himself in charge of a broken organization with a $1.3-million deficit on an annual budget of about $3-million. Its teams struggled internationally, and some of its most high-profile potential allies – Steve Nash and Jay Triano are just two examples – had been alienated.



According to Alistar McInness of the Prince George Free Press, new Winnipeg Head Coach Mike Raimbault will be brining one of his top players from last season's CCAA championship team, Jose Araujo, to the Wesmen as one of his first recruits. Araujo is a 6'1" guard originally from Brampton d'Youville, who played his first two post-secondary seasons at Humber College where he helped the Hawks to the OCAA championship in 2005-06. He is a joint Canadian-Salvadorian citizen who also has spent time on the El Salvador National basketball team. At UNBC, Araujo participated in back-to-back CCAA championship tournaments and this past season was a First Team tournament all-star as UNBC won their first ever National championship.

Jose Araujo to Winnipeg ?

Most of last year’s UNBC men’s basketball squad will be back, but it appears as though one Jose Araujo will be following the footsteps of his former head coach.

Although no official announcement has been made, a couple of sources closely connected to the UNBC Northern Timberwolves expect Araujo to commit to the University of Winnipeg to re-join Mike Raimbault.

Both UNBC men’s head coach Todd Jordan and UNBC housing and residence life manager Zane Robison, a former head coach of the Timberwolves, noted that Araujo is leading towards joining the Winnipeg Wesmen men’s program. Less than one month after guiding the Timberwolves to their first national title in March, Raimbault accepted the head coaching position for the Wesmen, who play in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association branch of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

Araujo is a guard entering his fifth and final year of CIS eligibility. UNBC attempted to join Canada West, but their bid was rejected by the governing body’s board of directors in Victoria in May.

“(Araujo) really loved the fans here and loved the community support,” said UNBC men’s head coach Todd Jordan, hired as Raimbault’s replacement last month. “At the same time, he’s making a decision about whether he wants to go on and play at a little bit of a higher level and those sort of things. It’s still up in the air. But if I had to say right now, I’d say he’s probably leaning towards not coming back.”


RMC Hires ex-Gael as women's coach

Royal Military College has hired former Queen's Golden Gaels basketball player James Bambury as its women's basketball coach.

The native of Lower Sackville, N.S. played for the Gaels from 2000 to 2003. He spent the past two years as the women's coach for a university- based club team at Leeds Metropolitan University in England.

Previous RMC coach Brad Schur, a Perth native, stepped down after an eight-year run with the Paladins in May. In their seven years of Ontario University Athletics competition, the Paladins have won just one game.


South Dakota State Jackrabbits will play four exhibition games in Winnipeg from Aug. 23-27, taking advantage of an NCAA rule that allows Division I teams to take one international preseason trip every four years. SDSU will play Manitoba Bisons and Winnipeg Wesmen twice each, as follows:

Aug. 23 - at University of Winnipeg
Aug. 24 - at University of Manitoba
Aug. 26 - at University of Winnipeg
Aug. 27 - at University of Manitoba


Ross Bekkering signs in Holland

Thanks to our well-informed-yet-wishes-to-remain-anonymous Alberta correspondent, we get some details on 6'8" Ross Bekkering's signing to a professional contract in Holland. Both Ross and brother Henry, who played last season in Holland, have the same agency and will compete against each other in the same league. Henry's team was fourth in the league and quarter finalists in the playoffs last year. Now he's moved up to the top team in the country (won league and playoffs) - a team that will also play at a high level of European club competition this season. Ross is going to ZORG AND ZEKERHEID LEIDEN the team that finished fifth in the league last year and were playoff semi-finalists (beating Henry's former team in the quarters). Congratulations to arguably one of the best brother tandems in CIS history (although Rob and Mike Smart, Norm and Brad Hann, Pasquale brothers, Kazanowski brothers, Mike and Jim Zareski and others could easily lay claim to that title).

Congratulations to both Ross and Henry Bekkering.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Windsor announces their recruiting class

Not much more than a cut and paste from the announcement sent out earlier today by Coach Chris Oliver. Looks like the Lancers get a couple of CCAA transfers including a 2nd team Alberta colleges all-star and another recruit with roots in Toronto who also played in Alberta last season. Also some young depth at the post. We hope to be able to get more insights into this newest Lancer group as well as get a sense of how Windsor will prepare for the Kentucky games in August.


