CALGARY,AB–The Calgary Dinos are, once again this summer, hosting a couple of NCAA Division 1 teams in the ‘Battle of the Border’ in August, and the Mount Royal University Cougars will take part in the event as they prepare for their inaugural season as a member of Canada West.
From August 7th to the 12th the Univ. of Wyoming Cowboys and the Montana State Bobcats provide the opposition for the Dinos and Cougars.
Montana State plays in the Big Sky Conference along with schools like Eastern Washington, Portland St., Weber St., N. Arizona, N. Colorado, Sacramento St., and Idaho St. The Bobcats finished 7-9 in League play, and 12-16 overall in 2011-12, and they lost to Portland St. in the 1st round of the Big Sky Tournament in March.
Wyoming plays in the Mountain West Conference with New Mexico, Air Force, Colorado St., San Diego St., Boise St., Texas Christian, and UNLV.
The Cowboys were 6-8 in the League in 2011-12, and lost to UNLV in the Mountain West Tournament quarter-finals. Their non-league record of 15-4 was very impressive, and they were invited to the College Basketball Invitational Tournament, where they beat North Dakota State, then lost to Washington St.
The Dinos will play 2 games with each of MSU and Wyoming, while Mount Royal gets the Cowboys twice, and the Bobcats just 1 game. All games will be played at the Jack Simpson Gym at UC.
Canada West Schools Busy With Recruiting
Lot’s of activity on the recruiting front as Canada West schools bolster their rosters for the fall, with schools like Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western, Manitoba, Brandon, Fraser Valley, and UBC making key signings. We will have a full Canada West recruiting review once we get more information from all the schools.
For the Calgary Dinos – so far, it looks like this – 6-6 post Anaclet Mbayi (Montreal via Farleigh Dickinson NCAA D1 & Palm Beach Atlantic NCAA D2), 6-5 post Yann Charles (Montreal, Champlain College, transfer Robert Morris , Pittsburgh, PA), 6-6 wing Mitch Ligertwood (Port Moody, BC ), 6-5 guard Jasdeep Gill (Chestermere, AB ), 6-7 wing Dallas Karch (Calgary, AB, Henry Wise Wood).
Coach Vanhooren is still hoping to get active roster status for 6-8 wing Thijin Moses (Calgary, St. Mary’s HS, DePaul Univ., Seward CC, Southwest Baptist NCAA D2) The Sudanese – born Moses is a game-changer, and he is on track to finish his academic requirements for September.
- Besides returning to familiar territory in Ontario, new Waterloo Head Coach Greg Francis, who did such a good job at U of A, taking the Bears to the CIS Final this spring, may have been persuaded to move by virtue of a big salary boost. Reportedly, Francis is around the $120,000 mark with the Warriors, which is considerably more than he was getting with the Bears.
- Doug Plumb, a 5th year player for UBC this past season, won an eligibility appeal, and will return for another season with the T-Birds. He played in just a few games in his 2nd season at Fraser Valley before leaving for Point Grey.
- Even though Janelle Bekkering was not one of the players chosen to play for Canada (as the Women’s Team makes a try at qualifying for the London Olympics, at a tournament in Turkey in late June), she has a bright basketball future, after signing with BBC KANGOEROES-BOOM in the Belgian pro league (Div. 1). We chatted with Janelle earlier this week, and she looks forward to playing in the small town just outside Antwerp. She is sharing her time between the family home in Taber and in Calgary, and plans to work-out later this summer with some friends in Spokane before returning to Europe.
- The UC Dinos have reportedly chosen a new Women’s Head Coach, but the announcement will be delayed until later in the summer. Reliable sources suggest the new bench boss will be the 1st – ever male Head Coach for the Dinos. Meanwhile, Men’s Coach Dan Vanhooren and his staff are working with the Women’s players for the next several months at the behest of AD Ron Wuotila. Tough transition for the team, after Shawnee Harle resigned, but credit to the Men’s staff for providing physical training and basketball workouts for the returnees and recruits. (Not sure they have any recruits to date, but Vanhooren is also trying to lend a hand in that area as well).