Manitoba Emerging as Favourite to Win National Gold?
If you ask the average coach for their championship formula, the majority will answer along these lines…
- Ball containment
- Shot-Altering/blocking ability
- Two-Way Guard-Play: ability to run the show, create for themselves or their teammates
- Inside and outside production
- Fluid ball movement
After two days of watching the 2014 U15/U17 Canada Basketball National Championship (hosed by the City of Edmonton and Basketball Alberta – My selection is Team-Manitoba.
Though I’ve been a proud resident of the Edmonton area (suburb of St. Albert) since 2003 and my patriotism is of the local nature; hence, my heart has me heavily leaning towards our Provincial Team (Team-AB), but the coach in me forces me to lean towards our neighbours East of Alberta.
Team-AB is loaded with talent and have shown signs, but have not yet found their consistency, particularly on the defensive end.
Nova Scotia is always a threat and have been very solid thus far (2-0) – New Brunswick has risen as a surprise favorite after throttling Ontario and PEI (who almost upset Team-AB in Game #1).
British Columbia is historically strong but do they have enough?
Team Ontario, the Beast from the East who consistently has dominated the national crown, have bounced back in victory over QC after a shocking loss to New Brunswick.
With al this being said, Team Manitoba is my selection to win it all.
Led by who I consider one of the nation’s best Lead-Guards on the incline – #4 Torrez Mckoy (NPH Showcase Alumni) and mystically his twin look alike #6 Keiran Zziwa.
Both of these guards have the complete package and if I was a CIS Coach, I would be all over them. In addition to McKoy and Zziwa, Team-MB has the best size-to-skill ratio in the entire tournament as they sport an agile, mobile and skillful roster of 6’9” (#15 Roger Milne), 6’8” C (#14 Jacob Penner), 6’8” C (#13 William Kohler), 6’6” F (#12 Mason Foreman), 6’6” F (#9 James Wagner), 6’4” F (#7 Kieran McGrath) and 6’3” F (#11 William Sesay) – with the stern, yet Player-Coach leadership and veteran ability of former U of Manitoba great Coach Dan Becker.
I can honestly say I look forward to a competitive and exciting tournament that, in my opinion, looks to end with Team-MB claiming the crown.