Troy Barnes, 6'0 G, Lakeland College
- Troy joins the Lancers as a 4-time D8 all-star from St Mary's CHS in Kitchener, followed by a year at London Beal where he played along current Lancer Enrico Diloreto, where he helped Beal get to OFSAA and was named team MVP. This past year Troy was an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference 2nd team all-star averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Terrell Campbell, 6'5 G/F, Red Deer College
- Terrell averaged 20 points per game at CW Jeffery's in Scarborough where he was named to multiple all-star teams and was an honorable mentioned Toronto Star All-Star. At Red Deer Terrell was name team rookie of the year while averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds a game.

Evan Matthews, 6'8 P, Belle River
- Local product Matthews lead Belle River to their best senior boys basketball season in the school's history and was selected team MVP and a WESSAA all-star.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Cheung brings in first recruit

Brandon's new Head Coach Gil Cheung has brought in his first recruit as initially reported by Brandon Sun's David Larkins. Unfortunately, the Brandon Sun requires a subscription to access their pages and at a rate that by itself explodes the budget for our humble site.

O'Brian Wallace is a 6'3" wing originally from A.Y. Jackson S.S. in North York, ON and last season represented Algoma University Thunderbirds in the OCAA All-Star game. Algoma is coached by former Laurentian Voyageur Thomas Cory and on Cory's staff is former Ottawa Gee-Gee (circa late 1980's) Winston Ivey. Wallace was one of five Toronto area players on the Thunderbirds roster last season, who participated in the OCAA Final 8 before bowing out in a quarter-final match against Kingston St. Lawrence.

See below for the official release from Brandon Sports Information.

Cheung brings in first recruit

The Gil Cheung era has officially begun in Brandon as the Bobcats mens' basketball head coach announced his first recruit.

One of Cheung’s present players played a big part in bringing the 6-foot-3 shooting guard O’Brian Wallace to Brandon University.

“When I decided to take my talents to the CIS, I was looking at a couple of schools, but when my friend Donovan Gayle told me about Brandon, that made me want to come to BU,” said Wallace.

A transfer from Algoma University College in Sault Ste. Marie, Wallace averaged 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 rebounds per game in his third year of eligibility last year.

“O’Brian will give us added depth and scoring from the wing, and has the potential to be a lockdown defender,” said Bobcats coach Gil Cheung. “He is a versatile scorer who can also make his teammates better. He is a well rounded student athlete that will make positive contributions to our program both on and off the court. We are very fortunate to add such a talented player this late in the recruiting season."

Wallace will be finishing a degree in his final two years of eligibility majoring in sociology and a minor in Psychology. His long-term plan however is to continue playing basketball professionally overseas. Wallace says playing basketball and receiving an education will put him on the fast-track to reaching his goal.

“I want to become a better basketball player. I’m looking for a great community to play basketball in. I’m looking for a great school to finish my degree at,” said Wallace. “Brandon University offers all of those and I can’t wait.”

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Updates including Dal, SMU

CIS recruiting confirmations continue to trickle in as we slowly catch up with coaches across the country. Over the past couple of days, the Ottawa Gee-Gees received a commitment from 6'2" lefty Serge Grenon, who led Nouvelle Frontier to a silver medal at "AA" CEGEP this past season. Some describe Grenon's offensive game in the same aggressive, slashing style of a Manu Ginobli. Grenon should compete for time on the wing immediately for James Derouin's squad... McGill has confirmed that 6'6" post Tristan Tremblay, who played CEGEP at Champlain College for new Redmen Assistant coach John Dangelas, will join his ex-coach in downtown Montreal. Tremblay spent last season at the Citadel, an NCAA Division 1 military academy in Charleston, South Carolina, where he redshirted. Tremblay, who compiled a perfect 4.0 GPA, will be eligible to play immediately for the Redmen and promises to shore up their front line... 6'3" Anthony Ashe, who spent the past two seasons at Carleton as a reserve for the Ravens has decided to transfer to Acadia to play for the Axemen. Ashe will sit out this season as a transfer in Wolfville and is scheduled to start his third year of eligibility in 2011-12. Likely the Axemen have plans to use the smooth-shooting Ashe in a similar role to that of the now-departed 6'3" wing Casey Fox. Fox has transfered to Dalhousie and will sit this season out as a transfer with the Tigers in Halifax. Speaking of Dal, Head Coach John Campbell welcomes in another nice recruiting class led by 6'3" combo guard Juleous Grant, originally from Nova Scotia who later transfered to Toronto's Eastern Commerce H.S. before moving on to Northern Oklahoma Junior College, where he spent the past two seasons, averaging 7.1 ppg in his sophomore season. Expect Grant, who will be in his third year of eligibility, to step right in to the Tigers rotation, which loses only 6'2" shooting guard Andrew Sullivan as well as 6'2" Marcus Wong, a reserve for much of the season who's floor time faded toward the end of the season. The Tigers welcome back 6'2" Stephen Lopez, originally from Pickering H.S., who missed much of last season with a knee injury but when healthy provides tremendous athleticism, especially on the defensive end, allowing Dal to play the type of pressure "d" that, when right, can change games for them... Across town in Halifax, long-time skipper Ross Quackenbush looks to find rotation replacements for 6'3" Mark McLaughlin and 6'5" Ike Uchegbu on his Saint Mary's Huskies roster. Quackenbush continues to be impressed by 6'2" guard Harry Ezenibe, who looks to continue the growing Nigerian tradition at Saint Mary's. Ezenibe, who joined the Huskies at Christmas last season and started to get comfortable toward the end of the season, will have a full summer under his belt and should see action at one of the guard/wing spots to show off his explosive athleticism and powerful two foot jumping that help him attack the offensive glass. Quackenbush envisions numerous open court ally-oop hook ups between Ezenibe and his flashy guard Joey Haywood. Adding another piece to the back court, Quackenbush likes 6'1" Jerome Smith, a combination guard who spent the past 3 seasons at Hamilton's Mohawk College after a high school career at St. Thomas More in Hamilton. One of Quackenbush's teammates from the late 70's, Percy Davis, who now lives in New Hampshire, recommended 6'5" Antonio Myles as a potential Huskie and the 3 man commited shortly thereafter; Myles will be a freshman this coming season. Expect Saint Mary's to add at least one more player to their recruiting class as the summer continues.

