Sunday, April 17, 2011
CIS rep for Canada Basketball this summer
Two-time CIS champion and former Brock Badgers Head Coach Ken Murray will be honoured with a pair of Hall of Fame inductions in the coming weeks. On April 30, the OUA West Men's Basketball Officials Hall of Fame will make Murray their 2011 inductee. On May 3rd Murray will be added to the City of St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Coach Murray on these well deserved honours... Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton recently named former Alberta Golden Bears assistant Pete Guarasci as their new Head Coach. MacEwan is one of several Western Canada colleges that are rumoured to be seeking CIS membership for basketball in the coming years. Originally from Niagara Falls A.N. Myer, Guarasci is a long-time member of Canada's national team and played numerous professional seasons all over Europe as a 6'9" forward. Guarasci played several years on the National team with current Alberta Head Coach Greg Francis, who will look to fill out his coaching staff. By the way, Francis is the fourth CIS Head Coach to take on a Canada Basketball posting this coming summer (we missed this in our last post) as he will lead Canada's U19 team into the FIBA World U19 championships to be held between 31 June and 10 July in Latvia in the cities of Liepaja, Valmiera and Riga. The 16 team draw has Canada in Group C with action kicking off 30 June vs. Korea, then 1 July (Canada Day) vs. Croatia followed by 2 July date with Lithuania. The top 3 finishers in the first round classification move on to the next round. No word as of yet whether or not this team will have any CIS representation however Carleton's Phil Scrubb has been with this program in the past and remains eligible for this championship... Two other Canada Basketball programs for this coming summer will have rosters filled with CIS talent as the FISU Games team, coached by UBC's Kevin Hanson and the Pan-Am Games team, coached by Carleton's Dave Smart will be stocked entirely with CIS players. A selection committee, chaired by long-time St. FX Head Coach Steve Konchalski and including Smart, Hanson, Regina's James Hillis and the past 4 FISU games coaches (Mike Katz-Toronto, John Dore-Concordia, Peter Campbell-Laurier and Chris O'Rourke-Guelph), is in the midst of putting together rosters with players from CIS programs who will be eligible to play CIS basketball in the 2011-12 season. Players who completed their fifth year this past season are not being considered. Expect announcements on rosters and assistant coaches to be made shortly. A quick look at returning players on CIS rosters provides one view of the candidates for these two teams including Juleous Grant, Dal; Tremaine Fraser, Cape Breton; Owen Klassen, Acadia; Jeremy Dunn, St. FX; Manock Lual, UPEI; Joey Haywood, Saint Mary's; Kyle Desmarais, Concordia; Jerome Turcotte, Laval; Phil Scrubb, Carleton; Tyson Hinz, Carleton; Cole Hobin, Carleton; Willy Manigat, Carleton; Warren Ward, Ottawa; Jahmal Jones, Ryerson; Johnny Berhanemeskel, Ottawa; David Tyndale, York; Dejan Kravic, York; Scott Brittain, McMaster; Cam McIntyre, Waterloo; Lien Phillip, Windsor; Greg Carter, Lakehead; Max Allin, Laurier; Kale Harrison, Laurier; Tshing Kasamba, Brock; Jordan Baker, Alberta; Daniel Ferguson, Alberta; Nathan Yu, UBC; Tyler Fidler, Calgary; Joel Freisen, Fraser Valley; Sam Freeman, Fraser Valley; Michael Lieffers, Saskatchewan; Calvin Westbrook, Trinity Western; Ryan MacKinnon, Victoria. My take at a Top 20 or so from this list includes: Point Guards: Scrubb, Carter, Jones, Manigat, Desmarais; Off Guards/Wings: Haywood, Ward, Allin, Harrison, Baker, Ferguson, Hobin (major oversight with initial post), Yu, MacKinnon; Bigs: Klassen, Hinz, Kravic, Brittain, Fidler, Lieffers, Phillip. This is a wonderful initiative by Canada Basketball to provide CIS athletes an opportunity to showcase their talents on the international stage... Calgary Dinos held a talent identification camp last weekend and one noteable attendee was former Ryerson Rams forward Boris Bakovic. Bakovic, one of the better pure scorers in the CIS over the past decade or so, finished his fourth season at Ryerson in 2009-10 before trying to go pro last season. Bakovic would be a strong veteran presence with the young, rebuilding Dinos, however no official announcement of his return to the CIS has been made. Another potential Dino for next season highlighted as a top performer at the ID camp was 6'9" Jelani Floyd who last played at UC-Davis, a Division 1 program in the Big West in 2009-10, where he averaged 14.3 minutes per game in 30 games. Floyd had transfered over from Brown in the Ivy League where he appeared in two games in 2007-08. He is apparently a 4.0 gpa who is looking to go into Business school. The Dinos are looking to bounce back from a season filled with injuries to their top players including 6'9" Tyler Fidler and 5'10" Jared Ogungbemi-Jackson, who missed the entire Canada West season with a serious ankle sprain... X coach Steve Konchalski likely has the most challenging roster makeover to accomplish this off season as his X-Men lost six top-of-the-rotation players to graduation after this past season. With only two fourth-year (6'5" Jermey Dunn and 7'2" Rinny Ngot), two third-year (6'2" Jordan Clarke and 5'10" Ellis Ffrench) and two sophomores (6'4" Terry Thomas and 6'10" Rodrigo Madera) scheduled to return, Konchalski has already brought in a pair of impact guards in 6'2" McMaster transfer Tyrell Vernon (4th year), who is expected to run the point next season and 5'10" Marquis Clayton, originally from Halifax Citadel who played last season at Next Level Prep in Oakville. As well, 6'7" PEI native Jacob Simmons joins X to provide some potential depth up front. Expect X to bring in at least 1 or 2 more players with a view of adding some quality experience to their suddenly-younger lineup.
Posted by Mark Wacyk at 2:51 PM