CIS ALUMNI PLAYING PROFESSIONALLY IN EUROPE: Congratulations to both 6'4" All-Canadian Josh Gibson-Bascombe (Ottawa) and 6'7" Kevin McCleery (Carleton) who both have signed contracts to play in Europe. Gibson-Bascombe will be playing in the Czech Republic while McCleery has signed on to play in Holland; further details should be announced in the coming days but suffice to say another two CIS players will continue their playing careers professionally in Europe. McCleery is the fourth active Raven to play in Europe joining Aaron Doornekamp (Italy), Stuart Turnbull (Germany) and Ryan Bell (Finland). CORRECTION: Mistakenly missed Osvaldo Jeanty who also played in Germany this season. Thanks to the comments for pointing out my obvious error.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Strong CIS Flavour to Canada's Development Squad

At least six current or former CIS stars highlight the 19 man tryout/training camp roster for the 2010 Development Men’s National Team (DMNT) announced by Canada Basketball earlier today. The DMNT provides another team from which Canada Basketball coaching and managing staff can evaluate talent for the current and future Senior Men's National team (SMNT). The camp runs from July 11-16 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont, followed by a competition tour in Europe consisting of a series of exhibition games against Cote D’Ivoire, Belgium, Great Britain, Finland, Netherlands and Spain. Expect several players from DMNT to be invited to the main National team camp that begins in August in preparation for the 2010 FIBA World Basketball championships in Turkey.

Training camp invitees with CIS backgrounds:

6'4" Casey Archibald, an All-Canadian guard who starred at UBC, who has range beyond the 3 point line and gets to the rim as a big guard. Archibald has spent the past 3 seasons in Europe including last season's stint with Noerdlingen Giants in the Germany Regionalliga (one division below Bundesliga).

6'7" Jordan Baker, combo guard from Alberta Golden Bears who was the Canada West Rookie-of-the-Year this past season and has excellent perimeter offensive skills for a young player just one season removed from high school.

6'4" Ryan Bell, another big guard who is regarded as a very strong defender and can run the point efficiently. Bell, who played professionally in Europe for the past 2 seasons after graduating from Carleton where he was part of four CIS National championship teams with the Ravens. He also has been part of multiple Sr. Men's National team rosters over the past several summers.

6'9" Tyler Fidler A skilled perimeter player who has led the Dinos to consecutive CIS Final Four appearances, Fidler's size, range out to the 3 point line and ability to create off the bounce augers well for a big man in the international game.

6'8" Troy Gottselig Strong, bruising with solid hands and good finishing ability around the rim, Gottselig was the perfect complement inside to Saskatchewan Huskies athletic forwards and wings in the program's first-ever CIS National title this past March.

6'8" Michael Lieffers Author of several highlight reel slams in transition and off the offensive glass, Lieffers ability to get out on the break and finish hard and get the ball off the glass makes this athletic wing forward an intriguing possibility for Canada going forward. Another key element in Saskatchewan's CIS title.

Also, Alberta Head Coach Greg Francis is part of the coaching staff for this team. Another CIS player, former Moser Award winner 6'8" Aaron Doornekamp (Carleton), who spent his first professional season in the Italian First Division and make two key shots late in Canada's final game in last summer's qualifying tournament, will be invited to the main Sr. Men's camp.


Family, friends and colleagues will honour the memory of senior Windsor police constable Mark Landry with the creation of the Mark Landry men's basketball scholarship fund at the University of Windsor. Landry, who died from a heart attack last October, was a former member of the University of Windsor Lancers men's basketball team. The scholarship established in his name will be used to assist a University of Windsor student-athlete offset tuition costs. A nice gesture by the Lancers to honour a community leader... Defending CIS National champions Saskatchewan Huskies have a pair of their leaders continuing their playing careers professionally as guard Mike Linklater and forward Troy Gottselig are on the roster of the Edmonton Energy in the International Basketball League. The Energy finished what appears to be an abbreviated IBL season at 14-6 and both Gottselig (6.8 ppg/4.7 rpg in 19 games) and Linklater (5.0 ppg in 12 games) saw action... Congratulations to Matt Curtis, Western's all-time assists leader, who recently signed a professional basketball contract in Germany with TV Werne, defending champions of Germany Division 1 Regionaliga, the next step below the German Bundesliga. Werne is located in northwest Germany, with a population of about 32,000. While Curtis had a tremendous high school career in Hamilton, at that time he was overshadowed and fell under the radar somewhat, choosing Western amid comparatively lesser fanfare. Curtis continued to get better throughout his career especially in the face of some losing teams early in his Western career and kept at it even after not obtaining a pro contract last season, his first after five seasons with the Mustangs. In the case of Matt Curtis, he has shown again that perseverence pays off. Curtis is the second Mustang in recent years to sign a pro contract after forward Brad Smith (Innisfil, Ont.) signed in England with the Kent Crusaders two years ago... For those who haven't heard, UBC-Okanagan has been officially accepted as a probationary member of the Canada West. The "Heat" will begin a three-year term as probationary members, effective September 2010, and will begin interuniversity athletic competition in men's basketball and other sports starting in the 2011-12 season. The Canada West acceptance is dependent on Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s (CIS) acceptance of UBC-Okanagan's application for CIS membership. UBC-Okanagan's application to the CIS will be reviewed at the CIS annual general meetings in 2011. UBC-Okanagan was one of three new membership applications up for discussion at the CWUAA AGM. The applications from Vancouver Island University and University of Northern British Columbia did not meet the required level of support. Seventy-five percent of membership approval was required for CWUAA acceptance. In addition to accepting UBC-Okanagan as probationary member of the conference, the CWUAA also extended full membership status to erstwhile probationary members Thompson Rivers University and University of the Fraser Valley. Thompson Rivers was accepted for probationary membership in 2005 in the sports of basketball and volleyball. Fraser Valley was accepted as probationary member in 2006 and competes in basketball and soccer.

NEW LOOK OUA WEST: With the dramatic coaching changes at McMaster and Brock, the OUA West suddenly has become very young from the standpoint of coaching experience. The longest tenured coach with one program in the division is now Tom Kieswetter of Waterloo with Guelph's Chris O'Rourke second as far as time with one program. However, Laurier's Peter Campbell has more overall seasons as an OUA/CIS Head Coach than both given his 15 prior seasons at Laurentian.

1. Tom Kieswetter, entering 18th season at Waterloo (18 seasons overall)
2. Chris O'Rourke, entering 12th season at Guelph (12 seasons overall)
3. Peter Campbell, entering 9th season at Laurier (24 OUA/CIS seasons overall including 15 seasons at Laurentian)
4. Chris Oliver, entering 6th season at Windsor (9 OUA/CIS seasons overall including 3 seasons at Queen's)
5. Brad Campbell, entering 6th season at Western including one interim season in 2004-05
6. Scott Morrison, entering 6th season at Lakehead (6 seasons overall)
7. Amos Connolly, entering 1st season at McMaster (1 season ever); replaces Joe Raso who would have been entering his 19th season
8. Brad Rootes, entering 1st season at Brock (1 season ever); interim replacement for Ken Murray who would have been entering his 21st season.

With the retirement of York's Bob Bain (37 seasons coaching CIS basketball), St. FX's Steve Konchalski becomes the most experienced and longest tenured coach at one school - Coach K will begin his 35th consecutive season in Antigonish. Saint Mary's Ross Quackenbush and Concordia's John Dore will each begin their 22nd consecutive seasons as Head Coaches, putting both second behind Konchalski in the list of longest active CIS coaches at one school. Peter Campbell, who starts his 24th season, is second behind Konchalski in overall CIS Head Coaching seasons. Just behind Waterloo's Kieswetter (18th seasons) is Regina's James Hillis, who somewhat-quietly has put together a consistent 17 year coaching career - all consecutive with the Cougars. Carleton's Dave Smart and Guelph's O'Rourke each begin their 12th consecutive season with their respective programs.

Longest Tenured CIS coaches (active; including 2010-11 season):
1. Steve Konchalski 35 seasons - all at St. FX
2. Peter Campbell 24 seasons - 9 at Laurier, 15 at Laurentian
T3. Ross Quackenbush 22 seasons - all at Saint Mary's
T3. John Dore 22 seasons - all at Concordia
5. Tom Kieswetter 18 seasons - all at Waterloo
6. James Hillis 17 seasons - all at Regina
T7. Dave Smart 12 seasons - all at Carleton
T8. Chris O'Rourke 12 seasons - all at Guelph
Note: U of T Varsity Blues Head Coach Mike Katz begins his 26th season as a Head Coach including 19 seasons at Humber College.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Canada West Coaching Changes

Clearly, the CIS men's coaching churn in this off-season has not been limited to Ontario/Quebec as we have previously discussed - at least 4 Canada West programs will see new leadership this coming season, with maybe the most surprising being at Thompson Rivers where long-time Simon Fraser Head Coach Scott Clark takes over for two-year interim coach Thom Gillespe. Clark spent the past 15 seasons in Burnaby going back to the Clan's time as an NAIA school that regularly recruited many of the top Canadian high schoolers (many from Ontario) to Simon Fraser. The Clan had 6 winning seasons during Clark's tenure including last season's 18-12 overall mark when Simon Fraser was in and out of the CIS Top 10 with a senior-laden lineup before bowing out in the Canada West semi-finals to eventual National semi-finalists Calgary and then dropping the CW Bronze medal game to UBC. Clark's move to Thompson Rivers comes as the Clan prepares for their first season as an NCAA Division II program in 2010-11. Ex-Brandon Bobcat James Blake takes over for Clark. The WolfPack made strides toward the end of last season under Gillespe but could not push into their first CW post-season ever despite defeating playoff participant UVic, pre-season Nationals contender Trinity Western and almost knocking off national finalist UBC at home. Gillespe helped uncover a hidden gem in 7'2" Greg Stewart (5th year, Kamloops, BC) who was born with only half a left arm yet developed into a dominant defensive force, becoming the first player in TRU history to win a major Canada West Award as the Defensive Player of the Year. Stewart plans to play volleyball for the WolfPack this season and his status for basketball is as yet unknown. Clark has already worked to upgrade the WolfPack roster which has lost several front-line players to graduation including 6'7" F Jeff Friesen, 6'1" G Drew Bleth and 6'4" G Sean Garvey, all of who have run out of eligibility. The three represent almost 60% of shots taken and about 45% of the scoring from last season. Clark has already taken steps to fill the void by bringing in five recruits, led by a pair of transfers from his final Simon Fraser team: 6'5" Chas Kok, a fourth-year wing from Lynden, WA who culminated his first season in Canada West by being named a Second Team Canada West All-Star in 2009-10; and 6'0" point guard Kevin Pribilsky out of Victoria, BC (Oak Bay Secondary) who did an admirable job backing up the Clan's stable of big, veteran guards during his freshman season in '09-'10. Both players should be eligible for next season. As well, the Clark has recruited 6'2" combo guard Rob Dhillon (White Rock, BC) and Brett Parker (Langley, BC) to Kamloops. Dhillon, who will be in his third year of eligibility, transfers over from Everett Community College (4-12, 6-18 overall last season in NWAACC JUCO league) where he redshirted his first year and played the last two including a mainstay/occasional starter in the rotation in his final year. Dhillon spurned offers from some NAIA and NCAA Division II schools to join the 'Pack. 6'3" Parker, who is Coach Clark's step-son, comes to Kamloops directly from Walnut Grove Secondary in Langley and will be counted on to stretch defenses with his perimeter shooting. The Pack also welcomes 6'4" forward Brett Rouault, who played his final season at Fulton H.S., leading his team to the B.C. "AA" championship tournament, after his family moved from Edmonton, where he starred for the Jasper Place Rebels and Team Alberta. Thompson Rivers, under Athletic Director Ken Olynyk, an ex-CIS (Lethbridge, Toronto) Head Coach and Canadian National team program coach, have made strides to become more competitive in Canada West since the program moved over from the CCAA a few years ago, most noteably with the addition of a wonderful new facility for basketball... In Saskatchewan, the defending CIS National champions will welcome a new coaching tandem albeit for only one season as long-time mentor Greg Jockims takes a one-year sabbatical after building the program up to bring the Huskies first-ever CIS National basketball championship back to Saskatoon. The Huskies named Barry Rawlyk, a four-year veteran of the Huskies staff who spent more than two decades coaching at Saskatoon's Holy Cross high school as interim Head Coach. During his tenure at Holy Cross, Rawlyk's teams won 11 city titles and three provincial championships. A number of Rawlyk's high school players have moved on to the U of S, including current Huskies John Rochon and Patrick Burns. Long-time assistant coach Nathan Schellenberg, entering his ninth year with the Huskies staff, will also continue with the team. With the core of the Huskies either graduated (including Troy Gossleig, Michael Leiffers) or moving on to professional ranks in Europe (Showron Glover), Jockims ensured that his program will continue to perform at a high level with commitments from seven in-province recruits for the coming season, beginning with three more members of 5A Provincial Champion Holy Cross Crusaders: 6'4" wing Jonathan Harding , a member of Team Saskatchewan at the 2009 Canada Games in PEI and a pair of 6'1" guards Jonathan Karwacki, who's father, David, is a former Huskie and has the school’s highest all-time career three-point percentage and Evan Ostertag, who led Holy Cross this past season with 16.3 points per game including career-highs 42 on two occasions. The top pure scorer in the class may be 6'3" guard Ben Baker, from Saskatoon Aden Bowman where he averaged 19.4 ppg/13.2 rpg from the guard spot. Baker, who also played for Team Saskatchewan, had likely his best game of his high school career in the championship game of the Balfour Classic when he went off for 37 points and 23 boards and was named tournament MVP. Baker's high school and Team Sask teammate 6'1" guard Sam Derksen has numbers that show he plays big in the most important games as he averaged 29.7 ppg in last season's playoffs including a career-high 38 in the City semi-final after averaging only 19.6 ppg during the regular season. Jockims was able to go south and reach into neighboring Regina to pluck another Team Saskatchewan stalward, 6'2" Andrew Henry from Regina Luther where he led the Lions to their first city title since 1993, hitting a buzzer-beating 15-footer in overtime of the championship game. Adding some size up front, Jockims recruited 6'7" Temidayo Jabagun from North Battleford John Paul II, who also represented Saskatchewan at the 2009 Canada Games.

Winnipeg Wesmen were able to attract one of the most recently successful CCAA coaches in the country, announcing Mike Raimbault as their newest Head Coach. At the coaching-tender age of 28, Raimbault already begins his third post-secondary Head Coach posting beginning with his one year interim stint at Brandon in 2007-08 when the Bobcats went 20-2 in CW league play after Barnaby Craddock left for Fraser Valley. Most recently, Raimbault guided Northern British Columbia Timberwolves to the CCAA National championship this past season and was named CCAA Coach of the Year this past season. Raimbault, a native of Brandon and graduate of Brandon University, has succeeded everywhere he has been and will have his challenges with the Wesmen who have struggled in recent seasons... Speaking of Brandon, the Bobcats replaced one former Bobcat player-turned-coach Keith Vassell, who resigned after last season with another alumnus: Gil Cheung, team captain and one of the leaders of the Cats two CIS National silver medals and four conference division championships in the late 90's/early 00's. Cheung was recognized as a CIS Academic All-Canadian in 2002. Cheung, a native of Richmond, B.C., spent the past two seasons as Head Coach at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC. From 2006-2008 he was an assistant coach at Simon Fraser under Scott Clark after getting his coaching start at Brandon as an assistant with the Women’s team (2003) and the Men’s team (2004).

We hope to have more from both Raimbault and Cheung as the summer progresses.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Toronto, McGill Updates

Most CIS observers have likely already heard about the transfer back home of 6'4" Alex Hill, a Toronto native who starred at Eastern Commerce H.S. before accepting a scholarship at Cornell of the Ivy League. Hill played one season for the Big Red in 2008-09, appearing in 12 games and averaged 2.7 points in only 3.8 minutes per game. Hill sat out all of last season before returning home in the spring and commiting to Mike Katz's U of T Varsity Blues, where he is expected to lead the program in the coming years. Hill's father Sam Hill is a Varsity alumnus and was a high school star at Toronto Jarvis Collegiate in the early 1980's, leading the Bulldogs to OFSAA "AAA" in 1982 before moving on to a stellar career with the Blues under Brian Heaney. Alex is a big guard who can shoot the ball and under the tutlage of Katz and his staff promises to develop into the type of solid decision maker that has characterized Blues backcourt in the Katz era. Katz is likely facing a major rebuilding season in '10-'11 what with the graduation of stalward guards 6'2" Nick Magalas and 6'1" Rob Paris plus front court contributors 6'7" Nick Snow and 6'4" Patrick Sewell. To help rebuild his back court, the Blues will also bring in a young guard 6'0" Matt Saval, a high IQ, tough point out of Hamilton Brebeuf where he was a Hamilton City All-Star the past two seasons. The Blues continue to recruit for the coming season and may have other announcements in the coming weeks... Newly appointed McGill Redmen Head Coach David DeAveiro hit the ground running with his program, starting with the appointment of Assistant Coach John Dangelas, who moves on from his 13 year career as Head Coach of Champlain CEGEP where he coached numerous future NCAA D1 and CIS players. The Redmen must replace a pair of 4th year seniors from their rotation: 6'4" Pawel Herra, who graduated from his four-year undergraduate program and likely will also not have back 6'4" Quebec Player-of-the-Year Matthew Thornhill, who also graduated. McGill does welcome back 5'11" point Olivier Bouchard, last season's QSSF Rookie-of-the-Year, who is a pass-first lead guard. 6'4" Michael White is also back as is 6'7" Nic Langley from B.C. who just finished a stint with Canada's Jr. National team. To augment his roster, DeAveiro brings in a nice stable of recruits, led by 6'3" Simon Bibeau, arguably the top graduating player in Quebec to remain in the CIS. 6'4" Kyle Bernard also will return to the Redmen after sitting out the past two seasons. Bernard, originally from John Abbott College, played his first season of CIS eligibility in 2007-08 with McGill and is a big, athletic wing that will allow the Redmen to be more aggressive defensively. McGill also gets a bruising, tough forward in 6'6" 230 lbs. Cody Mazza-Anthony from Hamilton Bishop Ryan, who was also well-schooled fundamentally in the Blessed Sacrament club system. Expect Mazza-Anthony's style of play to bring back memories of another strong and skilled Hamilton-area big man, 6'5" Chad Wozny, who starred for the Redmen in the mid 1990's. DeAveiro brings in another big athletic guard in 6'4" Karim Sy-Morrisette, a local Montreal product from Dawson College Blues where he won a CCAA National championship under Coach Wayne Yearwood and was among the league leaders in steals. The Redmen also found more talent in Quebec CEGEP ranks, bringing in the two catalysts from Brebeuf CEGEP Dynamiques back-to-back "AA" CEGEP championship teams: 6'7" Charles Alexandre-Lacroix, the MVP of the Provincial championships in last season who should compete for significant time up front as a freshman; and 6'4" wing guard Simon Bouchard, who played on the Quebec Provincial team and is the son of former Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard. Both are excellent students with Alexandre-Lacroix already enrolled in McGill's School of Medicine directly out of CEGEP. Expect at least one or two more announcements in the coming weeks as DeAveiro and Dangelas continue to build their roster. The Redmen will also play a pair of NCAA Division 1 schools in early November on the road at Rutgers Scarlett Knights (Big East from Piscataway, NJ) and Robert Morris Colonials (Moon Township, PA - just outside Pittsburgh), defending Northeast Conference champions who dropped a tight, three-point game to Villanova Wildcats in the first round of this past NCAA tournament. McGill will also be in Ottawa over the Labour Day weekend to play another Big East side, Cincinnati Bearcats in a game to be played at Carleton's Raven's Nest.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Guelph, Laval, Ottawa U. Updates

In what has become an ongoing legacy at Laval, Head Coach Jacques Paiement Jr. continues to add high-level Quebec-based talent to his Rouge et Or program. This season is no different as Laval brings at least three top recruits with Quebec roots however Paiement also reached beyond the provincial borders to snag a pair of experienced international players. Most noteable from Quebec is 6'4" Hughes Ryan from Montmorency CEGEP, where he earned 1st Team All-Star status in the Quebec colleges league last season. Ryan can stroke the ball and brings a wide ranging skill set. Joining Ryan from the CEGEP ranks is 6'0" lead guard Olivier Lefebvre who was one of the top players on Ste-Foy CEGEP provincial championship team last season. Another Quebec native, 6'5" Alex Prophete, a tremendous athlete who played for Paiement Jr. at Ste. Foy before embarking on a post-CEGEP career that included time with the ABA's Quebec City Kebs, comes off a redshirt year last season and will add experience up front especially on the glass. Laval was able to attract a pair of quality foreign players including 6'3" Marvin Vebobe, a native of France who spent two seasons at INSEP (France's equivalent to Canada's now-cancelled NEDA program). As well, Laval gets 6'6" Jihad Murr, a native of Lebanon who played in the Lebanese professional league. Murr is pursuing a Master degree at Laval. Paiement expects his entire rotation from last season to return with the likely exception of underrated 6'5" post F.O. Gagnon-Hebert, who has graduated from his undergraduate program and plans to focus on his academics as he pursues a Masters degree in Biology... New uOttawa Head Coach James Derouin starts his new position very late in the current recruiting season however the cupboard is hardly bare with the Gee-Gees, led by 6'5" third-year wing Warren Ward, one of the better returning pure scorers in the CIS. The Gee-Gees also welcome back 6'2" third-year guard Jacob Gibson-Bascombe, who sat out last season to get his academics in order and, given the losses to graduation the Gee-Gees experienced, is likely to step into a starting role in the backcourt. Another returning starter is 6'7" Louis Gauthier while Ottawa's stable of freshmen from last season 6'3" Ryan Malcolm-Campbell, 6'3" Kamesh Edwards and 6'3" Akeem Gardner are expected to play more prominent roles in the rotation. Ottawa's top recruit is likely 6'5" Gabe Gonthier-Dubue, probably the first true potential impact player to play for Ottawa from the Next Level program started by former Gee-Gees Head Coach Dave DeAveiro. According to Derouin, Gonthier-Dubue will be given every opportunity to nab a starting spot up front with his prototypical CIS "4" man frame and solid skill set. Another early commit who stayed on with Derouin is 6'3" Chris Anderson from Toronto (Mount Carmel H.S.), a tough, athletic wing with a football-type body who should be a nice complement to Ward on the wing. The Gee-Gees are also in hot pursuit of Anthony Ashe, an Ottawa native and nephew of Gee-Gees alumnus Rob Ashe, who decided to transfer from Carleton after spending his first two seasons as a Raven. Apparently, Ashe is also considering St. FX and Acadia after making visits out east recently. Derouin, who makes his official Gee-Gees head coaching debut on Sunday of Labour Day weekend when Ottawa hosts Cincinnati Bearcats (NCAA Division 1 Big East conference), hopes to bring in more talent by the time September rolls around. Derouin also announced that this season's Jack Donohue Memorial tournament will include U of T Varsity Blues, St. FX X-Men and UQAM Citadins... Missing the OUA West playoffs for the first time in his stellar coaching career clearly has not sat well with competitive Guelph Gryphon Head Coach Chris O'Rourke as the Gryphons will bring in a large stable of talent including a number of rotation-ready players in September headlined by 6'0" point guard Kareem Malcolm. Originally from Brampton Campion, Malcolm spent his first two post-secondary seasons at Sheridan College with the Bruins where he averaged 19 points per game last season and was a 1st Team OCAA West All-Star. Malcolm, another in the long line of Bruins under Jim Flack to move on to Guelph, should be an immediate starter and 30+ minutes per game star in the Gryphs backcourt. Guelph adds another probable starter in 6'8" Kevin Cameron, once a highly-touted recruit out of Fergus, ON who sat out last season after transfering from defending OUA West champions Windsor Lancers. Cameron has three years of eligibility remaining. Another transfer who will sit out this season but promises to be a rotation mainstay is 6'1" Zach Angus, a transfer from Western who played high school basketball at St. Mary's High School in Hamilton. Angus, a prototype lead guard, won the junior OBA provincial gold medal in 2008 and the bronze in 2009 with Hamilton Blessed Sacrament. O'Rourke added another athletic guard directly out of high school by bringing in 6'0" Youri Mutamba from St. Catharines Denis Morris, a first team All-Niagara selection. Another experienced big man is 6'5" Jerald Greenidge, a native of Brampton (North Park C.I.) who has post-secondary experience at Sheridan College and Cegep du Champlain College, where he was league all-star and team MVP. 6'9" Duncan Reid also returns to Guelph after sitting out a couple of seasons. Three other recruits out of high school who will look to compete for spots include 6'7" forward Andrew Beney from Bluevale Secondary School in Waterloo plus a pair of potential zone-busting shooters: 6'0" George Mason from Toronto St. Michael's Blue Raiders and Michel Clark, a Halton All-Star from Burlington Nelson. Look for a revamped Guelph roster that will look to continue the Gryphon tradition of stopping teams and creating easy scoring opportunities from their pressure "d".

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.